I Have perused this Comment or Exposition upon the Epistle to the Hebrewes, and finding it to be learned and judicious, plaine and very profitable, I allow it to be Printed and published:

IOHN DOVVNAME.

THE EXPIATION OF A SINNER. IN A COMMENTARY Vpon the Epistle to the HEBREVVES.

LONDON, Printed by THO. HARPER, and are to be sold by CHARLES GREENE, at his Shop in Ivie Lane, 1646.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READER.

THe History of Christ, for his life, doctrine, and miracles; for his death, resurrection and ascension, is copiously described by the foure Evangelists: But the My­stery of Christ, for the reasons, causes and effects of his sufferings and actions, especially since his ascension into heaven and session on the Throne of God, is exactly revealed in the Epistle to the Hebrewes; which seems in manner of an Appen­dex unto the Evangelists.

For that Epistle is frequently interserted with severall deep mysteries, containing, as it were, the history of Christ in heaven. How there in the behalf of the faithfull, he executes the sacred office of his everlasting Priesthood; whereby he is able to save them for ever, who come unto God by him, be­cause he ever liveth to make intercession for them. How he commiserates and succours them in all their afflictions and trialls; for having himselfe [Page]been afflicted and tried, he thereby learned the com­passion of a mercifull high Priest. How he expi­ates and propitiates them from all their former sinnes, and from all their after-lapses whereinto they fall through ignorance or infirmity; for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. How he justifies and here difies them to that eternall blessednesse, whereof he is the heire and the donor, to admit them as co-heires with him; for he is become the author of eternall salvation unto all them that obey him. How hee consecrates and dedicates their persons and all their sacrifices or holy services of prayers, praises, and thanksgi­vings, which through him become acceptable to his Father; for he is a Minister of the heavenly Sanctuary, and of the true Tabernacle which God hath pitched, and not men.

And therein is further accurately discoursed, what admirable benefits and prerogatives are from Christ redundant to the faithfull; for whom he hath obtained a Ministery so much more excellent, by how much he is the Mediator of a better covenant established upon better promises. What necessary duties of holinesse the faithfull on their part, over and besides their faith to believe, are bound to performe, for the application and efficacie of those benefits, to render them effectuall to their salvation, which without holinesse can never be [Page]attained; for as without faith it is impossible to please God: so without holinesse no man shall see God. What vertue and power those benefits have up­on the conscience, to withdraw her from dead workes, and to engage her in all endeavours of holines to serve the living God, by way of thank­fulnesse to God for his grace in Christ; for other­wise the soul is ingratefull and ungracious. What solid comforts and assurances, under all the di­stresses of this life, arise unto the soule from her endeavours of holinesse, without which no soule is capable of solid and assured comfort? for a sensu­all and sinfull soul may be sometime flattered and deceived, but effectually comforted and assured she can never be, untill in some measure she bee purged from her sinfulnes, and qualified by deeds or desires of holinesse.

In the prosecution of these and the like points, the divine Author of that Epistle proceeds after a grave and solid manner, yet soaring sometime in­to expressions and reasonings so sublime, that he seems to penetrate the highest heavens, and there to behold our Saviours actions. For the points he prosecutes are high mysteries, of things so distant and remote from sense, that (as himself acknow­ledgeth c. 5. v. 11.) many of them are hard to be utte­red; and therfore certainly, hard to be understood. Yet for the easier apprehension of them, he alwaies [...]

CHAPTER I.

GOD] The supreme and universall father, stiled in the old Covenant, the God of Israel, but in the new, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. At sundry times] in the severall ages of the world; as in the time of the servitude in Egypt, in the time of the Judges, of the Kings, and of the Captivity, and a while afterward, till about the finishing of the second Temple. And in divers maners] At one time after one maner, at another after another: as to Moses God spake in a singular and familiar maner, otherwise then to any other Prophet; for he spake with Moses mouth to mouth. Num. 12.6. And he knew Moses face to face. Deut. 34.10. But to other Prophets God spake after another maner; eyther by Angels as his delegates, or by a voice sounding in their eares, or by a vision before their eyes while they were awake, or by a dream while they were asleep. Spake] Declared his will and pleasure for precepts, promises or judgements; whether by voice, vision or dreame. In times past] Anciently, during the time of the Tabernable, and the first Temple: for after the finish­ing of the second Temple, God spake very rarely any way. Vnto the Fathers] Not to the Patriarchs, but to the people of Israel and Judah, who lived in the time of the Prophets, and were ancestors to those Hebrewes to whom this Epistle is written. By the Prophets.] As by Moses and Samuel, by Elias and Elisha, and by the rest of the Prophets whose workes are extant in the sacred Canon of Scripture.

2. In these last dayes] The time of the Gospel is called the last dayes; partly as opposed to the words before in times past; partly be­cause the time of the Law and the Prophets was before it; but chiefly because the Church under the Gospel shall not receive from God any more Innovation or alteration; for the time of the Gospel shall last till time shall be no more, till eternity; and therefore is commonly cal­led in Scripture the last dayes. See Act. 2.17. By his son] Jesus Christ who here is opposed to the Prophets, by whom God spake in time past. Not that the Prophets were no way the sons of God, but because in comparison of Christ they were not so accounted. For Christ by whom God spake the Gospel was more eminently the son of God then any of the Prophets, 4 wayes: 1. By his conception; be­cause he was conceived of a Virgin by the power of the Holy Ghost. [Page 3]2. By his function; because he was sanctified by God and sent into the world, to publish and confirme the new Covenant; for which fun­ction he must needs resemble God as a son the father, in divine wis­dome, holinesse and power. This reason Christ gives why he called himself the son of God, John 10.36. 3. By his Institution; because God appointed him his universall heire as an only son is to his father. 4. By his Resurrection; because thereby he was immortalised, or en­franchised from death and mortality; and consequently deified as the son of God. This reason St. Paul gives applying to the Resurrection of Christ the words of the Psalme, Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Act. 13.33. Whom he hath appointed heire] God hath appointed Christ to inherit the sovereigne dominion and King­dome of God; first by granting him a right or title to it; and after­ward by giving him the reall possession of it. Yet he possesseth it not successively after his father, as the manner is among men; but accesso­rily and joyntly together with his father. Of all things] His univer­sall heire; he alludes to an only son, who is the sole heire of all his fathers estate. For Christ is the unigenit or only son of God; not that God hath not other sons, but that he hath none such as he. Seeing then God is the universall proprietary and Lord of all things; there­fore Christ being his only son and heire, becomes universall Lord al­so of all things, over all Angells and men, whether alive or dead. By whom also he made the world.] God by the mediation or meane of Christ did reforme and restore mankinde who is the chiefest part of the world, by giving him a new state and condition by a new Cove­nant. For the Hebrews who have no or few compound verbs, say a thing is made, when in regard of some qualities it is altered or renew­ed, or made otherwise then it was before, by assuming a new forme or fashion for a better condition. So we are said to be created in Christ to good workes, and we are called a new creature; not in regard of any new creation, or new nature; but because of new relations unto God, or new qualities in our selves.

3. Who being the brightnesse of his glory] Christ was the lustre, raye or beam of Gods Majesty. For seeing God is invisible and cannot be seen of men, by reason of his immense and infinite light; therefore God sent forth Christ as a raye or beam of his light, that in Christ men might have a kinde of sight of Gods Majesty. And the expresse image of his person] These words doe but interpret the former. Adam and in him every man made is made in the image of God, to resemble God in some of Gods attributes: but Christ is the character or image of Gods person; for God did as it were imprint his person upon Christ, that Christ might be his substitute upon earth to personate, re­present and resemble the person of God; to be in wisdome as God, by publishing the mysteries and secrets of God, and by knowing the [Page 4]thoughts of men; to be in holinesse as God, without all staine of sin; to be in power as God, having dominion over all creatures, over windes, seas, and devills. For such divine wisdome, holinesse and power, are brightnesses, images, or markes of Gods Supremacie, or Soveraigne Majestie. Vpholding all things by the word of his power.] Christ car­ried all things by his powerfull Command; for according to the He­brew sence, Word is put for Command; as Psal. 33.7. and Psal. 143.15. And the Word of his power, is an Hebraisme also, for his powerfull word. q. d. Christ did personate God, not onely for the acts of his power; but also for the manner of his acts, because he wrought all his miracles by his sole Word or Command. For at his Word or Com­mand the windes ceased, the sea calmed, diseases were healed, the di­vels were ejected, and the dead raised. And to this the Centurion ap­plied his faith, when he said, Lord, Speak the word only and my servant shall be healed. Mat. 8.8. When he had by himself purged our sinnes.] Christ offered up himself in his own person, and did not as the Leviti­call Priest, who used to offer sacrifices that were not himself; but Christ was both the Priest who offered, and the sacrifice which was offered. And by this oblation of himselfe, he expiated or purged away our sinnes, by removing our guiltines and the punishment due to our sins. Christ was a sacrifice to expiate our sinnes; and the slaughter of this sacrifice was made on earth upon the crosse: but the offering of this sacrifice was then performed, when he entred into heaven, and made his Appearance in the presence of God; as the Leviticall Priest after the sacrifice was slain, entered into the Sanctuary to offer the blood of it. And this Oblation of Christ had then onely an efficacy or power to expiate our sins; but the effect of it followes not upon us, till we on our part performe our office, by beleeving in Christ and obeying him. Sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.] The Leviticall high Priest when he went into the Oracle, where God was said to dwell and sit betweene the Cherubins, did not sit downe with God, betweene the Cherubins: but stood as a minister or waiter with great reverence of the Divine Majestie, offering and sprinkling that blood wherewith he entered. But Christ ascending on high, and entering into heaven, did not stand before the Throne of God as a minister or supplicant, but sat downe at the right hand of Gods Majestie. Yet he sat not by way of an Assistant unto God, as Nobles and Councellers doe to earthly Princes: but by way of Cor-regnant to reigne with him, having absolute power over the people or Church of God, and for the Churches sake over all other things. For accord­ing to Saint Paul, 1. Cor. 15.25. To sit at the right hand of God, is to reigne and governe as God; And Christ doth now reigne and go­verne absolutely and arbitrarily in all things not defined by Gods law; but where Gods law orders things, there he governs accordingly.

[Page 5]4. Being made so much better then the Angels.] The Apostle formerly having tacitely preferred Christ before all the Prophets, and before the high Priests; proceeds now to compare and preferre Christ before the Angels, to wit (which must be marked) from the time of his session at Gods right hand, corregnant with him. Whereupon he layes down this position or doctrine, That Christ sitting at Gods right hand, reigning with him in absolute power, is become more excellent then the Angels. This doctrine he presently proves, by severall ar­guments following. As he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name then they.] This is the first argument whereby he proves his former doctrine; because Christ hath obtained a more excellent name then the Angels. By name here, we are not to understand that domi­nion or dignity of Christ, whereby he reignes with his Father in ab­solute power; for this were to argue tautologously, seeing he mentio­ned that before. But by name he meanes the Appellation or title gi­ven to Christ, noting his state and condition: For from Appellations and titles, especially given by God, we may easily gather the dignitie and excellency of any person. And this excellent name, Christ hath obtained by Inheritance, Which shewes, that he had it not by nature nor from eternitie, but in time, by grace from the favour of God.

5. For unto which of the Angels said he at any time thou art my son.] He confirms his former reason, by a testimony from Scripture, Psal. 2.7. Why Christ hath a more excellent Name then Angels; Because God gave Christ the Name or title of Sonne, which is a title of ho­nour above that of Angels, whose name or title signifies them, to be the Messengers or Legats of God. The Angels in generall are some time in Scripture called the Sons of God, as Iob 1.6. But God on his part never calls them so in generall; much lesse doth he single out any one peculiar Angel apart from the rest, to entitle him by the name or Son. But God entitles Christ by that Name, Thou art my Sonne; thou and no other person properly: For the Pronoune thou, is here put exclusively, to sequester all other persons beside, from the participa­tion of that name as a proper and personall title. Indeed as the Angels in generall, so all Christians are in common called the Sonnes of God: but Christ onely is so called peculiarly, personally and singularly. This day have I begotten thee.] He confirms, why Christ is singular­ly entituled and named the Sonne of God; because God after a singular manner hath begotten him, i. Raised him from the dead (for in Davids Psalmes from whence this testimonie is taken, extream dan­gers resemble death) and made him most resemblant and like to God himselfe, by giving him Immortality and universall Royalty to bee King over his people. For this generating or begetting of Christ hath respect to his Resurrection and Ascension; for so Saint Paul expresly re­fers it, Acts 13.33. Not that Christ was not begotten or not called [Page 6]the Sonne of God before his Resurrection; but because by his Resur­rection he was most assimilated and made semblant unto God, by be­ing made an immortall and universall King, whereby he had the high­est degree under God; therefore God is said to have then begotten him, and then to call him his Sonne: For God is called God by reason of his supream power and dominion; whereof they also are called Gods and the sons of God, that have power and dominion; and the greater their power is, or the nearer it resembles Gods power, so much the rather, and more neerly are they his sonnes. And he is most of all his Sonne, whose power and dominion is made either the same with Gods, or equall to it. Christ was the Sonne of God before his Resur­rection; for during his prophetick function, he was a great Potentate, and wrought powerfull miracles: but after his Resurrection upon his Regall office, he became most neerly and highly the Sonne of God, because then God made him an immortall and universall Potentate; for then all Power was given him in heaven and earth, Mat. 28.18. This day] It is an Hebraisme, frequently added to speeches, wherein some remarkable matter is either done or given, or promised, or commanded; as in this place; to the end that day might be kept in memory, or as it were remaine for a day of Commemoration, that the action of that day might be kept in perpetual remembrance, See Gen. 4.14. Jer. 1.10. and many places in Deuteronomie. And againe; I will be to him a Fa­ther, and he shall be to me a Sonne.] Hee confirmes that Christ is the Son of God from another testimony of Scripture, 2. Sam. 7.14. which was literally spoken of by Solomon; as the former testimony of Da­vid, but both mystically of Christ; Intimating the deare love and affection of God toward him; whereupon it must needs follow, that Christ must be exalted to a most excellent state and condition above all other persons, And as these words were spoken of Solomon future­ly before hee was borne, and indeed the Sonne of God: so also of Christ.

6. And again, when he bringeth in] Another testimonie of Scri­pture to prove Christ better then the Angels; because all the Angels are commanded to worship him; which must needs follow upon the state and condition of his filiation. For all servants must worship or reverence their masters sonne and heire, especially then, when his fa­ther had made over his inheritance or estate unto him. This testimo­nie is taken out of 97. Psalme; whereof the inscription in the Sep­tuagint, is, A Psalme of David when the land was restored unto him; namely, when his kingdome was restored, after his expulsion from it by Absolon, but mystically meant of Christ. And therefore againe, may well be referred to his bringing in: For after Christ was expel­led the world by his death and buriall, God brought him into the world againe by his Resurrection, in raising him from the grave. [Page 7] The first begotten] Christ is the first begotten Sonne of God; because God begot him before all his other sonnes, who are called the brethren of Christ; for God first begot Christ, in that manner wherein God is said to beget sons; for those he begets whom he assimilates and makes like unto himselfe, and so Christ was the first that was assimilated or made like unto God in holinesse; in such holinesse as he requires in the new Covenant. Secondly, Christ is the first begotten of God by his Resurrection, because by the power of God hee was raised and brought in againe from death to an immortall life; for which cause hee is called the first begotten from the dead; and the first fruits of them that slept. 1. Cor. 15.20. Lastly, he is the first begotten in all things whatsoever, whereby the faithfull of Christ, become the sons of God; for Christ hath preceded them all, that (as St. Paul speakes) he in al [...] things might have the preeminence. Col. 1.18. Into the world,] First to be upon the earth a while after his Resurrection from the grave, but chiefly when he brought him into heaven, which is the superiour and future world, and seated him at his right hand; for then Christ be­came the Lord and head over men and angels; and till then the angels worshipped him not. For in this sence the Apostle here takes the world as himselfe shewes in the next cap. ver. 5. where he saith, tha [...] the world to come is the world whereof he spake. And let all the angels of God worship him.] The words are Imperative, laying a Com­mand upon all the angels of God, none excepted, to worship Christ; and therefore it followes that Christ is made much better then the an­gels. In the Hebrew of the Psalme it is, Worship him all ye Gods; where the word Gods is opposed to Idols, which were the Heathen Gods, whose wo [...]shippers are there commanded to be ashamed; and againe to those Idols Christ is opposed, who not onely is not an Idol, but so true a God, that all other Gods who are not idols must worship him. But because by Gods there, we can understand none but the An­gels, therefore the Septuagint transl [...]tes it, the Angels of God, whom this divine Author followes. Worship him.] Vse divine reverence before him, and unto him, by standing up, bowing downe, and fal­ling downe before him; in [...]he very same manner that is done or due to God himself. Because Christ sustaines the person of God, and commands all things in the Name of God, and therefore in Christ. God himselfe is worshipped. And the execution of this Command that the Angels doe really performe this worship, appeares in the Re­velation, where they are said to stand round about the Throne, and to fall downe before the Throne on their faces to worship Christ. Re­vel. 7.11.

7. And of the Angels he saith,] A third argument from the testi­mony of Scripture. Psal. 104.4. to prove Christ made better then the angels. Who maketh his angels spirits.] This is not spoken of their [Page 8]Creation, but of their Emission, that God employeth them as his Emis­saries, or Messengers, to shew their state and condition to be servants unto God, wherein they greatly differ from the state of Christ, sitting at Gods right hand, and is not sent forth any whether. And his Mini­sters a flaming fire.] Herein the Author aimes at no more, then what he saith at the last verse of this Chapter, that they are all Ministring spi­rits; saving that he alludes from the Psalme to the manner of their Mi­nistery; which is like a spirit or a winde, very forcible, and yet invisi­ble; and like a flaming fire or lightning, very penetrable, subtile and agile, moving almost in an instant from one part of heaven to an­other.

8. But unto the Sonne he saith, Thy Throne O God!] Herein hee op­poseth Christ to the Angels, and preferres him above them, from a te­stimony of Scripture, Psal. 45.6. which is literally spoken of Solo­mon, but mystically of Christ; And therein Solomon is said to have a throne, and called God, for the royalty of his throne, and sublimitie of his power over Gods people. And therefore Christ, of whom So­lomon was but a shadow, is by a farre greater right called God; because the Throne of Christ is farre more royall, in being seated at the right hand of God. And consequently, Christ is farre better, and superiour to the Angels, as the King sitting on his throne, is greater then his ser­vants that minister unto him. Is for ever and ever.] Solomons throne or kingdome, is said to be everlasting or perpetuall, because hee was promised to reigne in his person, and in his posteritie after him for ma­ny ages; Namely, so long as the carnall and earthly state of Gods peo­ple should require an earthly King, See Psal. 89.28,29. and verse 36, 37. For that Solomons posteritie were deprived of the kingdom before the coming of Christ; (which notwithstanding was restored in Christ, though after a more divine and spirituall manner) that hapned through the soule sinnes of his posteritie, which God neither would nor could any longer tolerate. Seeing God put this Article or condition in the Covenant which he made with David and his posteritie, that his po­sterity should observe his Law, See 1. Chron. 28.7. But this perpe­tuity of throne or kingdome agrees farre more eminently unto Christ; because Christ was made immortall to live for ever, and to raigne in his owne person for ever, without any posterity to succeed him; and he is to raigne so long as the people of God shall need such a King; which Throne must needs last to the end of the world, till all his enemies be destroyed. And consequently the Throne or Kingdome of Christ is most properly and truely everlasting for ever and ever. A Scepter of righteousnes is the Scepter of thy Kingdome.] Scepter, is figuratively put for government, because it is the ensigne of Royall government; and Scepter of righteousnes is by an Hebraisme put for a righteous go­vernment. Literally, Solomons government was very just & righteous; [Page 9]and mystically the government of Christ, is most just and righteous over the faithfull, who are Gods people.

9. Thou hast loved righteousnes, and hated iniquity,] These words doe but amplifie and illustrate the former. Literally, Solomon did not only governe righteously, but loved to doe it, and hated to doe the contrary. And mystically Christ loved it much more; for he commit­ted no iniquity nor sinne at all; he never did any man injury, nor suffers it to be done unpunished. Therefore God hath anointed thee with the oile of gladnesse.] He alludes to the anointing of Kings, or rather to the anointing of guests at feasts, which was an ancient custome, because oyle doth exhilerate and refresh the spirits, and cheer up the minde, es­pecially being perfumed with some sweet odour. And therefore Oyle of gladnes is an Hebraisme put for exhilerating and cheering oile. To this custome the Psalmist relates, Psal. 23.5. and our Saviour, Matt. 6.17. and Luke 7.46. The literall sence is; God did entertain Solomon more delicately then other men, endowing him with extraordinary gifts and graces; particularly with these three, Wisedom, Riches, and Glory; for he gave him his owne asking, and that besides which hee asked not, See 1. Kings 3.5. for his extraordinarie wisedome, See 1. Kings 3.12. and 1. Kings 4.29. for his Riches and Glory, See 1. Kings 3.13. and 1. Kings 10.21. to the end of the chap­ter. The mysticall sence is, That as God was the God of Solomon to endow him: so he was the God of Christ also, who endowed Christ anointing him with the holy Ghost, and with spirituall graces in farre more extraordinary manner, for spirituall wisedom, whereby he knew the secrets of God, and the thoughts of men; with spirituall riches, which is holinesse and righteousnsse; with spirituall power and glory to have dominion over all men and angels, See Luk. 1.15. and Luk. 4.1. and Luk 2.40. and Mat. 12.42. and Joh. 1.14. and Joh. 1.16. Above thy fellows.] The literall sence is; Solomons brethren, who were the rest of Davids children, were cheerfully anointed, or blessed of God, with Wisedom, Riches, and Honours; but Solomon was blessed above them all in a singular and eminent degree, and advanced by God to the Kingdome of Israel before and above them, so that all they were not onely rejected from the Crowne, but made subject to him. The Mysticall sence is. All the faithfull like Solomons fellowes or bre­thren, are begotten from the same Father that Christ is begotten; and are anointed with the holy Ghost, and have many things common with Christ; yet notwithstanding Christ is anointed by God above all the faithful; hath an immence measure & power of the holy Ghost powred upon him; especially after his resurrection from the dead, when he was totally sanctified, and advanced to be King and Lord over the faithful.

10 And, thou Lord, &c.] A fourth Argument to prove Christ, better then the Angels taken from a testimonie of Scripture, Psal. 102. [Page 10]vers. 25, 26, 27. And here wee must note, that this Testimony doth so farre onely belong to Christ, as it conduceth to the scope of the Au­thor; which as appeares at the fourth verse of this chapter, is to prove, that Christ after that he was seated at the right hand of God, was made better then the angels. To which purpose the Creation of heaven and earth makes nothing at all: For that cannot be referred to Christ, un­lesse the Author had taken it for granted, and for a ground that Christ is the supreme God; because all this testimony out of that Psalm is mani­f [...]stly spoken of the suprem God; but that Christ should be that God is not intimated by any word in all that Psalm. And therefore if the Au­thor had taken this for graunted, that Christ is the supreme God, cer­tainly the Author had discoursed very impertinently and ambiguous­ly, to furnish himselfe with such store of arguments, and so many Te­stimonies of Scriptures, (and those much more obscure then the point to be proved) thereby to evince, that Christ was better then the an­gels; the Creatour, better then the creature. This had been to bring proofs no way necessary for a point no way doubtfull; seeing all might have been dispatched in one word. We must therefore further observe, that this Testimony out of Psalme 102. containes three clauses. The first concerning the Creation of the world. 2. Concerning the destru­ction of the world. 3. Concerning the Duration of God; for these three things are the subjects of three verities contained in that Testi­monie, and all three are spoken supremely, and primarily of God the Father: But the first can no way be referred to Christ, because (as is before noted) it could not make for the Authors purpose. The last, referres both to God and Christ; for the Duration of Christ is perpe­tuall and everlasting; yet this clause makes nothing for the Authors purpose, to prove Christ better then the Angels, because for Duration, the angels are equall to him, seeing they also are immortall, and incor­ruptible, perpetuall and everlasting. The second clause referres to God supremely and primarily, and to Christ subordinately or secondarily; for God by Christ will destroy the world; God hath given to Christ a transcendent power to destroy and abolish heaven and earth. And this makes fully to the Authors purpose, and proves Christ clerely bet­ter then the angels; who have not this power granted to them. Now to the words of this Testimony in particular. Thou Lord in the begin­ning] God when first he began the world; even in the first beginning of [...]is visible workes, Hast laid the foundation of the earth.] He al­ludes to buildings which are raised upon a foundation; for the earth is as it were the foundation and ground-work of the world. And hee mentions the earth in the first place, because in the raising of all build­ings, men begin from the foundation. Now the earth is termed the foundation, because it seemes immoveable and fixed, as all foundati­ons ought to be. And the heavens are the works of thine hands.] The [Page 11]heavens are all those vast bodies which doe circumvest the earth and one another. And they are called heavens, plurally, because they are built and raised to the height of three regions or stories each above the other. The first and lowest heaven is vulgarly called the aire; wherein flie the fowles of heaven; and therein are the supernall waters that are said to be above in the heavens, as clouds, raine, haile and snow. The second or middle heaven, is vulgarly called, the firmament, wherein are all the fires that give light and heat to all the world; as the Sunne, Moone, and Starres. The third and highest heaven, is called by St. Paul Paradise; wherein God, and Christ, and the angels doe mani­fest themselves. All these are the workes of Gods word, and were wrought at his command: For God said, Let them be, and they were so, Gen. 1.6. God commanded, and they were created, Psal. 148.5. Yet the Psalmist terms them the works of Gods hands, alluding to the speech of the vulgar, whose hands and not their words are the instru­ments of their works, wch therefore are called the works of their hands. Hitherto of the first clause of this Testimony, concerning the Creation of the world, referred to God onely, who only was the Author of it.

11. They shall perish.] Now followes the second Clause of this Testimony concerning the destruction of the world; referred to God supremely and primarily, but to Christ subordinately and secondarily, because the power to destroy the world is given to Christ, and there­fore principally serves to the Authors purpose to prove him better then the angels. They shall perish.] The heavens and the earth shall perish, or be utterly destroyed and abolished; as this Author phraseth it afterward in this Epistle, chap. 12.27. they shall be removed, as things that are concussible and corruptible. And as St. Peter saith more expresly, 2. Epistle 3.10. The heavens shall passe away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also shall be burnt up. Now things that passe away and are no where, must needs have no being, and a thing burnt up must needs perish. Here we have a clear testimony that this present world shall be destroyed and abolish­ed. For if (as some have imagined) it shall only be endued with per­fecter qualities, and be changed into a better state, so to remaine under that state, how is it said to perish? Certainly things changed into a better state to be permanent under that state, cannot be said to perish. Shall the Saints be said to perish, when they are changed from mortall and corruptible creatures to become immortall and incorruptible, and be made partakers of a nature and state far more pure and perfect then they had before? certainly no. Or if the world shall have a perpetuall permansion or abiding for ever; how is it opposed to Gods and Christs permansion or abiding for ever? which is the scope of this reasoning, as appeares in the words immediatly following: But thou remainest; and thy yeers shall not fail. And they shall wax old as doth a garment.] [Page 12]The heavens are compared to a garment, because as hath been said be­fore, they doe circumvest, envelop, and enwrap the whole earth round about, as a garment envolves the body; and therefore the attribute of a garment, which is to veterate and wax old, is by a Metaphor fitly ap­plyed to the heavens: Not that the heavens doe insensibly wax old, and wear out with length of time, as garments usually doe: but be­cause at last they shall wholly be abolished; therefore they are said, to wax old as a garment, because a garment waxen old, and worn out, is at last wholly abolished and cast away: For veteration or waxing old, is a motion or passage toward destruction and abolition. Seeing that which decayeth and waxeth old, drawes neere to vanishing away, as this Au­thor expresseth it afterward in this Epistle, cap. 8. v. 13. But how shall the heavens wax old, if they shall be renewed into a better state. Is a garment said then to wax old, when it is new drest, by making it som­what better and neater?

12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up,] When a garment is waxen so old that we have no minde to weare it any longer, then wee usually fold it up and lay it aside; for properly a garment is a loose vest which we use to weare outwardly over the rest of our clothing; and therefore being laid aside, is usually solded up. Hence it appeares, that at last, the time shall come, that the heavens shall no longer circumvest, or enwrap the earth, and therefore must needs be destroyed and abo­lished. And they shall be changed.] What change must here be un­derstood, moe have shewed before; namely, a destruction, abolition or perishing; a change, not for the better, but for the worse; a change from being to not being; as a garment waxen old, and thereupon fold­ed up, becomes changed for the worse, till first it fall into clouts and ragges, and at last rots quite away. Hitherto of the second Clause of this testimony concerning the destruction of the world; referred pri­marily by the Psalmist to God; but secondarily and subordinatly by this Author to Christ, by whose power under God, this destruction shall be made, and thereby is proved to be better then the angels. But thou remainest.] Now follows the third Clause of this testimony, referred both to God and Christ, as the second Clause was; yet we shall speak of it only in reference to Christ, because the main purpose of the Author in this Clause, is to prove, not that Christ herein is better then the angels, but to shew upon the by, that the Duration of Christs per­son and Kingdom, doth not only exceed the age of the world which shall be destroyed, but shall be everlasting and perpetuall remaining for ever. The world shall not remaine, but shall cease to be: But Christ shall remaine and never cease to bee: but if the world be Innovated into a better state, to remaine ever under that state, wherein shall stand the opposition betweene the Duration of the world and Christ? certainly in nothing. Thou art the same,] The [Page 13]heavens and earth shall not be the same alwayes, but at last shall be changed from being to not being. But Christ once seated at the right hand of God, continues alwayes the same, and shall be the same ever­lastingly. And thy yeares shall not fail.] The world had a beginning, and then her years began, but because she shall be destroyed and abo­lished, therefore her yeares shall faile and come to an end. Christ also had a beginning of his age and yeares, but because hee is now immor­tall, therefore his yeares shall never have an end; but shall run forth in to eternity, and last everlastingly.

13. But to which of the angels said he at any time,] The fift and last Argument to prove Christ better and greater then the angels, taken from a testimony of Scripture, Psal. 110.1. Shewing that God never vouchsafed them that high dignity and degree of honour, as to sit at his right hand. Sit on my right hand] The meaning of this phrase, see before in this chapter, verse 3. For so great a dominion and power, as to correigne with God over all things in heaven and earth, was never granted to any of the angels. Vntill I make thine enemies thy foot­stool.] Here is declared the expiration and terme of that spirituall Kingdome, which Christ now administers upon earth: and such a terme as therewithall shewes one of the greatest and most excellent effect of that Kingdome; In so much as it is no marvell his Kingdome should determine after the production of that effect. All which tends to the highest commendation of that Kingdome. For if Christ had obtained that Kingdom for some short time, or should relinquish it be­fore he had destroyed and abolished all his enemies, much would bee wanting to the dignitie of his Kingdome. The terme therefore, unto which the Kingdom of Christ must be produced, which also is a most glorious effect of his Kingdome, is expressed, when God saith, untill I make thine enemies thy footstoole. By enemies here we must under­stand, not onely the adversaries to the person of Christ, who once re­proached and crucified him, or since to this day blaspheme and oppose him: but also all things adverse and hurtfull to the people of Christ, who are the faithfull. Of which enemies the chiefest is death, so far forth as it doth hurt, or may hurt the faithfull, who are the people of Christ; as the Apostle teacheth, 1. Cor. 15.26. For the death which domineers and remaines upon the ungodly and unbeleevers, shall not be abolished; because their death is no enemy unto Christ, but mili­tant and subservient unto him in doing the worke upon which he em­ployes it. And the enemies of Christ, are then made his footstoole, when they are so fully conquered, that all power of doing hurt is taken from them: or as St. Paul expounds it, 1. Cor. 15.26. when they are destroyed and abolished. And God is said to put Christs enemies downe; not that Christ shall be no agent in that action, but because God gives Christ the power to performe it, and Christ shall execute it [Page 14]by vertue of that power that is given him. As in the Scripture, 1. Kings 5.3. God is said to have put Davids enemies under his feet; yet David was not idle in the wars, but very active. Or as some King, when his enemies were conquered, should say that God had subdued them unto him; because God had given him power and courage to performe it: For that Christ also himselfe shall subdue his enemies, it plainly appeares from the words of St. Paul, 1. Cor. 15.24. and Phil. 3.21.

14. Are they not all ministring spirits,] They, i. the Angels. In the former verse, having shewed the Sublimity and Maiesty of Christ in his seat at Gods right hand, and in the victory over his enemies, he now on the other part opposeth the condition of the angels; that the great dignity of him above them, may evidently appeare. Christ doth sit; and he sits at the right hand of God: i. he raignes as a King; and the manner of Kings is to sit. But all the angels (none excepted) are ministring spirits; i. waiting spirits, and the manner of waiters is to stand and appeare, and be sent forth at his command upon whom they wait. Sent forth to minister.] The angels are Gods messengers and ministers; for they are sent forth, and the end of their sending forth, is to minister or doe service: What ministery or service that is, hee will presently shew, and withall will intimate how long their ministery shall last, namely, till the persons for whose sake they minister, shall attaine salvation. For them who shall be heires of salvation.] The angels are properly ministers unto God and Christ; for properly a man ministers unto him that hath a right to command him, though his ministery or service be many times performed for the use and behoofe of another. So the angels are ministers, not unto the Saints and heires of salvation; but for the Saints, i. for the benefit and commodity of the Saints: they minister unto Christ for the vse of the Saints, and then they mi­nister to the Saints, when they are sent for the custody and guard of their bodies and soules to provide for their safety in both respects. For seeing Satan and the other devils doe not only pursue and hurt the bo­dies of men, but their soules also: so likewise wee beleeve it the office of the angels to protect, not the bodies onely of the Saints, but their soules also. Satan hath power to inject evill thoughts into the mindes of men, and to incite them to divers sinnes; whom therefore the Scri­pture makes the Author and Parent of all sinne, who workes effectu­ally in the children of disobedience; whom shee calls the Prince and god of this world; who put it into the heart of Judas to betray Christ, and into the heart of Ananias to lie unto the holy Ghost. Now if Sa­tan can doe this, why cannot good angels inject good thoughts, and by divers objects draw the minde to that which is acceptable unto God? And when an angel is sent to deliver a man from danger, he commonly delivers him no otherwise, then by casting into his thoughts some [Page 15]advice or counsell, whereby he may decline the danger, or by putting some thought upon his adversary, whereby to divert him from his en­tended enterprise. Neither are wee to understand that the angels are sent forth only and soly for this end, to minister to the Saints, but that is the principall and chiefe end; for many times the emissions redound to the benefit and profit of others, both persons and kingdomes; but especially concerning the affaires of the Church, whereof Christ is Lord and Protector.

The Contents of this first Chapter.

  • 1. Doctrine. Christ is greater then any of the Prophets.
    • Reason. 1. Because God hath spoken by Christ, in these last dayes, verse 2.
    • 2. Because Christ is appointed heire of all things. eod.
    • 3. Because by him God made the new world. eod.
  • 2. Doctrine. Christ is greater then any of the high Priests. verse 3.
    • Reason. 1. Because Christ is the brightnes of Gods glory, and the expresse image of his person. eod.
    • 2. Because Christ hath expiated our sinnes by himselfe, even by his owne blood. eod.
    • 3. Because Christ is now set downe, at the right hand of Gods Majesty on high. eod.
  • 3. Doctrine. Christ is much greater then the Angels. verse 4.
    • Reason. 1. Because Christ hath a greater name then they; for he is called, and is the true Son of God. verse 4. 5.
    • 2. Because the Angels are his subjects and servants; for they must wor­ship him and minister unto him. verse 6. 7.
    • 3. Because Christ hath a kingdome of righteousnes, with a Throne and Scepter of righteousnes, verse 8. 9.
    • 4. Because Christ hath power finally to destroy and abolish this visible world, and at the last day shall actually destroy it, verse 11. 12.
    • 5. Because Christ sitteth on Gods right hand on the Throne of God, whereas the Angels minister and wait, verse 13. 14.

CHAPTER II.

1. THerefore,] Because wee have formerly proved, that Christ is far more excellent then the An­gels. We ought to give the more earnest heed,] greater attention, diligence and care. To the things which we have heard,] to the doctrines, precepts, and promises of the Gospel, the Au­thor whereof who first published it upon earth, was a person far more excellent then the Angels, who published the Law upon Mount Sinai; as the Author subjoynes it afterward at the [Page 16]third verse. Least at any time we should let them slip.] He here expres­seth the scope and end of their earnest attention and heed, not to de­cline or revolt from the Gospel of Christ; and he alludes to a leaking vessell, that lets the liquor run out. Now then, we let the Gospel slip and run from us, when either we forget it, or give no further credit to it, or neglect the precepts of it, to conforme our lives to the holy rules therein delivered. For, when the Gospel hath not the force upon our soules, to make us obedient to the rules of it, then it may be said to leake or slip away from us.

2. For, if the word spoken by Angels] He begins to bring a reason, why we should take earnest heed that the Gospel slip not from us, by an argument à mineri; for, if God punished the transgression of the Law which was lesse, much more them of the Gospel, which is grea­ter. The Law was the word or speech of God, for God spake it to the people, partly by himselfe, and partly by Moses, see Exod. 20.1. and in the same Chapter, ver. 22. Yet God spake not the Law, either to Moses or the people immediately by himselfe, but by the mediati­on and meanes of Angels, who published and proclaimed it upon Mount Sinai; see for confirmation hereof, Acts 7.53. and Gal. 3.19. The Law therefore being published but by Angels, is farre inferiour to the Gospel, which was published by Christ, a person greater then the Angels. Hence we may collect two verities: 1. That God truly and properly did not descend downe upon Mount Sinai, and there publish the Law; but an Angel susteining the Name and person of God, published it in the Name of God. For, if God himselfe, besides the Angels, and accompanied with them, had descended from heaven into the Mount to publish the Law; then, not onely the Authors argu­ment had beene void, but also the contrary must needs be concluded, That the Law in this respect was more excellent then the Gospel, be­cause God himselfe who exalted Christ, and made him head over the Angels, came from heaven to earth, and did publish the Law; but the Gospel was published but by him, who was exalted by God from earth to heaven. 2. The second verity is, That the Lord, who publi­shed the Law upon the Mount, was not the Sonne of God, in the per­son of his deity. For, if the Law were given by the Son of God, how can this Author affirme it was delivered by Angels, and in that respect make it inferiour to the Gospel? Or, how is it at all inferiour to the Gospel, in respect of the publishing, if both it and the Gospel were published by one and the same person? Was stedfast] The Law was ratified and established, made stedfast and firme, when it was strength­ened with power and force for obedience, and supported with judge­ments and punishments against the transgressors of it. For, when a Law is but a bare precept, and hath no penalty annexed to it, then it is infirme and weake; but, when it is fortified with penalties, then it is [Page 17]made stedfast, and becomes a sanction; for thereupon men dare not so easily violate and breake it. And every transgression and disobedience] The Law was made stedfast for this end, that it might be fortified and supported against every transgression and disobedience, whereby men would presume to breake it. A transgression is a sin against an expresse and knowne Law; for, every transgression is a sin, but every sin is not a transgression; yet, every sin may become a transgression, namely if it be forbidden by an expresse and knowne Law: Otherwise where there is no Law to be transgressed, there can be no transgression. A disobedience is a transgression done with malice and contumacy; for as a transgression is one kinde of sin, so a disobedience is one kinde of transgression; yet, every transgression may become a disobedience, namely, if it be committed out of malice and contumacy. Received a just recompence of reward] Punishment is then a just recompence of re­ward, when it is congruous and sutable to the sin, according to the due desert of the sinne. But, these words of the Author cannot meane, that every transgression of the Law without exception, had a capitall pu­nishment ordained by Law, or was de facto inflicted; for, every penall Law was not alwayes put in execution. And those transgressions which were committed out of ignorance or infirmity, had their expiation ap­pointed by Law, but disobedients, or contempts, or, as the Scripture termes them, sinning presumptuously, or with a high hand, could not be expiated any other way, then by that capitall punishment that by the Law was ordained, see Numb. 15.27. And, seeing it is apparent, that the Authour speakes of a matter openly and vulgarly knowne, it is not credible, that he would be understood of those private and secret judgements or punishments that God himselfe inflicted, for such for the most part were concealed and not knowne. Wherefore we must needs conceive, that this Author takes not the particle every, logically and strictly, but vulgarly, for the most part of transgressions and diso­bediences, and hath speciall respect to the sacred precepts of the Law, and to the examples of those persons, whose transgressions against those Laws are mentioned, and whom the Scripture testifies to have beene severely punished of God, according to their demerits. For, if in some cases the rigour of the Law was mitigated, as in the case of David; those cases being extraordinary and rare, must not take place against the generall rule. Although David also had no small punish­ment from God upon him; so that here the Author speakes of divine punishments which God himselfe inflicted; for, otherwise it would not follow, that the Law was made stedfast with God, therefore be­cause the Magistrate punished transgressors; but, because God him­selfe did it, or tooke order it should be done, either by the Magistrate, or by others. For, when he speakes on the opposite part, concerning the contemners of the Gospel, the punishments are understood to be infli­cted by God himself.

[Page 18]3. How shall we escape] If the transgressions of the Law were de­servedly and justly punished by Gods hand, much leste shall we escape it; If we neglect so great salvation?] If we neglect the Gospel. He might have called the Gospel, the word spoken by Christ, as before he termed the Law, the word spoken by Angels; for, this had beene enough to inferre his conclusion, and also a more eloquent opposition; but he calls the Gospel Salvation, for three reasons. 1. To expresse the effect and fruit of the Gospel, which is Salvation; for, as S. Paul saith of it, It is the power of God to salvation, to every one that be­leeveth, Rom. 1.16. 2. To intimate the dignity and excellency of the Gospel above the Law, because the Law contained no open prom [...]se of salvation, but onely hidden under shadowes of things, and coverts of words; neither did the Law specifie that condition, whereby men might attaine salvation, but that onely whereby they incurred con­demnation, and the punishment of death. Hence S. Paul saith, The Law worketh wrath, Rom. 4.15. and he calls the Law, the ministra­tion of death, and a killing letter, 2 Cor. 3.6,7. So that the Law might be justly called rather the word of death and damnation, then of life and salvation. 3. To adde force and strength to his argument against the danger of neglecting the Gospel; seeing thereby we neglect salva­tion it selfe, to which the Gospel is the meanes. And, he cals not the Gospel simply salvation, but great salvation:] Salvation may be ma­nifold and various, as of our bodies and goods in this life; and such a salvation was to Gods people under the Law, whereby God saved them from their enemies, and thereupon is frequently in Scripture cal­led their Saviour. Hence David saith of them, They forgat God their Saviour, Psal. 106.21. See Isai. 45.15. and 49.26. and 63.8. But, the sal­vation promised in the Gospel, is a great and mighty salvation, even the salvation of soules by the inheritance of eternall life. Neglect] This great salvation in the Gospel is neglected, when either we despise the acceptance of it, or beleeve not the promises of it, or observe not the precepts annexed to the promises, but live so, as if there were no salvation at all, or no promises extant of it, or no precepts concerning it, or as if none of these were knowne unto us. So that the neglect here mentioned, meanes not some one small sin of negligence, by the single breach of some one precept, but includes a contempt and de­spising of the Gospel; for, it is opposed to the transgressions and diso­bediences against the Law, that were punished with death, as a just re­compence of reward, at the former verse. If therefore they escaped not punishment, who transgressed the Law, which promised not sal­vation, but onely threatned condemnation: how shall we escape if we neglect the Gospel, wherein eternall salvation is openly promised, and a totall remission of all our sinnes is offered? yet, onely upon condition, that afterward we pollute not our selves with any wicked­nesse, [Page 19]or accustome our selves to any sinne, (with pardon, notwith­standing of our infirmity) but live holily in the sight of God, as farre as our faith in his promise, and our hope of salvation may support us. If, I say, we neglect or despise these things, so worthy of all reverence and acceptance, what greater ingratitude can we possibly shew to God, whose grace, the greater it is towards us, the greater is our sin to de­spise it, and to despise the greatest grace, must needs make up the greatest sin? Which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord] The Lord Christ was not the first Author of the Gospel, as the Angels were not of the Law, but God was the prime and first Author, both of the Law and the Gospel. But, as the Angels were the first publi­shers and proclaimers of the Law upon Mount Sinai, by commission received from God: So Christ was the first publisher and preacher of the Gospel upon earth, by a like Commission from his Father. So the Gospel was preached by him who is Lord over the Angels, and whom they reverence and adore as their Lord. But, because this Gospel of salvation was preached by others also, therefore to shew the difference in the order of time betweene him and others, it is said of him, that he preached it first, and after him others preached it, that were instru­cted in it by him. And, in this preaching first begun by Christ, is in­cluded all whatsoever that he either taught, or did, or suffered, to gaine beliefe to his preaching, that he might first also confirme it by himself, as afterward it was confirmed by others. And, lest any man might say, that all men did not heare the preaching of Christ himselfe, there­fore he saith, that Christ was not the sole, but the first preacher of it; and after him others, who were taught it by him, and sent forth by him, to preach it universally over all parts of the world, who therefore were called the Apostles or Emissaries of Christ. And was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.] In the confirmation of the Gospel, the preaching of it is included, or thereby supposed. The Law was con­firmed or made stedfast, not onely by judgements and punishments an­nexed against the transgressors of it, but also the publishing of the Law was confirmed and certified with wonderfull sights and sounds, as the lightnings and thunders, and trembling of the Mount, and the voice of a Trumpet exceeding shrill, that sounded long, waxing lou­der and louder, so that all the people in the Camp trembled, Exod. 19.16. Now, lest any man should think, that the Gospel either in this regard was inferiour to the Law, or was but a vaine novelty, that wanted solid arguments and proofes, both for the verity of it, and the publishing of it; therefore the Gospel also was confirmed and certifi­ed with most divine testimonies, that were without all exception, and such as were never seene nor heard of in the world before. Vnto us] To this Author, and others. By them that heard him] that heard Christ publish and preach the Gospel. The Gospel was first con­firmed [Page 20]firmed by Christ, by vertue of his miracles and sufferings, and after­ward his publishing of the Gospel, his miracles and sufferings were confirmed by them that heard his preaching, & saw both his miracles and sufferings; even by them that were constant auditors of his do­ctrines, and spectators of his miracles; such as were especially the Apo­stles and disciples of Christ. Hence it may not improbably be gather­ed, That Paul was not the Author of this Epistle. For hee never ex­empts himselfe from the number of the Apostles, nor reckons himselfe as a hearer of the Apostles, as the Author of this Epistle here doth. Paul alwaies preserved his Apostolick authority, and maintained it entire against all that maligned it; and he was especially so to doe, when hee had to deale with the Hebrewes or Jewes, who depraved and slighted his authority. Neither was any Apostle the Author of it: but some Apostolick person, who had learnt the Gospel from some Apostle.

4. God also bearing them witnesse,] The Apostles after Christ, did second Christ in preaching and confirming the Gospel; yet they con­firmed it not by their owne power, but by divine power; for the con­firmation of it was from God, because God did beare witnes of their doctrine, and gave his suffrage to their sayings. Who therefore would not yeeld his faith and belief, to so great a confirmation, and to so great a testimony of so great a witnes? Neither could these things be de­nied by these Hebrewes to whom this Epistle is written, seeing they themselves had seene and heard the preaching of the Gospel confirm­ed before them. Both with signes and wonders and divers miracles.] Here hee shewes by what meanes God did confirme the preaching of the Gospel by the Apostles; namely, by meanes of two sorts;by the workes of miracles, and by the gifts of the holy Ghost. Signes were testimonies in generall, that the Apostles were sent of God, and spake the truth. Wonders were signes also, yet but one sort of signes, namely, the sublimest and most powerfull kinde that bred astonish­ment in the people; such as raising the dead, and the falling downe of Ananias dead; And these signes and miracles were not all of one sort, but various and diverse; as casting out of devils, raising the dead, others falling downe dead, giving sight to the blinde, and blindnes to others, as to Elymas the sorcerer; by healing diseases, not only by their word, but by the shadow of Peter, and by the handkerchief of Paul. Concer­ning this confirmation of the Gospel, St. Austine speaks very wittily. Wee know (saith hee) that almost all the world was drawne unto Christ by the force of miracles. They that deny this by eluding mi­racles, they themselves make a greater miracle. For when so few Apostles, so unlearned men, preached things so incredible to humane reason, that all the world anciently seasoned with other Religions, should beleeve them without any miracles; this is a more incredible miracle, then any of those miracles, which they are said to have done. [Page 21] And gifts of the holy Ghost,] for gifts, the originall hath distributions: The second meanes of confirming the Gospel preached by the Apo­stles, was by the distributions or gifts of the holy Ghost. This the Au­thor names in particular, because it is a most divine work, & most pecu­liar to the Gospel, That at the preaching of the Apostles, or at the lay­ing on of their hands, the holy Ghost was given to those that beleeved at their preaching. He calls them distributions or gifts diversly im­parted, because the gifts in themselves were diverse, and also were di­versly imparted to diverse persons. Not one and the same gift to all, but one to one, and another to another; one to diverse, and diverse to diverse, in diverse manners, to one in a lesse measure, to another in a greater, according to the measure both for quantity and quality, that it pleased Christ to conferre these graces. See 1. Cor. 12.11. and Ephes. 4.5. For this variety and diversity in distributing the gifts and graces of the holy Ghost; did greatly redound to the benefit and ne­cessity of the Church, who is one great Corporation or body mysti­call, composed of various and diverse members; that some standing in need of others help, might more mutually conspire in love and unitie among themselves. According to his owne will.] The power to diversifie and varie the gifts and graces of the holy Ghost, was not at the will and pleasure of the Apostles, but was a prerogative reserved to God, and the distribution was varied according to his own will.

5. For unto the Angels] He returnes to his former point of prefer­ring Christ above the Angels; for which he brings a new Argument, and withall tacitely shewes the cause, why Christ being one somewhat inferiour to the angels, in respect of his mortall nature, was at last ad­vanced to be far greater and higher then they. The reason hereof was, because the future world to come was to be subject to Christ, and not to the angels: For to this purpose, the words cited out of the eighth Psalme, that the world to come must be subject to a man, are by the Author applyed to Christ; as the like is done by Paul, 1. Cor. 15.27. and Ephes. 1.22. And this testimony of Christ being made better then the angels, seemes to be reserved for the last place; because by this meanes, he might both dissolve the doubt, why Christ being first low­er then the angels, was at last made much higher then they; and also might prepare himselfe an entrance to explicate the cause of that Im­minution of Christ, whereat he principally aimed; and so gradually proceed to handle the Priesthood of Christ. Hee hath not put in sub­jection the world to come] The world future or to come, is that place wherein now dwelleth God, and Christ, and all the holy Angels; but hereafter in time to come all the godly shall dwell there. And it is cal­led future or to come, in respect of the godly, to whom it is yet future or to come; whereas the place in respect of it selfe, of God, Christ, and the Angels is already, present, and really extant. The right or title [Page 22]of dominion and inheritance, God hath neither given, nor decreed to give unto the angels. The angels now inhabite in that future world, but yet as the house and kingdome of another, and not as their owne; for God should do them no injury, if he should please to translate them from that seat, and command them to settle elswhere: because they are not Lords of that world, but servants there. And that hither wee may apply the words of Christ, John 8.35. The servant abideth not in the house for ever, i. hath no right to abide for ever, though de facto of grace he may abide for ever: but the son abideth ever, i. hath a right to abide for ever. Whereof we speak.] These words as wee noted in the former chapter, vers. 2. are added respectively to his former words, wherein he mentioned the worlds simply, without adding the word future, or to come; that he might here give us to understand, that there also he meant the world to come; for that was the world whereof hee spake both there and here.

6 Eut one in a certaine place testified, saying, It was not for want of knowledge or memory, that this Author here quotes this text of Scri­pture indefinitely, without citing the place; for seeing he knew to recite the words so exactly, and the words themselves were so vulgarly knowne, how could he be ignorant of the place? But because this Scri­pture and the place of it was so vulgarly known, especially to the He­brewes, to whom he writes, therefore he neither noted the place, nor named the Author of them. And it was his manner so to doe, though he cite many texts of Scripture. Indeed afterward, chapter 4.7. hee quotes David as Author of a saying formerly cited by him: but his intent there is to manifest, the order of time, and not the name of the Author. What is man that thou art mindfull of him] The words are Psal. 8.4. To be mindfull of a man, is to be carefull for him, and make provision for his good. The literall sence is, God made provision for the man Adam, the head and father of all mankinde, and gave him the right of dominion over this visible, earthly, and present world, and over all the creatures therein contained, Gen. 1.28. The mysticall sence is; God made provision for the man Christ, the head and father of all the faithful; & gave him the right of dominion over the invisible, heavenly, and future world, and over all the creatures therein con­tained, 1. Cor. 15.27. Ephes. 1.21,22. and Phil. 2.9,10. For by man here is understood in both sences, the first Head and Parent of man­kinde, naturall and spirituall; namely, Adam the first man, and Christ the second Adam. For in both these persons, that which is expressed in the words, is fulfilled fully, though diversely. Or the Sonne of man that thou visuest him?] To visit, is frequently to regard and often to looke unto; and argues the mindfulnesse or carefulnesse formerly men­tioned; for the person, of whom we are mindfull and carefull, him wee frequently visit, goe to see, and looke unto him. The literall sence is, [Page 23]That mankinde, for his naturall birth is the son or posterity of the man Adam. God gave Adam the dominion over this earthly world, yet not personally for himselfe onely, but for him and his sons, or poste­rity after him. For, though he were sole Lord over his sons, during their minority, while they were under age, and under his power; yet afterward as they grew up in the world unto maturity, or fulnesse of age, then the like right should be communicated and imparted unto them, that they also might be Lords over this earthly world. For God gave the earth also to the children of men, Psal. 115.16. The mysticall sence. The faithfull for their spirituall birth are the sons of Christ. God hath given to Christ the dominion over the heavenly world, yet not personally for himselfe onely, but for him and the faithfull, who are his sons and posterity after him. For though now Christ, the sole Lord over the faithfull, during their minority, or nonage in this world, while they are under the power and tuition of Christ, yet when they come to spirituall maturity, which is their immortality, then the like dominion shall be communicated and imparted unto them, and they also shall be Lords and possessors of that heavenly world to come. For, then they shall no longer be under Christ, but besides him, to reigne with him, 2 Tim. 2.12.

7. Thou madest him a little lower then the Angels] The literall sence is. God made man lower or inferiour then the Angels, a little in de­gree for his nature, because he made man by nature mortall, but the Angels by nature are immortall; and a little in time, for man continues in this lownesse of his mortall nature for a little time, respectively to the time of his immortality, though absolutely it be a long time, even from the Creation to the Resurrection. The mysticall sence is. God also made Christ lower then the Angels, a little in degree for his mor­tall nature, but a very little in time, onely during his mortall life, which was but as a moment. Thou crownedst him with glory and honour:] The literall sense. The dominion that God gave man over this present world, was a great glory and honour to him, even a Crowne or high degree of glory. For, all dominion is honourable, and the highest is coronable. The mysticall sence. The dominion that God gave Christ over the world to come, was much more glorious and honourable, be­cause a heavenly dominion over Angels is more glorious, then an earthly dominion over beasts. And didst set him over the works of thy hands.] These words do but expresse wherein mans dominion con­sisted, that was such a glory and honour to him; namely, in bearing rule over the earthly creatures, which were the works, not of his owne hands, but of Gods. So the Dominion of Christ consisteth in ruling over the Angelick and heavenly creatures, who are the works of Gods hands also.

8. Thou hast put all things in subjection under him:] These words [Page 24]are but correlative to the former; for, if man were set in dominion over all things, then all things were put in subjection under him. But the particle all must be restrained from its absolute universality, concerning all things whatsoever, to be limited onely to all earthly creatures, as all sheep and oxen, and the beasts of the field, the Fowles of the ayre, and the Fish of the sea, &c. as they are immediatly reckoned up in the Psalme. But, in the mysticall sence, the particle all must be left wholly to his absolute universality and full amplitude, for all things both in heaven and earth; namely, all creatures whatsoever are put in subje­ction under Christ; because, from the universality of Christs domini­on, God onely is excepted, who did put all things besides in subjecti­on under Christ, 1 Cor. 15.27. For, in that he put all, be left nothing not put under him:] In these and the words immediately following, the Author discovers and teacheth us, that this place of the Psalme must be understood of some other man then an earthly man: For the words being absolutely uttered, are a cleere argument, that the holy Ghost would have them taken in some other sence altogether univer­sally, in which latitude S. Paul also takes them, 1 Cor. 15.27. In so much that in them, the world to come is also comprehended. And taking the words universally, who sees not, that during this mortall life, they cannot be verified and fulfilled of a mortall man? And there­fore the Author immediatly addes; But now we see not yet all things put under him:] Now: while man lives this present and mortall life; not yet: not from the beginning of the world, to this present time, we see not all things universally made subject to any mortall man, when notwith­standing man was made lesse or lower then the Angels, but for a little time, as wee shewed before. And therefore the fulfilling of these words, that all things universally, even the world to come should be subject to man, cannot be meant of any mortall man, but of some man translated to immortality. Yet, who that immortall man should be, the Author hath not hitherto declared. But, in the following verse, he shews that it is Jesus Christ translated to immortality. Whence it appeares, that if we respect the mysticall sence of the words in this Psalme, they must be taken principally and properly of Christ; but of Christians, onely respectively and as it were proportionably. For, no one of the faithfull shall solely and singly possesse all things; but, all joyntly as coheires shall possesse all things: yet, not all the faithfull joyntly shall possesse all things universally, though ye sever them from Christ their head; for they shall not have dominion over the Angels, but Christ onely shall possesse all things universally; for, he only shall rule over the Angels, that hath dominion over the faithfull. And yet againe there is one person excepted from the dominion of Christ, and that is God the Father, who hath given to Christ his universall do­minion.

[Page 25]9. But we see Iesus who was made a little lower then the Angels] Here he declares who that man was, in whom the words of the Psalme were to be fulfilled; namely, that Jesus Christ was the man, to whom all things universally, and therefore the world to come was to be sub­ject; and therewithall makes way to handle the Priesthood of Christ. And hence now it appeares, that in this there is no absurdity or re­pugnancy to truth, that he, who in respect of his mortall nature was a little lower, for a little time then the Angels, should be exalted to be­come much higher then they for ever after. Yea, seeing the Scripture testifies, that the man who was lesse then the Angels, must become Lord of all, who sees not that the exaltation of the man Christ, far above all the orders of Angels, doth excellently agree with Scripture? And, hereby the Author removes the absurdity that seemes in this, That Christ, a man, should become far greater then the Angels, and be said to be their Lord. For the suffering of death] The Reason, or cause why Christ for a little time was made a little lower then the Angels, was this, that he might suffer death. And this was not the formall cause of his lownesse, for he was not made lower then An­gels in this respect, by his suffering death; an evill which they suffer not, though it be true that he was also lower therein. But the formall cause of his lownesse was his mortall nature, in respect whereof he was made for a little while a little lower then the Angels. And the finall cause of his lownesse in that mortall nature, was actuall death; for, he was made in a mortall nature to this end, that he might suffer death under it; for, unlesse his nature had beene dyable, he could not have dyed. Christ was made a mortall man, whereby for a little while he was a little lower then the Angels; but why, to what end was he not at first made immortall, but mortall? It was to this end, that he might be passive to suffer death; for, had he beene at first made immortall he could not have dyed. We see him crowned with glory and honour:] Christ hath now an universall dominion over all, not onely over this visible and present world and all the creatures here, but also over the invisible and future world, and all the creatures there, which is a crowne or highest degree of glory and honour to him, whereto he was exalted after his suffering of death. And though it be most true, that his suffering of death was the cause or occasion of his exaltation to glory; for, Paul expresly so affirmes it, Phil. 2.8,9. Yet in this place the Author here intends not to speake of Christs death as the cause of his glory, as appeares by the words here following; For, in what sence can it be said, that Christ, because he suffered death, he was crowned with glory and honour, that he should taste death for every man; as if after his crowning with glory he suffered or were to suffer death? But here his intent is to shew Christs death for the order of it, that for time it was antecedent to his glory, and his glory for time was [Page 26]consequent after his death. We see him crowned] We see him so by faith, with the eyes of our soule; and not by sence, or the eyes of our body; for, we beleeve it from the pregnant testimonies of the holy Ghost in the Scriptures. That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man:] To taste death, is to dye for a little time, as for a day or two, as Christ did: for, when we take but a little of a thing, then we are said to taste of it. The final cause why Christ in nature was for a little while a little lower then the Angels, was this, That he might suffer death. And the super-finall cause why he suffered death, was this, That his death might be propitious and salutiferous to men. For the glory of God, and the salvation of men required it, that the Prince of salvation should taste of death to bring men to salvation, yea God had so decreed. Now that he might bring men to salvation by this meanes, i. By suffering of death, he must by nature be a mortall man, and not an Angel; because by nature, Angels are immortall, and naturally can­not dye. And the efficient cause of both these subordinate finals of Christs dying, and his dying for mens salvation, was the grace of God; the free love and favour of God did bestow this transcendent benefit upon men, that Christ should taste death for them. For the Author had no sooner made open mention of Christs death, but presently he addes the great and weighty causes of it, both finall and efficient, lest any man should sleight it, and think it not a matter of such moment, that therefore the Lord of the faithfull should be lesse then the Angels for that end.

10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things:] These words are a circumlocution or a designation of God, from his two great attributes of being the last end, and the first cause of all things; and are introduced as a ground, whereby to answer this tacit objection. Had it not beene farre more convenient and decent, That Christ the Lord and King over Gods people, (though he were not an Angell, but a man by nature mortall) should not taste of death and other sufferings, but alwaies remaine in his happinesse and glory, as it became the worth of so great a King. To this the Author answers, That it wonderfully became God to proceed this way, and not to doe otherwise then he did; because this way did especially suite to his end, and was a most convenient meanes to attaine the end by God in­tended. For God himselfe is the last end of all things, for whom all things are; and he is also the first efficient of all things, from and by whom all things are; and therefore it became God, who begins all things by himselfe, and finisheth them for himselfe, to apply such meanes as are most conducent to his end; for, it becomes the wisest agent to worke most wisely. The particle by whom] notes not God as an instrumentall or meane cause, as if some higher agent did worke by him; but supposeth him the principall and prime agent; which is al­wayes [Page 27]so, when it is used of God as an efficient or agent of some thing. For that particle referred to God, carries with it this force in sence, that the thing mentioned, was not onely primely invented and decreed by God, but by him also brought to issue by effectuall meanes pro­ceeding from himselfe, and not borrowed elsewhere. This working of God, as being sole Author and sole meanes, is distinguished by Paul, by these two phrases; Of him, and through him are all things, Rom. 11.36. But by this Author both are comprised in this one, by whom are all things] And the universall particle all things, must be restrained to his proper respective subject, formerly mentioned, namely all things concerning the salvation of the faithfull. In bringing many sons unto glory:] Here is expressed the intention or end, whereat God aymed, which was to bring many sons unto glory. The faithfull are the sons of God in a double spirituall respect. 1. Of their spirituall birth; be­cause they are regenerate, begotten and borne of God, by the action of his holy Spirit upon them. 2. Of their spirituall right, because they are adopted or instituted to be the universall heires of all his estate, by having the same right with Christ, whereby they become and are cal­led his brethren. For in a rurall sence, he that hath a right to anothers estate, becomes his son. And the estate whereto God brings them is glory; whereby is meant all that future happinesse and heavenly inhe­ritance, which eminently for the honour of it is called glory, and which was mystically understood, Psal. 8.5. and wherewith a little be­fore Christ is said to be crowned. And the sons brought to glory are many: not as many is a parcell opposed to all, but as it is a multitude opposed to few; for, God hath ordained to bring to glory not a few sons, but a great many, even many multitudes. God is not as man, who can have but a few sons, and cannot bring each of them to all his estate; but God hath many multitudes of sons, and yet will bring each of them to glory, even to all his whole estate. And therefore no mar­vaile if for so many sons sake, God would not spare their Captaine, whom he might have spared partly, though not wholly, had their number beene but few. To make the Captaine of their salvation perfect through sufferings:] Here is expressed the meane whereby God wrought his end, in bringing a multitude of sons to glory; namely, by giving them a Captaine, and perfecting him through sufferings. For, seeing God hath so many sons, or rather so many multitudes, therefore they being so great an army, required a Captaine. Now Christ is the Captaine, or in moderne language, the Generall over the army of the faithfull in two respects. 1. By leading them in their journey, going before them in all their troubles and afflictions. 2. By governing them as their head and Lord to command over them; for, in an Army the Generall doth both lead and governe it. And he is the Captaine of sal­vation to the faithfull, because he leads and governes them in their [Page 28]journey to salvation: that is, to the eternall glory wherewith himselfe is crowned, as before: which to them is salvation, because thereby they are safe, not only from destruction, but from all affliction, and all other evils. And because Christ is their captain, by whom God brings them to salvation, & by whom, God saves them from death, therefore Christ is called and is their Saviour: And Christ their captaine passed thorow sufferings] whereby is meant death, especially a violent death, com­prising also all the miseries and evils that do precede and accompany it, through all which sufferings Christ passed, which therefore are called and are his passion. And by these sufferings Christ was made perfect. His mortality was finished and ended; and he being translated to im­mortality was crowned with eternall glory and honour, as before; which was his ultimate consummation, and finall perfection, wherein nothing was wanting to him, that might accrue to his supreme happi­nesse. Now seeing therefore that this journey to salvation leads for the most part, through divers calamities and afflictions, through death, and a violent death, did it not become the wisedome of God, that the lea­der or captaine in this journey should passe through divers sufferings, and death, yea a violent death, before he could penetrate and arrive at the mark of eternall salvation, that by his example hee might teach us, that this so rough and craggie way, which seemes to precipate men in­to eternall destruction, should lead to the highest tower of eternall sal­vation, by finishing our mortality, and perfecting us into immortalitie. And did it not become the wisdome of God, that he, into whose hand God had put the salvation of all his sons, and whom he would ordaine for their high Priest, should in all things be made like unto his brethren, and taste of the same cup of sufferings with them, that being himselfe acquainted with sufferings, he might learne to succour them in theirs.

11 For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one.] Here he shewes the great alliance betweene Christ and Christi­ans, and what good cause there is, why not onely Christ, but also the faithfull are stiled by the name of the sonnes of God, seeing Christ and they have the same parentage, and come as it were from one stocke. And he seems to deliver it as a generall rule, that the sanctifier, and san­ctified are all of one. i. draw their originall from one person, as pro­created from one and the same Father. To sanctifie, is to expiate or purge away sinne; and to be sanctified is to have their sinnes expiated or purged away; for as sinne doth pollute and prophane us: so Expia­tion doth sanctifie and hallow us. And in this sence the word sancti­fied is often taken in Scripture, especially by this Author. Now Christ is he that doth sanctifie; for hee doth expiate or purge away our sinnes: and the faithfull are they that are sanctified; for by Christ their sinnes are expiated or purged away. And therefore Christ and the faithfull are all of one linage and parentage; for hee and they [Page 29]draw their originall from one person, even from God who is the common Father to them both; and consequently Christ and the faith­full make up betweene themselves, but as it were one nation or one people under God; and consequently againe, he and they are brethren one to another. An example hereof was under the Law among the Hebrews, to whom this Author writes, and to whom therefore this rule of union and fraternitie, by meanes of sanctification was the bet­ter known. For among them the high Priest was he, that did sanctifie the people by expiating and purging away their sinnes, making atone­ment to God for them: and the people were they who were sanctified, by being expiated and purged from their sinnes; And both Priest and people were of the same nation, sprung from Jacob, who was one common Father to them; whereupon they used to call one another brethren. In like manner the case stands between Christ who is the high Priest to sanctifie; and the faithfull who are Gods people to be sanctified; as we have already declared it. For which cause hee is not ashamed to call them brethren.] Indeed this cause is very pregnant to make this consequent to follow upon it. For seeing that Christ and the faithfull are all of one God, as of one common Father, therefore they are the brethren of Christ; and Christ is not ashamed to call them so: for all children proceeding from one common Father are bre­thren, and should not be ashamed to call one another so. Indeed, the condition of the faithfull is in this life so contemptible and shamefull, that Christ might think it a shame to him, to have such brethren. In which sence this Author saith afterward, chap. 11. 16. That God was not ashamed to be called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob. For how vile are those Patriarks compared to God, the Soveraigne Lord of all things, especially then being rotted to dust for so many ages be­fore. So all Christians how vile and wretched are they, how poore, contemned, and despised? insomuch that Christ now so great a King, of so great Majestie and glory, might justly disdaine to call such crea­tures his brethren: but Christ is not ashamed either to acknowledge them his brethren, or to call them by the name of brethren.

12. Saying, I will declare thy Name unto my brethren; in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto thee.] By three Testimonies out of Scripture, hee proves that Christ is not ashamed to call the faithfull, brethren. The first Testimony is taken from Psal. 22.22. The lite­rall sence is; David was King over the people of Israel; yet hee calls them his brethren, and when God had saved him from death, he pro­fesseth to praise God in their company, in the midst of the Congrega­tion or assemby. The mysticall sence is, Christ is a King over the faithfull, yet hee calls the faithfull his brethren; and when God had raised and saved him from death, he appeared to his disciples where they were congregated, and in the middest of their assembly, he really [Page 30]declared the power of God in raising him from the dead; and with out all doubt, did celebrate the Name of God with words of praise and thanksgiving. For hence it is we read, John 20.17. That Christ after his Resurrection, willed Mary to goe unto his brethren, and say of him; I ascend unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God. In which words he gives the reason, why he calls them his bre­thren; namely, because he and they had one common God and Father.

13 And againe, I will put my trust in him.] The second Testimony to prove the former point, is taken (as I conceive) out of Psal. 91.2. because that Psalme is so frequently applyed to Christ, though this te­stimony be extant in severall other places. The literall sence: David makes God his God, and confidence, to put his trust in him, and perse­vering, will put his trust in him. The literall sence: Christ in like manner made God his God and confidence to trust in him, and perse­vered to trust in him. For before his Resurrection, when he hanged on the Crosse, he said, My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me? Which words argue no despaire, but a confident and persevering trust in God, that though God did seeme to forsake him, yet he should be his God; and hee would trust in him. Yea, the Priests and Scribes mocked at his confidence and trust in God, Matth. 27.43. And after his Resurrection, he calls God his God; in the place precited, Joh. 20.17. But now the Quere will be, what this makes to the purpose of proving the faithfull to be the brethren of Christ. The answer is; It proves it directly, though not immediatly; For seeing Christ and the faithfull, have God for their God, and for their confidence to put their trust in him; therefore he and the faithfull are of one.] i. are confidents and dependents upon one and the same God and Father; and by means of that they must needs be brethren, as was before concluded, upon verse 11. So this testimony proves their unitie in God; and their unity in God, proves their fraternity betweene themselves: For when the first truth is the reason of the second, it is also the reason of all other truths, whereof the second is the reason. And again; Behold, I and the children which God hath given me;]. The third Testimony to prove the former point taken from Esai. 8.18. The literall sence: God had gi­ven the Prophet children; and he and they were brethren in this, that they were to be for signes and wonders; and were so appointed to be from God. The mysticall sence; Christ is the Sonne of God, and the faithfull are the children of God, Gods post-nati after Christ, and there­fore are the brethren of Christ. And God hath given them unto Christ, by bringing them to beleeve in Christ, and committing them to the care of Christ; See John 6.39.40. and John 17.6,7. And by giving him power to give them eternall life, Joh 17.2. For hee did predestinate them to be conformed to the image of Christ, that Christ might be the first-borne among many brethren, Rom. 8.29. And [Page 31]Christ and the faithfull are brethren in being signes and wonders. For Christ was for a signe which should be spoken against, Luke 2.34. And the Apostles were made a spectacle to the world, unto angels, and to men, 1. Cor. 49. yet the faithfull are not the sonnes of God, before they be given to Christ and beleeve in him; for by faith they are made the sonnes of God: But as soone as a man is given to Christ, then hee becomes the son of God; and unlesse he be so given, he cannot be the son of God. See John 6.44,45.

14. For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and bloud] After the Author had taught us, the neere alliance of brotherhood, be­tweene Christ and the faithfull; he now shews what is the state and condition of the faithfull, that from thence he might conclude, that Christ also their Captaine and high Priest, must needs have the like condition with them. And so returnes to what he had said at the ninth verse before, That Christ was made a little lower then the Angels, expressing here the impulsive cause of that lownesse. By flesh and bloud] Here is understood, an infirme, fraile, and ruinous nature and conditi­on, subject to divers evils, even to death and corruption. Of this na­ture and condition, the faithfull, who are Gods children, are all par­takers. He also himselfe likewise tooke part of the same:] Therefore Christ also, the Captaine and high Priest of the faithfull, to whom he was so neerely allyed, as to be their brother, did himselfe also in the very same manner partake of the very same nature and condition of flesh and bloud, to be as infirme, fraile and ruinous as they, subject to as many miseries as they, even to death and corruption; For, he suffered death actually, and was by nature subject to corruption, yet he suffered not corruption actually; for God by his power and by his grace rescued him from it, and would not suffer his holy One to see corruption. Acts 2.27. The summe of the Reasoning is: Seeing Christ must be the Captaine and high Priest of mortall and fraile men, there­fore he must not be Angel, but lower then the Angels, even a mortall and fraile man like his brethren, subject to divers sufferings, even to death it selfe. But the Incarnation of Christ cannot be concluded from these last words; for, then by the same reason, the Incarnation of the faithfull (or the rest of Gods children) must needs be concluded from the former, seeing Christ is said to partake of flesh and bloud likewise, or in like manner with them. But seeing the faithfull, the rest of Gods children are not incarnate, no more is Christ their Captaine and high Priest; otherwise betweene Christ and the rest of Gods chil­dren, there must be a great difference and unlikenesse, in that wherein they are here concluded to be most semblant and alike, namely in their partaking of flesh and bloud. And granting the Incarnation here, then from the death of Christ and his Resurrection following it, the faith­full cannot take an example of their resurrection or immortality after [Page 32]death, by death to be acquired; and therefore by the death of Christ, cannot be delivered from the feare of death, as the Author inferres it in the verse next following. That through death he might destroy the Devill.] The finall cause to what end Christ did partake of a mortall condition, and of death it selfe, whereby he was lower then the An­gels, is here expressed to be double; whereof notwithstanding one end is dependent and consequent from the other. The first is, That by his death he might destroy the devill. Christ by his death destroyes not the devill for his person; for, the devill by his person is an angell, and therefore by nature indestructible, incorruptible, and immortall. But, Christ by his death destroyes the devill for his power; he aboli­sheth and abrogates the kingdome and power that Satan hath in the world, particularly his power of death; and therefore he describes Sa­tan by this circumlocution, him that had the power of death.] The po­wer of Satan consists in this, that he detaines men mancipated to his command, and enslaved at his beck, most obsequious to commit any sinne; from the yoake of which slavery, they have of themselves no meanes to pull their necke. This power is by an Hebraisme called the power of death. i. a mortiferous or deadly power, because Satan by sin brings men to death, and that death is eternall to them. Christ therefore suffered death, that he might overthrow the tyranny of Sa­tan, breaking all his forces, that he might take from this power of holding men in deadly bondage, and deliver them from it. For hence it is that we are said to be delivered from the power of Satan. See Acts 26.18. and Col. 1.13. And it is by the death of Christ, that Satan is said to be devested and spoiled of all his dominion and power. See John 12.31,33. and Col. 2.15. Now the reason why Christ destroyes the deadly power of Satan by his death is, Because Christ by his death hath obtained the supreame power over all things, whereby he is en­abled to master all his enemies (whereof Satan is the head) first, brea­king their forces; and last, utterly destroying them. This way of de­stroying Satans deadly power, if we respect the nature of the action, though Christ might have done it without his death: yet it was so or­dered by the decree and counsell of God, that it should not be effected, but by the meanes of his death; and that for the second end of his death, which is expressed in the next verse following; namely, to de­liver them who through feare of death, &c.

15. And deliver them who through feare of death, were all their life time subject to bondage.] The second or subordinate end of Christs death, is to vindicate men from a fearefull bondage. This servitude or bondage, is the feare of death, and of eternall death, or as it may bee feared, to last eternally; for, as it is the manner of slaves to feare, so feare it selfe is a fearefull slavery; hence S. Paul termes it the spirit of bondage, Rom. 8.15. And they are subject to this slavery of feare, not [Page 33]who stand in actuall fear, but who are liable to fear, or by right ought to fear. Hence it plainly appeares, that all they who fear death, have no share in this deliverance or libertie by Christ, but remaine in a grie­vous slavery. And all they are forced to fear death, and the eternitie of it, who have not a sure hope of their Resurrection. And how grievous this slavery or bondage of it is, appeares from the duration of it, in that it continues upon men all the time of their life.] No minute of their life is free from the fear of it; for though every minute they doe not actually fear it, yet every minute they are subject to fear, and may just­ly fear it. From this slavish fear of death, Christ hath delivered men by his death, while by his death, he not onely passed to an immortall life, but also obtained power to represse and destroy the power of Sa­tan. Hence Christ saith to John. Fear not, I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death, Revel. 1.17.18. For what man now will fear death to be his eternall undoing, when he sees a delive­rance from death with a most glorious issue, if he imitate Christ; when he sees that the forces of his enemy, who before oppressed him, and enthralled to eternall death, are no longer to be feared, but are broken and destroyed by him, who himself under-went a bloody death? And hence it further appeares, that with the death of Christ here, wee must joyne his Resurrection; for that wee might no longer fear death, Christ must needs not only suffer death, but must againe be raised from death. For if Christ be not raised, our faith is vaine; we are yet in our sins, and the dead in Christ are perished, 1. Cor. 15.17,18.

16 For no where he taketh hold of Angels.] Here he confirmes the doctrine delivered at the ninth verse; That Christ was not made in the nature of an Angel, but was made a little lower then the Angels, for the suffering of death. Why so? The reason is here laid downe; because Christ was not ordained, to succour and help the Angels, who by nature are immortall and die not; and therefore need not be suc­coured or holpen from death. For no where,] There is no testimonie or authority extant in Scripture, whereon to ground this: for it is no where said, that he takes hold of Angels to help them. Taketh hold] The word in the originall [...] signifies properly to take a man with thy hand, either to lead him some whither, or to uphold him, thereby to help him. See Mark 8.23. and Luke 9.47. and Luke 14.4. Hence figuratively it is translated to signifie succouring or helping. For when we would help one from falling or sinking under some burden, or would raise him being fallen, then wee put our hand to him and take hold of him. Hence it is said of Wisdome that she exalteth her chil­dren [...], and layeth hold of them that seeketh her, i. shee helpeth or aideth them that seeke her. And there is the same sence of the counterverbe [...]; because when we would help a man up [Page 34]with his burden, we take hold of it over against him. And this sence of the word is explicated afterward by the Author, at the last verse of this Chapter; for, what he calls here taking hold of, there he expresseth by the word succouring; That Christ suffering himselfe, being tempted, is able to succour them that are tempted; for, in both these verses he treates of the same thing, and the reason of the consequence proposed in this verse is explicated in that. Thus for the sence of the word; now for the sence of it. It is not of the preter-tense, as if referred to a time past, particularly to that time, when (as it is at the ninth verse before) Christ was made a little lower then the Angels: for at that time, being the time of his birth, he did neither help Angels nor men: but it is of the present tense, he taketh not hold; in reference to the time of his death, upon which the Author groundeth all this argument; For, by his death he destroyes the devill, and delivers men from the feare of death; What is the reason of that? Because, by his death he taketh not hold of Angels to help and succour them, or deliver them from the feare of death, who being immortall by nature cannot feare it. Nei­ther can here be any enallage of the present tense for the preter, but rather of the present for the future; Christ was made lower then the Angels; Why so? Because by his death he was not to take hold of the Angels, to help and succour them from the feare of it. Now, both this sense, and this sense of the word was well perceived by our last Translators of the Bible into English; for, they have noted it in the margent of this verse, though in the Text they correspond with some other Translations. Hence it plainly appeares, how these words are mistaken by some Translators and Interpreters, who from hence would shew, that Christ tooke not on him the nature of Angels, which assertion, though it be in it selfe most true, yet it cannot be the meaning of this place. For, 1. It is against the sence of the words, whereof there are but two, and it goes against the sence of them both. For, to apprehend or take hold of a thing, cannot signifie to assume or take on us the nature of it. And the word Angels in the plurall number cannot imply an assumption of their nature, for then it must have beene An­gel in the singular. 2. It is against the context or reasoning of the Author, who could not, nor ought not to take that for an argument or a reason, which by argument and reason he was to prove; for, no one and the same truth can be an argument or a reason to it selfe why it selfe should be true. At the seventh verse before, this truth is laid downe, That Christ tooke not on him the nature of Angels, but was made lower; whereof, how can a reason be given by this, that he tooke not on him the nature of Angels, seeing these two sayings are identicall, whereof neither can be the cause or reason of the other? But, if we understand these words of not helping or succouring the Angels, then all things cohere most elegantly and rationally, thus. [Page 35]Christ tooke not the nature of Angels, but was made lower then them, because by his death he was not to help or succour the Angels from feare of death, but to succour a creature lower then they, who is all his lise in bondage of death, and subject to the feare of death. But hee tooke hold of the seed of Abraham:] That Christ should helpe the Angels is no where said in Scripture; but it is said in some one or severall places of Scripture, that hee was ordained to take hold of the seed of Abraham, to helpe and succour it: For to take hold in this clause of the verse, carries the very same sence that it did in the former, where it was denyed of the Angels. The word seed, especial­ly among the Hebrews, is for the most part a Noune collective, and signifies a multitude of persons; and therefore the Author fitly useth the word seed, importing a multitude, that he might oppose it, to the Angels in the plurall number. And the seed of Abraham, are the children or posterity of Abraham, whether they be carnall by birth onely, or spirituall by faith onely, or both by birth and faith. And he rather said the seed of Abraham in two respects. 1. Because we often reade in Scripture, that Christ is promised to no other men properly, but to the posterity of Abraham, or at least to his seed, chiefly and in the first place. 2. Because this word would be most pleasing to the He­brews, to whom he writes, who were themselves the seed, or posterity of Abraham. But, by this ambiguous appellation, which might signifie the seed of Abraham, whether carnall or spirituall, he so in­gratiates the Hebrews, that withall he might tacitely invite them, to continue Christians; because, Christians onely, of what Nation soe­ver they be, are the spirituall seed of Abraham, Gal. 3.29. For, Christ was destinate to take hold of, to help, succour, and save onely that spi­rituall seed, as being their onely mercifull and faithfull high Priest. And by the words here, we must understand rather the spirituall seed of Abraham, then the carnall: but they that are his seed both wayes, both carnally and spiritually, as these Hebrewes were, may challenge Christ in a manner by a double right, to be their ayder and helper. The summe of all is. As in the former clause of this verse, the Author pro­ved the negative, That Christ was not made an Angel, because he was not to take hold of them, to help and succour them: So in this clause he proves the affirmative, why he was made lower then the Angels, why he tooke part of flesh and bloud: Because by his death he was to take hold of the seed of Abraham, to help and succour the faith­full, in delivering them from the feare and bondage of death. So the words shew, not what Christ was by his birth, but what he did by his death. Hence now it plainly appeares how incongruously these words are wrested, to Christs taking on him humane nature. For, this sence is contrary to the context, and altogether crosse to right reasoning; for, by it the same truth is made a reason whereby to conclude it selfe. [Page 36]At the fourteenth verse before, this is laid downe for a truth, That Christ tooke part of our flesh and bloud, i. he did partake of humane nature; of which truth, how can a reason be given by this, that hee tooke on him our humane nature, seeing these two truths are identicall, though not in words, yet altogether in sence? But if we understand these words of helping and succouring the faithfull, then there runs a veine of evident reasoning. Christ was made lower then the Angels, and tooke part of flesh and bloud; to what end? that he might suffer death: Why so? To destroy the Devils power of death. Why that? Because he was to deliver men from the feare and bondage of death: Why did he that? Because he was to take hold of men, to helpe and succour them who are the seed of Abraham.

17. Wherefore in all things] Hitherto he hath shewed that Christ must be a mortall man, to suffer death; now from the last cause of his helping or succouring men, he teacheth that he must not onely be mor­tall, but subject to divers afflictions; and not onely subject, but actually to suffer them, and that not some few, but even all wherewith the rest of the faithfull are afflicted. It behooved him, to be made like unto his brethren] How, and why the faithfull are the brethren of Christ, hath before beene shewed and proved. Yet, in this place againe the word brethren carries a powerfull force of reasoning. It behooveth a brother to helpe and succour his brother; and Christ therefore takes hold of the faithfull, to help and succour them, because they are his brethren; especially the seed of Abraham, who are his brethren, both by God and man. And it behooveth also a brother to be like a bro­ther; and the more alike they are, the more lovely they are to all, and the more loving one to another. And therefore it behooved Christ to be made like unto his brethren, not onely in some one thing, as in their nature, to be made a little lower then the Angels, as his brethren were, or to take part of flesh and bloud as they did; but also to be like them in all things, even in their whole condition, to be subject to afflictions and temptations as they are, and actually to suffer all sorts of them as they doe; yet he was not like them in sin, for that is excepted, Heb. 4.15. and a universall saying must alwayes abate, when a particular excepti­on is expresly made against it. That he might be a mercifull and faith­full high Priest.] Christ must be made like unto his brethren in na­ture, that he might be their high Priest; for, the Priest and the people must be of one Nation; he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified, must be all of one: and he was made like them in condition for suffe­ring afflictions, and therefore he must bee unto them a mercifull and faithfull high Priest. 1. He must be mercifull, to be touched with a sence of his brethrens miseries and sorrowes; and to thinke them so his owne or so neere him, that he may be moved readily to succour or help them as himselfe. For, mercy is a sorrow for anothers misery, [Page 37]moving us to succour him. 2. He must be faithfull, to administer and performe all things with all care and diligence in their behalfe, that concernes their sanctifying or succouring; to expiate their sins, and help them from misery. And this faithfulnesse takes some roote and growth from mercifulnesse; for mercy doth beget and nourish faith­fulnesse. Now that Christ might be truly mercifull and faithfull to his brethren in all things, therefore he must bee made like them in all things, even in all their afflictions and sorrowes. In things pertaining to God:] The office of the high Priest in generall was this; to admi­nister in things pertaining to God, as to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin: (as the Author explicates it afterward, chap. 5.1.) And it was peculiar and proper to the high Priest, to expiate or make atonement for the sins of the whole people together; and not of single persons by them­selves, for that was common to other Priests. This popular Expiation was performed by Christ our high Priest, when after the shedding of his bloud on earth he entred into heaven, as into the Sanctuary or ho­liest of all, there to appeare in the presence of God, to make Intercessi­on for us; that is, that resting in heaven with God, he might admini­ster and performe all things, that concernes our deliverance from the punishments of our sins. To make reconciliation for the sins of the people] The end of the office of the high Priest was, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. i. To propitiate or expiate their sinnes. The word in the originall signifies to cover; hence the cover of the Arke was called the propitiatory, because it covered the Tables of the Law that lay in the Arke; and was a figure of Gods mercy, whereby he was propitious to forgive, or cover the sins against the Law. For sins are no other way propitiated or expiated, then as it were by covering or hiding, that they may no more appeare against us in the sight of God. Hence Gods people are said to be reconciled unto God; that is, to be sanctified and purged from their sins; for, when the Tabernacle was sanctified and purged from the sins of the people, it was called re­conciling, Levit. 16.20. And, hence God is said to be propitiated or pacified, or appeased; not as if hereby he were alwayes turned from anger which was in him before, but many times, that he should not desist from being propitious, but continue pacified or appeased to­wards us; and that he should passe by just causes of anger which other­wise he might have. For, thus God was anciently pacified by the Sa­crifices ordained by his Law; for, it is no way likely, that God was really angry with his people for those sins, for which he granted an ex­piation under the Law, then when the people procured the timely ex­piation of their sinnes, according to the prescript of Gods Law, then certainely God was not actually angry; for then God must be angry at set times of the yeare yearely, at every solemnity of the Expiation. By those sacrifices therefore God was not pacified, by being drawne from [Page 38]anger; but thereby order was taken, that God might still continue pa­cified, and not turne away his grace and favour from his people, by reason of their sinnes. Hence it appeares, that from these words of Reconciling, and Pacifying, we must not conclude that Gods wrath against us was appeased by Christ: but when we heare these words referred unto sinnes, we must thereby understand nothing else, but their expiation or purgation made by Christ; as this Author termed it before, chap. 1. v. 3. But, how Christ now residing in heaven, and exercising the office of his Priesthood, doth purge away our sins, shall be declared hereafter; namely, no other way then by the power God hath granted him to forgive them, that we should not be punished and perish eternally for them. The faithfull are the people of God, who are reconciled, and whose sins are expiated. And this, as was noted be­fore, was proper to the office of the high Priest, who used not to make reconciliation for single persons, but for the people on the day of Expiation.

18. For in that he himselfe hath suffered, being tempted] He saith not simply that Christ hath suffered, but he addes being tempted. The sufferings of Christ were not punishments but temptations or trials of his excellent fidelity and piety. For, there was no sinne in Christ for which he should be punished, seeing punishments are onely for sinne. And therefore chap. 4. v. 15. speaking of Christs being tempted or tried, he expresly addeth, that he was without sinne, i. his triall was not a punishment, as no way merited by sin. He is able to succour them that are tempted] Afflictions to the faithfull are temptations of their faith and righteousnesse; whether they will persevere in their obedi­ence to God, or be beaten off by worldly calamities: as the offering of Isaac was a temptation to Abraham; and our whole spirituall warfare against Satan, the world, and the flesh, is a daily temptation or triall of us. In these their trials Christ doth succour them, by his assistance of them from perishing under the miseries that presse them. And this he doth, when he affords them strength and courage to sustaine the af­flictions, lest by force thereof they fall from the faith and forsake it. Or when he so moderates the afflictions, that they be not too great, for paine, or too long for time, by lightning of them if they be too or shortening them if they be too long; or, lastly, when he receives their spirits at their death, to restore them againe in due time with supreame glory. And when Christ succours the faithfull in this man­ner, he doth even thereby expiate their sinnes. For thereby he endea­vours and provides with all care, lest that sinking under their afflicti­ons, or being destitute at their death, they should by this meanes suf­fer punishment for their sinnes. And therefore the word able to help] must be ampliated and extended, to be both able, willing and carefull, for otherwise he should not be a mercifull and faithfull high Priest; if [Page 39]having power to succour, he had neither will nor care to performe it. Hence appeare three verities. 1. That Christ our high Priest expi­ateth our sinnes, by succouring us in our temptations. 2. That the principall function of his Priestly office is performed now in heaven; and was not performed at this death, wherein there was only a prepara­tion toward it. 3. That neither the Priestly function of Christ, nor his Expiation of sins thereby procured, consist in this, that Christ should suffer punishment for our sins, seeing that can have no place in heaven.

The sum or Contents of this second Chapter are 5.

  • 1. Wee Christians have more cause to persevere in the Gospel, then the Iews had to persist in the law. verse 1.
    • Reason 1. Because if wee neglect it, our punishment will be more certaine then theirs.
    • 2. Because it was first taught by Christ, and confirmed by his Apostles, by miracles and gifts of the holy Ghost.
  • 2. Christ was made lower then the Angels. verse 7.
    • Reason. 1. Because he was to suffer death; not thereby to succour them but men.
  • 3. Christ and the faithfull are brethren. verse 11.
    • Reason. 1. Because they come of one Father who is God. Testimonies 3. out of Scripture.
  • 4. Christ suffed death. verse 14.
    • Reason. 1. Because he was to destroy the devill that had the power of death.
    • 2. Because he was to deliver the faithfull from the feare and bondage of death: for he was to succour not Angels but them
  • 5. Christ was afflicted and tempted like the faithful in all things. ver. 17.
    • Reason. 1. Because he was to be their high Priest, to expiate their sinnes.
    • 2. Because he was to succour them, when they are afflicted and tempted.

CHAPTER III.

1. WHerefore] It referres to all that hath been spo­ken hitherto concerning the dignity of Christ; who seeing hee is so excellent a person as yee have heard, therefore ye have great reason to consider him well. Holy brethren,] Separa­ted from the prophane vulgar and worldly, by your knowledge in divine mysteries; and allied to me, not by a vulgar and carnall fraternitie: but by a spirituall affini­tie in Christ. Partakers of the heavenly calling.] Who together with [Page 40]me and all other Christians have one common spirituall calling where­to we are called. And this calling is called heavenly, not only because it was notified from heaven, and comes from thence: but also because it is directive to heaven to teach us the way thither; and conductive to heaven to carry us safely thither: So that heaven is the double terme of our spirituall calling; for heaven is the start of it from whence it runnes, and the marke of it whereto it runnes. Consider Iesus Christ] Ye six your mindes and hearts upon Moses, to consider him in all particulars; consider also Jesus Christ. The Apostle and high Priest of our profession.] Our profession is our Religion, whereby we professe to serve God and to be saved. Of this our Religion Christ is the great Prophet, the grand Apostle, Emissary or Legate, or the first Messenger of it; because he was the first that was sent from God, to bring it into the world, and to publish or preach it unto men. For every Prophet sent with a message immediatly from God, is therefore an Apostle. And of this our Religion, Christ is the high Priest, or chiefe President to order it: because he perpetually administers and officiates all things pertaining to it; and because by him all the professors of it, have their accesse to God; because hee expiates and purgeth away their sins; and because hee takes care that all things pertaining to divine worship, be rightly performed in the Temple of God, dedicate to this Religion; For in this place, the Author remarkably calls Christ by the name of high Priest, because anciently the high Priests were Presidents over the Temple and holy things of God. From both these offices, thus uni­ted in Christ, appears his transcendent dignity. For anciently there was an Apostle or Prophet of the Jewish Religion, who was Moses, for he first taught and published it: but then among them there was another high Priest, who was Aaron and his Successors. But Christ alone in one person was both the Apostle and high Priest of our profession. But in this place we must ampliate & extend the word high Priest so largely, that it may also comprehend the Regall dignity or office of Christ. For it is not likely that the Author in this breviate of Christs offices would wholly omit the chiefest, especially in this place, where hee would move them to consider Christ; especially when he had before tearmed him such a high Priest, as was able to succour them that are tempted: which thing belongs also to his Regall power, and had in the first chapter so lively expressed his Regall dignity, by severall testimonies of Scripture.

2. Who was faithfull to him that appointed him.] It had been enough to move the Hebrewes to consider Christ, by what the Author had delivered before, in preferring him above the Angels, by severall ar­guments of reason, and testimonies of Scripture: but the Author not content with this, doth here single out Moses, and equall Christ with him; because the Hebrewes had Moses in high esteeme, opposing him [Page 41]to Christ, and preferring him before Christ. The particular wherein he equals Christ with Moses, is the faithfulnesse of Christ, and he in­stanceth the rather in this particular, because that when God gave a singular commendation of Moses, the Lord instanced in the particular, of his faithfulnesse to God. He therefore declares that Christ was as faithfull to God as ever Moses was. Now the faithfulnesse of Christ relates to both his offices, of high Legate, (or Apostle) and high Priest. The faithfulnesse of a Legate consists in these two things. 1. That he deliver his Message wholly and truly, according to his Commission. 2. That he use all meanes to perswade and gaine faith to his Message; especially if he be thereto enjoyned by him that sent him. And the faithfulnesse of a high Priest is, To provide all things pertinent to the worship of God; and then to propitiate God toward those that worship him. The person to whom Christ was thus faith­full, was the supreme God, who made him his Legate and high Priest, by appointing him to the execution of these offices, wherein he might exercise his singular faithfulnesse; for Christ assumed not these offices of himselfe, but was thereto appointed of God the Father; as after­ward more fully. As also Moses was faithfull in all his house.] Moses was a great Prophet and Legate sent from God; in so much that when Aaron and Miriam had spoken against him, the Lord to publish his great esteeme of him, would vindicate him by his owne mouth, and thereupon preferres him before all other Prophets, in that he would deale more familiarly with him then with any other; for, he would speake to others by visions and dreames, and dark speeches; but he would speake to Moses mouth to mouth, even apparently, and he should behold the similitude of the Lord; of which dealing with Mo­ses, the Lord gives this reason, because Moses was faithfull in all the Lords house, Numb. 12.6,7,8. In which words, who sees not how highly God esteemed Moses above all other Prophets? Now, whe­ther we take house for Gods Tabernacle, or for his family; yet Moses was most faithfull in both respects, in that he neglected nothing that pertained to the care and good of either. The summe is: Lest by this singular testimony given by God to Moses for his faithfulnesse, any man should hereby thinke, that herein Moses was greater then Christ; therefore the Author adornes Christ with the very same commendati­on of faithfulnesse that God had given to Moses; that thereby hee might take from Moses all prerogative of his being above Christ in any thing, and consequently inferres Christ equall to Moses.

3. For this man was counted worthy of more glory then Moses] Having shewed that Christ was no way inferiour to Moses; here he advanceth a degree higher, and affirmes that Christ was much superiour to Moses, and counted worthy of more honour, that he might further move them to the consideration of Christ. And yet more determinately, that the [Page 42]honour of Christ is a great distance above that of Moses. And the fol­lowing words shew how much: As much as he who hath builded the house, hath more honour then the house.] He properly builds the house that either frameth it himselfe, or causeth it to be framed for himselfe; for, whosoever is the owner, is properly the builder, and not the mer­cenary, who is hired to build it for another. Now the builder is more honourable then the building; for, the Builder by his building be­comes the Lord or Owner of it; which is the first originall or naturall ground of honour. And looke how much the builder is more honou­rable then the building, though the degree be never so indefinite: so much is Christ more honourable then Moses. For, Moses was but a part of the building in Gods family; but Christ under God is the buil­der of his whole Church.

4. For, every house is builded by some man:] No house doth raise or build it selfe, but is built or raised by some person or other, who builds it himselfe for himselfe, or causeth it to be builded for himselfe. But he that hath built all things is God.] Here he expresseth what person he understands for the architect or builder of the house, whereof he speakes; namely, that he meanes God himselfe. Hence it appeares that the Authors minde was to say, That Christ is so much more ho­nourable then Moses, as God is more honourable then his house which he hath built; that is, then his people, who are the house of God. For, as Moses must be joyned with the house of God, whereof he was a principall part: so Christ must be joyned with God, who joyntly with God hath built his house, and exerciseth dominion or Lordship over it. So that Christ this way considered is not a part of the building, but a part of the builder, and therefore above the building. Furthermore, if the difference in dignity betweene Christ and Moses be the same that is betweene God and his house; then consequently there will be also the same proportion in dignity betweene God and Christ, that there is betweene Moses and Gods house. For, in proportions con­sisting of foure termes, the proportion is alternable. Wherefore, as Moses is in dignity inferiour to the house; for he is but Gods Minister or Legate there, who though he be superiour to any one person there singly taken, yet he is inferiour to the whole taken collectiyely or joyntly. So Christ is a secondary unto God, from whom he hath re­ceived all divine power and authority, to build and governe Gods house in Gods Name. But we must take notice, that in all this compa­rison of Christ with Moses, there is no consideration had of this, that the ancient house wherein Moses was faithfull to God, was one, and this new house is another, wherein God hath adjoyned Christ for the building and governing of it. For, to the purpose in hand, it is enough that both of them are the houses of God; and the latter wherein Christ governes, is as it were succeeded in the roome of that, wherein Moses [Page 43]was faithfull; so that in this respect they may seem in a manner all one. But if any man shall urge them to be diverse; be shall thereby, not only not diminish the dignity of Christ, for the advance whereof all these things are said, but greatly increase it; for this new house in dignity far exceeds the old.

5. And Moses verily was faithfull in all his house as a servant.] Be­fore he delivered the Prerogative or Dignity of Christ above Moses, but generally and indefinitly; now he explicates it more particularly and clearly. Which being done, it will plainly appeare, That Christ is more honourable then Moses, so much as God is more honourable then his house, which is his people; that is, Moses must bee reckoned with the house, and Christ with God. The particle and here signifies not copulatively, but illatively as much as for. For Moses verily was faithfull as a servant. All the dignity that Moses had in Gods house was but a servile dignity, for he ordered and governed the whole house of God, not as Lord over it, but as a Minister and servant unto God. He was the steward of Gods house; that is, the principall servant of the family, to whose charge the Master of the family committed the charge of it; Wherefore hee was alwayes forced to depend upon the becke and pleasure of God, as of his Lord, expecting in all things his command. For hence it was that he could neither move the camp nor pitch it, till first he had received notice of it from God. And this very argument he takes from the testimony of Scripture before cited for the faithfulnes of Moses; in which verse God cals Moses his servant. For a testimony of those things that were to be spoken after.] Herein is specified the chief office wherein the service of Moses consisted. God spake to his servant Moses mouth to mouth, and Moses was to testifie and relate unto the people afterward those things which he had heard spoken of God, either concerning their present affairs in the wildernesse, or con­cerning the Lawes and Ordinances to be observed for the future in the land of Canaan: for in this place the word Testimony is figuratively taken for a relating or rehearsing of things that have beene heard spo­ken by another. Hence the Gospel as it was first spoken by God, is called the word of God; but as it was reported and delivered by Christ or the Apostles, it is not seldome called their testimony. See 1 Cor. 1.6. and 1 Cor. 2.1. and 2 Thess. 1.10. and 2 Tim. 1.8. and Rev. 1.2. and Rev. 6.9. and Rev. 12.11. And the two Preachers in the Revelation are called the witnesses of God, to whom God will give power to preach 1260. dayes, Rev. 11.3. For it seems, they were therefore cal­led the witnesses of God, because they were to prophesie or preach.

6. But Christ as a Sonne over his owne house.] Now hee opposeth and prefers the dignity of Christ before that of Moses; because Moses was but as a servant in his Masters house; but Christ as a Sonne in his Fathers house: that is, as the Lord and heire of Gods house. And [Page 44]therefore Christ must not be reckoned among the goods of the house as Moses was, but must be joyned with the Master of the house as Lord of the family. And consequently Christ is so much worthier then Mo­ses, as God is worthier then his own house. For these words, Over his owne house] may bee referred 2 wayes. 1 They may bee referred to Christ, as his owne house. And then the comparison between Christ and Moses will carry an opposition in three things. 1 That Moses was but the servant of God, but Christ was the Son of God. 2 (Con­sequently to the first) that Moses was only in the house as parcell of the house; and so with the rest of the house subject to the Master of the house; but Christ is over the house as Lord and heire of it. 3 (Con­sequently to both the former) that Moses ordered anothers house; but Christ governed his owne house, that God had given him by right of inheritance. 2. The words, Over his owne house] may bee referred to God, as Gods owne house: for the comparison seems to require, that in each terme thereof mention should be made of Gods house. For the Author either takes it for granted, that this house of God whereof he spake, was the house of Christ, or he takes it not for granted. If hee take it for granted; to what purpose did he say, that Christ is over his owne house, for if he be Lord and Owner of it, he must needs bee over it? He might have said more briefly, That Moses was a servant in Gods house as in anothers house, but Gods house was Christs own house. But if he take it not for granted, then the reason of this compa­rison and the argument thence drawne, will not appeare. For meerly from hence, That Christ is over his owne house, but Moses was a ser­vant in Gods house, it will not follow, that Christ is far more honou­rable then Moses; for many times it is a greater honour to bee a ser­vant in anothers house especially in Gods house, then a Master over his owne. Besides, the argument here is about that house wherein both Christ and Moses were faithfull to God; but faithfulnesse is seen more in anothers house then his owne, or at least not as his owne, but as anothers. For here is a relation to those words of God formerly cited, That Moses was faithfull in all Gods house. Whose house are we.] Hee now expresseth what we must understand by this house of God or Christ; namely all they are this house that professe the Religi­on of Christ, of which number these Hebrews were a part, and thereby he opens a passage to his following exhortation. The faithfull are the house of God, whether by house wee understand a family or a buil­ding. For they are the family of God and Christ, who serve God and Christ, and are under his care. They are also his building or spirituall Temple, because God and Christ doe inhabit them by their holy Spirit; and they are a Tabernacle for divine worship, whereof are ex­tant many testimonies of Scripture. Hence appears the great dignity of Christians, who therefore are to endeavour that they never fall [Page 45]from it, but that it continue stable and perpetuall. If wee hold fast the confidence. For confidence, the originall word properly signifies li­berty of speech, whereby a man speakes undauntedly, though other­wise there bee cause of feare. Hence the word is figuratively drawne to signifie courage of minde, and also confidence thence refulting. In this place it may be taken both properly and figuratively; not only for a confidence or assurance of minde, but for a liberty in professing Re­ligion; so that a Christian, what feare soever assault him, must openly and publickly professe himselfe the follower of Christ, and not be de­terred from it by any meanes. And in the same sense it seemes the word is taken afterward cap. 10.35. for there the Author treats not only of inward faith, but of outward profession of the Christian Re­ligion. Hence it appeares that to make us become the house of God, it is required that we have confidence; and to make us continue so, wee must hold our confidence fast and firme unto the end. And therefore we are the house of God, being of the present tense, must be under­stood as ampliated also to the future. For that we should become the house of God for the present, it is not required wee should hold fast our confidence to the end, but that only for the present we should have confidence. But that we might thence forward continue and remaine the house of God perpetually, we must also continue and remain in our confidence perpetually, by holding it fast to the end. And the rejoycing of the hope.] Hope is put here materially for the thing hoped for, which is eternal life, for that is the final matter of our hope. Rejoycing is either a high degree of joy exalted, or an outward expression of our inward joy, caused by our hope of eternal life; for such great hopes must needs breed in us not only joy, but rejoycing. For rejoycing is a patent sign of hope latent in us; and it is also an effect of that hope: for if our confi­dence and hope of eternall life be reall and true in us, it will work this effect in us to rejoyce of it, by having it alwayes in our mouth, and thereby professing our selves happy and blessed. Whence it is no marvell the Author requires this rejoycing in Christians, seeing Paul affirmes of them also, That they rejoyce in hope of the glory of God, Rom. 5.2. And this rejoycing of our confidence and hope doth ne­cessarily draw with it, and in a manner compriseth our rejoycing of Christian Religion, whereon our hope both depends and relyes. For wee must needs perceive that the Authors aime is, we should hold fast the Christian Religion, and not only professe it freely and boldly; but also rejoyce in it, because it brings us a sure hope of eternall happinesse. Firme unto the end.] Unto the last gaspe of our life; for this is the na­ture of a firme hope, for then our confidence is firme and stable if it last and hold out to the last gaspe of our life: Unlesse we shall say, that a firme hope is opposed to a hope infirme, that is wavering and weake, which comes all to one; because an infirme or weak hope is not likely [Page 46]to last and hold out to the end. Hence it appeares, that it is possible for a Christian endued to true faith, to fall from that faith: For otherwise, why should the Author annex this condition of persevering in faith, by holding it fast and firme; if they who are once the house of God, and have faith, can no way faile and fall from it? Why in the following admonition doth he exhort them to constancy? Why doth hee will them to take heed of departing from the living God?

7. Wherefore as the holy Ghost saith,] Here he begins an Exhorta­tion against obstinacie, that they should not shew themselves incredu­lous and hard hearted against the voice of God by Christ in the Go­spel. Wherefore] this word intimates, that his Exhortation is drawn from his former discourse. And it may be drawne either from his last words, wherein he shewed us to be the house of God; and for our con­tinuing so, we must persevere constantly in the faith and hope of eter­nall salvation. For from hence the admonition may well be inferred, that seeing the matter is of such moment, therefore wee should shew our selves tractable and obsequious to the voice of God, and so persist constantly in the faith. Or it may be drawne from the words before that, concerning the great dignity of Christ above Moses; for if all obedience were due to the voice of God delivered by Moses, how much more reverence and regard must be given to the voice of God published by Christ, who was much greater then Moses? As the holy Ghost saith.] q. d. That I may use unto you the words of the holy Ghost, and say unto you now, as hee sayth in the Psalmes. Hee attributes the words of David to the holy Ghost, because David ut­tered them by the instinct of the holy Ghost. To day if yee will heare his voice.] These words whereof the Author here makes use to apply them to his present purpose are extant, Psal. 95.7. The literall sence is: Upon the solemn festivall day the people were accustomed to en­ter the temple of God, there to celebrate Divine worship, and to heare the reading of the Law, which was the word or voice of God. Here­upon David composed this Psalme for the festivall day, wherein he ex­cites the people, that when they went into the house of God to wor­ship him and heare his word, they should also obey it, and not harden their hearts against it. For the particle if] is put for when] when, or seeing yee will heare his voice. The mysticall sence, The voyce of Christ, whereby the Gospel is revealed and delivered to men, is the voyce of God. And the time of the Gospel, is the festivall day of Grace, wherein God offers salvation, and invites us to it by the preach­ing of the Gospel; which time will not last alwayes in respect of par­ticular persons, but will continue to them but as a day, during their owne dayes; and to some it dureth not during their own dayes. For sometimes God is in a manner driven by the contumacy or disobedi­ence of men, either to take from them the preaching of his word, or to [Page 47]harden their stubborn hearts that were fore-hardned by their own ma­lice, lest, as himself saith, Seeing they should see, and hearing they should hear, they should be converted and healed: or lastly, hee wholly turnes the day of Grace and Salvation into a day of his wrath and punish­ment, All which things by the just judgement of God hapned at last to the nation of the Jewes. Wherefore by these words of the Psalmist they are admonished, that they would speedily shew themselves tracta­ble to God, and assoon as they shall heare his voice by Christ, they yeeld obedience thereto, without procrastinating or delaying the mat­ter from day to day.

8. Harden not your hearts.] Your hearts, that is your mindes; the member is oftentimes put for the faculty of it. Then a man hardens his heart, when he resisteth the voice of God, and suffers not himselfe to be perswaded by it, when he doth the act of opposing, and besides hath a will to continue it. As hard things suffer not themselves easily to be handled, or moulded, and yeeld not to him that would figure or fashion them into another shape. This is done, when a man hath a will not to beleeve or obey the word of God, whether formerly hee be­leeved or obeyed it, or did not. As in the provocation,] He notes that notable contention of the Israelites with Moses at Rephidim for want of water: which ennobled the place where it was made with the names of Meriba, and Massa. i. Provocation and tentation; whereof see Exod. 17. That Contention is here called Provocation; because in contention there is commonly provocation; for he that contends with another, doth anger and provoke him. The Israelites, as much as lay in them, did in the first place provoke Moses, and then by him even God also: For this provocation must primely and properly be referred to Moses and not to God: as contrarily the temptation must prime­ly be referred to God, and not to Moses. For so Moses himselfe ex­pressed it to the people, in saying, Why chide you with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord? Exod. 17.2. And thereupon the place was called Chiding and Tempting: But while the Israelites chide & quarrell with Moses, who did nothing but by Gods command; they are by that meanes reckoned to have chidden and striven with God. For when a second time in like manner they murmured at Cades for want of wa­ter; those waters also are called the waters of Meriba, that is, of con­tention or strife, because the children of Israel strove with the Lord. Numb. 20.13. When notwithstanding they strove not with the Lord himselfe, but with Moses and Aaron; as appeares in the same chapter, verse 3, 4, 5. So they strive with Moses, and therefore with God him­selfe, while they demand water of him with disdaine and anger, ver. 2. while reproachfully and most unworthily they upbraid him, that hee had brought them out of Egypt, to kill them, their children and cat­tell with thirst in the wildernesse, ver. 3. While therefore the Israelites [Page 48]in this manner contend and chide with Moses the servant of God, did they not bewray the hardnesse of their hearts, when by so many mira­culous works of God, and by so many marveilous benefits bestowed upon them, they could not be induced to confide in God, nor per­swaded that he would provide them of water. The particle as notes the similitude or likenesse of the case; and the sence is. Doe not you harden your hearts against God, to diffide and distrust him and his voice by Christ; as the Israelites did in the Provocation at Meriba, when they did chide and strive with God, in chiding and striving with Moses. The like speech we have, Job 29.2. O that I were as in months past! i. that my case were like to what it was some months since. In the day of temptation in the wildernesse] These words are referred both to the Induration and Provocation mentioned before, and are the two circumstances of them; for, in the day of Temptation, shews the time of the Provocation, that it was then upon the very same day that they tempted him; they provoked and tempted him both on a day. And in the wildernesse, shews the place of it; for it was at Rephidim, a dry plaine neere Horeb or Mount Sinai, where Moses fought with Ama­leck. To the end, that notorious provocation and tentation might be the more remarkable by the place, and thereby be distinguished from others, that fell out in other places afterward. The matter of the Tenta­tion wherein it consisted was this, that they said of God, Is the Lord among us or not? as the text expresseth, Exod 17.7. In which words they doubt of the Divine presence, i. they were diffident of God; which distrustfulnesse of God, and doubtfulnesse of his goodnesse or power, is called a tentation of God. For, every tentation ariseth from some distrust, or at least from some doubting. He therefore tempteth God, that having many arguments of Gods goodnesse toward him, and his power; yet is not sure of his goodnesse or power, but doubts of either, and requires more arguments or tokens thereof. It is a vulgar errour in men to thinke, that God is then tempted, when a man trusteth too much upon God; that is, when he casteth himselfe into danger rashly and unnecessarily, in confidence of Gods assistance. This errour seemes to spring from the answer of Christ to Satan, who required him to cast himselfe downe headlong from the pinacle of the Temple; but Christ answered, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God; As if to tempt God, were to cast himselfe into danger rashly, upon too much trust of Gods help. But Satan in saying to Christ, If thou be the Son of God, cast thy selfe downe, &c. did not intend to draw him to too great a trust in God, but rather to distrust and doubt whether he were truly the Son of God, by seeking a further experiment or signe there­of, in casting himselfe downe; in as much as it was written of the Son of God, that Gods Angels had charge over him, to beare him up in their hands, &c. To whom Christ rightly answers; It is written a­gaine, [Page 49]Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, q.d. Seeing it is al­ready abundantly evident to me that I am the Son of God, and most deare to God, I will make no further triall thereof, and so tempt God, which deed he hath forbidden. Wherefore this precept of Scripture alledged by Christ, pertaines nothing at all, to any excesse of trust, but must be referred to distrust and doubting, as all other places are con­cerning the tentation of God; especially seeing in the very text when Christ quoteth this Scripture, of not tempting God, it is added, as ye tempted him in Massa, Deut. 6.16. But we have already shewed, that the Israelites in Massa tempted God, not with excesse of trust, but with de­fect of it. The like words in the like sence are used by Peter, Acts 15 10. Now therefore, why tempt ye God, to put a yoake upon the neck of the Disciples? &c. q.d. Hath not God already given us ex­periments and arguments enough, and sufficient, that we should not impose upon the Disciples the yoke of legall Ceremonies? seeing he hath given the holy Ghost to them as well as to us; seeing he hath made no difference betweene us and them, purifying their hearts by faith; why therefore, as if the thing were not already apparent enough, do ye require more arguments and tokens of it, and so tempt God?

9. When your fathers tempted me] Me, here is referred to God whom the Israelites tempted; for here, according to an usuall forme in Scripture, the person is changed, and God himselfe is brought in speaking of himselfe; whereas in the words before David spake of God in the third person, but now brings in God speaking in the first person of himselfe. In the Originall it is not when but where; for here the circumstantiall particle is not temporall for the time when they tempted, but locall for the place where they tempted; and that place hath reference to the wildernesse immediately before mentioned. For in the wildernesse they tempted God, not onely at that time, but after­wards also at divers other times, and in other particular places of that wildernesse. For at Cadeshbarnea, whence the twelve spies were sent to search the land of Canaan, and upon their returne, the people bad stone Caleb and Joshuah, because they discented from the other ten, who had brought up an evill report upon the Land; then the Lord complaines that they had provoked him long and often; that they had long distrusted him, notwithstanding all the signes he had shewed amongst them, Numb. 14.11. And againe at ver. 22. he complaines that they had tempted him now ten times, i. very many times. Proved me] He expresseth the same thing in another word. For, as to tempt a man, argues distrust and doubt of him; so also to prove him. And saw my workes:] The particle and is by an Hebraisme put for although; q.d. If they had not seene my wondrous works, it had beene lesse wonder that they tempted me; but now although they see them, yet they doubt of my power and goodnesse toward them; what a strange [Page 50]diffidence and distrust is this? What works God wrought, both in Egypt and in the Wildernesse, to certifie the people of his promise, and to gaine faith for their passage into Canaan, are largely described in the books of Exodus and Numbers. Forty yeares] This space of forty yeares, as the history it selfe, and the Hebrew text, and this Author also signifies at ver. 17. must be referred forwards to Gods indignati­on, whereby he was grieved with them for the space of forty yeares. Yet it is true also, that this space may be referred backward (as the Septuagint have pointed it) to the peoples tempting of God, and seeing his works for the space of forty yeares; for so long the people tempted him, and so long saw his works. For, even at the expiration of those yeares, when Miriam was dead, in Cadesh, they againe murmured against Moses and Aaron for want of water, as their fathers had done before at Meriba and Massa, and that place also was branded by the name of Meriba, or waters of strife; where the diffidence or distrust in God was greater then any formerly, for it was extended even to Moses and Aaron, who were also infected with the sin of it. Numb. 20. And this seemes to be cause of the Greek pointing and reading, which this Author followed having fallen upon it, that he might not seeme to make any alteration in it, though afterward at the 17. verse he plainly shews, that he was not ignorant of the true reading as it was pointed in the Hebrew. But here is meant that other tentation, men­tioned Numb. 14. upon which God sware the people should not en­ter into his rest, as appeares by the verses here following. Hence ap­peares their errour who from hence conclude, that the holy Ghost is that God who was tempted of the Jews; therefore because here God himselfe speakes, and saith he was tempted of their fathers; and the Author affirmes that the holy Ghost spake these things. These men marke not, that from the first words of this place, and so from the for­mer of the whole Psalme, wherein David himselfe speakes in very deed in his owne person, and professeth himselfe one of Gods people, to worship and serve God, it will by the same reason follow, that the holy Ghost is also David. For the former words wherein David is brought in speaking, are no lesse attributed to the holy Ghost. When the sayings of holy Writers are attributed to the holy Ghost, we are not thereby to understand, that the holy Ghost is that person who in­deed speaks, or to whom those things really agree, which he attributes to himselfe that speakes, or is brought in speaking; but onely that those sayings were uttered by the vertue and motion of the holy Ghost, and not onely by the will and pleasure of men, whosoever the person be that speaketh, as Peter teacheth, 2 Pet. 1.21. For otherwise there must be one onely person alwaies brought in speaking, namely, the holy Ghost, to whom alone all sayings must be attributed, which he attri­butes to himselfe that speaketh; then which nothing can be further [Page 51]from the truth. For the Prophets for the most part use to speake in their owne persons, sometime they bring in God speaking, whose Spi­rit the Holy Ghost is, sometime they bring in other persons. Besides from this, that the words of God are attributed to the Holy Ghost, we cannot rightly conclude that therefore the Holy Ghost is God him­selfe: Are they not rightly attributed to him therefore, because God speaks by him? as we read that the words of Christ are attributed to the Spirit, Rev. 2.7. although the Spirit be not Christ. So Paul, Rom. 11.4. attributes the words of God to the oracle; and this Author, cap. 12.5. attributes the words of God to the Exhortation; not that either the oracle or the exhortation is God, but because God is supposed to speake by the oracle and the exhortation.

10. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation] That is, a Gene­ration according to Scripture which comprehends the men that live within the period of one and the same age. And that generation wherewith God was grieved, were those persons of Israel, whom hee brought out of Egypt, who saw his mighty workes, and received the Law at Mount Sinai. This generation provoked and tempted God, and therefore God was grieved with it. God is not passively grieved as man, but then he is said to be grieved, when he doth such actions as persons grieved use to doe; especially being thereto provoked by the sinnes of men. And said they doe alwayes erre in their hearts.] They have a kinde of phrensie or madnesse upon them, that is not accidentall to fall on them sometimes, but naturall and radicall, rooted and fixed in their very hearts, so that it continues upon them to hold them al­wayes. They alwayes meditate and agitate in their minde, that which is averse from my will, and from the way whereto I labour to per­swade them. They alwayes refuse to obey me, and follow the erroni­ous thoughts of their owne minds, and are wedded to the counsells of their owne wils. And they have not knowne my wayes.] By the wayes of God we may understand both the workes of God, and the Lawes of God, especially his singular commands for such or such an action in particular. For the acts and works of men are in Scripture called their wayes. That generation is justly said to have knowne neither of these wayes of God; for though they had seen his works and heard his laws, and received many particular commands; yet they carryed themselves so, as if they had neither seen, heard, nor received any thing. For they neither believed Gods promises, though confirmed with such mighty works, nor obeyed his Laws and Commands. Of this their grosse stu­pidity there is a notable passage, Deut. 29.2,3,4. Ye have seen (saith Moses to them) all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, unto Pharaoh, unto his servants, and unto all his land; The great temptations which thine eyes have seene; the signes and those great miracles: yet the Lord hath not given you a heart to perceive, [Page 52]and eyes to see, and ears to heare unto this day. They saw Gods mighty workes like brute beasts, not considering how great the Agent was, and of how great power; how worthy he was to have all credit given to his promises, and all obedience to his commands. Some such like accident befell the Disciples of Christ as we may read it, Mark. 6.52. They considered not the miracle of the loaves, for their heart was hardned.

11. Sol sware in my wrath.] God seldome sweares, for the Scri­pture doth not bring him in swearing often: but it must be a matter of weight and moment that makes him to sweare: And motives where­upon he sweares are chiefly two; either in mercy, to confirme his gra­cious promises made to his children: or in his wrath to establish his judgement against the wicked. And the formes whereby he sweares are chiefly two. 1 Surely, (for surely with God is a forme of swea­ring) that is, the thing which he affirmes and whereto hee sweares is no way uncertaine or doubtfull for the event, as if it might not come to passe, but shall most surely and certainly come to passe. In this form God sware to Abraham, that he would blesse and multiply him; for so this Author reports it, cap. 6.14. 2. As I live; that is, let me not bee accounted for the living God, if I performe not what I say. In this forme God sweares, that he hath no pleasure in the death of the wic­ked, Ezek. 33.11. And as among men there be degrees of oaths, in that some are more obligatory and binding, lest the Israelites might thinke that God would not fully binde himselfe, for their not entring into Canaan; therefore to divert that flattery of themselves, God did swear it by both these forms of oaths. For first he sware it by the first form. Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers. Num. 14.23. And afterward he sware it by the second form. As I live, your carkasses shall fall in this wildernesse. Numb. 14.28. Thus God swearing in his wrath, did iterate his oath & aggravate it. They shall not enter.] In the originall it is, if they shall enter. The particle if, after a verbe of swearing is an Hebraisme put for not: they shall not enter. So the people sweare for the rescue of Jonathan, As the Lord liveth, if one haire of his head should fall to the ground, 1 Sam. 14.45. So the Psalmist brings in God swearing, Once have I sworn by my holinesse, if I lie unto David, Psal. 89.35. So Christ sweares, that a sigre shall not be given to the Jewes: Verily I say unto you, if a signe shall be gi­ven to this generation, Mark. 8.12. yet this use of the particle if did first arise from those formes of swearing, whereby if was properly ta­ken, by adding some imprecation or curse, either expressely uttered, or tacitly implyed. For men being moved doe commonly in their anger use an abrupt speech, and many times silently suppresse the imprecation or curse whereby they devote themselves, and leave it to be collected by him to whom they speake. Among many others we have David [Page 53]swearing with an imprecation or curse expressely added: So and more also, doe God to the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to Naball by the morning light, any that pisseth against the wall, 1 Sam. 25.22. And Job in like manner, if my heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbours doore; Then let my wife grinde unto another, and let others bow downe upon her, Job 31.9. And ye have this curse suppressed in David also, Psal. 132.2,3,4,5. They that shall not enter, are that generation that had provoked, tem­pted and grieved God. God had sworne to the Patriarks (the forefa­thers of that generation) that their posterity should enter that land, this God had sworne at severall times to Abraham, he had confirmed the same oath to Isaac, and reconfirmed it to Jacob. And God had deter­mined or designed which generation of his posterity should enter; namely the fourth, for so particularly God covenanted with Abra­ham, Gen. 15.16. And this people now brought out of Egypt into the wildernesse for to enter, was that fourth generation: yet to them now God sweares againe that they shall not enter. Yet notwithstanding there is no contrariety in Gods oaths, neither doth this latter swearing any way crosse the former. For the promise of God to Abraham and so the oath confirming it, for this entrance of his posterity, was con­ditionall that his children should walke in the steps of the faith and o­bedience of Abraham; for the Covenant of God was made with A­braham and his seed; and therefore not only he in his owne person, but his posterity also in their generations were bound to keep it. But this generation whereof we speake, was diffident and disobedient, for they provoked and tempted God, and thereby brake the Covenant: And the Covenant being broken on their part, or the condition not performed, God in all equity on his part is free both from his promise and the oath confirming it; and therefore as the case now stood might justly take an oath for their not entring. Now that faith and obedi­ence was required as a condition for their entring, appears cleerly by the last verse of this Chapter, where it is said, they could not enter because of unbeliefe. For if the cause of their not-entring were not­beleeving; then it must necessarily follow, that Beliefe was the condi­tion of their entring. But as this oath proceeded from the wrath of God, touching the non-entry of this generation: so it was tempered and mingled with mercy for the next generation who were the chil­dren of this. For concerning those children this generation had pro­voked God, in saying they should be a prey and dye in the wildernesse. But God makes it a part of his oath, to the contrary, that their children should not bee a prey in the wildernesse, but they shall enter the land and possesse it, Numb. 14.30,31. Into my rest.] The land of Canaan is called a Rest; because the Israelites were to reside and rest, after their hard servitude for many yeares in Egypt, after their tedious pilgrimage [Page 54]and travell through the vast wildernesse where they wandred for the space of forty yeares; and after their severall battells with their enemies which they were to conquer and extirpate from that land. Although there be another mysticall use of the word in the Chapter following. And God calls it his Rest; because the people got it neither by their power not by their desert, but by Gods meere benefit and donation to them, in performance of the promise he had sworn to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For God by his mighty arme and power, brought them out of Egypt, carried them through the wildernesse, and cast out their enemies before them, that they might possesse the land; not for any righteousnesse in them, but for the wickednesse of the Ca­nanites, thereby to performe his word sworne to their fathers, Deut. 9 4.5.6.

12. Take heed brethren.] Here he begins another Exhortation, to diss wade them from Apostacy from the Christian Religion, from the which they were declining, and departing. For the desertion of God must needs be a greater sinne then the tentation of him. Take heed. i. Bethinke your selves well, and have a great care, because the matter is very dangerous; for when dangers are at hand, we use to be heedfull and carefull. Lest there be.] Lest there be now at this time, or if it be not yet, lest it creep upon you in time to come; for Apostacie is as a serpent that will insinuate into your mindes at any time; for it is easily introduced by diffidence and obstinacie. In any of you.] Hee meanes not this distributively for any one single person among them; but collectively of them all, that all might have a care of all, and each one of another. An evill heart of unbeliefe] An evill heart is an in­tractable or hard heart, that is contumacious and refractory against God and his word. And then the heart is especially evill and hard, when it is incredulous and unbeleeving; q.d. a heart so evill that it will not believe. In departing from the living God] Here he limits the un­beliefe whereof he spake before, designing particularly what unbelief he meant. For there is a double unbeliefe, one of them who never yet did believe in God; another of them who cease to believe, and turne Apostates to their former beliefe in departing from it, and con­sequently from God. Now he departs from God, who departs from Christ, and his Religion; as in the former Covenant, he that departed from the Law, departed from God himselfe. For as he that believes in Christ, doth not finally believe in Christ, but in God by Christ; as Christ himselfe declareth it, John 12.44. So on the contrary, he that departeth from Christ, departs not only finally from Christ, but from God who sent him, and ordained him to bee our Lord and Saviour. And God is called the living God, in opposition to the Idols and false gods of the Gentiles, who were as destitute of all life and sense, as were their images and statues wherein they were worshipped. This [Page 55]Epithet is added here to God, thereby to strike so much the greater terrour into them, that they might never think of departing from so great a God; Therefore he saith afterward, chapter 10. ver. 31. It is a fearfull thing to fall into the hands of the living God. For hee must needs have an infinite power, who is the true and living God. Yet po­sitively God is called the living God, because he not onely lives truely and perpetually, but also lives from himselfe, and is the fountain of life to others, from whom all living things have their life.

13. But exhort one another daily,] Here he shewes the ordinary way and meanes, whereby they may remedy this evill heart of unbeliefe; namely, if they mutually admonish and exhort one another; yet that must not be done seldome at distant times: but daily, that their mu­tuall exhortations may be fervent and frequent. While it is called to day.] As long as that day lasteth, whereof mention is made in the Psalme before cited, To day if ye will hear his voyce. Whereupon we noted above, that in the literall sence; it signified, that festivall and solemne day, wherein the people resorted to the Temple, to performe the worship and service of God, where also the Law of God used to be read unto them. To this festivall day in the mysticall sence, doth answer our Christian festivall or time of Grace, wherein we are invi­ted to lay hold of eternall salvation, whereto by the Gospel the passage is opened unto us. While this day or time of the Gospel doth last, we must exhort one another from unbeliefe in departing from God. Lest any of you be hardned,] A man is then hardned, when hee hath a will, not to beleeve the promises of God, or not to obey his precepts. Through the deceitfulnesse of sinne.] He shewes the cause of this hard­nesse, to be sinne; and the manner how sinne hardneth, by deceaving us. For therefore we are refractory to the voyce or word of God, be­cause we are deceived bysinne; for we are entrapped by the baits and snares of sin, by preferring the whispers of sin before the voyce of God; for so the Serpent beguiled Eve, and so doth sin deceive us still. Yea, even from the word of God, and from his Commandment: whence wee should take occasion to obey him, thence will sinne take occasion to deceive us. Rom. 7.11.

14. For we are made partakers of Christ.] Hee seemes here to an­swere a tacite objection. For these Hebrewes might thinke that these admonitions concerned not them, that they need to take heed of unbe­liefe, and consequently of Gods wrath, seeing they did already beleeve in Christ, and so were estated in Christian happinesse. To this hee answeres, by granting that they were already made partakers of Christ; that is, of that happinesse which Christ bestowes upon the faith full, yet upon that condition, that they persevere in the faith of Christ to their lives end. For this partaking of Christ or Christian happinesse, as it referres to this life, consisteth in a full right or title to happinesse: but [Page 56]this right or title is presently lost, when we recede or depart from the faith of Christ. If we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.] These words are correspondent and respective to the sixth verse of this chapter. For to be the houses of God and Christ, what is it else, then to be partaker of Christ? This at least every man may easily perceive, that these two are so connexed, that they cannot be se­vered one from another. And in like manner, to hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end, is the same (if we respect the Au­thors minde) with, To hold fast the confidence and the rejoycing of the hope firme unto the end. The originall for confidence, is [...], which properly signifies subsistence; and our spirituall sub­sistence stands in this, that we beleeve in Christ and obey his precepts. For as long as wee continue in the state of faith and obedience unto Christ; so long we have our spirituall subsistence. Yet it is well transla­ted confidence, figuratively from the effect of it; because confidence is a subsistence of things not subsisting: for it doth as it were represent unto our view, or set before our eyes, a thing not yet seen, or not yet ex­isting, by making us as certaine of it, as if we saw it before our eyes, or did already really enjoy it. Hence afterward the Author notifies con­fidence or faith to be the substance or subsistence of things hoped for. Heb. 11.1.

15. While it is sayd to day,] By these words cited out of the Psalm, hee would shew, that the matter is so, as he said in the former verses; namely, that they who persist in the faith to the end, they only are par­takers of Christ and his happinesse: but they who depart from the faith, shall undoubtedly perish, what ever were their happinesse and condition heretofore: Harden not your hearts,] against the voice of God, who now speaks to us by Christ. As in the provocation.] Hence it plainly appeares to every man, who they are that hearing the voyce of God, harden their hearts against it, and provoke; namely they that unbeleeve the Gospel, and depart from the Covenant of it. For as the Author addeth in the next verse.

16. For some when they had heard did provoke.] Let us now see who hearing the voyce of God, did provoke him, and who did not; and let us compare them one with another: For then wee shall easily discover, That they hardned their hearts against the voice of God, and provoked him, who would not finally beleeve him to the end: and that they did not provoke him, who were constant in their faith, as were Caleb and Joshua. Who came out of Egypt by Moses] Hee shewes that both these kinds who provoked, and who provoked not, came out of Egypt by Moses. i. Who followd Moses, and by his leading forsooke Egypt, and for some time adhered to him: Wherby it appeares, that they who have followed Christ their captaine, and for some time have adhered to him, doe harden their hearts against the voyce of God and provoke [Page 57]him if they forsake Christ their Captaine, and will returne back to the spirituall Egypt of the world. But contrarily, they who having fol­lowed him, doe adhere to him unto the end, as Joshua and Caleb did, who never forsooke Moses, they shall enjoy that happinesse and eter­nall rest.

17. But with whom was he grieved fourty yeeres.] Now the Authour from the remaining words of the Psalme doth prove the very same thing; namely, That they who have followed Christ their Captaine, must take heed of offending and sinning against God; or as he delive­red it before, of being hardened through the deceitfulnesse of sin, for thereby God will be so grieved and provoked against them, that there­upon they must needs perish. Was it not with them that had sinned,] i. God was grieved and provoked onely with them that unbeleeved, pro­voked and tempted him. Whose carcasses fell in the wildernesse] All that came out of Egypt, excepting onely Joshua and Caleb, died in the wildernesse, and heir carcasses were not carried into the land of Canaan. From which words of the Psalme he in like manner con­cludes, that God will be grieved and provoked with Christians, sin­ning against him and transgressing his precepts. For, that he was of­fended with those offendors for the space of forty yeares, it hence ap­peares, in that their carcasses fell in the Desert, i. every one of them to a man from twenty yeares old and upward perished in the Desert, and entred not into the promised land. For this wrath of God continued upon them forty yeares, till they were all consumed either by naturall death, or by divers plagues. See Numb. 14.29,33,34.

18. And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that beleeved not.] As the former words shew, that those Christians shall perish, who are indulgent to sinne, and will not obey Gods precepts: So these in like manner make it evident, that they also shall perish, and never enjoy that heavenly and eternall rest, who in­cline to diffidence, and will not beleeve Gods promises, or after they have beleeved, recede from their faith. For what induced God to bind himselfe with an oath, that the Israelites should not enter into his rest, but their unbeliefe, in despairing they should never attaine the Land that had beene promised them? See Numb. 14. from the be­ginning of it.

19. So we see, that they could not enter in, because of unbeliefe.] From the former passages he inferres this conclusion, That the Israelites though they came forth out of Egypt, yet they could not enter into the promised Land, by reason of their unbeliefe. From whence in like manner we must conclude, That Christians also having followed Christ their Captaine, shall not enter that heavenly rest, unlesse by the example of Joshua and Caleb, they finally remaine faithfull to their Captaine, and fall not into unbeliefe. From hence it appeares, [Page 58]that the Author would in a manner say, what just cause he had to ad­monish them, that they should take diligent heed, lest in any of them, though now they did beleeve, or seemed to themselves to beleeve, there should be found an evill and unbeleeving heart, that was thinking to depart from the living God. Which exhortation of his, thus drawne and demonstrated from the former passages, he more fully repeats and presseth in the entrance to the next Chapter.

The Contents of this third Chapter are three.

  • 1. A Doctrine. Christ is no way inferiour, but much superiour to Moses.
    • Reason 1. Because Moses was onely a Prophet, and not a high Priest, but Christ was both, ver. 1.
    • 2. Moses was in Gods house but as a servant, but Christ as a Son and heire, ver. 5, 6.
  • 2. An Exhortation. We must not harden our hearts against the voice of God in the Gospel.
    • Reason 1. Because thereby we provoke and tempt God, as the Israelites did in the wildernesse.
    • 2. Because thereby wee shall never enter into eternall rest, ver. 11.
  • 3. An Exhortation. Wee must not apostate and depart from the faith of the Gospel.
    • Reason 1. Because we are no longer partakers of Christ and his happinesse, then we persevere in the faith.
    • 2. Because thereby we provoke and grieve God.
    • 3. Because thereby we are barred from entring into eternall rest, v. 19

CHAPTER IV.

1. LEt us therefore feare] Because we have already seene, that our Ancestors by reason of their un­beliefe were not admitted into the rest of God; and that their example is proposed unto us, as a caution to make us the more wary; therefore let us feare, that we runne not upon the same rock. Lest a promise being left us] So our last Translation reads it; as if God had also left a promise unto us; hereto induced as it seemes, by the following words of the Author, where he inferres and concludes, That there remaineth a rest to the people of God, ver. 9. But we cannot approve of this [Page 59]reading, neither doth the Author use altogether the same word in both places; wherefore we conceive this the true reading, Lest the promise being relinquished] i. lest we neglect, relinquish, leave, or forsake the promise. For, a promise is then relinquished and left, when it is no longer credited and beleeved, as our forefathers did, whose example (as we have seene) was formerly proposed unto us. They for a time did embrace and accept of Gods promise, for upon that ground and hope they went out of Egypt, but afterward in the wildernesse they did relinquish and leave the promise, by their unbelieving it. Of en­tring into his rest] He expresseth the matter of the promise which we must not leave; God hath promised us an entrance into his eternall rest, we must not desert and leave it, by unbelieving it. Any of you should seeme to come short of it] This is the effect and fruit of our de­serting or leaving the promise, that thereby we shall come short of the rest promised. To come short, signifies either to remaine behinde, or to returne back; for in this latter sence, the word is used afterward, chap. 12.25. Both these sences have an elegant agreement with the point. For as the Israelites, after they no longer beleeved Gods pro­mise for the giving of them possession in the land of Canaan, would goe no further forward in following of Moses, but would rather chuse themselves new Captaines for their returne back into Egypt. So they who will no longer give faith to the promises of Christ, will follow his standerd no further, but endeavour a returne into the Egypt of the world, from whence by faith they had once departed. Yet he saith not simply, lest any of you come short, but lest any should seeme to come short; This latter of seeming is farre lesse then the other. For we must be so farre from this sinne of stopping or returning from the Gospel, that we must give no man any just occasion to thinke it of us. For such an opinion of another, carries somewhat of truth with it; and if a man do not yet plainly revolt, yet at least some inclination or like­lihoods of it, are wont to be in him. And this opinion a man may raise in others of himselfe, if by little and little he remit and abate of his practise and fervency in godlinesse, not serving Christ with such alacrity as is fit.

2. For unto us it was preached as well as to them] It was preached, i. the promise of entring into Gods rest, the message of which promise was sent unto us also. Herein the Author meets with an objection. For some man might say, The promise of entring into Gods rest, was it not made to our forefathers of old, and long since performed unto them, in giving them possession in the land of Canaan? What doth this promise pertaine to us? The Author answers; That this promise doth pertaine to us, and the joyfull message of entring into Gods rest, was no lesse sent to us, then of old to our forefathers. But what kinde of rest is promised to us, he expresseth afterward. But the word preached [Page 60]did not profit them.] In the originall, it is the word of hearing by an Hebraisme, for the word heard. And by the words is figuratively ment the promise of entring into Gods rest: for every promise of God is his word. Here he tacitly shews the cause, why he admonished them to believe the promise of God by Christ, because otherwise it would profit us no more, then anciently it did the Israelites, whom it so farre profited as to bring them out of Egypt; but it profited them not to bring them into Canaan, which was the land promised. Not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.] The reason why the hearing of the word of promise did not profit them, was because it was not mixed with faith in them; it was not throughly engrafted into their m [...]es, nor turned into a sap or blood to doe them good. For this worke is done by faith, by a firme assent yeelded to the word and promise of God, to assure the promise, that the thing promised might take effect.

3. For we which have believed doe enter interrest.] Hee addes a sub­reason of his former assertion. Because they only among us who be­lieve, enter into rest; and therefore they who beleeve not, do not enter into rest; neither can enter. For the particle only or some other such exclusive must be here understood; because faith is the condition of entring Gods rest, which restraines the entrance only to the faith­full. As he said, As I have sworne in my wrath, if they shall enter into my [...]est] By this oath of God, Psal. 95. ult. as we noted in the former Chapter, it plainly appeares, that they which beleeve not shall not en­ter into Gods rest; for want of saith is the cause, why men are strucken with the thunder of Gods wrath, and debarred from the promised en­trance into his rest. As the promise of entrance proceeds from Gods mercy, and is confirmed by his oath to the beleever: so on the contra­ry, the menance of non-entrance proceeds from Gods wrath, and is consi med by his oath to the unbeleever. Although the works were fi­nished from the foundation of the world.] Here the Author teacheth, what kinde of rest it is, that from those words of the Psalme must bee understood in a mysticall sence. And this hee doth therefore, that thereby wee may understand the truth of those things which he had asserted in the first and second verses of this Chapter, concer­ning a rest of God promised to us, and a passage thereto made open to us. Which the Hebrews could neither understand, nor would admit to be true, while their minds ran upon an earthly rest in Canaan, first promised and afterward performed to their forefathers; unlesse it bee explicated what the rest is that is promised to us, and so their mindes be drawne from an earthly to an heavenly rest. First, therefore the Author expresseth somewhat of that rest, and saith it is a Rest from workes; from workes that were finished, and finished long since, even from the foundation of the world. Which Rest is proper to God him­selfe, [Page 61]as it is intimated in the words of the Psalme, wherein God calls this rest, his rest. For the Rest proper to God himselfe, wherewith he himselfe rested, is by a far better title called the Rest of God, then that whereof God was only the donor, such as was the Rest of the Israe­lites in the land of Canaan. Not that this rest proper to God is nume­rically the very same, with that future rest which God hath promised us; but because generically it is a Rest of the same kinde. For as Gods Rest was a perpetuall Rest in resting from his workes for ever: so shall our Rest bee perpetuall in resting for ever from all our labours and troubles, wherein we shall have an eternall festivall.

4. For he spake in a certaine place of the seventh day.] Here hee shews the reason why he understands that rest of God, to be his Rest from his workes which hee had finished from the beginning of the world; namely because the Scripture or the Holy Ghost speaking in the Scripture, speaketh in that manner of the seventh day as Gen. 2 2. and Exod 20.11. And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.] In these words wee have shewed us the Rest of God, neither in the whole Scripture to which only we must look here, is mentioned or na­med any other rest of God, whereof the people should come to bee partakers.

5. And in this place againe, If they shall enter into my rest.] q d. Wherefore seeing here againe in these words of the Psalme, there is mention made of Gods rest, whereof Gods people shall partake, there­fore with good reason in a genuine and mysticall sense doe we under­stand it, of that only rest of God specified in the Scripture. But that this rest also belongs unto the people, the very festivall and rest of the Sabbath commanded to Gods people, is a clear argument, wherein there is not only a commemoration of Gods rest past; but also a Re­presentation of the Rest of Gods people to come. Whereof we shall speake further at the ninth verse following.

6. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein.] After he had shewed, that by the words of the Psalme in a mysticall sense, we must understand the proper rest of God, or that wherein God him­selfe rested; now he proceeds on, to shew that that rest of God menti­oned in the words of the Psalme, doth appertaine unto us, and that a passage therto is opened unto us. And first, he layes certain grounds for this doctrine, and then removes the obstacles that may seem against it. The first ground is, That some must enter into the rest. 2. That they to whom it was first proposed and promised, entered not into it. For from these two grounds it will follow, That some other after that time must enter it. But because it might be objected, That though those Israelites who came our of Egypt, entered not that rest, yet their children entred it by the conduct of Josuah their Captaine. And therefore it cannot bee concluded, that Christians are they that [Page 62]shall enter it. This Objection or rather Exception hee dissolves by shewing, that in those words of the Psalme whereof he yet treats, for some severall ages after the Israelites were possessed of the land of Ca­naan, there is another time appointed, wherein an entrance into Gods Rest was to be opened; whence it followes that by the conduct of Jo­shuah, Gods people have not yet attained the true rest. Whereupon the Author at length concludes, That as yet there remaines a Sabbatisme or rest for the people of God. This being done, he repeats the exhor­tation begun at the beginning of this Chapter, and so returnes to the point from whence he had digressed. This is the summe of all that is said unto the end of the 11 verse. Now let us consider the severall words in order. That some must enter therein.] Seeing it is the will and good pleasure of God that a passage should be open to that rest, and that some should enter into it; for this the Author supposeth as a thing well knowne and no way doubtfull. For that those first people that fell in the wildernesse were by their owne fault excluded from it, this nothing derogates from Gods promise, whereby he assured this rest by oath upon the posterity of Abraham, to be fulfilled in other persons better and more worthy then those first that failed of it. But under the cover of carnall promises and an earthly rest, there lay hidden spiri­tuall promises of an heavenly rest pertaining to the spirituall seed of Abraham. And the entrance of the Israelites into that earthly rest ob­tained by the conduct of Josuah, what is it else but a type and shadow of Christians future entrance into a heavenly rest by the conduct of Jesus Christ? And they to whom it was first preached entred not in be­cause of unbeliefe.] First preached in the originall; they that had the first good message for the entring of it. This is the other point that he confirmes, and by occasion whereof the Holy Ghost leaves us the following admonition, To day if ye will heare his voice, harden not your hearts. For because those first of our fathers to whom God had sent the message by Moses for the entring of that rest, deserved by their diffidence and disobedience to be excluded from it; therefore the Holy Ghost hath in these words appointed to their posterity another day or time wherein they may and must ente into Gods rest; and withall exhorts them to it, lest following the like disobedience to their forefathers, they incur a like issue of their impiety.

7. Againe he limiteth a certaine day,] This is very good cause, why another day should be limited for enterance into Gods rest, if some must enter it at all; and they who were first invited, entered it not. For if either none were to enter it, or some had already entered it, then there were no necessity why another day or time should be limited or appointed for entering it. But in these words of the Psalm, that the holy Ghost in a mysticall sence shewes, there is such a day limited, which pertains to the times of the Messias, these following arguments declare. [Page 63] 1. Because by these words the people are admonished, to shunne the ex­ample of their forefathers, that came out of Egypt, that they may not be like them in their sin. But their forefathers sin was chiefly this, that they would not rest in Gods promises for their enterance into his rest. Therefore if wee must truly be either like or unlike to them, wee also must have Gods promise for our entrance into Gods rest, and therefore this day here is limited unto us for our entrance into it. 2. Because in this Psalme is proposed to the people, the judgement or punishment of God whereinto their fathers fell, that they being terrified thereby, and fearing the like, would not imitake their fathers: But that punish­ment was a rejection from entrance into Gods rest; which penaltie no man can incurre but he, that hath had first a power to enter it, and was thereto invited. Seeing therefore that in these words of the holy Ghost, the people are admonished to avoid that punishment, it is conso­nant to reason, that a day or time of entrance should be limited to them, that we at this day might do what anciently our fathers would not. But that this Psalme pertaineth also to the times of the Messias, this is an ar­gument, That it clearly appears, there is a respect therein to some so­lemn and seltivall time, wherein the people were accustomed to assem­ble in the temple of God, and employ themselves about his worship; for this is plaine from the words of the people cohorting one another to praise God, and from the word to day, which the holy Ghost useth. All which seeme not to note out some common day, but some notable day, deputed for the worship and service of God, especially for the hearing of his word or voice, such as were the festivall and solemne dayes. But what day is more solemne, what time more festivall, what greater celebrity and concourse of people, then that which in the times of the Messias was to be, and was of all expected? From these consi­derations therefore it may well be collected, That by those words of the holy Ghost, in a mysticall sence, the people are warned to open a ready eare to the voyce of God, who in his due time will call and in­vite them to his true and heavenly rest by the Messias; which their forefathers would not doe, when they heard Gods voyce promising them the earthly rest by Moses. In the literall sence, this Psalme per­tained to the Israelites, who lived before the times of Christ, wherein they were admonished, that upon the day when they were to heare the Law of God, they should be obedient unto him, lest following the disobedience of their forefathers, they should be debarred from Gods rest, or otherwise punished and plagued of God. But who sees not, that this sence, wherein the sinne and punishment are made of one kinde? doth better square with it, then that wherein both of them are made of a diverse kinde? Aster the Author had shewed, that God had limited another day for entrance into his rest, lest any man should take this day, to be that day wherein God granted the children of those [Page 64]fathers a power to enter into the land of Canaan by the conduct of Jo­shua, therefore the Author inserts these words, Saying in David, To day after so long a time. He saith the holy Ghost limiteth this day in David. i. speaking it by David; After so long a time, namely, wherein God had debarred those fathers from enterance, by reason of their unbelief, and admitted their children to it. To day if ye will heare his voice, har­den not your hearts,] Whence it appeares, that here is not appointed a day for enterance into the land of Canaan, neither is thae enterance here aymed at. For David lived many ages after the enterance of the Israelites into the land of Canaan; yea, in the time of his reigne the Is­raelites did most entirely possesse it, and flourish in it. Seeing therefore the day of entering into Gods rest, cannot be understood of the earth­ly rest, which the people obtained by Joshua; therefore there must needs be another rest besides that earthly rest; which yet remaines to the people of God, and a rest of far greater perfection.

8. For if Iesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.] Joshua is called Jesus by the 70. Interpreters, and by other Greeke writers; for both those names signifie the same thing, namely, Saviour, and they differ onely in dialect. Had given them rest] Joshua did give them possession in the land of Cannan, and thereby rest; yet not that perfect rest, that was yet remaining for Gods people. He would not afterward have spoken of another day.] If Jo­shua had given them a perfect rest, beyond which there was none fur­ther to be expected; then certainly the holy Ghost, after the people once entered and seated there, would not have spoken of another day, wherein the people must enter into his rest.

9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.] From the former passages he concludes, that there remaines for the people of God another rest, after the rest obtained in Canaan: for the happy state of Gods people doth not stay at that earthly rest. This rest hee calls not [...] as by the word he used hitherto: but hee calls it a Sabbatisme; thereby to make us understand, that he had respect to the seventh dayes rest, wherein God himself rested, and commanded the Israelites to rest in memory of it, and was therefore distinguished by the name of Sabbath, which signifies rest also; and also further to the teach us, what kinde of rest remaineth to the people of God, namely, a Sabbaticall rest. i. a rest like to that wherewith God himselfe rested, whereof the festivall Sabbath of the seventh day is a most slender sha­dow: for therein the Israelites rested from their cares and labours, af­ter and during their earthly rest given them by Joshua.

10. For he that is entered into his rest] By these words hee proves, that there remaines to us a Sabbatisme. i. such a rest as is denomina­ted from the seventh dayes rest, in Commemoration and Representa­tion whereof, the perpetuall observation of the weekly rest was com­manded: [Page 65]But this rest consisteth in a cessation from all works, as God also ceased from his workes. This he proves from this reason, because we must enter into Gods rest, as appeares by the words of the Psalme. But to enter into Gods rest, what is it else, but to rest after the same manner that God rested, and kept the Sabbath? He also hath rested from his own works, as God did from his.] Hath rested is an Hebraisme, for doth rest; for the Hebrews many times put the tense praeter for the future. When Joshua had given the Israelites an earthly rest in the land of Canaan, they thereby had quiet possession and rested from their enemies; and they had a Sabbath also to rest from their labours: but their Sabbath was not continuall and daily, but weekly onely upon the seventh day of it; for the first six dayes of the week they rested not, but followed their labours: so their Sabbatisme was not a totall and finall rest from labours, but their labours were to returne upon them after one dayes rest in a weeke. But the Sabbatisme that is after the image of Gods rest, is a totall and finall rest from all la­bours, never to be wearied with labour or work any more, but is an eternall festivall that shall never expire. For these words may be con­strued with the word remaineth in the former verse, thus. Therefore I affirm, that there yet remaineth a rest to the people of God: because the Israelites did not so rest from their workes, as never to be exerci­sed with more labours afterward. But he that hath entered into Gods rest, whereinto (as we have already seen) the people of God must en­ter, he hath so rested from workes as God rested from his. For as God in making the world, dispatched all his works in the space of six dayes, never to make any more workes, so hee that hath entered into Gods rest, or the like rest with God, he also hath dispatched and finished all his workes, his labours, paines, cares, and troubles, and whatsoever is wearisome to man in this life, and he enjoyes an eternal rest and quiet, joyned with eternall happinesse.

11. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,] Having shewed that there remaines a rest for the people of God, and that in the best and highest degree; he now repeates his admonition at the begin­ning of the chapter, exhorting them to strive with all labour, that they may enter that rest. The originall word for labour signifies also haste, to worke with haste and dispatch. For we must make haste in this our spirituall journey which leads and determines in an eternall rest; that is, we must be diligent and quick in tracing the path of faith [...]nd ho­linesse, not lazy and slow. Because wee must alwaies have an ardent and earnest affection after so great a blessing, and therefore must use all diligence to hasten our selves onward and toward it, as they do that are in a journey toward their own countrey, or toward a place most de­sirable and acceptable to them. Into that rest] Not into any earthly rest, but into that heavenly rest proper to God himselfe, and by his in­finite [Page 66]grace communicable to his people, and is yet remaining to them. Lest any man fall] We must therefore diligently labour after that rest, lest we fall into the like destruction with those fathers, who perished and were destroyed in the wildernesse; for fall here is put for perish, lest any perish as they did. After the same example of unbeliefe] If we fall after their example into the same sin, we shall also fall after their example into the same judgement, and perish as they did. We have seene their unbeliefe, and we know what a world of miseries it brought upon them: Let both these be examples unto us, and let us therefore endeavour to shunne the rock that is shewed us. The Originall word [...] signifies both unbeliefe and disobedience, and this latter more usually; for those two sins are so neere allyed in nature, that one word will serve to signifie them both: for unbeliefe and disobedience are either wholly the same, or mutually consequent one to another.

12. For the word of God is quick] By this word of God here, many think Christ is meant; but that cannot be. 1. Because Christ is called the Word of God onely by John, as is observed by diverse. 2. Be­cause this word here is said to be powerfull, and sharper then any two edged sword; both which qualities agree rather to things then to per­sons. Others by the word of God here, understand the Scripture; which cannot be neither, because then there could be no genuine con­nexion, nor congruity of reasoning in these words from the former; For how should this be coherent? Let us labour to enter into that rest, lest following the example of our fathers unbeliefe, we should follow them also in their destruction; because the Scripture is quick and powerfull. By the word of God therefore is meant the Decree of his Judgement, or the Menace of God, whereby he threatens and ordaines unbeleeving and disobedient persons to destruction and punishment; Of which kinde is that very Oath of God, whereby he sware to exclude those fathers, and all such like as they from entring into his rest. For by this sence, there is an elegant coherence betweene this verse and the former. Therefore let us labour to enter into Gods rest, and let us take heed of falling into the disobedience of those fathers; be­cause the word of God, and his oath whereby he debarres disobedient men from his rest, and devotes them to destruction, is quick and powerfull. This exposition is easily confirmed, from diverse other passages of Scripture, wherein the Decrees of God, whereby he wils and commands something to be done, are called by like termes of his word, and have the like attribute of being lively or quick, and the like resemblance to a sharpe and two edged sword, and diverse the like effects. See Psal. 105.18,19. and Psal. 107.20. and Psal. 147.15. and Isaiah 40.8. and Isaiah 55.11. which last place Peter applyes to the word of the Gospel, because therein also is contained the decree of God for the saving and condemning of men, 1 Pet. 1.23,25. See also [Page 67]Isaiah 66.2,5. and Jerem. 23.29. and Joel 2.11. Now this word or Decree of God is called quick or lively, because it dies not, neither is exolete or frustrated with any tract of time or age. And it is called ef­fectuall or powerfull, because it is not onely firme and stable, in regard God never revokes it, or willingly changeth it, or suffers it to fall, as Princes often suffer their words or decrees to fall, either by oblivion, negligence, or inconstancy: but also, because it is of full power and force to execute and effect all the will of God therein contained. Hence it is compared to raine and snow. For as the raine commeth downe and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, it shall not returne unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where­to I sent it, Isaiah 55.10,11. And sharper then any two edged sword] It strikes and wounds more fearefully and deadly then any sword how sharpe soever. And in other places of Scripture, the Decree of Christ against ungodly and disobedient persons is compared to a two edged sword going out of his mouth, or at least is signified by such a sword. For God and Christ doe destroy all their enemies by their word go­ing out of their mouth, i. by their powerfull and effectuall command. Piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soule and spirit, and of the joynts and marrow] The sharpenesse of this sword hath first this effect, that it pierceth deeply, and the effect of that piercing is to divide and cut asunder soule and spirit, joynts and marrow. By which words it appeares, that Gods Decree and command is farre more sharpe and piercing then any sword; because it doth not onely pierce and cut the body of man, but also his soule and spirit; yea, it pierceth the body in such manner, that it cuts not onely the skin and flesh, but also all the joynts and bands of the member, yea the very bones themselves, and consequently the marrow contained in the bones. So that this sword pierceth into the most secret and inmost parts of man, even the soule, spirit, and marrow. In this sence is signified, that this sword doth not onely cut the outward parts that lye open to the eye, but also the in­ward parts that are hidden from it, i. The force of Gods decree and sentence reacheth not onely to those crimes which are notorious and publique, as the decrees and Judgements of Magistrates do, who there­fore have the power of the sword, and therewith do execution upon malefactors: but his decree also takes vengeence on those sins, which are most secret and hidden, bordering as it were upon the confines of the soule and spirit, and lye closed up as it were betweene the joynts or within the marrow, then which places nothing can be devised more secret. Now the soule is the inferiour faculty in us, containing the af­fections or passions, as lust, and wrath, respecting onely those things [Page 68]which please and content the body. Hence they which follow this fa­culty and suffer themselves to be governed by it, are called in Scripture animall men. But the spirit is the superiour faculty, which discerns be­tween things lawfull and unlawfull; drawing us to things lawfull and honest, and driving us from the contrary, whereby we understand, know God, and his will and our finall happinesse. Although the spirit may also be taken for that part of us, which doth first vivifie the body and remaines after death. And the soule may be taken for life it selfe, or for that faculty which flowes from the spirit over the whole body. And is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.] This hee addeth, that what hee said concerning the word of God, might bee further pressed and the better understood. God doth both take know­ledge of the thoughts and intents of mens hearts, and also decrees them to be punished if they deserve it. This hee therefore saith, lest any man should thinke, that he may lye hid from Gods decree and escape the force and sharpnesse of his sentence; if he only nourish his unbelief in his heart, and reserve it in his secret thoughts. So that no thought of ours though never so secret, no wavering in our faith can be concealed from God.

13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight.] Now he speaks that more generally, whereof before he spake but in particular. God doth not only discerne and know the thoughts of our hearts; but there is nothing at all in the world that can escape the sight of his eye; for by creatures he understands all things in generall. But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes.] He illustrates what he said before by the contrary to it. There is nothing so covered or hidden but the sight of his eyes can discover it. And eyes are attributed to him, because he clearly seeth all things be they never so remote, and so leaveth nothing unpunished. Opened [...]. This word is di­versly expounded; some thus; the whole face from head to shoulders is discovered and exposed to the eyes of all. Others thus; The skinne is drawne over the shoulders from head to taile. Others; the creature is flayed and hanged up by the heeles, having the belly and bowells opened to the chine of the backe, that all lyes open both without and within. But all these come to one sense; namely that there is nothing so covered and hidden, which lyes not open to Gods word or decree; for the sight of his eyes doth not only fall upon the outward covering of things, but pierceth inwardly all over their substance. Of him with whom we have to do.] In the originall of that whereof we speake, i. of that word whereof we speake. Hereby he shewes, that he understands not any word of God in generall, but some certaine word; namely that quicke and powerfull word, whereof we have hitherto spoken; and which is to be understood in all this matter of piercing, dividing and discovering.

[Page 69]14. Seeing then that we have a great high Priest.] This is the second part of this Chapter, wherein he returnes to treat of the dignity of Christs Priesthood, from whence he had digressed to fall upon the ex­hortation hitherto explicated. Now therefore hee resumes his former argument, and from thence drawes another admonition for constancie in the Christian Religion. The Priestly office of Christ, that here we may speake of it a little more fully, consisteth in this, That Christ ex­piateth all our sinnes before God, and administreth all matters con­cerning Religion, as the chiefe President over holy things. Therefore we say, Christ hath expiated all our sinnes, because it was the office of the high Priest to expiate the sinnes, not of one single person only, but of the whole people. But for the manner, how Christ expiates our sinnes, there is a great difference betweene him and the legall high Priest; so that in this respect Christ is like God, yea in a manner sup­plyes the part of God, and not of the Priest: For Christ remaining in heaven, doth so expiate our sinnes, that by power granted him, hee removes all punishment from us, and abolishes all things that may involve us in any punishment. Whence it appeares that Priestly office differs not really from his regall office, but rationally only. For Christ doth not now really execute any thing about God, or performe any condition, upon the deed whereof there followes by the decree of God a purgation of our sinnes; as anciently the legall Priest was wont to doe: For he entered into the tabernacle of God with bloud, and there appearing before God, did sprinkle the bloud after a forme pre­scribed him, and offered it unto God; which being done, there follow­ed the expiation of sinne upon it. For although Christ shed his bloud upon earth, and by afflictions prepared himselfe for the execution of his office, to the end, that by a sense of our infirmities, hee might bee the more readily affected toward us; all which conditions, were pre­required of God and were first to be performed by Christ: yet being now in heaven, and fullier administring his Priestly office, in procuring the expiation of our sinnes, he really performes no further conditions. For in that, after his bloudshed upon the crosse, he entred into the hea­venly tabernacle, and by this means offered himselfe to God; this was not any true condition upon which God decreed the remission of our sinnes; seeing that entrance and oblation of himselfe was a great bene­fit of God bestowed upon him: but it was only a meanes whereby Christ obtained supreme power both in heaven and earth, from whence followed the expiation of our sinnes, and which being granted unto Christ, God did openly testifie, that he would not punish any of their sinnes who did belong to Christ. This indeed is true, that this entrance of Christ into heaven and his appearance before God, have a resemblance or likenesse with the entrance of the legall Priest into the Sanctuary, and his appearance before God, as God anciently required [Page 70]it. Which resemblance or liknesse is the cause, why Christ is com­pared with the legall Priest, and carrieth his name, as we shall declare a little afterward. Neither must we thinke, that Christ now inhabi­ting heaven, doth (to speake properly) intercede or pray for us; for that were repugnant to his supreme dominion and power over all things. Wherefore his Priestly office lyes in this, that having power given him of God, he takes away the punishment of our sinnes, and by all means procures our salvation. And therefore this Priestly office of Christ is really the same with his regall office, as we said before. Hence Christ as a Priest is said to save us perfectly, or rather for ever, cap. 7.25. he is also said as a Priest to succour us being tempted, cap. 2. ult. and in this chapter, v. 16. Both which actions are regall. Hence it is that other holy Writers make no expresse mention of Christs Priest-hood: but this Author, chap. 3. v. 1. included the regall office of Christ in his Priestly; and chap. 5. v. 5. he interprets that testimony of Scripture to be meant of his Priestly office, which treats of his regall. Christ therefore is called a high Priest, not that this office is really diverse from his regall, but because of diverse resemblances which Christ hath with the legall high Priest, and of diverse properties and circum­stances in his regall office; upon which that resemblance is grounded, and which that Metaphoricall appellation of high Priest doth bet­ter insinuate into our mindes, then the proper appellation. The resemblance lies chiefly in this, That Christ having first shed his blood, entered into heaven to expiate our sins, or to take away the pu­nishments which by our sinnes we had deserved, and appeared before God: as the legall high Priest, having shed the blood of the sacrifice, was wont to enter the Tabernacle, and there appeare before God, to expiate sinnes, by taking away the guilt and penalty of them. But be­cause the high Priest performed this by bringing the blood of the slain sacrifice into the sight of God, and offering it unto him with certaine rites, and so interceding for finners with God, from whom the forgive­nesse of sinnes proceeded. Therefore also it is said of Christ, who was himselfe slaine like a sacrifice, and had shed his owne blood, that en­tring into the heavenly Tabernacle, he offered himselfe to God, and appearing in his sight intercedeth for us. Not that hee doth properly intercede, but that as wee said he is like to the high Priest offering and interceding; especially because he forgives sinnes, not of his own autho­rity, but by power received from God; whereby he is not unfitly com­pared with him who obtained forgivenesse of sinnes from God by his intercession. From hence in some measure may be gathered those properties and circumstances of Christs regall office, which his appel­lation of high Priest doth better represent unto our mindes, then his name of King, though this name bee proper to him, and the other Metaphoricall. His Kingly name shewes not that he saves sinners; but [Page 71]his Priestly doth. That shewes not that he is a man (for God both is, and is called our King) but this doth; for in the beginning of the fifth Chapter, the Author shewes, That every high Priest is taken from among men, and is ordained for men. That shewes not that he recei­ved his authority and power from another; but this doth, chap. 5. 4. That shewes not that he is touched with a sense of our miseries; this doth. That shewes not that he shed his bloud to expiate our sinnes, but this doth; for a Priest must offer sacrifices for sinnes, which can­not be offered without shedding of bloud: but Christ shed no bloud besides his owne. That shewes not, that he shall come forth from heaven; but this doth. Hence therefore it is that the Holy Ghost gives Christ the name of High Priest. A great high Priest.] Christ is cal­led a great high Priest, not only to distinguish him from the ordinary and inferiour Priests, but also from the chiefe high Priest under the Law, who compared to Christ is very little; yea but a small and slen­der shadow of Christ. For he must needs bee a great high Priest in­deed, who is immortall; who expiates all sinnes even the most hey­nous: who hath power in himselfe, to take away all punishments of sinne, among which eternall death is one; who hath right and power to give eternall life, to succour men in all their afflictions, and to com­prise all with the Author in a few words, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, chap. 8. 1. which thing hee intimates also here when he addes in the first place; That is passed into the heavens.] Therefore among other respects, he is great, because he hath passed through all the heavens. By heavens are understood all those regions of heaven, which are interposed between God and us; namely: 1. The whole region of the aire, which in the Scripture is called the heaven. 2. The heavens wherein are the Sunne, the Moon, and the rest of the Startes or lights of heaven; above all which Christ is now exalted, Eph. 3.10. and Heb. 7.26. 3. After all these, is that heaven which is the habitacle of immortality, wherein God re­sides, and whereinto Christ our high Priest hath entered. Iesus.] Here he names this great high Priest, and shewes who he is; although in this be tacitly contained, that which afterward he utters expresly, namely, that he is touched with a feeling of our infirmities. For when he called him Jesus, he called him also that man, whose sufferings and death were evident. But because he intended to set first clearly before our eyes his transcendent excellency; therefore that it might better ap­pear how great an high Priest he is, he adds in the second place; The Son of God.] He calls him not a Son of God, but prefixeth the specifique article, calling him the Sonne, to shew that he is no ordinary Sonne of God in a vulgar sense, but that singular and eminent Sonne of God, e­ven he of whom he spake in the first chap. whom God appointed heire of all things, who is become far more excellent then the Angels. For [Page 72]so it ought to be, that the singular and only Sonne of God, should ob­taine Gods greatest love, should be in highest dignity, and have right and dominion over all his fathers goods. Even him we have for our high Priest. Whence it appears, that Christ can effect all things with his Father, by reason of the great love and authority which he possesseth. Wherefore as the Author addeth; Let us hold fast our confession.] Here he infers his admonition; that seeing we have so great an high Priest of our Confession; therefore let us hold our confession fast: i. let us not only imbrace the Christian Religion in our hearts but constantly pro­fesse it with our mouths.

15. For we have not an high Priest,] He clears an objection. Some man will say, What can this great high Priest helpe me when I suffer misery for the confession of my faith, who the greater he is, and the more remote from me, the lesse is he touched with any care of us? To this he answers by saying, that he is not such a high Priest, Which can­not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities,] Our infirmities here signifie our sufferings and troubles both of minde and body, where­with we are afflicted for the profession of our Religion. These are called our infirmities, because our naturall infirmity gives way unto them; or else from the effect, because they make both our minde and body infirm. For our minde doth languish with griefe as with a disease. And the Author useth this word the rather, because the legall high Priest was to have a feeling of the infirmities of Gods people; although those infirmities were humane lapses & errors. Now to have a feeling of our infirmities is to be touched with an affection and sense of them. i. with mercy which is a sense of another mans misery. That cannot be touched, doth not simply here signifie the faculty of compassion; for any Angell may have the faculty of compassion: but to have both the power and readinesse and will to compassionate, as wee explicated the same word, chap. 2. at the last verse. And it is as much as if hee had said, we have not an hard hearted high Priest, who is not easily moved with the evills and troubles of another; as commonly such are who themselves never had experience of evills and troubles. But was in all things tempted like as we are.] Hee illustrates what kinde of high Priest we have by the contrary, or rather by the cause of a contrary ef­fect. Because he was tempted in all things, therefore he can and will be moved with all our infirmities. By temptations are many times sig­nified afflictions; because a man is tempted by afflictions; for they make a triall of the strength and patience that is in him. See Jam. 1.2,3. In all points. He was afflicted with all kindes of evils; for hee had the triall of calumnies, reproaches and bonds, of divers anguishes in soule, and tortures of the body; yea of a fearfull and shamefull death. Like as we are. There is no difference between his sufferings and ours; for both are all alike, as he said before that he must be made like his brethren in [Page 73]all things. Yet without sinne.] Christ was altogether innocent, and no way deserved the evills hee suffered. This he said, partly to answer their calumny, who gave it out, that he deserved the punishment of the crosse; partly to admonish other Christians, to follow innocence, and to take heed they suffered not as malefactors; but rather strive to bee like Christ, who suffered for no fault of his owne, neither should they refuse to undergoe divers calamities for the name of Christ, though they be innocent; nor make it a marvell, if such measure fall upon them that happened unto Christ their Lord and leader; and should thinke that Christ will much the sooner succour them, when they fall into persecutions, torments and death innocently; for the more inno­cence they bring with them to their sufferings, the more ready he is to helpe them. It is a vulgar error, to thinke, that in this place, Christ is said to be like us simply in all things sinne onely excepted. For nei­ther the words of the Author, nor the truth of the thing will beare this sense. For Christ was much unlike to all us in many other points besides sinne, as in divine power and wisdome, and the admi­rable manner of his birth. For because we should not thinke, that hee speaks here, of likenesse in nature only, therefore sinne is mentioned, which can no way be referred to nature.

16. Let us therefore come boldly,] From the saying before he infers another exhortation, which notwithstanding is subservient to that hee made at the 14. verse, and is to second it. Seeing wee enjoy such a high Priest, that hath himselfe had triall of all sorts of evill, let us im­plore his helpe boldly. In the originall it is [...], with bold­nesse, or rather with free liberty of speech, for here he treats of praying, and it signifies not only a confident hope of the minde to obtaine our desires; but an audacity or undauntednes flowing from an inward confi­dence, whereby we are imboldned to have our accesse to his throne, to speake and pray unto him. For a liberty of speech then appeares in us, when neither the authority, majesty, or severity of another, nor the feare of offence can deter us from speaking; which doth excellently suit with this place. For seeing there is a great Majesty of that throne, where we must become supplicants; it might easily fall out, that a man being afraid thereof, and also conscious of his owne unworthinesse, might not dare to approach that throne, and supplicate to him that sits upon it. Wherefore the Author endeavours to encourage our mindes and raise us to a freedome of speech, when he shews us, that with so great a Majesty there is joyned clemencie, favour, and mercy, toward distressed Christians. Vnto the throne of grace.] He names not him to whose throne we must come, or that sits upon the throne; but because he commands us to come to this throne, therefore in that we have such a high Priest who can have a feeling of our infirmities, and thereupon is ready to pity and helpe us; and we must come for this end that wee [Page 74]may finde mercy and help; from all these it appeares, that it is the throne of our high Priest, as it is said, Psal. 45.6. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. But he names a throne, that he may represent un­to us, his exceeding great Majesty and power; that our freedome of speech there should not lessen our reverence, and that wee should fully conceive him, not onely mercifull to be willing to help us, but also powerfull to be able. And againe, lest the high throne and Majesty of Christ should appale our mindes, he calls it the throne of grace] that we may conceive, though our high Priest, sit in a throne, vested with great Majesty, yet he is full of love and mercy towards us. That so the throne and Majesty of Christ might raise in our mindes due reverence, and his grace and favour towards us, might cherish our confidence and freedome of speech to him. They who say, This is the throne of God himself, oppose not us, seeing Christ sits in the throne of God; unlesse happily they say it therefore, that they may exclude Christ from this throne, against so many cleare testimonies of Scripture; and the force of this passage also, thereby to wrest from us this argument for the invo­cation of Christ. This we easily grant, that here we may understand God, no lesse then Christ; and it is very likely that this Author did ra­ther call it the throne of grace in generall, then either of God or Christ in particular, that hee might leave us an equall right and liberty to ap­proch either to God in the Name of our high Priest, or immediatly to our high Priest himself. For whether wee goe to God in the name of Christ, or to Christ himselfe, we shall either way finde the Throne of grace: That we may obtain mercy and find grace] The finall cause of our approach to this throne, is here exprest to be two-fold; whereof one is a meane to the other, the former to the latter; The former is to obtain mercy and finde grace; the other is, opportune help in time of need. To obtaine mercy is nothing else, then to get that another have com­passion on thee; which is easily got from a mercifull person, such as this our high Priest. To finde grace, is to be gracious with another, and to be favoured with a peculiar affection of love. In this sence, the Angell tells Mary, that she had found grace with God, Luke 1.30. And it is an easie matter to finde grace and favour with him, who is most graci­ous and favourable. To help in time of need.] In the originall it is, for opportune help. The last finall cause of our approaching this Throne, and finding grace there, is for opportune help; That Christ may help us in our conflicts of godlinesse and patience, that we sink not under our temptations and afflictions; especially, that at our last gaspe, he may receive our spirits into his hands, preserve them for us, and restore them at his comming; whereof see the following chapter, v. 7.

The Contents of this fourth Chapter are,

  • 1. An Exhortation. Let us not forsake Gods promise of entering into his rest.
    • Reason 1. Because this promise is made to us as well as to the Israelites.
    • 2. Because, they who doe beleeve, have already a right to enter.
  • 2. Doctrine. Gods Rest is his Cessation from workes after the Creation.
    • Reason. 1. Because Gods rest hath reference to the seventh day, wherein God rested from his workes; as Scripture testifieth.
    • 2. Because God sware the Israelites should not enter into his rest; which could not be the rest in Canaan.
  • 3. Doctrine. There yet remaines a Sabbatisme, or Rest from labours for the people of God.
    • Reason. 1. Because some must enter his rest; and they did not, to whom it was first promised.
    • 2. Because God limits another day of enterance, a long time after the former, saying in David, To day if ye will heare his voice.
    • 3. Because Joshua gave not the true heavenly rest, which is Gods rest; and therefore that still remaines to be given.
  • 4. Exhortation. We must labour to enter Gods rest, verse 11.
    • Reason. 1. Because if wee take example of their unbeliefe in the wildernesse, we shall be made examples of their destruction.
    • 2. Because Gods penall Decree, is very active and powerfull to take heavy vengeance upon unbeleevers, verse 12.
    • 3. Because Christ our high Priest, is passed into that heavenly rest before us, v. 14.
    • 4. Because we have free accesse by prayer to his Throne, which is a Throne of Grace and Mercy to help us thither. vers. ult.

CHAPTER V.

1. FOr every high Priest is taken from among men,] Here he expresseth some generall requisites of a high Priest, which afterward hee applyes to Christ in a reverse order. The first requisite of a high Priest is this, that he is a Man singled out from among other men; and that, for this fol­lowing reason, because he is ordained for men. i. for the benefit and good of men. This first property of a high Priest, he toucheth only by the way, and by oc­casion of the following property; and withall seems to reflect upon some former passages wherein he had proved that Christ must be a man and not some angel. And therefore when afterward hee applies the following properties of a high Priest unto Christ, hee makes no mention of this, as having sufficiently discussed it already in the second [Page 76]chapter. Is ordained for men] The dignity and office of high Priest­hood is created and constituted for the commodity and benefit of men. In things pertaining to God] Divine and holy things pertaining to God, are the matter or object of his function or office; that he may procure and administer all things belonging to the worship of God, and to make him propitious to them that worship him. That he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins] These particularly are the things whereby God is worshipped and propitiated. Gifts are free-will offerings, such as the people were accustomed to offer of their owne accord; for the Law did not command the act of these offerings, but when they were freely offered, then the Law prescribed the matter and manner of their offering. Of this sort were those sacrifices which were called Peace-offerings, whereof wee may reade in the three first chapters of Leviti­cus. These were offered, either to procure the favour of God, and as it were to obliege him with a present, or to testifie their mindfull and thankfull hearts for some benefit received. Yet sometime the word Gifts are taken more largely for all sorts of sacrifices, and then it in­cludes the sin-offerings. For, Christ under the name of gifts, seemes to comprise all things that were laid upon the Altar, and offered unto God, Mat. 23.18. Sacrifices for sins, were living creatures, which by prescript of the Law were offered to God, to take away the guilt of sinne, whereof we may reade, Levit. 4. and elsewhere. The words [for sins] may be so taken, as to be construed onely with the sacrifices immediately fore-mentioned. Yet there is no incongruity, if we re­ferre them also to the remoter word of gifts] For although sins might be expiated, and their guilt taken away without such gifts; for other­wise they had not beene truly gifts, but debts: Yet there can be no­thing said to the contrary, but that besides the sacrifices ordained of God for the expiation of sins, there might be offered for sins also vo­luntary gifts and free-will offerings. For, hence we reade, that expia­tion of sinne was attributed to the Holocaust, which was reckoned among the peace offerings, Levit. 1.4. And hereto David had respect, when speaking of the expiation of his sin, he said he would have gi­ven Holocausts, or whole burnt offerings, if they had beene any thing availeable to expiates such sins, Psal. 51.16. This therefore is the chiefe property of a high Priest, to negotiate the cause of men with God, especially of such men as had sinned, and to provide that God might be propitiated and pacified, not left angry and offended. And this is the second property required in an high Priest.

2. Who can have compassion on the ignorant] This is the third re­quisite. A compassionate man, as some Interpreters note, is he that carrieth himselfe humanely, moderately and gently. Therefore he hath compassion on the ignorant, who beares himselfe gently towards them, not despising, nor disdaining them for their falls; but doth [Page 77]friendly and courteously raise them, not unmindfull of his owne frail­ty. The Ignorant are they who sin through ignorance; and ignorance as it is vulgarly distinguished, is either of the Law, or of the fact; and this latter is held to make the fact excusable, and not the former. But indeed there is also an ignorance of Law, that deserves some excuse; namely, when the number of Laws are become so great, that they can neither be comprehended in minde, nor retained in memory; and especially when the Laws are not grounded upon naturall honesty, or the dictates of right reason, but upon the sole will and pleasure of the Legifer. For, in such Laws the minde and memory doth easily faile, especially seeing all mens capacities are not equall. Now both these considerations tooke place in the Laws of Moses; for their number was so great, that it exceeded six hundred; and the ground of them such, that most of them depended not upon naturall honesty and right reason, but upon the sole will and positive pleasure of God. There­fore all sins committed through ignorance of Law, if any way they were excusable, were expiated under the Law by prescript of Law, and without doubt are here by the Author called Ignorances. And on them that are out of the way] On the Errant. The word Errant is either the same with the ignorant; or if it differ, the difference is this, that the ignorant are such as mistake in the Law; and the Errant such as mistake in the fact, or the circumstances of it; and the sin thence pro­ceeding is called an Errour. Or rather by Errour is noted not so much the errour of the minde, as the errour in the action. So that by errours are meant, not onely those trespasses that proceed from some errour of the minde; but also those which flow from humane frailty, though there precede no errour in the minde, and are committed in matters that in their owne nature are but of light importance. And there is no doubt, but the Author by these two words of Ignorances and Er­rours, would comprehend all lighter trespasses, not committed out of meere malice of minde, or (as the Scripture termes it) by a high hand; but were done either out of excusable ignorance, or of humane frailty in things of lesse moment; for which onely the benefit of expiation was granted under the Law. This affection and compassion toward them that sin of ignorance or frailty, (and not of malice and contempt) though it be no lesse in Christ our high Priest, then anciently it was in the Legall high Priest; yet in the reddition of this comparison where­in he speakes of Christ, this compassion is concluded to be in Christ; neither is the comparison brought for that purpose, but onely it is to shew the compassion and pitty that Christ beares toward the afflicted and distressed. And this appeares plainly from that which is here sub­joyned touching the efficient cause of this compassion; for it follow­eth, For that he himselfe is compassed with infirmity] He shews the cause and fountaine of this compassion, which in the Legall high [Page 78]Priest, was his infirmity in sin; but in Christ it was his infirmity in suf­ferings; i. the Legall high Priest was infirme, because himselfe also might fall through ignorances and errours: but Christ was infirme, be­cause he was subject to afflictions and trials no lesse then another man. That infirmity in the Legall high Priest bred in them compassion and gentlenesse towards the ignorant and errant; this in Christ our high Priest, bred in him a compassion toward the afflicted and distressed. Besides, the Legall high Priest was encompassed with infirmities al­wayes; but Christ onely for some time; and there was good cause for both. For the Legall high Priest, because he was yearely to re­new his offering for the sinnes of the people: but Christ, because by one oblation he expiated for ever all the sins of the faithfull, therefore he was compassed with infirmity but once onely, and that before his owne oblation. For that a man should be prone to pitty, he need not be perpetually in misery; for it is sufficient, that once he made triall of misery: but to the end he may help those that are in misery, and having delivered them from their misery, might actually make them happy for ever, it is necessary that he himselfe be pressed with no further mi­sery, but that he be blessed, to the end he may be able alwayes to help others. And this ability is not a simple faculty to help or have compassion, but a will and readinesse to doe it, as was before explicated, chap. 2. ver. 4.

3. And by reason hereof,] The fourth property of a high Priest is taken from his owne infirmity; for by reason thereof, he must offer no lesse for his owne sinnes, then for the sins of the people. By reason hereof, i. By reason of his infirmity; for the high Priest through his infirmity might fall into ignorances and errours; and therefore it is likely, yea almost necessary, that he did often fall into then. Hee ought as for the people, so also for himselfe to offer for sins.] His infirmi­ty in falling into sinnes of ignorance and errour, was a cause to make him offer for his owne sinnes, not onely at particular times, when he stood guilty in his conscience of some particular sin; but yearely also at the solemne time, though then his conscience were touched with no particular sin, yet then he must offer for those sins whereof his consci­ence never tooke notice. In like manner, the infirmity of Christ, i. not onely his passible nature, from whence sufferings flow not neces­sarily; but his state and condition of suffering, whereinto he was put by Gods decree, was a cause that he also should offer for himselfe, while he was in his afflictions and miseries. And these afflictions in Christ, are in this comparison answerable to the finnes of the anci­ent high Priest, and therefore by a little abusion of the word, are tacit­ly comprehended with them under the sole name of sinnes. That the Legall high Priest was to offer no lesse for his owne sinnes, then for the peoples; yea first for his owne sinnes before the peoples, it plain­ly [Page 79]appeares, Levit. 16.6,11,17. &c. His offering for his owne sinnes was a young Bullock, and for the peoples, a Hee-Goate. And there­fore it is said afterward, that he was to enter the Sanctuary by the bloud of Goates and Calves, chap. 9.12. But how Christ offered for himselfe, is explicated in this chap. ver. 7.

4. And no man taketh this honour unto himselfe] The fifth property of the high Priest, that no man must arrogate the office to himselfe, and usurpe upon the rights of it of his owne authority. This office here is called an honour, because of the dignity of it; for offices are of diverse kindes: some are meerely servile, others profitable onely, a third sort are honourable, that draws dignities and precedency with it. Now the office of the Priesthood is of this last sort, and therefore is called an honour. But he that is called of God] He onely hath a right to administer in the honourable office of Priesthood, that is designed and called by God to take it upon him. This he illustrates by the example of Aarons calling. As was Aaron.] Aaron did not of his owne accord intrude himselfe into the office of high Priesthood, but being thereto enjoyned and commanded by God, he accepted of it by way of obedience to him that enjoyned it. For God first did choose Aaron, and after him his eldest son, and by proper Laws determined the rights of succession in this office, which were alwayes observed, while the state was administred by the Laws of God. Hitherto he hath specified severall properties of the high Priest, all which may be reduced to three heads. The first is, that he offer for sinnes, and ne­gotiate the cause of men with God; to which this may be referred that he must be a man. 2. That he must be mercifull and propense toward sinners; whereto this belongs, that he himselfe be compassed with infirmity, and thereupon offer for his owne sinnes, as well as for the peoples. 3. That he must be called to this office of God himselfe. Now in an order retrograde or reverse, beginning with the last, he demonstrates that all these agree with Christ. Whence it followes, that Christ hath a truly Priestly dignity, which he received from God; and is touched with singular compassion toward the afflicted, and will afford his owne people, not onely opportune helpe, but eter­nall happinesse.

5. So also Christ glorified not himselfe to be made an high Priest,] Hee begins now with the last property of the high Priest, and shewes that it agrees with Christ; because Christ did not arrogate to himselfe the honour of this office. This he doth to no other end, then thereby to shew, that the Priesthood of Christ was true and lawfull; and that Christ had not been a true Priest, if he had assumed this office of him­selfe, and not been called of God to receive it. If I (saith Christ) glorifie my selfe, my glory is nothing; it is my Father that glorifies mee. By the like reason, willing to assert the truth of his doctrine, hee denies [Page 80]that he spake of himselfe, but refers his doctrine to his Father, and professeth that he received it from his Father; thereby intimating that his doctrine had not been true, had hee spoken it of himselfe. That which the Author saith here of Christ is so much the more remarkable because the Priesthood which Christ sustaineth is of that nature, that no man can possibly take it upon him, no man can possibly have but he upon whom God collates it. But some man under the Law might ar­rogate the legall Priesthood, and some did arrogate it, when their state was corrupt. But this high Priesthood of Christ, to minister eternally in the Sanctuary of heaven, to have absolute power and authority to take away from us all punishments of our sinnes; to succour and helpe us in our miseries; to deliver us from death, and translate us to eternall life (for these are the functions of his high Priesthood) no mortall man can challenge this Priesthood, or usurpe it, or execute the functions of it, unlesse God himselfe qualifie and raise him to such high faculties. Therefore also the Author, speaking of Christ and his high Priest­hood, used the word glorified, that Christ glorified not himselfe; be­cause the Priesthood of Christ is a most glorious office, containing most glorious functions, all tending to eternall glory. Hence it is ma­nifest, that Christ is not supreme God; for if he were so, from whom else could he receive this glory but from himselfe? But this the Author plainly denyes, shewing that otherwise hee could not bee a true and lawfull high Priest; and therefore he was not the supreme God. And we will passe by this point also, that the supreme God can no way bee a Priest. But he that said unto him, Thou art my Sonne, to day have I be­gotten thee.] The Author saith not barely, that Christ was made a high Priest by God, but presently produceth Gods edicts, wherein he ordained Christ to be a high Priest; from whence it manifestly appears that Christ did not arrogate the Priesthood to himselfe, but was or­dained into it by God himselfe. The first of these edicts is taken out of Psalme 2. The other Psal. 110. That these words were spoken of God himselfe, no man can bee ignorant: but in these very words Christ is ordained high Priest; whence it manifestly follows, that hee tooke not this dignity from himselfe, but received it of God. Concer­ning the former of these testimonies we have spoken sufficiently, chap. 1.5. We shall here note only three things. 1. That the God who or dained Christ to be high Priest, was the Father of Christ. For the Father only hath power to call Christ by the name of his Sonne, as in these words he did. Whence it appeares that Christ in this place how great soever he be, yea as he is the Sonne of God, is opposed to God; and it and of him it is denyed that he tooke the Priesthood to himselfe. 2. That the Priestly office of Christ is not really distinguished from his Kingly; because these words of the Psalme, Thou art my Sonne, to day have I begotten thee; which as we saw in the first chap. treat of [Page 81]Christs Kingly dignity, in regard whereof he is chiefly the Sonne of God, are by the Author in this place applyed to his Priesthood. Wee may further adde here, That Christ performed not his Priestly office, at least not perfectly, at the time when hee suffered the death of the Crosse; neither was his death a perfect oblation expiatory; for these words of the Psalme are cleerly interpreted by St. Paul of his resurre­ction and glory, Act. 13. and here above, chap. 1. But Christ in his death was most deeply humbled and debased. Whereas in these words of the Psalme he is declared the Sonne of God, and withall be­came far more excellent then the Angels, as appeares before chap. 1.4,5. But in respect of his death, most especially, he was much lesse then the Angels. As Christ suffered death, hee exercised not his Kingly office, but only did that, whereby he might attaine it: but when hee administers his Priestly office, he withall executes the parts of his Kingly function. Wherefore hee did not execute it actually in his death, but was thereby prepared to execute it. 3. In those words of the Psalme, Thou art my Sonne, to day have I begotten thee; there is no intimation of any generation or begetting of Christ from the essence of his Father before all worlds; but of such a generation whereby Christ was ordained a high Priest of God; and therefore of such a one as was done in time; for Christ was not made our high Priest from all eternity, but from a certaine time; namely upon his Resurrection.

6. As he saith also in another place,] The other testimony of Scri­pture shewing the decree of God, taken Psal. 110. Hee saith, i. God saith. Thou art a Priest for ever,] In this testimony, there is expresse treating of Christs Priesthood. Whence it appeares, that it was also treated of in the former testimony; seeing both the testimonies are al­leadged for the same thing. Some men (that they may elude the true sense of the former testimony, which the Holy Ghost shewes to be in the words, Thou art my Sonne, To day have I begotten thee) say, that those words are not alleadged as a testimony of Gods collating the Priesthood upon Christ, but as a description of him, who conferred this office upon him. There men doe a manifest injury to the truth and to the words of the Author. For how should these following words agree with the former, as he saith also in another place? doth hee not by these latter words manifestly declare, that now another place or Psalm is cited by him; wherein the same point is proved, for which the former testimony was produced? For ever.] The Priestood of Christ shall last for ever in the person of Christ, without ever having any suc­cessour in his office; for his office shall last as long as there needs any expiation for sinnes, even to the end of the world; and so long he shall continue in that office. After the order of Melchisedeck.] The duration or terme of Christs Priesthood shall runne out like the duration of Melchisedecks Priesthood; or as the Author expresseth himselfe after­ward, [Page 82]chap. 7.15. after the similitude of Melchisedeck. But of these words we shall speake further, chap. 7. where the Author explicates this likenesse more fully. But here he tacitly meets with a doubt which some man might imagine touching the Priesthood of Christ, in that Christ descended not from the family of Aaron or tribe of Levi, to which tribe the Priesthood was limited by the Law of God. For the type of Melchisedeck doth not only require an eternall Priesthood, but also requires, that no respect of tribe or family should be had therein; as we shall shew hereafter.

7. Who in the dayes of his flesh,] From the third property required in a high Priest, and concluded to agree with Christ, he ascends now to the second property, and saith that Christ also was compassed with infirmity, and by reason thereof offered for himselfe; This he shews in this 7. verse, and then at the 8. verse, he inferres, that from this infirmi­ty Christ learned to be mercifull toward the distressed and afflicted. In the dayes of his flesh.] By flesh hee understands the infirmity of Christ; for flesh is the subject of infirmity, and in a manner the cause of it. And the dayes of his flesh are the dayes wherein he suffered, for in that time chiefly his infirmity most appeared. For then it most appea­red that Christ was flesh. When he had offered prayers and supplicati­ons.] Now he shews, that Christ offered also for himselfe. Of which his oblation, his infirmity, and afflictions were the cause; the sence whereof how deepely it struck into his soule, and how greatly it exer­cised him, appeares from the things which he offered. For he shews distinctly both what he offered, and to whom; as also the adjunct of his offering, and the issue of it. The matter of his offering was Prayers; This is a generall word to signifie all petitions, or rather all kinde of speech unto God. And supplications; which are the prayers or petiti­ons of supplicants, whose manner is to fall upon their knees, casting themselves at the feet or touching the knees of them to whom they make their prayer. The originall word is, [...], which as some Inter­preters note, doth properly signifie an olive-branch, wrapped about with wooll, which supplicants held in their hands. Hence we may ea­sily imagine, in what anguish of soule Christ was, and what pangs of paine he felt, when he was driven to such earnest prayers and devout supplications. But what prayers and supplications the Author means, will appeare from the words following; wherein the person to whom he prayed is described in such manner, that thence wee may easily un­derstand what he prayed; although the adjunct of his prayer doth part­ly also declare it. Vnto him that was able to save him from death,] In these words he shews, not only the person to whom Christ offered, but also the cause why he offered him prayers, and what the thing was for which he so earnestly prayed. And this is the cause, why he would de­scribe God after this manner, rather then simply name him; for there­fore [Page 83]he so devoutly supplicated to God; because God onely is hee that can save from death; which Christ by his prayers chiefly requested. He indeed requested some other things besides; for in the garden hee petitioned that the cup might passe from him, i. he there was an hum­ble supplicant prostrate upon his knees, and afterward on his face, pray­ing againe and againe with great ardour of minde, that hee might be delivered from the great anguish and heavinesse which hee felt in his soule. And hanging upon the crosse, he poured forth this lamentation unto God, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?] Wherein hee prayed that God would put an ease and an end to his extreme paines. But the summe and breviate, or at least the head of all those prayers, was this, for his delivery from death: For hee that is delivered from death, in that sence that Christ here desired, hee hath found an end of all paines both of soule and body, and hath obtained supreme happi­nesse. This delivery Christ prayed for, in commending his Spirit to God, when he was ready to expire. For to commend the spirit to God, or to pray that God would receive it into his hands; what is it else but to pray that he would preserve it, and afterward restore it, and conse­quently to recal him from death to life, whose spirit it is? That the Au­thor had respect to these prayers of Christ, it may appeare by their ad­junct, which he also mentions in saying, That his prayers were offered up, With strong crying and teares.] The holy History of the Evange­lists doe testifie, that Christ hanging upon the Crosse, complained in the words of the Psalme, with a great cry that God had forsaken him, and afterward being ready to expire, he commended his Spirit to God. But the Sacred History mentions not any teares of Christ shed at that time; yet notwithstanding it appeares that it was so, and was knowne to the Authour to bee so. Now this cry and teares doe further shew how deepely the sence of paine was impressed into him, when it forced him to expresse such cryes and teares. Hence it ap­peares further, that Christ thus exercised with so great a sence of paines himselfe, cannot but be moved at the miseries and paines of his people, cannot but willingly hear the dolefull cryes and com­plaines, and affoord his opportune succour and help in their afflictions and distresses. From these words of the Authour it appeares, how Christ offered for himselfe, namely, that hee offered not himselfe, but his prayers for himselfe, and then he offered them, not when he be­came immortall in his heavenly Tabernacle, but in the dayes of his flesh or infirmity. For when he became immortall, he could not then offer for this end, that he might be saved from death, which (as wee have cleared from the words of the Authour) was indeed the end of his offering. Besides, being in heaven he offered himselfe immaculate, and therefore had no need to offer for himselfe there. Wherefore Christ offered one way for himselfe, and another way for us: for for [Page 84]himselfe hee offered prayers on earth; for us he offered himselfe in hea­ven; for himselfe when yet he was mortall, or in the dayes of his flesh: for us, when he was made an immortall and eternall Spirit. And was heard] The effect and issue of these prayers offered, was this, that he was delivered and saved, not from death; for hee suffered it and dyed, but out of death from whence he was raised. For whom God heareth praying in that manner, him he delivers and frees, though not from his misery before he suffer it, yet out of it after hee hath suffered. So speakes David as a type of Christ, Psal. 22.21. Thou hast heard mee from the hornes of the Vnicornes. i. as learned men have noted, thou hast heard to save me from extreame dangers. So that the word heard is taken here Metonymically, to include the effect of his hearing; hee was heard and saved. In that he feared] Hee was saved from, or, out of the thing hee feared, namely, out of death. The originall is [...] which some take for a passionate feare, the object whereof here in Christ was death, and so by a Metonymie feare, is here put for death, the act for the object, or thing to be feared. For of all terrours death is most terrible and fearfull: and this feare was the cause of his prayers and supplications, at least of the cryes and teares wherewith they were offered. And then this example of Christ may teach us, partly with what fervency of soule we must implore the help of God in the times of our distresses; partly what things especially we must pray for; partly wherein that opportune help chiefly consists, (whereof the Author spake in the end of the former chapter) namely, in this, that Christ saveth us out of death, into eternall life. Others take [...] for a reverentiall or religious feare: for this sence is set in the margent of our last translation: that he was heard for his pietie. And then the object of his pietie, reverence or fear, was God to whom he prayed. And so this feare of God, was the proper motive to this offering of Christ, and to all the circumstances of his offering. His offering it selfe proceeded from his pietie or feare of God; for every offering is an act of pietie. His prayers and supplications proceeded from it; for prayer also is an act of pietie; his cryes and teares proceed­ed from it; for they also are concurrents of pietie and fervent devoti­on. His exaudition in being heard of God proceeded from it: for Gods hearing of our prayers is the fruit of our pietie and devotion; see­ing God heareth not impious and sinfull persons, but such as are pious to reverence and worship him, and doe his will, those hee heareth, John 9.31. The prayers of Christ were supplications. i. (as before is noted) petitions exhibited upon the knees with great worship and reverence given to God. His prayers in the garden were such supplications performed with great worship and reverence, bow­ing toward God; for first hee fell upon his knees, and after­ward hee went more humbly and fell upon his face. And his pray­ers [Page 85]on the crosse were supplications also (as the Author termeth them) and therefore performed with reverent bowing also; such as was pos­sible for Christ to use in that case being stretched and nailed upon the crosse; where because he could not bow his knees, therefore (as the Sa­cred story relates it) hee bowed his head, when hee cryed and com­mended his spirit unto God. Which bowing of his head was not a simple act of a dying man, (as some Interpreters slightly passe it over) but an act of worship and reverence of a pious man, that was making his offering unto God by prayers and supplications, adding cryes and teares, and all religious meanes, for exaudition that God might heare him. Wherefore it carries a very congruous sence to say that Christ was heard for his pietie, i. for the feare and reverence he used toward God in his prayers and supplications; for fear is the inward motion of the soule, from which the outward worship and reverend bowings of the body do proceed. And these outward reverences of bowing the head, bowing the body, and bowing the knees, are acts of worship un­to God; which have beene used by Gods people in all ages of the world. For bowing the head, See Gen. 24.26.48. and Exod. 4.31. and Exod. 12.27. and Exod. 34.8. and 1. Chro. 29.20. and 2. Chro. 20.18. and 2. Chro. 29.30. and Nehem. 8.6. Hence it appeares also from this example of Christ; that our prayers and supplications unto God, should proceed from inward piety and fear of God; and should be of­fered unto him with outward worship and reverence, accompanyed with cryes and teares in times of extreme distresses; if we mean to have exaudition, that God should graciously heare us.

8. Who though he were a son] Christ by the evils which he suffer­ed, became such a one, as to have compassion on those, who labour to obey God through difficulties and sufferings. Hee learned obedience] He learned what it is to obey God; what a difficult and harsh duty it is, how bitter and unpleasing to flesh and blood. For in this place hee takes obedience for that part of obedience, which is seene in difficult and hard cases, such as are these, to be afflicted and suffer death for the justice and truth of God. Yet I conceive the word obedience is here to be understood more literally and derivatively from audience; for a giving of audience. Christ, who upon his prayers and supplications made to God, with cryes and teares to save him from death, had audi­ence of God, and was heard therein, did therby learne to give audience and hearing to his people, when in their distresses they offer up prayers and supplications with cryes and teares to him; thereby to have com­passion on them, and deliver them from their distresses. For [...] which is here fitly renderd obedience, doth carry an elegant symploce of sence, both of audience to heare another what he would have done, and of obedience to doe the thing which he hath heard. And that ve­ry act of compassion in Christ in hearing the distressed, though [Page 86]it be his audience to them; yet it is his obedience to God, who ordain­ed a high Priest for that function. By the things that hee suffered.] In the originall it is [...], of or from the things that he suffered; so it is rendred, Mat. 24.32. Learne a parable of the figtree. Christ by or from his owne evills and sufferings learned what bitternesse and trou­ble there lyes in suffering persecutions for righteousnesse sake; and therefore cannot but bee affected with like sense of trouble, at the troubles and pains of the innocent, that suffer for his sake; and therefore when they pray and cry unto him, hee will be ready in obedience to God to give them audience to heare and helpe them. Though he were a Son,] He illustrates the matter ex adversis. So great a conjunction of Christ with God, such a fatherly love of God toward him as being his only Sonne, might seeme to be against this way of exercising him upon the stage of afflictions, yet it was not against it. God might have taught his Sonne the lessons of obedience in some other schoole then that of afflictions; yet it pleased God to choose this way, and not spare him from the common condition of his brethren. Hence it is manifest, how greatly God loved mankinde, who would handle his owne Son so hardly to this end, that having triall of suffering in his owne person, miseris succurrere discat, he might thereby learne to succour those in mi­sery. Hence it appeares also, that Gods fatherly love to the faithfull is no way impaired, when he exerciseth their faith and patience to make trials of them in sufferings. For whom he loveth he chasteneth and scourgeth every Son whom he receiveth, chap. 12.6.

9. And being made perfect] In the last place, he comes to the first property of an high Priest, and applies it also to Christ; namely, that Christ procures the salvation of men, and negotiates with God, to be propitious to them, and forgive them the punishments of their sinnes. Which property in respect of Christ, he expresseth in these words, that he is become the Author of eternall salvation. Made perfect. This state of Christ in being made perfect or consummate, is opposed to his state in the dayes of his flesh] For then when Christ was infirme, and himselfe wanted anothers help, he could not perfectly and finally help others in all things. But after that he was consummated or per­fected, i. after he had attained to immortality, or a nature incorrup­tible, and was invested with supreme power in heaven and earth, so that nothing further was wanting to him; or after hee was throughly consecrated of God, and fully installed into his Priesthood (as some think the word perfected to mean) then he became the author of eternall salvation,] For then he was a most perfect cause of salvation. In the dayes of his flesh he was indeed the cause of eternall salvation; for then he was the great Legate or Apostle of God to preach it: but be­ing perfected, he becomes the most perfect cause of it; for now hee is our high Priest and heavenly King, to give that, which before he prea­ched. [Page 87]He is therefore the most perfect cause of eternall salvation, be­cause he gives it in a most perfect manner; for he wants nothing, neither for faculty or power, nor for desire and will to perfect our eternall sal­vation. For by his power, he takes from us all punishment of our sins; he gives us everlasting life; he receives our spirits into his hands; he speedily succours us in our afflictions, lest our faith should fail, and we thereby fall into punishments due to our sinnes. The Author made choice of generall words to describe the power and efficacie of Christs Priesthood, in the procuring of our salvation, that he might expresse it with tearms more proper to it. For Christ is not the cause of salva­tion, in the very same manner with the legall high Priest; who gave not salvation or pardon to the people himselfe of himselfe as Christ doth, but only procured God to give it, by propitiating him with offerings. And there is a great difference betweene Christ and the legall high Priest in the salvation procured; for hee procured only a temporary and transitory salvation, but Christ gives an eternall salvation. Fur­thermore this place affoords us an example of a rule in Scripture, that some things are said to be simply done, when they are more perfectly done. We have an instance hereof in that passage of John, 2.11. where the Disciples of Christ, who did already believe in Christ, are not­withstanding said to believe in Christ upon sight of the miracle of wa­ter turned into wine; because then they believed in him much more stedfastly and perfectly then they did before, or because then their faith received a great increase. So Christ himselfe (John 15.8.) saith to his Disciples, that if they did beare much fruit, so they should bee his Disciples; because by this meanes, they should become his Disciples in a more perfect manner. This we therefore notifie, lest to any it should seeme strange, that the Scripture notes divers times wherein Christ became the Sonne of God; namely because he became so in a more perfect manner and higher degree; although from the be­ginning of his conception he was truly the Son of God; though not so perfectly as afterwards. Vnto all them that obey him.] Here the persons are specified to whom Christ is the author of salvation; namely to the obedient, and to them universally, to all that obey him. For Christ is an high Priest properly to such, and is ordained of God to expiate their sinnes. Whence it appeares, that all who will have their sins ex­piated by Christ, and obtaine eternall salvation by him, must obey him. Christ indeed is the cause of salvation even to them, who as yet obey him not, in that he first makes them obedient, and consequently saves them: but to such he is but the remote cause; but he is the imme­diate cause of it to them that actually obey him; for therein his Priest­ly office is actually exercised. Not unlike to this is that saying of Pe­ter, Act. 5.31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to bee a Prince and a Saviour; what else is this, then to be the author or cause [Page 88]of salvation? and by what means Christ doth worke and cause salva­tion, Peter expresseth in the words following, to give repentance to Israel and forgivenesse of sinnes. This latter way of saving, as being the perfecter, is contained in this place.

10. Called of God an high Priest,] Christ becomes the author or cause of eternall salvation by this meanes, in being ordained an high Priest of God; for when God calls him an high Priest, thereby hee makes him so. After the order of Melchisedeck.] Christ is such a high Priest unto us, that withall he is also our heavenly Lord and King, ha­ving supreme power to pardon all our sinnes and to free us from the punishment of them. But of this point we shall speake more largely, chap 7.

11. Of whom we have many things to say,] Hee passeth to another point, wherein he reproves the slownesse and dulnesse of them to whom he writes; to this end, that he may excite and prepare them to receive those mysteries which he had in his minde to open concerning the Priesthood of Christ. Of whom, i. of Christ our high Priest, ei­ther in reference to his Priesthood absolutely, or respectively as it is compared with the Priesthood of Melchisedeck. We have many things to say,] We have in our minde plentifull and copious matter, which we would expresse concerning his Priesthood. And hard to be uttered,] Not hard to the Author to utter simply, but hard for him to utter so plainly, that they might easily bee apprehended and understood of them to whom he should utter them. And this hardnesse proceeded partly from the greatnesse and sublimenesse of the matters to bee utte­red, and partly from the incapacity and dulnesse of them to whom they should be uttered. Seeing yee are dull of hearing.] q.d. The diffi­culty of uttering these things, is not so much in regard of the things themselves, or in regard of mee, to whom the things are sufficiently knowne, as in regard of you, by reason of your dulnesse. For if yee were of a ready and quicke capacity, it were easie for me to utter all, and for you to conceive them. Dull is he, that doth not easily heare, or attend, or not apprehend and consider things uttered unto him, espe­cially in the holy mysteries of salvation.

12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,] Their dulnesse of hearing holy mysteries is here declared from the effect of it, namely that they were yet unskilfull and rude in the first principles of Christi­an Religion, when notwithstanding they had spent so much time in the Schoole of Christ, that they were not only competently to know the Christian Religion themselves, but also ought to teach it unto others; which was a great argument and sign of their slownesse and dulnesse. Ye have need that one teach you againe, which be the first principles of the oracles of God,] For a man to be taught, is not strange, neither doth it argue idlenesse or dulnesse; but to be taught over againe and anew, es­pecially [Page 89]the first principles and elements, this is a signe of a heavy and dull spirit. There is an elegant opposition between him that should teach, and him that needs teaching, especially the elements of any dis­cipline, and the first elements of all. The principles of any discipline, are those verities, which have no reasons, and cannot be proved, but are the reasons or causes to prove other verities; and therefore are learned in the first place, because they are knowne of themselves without the knowledge of other verities: but other verities cannot be known with­out the knowledge of them. These of some Divines are called funda­mentalls, in allusion to the foundations of buildings; because the foun­dations are first laid, and can lye without the buildings, but the buil­dings cannot be made without them; for the buildings are supported by the foundations, and not the foundations by the buildings. The oracles of God.] All the verities of Christian Religion, whether they be principles that prove, or doctrines that are proved from the princi­ples are the oracles of God; because they are the words of God pro­ceeding from his mouth, and revealed unto men by his holy Spirit. And are become such as have need of milke, and not of strong meat.] This is but a circumlocution of their ignorance and childishnesse in Chri­stian verities. Yee are become such, that ye have need of principles which are the most simple verities and easiest to bee understood, as knowne of themselves; and not of abstruce and recondite doctrines, the truths whereof appeare not, but by the meanes and trace of many principles, and foreknowne doctrines; the apprehension whereof doth agitate and labour both the understanding and memory. The prin­ciples of Christianity are resembled unto milke, because as milke is a nourishment most easie of digestion and concoction, because it hath a neare affinity with bloud wherewith we are finally nourished, for milke is but elaborate bloud: so the principles of Religion are most easily apprehended and understood; because they have a neare affinity with the Spirit, whereby wee are finally saved, for the principles are spirit and life. And abstruce doctrines are resembled to strong meat; be­cause strong meat is hardly digested, and therefore is not nourishment for all stomackes: so abstruce doctrines are hardly understood, and therefore are not verities for every capacity: And as strong meat not digested breeds crudities and diseases in the body: so abstruce do­ctrines not understood, breed controversies and distractions in the Church.

13. For every one that useth milke,] He had tacitly affirmed before that strong meat must not be given to them that need milke; and there­in, that abstruce doctrines must not be proposed to novices and weake mindes. This assertion he proves by this reason, because he that useth milke is unskilfull in the word of righteousnesse; and he confirmes this reason by another proofe, because he that useth milke is a babe. Seeing [Page 90]therefore a babe is unskilfull in the word of righteousnesse; therefore also he that useth milke must needs be unskifull in the same. He that useth milke,] is not meant by him that eateth milke and other meats also; for so doe many persons of full growth; but by him that eateth only milke, and can receive no other nourishment. Unskilfull is hee that hath yet made no triall, nor entrance into the principles of a­ny discipline; for such a one is altogether unskilfull. The word of righ­teousnesse] is an Hebraisme for the right word; that is for the true and perfect word, that is right and fit for them to know; for true right and perfect are either the same, or equipollent, or adequate; as mutuall consequents one to another, and concurrent properties to the same sub­ject. Hence in Scripture they are often confounded or substituted one for another. So David Psalme 4 1. calleth God, the God of his righteousnesse; i. his true right and perfect God, in opposition to the heathenish gods, their idols and images, which were not true and right gods, but false and wrong gods. So our Saviour, Luke 16.11. opposeth the riches of unrighteousnesse to the true, right and perfect riches. He therefore that yet useth milke only, hath not yet attained to the true right and perfect word of God for a solid knowledge of Christ, nor hath ever made triall of tasting and digesting it in his minde, and therefore is not capable of it, but his minde would instant­ly be oppressed with it. For a man must first make triall of his stength, and the minde by small exercises must be prepared for greater matters; as infants and babes, as long as they sucke milke only, and by little and little use no solid meats, are all that while incapable of them. The words of the Author are a contracted similitude, or a transition from the simily to the matter it selfe; for the subject of his assertion shews in part the proposition of the simily, and the predicat makes the red­dition of it. As among other places, we have the like contracted si­mily, Luke 9.62. For the simily explicated must runne thus: As hee that yet hath used only milke, is uncapable of solid meat; so hee that is yet in the principles of Christianity is unskilfull of the mysteries and right doctrines of it.

14. But strong meat belongeth to them that are (perfect) of full age.] Ha­ving said that strong meat must not be given to babes; now on the con­trary he shewes to whom it must be given; namely, to them that are adulted or perfect in age. For the perfect or adulted who are of age, are here opposed to infants and babes; and so they are opposed, 1. Cor. 14.20. and Ephes. 4.13.14. Even those, who by reason of use have their senses exercised,] Those, is not any note of distinction, to difference some perfect or adulted persons from others: but a note of explication, to shew the cause of his assertion. For the Author shews the cause or rea­son, why onely strong meat is to be given to the perfect, or them of full age, and to them only. The reason is, because they only have their [Page 91]sensories, or organs of their sences exercised, as their eyes, tongue, and palate, whereby they can easily discerne and judge of strong meat, which is good and wholsome for them, and contrarily, which is evil and hurtfull. These sensories of their eyes, tongue, and palate, they have exercised through practise and custome, in seeing, touching, and tasting of meates. To discerne both good and evil.] These words are not to be taken in a Morall sense, but a Physicall. He that is of perfect or full age, and hath been accustome to make severall trials of severall meats, can easily finde by experience what meats doe agree with his stomack, and what not; for they that are agreeing and nourishing to him, they are good and wholsome for him; they which doe not, are evil and hurtfull. Which difference of meats being first tryed inward­ly in his stomack, hee will afterward easily discerne by his outward sences, and particularly by his eye; which upon sight of any meats will easily judge of them before hee taste them. To these perfect or full aged persons, they are resembled, who have their mindes exercised and trained, with frequent and daily meditations of things divine, who have tasted divers doctrines, as it were severall meats, and have digested the knowledge of many divine mysteries; who have gotten a custome or habite of minde, whereby they can easily discerne and judge, what do­ctrine is true and what false, which is consequent to Christian religion, and which is repugnant. This discretion they onely have attained, who can comprehend in their minde as it were a body of Christian religion, and stick not onely in the first principles of it.

The Contents of this fifth Chapter are,

  • 1. Every high Priest is ordained for men. v. 1.
    • Reason 1. Because hee is a Mediatour for men to God in things pertaining to God. eod.
    • 2 Because he must offer gifs and sacrifices for the sins of men. eod.
  • 2. Every high Priest must have compassion on mens ignorances and in­firmities. v. 2.
    • Reason 1. Because he himselfe is subject to ignorances and infirmities. eod.
    • 2. Because he must offer for his owne ignorances and infirmities, as well as for the peoples. v. 3.
  • 3. No high Priest must take the high-Priesthood to himselfe. v. 4
    • Reason 1. Because he must be called of God as was Aaron. eod.
  • 4. Christ is truely a high Priest. v. 5.
    • Reason. 1. Because he tooke not this Priest-hood to himselfe, but was called of God to be a perpetuall high Priest, after the terme of Melchise­dec. ver. eod. and 6.
    • 2. Because Christ offered for his owne infirmities in sufferings. v. 7.
    • 3. Because being saved from death, he becomes the Author of eternall salvation to all that obey him.
  • [Page 92]5. The Mysteries concerning Christs high Priest-hood, were hard to be uttered to the Hebrewes. v. 11.
    • Reason. 1. Because they were dull of hearing. eod.
    • 2. Because though long taught, they had not yet learned the principles of Christianity.
    • 3. Because the Mysteries of Christs Priest-hood, was too strong meat for their unexercised mindes.

CHAPTER VI.

1. THerefore leaving the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ] There is a double sence of these words found among Interpreters, and thereupon a double way of their coherence with the for­mer Chapter. For it is plaine that the words are inferd from thence, as the particle therefore shewes: Both sences of the words seeme to require, that they be taken in a Rhetoricall communication: but in a contrary manner. For either the Authour speakes personally here of himselfe, and saith, that himselfe in this place, will leave the principles of the Doctrine of Christ, and proceed to explicate more sub­lime Mysteries comprehended therein: or else hee admonisheth them to whom hee writes, that they leaving those Principles, would proceed to a fuller knowledge in Christianitie. We ra­ther approve of the former sence, as followed by many learned men; yet because the latter is not to be despised, therefore we shall explicate them both. If therefore we receive the first sence, the Au­thor seemes to say; Therefore I will leave to speake further of the principles of Christianity, and draw toward the perfection of it, and propose deeper mysteries in it; for I will not lay againe the foundati­on of Repentance to be practised, and of Faith to relye on God; nei­ther will I deliver the doctrine of Baptismes, of Imposition of hands, of the Resurrection of the dead, and of eternall life: Upon which ve­rities as upon principles and foundations, the doctrines of Repentance and faith in God is raised and built up. These principles I will not handle againe, for it is enough that they have beene propounded once; although I refuse not to handle them againe, if God permit. Which I therefore speake, because it is impossible for those who were once en­lightned, &c. to renew them againe unto repentance. If we follow this sence, all points will agree well enough: yet in the coherence one­ly there will seeme some difficulty. For some man may object; Seeing the Author said in the former chapter, that those Hebrewes had need [Page 93]to be taught againe the very principles of Religion, to be nourished with milke, and not with meate; How can he from this inferre, that therefore he will leave the principles, and the milke, to propose strong meate and deeper mysteries, seeing rather he should inferre the quite contrary? This difficulty may easily be salved, if we say that the co­herence of these words must be referred to the eleventh verse of the former chapter, where the Author said, He had many things to say and hard to be uttered of Christ his high Priesthood; That in reference to these words, he might inferre, Therefore leaving the principles, let us go on to perfection. So that all the intermediate verses betweene the eleventh of the former chapter, and the beginning of this, which were added occasionally, to excite the Hebrewes to a diligent attention, must be read as it were in a parenthesis. If then we follow this sence, we must say, that the Author in the first part of this chapter doth af­firme, that he will proceed in explicating the mysteries of Christs Priesthood, notwithstanding the Hebrewes by reason of their slownesse and dulnesse, were not very capable of them; and that he would not now spend any labour in delivering the principles of Christian Religion. Thus of the former sence, now for the latter. The Author had reproved the Hebrewes, for being so slow and dull in their study of Christianity, that when for the length of their time spent therein, they should become teachers of others, themselves had need to be taught againe the first principles of it; and like babes, must yet be nourished with milke, and not with strong meate; Therefore he ad­monisheth them, that casting off this drowsinesse of spirit, they would leave at last those principles, and launch themselves into a deeper knowledge of those divine mysteries. Therefore, that which before he had objected unto them, that they had need to be taught againe the principles of Christianity, must not be so understood as if they had now wholly forgotten or lost them; for this, to speake generally of them all, could hardly be; but because by their negligence, they did not well remember them, but had need to have them renewed, and re-inforced upon them. For, it plainly appeares from passages which are read of them, both in this chapter, and other parts of this Epistle, that they began to doubt of the Christian faith and truth. Now they that are such, have need that Christian principles should be anew in­culcated and confirmed unto them. Neither is it his meaning, that they should altogether leave and neglect the principles, and so goe on to perfection, for this neither could nor must be done; but they should not stick and dwell wholly upon the principles, without proceeding any further; for they that proceed further, doe passe by the places whereat they are already arrived. So a man may say to a boy, leave your Accedence and your Grammer, and passe on to other Authors. The principles of the doctrine of Christ] They are the fundamentall ve­rities, [Page 94]which being first learned, do help us to proceed in Christian Religion. Let us go on unto perfection] The principles rightly under­stood and applyed, will by degrees carry us on from one verity to ano­ther, till we come at the deepest mysteries of Christianity, and into a full body; where being once arrived, we are at perfection, even at a fulnesse and ripenesse in the knowledge of Christ. Not laying againe the foundation] The foundation is the first principles of Christianity, which are as it were a foundation of that edifice of doctrines, wherein the perfect knowledge of God and Christ consisteth. Now to lay this foundation, is either to teach these principles, if we follow the former sense, or to learne them, if we follow the latter. And to lay this foun­dation againe] is to initiate these principles anew from the begin­ning, and for a man to become the Disciple of Christ a second time, after once he had deserted the verities of them; whereof (supposing the latter sense) he would have the Hebrewes to beware; for they were neere approaching to this mischiefe, and lest they should fall into it, the Author excites them very seriously. For they had not as yet altogether deserted the Christian faith, as appeares partly from this whole Epistle, and partly from a passage at the ninth verse of this chapter, where he saith, that he is perswaded better things of them, then of those (he meanes) who after the knowledge of the truth, have relapsed and revolted from it; and lastly, in that he continues to ex­hort them to constancy in Christianity. Of repentance from dead workes] He being to explicate this foundation of Christianity, and layes severall parts of it, whereof the first is repentance. But because in this place (as we have said) he treates of laying the foundation not in regard of Christian life, but of Christian doctrine; as it appeares by the words following, of resurrection of the dead, and eternall life, which may be repeated againe in respect of the doctrine or learning of them: Therefore here to lay the foundation of repentance, is either to teach or learne the doctrine of repentance; and in like manner the doctrine of faith in God, of the resurrection of the dead, and of e­ternall judgement. All which doctrines are the principles of Christi­an discipline, and as it were the foundation of all other Christian veri­ties. Dead workes, are deadly workes, such as bring and continue death upon the agent. And repentance from these deadly workes which is a principle of Christianity, includes not onely a sorrow of minde, that thou hast committed deadly workes, but also and much rather, the effect of that sorrow, which is a course of minde and life far diverse from the former. For repentance is sometimes distinguished from that sorrow as the effect from the cause. See 2 Cor. 7.9,10. And of faith towards God.] What that is, the Author shews afterward chap. 11.

2. Of the doctrine of baptismes, and the laying on of hands,] These [Page 95]words may be taken two wayes, either as they signifie some part of the foundation, distinct from the parts, both preceding and following, namely from the doctrine of repentance and faith, of the resurrection and eternall judgement; or else as added by way of apposition for am­plification sake. q.d. which doctrines of repentance and faith, belong to those that are baptized, and that receive Imposition of hands. If we follow the former sense, and take them for parts of the foundation, to signifie the doctrine of Baptismes, and of Imposition of hands; then first it may be demanded, what that doctrine is? The Answer is, that doctrine consisteth chiefly in shewing, what baptismes and imposition of hands signifie, and to what ends they are used. And these doctrines are therefore accounted among the principles of Christianity, because they were used from the beginning of the Church to initiate men into Christ, and therefore it was needfull that the Disciples of Christ, should at first be instructed in them, and be taught their end and scope. Secondly, it may be demanded, why he mentions baptismes in the plu­rall number, as if he intended many, (although the Syriake translation render it baptisme in the singular number) seeing Christians received but one baptisme of water for repentance. Resp. This was therefore done, either because he spake in respect of them that were baptised, who because they were many, made also many baptismes; or else be­cause he respected both the baptisme of John, who was the forerunner of Christ, and the baptisme of the Apostles the followers of Christ, especially that wherewith the Apostles baptised after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. For the Baptisme of John was the baptisme of Repentance for the remission of sinnes, which was used as a signe and a pledge of future repentance for the forgivenesse of sinnes; be­cause by washing it resembled repentance and remission of sinnes. For both these are a washing from the filth of sin; repentance is a washing from the acts of it, and remission from the guilt and paine of it. Repen­tance was signified as the baptisme of those that were baptised of their owne accord was an action. Remission was signified, as the action of John himselfe, who in a manner represented the person of God, as his legat or messenger, and in the name of God did promise men the re­mission and purgation of their sinnes, and declared this by the signe of washing. But the Baptisme of Christ, doth not only represent repen­tance and remission of sinnes, or is not only received as a signe of fu­ture repentance and remission; but over and above it is a signe of put­ting on Christ; and with him, of dying to sinne and rising to newnesse of life, that at last with him also wee may attaine everlasting life; for baptisme doth elegantly shadow out our death and buriall with Christ by our immersion into the water, and our resurrection with him by our emersion out of the water. This Paul hath taught us, in some passages of his Epistles. See Rom. 6.3,4. and Col. 2.12. And of laying on of [Page 96]hands,] Some by this understand, that Imposition of hands, which was in use anciently in the Christian Church, whereby the Elders laid their hands upon such as were admitted to the communion and society of the faithfull; which use as it seems was derived or drawne from the Apostles, who were wont to lay their hands upon such as were to receive the Holy Ghost. But if we follow the former sense of these words as we have already explicated them, it is better to take them for that Imposition of hands which the Apostles used for this end, that the Disciples of Christ might receive the Holy Ghost. See Acts 8.17,18,19. and 2 Tim. 1.6. Yet the sense will be no lesse ele­gant, if wee take the words the latter way, to signifie the doctrine which belonged to those that are baptised, and have hands laid on them. As if the Author had said, Let us not returne to learne the do­ctrine of repentance and faith in God, which useth to be proposed to them that are baptised and have hands laid on them. For wee were long since baptised and had hands laid on us. Let us leave these mat­ters to novices, and to such as come newly to the discipline of Christ. This sense hath pleased some learned men; and if we admit it, we must read the words as it were in a Parenthesis. And of resurrection of the dead,] The two remaining points are fundamentall: And by the resurrection of the dead in this place and many others, hee seems to comprehend immortall life, as the reward which the godly attaine af­ter death. And of eternall judgement.] Which is the punishment or­dained for the ungodly. For seeing in this place the word judgement may signifie two things, either the sentence or decree in generall tou­ching men; or damnation and punishment in particular: the latter of these is more consonant to reason, because of the word eternall attri­buted to judgement. For this is more proper and usually called eter­nall punishment, then the passing of the sentence, which in it selfe is not eternall, though in the effect of it, it be eternall. If therefore eternall judgement signifie eternall punishment, then the resurrection of the dead in this place must signifie an eternall reward, i. a blessed and im­mortall life; which also a Popish Interpreter upon this place hath observed, by saying: ‘"Among other things, these two were princi­pally delivered to the catechised, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternall judgement, that by hope of the resurrection they might willingly expose themselves unto all dangers for Christ, and for feare of the judgement never returne to their former sins."’

3. And this will we do, if God permit,] i. If God permit, wee will lay the foundation againe. As if he had said, Although by all meanes we should take heed, that the matter fall not to this passe, as to cast a necessity upon us to lay the foundation againe; Yet we will doe so, if God shall please to permit us; whereby he tacitly intimates, that God would not alwayes suffer this to be done: yet the Authors words are [Page 97]so carried, that as he did not altogether hope it, so neither did he wholly despaire it. For, in the words following, he seemes to respect both these cases; the former of them in the next words, ver. 4. and the latter at the ninth verse, where he is perswaded better things of them, and things that accompany salvation; of which his perswasion or hope, he alledgeth a reason drawne from the righteousnesse and good­nesse of God.

4. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightned] In these words the Author brings a reason, partly of what he lately intimated, touching Gods permission, and partly of what he had openly said, of not laying againe the foundation; namely, because it is impossible that effect should follow, which hereby may be intended. Besides, as we noted before, it appeares, that the Author speakes here properly of Apostates, who condemne Christian Religion as false, and thereupon desert it. Of these he saith, It is impossible for them to be renewed unto repentance] Which impossibility partly depends upon the naturall difficulty, that such should be againe converted unto Christ, who have once forsaken him; for, it is an easier labour to retaine the Chri­stian Religion being once attained, then to recover it being once lost; but if those men have not performed the easier worke in retaining it, much lesse will they performe the harder in recovering it. And if Christianity could not so work upon them, as not to reject it, how shall it gaine upon them to re-embrace it, and receive it for true, when it stands rejected? And the impossibility partly depends upon Gods will and decree; who, when men become so ungracious, as to staine their soules with such an incredible wickednesse, is wont to judge them un­worthy of his grace, and thereupon to reprobate and curse them, (which word the Author useth afterward at the eighth verse, by a simily drawne from a barren soile.) Whence it comes to passe, that (as the Scripture speakes) God hardens them, and holds them captives to his judgements. Which notwithstanding must not be so under­stood, as if God would never release this just rigour and severity, but onely that he useth not to release it. For the Civilians say. That which depends upon the pleasure of the Prince, is deemed impossible] i. That which by the common course of Law cannot be done, unlesse the Prince grant it by vertue of his prerogative, is not thought possible and seasable, especially if the thing be such as the Prince useth not to grant. Renovation therefore is impossible, unlesse God as it were make use of his prerogative to extend his singular grace and favour toward such a man, not onely not to harden him, and oppose himselfe against his conversion, but also to further him by his speciall assistance, and sup­ply him with most effectuall remedies for his reclaiming. For, other­wise the saying of Jeremy must stand good, Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the Leopard his spots, then may yee also do good, that are accu­stomed [Page 98]to do evill. The man accustomed to evill cannot ordinarily re­cover from his evill custome; but if he do, the case is extraordinary, by an extraordinary influence of Gods grace upon him. Who were once enlightned.] He begins to describe those men, that have beene converted unto Christ; In which description he declares what graces such men have received from God. Whence it is no mervaile, if up­on their neglect and contempt of so great graces, God do afterward re­probate and reject them. Men converted are enlightned with the light of the Gospel, wherewith (as the Apostle speakes) Christ hath brought life and immortality to light, 2 Tim. 1.10. whereby he hath expeld all errors, all darknesse and blindnesse of minde. And have tasted of the heavenly gift] The article the added to gift, doth designe and specifie some extraordinary and notable gift. Yet he meanes not the gift of the holy Ghost, because he mentions that particularly by it selfe presently after. And therefore he rather meanes, that which ariseth and followeth in the minde after it is enlightned with the Go­spell; such as is the tranquility and peace of minde, which growes from the knowledge of a plenary pardon of all our sins; and the plea­sing joy which issues from the hope of eternall life. For these are truly heavenly gifts, which men converted unto Christ have tasted, by feeling the pleasantnesse and sweetnesse of them in their soules. And were made partakers of the holy Ghost] Men converted unto Christ, are made partakers of that divine power and efficacy, whereby their minds are yet more cleerely and certainly enlightned; whereby those heavenly gifts are enlarged and increased unto them for the greater beauty, ornament, and comfort of their soules; whereby they are sealed unto the day of redemption, whereby they receive an earnest, a pledge, and an assurance of their heavenly inheritance; and whereby they perceive the certaine truth of their Christian faith, which pro­cures such great benefits from God unto them.

5. And have tasted the good word of God] The good word of God, although it may signifie the whole doctrine of the Gospel, which is very faire and good; every way consonant to reason and honesty: yet by use of Scripture, it seemes to signifie particularly that part of Gods word, which containes Gods promises; because when God makes us a promise, he therein gives us his word; And as Gods other revealed verities are his true word, so his promises are his good word; because they alwayes entitle us to some good which is conveyed in his pro­mise. So Gods promise to the Jews for the release of their Captivity, is called his good word, and his performance of that promise is called the performance of his good word; because both the promise, and especially the performance of it brought a great good to the people of God. Thus saith the Lord, that after seventy yeares be accomplished at Babylon, I will visit you, and performe my good word toward you [Page 99]in causing you to returne to this place, Jer. 29.10. This promise or good word was given unto them before, as ye may reade, Jer. 25.12. And so Gods promise of Christ, in raising a Branch of righteousnesse unto David, was his good word; and the performance of it is called a performance of that good thing which he promised, See Jer. 33.14,15. And the powers of the world to come.] These powers seeme to be those eminent qualities of that world and life to come; such as are everlasting pleasure, glory, beauty, dignity, strength, and force; a totall freedome from all evill, and a totall fulnesse of all good: Of these powers or qualities, men converted unto Christ have tasted; be­cause they are not onely enlightned with the knowledge of them, and delighted with the hope of them, but also affected with an unspeake­able sense of them.

6. If they fall away] Wee have noted before, that the Authour treats not here of a simple falling into sin: but of a falling away which is Apostacy, whereof he before also made mention, chap. 3.13. This may be proved from 2. grounds. 1. Because God doth not use to reprobate men converted unto Christ, and put in that state which the Authour formerly described, if after their conversion adhering still to the Christian religion, if they fall simply into whatsoever sin. For the Apostle saith. If any man sinne (any man that hath given him­selfe to Christ) we have an advocate with the Father, Jesu; Christ the righ [...]eous. 1 John 2.1. From these words it is plaine, that men con­verted unto Christ, shall obtaine pardon of God, even of those sinnes which they have committed after their conversion, in case they forsake them, and wholly cast off the yoke of sinne, and follow Christian ver­tues. For if they were not pardoned for such lapses, then Christ were not their advocare. 2. The Author speaks here of such as crucifie the Son of God againe, and put him to an open shame, as appears in this verse. But this can agree to none but Apostates, as we shall see in the explication of those words. Yet there are some sinnes, which by way of analogie may be reduced to Apostacie; as those that are committed presumptuously with a high hand, after knowledge of the truth, i. ca­sting away all feare and reverence of God. For hee that yet retaines and embraceth the doctrine of Christ in his minde, cannot let him­selfe so loose unto sinne; Or if a man after the knowledge of the truth, and reception of the Christian faith, have no serious thoughts of re­pentance and amendment of life, but indulge himselfe to sinne as free­ly and as loosely as he did before; Or having cast off the yoke of sin, doe againe deliver up himselfe to the servitude and bondage of sinne; The miserable and dolefull condition of such men is described by Peter, 2 Pet. 2. For such men seem little to regard the holinesse of Christian Religion, which they had embraced; and therefore come not much short of them, who altogether reject it. But he that in hope [Page 100]of retaining the reward promised by Christ, doth alwayes carry a minde to forsake sinne, and seriously endeavours it, though for some time he cast not away the custome of some vice, or make himselfe guilty of some heynous sinne through infirmity, is not therefore so wholly reprobated and accursed, that it should prove impossible for him to be recovered from such sinnes, and after recovery to be justified and saved. To renew them againe unto repentance,] To renew is a verb of active signification, and notes the act of another upon one so fallen away. From whence it appeares, in his former words verse 1. where he said, not laying againe the foundation, &c. and at the 3. verse, and this will we doe, doth really speake either of himselfe alone, or at least as including himselfe as the renewer of such. For in these words hee shewes the cause of those, q.d. Take heed, that we be not forced to renew you againe to repentance; because it is impossible to renew a­gaine to repentance those that have once beene Christians, and have ceased to be so. Vnto repentance,] So as they performe the acts of re­pentance, by changing their minde into a better frame, and by con­demning their former resolution to resume that Religion again, which once they have wickedly rejected, and then to compose their life ac­cording to the rules of it. Seeing they crucifie to themselves the Sonne of God afresh,] In these words hee shewes the matter wherein this falling away consists, or rather the foul wickednesse cleaving to it, and therefore what good cause there is, why God wil not have such persons renewed to repentance. To crucifie the Son of God is a damnable wic­kednesse; how much more is it so, to crucifie him afresh, after he is now become glorious, immortall, and Lord of all things? To themselves,] They doe not crucifie him afresh really and properly, for that cannot be, but to themselves. In respect of themselves they doe it; for their falling away from the Christian Religion, is all one as if they crucified Christ; for by their falling away, they judge and condemne him a­gaine to have been a seducer, a teacher of false doctrines, and so to have been deservedly crucified. And put him to an open shame,] They cast a publike ignominy and reproach upon him, as is done to those who undergo a publike and infamous punishment. This very wicked­nesse the Author expresseth in other words, signifying the same thing, chap. 10.29. where he saith, They tread under foot the Sonne, and ac­count the bloud of the Covenant an unholy thing.

7. For the earth,] He illustrates and withall confirmes his former assertion by an argument partly of similitude and partly of contrariety. For while he shews what is done to good men that are fruitfull of good workes, he shews withall what befalls men forgetfull of Gods bene­fits conferred upon them, and ungratefull to him. This simily hee proposeth in a concise and contracted forme of speech, confounding and mingling the members of it, as is frequently done both in Sacred [Page 101]and prophane Writers. For hereupon he seems to say of the earth, that because it is fruitfull, therefore it receives blessing from God; which cannot be said properly but only by way of compatison. For God doth not blesse the earth with fruits as a reward of her fruitfulnesse; for the blessing of God upon the earth is the inriching her with fruits; as appears by the words of Isaac to Jacob, Gen. 27.27. See the smell of my sonne, is as the smell of a field, which the Lord hath blessed. But be­cause a fruitfull soile is tilled the more diligently; hence it is that it more plentifully abounds in fruits. And, as we have noted, the Author spake in this manner, because in the reddition this simily it is properly true. For when a man becomes like a fruitfull soile and abounds in the fruits of good workes, then he receives ablessing from God, in re­ward of his godlinesse. Which drinketh in the raine that often commeth upon it,] The raine that often moisteneth the earth, is like the gifts of God showred downe upon men, whereof he treated, ver. 4.5. which are therefore fitly resembled to the raine often falling on the earth, be­cause they are manifold and plenteous, sufficient to moisten the soul of man, and make it spiritually fertill to produce divers fruits of good workes. The raine may also resemble the frequent and daily preaching of Gods word; which when it is preached, is like a showre streaming downe from heaven to water and fructifie the soule of man. But the former resemblance is more full and more fit to the point. And brin­geth forth hearbs meet for them for whom it is dressed.] The various fruits of vertue, and workes acceptable to God, done according to his Laws, doe resemble those hearbs which the earth brings forth, meet for them that dresse it; or rather meet for them, at whose charge and for whose sake it is dressed, namely for the Lord of the soile, to whom the fruits and revenues of it doe belong and accrue; who in the reddition of the simily, is God. Hence the Apostle saith, We are Gods labourers; ye are Gods tillage, yee are Gods building, 1 Cor. 3.9. Is dressed,] The earth, besides the falling of raine upon it, must have a diligent tilling or dressing. For the raine alone is not sufficient to make the earth fruitfull in hearbs meet for the Owner of it, unlesse it be also dressed by plowing or digging, weeding and dunging. Hence the vine-dresser pleaded for the barren fig-tree, Lord let it alone this yeere also, till I shall dig about it and dung it, Luke 13.8. So also God doth not onely water our soules with his gifts, as with frequent and seasona­ble showres, but also affords us a diligent and various dressing, by the labour of his Ministers, to instruct, exhort, reprove and comfort us. Receaveth blessing from God] Why the Authour speakes thus of the earth, and what that blessing is in reference to the earth, we have shew­ed already in the enterance of this verse. But in reference to men fruit­full in good workes, this blessing of God signifies, both a multiplying of his spirituall gifts in this life (for to him that hath shall bee given, [Page 102]saith Christ, and every branch that beareth fruit, God prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit, John 15.2.) and also chiefly the gift of eternall happinesse in the life to come. For then God blesseth a man when he makes things to goe well with him; but better things can ne­ver go with us, then when he makes us eternally blessed and happy.

8 But that which beareth thornes and briars.] That earth which is watered with frequent rain, and diligently dressed, doth not withstand­ing beare thornes and briars. Whence it appeares, that here the Au­thor hath reference to men, who have received the knowledge of di­vine truth, as the assertion it selfe requires: for proofe whereof, he al­ledgeth these words; and to such men who for no small time have been endowed with divers gifts, and diligently dressed of God. These thornes and briars are all sorts of evill workes, which have no use, but for evil; for hence the Apostle calls them unfruitfull workes, Ephes. 5.11. Among which, Apostasie or defection from Christ, leads the first ranke. And from this simily it is manifest, that the judgement or pu­nishment which expects apostates, doth also wait for them, who have affinity with apostates (whom we mentioned before) who after know­ledge of the truth, and after so many gifts and benefits bestowed by God upon them, are yet indulgent to their sinnes, and without all en­deavour of a better life conformable to Gods lawes. Is rejected,] In the originall, is reprobated: For no man is willing to labour in vain, and to weary himselfe with fruitlesse workes. When a piece of land hath been dressed and dunged with all labour and care, and yet in stead of fruits, bringeth forth nothing but thorns and briars, and other weeds, that yeeld no profit to the husbandman; the manner is for men to meddle no more with such a piece of land, but to reject and leave it. That which the husbandman doth to an evil ground, the same doth God to men that resemble evil ground; for God will bestow no more labour and care upon them, but will reprobate, reject and leave them. And is nigh unto cursing.] The husbandman can hardly forbear from cursing such an evil piece of ground; for it cannot be farre from a curse. So such men as are like evil ground, are not far from the curse of God, but are like the barren fig-tree which Christ cursed, when he found no fruit upon it; Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever, Matth. 21.19. If this curse fall upon fruitlesse men, then there remaines no hope of repentance and amendment. But the Author would rather say, that such ground is nigh unto cursing, then already cursed. For though fruit­lesse men deserve Gods present curse, yet God doth not presently lay his curse upon them, but for a long time delayes their punishment, and expects fruits of repentance; as in the parable of the barren fig-tree, the Lord of it stayed three yeares without any fruit of it, and yet forbare it a fourth yeare at the request of his vine-dresser; Luke 13. Whose end is to be burned.] When a piece of ground failes of his croppes, and [Page 103]brings forth thornes and briars, or light straw without corne, the man­ner of husband men is to kindle fires upon it and burne it. So men bar­ren of good workes, shall at length have a fire kindled vpon them, and be burnt with everlasting torments. Of which fire the Author speakes afterward, chap. 10.27. Now that barren land by burning is not im­paired, but amended; this in this simily is not regared: For it is suffi­cient to the Authors intent, that both are burned, and land is burned for the barrennesse of it, as it were to punish the fruitlesnesse. But herein is the difference, that the burning betters the barren land, but it finally destroyes fruitlesse men, and makes them most miserable. For in every similitude, as we say, there is also some dissimilitude.

9. But beloved] In these words he seemes to meet with a tacite ob­jection, and withall returnes to what he had before intimated, that if need were, they should not altogether despaire of his laying a founda­tion againe. The Hebrewes might thinke, or gather from his words of falling away, &c. that he had no hope at all of their salvation. There­fore he shews, that he doth not account them for reprobates and accur­sed persons, who are for no other purpose then to be punished with eternall fire; neither doth he beleeve them in so miserable and deplo­rable [...]n estate, but that he hath a better opinion of them; and there­fore wrote not the former words, as if he esteemed them such: but onely to cast some feare into their minds, and diligently to warne them of taking heed, that they became not such. Beloved] This place was very seasonable for that terme, lest they should imagine them­selves in his hatred; but thereby might perceive that he carried a Christian love toward them, and love makes us alwayes imagine the best of them we love; and when we let fall a sharp word, it is not done with intent to hurt, but to reforme them. We are perswaded better things of you] Better things then to thinke you reprobates and reje­cted of God, so that God should for the present curse them, and for the future ordaine them to be burnt with fire unquenchable. And things that accompany salvation] Here he opposeth salvation to male­diction or cursing, q.d. I am perswaded that ye are yet in that state, that ye may be saved, if ye have a will to it. Though we thus speake] q.d. My former speech of those which fall away, and are like barren and fruitlesse ground, in a miserable and unhappy state, doth nothing let, but that I am perswaded you are in a better estate; which is not therefore, as if that which he had affirmed were lesse certaine and true. So that in these words he would tacitly mollifie, what he seemed be­fore to have said a little too severely. But that either those Hebrewes were not fully fallen into the state of such as fall away, because they yet ministred to the Saints, were endued with excellent vertues, and had not yet cast off the Christian Religion, but did cleave unto it. Or else that God (as appeares by his following reason) had great cause to [Page 104]release unto them that severity; and therefore, seeing he is not un­righteous, but full of all equity and kindnesse, it might well be hoped that he would release it. For although these Hebrewes had not yet plainly revolted from Christ; yet they were fallen into such negli­gence, that in a manner they had need to be taught againe the first principles of the Christian Religion. Whence it appeares, what cold and dull Disciples of Christ they were; for which offence, if God would deale severely with them, they were worthy to be reprobated, and finally rejected. But because it is Gods manner to deale merciful­ly and kindly with men, and to moderate his penall Laws with equity and mercy; therefore the Author hoped better things of them.

10. For God is not unrighteous] Here he shews the reason why he is perswaded better things of them, then that God should reprobate and reject them. And the reason is, because God will not forget their worke and labour of love. And this he confirmes by this, because God is not unjust; whence it would follow, that God should be unjust, if he should forget them. Some man may here demand how this can stand with what God hath testified of himselfe, Ezeck. 33.13.? If the righteous commit iniquity; all his righteousnesse shall not be remembred: but for his iniquity that he hath committed he shall dye for it. We answer, that God in a diverse respect is said to forget a mans former vertues, and in a diverse not to forget them. He forgets them, in respect that he justifies or frees from punishment no man by reason of his former vertues if he recede from them; in which case Ezekiels words are to be understood. And God doth not forget them, in regard he spares a man the longer for his former vertues, and doth not instantly repro­bate or reject him, but expects and assisteth him for repentance; espe­cially if he be adorned with some eminent vertues, such as charity and bounty toward the godly, as these Heb [...]ewes were, by the acknow­ledgement of the Author. But should God be unrighteous or unjust, if he had no consideration of this? Wee answer. Righteousnesse, as also unrighteousnesse may be taken two wayes. For righteousnesse may bee taken, either for that equity which consisteth in gi­ving every man his proper right; and contrarily unrighteousnesse may signifie that iniquity which infringeth another mans right. Or righteousnesse may denote such an equity, as inclines rather to be neficence and kindnesse, and consisteth in giving those things, where­to a man hath properly no right; yet there may be some causes which may sway him so to grant something, that if he grant it not, wee may well say he deals unequally and hardly. In this latter way God may seem to be said unrighteous, if he should be so unmindfull of vertues both past and present; if he should presently reject men, though other­wise worthy of reprobation, if God should deale with them according to his Law; and no way expect their repentance, but wholly exclude [Page 105]them from all addresse to his clemency & mercy; especially if it appear not, that there are some prevalent causes which restraine God from shewing mercy; as in case he be to shew herein some example of his judg­ment. For God must not presently be said unrighteous, if he deal some­what severely with one or two; but then, when he usually doth it, or doth it with whole Churches. Wherefore the Author brings not here any de­monstrative or convictive reason, or such as that God might not law­fully do otherwise without the aspersion of unrighteousnes or iniquity properly so term'd; but only a reason very probable, drawn for the most part from the clemencie and mercy of God, which is voluntary in him. To forget your work and labor of love] To speak properly forgetfulnes is not incident unto God; but figuratively he is then said to forget, when he hath no regard of a thing, or doth that which men forgetfull doe. Their work as it seems, was the conflict they had in suffering afflictions, from their first entrance into the faith of Christ, as the Author speaks of them afterward, chap. 10 32. Unto which work or conflict he subjoyns the labour of love; for in the place last cited, after that conflict which they endured, the Author mentions their offices of charity, which they exercised toward the Saints. And it is not likely that in this place, where especially their good works were to be mentioned, the Author would passe over their noblest act, wch consisted in suffering for Christs cause. For Paul hath joyned these two together, the work of faith and labor of love, 1 Th. 1 3. where by the work of faith, he seems to understand their many sufferings for the truths sake. For such a work grows immediatly from faith; as labour and bounty toward the Saints springs only from love, and is therefore called the labor of love. And that patience which proceeds from hope is called the patience of hope, because it argues constancie in suffering afflictions under hope of reward, and is there ad­ded to the work of faith and labour of love. Their labour of love was a­nother act of theirs no lesse acceptable to God, and no lesse remarkable in it selfe. Labour of love, is that labour which proceeds from love; or that labour whereto love puts us; and love makes any labour light and easie; for nothing is more powerfull, nothing more imperious then love. And this labour is seen, in helping him whom we love, with all our strength, power & endeavor. Which ye have shewed toward his name] Their love toward God, made them so deare to God, that it would not suffer him to reject them, and wholly exclude them from salvation. And this love was shewed toward the name of God, because they shewed it to no other end, but with respect to Gods name. How this was thus effected hee presently declares. In that ye have ministred to the Saints, and doe minister] We shew love when we minister; and we shew love toward the name of God, when we minister to the Saints, meerly there­fore because they are Saints, and consecrate unto God. For he that mini­streth to the Saints and shews love to the Saints, therefore because they [Page 106]are Saints and beare the name of God, he shews love toward the name of God; as he that ministreth to a Disciple of Christ, because he is his Disciple, he ministreth to Christ himselfe. As much as ye have done it (saith Christ) unto one of the least of these my brethren, yee have done it unto me, Mat. 25.40. This Ministery consisted herein, that in the afflictions of the Saints, the Hebrews were wanting to them in no good office, but helped them in all things to their power; as he expres­seth it afterward, chap. 10.33. that they became their companions in their afflictions. And this is done, when we esteem the affliction of an other to be in a manner our owne; when we have a singular care of him, and performe those offices unto him, that wee would have per­formed to our selves, if we were in his case. And doe minister.] This vertue of ministering to the Saints was not yet quite ceased in them, albeit it may be somewhat abated.

11. And we desire] Here he passeth to the other part of the chap­ter; wherein he exhorts them to a diligent and constant course of god­linesse; and admonisheth them never to faint in their faith and hope. And he seemes here to take away a tacit objection, that might settle in their mindes. From his last former words; they might be too much advanced in hope, to believe that now all must needs goe well with them; seeing God without being unrighteous could not forget the things they had done and suffered, and did yet doe and suffer for Gods cause. Lest they should fall to imagine this, the Author shews them what he would have them yet doe, and what he yet findes wanting in them; if they meant to retaine and assured hope of salvation. Hee pro­ceeds very prudently with them, when a little before, hee seemed to have terrified them too much, and to debarre them from all hope of salvation; he againe erected them, and shewed that he did not so con­ceive this, but that he was perswaded better things of them. And now againe, lest they should be too confident of themselves and bee pussed up in minde, and flatter themselves with an infallible hope of salvation; he shews them their wants, that being thus reduced to a tem­per, that they might neither despair of salvation nor presume of it. That every one of you, do shew the same diligence] He calls not only upon the whole Church in generall, but upon each person singly, to continue the same diligence and endeavor, that they had done from their first recep­tion of the Gospel. To the full assurance of hope] To be assured of a thing is to have a knowledge of it, that it is thus or thus. And a full assurance is a full and certain knowledge, or as we vulgarly speak, it is a certainty. And a full assurance of hope is a certainty of those things that are the object or matter of our hope. And the hope here ment, is the Christian hope, whose object is eternal salvation; wherof our Christian hope is an expectation. And this hope is advanced & augmented by our constan­cy in faith and good works; wherby it is daily more and more assured; [Page 107]and the assurance of it daily made more full. They had a hope of sal­vation grounded upon the promises of God, and quickned by the worke they had done and yet did for Gods cause: but a full assurance of hope they had not; for they had not yet fulfilled the measure of Christian duties, whereof how much was wanting, so much they wanted of full assurance, because so much their hope was the lesse. Vnto the end.] These words may be referred to their diligence, that they should continue that to the end. Or they may be referred to their assurance of hope, that it might last to the end. For a man may gaine a full assurance of eternall life, and yet lose it again.

12. That yee be not slothfull] Slothfulnesse is then when a man be­comes more remisse in the wayes and workes of godlinesse. Where­fore his desire is, that they would constantly hold on to the end, the same course of godlinesse which they held at the beginning. For a re­missenes and slownesse ariseth from the remissenes and faintnesse of our faith. And this is the same fault in them which he reproved before in the 4. chap. ver. 1. and chap. 5.11. But followers of them who through faith and patience] To their slothfulnesse he opposeth faith and pati­ence, because faith and patience are as a remedy to cure their slothful­nesse in the course of godlinesse. Faith is a trusting to Gods promises; and patience in this place signifies perseverance and constancie in faith; or a constant and lasting expectation of his promises, although they seem to be deferred. This patience requires not only, that no delay of time should weaken our faith; but also that no evills or adversities should discourage it: for if by faith we meane to attaine Gods promi­ses, we must looke for many sufferings to intervene in the mean while. For in this sense the Apostle useth the word patience, Jam. 5.7,8. who those men be, of whom they should be followers in faith and patience, he shews in the following verse, namely that they are the Patriarkes, whereof he names Abraham as the principall. Inherit the promises.] This is the fruit of our faith and patience to inherit the promises of our faith: And this he adds the more to excite them to a constancy in faith and patience to the end; because thereby they shall reap the excellent fruit thereof by inheriting the promises. He faith inherit, in the pre­sent tense, because the present tense is commonly put indefinitly for any time, that the mindes of the readers might be drawne as it were to a thing present.

13. For when God made promise to Abraham] In these words hee gives not a reason, why they should be followers of such as inherit the promises: but he onely gives a reason why he makes mention of such. For some man might demand whether there were any such to be fol­lowed, and who they were? In these words therefore for an example thereof, hee produceth Abraham the father of the faithfull, who was most patient and constant in his faith, and reaped the greatest fruit of [Page 108]his faith. And first he shewes that Abraham had the promise of God, upon which his faith relyed; then at the 15. verse, hee mentions the constancy of his faith, and also the fruit of it. Upon the mention of Gods promise made to Abraham, hee mentions also the oath of God; whereby God would confirme his promise to him. This he therefore doth, because the same promise belongs to us also in a mysticall & bet­ter fence, as a little after we shall shew; & therefore we should apply the greater & stronger faith unto it; and therein be followers of Abraham, and other Patriarks that followed him. And we must note the manner of speech which the Author here useth; he saith not that God promised A­braham before he sware, but when he made promise, or in promising he sware; that the truth may appeare of what we noted before, that indefi­nite Participles joyned with a Verbe of the preter tense, must not al­wayes be understood of the time past, but often of the present; So af­terward, chap. 9.12. Christ is said to have entered into the holy place by his owne blood, having obtained eternal redemption for us; Not that Christ obtained that redemption before he entered; but that hee obtained it at his entrance: whereof we shal speak further there. But by the way, the Author shews the cause, why God did sweare by himself; when he saith, Because he could sweare by no greater, hee sware by him­selfe.] Therefore he sware not by another, because then he, by whom he was to swear, must be greater then himselfe, as such a one that must be invocated as an avenger of his violating of his oath, and whom by this meanes the swearer must revere and adore. But God hath none whom he should feare as an avenger, none whom he should adore as a Deity to him; and consequently hath none greater then himself; where fore if God will sweare upon any occasion (as the occasion is exprest, verse 16.) he must needs sweare by himselfe. And when the Author saith of God that he did sweare, he respects the words whereby God made promise to Abraham, saying, By my selfe have I sworn, Gen. 22.16. But the solemne form whereby God useth to swear, is, As I live] q. d. Let me not be accounted for the living God; for all other formes are referred and reduced to this. As when hee is said to sweare by his soule, by his life, by his holinesse, by his arme (that is his strength and power) and by his right hand, (that is his faith.)

14 Saying,] He rehearseth the summe of Gods promise made to Abraham. Surely,] In the originall it is a men, or e men; which is an Adverb of sweating; commonly put after a Verbe whereby wee doe assevere, that a thing is true or shall be done. For as an oath is a Con­firmation of some thing asserted or promised; so every Confirmation is an assurance to him who receives it; and therefore the word Surely is properly an Adverb of swearing. Yet in many passages of Scripture, the word Surely is but an Adverb of Asseveration, which is a lesse and lower Confirmation then an oath. Blessing, I will blesse thee, and mul­tiplying, [Page 109]I will multiply thee.] This promise in some places of Scripture, is indeed delivered in other words: but these make up the generall sum of it. And the gemination or doubling of the words, according to the idiome of the Hebrewes doth intend and magnifie the thing; I will greatly blesse, and greatly multiply. This promise is described. Gen. 22.16. But wee are to note, that this promise pertaines not onely to Abraham, but also to his seed; Or if wee respect the literall or carnall sence of this promise, Abraham is promised to be greatly blessed in his seed: for the blessing consisted in this, as God himselfe declares, that God would multiply Abrahams seed as the starres of heaven, or as the sand upon the sea-shore; that his seed should possesse the gates of their enemies; and all nations should be blessed in him. i. He should have a posterity most numerous and most happy: All which particulars pertain to Abraham no otherwise then by his seed. But if wee respect the spirituall sence of that promise, the blessing of Abraham must be distinguished from his multiplying, and the blessing will consist in his justification, as the Apostle teacheth us, Gal. 3.8,9. wherein we must include his eternall happinesse: which blessing pertaines not onely to Abraham, but also to his spirituall seed, which is Christ. i. all Chri­stian people; whereof, see Gal. 3.16. But the multiplying must bee referred to the innumerable multitude of beleevers; for all that beleeve in Christ, are the children and posteritie of Abraham, Rom. 4.16,17. and Gal. 3.9.

15. And so after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promises.] Now he mentions the constant faith of Abraham, and the fruit of his faith. For that Abraham did long expect the promises of God, and expected till his death, and died in the faith, is well known from the hi­storie of Moses, and the Author declares it afterward, chap. 11.13. And his posterity could not be ignorant, but that he obtained the promise in a literall sence. But the spirituall blessing which consisted in his perfect justification and eternall salvation; as also in the multitude of beleevers, how this was performed unto him, we see. For we see him the Father of so many nations, and we see that God was not ashamed to call him­selfe his God, even when hee was dead; whereof hereafter, Chap. 11.16.

16. For men verily sweare by the greater] Here he gives the reason, why he said, that God did sweare by himselfe and not by another greater then himselfe. Because men when they sweare, they sweare by another greater, but God seeing he hath none greater then himself, sweares by himselfe. The Author therefore shewes the difference be­tween divine and humane oaths; for God swears otherwise then men doe. Men when they sweare, sweare by a greater then themselves, be­cause they have another greater then themselves, namely God. But God, who hath none greater then himselfe, when he sweares, must [Page 110]needs sweare by himselfe. And an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Here he shewes the certain force and use of oaths, that an oath doth determine and end every controversie arising betweene men; when one affirmes and another denies, and the point cannot o­therwise be certainly knowne, for then in such a case an oath is rightly required. An oath for confirmation. An oath required in controversie doth confirme the saying of the one party, and thereby it determines and ends the strife. For that is accounted firme and certaine, which is affirmed and proved upon oath.

17. Wherein God willing more abundantly] Wherein, i. For which cause or by reason whereof. For because that an oath doth confirme and certifie a thing uncertaine and doubtfull; and by the interposing thereof, the controversie is ended; therefore and for that reason God being willing to shew more abundantly the immutabilitie of his coun­sell, interposed his oath. More abundantly to shew the immutability of his counsell.] The end of Gods oath was to shew the immutability of his counsell and purpose in blessing Abraham and his seed. Hee saith not simply, that God was willing to shew his immutabilitie, but to shew it more abundantly; because God by a simple asseveration without any oath, could have abundantly shewen, with what an immutable counsell he had decreed to blesse Abraham and his seed; but that hee might shew it yet more abundantly, and so fully that nothing might be wanting to the confirmation of it, therefore over and above he added his oath. Vnto the heires of promise] The persons whom God would shew this so abundantly, were the heirs of promise, to whom the things promised do appertain. And to whom else doe they appertain, but to Abraham Isaac, Iacob, and their seed; which being two-fold, spiritu­all and carnall, therefore the promises pertaine to the carnall seed in a carnall sence, and to the spirituall in a sence spirituall. To Abraham and to his seed was promised an inheritance and blessing, and an enter­ance into Gods rest, whereof hee treated above, chap. 4. In a carnall sence we must here understand the Inheritance of the land of Canaan, and an earthly happinesse, which long since was performed to the car­nall seed of Abraham: but in the spirituall sence, it is perfect justifica­tion and immortall life, which is performed to his spirituall seed. Con­firmed it by an oath.] Or rather as it is in the margin, he interposed it by oath. God interposed and engaged his oath as an hostage or surety, that the faith of his promise might be secured to the heires of the pro­mise.

18 That by two immutable things. Gods promise and his oath are two things immutable, whereof neither can faile, for Gods oath is im­mutable; and makes his promise irrevocable, and and so both become immutable. In which it was impossible for God to lie.] Not that it is possible for God ever to lie, though he speake not upon oath; but that, [Page 111]howsoever to some man it may seeme possible in other matters, yet in his promise, and that confirmed by oath, wherein man may possibly lye, yet it is impossible for God to lye; yea, (as I may say) it is most farre from all likelihood or shew of possibility. God descends thus to our infirmity, when according to the manner of men that would be cre­dited, he binds his faith unto us, not in bare words, but with the bond of an oath; that if we beleeve men upon the bond of their oath, much more should we thinke it an impiety not to beleeve the most holy God upon his. And there are some learned men, who thinke that the word lye in this place, hath somewhat a larger extent, to include also that which seemes to have any shew of fraud or deceit; as when he that sweares conceales some condition, the non-performance whereof may frustrate the event of the oath, in respect of his intention or expectation to whom the oath was made. Wee might have a strong consolation] Consolation or comfort then ariseth to us, when wee have a hope of some happinesse: but a great and strong comfort proceeds from a hope of the highest happinesse, when our hope thereof is most certaine and infallible, such as is the hope of eternall salvation, assured upon the pro­mise and oath of God. Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.] He speakes not of every hope, but of the hope of Christians; and of that hope which is set before us, namely the hope of eternall life; which hope God himselfe hath set before us by calling us unto it, and giving the meanes to attaine it, namely his promise and oath, high pledges and seales for our assurance of it. And wee have fled for refuge to lay hold of it; for as if we had beene driven downe with some surious storme or tempest, wherein otherwise wee should have perished, we have fled to this hope as to a sacred anchor, to lay hold upon it: To lay hold, is to graspe a thing fast with our hand; which shews how closely and firmely we should apply our minde to this hope, because it is the onely refuge we have in all our dangers and distresses. In all these words the heires of the promise are de­scribed.

19. Which we have as an anchor of the soule] He now explicates the simily which before he had but intimated. Our hope of eternall sal­vation he compares to a firme and strong anchor; and our soule sup­ported by this hope, he likens to a ship riding at anchor. Our hope of eternall salvation is an anchor to our soule; because, as long as our soule is held by this anchor, it is not beaten with any tempests of mi­series, nor broken with rocks and flats, and therefore in no danger of being wrecked. Both sure and stedfast] These be the chiefe qualities of a good anchor; first that the cable be sure and breake not, and then that the anchor be stedfast and come not home. For, if the anchor faile in either of these respects, the ship is in danger to be lost. And an an­chor indeed doth many times faile, for either it comes home, or the [Page 112]cable breakes: but the anchor of our hope can never faile, and there­fore we may assure our selves upon it. And which entreth into that within the vaile] That an anchor may be sure and stedfast, this also is required in it, that being fastened to the ship, it sinke downe to the bottome of the sea, and that there it lye not upon the face of the ground, but pierce deepe within the ground. The like quality is in the anchor of our hope; all the difference is, that the anchor of the ship falls downeward, but the anchor of our hope flies upward, and reach­eth unto heaven it selfe, and pierceth inwardly into the very closets of it. The Author would rather signifie heaven by the word vaile, then call it by the p [...]oper name, because he would prepare himselfe a passage, or rather a returne to his intended treatise of Christs Priesthood, from whence hitherto he had digressed. For, having made mention of the vaile that hanged in the Sanctuary, and parted it from the Oracle or most holy place, he presently takes occasion to speake of the high Priest, whose p [...]oper office it was to enter within that vaile into the most holy place. And therefore he adds.

20. Whither the fore-runner is for us entred] Thus hee speakes of Christ, that withall he may tacitly shew the cause, why our hope should flye so high and enter into heaven; namely, because our fore­runner Jesus Christ is entred there, and entred there for us. He calls Christ our fore-runner, because he is the guide of our journey thither, and goes before, leading thither the whole Army of Saints. He as soone as he entered heaven, drew thither our hope with him. Neither did he enter heaven as a bare guide to us in our journey thither, to shew us the way thither onely by his example, that we might not stray or faile of the right path; but he entred heaven also as a ha [...]binger, there to prepare a place for us that should follow him; for so he testi­sies of himselfe, in saying, In my Fathers house are many mansions &c. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come ag [...]ine and receive you unto my selfe, that where I am, there may ye be also, John 14.2,3. This the Author also teacheth us, by saying for us. Christ is entred heaven for us, even for our sakes, to procure unto us eternall salvation and happinesse there. Even Iesus made a high Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech. In that Christ is made our heavenly and eternall high Priest, therefore eternall salvation is ob­tained for us. For it cannot be, but so great a high Priest doth fully expiate our sins, doth turne away from us all Gods wrath, and what­soever punishments we have deserved, doth procure us eternall life, which is the promised effect of Gods favour; especially seeing our sal­vation is in his hand, and left to his dispose. For hence it comes to passe, that our hope doth raise it selfe up unto heaven and hides it selfe with Christ in the mansions of it; and therefore doth so firmely support our soules, that they cannot be wrecked with any stormes of evils. And [Page 113]so the Author makes entrance to his intended treatise of Christ Priest­hood, which followes in the next Chapter.

The Contents of this sixth Chapter are,

  • 1. Doctrine. Christian Religion hath her principles, verse 1.
    • Reason. 1. Because she hath some doctrines, that are foundations, that must be laid as grouds, eod.
    • 2. Because she hath doctrines that are Initiations, wherein they are instructed that are initiated into Christ, by Baptisme and laying on of hands, verse 2.
  • 2. Doctrine. The notions of a true Christian are severall, verse 4.
    • Reason. 1. To be enlightned with saving knowledge.
    • 2. To be sensible of peace of minde.
    • 3. To partake of the holy Ghost.
    • 4. To be affected with Gods promise of salvation.
    • 5. To be delighted with the endowments which eternall life brings with it, verse 5.
  • 4. Doctrine. Apostates that fall away, cannot be restored by repentance, v. 6.
    • Reason. 1. Because they crucifie Christ againe, v. 6.
    • 2. Because such are reprobated and rejected by God, as barren ground is by the husbandman, v. 8.
  • 5. Comfort. The Hebrewes were in the state of salvation, v. 9.
    • Reason. 1. Because they shewed workes and labours of love in ministring to the Saints.
  • 6. Exhort. We must be diligent to assure our salvation, v. 11.
    • Reason. 1. Because we must be followers of those that did assure themselves, by faith and patience, as Abraham, v. 12, 13.
    • 2. Because God hath assured it by promise to the faithfull, who are the spirituall seed of Abraham, v. 13, 14.
    • 3. Because God hath assured it by his oath wherewith he confirmed his promise, and consequently it is assured us by two things immutable.
  • 7. Doctrine. When God sweares, he sweares by himselfe, v. 13.
    • Reason 1. Because he hath none greater then himselfe by whom to sweare, eod.
  • 8. Doctrine. Hope is an anchor to the soule, v. 19.
    • Reason 1. Because hope keeps the soule sure and stedfast in all the troubles and stormes of this life, ibid.
    • 2. Because it entereth into heaven, where Christ is fore-entred for us.

CHAPTER VII.

1. FOr this Melchisedec] The particle for shews, that the Author would give a reason, of his last words in the former Chapter, why Christ is said to be made a Priest after the order of Melchisedec; namely, because between Mel­chisedec and Christ there is a great conveni­ence and likenesse. For, Melchisedec had a name and a kingdome most agreeable to that of Christ; he was a person of so great dignity, that he exceeded the Patriarch Abraham himselfe; and lastly, in the order of his Priesthood he was like unto Christ. King of Salem] It is manifest that Salem was a City so called wherein Melchisedec reigned. For, we cannot assent to them who say, that he was not truly king of Salem, but onely called so, because his name signified so, as it also signified King of righteous­nesse. But if this had beene onely an appellation of him, the Author would not have said king of Salem, but Melechsalem; as he said not King of Sedec, but Melchisedec. For, who in relating of a mans name, will deliver it partly in a strange language, and partly in the proper language. Wherefore, when Melchisedec is in Scripture called king of Salem, it is apparent; that the name of King doth note his royall office and dignity; and Salem notes the place wherein he did reigne. And many beeleeve, that this City Salem, was the same with Jerusa­lem, which at the first was called onely Salem, and afterward by the adjection of the word Jeru, Jerusalem, as a man would say, the sight of peace. Priest of the most high God] For so the Scripture calls him, Gen. 14.18. And though the word Cohen signifie also a Prince, as the Sons of David are said to have beene Cohenim, 2 Sam. 8.18. which our Translation there renders chiefe rulers; yet being attributed to Melchisedec, it notes him a Priest. 1. Because of that addition here made of the most high God; for this addition takes away all ambigui­ty of the word, and declares him to be a Priest of God, and not a Prince of God. 2. Because this is brought as a reason, why he blessed Abraham in an especiall manner, as shall be shewed afterward. 3. Be­cause Abraham payed him tithes, which were usually paid to Priests. Whence it appeares, that the same word Cohen, which is given to Christ as he is compared with Melchisedec, Psal. 110.4. doth not simply signifie a Prince onely, as the Jews contend, but properly a Priest. For, it is manifest that those words of the Psalme have re­spect [Page 115]to the place in Genesis, where Melchisedec is called Cohen. And it is no strange thing, that anciently Melchisedec was both a King and a Priest; for anciently Kings were wont to performe Sacred rites; which custome grew from hence, that in every family the princi­pall person or ruler of it, did officate in holy functions. Whence it came to passe, that they who afterward became Princes or Rulers of a whole Citie, became also the publike Priests of that Citie, and execu­ted the sacred Ceremonies for the safety of the people: For it made most for the honour of God, that the most honourable person should minister unto him. Who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the Kings] The Author mentions not this meeting, as if in that, there were any Mysterie: but because he would shew how Melchisedec blessed Abraham, and reciprocally how Abraham gave tithes to Melchisedec. In which two points as he shews afterward, the chiefe dignitie of Mel­chisedec appeared. And hee mentions this meeting onely to designe the occasion, the time and circumstances of the action: whereof the History is particularly related. Gen. 14. And blessed him] Him, i. Abraham; for so saith the Scripture, He blessed him and said, Blessed be Abraham of the most high God, possessour of heaven and earth, Gen. 14.19. that is, Let the most high God blesse Abraham, and heap his gifts up­on him in great abundance. And lest any man should think that this was but an ordinary blessing, such as commonly is among friends when they mutually pray and wish all happinesse one to another; therefore he prefixed these words before it, that Melchisedec was a Priest of the most high God; thereby to make us know, that this was a singular bles­sing, as proceeding from a person that was a peculiar Minister of God. Whence it appears, that when Melchisedec is said to be a Priest of the most high God; thereby is not shewed the reason why he brought forth bread and wine, as they would have it, who say that Melchise­dec offered bread and wine to God, and was therefore called a Priest: but in those words is shewed the reason why he blessed Abraham, and why (as it presently follows) Abraham gave him tithes. But the error of these men, who thereby would strengthen their owne opinions may manifestly be convinced from hence, that the Author who most dili­gently prosecutes the likenesse betweene the Priesthood of Melchise­dec and Christ, makes not any the least mention of offering bread and wine, wherein notwithstanding they thinke, the greatest likenesse be­tweene Christ and Melchisedec doth consist, and certainly must con­sist, if both offered bread and wine. Either therefore the Author omit­ted that which was the maine point in so accurate a comparison of Christ with Melchisedec, or else that Melchisedec, or Christ, or both of them offered bread and wine to God, is but those mens dream. Mel­chisedec brought forth bread and wine, that hee might refresh Abra­ham and his company, that were weary after their victory and journey: [Page 116]but hee offered none to God; for this is refuted by the very word of bringing forth, which is never used of offerings: and besides the place and time, when this is said to have been done, refutes it also. For wee use not to meet men upon the way, there to celebrate divine services or performe holy Ceremonies. Also Christ is never read to have offered bread and wine to God: but onely to have instituted a holy Ceremo­nie, wherein bread is broken and eaten, and wine is drunke out of a cup: yet not to perform any offering; but to celebrate the memory of Christ, whose body was broken for us, and his blood shed for us. As for the expiatory offering of Christ for our sinnes; that was not per­formed on earth, but in heaven. Hebrewes 8.4. Neither doth it consist in offering of bread and wine, but in Christs offering of himselfe; as this Authour testifies in sundry places; neither was it to bee iterated often, but once onely to bee performed, as the Authour clearely delivers it afterwards in this Chapter, verse 27. and Chap. 10 14. For that single oblation perfects all the Saints.

2. To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all] The fifth parti­cular that the Author observes in Melchisedec, was, that Abraham gave him the tenth part (as is related in his history;) whence a little af­ter, the Author collects, how far Melchisedec exceeded the Leviticall Priests. The gift that Abraham gave him was a part of the spoiles; for so it is expressed, at the 4. v. following, and the portion hee gave was a tenth part of them; and there were none of the spoils excepted and re­served, for he gave him a tenth part of all. By these words hee partly explicates some things related in Scripture of Melchisedec, and partly observes other things, whereby to make it appeare, how great a person Melchisedec was, and how properly he was a type of Christ. First, being by interpretation king of righteousnesse.] First he ponders the name of Melchisedec, and teacheth that there was an omen in his name. For the Hebrew name Melchisedec being interpreted or translated into an­other language, doth signifie a king of righteousnesso.] There are some who tell us, that this name signifies, my righteous king: but it is very usuall with the Hebrewes in Nownes compounded to adde 1 to the first Nowne, for sweet sounding and ornament, as Adonisedec, Adoni­besec, Abimelech, Achimelech, Haminadab, Abisag, &c. and the same is done also in Melchisedec. From these words it manifestly ap­peares, that this Epistle was not written in Hebrew but in Greek; for ei­ther these must be the words of a Greeke interpreter, or of the He­brew Author; of a Greeke interpreter they cannot be; seeing they are a part of the Text it selfe, and of the reasoning therein. The words of an Hebrew Authour how can they bee? For what could bee more vaine; then first to interpret the name Mel­chisedec and Salem to the Hebrewes, seeing none of the He­brewes [Page 117]could be ignorant of the sense of these names? and then to in­terpret Melchisedec Melechsedec, and Melechsalem Melechsalem. For so these names must needs be interpreted, if this Epistle were writ­ten in Hebrew; unlesse an Hebrew Author, writing Hebrew names to the Hebrewes, should interpret them by another language then the Hebrew. It is therefore apparent that the Writer of this Epistle was a Greeke, who interprets the Hebrew name Melchisedec and Salem; and from these very appellations doth tacitly draw an argument, to shew that Melchisedec is a most elegant type of Christ, who is a King, of all others the most righteous and most peaceable. Whence Esay 9.6. he is called the Prince of peace, because he especially hateth and abhorreth warres, neither cares he to be famous for warres, as the Kings of this world do, but onely for peace; and withall is most hap­py in himselfe, and the author of true happinesse to his people. For, as it is well knowne, the word peace among the Hebrewes signifies also all happinesse.

3. Without father, without mother] He hath shewed that Melchise­deck was a Priest of the most High God; now hee further declares what manner of Priest he was, and in that respect how far he was unlike to the Leviticall Priests; and contrarily how like unto Christ. In the Leviticall Priest, especially in the high Priest, the chiefest regard of all was, to know of what father, what mother, and of what family hee came. But in the Priest Melchisedeck, it is apparent, there was no re­gard at all had of this; seeing the Scripture which testifies of him that he was a Priest, hath declared neither his father, nor mother, nor fami­ly. Melchisedeck therefore is said to be without father and mother, not that hee had no father or mother; but because neither his father nor mother are declared or mentioned in the annalls of the Scripture. For even among prophane Writers they whose pedigree and paren­tage was unknowne, were said to be of no family, and to have neither father nor mother. Theodoret speakes very well upon these words of the Author. ‘"The holy Scripture (saith he) relates the Genealogie of Abraham and many others, as well who went before him as fol­lowed after: she mentions his father, grandfather and great grand­father, and all his direct ancestors; she addes also that when he was so many years old he begat a son, & when so many that he dyed. But she shewes not the father nor parentage of Melchisedeck, nor how long he lived, nor when he dyed."’ Besides, in ordaining the Leviti­call Priesthood it must be knowne of what family he was; for of ne­cessity he must be of the family of Aaron, as Aaron himselfe was of the tribe of Levi; unto which tribe Jacob the Patriarch had Propheti­cally designed the Priesthood, as he had the Kingdome to the tribe of Judah. Regard also was had of his mother; for she must be an Israelite one of the twelve tribes; otherwise the sonne borne of her, being a [Page 118]stranger though married to the high Priest, was illegitimate for the Priesthood; and also the high Priest must necessarily be borne of a woman that was married to his father when she was a virgin, or was the widow of some other Priest; and one that was not of a plebeian and vulgar family; whereof see Lev. 21.13. Without descent, or pedigree] Whose genealogy or pedigree is not declared in Scripture. For a pe­digree is a declaration of a mans parentage or descent: He is not with­out descent or parentage that hath no parentage at all; but because his parentage is not mentioned or extant, and therefore not knowne. And by this word it may appeare in what sense the Author said that Mel­chisedek was without father, and without mother; namely, because as there is no mention in Scripture of his pedigree and ancestors, no nei­ther of his parents; whereof the former is consequent to the latter. For hee whose parents are unknowne, how should his pedigree and descent be knowne? Having neither beginning of dayes nor end of life] Dayes may here be taken, not for the time of his life, but for the time of his Priesthood when that began or ended; for so the Scripture mentions the dayes of Herod and of John Baptist. And in this sense Melchisedeck is said to have neither beginning of dayes, nor end of life, because the Scripture declares not, at what time his Priesthood began, nor when it ended; to make it hereby appeare, that in his Priest­hood there was no respect had either of his predecessor or successor. For therefore in every Priest the beginning and ending of his Priest­hood is noted, that it might thence appeare what predecessor and what successor each Priest had. And further the end of life is fitly opposed to the beginning of his Priesthood; because the Priesthood expired not but with his life. But if by Dayes we understand the time of his life, then we must acknowledge, that the beginning of his life is mentioned only for opposition and amplifications sake: For it was enough for the Author to shew that Melchisedeck had no knowne successor in his Priesthood; that in this respect he might be a type of Christ, which he expresseth by saying, he had no end of life. But being willing to say yet more for illustrations sake, he affirmes, that as he had no end of life, so he had no beginning of it; and therefore no marvell if the end of his life were not mentioned, when the beginning of it was concealed. But made like unto the Son of God, abideth a Priest continually] But com­pared or likened unto Christ, abides a Priest perpetually, and without any successor. He doth in these words further yet illustrate the point from the contrary. Melchisedec hath no end of life, but remaines a Priest perpetually or for ever. And when hee would signifie where the Scripture testifies this, he saith, made like unto the Sonne of God; q.d. There the Scripture testifies it, where she compares and likens him to Christ. For the Scripture no where expresly saith of Melchi­sedec alone by himselfe, that he abides a Priest for ever, but only in [Page 119]comparing him with Christ, in the very words spoken of Christ, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. In which words the Scripture doth withall insinuate tacitly and by force of the com­parison, that Melchisedec was a Priest for ever, and takes it as it were for granted. For unlesse she first suppose the perpetuity of Melchisedecs Priesthood, how could she in this respect make Christ like unto Mel­chisedec? The Author saith, that Melchisedec was like unto Christ, when it seems he should rather have said, that Christ was like to Mel­chisedec. Yet the Author not only might speake so, but in a manner must. He might say so, because things alike are mutually so, and each is like the other. And hee must, because when the Author would speake roundly, and referre the words of the Psalme, Thou art a Priest for ever, directly to Melchisedec himselfe; Melchisedec must be na­med in the first place, and not the Sonne of God; and therefore he is rightly inferred to be like the Sonne of God, and not the Sonne of God like him. For otherwise either the words of the Psalme must seem to bee referred to the Sonne of God, as the Psalme it selfe re­ferres them, and not directly spoken of Melchisedec by the Author; or certainly the perpetuity of Melchisedec must be asserted by this te­stimony of Scripture some other way yet not so roundly and briefly. And besides, the Author would tacitly shew by this manner of speech, that the perpetuity of Melchisedec, was but typicall and umbratilous compared to the eternity of Christ; and therefore in this respect, Mel­chisedec was rather to be likened to Christ, then Christ to Melchise­dec. Abideth a Priest continually] That abides continually, which hath no intermission or cessation from being; which being applied to time signifies perpetuity. How Melchisedec is a Priest abiding perpetually and for ever, the Priesthood of his antitype who is Christ, may teach us. Christ is therefore a Priest abiding for ever, because his Priest­hood lasteth a long time, and so long as there is any use of a Priesthood, or so long as the state of things shall so continue that there is no further need of any Priesthood: And then there shall be no further need of any, when the people of God are translated into heaven, and shall need no further expiation of their sinnes. So also Melchisedec was a per­petuall Priest, because his Priesthood lasted a very long time, and to­gether with it the knowledge and worship of the true God among men was extinguished; so that there was no further place or use of that Priesthood that was dedicate to the true God. For a thing is said to abide for ever, which both lasteth a long time, and also so long as the nature of the thing will beare. So David saith, that he will praise God for ever; so the Law is said eternall; and the Gospel in this sense is called eternall; and many other things in like manner. This way Melchisedec is called an eternall Priest, though in reference to Christ his Priesthood compared to the Priesthood of Christ hath but an [Page 120]umbratilous eternity, as the shadow to the body. For if the likenesse were in every respect, then there would not be a figure and a truth, but either both figures or both truths. Therefore the likenesse be­tweene Melchisedec and Christ in this place, consisteth in three things. 1. As in the Priesthood of Melchisedec there was no respect had of his parentage or family; for he is said to be without father, mother and descent: so neither in the Priesthood of Christ, who according to the flesh descended from that Tribe, who had no title to the Priesthood. 2. That both were perpetuall Priests for ever; Melchisedec in an um­bratilous and figurative way, but Christ solidly and really. 3. As Melchisedec in his Priesthood had no predecessor nor successor; so neither had Christ in his.

4. Now consider how great this man was] Here begins another part of the Chapter, wherein the Author shews, how farre Melchisedec surpasseth in dignity the Leviticall Priests. That from thence it might appeare, how farre more worthy that Priest is, who is after the order of Melchisedec, and of whom Melchisedec was but a shadow; for such a Priest must needs farre surpasse any Priest that is after the order of Aaron. For, if the shadow were so excellent, what shall we attribute to the body it selfe? Now that Melchisedec was a more worthy per­son then the Leviticall Priests, he proves by three reasons. 1. Because Abraham gave him tithes. 2. Because he blessed Abraham. 3. Be­cause hereupon the Scripture testifies, that he lives for ever. He calls therefore upon the Hebrewes to consider this man, that he might stirre them up to ponder and weigh the dignity of Melchisedec, q.d. I have briefly declared unto you from Scripture, how farre she speakes or is silent concerning Melchisedec. Now consider and ponder the parti­culars well, that thence ye may know how farre he excells the Leviti­call Priests. Vnto whom even the Patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoiles] The dignity of Melchisedec above the Leviticall Priests, appeares first from this, that even Abraham gave him tithes. The particle even may be referred to Abraham; and then it seemes added to exaggerate and amplifie the dignity of Melchisedec from the per­son of Abraham; that not some vulgar person, but even Abraham him­selfe gave him tithes. And to this opinion it elegantly agrees, that to the name of Abraham is added the title of Patriarch, and that with the article the] the Patriarch Abraham: For when we would amplifie the honour of a person we put an addition of title to his name. Or as the order of the words require, the particle even may be referred to the tithes; and then it aggerates and amplifies the dignity of Melchisedec from the gift of Abraham, that Abraham gave him tithes, which is no vulgar present, but a solemne and sacred portion. So that the great dignity of Melchisedec is illustrated and magnified from two particu­lars, as well from the person of Abraham, who was the Patriarch, as [Page 121]from the gift of Abraham, which was a tenth of the spoiles. The ar­ticle the prefixed before Patriarch, doth not evince that Abraham on­ly was a Patriarch, and no other men so: but it notes that he was some principall and renowned Patriarch, as indeed he was; for he was the father and Prince of the Patriarcks, and the first founder of the Jewish Nation, for whose sake the Jews became a Nation, because they were the seed which God promised him to be multiplyed unto him. Now from all this, that so great a person as Abraham, the father and foun­der of the Jewish Nation should give a tithe to Melchisedec; from all this, I say, appeares the great dignity of Melchisedec. For he that re­ceives tithes is greater then he that gives them: and therefore Melchi­sedec must needs be greater then Abraham, who yet was the greatest of all the Jewish Nation; and consequently Melchisedec must needs be greater also, then all the Jewish Nation.

5. And verily they that are the sons of Levi] He amplifies and illustrates his former argument; and compares Melchisedec with the Leviticall Priests in the point of taking tithes. In which respect, he acknowledgeth a great dignity and prerogative in the Levites, in that all the rest of the tribes though descendants with them from the same Abraham, yet were bound to pay them tithes. And so the dignity of Melchisedec far ex­ceeded theirs. Who receive the office of the Priesthood] He saith not, that the sons of Levi receive the office of Priesthood; but they of them who receive it. For all the Levites had not right to the Priesthood, but only some of them, namely the posterity of Aaron, as ye may see at large, Num. 3. & Num. 18. The rest of the Levites were joyned to the Priests, to minister unto them in the holy things, to keep the Temple and the holy vessels, to be [...]r the A [...]k when need required (which notwithstand­ing they might neither touch nor look upon, till it were wrapped up) to slay the ordinary sacrifices brought by single persons, and to performe such other services. Have a commandement to take tithes of the people] This right and priviledge was granted them from God, to claim tithes of the people: For to speak properly, the commandement to take tithes was not laid upon the Priests, but the people were bound by Gods commandement to give tithes; and thereupon the Priests had a right to require and exact them. According to the Law] The manner how tithes should be paid, the matter from what things, the persons to whom, and the times when, are all determined by Gods Law. For first the people must give tithes to the Levites, Numb. 18 21. Then the Levites must give tithes of their tithes to the Priests. Numb. 18.28. And herein the dignity of the Priests appeares farre the greatest, be­cause not onely the rest of the Tribes, but also the Levites themselves who were of the same Tribe, gave tithes unto the Priests. That is their brethren though they came out of the loynes of Abraham.] Certainly a great dignity. Which would not have beene so great, if some other [Page 122]men had beene bound to pay them tithes; but that their owne bre­thren, who came as well as they from the loynes of the same Abra­ham, should be bound to it by the Law of God; this was a great argu­ment of the dignity and eminency that rested in the Priests.

6. But hee whose descent is not counted from them, received tithes of Abraham] He shews how much in this respect Melchisedec is greater then the Leviticall Priests, whom first he described in such words, as most elegantly agree to Christ his antitype; that he might tacitely shew, that it nothing hindered Christ from the dignity of his high Priesthood, that he came not from the Tribe of Levi. For it is as much as if he had said, The Leviticall Priests have this right and dig­nity, that they take tithes of their brethren though they descend from the same Abraham: But how much greater is it, that he, who as he comes not from the same stock, so neither doth he count his kindred from them, tooke tithes of Abraham himselfe? For it is much more, and more worthy to have Abraham himselfe tributary to him, then those who come from the loynes of Abraham. Wherefore the Levi­ticall Priests have no cause to boast, as if to their line alone this right and priviledge were granted of taking tithes from the people; seeing he who neither belongs to their line, nor accounts himselfe of it, did (as the Author speakes) decimate Abraham himselfe. And blessed him that had the promises] We have said before, that the Author preferres Melchisedec before the Leviticall Priests for three reasons; whereof the first is bipartite, whose former part the Author hath hitherto pro­duced; and referring the latter part to the end of the proofe, he comes here to the second full reason, taken from the act of Melchisedec in blessing Abraham. Yet that the great dignity of Melchisedec might the more evidently appeare in this act of blessing, he doth not name Abraham, but describes him under this notion, him that had the pro­mises, q.d. Melchisedec blessed him, whom God was to blesse, and had bound himselfe by promise to blesse him, and make him a blessing. For God had already said unto him, I will make of thee a great Nation, and I will blesse thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will blesse them that blesse thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed, Gen. 12.2,3. To blesse this man that had such promises of blessing, and those so great, that there were none greater knowne upon earth; and to blesse him also, not by way of charity or good will, by praying for all happinesse upon him; but in a singular way according to his office, as he was the Minister and Priest of God; to whose prayer and wish God would in a manner obliege himselfe, which certainly is an evidence of high preeminence and dignity. And from thence he meanes to conclude that Melchisedec was greater then Abraham.

7. And without all contradiction, the lesse is blessed of the greater. He [Page 123]had before expressed the Assumption, that Melchisedec blessed Abra­ham; and now hee addes the Proposition, leaving every man to frame the conclusion, that Melchisedec is greater then Abraham. And if hee be so much greater then Abraham, much more is he greater then the Leviticall priests. Without all controversie] These words shew that his assertion is so evident and manifest; that no man can well deny it, and that with good cause. For every kinde of apprecation or blessing, is not here to be understood; for even the least and meanest person may blesse and pray for the best and greatest, and many times doth so: but as we have often noted, a singular and sacerdotall blessing. For he that gives another a blessing, as the Priest and especiall Minister of God, to whom God hath committed the right and office of it, in such manner, that God will second the blessing of the Priest with his, and in a man­ner be obliged to performe it: certainly that person that thus gives the blessing, is greater and worthier then he that receives it. He is greater and worthier, if not in estate and civill power, as if hee blesse a King, when hee himselfe is none, (which notwithstanding had not place in Melchisedec) yet certainely in regard of sacred function: For hee is nearer in degree to God then the other, as a mean person between God that blesseth, and the partie blessed; to whom he gives a kinde of right to obtaine from God the things hee prayeth for. Therefore wee read, Numb. 6.27. That God, after he had commanded that Aaron and his sonnes should blesse the people of Israel, and had prescribed also the forme of the blessing, doth professe that he will second the blessing, and confirme it upon the people. They shall (faith God) put my Name upon the children of Israel, and I will blesse them. Hence the sonne of Syrach, when hee supplicated God for the people, and endeavoured to move him by his prayers, he forgets not this blessing of Aaron, saying, O Lord, heare the prayer of thy servants, according to the blessing of Aaron over thy people.] Ecclus. 36.17.

8. And here men that die receive tithes] Now followeth the third reason, whereby he proves that Melchisedec is greater then the Leviti­call Priests; namely, Because the Leviticall Priests receive tithes; yet one of them dies after another, and they succeed one another in the Priest-hood: but Melchisedec hath a testimony of Scripture for him that he liveth. Here, i. here under the law and among us. But there he of whom it is witnessed, that he liveth.] There where wee read that Abraham gave him tithes, he then received them, whom the Scripture witnesseth that he lives. But wee must note that the Author opposeth not Melchisedec to mortall men, but to dying men onely; neither doth he say that he is immortall, but only that he liveth. For life is not op­posed to mortality, but properly to death. And there the Scripture saith, That Melchisedec doth live, where shee affirmes him to bee a Priest for ever. And shee affirmes it in her comparison of him with [Page 124]Christ, when she saith, Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Mel­chisedec, Psal. 110.4. as we explicated it before in this Chapter, vers. 3. Where we shewed that Melchisedec was called a Priest for ever, be­cause he exercised his Priest-hood a long time, even for the full terme of his naturall life; and that he lived so long a Priest, as there was any knowledge of the true God among the men of his time, and any place for the Priest-hood; so that Melchisedec in his Priest-hood, resembled for his continuance all the Leviticall Priests, who succeeded one after another; which eternity of his was but umbratilous and figu­rative (as we said) of Christs eternitie. And therefore the life of Mel­chisedec was nothing but a shadow of that life which is in Christ. And if we respect the scope of the Authour, it makes not to the matter, that Melchisedec did at last yeeld to the law of nature and die; for he speaks not of Melchisedec for himselfe, but for Christ, who truely lives for ever. It sufficeth in Melchisedec, that the eternall life of Christ was in some manner shadowed, and signified in the Scripture. And this is the reason why the Authour opposed Melchisedec to dying men, and said he liveth for ever. For when wee speake of the type, as of the anti­type, we many times so speak of it, as of the anti-type it selfe: although the words must be applyed figuratively to the type, and properly to the antitype.

9. And as I may so say, Levi also who receiveth tithes, payed tithes (or was decimated) in Abraham. Here at last comes in, the other of the first reason, which we said was bipartite; and wherewith the Author now confirmes the dignity of Melchisedec; namely, that when Melchisedec tooke tithes of Abraham, he tithed also Levi, and all the Priests sprung from his loynes, who were themselves to receive tithes. To shew the great dignity of Melchisedec, it was not enough for the Author to say, that he tithed Abraham himselfe, but Levi also, who tooke tithes, was by him tithed in Abraham; For it is as much as if hee had taken tithes of Levi, when he tooke them of him, in whose loynes Levi was yet latent. Therefore in a figurative way of speech the Author saith, that Levi was tithed through Abraham. For because he could not say pro­perly, that Levi gave tithes to Melchisedec through Abraham, there­fore lest his words should seem harsh, he mollifies them thus, (as I may so say) whereby hee plainely declares, that what hee spake here of Levi, must not bee taken literally and properly, but in a certaine sence and forme of speech. Levi also who re­ceiveth tithes] not in his owne person, but in his posteritie; so that it is not strange, that hee is said to have given tithes in his father, who is also said to have taken them in his children. But now let us see, how the Author proves this.

10. For hee was yet in the loynes of his father when Melchisedec met him] Here he proves that Levi gave tithes to Melchisedec through [Page 125]Abraham, thus. If at that time Levi had been a person severed from Abraham and had enjoyed his estate apart to himselfe, this fact of Abraham in giving tithes to Melchisedec had nothing concerned him. But because Levi was then so united and joyned with Abraham, that he yet lay couched in Abrahams loyns; therefore he also is justly accoun­ted to have given tithes to Melchisedec in or through Abraham. Which sentence notwithstanding must not be transferred to all the a­ctions of a father; but only to those which properly consist either in the increase or decrease of his estate, which useth to descend to his chil­dren by right of inheritance; and the payment of tithes is such an action, for it so much decreaseth the fathers estate. For they are paid out of the fathers goods, which thus farre are already the childrens, in that the right of inheritance thereto belongs to them; especially if it be certaine that the father hath or may have children to succeed him in his estate, as Abraham had, to whom God had for certaine promised a posterity. For as the heire after his fathers death doth in a manner re­present the person of his father, by his succeeding to him and possessing his estate: so likewise the father before his children be severed from him and have a right to dispose of his goods as their own, doth in a manner also represent the person of his heire and of all the rest of his children: and what he then ordereth or doth in his goods, the same in a manner his heires are accounted to doe. I say in a manner, because properly this cannot be said, neither doth the Author himselfe say pro­perly, that it was done, but acknowledgeth an impropriety in his words as we noted before. Hence may easily be understood that which to­gether with the Author we affirme; that such acts of the parents must be extended only to those of their successors or posterity, to whom the inheritance or some notable portion of their goods shall descend, either for certainty as here to Abrahams posterity, or at least in all probabi­lity. For otherwise that force of inheritance whereof we speake, will expire; and what any man orders concerning his estate cannot be attri­buted to his children and posterity.

11. If therefore perfection] After that by comparing Melchisedec with the Leviticall Priests, hee had shewed that Melchisedec was a Priest, and a Priest much differing from the Leviticall, as a person farre greater and worthier then they. Now he proceeds to the third part of the Chapter. And in regard that after those Leviticall Priests, there must be another Priest ordained according to the order of Melchisedec and not according to the order of Aaron; therefore he thence argues and proves the imperfection of the Leviticall Priesthood, and also of the Law it selfe, upon which that Priesthood was ordained; and upon the imperfection of that Priesthood and Law, he proves the abrogation of both. If perfection were by the Leviticall Priesthood] By perfection here he understands nothing else, but a true and perfect expiation of [Page 126]sinne, whereby the guilt not of some sinnes only but of all, even of the most grievous offences and crimes is taken away; whereby all punish­ments of sinne not only temporall concerning this life, but the eternall punishment of death it selfe is remitted and forgiven; whereby a right to eternall life is granted unto men: and lastly, whereby not only all guilt of all sinnes, but all sinnes themselves are taken away from men. For in these things consisteth the true perfection of men before God. If therefore this perfection could have been brought to men by the Leviticall Priesthood, certainly there had been no need nor use of a new Priesthood after the order of Melchisedec; for every Priesthood is ordained for the expiation of sinnes. But if a perfect expiation of sinnes could have been effected by the Priesthood after the order of Aaron, what need a new Priest bee super induced after the order of Melchisedec, to performe those actions which might have been done by the former? Wherefore seeing God would ordaine a new Priest, and also now hath ordained him; hence it appears, that by the Leviticall Priesthood, no man could obtaine perfection or perfect expiation, and certainly no man did obtaine it. For by that Priesthood some sinnes only were expiated; namely, as we shewed before, ignorances and in­firmities: but great offences as crimes and villanies were punished with death. Neither had that expiation any force to take away eternall death, but only to release some temporall punishments proper to this life. Neither in those sacrifices was there any power to withdraw men from sinne it selfe; all which particulars the Author prosecutes in the passages following. Yet the Author useth not the word perfection in one sense only, for there are divers perfections of a thing; and there­fore we must still gather from the matter handled what perfection hee meanes. Here because hee speaks of perfection flowing from the Priesthood, therefore no other can be understood but that which is seen in a perfect expiation of sinne; namely, that a man bee wholly spotlesse and blamelesse, subject neither to paine nor losse by any sen­tence of condemnation in the sight of God. In which sense he useth the same word, chap. 10. 14. For under it the people received the Law] For what purpose the Author inserted these words into his former ar­gument, we shall see afterward; and for the present shall speake of their explication. Under it, i. under the Priesthood, as if the people had received the Law under the Priesthood; and so most Interpreters af­firme. But this sense is contrary to the words in the originall, which are [...], and doe not signifie under it, but upon it; and contrary to the truth of the thing; for the Law was not given under the Priesthood as if the Priesthood had been extant before the Law given; but rather contrarily a great and principall part of the Law was already given be­fore the Priesthood was ordained; so that it might be more truly said, the Priesthood was given under or after the Law, then the Law under [Page 127]or after the Priesthood. And lastly, this sense is contrary to the mind of the Author, and makes nothing to the purpose: For what makes it to the purpose in hand, that the Law was given in the time of the Priesthood? For would it thence follow, either that perfection must be by that Priesthood; or if perfection were by it, that there were no need of another Priesthood? or lastly, if the Priesthood were abro­gated, that then the Law were abrogate? Wherefore as the Greeke words sound, it is said in this place, that the people received the Law not under the Priesthood, but upon the Priesthood. And to receive the Law upon the Priesthood, is nothing else but of the Priesthood, concerning or touching it. Which sense some Interpreters doe ac­knowledge, as Junius and Tremellius and Piscator. For the Greeke particle [...] answers the Hebrew Hal; which often notes the object or matter of a thing. Now therefore these words may seem to cohere with the minde of the Author three wayes. 1. If we say, that in them he shews the cause, why he named the Leviticall priesthood and no o­ther; q.d. therefore I name the Leviticall priesthood, because the people received the Law of it. 2. That in them he shews cause, why it might seem, that perfection came by that Priesthood; namely, be­cause the people received the Law of it. 3. That those words con­taine a confirmation or peculiar reason, why if perfection came not by the Leviticall priesthood, there must not be another Priest ordained di­verse from the Leviticall. For though this would bee sufficient of it self to exclude another Priest; yet it follows so much the more, if not only perfection be by the Leviticall Priesthood, but also that Priest­hood was established by the Law: and of this reason wee most ap­prove. Therefore it is as much as if the Author had said, If perfecti­on be by the Leviticall Priesthood, especially seeing concerning it, Laws were given to the people; what need is there, for the ordination of another Priest? for many times in Scripture a reason of a sentence is inserted, before the sentence bee fully uttered in all the parts of it. Whereof among other places we have an example, 1 Pet. 4.1.2. in these words, For he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin, which must be read as in a parenthesis. For they containe the cause, why Christians must suffer in the flesh with Christ; i. crucifie the flesh, be­cause he that hath suffered in the flesh; i. whose body is put to death, he hath ceased from sinne. And the reason is generall, agreeing to all the dead. Therefore the words which follow from the beginning of the second verse, That he no longer should live, &c must not be joyned with the words next preceding, Ceased from sinne; but (they being included in a parenthesis as a generall reason) they must be referred to the former words, arm your selves, as to their finall cause. The mind of the Author in this place will be more plain, if we transfer these words, to the end of the verse, thus. Therefore if perfection be by the Leviti­call [Page 128]Priesthood; what further need was there that another Priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron; especially seeing of that Priesthood the Law was gi­ven to the people? For thence it presently followes, that together with this Priesthood the Law must be abrogated, when a Priest ordained according to the order of Melchisedec; which should not be abrogated unlesse there were some default in it. That another Priest should rise] From his former grounds he inferres, that a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, must be another and a different Priest from those Priests that are after the order of Aaron. For Melchisedec was both a King and a Priest; the Levites were onely Priests; he had no Priestly pedi­gree, these must have so; he had neither predecessor nor successor: these succeed one another; he is an eternall Priest; these dye: last­ly, he is greater and worthier then Abraham himselfe, and therefore much more so then the Leviticall Priests. After the order of Melchise­dec] The order of Melchisedec is a little otherwise taken then the or­der of Aaron: for by that is signified a likenesse onely with the Priest Melchisedec, as the Author speakes afterward, ver. 15. but in this is contained not onely a likenesse with Aaron, but also a naturall succes­sion into his place and Priesthood.

12. For the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the Law] He brings a reason, (which notwithstanding was before tacitely shewed in the parenthesis which we explicated) why a Priest must be ordained according to Aaron, and no other rise according to the order of Melchisedec, if by the Aaronicall Priest­hood mens sins could have beene expiated perfectly. The reason is, because the Priesthood could not be abrogated or changed, unlesse the Law whereby it was established were abrogated and changed also Wherefore either to preserve the authority of the Law it selfe, if not for the dignity of the Leviticall Priesthood, a Priest must have beene ordained after the order of Aaron, if perfection came by that Priest­hood. But because this was not done, therefore it is manifest that per­fection could not be given by that Priesthood; and consequently for the imperfection of it, there was good cause it should expire. He saith the Priesthood was changed, not onely for that it was translated to another Tribe (diverse from that of Levi) wherein a Priest was or­dained after the order of Melchisedec: but also in that the Priesthood it selfe was altered and changed into another kinde different from the former. Although to the end the Author might use this word in this latter sense for altered, therefore from the former sense of changing the Tribe he might take occasion consequently to use it of the Law, there­by to signifie the abrogation of the Law. For hence afterward at the eighteenth verse, when he speakes of the Law alone, instead of the word changed, he puts disanulling, or abrogating. And the abrogation [Page 129]of the Law, though in this place it properly be referred to that part of the Law, whereby the Aaronicall Priesthood was established, yet we must know, that upon the abrogation of that Sacerdotall Law, all the force and authority of the Law of Moses was disanulled also, espe­cially concerning externall rites and ceremonies. For together with the Priesthood, not some one Law fell alone, but many Lawes and di­vers rites fell with it; neither is there any cause to thinke, but that upon the expiring of so many Lawes, all the rest of the same kinde and na­ture died also. And besides, upon the abrogation of one Commande­ment of Moses Law, is not that bond of the Law dissolved, which layes a curse upon him, that continues not in all things that are written in the booke of the Law: but upon the dissolution of this bond, the whole frame of the Law must needs fall asunder. For from that bond it appeares that it was the minde of the Law-maker, that all the pre­cepts or commandements of that Law should either stand together, or by the fall of one, the authority of the whole Law should faile.

13. For he of whom these things are spoken] Here the Author proves, that the Priesthood being changed, or another Priest after the order of Melchisedec being ordained, the Law thereupon must needs bee changed or abrogated. The reason is, because the person designed by these words Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec] descended not from Levi, but from another Tribe; out of which no person descending might lawfully approach to the Altar, to offer sacri­fice as a Priest. But the Law which ordained the Priesthood of Aaron, did expresly provide, that no man not of the Tribe of Levi, and no man of that Tribe not of the family of Aaron, should exercise the Priesthood. Whence it is manifest, that a Priest after the order of Melchisedec could not be ordained, unlesse the Law were violated. Pertaining to another Tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the Al­tar] Attendance at the Altar, is the performance of the Ceremonies, by officiating at the Sacrifices, and ordering those things that apper­tained to the Altar & to such other services. And attendance here must not be taken for the act of doing it, but for the right to do it: for it is wel knowne, that some Kings did dare de facto to approach unto the Altar & burn Incense there, but by usurpation, and without any right to do it.

14. For it is evident our Lord sprang out of Iudah, of which Tribe Mo­ses spake nothing concerning Priesthood] Here he confirmes his former reason, that Christ our Lord of whom these words were spoken, that he was a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec, pertained to a Tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the Altar, or performed the office of Priesthood. The reason is, because it is evident that he sprang out of Judah, of which Tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the Priesthood; and therefore by the Law had no right to the Priesthood; for this followes upon the former. And the Author [Page 130]takes it for granted, that he of whom the words of the Psalme are spo­ken, is our Lord Christ the annointed of God. That Christ sprang out of the Tribe of Judah, he saith it is evident, i. generally knowne to all men; for no man was ignorant that Christ came from the line of Da­vid. And he had good reason to take this for granted, because these words of the Psalme, Thou art a Priest for ever] are spoken of him, whom David in the beginning of that Psalme calleth his Lord, spea­king of him in the spirit: but he that is the Lord of David, must needs be our Lord also; who seeing he is mentioned of the Lord Jehovah, or the most high and onely God, as a distinct person to whom the words were spoken, from him that spake them, Sit thou at my right hand, and Thou art a Priest for ever, certainely he can be no other then Christ our Lord the anointed of God. For that this was acknowledged of the Masters and Doctors among the Jewes, it is manifest from hence, that Christ disputing with the Pharisees, supposeth it, as a thing no way doubtfull but confessed of all, when he demanded of them, How Da­vid could call Christ his Lord, seeing as they had answered him, he was his son. For unlesse they had all acknowledged it, the answer had beene easie to say, that Christ was neither that Lord, nor so called of David. The Author also supposeth it for granted, that our Lord Christ sprang from the Tribe of Judah; because he wrote to them who were already perswaded that Jesus of Nazareth was Christ. And Christ, though he was conceived by the holy Ghost, without the act of any man, yet is said to spring from Abraham, from Judah, and from David; because he was borne of Mary the wife of Joseph, who was of the posterity of David, of Judah, and of Abraham. For any son, that is borne of a mans wife, which is accounted her husbands body, though it be not begotten by the husband, so it be not begotten by any other man, is his son who is husband to the woman. For God hath free li­berty to give a man a son any way, whether naturally by the husband, or supernaturally without the husband. For by the Law of God it was ordained of old, that when the husband died without issue, his brother if he have any, should marry the widow, and as soone as he had any childe by her, it should be called the seed of her husband that was de­ceased. With how much more reason may Christ justly be called the son of Joseph, and therefore of David, Judah, or Abraham? because, though he were not begotten by Joseph himselfe; yet he was begot­ten in his life time, not by the act of any other man supplying the part of Joseph, but by the worke and power of the holy Ghost; and by him begotten upon Mary the espoused wife of Joseph. The points by some disputed on this place; whether Christ by his mothers side were not of the Tribe of Levi? are doubtfull in themselves, and impertinent to the matter. For among the Jews, no man was referred to any Tribe, but by his father. Hence in all the genealogies or pedigrees men­tioned [Page 131]in Scripture, men onely are named: but the genealogies of wo­men are never described, or no otherwise but by the men, as the gene­alogie of Iudith, chap. 8. But if in any genealogie a woman be men­tioned, her parents are not inserted, as Matth. 1. Boos begat Obed of Ruth; Judas begat Pharez of Thamar. David begate Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Vrias. The reason is, because it mattered not for the tribe or pedigree of what woman the childe were borne, whe­ther of one or other. For the father alwayes gave the tribe and family to the childe. Wherefore the genealogie of Christ, whether by Mat­thew, or Luke, is not framed from the ancestors of Mary but of Jo­seph.

15. And it is yet more evident, for that after the similitude of Melchi­sedec, there ariseth another Priest.] By another argument taken from the nature of the Priesthood, he shews, that by the rising of another Priest after the order of Melchisedec, the Law is abrogated. q. d. If it be evi­dent, as it is, that upon the translation of the Priesthood to another tribe or family, contrary to the precept of the Law, the Law it selfe is there­by abrogated: much more is the abrogation of it evident, upon the ri­sing of another Priest after the order of Melchisedec. If the Priest­hood had been onely translated to another tribe or family, and remain­ed in the former qualitie of it, without any other alteration, certainly lesse violence had been done to the Law: but seeing the Priesthood is translated into another family and tribe, upon which the Law no way setled it; and also altered into a new kinde of Priesthood; much more is it evident, that by this translation and alteration of the Priesthood, the Law it selfe is changed and abrogated. After the similitude of Mel­chisedec, there ariseth another Priest.] Another Priest, notlike Aaron, to be either of his family, or of his continuance: but like Melchisedec, to continue a Priest for ever.

16. Who is made not after the Law of a carnall commandment: but after the power of an endlesse life.] The Priest after the similitude or likenesse of Melchisedec, is not like the Priests after Aarons order, who are made after the Law of a carnall commandment; neither is hee a temporary Priest to live for a time onely as they did: but an eternall Priest for ever. After the Law of a carnall commandment. By Law of commandment, he meanes those particular precepts in the Law, for the election and ordination of the Priest, which are called carnall, because they had respect onely to the flesh, and considered onely the linage, birth, and death of the Priest; binding the Priesthood to a certain tribe, namely, of Levi, and to a certain family in that tribe, namely, of Aa­ron: and providing for the mortalitie of the Priest, by determining the rights of succession; all which considerations are carnall, respecting onely the flesh. For the Law commanded that upon the death of one Priest, another should succeed him; to the end, that though the Priests [Page 132]dyed, yet the Priesthood might not die. According to this carnall com­mandment or Lawes respecting the flesh, that Priest was not to bee or­dained, who was to be made after the order of Melchisedec: For hee had neither predecessour nor successour, neither came hee from the family of Aaron. The particle after doth here note the manner of the Priesthood, for the constitution of it, as applyed to some cer­taine rule or Law; for though the word sometime signifie otherwise, yet this is the most usuall sence of it. So that here is proposed unto us, the qualitie of that Priest, who is after the likenesse of Melchise­dec, and a qualitie contrary to the qualitie of the Priests after Aa­rons order; because as we have often noted, every Aaronicall Priest was but temporary onely for a time: but the Priest after Melchisedecs order is perpetuall and eternall for ever. The words following do enforce this sence, especially if wee regard the proofe contained in the verse following. But after the power of an endlesse life] The Priest af­ter Melchisedees order, is such a one, as hath the power of perpetuitie, such as an endlesse life requires to be. Hee is not a carnall, mortall, and frail Priest, that after a little time should need a successour: but a most potent Priest that hath an absolute power; an eternall Priest that hath an endlesse life: For to this sence, that which followes doth excellently agree.

17. For hee testifieth, Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec. q.d. Therefore I say, that the Priest after the order of Mel­chisedec is an eternall Priest, because God openly testifies it, when hee saith, Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

18. For there is verily a disanulling of the commandement going be­fore.] He had said before, that if the Priesthood were changed, then the Law also must be changed; and hitherto he hath proved that con­sequence. Now he shewes the reason why the Law must be antiqua­ted, changed or abrogated: For hee seemes to looke backward to the principall purpose, and the scope of the former words, partly expressed, verse 12. and in a manner repeated, verse 15. and so againe, verse 16. where hee saith, that Christ is not made a Priest according to the Law of a carnall commandment. In which words he shewed, that the com­mandment of the Law for ordaining of the Priest, was neglected in Christ, and therefore abrogated. Therefore now lest any man should marvell at this; hee shewes the reason why the Law was justly abroga­ted. For the weaknesse and unprofitablenesse thereof.] This is the cause why the Law was abrogate, because it was weake and unprofitable. For all Lawes use to be abrogated and disanulled, when by experience they are found to be ineffectuall, weake, and unprofitable; for wise men have found out no other causes, why Lawes should bee disanulled and repealed. Now the infirmitie of a Law appears in this, that it cannot performe the matter for which it was ordained: which infirmitie or [Page 133]wickednesse of the Law, he either explicates or amplifies by the word unprofitable; for the weakenes of a Law makes it uselesse.

19. For the Law made nothing perfect.] Here hee proves that the Law is weake and unprofitable; whereof he gives this reason; because it made nothing perfect. i. it contained no perfect expiation for sinne, as wee heard before, verse 11. and shall heare it againe, Chapter 10. verse 1.14. Now perfect expiation consisteth in a totall taking away all guilt of all sinnes, and of all punishments, not onely tempo­rall but eternall. Such an expiation the Law conferred upon no man. For if (as wee saw at the 11. verse) the Priesthood could not do this; how could the Law doe it, seeing the Law could doe nothing this way, but by vertue of the Priesthood? The Law did condemne men, but not justifie them; it granted expiation to some small sinnes, and that only in regard of temporall punishment; but for heynous offences, upon which it ordained the punishment of death, it left no pardon; but laid a curse upon all, that offended highly. In this perfect expiation, is contained antecedently, as I may say, an obduction from sinne. For perfect expiation comes to us upon that condition, as we shall see, by the opposition following. Made nothing perfect] Nothing here is put for no man, the neuter gender for the masculine; and so likewise at the seventh verse. If therefore the Law could bring perfect expiation and justification to no man, it is justly said to be weake and unprofitable; namely, in regard it could not produce the true and perfect good of men. But the bringing in of a better hope did] q.d. The Law perfected no man: but the superinduction of a better hope doth perfect men; for here is an illustration from the contrary. By a better hope, hee un­derstands the hope of eternall life, joyned with a plenary remission of all sinnes, granted from God to all penitent persons; without which remission, the promise of eternall life made to mankinde, had beene ineffectuall and unprofitable; seeing we have all sinned, and thereby made our selves unworthy of eternall life. Therefore the Author de­scribing afterward the new Covenant in the words of the Prophet, and shewing that it is established upon better promises, mentions only the remission of sinnes granted in the new Covenant. And by the new Covenant or Gospel, and the Priesthood of Christ adjoyned to it, this better hope is superinduced upon the Law. For the new Cove­nant brings a better hope, because it is established upon better promi­ses; but not without the Priesthood of Christ, which doth not only confirme and establish the promises of the Covenant, but doth also perfect and performe them. For the perfect remission of our sinnes depends upon Christs Priesthood; and therefore the Priesthood of Christ spoken of in this place, must here be joyned with the new Co­venant; as also the old Priesthood and sacrifices must be joyned with the Law. Therefore the superinduction or bringing in of a better [Page 134]hope, that is, the new Covenant containing the Priesthood of Christ, which gives us an assured hope of eternall life, and of perfect forgive­nesse of all our sins, doth most perfectly expiate men, and purge them from all guilt of all sinne. By the which we draw nigh unto God.] Here he gives a reason why this hope is better and doth perfect us, because it makes us to approah and come neare unto God, by suing for his fa­vour, by serving him with all our heart, and obeying him in all things commanded us. For he that hath this hope in God, purifieth himselfe even as he is pure, 1 John 3.3. And because we approach unto God, therefore reciprocally God also approacheth and draweth nigh unto us, i. doth embrace us with a strict bond of love, that so being purged from all sinne, hee may deliver us from eternall death, and invest us' with eternall life. Hence saith St. James. Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh unto you, Jam. 4.8. The Law therefore because it wanted this hope, could not make us draw nigh unto God; and be­cause it could not doe that, therefore it could not make us partake of a perfect expiation. For our approach unto God, is the way to perfect expiation; seeing while we approach unto God, we cast off sinne and live godly: and while God approacheth unto us, we are thereby per­fectly expiated and justified. As therefore this bringing in of a better hope, makes us approach unto God, so far it justifies us: Which the Law could not doe, but for the rigor of it, whereby it excludes peni­tents from a full remission of sins: and also for default of any open pro­mise of eternall life, which ministers unto men great power and cou­rage for obedience unto God.

20. And in as much as not without an oath, he was made Priest] After the Author had shewed that by the Priesthood of Christ, the Law was abrogated, and added the cause of that abrogation, and taught that in the room thereof there succeeded a far more excellent Covenant, that maketh us approach unto God. Now by a new argument hee shews how much Christ our Priest is greater then the legall Priests, and how far the new Covenant excels the old. And he draws his argument from hence, that Christ was made a Priest with an oath; but the old legall Priests without an oath: from whence it plainly appeares, that Christ is better then they. For an oath declares the truth and the strength of a thing. Now the things that God will have to be firme, strong, and unchangeable, must needs bee better then those things which have not that firmity and strength; such as are the things where­to no oath is added, but God will have them to depend upon his will and pleasure; that he may either remove or retaine them, as it shall seem good unto him. And besides, looke how much better the Priest is, so much is the Covenant better. For the Priesthood takes all the dignity and excellency of it, from the Covenant of God; and by the Priesthood the effect of the Covenant is performed. And therefore [Page 135]from hence that Christ was made a Priest by oath, by so much hee was made a surety of a better testament, as the Author rightly collects it, ver. 22. that is, by how much Christ, who was ordained with Gods oath, is better then the Priest who was ordained without an oath: by so much is the new Covenant better then the old.

21. For those Priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath] This whole verse must be read in a parenthesis, because it con­taines an opposition between the old Priests and Christ; in as much as they were made Priests without any oath of God, but Christ with an oath. By him that said unto him] namely by him that said those words unto him, Thou art a Priest for ever, &c. And by him that said those words to Christ, God himself seems to be understood, although the words next cited, The Lord sware and will not repent him] seeme not to be the words of God himself, but of the Prophet, who relates this oath of God. But because the words following, Thou art a Priest for ever] are the words of God; therefore by him that said unto him, the Author might well meane God. For although in these words, there bee no oath of God expressed; yet it is as much as if it had been expressed, seeing the Prophet testifies, that God uttering these words did swear, which therefore the Author would not omit, though he were to relate the words of God himselfe and not of the Prophet. But if by him who said these words unto Christ, we understand not God but the Prophet, as some Interpreters upon that Psalme do, who so expound these words, as if the Psalmist had said, The Lord sware, &c. Thou art a Priest for ever, then the Prophet must be meant, by a common forme of speech, that Christ was made Priest by the Prophet, because the Prophet by these words did foretell and declare that he should bee made Priest. For many times in Scripture the declaring of a thing is said to be the doing of it. In this sense Jeremy is said to have been ap­pointed, to root out and to destroy, to build and to plant, Jer. 1.10. So the Prophet Esay is said, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, to restore the preserved of Israel, and to be given for a light to the Gentiles, because he prophesied and foretold of these things. The Lord sware and will not repent] this oath argues that the matter of it was great, certain and unchangeable; and because God will not repent it, therefore it was ve­ry good and acceptable to God. So that the thing must not be altered or undone, both in regard of the oath and of the goodnesse of it. Un­lesse by not repenting we conceive the setled constancie of God, never to revoke or alter the matter. For repentance attributed to God, signi­fies only a change of the fact: by way of resemblance from men, who if they repent, doe commonly alter the thing, if it lye in their power.

22. By so much was Iesus made the surety of a better testament] These words are cleerely answerable to the beginning of the 20. verse, as ap­peares [Page 136]by the particles of relation there and here, in as much, and by so much. Jesus is called the surety of the Covenant or Testament, be­cause he contracted it with us in the Name of God, and ratified it on Gods part, making faith of it unto us, that God would keepe the pro­mises of his Covenant. Not therefore, as if he became our surety to God, and tooke upon him the payment of our debts. For, we sent not Christ unto God is our name, but God sent him to us in his Name. And Christ came to us from God, made a Covenant with us, became surety for the promises of it, and undertooke they should be perfor­med. And therefore he is not called a Surety simply, but the Surety of the Covenant. And he undertooke for the truth of Gods Covenant diverse wayes, as by his perpetuall testimony in words for the force and strength of it, by proving the faith of his function in it in many do­cuments; by his perfect innocency and holinesse of life, by severall di­vine workes and miracles which he wrought, by suffering a grievous death, to assert the truth of his doctrine. Hence his Apostle John pro­duced those three witnesses of undoubted faith, to confirme the truth of Christian Religion; namely, the Spirit, water and bloud, 1 John 5.8. Where by Spirit he understands that divine power in Christ, which he shewed in his admirable workes; by water, the blamelesse and spotlesse life of Christ; and by bloud, his bloudy death. For Christian truth approves it selfe by such witnesses. That divine Spirit, testified by so many wondrous workes, doth it not evidently declare, that Christ was a divine man, sent from God; and therefore that he preached nothing forged of himselfe, but onely that which he had re­ceived from the God of truth? Would that God who is most holy replenish an impostor with such & so great gifts of his Spirit? The most pure and holy life of Christ, is it not an open testimony, that Christ re­spected no earthly thing, that he sought no worldly wealth, no honors nor pleasures? but had reposed all his hopes in God, and in those hea­venly goods which he promised unto others. From whence otherwise could so great holinesse of life proceed, and so great contempt of all worldly things? For Impostors use not to trust in God, and to expect from him the rewards of heaven. Impostors use not to passe their life in such holinesse & abstinence from all sin. For why do they labour to de­lude men with their impostures and deceits? Do they it only to deceive without any advantage to themselves, and to expose themselves to no­thing but diverse dangers and troubles, which commonly accompany such impostures, and making themselves guilty of this one thanklesse wickednesse, to follow piety in all things else? certainely nothing lesse. Such kinde of persons seeke their owne commodity, to gaine wealth, to get a vaine glorious name, and to abound in pleasure; which whoso aymes at, cannot leade a life innocent and void of all blame. Hence the Apostle speaking of Impostors or false teachers doth justly [Page 137]affirme, that they have their belly for their god, and minde earthly things; that they are enemies to the Crosse of Christ, and have their conscience seared with a hot iron, Phil. 3.18,19. and 1 Tim. 4.2. And Christ warning his Disciples to beware of false prophets, tels them, that such may be knowne by their fruits, i. by their works, which are an infallible signe of their deceit. Doe men (saith he) gather grapes of thornes, or figs of thistles? an evill tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Mat. 7.16. For however for a time they may dissemble and make shew of godlinesse, yet they cannot do it constantly. For feigned holinesse lasteth not long, and covert wickednesse lyes not long hid. The life therefore of Christ being carried on in one perpetuall tenor of inno­cency and holinesse, doth wholly vindicate him from the crime of any imposture. Hence Christ himselfe contends with the Jews by this ar­gument. Which of you convinceth me of sin? and if I say the truth why do yee not beleeve me? John 8 46. q.d. Either convince me of sin, or if ye cannot do that, but that my innocency acquits me from all crime, why do yee reject me as an Impostor and a counterfeit, and do not ra­ther acknowledge my doctrine for truth? Lastly, the Bloud of Christ, i. his cruell and infamous death, which he suffered with such constan­cy, that hee might assert his doctrine, and especially that hee might testifie himselfe to bee Christ, and the Sonne of God; what possible suspicion can this leave of the least fraud or falshood? For if Christ had beene conscious to himselfe of any fraud or falshood, would hee have cast himselfe upon so infamous and fearfull a death? and en­dure it with such patiency and constancy of minde? If he had an in­tent to get himselfe a name by lyes and deceits, would he have cast himselfe so freely uponextreame reproach and disgrace, and get fame by no other meanes but by an infamous death? for being condem­ned to the Crosse, what could he else hope for, if hee were an Im­postor? But if Christ were no way conscious to himselfe of any fraud or falshood, but suffered death to assert his doctrine, who sees not but he must needs be void of all offence? For if his doctrine were false, it must needs be fained of himselfe. For he publiquely professed, that he had seene the Father, had received commands from him, and was sent from him into the world, that he was the Son of God, and the King of Gods people, which God had promised long before. Now if these things were false, how could Christ be ignorant of their fal­shood? but if he knew them to be false, whence could he have such a contempt of death for the asserting of them? whence could he have such an invincible constancy and courage of minde? Seeing therefore we have Jesus a surety of the new Covenant, attested with so many documents of the truth, shall we doubt to joyne our faith unto him, to rest upon the hope of those heavenly blessings which he hath promi­sed in this Covenant, to cast off the yoke of sin, and to give our name [Page 138]up to God and his righteousnesse. Some man may marvaile, why the Author treating of Christs Priesthood both before and after, should suddenly call him the surety of the new Covenant, and not the Priest of it? Why did hee not say by so much was Iesus made a Priest of a better Testament?] For the whole context of the Chapter seemes to require this. It is very credible, that in the word surety, the Priesthood of Christ is also understood. For it is the part of a surety not onely to promise something in the name of another, and to inter­pose his faith for another; but also if the cause require, to performe the thing he promised in anothers name; and among men, there is cause, if the principall performe it not, for whom the surety inter­posed: but here it proceeds upon a contrary cause, (for the former cannot here take place) namely, because he for whom Christ interpo­sed as a surety, doth performe his promises to us by Christ himselfe; in which action the Priesthood of Christ doth chiefly consist. For Christ as he is a Priest, doth now in heaven nothing more intentively, then to performe Gods promises unto us, i. he takes away all punish­ment of our sins, he endowes us with Gods gifts and graces, and at last translates us into heaven.

23. And they truly were many Priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death.] Here he brings a new difference betweene Christ a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and the Priests after Aa­rons order; and withall proves him far more excellent then they. And this difference is, that they were many, but Christ was but one himself onely. The reason of both is taken from the 16. and 17. verses, because they were mortall, and one being dead, another must succeed; but Christ is immortall and lives for ever.

24. But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable Priesthood] The Priesthood of Christ is said unchangeable, because it is not transitory to change the person, and passe from one to another; for seeing he lives for ever, and hath no successor, therefore the Priest­hood doth alwayes remaine in his person. For, because his person is unchangeable and continueth for ever, therefore also his Priesthood is unchangeable and continueth for ever in his person.

25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost.] From the former verse, he drawes this as a consectary; wherein appeares a great difference betweene Christ and the legall priests, and his great prehe­minence above them. Namely, that Christ is able to save for ever, and at all times; which none of them could doe. To the uttermost, in the originall, [...], to the uttermost of time, at all times, and for ever; for uttermost must be referred to the perfection or fulnesse of time, and not of his saving. For although the salvation it selfe, which Christ our Priest brings unto us, be in all points perfect and complete; yet this in this place is not deduced from the former verse, but the o­ther [Page 139]onely: So that to the uttermost, is all one with continually and perpetually, as appeares by the latter words of this verse, wherein the Author shews the reason of this, as we shall shew there. Able to save] This salvation in reference to Christ, is in it self (as we said) most per­fect and absolute: For Christ saveth us, as he takes away all the guilt and punishment of all our sinnes; as he succours us in our infirmities, from sinking under them, and consequently from falling into pu­nishment for our sinnes thereupon; as he receives our soules into his hands, which he restores us in due time, invested with eternall glory and happinesse: Whereof wee treated; chap. 2. and 4. and 5. That come unto God by him.] Christ doth not save all men actually, but them that come unto God by him. To come unto God, is to worship God and serve him with all our heart, by offering sacrifices unto him; as the Author speakes afterward, chap. 13.15. Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God.] And to come to God by Christ, is to worship God in confi­dence of Christ, trusting upon him; and in obedience of Christ fol­lowing his Commandements; and to worship him in worshipping of Christ, by adoring, praising and praying to Christ. For he that doth this, doth not so much worship and serve Christ, as God himselfe by Christ. Seeing hee ever liveth to make intercession for them.] In these words hee expresly addes the reason of the Consectary, at the begin­ning of the verse. Christ is able to save to the uttermost, continually, and perpetually, because hee liveth to the uttermost, continually, and perpetually; for he liveth ever. Christ is said to make intercession, by way of resemblance, to the legall Priest, who by entring and offering in the most holy place, did make intercession: So also Christ, by his entrance into the heavenly tabernacle, by his owne blood, and by his perpetuall residence there, in procuring our salvation, and the expiati­on of our sinnes, is said to make intercession for us. But as hee hath all power given him by his Father, as he himselfe saves us, and expiates our sinnes, as he bestowes all happinesse upon us; so he cannot be said to make intercession for us: although these actions differ rationally ra­ther then really: seeing in them hee conveyes that to us, which hee re­ceives of his Father for us, and therefore cannot properly be said to in­tercede or sue for that, which hee hath full power to give of himselfe; for God hath freely given him that full power.

26. For such an high Priest became us.] Hee brings a reason, why Christ was made a Priest to live for ever, to make intercession for us; because such a Priest did become us, or was convenient for us. Whence it appears that the following attributes given unto Christ, do not notifie the innocent life of Christ, which was indeed spotlesse and blamelesse; but his happy and blessed state, whereby it comes to passe that he ever lives, and ever hath a care of us. For although those attri­butes are most true of Christ, if wee understand them of his life and in­nocencie: [Page 140]yet being so understood in this place, they make nothing to the present purpose of the Authour. Who is holy,] In respect of his immortall nature, which doth make him a Saint, by sanctifying and hallowing him. Harmelesse,] Not actively to do no harme, but pas­sively to have no harme, by freeing him from all evill and miserie. Vndefiled,] His state is purely happy and blessed, not stained or blot­ted with any adversity or evil. Seperate from sinners,] both in place and condition, not conversing any more with them, as once he did up­on earth. And made higher then the heavens.] He is now exalted above the two lower regions of heaven, and seated in the highest region, at the right hand of God. All these are said of Christ in some manner by way of resemblance to the legall Priest. Although in these againe there be a great disparity betweene Christ and him, as we shall shew presently. Yet if we respect the dignity of Priesthood, the legall Priest was a venerable and holy person; hee was harmelesse and inviolable; and as his providence and care could lead him, he was undefiled, and hee was separate from sinners, not conversing with them, but residing in the Sanctuary, which resembled heaven. But all these could not be perfect in the legall Priest, by reason of his infirmities; or if they had been most perfect, yet they had been but a shadow of those most divine qualities, which were shewed before in Christ. Now that such a Priest became us, the thing it self declares: for unlesse he were such a one, hee could not be perpetually vigilant & intent over our salvation, to save all that should come to God by him. For the contraries to these qualities, would either trouble the functions of his office, or wholly hinder them: for even the legall Priest, if at any time he were defiled, might not per­forme the holy services to offer for others, or sacrifice for their sin, till first he had made some entrance in sacrificing for his owne.

27. Who needed not daily as those high Priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his owne sinnes and then for the peoples] He shews another difference between Christ and the legall Priests, depending on the former diff­rences and consequent from them. For the legall Priests must offer sacrifices yearly, first for their owne sinnes, and then for the peoples: but Christ did this only once. Daily; i. upon the determine and set day for the yearly sacrifice, which was the day of expiation. For that the Author means that yearly sacrifice, it appears from his saying, that those Priests must offer first for their owne sinnes and then for the peoples. But we read not that either hee did or was to doe this at any other time, then at that yearly sacrifice of expiation. For at other times he must either offer for himselfe alone, if he stood guilty of some sin; or if he were partaker of sinne with the people, he must expiate it with one only sacrifice for himselfe and them together; and not sacrifice first for himselfe, and after for them. See afterward chap. 10. v. 11. where daily is likewise taken for the appointed and set day. For this hee did [Page 141]once] He speaks of Christ our Priest. What did Christ once? cer­tainly nothing else, but what the old high Priest did yearly upon the set day. But it is manifest from the former passages, and from the con­text of the reasons, that he speaks not here principally of the offering for the peoples sinnes on that day; but especially for the offering for the sinnes of the Priest himselfe. Sinnes are properly transgressions of Gods Lawes, which seeing they had no place in Christ, for hee knew no sinne, therefore there must needs be an impropriety in the word sinnes here, for by them must be meant the infirmities and sufferings of Christ, whereof we spake before chap. 5.2,3. For we have already seen that the contraries to these infirmities and sufferings, were in the next verse before described by the names of holinesse and harmlesse­nesse: for these two verses do mutually illustrate each other. When he offered up himselfe] He shewes when Christ offered for himself, name­ly prayers and supplications, as we heard before, chap. 5.7. And then he offered for himselfe, when he offered himselfe for God, when hee prepared himselfe for the offering of himselfe; i. when he was slaine as a sacrifice. For the offering of Christ in this place must be so farre extended, as to comprise his death, as a necessary antecedent, or a kind of beginning and entrance to it. Therefore Christ, because hee now lives happy and blessed for ever, and nothing can interrupt or hinder his happinesse, therefore I say, he is now secure of himselfe, and need no more offer for himselfe, but is only carefull for us and our salvation. Yet because the time was once, when he was forced to offer for him selfe, therefore being well acquainted with sufferings, he will so much the more readily succour the distressed. But seeing this verse depends upon the former, and is inferred from thence; it appears therefore that the former verse speaks not of the manners of Christ our Priest, but of his blessed state and condition. For Christ needs not therefore not offer any more for himselfe, because he was holy and harmlesse in re­spect of his manners and actions here upon earth, seeing he was alwaies so, but because by his Resurrection to Immortality, he was freed from all harmes and evills for ever. As therefore the sinnes of our Priest signified his sufferings and paines: so the contraries to these his holi­nesse and harmlessenesse in the former verse declare him exempt and free from all such evills.

28. For the Law made men high Priests which have infirmity] Hee addes the cause of this difference between Christ and the legal Priests, because the Law made men high Priests which have infirmity; i. such as can never depose their infirmity, which alwayes held them in this condition, that after expiation for their sinnes and errors, they againe fell into the like sinnes and errors, which required againe another ex­piation. But the word of the oath which was since the Law] The word containing the oath, whereof he spake before, vers. 20. That oath [Page 142]whereby Christ was ordained Priest was since the Law; and therefore the Priesthood of Christ is no way depending or established by the Law. For here the word of the oath made since the Law is opposed to the Law. Maketh the sonne who is consecrated for evermore] Maketh the sonne Priest. The sonne is here put eminently for the Sonne of God, and opposed to common men, who have infirmities, as those men had whom the Law made Priests; so in many places of Scripture Christ is opposed to the rest of men. See Gal. 1.1. and Ephes. 2.7. Consecrated for evermore.] Christ is expiated for evermore; not in re­spect of the time past, as of old under the Law, under which the Priests by reason of their infirmities were forced to renue their expiation eve­ry year. But Christ by his one single expiation upon the crosse, was freed from all further sufferings and paines for evermore; so that hee hath no further need to expiate or offer for them any more for ever. And hence againe it appears, that Christ was not fully perfectly our high Priest, before he was consecrated, expiated, and perfected, for evermore. That is, before he became immortall.

The Contents of this seventh Chapter, are,

  • 1. Melchisedec was a Priest, v. 1.
    • Reason. 1. Because he blessed men sacerdotally; for so he blessed Abraham. v. 1.
    • 2. Because he received tithes; for Abraham gave him a tenth, v. 2.
  • 2. Melchisedec was a singular Priest, v. 3.
    • Reason. 1. Because there were no more Priests of his order; for he was without father or mother, without predecessour or successour, v. 2.
    • 2. Because he was a perpetuall Priest: for he had neither beginning of dayes, nor end of life, but remained a Priest continually, v. eod.
  • 3. Melchisedec was greater then Abraham, v. 1.
    • Reason. 1. Because he blessed Abraham sacerdotally, v. eod.
    • 2. Because he received tithes from Abraham, v. 2.
    • 3. Because he was in a manner an eternall person, that had no parentage, neither beginning of dayes, nor end of life.
  • 4. Melchisedec was greater then the Leviticall Priests, v. 5.
    • Reason. 1. Because he blessed them in Abraham, who had the promises of them, that they should be his seed, v. 6.
    • 2. Because he tithed them in tithing Abraham, for they were then in the loynes of Abraham, v. 5. 9. 10.
    • 3. Because he was a singular and an eternall Priest: but they were many and mortall, for they dyed and succeeded one another, v. 8.
  • 5. Christ is not a Priest after the order of Aaron, v. 11.
    • Reason. 1. Because Christ sprang not from the tribe of Levi as Aaron did, but from Juda, another tribe. v. 13. 14.
    • 2. Because Christ was not ordained by vertue of any carnall law, that respected his birth and parentage, as Aaron and his successours were, v. 16.
    • 3. Because Christ was made with an oath, to make his Priesthood im­mutable [Page 143]and irrevocable, but they without an oath, v. 20. 21.
    • 4. Because Christ was a singular and eternall Priest, whose Priesthood is unchangeable: but they were many and mortall, and their Priest­hood transitory, changing upon death from one person to another, v. 23, 24.
    • 5. Because Christ is in a divine and blessed state; for he is inviolable, unharmable, undefileable, seperate from sinners, and seated in hea­ven: They had not the substance of this state, but only some shadow of it, v. 26.
    • 6. Because Christ needed but one offering for himselfe, whereby to ex­piate and put off his infirmities for ever: they needed yearly a new expiation for their infirmities, v. 27, 28.
  • 6. Christ is a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, chap. 6. v. ult.
    • Reason. 1. Because Christ is a Royall Priest, both a King and a Priest, as Mel­chisedec was, v. 1.
    • 2. Because Christ is a singular Priest, having no other Priest after his order but himselfe, for he was without predecessour and successour, as Melchisedec was, v. 3.
    • 3. Because Christ is an eternall Priest, who liveth for ever, as Mel­chisedec is said to have done.
  • 7. The Leviticall Priesthood is expired, v. 11.
    • Reason. 1. Because Christ another Priest is raised up, who is not after Aarons order, v. eod.
    • 2. Because the Priesthood is translated from the tribe of Levi, upon whom the Law had setled it, v. 13, 14.
    • 3. Because that Priesthood was ruled by a carnall law, with respect to the birth, life and death of the Priest, v. 16.
    • 4. Because it made no perfect expiation for sinnes, for thereto it was weake and unprofitable, v. 18, 19.
  • 8. The Leviticall Law is expired, v. 12.
    • Reason 1. Because that Priesthood is abrogate and changed, v. eod.
    • 2. Because the commandements and precepts of it were carnall, tou­ching the line, the birth and death of Priests, touching washings of the flesh of men, and sacrificing the flesh of beasts, v. 16.
    • 3. Because it made no perfect expiation for sin, but to that effect was weake and unprofitable.

CHAPTER VIII.

1. Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the summe. Wee have such an high Priest] Hee had before spoken many things concerning Christ our high Priest, both for his quality what manner of person hee is, and for his dignity, how farre hee exceedeth the legall Priests: Now being partly to adde some­thing further, and partly to repeat something formerly spoken, he calles this repetition the summe of what hee had spoken. Now the summe may signifie either the breviat of what hee had spoken, or else the maine head and principall point, which last sense is most agreeable to this place: q.d. Of all those things which have been or may bee spoken concerning Christ our high Priest, the main head or principall point is this, That we have such an high Priest who is set on the right hand, &c. Who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens] Of these words we treated chap. 1.3. And by them is signified unto us so great a dignity and Majesty in Christ our high Priest, that there was scarce extant any shadow of it in the ancient legall Priests; seeing none of them did ever sit at the right hand of that throne, which was placed in the oracle of the San­ctuary, namely of the Mercy-seat or covering of the Arke, which was all over shadowed by the wings of the Cherubines, and called the Throne of God; whereupon God was said to sit between the Cheru­bines: But all those legall high Priests, when they entred into the o­racle (or most holy place of the Sanctuary) were forced to stand be­fore the Arke, and so before the Mercy-seat upon it. But Christ is so great an high Priest, that he sits on the right hand of the throne of Ma­jesty, and that in heaven. The throne of the Majesty, is the Majesticke and stately Throne, whereon he sits, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who only is Almighty, who only hath immortality, and dwells in a light unapproachable.

2. A minister of the Sanctuary, and of the true Tabernacle] The Epethite or Attribute true, must be added both to Sanctuary and Ta­bernacle; that Christ is a Minister of the true Sanctuary, and of the true Tabernacle; which is Gods heavenly habitation. This is called the true Sanctuary and Tabernacle, not in reference to false and fained Sanctua­ries, but in respect of umbratilous and terrene Sanctuaries, which did but represent and signifie the true, perfect, solid, and heavenly Sanctua­ry [Page 145]wherein God himselfe doth really and truely dwell; and whereto the name of the true and right Sanctuary doth perfectly agree. Of this true and heavenly Sanctuary Christ is the Minister, as anciently the legall high Priest was the minster of the terrene Sanctuary. For these words serve somewhat to declare the residence of Christ at the right hand of Gods throne. Now to bee a Minister of the Sanctuary is no­thing else, but to Minister unto God in the Sanctuary, to officiate and be busied about the Sanctuary, to procure and order the things that pertaine to the worship of God in the Sanctuary. And Christ recide­ing in heaven doth Minister there, by executing Gods decrees, by or­dering heavenly things, and whatsoever pertaines to Gods heavenly worship and service, prescribed and commanded in the new Cove­nant. The word Leiturgist or Minister doth not always signifie a sim­ple officer, waiter, or hand-servant: but many times such a one, who with speciall authority and power doth execute some charge; as the le­gall high Priests in the Tabernacle had the chief authority and presi­dency over all things pertaining to divine worship. Which the Lord pitched and not man] Either these words containe the cause, why that heavenly Sanctuarie is called the true Tabernacle, because it was erected, not of man, as that was under the Law, but God himselfe, who is our Soveraigne Lord. For that Sanctuary must needs bee the true and right one, which the hand of man did not frame for God, but which God raised for himself by his owne hand. Or else these words are added, to amplifie and illustrate the point, to make it the more evidently appeare, how much this heavenly Sanctuary differs from the earthly, and exceeds it. So also Paul to the earthen and fraile tabernacle of our mortall body opposeth that heavenly building of our glorious body made of God, and not by the hand of men. Ye have the same opposition afterward in this Author between the earthly Sanctu­ary and the heavenly, chap. 9. verse 11.24. in like manner betweene cities made by the hand of men, and that heavenly city prepared for the godly, whose Architect and Builder is God himselfe, Chapter 11.10.

3. For every high Priests is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices:] He proves that Christ our high Priest is a Minister of the Sanctuary; be­cause he is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices; for this function is na­turall to the office of a Priest; and he that offers gifts and sacrifices must needs be the Minister of a Sanctuary. Wherefore it is of necessitie this man have somwhat also to offer.] The sence of these words is not so to be taken, as to leave a scruple in us; as if Christ had only somwhat that he might offer; and yet wee might doubt whether hee would offer, or must offer, or doth indeed offer; but that according to the nature of his office, hee doth actually offer: For in this sence wee often say, I have somthing to give, or to say unto you. i. I will, or must give, or say [Page 146]somthing unto you. From these words of the Author it is most mani­fest, that Christ doth now offer in heaven; for as the Author will shew afterward, he offers himselfe to God. For hee proves (as we have said) that Christ doth minister in the heavenly Sanctuary, as appeares by the precedent and subsequent passages. And this hee proves from hence, because every Priest, and therefore Christ, is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices; and therefore if he will performe his office, hee must indeed offer; which if hee doe, then it followes that hee is a minister of the Sanctuary.

4. For if be were on earth, hee should not be a Priest.] Here hee con­firmes the other part of the second verse, that Christ is a Minister, not of the umbratilous and terrene Sanctuary, but of the true and heaven­ly; because if he were on earth, he should not be a Priest at all. Hence it appears that Christ is a Minister of the heavenly Sanctuary, and doth offer unto God there. Whence it necessarily follows, that Christ while he was upon earth, did not finish his perfect expiatory offering, where­of the Author treats in this Epistle. For could hee performe and finish it, being out of his proper Sanctuary which is heaven? Seeing that there are Priests that offer gifts according to the Law.] Hee gives here a reason why Christ should not be a Priest, if he ministed on earth; be­cause there are already other Priests ordained of God, to Minister on earth, and to offer gifts; of whose number Christ is none, nor can be, as was shewed in the former Chapter. These terrene Priests are said to offer according to the Law; because the Law hath granted them on­ly, this right and priviledge, that no other person beside themselves without breach of the Law, should usurpe the office of offering upon earth, or ministring in the earthly Sanctuary.

5. Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.] In these words, either the Author gives a reason, why Christ if hee were on earth, could not be a Priest; namely, because those Priests who of­fer here on earth, serve but for a shadow of heavenly things: but Christ our high Priest, must not serve for such a shadow. Or els he illustrates from the contrary, that Christ is a Minister of the true Tabernacle: but the legall Priests did only serve as paternes and shadows of the heaven­ly Sanctuary. By heavenly things, he means the Sanctuary and holy functions, wherein Christ doth minister in heaven. As Moses was ad­monished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle. For see (saith he) that thou make all things according to the paterne shewed to thee in the mount. He proves from a testimony of Scripture; that the ancient legall high Priests served but as a paterne and shadow of the true and heaven­ly Sanctuary. And he cites the words wherein Moses is commanded to make that ancient Tabernacle, and all things pertaining to it, accor­ding to the model or paterne shewed him in the Mount. Exod. 25.40. Therefore the Tabernacle shewed him in the Mount, was the type or [Page 147]modell; and the Tabernacle made by Moses was but a sample or co­py of that model. Now that modell shewed by God in the Mount, according to the paterne and fashion whereof, Moses should take or­der to frame the Tabernacle, as neere as the art of mans hand could worke it, and as the materials would beare, was without all question for the fashion of it farre more excellent then that which was framed to the likenesse of it out of grosse and earthly materials. And because it was shewed him upon the Mount, it was therefore in a manner hea­venly, in respect of that Tabernacle which was to be made below the Mount. Although that originall patterne or modell also was but an empty shadow of that true Sanctuary whereof Christ is the Minister. So that the ancient Tabernacle was but a paterne of a paterne, and the shadow of a shadow.

6. But now hath he obtained a more excellent Ministery] The particle now here notes not a difference of time, but is an adverbe adversitive, to ex­presse the dignity of Christs Ministery above the Legall Priests. They served as shadowes of heavenly things: but Christ our Priest hath ob­tained a more excellent Ministery; because he is the Minister of a farre more excellent Sanctuary; which also requires a more excellent way of administring, convenient and sutable unto it. By how much also he is the Mediatour of a better Covenant] He proves yet further that Christ hath obtained a better Ministery; because he is the Mediatour of a better Co­venant, and so much better, by how much the Covenant is better. For, look how much the Covenant, whereof Christ is the Mediator, is bet­ter then the former Covenant; so much is his Ministery under it, better then theirs, who ministred under the former Covenant. For the Cove­nant and the Priesthood must correspond in dignity; seeing (as we said in the former Chapter) the dignity of the Priesthood doth chiefly depend upon the end & use of it. And the end & use of the Priesthood depends upon the Covenant; for Gods promises are setled by the Covenant, and we obtaine them by the Priesthood. And here begins another part of the Chapter, wherein is contained a comparison of the new Covenant with the old. To be the Mediatour of Gods Covenant, is nothing else, but to be the Interpreter of God, or the Intercessor, passing betweene God and men with mutuall messages, to make and finish up the Cove­nant on both parties: by which Inter-messenger God declares and testi­fies his wil to men, and they again informed in the knowledge of Gods will, do comply with God and contract with him, are reconciled with him, & enjoy their peace afterward. For what is here implyed, that Paul expresseth, Gal. 3.19. where he shews that there was a Mediatour also of the old Covenant, even Moses. And we must take notice, that even in this respect Christ hath surpassed the Legall Priests; because they were Priests onely to the old Covenant, and not Mediatours of it: but Christ is both Priest and Mediatour of the new Covenant, that is farre [Page 148]more excellent then the old. Which was established upon better promi­ses] In these words he proves that the Covenant whereof Christ is the Mediatour, is better then the former; because it is established upon better promises. Every man sees, that any Covenant is so much the better, by how much the promises are better therein contained. Seeing therefore, that in the new Covenant, whereof Christ is the Mediatour, there are contaiend better promises; therefore it must needs be better then the old; and be so much better, as the promises are better. Hence it is appearent, that eternall life was not openly promised in the old Co­venant, nor a full forgivenesse of all sinnes. For, seeing nothing can be found better to men then these two things; if both these were promi­sed in the old Covenant, how can the new Covenant be said to be esta­blished upon better promises? But we urge this principally concerning the full remission of sinnes; for this onely is epresly mentioned in the description of the new Covenant; and we deny not but that eternall life was occultly and secretly comprised in the promises of the old Co­venant; as Paul doth manifest it, who interprets and takes the words of the Law, promising life to them who exactly keepe all the precepts of it, to be understood of eternall life and justification, such as we ob­taine by Christ. See Rom. 10.5. and Gal. 3.12. The Law therefore did promise life eternall in a secret and hidden sence; but withall un­der condition of exact and absolute obedience in all points, and there­fore granted no expiation in respect of eternall death; and the expiati­on which it granted for some temporall punishments, did not extend to all sins, but onely to errours and frailties, or such lapses whereinto men are prone to fall. Notwithstanding, when the whole Nation had been severely punished of God, and by that punishment were brought to a sence of their sins, and to returne to the service of God, then the Law by an everlasting Covenant, granted them forgivenesse of all their grievous offences, in respect of all temporary punishments for this life without any Sacrifices intervening, See Levit. 26.40. to the end of the Chapter. But the new Covenant containes a most open and cleere promise of eternall life; and therefore is truly said to promise eternall life. For a hidden promise and unknowne to the party to whose bene­fit it is made, or being such that no man can be certainly assured of it, or at least doth not appeare to be certaine, must not be truly called a promise, especially in that fence wherein a promise is here to be ta­ken, when we speake of the promises of the Covenant. Besides, the new Covenant requires of no man an exact and absolute obedience in all points; but is content with true repentance and with such an amend­ment of life as carrieth a will never to offend God more; and therefore trusting to the assistance of Gods Spirit, we accustome our selves after­ward to no sin, but walke in the wayes of all vertues; although it may fall out, that afterward through humane frailty we may sometime slip; [Page 149]in which point is contained the forgivenesse of our sinnes. They who thinke the contrary to what we have asserted, do affirme, that the pro­mises of the new Covenant are therefore called better, because they are cleerer. But we thereupon demand, whether they thinke the old promises so cleere that men may certainly know and beleeve them by vertue of the Covenant, or not? If they say the first that they are so cleere; then we deny it, not onely of the remission of sins, which the very nature of Moses Law requiring the merit of works doth reject, but also of eternall life. Neither could the Author call the promises in the new Covenant simply better therefore, because they are therein proposed either somewhat more cleerely or much more cleerely; much lesse could he gather from thence that he dignity of the new Cove­nant was greater then that of the old; and yet againe, much lesse could he thence inferre, that the Priesthood of Christ is better then the Le­gall: neither was it any way convenient that therefore the old Cove­nant should be abrogated and a new one made. For a declaration of an old Covenant is not a new Covenant, diverse from the old; neither doth such a declaration abrogate the old, but rather illustrate and establish it. And a new Covenant doth require, not a declaration of the old, but new conditions, and new promises made of Gods Name. Neither had Christ beene the Mediatour of the new Covenant, but onely an Interpreter and explainer of it. But if they say the latter, that they were not so cleer; we willingly grant that, of eternall life: but not of a full remission of all sinnes given to such as amended their wayes; for this was no way contained in the old Covenant, either openly or covertly, but was altogether repugnant to that Covenant. And (as we have already said) such a covert promise, must not be truly accounted for the promise of a Covenant, but onely such a promise as every man may understand, and be assured of it from the Covenant, if he per­forme the conditions. Was established] In the Originall it is [...], i. was enacted or ordained as a Law; because every Covenant is a Law upon the parties betweene whom it is made; and the new Cove­nant is most justly so, because it containes diverse precepts, which eve­ry man is bound to observe, if he meane to obtaine the promises therein made to him.

7. For if that first Covenant had beene faultlesse, then could no place have beene sought for the second] Here he proves, what he formerly af­firmed, that the new Covenant was established upon better promises; because the old Covenant was faulty; not that it was absolutely evill, but onely respectively, because it had some imperfections and defects which might be bettered. Whence it plainly appeares, that so good promises cannot be therein contained; for if it did containe them it could not be justly blamed, nor truly said to be faulty. For how can that Covenant be justly blamed, which both containes the best pro­mises, [Page 150]and also prescribes the best conditions whereby those promises may be attained? But that it was indeed blameable, and was not fault­lesse, he proves from hence, because there was place sought for a second] God promised to make a second and a new Covenant with his people. But why should God abrogate the old Covenant and make a new, if the old were without all fault, and contained both promises and con­ditions equall in goodnesse to the new? For old Covenants use not to be abolished but for their defects and faults, as above he said of the Law, that it was disanulled for the weakenesse and unprofitablenesse thereof, chap. 7.18.

8. For finding fault with them, he saith] Hee proves by the words of the Prophet, why the old Covenant was faulty, and therefore place sought for the second; because God found fault with it. With them] must not be referred to the persons of the Jews in this place, though otherwise God did finde fault enough with them; but to the promises of the old Covenant, for God findes fault with them; for the Author seems to reflect upon the last words of the sixt verse before, where hee saith that the new Covenant was established upon better promises; now because the promises of the old were not so good, therefore God finds fault with them. Behold, the dayes come, saith the Lord] He re­lates the words of the Prophet, Jer. 31.31. wherein God promiseth to make a new Covenant with his people, different from the former Covenant; which God mentions in such a manner, that he apparently reprehends and blames it; as afterward shall be declared. When I will make a new Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Iudah.] The house of Israel is the posterity of Jacob; and the house of Judah the posterity of Judah one of Jacobs sons. He distinguisheth these two people, not that the posterity of Judah was not also the posterity of Israel or Jacob: but because at that time the posterity of Jacob was divided into two Kingdomes; in one whereof were ten Tribes, who therefore were called by the common name of the Israelites; in the other Kingdome were onely two Tribes, Judah and Benjamin, which two were denominate from Judah onely; because he was the more il­lustrious Tribe, wherein the race of the Kings descended: as the other Tribes were sometime called Ephraim, because among them, that was the Tribe Royall.

9. Not according to the Covenant that I made with their Fathers] He proves here, that the second Covenant should be a new Covenant; because it should not be like the former, or not according to it, but dif­ferent from it. In the day when I tooke them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt] Day is put for time, an especiall word for a ge­nerall; in the time that I brought them out of Egypt. This plainely designes the Covenant made by Moses at Mount Sinai. Because they continued not in my Covenant] Here he opens the cause, why God [Page 151]would make a new Covenant with his people, different and unlike the former. Because that old Covenant was not of force, to containe the people in their duty. For hence it came to passe that the people conti­nued not in it, but transgressed it. For he layes downe this consequent, to make us understand the antecedent of it, which is the faultinesse and weaknesse of that Covenant. For if there had been no fault nor flaw in the Covenant, but only in the people, the Covenant it self must not have been abolished for the fault of the people only. And therefore it appeares, that not only the people, but also the Covenant it selfe was in fault, why it was not observed. And I regarded them not, saith the Lord.] This is necessarily consequent from the former. For hee that continues not in Gods Covenant, he is neglected of God; i. deserted and forsaken, and not only deserted, but punished, for God layes those judgements upon him that are specified in the Covenant, in case it bee not observed. Hence it is manifest, that that former Covenant was infirme and unprofitable, seeing it could not effect, that the people who were parties to it, might worship God duly and constantly, and obey his Lawes; that reciprocally they might be loved of God, and graced with his blessings.

10. For this is the Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel (saith the Lord) He brings a reason why he said, that this new Covenant is not according to the former, but unlike and different from it. Because it was to be such a one, as must have sufficient power to continue the people in their duty. And this he signifies unto us by the words fol­lowing. The house of Israel is taken here a little more largely then be­fore, not now opposed to Judah, but including it, and signifying the whole people of God. For it is usuall in the holy Scripture, for the same words to be taken sometime more largely and amply, sometime more strictly and narrowly; and therein also the same things are ex­pressed sometime more amply, and sometime more briefly. Whereof we must take notice for the better understanding and reconciling of se­verall places. So the word Faith, is sometime taken so narrowly, that salvation and justification is ascribed to it alone; and sometime again more largely to comprise other vertues in it, sometime more, sometime fewer, according as the sense of the word is extended or restrained. I will put my lawes into their minde, and write them in their hearts] Here he begins to describe the new Covenant: q.d. In the old Covenant I wrote some of my Lawes in tables of stone, and Moses wrote other some in a booke, and they were put in the Arke to be kept there. But my new Covenant shall not be according to that way; but by it, I will write my Laws in their hearts, and put them in their mindes to be kept there. They shall not be arbitrary and positive Lawes flowing from my sole will and pleasure; whereof their hearts can conceive no rea­son, and whereof their memories may easily faile, such as were most [Page 152]Lawes in my former Covenant: but they shall be only naturall Lawes grounded only upon naturall honesty, and upon the dictates of right reason, that their mindes may easily conceive them, and their memo­ries retaine them. And their owne consciences shall acknowledge them to be convenient, just, right and good. And besides, they shall not have a bare understanding of my Lawes to know them, but an hearty affection to doe them. Now because Gods Covenant is de­scribed in these words, therefore hence it appeares, that this writing of Gods Laws in mens minds and hearts dependes and proceeds from the nature of the Covenant. And therefore these words must bee taken within their force and efficacie, and not necessarily extended to the ve­ry effect of the writing, which is alway left in the free power of man. For this is intimated unto us by the following words of God at the 12. verse; wherein God opens unto us the cause, manner or meanes of this, which containeth wonderfull grace and mercy of God offered to his people; for by this means he saith, it would come to passe, that they would serve him and keep his Laws with so great fervency. But this way Gods Laws are written upon none but willing hearts. The sense therefore is. I will make such a Covenant that shall have suffici­ent force and power to containe my people in their duties. For to have Gods Laws written in our mindes and hearts, is nothing else, but to be so knowing, so mindfull, and so affected with them, that we never de­cline from them, but alwayes observe them with all our endeavour. And I will be to them a God] This follows from the former; as the former clause opposite to this, [and I regarded them not] followed from the peoples not continuing in his Covenant; which in like manner is opposed to the writing of Gods Laws in mens hearts. For God to be a God unto us, is to be our sovereigne Protector to defend us from all evill, and to be our sovereigne Benefactor to accumulate us with all his blessings. And they shall be to me a people] Either this is really the same with the former, and an amplification of it, consisting of a mutu­all relation, such as we had before in these words, I will be to him a fa­ther, and he shall be to me a son, chap. 1.5. Or else, it is as much as if the Author had said; And they shall deale by me as my people ought to doe, both of us shall performe our parts respectively: I by protecting and benefiting them, they by worshipping and serving me.

11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying. Know the Lord] They shall not need to admonish and exhort one another, first to know my lawes and decrees, and after upon knowledge thereof to observe them: but all of them shall bee carried with such alacrity of minde to know and obey mee, that none shall need any remembrancer to put him in minde of it. Neighbour and brother are taken here for the same; for in the Law these three names are coincident, neighbour, brother and friend. See Lev. 19.18. [Page 153] For all shall know me from the least to the greatest.] Here againe God speaks of the efficacie of this Covenant, and not of the effect it selfe; for it shall be able to produce an universall knowledge of God, though in some single persons it produce it not actually. All of al sorts, from the least age to the greatest, yong & old, from the least state to the greatest, poor and rich; and from the least degree to the greatest, low and high.

12. For I will be mercifull to their unrighteousnesse, and their sinnes and their iniquities will I remember no more] Here God opens unto us the cause of his ardent affection towards us, and withall unfolds the nature of this Covenant; namely, that therein he will be mercifull to all the sinnes of his people, to their unrighteousnesses, their transgressions and iniquities, and will never remember them more. This so great a benefit must needs oblige all mens mindes, and in a manner constraine them, to consecrate themselves wholly unto God, and constantly to persist in the daily observation of his Lawes. Which effect, seeing every remission of sinne cannot produce, therefore we must here under­stand such a one, as hath the power to doe it; namely, a plenary and perfect remission, whereby such as are truly and seriously penitent, and afterward live holily, are released from the guilt or bond of all their former sinnes, not only in respect of temporall punishment and death, but also of eternall death, and withall eternall life is ordained for them. For this remission of sinnes, adding the condition of repentance, hath this vertue and power in it, to withdraw men from sinne, and for the future to devote themselves to God. The words unrighteousnesse, sins and iniquities, doe in like manner teach us, that this remission is plena­ry and perfect, extended to all manner of sinnes, even the most hey­nous. Hence we see, that this plenary remission of sinnes is a promise proper to the new Covenant. For in these words is evidently proved, what he said before concerning the new Covenant, that it was establi­shed upon better promises then the old. This is the mysticall sense of those words of the Prophet; the literall sense was, that God would de­liver the people of the Jewes from the captivity of Babylon, and would so blot out their former wickednesse and foule sinnes, that hee would acquit them from all further temporall punishments for them; for which so great benefit the people must needs bee marveilously bound to God, and induced to serve him constantly for ever after. But this sense is far too slender to answer fully and solidly unto words of so high a nature. For at that time, to speake properly, God neither made any new Covenant different from the former, neither was that be­nefit of such efficacie and power, as to containe the people in their duty perpetually after. And therefore it is apparent, that the Holy Ghost intended some other sense farre more excellent. In the literall sense then, that remission, must bee understood to bee really performed for the taking away of their temporall punishment: [Page 154]but in the mysticall sense, it must be understood of Gods promise to be performed in due time, for the releasing especially of eternall death, under condition of repentance, as the nature of the new Covenant re­quires it. And hence it is, why the Iews being afterward forgetfull of this divine benefit, as of a thing past, did againe fall into divers sinnes, and forsake Gods law. But the Christian, or the people of the new co­venant, may be excited to do their duty perpetually, and serve God cheerfully, to the end they may at last really obtaine the blessing pro­mised them, a right whereto they now enjoy, and not make themselves unworthy of it by their own fault.

13. In that he saith a new Covenant, he hath made the first old.] By these words he shewes that the old Covenant is in a manner condemn­ed and rejected: For when God saith hee will make a new Covenant, he thereby antiquates and abrogates the old. Whence it plainely ap­peares, that the old Covenant was in it selfe blameable and faultie; and therefore contained no great and excellent promises in it. And from hence it is most manifest that the new Covenant is cleerly different from the old: neither differs it, onely in perspicuity and cleernesse (as many men beleeye) but in the very promises and conditions of it. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away.] From the former words he inferres by the way, that the old Covenant, although at that time it seemed to bee of force among the Jewes, and to stand while their Temple and their state were standing; yet by little and little it grew to decay, as a thing waxing old, and already anti­quated of God. For that which waxeth old, though it bee yet for a time extant and appeare; yet after a while it will wholly decay and va­nish; seeing to wax old is nothing else, but by little and little to be de­stroyed and abolished. This the Authour doth ominate of Moses Covenant, and the event was answerable to his prediction. For not long after the Temple and State of the Jews was overthrowne, where­upon the Mosaick religion, and the publike worship of God prescribed in the old Covenant did fall and vanish; so that at this day, there ap­peares nothing of it, but onely some relicks and shatters, in the tolerated Synagogues of that scattered Nation.

The Contents of this eighth Chapter, are,

  • 1. Doctrine. Christ is a greater Priest then any of the legall Priests, verse 1.
    • Reason. 1. Because he is set at the right hand of Gods throne, whereas the legall Priest stood before the Mercy-seat, which was but the shadow of Gods throne, verse 1.
    • 2. Because Christ Ministers in the true heavenly Sanctuary, whereof the legall Sanctuary was but a shadow, verse 2.
    • [Page 155]3. Because Christ offers himselfe to God a gift and sacrifice; whereof the legall offerings were but shadows, verse 3. 4.
    • 4. Because Christ is the Mediator of a better Covenant, established up­on better promises then the former, verse 6.
  • 2. Doctine. The Gospel or new Covenant, is better then the old legall Covenant. verse 6.
    • Reason. 1. Because the Gospel hath a better Mediatour, so much as Christ is better then Moses, verse eod.
    • 2. Because the Gospel is established upon better promises, eod.
    • 3. Because the old Covenant was faulty, for God found fault with it, as weak and unprofitable, verse 7. 8.
    • 4. Because the Gospel hath better Lawes, for they are written in the mindes and hearts of the faithfull, ver. 10.
    • 5. Because the Gospel breeds an universall knowledge of God in all men from the least to the greatest, verse 11.
    • 6. Because the Gospel allowes an universall pardon of all sinnes whatso­ever, v. 12.
    • 7. Because the new Covenant doth antiquate and abolish the old, v. ult.

CHAPTER IX.

1. THen verily the first Covenant] The particle then, for therefore, shewes, that these words so follow the former, that in a manner they are deduced or inferred from them. Yet they seem not inferred from the words immediatly prece­ding, though they have some connexion even with them also: but rather from the words neer the beginning of the former chapter where the Author made a compa­rison of Christ with the legall Priests, and affirmed, that their Taber­nacle, their Ministery, and offerings to God, were but terrene shadows of that heavenly Sanctuary, wherein Christ doth minister and offer himselfe to God; and therefore, that the Priesthod of Christ was farre more excellent then theirs. To this point he seemes now to returne, and to handle a little more largely, what before hee had but briefly touched concerning the ministery and service of the legall Priests. The word first in the originall hath no substantive with it, wherewith to agree; yet must not be referred to the Tabernacle, as some copies tran­slate it: for it hath a cleare reference to the Covenant, which in the last verse of the former chapter, is called the first, and here againe repeated so: for by this reference of it, all things wil most rationally correspond, and comply both with the preceding and subsequent passages. Had also ordinances of divine service] Ordinances are institutes. i. Arbi­trary [Page 156]and positive Lawes or precepts depending on the sole will and pleasure of the Law-maker or ordainer; to determine any action for the manner and other circumstances, which in it selfe, and by the Law of nature is indifferent and may be done many wayes, to be notwithstand­ing performed after some one way. For Gods Covenant doth not containe promises only, which are to be performed on Gods part sole­ly: but they also comprehend Commandements and Precepts of ser­vices and duties to be performed on our part, which we if we enter the Covenant must promise and covenant to performe, as God on his part doth covenant to performe his promise. The matter or subject of these ordinances was divine service, how God should be publikly worship­ped and served. The true na­ture of divine worship and service. The originall word here is, [...]; which properly signifies worship, and not service; for worship and service in reference to God, though by most Interpreters on the holy Scriptures they bee confounded and put indifferently each for other: yet indeed their na­tures are very different and contradistinct. For worship properly signi­fies any holy reverence, which by some lowly gesture we performe to God, as by standing up, bowing downe, kneeling downe, or falling downe before him; whereof the Scriptures afford us many examples. But service properly signifies any holy action performed immediatly to the honour of God; as prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and sacrificing; whereof also the examples are frequent in Scripture; and particularly, all the Ministery of the legall Priesthood by offering gifts and sacrifi­ces, and incense, are commonly termed the services of the Sanctuary. See Exod. 35.19,21,24. and Numb. 4.4,19,24,27. and Numb. 8.11,15,22,24,25. and Numb. 18.4,6,7,21,23,31. Thus the publike ho­nour of God, hath two maine branches; namely, worship, by holy re­verences; and service, by holy actions: and each of these againe have their particular kindes under them. And in many passages of Scripture these two generals of worship and service are joyned together, thereby as well to include all the wayes of honouring God, as to exclude all the wayes of honouring Idols and Images. See Exod. 20.5. and Deut. 4.19. and Deut. 8.19. and Deut. 11.16. and Deut. 30.17. and 1 Sam. 1.3. and 2 King. 17.36. and Jer. 13.10. and Mat. 4.10. And we are to note that the worship of God is in a manner determined by the Law of nature; for it is generally the same in all Ages, and among all Nations, who before, under, and since the Law have worshipped God with ge­stures of holy reverences almost alike; so that God hath prescribed no particular ordinances to regulate how we should honour him in respect of worship, because the light of nature doth sufficiently instruct us that this is to be done with most humble, lowly and reverent gestures. But for the service of God, God hath made especiall provision, by divers particular Ordinances under the first Covenant; for therein are se­verall Laws and Precepts for all the severall services of the Sanctuary, [Page 157]how the offerings of incense, gifts and sacrifices should be performed. For men must not serve God after their owne will and pleasure, but after his: seeing service must not be done after the servants pleasure, but after the Lords pleasure to whom the service is done. But now that first Covenant being abrogated, the divine services thereunto ap­propriated, are also abrogated. And we'are further to note, that when these two words of worship and service are not conjoyned in one sen­tence, but either of them is put singly alone; then many times it is am­pliated and extended, so generally as to signifie the whole honouring of God, and to include the other; for we finde worship put for it selfe and service; and service for it selfe and worship. And many times they are interchanged, and by a Metonymie of the adjunct, either is put for the other; as here, though the originall be latria, which is proper­ly worship; yet it is here put for service, and therefore rightly so tran­slated; for the Ordinances of the first Covenant prescribed nothing for divine worship, but only for divine service. Hence manifestly appears the true and proper difference between latria and doulia, whereof the first properly signifieth worship, and the other service; yet both are honour; and when these honours are divine (for they may be used hu­manely and civilly; seeing honourable reverences and honourable ser­vices may be due to a Land-lord by tenure of a Fee) then they are so proper unto God, that divinely they cannot bee communicated ei­ther to Saints or Angels. And they are so concurrent or connexed each with other, that the right of the one cannot be separated from the other; but to what person soever the one is due, to him the other is due also: so that if we grant unto the Saints or Angels cultum douliae; i. divine service, wee must also necessarily grant them cultum latriae; i. divine worship. Neither can divine service be performed without di­vine worship; for then the service is without reverence, seeing worship is nothing else but that reverence which is used at or during our ser­vice. And a worldly Sanctuary.] A Sanctuary is a divine or holy place where divine and holy honours are to bee done; where divine worship and divine service are by divine ordinance to bee performed. And the legall Sanctuary under the first Covenant is called a worldly Sanctuary, because it was seated in this present world, and stood in opposition to the Sanctuary of the world to come, whereof it was a figure and a shadow. So that by worldly Sanctuary is properly meant a temporary and earthly Sanctuary; whereas the other is eter­nall and heavenly.

2. For there was a Tabernacle made] Having specified two princi­pall things contained in the first Covenant; namely, Ordinances for divine service, and a worldly Tabernacle; he severally explicates these, shewing the defects of both: but he begins first, with that which hee named last, to wit the Tabernacle: for Orders were first for the ere­cting [Page 158]of the Tabernacle, before any Ordinances were prescribed for the services of it. For the materialls, frame and coverings of the Ta­bernacle, see Exod. 26. The first wherein was the candlesticke, and the table, and the shew-bread] The Tabernacle was but one single edifice for the fabrick or frame of it: yet there were in it two partitions, divi­ded by a rich hanging called the second vaile, in opposition to the first vaile at the doore of the Tabernacle. In the first of these partitions, which for distinction from the inward partition is here called the first Tabernacle (and first for entrance onely, not for dignity) was the Candlestick, whose matter, frame, parts and use are described, Exod. 25.31. &c. and the table, whose matter, frame, measures and parts are described, Exod. 25.23. &c. and the shew bread, which were twelve flat loaves or cakes, set upon the table in two rowes with frankincense, and changed every Sabbath, whereof see the making, Levit. 24.5. Which is called the Sanctuary.] This first partition of the Sanctuary, was for distinctions sake from the other, called the Sanctuary or holy place.

3. And after the second vaile, the Tabernacle which is called the holiest of all.] That partition or roome of the Tabernacle, which was inmost, and separated from the outward partition or room, by the second vail, was called the Oracle or the most holy place. The Hebrews called it the holy of holies; for because their language hath no superlatives, therefore they used to expresse a superlative sense, by a repetition of positives.

4. Which had the golden censer] The golden Altar, because the use of it was for incense to bee burnt upon it, is called here the golden censer. So that for the frame or fashion of it, it was an Altar, and for the use of it, a censer. For the matter, form and measures of it, see Exod 30.1. This altar or censer was indeed in the fust Tabernacle; but because it was placed close up to the vaile, which parted the second Tabernacle from the first, and the insense burnt thereon, was princi­pally to perfume the second or inmost roome, therefore the Author attributes it to the second or inmost roome of the Tabernacle. For we read nothing either in the bookes of Moses, or else where, that besides that altar of incense, there was any other censer in the oracle or most holy place. Neither can it stand with reason, there should bee any; for it was not lawfull for the Priest to enter into the oracle or most ho­ly place without burning incense before he entred; and therefore the altar or censer whereon he was first to burne incense, must needs bee without the oracle, or else he could not first come at it. And the arke of the Covenant overlaid round about with gold] The Arke was a strong chest or coffer, the matter, forme and measures whereof, see Exod. 25.10. This was called the Arke of the Covenant for the use of it, which was to inclose the tables wherein the first Covenant was writ­ten. [Page 159] Wherein was the golden pot that had Manna] Wherein] must be referred to the Arke, as appears by the beginning of the next verse; for in this verse the Author would shew what was in the Arke, and in the next what was over it. This pot of Manna was gathered before the buil­ding of the Tabernacle, and commanded to be laid up before the Te­stimony, there to be kept when the Tabernacle should be built. See Ex. 16.33.34. And Aarons rod that budded] Concerning Aarons rod, how it budded, and upon what occasion, and for what purpose it did so, See Num. 17. And the tables of the Covenant] There were severall par­cels of the old Covenant, for there were the tables of the Covenant, which the Lord wrote with his owne finger in stone, containing the Decalog: and there was the booke of the Covenant which Moses wrote and read in the audience of the people, and sprinkled it with bloud, when the Covenant was confirmed with a solemne sacrifice. See Exod. 24.4. and afterward in this Chapter, vers. 19. Now wee finde none but the tables of the Covenant to bee laid up in the Arke; yet not those tables that were first written, for they were broken, upon the indignation which Moses had at the worshipping of the gol­den Calfe; but the tables written afterward were there reserved. But how could the pot of Manna and Aarons rod bee in the Arke, when wee read expresly, that nothing was in the Arke save the two tables of stone, 1 King. 8.9. and 2 Chron. 5.10? The Answer is, Either wee must say that in successe of time, the pot of Manna and Aarons rod, came to bee put into the Arke, which before were not so; Or wee must say, that the particle In here must be a little extended in sense, to include those things that were adjacent to the Arke, being neare or a­bout it. So John is said to baptise in Bethabara, because he baptised neare or about it, John 1.28. So Joshua is said to be in Jericho, when he was by or neare it. Josh. 5.13. And in this sense the Author first expresseth those things which were by or neare the Arke, as the pot of Manna and Aarons tod; then the things in the Arke, as the tables of the Covenant: And lastly, in the following verse, the things over the Arke, as the Cherubims. And this might happily bee the cause, why under the particle in hee would first comprise the things by the. Arke, before those in it, that he might make use of this gradation.

5. And over it, the Cherubims of glory, shadowing the Mercy-seate] The Cherubims were two Images of solid gold fashioned like wing­ed men, whose wings did over shadow the Mercy-seate: being one at the one end of it, and the other at the other; having their faces looking one towards another. Of them see, Exod. 25.17. And they were called the Cherubims of glory, by an Hebraisme; for glorious Cherubims, be­cause of their lustre and brightnesse, which in Scripture is often called glory. The Mercy-seate had two uses; one to bee a Cover for the Arke, to shut up the Tables of the Covenant: the other to represent [Page 160]the seat or throne of God, where God would speake with Moses to give answers for the people, and to shew himselfe mercifull. And the originall word in the Hebrew carries a twofold sence, to answer and fit this two-fold use; for Capporeth derived from the verbe Caphor, which signifies to cover a vessell, and to cover sinne, which last is the proper act of mercy. Therefore though the Hebrew word might have beene simply and fully enough rendred the Cover, yet the Septuagint following the other signification of the word, have translated, Hilaste­rion, i. a Propitiatory or Mercy-seate, which distinguisheth this cover from all others, as a peculiar use and property of it. And it is very con­sonant to reason, that by the ambiguity of the word, the Spirit of God would signifie so much. Of which we cannot now speake particularly] Though each of these particulars concerning the first Covenant, might require particular explication, and serve highly for advancing the dig­nity of Christs Priesthood, and of the new Covenant; yet the time will not now permit it, because our purpose calls us on to other matters.

6. Now when these things were thus ordained] Having briefly de­scribed the Tabernacle and the severall furniture of it; now he comes to describe the way of divine service therein; which according to the two partitions or roomes of the Tabernacle was twofold, whereof he toucheth the first in this verse, and handleth the other in those follow­ing. The Priests went alwayes into the first Tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God] The ordinary Priests went onely into the first Taber­nacle, for none but the high Priest went into the second. And into the first they went alwayes, that is, every day daily; for herein they are opposed to the high Priest, who went into the second Tabernacle once every yeare. The daily services of God accomplished by the Priests in the first Tabernacle, were to burne Incense on the golden Censer, and to light up or mend the Lamps of the Candlestick, &c.

7. But into the second went the high Priest alone; once every yeare] The high Priest went in alone, and therefore he onely; yet he went not in daily, but yearely once every yeare, at the solemne fast of Ex­piation; whereof see Levit. 16. Not without bloud which he offered] Not without bloud, is with bloud; and with bloud onely; for the high Priest offered in the second Tabernacle nothing else but bloud. For he must enter thither with the bloud of a Bullock and of a Goate, and offer it, by sprinkling it with his finger upon and before the Mer­cy-seate seven times. Whence it appeares that this offering of the high Priest did not consist in the slaughter of those beasts whose bloud he offered; and therefore neither did the offering of Christ answerable thereto, whereof the Author treates, consist in the death of Christ, but by his entrance into heaven after his death. Indeed the death of Christ is called an offering and sacrifice; yet it is so called for the resemblance [Page 161]of it with the free-will and peace-offerings, and therefore especially, because it was most gratefull and acceptable to God: in which respect also other notable works of piety may be and are called in Scripture offerings and sactifices unto God. For himselfe, and for the errours of the people. Here is a little trajection of the words; for the right sence is thus; for the errours of himselfe, and of the people; For in this sa­crifice the Priest offered no otherwise for himself then for the people; for so we reade it before in this Epistle, chap. 5.3. Now the cause of this his offering for himselfe and the people, in that anniversary and yearely Sacrifice, was onely for the errours of both. And by Errours we must here as wee did before, understand such sinnes, as proceed either from the ignorance or forgetfulnesse of some divine Law, (for in such a multitude of Laws, and so various, respecting not onely matter of na­turall honesty and true morality, but of positive Ceremony, something might easily escape from mens knowledge or memory) or from the ignorance of some fact and the circumstances of it; or from humane frailty or infirmity, which might make the fact as excusable, as igno­rance doth, especially that ignorance which is of the Law. And there­fore those universall words in Levit. 16. ver. 16. where in this yearely sacrifice of Expiation, the Priest is commanded to expiate all the sins of the people, and to purge the Sanctuary from them, must be restrained onely to these sins of Errors.

8. The holy Ghost this signifying, That the way into the holiest of all, was not yet made manifest, while as the first Tabernacle was yet standing.] In these and the following verses, the Author declares, both the im­perfection of the old Covenant, and the infelicitie of those times, wherein the Tabernacle and that carnall service of God lasted. For first he shewes, that during those times, the way into heaven was not yet manifested and opened; and then he shewes the infirmitie of those sacrifices for the expiating of sinne; the latter of these hee doth after­ward, but the first is delivered in this verse. For here hee teacheth, what was the meaning of this. That no man might enter into the se­cond Tabernacle or most Holy place, except the high Priest, nor he neither, but onely once a yeer. To this he saith, That the holy Ghost; by whose instinct all this was ordered, would thereby declare unto us, that the way was not yet open into the holiest of all, namely, into the true and heavenly Sanctuary, as long as that earthly Tabernacle was yet standing, and continued in that state of holinesse, which God for a time had assigned unto it. But the abrogation of that Tabernacle, or as I may terme it, the profanation of it, when the vaile of it was so rent and opened, that any man might lawfully enter it, this did declare that the entrance of the heavenly Sanctuary was now open to all. The open­ing of the way, and the libertie of entring that Tabernacle, being granted unto all (which was then done, when God would have that [Page 162]Tabernacle to be holy no longer) doth designe unto us a libertie and fredome granted unto all, of entrance into the heavenly Sanctuarie, which is truely and indeed the most Holy place of all. For hence it was, that as soone as Christ had given up the Ghost and was dead, whereby our passage into heaven was made open, the vail of the Tem­ple was rent from the top to the bottome, that it might no longer keep any man from entring into the holy place. That none are yet actually entred into the Sanctuary of heaven, beside Christ our high Priest, the cause is not, that the faithfull have not a right and a libertie to enter, but because they must first put off the ragges of their mortall nature, which being done, then in their due time, namely, at the comming of Christ, they shall enter by multitudes into that heavenly Sanctuary, the palace of Immortalitie, and then take possession of that inheritance, whereto now they have but a title.

9. Which was but a figure for the time then present] Hee teacheth here the maine use of the Tabernacle, and of the divine service annexed unto it; that all was but for a figure or a shew, a mysterie, or a maske of somthing to be further understood by it; which as before wee have ex­pressed, was the true heavenly Sanctuary, and the true worship and ser­vice of God to be performed there by Saints and Angels. And it was but a temporary figure to last only for a time, during the time present, as it is opposed to the time to come, or as the Author determines it in the next verse, until the time of Reformation. Wherein were offered both gifts and sacrifices] He intimates here that the divine service by gifts and sacrifices was also figurative as well as the Tabernacle; and there­upon he declares the time which was assigned for this figurative Ta­bernacle, how long it should continue and when it should determine: Namely, that the figurative Tabernacle must last as long as the figura­tive service, for whose sake it was ordained, as long as gifts and sacri­fices were to be offered. Whereby he yet further intimates, that with great reason it stood, that the Tabernacle (or Temple in the roome of it) stood not now in force; for seeing the figurative services of offering gifts and sacrifices were but temporary, ordained only till the time of Reformation; therefore those figurative services being abolished, the figurative Tabernacle also which was but subservient to those services must needs be abolished. Which could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience] By him that did the service, is not meant the Priest onely who made the offering, but also any other person, who brought his offering for a gift or sacrifice, thereby to wor­ship and serve God; who thereupon might justly be called the worship­per and servitor of God. The services therefore by offerings of gifts and sacrifices, could not make the servitors perfect. To make perfect, here, is fully to expiate sinne, as wee heard before, chap. 7. ver. 11.19. And to perfect as pertaining to the conscience, is nothing else, (as ap­peareth [Page 163]by the opposition of those sins, which in the verse following are said to be expiated by the Legall sacrifices) but to purge away, or expiate those sins, which polluted and burdened the conscience it self, and not those onely which defiled the flesh and made the party out­wardly uncleane; nothing else but to abolish all guilt even of the most heinous sins; and so to abolish it, that thou shalt not feare not tempo­rall punishments onely, but not eternall also: and besides that thou maiest hope for eternall life, and be assured, that thy sins past, though they have beene very grievous, shall not exclude thee from salvation; upon condition, thou change the course of thy life, and carry thy selfe holily for the time to come; and as much, as such a tried hope of salvation can draw thee, and so great a favour of God can excite thee, and thy trust in his helpe can support thee, to endeavour by all meanes to keepe thy selfe unblameable and free from all sin.

10. Which stood onely in meates and drinks] He shews what sins the Legall sacrifices did expiate, and for what purposes they were ordai­ned; namely, for the sins of Legall impurity or carnall uncleannesse; as if a man had eaten or tasted any of those meates which by the Law were declared uncleane, and forbidden to be eaten; for which see Levit. 11. or if a man had drunke in an uncleane vessell, or had tasted of any water, wine or liquor whereinto some uncleane thing had fal­len; for see Levit. 16.32,33. And divers washings and carnall ordinan­ces] Or if a man had neglected to wash himselfe or his clothes, after he was casually uncleane, either by touching some uncleane thing, or by an issue, or by the Leprosie: And carnall ordinances] and such other Ceremonies, ordained of God after an arbitrary and positive way pertaining not to the conscience, but to the body and the flesh, as the touching of a dead carkasse, or of any other uncleane thing. For al­though some morall sinnes committed against the morall Laws as wee call them, were expiated by Sacrifices; yet none such as were commit­ted presumptuously or with a high hand, and in contempt of Gods Law, and thereupon truly polluted the conscience: but onely such (as we have already noted) wherein some excusable ignorance or infirmi­ty had place, being lapses and falls very familiar to man, and not un­worthy of Gods pardon. Besides, these sins were expiated by those Sacrifices onely thus farre, that after a full restitution in case of injury, no other punishment of those sins was thereby taken away, but that which pertained to the flesh or body in this life; for to take away eter­nall punishment those Sacrifices were not able. Imposed on them] It is true, that meates and drinks and diverse washings were imposed upon Gods Legall people for a time onely: yet the word imposed hath not reference to them here, for the Greek text will not beare that constru­ction: but it referres to gifts and sacrifices in the former verse; for they were imposed to expiate the sins touching meates and drinkes and [Page 164]diverse washings. Hence we see plainly, for what sinnes principally under the Law, those Legall sacrifices were ordained, and what sinnes were thereby expiated. We see also what force those sacrifices had in expiating those sins, that they could not reach unto the consciences to wash away the true and foule spots that had stained it; neither could they free them whom they expiated from all feare of divine punish­ment; for they chiefly washed away the staines of the flesh, whereby men were accounted uncleane, and thereupon forbidden civill conver­sation and publique commerce; so that these impediments from con­versation and commerce were expiated by those Sacrifices, than men might passe about their worldly affaires. Vntill the time of reformati­on] The gifts and sacrifices imposed on the people to expiate their corporall or carnall staines, were not perpetuall ordinances, but tem­porary onely for a time; and the terme of that time expired at the time of Reformation. Which is a generall correction or amendment of all things whatfoever pertaining either to the service of God, or to the happinesse of Gods people, whereby things should be brought to an excellent state and condition. The time of this Reformation or corre­ction is also called the fulnesse of time, and that time was fully come at the comming of Christ; who as the woman of Samaria said of him, at his comming would tell us all things; she meant, all things concerning the true worship and service of God. For at the time of his comming, the carnall service of God was turned into spirituall; and such a sacri­fice ordained that by the benefit thereof men might be throughly ex­piated in their consciences; so that freed before God from the guilt of all their sinnes whatsoever, and delivered from the feare not onely of temporall but of eternall punishment, they might exult and rejoyce in the hope of immortall life; and then being inflamed with such high graces and favours from God, and with a care never to lose the fruits of them, might burne in love of God and godlinesse, and forcibly be carried to every good work.

11. But Christ being become an high Priest of good things to come] Hitherto we have had the proposition of the comparison betweene the old Covenant and the new, in respect of the Tabernacle and divine service; Now followes the reddition of it, wherein the high Priest is opposed to the high Priest, the Tabernacle to the Tabernacle, the ser­vice to the service, the Sacrifice to the Sacrifice, the Offering to the Offering, and the Expiation to the Expiation. And all this he compti­seth in two verses, this and the next; which afterwards in the rest of the Chapter, he amplifies and illustrates. Christ was ordained an high Priest long before, and that by oath, as we have heard before, but he did not actually execute the office of it while the Tabernacle or Temple was yet standing and in force: but when the vaile of the Temple was tent, that the Tabernacle was disanulled, and the time of [Page 165]Reformation was come, then Christ entered upon his office & became an high Priest, to execute it for ever after the order of Melchisedec. And Christ is a high Priest of good things to come, in opposition or difference to the old high Priest. By good things to come may be un­derstood, either those that were to come in respect of the Law, or those to come in respect of this world. In respect of the Law; a perfect ex­piation of sinnes was to come; and in respect of this world eternall life is to come, which is the super-perfection or complement of perfect expiation. Now Christ is our high Priest for these good things, be­cause we attaine them by his sacrifice and offering; for he it is, who provides and takes order for them, as the Legall Priest did to procure unto the people the good things present for this life. By a greater and more perfect Tabernacle] If these words depend upon the verbe entered in the next verse; how can Christ be said to enter into the holy place by a Tabernacle that is greater and more perfect, for then he must en­ter into a Tabernacle by a Tabernacle? Therefore, either the particle by in this place is put for in; and so referred to the preceding words of this verse, considering the Tabernacle as an adjunct to Christs Priest­hood, wherein he doth minister; as if the Author had said, Christ is become a high Priest both of better things, and of or in a better Taber­nacle, greater and more perfect, then that wherein the legall Priest mi­nistred; Or else we must say, that the Author, because he mentioned a double Tabernacle terrestriall, with two partitions or roomes in it; therefore also he considers a double Sanctuary celestiall, in a manner answerable to the two holy places of the old Tabernacle, the first and the second. The one of those celestiall Sacraries is larger and more common, wherein the Angels abide: the other is more inward and most sacred, wherein is the throne of the divine Majesty. For although happily the one be not so seperate from the other, as the two holy pla­ces were in the Tabernacle and Temple disjoyned by a vaile and a wall: yet it sufficeth if they differ in beauty and glory; as in the Courts of great Kings, wee may distinguish the place where the Kings throne or chaire of State is seated, by the foot-pace Canopy and furniture of it, from the rest of the roome, though it be not severed by any parti­tion. In the old Tabernacle the inmost and most holy place, was at first continuous with the rest of the Tabernacle, and not severed but by availe; for without some such crosse materiall, the one could not be severed from the other: But in heaven the difference of bright­nesse and glory serves for a vaile. Christ therefore being to enter into the inmost and most holy place of heaven, to sit at the right hand of Gods throne, must needs passe through the large and common mansi­on of heaven; as the Legall high Priest entered the second Tabernacle by passing through the first. There are three things that seeme to fa­vour this opinion. 1. Because the Author did mention and describe a [Page 166]double Tabernacle before; therefore the resemblance of the compari­son doth require, that to a double Tabernacle on earth, there should be answerable a double place in heaven, one a holy place, and the other the most holy. 2. Because these words doe indeed seeme to depend upon the verbe entered in the next verse, as appeares by the particle neither at the beginning of that verse, for that particle doth use to couple those things that are contained under one verbe, which is here the verbe entered. 3. Because the high Majesty of the Deity seemes to require, that in his heavenly Mansion, which (no question) is most ample and spacious, there should be some most holy place, sparkling and glittering with the brightnesse of unapproachable light, where the most high God and supreme Lord of all things hath his throne and residence, answerable to the most holy place in the Tabernacle, wherein the throne of God was said to be seated. This first Taber­nacle of heaven through which Christ passed, is said to be greater and more perfect; i. then the terrene Tabernacle under the Law; and it is greater and perfecter not only in quantity but in dignity. Not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.] Hee would give one in­stance at the least to declare the dignity of Christs Tabernacle to bee greater and more perfect then the legall, because it is not made with hands, or by art of man, as the legall was. Yet because the Author would shew, that by these words hee comprehends something more, then appeares at the first sight; therefore he declares, what he meanes thereby; namely, that Christs Tabernacle is not of this building. It is not only not made by the hand or art of man, but also it is not of the number of visible creatures; which though they be not made by the hand and industry of men, yet they are like to handy: workes, because they are visible and corruptible as handy-works are. In which sense, the Apostle opposing the house of our glorious body to this of our corruptible and fraile body, saith of it, that it is no handy-worke made with hands, 2 Cor. 5.1. Or rather, the Tabernacle of Christ is said, not to be of this building or creating; because it is not framed of vi­sible materials or any other stuffe subject to the eye, whereof all han­dy-works wrought by mans art, are made. Therefore these words, not of the building, must be extended more largely, then the other, not made with hands, doe properly signifie. For it doth not presently follow, that if it be not made with hands, therefore it is not of this building; unlesse as we have said, wee take a handy-worke made by hand; to signifie metaphorically, that also which is like to a handy-worke made by hand; as are all things of this building or creating, which have been made from the beginning of the world; or else so (which comes all to one) as to comprehend all things, which in respect of their matter are of the same kinde with handy-workes, as are all things made of God from the beginning of the world; for of these are [Page 167]all handy-workes framed. Hence it appeares, that there is another building or creature of God, far more excellent then the building or frame of this world, whose forme and matter is of another kinde, far more faire, pure, sublime, and stable, then this which we see. And to this building, pertaines that heavenly Tabernacle of Christ our high Priest, which is the Temple and residence of the most high God.

12. Neither by the bloud of goats and calves] Here he opposeth the sacrifice of Christ to the sacrifice of the old legall Priest. The old high Priest entered the most holy place by the blood of goats and calves. But Christ entered, not by such base bloud, but by most pre­tious bloud, which could be no other, besides his owne; for as his per­son was most pretious, so must needs his bloud be. The bloud of man is more pretious then the bloud of a beast: but the bloud of Christ is far more pretious then the bloud of all men besides. Seeing Christ himself is far more excellent then all other men, yea then all other erea­tures; for he is more deare and neare unto God then all, as being his unigenit and only begotten Sonne. But by his owne bloud] Wee are to note, that the Author to sute the elegancie of his comparison, did in the first member of it use the particle by; although the legall high Priest entered the holy place, not only by the bloud of goats and calves, i. having first shed the bloud of those beasts, or after the shedding of their bloud; but also with their bloud, which he carryed into the holy place with him and offered it by sprinkling it, upon and before the Mercy-seat. But in the sacrifice of Christ the resemblance could not be extended so far, seeing Christ shed not the bloud of an other crea­ture but his owne bloud; neither in his heavenly Tabernacle did he of­fer his bloud after his death but himselfe, when hee was become im­mortall, and had cast off the rags of flesh and bloud, because they can­not possesse the Kingdome of God. And therefore he entred the holy place of heaven not with his bloud, but only after hee had shed his bloud. Now because Christ entred thus, therefore the Author said lesse of the legall high Priest then indeed the thing it selfe was, and used the particle by to fit the comparison. For in the sacrifice of Christ, the matter was in part somewhat otherwise, then in the old expiatory sacrifice. In that old sacrifice, as also in other sin-offerings, the beast it selfe that was slaine was not offered unto God, nor burnt as a sweet savour unto him (as the Scripture termes it) but the kidneyes and the fat of it only; neither was the carkasse brought into the holy place, but the bloud of it only. But in the sacrifice of Christ, not his bloud which he shed when he was slaine, but he himselfe must be offered, and hee must enter the holy place of heaven by himselfe. For hence afterward at the 14. verse it is said, that Christ offered himselfe to God, and not his bloud; although otherwise the comparison with the expiatory sa­crifices seem to require this latter resemblance. He entred in once into [Page 168]the holy place] The entrance into the most holy place is necessarily re­quired to that sacrifice; for the Offering (wherein the nature of the sa­crifice chiefly consisteth) could not be performed before the entrance, because it must be made in the holy place, by sprinkling upon and be­fore the Mercy-seat. Hence it is manifest that the offering and sacri­fice of Christ our high Priest was not made upon the Crosse, but was performed in heaven, and is yet in the performing. Into this true holy place of heaven Christ entred but once, not often and yearly as the le­gali high Priest did. Having obtained eternall redemption] Now hee opposeth the Expiation obtained by the offering or sacrifice of Christ, to the old Expiation obtained by the legall Priest. By Redemption he understands expiation or deliverance from the guilt of sinnes. For to be guilty of sinne, and thereupon bound over to death and damnation is a grievous captivity and slavery. When he calls this Expiation eter­nall, he tacitly gives a reason, why he said before, that Christ entred once only into the holy place; namely, because by his entrance and of­fering of himselfe he expiated or atoned men for ever; as it is said chap. 10.14 Christ therefore obtained an eternall redemption, because he hath fully expiated all the sinnes not only past, but to come, of all men beleeving in him, who have lived heretofore, or do now live, or shall live hereafter to the worlds end. So that this expiation doth pertaine to all sinnes, of all times and of all men, who truly pertaine to Christ. But the legall expiation performed yearly every yeare, did not extend to all sinnes, but only to Ignorances and Infirmities; nor to all times, not at all to the time future, but only to the time past within the circuit of one year; nor to all persons, but only to those who were then living when the expiation was made; and therefore it was not e­ternall, but only annuall. The word having obtained, must not bee un­derstood preteritively, as if Christ had obtained the redemption before he entred; but presentively, that he had obtained it by and upon his entrance; or when he entred then he obtained. See what we explica­ted before concerning indefinite participles, Chap. 6. ver. 13.

13. For if the bloud] Hee confirmes his former assertion, That Christ by his one oblation of himselfe hath obtained an eternall ex­piation for us. And that he might compasse this the better, he proves by an argument, à minori ad majus, that Christ hath purged away those sinnes that pollute our consciences. For the expurgation of these doth produce this effect, that laying aside all sinne, we shall serve God ever after in all holinesse and righteousnesse: and if we doe this, wee shall need no further offering for our sinnes. As on the contrary, if we finally forsake not our sinnes, but after expiation of them relapse into them againe (which wee then doe when this expiation doth not so far prevaile with us, as to withdraw us from our sinnes) then we have need of another offering and sacrifice, to obtaine remission of our relapses. [Page 169]For it stands not with reason; that men should be expiated with one on­ly sacrifice, and yet be still enslaved to the same sinnes, and be nothing the better for their expiation. Therefore either the expiation is pre­valent and of force to withdraw men from sinne, and make them live holily ever after; or else as men alwayes returne to their sinnes, so the expiation must be alwayes iterated, and then it cannot bring eternall redemption to them. It is therefore manifest, that the offering of Christ, seeing it is but one, can really profit no man, but him that ha­ving received the faith of Christ, doth shake off the yoke of sinne, and wholly devote himselfe to God, to live in a holy course of life ever af­ter. Of buls and goats] Hee calls those Bulls which in the former verse he called Calves; as well for their age being of a middle grouth between Calves and Bullocks, in which sense also a Heifer is some­time put for a Cow; as by a synecdoche putting either of these indif­ferently for any beast of the herd, as opposed to those of the flocke which were goats or sheep. For in the yearly sacrifice for the sinnes of the whole people, to which the Authors words refer; to speake pro­perly, there was no Bull slaine, but only an heifer (or as our Translati­on renders it, a Bullock) for the sins of the Priest, and a goat for the sins of the people. And this is the reason why the Author joynes these beasts here, as likewise he doth it afterward, Chap. 10.4. And the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean] How the water of seperation was made of the ashes of a burned heifer, and sprinkled upon the un­cleane; see Numb. 19. It is not necessary for the concluding of the Authors argument, that the ashes of the heifer should be put here for a type of the bloud of Christ; for the argument here is not drawn from the type to the antitype (unlesse it be accidentally) but from termes of disparity, and excellency of Christs offering. This we therefore note, lest any man should thinke it might be gathered from hence, that the Author compares this sacrifice of Christ, with any other legall sacri­fices, besides the anniversarye, at which the high Priest entered the most holy place. Although we willingly acknowledge, that those ashes were a type of Christs bloud, and a most lively type; because those ashes were a kinde of perpetuity, and must alwayes bee in a rea­dinesse, and had force at any time to cleanse any person sprinkled therewith from his legall uncleannesses of the flesh; and this force or effect of it depended not on the pleasure of any man, but only from the decree of God alone. So the bloud of Christ is a perpetuall & standing remedy, that hath force and power at any time to cleanse men from the guilt of their sinnes, if they be truly sprinkled with it, by being washed from the filth of their sinnes; i. if they cast them off for the time to come; and this force the bloud of Christ hath from the good pleasure of God. These ashes are said to sprinkle, not efficiently, as if the action began at them, and they sprinkled themselves; but instru­mentally [Page 170]because the uncleane was sprinkled with the water where­in they were infused; as wee say, the sword woundeth, because the sword is the instrument wherewith the wound is made. Sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh.] To sanctifie is to cleanse; for sanctified is commonly opposed to polluted; as polluted and common and pro­miscuously used, is easily polluted, and cannot be cleane; seeing then a thing is cleane when it is separated from ordinary and common use. For this sanctifying (as the word following shewes) consisteth onely in purifying of the flesh. All the sanctifying that proceeded from the of­ferings of the bloud of calves and goates, or from the sprinkling of the ashes of an heifer, was but a carnall purifying to cleanse the flesh. The Ceremoniall uncleannesses wherewith men by chance were defiled, were expiated by these offerings and sprinklings; and the partie pre­defiled became purified; so that now it was lawfull for him to converse with other men, to come to the Temple, to be present at divine servi­vices, and to partake of the Sacrifice; from all which his former un­cleannesse debarred him. So that this Puritie or cleannesse of the flesh, was both the end and effect of the offering of bloud and sprink­ling of ashes.

14. How much more shall the blood of Christ] Some man may think, that the Author should not have drawne his argument à mirori, but ra­ther à pari; seeing there seemes an equalitie of reason on both sides, that as well the legall sacrifice, as that of Christ had a like force to pro­duce their effects; the blood of beasts to purifie the flesh, and the blood of Christ to purifie the conscience. But we must note, that the blood of beasts and the offering of it, is not altogether of like nature to puri­fie the flesh, as the blood of Christ offered to God by the spirit, is to the cleansing of the conscience: For if we looke upon the nature of the thing, what force hath the blood of beasts offered in the Sanctuary, that thereby it should cleanse the flesh, or be reputed to cleanse it? Was not this effect of purifying the flesh, tyed to the shedding and offering of that blood; onely by the decree of God? and that it might bee ac­counted to have this effect, must they not have a knowledge of Gods decree by some other meanes? But for the blood of Christ, after the shedding of it, there followed the offering of Christ himselfe in the heavenly Tabernacle; or the shedding of Christs blood joyned with the offering of Christ himselfe (as the Author considers the blood of Christ here) seeing Christ therefore shed it, that hee might offer him­selfe in the Sanctuary of heaven, both as a Priest and as a Sacrifice; The blood of Christ, I say, if we respect the nature of the thing, hath a po­tent force to purge our consciences, or is the true and effectuall cause of their being purged. For in the offering of Christ, as wee have already said somwhat, and more shall afterward, is contained his singular and [Page 171]onely care of our salvation in heaven; from whence the purifying of our consciences, and the plenary remission of our sinnes, doth flow and pro­ceed, as from the proper cause of it. Furthermore, that the blood of Christ may be knowne to have so great force, looking on the nature of Christs death, and the circumstances of it, every man may ea­sily be admonished of it; For Christ by his blood did strongly main­tain the truth of his doctrine; having shed his blood he entred into hea­ven, the habitacle of immortall life, that what he had promised by his words hee might testifie to all men by his example; having shed his blood and entered into his heavenly Sanctuary, hee offered himselfe an immaculate sacrifice to God for us; having shed his blood he obtained all power both in heaven and earth, all judgement and arbitrement of our salvation. Neither to obtaine this was the bloodshed of Christ a bare condition, that of it owne nature and proper efficacy conferred nothing to it: but seeing it conteineth so hard a worke of vertue and obedience, a worke so acceptable to God, and so advancing to his glo­ry, even of it own nature it had force and power to procure this power unto Christ, and to produce in us the cleansing of our conscience. Hee that ponders all this in his minde, can he doubt, but that by the blood of Christ he is expiated from all staine of sinne, if he embrace the faith of Christ with all his heart, and afterward as farre as the hope of eter­nall life can encourage him, keep himselfe undefiled and pure from all staine of sinne? Thus the nature and force of Christs death being con­sidered, the Authour with very good reason doth draw and conclude this his argument, not from a parity of reason but from a disparity, or from the lesse to the greater. The blood of Christ] There seemes an Emphasis in these words of the Author, to make it yet more fully ap­peare, how great force his blood hath in cleansing our consciences; As if he had said, The blood, not of an ordinary man, which yet is better then that of beasts, but of Christ, who is the unigenit son of God, feated in heaven at the right hand of God, and reigning over all creatures: Shall not this blood have much more force to purge the conscience, then the blood of beasts had to purifie the flesh? Now, that we may a little prevent the words of the Author, the cleansing of our conscience is attributed to the blood of Christ, both as it is the blood of the Cove­nant, whereby the new Covenant is established, and as it is the blood of the sacrifice which is offered for us in that heavenly Sanctuary; both which the Authour hath conjoyned, saving that he explicates the first last, and the last first, because it belongs to his Priesthood, as the for­mer is referred to his Mediatorship; which two functions of Christ were fitly conjoyned in the mention of his blood; for they are both coupled in the death of Christ; for his Mediatorship ended in his death, and his Priesthood began there: But how the blood of Christ pur­geth our consciences, as it is the bloud of the Covenant, wee shall see [Page 172]hereafter. Yet now we shall adde thus much, that the new Covenant was established by the bloud of Christ, not onely as appointed so by God, in manner as the bloud of calves and goates was of old appointed for the establishing of the old covenant: but even the very nature and condition of his bloud, was of great efficacy thereto. For who can doubt of the truth of that covenant, for confirmation whereof the bloud of Christ was shed, who made this covenant in the name of God, and afterward became our heavenly King? Who through the eternall Spirit offered himselfe without spot to God] Here the Author clearly expres­seth, by what meanes the bloud of Christ as it was the bloud of the sa­crifice, had so much power & force as to purge our consciences; name­ly, because Christ having shed his bloud, did through the eternall Spi­rit, offer himself without spot to God in the heavenly Sanctuary. Hence it is manifest, that the bloud of Christ had so far power to expiate our sins, as the shedding of it was seconded by Christ his offering of him­selfe in heaven; which could not follow unlesse Christ had first shed his bloud: For the bloud of Christ, not onely as it is the bloud of the Sa­crifice, takes efficacy and force to purge sin from the subsequent oblati­on of Christ in offering himselfe in heaven: but also as it is the bloud of the Covenant, it received great force from the subsequent resurrecti­on and glory of Christ. For the death of Christ is as it were animated and quickned by his Resurrection and glory, and then are the mightie effects of it, when he that suffered death to confirm the new covenant, is thereupon acknowledged to be the Sonne of God, and the Christ: which certainly could not have been without his Resurrection and the subsequent glory of it. For then wee plainely perceive the boundlesse love of God in delivering Christ to death for us; and the boundlesse love of Christ in dying for us: from both which wee may easily draw an undoubted hope of our salvation. And then also wee see from his most shamefull death, a passage open to immortall life; and lastly, then we esteem the Covenant most sacred, that was confirmed by a death so precious. But if Christ had not risen from the dead, who therefore died that he might appear to be the Christ, and the King over Gods people; his death had thereby lost all the force of it; yea, it would have been of force to nullifie the faith of all his promises. But he had promi­sed us eternal life in the Name of his Father, and that he himself would give it us, by raising us from the dead; yea, hee openly said of himselfe that he would rise the third day, thereby to confirm his doctine; where­fore unles the event had been answerable, his doctrine had been strip­ped of all authority. But let us returne to the offering of Christ, which the Author opposeth to the offering of the old high Priest for severall respects. 1. In that Christ offered through the Spirit, and the eternall Spirit: but the high Priest under the Law, did enter the Holy place, and offer through his infirmitie; a weake man com­passed [Page 173]with the flesh. But Christ was filled with the eternall Spirit, i. with the power of God, which clarified him from all mortalitie, and made him eternall, subject to no destruction. Now this Spirit seemes to be called eternall, not onely because it eter­nally resides in Christ, but because it makes him to become eternall. Of which Spirit, if Christ had been destitute, he could not have offe­red himselfe in that heavenly Sanctuary, to have remained there for ever. Therefore in these words, (about which Interpreters have di­verse disputes, as men must needs do, when the genuine sence of any place is either not perceived or not allowed) is expressed the cause, how Christ being before not onely of a mortall nature and compassed with flesh, but also slaine as a sacrifice, could afterward enter the hea­venly Sanctuary, the palace of immortality, and there as a Priest offer himselfe to God. This he saith was effected by the benefit of the eternall Spirit, who throughly consecrated Christ, and devested him from all naturall and terrene infirmities. That which hee had spoken before, chap. 7. ver. 16. that Christ was made a Priest after the power of an endlesse life; now hee saith againe in other words, that Christ offered through the eternall Spirit; for if wee looke into the thing it selfe, what is the power of an endlesse life, other then this eternall Spi­rit? In a like manner Paul treating of Christ, as he is ordained and de­clared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, i. as God after his resurrection made him the celestiall and eternall King of his people with supreme power, mentions the Spirit of holi­nesse or sanctification, Rom. 1.4. and he saith, that Christ was decla­red the Sonne of God according to the Spirit of holinesse as he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. For, seeing he op­poseth this Spirit to the flesh of Christ, i. to whatsoever was humane in his nature, what can he else understand, but the power of Gods Spi­rit powred upon Christ, which abolishing from him all his mortall condition, did throughly consecrate him unto God, made him a per­son most divine, and most like unto God in nature and power, and ren­dered him fully capable of a celestiall and eternall kingdome? Hither also must that of Peter be referred, where he saith, (as it is in the Greek) that Christ was mortified in the flesh, but vivified by the Spirit, 1 Pet. 3.18. where as the flesh of Christ is made the cause of his mor­tality, and consequently of his death: so is the Spirit, (namely of God in Christ) made the spring and fountaine of his vivification or life. 2. He opposeth the offering of Christ to that of the old high Priest, in that Christ offered himselfe; but the Legall Priest offered not himselfe, but the bloud of slaine beasts: but what force could that bloud have being offered and sprinkled before the Mercy-seate for the purifying of the flesh, if we respect the nature of the thing? But Christ himselfe being offered for us in the heavenly Tabernacle, was he not [Page 174]a most acceptable sacrifice to God? Is there any sin of those that are truly faithfull in Christ, which by the offering of so holy a Sacrifice, and by the authority and care of so great an high Priest with his hea­venly Father could not be expiated? 3. In that hee offered himselfe without spot or blemish. For the old sacrifice must bee very pure and free from any spot; wherefore seeing our high Priest himselfe was the sacrifice, hee must needs bee void of all spot or blemish. But the old high Priest when he entered the most holy place and offered, was not without spot or blemish; for even then he was to procure the expiati­on no lesse of his owne sins then of the peoples. But Christ when he entered the heavenly Sanctuary, and offered himselfe to God, was then free from all spot, not onely in respect of his most innocent life, which he passed without the least spot of sinne; but also, which as wee said in the seventh Chapter, the Author chiefly respecteth, in respect of his immortall nature; which he obtained free from all spot of infirmi­ty, when he was quickned with that eternall Spirit, whereby he ente­red the heavenly Sanctuary. But what is meant by this offering of Christ, wee have declared before. For these things are not properly spoken of Christ: but onely comparatively and allusively to the anci­ent high Priest. So that by this offering of Christ is signified, his sin­gular and onely care for the expiation of our sins, and for our salvation. Yet it is a care worthy and sutable to so great an high Priest, who is not destitute of power in himselfe to conferre salvation upon us, but is forced to obtaine it from another, as the old high Priest was: but is one, that enjoyeth all command both in heaven and earth, one that exerciseth all Judgement delivered over unto him from his Father; and one that by his owne proper power doth release us from all guilt of our sins, frees us from all punishment, and lastly makes us capable of eternall life. Whence it so much the more appeares, how the purging of our consciences doth certainely follow upon the bloud and death of Christ, and upon his subsequent offering in heaven. Purge your consci­ence from de [...]d workes] How much more shall the bloud of Christ purge? Shall is so the future tense here, that it carries the force of the time present. For, in such arguments drawne from comparison, wee love to use the future tense in the consequent member of it. If this be so, much more shall that. For herein we respect not any futurity of time, but a futurity of consequence and of truth; for many times wee conclude in that manner of things past. The conscience here is oppo­sed to the flesh; for as the bloud of beasts offered did purge the flesh, so the bloud of Christ offered through the Spirit, doth penetrate unto the conscience and purge it. And sinnes are called dead workes, not formally as if they had no life or activity in them: but effectively, be­cause they are deadly works, that brings death to the sinner, and of their owne nature keepe the sinner dead for ever. These deadly works [Page 175]are the spots and blots that defile our conscience; and from these our conscience is purged by the bloud of Christ; not onely in that we are freed from the guilt of them in the sight of God, and consequently from all punishment of them; but also in that wee are delivered from the sence of that guilt, and from the feare of punishment, and so our conscience is cased of a grievous burden. And it was not for nothing that the Author would rather say, purge our conscience, then our minde, the inward part of us, opposite to the flesh; Because thereby he would shew, that the bloud of Christ doth also cleanse away, that misery and torment of the conscience, whereby men conscious of their wicked­nesse, doe tremble and quake for feare of Gods Judgements. This is most certaine, that true and solid peace of conscience in them that have sinned, doth ground it selfe upon this, that God hath declared his will, they should be free from all the guilt of their sinnes; And yet it may be, that men freed in the sight of God from the guilt of their sinnes, may not enjoy a peaceable and quiet conscience, because they are de­stitute of the knowledge or faith of it. Therefore the bloud of Christ offered to God through the eternall Spirit, doth not onely abolish all the guilt of our sinnes, but also doth certifie and make faith thereof unto us; as we heard before. Whence it commeth to passe that there ariseth a great calme and quiet of conscience in their minds, who have tasted the efficacy and vertue of Christ his bloud and sacrifice; and we may well say that though formerly their conscience were oppressed with many crimes; yet then their conscience is wholly disburdened, and they finde no guiltinesse in it. And this is the scope which God proposed unto himselfe in the death of Christ and the things following thereon. For he would not therefore binde himselfe by the bloud of Christ and establish a new Covenant, because there might be danger, that he would not stand to his promises who is most true and faithfull of his word; but because we should want no assurance of his grace and mercy towards us. And hence also it is, that when Christ was raised from the dead and invested with immortality, God exalted him into heaven, and committed unto him the whole care and arbitrement of our salvation. For the efficacy and force of Christs death and the con­sequents upon it, must be distinguished from their scope whereat God aymed; although that efficacy were subservient to this scope, and effe­ctuall to the compassing of it. The efficacy of Christs death and the consequents upon it, was very great, both to obliege God to performe his promises, and to produce the reall effect of them upon us: but the scope is, (as we have said) to make assured and undoubted faith unto us, of so great grace of God, of so great salvation and remission of sins; to the end that wee being fully certified thereof, might againe on our part performe our duty, and wholly devote our selves to God. Whence the Author adding afterward this end or effect of purging our consci­ence, [Page 176]to be performed by us on our part, doth thereby teach us, that in this purging of our conscience he included, not only an Immunity from punishmen [...], arising from the abolishing of our guilt before God, but also a security from them, proceeding from our certaine know­ledge that our guilt is abolished. Now for the matter of our Impunity or freedome from punishment; our punishment is not only temporall, but also eternall, opposite to life eternall. From the punishment of e­ternall death, those sacrifices [...] the Law were so farre from freeing any man, that they could exempt no man from temporall death, or ca­pitall punishment, for they only tooke away some other light penalties or inconveniences of this life. Neither did God write all his Lawes in bloud, ordaining death for every offence; but moderated the rigor of his Law with singular justice and equity. Upon some offences hee laid the penalty of death, which no sacrifice could release; upon others he laid a fine and a sacrifice. The mulct or fine was to bee paid to the party grieved; but the sacrifice to himselfe, for thereupon he remitted the penalty due to himselfe; but would have restitution made of the in­jury done to man. So for example for theft, the penalty was a restitu­on of the double, triple or quadruple, to be paid to the party thereby damaged: but besides this restitution, the theft was expiated by sacri­fice, which was instead of a penalty to the most mercifull God. Lastly, there some things totally void of all true offence: as for example, if any man had touched a dead body, though it were of duty to bury him (which was rather a matter of piety then of offence) yet because this and other such like cases were condemned by the Law of uncleannes, therefore they were to be expiated either by some sacrifice, or by the holy water of separation. Therefore all the use of those sacrifices was to expiate some lighter faults or uncleannesses of the flesh; but great offences were punished with death. Hence David acknowledging his sinne exiable by no sacrifices of beasts, saith to God, Thou desi­rest not sacrifices, else would I give them: but thou delightest not in burn: offerings, Psal. 51.16. He means in the expiation of such crimes as his was; and therefore he flyes to the sole mercy and clemency of God; and resolves to pacifie God with the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart. The force of which sacrifice, if it be made seasonably, and abound afterward in the fruits of good workes, is established and ratified by the Law of the Gospel. Now the bloud and sacrifice of Christ takes away all guilt and penalties of all sins, even of the most heynous, in them who having tasted the force of that sacrifice, do after­ward live holily: I say, all kind of penalties not only of temporall death but of eternall, which by force of the law all incurred, that had truly and morally sinned. For temporall life opposed to temporal death pro­ceeded from the observation of the Law otherwise, then eternall life did opposed to eternall death. For to attain or preserve temporall life it [Page 177]sufficed to keep the Law taken in an open and literall sease (as they call it) and to expiate certain offences by certain rites and sacrifices. But the latter could no man attaine by force of the Law, unlesse a man had kept the precepts of it, taken in a mysticall sense. i. most fully and perfectly as the Gospell proposeth them. For seeing eternall life was not con­tained in the promises of the Law, but in a mysticall sense; it was great equity, that he who would attaine it by the benefit of the Law, should likewise keep the precepts of the Law in a mysticall sense. Neither only so; but it must be kept exactly, and without any sinne: so that there should need no sacrifices or expiations. For no sacrifices were of such force as to take away the guilt of eternall death; and so estate a man in a right to eternall life; neither did the Law open any other way to arrive at a plenary justification joyned with the reward of eternall life, then by the merit of workes. To serve the living God] Here is the effect of this Expiation wrought in us by the bloud and offering of Christ. For when our conscience doth clearly acknowledge, that in respect of God, it is freed from all guilt of all sinne even the most grie­vous, and nothing can hinder us but our selves, from enjoying the reall effect of our being acquitted from all sinne; it comes to passe here by that we must needs have strong motives to carry us on to the worship and service of God, and to receive the faith of Christ; to the end wee may effectually enjoy so great a blessing, and having once enjoyed it never lose it, but afterward abstaine from all sinne with all our possible endeavour, knowing well that so great a blessing is attained and pre­served with true piety. Hence it appeares that this purging of our conscience gotten by the bloud of Christ, must be so understood in this place, that for the reall effect of it, it depends upon our duty on our part; i. then it begins to have it effect in us, when our faith and obedience begins toward God and Christ; and is continued by the continuance of our faith and obedience, and by constancie and perseve­rance in faith and godlinesse to the end, is at length consummated, and doth rest in a full and immutable right to eternall life, the effect where­of will most certainly follow in due time. For unlesse this effect and complement of our expiation depend reciprocally upon our duty, and our duty and will to serve God flowed immediatly from it, what one man among a thousand would serve God upon the expiation of his finnes, if he knew that without this, he could be expiated effectually, and released from the guilt of all his sinnes, and enjoy a full right to eternall life? because therefore this offering of Christ doth withdraw us from sinne, and makes us afterward serve the living God; hence it comes to passe, that Christ doth expiate us by one only offering, or that our expiation flowing from the offering and sacrifice of Christ is eternall and lasteth forever. For what need the offering be iterated, if men once expiated, sinne no more? For although sometime by error [Page 178]or infirmity the true worshippers of God may offend; yet because the offering of Christ doth not so properly intend to expiate such light of­fences, as sinnes that are more heynous; as appears by the proper na­ture of the new Covenant, as it stands distinguished from the old; therefore the oblation of Christ must not be iterated for our light in­firmities and lapses. Therefore for the removing of the guilt of such light offences, the perpetuall residence of Christ our high Priest in his heavenly Sanctuary, and his intercession to his Father for us, is abun­dantly sufficient; so that for them he need not shed his bloud againe, and after the shedding of it enter into his Sanctuary. The word [...] doth not alwayes signifie all kind of obedience and service done unto God, but chiefly that divine service done to God publikly & most pro­perly, as hath before been shewed, those holy reverences which we per­form in the worship of God▪ Yet the Author useth it here by a Metony­mie, for all divine service that is joyned with the worship of God; for worship and service are mutuall adjuncts connexed each to other. For so great a benefit of God as the expiation of all our sins should easily move us to perform divine services unto God, by praises and thanksgi­vings and wholly to devote out selves to worship to good a God; for then we take courage to approach unto God to worship and serve him, and to hope that the honour we do him will not be unacceptable unto him, when we feel our conscience clean & quiet, as purged from all sin. Or else the word here is taken by way of Metaphor, whereby all good works pleasing unto God and done for his sake, are accounted for sacri­fices and offerings acceptable to God; and that wholy endeavours them may fitly be said to serve God. God is here called the living God ac­cording to the ordinary phrase of Scripture; which notwithstanding in this place wants not an emphasis: Not only because hereby the true God is distinguished from all the feigned gods of the Gentiles, which because they were nothing but woodden or stony Idols, and therefore woodden and stony gods, were called vaine and livelesse gods, and are opposed to the living God. But also to shew the cause, why we should worship and serve God, and withall the happinesse of those that devote themselves unto him. For seeing hee is the living God, hee is also the true God, who can reward his worshippers and servitors with great benefits, and recompence them with fearfull judg­ments who neglect him. To this end Paul writing to the Thessalo­nians saith, Yee are turned from Idols to God, to serve the living and true God, 1 Thess. 1.9. And the word there is [...], which pro­perly signifies to serve. And God is eminently called the living God, not only because he truly lives, but also because he is the fountaine of life to all other things which do live. In which sense sometimes, hee alone is said to live, or to have life and immortality in himself.

15. And for this cause] Here the Author confirmes his former as­sertion [Page 179]by a new argument, in that Christ is the Mediatour of the new Testament, or that Christ made the New Testament and sealed it with his bloud. For this is the nature of the New Testament (as we shewed in the former Chapter) to containe the remission of all our sinnes, even the most heinous, and consequently to be of force to purge our con­science. And because it is a Testament, therefore it was first to be confirmed by death, which here neither can nor must be any other then the death of Christ. Whence it is manifest that the death or bloud of Christ, as it confirmes the New Testament, doth purge our conscience from dead workes. The particle and shews that a new ar­gument is alledged; and the words for this cause note the finall cause, for which Christ died. He is the Mediatour of the New Testament.] Wee now use the word Testament and not Covenant, because the Greek word [...] properly signifies a Testament and not a Cove­nant (though sacred Writers use it to signifie also a Covenant.) And the ambiguity of the word did well serve the Author to draw his ar­gument from that which must needs be done in a Testament. And to speake a little yet more accurately, Testament and Covenant differ but alternly, as genus and species. For every Testament is a Covenant, though not è contra; for though the heire doe not covenant with the Testator at the making of the Testament, because that may be done altogether without his knowledge, which is necessarily required in him that covenanteth: Yet he covenants at the validity of the Testament; for when the Covenant takes effect by his acceptance of the condition specified in the Testament, and by his entrance upon the Inheritance, then (though before he were free) he covenants ex Lege, to performe the will of the Testatour. So that every Testament at least when it is consummate and valid, is a kinde of Covenant; and it is the best kinde of Covenant; 1. Because it is most solemnely testified by sealing and witnessing, from whence it is called a Testament. 2. Because it is most preciously confirmed, even by death, and the death of him that makes it, who establisheth his owne deed by his owne death. 3. Because it containes an extraordinary benefit, in conveying the Testators inheri­tance and whole estate to the heire. And lastly, because it proceeds with the greatest freedome, in leaving the heire to his liberity, whether he will accept of the Inheritance or not. Now this New Testament is the last will of God, which must stand for ever, because it is already confirmed, and therefore cannot be revoked. But how Christ is the Mediatour of it hath beene partly shewed before, chap. 8.6. and is partly to be shewed afterward; yet his Mediatorship consisteth chiefly in these two acts, first in declaring or publishing it, and then in confir­ming or establishing it by his death, as a Testament ought to be. That by meane, of death for the transgressions that were under the first Testa­ment, they which are called might receive the promise of eternall inheri­tance] [Page 180]Here is a file of finall causes linked one to another, whereof the last end is, the obtaining of an eternall inheritance; the intermean is the redemption for the transgressions which were under the first Testa­ment; the prime Mean to these two former subordinate ends whereby they are successively atrained, is death, which in a Testament must ne­cessarily intervene. Hence we may see, that the redemption of trans­gressions doth properly depend and flow from the New Testament; and the death of Christ doth give force and strength to this Testament. The word Redemption is put for Expiation, as was shewed ver. 12. For Expiation is one kinde or sort of Redemption; both because the effect of expiation is a delivery, and because also the meanes or it whereby it is wrought is an expence, for it commonly costeth bloud. Hence some Translators in this place render it Expiation. But because the word Redemption carries the sense of Expiation, therefore it both followes the construction of it, and is simply called the redemption of transgressions; either for their expiation, as wee have said. In which sense the Scripture speakes elswhere. For Prov 16.6. where the vulgar Latine reads it, By truth iniquity is redeemed; there our English tran­slation hath it, By truth iniquity is purged, i. expiated; Or for redemp­tion from transgressions. For Cicero himselfe in a sense not unlike, saith, Liberationem culpa, for à culpâ. And he useth the word Trans­gressions, whereby grievous sinnes are commonly signified, to shew us, what sinnes chiefly are remitted in the New Testament; namely, heynous and grievous sinnes; for which in the Old Testament there was no expiation allowed, but the punishment of death imposed. Wherefore he addeth, Which were under the first Testament] He means which remained in force, or could not be expiated, or for which no remission was allowed under the Law. But hee seems withall to inti­mate, that those grievous sinnes had their being, and were wont to bee committed under the Old Testament; whereas the New Testament together with their guilt, doth wholly take away their being, in them who cordially beleeve the promises of it. For that this is the force and effect of the New Testament, and of the bloud of Christ, we have already shewed, partly in the eight Chapter, and partly here. And he mentions not the expiation of transgressions only or grievous sins ther­fore, as if under the New Testament also all lighter sins were not expi­ated: but it is as much as if he had said, Yea even of those transgressions under, &c.] For somtimes the Scripture speaketh simply, not to exclude other things, but to teach us, that those other things wherof there might be greater doubt are included, & wch being thoght included, much more is it to be thought so of the rest. So Psal. 25.8. David saith of God, That he is good and upright, therefore wil he teach sinners in the way, i. Yea even sinners, and not righteous men only, though he will teach them also, and much rather; for so he presently addes in the verse following, The [Page 181]meeke will he guide in judgement and teach his way. So Paul, Rom. 4.5. saith, That God justifieth the ungodly; not that he justifieth him onely, but that hee is so gracious as to justifie him also. Or else the Authour mentions only transgressions, or grievous sins, to shew that they chiefly are expiated under the new Testament, and that this is the proper fruit of the new Testament, and of the oblation of Christ. But if the guilt of grievous sins be taken away under the new Testament, much more must it be true of lighter sinnes. Besides, grievous sins do much more grieve the conscience then lighter; for to lighter sinnes there was some expiation granted in the law, whereby men might imagine that God of his infinite goodnes, would also release the penalty of eternall death; but to the other no expiation was allowed. Might receive the promise. To receive the promise of eternall inheritance, doth in this place signi­fie, to enter the reall possession of the eternall inheritance which was be­fore promised; and not to receive the promise of it onely. Therefore those grievous sinnes whereof men stood guiltie, and for which they were subject to eternall death, must first be expiated, before they can enter and receive the eternall inheritance. For those sinnes did hinder men from entring it; which being purged away, now nothing hinders, but they may take possession of it. But who shall do this? shall all pro­miscuously? no certainly, but they which are called]. i. They to whom this eternal inheritance is offered by the Gospel of Christ, and who ac­cept this great grace of God by a lively faith? For both of these use to be included in the word called. But he simply saith, they which are called might receive this eternall inheritance; because all which are cal­led may receive it, if they will, and be not wanting to themselves; for in God and Christ there is no let.

16. For where a Testament is, there must also of necessitie be the death of the Testator.] Here he gives the cause why he said, that by meanes of death, this effect of remission of sinnes, and receiving the eternall in­heritance doth follow; because (saith he) where a Testament is, there of necessity the death of the Testator must intervene, which reason hee confirmes by a Super-reason in the verse following. But here some man may object, that the Author doth but sophisticate with words, and not draw a reall argument from the thing it selfe. Seeing Christ was not the Author of any testament properly, but onely the Mediatour of the Covenant; although the Greeke writers use the word Testament to signifie a Covenant: But the ambiguity of the word, must not con­found the natures and properties of the things; so that what is true of one thing which the ambiguous word signifies, should forthwith bee transfered to the other, signified by the same word. We answer, That the speech is here of such a thing, as is common to both the significati­ons of the word, the proper and improper, or rather the generall, and the speciall; i. that is Covenant, and Testament, for we said before, [Page 182]that every Testament is a Covenant, an especiall and best kind of Co­venant. For Covenant is a generall name whereby those things are cal­led, that are more properly named leagues and testaments; both which are Covenants: And indeed, almost throughout the old testament, the originall word which our English translation renders Covenant, doth properly signifie a League, and were better so rendered; for because God is a publike person, and so is mankinde also, therefore all Gods Covenants with man are properly Leagues. Hence the Latine transla­tions, both vulgar and others, constantly render them Faedera. So for a testament, if we consider the nature of it accuratly, then any solemne act of any person testified by his death is properly a testament; and he who testifies anothers act, though he be no Author, but onely the asser­tor of it, is properly the testator of it. For hence the Civilians have borrowed their termes of Testament and Testator, which commonly concurre in the same person; yet not necessarily, but accidentally: for whatsoever witnesse will testifie, upon his death, the verity and certain­ty of another mans last Will and Testament, such a witnesse is truely a testator to that Testament. And he that mediats to certifie a mans Te­stament, and mediats so farre as to testifie it with his death, hee is both the mediator and the testator of that Testament: so that a mediator and a testator, in respect of the same Testament, are not functions incompa­tible, but consentaneous, that may easily concurre in the same person. Yea, hee that in this sence is the testator of a Testament, is necessarily thereupon the mediator of it. So that Gods two solemne Covenants, or rather his Leagues, the old and the new, are truely and properly cal­led Testaments; because they are both testified by bloud and death, to certifie, confirme, and establish them; for the old Testament was testi­fied by the bloud and death of calves and goates, which was therefore called the bloud of the Testament, as it is declared in the verses fol­lowing. But because the new Testament was testified, certified, con­firmed, and established, by the death and bloud of Christ, therefore Christ, though hee were not the Author of it, yet is most truely and properly the testator of it. And because Christ did mediate for this Testament, to certifie and publish it to the world, that the old and for­mer testament was abrogated and revoaked, and that this new one was the last Will and Testament of his Father: therefore also be was most truely and properly the Mediatour of it. And hee was so constant and earnest a Mediator, to certifie the truth of this new Testament, that thereupon hee became the testator of it also, to testifie and confirme it with his death and blood. Nay, because Christ was the Testator of it, therefore hee must necessarily also be the Mediator of it; for no man will testifie that truth or that cause with his bloud, for which he no way mediats; seeing he [...]hat no way mediats for a thing, will [...] testifie it with his blood. Wherefore in the words of these 16. and 17 verses, [Page 183]though the Author for a while supposeth, and takes it for graunted, that not onely death, but the death of the Testator (which here is Christ) must needs intervene to confirme the new Testament; yet a little after at the 23. verse, and so forward, hee clearly demonstrats it. For there he teacheth, that the matter must not, nor could not be effected by the bloud of beasts; because he was both the Mediator and the high Priest of the Covenant or League; who when he was to appeare before God in his heavenly Sanctuary, and there to performe his offering, certainly he was not to slay some beast, to bring the bloud of it into that Sanctu­ary: but must shed his own bloud, to make himselfe his owne offering in heauen; thereby to confirme and establish the new League or Cove­nant; which as he might do, so he must doe it, for the great dignity and sublimity of the particulars therein contained. So that in this respect the new Covenant comes neerer to the nature of a Testament, then of a League, which was the proper nature of the old Covenant. For what effect could there be in the bloud of a beast, to confirme and make faith unto us of heavenly promises? Such a Confirmation had very ill be­seemed this divine and heavenly Covenant, especially seeing it might be confirmed by other bloud more sutable to it, and by bloud that not­withstanding was to be shed for another cause; which cause hath alrea­dy been shewed at the 14. verse. Whence wee may perceive, that in these words in this 16. verse, as they are also extended to Covenants or Leagues, and to the Authors and Mediators of them, somthing must be understood to make the truth of them fully to appeare, which yet is not expressed, because it makes nothing to the point in hand. For these words of the Author here must be taken, as it he had said, where a Testament is, there must needs bee the death of the Testator, or at least (as in leagues which in a manner resemble Testaments) the death of some creature, whereby the League is confirmed by him that makes it; for till death intervene, a Testament or League, is of no force and strength: which exception, or rather which correction of his generall saying, why it was not added here, the cause hath been already shewed. We may also answer the former objection thus. That his reasoning here is comparative by way of similitude, not explicitely, but contra­ctedly as is ofen used. And the words are to be taken, as if he had said; as when a Testament is made, the death of the Testator must needs ac­cede; because it must be animated by the death of the Testator; for while the Testator lives, the Testament lives not, or is not in force: So also when the new League or Testament was ordained, his death must accede that made it, and was in stead of the Testator, that the Testa­ment might be firme and of force. For though Christ made not the new Testament as the Author or principall agent of it, yet because hee was the Mediator, and instrument of his Father to speed it in his Fa­thers name, therefore he may be said to have made it; for wee com­monly [Page 184]attribute the same action both to the agent who is the prime cause of it, and to the Instrument who is the means of it. From hence it manifestly appears, what force the bloud of Christ hath in procu­ring us remission of sinnes; namely these, two forces; first that by it the New Testament was established or confirmed; and secondly, that thereupon he offered himselfe to God for us in heaven. So that his bloud was confirmatory to settle the eternall inheritance upon us; and expiatory to procure an eternall redemption of our sinnes: whereof the former is handled in this verse, the latter in those precedent. Why Christ is called here the Testator, we have before sufficiently reaso­ned; namely, because he was the maine witnesse to certifie the truth of the Testament by his death; and because he was the maine party by whose death the Testament which till then lay dead, became alive and valid to be of force and effect. Yet here wee shall adde one reason more, because it will serve wondrously to annimate our faith and love toward Christ; and that is, because the inheritance conveyed unto us by this New Testament, is properly the inheritance of Christ; for hee is the unigenit or only begotten Sonne of God, and was ordained to be Lord and heire of all his Fathers estate; and hath admitted us that will accept of it, to be co-heires and fellow-partners with him in it; and dy­ed as the Testator to settle the possession of it upon us. Or to speake in the words of Paul, He hath received us to the glory of God, Rom. 15.7. And the words of Christ to his Disciples tend to this sense. I ap­po [...]nt unto you a Kingdome, as my Father hath appointed unto mee, Luke 22.29.

17. For a testament is of force after men are dead] This is the reason why the death of the testator must accede to the testament hee hath made, because all the while the testator lives, his testament is dead and of no force to give any possession to the heire of the inheritance and estate thereby to be conveyed: but when the testator is dead then the testament takes life and becomes of force; for then the heire hath an actuall right and power to enter upon the inheritance. And therefore he addes, Otherwise it is of no strength at all, while the testator liveth. These are the same words in effect with the former, and are but a con­sequence from them, by that rule of reasoning which we call conver­sion by contraposition. For if a testament be of force when the testa­tor is dead; then it must needs follow, that while the testator is not dead, the testament is of no force. Which kinde of reasoning is fre­quent in Scripture; yet among many passages we shall instance but in this one, and in this the rather, because the texts of it are much obscu­red by Interpreters, who labour to reconcile them, as if they seemed opposite; whereas no two texts can be more according, for they are wholly equipollent, and each consequent to the other. Christ saith, He that is not with me, is against me, Mat. 12.30. and he saith againe, [Page 185]He that is not against us, is for us; or which is all one, He that is not a­gainst me, is with me, Luke 9.50. This latter saying in Luke is so farre from being opposite or contrary to the former in Matthew, that it is a most immediate and necessary consequence from it. For if this saying be true as it is, because the truth hath said it, He that is not with Christ, is against him. Then this also from thence must needs follow for a truth, He that is not against Christ, is with him. Because this latter say­ing is the conversion of the former by contraposition.

18. Whereupon neither the first was dedicated without bloud] What he had said before in generall of testaments, now he declares in parti­cular, and proves by an example in the first or Old Testament, and makes way for himselfe to apply the same unto Christ, and to the New Testament established by him. For because under the Old Te­stament it selfe was confirmed by bloud; and because almost all things were cleansed by bloud, at least sinnes could not be cleansed without shedding of bloud: Therefore from hence, he gathers by way of simi­litude, that death and shedding of bloud must needs intervene under the New Testament, that thereby both the Testament it selfe might be confirmed, and our sinnes purged. Was ded [...]cated. The Greeke word is [...]; which as Interpreters note is properly said, when some solemne act is done, whereby a new thing being perfected and finished, begins to come in use. So the Consecration of Solomons new Temple, was called the Dedication of it; and the Consecration of the new Altar erected by Judas Maccabeus was called the Dedication of it, 1 Maccab. 4.56. And the annuall celebration of that dedication is called the feast of the dedication. John 10.22. yet this word applied to leagues, signifies nothing else but to confirme them. And leagues are then confirmed, when they are so ratified, as thereby they have force and strength to become obligatory and binding to all parties therein interessed. For the confirmation of a league, is some solemne act done by the confederates, or in their name, whereby they mutually so binde their faith, that it shall not bee lawfull for either party to re­scinde or revoke the league. And although there bee many formes of confirmation for leagues, yet anciently the usuall forme was by bloud, and that of the Old Testament was performed by the bloud of beasts: Wherefore with good reason, the Author saith, that it was not dedi­cate or confirmed without bloud; i. it began not to come in use among men, and to be of force, before it was ratified by the bloudshed of beasts. For this bloud gave beginning to that testament, in respect of the force of it. The Author useth the very same word afterward Chap. 10.20. where our English Translation renders it consecrated. By a new and living way which he hath consecrated unto us; whereof in it due place.

19. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people] That [Page 186]the first Testament was not dedicated without bloud hee now proves, by a narration of the carriage of the action, shewing the dedication or confirmation of that Testament both for the manner and matter wher­by it was confirmed; and his narration hereof is for the most part ta­ken out of Scripture. Exod. 24. Moses did both speake and read all the precepts to the people. For first he spake them by word of mouth, as the Lord had delivered them to him; and upon his rehearsing or speaking of them, the people gave their unanimous approbation and consented to doe them. Exod. 24.3. Then he wrote them in a book, and read them in the audience of the people; and the people againe the second time gave their approbation. ibid. ver. 7. The word spoken in­cludes both these actions of reciting and reading; for all reading is speaking also, because he that reads, speaks out of a booke. The pre­cepts by Moses confirmed, were all those Lawes of the Old Testa­ment, that did binde universally, both persons and times, which all persons were bound to observe perpetually; for such were properly the precepts of Gods league with the people, although happily they were not all assigned to the preceding Chapters in Exod. but are re­lated in other places, and in the following books of Moses. For those preceps which after the confirmation of the league or testament, are described in the following Chapters of Exodus, are not properly Lawes, but certaine Ordinances of God for the present, concerning the framing and ordering of the Tabernacle, the furniture of it, and o­ther things, whereby the worship of God was then to bee performed. And yet there besome, who think, that the passages recited, Exod. 24. concerning the confirmation of the Covenant, are spoken only by way of historicall anticipation. And this opinion is not without some shew of probability. According to the Law] This is a limitation of the uni­versall word every precept, to shew, that he spake not of all precepts in generall, but of every precept in the Law delivered to Moses, and written by Moses in the booke, and read by Moses to the people. Hee tooke the bloud of calves and of goats] It is not expressed in the story of Moses that he tooke or shed the bloud of goats for that action. Yet it is very credible, that there were goats among the burnt-offerings and peace-offerings then slaine unto God. For that Moses nameth only calves, it might therefore be, because they are the more worthy crea­tures: Unlesse wee should rather say, that first the whole people was sprinkled and expiated by Moses, which the Author chiefly respected, and might know it some other way; for the bloud of goats was usually shed to expiate the sinnes of the whole people. With water and scarlet wooll and hysop] Neither doe wee read this in the fore-cited place of Moses; but the Author who undoubtedly was very skilfull in the Je­wish customes, doth perhaps therefore mention water, because hee knew that water was mingled with the bloud, which was sprinkled, as [Page 187]was usuall in other purifyings; for bloud, unlesse it bee mingled with water, doth quickly congeale, and being congealed is unfit for sprink­ling. But of hysop and scarlet wooll tyed to a cedar sticke, was made a sprinkler; whereof as of water mixt with bloud, see Exod. 12.22. and Levit. 4.4,5,6. And sprinkled both the booke and all the people.] Of the booke being sprinkled, we likewise read not in Moses. Yet this divine Author knew the certainty of this no lesse then of the rest. But all the people is said to be sprinkled; because they among the people who stood nearest were sprinkled, and in that respect represented the person of the whole people; so that thereby all the people were ac­counted sprinkled.

20. Saying, this is the bloud of the Testament] In the Hebrew for this, is Behold: but the sense is the same. Now the bloud of calves and goats, is called the bloud of the Testament; because by means of it, the Old Testament was confirmed and established. Which God hath enjoyned unto you] In the Hebrew it is which God hath made with you. God had not yet made it preteritively; but did then make it pre­sentively: and therefore the preter tense is there figuratively put for the present. But because God himselfe in his owne person did not con­firme that Covenant with the people, but Moses did it at the command and in the name of God; therefore the Author expressing the verity of the thing, for the word made, puts the word enjoyned: as if Moses had said, This is the bloud of the Testament, which God hath enjoyned me to make with you. Yet this injunction or command did not rest upon the person of Moses only, but was extended unto the people al­so; for as the confirmation of the testament was enjoyned to Moses, that he should speed it is Gods name: So the observation of it, was enjoy­ned unto the people, that they should keep it; because the Testament for the matter contained Laws and Precepts which God enjoyned to the people; as if Moses had further said, This is the bloud of the Testa­ment which God enjoyned unto me to confirme, and hath enjoyned unto you to observe.

21. Moreover he sprinkled with the bloud, both the Tabernacle and all the vessels of the Ministery] Hee shews, that not only the Old Testa­ment it selfe was confirmed with bloud; but also that under the Old Testament divers consecrations and expiation were made by bloud, especially of sinnes (as hee mentions it) ver. 22. This hee doth, that from hence he might gather, that under the New Testament also the shedding of bloud must fitly intervene to consecrate and expiate the conscience; and a bloud so much more pretious, as he is more pretious, by whom the conscience is expiated. And the Author doth so joyne the consecration of the Tabernacle, and the vessels of it made with bloud, with the confirmation of the Testament it selfe, that he speci­fies no difference of time between them. And if the Tabernacle and [Page 188]ministeriall vessels were consecrated at the time, wherin the Testament was confirmed, then without all doubt the history of confirming the Testament, Exod. 24. is delivered by way of anticipation; seeing that after that Confirmation mentioned there, precepts are delivered in the following chapters, for the making of the Tabernacle and ministeriall vessels; and for ordering of the publike worship and service of God; as also the making and consecration of them is particularly described. But from the words of the Author it cannot bee gathered, that both these were done at the same time; seeing hee, to his former words of confirming the Testament by bloud, doth simply subjoyne that Moses did also sprinkle the Tabernacle, and the ministerial vessels with bloud; which may as well be taken of another time, as of the same. Although Moses saith not openly, that the Tabernacle and ministeriall vessels, af­ter they were all finished, were sprinkled with bloud, but only anointed with the holy oyle. Yet because we read, that the Altar was not onely anointed with oyle, but also sprinkled and consecrated with bloud; therefore hence we may gather, that in the consecration of the Taber­nacle it selfe, and of the ministeriall vessells, sprinkling of blood was joyned with their anointing. For Josephus delivers this in plain words in his Antiquitie, lib. 3. cap. 9. Where describing the Ceremonie and forme of that Consecration, hee saith, Then hee sprinkled the garments of Aaron and his sonnes with the bloud of the Sacrifices-purifying them with running water, and with the ointment, &c. He sprinkled also the Tabernacle and his vessels with the ointment, and with the bloud of bullocks and rams, slaine every other day after their kind.] From this verse therefore it may appeare, that anciently there were many things among the Jewes, espe­cially concerning external rites, of manifest truth, which notwithstand­ing are not written in the bookes of Moses; and therefore wee need not marvell, that this Author doth affirme some things, which we finde not delivered in the books of Moses; as we have noted already in this chap­ter, verse 4. and verse 19.

22. And almost all things by the law are purged with bloud.] He amplifies his former instances, drawing them from particulars almost to an universall, to conclude his assertion by way of Induction. Not only the Tabernacle and Ministeriall vessels, which were the principall utensils about the worship of God: but almost all things else were pur­ged with bloud. He saith, almost all things; because some things were purged without bloud; for some were purged or cleansed onely by the washing of water, as hee that carried out the Scape-goat must cleanse himselfe by washing his clothes and bathing his flesh in water. Levit. 16.26. And the Priest who became uncleane by the touch of a person or thing unclean, must cleanse himself by washing his flesh with water. Levit. 22.6. And some other things were first purged by melting in the fire, and afterward repurged over with the water of separation, as [Page 189]silver and gold, and all other mettals that could abide to passe through the fire. Numb. 31.22,23. According to the Law. i. According as the Law prescribed, things should be purged. And without shedding of blood is no remission] How ever other things were purged, yet this is certaine that under the Law, sinnes were not remitted without shedding of bloud. Whence wee may rationally gather, that the shedding of bloud, must also intervene for the purging of our consciences, or to ex­piate those sinnes that pollute our consciences. That which the Au­thor here affirmes, is most certaine universally, and suffers no excepti­on, unlesse in case of extreme poverty, when the persons to bee purged were so poore, that for the purging of their sinne, they were not able to bring for their offering a paire of Turtles, or a paire of yong Pigeons; whereof, see Levit. 5.12. Otherwise the rule holds vniversally, not onely for a sinne of the whole people, but also for the sin of any single person whatsoever, bloud must be shed and a sacrifice must be offered. See Levit. chap. 4. chap. 5. and chap. 6.

23. It was therefore necessary that the paterns of things [...] the heavens should be purified with these.] Hitherto the Author hath taught, that bloud was required for the purging both of the Tabernacle and of sins. Now some man might say; Although blood were required for this purifying, yet it was not necessary that the blood of Christ should be shed for it, but the bloud of beasts might have served the turne, as it did under the Law. To this tacite objection the Author answeres in these words, and sheweth, that heavenly things were to be purged with farre better Sacrifices, then the Sacrifices of beasts. For the purging of earthly holy things, the sacrifices of beasts did suffice: but for the purging of heavenly holy things, which of all other are most excellent, there needed a most excellent Sacrifice. And none could be more ex­cellent then Christ. And besides; for the purging of any Sanctuarie, there must needs be a Sacrifice, or at least some thing of the Sacrifice must be brought into it. But neither beasts themselves, nor their bloud or bodies, neither must, nor can be brought into that heavenly Sanctu­ary. But Christ himselfe and his body made immortall, was brought in thither. Therefore for heavenly holy things, the bloud of Christ must be shed, and not the bloud of beasts. Againe, the holy things un­der the Law were not onely purged when they were first made and de­dicated, but also were yearly to be purged by the annuall Sacrifice. For they were accounted pollutted by the yearely sinnes and uncleannesses of the people. Whereof see Levit. 16.15. How the earthly holy things were paternes of those things which are in heaven, and for what cause, we have already shewed, chap. 8. ver. 5. The things in the heavens are put for the holy heavenly things; from which the heaven it self, that invisible heaven which is the most holy Sanctuary, must not be exclu­ded. But the heavenly things themselves, with better sacrifices then these.] [Page 190]The heavenly things, are the heavenly holy things, as the verse follow­ing shewes. But it may be demanded, how those heavenly holy things can be said to be purged, seeing they never were polluted? Wee an­swer, That this is said of the heavenly Sanctuary, onely by way of Comparison, as a thing very usuall. And the nature of Comparisons is, to breed many abusions. For if we respect the scope of the Author, it is enough for us to understand, that the Sacrifice to be offered in the heavenly Sanctuary, must be much more excellent then those, which of old were wont to be offered in the earthly Sanctuarie. For this both the nature of the heavenly Sanctuary wholly requires, and also the ef­fect of the oblation sutable to heaven. But if any man yet demand a more neere resemblance, it may be said; That heavenly Sanctuary was indeed purged by the Sacrifice and offering of Christ; First, in as much as it was so consecrated thereby, that an accesse is made open for us un­to it; and as I may say, it is dedicated for our use hereafter. As the old Tabernacle and many things else, were not open and free for mens use, before they were consecrated; and they for their uncleannesse as it was accounted: but this for our uncleannesse, which must bee purged away, before a right and an use of that heavenly Sanctuary can be gran­ted us. So that in this sence, by a contrary way of speech (and yet not unusuall) the Author said that heaven must be purged, for our perfect purging, that we may enjoy a right to heaven. Secondly, because by the accesse of sinfull men, who by the doctrine of the Gospel are cal­led to take possession of the kingdome of heaven, it seemes to be pollu­ted; which Christ himself hath expressed in other words, when he said, The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force, Matth. 11.12. As the old Tabernacle was accounted polluted by the sins and uncleannesses of the people, who lived round about it. There­fore as the high Priest of old did expiate that old Tabernacle as pollu­ted by the sinnes of the people, with Sacrifices and Offerings, and re­conciled it, as it were, to its due holinesse: So Christ as I may say re­stored heaven to it due honour, when he offered himself there to God, and thereby tooke order, that men guiltie of sinnes, having first depo­sed their sinnes by a lively faith and repentance, might not be thought altogether unworthy of heaven. With better sacrifices then these] He puts the plural number for the singular, to comply with his compari­son, which included many Sacrifices; so that here also the comparison produced an abusion. For by those better Sacrifices, is meant that single sacrifice of Christ offered. I say offered, because by use of Scri­pture, that onely is accounted a Sacrifice which is offered. For Christ, after he was slaine, was himself offered, and therein is a difference be­tweene the old Sacrifices, especially those that were expiatory, and the Sacrifice Christ; for when the old Sacrifice was slaine the beast it selfe was not offered to God, but only the bloud of it, and those other parcels [Page 191]that were burnt with fire upon the Altar. But Christ himselfe who was slaine, and not his bloud, was offered to God; and hee not then, while yet he lay dead; but then when he was raised to life, and such a life as was eternall. Although (as we have often said,) in this sacrifice of Christ offered, is also included the shedding of his bloud and his bloudy death. For although Christ offered to God not his bloud, but himselfe; yet without the shedding of his bloud he neither could nor might offer himselfe. And by reason of what we have said, therefore it is, that the Author comparing Christ with the legall sacrifices, doth perpetually shun to say, that the bloud of Christ was offered; and yet that he might comply with his comparison, he perpetually insinuates the shedding of Christs bloud; which unlesse it had preceded, there could not have been so full and so fit a comparison betweene Christ and the old sacrifices. From hence therefore it is manifest, that into those holy places of heaven for their purification and dedication, there must be brought a most pretious sacrifice; and therefore not the bloud of calves and goats, nay not any bloud at all, but the very Sonne of God himselfe, and hee also stripped of all his mortall nature, then which there could not be imagined a more pretious and more sacred sacrifice.

24. For Christ is not entered] Here hee gives the reason why hee said, that the heavenly holy places were purged with better sacrifices; namely, because Christ our high Priest is entered into no other holy places but those of heaven. Whereupon it must follow, that be must enter with a far better sacrifice, and more worthy of those holy places, then the old high Priest entered into his earthly holy places. Not into the holy places made with hands] He illustrates the matter by a difference and an opposition between those heavenly holy places and the earthly; that those were not made with hands; which difference we have alrea­dy shewed before, ver. 11. Which are the figures of the true. For figures, the Greeke text hath [...]. Antitypes are the images or figures im­printed from the mould, as the wax is figured from the seale, or mony from the stampe; which in this place signifies the same that paternes did in the verse before. Now the holy places made with hands are cal­led antitypes or figures; not as opposed efficiently to that which doth figure them; but as opposed objectively to the thing whereof they are a figure, or which they are accounted to represent; as the image or su­perscription upon a peece of coine, is not properly the image of the stampe which did imprint it; but of the Prince whose image it is, and whom it represents: for the person of the Prince is that verity or truth whereof the coine is but the image or figure. So that antitypes are here put simply for types, which is an usuall signification of the word a­mong the Greeks. As in this sense [...] is put simply for [...], when Christ is said to be a ransome, 1 Tim. 2.6. Now the true holy [Page 192]places whereof the earthly holy places made with hands are said to be types or figures, are the heavenly holy places; which are called the true (as we noted before) not as if the earthly were false, but because the earthly were but types, figures, and shadowes in respect of the hea­venly; or because those qualities which should have been in the earth­ly, were found most truly and perfectly in the heavenly: And yet those earthly places were called holy, primely and properly, but the heavenly metaphorically. After this manner, Christ is called the true light, the true bread, and the true vine. Now the qualities of those earthly places are these; first, to be most sacred or holy, and wholy seperate from all pro­phane uses: and 2ly, to be an house or dwelling for God. Both which qualities agreed to those earthly holy places but umbratilously, imagi­narily, and imperfectly: but to the heavenly holy places truly, really, and perfectly. But into heaven it self. Christ did never enter into the earthly holy places, which were but the types & figures of heaven; but into hea­ven it self where are the right & true holy places. And he is entred into that heaven which is beyond and above all the visible orbes of heaven, and into that place of that heaven which is the most holy, even where the Throne of God is, at the right hand whereof he is seated. Now to appeare in the presence of God for us.] Hee gives the reason why Christ entered into heaven; and he drawes his reason from the end of his en­trance. In expressing whereof he alludes to the ancient high Priest; and the better to serve his allusion, if we respect the property and usuall signification of his words, he faith lesse of Christ, then the thing is in­deed, and then the full end of his entrance came to. For the ancient high Priest entring the most holy place, is said to appeare before God, because he so procured the salvation of the people, that hee himselfe conferred it not, but obtained it from another, for he sued to God to conferre it. But the appearance of Christ our high Priest before God and his offering of himselfe, must bee so taken, that it exclude not his sitting at the right hand of the Throne of the Majesty in the heavens, i. that he himselfe, by virtue of a supreme power over all things gi­ven him by his Father, doth save his owne people; that he himselfe doth release them from the guilt of all their sins, and free them from all punishments, and at last settle them in the reall possession of eternall blessednesse. In these words thus transferied from the old high Priest unto Christ, the metaphor is so much the neater and fitter; because this way Christ is so said to procure & perfect our salvation, that with­all it may appeare what difference in that regard there is between God and Christ: and because Christ is thus farre like to one appearing and interceding for others, in that he is very desirous and carefull of our salvation, yet hath not the power to save us from himselfe, but hath received it all from God. So that in this respect, Christ may bee said to be and is our Intecessour and Advocate; and God of his mercy to [Page 193]conferre salvation upon us. Besides in the Legall high Priest, his ap­pearance was a thing different and distinct from his offering; though both were done at once and united in time; because the high Priest was one and the offering another; for the high Priest appeared, but the bloud of the sacrifice was offered. But in Christ our high Priest, the offering and appearance as also the intercession were really the same; if his appearance and intercession be taken, not for his bare com­ming to his Father, but for his comming joyned with his procuration of our salvation, as here they must be taken; because in Christ the Priest and the offering were the same. For Christ by his appearance offers himselfe: and by offering himselfe he appeares; and by offering and appearing he intercedes. The particle now, is opposed to the times past, especially to those of the Old Testament, wherein no such high Priest and Advocate appeared in the presence of God for the people of God. O the hard condition of those times! and contrarily, Happy we, who have an high Priest, and Advocate with the Father Ie­sus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours onely, but also for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2.1,2.

25. Not yet that he should offer himselfe often] The particle nor yet shews, that the Author delivers two negatives concerning Christ our high Priest; One is, that he is not entered into the holy places made with hands, but into heaven it selfe; for this he taught in the former verse. The other when he entered into heaven, yet he did not so en­ter, that he should iterate the oblation of himselfe and offer himselfe often; contrary to the manner of the legall high Priests under the Law, who were by Law constrained often to iterate their offering of bloud in the holy place. This he teacheth in this verse; which he therefore seemes to do, that hence also it may appeare, how farre the sacrifice of Christ excelled the Legall sacrifices; which must needs be often of­fered, for no other cause but by reason of their imperfection. From which respect he gathers in the next Chapter, that they did not please God, and must at length be abrogated, and were abrogated by the sa­crifice of Christ. And Christ should be said to offer himselfe often, if once he should breake off his first appearance before God, and going out of his heavenly Sanctuary, should re enter in thither to iterate his offering. For his oblation once begun, is not iterated and multiplyed by the duration or continuation of it; for then, seeing Christ doth per­petually appeare and intercede for us, and therefore perpetually offer, the Author could not affirme that Christ hath offered himselfe onely once, and by one oblation of himselfe to perfect for ever those that are sanctified. There was not required a double entrance into the earthly holy place to make a double oblation, when there are two things that are offered, and a double slaughter preceded, if those things were li­ving creatures. But when the thing to be offered is but one, the offe­ring [Page 194]of it cannot be iterated, unlesse the entrance, and the slaughter be­fore the entrance be also iterated. For the slaughter must not be made in the holy place it selfe, neither can it be in heaven; but without the holy place. Therefore the Author saith, That Christ hath not so en­tered into the holy places of heaven to performe his offering, that he should often iterate it. As the high Priest entereth into the holy place every yeare with bloud of others] It was the manner of the Legall high Priest, to iterate their oblation often. And in this opposition betweene Christ and the Legall high Priest; that Christ should not offer often, but the Legal high Priest every yeare; that Christ entered heaven to offer him­selfe: but the Legall high Priest entered into the holy place with the bloud of others, every man sees that the offering of Christ, and the en­trance of the Legall Priest do answer one another. Whence it is mani­fest that the expiatory offering of Christ, as well as that of the Legall Priest, was performed by meanes of his entrance into the holy place. Entereth. He seemes not to use the present tense therefore, as if he had respect to a thing yet in being and practise among the people of the Jews: but rather in an accustomed manner of speech, to draw the minde of the reader to a thing as it were present; after which forme he spake also before, ver. 22. And in the Gospel of Marke we often meet with the like manner of speech. That the Legall Priest entered with bloud; hath the same sence with the saying before, that he entered by bloud, ver. 12. yet in the Greek here it is in bloud; which for the sence of it is truly translated with bloud. So John writes, that Christ came in water and bloud, i. with water and bloud, though there our English Translation render it, by water and bloud, to suite the particle by going immediately before, 1 John 5.6. But the Author shuns to say, That the Legall high Priest was wont to enter the holy place with bloud; though this were the proper saying; left the fitnesse of the comparison betweene Christ and the Legall Priest should in this respect be lost; whereof see what we have said before, ver. 12. Of others. The bloud wherewith the Legall Priest entered into the holy place was not his owne, but the bloud of other creatures; for he entered with the bloud of Goats and Calves; as it is before, ver. 12.

26. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world] He proves why Christ must not offer himselfe often, by an ar­gument from an absurdity that would follow upon it if he did so; be­cause then he must often have suffered; seeing the oblation of a living creature cannot be made without slaughter and suffering; and he must have suffered also from the foundation of the world. But why from the foundation of the world? Of this one of these two reasons may seeme to be given. The first, that the oblation of Christ should therefore be iterated, that it might have so much the greater force in expiating mens sins. But if the oblation of Christ have it force from number in the [Page 195]iteration and frequentation of it, then it must have begun from the beginning of the world; because the sooner it began, the greater would be the number of his oblations, and thereupon a greater force would result from them. The other reason is; that if Christ should of­ten iterate his oblation, he must do it in this regard after the likenesse of the Legall high Priest, whereby to some it may seeme reason, that Christ also should often offer himselfe. But if we must respect a like­nesse to the Legall Priest, and from thence reckon the nature and num­ber of Christs oblations, then Christ must have made the beginning of his oblations from the beginning of the world. For by this meanes there must arise a kinde of analogie and just proportion betweene the number of oblations of Christ and the Legall Priest. For seeing the people were under the Law for the space of about fifteene hundred yeares, it is an easie matter to reckon how often the Legall Priests of­fered; for, seeing they offered every yeare, therefore it must needs follow, that they offered about fifteene hundred times. That therefore the offerings of Christ might in some just number be answerable to so great a multitude of Legall sacrifices, must not Christ begin his offe­rings from the beginning of the world? For, though he should so of­ten offer as the Legall Priest did according as the analogy required, yet he must offer often, and so often, as there might be a just proportion betweene the iteration and frequentation of both their offerings. But this proportion would not be, if Christ should offer onely some cer­taine times, though they were a hundred. For he must iterate his offe­ring by spaces or distances of time answering to a lesse number of offe­rings, which distances must not be small, but great, and those set and equall as of old under the Law, as imagine once in every severall age of man. But if this were done, must he not have begun from the be­ginning of the world, and not now at last when the world declines to­ward an end? For, seeing this is the last age of the world, wherein Christ appeared, it is not likely that it shall last longer then the former? But for so many offerings to be performed at spaces of time answe­rable, as we have said, it would scarce and nothing neere have beene enough to have begun at the beginning of the world. The Author therefore doth beat downe the argument drawne from the multitude of the Legall offerings to conclude the frequency of Christ his offerings; and shewes, that if this resemblance or likenesse were to bee attended, then of necessity it must follow, that Christ must not only of­ten suffer, which of it selfe is absurd and inconvenient (for men have but one death before Judgement and cannot die often, as is declared in the following verse) but also must have begun his sufferings and offerings from the beginning of the world. The words since the foundation of the world, are not necessarily to bee taken from the first Creation of the world: but are onely opposed to [Page 196]the consummation or end of the world, as appeares by the words im­mediatly following. But this end of the world here, doth not signifie the extreme and finall terme of the world, nor yet some small space of time, wherein the world must have an end, but only the old age, or last age of the world, as opposed to her infancy and first age. Wherefore also the foundation of the world in this place, must be so extended as to signifie the infancy or first age of the world. So Christ saith, Luke 11.50. That the bloud of all the Prophets which was shed from the founda­tion of the world, should be required of this generation.] Although the first bloud that was shed of the Prophets was done for the space of ma­ny yeers after the Creation of the world. But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared. Here the Authour removes the former conse­quent that was inconsequent and absurd, by affronting it with the con­trary, and by inferring the contrary from the remotion of it. Christ then did not begin his sufferings and offerings from the beginning of the world; but now in the end of the world, and therefore in the end of it, hath he appeared; and that once onely, by one Sacrifice of himself. The word appeared in this place, may be taken either to signifie the ap­pearance of Christ before God in his heavenly Sanctuary, whereof the Author spake before, verse 24. or to note his comming into this world to performe his office. But there are chiefly two things that seeme to withstand the former sence. First; because these words may be better opposed to the words immediatly preceding, then to those said in the former verse; which latter notwithstanding the former sence of the word appeased requires. For to the offering often to be made, the ap­pearance in heaven once made should be opposed. But that it should be opposed to the words immediatly preceding, it seemes both by the words in the end of the world, manifestly opposed to those since the foun­dation of the world, which goe immediatly before; and also it seemes so by the manner of arguing, which the Author here useth. For as the thing it selfe declares, he useth an Hypotheticall syllogisme, whose pro­position is in the words immediatly preceding, and the assumption in these words; for he argues from a remotion of the consequent, which is this, Christ must often suffer from the foundation of the world, to the remotion of the antecedent, that Christ must often offer himself. And he removes that consequent by the position of the contrary, as we said, namely, that Christ hath appeared once only in the end of the world, to put away sin by the Sacrifice of himselfe. Wherefore hee seemes to speak of that appearance, which preceded both his suffering and offer­ing; namely, of that appearance whereby Christ first manifested him­selfe unto the world, for the performance of his office upon earth, whereby he began to be known to the world; & that appearance once made, is rightly opposed to the suffering often to be made; for as often as Christ must suffer; so often hee must come into the world and ap­peare. [Page 197]The other thing that seemes to withstand the former opinion, is, that the word [...] here used by the Author, is no where read for the appearance either of the legall Priest or of Christ before God, to procure expiation; but when it is absolutely spoken of any one, as here it is, it noteth nothing else but his manifestation among men. But he saith that Christ hath appeared in the end of the world, least any man should think that there were yet time enough for Christ to iterate his offerings, and by a just proportion equall the number of the legall offerings: although hee began not to suffer and offer himselfe from the foundation of the world. For because hee suffered and offered himselfe in the end of the world; hence it appeares, that there is not time enough yet to come to serve for the multitude of his sufferings and offerings. But the time wherein Christ came, is therefore called the end of the world, because it is the last age of the world, and as it were the old age of it, and because the other comming of Christ, which is joy­ned with the consummation and end of the world, is alwayes supposed to be at hand; which could in no wise be, if the offering of Christ were to be iterated answerably to the just number and proportion of the old Legall offerings. But the holy Ghost would have us perpetually wait for the expectation of Christs comming. For that his comming and together with it, the end of the world is yet deferred, and that so many ages have passed since his first comming into the world, & seating up­on his heavenly throne; this in a manner is accidentall, by reason of the long suffering of God, who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, 2 Pet. 3.9. To put away sin by the sacrifice of himselfe] He shews the finall cause of the comming and appearance of Christ; which is for the putting away of sin; which is done when all the force and power of sin is destroyed. Which destruction of sin is effected two wayes; the one is, when sin hath no power to condemne men; the other, when it hath no power to subdue men; by enthralling them under the yoke of it. That both these effects might be produced, Christ hath appeared; both that he might deliver men from the pu­nishment of sinne; and also from the dominion of it, even freeing them from sin it selfe. Now the meanes whereby Christ hath put away sinne, in destroying the power of it, is by the sacrifice of himselfe. For this act may be joyned as well with the word suffered, as with ap­peared; as other Interpreters also have observed. How the sacrifice of Christ purgeth away our sins. For Christ by the sacrifice of himselfe hath cashired and put away sinne, by taking from it all it power to condemne and to reigne; which though we have de­clared before, yet are we willing to repeat it againe, because the mat­ter is of such moment, that if it may be, we might drive and fasten it throughly into mens mindes. For as concerning the guilt and punish­ments of sinnes, can there bee any sinnes (so that we doe our duty) which a sacrifice so acceptable to God, offered in the Sanctuary of [Page 196] [...] [Page 197] [...] [Page 198]heaven, and by so great an high Priest, cannot expiate? Can there be any danger, that he will deale negligently in our cause, who offered up himselfe as a sacrifice for our sinnes? and who having himselfe suffe­red all those miseries and pressures that can possibly befall us, hath as­sumed a minde so prone to pity us? Hath not yet the wished effect been answerable to so holy a sacrifice, and to so carefull a provision of our high Priest? Is not the power of our salvation in the power of our high Priest, and in his hand to release whom he will of sinne, and to bestow eternall life and whatsoever good thing besides upon whom he will? Doth he not negotiate the matter with his most deare Father, who himselfe burnes with a desire of our salvation, who himselfe hath made a sacred Covenant for the remission of our sinnes, who himselfe ordained the holy Sacrifice for our sinnes, who himselfe would have it offered unto him, and caused it to be offered, who himselfe ordained our high Priest with an oath, and committed unto him the whole care of our salvation? Now concerning the dominion of sinne, for the ex­cussion of the yoke of it; can it possibly be, that when we perceive so great and so certaine causes and proofes of our eternall salvation, and of plenary remission of our sinnes, that we should not with all our souls embrace the faith of Christ, and devote our selves wholly to him? when by this means, through the grace and mercy of our God wee are effectually purged and justified from the guilt of all our sins, shall we not contend with our whole force to abandon sin for ever after, & who­ly addict our selves to holines? shall we not labour to the utmost to pre­serve this great grace of God entire and whole to our last gaspe, that at length we may enjoy the full fruit of it, in our deliverance from death, and inheritance of eternall life? And shall it not mightily incourage us to shake off the yoke of sin, in that our heavenly high Priest will perpe­tually support us with his Spirit, & supply us with power enough to live holily, if we will live so, and will strive to do it. This therefore is the manner after which Christ by the Sacrifice of himself hath put away sin, that neither it might hurt us, nor reign in us. The Sacrifice of Christ is Christ himself sacrificed; being first slain & then raised to immortall life, that he might enter his heavenly Tabernacle, and therein offer him­self, and appear for us for ever. The word [...] here rendred a Sacrifice, though it come from [...], which signifies to slay; yet it useth not to be taken in Scripture abstractedly for the slaughter, but concretly for the creature slaughtered, or rather for that part of it which is offered to God. But if any man keeping the same sense will joyn these words by the sacrifice of himself, with the verb appeared, then the particle by must be taken for with; and in that sense as we have noted before, that John saith, Christ came by water and bloud, i. with water and bloud; not that at his first comming into the world, hee shed his bloud, but because he therefore came that he might shed his bloud, though [Page 199]not forthwith. So Christ may be said to appeare with the sacrifice of himselfe; not that as soon as he appeared he was made a sacrifice, but that he so appeared, that in his due time, he might be made a sacrifice. But we best approve of that sense, which joynes these words by the sa­crifice of himselfe, with the words immediatly preceding, to put away sinne. For the finall end of the appearance or comming of Christ, was to put away sin; and the meanes whereby he abolished it was, by the sa­crifice of himselfe. Seeing therefore Christ came in the end of the world, that he might abolish sinne by the sacrifice of himselfe; there­fore hence it appears, that he must not often iterate his sacrifice after the manner of the legall high Priest; for otherwise he must have begunne this action more early, and not have deferred it to the last age of the world.

27. And as it is appointed unto men, once to dye] He brings a new argument to confirm and illustrate the single or only sacrifice of Christ, drawne from a similitude or comparison of the death of Christ, with the common law and condition of men, who dye but once, and not of­ten. The Greeke word [...], is well rendred by some learned men, befalleth; as one death befalleth all men. For it seems not that the Au­thor intended, that this word by it selfe should signifie some divine decree; although he thereby excludes it not; for this word may have such a latitude of sense as to signifie, both that which is appointed un­to men by the law of nature, and that which by Gods decree is desti­nated to some particular man. In the first particle of these words, which speake of death, he seems to respect rather what is done by the force and course of nature, then what follows by force of Gods de­cree. For that death must bee here understood that is common to all men, even to the godly, and is temporall; because it is that death after which judgement follows which kinde of death is due unto us rather by our naturall condition, then destinated to us by force of any divine decree. And besides, we must understand, that the Author speaks not here so much of the necessity of death, that men are simply appointed to dye (for that gives no helpe to his argument) as of the singularity of death, in that men dye but once and not twice, or more often, to the end he might from thence conclude, that Christ also must dye but once onely; and therefore must offer himselfe but once onely. But the singularity of mens death, that they dye but once, proceeds meerly from nature, and depends not from any peculiar decree of God: but for a man to dye a second time or more often, cannot be, but from a peculiar decree of God. And therefore by these words nothing else is signified, then that one onely death is allotted unto men, or that they dye but once only. But after this the judgement.] This indeed depends from Gods decree; therefore the word appoin­ted (as we said) must be taken in his latitude and generally, to signifie [Page 200]only a thing whose event is certaine; whether it flow from nature it selfe, as once to dye; or whether it follow upon Gods decree, as the future judgement. But that judgement doth not so much consist in pronouncing the sentence upon all men both quicke and dead, as in executing the sentence already adjudged. For this is no humane judge­ment, but a divine; for the dispatch whereof, there needs no witnes­ses, no prooffes, no accusers or advocates, no tedious disquisition of the truth. For to Christ who is the supreme Judge, all things are al­ready evident, and he hath already determined, who is to be condem­ned, and who to be justified, before he doth actually condemne or justifie any one; i. either destroyes or saves any one. As therefore one death befalles men, and after that, will come the judgement, wherein all shall appeare againe to be judged; i. either to be rewarded or pu­nished according to every mans deeds, 2 Cor. 5.19. So also Christ once only suffered death, that he might once only performe his offe­ring; but he shall appeare againe in judgement, and shall shew himself to be seen of them that expect him to salvation.

28. So Christ was once offered] His offering answers to his death; not that his offering consisteth in his death, for that is untrue (as wee have shewed before:) but because the offering of a creature that hath life cannot bee performed without death: And therefore Christ was offered but once, because he must dye but once, and but one single of­fering could follow one single death. To beare the sinnes of many] The end whereto his offering was a meane, was to beare the sinnes of ma­ny. The word [...], to beare; though it properly signifie to lift or carry something from a lower place to an higher, or at least from one place to another: yet in this place, it simply signifies to take away. For things lifted up are first taken away from the place where they were before; and things taken or carried away from a man, must first be raised and lifted up. But in that sinnes are said to be taken away, is a metaphor. But that the word to beare here doth simply signifie to take away or put away, as we have said, wee can make it plaine by divers examples extant in the Septuagint; see Jof. 24.32. and 2 Sam. 21.13. and Ezra 1.11. and Psal. 102.24. where the word [...], hath this sense. But in this place this sense is necessary, seeing this is the end for which Christ was once offered: but the offering of Christ as we have shewed, was performed in heaven. Whence it follows, that this word no way signifies, that Christ tooke upon himself the punishment of our sinnes; because that cannot be done in heaven, seeing heaven is no place for punishment. Besides, it is most reasonable, that these words should have the same sense with the former, that Christ appeared to put away sinne; seeing these are correspondent one to another, and the end of Christs offering is shewed in both. But he faith to beare the sinnes of many. Not simply of all, partly because this benefit for the [Page 201]effect and issue of it, pertaines not by Gods purpose promiscuously to all, but onely to those that beleeve in Christ and obey him, partly be­cause all will not beleeve in Christ and obey him; whence it comes to passe, that all are not in effect eased from the burden of sinne, which notwithstanding in respect of Gods purpose is but in event; because all to whom soever God offers his grace, and calls, both may and ought to beleeve and obey. The same also we say for the taking away of sinnes, whose end is, that men should be no longer addicted to their sinnes; for if we respect the event or effect it selfe, Christ by his offe­ring hath put away the sins of many onely, not of all, and thereby hath effected that many and not all doe live holily. For in respect of the force and efficacy of Christs offering, Christ is to be supposed to have taken away the sinnes themselves, and the punishment of sinnes from all men. He shall appeare the second time without sinne] The second time is in Judgement, and the words without sinne may be taken two wayes. First, as they may signifie without an offering or sacrifice for sin, which according to a common use of Scripture is called sinne; in which sence this appearance without sin, may fitly be opposed to his former appea­rance with sinne, that is, with an offering for sin, ver. 26. And by rea­son of this opposition, it will not seeme amisse, to joyne the words by the sacrifice of himselfe, with the word appeared, unlesse we had rather make this latter part of the verse opposite to the former part; that so the going of Christ from us, and his returne unto us may be opposed to his offering, which was performed by his bloudy death, and after it by his entrance into heaven; for thereby Christ was taken from the eyes of men and ceased to be seene: but by his returne he will againe shew himselfe to bee seene, and then the words without sinne, are opposed to those to beare (or take away) the sinnes of many; and the words the second time shall be opposed to the particle once; and yet the second time may in this place be all one with afterward; that it may answer the words of the former verse after this the judgement; so in the Epistle of Jude, ver. 5. the words once and afterward are opposed. Secondly; the words without sinne may be so taken, as thereby to shew, that when Christ shall appeare the second time, there shall bee no more guilt of sinne in the people of God, as there was when first he appeared, which therefore he must take away by his sacrifice. For undoubtedly the Author here alludes to the returne of the Legall high Priest out of the holy place, who went into the holy place to take away the guilt of sinnes, and returned from thence without sinne; for he had taken away the guilt of sinne by his offering. So Christ ente­red into heaven that there offering himselfe to God, and appearing in his presence, he might purge his people from the guilt of their sinnes: but having abolished the guilt of sins, he shall returne out from heaven, and appeare unto his people, to give them the effect of that guilt taken [Page 202]away, not in words onely, as the Legall high Priest gave the people his benediction and prayed for them; but in very deed; for he shall vindicate them from death, and estate them in eternall life. Vnto them that looke for him unto salvation] The words unto salvation may agree either with he shall appeare, or with the words to them that looke for him] And the Author seemes to have placed them so on purpose, that they might be referred to both. For both Christ shall appeare to give his people salvation; and the people of Christ shall looke for his comming out of heaven to receive salvation from him. For as Christ is here ta­citly compared with the Legall high Priest entered into the boly place: so his people are resembled to the people of Israel expecting without the Tabernacle. For of old the people looked for the Legall Priest, after their manner to salvation, namely, that by him they might obtaine remission of their sinnes which were then expiated, and might heare his benediction to them in the Name of God: So the people of Christ, being without the heavenly Tabernacle upon earth, do looke for Christ their high Priest unto salvation, that he comming forth out of his heavenly Sanctuary, they may by him obtaine eternall salvation. The Author in these words doth elegantly describe a Christian; for this expectation doth comprehend faith in Christ; for unlesse men be­leeve in Christ, they will never expect his returne from heaven as their heavenly high Priest; And this expectation doth either beget holinesse of life, or is begotten of it; for these affoord each other their helpe. The expectation of salvation upon condition of obedience doth beget piety; and piety brought forth doth reciprocally bring forth a daugh­ter like to her mother, that is, a most certaine and ardent expectation of salvation. Hither belong the words of Paul to the Thessalonians, 1 Thes. 1.9,10. where he describes all Christian people and their whole duty, saying, Ye have turned to God from Idols, to serve the living and true God; and to waite for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Iesus who delivered us from the wrath to come. After a like manner he designes all beleevers in Christ, by the name of them that love his appearing, 2 Tim. 4.8.

The Contents of this ninth Chapter, are,

  • 1. Doctrine. The tabernacle under the first Covenant was imperfect. v. 1.
    • Reason. 1. Because it was a worldly manifacture; for beth in the first and se­cond place of it, there were only bandiworks. 1, 2, 3.
    • 2. Because the most holy place of it was alwayes shut to all, except to the high Priest and alwayes to him, except once a year v. 6. 7.
    • 3. Because under it, the way to the holiest of all in heaven, was not yet manifest, v. 8.
    • [Page 203]4. Because it was but a figure and resemblance of the heavenly San­ctuary v. 9.
  • 2. Doctrine. The services, or sacrifices under the old Testament were imper­fect. v. 9.
    • Reason. 1. Because they could not expiat the consciences of them that brought the sacrifices. v. 9.
    • 2. Because they were only carnal ordinances concerning fleshly things, as meats, drinks, and washings. v. 10.
    • 3. Because they were temporary imposed for a while, untill the time of Reformation. v. 10.
  • 3. Doctrine. The Sanctuary wherein Christ is a Priest, is more excellent then the old Legall Sanctuary. v. 11.
    • Reason 1. Because it is no worldly building, wrought by the hands of men, v. 11.
  • 4. Doctrine. The expiatory Sacrifice of Christ is more excellent then the old le­gal expiations. v. 12.
    • Reason. 1. Because the bloud shed for his sacrifice was his owne bloud, and not the bloud of buls and calves. v. 12.
    • 2. Because his death and bloudshed doth purge the conscience; whereas the bloudshed under the old legall sacrifice, did but parge the flesh, v. 13. 14.
    • 3. Because his death and bloudshed doth expiate those transgressions which were inexpiable under the law. v. 15.
  • 5. Doctrine. Confirmations made by death are the surest. v. 15.
    • Reason. 1. Because the New testament was confirmed by the death of Christ. ver. 15.
    • 2. Because all mens testaments are confirmed by the death of the te­stator, ver. 16. 17.
    • 3. Because the old legall testament was confirmed by the bloud and death of goats and calves. v. 18, 19. 20.
    • 4. Because all Consecrations under the law, were confirmed by bloud and death. v. 21.
    • 5. Because all Expiations and Remissions under the law were con­firmed by bloud and death. v. 22.
  • 6. Doctrine. The sacrifice made by Christ was singular, one onely once offered. ver. 12.
    • Reason. 1. Because he entered into his holy Sanctuary by his bloud, and the bloud of any living creature can be shed but once. v. 16.
    • 2. Because by his sacrifice he obtained an eternall expiation, and things eternall cannot be iterated. ibid.
    • 3. Because then he must have suffered often, and have begun his suf­ferings since the beginning of the world. v. 26.
    • 4. Because he died before his offering it, and men are subject to death but once. v. 27.

CHAPTER X.

1. FOr the Law having a shadow] He had said be­fore, that the Legall high Priest entered yearly into the holy place, not with his owne bloud, but with the bloud of others: contrary to what Christ did, who offered himselfe once onely. Now here he gives the reason thereof; because the Law by a continuall offering of the same sacrifices yearly; can never make the commers thereunto perfect; for therefore it is that those offerings are iterated yeare by yeare. This reason he doth by the way confirm by another reason; because the law hath only a shadow of future blessings, and not the very image of them. Therefore the causal particle for, hath not re­ference to what was said immediatly before, but must in this place be referred to his principall doctrine, though more remote: which was; That the legall high Priest offered year by year, but Christ once only. A shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things.] Those good things to come, may be understood more largely or strict­ly. First largely; to comprehend both eternall happinesse it selfe, pro­mised or bequeathed us in the new Testament, & also all the helps and meanes for the acquiring of it, affoorded us under the same Testa­ment, and pourtrayed in the legall shadowes; such as are Christ him­selfe our high Priest, his Bloud, his Offering, his Sanctuarie, and such like; for these were future and to come in respect of the Law, Or they may be taken strictly, onely for the happinesse promised us. Neither of these sences are disagreeing to the text; yet the latter is more proba­ble by reason of those words in the former chapter, verse 11. wherein Christ is said to be a high Priest of good things to come; and so the Priest and his Priesthood are manifestly distinguished; and if ye marke it well, so is his Sanctuarie and his Sacrifice. But seeing there is no open mention of these good things to come, but only in that text, and this which we have now in hand, & that in both the same thing is hand­led; it is most agreeable to reason, that the good things to come in this place should be taken strictly, for the happinesse onely promised us in the new testament, which comprehends our perpetual deliverance from all punishments of all our sins, & our eternal inheritance of eternall life. For by the admitting of this sense wee shall the more easily interpret the words following, concerning the very image of the things. For this condition seemes plainely taken from the Law, and attributed to the [Page 205]Gospel. Of those things which are not so much the parts of our hap­pinesse as the means and adjuncts of it, the Gospel doth not exhibit unto us the image, but the substances themselves: but of those pro­mises, it proposeth to us in this life rather the image then the sub­stance; although our deliverance from the punishments of our sinnes doe in some measure begin in this life. But it exhibits unto us the very image of them, in as much as it describes and promiseth them most o­penly to us; so that are may seem in a manner to see them before our eyes. But the Law had only a shadow of those good things, from whence we could but conjecture very darkly and imperfectly, what and what manner of things they were. To that shadow contained in the Law were proportionably answering both the sacrifices, by meanes whereof those good things were attained, and also the high Priest, the Sanctuary, and such like. But now seeing a clear and perfect image of those celestiall goods is proposed unto us, and promised us in plaine and open tearmes, therefore there are required other sacrifices, which have an apparent and manifest vertue and efficacie to procure those goods unto us, which can beget in our soules a most assured hope of them, and can draw us to a course of life sutable to them. Can never by those sacrifices which they offered yeare by yeare continually] The words yeare by yeare, doe not seem to cohere with offered; for then there is a great and hard transposition of the words: but agree rather with those sacrifices, for so the sense is facile and usuall; as if hee had said, the same sacrifices recurring yeare by yeare: whereby he would intimate, that under the Law the same sacrifices were offered, yet not every day, and moneth, but every yeare: and every yeare sacrifices were offered, yet not diverse, but the same; the same kinde yeare by yeare. The space of time whereby those sacrifices were distant one from another was a yeare; and when the yeare came about, the sacrifice was of the same kinde. Which they offered] The persons who did make the offering were the high Priests, to whom the Law enjoyned it. But here the words are put in a passive sense to signifie the sacrifices which were offered. For ordinary it is, that an active forme of speech doth carry a passive sense. So Luke 12.20. The words are active, This night shall they require thy soule: But the sense is passive; this night thy soule shall be required. Continually] In this there is more signi­fied then in the words yeare by yeare: for it intimates, that the course of yeares wherein yeare by yeare the same sacrifices were iterated, was not interrupted nor intermitted, but constantly continued; and the continuance of this custome was not short for the space of some few yeares successively; but a long continuance for many ages. Can never make the commers thereunto perfect. Although the same sacrifices were yeare by yeare iterated without intermission for a long continu­ance: yet the Law by means of those sacrifices could never perfect the [Page 206]Commers thereto. The Commers were all such amongst Gods people as came to worship God and serve him by means of those sa­crifices: and therefore in the verse following, the same persons in the same respect are called the worshippers. For in the peoples accesse or comming to the Tabernacle, is also included that divine worship and service which there they performed. Seeing their Accesse and Com­ming thither was but for worship and service; and seeing again, that worship and service might bee done no where else but by comming there; for the Law forbad the people to offer sacrifice in any other place but the Sanctuary. To perfect signifies to expiate or purge from sinne, and to expiate so fully and finally, that the party once expiate shall want nothing else; shall need no other oblation of any other sa­crifice, nor no iteration of the same; and consequently shall feele no further conscience of his sins.

2. For then would they not have ceased to be offered] This sentence should not be rendred negatively, then they would not have ceased] for this negation is quite contrary to the sense and reasoning of the Au­thor. But affirmatively thus, for then would they have ceased to be of­fered. For because the same sacrifices were yeare by yeare offered continually; therefore from thence he proves, that they could not per­fect the worshippers or commers to the sacrifices; and this their im­perfection he further confirmes ab absurdo; for if the same sacrifices could have perfected the commers thereto, they would have ceased from being iterated and offered againe yeare by yeare continually. For what need the same sacrifices be iterated yeare by yeare, if they could perfect the commers to them, by expiating their sinnes fully and final­ly? for if the sacrifices had done this, then they must have finally deter­mined and ceased. But seeing they could not do this, therefore they ceased not, but were offered & iterated year by year continually. Because that the worshippers once purged should have no more conscience of sins] Here he gives a reason of the former affirmation, why the same sacrifices should have ceased to be offered; namely, because the worshippers once purged and expiated perfectly should have no more conscience of sins. To have conscience of sinnes signifies two things; whereof the one is consequent to the other, as to know himselfe guilty of sinne, and to acknowledge himselfe guilty of punishment. The maine doctrine which the Author teacheth is this: That those sacrifices had not force to effect, that men should know themselves not guilty of sinne; which is then done when they abstain from sinne; and then, that men should not acknowledge themselves guilty of punishment, which is then done when they are not afraid of it: Therefore they were iterated yeare by yeare continually for a long succession of many ages, that year by year they might heale the sore of the conscience, which broke out againe yeare by yeare. For where health is fully recovered and setled, the [Page 207]medicine is not iterated: but if there be relapses and the disease have recourses, the use of the medicin must be often applied: either therefore that Sacrifice being once offered must expiate the future sins of all the future years and ages to come, although it withdrew not men from the acts of sinne; or if this be absurd, then, seeing it could not withdraw men from the acts of sinne, there was good reason, it should be ite­rated yearly, to heale the conscience yearly wounded with sinnes. But it had been very absurd that the sins of so many men and ages should be purged by the bloud of one goat.

3. But in those sacrifices is a remembrance againe made of sinnes every yeare] Here he teacheth the contrary to the last consequence; namely, that after those Sacrifices the consciences of the people were againe guilty of sinnes: And this he proves thus, because at those Sacrifices yeare by yeare, the high Priest did yeare by yeare, rememorate and confesse the sinnes of the people. For he must lay both his hands upon the head of the Scape-goat, and confesse over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, &c. Levit. 16.21. For to this place the Author here hath reference. In those sacrifices; i. then at that solemne Fast-day, when those Sacrifices were offered; the sinnes of the people were also remembred and con­fessed. For though the yeare before they were all laid upon the head of the Scape-goat and banished into the wildernesse together with the goat: yet the next yeare and successively yeare by yeare another goat must be banished, because the people had more sins to be banished.

4. For it is impossible that the bloud of bulls, and of goats should take a way sinnes] Here hee gives a reason of his principall assertion, That those Sacrifices could never perfect the commers thereto, by an argu­ment taken from the very nature of those Sacrifices; because they were but the bloud of bulls and goats, which hath no possiblity to take away sinnes; i. it cannot effect, that men should afterward abstaine from sinne, and so have no further conscience of sinnes, and consequently feare no punishment of them. For what force can the bloud of beasts have to produce this effect? But the bloud of Christ hath this effica­ [...]ie and force; and all men may easily acknowledge it if they will: of which point, we have formerly treated in severall places. Yet the Au­thor saith not, that the bloud of those beasts had no force at all, in no measure, and for no time to take away the guilt of those sinnes, for which by the Law of God it was to be offered: seeing this is evidently false, for if it expiated not sinne at all in no measure; to what purpose was it offered year by year? Why doth the Author himselfe affirme that the worshippers for whom it was offered, were once purged by it? Certainly then, they did purge some sinnes for some time; namely, sins of error for a year: Therefore the minde of the Author is (as we have explicated it before) that the bloud of bulls and goats hath not any [Page 208]force, and impossible it is, it should have any, to withdraw men from their sins, and to effect, that afterward they should not sinne, and so to free them from feare and guilt of all future punishment.

5. Wherefore when he commeth into the world] From the imperfecti­on and infirmity which he hath shewed to be in the Legall sacrifices, the Author gathers or rather affirmes, that therefore God hath rejected them, and in their roome hath elected the onely offering of Christ. This he proves by a testimony taken Psal. 40.6. Where David, and under the person of David Christ himselfe is brought in, speaking hereof. But in this place there is a great question, what should be un­derstood by this comming of Christ into the world. Yet the thing it selfe shewes, that they are much mistaken, who interpret this comming of the nativity or birth of Christ. For it is apparent that we must un­derstand these words to be spoken of Christ, then when he prepared and addressed himselfe for his sacrifice, and to performe his offering in stead of the Legall sacrifices. Loe I come (saith he) to doe thy will, O God. This comming therefore of Christ into the world must be so un­derstood, as to be joyned with the execution of Gods will. But this cannot be said of Christs nativity, for Christ presently upon his birth did not performe this will of God, which the Author designes; seeing then he could not doe any will of God at all. For when hee was new borne and yet an Infant, how could he doe the will of God? or could he then say these words? For it is apparent that the Author speakes here of Christ as man, which we therefore intimate, that no man may thinke here to flye to the destinction of his natures. Besides, this phrase of comming into the world, doth no where signifie his nativity. For they who for this sence of the phrase bring the place, John 1.9. do not observe, that the Greeke words [...], if wee respect the Grammaticall sence, may as well bee referred to the preceding Noune [...] which signifies light, as to the Noune [...], which is man: but if we respect the phrase of Scripture, then comming into the world, must much rather be referred to the word light. So that the participle [...], must not be rendred in Latin venientem, in refe­rence to man, as the vulgar Latine edition hath it: but veniens as refer­red to the light. And so the sence made to be thus; That Christ who is the true light, rising upon the earth like the Sun, and comming into the world, doth enlighten every man with his light, yet not presently at his first rising, but in processe of time; as the Sun carrieth his light from one part of the world to another, and by degrees dispels the dark­nesse. Compare this place with John 9.5. and John 12.46. There re­maine two opinions, which strive, as I may say, for the mastery of the truth. The one is, that this comming of Christ into the world should be taken, for that his comming when he made his first entrance among men to performe his ministeriall office; The other is, that it be under­stood [Page 209]of his entrance into the future world to come, whereof this Au­thor made mention before, chap. 1.2. and chap. 2.5. and which is cal­led by the single name of the world, Rom. 4.13. Now the arguments which seeme to perswade us for the taking of it, not for this present world, but for the future world to come, are chiefly three. 1. Because God did not abrogate those Legall sacrifices and offerings, before Christ entered and came into that future world: but here the Author speakes of their abrogation. 2. Because Christ saith, A body hast thou prepared me. For, how can this be applyed to Christs first en­trance upon his ministeriall function in this world among men? Did Christ receive from God a new body, and another different from what he had before, then when he was first made knowne to the world by preaching of the Gospel? And if wee should here understand that mortall body in which Christ first preached the Gospel, what would this make to the abrogation of the Legall sacrifices? Certainely, either nothing at all, or no way else but by many turnings and windings. But if by this comming of Christ here, wee understand his entrance into that future world to come, then these words will much conduce to the matter. For, unlesse God had given Christ a new and incorruptible body, he could not have entered that dwelling of immortality, and there have offered himselfe to God, and appeare before him, neither could he have sitten at the right hand of this throne. Therefore seeing God would abrogate and abolish those earthly sacrifices by the hea­venly Sacrifice of Christ, for that purpose God fitted him a body pro­per for that heavenly Sanctuary. For that the Author in citing this te­stimony, had a respect to these words, is plaine by his words a little af­ter at the tenth verse, where he mentions the offering of the body of Christ. By which forme of speech, seeinghe useth it no where else, he seemes as it were to point at these words in this testimony, wherein God is said to have prepared a body for Christ. 3. Because in an o­ther passage of the 40. Psalme, a little before this testimony cited by the Author, David doth sing a song of thanksgiving unto God for his deliverance from a grievous calamitie, saying, He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feete upon a rock, and established my goings; and he hath put a new song in my mouth, &c. Psal. 40.2,3. If therefore Christ may bee thought to have sung these words of the Psalme with the rest cited by the Author, after his deli­verance from death and the grave; then might the Author well af­firme, that Christ said both these and the rest by him cited at his com­ming or entrance into that future world to come. Now these words cannot be meant of Christs comming into the world by his Resurrecti­on from the dead; because when the Scripture speakes of his comming into this world, she thereby usually understands his being made known unto the world: but Christ after and by his resurrection was not made [Page 210]knowne unto the world, but was seene of a few onely, who were to be witnesses of it to the world. And therefore when the time of his death drew neere, and of his departure to his Father after his death, he him­selfe affirmed that he should be no longer in the world. He saith, sa­crifice and offering thou wouldst not] Of the words themselves we shall speake upon the next verse, wherewith they wholly agree in matter. But here let us enquire, why the Author affirmes, that Christ then, when hee commeth into the world, saith these words? The Author seemes to affirme this, from the following words which Christ al­ledgeth presently after, Loe, I come to do thy will, O God, ver. 7. For to what purpose did Christ come into the world, whether we understand this world or that to come? If we understand this world, wee must say, that Christ then when he came into this world, (or as the Au­thor speakes before, chap 9.26. when first hee appeared) said these words unto God his Father; Because the Legall sacrifices and offe­rings please thee not, therefore Loe, I am come, to do thy will, i. to offer thee such a sacrifice, that is, wholly according to thy good will and pleasure. But if yee please to understand the future world to come, then we must affirme, that Christ said them, when he entered in thither; Seeing, O God, thou dost no longer approve the Legall sacrifices, Lo, I come to doe thy will, i. to offer up my selfe unto thee, that so I may wholly expiate the sinnes of thy people. For this is the will of God, and the pleasure of the Lord that shall prosper in the hand of Christ, Isaiah 53.10. That every one who seeth the Son and beleeveth on him, should be freed from the guilt and paine of all his sinnes, and have ever­lasting life, John 6.40. But a body hast thou prepared me] It is not ne­cessary we should thinke, that the Author mentioned these words in respect of any sence proper to his purpose, but cited them onely be­cause they stood connexed with the other words of the testimonie which were pertinent to his intention. This hee himselfe seemes to intimate at the eighth and ninth verses following, where in the re­petition of this testimony, he leaves out these words, and takes only the rest that serve for his scope, which is this. That the Legall sacrifices are abrogate, and in their place the Sacrifice of Christ is established. Though at the tenth verse following the Author speakes of the offer­ing of the body of Christ; yet it is not altogether necessary, that wee therefore should say, that he had reference to these words; seeing the body of Christ might by an Hebraisme be put for Christ himselfe. Againe, the Authour might have no respect to the proper sence of these words for this reason; because in the Hebrew, other words are read for them. But because the Author followed the Greek Translation, there­fore he alleaged the words as they stood in the Greeke, lest men well accquainted with the Greeke Translation should conceive that hee had corrupted or changed the text; a rule that this Author hath observed in [Page 211]other passages also (as hath been noted.) The Hebrew text hath it, Mine eares hast thou opened; wherein there is a manifest allusion to the custome commanded by God; when any man would give up himselfe to perpetuall servitude, Exod. 21.6. A servant who at the end of seven years service would not be free, was by his master brought to the door or door-post of the house, whereto his Master fastned him by boring his eare through with an awl; that this action might be a testimony, that the party must perpetually remaine a servant to that house and family; And this Ceremony was performed by the eare, that the servant might remember to be alway ready to heare and obey; for by the eare we heare, and hearing in the Hebrew signifies obeying; for as the Master hath power to speake and command, so the maine dutie of a servant is to heare and obey. David therefore signifies by these words, that be­cause he had received from God those extraordinary benefits which before he had reckoned up, therefore he would not offer unto God the sacrifices of beasts, wherewith God was not much delighted, but would dedicate himself for ever to the worship and service of God; for this doth excellently well agree with the following words of the Psalme; seeing in them there is nothing else said but to this effect. This text and this sence may fitly be applyed to Christ comming into that future world; seeing also the Lord Jesus is as it were fastned of God for ever to that heavenly Sanctuarie; whereof (as the Authour hath shewed before) he is the Minister, there to execute the will of God, and to procure both the service of God, and our salvation. Here a man may well wonder and demand, why the Septuagint in their Greek Transla­tion, should have it a body hast thou prepared me, so differing from the Hebrew text both in words and sense. For whatsoever other men think, it seemes no way reconcileable with the Hebrew reading, which is now extant, and which we have now interpreted; for why is the word bodie put for eares, and prepared for opened; especially when in the Hebrew words there is so clear, so neat and elegant an allusion to that custome among the Iewes, whereby a servant was bound to a perpetuall servi­tude? We must therefore herein say one of these two things; that either there was anciently some other reading in the Hebrew, then what is now extant, especially if there be some neernesse of words, which in Hebrew signifie eares and bodie; Or that the Greeke translation of the Septuagint is altered in this place as in many other. The former of these two wayes wee rather approve, especially because, though it be not necessary, yet it is very probable, that the Author in mentioning the offering of the bodie of Christ a little after here, which hee no where else doth, might have a respect to these words; For it is scarce credible he would have done so, if his words had wholy receded from the truth in the Hebrew. But although wee would willingly leave it to them who are more skilfull in the Hebrew tongue, to conjecture [Page 212]what the Hebrew reading might bee, that was so neere this which is now extant, and induced the Septuagint to render it thus in their Greeke translation: yet wee must not so cast this labour upon others but that wee also endeavour somewhat in the matter, and submit our conjecture to the judgement of others. Concerning therefore the word [...], prepared, wee need not much trouble our selves, seeing the Hebrew word Carah, may also signifie to cut or carve; and by a Metaphor to fashion, shape or fit the whole into his parts and members; by a similitude taken from Statuaries, Carvers or Gra­vers, who by cutting, carving, graving, and punching, or (as I may say) by digging, doe prepare, fashion and shape Statues or others pourtraits; which in Greeke is rightly termed [...]. Now if to this Verbe there be adjoyned a Noune, which may note a bodie, then the sence will be very proper. Wherefore now wee must thinke of the Greeke word [...] a body; for which in the Hebrew wee now read oznaim, eares. And to this, the word geviah often menti­oned in Scripture, and signifying a body, is of neere affinitie. For from the word oznaim take the first letter Aleph, which might easily slip away, and the letters remaining are very like those which make geviah signifying a body; as they will easily acknowledge, who will please to write both these words in Hebrew characters. But let the more learned in the language consider further of the matter. For there is no repugnancy, that both their readings might be consonant to the mind of the holy Ghost, & both anciently received. And if the Hebrew text had this reading which wee have signified, or some other like it, then with much elegancy these words may be taken of that incorrup­tible body of Christ, which he received of God. The word [...] doth not signifie to adapt, by joyning and fitting one thing to another, as they would have it, who say that these words doe signifie the adap­tion and joyning of Christs body to his divine nature in his mothers wombe: but the word properly signifies to fashion or shape a thing, by giving it all it due members and joynts, proportioning them so fitly one with another, that thereby the thing is perfected and finished. Sa­crifice and offering thou wouldest not.

6. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sinne, thou hast had no pleasure] These words with the other of like nature in the former verse, con­duce mainly and properly to that purpose here of the Author, for which he cited this testimony out of the 40. Psalm. The literall sense, David would shew himselfe most really thankfull unto God, for an extraordinary benefit and deliverance, which the Lord hath conferred on him, in bringing him out of an horrible pit, and setting his feet upon a rocke. Yet he would testifie his thankfulnesse and memory of so great a benefit, not with sacrifices and offerings of beasts, but with obsequies and services of his person. The mysticall sence is: Christ [Page 213]brought in, speaking the like words, hath no intent thereby to testifie thankfulnesse unto God; but only to shew, that he would offer unto God another kinde of sacrifice, which should be most acceptable and agreeable unto God, seeing God had no pleasure in the legall sa­crifices. And yet there is also another difference; for in the literall sense David saith not that God was absolutely displeased with those legall sacrifices, and would offer unto God no sacrifices at all of any beast; for such a saying during those times had been false and evil: but he speaks comparatively; as if he had said, Thou art not, O God, much delighted and pleased with the sacrifices and offerings of beasts: but there are other things that delight and please thee more; for thou wouldest rather have obedience then sacrifice: Therefore I will rather offer my selfe unto thee, and be a servant for ever to thy will. For to like purpose Samuel spake to Saul; Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey, is better then sacrifice; and to hearken, then the fat of Rams. For disobedience is as the sinne of witchcraft, and stubbornesse is as wicked­nesse and Idolatary, 1 Sam. 15.22,23. But in the mysticall sense, Christ saith absolutely, that God had no further will to them, and tooke pleasure in them no longer, but his will and pleasure was they should be antiquated and abrogated. Of this mysticall sense, this is a good argument, that Christ is here brought in, to mention not only sacrifi­ces of thanksgiving, which only were pertinent to Davids purpose; but also expiatory offerings and sacrifices for sinne: whereof if wee respect Davids intent, there should here be made no mention. For Davids intent was a testification of his thankfulnesse unto God, and not an expiation of his sins at that time. But because the Holy Ghost would wrap up a mysticke and deep sense in these words; therefore the Author doth here specifie and reckon up all kindes of sacrifices and offerings whatsoever, which are reduced to three sorts. 1. By sacrifice and offering in the fifth verse, he seems to understand, all offerings eu­charistical or of thanksgiving; whereof a part went to God, as the bloud and the fat; part was a Fee to the Priest, and the rest returned to him that offered it. 2. By burnt offerings in this verse, are understood those which were wholly burnt and went wholly to God; which are sometime called sacrifices of praise, because they were offered wholly in honour of God, as he was the Lord Almighty, and not by way of speciall thanksgiving for any particular benefit then received from God; which was the proper consideration for a sacrifice of thanksgi­ving. 3. By sacrifices for sinne, are meant all expiations or offerings to put away the guilt and punishment of ignorances and infirmities; for which kinde of sins only those sacrifices were allowed, and in the He­brew are oftentimes called simply sins.

7. Then said I, Loe I come] This word of comming doth shew a [Page 214]mysticall sense. For how did David come, when hee spake this word in the literall sense? Therefore in the literall sense, it signifies only, Loe I am at hand, or I am ready; I have prepared my self to do thy will. But in the mysticall and proper sense, it signifies the appearance of Christ in that future world, to execute the will of God. In the volume of the booke it is written of me] In these words David shews the cause, why he is ready to doe the will of God; or if ye please, the manner and way of his obeying God; q. d. I am ready to doe as it is written of me in the volume of the booke; or else, for so it is written of me that I should doe thy will. Therefore in these words we must understand, either some particle of likenesse, as, according; or some casuall particle, for, because, or seeing: for such particles are oftentimes concealed or silenced. But here againe, we meet with another difference betweene the Greek translation, and the Hebrew text. In the Hebrew it is, in the volume of the booke, which hath a plaine and an open sense; for by the booke he eminently understands the booke of the Law, which is cal­led a volume, because unciently the Law was wont to bee written in skinnes of parchment or velum, one glued to another, and so rolled up and unrolled in the forme of a Court-role, which in Latine is properly called Volumen, from the rolling of it; and hence bookes are called Volumes. A famous Expositor among the Romanists, preferres the Greeke reading in this place before the Hebrew; and writes, that it is a vaine repetition to say in the volume of the booke for that is all one as to say, in the booke of the booke. This is a vame cavill; for all volumes or rolles are not bookes, but there are volumes and rolles of many other things besides. So that the word booke is fitly added to volume, to specifie the differences of volumes. We meet with a like phrase, Jer. 36.2. But why doth the Greeke translation read it, in a Chapter of the Booke? The reason may be, because the Hebrew word Megillah, doth not only signifie a whole booke consisting of many skinnes, but also any one single skinne, which may containe only some Chapter of the Booke. And therefore the Greek Translator conceived, that he should not go from the sense of the words, if for the whole volume, he should put on­ly some part or certain Chapter of it; especially because by this means the redundancie in words would seem the lesse or none at all; yet some there would seeme to be, if he had said the volume, and that had been taken to signifie the whole booke. Wherefore these words must bee taken as if he had said, In a Chapter of the booke, namely of the Law it is written of me. By which meanes, not onely all shew of redun­dancy is taken away, but also a more speciall place is designed, where the thing is written, that is here spoken. Now let us a little enquire, what Chapter this might bee? Certainly other Chapter it can be none, but that, wherein the very thing is handled, which David said, he came to doe; i. that David should doe the will of God. For wee [Page 215]have said, that in these words is shewed the cause why David said, hee came to doe Gods will, or the manner how hee should doe it. But where is it said, that David must doe the will of God? Namely there, where the Kings of Gods people are commanded to doe so; which is set downe in the last parcell of the 17. Chapter of Deuteronomy from the 13. verse to the end. For David in a peculiar way was ordained of God himselfe to bee the first King over Gods people, and the King­dome was to remaine in his posterity for ever. And therefore hee saith, that there it is written of him; not that it is there written of him by name as David, but written of him as a King. And here also the Holy Ghost seems to have left us some footstep of a mysticall sense. For it might be said of Christ properly, that there it is written of him by name; for the Holy Ghost doth every where aim chiefly at Christ. Hence it appears, that they are in an errour, who by a Chapter in the Booke, understand the beginning of Genesis; because as they thinke there it is written of Christ, that he created heaven and earth. But is there also any thing written of David? or of Christ there, that hee should doe the will of God? But in the 17. Chapter of Deuteronomy before cited, among other things which God willed to be observed by the future King of his people, this is also delivered, ver. 18. And it shall be when he sitteth upon the throne of his Kingdome, that he shall write him a copy of this Law in a booke, out of that which is before the Priests his Levites; And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the dayes of his life; that he may learn to feare the Lord his God to keep all the words of this Law, and these Statutes to doe them: That his heart be not lified up above his brethren; and that he turne not aside from the Commandement to the right hand or to the left. All Gods Laws are his will, for they are that will of God which God would have done; hee therefore that doth Gods Laws, he doth his will. And seeing all the future Kings of his people were to doe Gods will, as here it was writen of them; therefore David also when he was become King was to doe the will of God as in this Chapter of Gods Booke it was written of him. And therefore David againe, was to write himselfe a copy of the Law in a booke; he must read therein all the dayes of his life; hee must keep all the words of it, and not lift his heart above his brethren; for in doing these things he did the will of God, as it was written of him in a Chapter of the Law. But some man may hereupon demand, how shall this belong to Christ? must he write out a booke of the Law of Moses and perpetually read in it, and never depart from it? The Answer is easie, That for the mysticall sense we must not tye our selves to every single word, but only to the breviat and sum of the matter, & that which is spoken properly of the type, must be so applied to the antitype, as the nature of the antitype requires. The sum of the matter in this place is, That the King of Gods people must be obedient to Gods will; parti­cularly [Page 216]to that will of God which God would have him to observe, and consequently to that Law of God which God would have stand in force. As long as the Law of Moses was in force, so long the Kings over Gods people must observe that Law. But that Law being by God abrogated, no man is bound to observe it, much lesse is the King of Gods people bound to it. And a new Law being surrogated, Gods people and their King must observe that new Law. Wherefore the Law written in the Chapter of that booke, must be so taken or under­stood of Christ, as the nature of the thing will beare it, and as the Ma­jesty and divinity of Christ requires. Many things are said of the sha­dow, which the perfection of the body doth reject. But we must fur­ther observe, that the sence of the words in this Psalme may yet be further extended; seeing in the Hebrew text, to the sence whereof the Author might have more regard then to the Greek Translation, it is simply said, In the volume of the booke, i. of the Law; and although ac­cording to the Greek Translation, we understand that Chapter of the Law, which we cited in Deuteronomy; yet that very Chapter hath reference to the whole Law of God; or it referres the King to all the words and precepts of the Law, which the King of Gods people was to exccute. Wherefore in a mysticall sence we may understand all those things, wherein Christ was to performe the will of God; and particularly those that belong to his expiatory Sacrifice, which here is the thing in hand. Whence it is in a manner yet left doubtfull, whe­ther Christ said these words, when hee came into this world or the world to come. For, if by this will of God wee understand nothing else but the sacrifice of Christ strictly and properly taken, excluding his death from it, then we must affirme, that Christ said these things when he came into that future world. But if we extend the sacrifice or offering of Christ more largely, and include his death, the necessary antecedent unto it, as in this place it seemes wee must doe, and as wee have before intimated, that wee may not set aside the excellent and proper act of Christ himselfe, pertaining to his offering and sacrifice most acceptable to God, seeing he saith that he came to doe the will of God, and that we know that Christ himselfe had also his part here­in; then the thing it selfe declares, that these words must be attributed to Christ when he came into this world. And it is no obstacle to this, that both according to the Greek Translation, and according to the literall sence of the Hebrew words, we respect that place, wherein the office of the King is described, whence Christ as now made a King seemes to speake these things, as David also did. For, besides that the Hebrew words of the Psalme are more large, as wee have said, and therefore (especially in the literall sence) may justly be more largely extended, this also must be marked, That Christ although he were not yet a King actually, yet because he was for certaine to be one, and or­dained [Page 217]to a Kingdome by Gods immutable Decree, hee might very well even then referre to himselfe, the precept wherein the King of Gods people is commanded to do Gods will.

8. Above when he said] From the words of Christ, the Author fur­ther inferres, that the legall sacrifices and offerings were abrogated, and in their place the sacrifice and offering of Christ was instituted. And he shews this to be manifest from the very manner of Christs words, and from the cleere opposition of the things therein specified. Above, i. in the first place, when he spake of sacrifices and offerings to be rejected, before he spake of his comming to doe the will of God. Sacrifice and offering and burnt-offerings and offering for sin thou wouldst not, neither hadst pleasure therein, which are offered by the Law] The words which are offered by the Law] must be read as included in a parenthesis, where­by the Author specifies that the legall sacrifices and offerings are abro­gated; because the sacrifices and offerings, which Christ saith here, that God would not have, neither had any pleasure in them, and therefore must be taken away, are no other but the legal sacrifices which were in­stituted by the Law of Moses, and were offered according to that Law.

9. Then said he] Christ after he had spoken the former words for the abrogation of the Legall sacrifices, then hee added these that fol­low. For these are the words of the Author, relating the words of Christ. Loe, I come to doe thy will, O God] Because Gods will was to abrogate the Legall sacrifices, therefore Christ comes to do that will and pleasure of God, which God should surrogate in stead of the Le­gall sacrifices. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second] q.d. What is this else, but to abrogate the former, that he may esta­blish the latter? But that former thing was the Legall sacrifices, which Christ abrogates; the latter is the will of God, which he establisheth.

10. By the which will we are sanctified] Here he shews what bene­fit we gaine, by this will of God, performed by Christ, and establisheth in the place of the Legall sacrifices. For, it might be demanded, what doth this concerne us and the expiation of our sins, that instead of the Legall sacrifices Christ saith he will do or hath done the will of God? Therefore the Author shews, that this will of God and the execution of it, doth consist in the sacrifice and offering of Christ made for us: whence also this will of God is tacitly compared with the Legall sa­crifices, and withall is preferred before them, as farre more excellent and acceptable to God. Therefore he saith, that we are sanctified by it; even we, who (as he presently addeth) are sanctified by the offering of the body of Christ] In which words, he withall teacheth what that will of God is, namely; that it is the offering of the body of Christ once for all; or at least that it is altogether concurrent with this offe­ring. For, how else should we be said to be sanctified or expiated by this will of God, seeing we are sanctified by the offering of the body of [Page 218]Christ. For this will of God seems to be opposed thus far to the legall sacrifices, that by it we are truly sanctified. For while our sanctification is attributed to the will of God, as it stands opposed to the legall sacrifi­ces, it is tacitely taken from them. As if the Author had said: By which wil of God we are sanctified, &not by the old legal sacrifices. The will of God is here put, not for the action of his will, but for the object or matter of his wil, for the thing he would have done, which he approves, and wherein he hath pleasure; for it is opposed to the legall sacrifices; which he would not have done, which he approves not, and wherein he hath no pleasure. And therefore it signifies the sacrifice and offering of Christ, as the object or matter, which is now his will, as the words fol­lowing teach us. Sanctified, is explated, purged, and cleansed from our sins: for which, see chap. 9.13. Through the offering of the body of Iesus Christ once for all] The offering, not of legall sacrifices often made, and yearely iterated, and therefore ineffectuall and imperfect; but of the body of Christ once made, is that offering, which greatly pleaseth God, and is wholly conformable to his will, and truely sanctifieth us.

11. And every Priest standeth daily ministring, and offering often­times the same sacrifices] Hitherto hee hath compared the offering of Christ with the legall sacrifices, chiefly in respect of the iteration, that the legall sacrifices were offered often, that is, yeare by yeare for the whole people: but that of Christ but once only. Now he begins to cō ­pare the high Priests together, namely, the old with the new, the legall Priests with Christ; that they offered and ministred yeare by yeare, but Christ once onely. For where there are many sacrifices successively iterated yeare by yeare, there the high Priest also must necessarily mi­nister and offer yeare by yeare: but where there is but one sacrifice or offering to be made, there the high Priest ministers and offers but once onely. For hitherto the author hath intended onely this, to shew that Christ entring into his heavenly Sanctuary; not to offer often accor­ding to the manner of the legall high Priests, but to make one only offer­ing; as appeares in the former chapter, verse 25. For to this point as to his main scope all his arguments are directed. The high Priest being en tered into the holy place, did not sit there, but was wont to stand there before the Mercy-seat, as before the Throne of God. And hee stood there daily; which must not be so understood, that he did so eve­ry day in the yeare: but upon a set and certaine day of the yeare, which had it circuit, and came about yeare by yeare; namely, at the solemne anniversary fast for the universall expiation of the whole people; for he daily offered upon that day; whensoever it had recourse. For in this sense he used the same word before chap. 7.27. where he openly spake of that solemne annuall sacrifice upon the day of Expiation; whereto he hath reference in this place also, as particularly appeares from the third verse of this chapter; where he mentions the Commemoration of sins [Page 219]every yeare, which were constantly confessed by the whole people at that sacrifice. Which can never take away sins. The cause is here shew­ed, why the legall high Priest must offer those sacrifices often; namely, because they could never take away sinnes. i. They could never so ef­fectually free men from their sinnes, that they who were once expia­ted thereby, should have no further conscience of sinnes. And what this is, hath been already explicated in this chapter, verse 2.

12. But this man after he had offered one Sacrifice for sins, for ever, sat downe at the right hand of God.] Here he opposeth Christ to the legall high Priest in three particulars. First, in that Christ offered for sins but once onely; for he so offered, that he never iterated his offering more. Secondly, in that after his offering, hee sat downe at the right hand of God. Thirdly, that he continued his seat there for ever, even unto the end of the world. And these two latter particulars are a reason of the former; for because Christ sitteth at the right hand of God; and sits there for ever to the worlds end; therefore he shall never offer sacrifice more. For how can it beseeme, or rather how can it befall so great a Majestie, to offer againe another Sacrifice, that is, to die againe, and then againe to enter into heaven? For seeing Christ sitteth at Gods right hand for ever, therefore the Majestie of Christ must continue for ever also; and then how can Christ ever offer again? For then a thing lasteth for ever, when it hath a continuall duration through all times and ages without any intermission.

13. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstoole] Here he shewes the issue or effect that will follow upon Christs sitting at the right hand of God. For thereupon it will follow, that at the last, all his enemies shall be put under his feet, and made his footstoole. So farre shall Christ be from offering againe, to bee violated and put to death againe by his enemies, that he expects their subjection to him, to be made his footstoole. And when all the enemies of Christ (among whom death is the last and chiefest) shall be made his footstool, i. shall be wholy mastered, yea abolished, what cause can there be why hee should iterate his offering? That this subjection will follow, the Au­thor gathers it, from this saying of God unto Christ, Sit thou at my right hand, untill I make thine enemies thy footstoole,] Psalme 110.1. Therefore Christ sitting at the right hand of God doth expect this. And he saith, that Christ expecteth this, fitting his words to the words of the Psalme, wherein God himselfe doth vindicate this subjection of Christs enemies unto him, by putting them under his feet. But be­cause wee know, that Christ himselfe neither heretofore hath beene, neither now is, nor hereafter shall be vacant or unoccupied in this acti­on; neither is this subjection attributed to God, otherwise then as God doth it by Christ, or gives power and strength unto Christ, whereby he may and doth effect it; therefore in the word expecting wee must ac­knowlegde [Page 220]a trope, and the signification of it must be admitted onely thus far, as it argues; that Christ by the gift and benefit of God, doth reigne & subdue his enemies to him: so that in this respect not Christ, but God is said to subdue his enemies, and Christ expecteth onely till it be done. Besides in regard of the time, wherein at last all the enemies of Christ shall be subdued unto him, Christ may be said thus farre to depend upon his Father, as it is in his Fathers owne power to order the times and seasons of things, or Christ himselfe doth testifie.

14 For by one offering.] He brings another reason why Christ offer­ed onely but once; because by one offering he perfected or finished all things. As on the contrary the legall high Priests offered often, be­cause they could never perfect all things by all their oblations. Hee perfected for ever them that are sanctified] Perfected, is throughly and wholy expiated, see Chap. 7. ver. 11. For ever; is in re­spect of all future times and ages to come; not, as it was under the Law, only for the time past, and that time but for the space of one yeare. They that are sanctified, are they that are expiated, purged or cleansed from sin in their conscience: and the word must not bee re­strained to the present time only, but extended and dilated to all diffe­rences of time, to those that ever have been sanctified, or now are, or ever shall be. For Christ may be said to perfect or expiate men for ever in a double sense. First, as every man that is expiated, is not expiated for some certain time, but for ever: and secondly, as his offering is of effica­cy and force to expiate all men of all times and ages to the end of the world; so that it shall never need bee iterated either for the same men, or for any others.

15. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witnesse to us] After that he had proved by severall reasons, that the offering of Christ must bee made only once: now he further proves the same by a testimony of the Scrip­ture, wherein the Holy Ghost witnesseth the same thing. For this truth is so evident and so materiall, that it hath not only the reasons formerly alleadged to confirme it; but hath also a testimony of Scrip­ture wherein the Holy Ghost doth testifie it. The Holy Ghost is said to witnesse a thing, when the Scripture saith it; because as Peter teacheth us, that holy men of God spake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1.21. After that he had said before] After the Holy Ghost had said before; which saying follows in the next verse.

16. This is the Covenant, that I will make with them, after those dayes (saith the Lord) I will put my Lawes into their hearts, and in their minds will I write thm] Of these words of the Holy Ghost, we have treated before, Chap. 8.10.

17. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more] Between the former verse, and this something must be understood, that is si­lenced; namely, then he said, as the Author himself speaks at the ninth [Page 221]verse before. For at the fifthteenth verse upon which this dependeth, the Author had written, for after that he said before] namely the Holy Ghost; therefore here must be understood, then he said; namely, the Holy Ghost againe said the words of this Text, And their sinnes and iniquities, &c.

18. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sinne] From these words of the Holy Ghost, wherein the remission of sinnes and iniquities is promised to Gods people; now the Author inferres, that the offering of Christ must bee but one only. Namely, because the Holy Ghost doth testifie, that God under the New Testament, and so by Christ and his offering, will remit unto his people all sinnes and iniquities even the most grievous for ever. Now where there is such a remission of sinnes, proceeding from Gods Will and Covenant, and that universally in respect of time for ever, and also universally in respect of persons to all men, there can be given no other sacrifice for sinnes, and therefore one sacrifice only for sinnes is sufficient. But that no further sacrifice is allowed for sins, where such a remission of them is granted by Covenant, it appears from hence, because otherwise re­mission should be granted and ordained also by Covenant to them that persist in their sinnes; which were a thing very unfit and unworthy of Gods grace. For if men repent and change their minde and wayes in­to better courses, partly they abstaine from sinne with all care, and partly by virtue of the new Covenant, and so by the one single offering of Christ, they have ready prepared for them a remission of all those sinnes, which either went before their true repentance, or to follow it, that they neither lose it, nor make it void. Anciently under the Law, when remission was granted only of ignorances and infirmities, it was no marvell, if upon the stay or returne of the same sinnes, for which offering had been made, the offerings were often iterated; and instead of them another offering were introduced far better and perfecter which is that of Christ: but now seeing the most grievous sinnes are expiated by the offering of Christ under the New Testament, what place can be yet left for any other offering? For either a man engaged by so great a benefit doth afterward lead an holy life, or not. If he live holily, there needs no other offering for to expiate his sin, seeing hee commits it not: if he live not holily, there must be none.

19. Having therefore brethren boldnesse] Here the Author doth in a manner summe up those things, which hitherto he had spoken of the Priesthood and sacrifice of Christ; and from thence infertes his fol­lowing admonition. By boldnesse here hee understands an assured hope, and confidence flowing from the faculty and liberty granted us of entring into heaven the most holy Sanctuary. So that by the word boldnesse is signified unto us both our faculty or liberty of entring into heaven, and also our confidence or assurance of minde issuing from our [Page 222]knowledge of our faculty or liberty to enter; which liberty is opposed to that restraint under the Law, whereby it was lawfull for no man to enter into the holy place under paine of death, except the high Priest once a yeare. And for feare that any one should attempt it, all were forbidden it. To enter into the holiest. Heaven is that Sanctuary where­into on Gods part we have liberty that we may enter, and on our owne part we have confidence that we shall enter. And of all Sanctuaries the heavenly is absolutely the holiest; wherein it is opposed to the le­gall Tabernacle, whereof one of the roomes was the most holy, yet not absolutely, but comparatively only in respect of the other, which was called the first Tabernacle and the holy place, because it was lesse holy then the second, as the second was farre lesse holy then hea­ven, which is farre the holiest of all. By the bloud of Iesus.] For from the bloud of Jesus, wee draw our boldnesse both for our li­berty and confidence to enter; because both the New Testament, whereby is granted unto us not only leave, but a right to enter into the holiest, is confirmed by the bloud of Jesus: but also the new sacri­fice once only offered and never to be iterated, for the offering where­of Christ entered into the holiest, was prepared by the bloud of Jesus. For by the entrance of Jesus into the holiest, who is our leader and our head, we have liberty that we may, and we take courage that wee shall enter: seeing whither soever our leader and head whom God himselfe hath appointed unto us, doth enter and arrive, thither also a right and liberty of entring is granted unto us: for not only the same issue of the journey is promised to us, that was granted to our Captain and Head; but also therefore our Captaine entered heaven and obtai­ned all power there, that both from his example and from the power he hath there, we might have an assured faith and hope of those hea­venly blessings, and in due time might really enjoy them.

20. By a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us] Here the Author seems to declare whence it is, that we have our liberty and confidence to enter heaven; and he saith we have it hence, That Christ hath consecrated for us a way to it. Consecrated here is initiated or dedicated; for the Greek word is the same, that before we rendred de­dicated, Chap. 9. v. 18. Now Christ is said to consecrate or initiate this way unto us; not only as he was the first that entered heaven after death, and a death so fearfull and shamefull; but also because hee hath procured us a right to the same way, that we may lawfully passe along in it, and trace the steps of Christ to immortality: For Christ hath consecrated this way for us, by using it himselfe first, and then leaving the use of it free to us; for consecration is the first use of a holy thing, before which it might not lawfully bee used by any other. Before Christ opened heaven by his entrance thither, and consecrated the way leading thither, it was lawfull for no man to enter it, especially after [Page 223]death. But now this way being consecrated, dedicated, or initiated, any man that will, may enter it, and by it passe safely unto heaven. This way is called new, not only because it was lately or newly consecrated or initiated, but especially because it was lately discovered and newly opened, even in the latter times and last age of the world; and besides, because it is an appendent and concurrent with the New Testament; for during the Old Testament and the old Tabernacle the way to the holiest was not open: The way into the holiest of all, was not yet made manifest while the first Tabernacle was yet standing, Chap. 9.8. This new way is so marked with the steps of Christ, that no length of time can deface it; especially seeing so many thousands of the godly have heretofore followed and hereafter will follow Christ their leader in that journey; and the way by their steps is continually renewed and kept open. And it is called a living way; not formally, but finally, be­cause life is the end of it whereto it leads; for so bread is called the bread of life and living bread; because effectually it doth vivifie and make us live. Hee seemes herein to have a tacite reference to the en­trance into the holy places under the Law, which was a mortall and deadly way, because it was death for any man to enter them, excepting only the high Priest, and he but once a yeare, upon a prefixed day, to performe solemne ceremonies. And therefore he opposeth the way to the heavenly holy place, to the way of the old legall holy place; in as much as this latter is a deadly way that brings death, but the former is a living way that leadeth unto life. Besides, this entrance and way lea­ding to the heavenly holy place is commonly made by death, and sometimes by a horrid and cruell death, and so may seem rather to lead unto destruction; and therefore he called it a living way very seasona­bly, to comfort us by teaching us, that it hath a far different issue from what it seems at the first sight. Through the vaile, that is to say his flesh] Hee alludes to the vaile that was spread between the two holy places of the Tabernacle, and disparted the one from the other: To which vaile he saith the flesh of Christ is answerable. For as the old legall high Priest could not enter into the most holy place unlesse the vaile were withdrawne: So Christ could not enter into the heavenly holy place, before his flesh was withdrawne, and as I may say, rent and broken. Therefore the high Priest entered by moving the vaile aside, and Christ by laying his flesh aside; so Christ entered through the vail. An open sign whereof was in the death of Christ, whereby his flesh was dissolved and laid aside. For when Christ yeelded up the ghost, suddenly the vail of the Temple was rent in twain. And this renting of that vaile, what doth it portend else, then that by Gods appointment, those holy places should be no more shut, but open and common, and become in a manner of publicke use; so that any man might lawfully either looke into or enter them? And hereby what else was signified, [Page 224]but that the flesh of Christ being rent and broken by the death of the Crosse, thereupon the passage unto the heavenly holy places was un­locked and set open to Christ, and to all that beleeve in him? so that not onely Christ himselfe might enter, but all that are Christs may enter also, and before they enter actually, may looke in by faith and hope. While the mortall body of Christ was entire and whole, both Christ himselfe was debarred from the entrance of those heavenly pla­ces, and we both from the entrance and prospect of them: but after that this vaile of Christs flesh was by death dissolved, then both Christ himselfe did enter heaven, and procured us a right and power to enter, and before we do enter actually, to view the happinesse of it by faith, and taste the sweetenesse of it by hope. For the entrance of Christ in­to heaven following upon his death, doth make us certainely to see and hope for the inheritance of heaven; which was hidden from us by Christ as by a vaile, till he was withdrawne and taken from us by his death and Resurrection.

21. And having a great high Priest] Christ is called a great high Priest, not onely in respect of the faithfull who are but a kinde of lesse Priests compared to Christ; as of old under the Law among the Priests one was great and head over the rest: but in respect of the high and great Priests under the Law, who as we have heard, compared with Christ, were not onely little, but in a manner very small and dimme shadowes. Over the house of God] By this house of God, we may understand both that heavenly Sanctuary, wherein our high Priest performes his holy offices, answerable to the Legall Tabernacle, and also the Church or people of God, who are the spirituall house of God. For Christ is president over both these houses, both that hea­venly and this spirituall on earth.

22. Let us draw neere] Here begins the other part of the Chapter, con­taining an admonition drawne from the former doctrines. They were said to come or draw neere (as we heard at the first verse) who while the Priest was officiating, were intentive to the divine service, for which they approached to the Tabernacle, whereby they also came neere or drew neere to God. The Author doth call upon us, That seeing we have a high Priest truly great resident in the Sanctuary of heaven, who there performes holy offices & offerings for us, therefore we also should approach and draw neere in soule and spirit unto that heavenly San­ctuary intentively minding the worship of God. Which is nothing else, but to apply our selves to the worship of God, and never make doubt to draw neere unto him in confidence of Christ our high Priest. With a true heart] He shews what manner of persons they must be, who will exercise this spirituall worship of God, and apply themselves unto it; They must have a true heart. And a true heart is opposed to a seined, deceitfull and dissembling heart, which makes onely an out­ward [Page 225]shew of holinesse, and thereby endeavours to deceive. In full assurance of faith] A full assurance of faith is opposed to a wavering and doubting faith; for looke how much doubt is mingled with faith, so much is wanting to the perfection and fulnesse of it. Therefore then we have a full faith, when wee doubt nothing of the truth of the Christian Religion and discipline. Having our hearts sprinkled from an evill conscience] He alludes to a Ceremony ordained under the Law, whereby they who had touched any uncleane thing, must be sprinkled with the holy water of seperation, before they might enter into the assembly of Gods people at the Sanctuary, to performe the worship of God; for if they did otherwise they must dye for it. This purging or cleansing of the flesh by sprinkling, the Author transferres spiritually to the spirit and soule, whereby the soule is cleansed from the guilt and staine of conscience, and the body from the filth of sinne. Now the sprinkling or purging of the heart from an evill conscience may be taken two wayes; either to signifie that cleansing whereby we get a full remission of our sinnes by the bloud and sacrifice of Christ, and are freed from an evill conscience and from feare of Gods punish­ment, in which manner he said before, that our conscience is purged from dead works: or to signifie the cleansing of our soule from inward and secret sinnes. For by an evill conscience in this place, by a meto­ny my of the effect, he seemes to understand the hidden and secret vices of the soule; as opposed to the filth of the body, which as in the words immediatly subsequent, he teacheth must be washed away. For, what else can the filth of the body signifie, then those outward sinnes which are committed by the body it self? not as if these did not also defile the conscience, but because open sinnes are exposed to the eyes and cen­sures of other men: but the secret and inward sinnes of the soule, though they make no man else conscious to them, yet they agitate and burden the conscience. Therefore by the former sence of these words is signi­fied the great benefit of God, which we attaine by the bloud and sa­crifice of Christ; and by the latter is intimated our duty whereto wee are excited and oblieged by so great a benefit. And our bodies washed] We have already said, that this washing of the body must be referred to the washing away of that filth, whereby our body stands defiled be­fore God; therefore if we receive the last sence of the former words, then the Author here puts us in minde of the same thing, whereof Paul remembers us, 2 Cor. 7.1. Having therefore these promises (dearely beloved) let us cleanse our selves from all filthinesse of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holinesse in the feare of God. And the Author shewes, that it is a most fit and convenient thing to wash the body in this sence, be­cause anciently under the Law, they who approached to the Sanctuary for the performance of Gods worship, must wash their bodies; all the difference is, that there men understood the carnall staines of sinne, but [Page 226]here the spirituall. With pure water] There is no necessity we should by this allegory thinke any thing answering by name to this water; see­ing the Author seemes to speake in allusion to the custome used under the Law of washing the body with pure water. For, comparisons as we have often intimated are subject to many abusions. Yet if any man desire a full resemblance, we may say that hereby is meant, the spirit and doctrine of Christ, or that spirituall water, wherewith Christ sprinkleth his people, not excluding his bloud. For this is the pure water for the soule, and by it only the filth of sin is washed away. They that here understand the water of Baptisme are mistaken. For the water of Baptisme is but onely an outward signe and shadow of this washing which here the Author understands, wherewith neither can our hearts be sprinkled, nor the filth of our vices really washed away. Therefore that spirituall Baptisme which doth truly save us, must be here under­stood, even that Baptisme which as Peter saith, is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, or the outward washing of the body, but the an­swer of a good conscience toward God, 1. Pet. 3.21. Which is not effect­ed by any elementary water, but only the heavenly and spiritual which washeth the conscience.

23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith.] He exhorts them to constancy in the profession of the Christian religion; because it is not sufficient for us, to serve God in heart and other workes, unlesse wee also confesse him with the mouth. In the Greeke it is, the profession of our hope; and by the word hope, the Author seemes to comprise the whole Christian religion; for the Christian religion consisteth chiefly in hope, and in a hope most excellent, even the hope of immortall life, and eternall happines; and all the parts and heads are directed and con­curre to breed in mens mindes this hope, and a holinesse of life sutable to it. Hence Peter under the same name of hope seems to comprehend all the heads of our Christian profession, 1. Pet. 3.15. Without waver­ing. We must hold this hope so fast, that wee neither decline from it our selves, nor suffer our selves to be beaten from it by any engins of temptation or affliction. For he is faithfull that promised.] Hee inserts the cause, why we should hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering; namely, because this hope is grounded both upon a promise, and a promise of him that is faithfull to performe it, namely, of God himselfe. God is therefore termed faithfull, because he keeps his faith, i. He alwayes performes whatsoever hee hath undertaken for his part; and never disappoints his people of his help and favour. Therefore we are never to doubt of Gods faith, so we keepe our owne, and performe our parts with all care and diligence.

24. And let us consider one another] This may be understood, that we should looke unto both one anothers state and condition of life, and also one anothers behaviour and action: And for what end wee should [Page 227]doe this, hee presently shewes, in adding. To provoke unto love] To provoke, is to intend or increase the force of a thing: and love is then provoked, when it is quickened and increased. And it gathers increase from our mutuall consideration and inspection, either in our selves or others. In our selves it is increased, when wee are either stirred up by the notable examples of other men, or moved by their state and condi­tion, to embrace them with more ardent affection and good will: if their estate be prosperous, that wee doe not onely envie them, but use our endeavour to defend and advance their happinesse to our power: but if they are in distresse, that we succour and benefit them in what we are able. In others love is increased, when we look into their lives and manners for this end, that where they grow negligent in their duties, or suffer their love to decay, there by our admonitions and exhortati­ons, we excite to good workes, and to repaire the decayes of their love. Therefore this provoking to love, may be taken either passively, when the increase of love is made upon our selves, or actively, when we in­crease it upon others. And to good workes] Then we are provoked to good workes, when we follow them with an ardent affection, or as Paul would have us, when wee are zealous of good workes. Hee ad­joynes good workes to love, to teach us that our love should not be barren, but fruitfull of workes; although workes may be taken more largely, and extended to all workes of holinesse, as well concerning God as our selves.

25. Not forsaking the assembling of our selves together.] Namely, for this especiall end to retaine and preserve, the communion of Saints, and the unity of the Spirit. Which is then done, when Christians meet together to performe the worship of God, to heare his word, to powre forth unanimous prayers unto him, to exercise that censure of manners, which Christ and his Apostles have prescribed, to celebrate the me­mory of Christs death, by sacred breaking of bread according to his own institution; to make a common supply for the poore and distressed as occasion requires, and with all their forces and advices, to promote the affaires of the Church. As the manner of some is. It is apparent, that in those times there were some, who though they had not forsaken the Christian religion, yet had forsaken the assemblies of the faithfull; that they might the better lie hid, and thereby more easily avoide dan­gers and persecutions. And it is apparent also hence, that they sinne grievously, who withdraw themselves from the company of the faith­full, and from the assemblies of the Saints. But exhorting one another] To the neglect of assembling, hee opposeth this mutuall exhorting or admonishing. Whence it is manifest that Christian assemblies were ordained among other ends for this also, to exhort and admonish one another; which may be done most opportunely, when men are assem­bled into some one place. And so much the more as yee see the day ap­proaching.] [Page 228]The words so much the more must also be communica­ted to the day of approaching, as well as referred to the exhorting; By how much the more ye see the day approaching, by so much the more let us exhort one another. By the day, as the article the doth intimate, must be understood some certaine day, and that well knowne; i. the day of judgement, and punishment for the disobedient: Which judge­ment seeing it is twofold, we must needs understand a twofold day or time of it. For we may take it both for the time of Gods taking ven­geance upon the Jewes in the finall destruction of Jerusalem; and also for the last day of the whole world at the finall destruction of the world. The approach of that former day, they might easily perceive, both from the signes foretold by Christ, and also from the predictions of those Prophets, who lived in those times in the Church of God. The approach of this latter day, every man sees, though not in respect of the whole world, and of the present age, yet every man sees it in re­spect of himselfe. For as death is alwayes approaching unto every one of us, and the terme of every mans life draws nearer: so also thereby every mans last day doth approach and draw nearer; not only because after death there shall bee no change in respect of our salvation and damnation; but also because that whole time intercurrent between the last moment of our life and the last judgement, is none in respect of the dead. For when we are dead, and thereby void of all sense of time, the last moment of our life departing, and the first moment of our life re­turning (for returne it shall at the last judgement) will seem one and the same to us at our rising againe to life. They who lye in a deep sleep are not sensible of the time that passeth, though the time be very long; and death is a deeper sleep then any sleep of those that sleep alive. And this is the cause why the holy Scriptures doe sometime speake so, as if we should wholy live till the comming of Christ, or were presently after our death translated to the Lord, and so to the joyes of heaven: For they have no regard of the time intercurrent between the last end of our life, and the comming of Christ, and the future happinesse of the godly; see 2 Cor. 5.8. and Ephes. 4.30. and Phil. 1.6,26. and 1 Tim. 6 14. and Jam. 5.7,8. and some others.

26. For if we sinne wilfully] Hee brings a cause or a motive, why they should diligently exhort one another, because otherwise it might easily fall out, that after knowledge of the truth received they might sin wilfully, in which case how miserable and unhappy their condition would be, he presently declares. To sin in this place may be taken in two senses, either largely or strictly. Largely, as it is extended to di­vers sins which are committed against the Commandements of Christ. Strictly, as it eminently signifies the most grievous sin of Apostacie, which is a falling away from the Christian Religion, or rather infide­lity in generall; whereto if by way of difference, yee adde what the [Page 229]Author presently addeth, after knowledge of the truth received, ye have the definition of Apostacie: For Apostacie is an Infidelity that fol­lowes after faith; or a desertion of the faith, and a rejection of the truth once knowne and received. So John 16.9. Christ by the word sinne seems eminently to understand Infidelity. The latter sense is favoured, 1. In that the Author, ver. 28. following, being to prove that men sin­ning after the manner here specified, shall by no meanes escape the judgement of God, seemes to draw his argument from them, who wholy rejected Gods Law, and turned to false Gods; of whom wee read, Deut. 17. and whom no men resemble neerer, then they who fall away from Christ, and his most holy Religion. 2. In that it seems proper to Apostates, to tread under foot the Son of God, and to account the bloud of the Covenant an unholy thing; for this is incom­patible to them who constantly adhering to the Christian Religion, are notwithstanding fallen into some single sin or vice. 3. In that this place seems most alike to that, Chap. 6.4. where we have said the Author speaks properly of Apostates. But the former sense is also fa­voured; 1. In that the word Sinne hath a generall signification, and perhaps every where; for words must not be restrained within the use of speech, when no reason constraines it. And the word Sinne in the place of John 16.9. hath of it selfe a generall signification, though afterward it be specified and explicated in particular what kinde of sin he there understands. 2. From the occasion and scope of the Author: For before he had admonished them to exhort one another; and now he shews, what great danger will or at least may come of it, if this acti­on be neglected; namely, that they may wilfully sinne after they have received the knowledge of the truth; and so involve themselves into a heavy judgement. And seeing the Exhortation is at large, as must bee used as a remedy against all kinde of sinnes; why therefore should not that sin which the Author faith might easily arise from the neglect of exhortation, be extended largely also? Now in answer of the reasons brought for the other sense. To the first: we say that the Authors ar­gument seems drawne from all them who sinned against the Law with a high hand; of whom there is a place, Numb. 15.30,31. But the soul that doth ought presumptuously (whether he be borne in the land, or a stran­ger) the same reproacheth the Lord, and that soule shall be cut off from a­mong his people; Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his Commandement; that soule shall surely be cut off, his miquity shall be upon him. For to despise the Law here in this Author, is the same with despising the word of the Lord, and breaking his Com­mandement with Moses in Numbers. Here, to sinne wilfully, and there to doe presumptuously are all one. And here, shall dye without mercy, and there, he shall surely be cut off, are all one, for what is this else, but not to spare, not to shew any mercy. To the second we say, [Page 230]That he doth tread under foot the Son of God, and account the bloud of the Covenant an unholy thing, who dares violate the Covenant, which is published by Christ, and established by his bloud, or dares as much as in him lyes to irritate or dissolve it, that it may be void and of no effect; by committing those sinnes, which by the Covenant are pu­nished by death and damnation. To the third we say, That this place is not so altogether like that Chap. 6.4. but that there appears a plaine unlikenesse. For there both the scope and occasion of the words, and the word it selfe of falling away, compared with the matter preceding doe all declare, that the Author properly speaks of Apostacie; but here as we have seene, the scope and occasion of the words tend ano­ther way. Wherefore we must conclude, that the former acception of the word Sin, which includes in it also the latter, is rather to bee re­ceived. Although amongst those sinnes Apostacie holds the first place, and thereto the Author hath reference chiefly, but not only. The word wilfully as we have said, seems to signifie the same sinne, that the Scriptures of the Old Testament call presumptuously; and so com­mitted in contempt of Gods Majesty, or by hautinesse and pride of minde; and this kinde of sinne, is opposed to sinnes committed either out of ignorance or infirmity: Wherefore it notes unto us those kinde of sinnes which are wittingly, advisedly and purposely; and so argue a meer malice of mind. Such under the New Testament are accounted all vitious habits and customes of sinning, and persevering in evill-doing; as also all heynous and foule wickednesses, done wittingly and advi­sedly. For infirmity, or humane frailty cannot be pretexed for such sinnes especially among Christians. After that we have received the knowledge of the truth. Sinnes wilfully and wittingly committed be­fore the knowledge of the truth, are of another nature, then those that follow that knowledge; for the Sacrifice of Christ was ordained to expiate the former; but for the expiation of the latter, there is no other sacrifice to be expected, as wee shall heare afterward. For crimes or foule sinnes committed after the knowledge of the truth, are far more heynous then those done in ignorance of it; and the malice of man ap­peares far greater in those then in these, though otherwise the facts may be equall. Therefore it more agrees with the equity and wis­dome of God, to grant a meanes for the expiation of those, then of these, and consequently to pardon those, and not these. There remai­neth no more sacrifice for sinnes. In these words is expressed the mise­rable estate of those, who after knowledge of the truth received, sinne in the manner we have said; namely, that seeing the sacrifice and offe­ring of Christ did not profit them, there remaines no other wherby their sinnes may be expiated. But the sacrifice and offering of Christ profited them not, because they are relapsed into their former sinnes, and bring not forth fruit worthy of faith and repentance. [Page 231]For upon this condition only it is, that the sacrifice and offering of Christ bringeth salvation to them who live after their knowledge of the truth, and their reception of the Christian faith. For sins committed before the knowledge of the truth, may be washed away by faith only in Christ, and the profession of it, and a purpose, and as it were a cove­nant of living holily afterward: but sins done after such knowledge are no otherwise washed away, but by an actuall and totall desertion or forsaking of them, and by inducing in their roome all Christian virtues as fruits of the Spirit and of faith. For this is it which the Apostle hath left written unto us, Gal. 5.18. But if yee be lead by the Spirit, yee are not under the Law. Now the workds of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery fornication, uncleannesse, tasciviousnesse; Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkennesse, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdome of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, weeknesse, temperance, against such there is no Law. And they that are Christs have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walke in the Spirit. Now what can bee more cleare, then that these words doe openly teach, that all they, who after they have recei­ved the faith of Christ, doe follow the workes of the flesh, and are not lead by the Spirit of God, shall not inherit the Kingdome of God, nor avoid eternall damnation? And therefore if they will aspire to salva­tion, they must with all speed lay aside their vices, and bee effectually adorned with Christian virtues. For in this place here, the Author seems not to teach, that men sinning wilfully after knowledge of the truth, should have no hope at all lest of pardon and salvatoin; but only that they have none, till they actually put off their sinnes, and qualifie themselves with such virtues as become Christians. For unlesse they doe this, he saith plainly, that the sacrifice and offering of Christ will no way doe them good. Seeing besides, that one only sacrifice and offering of Christ, there remaines no other to be expected; as his words fully declare, in that he saith, there remaineth no more sacrifice; q. d. be­sides that one only offering of Christ whereof we have treated hither­to, there remaineth no other for them. Whence further it seems that by these words, all hope of conversion is not cut off to such as sinne wilfully after their knowledge of the faith; but only all hope of pardon and salvation is so long cut off, as they forsake not their sinfull courses, and doe not the workes of true piety worthy of Christian repentance. Although it is most true, that some sinnes are so foule, among which is Apostacie, and such as have neare affinity with it (whereof we spake Chap. 6.) that if we looke into the nature of the New Covenant, wee may well say, that there is no hope of coversion from them; because [Page 232]without the speciall mercy of God, not comprehended in the Cove­nant, the yoke of such sinnes cannot be loosed and cut off. Sacrifice for sinnes] is sacrifice whereby sinnes are expiated, as appeares by the fol­lowing verse, whereto this sacrifice for sinnes is opposed a certaine fearfull looking for of judgement, and fiery indignation. Wherefore as in these last words punishment is signified; so in the former is par­don intimated.

27. But a certaine fearefull looking for of judgement] Here he illu­strates his former negation, by an affirmation of the contrary. To them who after knowledge of the faith sin wilfully, there remaines no more sacrifice for their sins, but there remaines for them a fearfull looking for of judgement. Judgement is here as in many other places taken by a metonymy, for punishment; because by judgement punishment is de­creed. It is not necessary wee should take expectation or looking for properly here; seeing men given to sinne, if wee respect their minds and thoughts, do for the most part expect or looke for nothing lesse, then punishment and damnation. Therefore such men are said to looke for judgement metaphorically, because for certaine a judgement re­maines unto them; or metonymically, because they ought to looke for it. This expectation or looking for is called fearfull in regard of the object, because the judgement or punishment looked for, or remaining to them, is for the greatnesse of it, horrible and fearefull. And fiery in­dignation] In these words he expresseth what the fearefull judgement or punishment shall be, that remaines to such as sin wilfully after their knowledge of the faith; namely they shall be caught and devoured by an extreame hot fire, whereinto God will cast them in his indignation. There is no doubt, but by these words is signified that last judgement or punishment which in the last judgement must be inflicted upon all evill-doers. For wee know, they shall be tormented, with mighty flames of fire, and destroyed for ever; although we exclude not other punishments of God in this life, which use to be the fore-runners of that horrible vengeance to come. For of all punishments, that by fire, is most fearefull and horrible; and therefore is used to signifie the most grievous and wrathfull punishments. In the Sermons of the Prophets, when there is speech of some grievous judgements or punishments of God, many times fire is mentioned, See Deut. 32.22. and Job 15.34. and Job 20.26. and Psal. 11.7. and Psal. 21.9. and Psal. 78.21. and Psal. 97.3. and Psal 140.10. and Isaiah 10.16. Isaiah 26.11. and Isaiah 30.33. The anger also or wrath of God is in Scripture called a fire; and among other passages in the 12. chapter following, God himselfe by reason of the wrath wherewith he burnes against the ungodly is cal­led, a consuming fire. And in this place, by fiery indignation, which shall devoure the adversaries of God, is understood the wrath of God. Which shall devoure the adversaries] The adversaries of God are they [Page 233]that alwayes were his enemies and never submitted unto him; or they that having once submitted, doe afterward rebell against him. Such are they who constantly reject the Religion of Christ, or having once received it, afterward forsake it, or receiving and retaining it, doe not submit their soules to the precepts of it.

28. He that despised Moses Law] He confirmes his former assertion by a comparison of this case with the like under the Law. To despise a Law is to oppose the being power, and execution of the Law, that it may be void and of no force; or so to disobey it, that he may over­throw it. And he was said to despise Moses Law, who did presumptu­ously violate any commandement of that Law; for which the punish­ment of death was ordained without mercy. And this was framed espe­cially against them, who despised the first precept of the Decalogue, and revolted to the worship of false gods. For the first Commandement is the foundation of all the rest, and he that despiseth or opposeth it, doth seeme thereby to overthrow the whole Law of God, and to revolt from it. Hence we may gather, that among wilfull sinners (as appeares by their description added in the verse following) they hold the first ranke, who revolt from Christ. For they who forsake Christ the Son of God, do also forsake God himselfe, and manifestly offend against the fundamentall Law of the Christian Religion. Died without mer­cy, under two or three witnesses] i. must dye or be put to death; for here is not considered what was done, but what by the Law of Moses ought to be done.

29. Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall he be thought wor­thy] Here is the reddition of the former comparison; which as the words themselves shew, was drawne from the lesse to the more. For it is a farre fowler offence to despise and reject the Son of God, then Moses, the Gospel, then the Law. Wherefore if to those who wilful­ly offended against Moses and the Law, there was granted no pardon, nor no place left for mercy; much lesse must they hope it, who de­spise the Son of God; and much more are they to feare a more heavy judgement. And therefore he can have no hope in the mercy of God, that is found to be in so high an offence, and in so wicked a state of life. Who hath trodden under foote the Sonne of God] They tread the Sonne of God under foote, first who are obstinate enemies of the Go­spel; then Apostates, who forsake the most holy Religion thereof, either in their judgement and their profession, or in their profession onely: and after those, who in profession adhere to the Son of God, but in their lives and manners doe trample upon his holy ordinances and tread them under their feete. And there is a great emphasis in the word treading underfeet, for thereby is signified the most high con­tempt of the Son of God, who is most worthy of all honour; that the great wickednesse whereof such wretches are guilty, may appeare [Page 234]more evidently. And hath counted the bloud of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, and unholy thing. He aggravates the wickednes of these men, especially of Apostats; who count the bloud of Christ, a vulgar and common thing, & therefore unholy and profane. For profane is op­posed to holines, especially to such holines which is in the bloud of the Sonne of God, who being in his person most holy, his bloud also must needs be holy. Now they profane the bloud of Christ, who either forsake Gods Covenant consecrated and hallowed by the bloud of Christ; or else esteeme it not of that value, as for his sake whose bloud it was, to abolish their sins and afterward lead an holy life. Wherewith he was sanctified; Sactified here is not referred to Christ as he had beene sanctified with his owne blood, but to the wicked sin­ner, who by his Apostacy profanes that blood wherewith he was once sanctified. For the bloud of Christ is so farre from being an unholy thing, that it is most holy, and so holy, that thereby every man is san­ctified or hallowed; yea, they themselves were thereby once sanctified, who afterward through their foule ungodlinesse counted it unholy. And we are said to be sanctified by the bloud of Christ, because by it our sinnes are expiated through faith in Christ. For they who receive the faith of Christ, and so incorporated into the new Covenant, they obtaine pardon of all their former sinnes, by vertue of the Covenant, and therefore also by vertue of that bloud wherewith the Covenant was establisted. For an Impunitie, wherein the remission of sins doth properly consist, is here by attained in such a manner, that they have not onely a right to it by vertue of the Covenant, but doe actually enjoy it, as long as they persist in the faith, on condition their faith be lively and working by love: because so long God doth neither really punish them, unlesse it be by way of correction to further their salvation; nei­ther hath he any intention to punish or destroy them, but rather ordains and orders them to eternall salvation, by removing all obstacles that may hinder it, if they be not wanting to themselves. And all this de­pends upon the new Covenant, and the bloud of Christ, wherewith it is confirmed and established. And therefore no Christian given to vi­ces, can have any hope from the bloud of Christ, as long as hee chan­geth not his life and manners. For that is most true which the Apostle hath written; If wee walke in the light as hee is in the light, wee have fellowship one with another, and the bloud of Iesus Christ his Sonne, cleanseth us from all sinne, 1. John 1.7. Hence it appeares, that wee are sanctified and cleansed by the bloud of Christ for the time to come, yet upon this condition, if for the time to come, wee walke in the light as God is in the light. i. If wee endea­vour to bee like God in holinesse and righteousnesse, persisting therein constantly to our lives end. Yet the word Sanctifying in this place, may signifie that separation of Christians from other men, where­by [Page 235]through the knowledge of Gods truth, they are sequestred from the profane and common sort of men, and consecrated for the service of God. For by the bloud of Christ, wherewith the new Covenant is established, men are moved to embrace Christian religion, and receive it for the true. And hath done despite unto the spirit of grace.] By the Spirit is understood that holy Spirit powred into the faithfull, which is called the Spirit of grace, because it is given by the singular grace and goodnes of God. To this Spirit he doth despite, whosoever rejecteth the Religion of Christ; or esteemes it not so much as therefore to live holily, according to the direction and suggestion of that Spirit: For he gives not that credit to it that he ought, and besides he doth in a manner as much, as if he accounted it false.

30. For we know him that hath said, Vengeace belongeth unto me.] He confimes here, what he said before of their fearfull punishments, who wilfully runne into these sinnes. Aud for this purpose hee citeth here the words of God, Deut. 32.35. wherein God challengeth to him­selfe recompence, vengeance and judgement: or professeth of himselfe that he will execute it. Although God speake it there of vindicating his owne people, and punishing those that oppressed them: but the Au­thor here applies them to that punishment, which God himself will in­flict upon his owne people, if they rebell against God and Christ. The meaning is, that God will lay a heavy vengeance and judgement upon those that are rebellious and obstinate against the Sonne of God. For we all know how great, how powerfull and how terrible he is, that hath reserved recompence and vengeance to himselfe. Yet in these words, Vengeance belongeth to me, and I will recompence.] The intent is not so much to shew who the person is that hath this right to take vengeance; as to leave it to our consideration, how great and potent the person is, who challengeth the execution of it to himselfe: that hence it may ap­peare how grievous and how certaine the punishment of the wicked shall be. Saith the Lord,] Here the person is expressed, who challen­geth to himselfe the execution of vengeance, yet not so much for the designing of his person, as for the notifying of his power, that he is the Lord Jehovah, the most high, onely and Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth. And againe, the Lord shall judge his people.] Againe, is in the same place, which was cited before. And in the word Lord, lies the Emphasis and force of the argument. For if the Lord himself who is the most high God, shall judge his people; who sees not but that the judgement must needs be most heavy and fearfull? To judge here, sig­nifies to condemne and punish. In Deuteronomie (as we said) is signi­fied by these words, that the Lord would avenge his people upon their enemies from the oppressions and wrongs done to his people. But the Author following the more frequent use and sense of those words in other passages of the Scriptures, hath applyed them to the punishment [Page 236]of Gods people falling from their faith and obedience, For it is no lesse true, that the Lord will punish his owne people if they bee refractory and rebellious against him, then that he would judge and avenge their cause, and vindicate them from injuries, if they were wrongfully op­pressed. And the words his people, doe also argue the fearfulnesse of the judgement. For it is great reason, that the people of God, if they shall presume to be rebellious and obstinate against God, should suffer a heavier punishment then other men. And they are here called the people of God, who are disobedient and obstinate, because they have received the knowledge of God, and of his truth; and in that respect stand obliged to God in a peculiar manner. Besides the appellations or names of things do often remaine, when the true ground or cause of the name is altered and gone.

31. It is a fearfull thing to fall into the hands of the living God] This is as it were the major Proposition of the Authors Argument, where­by he would make it appeare, that the punishment of the persons fore­mentioned will be very grievous and fearfull. For he reasoneth thus, To fall into the hands of the living God is a fearfull thing: but these men fall into the hands of the living God, seeing (as we have heard al­ready) God himselfe will doe judgement and execution upon them: And therefore their punishment must needs be fearfull. But hee puts the conclusion in the first place, then the assumption, and now he addes the major proposition, which is of a knowne verity. For what man is he, that will not acknowledge, how fearfull a thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God? because the living God can punish far more fearfully then mortall men can doe. Why God is called living, wee have shewed before Chap. 9.14. But we must note, that the Author speaks here of that punishment, whereby God puts men to everlasting destruction, and doth it in his wrath, and not of that chastisement which God sometime inflicts for the good of his people. For it is farre better to be chastised and corrected from God himselfe, and from his owne hand, then to be left to the pleasure of wicked men; as David te­stifies, 2 Sam. 24.14.

32. But call to remembrance the former dayes] Hee brings here a new argument, whereby he perswades the Hebrewes to constancie and perseverance in the Christian Religion; and he drawes it from their former constancie and vertue, which they shewed at the beginning when first they received the Christian Faith. In which after ye were il­luminated] Christ is severall times called the light and the true light, because he brought into the world by the publishing of the Gospel that knowledge of God which doth truly illuminate and enlighten us; not only in respect of that naturall ignorance that growes up with men concerning God, but in respect of that revealed knowledge which un­der the first Covenant was but darke and shady; for the Gospell doth [Page 237]reveale unto us those mysteries which did before lye hid: for since the vaile of the old Sanctuary was rent, we now have liberty to looke into the heavenly Sanctuary, where by faith wee see and know many mysteries, especially touching the expiation of our sinnes, and salvati­on of our soules. Of which truth, when we receive the knowledge, we are said to be illuminated. And this illumination is the first act of our entrance into Covenant with God; for thereby it is, that we are made acquainted with the sacred contents of the Covenant. So that Illuminated here is all one with receiving the knowledge of the truth, be­fore, ver. 26. Yee endured a great fight of afflictions] To endure afflicti­ons for Christ, and not decline them, but patiently and stoutly to goe through the triall of them, is a great conflict or fight.

33. Partly while ye were made a gazing stocke both by reproaches and afflections] Reproaches and afflictions, are put for all sorts of persecu­tions, whereof these two are the chiefe kindes; for reproaches are those persecutions whereby a mans reputation, credit, or good name is vex­ed; and afflictions are those whereby men suffer in their bodies and goods, as by sines, imprisonments, and punishments. And reproaches and afflictions are the means whereby Gods people are made a gazing stocke, or a spectacle for men to looke at. Yet it is not necessary wee should take this word properly, as if the Hebrews had been condemned by publicke decree of the Magistrate, and in the sight of all men brought upon a Scaffold, there to suffer punishment, or to be branded with reproaches; which notwithstanding did many times befall the Christians: But it may be taken metaphorically, for those reproaches and afflictions in generall, which were publickly known to all, or were in a manner in all mens mouths; as for example, when a Christian was openly reviled, or beaten, or dragged through the streets, or had his house by publicke authority, and open force plundered and rifled. And partly when ye became companions of them that were so used] This is done, when we take care and make provision for them who are re­proached and afflicted; when wee harbour them, helpe and cherish them, make their case our owne, and professe our selves their brethren and companions. Men are used to reproaches and afflictions, when they many times and often suffer them, and by reason of them are agi­tated, vexed, and tossed too and fro, from place to place; for so much is here signified by the Greek word [...].

34. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and tooke joyfully the spoyling of your goods] Here he declares both those particulars which in the verse going before he had expressed and attributed to them; sa­ving that he puts the latter in the first place, and the former in the latter. For the compassion they had, belong to their accompanying of those who were reproached and afflicted; because true compassion (as in this place is meant) signifies not a bare griefe of minde proceeding [Page 238]from anothers misery, but therewithall includes the effects and deeds of a minde truly compassionate; And the spoiling of their goods, is referred to the reproches and afflictions which they suffered. Know­ing in your selves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring sub­stance] He expresseth the cause why they tooke the spoiling of their goods joyfully, namely, because they had learned from the Religion of Christ, and thereby knew for certaine, that a farre better estate, and more lasting possessions, yea everlasting, were reserved for them in heaven; for which these earthly and transitory goods are very gaine­fully exchanged, especially when they are made away for Christs sake. And the place where this excellent and everlasting estate is reserved is in Heaven; which doth further argue the excellency and eternity of it; for though Christians are sometimes spoiled of their goods which they have upon earth, yet of those they have in heaven they neither shall nor can ever be spoiled. For that in heaven can be no spoile, nei­ther by moth, rust, nor thiefe, Christ teacheth us. Mat. 6.20. Lay up for your selves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where theeves doe not breake through nor steale. And this everlasting estate, though it be in heaven, yet the faithfull even while they are up­on earth have it already, though not for the possession of it, for flesh and bloud cannot possesse it: but for the expectation of it, by faith and hope as sonnes and heires unto it; for now they have the same right that the heire under age hath to his inheritance, whereby they know, beleeve and hope with full assurance that they shall possesse it.

35. Cast not away therefore your confidence] From the words prece­dent he inferres an exhortation, that seeing they have gotten such a good report for their courage and constancy, therefore they should not now be overcome with miseries and distresses, and so turne from the right course of godlinesse whereinto they were now entered. By con­fidence here he meanes either an undaunted courage of constancy of minde in professing the Christian Religion; or else a full trust in God, whereby we so rely upon him, and are so certaine of our heavenly in­heritance, that we refuse the suffering of no evill. Which hath great re­compence of reward] He brings a motive whereby to perswade his for­mer exhortation, that they should not castaway their confidence; namely because their confidence should have a great recompence of reward; and therefore it must not be idle and vaine, least it should lose the reward; for to idlenesse and vanity no reward can in equity be due: but their confidence must be effectuall and painefull in the exercises of holinesse and good works, that thereby they hold and keepe their title to the reward. For though faith and not good workes do create as the title whereby wee have the reward: yet good workes doe preserve or maintaine that title which was created by faith, and by good works we hold our right to the reward; and without them wee shall certainly [Page 239]lose the reward. And besides these words have reference to the for­mer verse wherein he shewed, what this recompence of reward is; namely an excellent and enduring substance in heaven.

36. For ye have need of patience] Here is another motive to per­swade the former exhortation, why they should not cast away their confidence, but be patient under reproaches and afflictions, even to the spoyling of their goods; namely, because they have need of patience. Which may be taken in a double sence; either with a check, as if they wanted patience; or without a check; for to have need of a thing doth sometime imply a simple necessity of that thing whereby to attaine somewhat, whether we have that thing or have it not; sometime it implies a necessity joyned with the want of that thing. That after ye have done the will of God, ye might receiue the promise] Hee expresseth the use and end of patience, that he might shew, to what purpose they have need of it. And the use of patience is two fold; the one more neere, the other more remote; which in respect of us is the last. The neerer or former use of our patience is, To do the will of God; seeing patience it selfe is not the least part of Gods will, and without it the other parts of godlinesse, and consequently the rest of Gods will can­not throughly be performed. The other use and last end of patience, which followes from the former, and without which this cannot sub­sist, is to receive the promise, or rather the matter promised; which is the inheritance of the ever-enduring substance. For they onely do at last receive the promise of God who first performe the will of God. Wherefore without patience and constancy in suffering evils, it is im­possible, as to performe the will of God, so to receive the ever-endu­ring substance which is the promise of God.

37. For yet a little while] Another motive to stirre them up to pati­ence in suffering, urged by way of preventing an objection. Some man might say; It is an hard case, for a man to lye under afflictions so long a time, and to expect the promise whereof you speake after many ages. To this the Author answers, that the time allotted for our patience, is not long, but short; for after a little while, we shall receive the recom­pence or reward of our patience promised unto us; and seeing this pro­mise though it be delayed, yet the delay is but for a little while, there­fore the delay of it should discourage no man, or dishearten him under afflictions. And he that shall come will come and will not tarry] The time remaining for the comming of Christ is but a little while, but ve­ry certaine; for very certaine it is, because he shall and will come; and but a little while, because he will not tarry. The reward promised can­not be farre off, and therefore wee must not be wearied with the expe­ctation and stay of it: for there is but a little while yet remaining for the comming of Christ; and at his comming is the comming of the promised reward; for he will bring the reward with him, and they [Page 240]shall receive it, who have done the will of God. That the time to the comming of Christ is but a little while, is gathered from hence, because that the time of each mans life is but a little while; & at the end of each mans life is the comming of Christ to him, as we have shewed before, verse 25. Hence Paul saith, That the burden of our afflictions is but light, and the time but for a moment, compared with the eternitie of that glory which shall follow upon it. 2. Cor. 4.17. And Peter to abate the force of our temptations and afflictions saith, That wee are now for a season in heavines through manifold temptations. 1. Pet. 1.6. And hee saith againe, That after wee have suffered a while, the God of all grace, will exalt us by Christ into his eternall glory. 1. Pet. 5.10. Yet when the Author saith, yet a little while, he tacitely grants, that there shall be some space of time intervening; as appeareth by the words of the Prophet, to whom herein hee hath reference. For the Prophet saith, If it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Hab. 2.3. Some tarrying therefore there will be, yet short and small; and therefore wee ought to expect it without wea­rinesse.

38. Now the just shall live by faith.] The Authour proceeds in al­leadging further words of the Prophet; wherein is contained a new motive to constancy in faith, on which our patience and sufferings of evils depends. For from these words it appears, what great fruit grows from an invincible faith, that will not be beaten downe by any afflicti­ons; and on the contrary what great mischiefe followes upon a minde born down with afflictions, and falling from the faith. Now the fruit of faith is life; even everlasting life: For the just shall live by his faith. i. He therefore shall live, because he wholly trusteth upon God, and rely­ing upon his goodnesse, power, wisedome, and promises, do never let fall their courage, what ever difficulties and impediments they meet withall in their obedience to Gods precepts; hee is not dejected with any storme of evils; hee is not wearied with any waiting for the stay of the promised reward; and therefore hee perseveres in righteous­nesse to his last end. For faith in this place is considered, as it is ac­companied with patience, constancie, pietie and justice, and as it is a living and a lively faith that is exercised and delighted in good workes. For life is not promised to every man upon faith, but to the just and righteous man; and to this faith is opposed drawing backe in the words following. But if any man draw backe] To draw backe from God, is nothing else, but in despaire of his promises to cease from our duetie; and to depart from the hard conflict of patience, justice, and pietie; and in a word to acquit the Christian warfare, and steale from the Armie of Christ. My soul shall have no pleasure in him.] Thus the Septuagint have translated the Hebrew text, of the soule of God, and not of his soule who drawes back, of whom the [Page 241]Hebrew text may be understood. For in that it is, his soul is not right in him. If therefore according to the Hebrew text, the words bee taken of his soule who drawes backe, then the meaning is, the soule of that man is not right in him, his soule hath not a sincere and true love to vertue; because his soule being weary of vertue and good workes takes thence an occasion to doubt of Gods promises. And be­cause such a soule is not right, but perverse, therefore it pleaseth not God. Wherefore seeing the just who lives by his faith, is opposed to the man that drawes backe, and the just mans condition to this mans condition, therefore the adversative particle but, is by the Au­thour rightly applyed, even to this latter clause; but in the Prophet the clauses are transposed, and this latter put in the former place, vid. Hab. 2.4.

39. But we are not of them who draw backe unto perdition.] Having declared the condition of the just man, who is constant in his faith; and of the man who drawes backe, or wavers in his faith and pietie, hee now shewes that not this latter, but that former must be the condition of Christians, whose state doth require from them that they be con­stant in the faith, that by this meanes they may save their soules, and not waver in faith, to withdraw themselves from the conflicts of pietie and patience, and so bring perdition to their soules. For the Authour speakes not of what actually is done, but what in justice ought to bee done, and is agreeing to the calling and condition of a Christian. The same sentence in a manner is contained in those words of the Apostle, where describing the condition of Christians, hee saith, God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtaine salvation, 1. Thes. 5.9. Now the end of drawing backe is perdition or destruction; as the issue of faith is the saving of the soule; for perdition and salvation are opposed. But of them that beleeve to the saving of the soule. The soule in this place doth either signifie onely our life, or our spirit, which is the principall part of us; and being preserved for us, and restored unto us, Our life remanes in safetie. And we save our life or spirit, when we are de­livered from destruction, unto such a life that can never be destroyed.

The Contents of this tenth Chapter, are,

  • 1. Doctrine. The legall Sacrifices could never perfect the worshippers of God.
    • Reason. 1. Because the Law had but a shadow of perfect expiation, and not the very image of it, ver. 1.
    • 2. Because they were offered yeare by yeare continually; for if they could have perfected the worshippers, then they would have ceased to be offered, ver. 1. 2.
    • 3. Because there was a new Remembrance, guiltinesse and confession of sins every yeare, v. 3.
    • [...][Page 242]4. Because the matter of them was the bloud of bulls and goats, which cannot possibly take away sins, ver. 4.
  • 2. Doctrine. The Sacrifice of Christ is substituted in the roome of the Legall sa­crifices, ver. 5.
    • Reason. 1. Because it was not the will and pleasure of God that the Legall sa­crifices should be any longer of force, v. 5. 8.
    • 2. Because God had called Christ, and fitted him a body for an ex­piatory sacrifice, ver. 5.
    • 3. Because Christ most willingly accepted of Gods will and pleasure to performe it by making himselfe a sacrifice, ver. 7. 9.
    • 4. Because we are really expiated and sanctified by the will of God through the offering of Christ, ver. 10.
  • 3. Doctine. The Sacrifice of Christ was singular, one only once offered, ver. 10.
    • Reason. 1. Because he did not offer yeare by yeare, as the Legall Priests did, but once for ever, ver. 12.
    • 2. Because after he had made his offering, he sat downe at the right hand of God, till his enemies were made his footstool, ver. 12. 13.
    • 3. Because by one offering he perfectly expiated all that are sanctified.
    • 4. Because by virtue of the Covenant, whereof he was the high Priest, his one offering wrought a plenary remission of sins.
  • 4. Duty. We must worship God with a true heart, a full assurance of faith and a good conscience, 22.
    • Motive. 1. Because we have now liberty to enter into heaven, by a new and living way which Christ hath consecrated for us, 19. 20.
    • 2. Because wee have Christ a great high Priest over the house of God ver. 21.
    • 3. Because we are washed and sanctified with the Holy Ghost, v. 22.
  • 5. Duty. We must be constant and stedfast in the profession of our faith with­out wavering, ver. 23.
    • Motive. 1. Because God who hath made us the promise, is faithfull.
  • 6. Duty. We must provoke one another to love, and good works, 24.
    • Motive. 1. Because we see the day of the Lord approaching, 25.
  • 7. Duty. We must take heed of sinning wilfully after wee have received the truth, ver. 26.
    • Motive. 1. Because there is no other Sacrifice for sins besides that one offering of Christ once made, 26.
    • 2. Because thereby we make our selves adversaries to God, and so li­able to his judgement and indignation, 27.
    • 3. Because thereby we tread under foot the Sonne of God, we count the bloud of the Covenant an unholy thing, and doe despite to the Spirit of grace, 2.
    • 4. Because if he that despised Moses Law dyed without mercy, much more shall he be punished that despiseth the new Covenant. 28. 29.
    • 5. Because the Lord reserves vengeance for such, and to fall into his hand is a fearfull thing, 30. 31.
  • 8. Comfort. The Hebrews needed not feare falling away, and sinning wilfully.
    • Motive. 1. Because after they were illuminated, they endured a great conflict of afflictions, ver. 32.
    • 2. Because they did accompany and confort themselves, with such as suffered for the Gospel.
    • 3. Because they had compassion on this Author in his bonds.
    • [Page 243] 4. Because they had taken the spoyling of their goods joyfully.
    • 5. Because there was a great recompence of reward remaining to them.
  • 9. Duty. We must not cast away our confidence in Christ, ver. 35.
    • Motive. 1. Because it hath great recompence of reward, ibid.
    • 2. Because we have need of patience, that after we have done the will of God, we might receive the promise.
    • 3. Because Christ will not tarry long before he come.
    • 4. Because the Just shall live by faith, to the saving of the soule.
    • 5. Because drawing back tends to perdition.

CHAPTER XI.

1. NOw faith is the substance of things hoped] The Author having in the former Chapter spoken of faith, doth thence take occasion to make a digression in this Chapter, for a further ex­plication of the nature of faith; whereof hee collecteth and produceth many examples in divers holy persons, that the Hebrews inci­ted by their examples, might addresse them­selves for imitation of them, and finally relying on Gods promises, might not decline any conflict either of piety or patience. These words are not a definition of Faith whereby faith is defined; as those words afterward, Chap. 12.29. where God is said to be a consuming fire, are not the definition of God. For faith is a thing indefinite, and cannot be defined; or if it were definable, yet these words, that it is the substance of things hoped, are far too narrow to lay out the true boun­daries of Faith. Neither are these words an attribute of faith, for they are not consequent to follow upon it; but quite contrary. Faith is an attribute or consequent to them. For they are a notion, an element, or an argument of faith, whereby faith may be notified or made knowne, and whereby it may be demonstrated or proved to be in such or such a subject, or in such a person. For though the vulgar affirmation be ac­cording to the Author, that Faith is the substance of things hoped; yet the true naturall and rationall affirmation runnes thus: Now the substance of things hoped, is faith. For the scope of the Author is to produce many persons whom he would declare and demonstrate to have been faithfull; and for that purpose he layes out two notions or principles of faith, whereby he would inferre and conclude the affecti­on of faith to bee in such or such a subject; the first whereof is this, That every substance of things hoped, is faith; as if he had said, where things hoped are subsistent, there is faith; where things to come are [Page 244]present, there is faith. Now things hoped, and things to come, are not actually subsistent and present: but when the soule apprehends things hoped and to come, as certainly as if they were already subsi­stent and present, then that soule beleeves, and is endued with faith. And this principle or argument of faith, is taken from a partiall ob­ject of faith, which is of some good to come, because hope ariseth only from such an object. The evidence of things not seen] This is the other principle or notion, or argument of faith, whereto faith is al­wayes consequent. For where there is an evidence of things inevident, or a sight of things unseen, there is faith. And for evidence some Translations render it argument; because where there is an argument perswading a man for things not seen, there is faith. And this principle of faith is taken from the totall object of faith, which is alwayes of things not seen, or absent, whether it be for distance of place, or of time, either past or to come. And therefore this principle must needs be more large then the former, and more serviceable to inferre the af­fection of faith to be demonstrable of more persons, as the proper sub­jects of it.

2. For by it the elders obtained a good report] The two former prin­ciples or notions that argue and inferre faith, had also a further end, which is to shew the excellency of faith: which here he confirmes by the effect which faith wrought unto the Elders their forefathers. For to them their faith brought this benefit, that by it they obtained a good report. The originall is, by it they had a testimony, which is well translated a good report; for so the word doth frequently signifie, though it stand single and alone without any other attribute joyned to it, see Act. 6.3. and Act. 10.22. and Act. 16.2. and Act. 22.12. This testimony or good report the Elders obtained from the Scripture, or of God by the relation of Scripture, which hath left it upon holy record, how graciously God dealt with those elders by reason of their faith, how greatly he favoured them for it, and commended their piety issu­ing from it. The elders.] i. Their progenitours and ancestours, whom the Scripture mentions to have lived from the beginning of the world downe to that age wherein this Author lived.

3. By faith we understand] Hee begins here to shew the efficacie and vertue of faith, by certaine examples or instances, which hee de­monstrates from the latter principle or argument of faith, in that every evidence or sight of things unseen is faith. For all men that ever had, or ever shall have faith in God, doe thereby understand that God fra­med the world by his word; and because we understand this by an e­vidence or sight of things unseen, therefore we understand it by faith. We understand] i. We perceive and know for certaine; and the argu­ment or mean whereby we know this, is our faith; and the argument or mean whereby our faith attaines this knowledge; is our evidence or [Page 245]sight of things unseen; for by the things which are now seen, wee have a sight of those things which we never saw, because they were done long before our times. Though it may be evinced by strong arguments that the world was created; yet neither those arguments and the fra­ming of them, are obvious to all men; neither are they such, but that a perverse spirit will oppose against them; because we saw not the work of the Creation: but by the Scriptures we have an evidence or sight of that Creation, which to us was unseen; and therefore we beleeve it, for our evidence or sight of it in the Scriptures makes faith of it un­to us. And the Scriptures make faith unto us of the Creation, not on­ly for the act of it, that such a worke was done, but for the manner how it was done (as Moses describes it) even by the word, and sole com­mand of God; and for the matter whereof it was made, in that the things seene, were made of things not seene. That the worlds were framed] Worlds, for world, the number plurall for the singular, by a Grecisme, where originally it is ages, putting the adjuncts of the world for the subject. By the word of God] by the only fiat or command of God; God used no other instrument for the framing of the world be­sides his bare word. For God only said the word, Let there be light, and there was light, Gen. 1.3. And by the word of the Lord, even by the breath of his mouth, were the heavens made and all the host of them, Psal. 33.6. And as the heavens, so also the earth was framed and setled by his word; For he spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast, Psal. 33.9. So that things which are seen were not made of things which do ap­pear. The particle not seems to be transposed, for it should affect the word appeare, because the minde and sense of this clause is not nega­tive, but affirmative, thus: So that things which are seen were made of things which doe not appeare, though for the matter it come all to one; because a terme finite denyed of any subject is all one with the same terme infinited and affirmed; yet this latter expression leaves in our mindes a cleare apprehension of the matter. The Author seems as his manner is, to follow and reflect upon the Greek Translation of the Old Testament, wherein at the beginning of Genesis, it is said, that the Earth was invisible, for that which we from the Hebrew translate, that the Earth was without forme and void. And the Author made choice rather to say, things not appearing, then things invisible, when he would shew us the prime materialls whereof the world was made: For that is properly invisible, which naturally cannot be perceived by the sight; and that is rightly tearmed not appearing, which though it be naturally visible, yet really it appears not; especially then when it lyes hidden and covered with thicke darknesse. Although in this place the word not-appearing seems to have yet a more ample sense, and to comprise that want of forme and force noted by the Hebrew words, for which the Greek Translation reads invisible. Wherefore by things [Page 246]not appearing is meant that chaos or elements of the world, which at the beginning were confused; because partly that chaos wanted forme, shape, and outward beauty, in regard the severall parts of it were not yet digested and disposed into that elegant order, figure, and propor­tion, which afterward was given it by the Creation; and therefore the Scripture saith, it was without forme; and partly because it wanted ver­tue and force to produce those creatures, and adorne it selfe, that after­ward God by the Creation gave it power to produce; but to any such purpose it was wholly feeble and barren; and therefore the Scripture saith it was void; and partly againe because it wanted light to manifest and make it visible to the sight that it might be seene; for though in it selfe it were visible and appearable; yet actually it appeared not, and therefore the Scripture saith, that darkenesse was upon the face of it. Wherefore when God entered upon the worke of the world, the first perfect creature that he made was the light, and that being finished, he framed all the other parts of the world in a most beautifull order. And this chaos is in the Scripture called the Deepe, because it was vast both for quantity and quality, for it wanted the three beautifull quali­ties of forme, force and light, which afterward were induced into it. Yet sometimes the Scriptures expresse it by names Synecdochicall, which signifie onely a part of it, calling it sometime the heaven, some­time the earth, and sometime the waters, because it was a Deepe or chaos composed and confused of all these together, or at least of those materials whereof all these were afterward produced and created; as in the same tub of milke there lye confused together those three mate­rials from which are afterward produced the distinct white meates of butter, cheese, and whey. Hereby the Author plainely declares, and it sufficiently also appeares from the history of the Creation descri­bed by Moses, that God, when he began the Creation or frame of the world, as it is delivered in the beginning of Genesis, did not produce it meerely from nothing, but from that Chaos or Deepe, which posi­tively was confused of the three materials, whereof afterward was made the three elements of heaven, earth and water; and privitively wanted the three qualities of forme, force and light. And this opinion was anciently received among the people of God, as it appeares by the Author of the booke of Wisdome, chap. 11.17. where speaking to God, he saith, For thy almighty hand, that made the world of matter without forme; for so it is in the Greek; and the vulgar Latin hath it, of matter unseene. But of the creation of this matter, there is no men­tion made in the Scriptures; for to the holy Ghost it seemed good to conceale it. By things which are seene, are here meant all those crea­tures which we see in this world, as this beautifull order and posture of all things, whereby those things which before were confused and blended together, are now digested into their severall ranks and places [Page 247]for the use and benefit of man and beast; and all the rest of the Crea­tures both animate and inanimate, both in heaven, earth, and waters, were produced by the word or command of God. For in these words of the Author is signified, not onely that change whereby things not appearing became appearing, by vertue of that light which God made, and made to shine upon them, (which change God made first of all by his creation of light) but also that change, whereby the things which now appeare, were made of things not-appearing, as from the informed matter of the Chaos or Deepe, which wanting forme, force, and light, was so rude, so weake and so darke, that from it selfe, of it selfe, nothing would ever have beene produced, but by the accesse of Gods almighty power.

4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice then Cain] Now he begins to reckon up speciall and particular examples of per­sons endued with faith; and withall he declares both what they per­formed by vertue of their faith, and also what blessings they obtained from God by it: that by so many illustrious examples he might winne the Hebrewes to an imitation of those persons. First of all he menti­ons Abel, as a person neerely approaching to the beginning of the world. He mentions not our first Parents; either because concerning them there is nothing read memorable in the Canonicall books of the Old Testament, pertinent to his purpose; or because he thought them not to be mentioned, by reason of that sinne whereby they made them­selves and their posterity subject unto death; especially seeing in those Canonicall bookes we no where reade that God ever pardoned our first Parents for their sinne; although the Author of the booke of Wis­dome in the beginning of the tenth chapter affirmes, That Wisdome pre­served the first formed father of the world, that was created alone, and brought him out of his fall; that is, she freed him from the guilt and punishment of his sinne. Therefore he begins with Abel their son, pla­cing him in the first place as the first person among those whose piety towards God, and Gods love toward them is celebrated in Scripture, and then shews what Abel obtained by his faith. Of him therefore he saith, That he offered a more excellent sacrifice then Cain] Some render it a more bountifull sacrifice, others a more valuable; thinking the Au­thor intended to note, that Cain as an ungratefull and a distrustfull per­son, offered onely a few fruits: but Abel to testifie his affection and faith offered things of more value, namely the firstlings and fattest of his sheepe. But the more simple and certaine meaning is, that Abels sacrifice was not more bountifull or more valuable of it selfe then the others, but more acceptable unto God, who accepted and esteemed it better and more excellent, by reason of the righteousnesse and godli­nesse of the person that offered it; for upon that ground it is that God esteemes and values all offerings made unto him. Now there was no [Page 248]other cause of that godlinesse, and consequently of Gods acceptation of Abels sacrifice, but onely Abels saith, whereby he stood perswaded, that God was, and was a Rewarder of those that seeke him, and sue to him for his favour by godlinesse and righteousnesse. And there was no other cause of his faith, but that he had in him, the substance of things hoped for; for his hope of Gods favour and of Gods reward, did breed this faith of God in him. Furthermore he whose offering God hath in esteeme, his person must needs be in more esteeme with God; for from this roote growes the true happinesse of every man. But that Cain offered the fruits of the earth, and Abel the firstlings of his cattell, the reason was because Cain was an husbandman, and Abel an heards-man: So both of them offered their sacrifice to God, out of that substance wherein each abounded. And that the word sacrifice which properly signifies an offering from the Herd which is slaine, should be tacitly referred to Cains offering, which was onely of fruits; this must be attributed to the runne of the comparison, the fitting whereof doth many times make way to some abusions or improprie­ties. By which he obtained witnesse that he was righteous. The words by which are better referred to Abels faith, then to his sacrifice; for the following words and by it he being dead, yet speaketh, are in like manner referred to his faith, for they expresse a peculiar fruit of it. But where did Abel obtaine this testimony of his righteousnesse? even in that passage of Scripture where God had respect to him and to his sacrifice, but not to that which Cain offered: as we reade it, Gen. 4.4,5. or as the Author declares himselfe in the words following, God testifying of his gifts] For therein God testified of his gifts or offerings, that they were acceptable unto him, in that he had respect unto them. And very probable it is, that God shewed his testimony and acceptance thereof, by some fire sent from heaven, which consumed the sacrifice and offering of Abel. And when God doth accept of a mans gifts and offerings being graciously pleased to receive them; he doth thereby testifie and witnesse that man to be a righteous person; seeing no gifts or offerings are acceptable to God, but such as come from a righteous man: for the sacrifice of fooles or sinners is an abomination to him. And when God in his discourse with Cain, rendred him a reason, why he had no respect to his offering, he shewed cleerely enough, that both Cain did not well, and that Abel did well, which is to be just, See Gen. 4.7. And by it be being dead, yet speaketh] Another fruit of Abels faith; which was the cause that God would be an avenger of his innocent bloud, to persecute and banish from his presence his bro­ther that had murdered him. Abels bloud is said to speake or cry unto God by way of metaphor, because God thereby is vehemently incited and moved to take vengeance for the murder of a person that was righteous and acceptable to God, as if his bloud had cried and sued to [Page 249]God for justice to be done upon the murtherer. So in the Revelation, the souls of them that were slaine for the word of God, are said to cry with a loud voice, How long O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our bloud on them that dwell on the earth. Revel. 6.10.

5. By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him.] In the second place, hee brings the Example of Enoch, and sheweth what he obtained by his faith. Into what place Enoch was translated, the Scripture expresseth not: but from what the Authour addes, that he should not see death, it appeares, hee was translated into such a place, wherein men see not death. i. Are exempt and free from dying; which seemes to be no other, or at least no other knowne to us, then that heavenly habi­tacle of Immortalitie, wherein God, and Christ, and the holy Angels dwell. But because the Scripture expresly saith not, that Enoch ob­tained this favour by his faith; therefore the Authour proves it, by ad­ding; For before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God] The reason may runne thus. Enoch was translated, because he pleased God (which the thing it selfe shewes, and the Scripture testifies that before his translation he pleased God.) But without faith it is impos­sible to please God; therefore Enoch was translated by his faith. The consequence of this argument shal be defended afterward. Or rather the reason may thus be gathered, Enoch was translated, because he plea­sed God; and because he pleased God, therefore hee had Gods testimo­niall of it; And againe, because hee pleased God, therefore hee had in himselfe some substance of things hoped for, and some evidence of things not seene; and because hee had in him this substance and evi­dence of things hoped for and not seene, therefore hee had faith; and because he had faith, therefore by his faith, hee was translated. For in affirmative arguments, that which is first in nature, is last in course of reason. He had this testimony; namely, either from the holy Scripture, or from the holy Ghost, by whom the Scripture was indited. But the giving or the taking of this testimony must not be joyned with the pre­ceding words, before his translation, as if this testimonie were made of him before he was translated; but must be only referred to the matter of the testimony, which is this, that before his translation he pleased God; and after his translation, the Scripture testified, that hee pleased God before it. And Enochs pleasing of God, may be understood two wayes; either that hee pleased God in endeavour, by studying and la­bouring to please him: or that hee pleased him in effect, by an actuall service of God, which latter is consequent to the former. And the te­stimony of this is given in Scripture, where it is said, that Enoch walked with God. Gen. 5.22.24. For hee that walketh with God, certainely he endeavours to please God, and either in effect doth actually please God, or at least God is pleased with his endeavour. So likewise of [Page 250]Noah it is said, That he was a just man, and perfect in his generations, and that he walked with God. Gen. 6.9. For this walking with God, which in the following verse, the Authour expresseth, by comming to God, and by seeking of God, doth signifie a conversation of man with God, whereby in a manner hee doth alwayes reverence God, as be­ing alwayes in his presence, and (as I may say) never departing out of his sight, but having ever his minde and thoughts fixed upon him, and is so addicted to Gods Lawes and Commands, that in all his actions through the whole course of his life, hee hath God for his lea­der and companion, whom he follows and accompanies. Hee that is such a man, must needs endeavour to please God, and cannot chuse but actually please him. For the Greeke translation, which (as hath beene often noted) the Authour followes, doth render the Hebrew words of Enochs walking with God, by Greeke words which properly signifie his pleasing of God.

6. But without faith, it is impossible to please God.] Now we come to the defence of that argument, which formerly we mentioned; for here the Authour expresly confirmes, and proves it by the following words, For he that commeth to God, must beleeve that hee is, and that hee is a rewarder of them, that diligently seek him.] Hee proves I say, what before he had affirmed, by this explication of faith, or rather by two specifications of it: whereof the first is, to beleeve the existence of God, that God is; and the second, to beleeve the righteousnesse or equitie of God, that hee is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. For is it not wholly necessary, that he who commeth to God, i. He who doth worship and serve him, he who perpetually addicts him­selfe to observe his Lawes and Commands, hee who heartily endea­voureth to please him, and actually doth please him; should beleeve both these points, and be strongly perswaded of them? For if he be­leeve not the existence of God, that God is, how should hee worship and serve him? if he beleeve his existence, and yet doubt of his good­nesse and righteousnesse, whether hee will be a Benefactor to his wor­shippers and servitors, how shall they subject themselves to his wor­ship and service? Now to beleeve that God is, is to beleeve, that there is really existent such a person in being, who hath the supreme power or command over all things, who depends on no other person, but all other persons and things depend on him. For by the single appel­lation of God, this is commonly signified both here and elsewhere. And he that beleeveth such a Dietie, must thereupon withall necessa­rily beleeve, that it is both eternall and singular; for if it were not eter­nall and singular, it could not be supreme. To seeke God, or enquire after God; is nothing else, but to sue for his grace and favour; as we are admonished by the Prophet Esay, chap 55.6. Seeke yee the Lord, while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is neere; let the wicked forsake [Page 251]his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him returne unto the Lord, and hee will have mercy upon him. Here hee shewes us the way, how to seeke God, Namely, by calling upon him; and the way to that (at least to do it effectually) is to forsake our unrighteousnes, and sinfulnes, and turn to the Lord observing his laws and commands. Hence it appeares what is the nature of that faith which commends us to God; for the Author teacheth it unto us in this Chapter; and how farre such faith differs from their faith, who place faith in the appre­hension and application of the merits of Christ. It further appeares that faith in Christ is not contained in all faith in God, in respect of all times; for in this description and illustration of that faith which the Author shews to have been in these ancient elders, there is no mention of faith in Christ. Yet from the nature of faith in God it is easie to collect, wherein the faith in Christ consisteth; namely, that we beleeve that Christ is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him; or rather to expresse it in the words of this Author, It is to beleeve that Christ is become the author of eternall salvation to all them that obey him, chap. 5.9. For from this faith ariseth a true confidence in Christ, which naturally draws with it innocencie and holinesse of life: and by these we come to please God and Christ, and then being justified by his grace, wee attaine the inheritance of eternall life. And this also may be noted, as it will further appear by many of the following examples, That Faith, if we take it properly and strictly, doth differ from obedience from comming to God and seeking him; because faith must necessarily bee in a man, before he can actually come to God and seek him; yet indeed the word faith is oftentimes so ampliated and enlarged, as to compre­hend in it all the effects and fruits of it, even all the workes of godli­nesse and righteousnesse. And in this argumentation of the Author (for we are also to take notice of it) there is not more in the conclusion then was in the premises. For from the premises, as the Author expli­cates them, it seems nothing else would follow, but that Enoch was not translated without faith, and not that hee was translated by, or through, or for his faith, which is more, and is also concluded by the Author. But seeing without faith we cannot please God, for faith is the true cause of our pleasing him; and seeing Enoch was therefore translated because he did please God; hence most rationally it must be concluded, that Enochs faith was the cause of his translation; and consequently he was translated by, for, through, or because, and by reason of his faith. For whatsoever is the cause of any effect, is also the cause of all things that follow that effect. Now from this argu­mentation of the Author, concluding Enochs faith to be the cause of his translation, it manifestly appeares, That good workes, and an ar­dent endeavour of them, whereby Enoch became to please God, are not only the cause of eternall salvation, but in some respect a cause of [Page 252]it more immediate and nearer then faith. For, for what cause was E­noch translated? Was it not because he pleased God? But how came he to effect this? I suppose by his righteousnesse, or as the Scripture expresseth it, by his walking with God: But what was the cause that made him to walke with God, and really endeavour with all his heart to please him? Certainly his faith caused this; and further yet, What was the cause of his faith? Certainly one or both those principles whereof we treated in the first verse of this Chapter; Enoch had some evidence or sight of something unseen, and he had some substance of something hoped; And what were they? Certainly the same two points whereof the Author spake in the fifth verse; for he had a sight of God who is unseen, that he is; and secondly he had a subsistance of hope, that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. This is the chaine, and these the severall linkes whereof Enochs translation depends. For his evidence or sight was the cause of his hope, his hope the cause of his faith, his faith of his walking with God, his walking with God of his pleasing God, and his pleasing God was the cause of his translation. Now if we goe backe by way of Resolution, through the severall linkes of this chaine, we shall easily perceive, that without the first linke none of the rest can subsist, and so consequently no one that followeth can be without the former; and therefore the Author with good reason faith that without faith, it is impossible to please God; and by the like reason it will as necessarily follow, that without good workes or walking with God, it is impossible to please him also; as also without an evidence, or without a sight of God; who is unseen, it is impossible to have faith. True it is, that faith is the cause of our pleasing God, and also of that eternall salvation which we have from God; for what can be more pleasing to the supreme Lord of all things, then to see a man of whom God was never seen, to relye strongly and without any doubt of minde, upon his fidelity, bounty, goodnesse, righteousnesse, power and wisdome? But faith hath yet another vertue no lesse then the former, whereby it procures our salvation as it were at a great distance; namely, in working in us good workes or wal­king with God, and causing us to come to God, and seeke him, by suing to him for his favour and grace in all our desires, and all our deeds.

7. By faith Noah being warned of God] The third example is the faith of Noah, in that he beleeved the oracle of God, warning him of things, whereof in the course of nature there was not the least appea­rance. Of this mans faith he teacheth us both what good is wrought in him, and what good it brought unto him. The word faith here must not be referred to the words immediately following, as if he had been warned of God of things not yet seen, by his faith; but including those words with a comma, his faith appeals and coheres to the words [Page 253] moved with feare, and to the words following, he prepared an Arke, &c. This oracle or warning of God given him is extant, Gen. 6.13. unto the end of the Chapter. Of things not seen as yet] That is, of the future floud that was to come upon the world, which then as yet was not only not seene, but there appeared no likelihood or possibility of it, but what was drawne from Gods warning. Moved with fear, prepared an Arke] These were the effects of Noahs faith; first, in that hee feared or was moved with feare, that God would bring upon the world the punishment he had threatned; then from the faith of the pu­nishment and the feare of it, he was further induced to frame the Arke as God appointed him, that by means thereof he might escape the pu­nishment by drowning the world, and so save himselfe and his family from destruction; and therefore the Author addes, To the saving of his house] When the floud came, Noah and his family to the number of eight persons entered into the Arke whereby they were saved, and all the rest of the world was drowned; all men and beasts that were not in the Ark perished by the floud, see Gen. 7. This faith of Noah is a good example to us for our imitation, that we may learn to apply our selves to a firme faith and beliefe of Gods oracles and predictions, whether they be promises concerning the future blessednesse of the godly, or whether they bee menaces concerning the future punishment of the wicked, and the miserable destruction of the whole world: And fur­ther, that we timely provide our selves of an Arke, that is, of meanes whereby we may escape the judgements of God, and bee saved for ever. Now the Arke whereby we may escape from the finall destru­ction of the whole world, and enter into the Tabernacle of immorta­lity, is the Answer of a good conscience toward God, as Peter tea­cheth us, 1 Epist. 3.21. By which he condemned the world. It is some­what doubtfull whether the relative which should be referred, whether to Noahs faith, or to the Arke, for the sense seemes most inclining to the former; but the words runne rather for the latter, partly because the word Arke stands neerer it, and partly because of the words fol­lowing, which say, And became heire of the righteousnesse which is by faith. Now if the word by which be referred to faith, the sense will be this: That Noah by his faith became heir of the righteousnesse which is by faith; but this seems not proper: For can any man thinke, that Noah by his faith could have obtained any other righteousnesse then that which comes by faith? Neither doth the matter it selfe any way crosse this sense. For although Noah condemned the world by his faith, yet he also condemned it by the Arke; in as much as the Arke was a manifest proofe of his faith. For unlesse hee had beleeved the comming of the floud, hee would never have prepared the Arke, to have lost his labour therein, and make himselfe ridiculous to all the world. But he is said to condemne the world, because by his faith [Page 254]in beleeving the floud, and by his fact in making the Arke, he convin­ced the world of obstinacie, and thereby tooke away all excuse of sin from them who would give no credence to God, by a metaphor taken from accusers, who are said to condemne a guilty person, in that they convict him of his crime, and by that means are the cause, that hee is condemned; for properly to condemne is the act of the Judge. In this sense also Christ saith, That the men of Nineveh shall rise in judge­ment with this generation and condemne it. And the Queene of the South shall rise up in the judgement and condemne it, Matth. 12.41,42. For by the fact of the Ninevites who reponted at the preaching of Jonas; and by the fact of the Queen of the South who came from far to hear the wisdome of Solomon, the contumacie and obstinacie of the Jewes is convinced, who despised Christ that was present among them, and by many degrees greater and wiser then either Jonas or Solomon. Whence it came to passe that they were most justly puni­shed of God. In like manner Noah, by his Faith and by his Arke which was an evidence of his faith, convicted the obstinacie of that world, and brought it to passe that with very good justice God puni­shed it. And as by his faith, and the effect of it, which was the Arke, he procured condemnation to the world: so to himselfe he procured righteousnesse; for so it followes: And became heire of the righteousnes which is by faith] Righteousnesse is not here taken in a morall sense, for that righteousnesse which flows from good workes; but in a jurall sense, for that right whereby a man hath a title, to have hold and enjoy some benefit or blessing from God; or for a right of liberty whereby a man stands exempted and freed from those burthens and punishments whereto others are liable; for so it is taken in divers passages of Scrip­ture, especially in Pauls Epistles, and so it must be taken here, as plainly appeares from two grounds: First, from the opposition of it to the word condemned, in the former clause: For as to be condemned, is to be adjudged to bee deprived of some benefit, and to lose that right which a man had before, whether it be losse of life, limb or goods; so on the contrary to be justified, is to have some benefit adjudged unto him, or be invested in a right to that whereto before, he had no right nor title. And as the condemnation of the world, consisted in the judge­ment of God sentencing the people of it to lose their lives by drowning in the floud: so the righteousnesse or right of Noah consisted in the grant of God, whereby God gave Noah a right, that he and his house should bee saved from that floud by means of the Arke, and Noah accepting of this grant by his faith to beleeve it and rest upon it, had thereby a right of salvation to himselfe and his House. 2. From the consequence of it to the word heire: for men are not heires of morall righteousnesse, because such righteousnesse is not a thing transient to be conveyed from one person to another, and conse­quently, [Page 255]is no way inheritable, but men are heires of jurall rights, to those persons that have the propertie or power to dispose, convey, and grant such rights unto others. God granted Noah a right and title for him and his family, to be saved from the flood by meanes of the Arke; and because Noah accepted of this grant by his faith, and testified his acceptance of it by his fact in preparing the Ark, therefore he was heire to this right, and did inherit or possesse it; for heire is a jurall word, and signifies one that hath a right, whether in posse onely, or in esse. But from this right of being saved, all the rest of the world was disinhe­rited. i. They were condemned to bee drowned. And it is called a righteousnesse or right by faith, because the right hee had thus to bee saved, proceeded from Gods speciall grant, of Gods meere grace and proper motion, without any desert of it, or suit for it on the part of Noah. For it is opposed to a right by workes, or to that right which is due by desert of works or service. The Author therfore would intimate unto us, that Noah had no right by any works of his, to deserve this be­nefit of saving to him and his house: but all the right he had came by his faith on his part, but from the grace and favour of Gods grant on Gods part, which Noah accepting by his faith was thereby setled upon him. And it is opposed to a right by petition or suit, which hath the first mo­tion from the partie that petitioneth or sueth for it, and thereupon is granted, though then also it be granted of meere grace and favour in him that conferres it. And thereby the Authour would further inti­mate unto us, that Noah on his part made no petition or suit to God for this benefit, for him and his family to be saved, and therefore the first motion to have this right, proceeded not from Noah: but God of his meere and proper motion without any suit made to him, proposed this benefit unto Noah, and promised him the grant of it freely and primely from himselfe; as appears in the sacred story where the thing is at large related, Gen. 6.13. where wee read, that first God told Noah of the sin of the world, and then foretold him of the drowning of it; next taught him to frame the Arke; and lastly Covenanted with him to save him and his family in it. Thus wee see the faith of Noah, and the effects of it; but what were the causes of it, to effect and breed this faith in him? We shall finde by inspection into the words of this verse, that Noah had in him the two principles of faith, whereof wee spake in the first verse. For he had an evidence or sight of a thing un­seene; for God had revealed and forewarned him of the flood, which thing to him was yet unseen. And he had in him a subsistence of a thing hoped for; for God had Covenanted with him, and promised him to save him and his family in the Ark, which salvation he hoped for. So his fore-sight of the flood to come, and his hope of being saved from it by the Arke, were the causes to produce in him that faith, whereby he was moved to feare the flood, and to prepare the Arke.

8. By faith Abraham when he was called to goe out into a place, which hee should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and hee went out not knowing whither he went.] The fourth example is of Abraham, the Fa­ther of the faithfull, upon whom the Authour doth much inlarge him­selfe, relating many evidences and proofes of his faith. To Abraham he subjoynes Isaac and Jacob in those particulars that were common to them. And of Abrahams faith he mentions divers effects and bene­fits, as his invincible courage and constancie, that wee might labour to imitate him, and expresse the neerest resemblance of it wee can, as it becomes them who professe themselves the children of Abraham. The first effect of his faith was his obedience; for when God called and commanded him to goe out of his countrey, unto a place which God would shew him; Abraham obeyed without any scruple or delay and went out, not knowing whither hee went. And the causes or reasons of this faith, were as in the former persons; First, an evidence or sight of a thing unseene, for God told him of a place or countrey which was yet unseen of him; And secondly, a subsistence of a thing hoped for; for God had promised him, that hee should receive that place or countrey for an inheritance. So the foresight of that coun­trey to come, and the hope to have it for an inheritance; were the causes to produce in Abraham that faith, whereby he obeyed the call of God, and thereupon went out of his own countrey, not knowing as yet whi­ther he went. There were many reasons on the contrary, to withdraw Abraham from this obedience, and to remove him from so strange a journey. For it was very hard especially upon no urgent necessitie, for a man to forsake his countrey, his house, and lands, and possessions; to leave his kindred, friends, and acquaintance, to wander without any cer­taine abode, and become a stranger in a forraigne countrey. It seemes a rash enterprise, for a man to prepare himselfe for a journey, before hee knowes whither hee should goe, or to what place hee should tra­vaile. But the faith of Abraham was so firme and strong, that it ad­mitted none of these thoughts, but vanquished, and banished them all; being fully perswaded, that no man could possibly miscarry in his obe­dience to God, whatsoever the command might be, and how rash soe­ver the enterprise might seeme. But wee must note that Abraham did not leave his country to become a pilgrime and wanderer in the world, upon any rash or unadvised motion of his owne, but he was called to goe out] i. He was appointed and commanded to goe out; and the person calling him to it was God: at whose word and command, he thought it fit for him to leave his countrey and acquaintance. Whereby he be­comes to us an example, that when God commands and requires any thing of us, we should refuse no burden, labour or trouble, no losse of countrey, friends or fortunes, that we might fulfill his will. Yet when there is no just cause, wee should not by any rash or foolish humour, [Page 257]either deprive our selves of those blessings that God hath given us, or involve our selves in any calamity or misery by an unprofitable piety. For it is a more certaine triall of our faith, and a thing more worthy, to doe and undergoe that at the command of God, or as our duty requires, which otherwise we would not doe. Of this fact of Abraham, See Gen. 12.

9. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange countrey] Another effect of Abrahams faith, common to him with Isaac his son, and Jacob his nephew, which withall shews us, how constant they also were in it. He sojourned, by living there as an alien or a stranger; for sojourner in this sence is opposed to a native who lives in the same place where he was borne, enjoying it by birth or right of inheritance. So we finde Paul opposing strangers and forraigners to fellow-citizens, Ephes. 2.19. And the land wherein he sojourned was a strange land unto him, partly because he was not a native of it, but onely a sojourner or forraigner there; but chiefly because he had no right of inheritance for any present possession there: for God gave him no inheritance in it, not so much as to set his foote on, Acts 7.5. But it was onely the land of promise to him; for God had promised to give the inheritance and possession of it to him and his posterity after him, while yet he had neither posterity nor childe, See againe, Acts 7.5. Dwelling in taber­nacles] Here is expressed the reason why, and the manner how Abra­ham is said to sojourne in the land of promise; namely, because he dwelt there in tabernacles; for this argues that to that land he was a sojourner or stranger, and that land to him was a strange countrey. For though God had promised to give it to him and his seed, yet he for his owne particular never dwelt in it, as his owne demaine, but as a stranger dwels in a strange countrey among the natives of it. For he built himselfe neither City nor house to inhabite, but onely lived in Tabernacles or tents, as strangers doe, who have no certaine residence, nor make no long abode in any place, but being alwayes ready to re­move are for the time of their stay covered onely with tents, and when they journey from one place to another carry their houses with them: for to them that have no possession of their own where they may make themselves a fixed and certaine seat, tents are the most commodious dwelling, because they may suddenly and easily transport them at their pleasure. But hence is drawne an evidence of Abrahams faith and his constancy therein, in that, to shew his obedience to God, he lead a travelling life all his dayes; and though the land were promised unto him, yet he neither founded City, nor built house, neither did he either purchase or possesse any: but as a flitting inhabitant; removed his tent from place to place, and wanting the right of a native, lived there onely by tenure of curtesie. Yet he possessed an assured hope, that after some few ages his posterity should possesse that whole land, because it [Page 258]was the land of promise which the Lord had promised him. With Isaac and Iacob the heires with him of the same promise] Isaac and Ja­cob are not therefore joyned with Abraham, as if Abraham had lived in tents all that time with both of them. For Isaac being borne many yeares after Abrahams comming into that land, could not all that while live in Abrahams tent; and Jacob dwelt in the land after Abra­hams death. But they are therefore joyned with him, because they also never came to the possession or inheritance of that land, but lived like sojourners and strangers there as Abraham had done; for as they were heires of the same promise, so they lived in the same manner. And hence is manifested their faith and their constancy in it; because their sojourning in that manner moved them not at all to doubt any thing of the faith and truth of Gods promise, though the performance of it were so long delayed.

10. For he looked for a City which hath foundations] Here the Au­thor gives the reason, why Abraham though he had a promise of that land from God, yet was never put in possession of it, but dwelt there all his dayes in tents as a sojourner and a stranger. The reason hereof was, because he expected or looked for a City having foundations. Some man may doubt whether these words are to be understood of Abrahams intent and purpose, or of the event that afterward fell out. Certainely as we will not deny, but that Abraham hoped to have from God some life and happinesse after his death, in regard he knew the great goodnesse of God toward his servitors, and the great power of God, that he is able to raise even the dead, and can give his servants a blessing or reward after their death: and withall did easily perceive the vanity of earthly happinesse, especially now in his declining yeares; and might have a desire of a re-surviving life to befall him after his death, a thing that seemes naturall to all men living: Yet he that shall consult the Sacred history and shall diligently both reade and relect it, shall finde nothing either written or any way intimated concerning that matter. But this divine Author, relating examples from the holy Scriptures upon their authority and infallibility, seemes not to say or affirme any particular concerning those holy Elders, but what is groun­ded upon the holy Scriptures. Yet that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, had a hope not onely of some life and happinesse after death, but also of a City which hath foundations, that is, of heaven it selfe, and that heavenly happinesse which shall never determine or have end; and upon that hope did undergoe all the travels and troubles of a continu­all pilgrimage, to leade alwayes an uncertaine and flitting life, this the holy Scriptures have no where discovered. Yea rather, what hopes Abraham sometime had in this respect, it may hence appeare, in that while he was yet destitute of children, when God spake to him and said, Feare not Abraham, I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward, [Page 259]Abraham answered, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go child­lesse, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus; and behold one borne in my house is mine heire? Gen. 15.1,2. Doth it not hence ap­peare that the summe of all Abrahams desires came to this, that hee might leave behinde him a sonne and heire of his owne body, seeing he abounded already in all other goods and riches. For if at that time he had with any firme hope conceived of heaven it selfe, and the ever­lasting happinesse thereof, when God promised him an exceeding great reward, would he have answered, Lord God, what wilt thou give me? For in these words he signified, that God had already abundant­ly rewarded him, and given him goods in a full measure, and to pro­mise him more was to no purpose, seeing he had no childe of his owne to whom hee might leave his estate. Whence it appeares, that Abraham extended not that exceeding great reward which God promised him, beyond the goods and happinesse of this life. Wherefore it is more likely, that in these words of Abrahams expe­ctance the Author intended not to give a reason, why Abraham indu­red with such constancie the toyles of a continuall pilgrimage, and of a life alwayes unsetled; but rather of the event (as we said) why God gave Abraham no possession in that land to inherit as his owne proper right; granted him no City to dwell in, nor seat where to settle him­selfe: but would have him dwell in tents with his sonne, and grand­childe: Namely, because (as afterward at the sixteenth verse the Au­thor saith) God had prepared for him a City infinitly greater and bet­ter then all the land of promise, with all the Cities in it. And the pro­mises of God made to Abraham and his seed doe in the mysticall sense containe this spirituall happinesse and heavenly inheritance. And in the same sense the seed of Abraham, doth signifie the seed of all the faithfull, who follow the faith of Abraham. For both these senses are taught us by the Apostle, Rom. 4.11,12,13. and Gal. 3.7. and Gal. 4 22. Therefore Abraham expected or looked for a City which hath foundations, rather by reason of the event and purpose of God, then from any intent and purpose of his owne, whereby he might seem to fore know it. For in this sense we many times attribute expectation to a thing: so this Author, Chap. 10. ver. 27. saith, that to them who sinne willingly, there remaines a certaine fearfull expectation or loo­king for of judgement; whereas if we referre this to their intent and purpose of minde, sinners most times expect and looke for nothing lesse then the punishment of their sinnes. Abraham then is therefore said to looke for this City, because this City was by Gods decree re­served and appointed for him; and because his faith was so constant in God, neither broken, nor shaken with any travels or troubles, and his whole course of life was such as theirs is, who relying upon Gods promise do really expect this heavenly City, as a reward of their la­bours: [Page 260]Whereof the first is spoken by way of Metonymie, putting the effect for the cause; and this latter is said by way of Metaphor. This City the Author opposeth to Tabernacles and Tents; and the matter is not great to live a while in a Tent, that afterward we may live for ever in a City. And it is a City that hath foundations; By which attribute, Heaven is opposed not only to Tabernacles or Tents which have no foundations; but to all Cities, which though they have foundations, yet in comparison of Heaven they have none, because they have none such. And hereby is signified unto us the firmnesse and strength of our heavenly City; which no force, no tract of time, no change of things can possibly shake or move; which shall not be ruined by the ruine of that heaven and earth, which to us is visible; whereof see the Author afterward, Chap. 12. ver. 26, 27, 28. Whose builder and maker is God.] Certainly that City must needs be most stable & ample, most beautifull and plentifull of all happinesse, which had such a buil­der and such a maker as God to found and raise it. He opposeth God to men, who are the founders and builders of all earthly Cities. And therefore this City must needs be so divine and heavenly, so firme and strong, that no hand of man can prevaile against it. Cities built by men, by men may be destroyed, and many times are so: but the City whereof God is the builder and maker, is secure and safe from all hazard.

11. By faith also Sara her selfe received strength to receive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age] It may here be doubted, whether the Author doth speak here of the faith of Sarah or of Abra­ham, as he first began, and afterward goes on. The former of these seems to be gathered first from the words of the Author, when hee saith, Sarah her selfe. For it seems as much as if he had said, Not only Abraham, but also Sarah her selfe, by faith received strength: So that he joynes Sarah with Abraham in respect of her faith. Secondly, be­cause the words, She judged him faithfull] which follow in the next clause of this verse, seem to be referred to the next antecedent which is Sarah. But the latter opinion seems perswasible; First, because the Author first began, and afterward proceeds to speake of the faith of Abraham. Secondly, because the sacred History, mentions not the faith of Sarah, when Isaac was promised; but rather the Scripture seems to mention something contrary to her faith; for shee laughed within her selfe, saying, After I am waxed old, shall I have pleasure, my Lord being old also? and the Angell questioned Abraham upon it, to know the cause of it, saying, Wherefore did Sarah laugh? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? Gen. 18.12,13. Whence also Paul dis­coursing upon the same point mentions only the strength of Abrahams faith, Rom. 4.19. Thirdly, because in the next verse following, where the effect and fruit of this faith is described, no mention is made of Sa­rah, [Page 261]but only of Abraham; namely in these words, Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead so many as the stars of the skie in multitude] Whereupon we may well doubt, which of these two op­nions should be embraced, seeing the reasons brought on either side may easily bee answered. For to the first reason for the first opinion we may say; That the Author therefore saith, Through faith Sarah her selfe] to shew us, that by the faith of Abraham it came to passe, that not only himselfe should have power to beget a sonne, though he were then old and barren; but also that Sarah her selfe should conceive, who was by nature alwayes barren even in her youth, and besides was then spent out with yeares and age, yet she should both conceive and bring forth beyond all course of nature. To the second reason we may answer, That is is not necessary, that the words judged him faithfull] should be referred to the next antecedent; but rather to that which is the principall antecedent, though it be more remote; as we see it done in the verse following, wherein the reference is manifestly made to Abraham. Neither is the answer difficult to the arguments of the latter opinion. To the first, it may be said, That the Author, as a little be­fore he joyned Isaac and Jacob with Abraham for dwelling in tents as a thing common to them all; so also here he might joyne Sarah with her husband Abraham in a matter common to them both. For in mentioning afterward the speciall fact of Abraham in offering Isaac, therein the Author would seem to observe the order of actions and of time. For first he must handle Isaacs birth, and the faith of Abraham concerning it, before he come to the offering of Isaac and Abrahams faith about that. To the second, Although from Sarahs laughing, and from the cause of it, which is there expressed, and from the answer of the Lord, wherein hee reproved Sarah for laughing, it appears, That the promise made her for the bringing forth of a son within the com­passe of the yeare, seemed at the first hearing ridiculous to her, and a thing not credible; especially seeing she seemed not yet to know who the prison was that promised it; (for if we looke into the context of the History, it is plaine, that Abraham himselfe did not marke that the persons who spake with him were Angels of God, till their speech touching Sarah his wife) yet it follows not, but that afterward, when she had recollected her selfe, and had observed the divine Authority of the speaker, and perceived that the cause of her doubtfulnesse was strongly refuted by him, she continued no longer in her [...]ancie and doubting; yea the contrary is more probable both in it selfe, and collectively from hence, that upon her hearing of the Angels reproofe, she was terrified, and for feare denied shee had laughed. For from whence came this terror and feare upon her, but because she now had observed, that she had not to deale with a man, but with God, whose sayings and promises to laugh at, or distrust, was altogether unlawfull [Page 262]for her, though to her judgement they surpassed the whole force and course of nature? We see that Abraham himselfe laughed also for the same cause, when first God promised him a son by Sarah; as wee may read, Gen. 17.17. not that he doubted any thing of the faith or power of him that promised it; for in the fore-cited place to the Romans, Paul openly testifies the contrary; but because the matter in it selfe consi­dered, especially heard upon the suddaine and at unawares, seemed to him in a manner absurd and ridiculous, and scarce credible. But when he had intended his thoughts upon God that promised him, and per­ceived his promise to be serious, he became certaine of the power and saith of God, and doubted not at all. And the Virgin Mary, when first she heard it from the Angel, that she should conceive and bring forth a son, she replyed, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Luke 1.34. From which words it appears, that at her first hearing of the An­gels words, there arose some scruple and doubt in her minde, which when the Angel had removed by his answer, she rested wholly satisfi­ed: For which cause Elizabeth afterward calls her blessed, And bles­sed is she that beleeved, Luke 1.45. To the third; The following verse therefore treats of Abraham, because this verse treats not of Sarah a­lone; but Abraham is joyned with her, in these words, Through faith also Sarah herselfe. For the particle also shews, that besides Sarah hee intends some other person; namely, Abraham whom he named before. Notwithstanding all this; yet to us it seems more probable, that these words of the Author should be referred to Abrahams faith, as well as the rest; and that his faith is herein also commended, in that it produ­ced so admirable an effect not only in himselfe, being now old, but al­so in Sarah his wife, who was not only old, but had been hitherto bar­ren. Although it seems, the Author did so temper his words on pur­pose, as that Sarah might be admitted into the fellowship and glory of that faith with her husband Abraham. Because shee judged him faithfull who had promised.] Hence it appears that God is not only pleased with our obedience to his commands, but also with our faith given to his promises; when we by our faith judge him to be faithfull, i. constant and true of his word, alwayes certaine to performe the thing hee hath promised.

12. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the skie in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.] As if he had said, The faith of Abraham was so effectuall and fruitfull, that by reason thereof it came to passe, that not only Sarah conceived and bare a son; but also by this son, who was but one, and came from Abraham one man, and he a barren man, as good as dead, there was propagated a posterity innumerable. The Author in this verse, hath relation to Gods promise, wherein Abra­ham was promised a seed and a posterity answerable in number to the [Page 263]starres of heaven, and to the sands of the sea, Gen. 15.5. and Gen. 22.17. The Author expresseth the effect of Gods promise, which might be seene with the eye, that by experience it might appeare, what faith and force there is in the promises of God.

13. These all dyed in faith, not having received the promises] He de­clares the constancy of their faith, in that all these departed this life under faith, i. holding the faith of the promises, and certainely be­leeving the future performance of them, though themselves obtained not the effect of the promises or the things promised. For the promi­ses were to be fulfilled not onely after their death, but many ages after. The word promises is here by way of a Metonymy put materially for the matter of the promise or the things promised. In like manner, we must endeavour to be constant in the faith to the last gaspe of our life; and not onely be in certaine hope of those things which God hath or­dained for us here in this life; but of those also which are to accrue to us after our death, and it may be many ages after. But having seene them afarre off] They saw not the effect of Gods promises actually fulfilled, or neere to their fulfilling, but they had as it were a prospect of them a farre off. They foresaw in their minde the performance of them farre remote from themselves by a great distance of time, to be fulfilled in their posterity after many ages. So they saw the perfor­mance by faith, because they had an evidence or sight of the perfor­mance not seene. As it befell unto Abraham, who in a deepe sleepe saw in a vision, that foure generations must expire, and that his poste­rity must endure a heavy servitude, before they should take possession of the inheritance promised. And without all doubt Abraham impar­ted that vision to his son Isaac, and Isaac unto Jacob. And were per­swaded of them, and embraced them] Though they saw that these pro­mises for their effect and performance were for the future very remote from them for severall ages to come, yet they no way doubted of their performance, but were fully perswaded they should be perfor­med, because they were fully perswaded that God who made the pro­mises was faithfull to performe them. And they were not onely per­swaded of them, but they embraced them; for which the word in the Originall is, they saluted them, and so some Translations render it. Now saluting is but a Metaphor for embracing; because salutings are com­monly performed by way of embracing. The sence therefore is, that those Patriarchs did in their soule embrace and kisse those promises of God, and with an undoubted faith conceiving them already present, did salute and embrace them, as friends use to salute and embrace their friends that after a long travaile returne from a forraine countrey. For by this word, nothing else is signified, but that they nothing doubted of the performance of Gods promises, but did welcome them in their soules, as if the things they looked for, were already come. And con­fessed [Page 264]that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth] The intent of these words is to prove, that those Patriarcks while they lived, did not receive those promises, by possessing any inheritance in the land pro­mised; for otherwise they would not have confessed themselves stran­gers and pilgrims in the land. But that they did confesse themselves pilgrims and strangers in that land, it appeares both by the words of Abraham, who requesting to have a sepulchre in the land of Canaan, wherein to bury his dead, spake thus to the sons of Heth. I am a stran­ger and a sojourner with you, give me a possession of a burying-place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight, Gen. 23.4. And by the words of Jacob to Pharoah; for when the King asked him how old he was, Jacob answered, The dayes of the yeares of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty yeares; few and evill have the dayes of my life beene, and have not attained unto the dayes of the yeares of the life of my fathers in the dayes of their pilgrimage, Gen. 47.9. In which words he affirmes, that he and his Ancestors, Abraham and Isaac were pilgrims all the time of their lives. On the earth.] This must not be restrained to the land of Canaan onely, promised to them and their posterity: but it is in effect as much as if he had said, that they had no proper countrey at all upon earth, no place which was their owne by possession and proper right.

14. For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seeke a Countrey] If the particle for may be thought in this place to retaine it force, then the Author shews the consequence, why from this their confession it appeares, that during their life they received not the pro­mises. And the reason is, because they that say such things, declare plainly that they seeke a countrey. For if they sought a countrey, cer­tainely then they had no countrey: But a Countrey was promised them, and a land which they should possesse by a proper and heredita­ry right, and not by courtesie onely as strangers and sojourners. But it is more probable, that the particle for is here set for but; as if the Author had something more to speake of these Patriarcks, besides what he had already said, and would conclude something further from this their confession, thereby to make way for what followes concerning their seeking of a heavenly countrey. And they are said to seeke a Countrey, because they wanted and desired a countrey, as appeares at the sixteenth verse following. For they who live a pilgrims life upon earth, having no setled abode, and are touched with a sence of their condition, cannot chuse but be weary of their flitting and tossing from place to place, and thereupon be desirous of a countrey, i. some proper soile of their owne, where they may settle themselves and live at rest. Besides, they undertooke these pilgrimages and sojournings at Gods command, that at last they might have a residence in a countrey and a land appointed to them by God. After the Author had proved that [Page 265]they sought and desired a countrey, now he proceeds further to shew, what countrey they sought and desired.

15. And truly if they had beene mindfull of that countrey from whence they came out] Before he specifie what countrey they sought and de­sired; first he shews that they sought not, nor desired, no nor minded that countrey from which Abraham departed by Gods command. For if they had had any minde or thought of that countrey, or had desired it, when they confessed themselves pilgrims, they might have returned, seeing they had time enough for a returne. But they minded it not, and therefore desired it not; for what we desire we do not only minde, but we grieve for the absence and want of it. Abraham alone onely with his wife went out of the countrey which was properly his as be­ing a native of it: but Isaac his son, and Jacob his grand child may in a manner be said to have gone out in him; in as much as they continued in the purpose and resolution of Abraham and would not returne thi­ther. They might have had opportunity to have returned] Because therefore they returned not into their countrey, for they sojourned from it for some hundreds of yeares, wherein they had opportunities and time enough for such an enterprise, hence it plainly appeares, they were no way mindfull or desirous to returne to that countrey from whence Abraham departed.

16. But now they desire a better countrey] Here the Author inferres that now they desire a better countrey then the former, and doe seeke it with all their soules. The particle but now is commonly adversative onely, and all one with but as we have formerly noted; but here in this place it carryeth also with it a sence and force conclusive; as if he had said: Seeing therefore they seeke and desire a countrey, yet neither seeke nor desire the former whence Abraham departed, it must needs therefore now follow, that they seeke and desire a better countrey then that. For if it were not better, but onely as good or worse, there could be no reason, why they should desert the former, and with so great labour and care seeke another. Yet the Author used in this place the adversative particle but, by reason of the opposition betweene these and the former words. They desire] the tense present for the preter tense they did desire; as is commonly use in argumentations, and many times in narrations; especially when the history regards not the point of time, but keepes close to the matter, and that she may the bet­ter represent things to our view, speakes of them rather as present, then past. That is an heavenly] Here the Author expresseth in his owne judgement, as well knowing the purpose of God in that point, what better countrey it was which they desired. For it is not necessary, we should thinke, that those Patriarchs did expect this heavenly countrey by intent and purpose of minde, as hath beene already declared before, ver. 10. but it sufficeth, that this should be the event of their expecta­tion [Page 266]and desire, from the Decree of God, who in a mysterious and concealed way, had promised them this heavenly countrey; and that it should not thus farre come to passe without their desire, in as much as they desired a better countrey then that which they had relinquished. For a better countrey then this heavenly, which by Gods appoint­ment was reserved for them, and should in time accrue unto them, there could bee none. Whence also if a thing befall a man sutable to his de­sires, though it be, or prove much better then hee hoped or imagined, yet wee usually say, hee sought and desired, it: especially if the course of his life and endeavours bee so composed, that the issue and event might well be such; which certainely was performed by those Patri­archs. For their very pilgrimage upon earth, this very thing, that they had no proper and setled abode of their owne upon earth, though they were most deare to God, the supreme Lord of all things, how fitly doth it suit with this issue and event, that being pilgrims and strangers upon earth, they should at last by Gods goodnesse be setled in heaven as in their countrey? For why else did not God give them a setled countrey, and a certaine abode upon earth? Therefore even those words, wherby they confessed themselves pilgrims and strangers upon earth, were not uttered but by the Spirit of God; because by them was signified, that they were not citizens of earth, but of heaven, which was their countrey. Because therefore this heavenly countrey was in the purpose of God, to be better then that countrey, which the Patriarchs desired, therefore with good reason are they said to desire this heaven­ly countrey. But if we looke into their intent and purpose, the coun­trey which they desired, was the possession of the land of Canaan or­dained for their posteritie. Of so great advantage it was, to leave their petty dwellings in their owne countrey, that they might settle their po­steritie in possession of a whole kingdom, and place them in the eternall and peculiar favour of God. Wherefore God is not ashamed to bee called their God.] God therefore was not ashamed of them, because after they were dead, God both calls himselfe their God, and suffers others to call him so, yea hee would be called so. Certainely it is a great matter, that the most high God, who is the maker of heaven and earth, would be called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not bee ashamed of that title. For what is Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? men dead and rotten long since; who while they lived were exiles fom their countrey, and vagrants upon earth, having no certaine abode all their whole life. From these mens names, the onely Lord and ruler of all things, disdained not to take his sirname. But to be the God of some person, especially when God utters it himself of himself, signifies that he is the chiefe Patron and Protectour of that person, who will defend his client and worshipper from all evill, and benefit him with his best blessings: but when man utters it of God, it often signifies that God is [Page 267]his supreme Lord, whom he worships and obeyes in all his commands with all his soule. And this inference of the Author from his former passages, is an argument, that he spake of the event of the desire and vote of those Patriarchs, and not of any intent and purpose in their mind to seek and expect that heavenly countrey. For it appeares not from Scripture, that God was therefore not ashamed of them, because they had an intent and purpose of minde to seeke and desire that heavenly countrey: but because God had decreed to restore them to life, and to put them in possession of that countrey, as the Authour willing to ex­plicate himselfe, and to shew more clearly the consequence of what he inferres, doth therefore subjoyne; For hee hath prepared for them a Ci­tie. For he brings not here a new reason, why God was not ashamed to be, and be called the God of those Patriarchs; but hee onely proposeth his former reason more openly and clearly. For we use not, when wee have concluded a truth, and inferred it as firme and certaine from for­mer principles, to confirme it abruptly with an argument and reason, as if it were not yet proved, so as to leave no marke, that we bring a new reason different from the former; because then God had ordained that heavenly countrey and kingdom for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, there­fore with good right and reason doth hee call himselfe their Lord and Patron. This the Author without doubt had learned from those words of Christ, whereby he proves the Resurrection of the dead from hence, because God calls himselfe the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who then were long dead. For hence Christ doth gather, that seeing God cannot be the God of the dead, namely, if they never be restored to life; (for how can God benefit the dead, unlesse he first raise them?) therefore it must needs follow, that if he call himselfe the God of some dead, as he did of those dead Patriarchs, then some of the dead must at length be recalled to life, that God may be their God in very deed, by accumulating and furnishing them with his benefits and blessings. But as in the same place Christ saith a little before; They which shall be ac­counted worthy to obtaine that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equall unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the chil­dren of the resurrection. Luke 20.35,36. What is all this else, but to be an heire and a citizen of that heavenly countrey and city? We see then that a heavenly countrey and city is prepared and ordained for Abra­ham, Isaac, and Jacob: and therefore why should wee doubt, but that the very same is reserved also for all us that are the worshippers and servitors of God? which right of ours wee need not stand to evict from divers evidences and dark consequences; seeing hereof wee have not only most open and clear promises, which to those Patriarchs were never declared; but also we know for certain, that Christ our head doth now enjoy the possession of that countrey and city. This only remaines [Page 268]for us, that following the example of those Patriarks, and much rather of Christ our Captaine, wee should finally carry our selves obedient unto God, and extending our hopes beyond our death, should doe our utmost endeavour, that our life should first fail us, before we fail of our faith and allegiance toward God.

17. By faith Abraham when he was tryed, offered up Isaac.] The Author here mentions an example of Abrahams faith, which of all o­ther was most illustrious; namely, his offering up of Isaac; the circum­stances whereof the Authour doth but lightly touch, as a thing suffici­ently known, and at large described in the sacred Scriptures. Offered; Abraham offered him not really and actually but (which is all one with God) purposely, with an unchangeable and constant purpose of minde, with as much endeavour as lay in his power, and proceeding so farre in the action, as had not God recalled him, the effect undoubted­ly had followed. Thus he offered him; and not onely slew him; for the slaughter should have preceded, and then the offering must have followed by fire for a burnt-offering; for so God had commanded. When hee was tryed.] For of his own election or accord it would ne­ver have come into his heart, to have sacificed unto God, who doth most abhorre crueltie, with the bloud of man, muchlesse of his owne son, unlesse he had beene commanded of God to it: And he was com­manded to do it, not that he should actually perform it; but that by his willingnesse to performe it, and by obeying Gods Command, as farre as in him lay, hee should give an assured triall of his faith. And he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten sonne] What a strange fact was this of a strange faith? where not only the father offered up his son, but his only begotten son; and what father was it? even he who had received the promises, who from the same mouth of God had received the promises of a seed & a posterity to be propagated by Isaac, and had confidently beleeved it, he now received a command to slay Isaac before there was any issue from him. There­fore truly here also Abraham may be said to have beleeved in hope a­gainst hope, that we use the Apostles words speaking of another point of his faith; who as a little after we shall shew, doubted not to recon­cile together two things clashing and crossing one another, namely the life and death of the same person, because it was God who had spake concerning both. We may further adde here other circumstances ex­pressed in the history, as that three dayes journey with his sonne to a place assigned him by God; with that thoughts and cares shall wee think the soule of the poor father was agitated, journying toward the resolved slaughter of his deare and only sonne, whom he drew on a­long with him, ignorant of his destined calamity, to become a sacrifice and a burnt-offering? what spirits were in him may we imagine, when upon his assent up that fatall Mount, he laid the wood upon his sonne [Page 269]wherewith a fire should be kindled to burne him after his father had slaine him? what thought he, when his sonne perceiving no sacrifice besides himselfe, and marvelling at the matter, did gently demand of his father, where was the Lambe for the burnt-offering? what thought he, when seasing upon his sonne with his owne hands expecting no such dealing from so dear a father, he bound him, and laid him on the Altar upon the wood? when he drew his knife, and standing over him eyed his throat, and stretched forth his heavy hand that shook and trembled with fatherly love? which of us all reading and considering all these, findes not his soule melting in him? yet the invincible faith of Abraham conquered all these. And Isaac is called the only begotten sonne of Abraham, or as it is in the Hebrew his only sonne, not that hee only was his sonne (for Ismael also was his sonne) but because he was his only sonne by Sarah the true wife of Abraham; and because hee was his only beloved sonne, that was borne to his parents in their ex­treme old age, by the singular gift and wondrous power of God; and because he was to be the only heire of his fathers estate, and of Gods promises; and because the seed of Abraham was to bee called in him only, for the children of Isaac only were to be accounted the true po­sterity of Abraham. And he that received the promises] The pronoune he, whether we thinke it relative to Isaac, or to Abraham (which is better) yet the sense is the same, doth notifie unto us a notable circum­stance of this fact, that makes the faith of Abraham to appear yet much greater. Certainly that faith is very great, which is seen and tryed in hard cases, as was the offering of an only sonne. But how much grea­ter is that faith which staggereth not at such an action, as naturally would utterly overthrow it? Yet such was this fact of Abraham: Abraham had received promises from God, whereof one was that a numerous posterity should be borne of him; the other, that the land of Canaan wherein he was a sojourner and a stranger should be given in possession to his posterity. These promises Abraham had from God and he beleeved both of them with all his heart, as it is signified by the word received; and beleeving these promises he shewed himselfe obe­dient to all Gods commands, that he might not faile of his hope from so great blessings. Now what command doth God lay upon him? God commands him to take Isaac his sonne, in whose posterity all those promises were to be fulfilled, and from whom as yet he had no grand­child, yet him he must offer up, that is, he must slay and burne him for a sacrifice. If Abraham must doe this, and looke into the nature of the action, could he possibly have any hope of those promises?

18. Of whom it was said that in Isaac shall thy seed be called] This is therefore added, lest any man should thinke, that Abraham might imagine, though Isaac were extinct, yet the promises might have their issue in Ismael. For Abraham could not imagine this, because God [Page 270]had said unto him, in Isaac shall thy seed be called; that is, the children to be borne of Isaac, shall be accounted thy seed and posterity; namely, that thy posterity for whom I have ordained my blessing, and the pos­session of that land: and therefore Isaacs children only shall be called the posterity of Abraham. In this perplexity then and contrariety be­tween the promise and the command, what issue could Abraham find for his faith? To doubt of Gods promises and of their performance, he thought it impiety, and therefore he obeyed Gods command for the offering up of Isaac. But then considering, that this sacrifice would in the eye of nature overthrow all his hope, therefore he builds a new and high faith upon the ground of his former faith; namely,

19. Accounting that God was able to raise him up even from the daed] This way onely the passage was open, for Abraham to beleeve, that God was able to raise Isaac even from the dead. This point he did be­leeve, though he had no president or example for it. For he would ra­ther ascend up to the highest pitch of faith, then relapse or retire in any degree; and would rather cumulate a high faith with a higher, then make the least doubt of Gods promises. Accounting, is in the Greeke reasoning; after he had reasoned within himselfe, casting up all the wayes possible, how to salve up Gods command with Gods promise, at last hee determined and concluded a possibility this way. And which way was that? that though he should slay Isaac, and offer him up to God as a burnt-offering, yet God was able to raise him up even from the dead. This was the summe of his account and the conclusion of his reasoning, that God was Almighty and able to doe, not only all other things that are easily done, but even to raise from the dead; which is an act so difficult, and so remote from humane reason, that man might account it an act altogether impossible. That God was able] He reasoned and concluded of Gods power only, because he had no rea­son to doubt of his will, seeing he had received the promises of God, wherein God had sufficiently declared his will. The only doubt therefore rested upon Gods power, which doubt he solves by his faith. From whence also he received him in a figure] Abraham did not only beleeve that God was both able and willing to raise Isaac from the dead, but in a manner saw him raised from the dead, and in a manner received him againe from God as raised from death. In a figure.] In the Greeke it is in a parable, or in a similitude; In a figure is opposed to the proprietie and truth of the thing. For truely and properly Isaac was not raised nor received from the dead, because hee was not dead: but in a figure and in a manner, hee was both raised and received. For Abraham accounted his Isaac for dead; and therefore seeing now hee remained alive, and beyond all hope was rescued from the stroke, which his father had aimed at his throat, it was in a manner all one to Abraham, and all one to Isaac, as if Isaac had beene dead and raised [Page 271]againe from the dead. For hence wee use to say of those that are deli­vered from some extreme danger, wherein they were given for dead, that they are as it were revived and recovered from the grave. Holy David many times makes such expressions of himselfe; and Paul, when God had delivered him from an extreme danger, wherein hee wholly despaired of life, saith, We had the sentence of death in our selves, that we should not trust in our selves, but God which raiseth the dead, who deli­vered us from so great a death, and doth deliver; in whom we trust; that he will yet deliver. 2. Cor. 1.9,10.

20. By faith Isaac blessed Iacob and Esau concerning things to come.] Now the Author mentions the peculiar faith of Isaac with an example of it; in blessing Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. He prayed to God for blessings to come upon them that should have their event, after many ages to come. For this blessing of Isaac was no ordinary or vulgar Benediction, as that of Parents commonly is; who when they blesse their children, expresse only the wishes and desires of their mind; but whether the blessing will succeed according to their wishes and de­sires, they are no way certaine (although such blessings of theirs may proceed from some faith) but Isaac so blessed his sonnes, and so pre­vailed with God for the things for which he prayed, as if in a manner he had simply foretold them, nothing doubting of their event, but cer­tainely perswaded, that God would doe no otherwise then as hee had wished and prayed. For when he perceived his errour in the person of his sonnes, yet he said, I have blessed him, yea, and he shall be blessed.] Gen. 27.33. In which words he plainly signified, that the blessing he had given was so confirmed, that hee could not recall it. But the Authour names Jacob first, though Esau was the first-born, because Iacob had the first and the best blessing, albeit hee obtained it by a wile, God so disposing the matter. For before either of them were born, God using his owne freedome in bestowing his blessings upon whom he will, had appointed to preferre Jacob before Esau, the yonger before the elder. Therefore God suffered not Isaac to bestow the best blessing upon Esau, that neither the decree of God, nor the blessing of Isaac might faile: especially seeing Esau had already voluntarily and freely sold a­way his birth-right, which (as the Scripture saith) he despised. We say he sold it voluntarily and freely, because he was not driven to that sale by any destiny or decree of God. For Esau might have kept the ho­nour and benefit of his birth-right, and yet as God had decreed, his po­steritie might have become yonger, or subject to have served the po­steritie of Jacob.

21. By faith Iacob when he was a dying, blessed both the sonnes of Io­seph.] Now he mentions the particular faith of Jacob, which appear­ed in this blessing of the sonnes of Joseph. And he addeth the circum­stance of time, that Iacob did this when he was a dying, that hence it [Page 272]might appeare, how hee persisted in the faith to his last breath, and how constantly hee beleeved the promises of God, whereby God had setled his blessing and the possession of the land of Canaan upon his posterity. The History hereof is in Genesis 48. But wee may wonder, why the Author mentions onely the sonnes of Jo­seph, seeing with the very same faith Jacob gave blessings to all his children, was it because he shewed a particular faith, in beleeving that Ephraim though the younger, should be afterward preferred before Manasses the elder, and therefore crossing his hands otherwise then Joseph expected and had placed his sons, laid his right hand upon E­phraim who stood at his left hand, and his left hand upon Manasses who stood at his right? Or was it, because he beleeved that these sons of Joseph should be accounted as his, and be adopted into the number of the twelve Patriarchs, to give name and be heads to two of the Tribes? And worshipped] Here is mentioned another argument or proofe of Jacobs faith, in that he worshipped God, after that he had bound Joseph, to carry his body after his death into the land of Ca­naan, as we reade it, Gen 47. For by this worshipping he declared that he wholly confided in God, who had promised that land to his posterity, and would in due time give them the possession of it. Vpon the top of his staffe] The vulgar Latin renders this perversly, that he worshipped the top of his staffe. As if Jacob had worshipped the Scepter of his son Joseph, that is, Joseph himselfe, by reason of the high office and power that Joseph had in Egypt. Which interpretati­on neither agrees to the words of the text, in leaving out the particle upon; nor to the scope of the Author. For what makes this to the de­claration of Jacobs faith? nay the thing it selfe scemes no way pro­bable. The end is the extreme part of a thing: but if one end of a thing be the highest, and the other the lowest, the highest end is the top. Which sence must be here understood, as partly appeares by the thing it selfe, and partly by the Hebrew word, Gen. 47. In the Hebrew for top we reade head, which by a metaphor signifies the top, because the head is the end and highest part of man, and consequently of any thing else. And for staffe we now reade in the Hebrew, bed; which fell out because the word Mittah, there extant, pricked with other vowels, signifies a staffe; for in the Hebrew Matteh is a staffe, and Mittch a bed. The Septuagint whom our Author followes, reade it Matteh, and so translated it staffe, otherwise then we now reade it in the Hebrew text. Both these readings have a commodious sence. For if wee give way to the authority of the Septuagint, the sence will be, that Jacob when by reason of his age and weakenesse he could not lift up him self by his owne strength, stayed and raised himselfe by the top of his staffe, the common ayde of old men, that he might worship God, by bowing his body before him. But if we follow the Hebrew text, as it [Page 273]is now extant, the sence will be, That Jacob, because he could not raise his body out of his bed, therefore he bowed his head forward up­on his beds head, and so worshipped God. For among the people of God, it hath beene alwayes the manner of worshipping God, by bow­ing the body, or at least the head unto him.

22. By faith Ioseph when he dyed, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandement concerning his bones] Now he mentions the particular faith of Joseph, who when he was dying, mentioned the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt, and to testifie his beliefe and assurance thereof, gave commandement concer­ning his bones, that when they departed out of Egypt toward the pro­mised land, they should carry his bones with them. He gives comman­dement concerning his bones, and not concerning his body, because he knew for certaine, either by the spirit of Prophesie, or else by the Oracle of God, as Abraham his great grandfather did, that the Israe­lites should not very soone after his death depart out of Egypt to take possession of the land of Canaan which God had promised, but be­tweene his death and their departure there would passe such a distance of time, that nothing of his body would remaine besides his bones. Which thing doth greatly commend the faith of Joseph, because though he saw the performance of Gods promises deferred for a long time yet to come, yet he neither despised them, nor doubted any thing of their verity.

23. By faith Moses when he was borne, was hid three months of his pa­rents, because they saw he was a proper childe.] The Author being about to bring an example of the faith of Moses, doth begin it with the men­tion of his parents faith; which appeared in their hiding of Moses when he was new borne. For hence it is manifest that they confided in God, that by his helpe the childe should be preserved. And their motive to this faith was, because they saw the childe was comely or proper, that is, such a one in whose countenance there appeared an ex­traordinary and excellent towardnesse; and whose very aspect seemed to presage and promise some great matter. In the seventh chapter of the Acts, ver. 20. it is said, that he was exceeding faire to God, which some Translations render by God; that is, his beauty came from God, or God in a singular manner had made him very faire and beautifull. When therefore his parents saw him so, they imagined that God would not have it be in vaine, that an Infant should be borne of so beautifull and comely countenance. And therefore they doubted not but he should be preserved by the singular providence of God, so as they also provided as much as lay in their power. And the event was answerable to their faith. And they were not afraid of the Kings com­mandement] King Pharoah by an Edict had commanded the Egypti­ans, to kill the male children borne of the Israelites, after that the Mid­wives [Page 274]who feared God, had refused to execute the like command. This command of the King, the parents of Moses feared not, because they feared not, but trusted upon God and his providence, that the child which they had hidden, should not be discovered and produced to be slaine by the Kings command.

24. By faith Moses when he was come to yeares] Here he begins to treat of Moses his owne faith, and to mention the effects of it; where­of the first is, that when he was come to yeares, he refused to be called the son of Pharoahs daughter. Which fact of Moses he further illustrates and amplifies in the following verses. In the Greek for come to yeares, it is, when Moses was become great Which greatnesse may be under­stood of that dignity which Moses attained in Egypt, where he was bred up in the quality of the sonne of Pharoahs daughter. For he was learned in all the wisdome of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds; as we reade it, Acts 7.22. But this greatnesse seemes ra­ther to be referred to the stature of Moses, and consequently to his age of mans estate; partly because Moses come to yeares is here op­posed to Moses when he was borne; and p [...]ly because the Scripture relating the same fact of Moses, saith that when he was growne up he went out unto his brethren, Exod. 2.11. Or as Stephen [...], When he was full forty yeares old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel, Acts 7.23. This fact of Moses in refusing to be cal­led the son of the Kings daughter, was a hardy attempt; not onely to despise and reject so great a dignity, such riches and pleasures, but also thereby freely to cast himselfe into that great calamity, under which the people of God then suffered in Egypt. Therefore the Author wil­ling further to illustrate and more amply to describe this notable fact [...] Moses, doth adde in the verse following.

25. Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, then to enjoy the pleasures of sinne for a season. The riches and dignity which Moses did possesse with sin, that is, with the deniall of Gods people, and so of God himselfe, (for otherwise enjoy them he could not) he thought to be but a temporary use of sinne; and he therefore thought so, either because he saw how transitory and fading these things are; or else because he thought, that God who is the avenger of sinne, would not suffer him long to enjoy those riches and dignities together with such a wickednesse, and that some vengeance of God, would suddainely strip him of all his riches and power, and c [...]st some sad pu­nishment upon him for so foule a sin.

26. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches then the treasures of Egypt] The Author proceeds yet, further to illustrate and amplifie this fact of Moses. But seeing by the reproach of Christ is signified that calamity whereinto Moses cast himselfe and which he esteemed grea­ter riches then the treasures of Egypt, there must needs be some trope [Page 275]in those words. For properly the Reproach of Christ is that which Christ himselfe suffereth. But by way of Metaphor, it may signifie a Reproach like unto that which was sometime suffered by Christ or his people, who are sometime tearmed by the name of Christ: or the Reproach which he suffers who bears the type of Christ or his people. Such was the Reproach of the Israelites in Egypt, that is, their extreme affliction and oppression joyned with much shame and disgrace. Now Moses would rather become a partner of this calamity, by professing himselfe an Israelite, then to possesse the treasures of Egypt. For whereas some imagine, that Moses is said in this place to have suffered for Christs sake, this is a fond conceit. As if Pharaoh had ever thought of Christ, or had therefore persecuted Moses, because hee professed himselfe a Christian, and not rather an Israelite. Yet wee are to take notice, that this metaphor here, either in both the words joyned toge­ther; namely, the reproach of Christ] or in the single word of Christ; so as Christ in this place may be taken for the type or image of Christ. And Christ whose type and image is here signified, will bee either Christ himselfe, or the people of Christ, who as we have said, are sometime noted and included in the name of Christ, as 1 Cor. 12.12. So also is Christ, and Gal. 3.16. and to thy seed which is Christ. In which places it is most certaine, that by the name of Christ is signified the people of Christ joyntly with Christ their head. But that people of Israel were a type of both these, both of Christ himselfe and of all Christian people. For hence it is, that in a mysticall sense, that is refer­red to Christ, which in a literall sense was spoken of the Israelites, Out of Egypt have I called my Son] Hos. 11.1. and Mat. 2 15. Therefore this people of Israel in bearing this type both of Christ & Christians, might very fitly by this Author be called Christ. But as we said, there may be a Metaphor in both the words conjoyned, the Reproach of Christ; and so the reproach of the Israelites in Egypt may be called the reproach of Christ; because in like manner it beares a type and image of the re­proach both of Christ and of Christians, by reason of Christ. For so the Author was pleased to speak, that he might speak with reference to the afflictions of Christians, who must properly and truly beare the re­proach of Christ for the hope of an exceeding reward from God: which phrase the Author useth afterward, Chap. 13.13. For compa­risons and allusions as we have often noted, are subject to many abusi­ons or improprieties. For hee had respect unto the recompence of the re­ward.] Here he shews the cause and ground from whence the faith of Moses grew, was one or both the principles of faith mentioned in the first verse: he had an evidence or sight of something unseen; he saw the unseen recompence of reward, which God would bestow on him, for his esteem of the Reproach of Christ; and he had a subsistence of a thing hoped for, in that he hoped for the recompence of reward; which [Page 276]sight and hope composed and framed his faith, and are both signified in the word respect, whereby he both saw and hoped for the recom­pence of reward. And his faith built upon these two grounds made him doe and suffer hard things for Gods sake from whom he expected his reward; for such is the generall nature of faith to encourage and sup­port us under hard and heavy attempts.

27. By faith he forsooke Egipt, not fearing the wrath of the King] He mentions here another effect of the faith of Moses. And this may bee understood, first of that flight of Moses out of Egypt, after he had pro­fessed himselfe an Israelite, not only in words, but by the slaughter of an Egyptian doing wrong to an Israelite, Exod. 2,15. In which flight especially the faith of Moses appeared, because by his flight he hoped, that by Gods helpe he should escape, and that the wrath of so great and so potent a King, who as one said truly, have long hands, should not hurt him having avoyded the danger by flying; and being at a great distance out of the Kings reach, he feared not the wrath of the King; for so only wee must understand his not fearing of the Kings wrath. For otherwise in the forecited place of Exod. 2.14. it is written that Moses did feare, and because he feared, therefore he fled. But after that, when he was fled, then he feared not. For he endured as seeing him who is invisible.] Here he more fully declares the faith of Moses, and to shew the perfection of it, doth explicate both the effect and the cause of it. The effect of it was, that thereby he endured; that is, hee voluntarily underwent a grievous banishment, and constantly bore it, and cared not so much to be reconciled to the King, as to live in ba­nishment despoyled of all his former dignity, though hee could no where subsist safe or secure. And the cause of his faith was, his evi­dence or sight of a person unseen, for he saw God who is invisible, which sight built up his faith in God. Yet this whole verse may bee referred to that fact of Moses, when returning by Gods command from his flight and banishment into Egypt, and doing there so many strange miracles, that the King mastered with divers plagues and at last hardly dismissing the people, he departed out of Egypt with all the Israelites as their Leader and Captaine; which act he did by faith, be­cause he feared not, that the King incensed with wrath, as is usually done in the like case, should collect all his forces, and pursuing him and the people should assault them by force of armes, and utterly de­stroy those with war and slaughter, whom before he could not keepe in bondage. And this will be the more fitly done, if we referre it to his purpose and preparation for his departure out of Egypt with the people. For in the verse following the Author mentions the keeping of the Passeover, which preceded the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. And it is very probable that the Author observed the order of time. He endured; that is, he was not discouraged at the troubles [Page 277]and crosses which hindred the departure of the people out of Egypt, partly by the offence of so great a King, and partly by the complaints of the people, who were thereupon the more oppressed. For to en­dure doth properly signifie perseverance and constancie in matters of difficulty and trouble. All this he performed with such a courage of minde as if before his eyes he had seen that God who cannot be seene; that is, as we have said, so fully confiding in God, that neither doubted the assistance of God, nor the successe of the action.

28. Through faith he kept the Passeover and the sprinkling of bloud] Another proofe of the faith of Moses, in performing and keeping the Passeover. For to what end and purpose did he this, but because hee was most certaine, by his rest upon the promise of God, that by this meanes all the first-borne of Israel should be preserved from that de­struction which should fall upon the first-born of Egypt. The sprink­ling of bloud, was done by the bloud of the Lambe slaine for the Passeover, which being taken in a bason, and a bunch of hysop dipped in it, was sprinkled upon the lintell and the two side-posts of the doors to those houses where the Passeover was eaten: whereof see Exod. 12.13.33. Lest he that destroyed the first-borne, should touch them.] The de­stroyer was that Angell of God, who by Gods command was to de­stroy in one night all the first-borne of Egypt throughout their single houses. For although in the 12. Chap. of Exod. it be severall times said, that the Lord would passe over the land of Egypt and destroy the first-borne; yet in the same Chap. ver. 23. God is manifestly distin­guished from that destroyer; whereby it appears that God brought this destruction upon Egypt by the Ministerie and service of an Angell.

29. By faith they passed through the Red sea, as by dry land] Hither­to the Author hath produced examples of faith from single persons onely: but now he would shew the effects and fruits of faith in a more popular and publique consideration, as it may be seated in the Church or people of God; yet not universally so as no single person should have no defect of faith; but generally for the most part, or major part. And although of the faith here mentioned, the Author speake imper­sonally, they passed] not naming who they were; yet the context doth clearly shew us, that the impersonall they must be referred to the persons of Moses and the Israelites; because they only were the per­sons that passed through the red Sea. So the faith here specified was seated in Moses, yet not in him singly and exclusively, but in Moses joyntly with the Israelites, or people of God, whose faith herein con­curred with the faith of Moses: though therein the faith of Moses was singularly eminent; for he smote the waters so faithfully with his rod, that upon the stroake they were divided; and he was the leader and perswader of the people to their passage. But the faith of the people [Page 278]was but generall for the most or major part; for some of them did hard­ly or very weakly beleeve. Of this publike or common faith the Au­thor mentions two effects; whereof the first is, the passage of the Israe­lites through the red Sea, as by dry land] That arme of the Sea, which they passed, is in the Hebrew called Suph, that is the Rushie sea, be­cause of the Bul-rushes therein abounding: but why among other na­tions it is called the red sea, Interpreters agree not; whether it be from the rednesse of the water, or the rednesse of the sand, both by the shore and in the deepe. or from king Erytha, whose name signifies red, and sometime possessed that Sea: neither is the knowledge of the thing any way materiall. This Sea, the waters of it being divided on each hand, they passed as by dry land.] The word land is not in the Greek, but must be understood according to the Hebrew phrase usuall amongst them; as it is in divers passages of the Psalmes, and Mat. 23.15. The causes of this their faith was, their evidence or sight of a thing unseen, and their subsistence of a thing hoped for; for God had promised them a passage thorow the middest of this Sea, as safe as on dry ground. Exod. 14.15,16. The truth of this promise being unseen, they saw and hoped for, and therefore they beleeved it. Which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.] The other effect of their faith upon the Egyptians; or ra­ther an effect of defect of faith in the Egyptians; who having in them no true faith at all, but presumption enough and too much rashnesse, would needs imitate the fact of Gods faithfull people, and in their pre­sumption assaying to passe the red Sea, as the faithfull had done before them, were therein drowned. And that fact which to the faithfull was a meanes of their salvation, was destruction to unbeleevers, who would seeme to be faithfull. For the drowning of the Egyptians in that Sea, was an effect of the Israelites faith; because they had a sight of it unseen; for God had promised the Israelites upon their passage thorow the red Sea, not only salvation to themselves, but destruction to the Egyptians, whom they should never see more. Exod. 14.13. For hereby the Is­raelites saw that destruction of the Egyptians which was not yet seene, and therefore did beleeve the truth of it, whereupon followed the ef­fect of it.

30. By faith the walles of Iericho fell downe, after they were compassed about seven dayes.] Having amply exemplified the faith of Moses, who was the first Captaine over Gods people to bring them out of Egypt: now he seconds Moses with the faith of Joshua, who was the second Captaine of that people, to give them entrance and possession in the land of Canaan: yet this is so intended of Joshua, as the people also are joyned in faith with him; for they also did partake both in the action and benefit of this faith. The action or fact of this faith was, the Com­passing about of Iericho seven dayes.] Jericho was a fortified towne, so strongly defended or shut up, as the Scripture termes it, that it was im­pregnable, [Page 279]and the Israelites had no hope to take it by assault: and be­cause it was a frontier towne to the land of Canaan, therefore unlesse they first take Jericho, they can have no passage to march further into the land of Canaan, but are there wholly intercepted and stopped from all entrance into the land promised. Jericho therefore must needs first be taken: and because it cannot be conquered by force of armes, there­fore it shall be taken by force of faith, after compassing about the walles of it seven dayes.] God who is so powerfull that hee could create the world in six dayes, could have destroyed. Jericho in lesse then seven: yet God who is so mercifull, that hee gave the great City of Ninivie fourtie dayes, would give little Jericho seven dayes; for God who sent Jonas to them of Ninivie, had provided Rahab for them of Jericho, as a Prophet and a Preacher of repentance unto them. For she who for her selfe had such faith to beleeve in God, would gladly have preached the like faith to the Citie, that God who is the God in heaven above and in earth beneath, had given that land to his owne people, as shee her selfe had before acknowledged to the spies of Israel. Josh. 2.9 11. But because they of Jericho were so wicked, that shee durst not preach this faith among them, and so obstinate, that if shee had preached it, yet they would not beleeve it, therefore by the faith of Gods people, after seven dayes compassing, the walles of Jericho shall fall downe. Now the cause of this faith in the people of God, was their evidence or sight of things unseen, and the subsistence they had of a thing hoped for; for God had promised them by the mouth of Joshua, that upon this fact of compassing the Citie seven dayes once a day, and the se­venth day seven times, the wall of it should fall downe flat. Josh. 6.4,5. The truth of this promise being yet unseen, they saw and hoped for, and thereby grew their faith to beleeve it.

31. By faith the harlot Rahab] There are that thinke that Rahab was not an harlot, but an Inkeeper, or Taverner; which because they are wont sometimes to be harlots, or to receive harlots that frequent their houses, therefore among the Hebrews, the name of harlot is ap­plied to hostesses. But this signification of the Hebrew word Hazzonah they prove not by examples. Neither is it for nothing, that the Scri­pture whensoever she mentions the example of Rahab, to whom God shewed so much favour and mercy, forgets not to give her this attri­bute of harlot. For it seemes to doe this, thereby to shew, the great force of a true and lively faith, because by vertue thereof, many attaine to justification and impunity, who otherwise by their life little deserve it. Now if the Hebrew word Hazzonah signified onely a publike ho­stesse, when it is uttered of Rahab, and not an harlot properly so cal­led, this singular commendation of Rahabs faith were utterly lost-which notwithstanding James and this Author endeavour to expresse. Perished not with them that beleeved not] The inhabitants of Jericho [Page 280]are called unbeleevers, because they would not beleeve, that the God of heaven had granted to the Israelites the possession both of their city and of the whole land of Canaan, or because beleeving this grant of God yet they would not obey it, by giving way to it; for the word [...], signifies as well unobedient as unbeleeving. And they were disobedient, because they would not admit but opposed the people of God, whom they knew were approaching, and had heard what strange works God had done for them, and consequently would not submit to Gods way. For if herein they had joyned with Rahab, to have be­leeved as she did, they might with her have escaped the destruction of their City and their owne ruine. For that Law of God which had ap­pointed so many Nations to the slaughter, was by collating it with another Law to be understood to take place, with the exception of those that should freely submit to things commanded them, and should renounce the worship of their Idols and false gods. All which appeares by the example of Rahab and of Solomon who tooke the remnant of the Canaanites to his dominion under tribute, 1 King. 9.20,21. When she had received the spies with peace] She abstained from all injury to­wards those spies her selfe, and from all treachery in discovering them to others, and defended them from the violence of those that made in­quisition after them: For these were the expressions of that peace wherewith she received them. And this her faith was not idle and empty, but testified with a notable action of triall. For she did not onely receive those spies with the danger of her life, but she hid them, and afterward dismissed them with many difficulties. Which fact of hers, how availeable it was to her justification, both the thing it selfe declares, and S. James openly testifies, Jam. 2.25. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by workes when shee had received the messen­gers and had sent them out another way.

32. And what shall I more say?] As if he had said; Why should I stay longer in relating of single examples of those whose faith is testi­fied in Scripture? For the time would faile me to tell of Gedeon, Ba­rac, Samson, and of Jephte, of David also, and Samuel, and of the Prophets. Hee placeth David, though latter in time before Samuel though elder, not onely for the greater dignity of David, but also be­cause Samuel came neerer in quality to the Prophets with whom he closeth; And David came neerer to those Heroes forenamed, as Ge­deon, Barac and Samson; for he was a middle person betweene the Heroes and the Prophets, and was indeed both.

33. Who through faith subdued kingdomes.] This is principally re­ferred to David who subdued some kingdomes. But this was done by faith, because when God promised him victory over his enemies, he beleeved it, and upon his beliefe thereof did make warre upon them; whereof we may reade severall Psalmes of David, composed by him [Page 281]to that purpose; and among others, Psal. 2.18.20. and 21. Wrought righteousnesse] Such were also the same David, Samuel and the Pro­phets. Here in like manner it appeares, that faith taken strictly and properly differs from the working of righteousnesse, as the cause from the effect; because righteousnesse is the effect of an effectuall faith. Obtained promises] These seeme rather to signifie, that by faith they obtained new and extraordinary promises; such as that promise made to David, that the Kingdome should be setled upon his posterity for ever, and that Christ should be borne from his line; then that they obtained the effect of Gods solemne promises. For if that effect be taken for immortall life, it is false, as it is taught afterward, ver. 39. But if we take it of the blessings of this life, they scarce seem any other, then victories and triumphs over their enemies. But these are particu­larly related in the verse following: unlesse we say that those promises which they obtained are specified and reckoned up in the verses fol­lowing; and so after he had said, that by faith they wrought righte­ousnesse, he rightly addes, they also obtained the promises, namely those which presently he would specifie in particular, even unto those words of verse 35. Others were tortured] And so as from thence it followeth; where after he had reckoned up divers calamities which the servitors of God supported by their faith in God, had endured, at last, he addes, that they received not the promise. It may seem there­fore the Author would say, that some by their faith obtained the effect of Gods promises, as namely they before mentioned, who in this life attained those great benefits of God which he reckoned up: but others afterward mentioned, though they had no lesse faith in God then the former, yet enjoyed not the performance of Gods promise, because they were deprived of their lives for their righteousnesse and faith in God. Stopped the mouths of Lions] As Daniel did, the history whereof is extant, Dan. 6.

34. Quenched the violence of fire] As those three young men, in Babylon, who seem in a manner to be accounted among the Prophets, see Daniel 3. Escaped the edge of the sword] As many of the Prophets did, whose lives were attempted by the Kings and the people, as Elias, Elisha, Jeremy, Micheas. Out of weaknesse were made strong] By re­covering from dangerous and deadly sicknesses, as Ezechias, 2 King. 20. Waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the Armies of the aliens] As Sampson and David; though we may refer this valour, not only to their courage of minde, but to their strength of body. Of Sampson, see Judg. 14. and the Chapters following: Of David, Psal. 18.35.37. &c. And hither we may refer those severall Worthies of David, of whom we read, 2 Sam. 23. and 1 Chron 11.

35. Women received their dead raised to life againe] Namely by the faith of the Prophets Elias and Elisha, see 1 King. 17.19. & 2 King. 4.21. [Page 282]and in the latter of these two miracles there was an accesse of the mo­thers faith also. And others were tortured] The word others doth shew that the Author now speaks of another sort of persons eminent also for their faith: Namely, of such whose faith was not conspicuous for vi­ctories or warlike exploits, which belong not so much to Christians; nor for the sole workes of righteousnesse, or other notable gift of God, as their faith was of whom he spake hitherto; but of a faith whereof tryall was made in suffering persecutions and grievous afflictions for God and Righteousnesse sake; which is more pro­perly a Christian Faith. For of the same faith the effects are divers. The torture here mentioned is in the Greeke tympanized; which is a torture whereby a man is distended or stretched alive like a drum, and then beaten with cudgels as a drum is; which kinde of torture is in use at this day among many Nations. And it was inflicted upon Elea­zer that reverend old man, in the time of Antiochus the persecuter, 2 Maccab. 6. For without doubt the Author in this place had respect to those times. Although some of the afflictions which hee afterwards mentioneth, happened in the time of Elias under Ahab and Jesabel; see 1 King. 18.4.13. and Chap. 19.10. Not accepting deliverance] When deliverance or release from their tortures was offered them upon con­dition to renounce Gods Law, they would not accept it, see the histo­ry of Eleazer, 2 Maccab. 6.19,30. for to those words there, the Au­thor seems to have relation here. That they might obtaine a better resur­rection] He shews with what faith, and with what hope they endured their tortures; namely, because they beleeved and hoped, they should obtaine from God a farre better resurrection. But whence did they gain this faith and hope? Certainly, not from any open or clear promise of a resurrection, extant in the Law of God: but only trusting upon the sole goodnesse, righteousnesse, and power of God. For seeing they did strongly beleeve, that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him; and yet saw, that unlesse with extreme wickednesse they would forsake the Law of God, they must suffer heavy calamities, as banishment, imprisonment, tortures and cruell deaths; they were here­upon raised into this hope, that there were rewards laid up for the ver­tue and piety of Gods worshippers to be received after this life; and that it could not possibly be, that God who is most gracious and righ­teous, should have no reward in store for that vertue and piety which of all other is the greatest, & doth cost men the losse of their lives, then which nothing can be dearer unto them. Thus therefore God, even under the Old Testament, did with such rudiments by little and little exercise his people toward the hope of another life: although there can be no doubt, but that the servitors of God were under those hard and sad times of persecution inspired by the Spirit of God, and did thereby so much the more taste and swallow this hope in their soules. [Page 283]Now if they, by hope of the future Resurrection, whereof they had no open promise of God, and knew not in any certainty the future quality and blessednesse thereof, did suffer such grievous calamities for their constancie to Gods Law. How much more should we, who have an open promise of the resurrection, and know both the future qualities of it, and the great happinesse that will accompany it, feare no terrors, no banishments, no torments nor punishments for Christ and for righ­teousnesse sake. As it is usuall in comparisons, he tacitly calls their de­liverance from punishment, a resurrection, by way of abusion, while he opposeth it to the true resurrection as to a condition much better. Therefore they despised deliverance, which was but an umbratilous and transitory resurrection, to obtaine the true resurrection accompain­ed with eternall life and happinesse.

36. And others had triall of cruell mockings and scourgings] As the mother with her seven sons, 2 Macab. 7. Yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonments.] While Antiochus did rage in his persecution, there must needs be a great number of those, who because they would not forsake the Law of their God, were cast into bonds and prisons; from whence a while after divers of them were drawne forth to divers pu­nishements, which are presently mentioned.

37. They were stoned, they were sawne asunder, were tempted, were slaine with the sword] He recounts divers kinds of punishments, which of old the worshippers of God endured, trusting and relying upon God; that by their example he might stir up the followers of Christ to the like constancie in their sufferings. Were tempted] In the Greek it is [...], which some suspect to be corrupted, and to be read for [...], they were burned. And indeed, if this word were usuall, there could seem no doubt of this reading; for it might easily be writ­ten by changing the vowell into the dipthong, seeing the sense i very agreeable to the place. For here are recounted divers kinds and means of death, as stones, sawes, axes, swords, and among which fire also may well be placed. But tempting seems not any of the number. For temptation is a thing generall and common to all who suffer persecuti­ons for righteousnesse sake. And withall temptation doth imply the constancie of them who are tempted. But if we must needs read it they were tempted, then we must understand it of some particular kinde and forme of temptation, wherewith persons in distresse might easily bee overcome, and drawne from their constancie; as for example, when a man is follicited to some fained act, or to some ambiguous words, by promising him safety, and some good rewards besides, to condescend to this, that though he will not truly recede from his former way, yet that he seem to recede from it. For after this manner we read Eleazer was temped. Now for a man to overcome such a temptation by lending no care nor minde unto it, but rather dye a cruell death, then to staine [Page 284]the reputation of his confession and constancie with the least shew of dissembling, is a great and a brave conquest. They wandred about in sheeps skins and goats skins] For they had no means to procure other garment or covering for their body; and therefore he presently addes, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. This is the reason, why they wan­dred about, and why in sheeps skins, and goats skins, because they were destitute of all worldly provision, and in all places where they came were afflicted and tormented, and therefore they wandred from place to place in that despicable and poore manner. All which miseries hap­pened unto them in the times of the Maccabes under the persecution of the cruell Antiochus.

38. Of whom the world was not worthy: they wandred in deserts and in mountaines, and in dens and caves of the earth] The Author inter­poseth the former words of this verse, to shew the indignity of the usage and foulnesse of the injury, which the wicked inflicted upon the true servitors of God. As if he had said, these good men were con­strained to wander like wilde beasts, and to hide themselves like wilde beasts in desarts and mountaines, in holes and caves of the earth: but among men in Townes and Cities, they could have no abode, though for their piety and faith toward God, they were of such worth and re­spect, that the inhabitants of the whole world were unworthy of them. Of this carriage, Christians especially ought to take notice, when they see worthy persons to be vexed, banished, afflicted and slaughtered of the unworthy, good men of evill, and the innocent of the wicked. For as the Author would intimate unto us, it may be, that the world herein did in a manner punish her selfe, in that shee persecuted and banished such holy persons, and drave them away from her, of whose conversa­tion and company she was altogether unworthy.

39. And these all having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise] The word all seems in the intention of the Author, to be chiefly referred to those persons last mentioned, who for the love of Gods Law suffered such great calamities. For the former persons men­tioned before them, obtained some promises of God as rewards of their faith: but these latter that were persecuted and slain for the testimony of Gods Law, had none. And yet, all their faith who were mentioned in the former place, was not such a faith, as to be of it self a saving faith, or such an one, which could procure them eternall life, which the Author here understands by the name of the promise, unlesse something else were ad­ded, particularly that faith which concerns only wars, or had some cer­taine thing proposed for the matter of it, as the recovery of their health, or the raising of their dead children to life, and which was perpetuall in them, working in them that had it, true righteousnesse and piety; for there is no cogent reason constraining us to affirme, that it was such a faith: See what the Author hath affirmed, ver. 33, 34, 35. A good re­port [Page 285]part through faith] They obtained the praise and commendation of their faith in the Scriptures, See ver. 2. through faith] Partly because their faith was the cause, why they performed such worthy acts, as de­served great praise and commendation. Partly, because such a notable faith in God, was of it selfe the cause and matter of that good report and commendation. Received not the promise.] The article the doth shew, that some excellent promise is here designed out; namely, that which is peculiar and proper unto Christians, which hath none greater and more excellent then it selfe; the promise I meane, of that truly blessed and eternall life; which though it were not openly promised to them, but only to us, yet it shall be given to them as well as to us. But the word promise is taken here materially for the thing promised.

40. God having provided some better thing for us] Hee addes here the cause why they have not yet received the promise. For the He­brews might thinke, that God in this respect had not dealt so well with them, that they had not yet received the reward of their faith, workes and sufferings. The Author therefore meets with such surmifes, and shews it was done for this reason, because God had provided some better thing for us. A question.But here it may be demanded, wherein our condi­tion is the better, in that they might not receive that promise, nor bee perfected without us? For if they had received eternall happinesse before, would the summe of our happinesse have been any thing the lesse? Or is our happinesse any thing the greater, because they are made to stay for it? The Answer to this may be twofold, and according to the twofold Answer, there will arise a twofold sense of these words. Answer 1.The first Answer is, That God would herein provide for our dignity, and make our happinesse the more illustrious. For although if we re­gard the thing it self, nothing would either be taken from our happines, if they had obtained eternall life without us or before us; or will now accrue unto it, that they have it not without us, but together with us; yet respectively and comparatively, we should have been far inferiour unto them, if they without staying for us, had been long since invested in heavenly joyes. But now, seeing they are constrained to stay for us, and may not enjoy that promise before us; hence appears, that the di­gnity of Christians is very great, and that their happinesse is made much more conspicuous; seeing there are none who can seeme to ob­scure it, by preventing it with a fuller or more early happinesse. And certainly very convenient it was, that God should so provide for it, that they who had obeyed him, only according to the ordinances of Moses, should not prevent in happinesse those who compose their lives and manners according to the perfect Law and discipline of Christ; and that they who never had any open promise of eternall life, should enjoy that life before them, who had an open and cleare Cove­nant for it. But rather, seeing by Gods goodnesse they were to bee [Page 286]made equall to Christians in the reward of that happines, should in this be made inferiour to Christians, in staying for them to receive Gods promises; and that as secondary guests, who were not openly invited to the banquet, they should have their accesse, by, and with them, who were truely and first invited; and not enjoy those heavenly banquets so long a time before these. And therefore the words some better thing] may be taken two wayes; either as our state compared with their state, may be said to be better; or as our present state compared with our fu­ture state may be said better, if they had received Gods promise long before us. But because that in it selfe doth neither increase our future happines, nor in like manner doth decrease their future happines, there­fore the Author seemes to say some better thing to shew, that he under­stands some such better thing, which onely in some sense and in some respect is better. For the word some thing is often used in such formes of speech, to diminish the signification, and detract som­what from the proprietie of the word whereto it is adjoyned. Answer. 2.The other answere which happily is more sutable to the fense and words of the Author, is this. The Author therefore speakes thus, to intimate that the end of the world is at hand, when the reward of eter­nall life shall be given to the godly that beleeve in God; wherefore, if those ancient worshippers of God had long since enjoyed it, wee that were not then in being might have failed of it. Therefore lest wee should be excluded of it, God did deferre both the end of the world, and the reward of his worshippers; and by this meanes provided som­thing better for us, then otherwise should have been, if they who went before us, without staying for us, while we were yet unborn, had alone by themselves attained eternall happinesse. For the reasons why wee rest not in the former sense, are. 1. Because by admitting that sense, it doth not sufficiently appeare, how God hath truely and really made our condition better by this, that they who went before us, were not long since rewarded with eternall life, but are made to stay for our salvation; whether our state be compared with their state, or with our owne future state. For certainely by this meanes our state is not made better then theirs, but onely each of our states is made equall. Also how is our present state made hereby better then our future, if God had otherwise determined it? For what was it, that God had appointed unto us? was it not the reward of eternall life to be bestowed upon us at the end of the world, in the consummation of this present age? but this remaines whole and intire unto us, neither is it really decreased if we suppose them long since saved: neither is it increased, if we suppose them not saved. They lose much by it, in that they yet enjoy not Gods promise of eternall life; but what doe we really gaine by it? you will say, their condition would have beene better, and ours worse; which because now it is not worse, but equall to theirs, therefore it may [Page 287]be said to be better now then otherwise it would have beene. But all this is rather subtiltie of words, then solidity of matter. If this had been the intent of the Authors minde, could he not, nay, must hee not have spoken much more clearly, thus? that God therefore hath not yet given them the reward of eternall life, lest they should bee farre superiour unto us; and so much the rather, because it doth not forthwith follow, that our state is therefore truely better, because it is not worse then theirs. For this would indeed be true, if nothing were abated them: but seeing all that portion of happinesse whereby they were ancienter then we, is abated them; certainly by this meanes our happinesse is no­thing more, but theirs only somthing lesse. And the former sense re­quires that the particle without in the words of the Author, should signifie all one with before, that is, not to exclude us from perfecting simply, but onely from the same time of perfecting. But if this were the minde of the Author, he might as easily have said before as without; yea, he should have rather said it; seeing the usuall force of the latter particle is simply to seperate and exclude that, whereto it is adjoyned, who sees not, if wee respect the proper and native signification of the Authors words, that it is all one as if he had said, they should not be per­fected excluding us, or we not being perfected? And howsoever the par­ticle something doth sometime diminish the signification, yet the mat­ter it selfe in this place seemes to require, that it signifie no small or re­spective good, but some singular advantage greatly necessary to our condition, which is the usuall force of that particle. For such a thing it must needs be, that was the cause, why such holy men, so deare unto God, and dead so many ages past, should not to this day enjoy the pro­mise of God, and receave the reward of their labours and sufferings. And in this argument, wherein we debate the causes, why God should for so many ages deferre the effect of his promise, what either may, or can, or must be brought of greater moment, then that by this meanes, God in the meane time hath exceedingly provided for us, who should otherwise have been excluded from that eternall happines, if the time appointed for the perfecting of the godly, had been long since expired? Piscator a good Interpreter had seen this sense, and rightly explicated it, if hee had not referred the word promise to the first comming of Christ upon earth, contrary to the minde and scope of the Author, but had related it to the reward of eternall life as hee ought to have done. Neither hath any man cause to object, that persons yet unborne are non-entities; and non-entities as wee say, have neither affections nor conditions, and therefore nothing can be done to them either better or worse, nothing ordained or provided for their good or evill: or if all should bee continually borne, then wee must fall upon an infinite pro­ceeding, and so no time would bee fixed for the godly wherein to at­taine their reward. We therefore answer, that non-entities are of two [Page 288]sorts, either such as actually onely have not being, although afterward they shall or may have it, or such as necessarily neither have being, nor ever shall or can have it. Of these latter nothing can be truly said or af­firmed: but of the former non-entities many things may and com­monly are said, and their state may sundry wayes be better or worse; for hence both Philosophers and Lawyers call them possibilities. So Christ said of his betrayer; It had beene good for that man, if he had ne­ver beene borne, Mat. 26.24. For when Judas was a non-entity or yet unborne: yet even then he was a possibility and might be borne; but his non-entity had beene better, if it had beene an impossibility, never to have beene borne. So sometime we call them happy, who were not borne in troublesome and sad times; whereto also in a manner we may referre the words of Christ; Behold the dayes are comming, in the which they shall say. Blessed are the barren and the wombes that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck, Luke 23.29. In like manner, they who by their death have prevented some calamities by dying before they suffered under them, are in that respect commonly called happy; because they might have lived so long as to have suffered them. And in this sence a Philosopher said, That it was best for a man not to be borne; and it was next to best, to dye presently after he was borne. Contrarily, wee often call them unhappy, who dyed before they had brought their state to some happy condition, or lived not to see those happy times that immediately succeeded their death. There­fore in the number of these non-entities, they may be reckoned, who though they were yet unborne, yet might have beene borne. Hence with very good reason, as we may call those unhappy who shall never be borne, but are intercepted by the end of the world, and therefore shall never attaine that heavenly and eternall happinesse: so much more are we happy and blessed, who are already borne because by the providence and goodnesse of God the perfection of the godly is de­ferred to our times, whereby there remaines to us a passage and en­trance to it. And to comprise the matter in a few words and answer briefly. In that decree of God, whereby he is said to have provided some better thing for us, who were not yet borne, then it would have beene, if he had long since perfected the godly, wee must be conside­red, neither as already borne, nor yet as to be borne after infinite ages to come; but as they who might be borne, while yet the end of the world was not for many ages to be deferred; and Gods decree being passed, must be borne. Happy therefore we are by vertue of this De­cree; but otherwise wee should have beene unhappy. Better for us] that is, for us that are Christians; for this must not be restrained onely to the Hebrewes, to whom this Epistle was written: but must be ex­tended to all men under the same covenant, namely to all Christians. Whence in a manner it appeares, that the former examples of those [Page 289]who suffered such various afflictions, belong to the Jews under the old Covenant, and not to the Christians under the new. God having provided] Gods Decree is here signified. For the thing here specifi­ed, depends onely from the decree and ordinance of God; as if he had said, God having procured; for to provide, is to procure. That they without us should not be made perfect] How variously the Author useth the word perfecting in this Epistle may appeare from our former ex­plications: and here he takes it in a sence different from all the former. He said in the last verse preceding, that they received not the promises; and now he iterates the very same thing, and saith in other words, they are not made perfect. And therefore in this place to receive the pro­mise, and to be made perfect, that is, finally to attaine eternall blessed­nesse, is all one thing. And in this sence it seemes he used this word of Christ, before chap. 5.9. where he opposed Christ being made perfect, to Christ subject unto sufferings. Now they who do receive that promise of eternall life and happinesse, are fitly said to be perfe­cted; first, because before they attaine it, whether they are living or dead, they are many wayes imperfect; and secondly, because when they have attained it, they have filled up the measure of their happi­nesse, and made it so absolute, that it neither hath any defect, neither can it receive any accesse, but is for ever finished.

The Contents of the 11. Chapter, are,

  • Notions.
    • The principles of Faith are two.
      • 1. Every subsistence of a thing hoped for, is faith.
      • 2. Every sight of a thing unseene, is faith, ver. 1.
    • The necessity of faith is, that without it, it is impossible to please God ver. 6.
    • The chiefe points or specialties of faith are two.
      • 1. To beleeve that God is.
      • 2. To believe that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him, v. 6.
  • 1. Doctrine. By faith we know the world was made by God, v. 3.
    • Reason. Because in the things that are seene we have a sight of things un­seene, ibid.
  • 2. Doctrine. By faith the Patriarchs obtained a good report, ver. 2.
    • Example. As Abel, Enoch and Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Josua and Rahab, &c.
    • Reason. 1. Because they had a sight of things unseene which God had promised them.
    • 2. Because they had a subsistence of things hoped for, for they hoped for the things promised.
  • 3. Doctrine. The Patriarchs have not yet received the promise.
    • Reason. Because God hath so provided that they without us should not be made perfect.

CHAPTER XII.

1. WHerefore seeing we also] He enters upon an ex­hortation to the Hebrewes, to be constant in the faith, especially not to be discouraged by reason of the afflictions which they suffered. And this exhortation he inferres from the ex­amples specified in the former Chapter, and confirmes it with new arguments, for their bet­ter encouragement. We also, q.d. Let not us shew out selves inferiour to them, whose examples were formerly mentioned: but let us also per­forme the same things which they did. Are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses] The Author addes this, because it is of great force to stir us up unto the course and conflict of our faith. And in this his exhortation, he useth an elegant allegory, drawne from the simily of a race which was a thing then much in use. He brings us in, as it were upon a spacious theater, whereunto a multitude of spectators are collected, which having filled all the seates and roomes doth encom­passe the runners round about like a thick cloud: and he makes us to be runners, having the eyes of such a multitude of spectators upon us. And as anciently such a multitude of spectators did adde courage to the runners, and was a mighty spur unto them to contend for the victo­ry; so also to us, so many witnesses, who have themselves formerly laboured in the same race, should adde courage, that we might runne the race begun to the utmost of our strength and breath. He calls them witnesses not only in allusion to the spectators at a race (as wee said) who are a kinde of witnesses of their activity that run; but also and much rather, because they testifie of God, of his righteousnesse and goodnesse, and all of them with one voice, as it were, say, that God is, and is a rewarder of them that seeke him; and that he as the supreme depositary keeps the prize for them that run well; that he is most faith­full in his promises, and can even after death make them happy, who have spent their life for his sake. For by witnesses in this place wee must chiefly understand them, who testifie Gods faithfulnesse and goodnesse with their bloud; and hence are eminently called Martyrs, i. witnesses. A cloud of witnesses] That is, a great multitude of wit­nesses, which carry the shew and bulke of a cloud. Hence God him­selfe comparing the multitude of our sins to a cloud, saith, I have blot­ted out as a thick cloud thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sinnes, Isaiah 44.22. Let us lay aside every weight] Hee recedes not from his [Page 291]simily proposed. For they that will contend in the running of a race, must free themselves from all weights, and lighten themselves as much as they can. By weight in this spirituall race of faith, wee must under­stand the love of this life, and the care of things pertaining to it; where­with our soules are burdened and pressed downeward to the earth as it were with a great weight. And the sinne which doth so easily beset us] He seemes to allude to long and loose garment, which unlesse they be laid aside, are a great hinderance to runners, about whose legs such garments doe easily wave and wrap themselves. By sinne he seemes to meane all outward vicious acts, as before by weight, he signified the inward vices of the soule. For vicious acts doe easily insinuate them­selves upon us in our race of faith, and greatly retard us in our course begun, unlesse we cast off all our love to sin; for as often as we com­mit an actuall sinne, so often we fall as it were in our course of godli­nesse. And let us runne with patience, the race that is set before us] This race, is the course it selfe wherein we strive by running: for in the Greek it is [...], whereby is signified all kinde of strife in this man­ner, whether it be by running, wrestling, hurling, or any other way: but here he speakes of running. Therefore to runne the race is nothing else but to strive by running; and by this strife in running he meanes especially the strife of our faith; which consists in this, that we never be cast in our hope of Gods promises made by Christ, especially when wee are to doe or suffer some hard matter for Christs sake. To this strife particularly Paul exhorts his Timothy, when he calls upon him, to fight the good fight of faith, 1 Tim. 6.12. And the very same is signified by this Author, when in the next verse willing to excite us to this strife, and to strengthen us for it, he requires us to looke unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith. For this we must therefore doe, least we should waver in our faith, fainting and failing under it; for this is opposed to the strife of faith, ver 3. This race is said to be set before us, namely by God and Christ, because the price or reward of eternall life is appointed us upon no other condition, but of our running this race. And wee are commanded to runne with patience] either because without patience it is impossible to keepe our faith with God: or rather because this race or strife of faith appeares and shewes it selfe in nothing more, then in a constant suffering of adversities, in so much that he who with an invincible courage doth suffer all evils for Gods sake and Christ, is thereby truly said to runne the race of faith, things doth strive with afflictions, and will not be conquered or foiled by them.

2. Looking unto Iesus the author and finisher of the faith] Here hee shews, from whence especially we must procure courage and strength for our race of faith and patience; and what should incite us to runne [Page 292]stoutly, and beare all things patiently for righteousnesse sake? Namely, the example of the Captaine of our faith, upon whom we must cast and fasten the eyes of our minde; considering seriously, both what he did and what he suffered; what a race he ran, and what a prize hee obtained having finished his course. But he calls him not the Captain of faith simply, but of the faith, adding the article the, to specifie unto us some particular and singular faith, which is denominated from him, and called the Christian faith, because Christ was the Author and Captain of it; not only because he was the first that taught it, but also the first that performed it, or the first that did run the race of it. And he is also called the finisher of our faith, because as he was the first Author that began it, so he is the finisher thereof to bring it to an issue and put an end unto it; for a thing is then finished when it hath attained the proper end. In like manner, our faith shall be finished, when it is come to the issue of it, whereby we attaine the salvation of our soules, which as Peter saith, is the end of our faith, 1 Pet. 1.9. And this end is attained through Christ. For the like reason it was, that this Author before Chap. 3. ver. 1. called Christ Jesus the Apostle and high Priest of our profession. For the appellation of Apostle, though it rather note that Christ was the first teacher of our faith, then the first sufferer for it; and contrarily the appellation of the Captaine of our faith, which here the Author useth, notes rather the latter then the former, yet both these appellations doe tacitly include both. But Christ is our high Priest especially therefore, because it is his office to procure the expia­tion of our sinnes, and the eternall salvation of our soules: in which point (as we said) consisteth the finishing and ending of our faith. For to this present purpose this appellation of Christ is very sutable, and of great force to strengthen our minds and confirme them against all affli­ctions. For with what face should we forsake that faith, which hath so great a Captaine to it, and hath him for the finisher of it who is the Author of it? Who for the joy that was set before him] Christ to obtain the joy that was set before him, endured the crosse, and counterpoised the paine of death against the joy of eternall life. Hence it appears, that the joy of heaven, cannot be gotten at any lesse price then the crosse, if need require. And he saith this joy was set before Christ, in allusion to the prize that is proposed to them that run in a race, or strive at some other game. By Joy he understands that supreme and heavenly happinesse which Christ attained; and he calls it joy from the adjunct of it, because it is accompanied with unspeakable and perpetuall joy; and withall is opposed to the paine of the Crosse which he suffered. Of such high advantage it is for thee, to endure trouble and torment for a small time, that thereby thou maiest attaine heavenly joyes and pleasures for ever. Endured the crosse] The crosse hath in it two things extremely bitter; extreme paine and extreme shame: yet the shame of [Page 293]it, is to a noble spirit far more bitter then the paine of it; and therefore the Author addes, Despising the shame] It was a great shame and dis­grace to the Sonne of God, who well knew the high dignity of his person, after he had delivered so many gracious doctrines, and wrought so many admirable miracles, after so great hope and expectation rai­sed of him, to be seized upon by hangmen, dragged to execution, nai­led to a crosse, lifted up on high, to endure the faces and eyes of all men upon him, and be set as a marke for the spears and darts of bitter tongues. Yet Christ despised all this despite, all this shame and this disgrace, that for a momentany shame, be might attaine everlasting glory, and for a temporall paine on earth, eternall joy in heaven. And is set downe at the right hand of the throne of God] This is added to shew, that Christ was not frustrated of his hope, but that hee received a large reward of his faith and patience. To teach us, that if we also follow him in this race, we shall have the like issue of our faith and patience. But the great dignity and glory to Christ, that is signified by his sitting at the right hand of Gods throne, is before ex­plicated, Chap. 1. ver. 3. From this place and the other Chap. 8.1. it appears, that when Christ is said to sit at the right hand of God; by Gods right hand is not understood his power and strength, as else­where it is; but in this phrase by a simily drawne from men, is signi­fied, that the place at Gods right hand is more honourable then that at his left. For otherwise it were not rightly said, the right hand of the throne of God; because a throne hath no hand nor is supposed to have any, but only a right side of it. And many times in the same sense, Christ is said to sit in the plurall number at the right hands of God, or his power. For when the power of God is understood, or a right hand is attributed unto him by way of analogie, it is not called the right hands of God in the plurall number, but his right hand in the singular. But when the right or left place is signified, it is commonly expressed plurally by right or left hands, though it be uttered in respect of one person only; See Mat. 20.21. and Mat. 25.33,34 41.

3. For consider him that endured such contradictions of sinners against himselfe, lest ye be wearied and faint in your mindes.] Hee expresseth the end and use of the example of Christ, why wee should diligently consider it; because we are to make this use of it, that our mindes may not bee tired with adversities and afflictions, and so wee become wearied and faint in the course of our faith and patience, which here by profession of Christ we have begun to runne.

4. For ye have not resisted unto blood striving against sinne.] He ex­horts them with a new argument, to an invincible courage in bearing the afflictions which they suffered. For it seemes, he would make them somwhat ashamed, that seeing the miseries wherewith they were pres­sed, were not so grievous, as that hitherto they had drawne bloud from [Page 294]them, yet they begun to fail in courage and strength, contrary to Gods expresse monition. Here also he alludes to strifes, yet such as were by fencing or fighting, and not by running. For sinne would beat us from our constancy of faith and pietie toward God: but among the afflicti­ons which come to be suffered of us for the love of Christ, is the ab­negation or deniall of sinne, against which we must fight. In this fight therefore, while the combat is but upon our goods, our credit and re­putation, the matter is not yet come to bloud; but when cruelty, tor­ture, and death chargeth upon our bodies, then the businesse is in good earnest, and the fight is in the heat. These Hebrewes as it seems, were not yet in danger of their lives for Christ: but their sufferings were on­ly mockings, reproaches, and spoiling of their goods, as appeareth, chap. 10. ver. 33.34. The Authour therefore shewes what a shame­full thing it is, to turne the backe and flie at the first skirmish, as it were, and entrance of the fight. But when he brings in sinne for their enemy with whom they are to deale, he doth therein by a most effectuall ar­gument, encourage them to an holy valour, lest they should fail in their combat with an enemy so base and dangerous.

5. And ye have forgotten the exhortation.] And for and yet, by way of a particle adversative. As if he had said. Though ye have not yet spent your life and bloud for the love of Christ: yet the divine ad­monition or exhortation is slipt out of your minde, wherein yee are commanded to receive the chastning of the Lord with a ready minde, and to beare it patiently. And consequently, yee have forgotten your dutie contained in that exhortation. For the Authour doth not re­prehend them meerly for their memory that they had forgotten the words of that exhortation: but for their negligence, in not performing the duty therein commanded. We have said elswhere, that hee is said to remember a person or a matter, who hath a care of it: and therefore hee that hath not such care, though otherwise hee remember him in mind, doth forget him. This hath place chiefly in commands, coun­cells, and exhortations, which are not given therefore, only to remaine in our memories; but they must so remain in our memories, as that they be put in execution and actually performed. And when the authoritie of the commander or admonisher is so great, that it is not likely, but that hee who doth but onely remember the command or monition, would obey it with great reason, they may be said to forget it, who though they retaine it in a lively memory, yet obey it not. Which speaketh unto you as unto children] The Author commends this exhor­tation from the qualitie of it, that it is very gentle and fatherly, in re­gard it termes them children to whom it is directed. For who but a froward and obstinate person would not give way to such an exhorta­tion? The exhortation is said to speak by way of Metonymie, because he that exhorteth speaketh by it, or rather because it is the very speech [Page 295]of him that exhorteth. Now the person who exhorteth, is openly Solomon, but secretly God, by whose instinct Solomon uttered this. Pro. 3.11. Therefore in this exhortation God himselfe calleth us his children; from whence it follows that we should receive it readily, and observe it diligently. My sonne, despise not thou the chastning of the Lord.] When we make God himselfe to speak and not Solomon, then the name or Nowne of the Lord, must bee supposed to be put for the Pronowne my, after the Hebrew phrase. To despise, or (as it is in the Hebrew) to reject the chastning of the Lord, is nothing else but an un­willingnesse to bear it patiently, but to kick against it as against a prick. By the chastning of the Lord, the Author understands the afflictions, which the Hebrewes suffered for Christs sake: because many times God is wont to use such afflictions, not onely to make triall of men, but to make men good, and to amend them by a fatherly correction. And wee must conceive that this had then befallen those Hebrewes. Nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.] Another abuse of Gods chasten­ing quite contrary to the former; and that is, to faint and sinke downe under it. For some when they are chastned of God, are of a stubborne and impatient spirit: others are soft natured, or have no spirit at all; whence it comes to passe, that being overcome with afflictions, they faint and forsaking their trust and hope in God, turne aside from the pathes of righteousnesse.

6. For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth] The reason expressed in the exhortation it selfe, why we should be obedient unto it, is be­cause chastening is an effect and an argument of Gods love toward us: And what proceeds from Gods love, must not be despised or rejected, but be held in high esteem; neither must it deject our minds from faith and hope in God, but rather raise and encourage us to receive it. But we must note, that chastisement, that is, that correction or punishment which God inflicts upon us for our amendment, is a token and effect of Gods love; and not every punishment, which oftentimes is laid on men for their destruction: for this is the effect of Gods wrath and in­dignation, against which David supplicates in the sixth Psalme. Be­sides, this reason must be taken with a limitation; for God doth not chastise every one whom he loves (if we take chastising not simply for affliction, but for a punishment) but then onely when they deserve cha­stising, as for the most part they doe. But it appears by the scope and intent of the Author, that these words must be taken, as if it had been said, Whom the Lord loveth, he at last chastiseth, or sometime chasti­seth. Which sentence is more fully expressed in the Hebrew text, if wee looke upon the following words, as wee shall see presently. For otherwise we could not hence gather, that chastising is alwayes an ef­fect and token of Gods love. For saving the truth of the words in the text, a man may imagine, that whom God loveth, hee chastiseth, [Page 296]but not conversly, that whom he chastiseth he loveth: so that it may be doubted, whether chastising proceed from Gods love or hatred. Neither are these sayings repugnant, Whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth; and whom he loveth not, he chastiseth; seeing God may chastise both these; unlesse as we said, we understand the particle at last in the latter part of the former saying; which in such sayings falles out very fre­quently. And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth] This is but a re­petition of the same saying. In the Hebrew it is, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth; which is nothing else but the converse of the former saying; as if Solomon had said, whom God loveth, he cha­stiseth, and whom he chastiseth, he loveth. So that chastising is a most certain and undoubted effect and token of Gods love. Whom he recei­veth, i. whom God adopteth, acknowledgeth and accounteth for his Sonne. For God doth not acknowledge all for sonnes, who call them­selves the Sonnes of God.

7. If ye endure chastning, God dealeth with you as with sons.] From the former divine exhortation, the Author frames in a manner a new argument, to excite them unto patience in suffering of afflictions; be­cause then God dealeth with them as with sonnes. Ye have this com­modity by your patience, that God offers himselfe unto you as unto children, and he on his part performes the office of a Father; so there­by ye have God for your Father. And God delighteth in him whom he chastiseth as a father in his sonne. For what sonne is he whom the father chastiseth not? It is the office of the father to chastise the sonne that deserveth it; and he alwayes doth it, unlesse many and great in­juries have overcome his patience; and there be something that hee fears, more then he blames.

8. But if ye be without chastisement] To be without chastisement in this verse; is opposed to endure chastening in the former verse: whence it appears, that the word endure in the former verse doth not signifie the vertue of patience which is a duty belonging to the godly; but on­ly the suffering or sense of paine which concernes their state and con­dition. Hee shews on the other part, illustrating the thing from the contrary, what an inconvenience it is for a man to be without chastise­ment, and to receive no trouble nor evill from God. And the incon­venience is this, that such goe not for sonnes, but are reputed of God as bastards and children of adultery, and changelings; which of all in­conveniences is to man the greatest. We must therefore needs chuse one of these two, either to be acknowledged for the sons of God, and so undergoe chastisement: or if we will not be chastised, we must bee accounted bastards. Whereof all are partakers] To be the Son of God, and to be chastised (at least as often as need requires) are conditions so connexed and coupled between themselves, that all the Sons of God must needs undergoe this Law, all must needs feele their Fathers hand, [Page 297]and be partakers of chastisement. All must needs be partakers hereof, yet not universally, but generally; because there are few sons, or rather but one only, who deserved not chastisement, neither had any need of it. And yet even he was exercised with hard conditions, not that hee was partaker of chastisement properly; that is, of punishment; for what place could punishment have in him that was most innocent: but that by his stripes and wounds we might be perfectly healed? Hence the chastisement of our peace, or that brought us true peace and happines, is said to have been upon him, Esay 53.5. in which place, the word chastisement must by way of synecdoche be taken for affliction. Then are ye bastards, and not sonnes.] Ye are not truly borne of God, not such whom God acknowledgeth for his sonnes and children; but yee are bastards and changelings. For they are bastards who goe for the sonnes of such a man, yet indeed were not begotten of him; and such are not alwayes acknowledged of their carnall fathers; but our spiritu­all Father cannot be deceived, for he knowes all that are not borne of him, and acknowledgeth them for none of his, and thereupon vouch­safeth not to bestow any fatherly care and chastisement for the framing of their manners and behaviour.

9. Further more we have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us] He shews by another argument, which is yet of affinity with the for­mer, that we must endure Gods chastisements, and so endure them, that thereby we become corrected and amended; for such as do this, they only receive chastisement as they ought. The fathers of our flesh are our carnall fathers, that begat us according to the flesh, and produ­ced us into this carnall life; for they are opposed unto the Father of spirits, as it presently follows in this verse. And we gave them reverence] By the chastisements of our carnall fathers we were often made asha­med, both by the punishment and by the fault, and were ashamed of both. For chastisement brings with it, not only paine but shame: But if we referre this to our fathers, the sense will be, that by their chastise­ment we were so affected, as to reverence them, and for shame and fear of them, durst not offend against them. But if our carnall fathers who were the authors of our carnall life only, could by their chastisement effect this in us; how much more convenient is it, that the chastisement of our spirituall Father should produce in us the like effect? Shall wee not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits?] To be in sub­jection, is in this place, to receive and endure that chastisement which proceeds from God with a ready and patient minde; and thereupon to shew our selves tractable and obedient unto him in all those things for the amendment whereof he chastised us. The Father of spirits] That is God, who is opposed to the fathers of our flesh; to shew us, how much more it becomes us, to bee in subjection unto him, then unto these, because the spirit is far more noble and excellent then the flesh. [Page 298]For God is not therefore called the father of spirits, and opposed to the fathers of our flesh, as if we had received our spirit onely whereby we live and understand from God, and our flesh onely from our parents; seeing God is no lesse the Author and Creator of the one then of the other. But by spirit is meant all that which pertaines to our spirit, and makes us to be spirituall; for this we owe to no other person but to our heavenly father. But he is called the father of spirits, because he hath begotten us according to the spirit, and he alone hath begotten all of us. And live] Hee shews the fruit and end of our subjection, the more to incite us thereto. And this fruit is eternall life, which to at­taine is truly to live. Whence oftentimes it is eminently called by the sole name of life.

10. And they verily for a few dayes chastened us after their owne pleasure] Because he had said we should live, if we would be in subjecti­on to the Father of spirits, tacitly intimating, that this effect would not follow upon our subjection to our carnall fathers; therefore now he shews, what great difference there is, betweene the end and scope whereat our carnall fathers ayme, as they are opposed to our spirituall father, and in this respect are not subservient unto him, and that end which God proposeth in the chastisement of his children. Where­upon it also followes, that we should farre more willingly submit our selves to endure the chastisements of God then of them; in regard they are intended for a farre greater good unto us, then the chastise­ments of our carnall fathers. For a few dayes, the good or benefit of their chastisement is of use unto us, but for a few dayes, that we may passe over this life which is concluded within the compasse of a short time, the more conveniently and honestly. For the Author by these words intends not to say, that the chastisement of our fathers lasteth not long: but passeth away together with our childhood and youth; for what doth this make to the purpose? Must we therefore be rather the more in subjection unto God, because his chastisement lasteth a long time or through all our life? Besides, the minde of the Author is to inculcate into us, rather the shortnesse of Gods chastisement, then the length of it; as we might perceive before, chap. 10. ver. 37. after their owne pleasure] They in their chastisements of us did not alwayes seeke our benefit, but were many times indulgent to their owne hu­mours and passions; or if in some measure they sought our benefit, yet they did not alwayes use a right judgement therein. They did therein as it seemed good unto them, sometime after our desert, and sometime after their owne pleasure; and oftentimes erred through mis-affection or indiscretion. But he for our profit] But God is such a father that when he chasteneth his children, he alwayes directs his eye to our be­nefit and profit; neither doth ever misse of his intent. That we might be partakers of his holinesse.] Here he specifies in particular the profit we [Page 299]gaine from Gods chastisement; that thereby we are sanctified in so great a measure as to partake of his holinesse; for the holinesse thereby wrought in us, is in a manner divine, resembling the holinesse of God. Wherein is also contained by way of Metonymy the fruit of this holi­nesse, which is everlasting happinesse.

11. Now no chastening for the present] He seemes here to take away an objection. Some man might say, that all chastisement of it owne nature is unpleasing and bitter; and therefore it is an hard matter to en­dure it with patience. The Author confesseth this to be true, in respect of some time, that chastisement for the time present, all the while the affliction of it lasteth, seemes not so good, as indeed it is. Seemeth to be joyous] It doth not appeare or seeme unto us to tend unto joy; or the present sowrenesse and bitternesse of chastisement, while the smart of it is upon us, doth not seeme to us, of that quality, that it should de­termine and end in great joy and pleasure. But grievous.] It seemes to bring nothing else unto us but smart and griefe; for all chastisement brings griefe or paine, else it should not be chastisement; for therefore we are chastised, that the paine of the punishment might repell the lust of sinne. Neverthelesse afterward it yeeldeth the peaceable fruit of righte­ousnesse] The fruit of righteousnesse signifies the fruit that is righte­ousnesse, by a genetive of the difference. And the word righteousnesse doth in this place signifie both the habit of doing righteously, and by way of Metonymy, the effect or reward following it, which is Justi­fication, or the having of a right to life eternall: as in the former verse holinesse signified, both holinesse of manners, and the happinesse fol­lowing upon it. And this fruit is called peaceable, not only in respect of righteousnesse properly taken, which brings us peace, that is, hap­pinesse: but in respect of our justification to life eternall; because that consisteth in true peace which is our finall happinesse, and brings it with it. In a sence not unlike, Paul said, that blessed hope, Tit. 2.13. for hope is there taken materially for the thing hoped, which is eternall life; which is called blessed, because it is blessednesse it selfe, and makes them blessed who attain it. Vnto them which are exercised there­by.] He specifies here the persons to whom this peaceable fruit ac­crews, and they are such as are exercised by chastisement; for chastise­ment is an exercise to godlinesse and righteousnesse. And they are said to be exercised by chastisement, who either simply have beene agitated and afflicted with corrections, yet so as tacitly it must be supposed, that the persons thus exercised, did profit in the course of vertue and piety as much as need required; or who by their chastisements unlearned to do evill, and whose minde by that meanes was framed to every good habit of well-doing; so that withall is also signified the effect of that chastisement, together with the persons profited by it.

12. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang downe] After the Au­thor [Page 300]had shewed the great profit which wee receive by the chastise­ments of God; he from thence inferres an exhortation, that therefore we should not let fall our spirits, but rather raise them up, and with all alacrity proceed in the worke and course of Christian piety. Hee tearmes their hands hanging downe, because they had beene remisse in the works of Christian duties, being tired as it were with diverse afflictions. He would therefore have them, not yeild to afflictions, but raise up their courage and stoutly go on in their works began of Chri­stian piety; considering they saw that their afflictions proceeded from Gods love for their great benefit and profit. And the feeble knees] He draws a comparison from a man wearied with running or labouring, when the strength of the sinewes is so loosened, that the hands hang and the knees totter, and all the members seeme as it were out of joynt. The strength of these parts both of hands and knees they must re­sume, and proceed afresh in the course of Christianity till they have finished the race of it.

13. And make streight paths for your feet] By paths he understands our accustomed actions, which are frequently used of us, as paths use to be. And our paths are then streight, when they answer the rule of Christian precepts and are agreeable unto it. The Author in these words seemes particularly to admonish the Hebrewes, that they should deale candidly and openly in the profession of Christian verity, and not seeke any by-wayes of hypocrisie and dissimulation: For they are said to walke streight, who deale candidly and openly, which Paul reproving Peter, calls walking uprightly, Gal. 2.14. Contrarily, they who deale not candidly, seeme to walke in by-paths and by turnings and windings. Lest that which is lame be turned out of the way] Hee halteth or goeth lame, that in professing of the truth, or in his life and manners dealeth not so, as becommeth him. The Author intimates, that among them to whom he wrote, there were some who halted in the waye of Christian verity and piety; and did incline sometime one way, sometime another; who indeed did not wholly forsake the Chri­stian Religion, yet were greatly propense to the Jewish; or to avoid dangers and persecutions, seemed propense. In which sence Eli­as long since demanded of the Israelites, who to comply with A­hab joyned in a manner the worship of Baal with the worship of the true God, and yet adhered firmely to neither. How long halt yee be­tweene two opinion? 1 King. 18.21. Be turned out of the way] The Greeke word is [...], which may bee taken in two senses; either for the luxation or sprayning of some member or joynt necessary for walking, which being dislocated will not suffer us to walke at all, but wholly takes away all use of walking; or else for straying from the way, which to most Interpreters seemes most probable. The former of these agrees best with the Metaphor of halting and [Page 301]healing, which the Authour mentions presently after: but the latter sutes best with the preceding words, wherein wee are commanded to make straight pathes for our feet; and that to the end, that he who halt­eth in the path of Christianitie might not be turned out of the way, so that, to make straight paths, and be turned out of the way are in a man­ner opposed. For if he, who in the right way maketh straight pathes, or goeth straight on, doth not erre from the right way; then certainely he that erreth or turneth out of the way, maketh not straight pathes, But it easily fals out, that he who halteth in the path, doth at last whol­ly forsake it, and turnes aside to the by-wayes of vices. But it is not ne­cessary, that the healing which hee mentions in the words immediatly following, should be properly and directly opposed to turning out of the way, but onely that not turning out of the way, should bee some­what lesse then healing. For it is cleare, that the Authour com­pares things unequall betweene themselves, as appeares by the particle rather; when hee saith; But let it rather be healed.] This healing here is opposed to the halting before, thus. Let him that halt­eth or goeth lame, not turne out of the way of pietie; or if he have turn­ed our of it, let him returne into it againe, and leave his lamenesse or halting therein, which is to be healed of it: that being healed, he may walke on uprightly and strongly, lifting up the knees that were feeble, and fill his mind with alacrity in the service of God and Christ; for for want of this alacrity, the spirituall lamenes or halting comes upon him.

14 Follow peace with all men] Having finished his former exhor­tation to constancy in the faith, he now adds some precepts of Christi­an pietie; whereof the first is, to follow peace with all men. Which precept is especially most necessary to be observed of Christians, be­ing persons exposed to all mens hatred, not onely for the attaining of salvation, but also for the avoiding of divers calamities; as Peter teach­eth us. 1. Pet. 3.13. And holinesse] Som thinke that the word holi­nesse in this place, signifies onely chastitie, as we see Paul understands it. 1. Thess. 4.3. and 1. Tim. 2.15. But there is no just reason, why we should restraine a sentence which may have most conveniently a gene­rall sense, and streighten it to designe onely chastitie; seeing other Christian vertues pertain no lesse then it to Christian sanctification, and seperation from the profane multitude of the world. See Ephes. 5.26. where the word sanctifying or hallowing is extended to signifie the way of all pietie. Without which no man shall see the Lord.] Because in the Greek the article the is prefixed before the Lord, therefore accord­ing to the common language of the new Covenant, wee must here un­derstand the Lord Jesus Christ, whom hee that shall see, shall also see God himselfe. And to see the Lord, and by him to see God, containes all our future happines of immortalitie; seeing, see him wee cannot be­fore we are made like him in nature, by being made immortal. For this [Page 302]sight of God must be understood of a cleare sight, and such an one, whereby, as John speaks, 1. Epist. 3.2. Wee shall see God and Christ as they are; and of a continuall sight that shall last for ever; and a sight that shall flow from our conversation and company with the Lord. Wherefore he that desires the everlasting sight of God and Christ, let him seriously endeavour to be holy, that is, to sequester and seperate himselfe from the profane multitude of the world, not onely in profes­sion, but in life and manners. For he to whom this holines is wanting, doth in vaine, poor wretch, flatter himselfe with the hope of hap­pinesse.

15. Looking ailigently] Another part of our dutie is here declared; Namely, that wee should not onely have a diligent care of our owne lives, but we should also be as it were visitors and overseers one of ano­ther; that carrying a mutuall and common care for our common salvati­on, we might so much the more easily and certainly attain it. Left any man fall of the grace of God,] This is the thing against which we must provide and looke diligently that it happen not amongst us. By this grace is understood the grace of the Gospel, which is conveyed unto men, by Christ, then which no greater grace could possibly be done to mortall men. That man is said to faile, who either stands still under this grace, or drawes backe from it; as we saw before, chap. 4.1. Such are all they who forsake the most sacred Religion of Christ, and will follow his Standerd no longer. Lest any root of bitternesse springing up, trouble you.] The Authour here alludes to the words of Moses, Deut. 29.18. Wherein he likewise speaketh of Apostats. By root of bitter­nesse (which is an Hebraisme for a bitter root) he understands Apo­stats; who are called bitter, because both they themselves are bitter and unsavoury to God, and to the godly, and also because they bring forth fruit like themselves, that is, very bitter and sowre. This root spring­eth up, or groweth, when a man dares utter unto others that Apostacie which he had before, but conceived in his mind, and onely cherished in his owne bosome: or when it so increaseth and gathereth strength in one person, that at last it spreads the infection of it upon others. For the manner of it is for the most part to grow up and get strength by de­grees; as faith doth, which is contrary to it; for that which at the first is but small and weake, doth afterward increase and strengthen. And Apostacy doth breed trouble, when it opposeth the growth of faith and a good life in others; as plants and trees set too neere, hinder one anothers growth, or as weeds hinder the growth of corne. Although the Greek word [...], doth properly signifie to trouble and hinder a mans rest; which Apostats also commit, for they trouble the quiet and peace of the Church. And thereby many be defiled] Pollution or de­filing in this place, seems to be put for infection; for many times by de­filing, a thing is infected. So a garment defiled by the flesh, is said to [Page 289]be infected or spotted. Jude 23. by a Metaphor taken from the body, and a garment thereby infected with the plague. And hither wee may referre that which is said of the tongue,) that it defiles the whole body. Jam. 3.6. where defiling, seemes to be put for infecting; for in this sense the Metaphor is the more elegant; whereupon it is said a little after at the 8. verse, that the tongue is full of deadly poison. The same therefore might bee intended in this place, if wee respect the sense of it. For things properly are not defiled by rootes, but infected; for plants sometime doe infect plants by their mutuall contagion or touch of one another, yea by their very shadow which they cast upon other plants. But it may be the Authour receding from the Metaphor of roots doth relate unto the persons of whom he spake, who by ano­ther Metaphor are said to be defiled, as often as they are infected with errour or sinne.

16. Lest there be any fornicator or profane person as Esau.] It is doubt­full whether both these, the fornicator and profane person be to be re­ferred to Esau. Of Esaus fornication wee read nothing in the holy Scriptures, unlesse wee referre hither his mariage with the women of Canaan, against the manner and custome of those holy men, who would not mingle their sons seasoned with the true worship of God, with their daughters, who were destitute of the knowledge of God. Therefore they might account such mariage uncleane and incestuous. And certainely we see God was provoked in this case, and thereby in­duced to bring the flood upon the whole world. Gen. 6.2. &c. Be­sides, we read in particular of the wives of Esau, that they offended the minde of Isaac and Rebecca, in so much that Rebecca said to Isaac, I am weary of my life, because of the daughters of Heth. i. (The wives of Esau) if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life doe me? Gen. 27.46. And Isaac calling Jacob to him, charged him, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; Arise, goe to Padan aram to the house of Bethuel thy mothers father, and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mo­thers brother, Gen. 28.1.2. See also in the same Chap. ver. 6 7.8. For although Esaus wives might bee unpleasing and distastefull to Isaac and Rebecca by reason of their rudenesse, insolencies, and other vices, yet it is more likely, it was because they sprang from wicked parents and came from a prophane stocke, wholly allien from the Religion and worship of the true God, and were superstitiously addicted to re­ligions false and impious. It appears also indeed that the family of Bethuel and Laban himselfe, whose daughters Jacob afterward mar­ried, was with all his houshold given to Idolatry and the worship of false gods, and was so bred from his very ancestors; as appears, Gen. 31.19,30,32. and Joshua 24.2. yet it sufficiently appears also, that in [Page 304]that family the knowledge and worship of the true God also was not wholly extinct, as in the time of Ahab it was not wholly extinct in the Kingdome of Israel, see Gen. 24.50,51. and Gen. 29.32,33. and Gen. 30.6,27. and Gen. 31.16,24,49,50. But the Canaanites where wholly ignorant and void of the true God. And what difference there is be­tween those, who wholly renouncing the worship of the true God, serve only false gods and idols, and those who joyne the worship of the true God, with idolatry and the worship of false gods, doth easily appeare from 2 King. 17.24. and so on to the end. Wherefore although Labans daughters were not free from the worship of false gods, as appears from the passage formerly cited, Gen. 31.19,32. and Gen. 35.2. yet seeing they were also seasoned with the knowledge of the true God, they were therefore the lesse prophane, and came from a stocke the lesse wicked, and seeing there could bee found no women better, who were addicted only to the true Religion, it was therefore most fit as the case stood, that the sons of holy men should take their wives from these, and wave the women of Canaan, who were wholly prophane and wicked. The Author therefore might taxe these marri­ages in Esau as prophane, uncleane and incestuous: which also are most carefully to be avoided of all Christians; and so much the more, as they are more holy then the sonnes of the Patriarchs. Notwith­standing the Author seems properly to brand that fornication, which was so growne into custome among the Gentiles, that it was scarce ac­counted any vice or dishonesty, as it plainly appears by the holy Scri­ptures, see Acts 15.20,29. Rom. 1.29. 1 Corinth. 6.13. And this sin he would have to be far from Christians. And in the prohibition of fornication is included also the prohibition of adultery, and of all kind of unclean pleasures, because they are greater sins. Or prophane person] That person properly is prophane, who esteems nothing holy, who either despiseth things holy, or discernes them not from things com­mon. How this should properly agree to Esau, it doth not equally ap­pear. For the birth-right which he despised and sold for so base a price, was not a thing properly holy, though it were a singular privi­ledge, and not to be despised: either therefore it is not Esau who is called prophane, but only he is proposed for an example of a prophane person, in regard he did an act resembling prophanenesse. Or if hee himselfe be called a prophane person, he deserved that appellation by his likenesse to a prophane person, especially seeing his fact seems to be a signe of a prophane person. Who for one morsell of meat sold his birth-right.] The first borne both seemed in a manner peculiarly sa­cred unto God, and were the first and chiefe heires of then parents, and by a naturall right had a prerogative and preeminence above their bre­thren. Whence under the Law the first borne was to have a double portion out of his fathers inheritance, which came to as much as any [Page 305]two of his brethren, Deut. 21.17. Hence we read that the dignity roy­all was devolved from Reuben the first-borne of Jacob unto Judah, passing by also Simeon and Levi who were elder then Judah; because all these had defiled themselves with wickednesse. Reuben because he had gone up to his fathers bed; and the rest because they had stained their hands with the murther of the Sichemites, and had made them­selves incapable of that dignity. If therefore Esau were filthy and prophane, because he sold his birth-right for a morsell of meat; how much more are they filthy, prophane and wicked, who being chosen and adopted for the Sonnes of God in Christ, doe esteem so basely of their rights to heaven, which God through his infinit mercy hath con­ferred upon them, that they countervalue them with fornications, glut­tonies, and other base pleasures and sins?

17. For ye know that afterward when he would have inherited the bles­sing, he was rejected] That we might learne what great calamity is in­cident to prophane persons such as Esau was, and consequently how much it concerns us to shun prophanenesse; therefore the Author here shews what great incommondity it brought unto Esau, that afterward when he would have inherited the blessing due by the right of nature to the first-borne above others, and sued to his father Isaac for it, hee was rejected, because he had already sold it unto Jacob, and Jacob had already gotten that blessing, God so ordering the matter; the same calamity therefore remaines to all those, that by lusts and uncleane pleasures, and such like sinnes disable themselves from the right of that eternall blessing, whereto God of his great mercy had admitted them by adopting them for his sons. For he had no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with teares] The Author therefore addes this, lest any prophane person should thinke, that he could move God afterward by his tears and cryes, not to deprive him finally of that blessing which is heavenly happinesse. For the same condition will befall them that happened unto Esau, who found no place for repentance, though hee sought it earnestly with tears and cryes as the Scriptures testifie. From this place it clearly appears, that to enjoy the birth-right and the chiefe blessing otherwise due of course to the first-borne were things distinct. And Esau though he had not sold his birth-right, might notwithstan­ding, God so willing and disposing, have failed of the chiefe blessing, because it was already setled upon Jacob. For if Esau having now sol [...] and lost his birth-right, would yet have gotten the chiefe blessing, and did sue with prayers and teares to his father for it; why might not Ja­cob though he had not gotten the birth-right, aspire to the blessing? was it not free for God to bestow it rather upon Jacob then Esau? Al­though therefore without the rejection of his birth-right, Esau might not be preferred before Jacob for the blessing, yet seeing he had for merly despised his birth-right, hee was altogether worthy to lose the [Page 306]fruit of it also, that so he might faile of the blessing not only by Gods decree and pleasure, but by his owne fault and demerit. The pronoune it though it may be relative to the blessing, yet it rather seems refer­able to repentance; and yet not to the repentance of Esau, but of Isaac: For Esau must be supposed to seek that which he found not; for the Author doth manifestly oppose these two one to the other, but hee found not repentance, and therefore he sought repentance. For to find no place of repentance is all one with not to finde repentance, that the forme of the opposition may the better appeare; unlesse we say that one thing was sought, and another was not found; for the thing whose place cannot be found, that thing cannot be made existent. But now seeing Esau sought not his owne repentance, for he did repent of his fact, and testified his sorrow with tears and cryes, it remaines therefore that by that repentance whose place could not be found, wee under­stand the repentance of Isaac; whereto Esau by his weeping and com­plaints would move Isaac, that he would revoke the blessing given to Jacob, and translate it upon himselfe. But he was therein disappointed and frustrated; for his teares and cryes came too late and did not help him. And this point the Author leaves to the consideration of all prophane persons, that after they have rejected or neglected their right to eternall salvation, their tears and cryes will availe them nothing, if they come too late, as all those doe, which only then are powred forth, when the time is past for amendment of life, and the time already come for judgement and punishment; or else their tears are not serious enough, and effectuall to a new course of life, and to true holinesse for the recovery of that right which they had lost. For the Author had determined it before, that without holines no man should see the Lord, ver. 14. And therefore a matter of this consequence must not thinke to be gained only with cryes and tears; wherein prophane persons can be as abundant, and commonly are more fluent then the true Saints of God. Hence it is manifest, what we are to thinke of that repentance and sorrow of minde as they call it, which appears in persons dying; who while they lived and were healthy, followed their sinnes, or as the Author said before, sinned willingly after they had received the knowledge of the truth. For upon their death-bed, the time of a true fruitfull repentance is past, and they are called as it were to the tribu­nall of Gods judgement. For although it is better even then, to sue also for Gods mercy with tears and cryes, then by casting away of all hope, to doe nothing at all for the compassing of mercy; yet by force of the new Covenant, it death follow, and no time granted them for the putting off the old man with his workes, and putting on the new, they cannot be saved. Therefore such have need of some extraordinary grace and favour from God, which we have reason to think befals but a few, and to none of those who lived prophanely as Esau did.

[Page 307]18. For ye are not come] Here begins another part of the Chapter, wherein the Author useth a new argument to perswade them, from falling from the Grace of God, and Religion of Christ, and from be­ing so prophane, as to be more indulgent to fornications, uncleannesses and other sinnes, then to enjoy that happinesse whereto they have got­ten a right by their faith in Christ. For he shewes, of what great pri­viledges they are made partakers, by receiving the Religion of Christ; and this he doth by framing of a comparison of them with those things which long since befell to their ancestours in the publishing of the Law at Mount Sinai. And withall he doth tacitly disparage that glo­rious and terrible manner wherein the Law was proclaimed, which happily was no small motive to the Hebrewes, to think that they were not to forsake the Law; whose proclamation was performed with such Majesty. Having shewed the great benefits accruing by the Gospell, he thence infers, that they ought with all their endeavour to obey the voice of the Gospell; otherwise they shall fall upon terrible and infal­lible judgements, not amoveable by any tears and cryes. First, there­fore he mentions the things that of old happened to the Israelites at the publication of the Law; and afterward to them he opposeth the things happening to Christians at the publication of the Gospell. For (saith he) ye are not come to the Mount that might be touched] Ye came not, namely, then when ye were initiated unto Christ, and were made members or subjects unto him, as our ancestors came long since, when they became bound to the rules of the Law. And the things whereto the Israelites then came, he shews to be partly contemptible, partly terrible. Mount Sinai was a thing contemptible, which hee therefore termes the tra­ctable Mount, or the Mount that might be touched; not only because it might be so, but because it often had been so; for many times it had been both touched and trampled on both by men and beasts, whereto it was no lesse exposed then any other Mountaine. The Israelites came to this Mount because by Gods command they were assembled at the foot of it, that there they might hear God delivering the Law from the Mount. And that burned with fire] But the rest of the things that here­upon he mentions are very terrible; for the Mount burned with fire, which was so great and so high, that it burned up unto heaven, as the sacred History relates it. Nor unto blacknesse, and darknesse, and tempest.] By blacknesse we may understand that thicke cloud, wherein God is said to have descended; and the darknesse was the great shadow which was caused by the overspreading of that cloud, which being extremely thick must needs induce an extraordinary darknesse. And the Tempest was not by any violence of windes and raine, as by lightnings and thunders, which rush with as much violence as windes in a tempest, and many times are accompained with a tempest. All things were composed and suted to inject feare and terror; for from the thicke [Page 308]cloud and the darkenesse that it caused, there issued forth a horrible burning of fire, the lightnings shined out, and the thunders clapped; and besides the thunders was a noise more fearefull; for the noise of a trumpet that sounded long and loud, and by degrees rose lowder and lowder filled the whole ayre; and that nothing might want for rerrour, the whole Mount from the top to the bottome trembled and quaked, to the extreme amazement of the people.

19. And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words] The words were the commandements of the Law, and the voice was the voice of God, wherewith the words of the Law were uttered from the top of the Mount out of the midst of the fire. For after that the whole multi­tude summoned by the sound of the trumpet stood at the foote of the Mount ready to heare the Law, then God with a voice undoubtedly no lesse terrible then the sound of the trumpet, published his will in the Law. For how terrible Gods voice was, hereby it appeares, in that the Israclites supplicated that God would speake no more unto them. For so it followeth in the rest of the verse. Which voice they that heard, entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more] The voice of God was so terrible to the people, that thereby they were afraid of their lives; and therefore entreated Moses, that if there were any more to be spoken, he would speake it, and not God, lest (say they) we dye. See Exod. 20.18,19. and Deut. 5.25,26.

20. For they could not endure that which was commanded] If these words cohere with the words immediately following in the verse, and if so much as a beast touch the Mountaine it shall be stoned, &c. So that these words be taken for that which was commanded, and which the people could not endure; wee may well doubt, how this agrees with the Sacred history, from whence no such things seemes to appeare, that the people therefore deprecated Gods further speech unto them, because they feared that command of not touching the Mount, and could not endure it as a thing too grievous and dangerous to them: but rather therefore, because they were terribly afraid of that fire, out of which God spake; and because they imagined that God could not long speake with man, but that man, unable to beare the voice and ma­jesty of God, must needs dye; as appeares by their words to Moses, See Deut. 5.24,25,26. Yet because by their words there it is manifest, that they feared to be consumed by the fire out of which God spake; it seemes that it could proceed from no other reason, but because they were afraid they might easily offend God and provoke him, where­upon that fire would take hold of them. For why otherwise should they be so afraid of that fearefull but harmelesse fire, which hurt Mo­ses nothing at all? And wherein could they sooner and more easily offend God, then if any of them should passe the bounds set them by God and touch the Mount? especially when it was also to be feared, [Page 309]that for the sinne and rashnesse of some one or a few, many might suf­fer, that might seeme in some manner involved. For the like had else­where fallen out in such offences committed against the Majesty of God; especially if the command were laid upon all, that no one might dare to attempt, as here it was. Therefore it is credible, that the Israe­lites greatly in feare of this command, of not touching the Mount, nor passing their bounds; and of not touching them that did transgresse herein, but killing them afarre off with stones or darts, did entreate that they might not be drawne out of their tents to heare the Law pro­claimed, and thereby put in danger of transgressing that command and offending God; for while they kept within their campe, they were safer from sinning; and if any rash person should go forth, and dare to passe the bounds that God had set, he should do it at his owne perill onely, and not endanger the people by it, who were innocent of it. But being out of their campe, and drawne so neere the Mount, it might easily fall out that some beast or man, either pressed forward by the multitude, as it often happens, or carried on with his owne rash and curious desire to see God, would hardly containe himselfe within the bounds limited; and having once passed them, no man might follow him to draw him back, but they must kill him afarre off with stones and darts. And commonly in other mens dangers, especially theirs who stand allyed unto us, we forget our owne; and therefore it might easily fall out, that the father willing to save his son, and the son his fa­ther, one friend another, and one neighbour another, many might in­volve themselves in the common danger. What marvaile therefore is it, if the Israelites could not endure that which was commanded, for not touching the Mount, nor passing their bounds, and therefore entreated that God would speake to them no more, in regard of the great danger wherein they stood to heare him? To him whom this way satisfies not, we may say, that the words they could not endure that which was commanded, need not be referred to the words following, but may be read in a parenthesis, to declare what was spoken next be­fore. But the following words, and if so much as a beast touch &c. be­ing put by themselves serve to amplifie the great terrour of that spe­ctacle; as also doth the whole verse following. If we follow this way, then the Author seemes to have uttered these words in a double sence. One is historicall according to the ordinary construction of the words themselves: the other is typicall, which is as it were a figure or sha­dow of the things historied. The historicall sence is, that the Israelites could not endure that voice of God, whereby hee gave his Laws and commands. But this sence though it agree with the history, yet it hard­ly complies with the words. The other sence shews not what was re­ally done of the Israelites, but what was represented or shadowed out by what was done. The people entreated, that the word might be [Page 310]spoken to them no more. Why so? Because (saith the Au­thor) they could not endure that which was commaunded; for the burden of the Commandments was too heavie for their shoul­ders. They doe not indeed say this, neither do they feele it, but by their fact and refusall they intimate and shadow it. For as that voyce wherewith the commandments were published, being grievous and terrible, was a signe of the gravitie and weightinesse of the com­mandements of the Law: so the peoples not enduring that God should speake to them and command them, was a secret token that the people could not beare the burden of the commands of the Law. For the sacred Scriptures of the new Testament, when they speake of a thing which hapned under the Law, doe commonly so speake of it, as if the thing were then done, which then was onely typically signified. Whereof we have an evident example in Paul, when hee saith, that Moses put a vaile over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly looke to the end of that which is abolished. 2. Cor. 3.13. when yet, if we look into the History, that was done for another cause, namely, because the Israelites could not endure the lustre of Moses his face for the brightnes of it: But because that vailing of Moses his face, was a type and shadow of the thing which Paul mentions, therefore the thing it selfe is said to be done. In a like manner of speech, the names of the antitypes are sometime attributed to the types. So before chap. 11. ver. 26. wee see that the reproach of the Israelites in Egypt, was called the reproach of Christ. And that wee may goe no farther, even in this chapter a little after, at the 25. verse, this very refusall of the people, wherein they entreated, that God would speake no more unto them, is taken for that, which in like manner was signified by another type, namely for contumacy and disobedience against God. For when the Authour at the said 25. verse saith, that they escaped not punish­ment, who refused him that spake on earth; it is manifest that hee hath relation to that refusall, which he mentioneth in this place. But the re­fusall, which caused the Israelites to incurre Gods displeasure and bee punished, and which we also must by all meanes avoide, as by the Au­thor we are admonished at the 25. verse, was not their refusall to heare God speak unto them without an interpreter (for that was wholly plea­sing unto God, as we read, Deut. 5.28,29,30.) but the thing that under that refusall was covertly shadowed, and tacitely presaged, namely, that in future time it would come to passe, that they would indeed re­fuse to heare, that is, to obey the voyce of God. In like manner there­fore in this place the Israelites are said to refuse, that God should give them more precepts, or speake further unto them, because they could not endure more, yea, not them which they had heard already; not that this was their mind and sense, but that this was the sense of their fact, as afterward the event shewed. Shall be stoned or thrust thorow with a dart.] [Page 311]This latter clause is not extant either in the old Latine translation, nor in the Syriak: yet it manifestly agrees with the History. Exod. 19.13. This was therefore commanded, because (as we said) it was not law­full to recall or reduce either man or beast, that had transgressed the bounds set, but it must be dispatched or slain a farre off with stones or darts. If so much as a beast] As if he had said, much lesse might any man touch the Mount, who is the proper subject of sinne and of­fence.

21. And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly feare and quake. The Author amplifies the terrours of that sight; as if hee had said; the spectacle or sight that appeared, was so terrible and hor­rible, that not onely the promiscuous multitude stroke with extreame terrour, entreated they might not be constrained to stand and hear any more: but even Moses also who was the Mediator and Messenger be­tweene God and the people, said, I exceedingly fear and quake, That ever Moses said this, wee no where read in the sacred History: but without doubt the Author affirmed it, as knowne to him by some other meanes. See chap. 9.19.

22. But yee are come] Here follows the other part of the compa­rison which the Author had framed; wherein hee shewes, how far the things, whereof we are made partakers by meanes of the Gospel, ex­ceed those, which of old befell the Israelites at the promulgation of the Law. This accesse or comming must be understood of a spirituall accesse or approach, as unto things and persons spirituall; for it is oppo­sed to that carnall accesse or comming of the Israelites to the earthly Mount. Yet this accesse must further be understood diversly, accord­ing to divers things and persons, which are here mentioned. In gene­rall, it consisteth in a kinde of conjunction, which wee have with those things and persons, as in some measure thence forward pertaining to us: although also this conjunction be divers according to the diversi­tie of those things and persons. Vnto Mount Sion.] Hee opposeth Mount Sion unto Mount Sinai, whereto the Israelites came when the Law was published. But Mount Sion even taken properly, was farre more beautifull and comely then Mount Sinai, neither was it seated in the wildernes, but in the land of Promise. And there can be no doubt, but by Mount Sion in this place, that must be understood, whereto the Mount was but a figure and a shadow. For as the thing figured is sometime used for the figure, as was shewed a little before: so much more often is the figure taken for the thing figured. And although sometime by Sion and the holy Mount the Church it self be shadowed; yet because Jerusalem the Citie of the living God, which the Author mentions in the second place, may more fitly be referred to signifie the Church, therefore by Mount Sion, wee may better understand heaven it selfe, or some spirituall Mount, whose top is heaven the dwelling of [Page 312]everlasting blessednesse. For we read more frequently, that heaven is signified by mount Sion then the Church. For as in one head of mount Sion, which was called Morea, the temple of God was built, where­in God was said to dwell: there was also in another head of it, the pa­lace of David, who was a type or shadow of Christ the king of Gods people: so in heaven truely is, the temple of the most high God, and there is also the palace of Christ our heavenly king. Therefore we say that in this place may be signified some spirituall mount, whose top is heaven; because by the heavenly Jerusalem (as wee shall shew after­ward) the Church may seeme to be understood, as it is now existent upon earth. But the allegory will be more full, if by Mount Sion wee understand, not onely heaven it selfe; but conceive in our minde some spirituall mount, whose top is in heaven, and his foot reacheth unto earth, that as of old Jerusalem was seated at the foot and forward upon the side of Mount Sion: so also the Church as it is now on earth, may be said to be built and so forward on the side of a Mount which hath his top in Heaven; that is, hath a great vicinity and contiguity with Heaven, and is already in some degree raised up into Heaven; as they who dwell at the foot and side of some Mountaine, are nearest neighbours and borderers to that Mountaine, and have not only liberty to ascend it, but in regard they already possesse the sides of it are in some degree promoted toward the top. We therefore are come to heaven it selfe, or to that spirituall mount or state, whose top is heave; as we are made neighbours unto heaven, and have a right and liberty to as­cend it, yea in some sense we may well be said inhabitants of it; for from the Church there is a neare and open passage even to the top of heaven. Hence it appears, that not only this Mount whereto we Chri­stians are come by the preaching of the Gospel and by our faith given unto it, is by infinite degrees, and without all comparison far surpassing Mount Sinai: but that our accesse also or comming to it, doth farre surpasse the accesse or comming of the Israelites, who stood near that Mount, but had no right to ascend it, nor liberty to touch it, unlesse they would presently be overwhelmed with stones, or struck through with darts. And unto the city of the living God] What City this is, he presently declares by saying, the heavenly Ierusalem] The attribute heavenly doth manifestly shew that here he treats of that Jerusalem, whereof that earthly City, the head of the Kingdome of Israel, was but a type and a shadow. Hence also it appears, that this City whereof the Au­thor treats, is by far greater reason called both the City of God, and Jerusalem; that is, the sight of peace (by which word the Hebrewes use to understand happinesse.) But this heavenly Jerusalem may bee understood to be the City of the living God in a double sense. First so, as it signifies some stately place, destined for the dwelling of the godly; and so wholly different from the Church, that is the City ha­ving [Page 313]foundations whose builder is God, and which God hath prepa­red for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and for their spirituall posterity, whereof we spake in the former Chapter. And these buildings and palaces ordained for the habitation of the godly, are situated (as I may say) in Heaven, as the City Jerusalem possessed the spaces of Mount Sion. This City he understands in the Chapter following, ver. 14. when he saith, Here we have no continuing City, but we seek one to come] And this sense seems most proper to this place. But secondly, this City of the heavenly Jerusalem may be taken for the structure of the Church it selfe, which consiseth not of any houses, but of single per­sons joynted and composed one with another in a peculiar order and frame. And that is in a manner twofold. For one structure of the Church is upon earth, though that Church be heavenly also: the other shall be hereafter in heaven; both of these are understood by the hea­venly Jerusalem in the Revelation of St. John, chap. 21.2. &c. and ver. 9.10. For that the Church or her structure is there meant, it appeares by this, in that she is called the Bride of the Lambe, and the twelve foundations of her wall are said to be signed with the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lambe, and many things there read of her, de­clare that she is there considered, both as she is for the present on earth, and as she shall be for the time to come in heaven. For the present, in that she is said to descend from heaven, and that Kings and Nations are said to bring their glory into her, and to walke in her light. For the future, in that they only who overcome, and who are written in the Lambs booke of life, have the promise of entrance into that City, and possession there. So that the great splendor and magnificence as it is there described, is much more appliable to expresse the future state and happines of the Church, then the present. But yet notwithstanding, that some men as inhabitants are seperate from this structure of the Church, (though the Church consist of men, seasoned with certaine qualities and joyned one to another in a due order) that is only in respect of single persons considered apart by themselves. So Paul said that Timo­thy was in the house of God, which is the Church; and Peter when he had said, that we must be built into a spirituall house, he presently adds, that we must be a holy Priesthood; that is, as it were a holy Colledge of Priests: But Priests must remaine in the house of God, and intend the service of God, and so doe much differ from the house of God. But the same persons considered in a diverse respect, are both the house and the Priests, yea and in a manner the sacrifices. How ever therefore this Jerusalem be taken, it is the City of the living God, and heavenly. This is manifest of that heavenly City built by God himselfe, wherein we shall sometime dwell, and of the Chuch as hereafter it shall bee in heaven; and it is true of the Church as it now is on earth. For it is a City, because it is built or composed of single persons notably qualifi­ed [Page 314]and excellently ordered; and by this City may be also understood the very society of men. It is the City of the living God] not only because the living God hath thus built it; but also and much rather be­cause God dwells in it in a far more peculiar, and more divine manner, then ever formerly in the City of Jerusalem. For God inhabits it not only by his Angels, but by his holy Spirit, who is the maine bond be­tween God and his Church. And also because it is wholly proper and intirely consecrate unto God, and no person hath right to dwell in it, but such as belong to God, such as feare and worship him. It is heavenly, because the Church hath her originall from heaven (whence in the Revelation that new Jerusalem is said to descend from heaven) and the forme or fashion of her is heavenly, and not earthly. She hath her originall from heaven, because whatsoever is requisite for the con­stitution of her, proceeds not from elsewhere, but only from God him­selfe out of heaven; her forme is heavenly, because her doctrine is heavenly, her holinesse of life is heavenly, and that charity whereby her frame is chiefly compacted, is heavenly. Lastly, the order and ranke of her members, whereby some stand before or after others ei­ther in respect of Ecclesiasticall offices, or in respect of divine gifts, is heavenly, and not earthly. And God is called the living God, as he is opposed both to false gods and to true gods: To the false gods, be­cause he lives; whereas the false gods, saving what mens opinion attri­butes to them, are nothing but statues of wood, stone or metall, and so things wholly inanimate and void of life: and he is opposed to the true gods, because he hath life from himselfe, and is the author of life to all that live, so that he is eminently called the living God; as hereof wee have spoken elsewhere. And to an innumerable company of Angels] He alludes to that multitude of Angels, which in Mount Sinai were assistent to that Angel, who sustained the name and person of God; as it appeares Psal. 6.68.17. where twenty thousand signifies a plurality of myriads, for every ten thousand makes a myriade; and thousands in the plurall number uttered indefinitly may signifie that innumerable company, or the universall and infinite army of Gods Angels. To the company of these, Christians come, as they are incorporated into one family and fellowship with them, as the Angels become fellow­servants with them, to worship and serve one common God and Lord with them. So that the Angels carry themselves no longer as superi­ours unto men, especially unto Christians; neither when they are seen of men, much lesse unseen, doe they suffer any worship or divine ho­mage to bee done unto them. Also as the Angels are alwayes present with men, as sent to minister for their sakes: and lastly, as men have a right to the same immortality, which the Angels enjoy, and shall in time so certainly attaine it, that they shall become like unto the Angels.

[Page 315]23. To the generall assembly, and Church of the first borne] So all the Greeke copies have it; though the vulgar Latine, Erasmus and the Sy­riack, place the word assembly in the former verse, and refer it to the innumerable company of Angels: But whether this Assembly be taken relatively to the angels, or collectively for that great corporation or so­ciety composed of Angels and Christians, it comes all to one; because these conjoyned make up a generall or rather an universall assembly of all the worshippers and servitors of God. By the first borne we must understand the first-borne of God, for of whom else should they bee the first-borne? and there is no doubt but these signifie Christians, and not those who lived before Christ; for the men of those