Page images

for that it was not mixed with faith in them that heard it; for with out faith in the receiver, the word profiteth nothing.

IV. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as, he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest : although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For as they had a rest, which if they had believed, they had entered into; so have we also, and that a far more excellent and sweet rest, which we shall, upon our belief, enter into; that, which God calleth his rest: now that, which God calleth bis rest, was not that which was his ceasing from his work of creation, on the seventh day, which was his Sabbath; for those six days' works of his were finished in the first beginnings of the world, before this other rest was mentioned; so as it is another kind of rest, whereof God here speaketh, even that sweet complacency and contentment, which he takes in his blessed saints, and their glory with him.

IV. 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise. For, as of that other, which is the Sabbath day's rest, he speaketh on this wise.

IV. 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. And, in this place again, he speaks of another kind of rest, even the fruition of his perfect peace and glory, while he saith, If they shall enter into my rest.

IV. 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, 10 day if ye will hear his voice. Again, in David's mention of that rest, there is a certain day limited and specified, even long after that other rest was out of date; while he saith, To day if ye will hear his voice.

IV. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not after ward have spoken of another day. For if Joshua, by bringing them into the promised land, had given them rest, he would never have spoken of another day of rest, which they should not have.

IV. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. There is therefore another manner of rest, which is glorious and heavenly, that remains for God's faithful people.

IV. io For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. For he, that is entered into this blessed and glorious rest, he hath utterly ceased from all his unquiet and troublesome labours and miserable tasks, which he underwent here on earth : even as God himself, on his seventh day, rested from the works of his creation.

IV. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Let us therefore labour and strive to enter into that perfect and blessed rest of glory and immortality; and let us take heed, that

none of us be so miscarried, as our forefathers were, by their une belief, from entering thereinto.

IV. 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than uny two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. For, it may not be slightly regarded, whatsoever the word of God threatens unto us: for even as the judgments, which of old seized on them, were piercing and active; so is the word of God still, which menaces these vengeances to us, quick and powerful, &c. searching into the very inmost powers and faculties of the soul, and finding out our most close and reserved thoughts and intentions.

IV. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, Sc. therefore, in the confident assurance of his readiness to help us, make our address boldly and cheerfully to the Throne of his Grace; upon all occasions suing to our bountiful God, for a supply of all our necessities,

V. i For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins : For Christ is indeed a perfect High Priest; of whom the high priest under the Law was but a figure: we know, that whosoever bears this office is taken from among men of the same mould and composition with themselves, and that he is ordained for the behoof and benefit of men in divine and spiritual matters; and, specially, that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for the sins of the people:

V. 2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And, therefore, in likelihood, such an one, as can pity the ignorant and erring; for that he himself hath experience of the manifold infirmities, which call for his compassion in others. . V. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou &c. See Psalm cx, verse 4.

V. 7, 8, 9 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he wore a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered ; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Who, in the time of this present and mortal life, when he bad of .fered up the incense of his prayers and supplications, &c. and was heard and graciously answered in those extreme agonies, which he endured, not without a true human but inoffensive fear; Though, being the natural and eternal Son of God, he was repienished with all perfection of graces and virtues, yet, that he might be a merciful Higli Priest for us, he was willing, by the experience of his sufferings, to be tutored to an exact obedience; And, being thus, by his exquisite sufferings and obedience, made a perfect High Priest, he became the Author of Salvation to all those which obey him, in such humble and sincere manner as he obeyed his Father.

V. 11 Seeing ye are dull of hearing. Seeing ye do yet make yourselves uncapable of them, by forestalling your minds with sinister affections, and over much respect to the Mosaical Law.

V. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness : for he is a babe. Whosoever in the school of Christ is such, as that he needs to be, as it were, fed with the spoon, and instructed in the plainest and easiest points of religion, that man surely, is uncapable of those higher and more difficult doctrines of divinity, which require more skill and more able apprehension to learn them.

V. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Those more difficult and profound mysteries of Christianity belong to them, which are of more growth and strength of knowledge and spiritual understanding; who have had their minds inured unto and exercised in these heavenly speculations, so as they are able to discern between the good of truth, and the evil of


VI. 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection ; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God; Therefore, not resting ourselves contented with the knowledge of the first principles of Christian religion, let us go on towards the perfect understanding of the highest mysteries thereof; not needing now to be instructed anew, in the first grounds of our catechism, in the doctrine of repentance for sin and of faith in God;

VI. 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Those ordinary points of religion, which are called for of all that are to be baptized, and to be made capable of the imposition of hands for their confirmation in the faith received; and, particularly, that there is a happy Resurrection of the just to glory, and a Judgment unto eternal death and damnation pertaining to the wicked and ungodly.

VI. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. And surely I doubt not but this is our holy and Christian resolution, God enabling us thereunto; not slackening in our holy profession; not revolting from it: which condition is most fearful.

VI. 4, 5, 6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them ugain unto repentance ; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For if there be any, who have been once enlightened with the common illuminations of the Spirit of God, and have in some slight measure been sensibly endowed with those divine gifts which are wont to lead the way to saving graces, and have been made partakers of the common graces of the Holy Ghost, And have, (though not fully fed, yet) pleasingly tasted of the good word of God, and of the effectual operation of those ordinances and means which tend to the obtaining of a better life; It will be impossible for such, if they shall afterwards utterly apostate from and wilfully abandon their Christian faith, renouncing it totally and maliciously, to recover themselves again by a sound and seasonable repentance; since they do, by this shameful revolt, offer a new violence unto the Son of God; and scornfully fasten him upon the Cross again, and put him to open shame and contumely before the face of the world.

VI. 9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. But, my beloved, though we have made this tart comparison, of a barren or ill-bearing soil, whose end is the fire, yet, we have said this, not out of any such hard conceit that we have of you, as for your warning and affrighting from your sins: for we are persuaded better things of you; making full account of you, that ye are those, that are ordained unto eternal salvation.

VI. 10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. For it hath pleased God, to give very gracious evidences of your glory to come; in that he hath so happily wrought in you, enabling you to do good: neither is or can God be unrighteous, in not perfecting and retributing that your painful love and zeal, which you shewed to his Name; in that ye have carefully and beneficently ministered to the necessity of his Saints, &c.

VI. 12 Who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Who now, upon the power of their faith and patience, holding to the end, inherit that great and endless glory, which was promised unto them.

VI. 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. Saying, By myself I have sworn, that I will exceedingly bless and multiply thee.

VI. 17 The heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: To the heirs of that promised inheritance of heavenly blessedness, the unchangeableness and stability of his decree, confirmed his promise by an oath:

VI. 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossia VOL. IV.


ble for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us : That so, by two immutable things, viz. God's promise and his oath, in both or either of which, it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong and unmoveable consolation, who hare, in all our doubts and distresses, Aed to him, as our sure stay and refuge; laying hold upon that glory and happiness which is set before us, by the hand of a lively and stedfast hope and confident expectation thereof:

VI. 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Which hope is to the soul, as an anchor is to the ship, a sure and stedfast stay thereunto in all the storms and tempests of temptation; which is firmly pitched, not below on earth, but above in heaven, the true Holy of Holies, within the veil;

VI. 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Whither Jesus Christ, our blessed Ringleader and Forerunner, is beforehand entered for us, to take possession thereof, even for us also; and there to intercede for us, as being a High Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.

VII. 2, 3 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of Peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Being by his name, Melchisedec, King of Righteousness; and, by his title, King of Salem, that is, of Peace; and therefore carrying in his very appellation those two honourable attributes of his royalty, Peace and Righteousness. Brought in, Without any father or mother mentioned in the Scripture; without any mention of his pedigree or descent; without any record either of his beginning or ending, in all these regards resembling the Son of God; doth therefore abide a high priest for ever, in that there is no intimation given of any time wherein that office of his ceased.

VII. 6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. But this Melchisedec, whose descent is not reckoned either from Levi or Abraham, as being before them both and of a higher (though not recorded) pedigree, received tithes even of Abraham himself; and blessed that man, in whose seed all the nations of the earth were promised to be blessed.

VII. 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And here men that are mortal, and whose death and succession is apparently notified, receive tithes; but in that history of Abraham, he receiveth tithes, of whom there is no other mention but of his life and continuance.

« PreviousContinue »