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    THE general design of the apostle in these discourses is to manifest and prove that the old covenant made with the church at Sinai, with all the ordinances of worship and privileges thereunto belonging, was taken away, or ceased to be of any force in the church. Hereon did a total alteration of the whole present Church-state of the Hebrews depend; which it is easy to think how difficult it was with them to forego. For they both looked on it to be of God’s own appointment, as it was, and expected all their happiness by a strict adherence unto it. Wherefore, that they might with the more readiness embrace the truth, he not only declares that “de facto” that covenant was ceased, but evinceth by all sorts of reasons that it was necessary that so it should do, and that unspeakable advantages did accrue unto the church thereby.

    In the pursuit of this design, he unfolds unto them the greatest mysteries of the wisdom and counsel of God that ever were revealed unto the church, before he spake unto us by the Son. For, — 1. On this occasion he takes off the veil from the face of Moses, declaring the nature and end of the old covenant; and the use, signification, and efficacy of all the institutions and ordinances of worship thereunto belonging. They were all prescribed unto the diligent observation of the church of the old testament; and their adherence unto them was the great trial of their obedience unto God, whilst that church-state continued, Malachi 4:4. Howbeit the best among them were much in the dark as unto their proper use and signification. For the veil was so on the face of Moses, that “the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which was to be abolished,” 2 Corinthians 3:13.

    This he now doctrinally removes. And the sole reason why the Hebrews did not hereon “behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” nor yet do unto this day, is because there was and is a veil of blindness on their minds, as well as there was a veil of darkness on the face of Moses; and it is only converting grace that can remove it. “When they shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away,” verse 16. 2. He takes occasion from hence to declare the great mystery of the redemption of the church by Christ; of the office that he bare, and the work that he performed therein. This was that which he principally designed, as being indeed the sole foundation of Christian religion.

    Wherefore, we have in this epistle, as a clear exposition of the first promise, with all those which were given in the explication or confirmation of it, so also of the law and its worship, which were afterwards introduced; that is, in general, of the whole old testament, or God’s instruction of the church under it. Hence that blessed light, which now shines forth in the promises and legal institutions of the old testament, is derived unto us through the exposition of them given unto us by the Holy Ghost in this epistle. We are therefore to remember, that in our inquiries into these things, we are conversant in the deepest mysteries of the wisdom and counsel of God, —those which animated the faith and obedience of both churches: which calls not only for our utmost diligence, but for continual reverence and godly fear.

    Unto the general end mentioned, the apostle makes use of all sorts of arguments, taken from the constitution, nature, use, efficacy, officers, and ordinances, of the one covenant and the other; comparing them together.

    And in all his arguings he openly designs the demonstration of these two things: 1. That the old covenant, with all its administrations, was to cease. 2. That it was not only unto the advantage of the church that they should so do, but absolutely necessary, that it might be brought unto that perfect state which it was designed unto.

    In order unto the first of these, he hath done two things in the preceding chapters: 1. He hath declared that there were prefigurations and predictions of the cessation of the first covenant and all its administrations; as also, that God had so ordered all things in and under that covenant, as that they must necessarily expire and cease at a certain appointed time. 2. He hath evinced the necessity hereof, because that covenant could not consummate the state of the church, nor give assured rest and peace unto the consciences of them that approached unto God in and by its services.

    And both these he confirms by the consideration of the typical nature of all its ordinances and institutions; for whereas there was in and by them a representation made of heavenly things, those heavenly things themselves could not be introduced without their removal.

    It is the second thing mentioned, or the advantage of the church by the taking away of the first covenant, and all its sacred administrations, that he principally insists upon. For herein he designed (as was before observed) to declare the glorious mystery of the counsel of God concerning the redemption and salvation of the church by Jesus Christ. But whereas this in general is the substance of the gospel, and the subject of all his other epistles, he doth not here consider and declare it absolutely, but as it was prefigured and typed out by those institutions of worship, whereby God both instructed the church and exercised their faith and obedience, under the old testament.

    Three things there were which were the glory of those administrations, and which the Hebrews so rested in as that they refused the gospel out of an adherence unto them: 1. The priestly office. 2. The tabernacle with all its furniture, wherein that office was exercised. 3. The duties and worship of the priests in that tabernacle by sacrifices; especially those wherein there was a solemn expiation of the sins of the whole congregation.

    In reference unto these, the apostle proves three things: 1. That neither any nor all of them could consummate or make perfect the state of the church, nor yet really effect assured peace and confidence between God and the worshippers. 2. That they were all typical and figurative, ordained to represent things that were far more sublime, glorious, and excellent than themselves. 3. That indeed the Lord Christ, in his person and mediation, was all those things really and substantially which they did but obumbrate and prefigure; that he was and did what they could only direct unto an expectation of. 1. These things he declareth and evinceth fully with respect unto the priestly office, in the seventh chapter; in our exposition whereof we have endeavored to declare the sense and force of his arguings unto that purpose. 2. He doth the same as unto the tabernacle in general, in the eighth chapter, confirming his discourse with that great collateral argument taken from the nature and excellency of that covenant whereof the Lord Christ was the surety and mediator. Wherefore, 3. There remains only the consideration of the services and sacrifices which belonged unto the priestly office in that tabernacle. Herein the Hebrews placed their greatest confidence for reconciliation with God; and with respect unto them, boasted of the excellency of their church-state and worship. This the apostle knew to be the great point in difference between him and them, and that whereon the whole doctrine of the justification of sinners before God did depend. This, therefore, was exactly to be discussed, from the nature of the things themselves, and the testimonies of the Holy Ghost in the Scripture; on which principles alone he deals with these Hebrews. This is that which he now in particular engageth into, handling it at large in this and the next chapter, unto verse 19, where he returns unto his first exhortation, in a use of the truth which he had evinced.

    Two things unto this purpose he designs in general: 1. To declare the nature, use, and efficacy, of the rites, services, and sacrifices of the law. 2. To manifest the nature, glory, and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ, whereby those other had an end put unto them, and so were taken away.

    And in comparing these things together, he wonderfully sets out the wisdom and grace of God in dealing with the church, so as to manifest that all his counsels, from the beginning, did aim at and center in the person and mediation of Christ. And these things are duly to be considered by all who desire to understand the mind of the Holy Ghost in this epistle.

    This chapter hath two general parts: 1. A proposition and declaration of the fabric of the tabernacle, its furniture, and the services performed therein; from the beginning unto verse 10. 2. A declaration of the nature of the tabernacle and sacrifice of the Lord Christ, with the end and efficacy thereof; from verse 11 unto the end.

    Of the first general, there are four parts: (1.) A proposition of the constitution of the tabernacle of old, with all its utensils and furniture, as it was prepared for the service of the priests, verses 1-5. (2.) The use of that tabernacle and the things in it, in and unto the sacred duties and services of the priests, verses 6, 7. (3.) The judgment of the apostle upon the whole both of the fabric and its use, verse 8. (4.) The reasons of that judgment, verses 9, 10.

    In the first part there is, [1.] A general proposition of the whole, verse 1. [2.] A particular explanation of it, verses 2-5.

    VERSE 1.

    Ei+ce meth dikaiw>mata latrei>av to> te a[gion kosmiko>n .

    Some things must be premised unto the reading of these words. JH prw>th , “the first,” doth in the original answer in gender unto all things which the apostle treats of, —namely, the priesthood, the tabernacle, and the covenant. But many Greek copies do expressly read skhnh> ,” the tabernacle.” So is the text expressed in Stephen’s edition, wherein he followed sixteen ancient manuscripts, adhering generally unto the concurrent agreement of the greatest number; and the word is retained in the most common edition. But there are ancient copies also where it is omitted: and they are attested unto by all ancient translations, as the Syriac and Vulgar Latin; the Arabic supplying “covenant,” in the room of it. Wherefore Beza left it out, and is followed by the generality of expositors, as he is by our translators. Cameron contends for retaining it.

    But the reasons for its rejection are cogent and undeniable; as, — 1. In the last verse of the preceding chapter, whereunto this immediately succeeds, the apostle mentioning the old covenant, calleth it absolutely th>n prw>thn , “the first,” without the addition of diaqh>khn ; and immediately repeating hJ prw>thn , —that is, “that first,” —it is irrational to think that he refers it to another subject. 2. His design requires that the first covenant he intended; for he is not engaged in a comparison between the tabernacle and the new testament, but between the old covenant and the new. And the words of the text, with those that follow, contain a concession of what belonged unto the old covenant, particularly in the administration of divine worship; as is observed by Photius and O Ecumenius. 3. The expression in the close of the verse, “A worldly sanctuary,” is no more nor less but the tabernacle; for it is that which the apostle immediately describes in its parts and furniture, which are the parts of the tabernacle, and no other. And if the word skhnh> , “the tabernacle,” be here retained, the sense must be, “And verily the first tabernacle had ordinances of worship and a tabernacle.” 4. In the next verse, adding an account of what he had affirmed, he saith, “For there was a tabernacle prepared; the first:” which would render this sense to the context, ‘For the first tabernacle had a tabernacle; for there was a tabernacle prepared.’ Wherefore I shall adhere unto the supplement made by our translators, “the first covenant.”

    Dikaiw>mata latrei>av . Some read these words by an ajsu>ndeton , and not in construction, from the ambiguity of the case and number of latrei>av , which may be either of the genitive singular or accusative plural,” ordinances, services.” This it is supposed the following phrase of speech doth intimate, To> te a[gion kosmiko>n , “And also a worldly sanctuary:” which requires that the preceding words should be construed by apposition. And a difference there is between dikai>wma and latrei>a ; but whereas it is evident that the apostle intends no latrei>a or “service” here but what was performed ejn dikaiw>masin , “by virtue of ordinances or institutions,” the word ought to be read in construction, “ordinances of worship.”

    Ei+ce me . Syr., “but in the first there were in it;” as the Arab.,” in the first covenant there was contained.” Vulg. Lat., “habuit quidem et prius,” the comparative for the positive, unto the sense of the apostle: “and the first truly had also.” Beza,” habuit igitur prius foedus et; transferring kai> unto the words following: “wherefore the first covenant had also;” as we after him. Others, “habuit igitur etiam prius.” Most, in rendering the particles men in it. I think the principal respect is to be had thereunto, as it is in the Vulgar Latin, “and verily that first also had.” Dikaiw>mata latrei>av . Syr., “commands of ministry,” or “precepts;” which gives us the plain sense and true meaning of the apostle, as we shall see afterwards. “Ordinances concerning the administration of divine worship.” Vulg. Lat., “justificationes culturae;” Rhem., “justifications of service,” most obscurely, and in words leading from the sense of the Holy Ghost. Others,” ritus cultus;” “constitutos ritus cultuum,” “appointed rites of worship” or “service.” All agree what it is the apostle intends, namely, the ordinances of Levitical worship; which are expressed in the Vulgar by “justificationes culturae,” both barbarously and beside the mind of the apostle. [Agion kosmiko>n . Syr., “a worldly holy house.” The tabernacle was frequently called” the house of God,” and “the house of the sanctuary.”

    Vulg., “sanctum seculare;” Rhem., “a secular sanctuary:” which the Interlinear changeth into “mundanum.” “Seculare” denotes duration; but it is not the design of the apostle to speak of the duration of that which he is proving to be ceased. Beza, “sanctuarium mundanum.” Some respect the particles to> te , and render them “illudque.” f13 Ver. 1. —Then verily even that first [covenant ] had ordinances of worship, and also a worldly sanctuary.

    Proceeding unto the comparison designed between the old covenant and the new, as unto the services and sacrifices wherewith the one and the other were established and confirmed, he introduceth the pro>tasiv of the first by way of concession, as unto what really belonged thereunto. And this is the constant method of the apostle in all the comparisons he makes.

    He still allows full weight and measure unto that comparate which he prefers the other above. And as this, on the one hand, taketh away all cause of complaint, as though the worth and value of what he determineth against were concealed, so it tends unto the real exaltation of that which he gives the preference unto. It is an honor unto the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ, that they are so much more glorious and excellent than those of the old covenant, which yet were excellent and glorious also.

    There is in this verse, — 1. An introduction of the concession intended, Me . The contexture of these particles is somewhat unusual Hence some would have kai> to be redundant: some join it in construction with dikaiw>mata that follows. This was the judgment of Beza, whom our translators follow; for the word “also” (“had also ordinances”) renders kai> in the original: and thereon they omit it in the first place, not saying, “and then verily,” but “then verily,” —that is, mecovenant hath ordinances of worship. Hence he grants the first had so also: ‘Even that had also ordinances of worship, as the new hath.’ But I see not at all that any such supposition is here made by the apostle; yea, he doth rather oppose those ordinances of divine worship unto the privileges of the new covenant, than allow the same things to be under both. And this is evident in the worldly sanctuary which he ascribes unto the first covenant, for he had expressly denied that there was any such under the new, Hebrews 8:2. Wherefore although kai> , “and,” seems to be redundant, yet it is emphatical, and increaseth the signification of the other particles, as it is often used in the Scripture. And the introduction of the concession, intimated by this contexture of the notes of it, “then verily even that,” shows both the reality of it and the weight that he lays upon it. Oi+n we render “then;” most do it by “igitur,” “therefore.” But the connection unto the foregoing discourse is rather real than verbal. It is not an inference made from what was before declared, but a continuation of the same design. ‘And yet moreover it is granted;’ or, ‘therefore it is granted;’ ‘verily so it was.’ And so me>n serves unto the protasis of the comparison, whereunto de> answereth, verse 11, “but Christ being come.” 2. The subject spoken of is hJ prw>th , “the first,” —that is, diaqh>kh ; ‘that first covenant whereof we treat,’ —the covenant made with the fathers at Sinai, which, as unto the administrations of it, the Hebrews as yet adhered unto. The nature of this covenant we have spoken unto at large on the foregoing chapter, and thither refer the reader. 3. Of this covenant it is affirmed in general, that it had two things: (1.) “Ordinances of worship;” (2.) “A worldly sanctuary;” and the relation of them unto it is, that it had them: — (1.) It had them, ei+ce . It refers unto the time past. The apostle saith not “it hath them,” but “it had them.” ‘That is,’ say some, ‘it had so whilst that tabernacle was standing, and whilst these things were in force; but now the covenant is abolished, and it hath none of them.’ But this answers not the apostle’s intention. For he acknowledgeth that covenant and all its ordinances “de facto” to have been yet in being, in the patience and forbearance of God; only he affirms that it was ejgguHebrews 8:13, — “ready to disappear.” Nor was he to take for granted what was the principal crino>menon between him and the Hebrews, but to prove it; which he doth accordingly. Hence he grants that there were “priests that offered gifts according to the law,” Hebrews 8:4; and some “served at the tabernacle,” Hebrews 13:10. But the apostle hath respect unto the time wherein that covenant was first made. Then it had these things annexed unto it, which were the privileges and glory of it; for the apostle hath, in the whole discourse, continual respect unto the first making of the covenant, and the first institution of its administrations. It had them; that is, they belonged unto it, as those wherein its administration did consist.

    Obs. I. Every covenant of God had its proper privileges and advantages. — Even the first covenant had so, and those such as were excellent in themselves, though not comparable with them of the new. For to make any covenant with men, is an eminent fruit of goodness, grace, and condescension in God; whereon he will annex such privileges thereunto as may evince it so to be. (2.) This first covenant had two things in general: — [1.] Dikaiw>mata latrei>av. Both translations and interpreters have cast some difficulty on the meaning of these words, in themselves plain and evident. Dikaiw>mata are µyQiju . And the word is generally rendered by dikai>wma in the Greek versions, and next unto that by nomiko>n; that which is “legal” and “right.” The Vulgar Latin renders it by “justificationes;” from the inclusion of “jus,” “justum” in the signification of it. In the New Testament it is used, Luke 1:6; Romans 1:32, 2:26, 5:16, 8:4; Hebrews 9:1,10; Revelation 15:4, 19:8. And in no one place doth it signify “institution;” but it may be better rendered “righteousness” When alone we so translate it, Romans 5:16. In the context and construction wherein it is here placed, it can have no signification but that of “ordinances,” “rites,” “institutions, “statutes;” — the constant sense of µyQiju , determined both by its derivation and invariable use. Wherefore all inquiries on these words, in what sense the rites of the law may be called “justifications,” or whether “because the observation of them did justify before men,” or were signs of our justification before God, are all useless and needless. What there is of just and right in the signification of the word, respects the right of God in the constitution and imposition of these ordinances. They were appointments of God, which he had right to prescribe; whence their observation on the part of the church was just and equal.

    These ordinances or statutes were so latrei>av , “of service;” that is, as we render it, “divine service.” Latrei>a is originally of as large a signification as doulei>a , and denotes any service whatever. But it is here, and constantly in the New Testament, as is also the verb latreu>w, restrained unto “divine service,” John 16:2; Romans 9:4, 12:1; “cultus,” “of worship:” and so were it better rendered than by “divine service.” In one place it signifies by itself as much as dikaiw>mata latrei>av doth here, Romans 9:4, “Unto whom belongeth the giving of the law, kai< hJ latrei>a , —”and the worship;” that is, dikaiw>mata latrei>Av, “the ordinances of worship,” — the ordinances of the ceremonial law. For although God was served in and according to the commands of the moral law, or the unchangeable prescriptions, “the ten words;” and also in the duties required in the due observance of the judicial law; yet this latrei>a , or hd;bo[\ , was the immediate worship of the tabernacle, and the services of the priests that belonged thereunto. Hence the Jews call all idolatry and superstition hr;z; hd;bo[\ , —”strange worship.”

    And this was that part of divine worship about which God had so many controversies with the people of Israel under the old testament; for they were always apt to run into noxious extremes about it. For the most part they were prone to neglect it, and to run into all manner of superstition and idolatry. For the law of this worship was a hedge that God had set about them, to keep them from those abominations; and if at any time they brake over it, or neglected it, and let it fall, they failed not to rush into the most abominable idolatry. On the other hand, ofttimes they placed all their trust and confidence, for their acceptance with God and blessing from him, on the external observance of the ordinances and institutions of it.

    And hereby they countenanced themselves not only in a neglect of moral duties and spiritual obedience, but in a course of flagitious sins and wickednesses. To repress these exorbitancies with respect unto both these extremes, the ministry of the prophets was in an especial manner directed.

    And we may observe some things here in our passage, as included in the apostle’s assertion, though not any part of his present design: — Obs. II. There was never any covenant between God and man but it had some ordinances or arbitrary institutions of external divine worship annexed unto it. —The original covenant of works had the ordinances of the tree of life, and of the knowledge of good and evil; the laws whereof belonged not unto that of natural light and reason. The covenant of Sinai, whereof the apostle speaks, had a multiplication of them. Nor is the new covenant destitute of them or their necessary observance. All public worship, and the sacraments of the church are of this nature. For whereas it is ingrafted in natural light that some external worship is to be given unto God, he would have it of his own prescription, and not, as unto the modes of it, left unto the inventions of men. And because God hath always, in every covenant, prescribed the external worship and all the duties of it which he will accept, it cannot but be dangerous for us to make any additions thereunto. Had he prescribed none at any time, seeing some are necessary in the light of nature, it would follow by just consequence that they were left unto the finding out and appointment of men; but he having done this himself, “let not us add unto his words, lest he reprove us, and we be found liars.” And in his institution of these ordinances of external worship there is both a demonstration of his sovereignty and an especial trial of our obedience, in things whereof we have no reason but his mere will and pleasure.

    Obs. III. It is a hard and rare thing to have the minds of men kept upright with God in the observation of the institutions of divine worship. —Adam lost himself and us all by his failure therein. The old church seldom attained unto it, but continually wandered into one of the extremes mentioned before. And at this day there are very few in the world who judge a diligent observation of divine institutions to be a thing of any great importance. By some they are neglected, by some corrupted with additions of their own, and by some they are exalted above their proper place and use, and turned into an occasion of neglecting more important duties. And the reason of this difficulty is, because faith hath not that assistance and encouragement from innate principles of reason, and that sensible experience of this kind of obedience, as it hath in that which is moral, internal, and spiritual. [2.] That these ordinances of divine worship might be duly observed and rightly performed under the first covenant, there was a place appointed of God for their solemnization. It had to> te a[gion kosmiko>n , —”also a worldly sanctuary.” He renders vD;q]mi by a[gion properly a” holy place,” a “sanctuary” And why he calls it kosmiko>n , or “worldly,” we must inquire. And some things must be premised unto the exposition of these words: — 1st. The apostle, treating of the services, sacrifices, and place of worship, under the old testament, doth not instance in nor insist upon the temple, with its fabric and the order of its services, but in the tabernacle set up by Moses in the wilderness And this he doth for the ensuing reasons: — (1st.) Because his principal design is to confirm the pre-eminence of the new covenant above the old. To this end he compares them together in their first introduction and establishment, with what did belong unto them therein. And as this in the new covenant was the priesthood, mediation, and sacrifice of Christ; so in the old it was the tabernacle with the services and sacrifices that belonged unto it. These the first covenant was accompanied with and established by; and therefore were they peculiarly to be compared with the tabernacle of Christ, and the sacrifice that he offered therein. This is the principal reason why in this disputation he hath all along respect unto the tabernacle, and not unto the temple. (2dly.) Although the temple, with its glorious fabric and excellent order, added much unto the outward beauty and splendor of the sacred worship, yet was it no more but a large exemplification of what was virtually contained in the tabernacle and the institutions of it, from whence it derived all its glory; and therefore these Hebrews principally rested in and boasted of the revelation made unto Moses, and his institutions. And the excellency of the worship of the new covenant being manifested above that of the tabernacle, there is no plea left for the additional outward glory of the temple. 2dly. Designing to treat of this holy tent or tabernacle, he confines himself unto the first general distribution of it, Exodus 26:33, “And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy and the most holy;” the holy utensils of which two parts he afterwards distinctly describes. The whole was called vD;q]mi ; which he renders by to< a[gion, “the holy place,” or “sanctuary.” The tabernacle of witness erected in the wilderness in two parts, the holy and the most holy, with the utensils of them, is that whose description he undertakes.

    It is observed by the apostle, that the first covenant had this sanctuary; 1st. Because so soon as God had made that covenant with the people, he prescribed unto them the erection and making of this sanctuary, containing all the solemn means of the administration of the covenant itself. 2dly. Because it was the principal mercy, privilege, and advantage, that the people were made partakers of by virtue of that covenant. And it belongs unto the exposition of the text, as to the design of the apostle in it, that we consider what that privilege was, or wherein it did consist. And, — (1st.) This tabernacle, with what belonged thereunto, was a visible pledge of the presence of God among the people, owning, blessing, and protecting of them; and it was a pledge of God’s own institution. In imitation whereof, the superstitious heathens invented ways of obliging their idol gods to be present among them for the same ends. Hence was that prayer at the removal of the tabernacle and the ark therein, Numbers 10:35,36, “Rise up,LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.”

    And when it rested he said, “Return, OLORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.” And thence the ark was called “the ark of God’s strength” (see Psalm 68:1,2, 132:8; 2 Chronicles 6:41), because it was a pledge of God’s putting forth his strength and power in the behalf of the people.

    And according unto this institution, it was a most effectual means to strengthen their faith and confidence in God; for what could they desire more, in reference thereunto, than to enjoy such a gracious earnest of his powerful presence among them? But when they ceased to trust in God, and put their confidence in the things themselves, — which were no otherwise useful but as they were pledges of his presence, — they proved their ruin. Hereof we have a fatal instance in their bringing the ark into the field, in their battle against the Philistines, 1 Samuel 4:3-11. And it will fare no better with others who shall rest satisfied with outward institutions of divine worship, neglecting the end of them all, which is faith and trust in God, Jeremiah 7:4. But men of corrupt minds had rather place their trust in any thing but God: for they find that they can do so and yet continue in their sins; as those did in the prophet, verses 8-10. But none can trust in God unless he relinquish all sin whatever; all other pretended trust in him is but the entitling of him unto our own wickedness. (2dly.) It was the pledge and means of God’s residence or dwelling among them, which expresseth the peculiar manner of his presence, mentioned in general before. The tabernacle was God’s house; nor did he promise at any time to dwell among them but with respect thereunto, Exodus 15:17, 25:8, 29:44-46; Numbers 5:3. And the consideration hereof was a powerful motive unto holiness, fear, and reverence; unto which ends it is everywhere pressed in the Scripture. (3dly.) It was a fixed seat of all divine worship, wherein the truth and purity of it were to be preserved. Had the observation of the ordinances of divine service been left unto the memories of private persons, it would quickly have issued in all manner of foolish practices, or have been utterly neglected; but God appointed this sanctuary for the preservation of the purity of his worship, as well as for the solemnity thereof. See Deuteronomy 12:8-11. Here was the book of the law laid up; according unto the prescript whereof the priests were obliged in all generations to take care of the public worship of God. (4thly.) It was principally the privilege and glory of the church of Israel, in that it was a continual representation of the incarnation of the Son of God; a type of his coming in the flesh to dwell among us, and, by the one sacrifice of himself, to make reconciliation with God and atonement for sins. It was such an expression of the idea of the mind of God concerning the person and mediation of Christ, as in his wisdom and grace he thought meet to intrust the church withal. Hence was that severe injunction, that all things concerning it should be made “according unto the pattern showed in the mount;” for what could the wisdom of men do in the prefiguration of that mystery, which they had no comprehension of?

    But yet this sanctuary the apostle calls kosmiko>n , “worldly.” Expositors both ancient and modern do even weary themselves in their inquiries why the apostle calls this sanctuary “worldly.” But I think they do so without cause, the reason of the appellation being evident in his design and the context. And there is a difficulty added unto it by the Latin translation, which renders the word “seculare,” which denotes “continuance” or duration. This expresseth the Hebrew µl;wO[ ; but that the apostle renders by aijw>n , and not by ko>smov , and therefore here hath no respect unto it.

    The sense that many fix upon is, that he intends the outward court of the temple, whereinto the Gentiles or men of the world were admitted, whence it was called “worldly,” and not sacred. But this exposition, though countenanced by many of the ancients, is contrary unto the whole design of the apostle. For, 1st. He speaks of the tabernacle, wherein was no such outward court; nor indeed was there any such belonging to the temple, whatever some pretend. 2dly. The whole sanctuary whereof he speaks he immediately distributes into two parts, as they were divided by the veil, namely, the holy and the most holy place; which were the two parts of the tabernacle itself. 3dly. He treats of the sanctuary only with respect unto the divine service to be performed in it by the priests, which they did not in any outward court whereinto the Gentiles might be admitted.

    Wherefore the apostle terms this sanctuary “worldly,” because it was every way in and of this world. For, 1st. The place of it was on the earth, in this world; in opposition whereunto the sanctuary of the new covenant is in heaven, Hebrews 8:2. 2dly. Although the materials of it were as durable as any thing in that kind that could be procured, as gold and shittim-wood, because they were to be of a long continuance, yet were they “worldly;” that is, “caduca,” fading and perishing things, as are all things of the world; God intimating thereby that they were not to have an everlasting continuance. Gold, and wood, and silk, and hair, however curiously wrought and carefully preserved, are but for a time. 3dly. All the services of it, all its sacrifices, in themselves, separated from their typical, representative use, were all worldly; and their efficacy extended only unto worldly things, as the apostle proves in this chapter. 4thly. On these accounts the apostle calls it worldly; yet not absolutely so, but in opposition unto that which is heavenly. All things in the ministration of the new covenant are heavenly. So is the priest, his sacrifice, tabernacle, and altar, as we shall see in the process of the apostle’s discourse. And we may observe from the whole, — Obs. IV. That divine institution alone is that which renders any thing acceptable unto God. — Although the things that belonged unto the sanctuary, and the sanctuary itself, were in themselves but worldly, yet being divine ordinances, they had a glory in them, and were in their season accepted with God.

    Obs. V. God can animate outward, carnal things with a hidden, invisible spring of glory and efficacy. — So he did this sanctuary with its relation unto Christ; which was an object of faith, which no eye of flesh could behold.

    Obs. VI. All divine service or worship must be resolved into divine ordination or institution. — A worship not ordained of God is not accepted of God. “It had ordinances of worship.”

    Obs. VII. A worldly sanctuary is enough for them whose service is worldly; and these things the men of the world are satisfied with.

    VERSE 2.

    Two things were ascribed unto the first covenant in the verse foregoing: 1. Ordinances of worship; 2. A worldly sanctuary. In this verse the apostle enters upon a description of them both, inverting the order of their proposal, beginning with the latter, or the sanctuary itself.

    Ver. 2. — Skhnh< gasqh hJ prw>th , ejn h= h[ te lucni>a , kai< hJ traqesiv tw~n a]rtwn , h[tiv le>getai aJgi>a .

    Vulg. Lat., “tabernaculum enim factum est primum;” “the first tabernacle was made;” ambiguously, as we shall see. Syr., rb’[‘t]aD, ay;m;d]q’ an;K]v]m’B] “in tabernaculo primo quod factum erat;” “in the first tabernacle that was made.” Lucni>a . Vulg. Lat., “candelabra,” “candlesticks.” Syr., at;r]n;m] Hbe aw;h; ,”in it was the candlestick.” Pro>qesiv tw~n a]rtwn .

    Vulg., “propositio panum,” “the proposition of loaves.” Others, “propositi panes.” Syr. ap’a µjel]w’ , “and the bread of faces.” [Htiv le>getai aJgi>a. Vulg. “quae dicitur sancta;” dicitur sanctum;” “quod sancta vocant:” for some read aJgi>a , some a[gia . Syr., aved;Wq tyh\ ay;q]t]m,W “and it was called the holy house.”

    Ver. 2 . —For there was a tabernacle made [prepared ]; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shew-bread; which is called the sanctuary.

    Our translation thus rendering the words, avoids the ambiguity mentioned in the Vulgar Latin. “First of all there was a tabernacle made.” But whereas our rendering is also obscure, “the first” being mentioned, where only one thing went before, —which yet includes a distribution supposed, —I would supply it with two parts, — ’There was a tabernacle made, consisting of two parts;’ “tabernaculum bipartite exstructum;” for the following words are a distinct description of these two parts. 1. The subject spoken of is the “tabernacle.” 2. That which in general is affirmed of it is, that it was “made.” 3. There is a distribution of it into two parts in this and the following verse. 4. These parts are described and distinguished by, (1.) Their names; (2.) Their situation with respect unto one another; (3.) Their contents or sacred utensils.

    The one is so described in this verse: (1.) By its situation, it was “the first,” that which was first entered into; (2.) By its utensils, which were three; [1.] The candlestick; [2.] The table; [3.] The shew-bread; (3.) By its name, it was called “The sanctuary:” — 1. The subject treated of is skhnh> , that is vD;q]mi , —”the tabernacle;” the common name for the whole fabric, as “the temple” was afterwards of the house built by Solomon. An eminent type this was of the incarnation of Christ, whereby the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily, Colossians 2:9; substantially in the human nature, as it dwelt typically and by representation in this tabernacle. Hence is it so expressed, “He was made flesh,” John 1:14, —”and pitched his tabernacle amongst” or “with us.” The consideration hereof the apostle on set purpose fixed on, as the great concomitant, privilege, or glory of the first covenant, whereof he treats, and whose consideration was excellently suited unto his design.

    Immediately on the giving of the law, and making that covenant in Horeb which was accepted of by the people and solemnly ratified, Exodus 24:3-8, the whole of their remaining station in that place, for some months, was taken up in Moses’ receiving revelations, and the people’s making provision about and for this tabernacle, with what belonged thereunto.

    Forty days was Moses in the mount with God, whilst he instructed him in all things that belonged unto it; so great and glorious was the design of divine wisdom in this tabernacle and its appurtenances. For it was the house wherein his glory was to dwell; and not only so, but a type and representation of the depth of his counsel in the incarnation of his Son, whereby the divine nature would personally dwell in the human for ever. 2. It is affirmed of this tabernacle that it was “made;” —”tabernaculum exstructum,” “constructum,” “praeparatum, “ornatum,” “adornatum;” “built,” “prepared,” “adorned.” There is more included in the word than the mere building of the fabric. For the apostle, in this one word, reflects on and compriseth, (1.) The provision of materials made by the people; (2.) The workings of those materials by Bezaleel; (3.) The erection of the whole by the direction of Moses; (4.) The adorning of it unto its use: that is the substance of the book of Exodus from Exodus 25 to the end.

    First, preparation was made for it; then the materials were wrought, and that with such curious workmanship, accompanied with such rich devoted ornaments, that it was adorned in its making. It was prepared in its materials, it was wrought into its form, it was beautified in its ornaments; unto all which respect is had in this word. That which principally gave unto it its order, beauty, glory, and use, was, that it was entirely, and in all the parts and appurtenances of it, made according to the pattern which God showed Moses in the mount. And therefore, when it was finished and erected, all the parts belonging unto it, and all that was in it, were distinctly recounted, and it is added concerning them all, separately and in conjunction, they were all made “as theLORD commanded Moses,” Exodus 40:19-32. For it is the authority and wisdom of God alone that give beauty, use, and order, unto all that belongs unto his worship. 3. The first part of this tabernacle being so prepared, it had its furniture, that was to abide and be used in it: — (1.) There was in it hJ lucni>a , —”the candlestick.” The Vulgar Latin reads “candelabra,” in the plural number. Hence many disputes arise among the expositors who adhere unto that translation. Some of them contend that the apostle hath respect unto the temple of Solomon, wherein were ten candlesticks, five on the one side, and five on the other, 1 Kings 7:49; which is directly contrary to his scope and the words of the text. Some suppose that the one candlestick which was in the tabernacle was intended, but is spoken of in the plural number because of the six branches that came out of it, three on each side, and that which went directly upwards made seven, having lamps in them all, Exodus 25:31,32. But whereas it is constantly called “the candlestick,” and spoken of as one utensil only, the apostle could not call it “the candlesticks,” for that was but one. Wherefore the most sober of them depart from their common translation, and adhere unto the original; and make use of the expression to prove that it was the tabernacle of Moses, and not the temple of Solomon, wherein were ten candlesticks, that the apostle refers unto. The making of this candlestick is particularly described, Exodus 25:31, to the end of the chapter. Its frame, measures, and use, are not of our present consideration; they may be found in expositors on that place. It was placed on the south side of the tabernacle, near the veils that covered the most holy place; and over against it on the north side was the table with the shew-bread; and in the midst, at the very entrance of the most holy place, was the altar of incense. See Exodus 27:20-27. And this candlestick was made all of beaten gold, of one piece, with its lamps and appurtenances, without either joints or screws; which is not without its mystery. To fit it for its service, pure oil olive was to be provided by the way of offering from the people, Exodus 27:20. And it was the office of the high priest to “order it;” that is, to dress its lamps, every evening and every morning, supplying them with fresh oil, and removing whatsoever might be offensive, Exodus 27:21. And this is called “a statute for ever” unto the generations of the priests, on the behalf of the children of Israel; which manifests the great concernment of the church in this holy utensil. (2.) On the other side of the sanctuary, over against the candlestick, were “the table and the shew-bread;” which the apostle reckons as the second part of the furniture of this first part of the tabernacle, distinguishing them from each other: “the table, and the shew-bread.” The making of this table, with its measures and use, its form and fashion, is recorded, Exodus 25:23-28, 37:10, etc. ˆj’l]vu , “table.” The manner of its covering, when it was to be carried whilst the tabernacle was movable, is described, Numbers 4:7,8. And it was a utensil fashioned for beauty and glory. (3.) Upon this table, which the apostle adds, was “the shew-bread.” It is here rendered by the apostle pro>qesiv tw~n a]rtwn , —the “proposition of the bread or “loaves; by an hypallage for a]rtoi th~v proqe>sewv , —the “bread of proposition,” as it is rendered, Matthew 12:4; the bread that was proposed or set forth. In the Hebrew it is µj,l, , “bread,” in the singular number; which the apostle renders by a[rtoi , in the plural, as also doth the evangelist. For that bread consisted of many loaves; as a]rtov properly signifies “a loaf.” So the LXX. render it by a]rtouv , Exodus 25:30.

    The number of these loaves, or cakes, as we call them, was twelve; and they were set on the table in two rows, six in a row, being laid one upon the other. The Jews say that every loaf was ten hand-breadths long, and five hand-breadths broad, and seven fingers thick. But this cannot well be reconciled unto the proportion of the table. For the table itself was but two cubits long, and one cubit broad; and whereas it had a border of an hand-breadth round about, nothing could lie on the table but what was placed within that border. And seeing a cubit was but five hand-breadths, it cannot be conceived how two rows of loaves, that were ten handbreadths long, and five hand-breadths broad, could be placed within that border. Wherefore they suppose that there were props of gold coming up from the ground, that bore the ends of the cakes. But if so, it could not be said that they were placed on the table, which is expressly affirmed.

    Wherefore it is certain that they were of such shape, proportion, and measures, as might fitly be placed on the table within the border; and more we know not of them.

    These cakes were renewed every Sabbath, in the morning; the renovation of them being part of the peculiar worship of the day. The manner of it, as also of the making of them, is described, Leviticus 24:5-9. And because the new bread was to be brought in and immediately placed in the room of that which was taken away, it is called absolutely dymiT;h’ µj,l, , —”the continual bread,” Numbers 4:7. For God says it was to be before him dymiT; , “jugiter,” Exodus 25:30, —”always,” or “continually.” Why it is called µynip;h’ µj,l, , “the bread of faces,” there is great inquiry. One of the Targums renders it “inward bread; for the word is used sometimes for that which looks inward: the LXX., a]rtouv ejnwpi>ouv , “present bread, or “bread presented.” Many think they were so called because they were set forth before the faces of the priests, and stood in their view when they first entered the tabernacle. But the reason of it is plain in the text: yn’p;l] µynip; µj,l, , —”the shew-bread before my face,” saith God. They were presented before the Lord as a memorial, twelve of them, in answer to the twelve tribes of Israel. The Jews think they were called “bread of faces,” because being made in an oblong square, they appeared with many faces; that is, as many as they had sides. But they cannot evince this to have been the fashion of them, and it is absurd to imagine that they had such a name given unto them from their outward form.

    This is all that the apostle observes to have been in the first part of the tabernacle. There was in it, moreover, the altar of incense. But this was not placed in the midst of it at any equal distances from the sides, but just at the west end, where the veil opened to give an entrance into the most holy place; wherefore by our apostle it is reckoned unto that part of the sanctuary, as we shall see on the next verse. 4. Concerning this part of the tabernacle, the apostle affirms that it was called aJgi>a , “holy.” This name of it was given and stated, Exodus 26:33, “The veil shall divide µyvid;Q;h\ vd,qo ˆybeW, —”between the holy” (that is, that part of the sanctuary,) “and the most holy,” which our apostle describes in the next place. And we may observe, that, — Obs. I. Every part of God’s house, and the place wherein he will dwell, is filled and adorned with pledges of his presence, and means of communicating his grace. Such were all the parts of the furniture of this part of the tabernacle. And so doth God dwell in his church, which in some sense is his tabernacle with men.

    But the principal inquiry about these things, is concerning their mystical signification and use. For by the apostle they are only proposed in general, under this notion, that they were all typical representations of things spiritual and evangelical. Without this he had no concernment in them.

    This, therefore, we shall inquire into.

    We may in this matter be supplied by expositors with variety of conjectures. But none of them, so far as I have observed, have at all endeavored to fix any certain rule for the trial and measure of such conjectures, nor to guide us in the interpretation of this mystery.

    Some say, the candlestick, with its branches, represented the seven planets, the sun in the midst, as the scapus of the candlestick was in the midst of the six branches, three on the one side, and three on the other.

    And the loaves of bread, say they, did represent the fruits of the earth as influenced by the heavenly bodies. This is the interpretation of Philo, a Jew and Platonical philosopher; and it doth not unbecome his principles.

    But that any Christian writer should approve of it I somewhat wonder, nor doth it deserve a confutation.

    Some say that the altar of incense signified those that are of a contemplative life; the table of shew-bread, those that follow the active life; and the candlestick, those that follow both of them. The pretended reasons of this application of these things may be seen in the commentaries of Ribera and Tena on this place.

    Some, with more sobriety and probability, affirm the candlestick to represent the ministry of the church, appointed for the illumination of it; and the table with the shew-bread, the ordinances as administered by them: which things are declared succinctly by Gomarus on this place; and unto them they may have safely a secondary application.

    But, as was said, a rule is to be fixed to guide us in the interpretation of the mystical signification of these things, and the application of them; without which we shall wander in uncertain and unapprovable conjectures. And it is plainly given us in the context. For therein are two things manifest: 1. That the tabernacle and all contained in it were typical of Christ. This is directly affirmed, Hebrews 8:2, as hath been evinced in the exposition of that place. And it is the design of the apostle further to declare and confirm it in what remains of this chapter. 2. That the Lord Christ, in this representation of him by the tabernacle, its utensils and services, is not considered absolutely, but as the church is in mystical union with him; for he is proposed, set forth, and described, in the discharge of his mediatory office. And these things give us an evident rule in the investigation of the original significancy of the tabernacle, with all the parts, furniture, and services of it, and the design of God therein.

    They were all representative of Christ in the discharge of his office, and by them did God instruct the church as unto their faith in him and expectation of him.

    This is excellently observed by Cyril. in Johan. lib. 4:cap. xxviii.: “Christus licet unus sit, multifariam tamen a nobis intelligitur. Ipse est tabernaculum propter carnis tegumentum; ipse est mensa, quia noster cibus est et vita; ipse est arca habens legem Dei reconditam, quia est verbum patris; ipse est candelabrum, quia est lux spiritualis; ipse est altare incensi, quia est odor suavitatis in sanctificationem; ipse est altare holocausti, quia est hostia pro totius mundi vita in cruce oblata.’ And other instances he gives unto the same purpose. And although I cannot comply with all his particular applications, yet the ground he builds upon and the rule he proceeds by are firm and stable. And by this rule we shall inquire into the signification of the things mentioned by the apostle in the first part of the tabernacle: — The candlestick, with its seven branches, and its perpetual light with pure oil, giving light unto all holy administrations, did represent the fullness of spiritual light that is in Christ Jesus, and which by him is communicated unto the whole church. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men,” John 1:5. God gave unto him the Spirit not by measure, John 3:35.

    And the Holy Spirit rested on him in all variety of his gifts and operations, especially those of spiritual light, wisdom, and understanding, Isaiah 11:2,3; and in allusion unto this candlestick with its seven lamps, is called “the seven Spirits that are before the throne of God,” Revelation 1:4; as he in and by whom the Lord Christ gives out the fullness and perfection of spiritual light and gifts, unto the illumination of the church, even as the light of the tabernacle depended on the seven lamps of the candlestick.

    Wherefore, by the communication of the fullness of the Spirit in all his gifts and graces unto Christ, he became the fountain of all spiritual light unto the church. For he subjectively enlightens their minds by his Spirit, Ephesians 1:17-19; and objectively and doctrinally conveys the means of light unto them by his word.

    Again; there was one candlestick which contained the holy oil, (a type of the Spirit) in itself. Thence was it communicated unto the branches on each side of it, that they also should give light unto the tabernacle; yet had they originally no oil in themselves, but only what was continually communicated unto them from the body of the candlestick. And so the communications from Christ of spiritual gifts unto the ministers of the gospel, whereby they are instrumental in the illumination of the church, was signified thereby. For “unto every one of us is given grace according unto the measure of the gift of Christ,” even as he pleaseth, Ephesians 4:7.

    But hereon we must also remember, that this candlestick was all one beaten work of pure gold, both the scapus, the body, and all the branches of it. There were neither joints, nor screws, nor pins in or about it, Exodus 25:36. Wherefore, unless ministers are made partakers of the divine nature of Christ, by that faith which is more precious than gold, and are intimately united unto him, so as mystically to become one with him, no pretended conjunction unto him by joints and screws of outward order will enable them to derive that pure oil from him with whose burning light they may illuminate the church. But this I submit unto the judgment of others.

    This is of faith herein: That which God instructed the church in by this holy utensil and its use, was, that the promised Messiah, whom all these things typed and represented, was to be, by the fullness of the Spirit in himself, and the communication of all spiritual graces and gifts unto others, the only cause of all true saving light unto the church. “He is the true light, which lighteth every man coming into the world;” namely, that is savingly enlightened. Upon the entrance of sin, all things fell into darkness; spiritual darkness covered mankind, not unlike that which was on the face of the deep before God said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” Corinthians 4:6. And this darkness had two parts; first, that which was external, with respect unt6 the will of God concerning sinners, and their acceptance with him; secondly, on the minds of men, in their incapacity to receive such divine revelations unto that end as were or should be made.

    This was the double veil, the veil veiled and the covering covered over the face of all nations, which was to be destroyed, Isaiah 25:7. And they are both removed by Christ alone; the former by his doctrine, the latter by his Spirit. Moreover, there was no light at all in the sanctuary, for the performance of any holy administrations, but what was given unto it by the lamps of this candlestick; and therefore was it to be carefully dressed every morning and evening, by a perpetual statute. And if the communication of spiritual gifts and graces do cease, the very church itself, notwithstanding its outward order, will be a place of darkness.

    Obs. II. The communication of sacred light from Christ, in the gifts of the Spirit, is absolutely necessary unto the due and acceptable performance of all holy offices and duties of worship in the church. And, — Obs. III. No man, by his utmost endeavors in the use of outward means, can obtain the least beam of saving light, unless it be communicated unto him by Christ, who is the only fountain and cause of it.

    The table and the shew-bread, mentioned in the next place, respected him also, under another consideration. The use of the table, which was all overlaid with gold, was only to bear the bread which was laid upon it.

    What resemblance there might be therein unto the divine person of Christ, which sustained the human nature in its duties, that bread of life which was provided for the church, it may be is not easy to declare. Howbeit, the head of Christ is said to be “as the most fine gold,” Cant. 5:11. Wherefore the matter of it being most precious, and the form of it beautiful and glorious, it might as far represent it as any thing could do which is of this creation, as all these things were, verse 11. But that the Lord Christ is the only bread of life unto the church, the only spiritual food of our souls, he himself doth fully testify, John 6:32-35. He, therefore, he alone, was represented by this “continual bread” of the sanctuary.

    VERSES 3-5.

    Meta< de< to< deu>teron katape>tasma skhnh< hJ legome>nh a[gia aJgi>wn? crusou~n e]cousa zumiath>rion , kai< thkhv perikekalumme>nhn pa>ntoqen crusi>w| , ejn h=| sta>mnov crush~ e]cousa to< ma>nna , kai< hJ rJa>zdov jAarwsasa , kai< aiJ pla>kev th~v diaqh>khv? JYpera>nw de< aujth~v cerouzixhv katuskia>zonta to< iJlasth>rion? peri< w=n oujk e]sti nu~n le>gein kata< me>rov .

    Meta< de< to deu>teron katape>tasma skhnh> , “but after the second veil,” or “covering.” Our Latin translation reads, “post medium velum;” that is, “after the veil that was in the midst: but there were not three veils, whereof this should be in the midst, but two only. The Syriac somewhat changeth the words, “the inner tabernacle, which was within the face of the second gate.” The same thing is intended; but “the inner” is added; and “after the second veil” is expressed by an Hebraism. What katape>tasma is, which is rendered “velum,” and “velamentum,” a “veil,” a “covering,” and by the Syriac, a “gate of entrance,” we shall see afterwards.

    JH legome>nh , “quod dicitur,” “quod vocatur.” Syr., “it was called.”

    Crsou~n e]cousa zumiath>rion , “aureum habens thuribulum;” “having the golden censer.” Syr., “and there were in it the house of incense of gold;” whereby either the altar or the censer may be understood. jEn h=| sta>mnov .

    Syr., “and there was in it;” referring plainly to the ark.

    Peri< w=n oujk e]sti nu~n le>gein kata< me>rov, “non est tempus,” “non est propositum;” “it is not a time or place,” “it is not my purpose to speak;” “non est modo dicendum.” Kata< me>rov ,” singulatim;” Vulg. Lat., “per singula;” Arias, “per partes;” Syr., “by one and one,” “apart,” “particularly,” according to the parts laid down distinctly. The Syriac adds the following words unto these, “It is not time to speak of these things by one and one, which were thus disposed.” But the original refers that expression unto what follows. f14 Ver. 3-5. —And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid [covered ] round about [on every side ] with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the churubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which [things ] we cannot [shall not ] now speak particularly.

    The apostle in these verses proceedeth unto the description of the second part of the tabernacle, with the things contained in it, or the holy furniture thereof. His design is not to give us an exact description of these things, as he declares in the close of the fifth verse, but only to declare their use and signification. Wherefore he doth not propose an accurate account of their station and relation one to another, but makes such mention of them in general as was sufficient unto his end, namely, to manifest their use and signification. Wherefore they deal injuriously both with him and the text, who rigidly examine every word and passage, as though he had designed an exact account of the frame, positure, fashion, and measure, of this part of the tabernacle, and every thing contained in it; whereas the use and signification of the whole is all that he intends. A due consideration hereof renders the anxious inquiry that hath been made about the assignation of holy utensils unto this part of the sanctuary, and the placing of them with respect unto one another, —which was no part of his design, —altogether needless. For with respect unto the end he aimed at, the words he useth are exactly the truth.

    He describes this part of the tabernacle,1. From its situation; it was “after the second veil.” 2. From its name, given unto it by God himself; it was called “The holiest of all,” or” The holy of holies.” 3. From its utensils or vessels; which were, (1.) The golden censer; (2.) The ark, —what was in it or with it: [1.] The golden pot that had manna; [2.] Aaron’s rod; [3.] The tables of the covenant. 4. The cherubim; which he describes, (1.) From their quality, “cherubim of glory; (2.) Their use, they “shadowed the mercy-seat.” 5 . The mercy-seat itself, but this is mentioned as it were only occasionally with respect unto the use of the cherubim.

    And this sufficiently manifests, that in the rehearsal of these things the apostle designeth not accuracy of order; for the mercy-seat was, for glory and signification, far above the cherubim wherewith it was overshadowed.

    With respect unto these things among others, in another place, he affirms that the ministration of divine worship under the law was glorious; but withal he adds that it had no glory in comparison of that which doth excel, —namely, the spiritual ministration of divine worship under the gospel, 2 Corinthians 3:9,10. And this is that which we should always mind in the consideration of these things; for if we yet look after and value such an outward glory as they did exhibit, we are carnal, and cannot behold the beauty of spiritual things.

    The verbal difficulties which occur in this context have occasioned critical expositors to labor greatly about them. That is the field wherein they choose to exercise their skill and diligence. But as unto the things themselves, and the difficulties that are in the real interpretation of them, little light is contributed by most of their endeavors. Wherefore some of these words have been so belabored with all sorts of conjectures, that there is no room left for any addition in the same kind; and it were but lost labor to repeat what must be confuted if it were mentioned. I shall therefore take no further notice of any difficulty in the words, but as the explication of it is necessary unto the interpretation of the context; and so far nothing shall be omitted. 1. The first thing mentioned by the apostle is the situation of this part of the tabernacle; it was “after the second veil.” It was so unto them that entered into the tabernacle; they had to pass through the whole length of the first part before they came unto this; nor was there any other way of entrance into it. And by calling this partition of the two parts of the sanctuary the “second veil,” the apostle intimates that there was a former.

    Howbeit that former was not a separating veil of any part of the tabernacle, as this was. It was only the hanging of the door of the tent.

    This the apostle here reckons as a veil, because as by this veil the priests were hindered from entering into, or looking into the most holy place, so by that other the people were forbidden to enter or look into the first part of the sanctuary, whereinto the priests entered daily. The making of the first veil is declared, Exodus 26:36,37, and it is called jt’p,l] Ës;m; “the hanging,” or “covering for the door.’) The making of this second veil is declared, Exodus 26:31-33, and it is called “the veil” or “covering.” The apostle renders it by katape>tasma ; as also it is Matthew 27:51, where it is spoken.of as in the temple. And so it is rendered by the LXX., Exodus 26:31; as the former is called ka>lumma , a covering. From peta>zw , which is “to extend,” “to stretch out” so as to cover with what is so extended, is katape>tasma , “a veil” to be a covering unto any thing, dividing one thing from another; as peripe>tasma is that which covereth any thing round about: such was this veil.

    The end, use, and signification of it, the apostle expressly declares verse 8, where they must be spoken unto. 2. He describes this part of the tabernacle by its name; it is called “The most holy,” “The holy of holies,” — vd,qo µyvid;Q\h’ So it is called by God himself, Exodus 26:33,34, “The holy of holies;” that is, most holy, — the superlative degree expressed by the repetition of the substantive, as is usual in the Hebrew. Some give instances of this kind of phraseology in Greek writers, remote enough from Hebraisms; as Sophocles, Elect. 849:

    Deilai>a deilai>wn kurei~v , —”misera miserarum es;” that is, “miserrima.” But however the phrase of a[gia aJgi>wn may be Greek, the apostle intends to express the Hebraism itself. And “holy” in the Hebrew is of the singular number; “holies,” of the plural: but in the Greek both are of the plural number. And what is thus called was most eminently typical of Christ, who is called by this name, Daniel 9:24, “To anoint the Most Holy.” The place in the tabernacle which was most sacred and most secret, which had the most eminent pledges or symbols of the divine presence, and the clearest representations of God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself is so called.

    Obs. I. The more of Christ, by the way of representation or exhibition, any institutions of divine worship do contain or express, the more sacred and holy are they in their use and exercise. But, — Obs. II. It is Christ alone who in himself is really the Most Holy, the spring and fountain of all holiness unto the church. 3. The first utensil reckoned unto this second part of the tabernacle is cruso~n zumiath>rion; and the relation of it thereunto is, that it had it, — e]cousa. He doth not say, it was in it, but “it had it.” If any one would see the various conjectures of learned men about this assertion of the apostle, as also about that following, concerning what was contained in the ark, he may consult the collections of Mr Pool on the place, where he will find them represented in one view. My design being only to declare what I conceive consonant unto the truth, I shall not spend time in repeating or refuting the conjectures of other men.

    Qumiath>rion , we translate a “censer;” but it may as well be rendered the “altar of incense;” as it is by the Syriac the “house of spices,” —the place for the spices whereof the incense was compounded. The altar of incense was all overlaid with beaten gold; hence it is here said to be crusou~n , of “gold.” And whereas it was one of the most glorious vessels of the tabernacle, and most significant, if the apostle intended it not in this word, he takes no notice of it at all; which is very unlikely.

    And of this altar he says not that it was in the second tabernacle, but that it had it. And in that expression he respects not its situation, but its use.

    And the most holy place may well be said to have had the altar of incense, because the high priest could never enter into that place, nor perform any service in it, but he was to bring incense with him taken in a censer from this altar. Whereas, therefore, there was a twofold use of the altar of incense; the one of the ordinary priests, to burn incense in the sanctuary every day; and the other of the high priest, to take incense from it when he entered into the most holy place, to fill it with a cloud of its smoke; the apostle intending a comparison peculiarly between the Lord Christ and the high priest only in this place, and not the other priests in the daily discharge of their office, he takes no notice of the use of the altar of incense in the sanctuary, but only of that which respected the most holy place, and the entrance of the high priest thereinto: for so he expressly applies it, verse 12. And therefore he affirms this place to have had this golden altar, its principal use and end being designed unto the service thereof. This I judge to be the true meaning of the apostle and sense of his words, and shall not therefore trouble myself nor the reader with the repetition or confutation of other conjectures. And that this was the principal use of this altar is plainly declared in the order for the making and disposal of it, Exodus 30:6, “Thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy-seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.” Although it was placed without the veil, and that for this end, that the high priest might not enter one step into the most holy place until the smoke of the incense went before him, yet had it peculiar respect unto the ark and mercy-seat, and is therefore reckoned in the same place and service with them by the apostle.

    And this is yet made further evident, in that when the high priest entered into the most holy place, and had no service to perform but with respect unto the things pertaining thereunto, he was to make atonement on this altar with the blood of the sin-offering, as he did on the ark and mercyseat, Exodus 30:10. This is an undeniable demonstration that, as unto the use of it, it belonged principally unto the most holy place, and is here so declared by the apostle. Wherefore, the assignation hereof unto ‘that place by the author is so far from an objection against the authority of the epistle, — unto which end it hath by some been made use of, — as that it is an argument of his divine wisdom and skill in the nature and use of these institutions.

    The manner of the service of this altar intended by the apostle was briefly thus: The high priest, on the solemn day of expiation, —that is, once ayear, —took a golden censer from this altar; after which, going out of the sanctuary, he put fire into it, taken from the altar of burnt-offerings without the tabernacle, in the court where the perpetual fire was preserved. Then returning into the holy place, he filled his hands with incense taken from this altar, the place of the residence of the spices. And this altar being placed just at the entrance of the most holy place, over against the ark and mercy-seat, upon his entrance he put the incense on the fire in the censer, and entered the holy place with a cloud of the smoke thereof. See Leviticus 16:12,13. The composition and making of this incense is declared, Exodus 30:34,35, etc. And being compounded, it was beaten small, that it might immediately take fire, and so placed on this altar before the ark, verse 36. And the placing of this incense “before the testimony,” as is there affirmed, is the same with what our apostle affirms, that the most holy place had it.

    That in general by incense, prayer is signified, the Scripture expressly testifieth: “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense,” Psalm 141. 2. And there is a fourfold resemblance between them: (1.) In that it was beaten and pounded before it was used. So doth acceptable prayer proceed from “a broken and contrite heart,” Isaiah 51. 17. (2.) It was of no use until fire was put under it, and that taken from the altar. Nor is that prayer of any virtue or efficacy which is not kindled by the fire from above, the Holy Spirit of God; which we have from our altar, Christ Jesus. (3.) It naturally ascended upwards towards heaven, as all offerings in the Hebrew are called twOl[o , “ascensions,” risings up. And this is the design of prayer, to ascend unto the throne of God: “I will direct unto thee, and will look up;” that is, pray, Psalm 5:3. (4.) It yielded a sweet savor: which was one end of it in temple services, wherein there was so much burning of flesh and blood. So doth prayer yield a sweet savor unto God; a savor of rest, wherein he is well pleased.

    In this general sense, even the prayers of the saints might be typified and represented in that daily burning of incense which was used in the sanctuary. But it must be granted that this incense is distinguished from the prayers of the saints, as that which is in the hand of Christ alone, to give virtue and efficacy unto them, Revelation 8:4. Wherefore this golden altar of incense, as placed in the sanctuary, and whereon incense was burned continually every morning and evening, was a type of Christ, by his mediation and intercession giving efficacy unto the continual prayers of all believers.

    But that which the apostle in this place hath alone respect unto, was the burning of the incense in the golden censer on the day of expiation, when the high priest entered into the most holy place. And this represented only the personal mediatory prayer of Christ himself. Concerning it we may observe: (1.) That the time of it was after the sacrifice of the sin-offering; for the high priest was to take along with him the blood of that sacrifice, to carry with him into the holy place, Leviticus 16: (2.) That the incense was kindled with fire taken from the altar, when the blood of the sacrifices was newly offered.

    And two things in the mediatory prayer of Christ are hereby intimated unto us: (1.) That the efficacy of them ariseth from and dependeth on the sacrifice of himself. Hence his intercession is best apprehended as the representation of himself and the efficacy of his sacrifice in heaven, before the throne of God. (2.) That this prayer is quickened and enlivened by the same fire wherewith the sacri-rice of himself was kindled, —that is, by the eternal Spirit; whereof we shall treat on verse 14. Yet we must not so oblige ourselves unto the times, seasons, and order of these things, as to exclude the prayers which he offered unto God before the oblation of himself. Yea, that solemn prayer of his, recorded John xvii., wherein he sanctified himself to be an oblation, was principally prefigured by the cloud of incense which filled the most holy place, covering the ark and mercy-seat.

    For by reason of the imperfection of these types, and their accommodation unto the present service of the church so far as it was carnal, they could not represent the order of things as they were to be accomplished in the person of Christ, who was both priest and sacrifice, altar, tabernacle, and incense. For the law had only a shadow of these things, and not the perfect image of them. Some obscure lines of them were drawn therein, but their beautiful order was not represented in them.

    Although, therefore, the offering of incense from the golden altar in the most holy place was after the offering of sacrifice on the altar of burntofferings, yet was the mediatory prayer of Christ for the church of the elect, wherein he also prepared and sanctified himself to be a sacrifice, thereby typified. So also the beating or bruising of the incense before its firing did represent the agony of his soul, with the strong cries and supplications that he offered unto God therein. And we may observe, — Obs. III. The mediatory intercession of Jesus Christ is a sweet savor unto God, and efficacious for the salvation of the church. —The smoke of this perfume was that which covered the ark and mercy-seat. Hereby the law itself, which was contained in the ark, became compliant unto our salvation; for herein Christ was declared to be the end of the law for righteousness unto them that do believe.

    Obs. IV. The efficacy of Christ’s intercession dependeth on his oblation. —It was fire from the altar of burnt-offerings wherewith the incense was kindled.

    Obs. V. The glory of these types did no way answer the glory of the antitype, or that which was represented by them. —It is acknowledged that the service of the high priest at and from this golden altar, and his entrance with a cloud of incense into the most holy place, had great glory in it, and was suited to ingenerate a great veneration in the minds of the people; howbeit they were all but carnal things, and had no glory in comparison of the spiritual glory of Christ in the discharge of his office.

    We are apt in our minds to admire these things, and almost to wish that God had ordained such a service in the gospel, so outwardly glorious. For there is that in it which is suited unto those images of things which men create and are delighted withal in their minds. And besides, they love in divine service to be taken up with such a bodily exercise as carries glory with it, —an appearance of solemn veneration. Wherefore many things are found out by men unto these ends. But the reason of all is, because we are carnal. We see not the glory of spiritual things, nor do know how to be exercised in our minds about them with pure acts of faith and love.

    Obs. VI. We are always to reckon that the efficacy and prevalency of all our prayers depends on the incense which is in the hand of our merciful high priest. —It is offered with the prayers of the saints, Revelation 8:4. In themselves our prayers are weak and imperfect; it is hard to conceive how they should find acceptance with God. But the invaluable incense of the intercession of Christ gives them acceptance and prevalency.

    The second thing in this part of the tabernacle mentioned by the apostle is the ark. This he describes, (1.) From its appellation; “the ark of the covenant:” (2.) From one particular in its fabric; it was “overlaid round about with gold:” (3.) From the things that accompanied it, and had no other use but to be laid up by it; “the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded:” (4.) From what was placed in it, which to preserve was its principal use; “the tables of the covenant.”

    This vessel in the Hebrew is called ˆwOra; ; as the ark in the flood was called hb;Te . But the Greeks render both by cizwto>v as the Latins by arca. This, with the mercy-seat wherewith it was covered, was the most glorious and mysterious utensil of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple; the most eminent pledge of the divine presence, the most mysterious representation of the holy properties of his nature in Christ. This, as the heart of all divine service, was first formed; all other things had a relation unto it, Exodus 25:10,11. To treat of the fabric, that is, the materials, dimensions, and fashion of this ark, is not unto our present purpose. For these things the apostle himself here declines, as being no season to treat of them particularly. This he intends in these words, “Which we shall not now speak of.” And their mystical signification he gives afterwards. (1.) The name of it is “the ark of the covenant.” Sometimes it is called “the ark of the testimony,” Exodus 26:33, 39:35, 40:3, 5; most commonly “the ark of the covenant,’’ Numbers 10:33, 14:44, Deuteronomy 10:8, etc.; sometimes “the ark of God,” 1 Samuel 3:3, 6:2, etc. “The ark of the testimony” it was called, because God called the tables of the covenant by the name of his “testimony,” or that which testified his will unto the people, and, by the people’s acceptance of the terms of it, was to be a perpetual witness between God and them, Exodus 25:16, 31:18, etc. On the same account is it called “the ark of the covenant,” namely, because of what was contained in it, or the tables of the covenant; which, as I have showed elsewhere, were usually called “the covenant’’ itself. And so they are called “the tables of testimony,” Exodus 31:18; that is, the covenant which was the testimony of God.

    And lastly it was called “the ark of God,” because it was the most eminent pledge of the especial presence of God among the people. (2.) As to the fabric of it, the apostle observes in particular, that it was on every side “overlaid” or “covered with gold,” —pa>ntoqen , “every way, within and without,” —with plates of beaten gold. This, as I said before, was the most sacred and glorious instrument of the sanctuary; yea, the whole sanctuary, as unto its use in the church of Israel, was built for no other end but to be as it were a house and habitation for this ark, Exodus 26:33, 40:21. Hence sanctification proceeded unto all the other parts of it; for, as Solomon observed, the places were holy whereunto the ark of God came, 2 Chronicles 8:11. And of such sacred veneration was it among the people, so severe was the exclusion of all flesh from the sight of it, —the high priest only excepted, who entered that holy place once a year, and that not without blood, —as that the nations about took it to be the God that the Israelites worshipped, 1 Samuel 4:8. And it were not difficult to evidence that many of the pretended mysterious ceremonies of worship that prevailed among the nations of the world afterwards, were invented in compliance with what they had heard concerning the ark and worship of God thereby.

    This was the most signal token, pledge, or symbol, of the presence of God among the people. And thence metonymically it hath sometimes the name of God ascribed unto it, as some think; and of “the glory of God,” Psalm 78:61. And all neglects about it or contempt of it were most severely punished. From the tabernacle it was carried into the temple built by Solomon, where it continued until the Babylonian captivity; and what became of it afterwards is altogether uncertain.

    God gave this ark that it might be a representation of Christ, as we shall show; and he took it away to increase the desire and expectation of the church after him and for him. And as it was the glory of God to hide and cover the mysterious counsels of his will under the old testament, — whence this ark was so hidden from the eyes of all men, —so under the new testament it is his glory to reveal and make them open in Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 3:18. (3.) In this ark, as it was placed in the tabernacle, the apostle affirmeth that there were three things: — [1.] “The golden pot that had manna,” When the manna first fell, every one was commanded to gather an omer, for his own eating, Exodus 16:16. Hereon God appointed that a pot should be provided which should hold an omer, to be filled with manna, to be laid up before the Lord for their generations, verse 33. There was it miraculously preserved from putrefaction, whereas of itself it would not keep two days unto an end.

    And it is added, “As theLORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the testimony, to be kept,” verse 34. But there is a prolepsis in the words; Aaron is said to do what he did afterwards. For the testimony was not yet given, nor Aaron yet consecrated unto his office. It is not said in this place, where the making of it is appointed, that it was of gold, nor is there any mention of what matter it was made. That it was of gold the apostle here declares, who wrote by inspiration. And the thing is evident itself; for it was to be placed in that part of the sanctuary wherein all the vessels were either of pure gold, or at least overlaid with it, and a pot of another nature would have been unsuitable thereunto. And it was to be made of that which was most durable, as being to be kept for a memorial throughout all generations.

    The reason of the sacred preservation of this manna in the most holy place was, because it was a type of Christ; as himself declares, John 6:48-51. [2.] The next thing mentioned is “Aaron’s rod that budded.” This rod originally was that wherewith Moses fed the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro, in the wilderness, which he had in his hand when God called unto him out of the bush. And thereon God ordained it to be the token of the putting forth of his power in the working of miracles, having by a trial confirmed the faith of Moses concerning it, Exodus 4:17. Hereby it became sacred; and when Aaron was called unto the office of the priesthood, it was delivered into his keeping. For on the budding of it, on the trial about the priesthood, it was laid up before the testimony; that is, the ark, Numbers 17:10. That same rod did Moses take from before the testimony when he was to smite the rock with it, and work a miracle; whereof this was consecrated to be the outward sign, Numbers 20:8-11.

    Hereof the apostle affirms only that it “budded; but in the story it is, that it “brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds; “being originally cut from an almond tree, Numbers 17:8. But the apostle mentions what was sufficient unto his purpose.

    This rod of Moses belonged unto the holy furniture of the tabernacle; because the spiritual Rock that followed them was to be smitten with the rod of the law, that it might give out the waters of life unto the church. [3.] The last thing mentioned is “the tables of the covenant;” the two tables of stone, cut out by Moses, and written on with the finger of God, containing the ten commandments; which were the substance of God’s covenant with the people. This testimony, this covenant, these tables of stone, with the moral law engraven in them, were, by the express command of God, put into the ark, Exodus 25:16,21, 40:20; Deuteronomy 10:5. And “there was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone” with the law written in them, as is expressly affirmed, Kings 8:9; 2 Chronicles 5:10. Wherefore, whereas it is said of Aaron’s rod and the pot of manna, that they were placed before the testimony, Numbers 17:10, Exodus 16:34, —that is, the ark; and that the book of the law was also put into the side of it, —that is, laid beside it, Deuteronomy 31:26; and not only are the tables of stone appointed expressly to be put into the ark, but also it is likewise affirmed that “there was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone;” this place of the apostle hath been exceedingly tortured and perplexed by critics, and all sorts of expositors, with multiplied conjectures, objections, and solutions.

    I know not that the repetition of them in this place would be of any use.

    Those who have a mind to exercise themselves about them, do know where to find them. I shall therefore give only that interpre-ration of the words which, for the substance of it at least, all sober expositors do betake themselves unto. The true, real poslture of these things was after this manner: In the closed ark there was nothing at all but the two tables of stone. Before it, or at the ends of it, adjoining unto it, were the pot of manna and the miracle-working rod. Neither of these was of any actual use in the service of God, but only were kept as sacred memorials. Unto this end being placed by it, they were joined unto and reckoned with the ark.

    This appurtenance of them unto the ark the apostle expresseth by the preposition ejn , from the Hebrew B] . Now this preposition is so frequently used in the Scripture to signify adhesion, conjunction, approximation, appurtenance of one thing unto another, that it is mere cavilling to assign it any other signification in this place, or to restrain it unto inclusion only, the things themselves requiring that sense. See Job 19:20; Deuteronomy 6:7; 1 Samuel 1:24; Hosea 4:3; Joshua 10:10; Matthew 21:12; Luke 1:17. And a multitude of instances are gathered by others Ver. 5. —”And over it the cherubim of glory, shadowing the mercyseat; of which things we cannot now speak particularly.”

    The apostle proceedeth in his description of the immediate appurtenances of the ark. He hath declared what was disposed with reference unto it, as the golden censer; what was before it, as the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod; what was within it, namely, the tables of the covenant; now he showeth what was over it: so giving an account of its whole furniture, and all that any way belonged unto it.

    Two things he adds, namely, 1. The cherubim; 2. The mercy-seat.

    And first he describes the cherubim, (1.) By their positure; they were “over the ark:” (2.) By their title; “cherubim of glory:” (3.) Their use; they “shadowed the mercy-seat.” 1. The making, form, fashion, and use of these cherubim, are declared, Exodus 25:The signification of the name, and their original shape or form, any further than that they were “alata animata,” “winged creatures,” are not certainly known. Most, as unto the derivation of the name, follow Kimchi; who affirms the letter caph to be servile, and a note of similitude, and the word to signify “a youth or a child.” Such these images are thought to represent; only they had wings instead of arms, as we now usually paint angels; for their bodies, sides, and feet are mentioned in other places, Isaiah 6:2. See Ezekiel 1:5-7, where they are expressly said to have “the shape of a man.” Wherefore, both as they were first framed for the tabernacle, and afterwards for the temple, when their dimensions were exceedingly enlarged, they were of human shape; only with wings, to denote the angelical nature.

    There were two of them, one at each end of the ark or mercy-seat. Their faces were turned inwards, one towards another, so as that their wings touched one another. This posture gave unto the whole work of the ark, mercy-seat, and cherubim, the form of a seat, which represented the throne of God. From thence he spake; whence the whole was called wybiD] , “the oracle.”

    As unto their place and posture, they were over the ark. For these cherubim had feet whereon they stood, 2 Chronicles 3:13. And these feet were joined in one continued beaten work unto the ends of the mercyseat which was upon the ark; wherefore they were wholly over it, or above it, as the apostle here speaks.

    As unto the appellation whereby he describes them, it is “cherubim of glory;” that is, say expositors generally, cerouzi, — ”glorious cherubim.” If so, this term is not given them from the matter whereof they were made. Those, indeed, in the tabernacle were of beaten gold, being but of a small measure or proportion, Exodus 25:18. Those in the temple of Solomon were made of the wood of the olive tree, only overlaid with gold; for they were very large, extending their wings unto the whole breadth of the oracle, which was twenty cubits, 1 Kings 6:23-28; 2 Chronicles 3:10-13. But such was the matter of other utensils also, as the candlestick, which yet is not called the candlestick of glory. Nor are they so called from their shape and fashion; for this, as I have showed, most probably was human shape with wings, wherein there was nothing peculiarly glorious. But they are so called from their posture and use; for, stretching out their wings on high, and looking inwards with an appearance of veneration, and so compassing the mercy-seat with their wings, all but the fore part of it, they made a representation of a glorious seat or throne, wherein the majestatical presence of God did sit and reside. And from between these cherubim, above the mercy-seat, it was that God spake unto Moses, and gave out his oracles, Exodus 25:22; as a man on a throne speaks above the place where he sits and rests. Hence may they be called the “glorious cherubim.”

    But I must add, that by “glory” here, the majestatical presence of God himself is intended. The cherubim represented the glorious presence of God himself, as he dwelt among the people. So the apostle, reckoning up the privileges of the Hebrews, Romans 9:4, affirms that unto them appertained “the adoption and the glory.” And therein not the ark is intended, although it may be that is sometimes called “the glory;” or signified under that name, as 1 Samuel 4:21,22, Psalm 26:8; but it is God himself in his peculiar residence among the people, —that is, in the representation of his presence which is in Christ, who is Immanuel, and therefore called “the glory of Israel,” Luke 2:32. The cherubim being designed to make a representation hereof, as we shall immediately declare, are called the “cherubim of glory.”

    As unto their use, it is expressed by kataskia>zonta . The Hebrew word in that language is of the masculine gender, but the apostle here useth it in the neuter, as appears by this participle; and so do the LXX. where they make mention of them. This, as some suppose, is done because for the most part they had the form of brute creatures; for so they say they had four faces, of a man, of a lion, of an ox, and of an eagle. But although there was this form in the appearance of them made unto Ezekiel, Ezekiel 1:10; yet was it not so of those images in the tabernacle, nor of them afterwards in the temple. But the only reason of this construction is, that Hebrew word not being translated as unto its signification, but literally transferred into the Greek language, is looked on as indeclinable, as all words foreign unto a language are, and belonging unto the neuter gender. “Shadowing,” “covering,” “protecting,” µykik]so , Exodus 25:20, “They shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering over the mercy-seat with their wings;” or, “their wings covering over the mercy-seat.” But this office of the cherubim we cannot understand, until we have declared what was that mercy-seat which they so covered over, and which the apostle makes mention of in the last place. 2. The making and frame of it is declared, Exodus 25:17. In the Hebrew it is called capporeth, or cipporeth, from caphar. The verb in Kal signifies “to cover,” “to pitch over,” and thereby to cover, Genesis 6:14. Thence is capporeth, “a covering.’’ But this cipporeth is rendered by our apostle iJlasth>rion , a “propitiatory,” a “mercy-seat;” as it is also by the LXX. sometimes, and sometimes by ejpi>qhma, an “imposed covering.” But whereas, in allusion hereunto, the Lord Christ is said to be iJlasth>rion, Romans 3:25; and iJlasmo>v , 1 John 2:2; that sense must be taken in, and so it is constantly rendered by our translation “the mercy-seat.” And in that sense it is derived from cipper in Pihel, which signifies “to remove or take away,” and consequently “to be propitious and merciful in taking away of sin;” as also “to appease,” “atone,” “reconcile,” and “purge,” whereby sin is taken away. See Genesis 32:20, “to appease;” Proverbs 16:14, “to pacify;” Psalm 65:3, “to purge away,” applied to sin; Psalm 78:38, “to forgive iniquities;” Deuteronomy 21:8, “to be merciful;” Psalm 79:9, “to expiate.’’ Thence is “the day of expiation,” the great day of fast unto the Jews. This is the fast which was said to be over, in the storm that Paul and his companions were in; for it was on the tenth day of the seventh month, about which season navigation is dangerous, Hence cipporeth is rendered iJlasth>rion , “a mercy-seat.” Yet if we will have respect also unto the first sense of the verb, and its use in Exodus, we may render it “a covering mercy-seat.” The matter of this mercy-seat was of “pure beaten gold;” the measures of it exactly commensurate and answering unto that of the ark; “two cubits and an half the length of it, and a cubit and an half the breadth of it,” Exodus 25:10-16. As unto the use of it, it was put hl;[]m;l]mi ˆrOa;h;Al[‘ , verse 21, — ”above upon the ark.” What was the thickness of it, there is no mention.

    The Jews say it was an hand-breadth; which is not likely. However, it was of considerable substance; for the cherubim were beaten out of it, at its ends, verses 18, 19. For the situation and posture of it, some suppose that it was held in the hands of the cherubim, at a good distance from the ark.

    And the reason they give for this conjecture is, that so it did best represent a throne. The mercy-seat was as the seat of it, and the ark as the footstool; for so they say it is called when the church is invited to “worship at his footstool,” Psalm 99:5. But this reason indeed everts the supposition which it was produced to confirm. For the ark and mercy-seat being exactly oommensurate, and the one placed directly over the other, it could have no appearance of a footstool, which must be placed before the seat itself. Nor is there any mention of the hands of the cherubim, as there is directly of their feet, in those made by Solomon. Nor is it probable they had any, but only wings instead of them; although those in Ezekiel’s vision, as they served the providence of God, had “the hands of a man under their wings,” Ezekiel 1:8. Nor could it be called a covering unto the ark, if it were at that distance from it, as this conceit will make it to be.

    It was therefore laid immediately on the ark, so as the cherubim were represented to be above the throne; as the seraphim were in Isaiah’s vision, Isaiah 6:2. It had, as we observed, the just dimension of the ark.

    But the ark had “a crown of gold round about” it; that is, on its sides and its ends, Exodus 25:11, 37:2. But this crown or fringe of gold was so placed on the outsides of it, that it diminished nothing of its proportion of two cubits and a half in length and a cubit and a half in breadth. Wherefore the mercy-seat being exactly of the same measure, it fell in upon it, on the inside of the border or crown of gold.

    It remains only that we inquire whether it was itself the covering of the ark, or whether the ark had a covering of its own, which it was placed upon. It is certain that the ark was open when the testimony, or tables of stone with the law written in them, was put into it. And there is no mention of the opening or shutting of it, how it should be closed and fastened when the tables were put into it. These things, I suppose, would not have been omitted, had it had a covering of its own. Besides, it is certain that this propitiatory, and the cherubim belonging thereunto, were never to be separated from the ark; and when the ark was removed and carried by the staves, they were carried upon it. This is evident from hence, because, whereas all the other golden utensils had rings and staves wherewith they were borne, these had none, but must be carried in the hands of men, if they were not inseparable from the ark. And when the men of Beth-shemesh looked into the ark, it doth not appear that they first took off the mercy-seat with the cherubim, and then brake up the covering of the ark; but only lifted up the mercy-seat by the cherubim, which opened the ark, and discovered what was therein, 1 Samuel 6:19.

    I do judge, therefore, that this mercy-seat was the only covering of the ark above, falling in close within the crown of gold, exactly answering it in its dimensions. Out of this mercy-seat, of the same substance with it, and contiguous unto it, the cherubim being formed, their wings which were above, some distance from it, being turned towards it, did overshadow it, giving a representation of a glorious throne.

    This is a brief description of the utensils of the most holy place. The ark, which was as the heart and center of the whole, was placed at the west end of it, with its ends towards the sides of the place, the face as unto the entrance, and the back part unto the west end. Before it was placed the pot of manna, and the rod that budded, as afterwards; at one end of it was placed the book of the law. In the ark was the testimony, or the two tables of stone with the law written in them by the finger of God, and nothing else. When they were put into it, it was covered with the mercy-seat, and that shadowed with the wings of the cherubim. At the entrance into it was the golden altar of incense, with the golden censer; which although, as our apostle shows, it did in its use principally respect the service of this part of the tabernacle, yet could not be placed within the veil, because the high priest was not to enter himself until he had raised a cloud of incense, through which he entered.

    The apostle having given this account of the sanctuary in both parts of it, and what was contained in them, adds, “Of which we now cannot speak particularly;” or rather, “Concerning which things it is not now a season to speak particularly,” or of the several parts of it, one by one. And the reason hereof was, because he had an especial design to manage, from the consideration of the whole fabric, —the service of the high priest in it; which the particular consideration of each part by itself would have too much diverted him from. Howbeit he plainly intimates that all, and every one of them in particular, were of singular consideration, as typical of the Lord Christ and his ministry. For unto this end doth he reckon them up in order. Only it seemed good unto the Holy Ghost not to give unto the church a particular application of them in this place, but he hath left it unto our humble diligence to seek after it out of the Scripture, according unto the analogy of faith, and such rules of the interpretation of those mysteries as himself giveth, in the ensuing declaration of their nature, use, and end in general. This, therefore, I shall briefly endeavor; yet so as, according unto the example of the apostle, not to divert from the especial design of the place.

    As was said before so must I say again, expositors either pass by these things without any notice, or indulge unto various conjectures, without any certain rule of what they assert. Those of the Roman church are generally so taken up with their fourfold sense of the Scripture, literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical, —wherein for the most part they know not how to distinguish one from another, —that they wrest this and the like passages unto what sense they please. I shall keep myself unto a certain rule, and where that will not guide me, I shall not venture on any conjectures.

    When Ezekiel had his vision of God in the administration of his providence, he says of it, “This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the\parLORD,” Ezekiel 1:28.

    And we may say of this holy place with its furniture, ‘This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of theLORD in the administration of grace.’

    Why God would in this manner, by these means, represent himself and the glory of his grace absolutely, we can give no reason but his own holy will and infinite wisdom. But this we find he did, and that with great solemnity. For first he made a glorious representation of it immediately by his own power in the mount. He showed a pattern of it in the mount; which was not only an exemplar of what he would have framed here below, but expressive of the idea in his own mind of good things to come.

    And thereon he gave command that it should in all things be made exactly according unto that pattern, enabling certain persons with wisdom, skill, and understanding so to do. And some things we may observe concerning the whole in general. 1. The nature of the things themselves, or the materials of the whole, being earthly, and the state of the church unto whose service it was allotted being imperfect, and designed so to be, two things did necessarily follow thereon: — (1.) That sundry concernments of it, as the outward shape, form, and dimensions both of the tabernacle and all its utensils, were accommodated unto the present state of the church. Hence were they made outwardly glorious and venerable; for the people being comparatively carnal, were affected with such things. Hence were they all portable also, at their first institution, to comply with the state of the people in the wilderness; whence alterations were made in all of them, excepting the ark and mercyseat, on the building of the temple. In these things, therefore, we are not to seek for any mystical signification, for they were only in compliance with present use. They served, as the apostle immediately declares, unto the use of “carnal ordinances,” which were to continue unto the time of reformation only. (2.) That the resemblance of heavenly things in them was but dark and obscure, as the apostle expressly affirms, Hebrews 10:1. This both the nature of the things themselves, being earthly and carnal, with that state wherein the church was to be kept unto the fulness of time, did require. 2. This yet is certain and indubitable, —which gives us our stable rule of the interpretation of their significancy, —that God chose this way and these means to represent his glorious presence in and with theLORD Christ, unto all the ends of his mediation. For with respect unto them it is said that “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” Colossians 2:9; namely, as it dwelt typically in the tabernacle by the outward pledges of his especial presence. Whence he concludes that they were all “a shadow,” whereof “the body was Christ,” verse 17. But we need seek for no further testimony hereunto than the express design of the apostle in this place. For his whole discourse, in this and the ensuing chapter, is to manifest the representation of Christ in them all. And those who would have only an application to be made of something unto Christ by way of accommodation or allusion, as the Socinians contend, do reject the wisdom of God in their institution, and expressly contradict the whole scope of the apostle. We have, therefore, nothing else to do but to find out the resemblance which, as an effect of divine wisdom, and by virtue of divine institution, was in them unto God’s being in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. And to this end the things ensuing may be observed: — (1.) The spring, the life and soul of all this service, was the decalogue, “the ten words,” written in tables of stone, called “the tables of the covenant.” This is the eternal, unalterable rule of our relation unto God as rational creatures, capable of moral obedience and eternal rewards.

    Hereunto all this service related, as prefiguring the way whereby the church might be freed from the guilt of its transgression, and obtain the accomplishment of it in them and for them. For, — [1.] It was given and prescribed unto the people, and by them accepted, as the terms of God’s covenant, before any of these things were revealed or appointed, Deuteronomy 5:2-27. Wherefore all these following institutions did only manifest how that covenant should be complied withal and fulfilled. [2.] It was written in tables of stone, and those renewed after they were broken, before any of these things were prepared or erected, Exodus 34:1. God, by the occasional breaking of the first tables, on the sin of the people, declared that there was no keeping, no fulfilling of that covenant, before the provision made in these ordinances was granted unto the people. [3.] The ark was made and appointed for no other end but to preserve and keep these tables of the covenant, or testimony of God, Exodus 25:16.

    And it was hereon the great token and pledge of the presence of God among the people, wherein his glory dwelt among them. So the wife of Phinehas the priest made the dying confession of her faith: she said,” The glory is departed from Israel, for the ark of God is taken,” 1 Samuel 4:22. Wherefore, — [4.] All other things, the whole tabernacle, with all the furniture, utensils, and services of it, were made and appointed to minister unto the ark; and when the ark was removed from them they were of no use nor signification. Wherefore, when it was absent from the tabernacle, “all the house of Israel lamented after theLORD,” 1 Samuel 7:2; for the remaining tabernacle was no longer unto them a pledge of his presence.

    And therefore, when Solomon afterwards had finished all the glorious work of the temple, with all that belonged unto it, “he assembled all the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant into its place” in the temple, 1 Kings 8:1-4. Before this was done, all that glorious and costly structure was of no sacred use. This order of things doth sufficiently evidence that the spring of all these services lay in the tables of the covenant. (2.) This law, as unto the substance of it, was the only law of creation, the rule of the first covenant of works; for it contained the sum and substance of that obedience which is due unto God from all rational creatures made in his image, and nothing else. It was the whole of what God designed in our creation unto his own glory and our everlasting blessedness. What was in the tables of stone was nothing but a transcript of what was written in the heart of man originally; and which is returned thither again by the grace of the new covenant, Jeremiah 31:33; 2 Corinthians 3:3. (3.) Although this law as a covenant was broken and disannulled by the entrance of sin, and became insufficient as unto its first ends, of the justification and salvation of the church thereby, Romans 8:3; yet as a law and rule of obedience it was never disannulled, nor would God suffer it to be. Yea, one principal design of God in Christ was, that it might be fulfilled and established, Matthew 5:17,18; Romans 3:31. For to reject this law, or to abrogate it, had been for God to have laid aside that glory of his holiness and righteousness which in his infinite wisdom he designed therein. Hence, after it was again broken by the people as a covenant, he wrote it a second time himself in tables of stone, and caused it to be safely kept in the ark, as his perpetual testimony. That, therefore, which he taught the church by and in all this, in the first place, was, that this law was to be fulfilled and accomplished, or they could have no advantage of or benefit by the covenant. (4.) This law was given unto the people with great dread and terror.

    Hereby were they taught, and did learn, that they were no way able of themselves to answer or stand before the holiness of God therein. Hereon they desired that, on the account thereof, they might not appear immediately in the presence of God, but that they might have a mediator to transact all things between God and them, Deuteronomy 5:22-27. (5.) God himself by all ways declared, that if he should deal with the people according unto the tenor and rigor of this law, they could not stand before him. Wherefore on all occasions he calls them to place their confidence, not in their own obedience thereunto, but in his mercy and grace. And that this was their faith, themselves professed on all occasions.

    See <19D003> Psalm 130:3,4, 143:2. (6.) All this God instructed them in, by those mystical vessels of the most holy place. For after the tables were put into the ark, as under his eye and in his presence, he ordained that it should be covered with the mercy-seat.

    For hereby he did declare both that the law was to be kept and fulfilled, and yet that mercy should be extended unto them. (7.) This great mystery he instructed them in three ways: [1.] In that the covering of the ark was a propitiatory, a mercy-seat; and that its use was to cover the law in the presence of God. This was a great instruction; for if God should mark iniquities according unto the law, who should stand? [2.] In that the blood of the atonement for sin was brought into the holy place and sprinkled on the mercy-seat, Leviticus 16:14. And this was done seven times, to denote the perfection of the reconciliation that was made. And herein were they also taught, that the covering of the law by the mercy-seat, so as that mercy and pardon might be granted notwithstanding the sentence and curse of the law, was from the atonement made for sin by the expiatory sacrifice. [3.] By the cloud of incense that covered both ark and mercy-seat, testifying that God received from thence a savor of rest, Leviticus 16:13. (8.) The cherubim, or angels under that denomination, were the ministers of God in executing the curse and punishment on man when, after his sin, he was driven out of the garden of God, Genesis 3:24. Hence ensued a fear and dread of angels on all mankind, which they abused unto manifold superstitions. But now, to testify that all things in heaven and earth should be reconciled and brought under one head, Ephesians 1:10, there was a representation of their ministry in this great mystery of the law and the mercy-seat. Wherefore they are ready unto the ministry of the church of mankind, all things being now reconciled, Hebrews 1:14, purely with respect unto the mercy-seat which their faces were turned towards, and which they shadowed with their wings. (9.) Yet was this mystery so great, —namely, that which was represented by these types, —that the angels themselves were to bow down to look into it, 1 Peter 1:12. So are they here represented in a posture of admiration and adoration. And in their overshadowing of the mercy-seat with their wings, they declared how this mystery in the fullness of it was hid from the eyes of all men. See Ephesians 3:8-12. (10.) The ground was originally blessed of God, to bring forth food for man, for the preservation of his life in that state and condition wherein he was to live unto God according unto the covenant of works, Genesis 1:29; but upon the entrance of sin it was cursed, neither are the fruits of it any more a token or pledge of the favor of God, nor are they sufficient to maintain a life unto God, Genesis 3:17,18. Wherefore God declared that there must be bread given the church from heaven, which might maintain a spiritual life in them. This God did by giving them manna in the wilderness. And that all instructions in grace and mercy might be reduced into a head in this holy place, because of that whereof it was a type, a pot filled with it was placed for a memorial in this holy place, before the ark and mercy-seat. See Psalm 78:24,25; John 6:31. Hereby were they taught to look for the bread of life from heaven, which should maintain them in their spiritual, and nourish them unto eternal life. (11.) When the whole church was ready to perish for want of water, a rock was smitten with the rod of Moses, which brought water out of it unto their refreshment. God taught them thereby that the Rock of Ages was to be smitten with the rod of the law, that the waters of life might be brought forth thereby, 1 Corinthians 10:4. Wherefore this rod also was laid up for an instructive memorial before the ark.

    In all these things did God instruct the church by the tabernacle, especially by this most holy place, the utensils, furniture, and services of it. And the end of them all was, to give them such a representation of the mystery of his grace in Christ Jesus as was meet for the state of the church before his actual exhibition in the flesh. Hence he is declared in the gospel to be the body and substance of them all. And I shall endeavor, with all humble reverence, to make that application of them unto him which Scripture light guides us unto. 1. In his obedience unto God according unto the law he is the true ark, wherein the law was kept inviolate; that is, was fulfilled, answered, and accomplished, Matthew 5:17; Romans 8:3, 10:4. Hence by God’s gracious dealing with sinners, pardoning and justifying them freely, the law is not disannulled, but established, Romans 3:31. That this was to be done, that without it no covenant between God and man could be firm and stable, was the principal design of God to declare in all this service; without the consideration whereof it was wholly insignificant. This was the original mystery of all these institutions, that in and by the obedience of the promised seed, the everlasting, unalterable law should be fulfilled. In him, as the Jews speak, was the “law restored unto its pristine crown,” signified by that crown of gold which was round about the ark wherein the law was kept. Then had the law its crown and glory, when it was fulfilled in Christ. This the church of Israel ought to have learned and believed, and did so whilst they continued to pray for mercy “for the Lord’s sake,” as Daniel 9:17. But afterwards, when they rejected the knowledge hereof, and adhered unto the law absolutely as written in tables of stone, they utterly perished, Romans 9:31-33, 10:2, 3. And they do all yet, what lieth in them, return unto the material ark and tables of stone, who reject the accomplishment of the law in and by Jesus Christ. 2. He was the mercy-seat; that is, he was represented by it. So the apostle speaks expressly, “God set him forth to be iJlasth>rion,” Romans 3:25, — “a propitiation;” that is, to answer the mercy-seat and what was signified thereby. And this was to cover the law under the eye of God. He interposeth between God and his throne and the law, that he may not enter into judgment with us in pursuit of the curse of it. The law required obedience, and threatened the curse in case of disobedience. With respect unto the obedience which it required, Christ was the ark in whom it was fulfilled; and with respect unto the curse of the law, he was the mercy-seat or propitiation whereby atonement was made, that the curse should not be inflicted, Galatians 3:13. 3. It was his blood in figure that was carded into the holy place to make atonement, as the apostle declares at large in this chapter. The efficacy of his blood, when he offered himself an expiatory sacrifice for sin unto God, prevailed for an atonement in the holy place not made with hands. See Hebrews 10:11-14. 4. It is his intercession that is the cloud of incense which covers the ark and mercy-seat. This gives a continual sweet savor unto God from his oblation, and renders acceptable all the worship of the church in their approaches unto him, Revelation 8:3. These things did God instruct the church in by types and figures, to prepare their faith for the receiving of him at his actual oblation. And on the representation so made of him, all that truly believed lived in the expectation of him and longing after him, with the departure of these shadows of good things to come, Cant. 2:17, 4:6, 8:14; Luke 10:24; 1 Peter 1:10,11. And the refusal of this instruction was that which ruined this church of the Hebrews. 5. It was He who took off the original curse of the law, whose first execution was committed unto the cherubim, when man was driven out of the garden, and kept from all approaches unto the tree of life. Hereby he made reconciliation between them and the elect church of God, Ephesians 1:10. Hence have they now a ministry with respect unto the mercy-seat, for the good of “the heirs of salvation,’’ Hebrews 1:14. 6. He was the bread of life, typed by the manna kept in the golden pot before the mercy-seat; for he alone is the nourishment of the spiritual life of men. The mystery hereof himself at large declares, John 6:31-35.

    This were they taught to expect in the memorial of that heavenly food which was preserved in the sanctuary. 7. He was that spiritual rock which was smitten with the rod of Moses, the curse and stroke of the law. Hereon the waters of life flowed from him, for the quickening and refreshment of the church, 1 Corinthians 10:3,4.

    Thus was the Lord Christ all and in all from the beginning. And as the general design of the whole structure of the tabernacle, with all that belonged thereunto, was to declare that God was reconciled to sinners, with a blessed provision for the glory of his holiness and the honor of the law, which is in and by Jesus Christ alone; so every thing in it directed unto his person, or his grace, or some act of his mediation. And two things do now attend all these institutions: 1. As they are interpreted by gospel light, they are a glorious representation of the wisdom of God, and a signal confirmation of faith in Him who was prefigured by them. 2. Take them in themselves, separated from this end, and they give no representation of any one holy property of the nature of God, —nothing of his wisdom, goodness, greatness, love, or grace; but are low and carnal, base and beggarly. And that we may have a due apprehension of them, some things in general concerning them may be considered. 1. The whole scheme, frame, fashion, use, and service of the tabernacle, with all that belonged thereunto, was a mere arbitrary effect of the sovereign will and pleasure of God. Why he would by this way and by these means declare himself appeased unto the church, and that he would graciously dwell amongst them; why he would by them type out and prefigure the incarnation and mediation of Christ, —no other reason can be given but his own will, which in all things is to be adored by us. Other ways and means unto the same ends were not wanting unto divine wisdom, but this in the good pleasure of his will he determined on. In the supreme authority of God was the church absolutely to acquiesce whilst it was obliged unto the observation of these ordinances, and other reason of them they could not give. And whereas their use is now utterly ceased, yet do they abide on the holy record, as some think the fabric of heaven and earth shall do after the final judgment, to be monuments of his wisdom and sovereignty. But the principal ends of the preservation of this memorial in the sacred record are two: (1.) That it may be a perpetual testimony unto the prescience, faithfulness, and power of God. His infinite prescience is testified unto, in the prospect which therein he declares himself to have had of the whole future frame of things under the gospel, which he represented therein; his faithfulness and power, in the accomplishment of all those things which were prefigured by them. (2.) That it might testify the abundant grace and goodness of God unto the church of the new testament, which enjoyeth the substance of all those spiritual things, whereof of old he granted only the types and shadows. Wherefore, — 2. It must be acknowledged, that the instruction given by these things into the mysteries of the will of God, and consequently all those teachings which were influenced and guided by them, were dark, obscure, and difficult to be rightly apprehended and duly improved. Hence the way of teaching under the old testament was one reason for the abolishing of that covenant, that a more effectual way of instruction and illumination might be introduced. This is declared at large in the exposition of the preceding chapter. There was need for them all to go up and down, every one unto his brother, and every one unto his neighbor, saying, “Know theLORD;” for the true knowledge of him, and of the mysteries of his will, was by these means very difficult to be obtained. And now that the Jews have lost all that prospect unto the promised seed which their forefathers had in these things, it is sad to consider what work they make with them. They have turned the whole of all legal institutions into such an endless, scrupulous, superstitious observance of carnal rites, in all imaginable circumstances, as never became the divine wisdom to appoint, as is marvellous that any of the race of mankind should enbondage themselves unto. Yea, now that all things are plainly fulfilled in Christ, some among ourselves would have the most of them to have represented heaven and the planets, the fruits of the earth, and I know not what besides. But this was the way which the infinite wisdom of God fixed on for the instruction of the church in the state then allotted unto it. 3. This instruction was sufficient unto the end of God, in the edification and salvation of them that did believe. For these things being diligently and humbly inquired into, they gave that image and resemblance of the work of God’s grace in Christ which the church was capable of in that state, before its actual accomplishment. Those who were wise and holy among them, knew full well that all these things in general were but types of better things; and that there was something more designed of God in the pattern showed unto Moses than what they did contain. For Moses made and did all things “for a testimony unto what should be spoken afterwards,” Hebrews 3:5.

    In brief, they all of them believed that through the Messiah, the promised seed, they should really receive all that grace, goodness, pardon, mercy, love, favor, and privilege, which were testified unto in the tabernacle and all the services of it. And because they were not able to make distinct, particular applications of all these things unto his mediatory actings, their faith was principally fixed on the person of Christ, as I have elsewhere demonstrated. And with respect unto him, his sufferings, and his glory, they diligently inquired into these things, 1 Peter 1:11. And this was sufficient unto that faith and obedience which God then required of the church. For, — 4. Their diligent inquiry into these things, and the meaning of them, was the principal exercise of their faith and subjection of soul unto God; for even in these things also did “the Spirit testify beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that did follow.” And as the exercise of faith herein was acceptable unto God, so the discoveries of grace which they received therein were refreshing unto their souls; for hereby they often saw the King in his beauty, and beheld the pleasant land, which was far off, Isaiah 33:17. 5. That worship which was outwardly performed in and by these things was full of beauty and glory, 2 Corinthians 3. It was also suited to beget a due reverence of the majesty and holiness of God. It was God’s way of worship, it was God’s order; and so had characters of divine wisdom upon it. Wherefore, although the people were originally obliged unto the observance of it by the mere sovereign will and pleasure of God, yet the things themselves were so beautiful and glorious, as nothing but the substance of the things themselves in Christ could excel. This made the devil as it were steal away so many rites of the tabernacle worship, and turn them unto his own use in the idolatry of the nations. 6. It is a sad instance of the degeneracy of the corrupted nature of man, that whereas all these things were appointed for no other end but to signify beforehand the coming of Christ, his sufferings, and the glory that ensued; the principal reason why the church of the Jews rejected him at his coming was, that they preferred these institutions and their carnal use above and before him who was the substance and life of them all. And no otherwise will it fall out with them all who prefer any thing in religion before him, or suppose that any thing is accepted with God without him.

    Some things we may also observe in general, for our own instruction, from what we have discoursed on this occasion: — Obs. VII. Although the sovereign will and pleasure of God be the only reason and original cause of all instituted worship, yet there is, and ever was, in all his institutions, such an evidence of divine wisdom and goodness as gives them beauty, desirableness, and usefulness unto their proper end. — There is that in them which, unto an enlightened mind, will distinguish them for ever from the most plausible inventions of men, advanced in the imitation of them. Only a diligent inquiry into them is expected from us, <19B102> Psalm 111:2,3. When men have slight considerations of any of God’s institutions, when they come unto them without a sense that there is divine wisdom in them, that which becomes him from whom they are, it is no wonder if their glory be hid from them. But when we diligently and humbly inquire into any of the ways of God, to find out the characters of his divine excellencies that are upon them, we shall obtain a satisfying view of his glory, Hosea 6:3.

    Obs. VIII. All the counsels of God concerning his worship in this world, and his eternal glory in the salvation of the church, do center in the person and mediation of Christ. —The life, glory, and usefulness of all things whereof we have discoursed, arose from hence, that there was in them all a representation of the person and mediation of Christ. Hereunto were they designed by divine wisdom. In him alone is God well pleased; in him alone will he be glorified.

    VERSES 6, 7.

    Having given an account of the structure or fabric of the tabernacle in the two parts of it, and the furniture of those several parts distinctly, to complete his argument the apostle adds in these verses the consideration of the uses they were designed unto in the service of God. For in the application of these things unto his purpose and the argument he designeth from them, both of these in conjunction, namely, the structure of the tabernacle with its furniture, and the services performed therein, were to be made use of.

    Ver. 6,7. — Tou>twn de< ou[tw kateskeuasme>nwn , eijv methn skhnhasin oiJ iJerei~v taav ejpitelou~ntev? eijv de< thran a[pax tou~ ejniautou~ mo>nov oJ ajrciereurei uJpetwn . f15 Tou>twn de< ou[tw kateskeuasme>nwn. Vulg. Lat., “his vero ita compositis;” “so composed,” “so framed and put together.” Syr., yy’h\ ˆneq]t’m] aN;k’h;D] , “quae ira disposita erant,” “which things were so disposed;” altering the absolute construction of the words, and carrying on the sense of the former [verse] thus far. Others, “his vero ita ordinatis,” “ita praeparatis;” “thus ordered,” “thus prepared,” “thus ordained.” “Ornatis,” “adorned.” Beza, “constructis.” Kataskeua Eijv ththn skhnhparts mentioned by the apostle.

    Diapanto>v . Vulg. Lat., “semper,” “always.” Syr., ˆk’z]AlkuB] , “in omni ternpore;” others generally, “quovis tempore;” “at every season,” at any time, as occasion required.

    Taav ejpitelou~ntev . Vulg. Lat., “sacrificiorum officia consummantes,” “perfecting to this part” or “offices of the sacrifices;” but the sacrifices belonged not at all unto the duties of the tabernacle. Syr., ˆWhT]v]m,v]T, ww’h\ ˆymil]v’m’w’ , “and they were perfecting their ministry.” “Ritus obeuntes,” “cultus obeuntes;” Beza, “ritus cultus obeuntes;” — ”performing the rites of sacred worship.”

    Eijv de< thran . Vulg. Lat., “in secundo autem.” Syr., ˆyDe an;K]v]m’l] Hnem, wg’l]D’ , “and into the tabernacle that was within it,” or “within the other.” “In secundum autem,” “sed in alterum;” “but into the second,” or “the other.” [Apax . Syr., Wh ad;j\ ; which Boderus renders substantively, “unum est,” “that inward tabernacle was one.” But the reference is unto what follows, and is better rendered adverbially, “semel,” “once.”

    Ouj cwrirei . Vulg. Lat., Eras., “quem offert;” Syr., “which he was offering,” “which he offereth.” JYpetwn . Vulg. Lat., pro sua et populi ignorantia;” very corruptly.

    Syr., aM;[‘D] HteWlk]s’ ãl;j\w’ hvep]n’ ãl;j\ “for his own soul, and the errors of the people;” rightly.

    Ver. 6, 7 . —Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service [of God. ] But into the second [went ] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for ] the errors of the people.

    I follow the common translation, but shall take notice of what it seems defective in. And there is in the words, — First , A supposition of what was before declared, as the foundation of what he was now further to assert: “Now when these things were thus ordained.” And there is therein, 1. The manner of the inference; 2. The subject spoken of; 3. What is spoken of it: — 1. The manner of the inference is the particle de> , which we ponder “now when;” “vero,” “but.” “Now when” is included in the tense of the participle, 2. The subject spoken of, tou>twn , “these things;” that is, the things spoken of in the precedent verses, —namely, the two parts of the tabernacle, and the sacred furniture of them. 3. That which is affirmed of them is, that they were “ordained.” And the manner thereof is also added, that they were “thus ordained,” — kateskeuasme>nwn . Beza once rendered it by “ordinatis;” whom I suppose ours follow, rendering it by “ordained.” But “ordinatis” is rather “ordered’ than “ordained.” “To be ordained,” signifies the appointment and designation of them; and so they were ordained of God: but that which is here expressed is their building, framing, finishing, and disposition into their actual order. So the word is used for the making of the tabernacle, verse 2: “A tabernacle was made.” ‘These things being prepared, made, and finished.’ The preparation, structure, and finishing of the tabernacle, and all its utensils, with their disposition into their sacred order, are respected in this word. They were “disposed” ou[tw , “thus;” that is, in the manner declared, —that the tabernacle should consist of two parts, that the one should contain such and such holy utensils, and the other those of another sort.

    Secondly , When these things were thus prepared and ordered, they stood not for a magnificent show, but were designed unto constant use in the service of God. This the apostle declares, in the same order wherein he had described the parts of the tabernacle in their distribution into the first and the second, the outward and inward tabernacle.

    As to the first tabernacle, wherein were the candlestick, and the table, and the shew-bread, he declares the use of it, 1. With respect unto the persons for whose ministry it was ordained; 2. Of that ministry itself; 3. Of the time and season of its performance. 1. The persons who administered therein were the priests. They, and they alone, entered into the sanctuary. All others were forbidden to approach unto it, on pain of excision. These priests, who had this privilege, were all the posterity of Aaron, unless they fell under exception by some legal incapacitating blemish. For a long time, —that is, from the preparing of the tabernacle unto the building of the temple, —they administered in this sanctuary promiscuously, under the care of God and directions of the high priest. For the inspection of the whole was committed in an especial manner unto the high priest, Numbers 4:16; Zechariah 3:7; yea, the actual performance of the daily service of this part of the sanctuary was in the first place charged on him, Exodus 27:21. But the other priests being designed to help and assist him on all occasions, this service in process of time was wholly devolved on them. And if the high priest did at any time minister in this part of the sanctuary, he did it not as the high priest, but as a priest only, for all his peculiar service belonged unto the most holy place.

    In process of time, when the priests of the posterity of Aaron were multiplied, and the services of the sanctuary were to be increased by the building of the temple, wherein instead of one candlestick there were ten, David, by God’s direction, cast all the priests into twenty-four courses or orders, that should serve in their turns, two courses in a month; which rule continued unto the destruction of the second temple, 1 Chronicles 24; Luke 1:5. And he did it for sundry ends: (1.) That none of the priests of the posterity of Aaron might be utterly excluded from this privilege of approaching unto God in the sanctuary; and if they had been, it is likely they would have disposed of themselves into other ways and callings, and so have both neglected and defiled the priesthood. (2.) That there might be no neglect at any time in the solemn ministry, seeing that which lies on all promiscuously is too often neglected by all. For although the high priest was to “keep the charge, to judge the house, and to keep the courts,” Zechariah 3:7, and so take care for the due attendance unto the daily ministration; yet was the provision more certain, when, being ordained by law, or by divine institution, all persons concerned herein knew the times and seasons wherein they might and wherein they ought to attend on the altar. These were the officers that belonged unto the sanctuary, the persons who alone might enter into it on a sacred account. And when the structure of the whole was to be taken down, that it might be removed from one place to another, as it was frequently in the wilderness, the whole was to be done by the priests, and all the holy utensils covered, before the Levites were admitted to draw nigh to carry them, so as they might not touch them at all, Numbers 4:15.

    Yet must it be observed, that although this was the peculiar service of the priests, yet was it not their only service. Their whole sacred employment was not confined unto this their entrance into the sanctuary. There was a work committed unto them, whereon their whole service in the sanctuary did depend. This was the offering of sacrifices; which was accomplished in the court without, on the brazen altar before the door of the tabernacle: which belonged not unto the purpose of the apostle in this place.

    This was the great privilege of the priests under the old testament, that they alone might and did enter into the sanctuary, and make an approach unto God. And this privilege they had as they were types of Christ, and no otherwise. But withal it was a great part and a great means of that state of servitude and fear wherein the people or the body of the church was kept. They might not so much as come nigh the pledges of God’s presence; it was forbidden them under the penalty of death and being cut off; whereof they sadly complained, Numbers 17:12,13.

    This state of things is now changed under the gospel. It is one of the principal privileges of believers, that, being made kings and priests unto God by Jesus Christ, this distinction as unto especial gracious access unto God is taken away, Revelation 1:5,6; Ephesians 2:18; Romans 5:2.

    Neither doth this hinder but that yet there are and ought to be officers and ministers in the house of God, to dispense the holy things of it, and to minister in the name of Christ, For in their so doing they do not hinder, but promote, the approach of the church into the presence of God; which is the principal end of their office. And as this is their peculiar honor, for which they must be accountable, Hebrews 13:17; so the church of believers itself ought always to consider how they may duly improve and walk worthy of this privilege, purchased for them by the blood of Christ. 2. The general foundation of the service of these priests in the sanctuary was, that they went or entered into it, —eijsi>asin . This also itself was a divine ordinance. For this entrance both asserted their privilege, all others being excluded on pain of death, and gave hounds unto it. Hereinto they were to enter; but they were to go ‘no farther: they were not to go into or look into the most holy place, nor to abide in the sanctuary when the high priest entered into it; which the apostle here hath an especial regard unto.

    They entered into the first tabernacle, but they went no farther. Hereinto they entered through the first veil, or the covering of the door of the tabernacle, Exodus 26:36,37. Through that veil, by turning it aside, so as that it closed immediately on their entrance, the priests entered into the sanctuary. And this they were to do with an especial reverence of the presence of God; which is the principal design of that command, “Ye shall reverence my sanctuary,” Leviticus 19:30: which is now supplied by the holy reverence of the presence of God in Christ which is in all believers. But moreover, the equity of the command extends itself unto that especial reverence of God which we ought to have in all holy services.

    And although this be not confined unto any postures or gestures of the body, yet those that naturally express a reverential frame of spirit are necessary unto this duty. 3. The time of this their entrance into the sanctuary to discharge their service is expressed. They entered it diapanto>v : that is, cro>nou , “quovis tempore;” “always,” say we; “jugiter,” that is, “every day.” There was no divine prohibition as unto any days or times wherein they might not enter into the sanctuary, as there was with respect unto the entrance of the high priest into the most holy place, which was allowed only once a year. And the services that were required of them made it necessary that they should enter into it every day. But the word doth not absolutely signify “every day,” seeing there was a special service for which they entered only once a-week; but “always,” is “at all times,” as occasion did require. There was also an especial service, when the high priest entered into the sanctuary, which was neither daily nor weekly, but occasional; which is mentioned, Leviticus 4:6,7. For when the anointed priest was to offer a sacrifice for his own sins, he was to carry some of the blood of it into the sanctuary, and sprinkle it towards the veil that was before the most holy place. This he was to do seven times; which is a mystical number, denoting that perfect atonement and expiation of sin which was to be made by the blood of Christ. But this being an occasional service, the apostle seems to have had no respect unto it. 4. The service itself performed by them is expressed: Taav ejpitelou~ntev , —”Accomplishing the services.” The expression is sacred, respecting mystical rites and ceremo-hies, such as were the things here intended: ‘Officiating in the ministry of the sacred ceremonies.’ For ejpitelou~ntev is not “perfecting” or “accomplishing” only, but “sacredly ministering:” ‘In discharge of the priestly office, accomplishing the sacred services committed unto them.’ And these services were of two sorts: (1.) Daily. (2.) Weekly. (1.) Their daily services were two: [1.] The dressing of the lamps of the candlestick, supplying them with the holy oil, and taking care of all things necessary unto the cleansing of them, that their light might be preserved. This was done morning and evening, a continual service in all generations, — the service of the candlestick, — latrei>a . [2.] The service of the golden altar, the altar of incense in the midst of the sanctuary, at the entrance of the most holy place, before or over against the ark of the testimony. Hereon the priests burned incense every day, with fire taken from the altar of burnt-offerings, that was in the court before the door of the tabernacle. This service was performed evening and morning, immediately after the offering of the daily sacrifice on the altar of burnt-offerings. And whilst this service was performed the people gave themselves to prayer without, with respect unto the sacrifice offered, Luke 1:10. For this offering of incense on the sacrifice, and that fired with a coal from the altar whereon the sacrifice was burned, was a type, as we have declared, of the intercession of Christ. For although they understood it not clearly in the notion, yet were true believers guided to express it in their practice. The time of the priest’s offering incense they made the time of their own solemn prayers, as believing that the efficacy and acceptance of their prayers depended on what was typified by that incense, <19E!02> Psalm 141:2. These were the daily services. It is uncertain whether they were all performed at the same time or no; namely, those of the candlestick and the altar of incense. If they were, it should seem that they were done by no more but one priest at one time; that is, every morning and evening. For of Zacharias it is said, that” it was his lot to burn incense in the temple;” and no other was with him there when he saw the vision, Luke 1:8,9,21,22. Wherefore, whereas it is said in the institution of these things, “Aaron and his sons shall do this service,” it is intended that some one of them should do it at any one time. (2.) The weekly service of the sanctuary was the change of the bread on the table of shew-bread. This was performed every Sabbath-day in the morning, and not else.

    Now all this daily service was typical. And that which it did represent was the continual application of the benefits of the sacrifice and whole mediation of Christ unto the church here in this world. That the tabernacle itself with the inhabitation of God therein was a type of the incarnation of the Son of God, we have showed before; and have also declared that all the utensils of it were but representations of his grace in the discharge of his office. He is the light and life of the church, the lamp and the bread thereof.

    The incense of his intercession renders all their obedience acceptable unto God. And therefore there was a continual application made unto these things without intermission every day. And we may thence observe, that, — Obs. A continual application unto God by Christ, and a continual application of the benefits of the mediation of Christ by faith, are the springs of the light, life, and comfort of the church.

    Ver. 7. —”But into the second [went ] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for ] the errors of the people.”

    The use and service of the second part of the tabernacle, or the most holy place, which the apostle designeth principally to apply unto his present argument, are declared in this present verse. And he describes them, 1. By the person who alone might perform the service which belonged unto this part of the sanctuary; and this was the high priest. 2. By that which in general was required unto the other part of it; he went into it. This is not here expressed, but the sense of it is traduced from the foregoing verse. The other priests entered into the sanctuary, and the high priest into this; that is, he entered or went into it. 3. From the time and season of this his entrance, which was once a-year only; in opposition unto the entrance of the priests into the other part, which was at all times, every day. 4. By the manner of his entrance, or what he carried with him to administer or perform the holy service of the place, expressed negatively; not without blood, —that is, with blood. 5. From the use of the blood which he so carried in with him; it was that which he offered for himself and the errors of the people.

    That which the apostle here respects and describes was the great anniversary sacrifice of expiation, whose institution, rites, and solemnities are at large declared, Leviticus 16. And herein, — 1. The person designed unto this service was the “high priest alone,” and no other person, Leviticus 16:2,32. And he was to be so alone as that none were to attend, assist, or accompany him, in any part of the service.

    Yea, it was so far from it, that any person entered with him into the most holy place, that no one was allowed to be in the other part of the sanctuary, where he might so much as see the veil opened, or look in after him whilst he performed his service, verse 17. As all the people were kept out of the sanctuary and waited at the door whilst the priests entered daily into it; so all the priests were kept without the sanctuary whilst the high priest entered into the most holy place. Hence there was one always provided, who was next in succession unto that office, to perform this office in case of sickness or occasional pollutions of him who was actually high priest. And he was called “the second priest,” 2 Kings 25:18. From whence, in times of disorder and confusion, they had afterwards two high priests at once, John 18:13,24. Thus sacredly was the presence of God in the holy place made inaccessible, not only to all the people, but even unto all the priests themselves.

    Some say that indeed the high priest went alone into the most holy place once a-year only, but with other priests and on other occasions he might enter oftener. But this is weak beneath consideration; for the express institution was, that he should go alone, and go but once. And this was that great truth which in this ordinance God stated unto the church, namely, that there is no entrance into the gracious presence of God but by the high priest. That the true high priest should take along all believers with him, and give them admission with boldness unto the throne of grace, was, as the apostle declares in the next verse, not as yet made known. 2. The way whereby he engaged into this service was, that he went into this holy place. This, as we observed before, is not here expressed, but is necessarily traduced from the foregoing verse. And it is his entrance through the veil that is intended; which also was a part of his service. For it was a type both of the entrance of Christ into heaven, and of our entrance by him unto the throne of grace, verse 24, Hebrews 10:19,20.

    This was that veil which in the temple was rent from the top to the bottom upon the death of our Savior, Matthew 27:51. For hereby the way was laid open into the holy place, and the gracious presence of God discovered unto all that come unto him by Christ. 3. The time of this service is expressed, that it was only “once every year.” The first order unto this purpose was a prohibition or negative precept, that the high priest “should not come at all times into the holy place,” Leviticus 16:2; that is, not every day, as he did into the sanctuary, — not at any time of his own choice. He might not choose, he might not appoint a time for the service of this holy place, whatever occasion he apprehended of it or necessity for it. Times of sacred worship are the Lord’s, no less than the things of it. Our own stated times are no less disapproved by him than any other parts of sacred worship of our own finding out, 1 Kings 12:32,33. And as this time of the entrance of the high priest into the most holy place was limited unto “once every year,” which our apostle observes; so the precise day of the year was determined by the law. It was fixed unto “the tenth day of the seventh month,” or Tisri; which, reckoning from Nisan, the beginning of their ecclesiastical year, answers unto our September. This was the great day of atonement, which with the fast of it ensued thereon, Leviticus 16:29.

    But whereas it is said that he entered “once every year,” the meaning is, that upon one day in the year only he did so, and had liberty so to do: for it is evident that on that day he went twice into it; yea, it is most probable that he did so four times. He had three offerings or sacrifices to offer on the day of expiation. The first was of a bullock and a ram, for himself and his household, Leviticus 16:3. This the apostle notes distinctly, “which he offered for himself.” Secondly, a goat, for a sin-offering, which he offered for the people, for “the errors of the people,” verse 9. Thirdly, the service of the scape-goat, which also had the nature of a sacrifice, verse 10.

    Of the first two, whose blood was offered on the altar, it is said distinctly that he carried of the blood into the most holy place. He did so, first that of the bullock and the ram, before he offered the goat for the sins of the people. He killed not the goat until he came out of the holy place, after he had carried in the blood of the sacrifice for himself, verses 11-14. After this he carried in the blood of the goat that was offered for the sins of the people, verse 15. So that of necessity he must enter twice distinctly on that one day into the most holy place.

    Yea, it is most probable and almost very certain, that he entered into it four times on that day. For before he carried in the blood, he was to go in with the incense to make a cloud over the mercy-seat. And it is evident that he could not carry in the incense and the blood at the same time: for when he went in with the incense, he had in one hand a censer full of burning coals from the altar, and he so carried it, that besides both his hands were filled with incense, verse 12; so that he could carry no blood with him at that time. And when he carried in the blood also, both his hands were in like manner employed. For with the finger of one he was to sprinkle the blood upon and before the mercy-seat: whence it is of necessity that he must have had the blood which he sprinkled in his other hand; for he was to sprinkle it seven times, which could not be done with the blood that was at once upon the finger wherewith he sprinkled it.

    Wherefore this” once every year” is on one day only; for that day he entered four times into the holy place within the veil, as is plain in the order of the service according unto its institution.

    When all this was done, that there might be a full representation of the atonement to be made by the Lord Christ, and of the plenary remission of sins by his blood, the high priest laid all the sins of the people on the head of the scape-goat, which carried them away into the wilderness of everlasting oblivion, verses 20-22.

    As these institutions were multiplied to typify the one single sacrifice and oblation of the body of Christ, because of the imperfection inseparable from the nature of earthly things, whereby no one of them could absolutely represent it; so in this distinction and distribution of them, the condescension, love, and grace of God, were adorable and glorious. For in the shedding of the blood of the sacrifice, and offering it by fire on the altar, he plainly declared the imputation of the guilt of their sins unto the sacrifice, its bearing of them, and the expiation of their guilt thereby. By carrying of the blood into the holy place, he testified his acceptance of the atonement made, and his reconciliation unto the people. And hereon the full remission and pardon of all their sins, no more to be had in remembrance, was manifested, in the sending away of the scape-goat into the wilderness. Hence the Jews have a saying, that on the day of expiation all Israel were made as innocent as in the day of creation. How all this was accomplished in and by the sacrifice of Christ must be afterwards declared. 4. As to the nature of this service, the apostle tells us that it was “not without blood.” tie so expresseth it to show the impossibility of entering into the holy place any otherwise. And from hence he takes his ensuing argument of the necessity of the death and blood-shedding of the mediator or high priest of the new testament. “Not without blood;” as he might not do it otherwise, so he did it by blood. And this was the manner of the service: After the high priest had filled the most holy place with a cloud of incense, he returned to the altar of burnt-offerings without the tabernacle, where the sacrifice had been newly slain; and whilst the blood of the beast was fresh, and as it were living, Hebrews 10:20, he took of it in his hand, and entering again into the holy place, he sprinkled it seven times with his finger towards the mercy-seat, Leviticus 16:11-14. And there is, as was said, an emphasis in the expression, “Not without blood,” to manifest how impossible it was that there should be an entrance into the gracious presence of God without the blood of the sacrifice of Christ. The only propitiation for sins is made by the blood of Christ; and it is by faith alone that we are made partakers thereof, Romans 3:25,26. 5. This blood is further described by the use of it; “which he offered.”

    Where or when he offered it, is not expressed. In the most holy place there was no use of this blood, but only the sprinkling of it; but the sprinkling of blood was always consequential unto the offering or oblation properly so called. For the oblation consisted principally in the atonement made by the blood at the altar of burnt-offerings. It was given and appointed for that end, to make atonement with it at that altar, as is expressly affirmed, Leviticus 17:11. After this, it was sprinkled for purification. Wherefore, by prosfe>rei , the apostle here renders the Hebrew aybihe , used in the institution, Leviticus 16:15; which is only to bring, and not to offer properly. Or he hath respect unto the offering of it that was made at the altar without the sanctuary. The blood which was there offered he brought a part of it with him into the most holy place, to sprinkle it, according unto the institution. 6. The apostle declares for whom this blood was offered. And this was “for himself and the people;” first for himself, and then for the people. For he hath respect unto the distinct sacrifices that were to be offered on that day. The first was of a bullock and a ram; which was for himself. And this argued, as the apostle observes, the great imperfection of that church-state.

    They could have no priest to offer sacrifices for the sins of the people, but he must first offer for himself, and that the blood of other creatures. But the true high priest was to offer his own blood; and that not for himself at all, but for others only. (1.) Re offered “for himself;” that is, for his own sins, Leviticus 16:6.

    Wherefore the Vulg. Lat. reads the words, “pro sua et populi igno-rantia,” very corruptly, changing the number of the substantive; but very truly applying ajgnohma>twn to the priest as well as unto the people. Others would supply the words by adding tw~n before eJautou~ , and so repeat ajgnohma>twn. But the apostle expresseth the words of the institution, wOlArv,a\ , “which for himself,” leaving the application unto the series of the context and the nature of the service: “For himself;” —that is, his own sins. (2.) The blood was offered also “for the people;” that is, the people of Israel, the people of God, the church, the whole congregation. And as the high priest herein bore the person of Christ, so did this people of all the elect of God, who were represented in them and by them. It was that people, and not the whole world, that the high priest offered for; and it is the elect people alone for whom our great high priest did offer and doth intercede. 7. That which he offered for. It was their “errors,” or their sins. The Socinians, some of them, —not for want of under standing, but out of hatred unto the true sacrifice of Christ, —contend from hence that the anniversary sacrifice on the great day of expiation, the principal representation of it, was only for sins of ignorance, of imbecility and weakness. But it is a fond imagination; at least the argument from these words for it is so. For besides that the Scripture calls all sins by the name of “errors,” Psalm 19:12, 25:7; and the worst, the most provoking of all sins, is expressed by “erring in heart,” Psalm 95:10; and the LXX. frequently render “to sin” by ajgnoei~n , 2 Chronicles 16:9; 1 Samuel 26:21; Hosea 4:16, etc; —besides, I say, this application of the word elsewhere unto all sorts of sins, in the enumeration of those errors of the people which the high priest offered for they are said to be “all their iniquities,” and “all their transgressions in all their sins,” Leviticus 16:21.

    Wherefore to offer for the “errors” of the people, is to offer for “all their sins,” of what nature soever they were. And they are thus called, because indeed there is no such predomi-nancy of malice in any sin in this world as wherein there is not a mixture of error, either notional or practical, of the mind or of the heart, which is the cause or a great occasion of it. See Timothy 1:13; Matthew 12:31,32. Here, indeed, lies the original of all sin. The mind being filled with darkness and ignorance, alienates the whole soul from the life of God. And as it hath superadded prejudices, which it receives from corrupt affections, it yet neither directs nor judgeth aright, as unto particular acts and duties, under all present circumstances. And what notions of good and evil it cannot but retain, it gives up in particular instances unto the occasions of sin. Wherefore, — Obs. I. Spiritual illumination of the mind is indispensably necessary unto our walking with God.

    Obs. II. Those who would be preserved from sin, must take care that spiritual light do always bear sway in their minds. And therefore, — Obs. III. Constantly to watch against the prevalency of corrupt prejudices and affections in their mind. And, — Obs. IV. When the light of the mind is solicited by temptations to suspend its conduct and determination on present circumstances, to know that sin lies at the door; this is its last address for admission. And, — Obs. V. If error grow strong in the heart through the love of sin, truth will grow weak in the mind as to the preservation of the soul from it. And, — Obs. VI. Nothing ought to influence the soul more unto repentance, sorrow, and humiliation for sin, than a due apprehension of the shameful error and mistake that is in it.

    VERSE 8.

    Tou~to dhlou~ntov tou~ Pneu>matov tou~ aJgi>ou mh>pw pefanerw~sqai thwn oJdothv skhnh~v ejcou>shv sta>sin .

    Tou~to dhlou~ntov . Vulg. Lat., “hoe significante,” “hoc declarante,” “hoc innuente.” Syr., a[;d]w]m’ ad;h;B] “by this manifesting.” “Manifestans,” “patefaciens,” “notum faciens;” “making known.” Dh~lov , is “openly manifest.” Kai< tuflw~| dh~lon , “which a blind man may see.” And dhlo>w , is “manifestly, plainly, perspicuously to declare.”

    Mh>pw pefanerw~sqai . Vulg. Lat., nondum propalatam esse, made palam, “open,” “manifest.” Syr., lykid[‘ ty’l]g’t]a, al; , “not yet revealed.” “Manifestata,” “facta manifests;” “not made evidently to appear.”

    Thwn oJdo>n . Vulg. Lat., “viam sanctorum,” “the way of the holies.” Beza, “viam ad sacrarium,” “the way into the sanctuary.” “Viam in sancta sanctorum,” “the way into the most holy place.” None suspect aJgi>wn to be of the masculine gender. jEcou>shv sta>sin . Vulg. Lat., “habente statum,” “having” or “continuing its state or condition.” And sta>siv is sometimes so used; “having its station;” “adhuc consistente,” as yet abiding, continuing its state, standing, consisting.

    Ver. 8. —The Holy Ghost this signifying, [Syr., signifying hereby, evidently declaring, ] that the way into the holiest of all [the way of the most holy place, of the holies ] was not as yet made manifest, whilst yet the first tabernacle was standing, [kept its station ].

    The apostle in this verse enters on a declaration of the use which he designed to make of the description of the tabernacle, its furniture and its utensils, which he had before laid down. Now, this was not to give a particular account of the nature, use, and signification of every thing in it, — which he declined in his close of the recounting of them, affirming that it belonged not to his purpose to treat of them particularly on this occasion, —but from the consideration of the whole, in its structure, order, and services, he would prove the dignity, pre-eminence, and efficacy of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ, above those which belonged thereunto.

    And hence would he manifest the unspeakable advantage of the church in the removal of the one and introduction of the other.

    The first inference which he makes unto this purpose is laid down in this verse. And it is taken from what he had observed immediately before concerning the time and manner of the high priest’s entrance into the most holy place. It was done by him alone, and that only once a-year, and that not without the blood of the sacrifices which he offered. None of the people were ever suffered to draw nigh thereunto; nor might the rest of the priests themselves come into the sanctuary, the place of their daily ministration, whilst the high priest went in, and was in the most holy place. ‘In this order, this disposal of the institutions of divine service,’ saith he, ‘there was that instruction provided for the use of the church which I shall now declare.’ And three things he expresseth with respect hereunto: 1. Who gave that instruction; it was the Holy Ghost. 2. The way whereby he gave it; it was by the manifest signification of his mind, in and by what he did, appointed, ordered, or prescribed. 3. What was the instruction he gave; namely, “that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, whilst the first tabernacle was standing.”

    And concerning this we must inquire, 1. What is here intended by “the holiest of all.” 2. What is the “way into this holiest of all,” or “the way of the holies.” 3. How this way was “manifest,” and how it was “not manifest.” 4. What was the duration of that state wherein this way was not manifest; namely, “whilst the first tabernacle was standing.”

    First , The author of this instruction was the Holy Ghost: “The Holy Ghost this signifying;” that is, saith Grotius, “Deo per affiatum suum Mosi haec prsecipiente.” So they speak by whom the divine personality of the Holy Ghost is denied. But it is not only here supposed, but it may be hence undeniably proved. For he that by his word and works teacheth and instructeth the church, is a person. For acts of understanding, will, power, and authority, such as these are, are the acts of a person. We intend no more by a person, but one that hath an understanding, will, and power of his own, which he is able to act and exert. Moreover, he is a divine person. For he who by his authority and wisdom disposed of the worship of God under the old testament, so as it might typify and represent things afterwards to come to pass and be revealed, is so, and none other. He who doth these things, and can do them, is he in whom we believe, the Holy Spirit. And as he is the immediate author and appointer of all divine worship, so there are characters of his wisdom and holiness on all the parts of it.

    Secondly , The way whereby he gave this instruction was by the signification of the things intended, —”signifying, declaring manifestly, evidently, openly.” He did it not by any especial revelation made unto Moses about it, he did not in words declare it, or express it as a doctrinal truth; but this signification was made in the nature and order of the things appointed by him. The framing of the tabernacle and the constitution of the services belonging thereunto, made this declaration. For things in his wisdom were thus disposed, that there should be the first tabernacle, whereinto the priests did enter every day, accomplishing the divine services that God required. Howbeit in that tabernacle there were not the pledges of the gracious presence of God, —it was not the especial residence of his glory: but the peculiar habitation of God was separated from it by a veil; and no person living might so much as look into it, on pain of death. But yet, lest the church should apprehend that indeed there was no approach, here or hereafter, for any person into the gracious presence of God, he ordained that once a-year the high priest, and he alone, should enter into that holy place with blood. Hereby he plainly signified that an entrance there was to be, and that with boldness, thereinto. For unto what end else did he allow and appoint that once ayear there should be an entrance into it by the high priest, in the name of and for the service of the church? But this entrance being only once a-year, by the high priest only, and that with the blood of atonement, —which was always to be observed whilst that tabernacle continued, —he did manifest that the access represented was not to be obtained during that season. For all believers in their own persons were utterly excluded from it. And we may hence observe, — Obs. I. That the divine ordinances and institutions of worship are filled with wisdom sufficient for the instruction of the church in all the mysteries of faith and obedience. —How eminent was the divine wisdom of the Holy Ghost in the structure and order of this tabernacle! What provision of instruction for the present and future use of the church was laid up and stored in them! What but infinite wisdom and prescience could order things so in their typical signification? He that considers only the outward frame and state of these things, may see a curious and beautiful structure, a beautiful order of external worship; yet can he find nothing therein but what the wisdom and contrivance of men might attain unto; at least, they might find out things that should have as glorious an outward appearance. But take them in their proper state, as unto their signification and representation of spiritual and heavenly things in Christ Jesus, and there is not the least concernment of them but it infinitely transcends all human wisdom and projection. He alone in whose divine understanding the whole mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God and his mediation did eternally reside, could institute and appoint these things. And to instruct us unto a humble adoration of that wisdom, is the framing of the whole fabric, and the institution of all its ordinances, contained in the sacred record for the use of the church.

    Obs. II. It is our duty with all humble diligence to inquire into the mind of the Holy Ghost in all ordinances and institutions of divine worship. — Want hereof lost the church of Israel. They contented themselves with the consideration of outward things, and the external observance of the services enjoined unto them. Unto this day the Jews perplex themselves in numberless curious inquiries into the outward frame and fashion of these things, the way, manner, and circumstances of the external observation of the services of it. And they have multiplied determinations about them all, and every minute circumstance of them, so as it is utterly impossible that either themselves or any living creature should observe them according to their traditions and prescriptions. But in the meantime, as unto the mind of the Holy Ghost in them, their true use and signification, they are stark blind and utterly ignorant. Yea, hardness and blindness are so come upon them unto the utmost, that they will not believe or apprehend that there is either spiritual wisdom, instruction, or signification of heavenly things in them. And herein, whilst they profess to know God, are they abominable and disobedient. For no creatures can fall into higher contempt of God than there is in this imagination, namely, that the old institutions had nothing in them but so much gold and silver, and the like, framed into such shapes, and applied to such outward uses, without regard unto things spiritual and eternal. And it is a great evidence of the apostate condition of any church, when they rest in and lay weight upon the external parts of worship, especially such as consist in corporeal observances, with a neglect of spiritual things contained in them, wherein are the effects of divine wisdom in all sacred institutions.

    And whereas the apostle affirms that this frame of things did plainly signify (as the word imports) the spiritual mysteries which he declares, it is evident with what great diligence we ought to search into the nature and use of divine institutions Unless we are found in the exercise of our duty herein, the things which in themselves are plainly declared will be obscure unto us, yea, utterly hidden from us. For what is here said to be clearly signified, could not be apprehended but by a very diligent search into and consideration of the way and means of it. It was to be collected out of the things he ordained, with the order of them, and their respect unto one another. Most men think it not worth while to inquire with any diligence into sacred institutions of divine worship. If any thing seem to be wanting or defective therein, if any thing be obscure and not determined, as they suppose, in the express words, without more ado they supply it with somewhat of their own. But there are many things useful and necessary in the worship of God which are to be gathered from such intimations of the mind of the Holy Ghost as he hath in any place given of them; and those who with humility and diligence do exercise themselves therein, shall find plain, satisfactory significations of his mind and will in such things as others are utterly ignorant of.

    Thirdly , That which the Holy Ghost did thus signify and instruct the church in, (the tou~to , “this,” in the words,) was, “that the way into the most holy place” (“ the way of the holies”) “was not yet made manifest.”

    And for the explication hereof we must consider the things before proposed: — 1. What the apostle intends by “the holies.” It is generally supposed by expositors that it is heaven itself which is hereby intended. Hence some of the ancients, the schoolmen, and sundry expositors of the Roman church, have concluded that no believers under the old testament, none of the ancient patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, or David, were admitted into heaven whilst the first tabernacle stood; that is, until the ascension of Christ.

    Hereon they framed a limbus for them in some subterranean receptacle, — whither they suppose the soul of Christ went, when it is said that he “descended into hell,” —where they were detained, and whence by him they were delivered. But whatever becomes of that imagination, the most learned expositors of that church of late, such as Ribera, Estius, Tena, Maldonate, A Lapide, do not fix it on this text; for the supposition whereon it is founded is wholly alien from the scope of the apostle, and no way useful in his present argument. For he discourseth about the privileges of the church by the gospel and priesthood of Christ in this world, and not about its future state and condition. Besides, he says not that there was no entrance into the holies during that season, but only that “the way of it was not yet manifest.” Wherefore they might enter into it, although the way whereby they did so was not yet openly declared; for they had but a shadow, or dark, obscure representation of good things to come. And this is the interpretation that most sober expositors do give of the words: Heaven with eternal blessedness was proposed unto the faith, hope, and expectation of the saints under the old testament. This they believed, and in the hope of it walked with God, as our apostle proves at large, Hebrews 11. Howbeit the way, that is, the means and cause of communicating the heavenly inheritance unto them, namely, by the mediation and sacrifice of Christ, was but obscurely represented; not illustriously manifested, as it is now, life and immortality being brought to light by the gospel. And as these things are true, so this interpretation of the words being consonant unto the analogy of faith, is safe, only we may inquire whether it be that which is peculiarly intended by the apostle in this place or no.

    The comment of Grotius on these words is, that the apostle signifies “superaetherias sedes. Via eo ducens est evangelium, praecepta habens vere coelestia Eam viam Christus primus patefecit; aditumque fecit omnibus ad summum coelum. Pervenient quidem, eo, Abrahamus, Isaacus, Jacobus, ut videre est, Matthew 8:11, et alii viri eximii, ut videbimus infra, cap. 11:40. Sed hi eo pervenient quasi per machinam, non per viam; extraordinaria quadam et rara Dei dispensatione.” But these things are most remote from the mind of the Holy Ghost, not only in this place, but in the whole Scripture also. For, — (1.) How far the gospel is this “way into the holiest” shall be declared immediately. That it is so because of the heavenly precepts which it gives, that is, which were not given under the old testament, is most untrue. For the gospel gives no precepts of holiness and obedience that were not for the substance of them contained in the law. There is no precept in the gospel exceeding that in the law, “Thou shalt love theLORD thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself.” Only the gospel adds new motives unto obedience, new encouragements and enforcements of it, with directions for its due performance. (2.) That Christ should be no otherwise the way but only as he revealed and declared the gospel and the precepts of it, is not only untrue and injurious unto the honor of Christ, but directly contrary unto the design of the apostle in this place. For he is treating of the sacerdotal office of Christ only, and the benefit which the church doth receive thereby; but the revelation of the doctrine or precepts of the gospel was no duty of that office, nor did it belong thereunto. That he did as the prophet of the church; but all his sacerdotal actings are towards God in the behalf of the church, as hath been proved. (3.) That the ancient patriarchs went to heaven by a secret engine, and that some of them only in an extraordinary way, is plainly to deny that they were saved by faith in the promised Seed, —that is, to affirm that they were not saved by the mediation of Christ; which is contrary unto the whole economy of God in the salvation of the church, and to many express testimonies of the Scripture. These Socinian fictions do not cure but corrupt the word of God, and turn away the minds of men from the truth unto fables. We shall therefore yet further inquire into the true meaning of the Holy Ghost in these words.

    The apostle by aJgi>wn here, oJdown, intends the same with what, verse 3, he called a[gia tw~n aJgi>wn, “the holy of holies,” the second part of the sanctuary; whereinto the high priest alone could enter once ayear, as he declares in the foregoing verse: only whereas he there spake of the material fabric of the tabernacle, and the things contained in it, here he designs what was signified thereby; for he declares not what these things were, but what the Holy Ghost did signify in and by them. Now, in that most holy place were all the signs and pledges of the gracious presence of God, — the testimonies of our reconciliation by the blood of the atonement, and our peace with him thereby. Wherefore, to enter into these holies, is nothing but an access with liberty, freedom, and boldness, into the gracious presence of God, on the account of reconciliation and peace made with him. This the apostle doth so plainly and positively declare, Hebrews 10:19-22, that I somewhat admire so many worthy and learned expositors should utterly miss of his meaning in this place. The “holies,” then, is the gracious presence of God, whereunto believers draw nigh in the confidence of the atonement made for them, and of acceptance thereon. See Romans 5:1,2; Ephesians 2:14-18; Hebrews 4:14-16, 10:19. The atonement being made, and received by faith, conscience being purged, bondage and fear being removed, believers do now under the gospel enter with boldness into this gracious presence of God. 2. We must consider what is the “way ” into these holies, which was “not yet made manifest.” And here also expositors indulge unto many conjectures, very needlessly, as I suppose; for the apostle doth elsewhere expressly declare himself, and interpret his own meaning, namely, Hebrews 10:19,20. This way is no other but the sacrifice of Christ, the true high priest of the church. For by the entrance of the high priest into the most holy place with blood the Holy Ghost did signify that the way into it, namely, for believers to enter by, was only the one true sacrifice which he was to offer and to be. And accordingly, to give an indication of the accomplishment of this type, when he expired on the cross, having offered himself unto God for the expiation of our sins, the veil of the temple, which enclosed and secured this holy place from any entrance into it, was rent from the top to the bottom, whereby it was laid open unto all, Matthew 27:51. And an evidence this is that the Lord Christ offered his great expiatory sacrifice in his death here on earth, a true and real sacrifice; and that it was not an act of power after his ascension, metaphorically called a sacrifice, as the Socinians dream. For until that sacrifice was offered the way could not be opened into the holies; which it was immediately after his death, and signified by the rending of the veil. This is oJdown , the only way whereby we enter into the most holy place, the gracious presence of God, and that with boldness. 3. Of this way it is affirmed that it was “not yet made manifest, whilst the first tabernacle was standing.” And a word is peculiarly chosen by the apostle to signify his intention. He doth not say that there was no way then into the most holy place, none made, none provided, none made use of; but, there was not a fane>rwsiv , an “open manifestation” of it. There was an entrance under the old testament into the presence of God, as unto grace and glory, namely, the virtue of the oblation of Christ; but this was “not as yet made manifest.” Three things were wanting thereunto: — (1.) It was not yet actually existent, but only was virtually so. The Lord Christ had not yet actually offered himself unto God, nor made atonement for sin. Howbeit by virtue of the eternal agreement that was between the Father and him, concerning what he should accomplish in the fullness of time, the benefit of what he was so to do was applied unto them that did believe; they were saved by faith, even as we are. Hence is he called, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;” that is, in and from the giving of the first promise. (2.) Although the coming of his person was promised, and his sacrifice variously shadowed out or represented unto the church, yet their perception and understanding thereof was weak and dark, —proportionate unto the means of its revelation. Hence, whatever were its virtue and efficacy, yet was it not in itself and its own nature made manifest. (3.) There were many blessed privileges that attended the opening of this way, or the actual existence of it, in the oblation of Christ, which the church of the old testament was not acquainted with, nor made partaker of. And although these things belonged not unto the essence of the way, yet they did so as unto our entrance into it. We could not without them, —that is, the administration of the Spirit in gospel ordinances, —make use of this way, though prepared and set open, unto the glory of God and our own spiritual advantage.

    Wherefore the plain, open manifestation of the way into the holiest, which the apostle denies unto the church under the old testament, consists in these three things: — (1.) In the actual exhibition of Christ in the flesh, and his sacrifice of himself, making atonement for sin; for hereby alone was the way laid open unto an access with boldness into the gracious presence of God. Without this, the law and its curse were like the cherubim and flaming sword, that turned every way to keep sinners from drawing nigh unto God. Hereby were they removed, a new and living way being consecrated for our access unto him. (2.) In the full, plain declaration of the nature of his person and of his mediation. And therefore, although the gospel be not this way in the precepts of obedience which it gives unto us, yet is it the declaration and manifestation of this way, and our sole direction how to make use of it, or how to enter by it into the most holy place. This they enjoyed not under the old testament, but were limited unto typical institutions directing the priests how,to enter into the sanctuary made with hands; which were but an obscure representation of these things. (3.) In the introduction or revelation and establishment of those privileges of gospel-worship whereby believers are led comfortably into the presence of God, as our apostle declares, Hebrews 10:19-22. For they are full of light and grace, and a guide unto all the steps of faith and obedience in this way. Hereunto may be added all those things which we have declared to belong unto that perfection or consummation of the church-state, which the law could not bring it unto, on Hebrews 7:11.

    In these things consisteth that manifestation of the way into the most holy place which is here denied unto the old testament. 4. The continuance of this state is added: “Whilst the first tabernacle was standing.” (1.) By “the first tabernacle,” the apostle understands not that first part of the tabernacle into which the priests entered continually, accomplishing the divine services, which before he had so called; but he intends the whole tabernacle, with respect unto the true tabernacle of the body of Christ, which succeeded into its room. Neither yet doth he understand precisely that tent or tabernacle which was erected in the wilderness, —which was not in itself of any long continuance, nor designed thereunto, for it was only suited unto the service of the church whilst it was in an unsettled condition, —but he intends the whole worship instituted together with it and belonging unto it, celebrated afterwards in the temple according unto the laws of that tabernacle. For there was the same worship and the same order of things in the one and the other; and so the same signification made at first by the Holy Ghost in the constitution of the tabernacle was still continued under the temple also. (2.) It was continued whilst this first tabernacle, or the tabernacle in this sense, was “standing.” “Having its station;” that is, according unto the mind of God, it had its state and use in the church. This it had absolutely until the death of Christ, and no longer. For until then both the Lord Christ himself and all his disciples continued the observation of all its services, according to the mind of God; for he was made under the law of it, whilst it was in force, Declaratively it continued until the day of Pentecost; for then, in the coming of the Holy Ghost, was the foundation of the gospel church-state, order, and worship, solemnly laid, whereon, a new way of worship being established, the abrogation of the old was declared. And this,was yet further made known by the determination put unto the observation of it among the Gentile converts by the Holy Ghost, in the council of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. Actually it continued until the destruction of the temple, city, and people, some years after. Its first station it had in God’s appointment, the second in his connivance, and the third in his,patience.

    It is the first of these that is here intended. The tabernacle, —that is, the laws and service of it, —preserved its station and use in the church, by God’s ordinance and appointment, unto the death of Christ. Then did he pronounce concerning it and all things belonging unto it, “It is finished.”

    Then was the veil rent, and the way into the holiest laid open. Then was peace with God publicly confirmed by the blood of the cross, Ephesians 2:14-16; and the nature of the way of our access unto him made known. And some things we may hence observe, which also tend unto the further explication of the mind of the Holy Ghost in the text: — Obs. III. Although the Lord Christ was not actually exhibited in the flesh under the old testament, nor had actually offered himself unto God for us, yet had believers then an access into the grace and favor of God, though the way, the cause and means of it, was not manifestly declared unto them. The apostle doth not exclude them all from the grace and favor of God, but only shows their disadvantage in comparison of believers under the gospel, in that this way was not manifested unto them.

    Obs. IV. The design of the Holy Ghost in all the tabernacle ordinances and institutions of worship, was to direct the faith of believers unto what was signified by them.

    Obs. V. Typical institutions, attended diligently unto, were sufficient to direct the faith of the church unto the expectation of the real expiation of sin, and acceptance with God thereon. God was never wanting unto the church in what was necessary unto it in its present condition, so as that it might be guided in its faith and encouraged unto obedience.

    Obs. VI. Though the standing of the first tabernacle was a great mercy and privilege, yet the removal of it was a greater; for it made way for the bringing in of that which was better.

    Obs. VII. The divine wisdom in the economy and disposal of the revelation of the way into the holiest, or of grace and acceptance with himself, is a blessed object of our contemplation. The several degrees of it we have considered on Hebrews 1:1,2.

    Obs. VIII. The clear manifestation of the way of redemption, of the expiation of sin, and peace with God thereon, is the great privilege of the gospel.

    Obs. IX. There is no access into the gracious presence of God but by the sacrifice of Christ alone.

    VERSES 9, 10. \Htiv parazolh< eijv tota , kaq j o[n dw~ra> te kai< zusi>ai prosfe>rontai , mh< duna>menai kata< sunei>dhsin teleiw~sai toonta , mo>non ejpi< brw>masi kai< po>masi kai< diafo>roiv baptismoi~v , kai< dikaiw>masi sarkocri kairou~ diorqw>sewv ejpikei>mena . [Htiv parazolh<. Vulg. Lat., “quae parabola est.” Syr., al;t]m’ , “an exemplar,’’ or “example.” So all render it, though it answers the Hebrew lv;m; , “a parable” or “proverb.” “quod erat exemplar;” so Beza and others.

    Eijv ton tota . Vulg. Lat., “temporis instantis,” “of the instant time” or “season;” which Arias rectifies into “in tempus praesens,” “for the time present;” Beza, “pro tempore illo praesente,” “for that present time;” “pro tempore tum praesente,” “for the time that was then present;” Syr., wh; an;b]z’l] , “for that time,” omitting ejnesthko>ta .

    Kaq j o[n . Vulg. Lat., “juxta quam.” It being uncertain what he refers “quam” unto, Arias rectifieth it, “juxta quod;” for o[n answereth unto kairo>n , and not unto parazolh> . “Quo,” “wherein;” Syr., “in quo,” “wherein.”

    Dw~ra> te kai< zusi>ai . Vulg. Lat., “munera et hostiae,” “dona et sacrificia.” Syr., “gifts (that is, meat and drink offerings) and sacrifices by blood.” Syr., ajeb]d,w] aneb;rWq , “oblations and victims,” or “bloody sacrifices.”

    Kata< sunei>dhsin teleiw~sai ton latreu>onta . Vulg. Lat, “juxta conscientiam perfectum facere servientem,” “make him that did the service perfect according to conscience;” others, “in conscientia sanctificare cultorem;” others, “consummare:” of the sense of the word we have spoken before. Syr., “perfect the conscience of him that offered them.”

    Mo>non ejpi< brw>masi . Syr., “in meat and drink,” in the singular number.

    Kai< diafo>roiv baptismoi~v . Syr., ˆynez] ˆynez]D’ at;ydiWm[\m’B]w’ “And in the washing of kinds kinds,” that is, various kinds; with respect not unto the various rites of washing, but the various kinds of things that were washed.

    Dikaiw>masi sarko>v . Vulg. Lat., “justitiis carnis;” so it renders dikai>wma by “justitia,” or “justificatio,” constantly, but very improperly. Syr ar;s]b,D] areq;Wp “precepts of the flesh.” “Ritibus carnalibus,” “ordinances, institutions, rites of the flesh, concerning fleshly things.” jEpikei>mena. Vulg. Lat., “impositis;” others, “imposita;” “incumbent on, lying on them.” f16 Ver. 9, 10 . —Which [was ] a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him that did the service perfect, as per-raining to the conscience; [which stood ] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them ] until the time of reformation.

    I shall not alter the translation, but show what might be more properly expressed, as unto some instances, in our exposition.

    Expositors have made use of various conjectures in their commentaries on this place. What is material in the most eminent of them, the reader may see in Mr Poole’s Collections. But I must needs say, that in my judgment they have brought more difficulty unto the text than they have freed it from. Wherefore I shall not detain the reader in the examination of them; but I shall give that interpretation of the text which I hope will evidence its truth unto such as impartially seek after it, and are in any measure acquainted with the things treated of.

    The apostle, in these two verses, gives a summary account and reason of the imperfection of the tabernacle and all its services, wherein the administration of the old covenant did consist. This was direct and proper unto his present argument. For his design is to prove the pre-eminence of the new covenant above the old, from the excellency of the high priest thereof, with his tabernacle and sacrifice. Unto this end a discovery of the imperfection and weakness of the first tabernacle and services was indispensably necessary. And if, notwithstanding its outward excellency and glory, it was no other but what it is here declared to be, as evidently it was not, then was it not only an unreasonable thing, and a plain rejection of the wisdom and grace of God, to adhere unto it in opposition unto the gospel, — which was done by the most of the Hebrews, — but it was altogether unmeet and useless to be retained with the profession of the gospel, which the residue of them earnestly contended for. This was that which the apostle designed ultimately to convince them of. And a work herein both great and difficult was committed unto him. For there is nothing more difficult than to dispossess the minds of men of such persuasions in religion as they have been bred up in, and received by a long tract of tradition from their fathers. So we find it to be in such persuasions and observances as are evidently false and impious, unto the understandings of all that are not under the power of such prejudices: so is it at present with them of the Roman church, and others. But these Hebrews had a pretense or plea for their obstinacy herein which none other ever had in the like case but themselves; for the things which they adhered unto were confessedly of divine institution. Wherefore the apostle labors principally to prove, that in the will and wisdom of God they were to continue only for a season, and also that the season of their expiration was now come. And this he doth in this place, by a declaration of their nature and use whilst they did continue; whence it is evident that God never designed them a perpetual station in the church, and that because they could not effect what he purposed and had promised to do for it.

    This is the substance of his present argument.

    There are in the words themselves, 1. The subject spoken of, h[tiv , “which.” 2. The proper use and end of it; it was “a figure.” 3. The limitation of that use as unto time; “for the time then present.’’ 4. The especial nature of it; the “offering of gifts and sacrifices.” 5. The imperfection of it therein; “they could not consummate the worshippers in conscience.” 6. The reason of that imperfection; it “stood only in meats and drinks,” etc. 7. The manner of its establishment; it was “imposed.” 8. The time allotted for its continuance; “until the time of reformation.” 1. The subject spoken of is expressed by h[tiv , “which.” Some would refer it unto parazolh> following, and so read the words, “Which figure was for the time present.” But there is no cause for this traduction of the words.

    The verb substantive, h=n , is deficient, as usually, and is to be supplied as in our translation, “which was.” “Which,” that is, skhnh> , “the tabernacle;” — not only the fabric and structure of it, but the tabernacle in both parts of it, with all its furniture, vessels, utensils, and services, as before described. 2. As unto its proper use and end, the apostle affirms that it was parazolh>, — figura, exemplar,” exemplum,” “comparatio,” “similitudo,” “typus,” representatio:” so variously is this word rendered by interpreters. Most fix on “exemplar’’ or exemplum;” but they are tu>pov and uJpo>deigma , not parazolh>. And in all these versions the proper sense of the word as used in the Scripture is missed. It is not tynib]T’ that the apostle intends, but lv;m; , as it is rendered by the Syriac.

    And this many have observed, namely, that it answers unto lv;m; , but yet have missed in the interpretation of it. lv;m; is the same with hd;yji wherewith it is joined, as of the same signification and importance, Psalm 49:5, 78:2. And whereas it is said that the queen of Sheba tried the wisdom of Solomon twOdyjiB] , 1 Kings 10:1; the Targum renders it by ˆyltmb , the Chaldee ltm , and the Syriac altm , being the same with the Hebrew lv;m; . Now hd;yji is enigma, problema, gri~fov, “a riddle,” “a hard question;” and dWj is to speak enigmatically, obscurely, so as that one thing is to be gathered out of another. So is lv;m; used also, Ezekiel 20:49, “Is he not µyliv;m] lVem’m] , “proverbiator proverbiorum?” —”one that speaks darkly and obscurely;” that expresseth one thing and intends another, using similitudes and metaphors; an obscure, mystical instruction, by figures, signs, symbols, metaphors, and the like.

    Thus is parazolh> almost constantly used in the New Testament. So our Lord Jesus Christ expressly opposeth speaking in parables unto a clear, plain, open teaching, so as to be understood of all. See Matthew 13:10,13. John 16:28,29, “Now speakest thou openly, and no parable.”

    Wherefore parazolh> , in this place, is an obscure, mystical, metaphorical instruction. God taught the church of old the mysteries of our redemption by Christ, by the tabernacle, its fabric, parts, utensils, and services; but it was but an obscure, parabolical, figurative instruction. So should the word here be rendered, “a figurative instruction,” or the word “parable” be here retained, as it is in other places. This was God’s way of teaching the mysteries of his wisdom and grace; which, as it was sufficient for the state of the church which was then present, so it instructs us in what he requires, what he expects from us, unto whom all these things are unfolded, made plain and evident. 3. The third thing in the text is the time or season wherein the tabernacle was so parabolically or mystically instructive. It was eijv ton tota . Some few copies for to>n read tou~ton , as doth that now before me, —”unto this present time.” This reading is generally rejected by expositors, as not suited unto the mind of the apostle in this place. For he intends not the time that was then present when he wrote the epistle, not the times of the gospel, not the time after the resurrection of Christ until the destruction of the temple, which the addition of that word would denote; for God had prepared another kind of instruction for that season, and not by parables, or mystical metaphors. But yet the word may be retained, and a sense given of the words both sound and proper. For eijv may well signify as much as “until;” or be taken telikw~v , as it is often.

    Eijv tou~ton kairo>n, —” unto this season;” ‘until the time that God would grant another kind of teaching, which now he hath done. It served until this present season, wherein the gospel is preached, and all the things signified by it are accomplished.’ But I shall rather follow the reading of the most copies, though the Vulgar Latin reading “temporis instantis” seems to favor the first. And Arias rectifying it into “in tempus praesens,” gives the same sense also. But the word ejnesthko>ta being of the preterimperfect tense, signifies a time that was then present, but is now past. And it is therefore well rendered by our translators, “the time then present;” as if to>te had been in the text; —the time then present when the tabernacle was made and erected, oJ kairov , the season of the church which was then present. For the apostle in this whole discourse not only respects the tabernacle, and not the temple, but he considers the first erection of the tabernacle in a peculiar manner; for then was it proposed as the means of the administration of the first covenant and the worship thereunto belonging. It is the covenants which he principally designeth a comparison between. And he doth in that way of the disposition and administration of them, which was given and appointed at their first establishment. As this in the new covenant was the person, office, sacrifice, and ministry of Christ; so as unto the first, it was the tabernacle and all the services of it.

    Wherefore “the time then present,” was the state and condition of the church at the first setting up of the tabernacle. Not as though this time were confined unto that or those ages wherein the tabernacle was in use, before the building of the temple; but this instruction, which was then signally given, was the whole of what God granted unto the church during that state wherein it was obliged unto the ordinances and services which were then instituted. The instructions which God thought meet to grant unto the church at that season were obscure, mystical, and figuratively representative; yet was it sufficient for the faith and obedience of the church, had it been diligently attended unto, and what the Holy Ghost signified thereby. So are all God’s ways of instruction in all seasons. We cannot err but either by a neglect of inquiry into them, or by looking for more than God in his wisdom hath committed unto them.

    And this sense those who render parazolh> by a “figure,” “type,” or “example,” must come unto: for the use of it is confined unto the time of the erection of the tabernacle, and the institution of the ordinances thereunto belonging; but a type or figure was unto them of no use but so far as it was instructive, which was obscurely and mystically. And that this is the sense of the word the apostle declares, verse 8, where he shows the substance of what the Holy Ghost signified by the building, disposal, and services of the tabernacle; that is, what he taught the church thereby parabolically and figuratively.

    This kind of instruction, whatever now it seem to us, was meet and fit for them unto whom it was given. And by the administration of grace in it, it was a blessed means to ingenerate faith, love, and obedience, in the hearts and lives of many unto an eminent degree. And we may consider from hence what is required of us, unto whom the clear revelation of the wisdom, grace, and love of God, is made known from the bosom of the Father, by the Son himself. 4. The especial nature and use of this tabernacle and its service is declared: “In which were offered both gifts and sacrifices.” Kaq j o[n , the Vulgar Latin reads “juxta quam;” making the relative to answer unto h[tiv , or to parazolh>. But the gender will not allow it in the original. Kaq j o[n is as much as ejn w=| , “in which time,” “during which season:” for immediately upon the setting up of the tabernacle God gave unto Moses laws and institutions for all the gifts and sacrifices of the people, which were to be offered therein. This was the first direction which God gave after the setting up of the tabernacle, namely, the way and manner of offering all sorts of gifts and sacrifices unto him.

    And the apostle here distributes all the µyniB;r]q; , all the “sacred offerings,” into dw~ra and zusi>av , —that is, unbloody and bloody sacrifices; as he did before, Hebrews 5:1, where the distinction hath been explained.

    Of them all he affirms, Prosfe>rontai , —”They are offered;” not that they were so: for the apostle erects a scheme of the first tabernacle and all its services at its first institution, and presents it unto the consideration of the Hebrews as if it were then first erected. He doth, indeed, sometimes speak of the priests and sacrifices as then in being, with respect unto that continuance of the temple and its worship which it had in the patience of God, as we have showed on Hebrews 8:4; but here, treating only of the tabernacle and its worship, as that which was granted in the confirmation and for the administration of the old covenant, then entered into, —as the tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrifice of Christ were given in the confirmation of the new, —he represents that as present which was past long before. The tabernacle served aptly for the use whereunto it was designed, —it was meet for the offering of gifts and sacrifices; and so alone is the tabernacle of Christ for its proper end also. 5. On these concessions, the apostle declares the imperfection of this whole order of things, and its impotency as unto the great end that might be expected from it; for these “gifts and sacrifices could not make perfect him that did the service, as pertaining unto the conscience.” This was the end aimed at, this was represented in them and by them. And if they could not really effect it, they were weak and imperfect, and so not always to be continued. The end represented in and by them, was to make atonement for sin, that the anger of God being pacified, they might have peace with him. The covenant was then newly established between God and the church, before any laws were given about these offerings and sacrifices, Exodus 24. God knew that there would be among the people, and even the priests themselves, many sins and transgressions against the rules and laws of that covenant. This of itself it could not dispense withal; for its sanction was the curse against every one that continued not in all things written in the book of it: wherefore if this curse on all just and righteous occasions should rigidly have been put in execution, the covenant would only have proved the means and cause of the utter destruction and excision of the whole people; for “there is no man that liveth and sinneth not.” And on many occasions sin abounded in that state of the church, wherein light and grace were but sparingly dispensed, in comparison of the times of the new covenant. Wherefore God, in his mercy and patience, provided that by sacred gifts and offerings atonement should be made for sin, so as that the curse of the covenant should not be put in immediate execution against the sinner, Leviticus 17:11. But there were two things to be considered in those sins which God had appointed that atonement should be made for. The first was, the external, temporal punishment which was due unto them, according unto the place which the law or covenant had in the polity or commonwealth of Israel. The other, that eternal punishment which was due unto every sin by the law, as the rule of all moral obedience; for “the wages of sin is death.” In the first of these, the person of the sinner, in all his outward circumstances, his life, his goods, his liberty, and the like, was concerned. In the latter, his conscience, or the inward man alone was so.

    And as unto the first of them, the gifts and sacrifices mentioned, being rightly offered, were able in themselves, “ex opere operato,” to free the sinner from all temporal, political inconvenience or detriment, so as that his life and inheritance should be continued in the land of Canaan, or his state preserved entire in the commonwealth of Israel This the apostle here tacitly acknowledgeth, namely, that the gifts and sacrifices were able to free the sinner from temporal punishment, and give him outward peace in his possessions. But as unto the latter, wherein conscience was concerned, he denies that they had any such efficacy.

    They were not able, —mh> duna>menai . It agrees in gender with zusi>ai , only, and not with dw~ra , which being of the neuter gender, usually regulates the construction in such conjunctions: but most think it equally respects both the antecedent substantives; and instances may be given where a participle respecting more antecedent substantives than one may agree in gender with either of them, as, “Leges et plebiscita coactae.” But I rather think that the apostle confines the impotency he mentions unto “sacrifices” only; that is, zusi>ai , “slain and bloody sacrifices.” For those things which were dw~ra , “gifts,” and no more, were not designed to make atonement for sin; that was to be done by blood, and no otherwise: so the words should be read, “offered gifts and sacrifices that could not perfect.”

    These sacrifices were impotent and ineffectual unto this end, teleiw~sai.

    What the telei>wsiv is which the apostle so frequently mentions in this epistle, I have before declared, and so what it is teleiw~sai . It is indeed to “perfect,” to “consummate,” to “sanctify,” to “dedicate,” to “consecrate;” but whereas those sacrifices did all these things outwardly, and as unto the flesh, as the apostle grants, verse 13, he doth not here absolutely deny it unto them, but in a certain respect only.

    They could not do it kata< sunei>dhsin —as unto the conscience of the sinner before God. What he intends hereby he doth more fully declare, Hebrews 10:2. There is a conscience condemning for sin. This could not be taken away by those sacrifices. They were not able to do it; for if ‘they could have done so, the sinner would have had complete peace with God, and would not have had need to have offered those sacrifices any more.

    But they were multiplied and often repeated, because of their disability unto this end. Wherefore teleiw~sai kata< sunei>dhsin , is to give peace of conscience unto men, through a sense of perfect atonement made for sin, in the sight of God, with an interest in his love and favor thereon.

    This, it is to be “perfect” or “consummated, as pertaining to conscience” in the sight of God, namely, to have a conscience condemning for sin taken away. This those sacrifices of the law could not effect. It will be said, then, ‘Unto what end did they serve? Were they of no use but only to free men from the penalties of the law or covenant, as it was a rule of the polity or commonwealth of Israel, and the tenure of their possessions in Canaan?’ Yes, they were moreover part of the parazolh> or “mystical instruction” which God granted the church in those days, directing them unto the one sacrifice and offering of Christ, typically representing it, and through faith applying the virtue and efficacy of it unto their consciences every day. 6. The person is described towards whom this effect of purifying the conscience is denied. They could not thus perfect to onta, — “him that did the service,” saith our translation, I think not so properly.

    He that did the service was the priest only; but respect is had unto every one that brought his gift or offering unto the altar. jEpitelei~n taav , “sacredly to accomplish the services,” was the work of the priest alone, verse 6. But oJ latreu>wn, is the same with oJ proserco>menov, Hebrews 10:1; that is, every one who brought his sacrifice to be offered, that atonement might be made for him. And latreu>wn comprehends the whole of divine worship in all individuals:

    Tw~| Qew~| latreu>seiv, Matthew 4:10. But he also may be said to do the service, on whose account and in whose stead it was performed.

    But the defect charged doth not in the first place reflect on the persons, as though it was by their default. They worshipped God according unto his own institutions; but it was in the sacrifices themselves. And if they could not make the worshippers, those who did the service, perfect, they could make none so, for it was they alone who had the benefit of them.

    The note of Grotius on this place is, “Isti cultus non possunt sectatorum suorum animos purgare a vitiis quemadmodum evan-gelium;” —most remote from the mind of the Holy Ghost: for he speaks not of purging our minds from vices, but of purifying conscience by atonement made for the guilt of sin; and opposeth not those sacrifices unto the doctrine of the gospel, but unto the sacrifice of Christ. And we may hence observe, — Obs. I. There is a state of perfect peace with God to be attained under imperfect obedience. For it is charged as a weakness in the legal administrations, that they could not give such a peace where any sin remained; it is therefore to be found in the sacrifice of Christ, as is proved at large in the next chapter. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.”

    Obs. II. Nothing can give perfect peace of conscience with God but what can make atonement for sin. And whoever attempt it any other way but by virtue of that atonement, will never attain it, in this world nor hereafter.

    Ver. 10. —”Only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them ] until the time of reformation.”

    It is acknowledged that there is no small difficulty in the connection of these words, or their relation unto what doth immediately precede; and therefore expositors have multiplied conjectures about it, in whose examination we are not concerned. I shall therefore no further consider any of them, but as they relate unto what I judge to be their true coherence.

    Two things are plain and evident unto this purpose: — 1. That the design of the apostle in the words themselves, is to manifest and declare the weakness of the services of the tabernacle, and their insufficiency for attaining the end proposed in them. This end in general was the perfecting of the church-state in religious worship; and in particular, to make the worshippers perfect as unto their consciences before God. And he gives such a description of them as of itself will sufficiently evince their weakness and insufficiency. For what is it possible that things of that kind and nature which is here described can contribute unto these ends 2. That the things instanced in do comprise a great part of the Levitical institutions; and his assertion concerning them may, by a parity of reason, be extended unto them all. For to render his description of them comprehensive, the apostle (1.) Expresseth them in a particular enumeration of the heads whereunto they might be reduced, “Meats and drinks, and divers washings.” And then, (2.) To show that he intends all things of an alike nature with them, he adds the general nature of them all, — they were “carnal ordinances:” — (1.) A great part of the Levitical religious observances may be reduced unto these heads of “meats and drinks, and divers washings.’’ Laws and institutions were multiplied about these things; what they might eat, and what they might not; what was clean, and what was unclean unto that end; what they might drink, and what vessels defiled all liquors; what were to be, their eatings and drinkings, and when upon their peace-offering, and at their solemn feasts; their great variety of washings, of the priests, of the people, of their garments, and their flesh, stated and occasional, do take up a great part of the entire system of their ordinances. And as laws were multiplied concerning these things, so many of them were enforced with very severe penalties. Hence they were difficultly to be learned, and always impossible to be observed. The Mishna and Talmud —that is, the whole religion of the present Jews —consist almost wholly in scrupulous inquiries, and endless determinations, or rather conjectures, about these things and their circumstances. (2.) All the laws concerning these things were carnal, “carnal ordinances;” such as, for the matter, manner of performance, and end of them, were carnal. This being their nature, it evidently follows that they were instituted only for a time, and were so far from being able themselves to perfect the state of the church, as that they were not consistent with that perfect state of spiritual things which God would introduce, and had promised so to do.

    The scope and design of the apostle being thus fixed, the coherence and interpretation of the words will not be so difficult as at first view they may appear.

    Mo>non ejpi< brw>masi , —”Only in meats and drinks,” etc, Our translators observing the sense elliptical, have supplied it with “which stood,” — which stood only in meats and drinks.” And that supplement may give a double sense: —1. It may respect the substance of the things spoken of. “Which,” relates to “gifts and sacrifices.” And so the sense intended is, that they consisted “in meats and drinks, and divers washings.” And this was the natural substance of them. They consisted in such things as might be eaten and drunk, being duly prepared, as flesh, flour, salt, oil, and wine.

    Hence were they called meat and drink-offerings. And they had washings also that belonged unto them, as the washing of the inwards, Exodus 29:17; and of the burnt-offerings peculiarly, Leviticus 1:9,13; of the hands and feet of the priests, Exodus 30:18,19; and of the leper, Leviticus 14:9. Howbeit it cannot be said that the gifts and sacrifices, as they were such, did consist in these things, though in them things of this nature were offered unto God. Wherefore the supplement of, “which stood,” cannot be admitted in that sense. 2. It may respect the consummation of these gifts and sacrifices, or the celebration of the whole service that belonged unto them, and all their necessary circumstances or consequents: ‘which stood in these things;’ that is, which were accompanied with them. and not perfected without them.

    The argument in the words is to prove the insufficiency of the gifts and sacrifices of the law unto the end mentioned, of perfecting conscience before God. And this is evidenced by the consideration of their necessary adjuncts, or what belonged unto them, and were inseparable from them. It is not said that these “gifts and sacrifices” were only meats and drinks, and so things of no value: for neither doth the apostle treat of the old institutions with such contempt, nor would the truth of his assertion have been evident unto the Hebrews; but he argues unto a discovery of their use and end from the things that did always accompany them, and were inseparable from them. For those by whom they were offered were obliged, by the same divine institution, at the same time unto sundry “meats and drinks, and divers washings;” which proves both the gifts and sacrifices to have been of the same kind, and to have had respect unto carnal things, as they had. For if those gifts and sacrifices had an immediate effect on the consciences of men unto their purification before God, by any virtue inherent in them, whence is it that the observances which by the same law accompanied them were only about “meats and drinks, and divers washings?” And this sense is not to be refused.

    But whereas there is an ellipsis in the connection of the words, it may be otherwise supplied. For having mentioned the “gifts and sacrifices” of the law, the apostle makes an addition unto them of the remaining institutions and ceremonies of it, whose very nature and use declared their insufficiency unto the end inquired after; —”[And other laws ] only concerning meats and drinks, and divers washings;” which in general he calls “carnal rites.” Hereby is the argument in hand carried on and completed.

    There are four things in the words: 1. An account of the legal institutions, under several heads. 2. Their nature in general, with that of others of the same kind; they were “carnal ordinances,” or fleshly rites. 3. The way of the relation of the people unto them; they were “imposed” on them. 4. The time for which they were imposed, or the measure of their duration; which was, “until the time of reformation.”

    First , For the nature of them, they consisted, 1. In “meats and drinks.” Take the words in their full extent, and they may be comprehensive of four sorts of institutions: — (1.) Of all those which concerned meats, or things to be eaten or not eaten, as being clean or unclean; an account whereof is given, Leviticus 11 throughout. With reference thereunto doth the apostle reflect on the Levitical institutions in these words, “Touch not, taste not, handle not; which all are to perish with the using,” Colossians 2:21,22, — are all carnal things. (2.) The portion of the priests out of the sacrifices; especially what they were to eat in the holy place, as the portion of the sin-offering, Exodus 29:31-33; Leviticus 10:12,13,17; and what they were to eat of the peace-offerings in any clean place, verses 14, 15. And the prohibition of drinking wine or strong drink in the holy place, verses 8, 9, may be here respected in “drinks,” about which these institutions were. And these were such, as without which the service of the sacrifices could not be acceptably performed, verses 17, 18. And therefore are they intended in this place in an especial manner, if it be the design of the apostle to prove the insufficiency of the sacrifices from the nature of their inseparable adjuncts, which were carnal and perishing things. (3.) The eating of the remainder of the peace-offering, whether of a vow or of thanksgiving; the law whereof is given as a holy ordinance, Leviticus 7:14-17. (4.) The laws concerning the feasts of the whole people, with their eating and drinking before the Lord, Leviticus 23. All these divine ordinances were ejpi< brw>masi kai< po>masi , —”concerning meats and drinks,” that were necessary to be observed with their offering of “gifts and sacrifices,” declaring of what nature they were. And the observation of them all was at the same time imposed on them. 2. They consisted in, or were concerning “divers washings” Baptismo>v is any kind of washing, whether by, dipping or sprinkling, —putting the thing to be washed into the water, or applying the water unto the thing itself to be washed. Of these washings there were various sorts or kinds under the law: for the priests were washed, Exodus 29:4; and the Levites, Numbers 8:7; and the people, after they had contracted any impurity, Leviticus 15:8,16. But the apostle seems to have particular respect unto the washings of the priests and of the offerings in the court of the tabernacle, before the altar; for these were such, as without which the gifts and sacrifices could not be rightly offered unto God.

    Secondly , It is added in the description of these things, kai< dikaiw>masi sarko>v , —”institutis carnalibus,” “ritibus,” “ceremoniis,” “justitiis, justificationibus carnis.” “Carnal ordinances,” say we. The signification of dikai>wma in this place hath been spoken unto before. Rites of worship arbitrarily imposed, whose “jus” or “right” depended on the will or pleasure of God. And they are said to be of the flesh for the reason given, verse 13, — “they sanctified unto the purifying of the flesh,” and no more.

    The words may be an expression of the nature in general of the law about meats, drinks, and washings; they were “carnal ordinances.” But the distinctive copulative, kai> , “and,” will not admit of that sense. It seems, therefore, to contain an addition of all those other legal ordinances which any way belonged unto the purifications of the law.

    The force of the reasonings in these words is evident. For the design of the apostle is to prove, that, in the perfect church-state which God would bring in under the new covenant, the worshippers were to enjoy peace of conscience, with joy and boldness in the presence of God, from a perfect atonement and purification of sin. Holy this is effected by the one sacrifice of Christ, he afterwards declares. But the ordinances of the law, and the Levitical sacrifices, were weak and imperfect as unto this end; for in them and by them men were conversant wholly in carnal things, in meats, drinks, washings, and such like carnal observances, which could reach no farther than the sanctification of the flesh, as he evidenceth in the application of all these things unto his present argument, verse 13. And the faith of believers is rather weakened than confirmed by all things of the like nature, that divert their minds from an immediate respect unto and total dependence on the one sacrifice of Christ.

    Thirdly , Concerning all these things it is affirmed, that they were “imposed” on the people, —ejpikei>mena . There is a difficulty in the syntax of this word, which all interpreters take notice of. If it refers unto the substantives immediately foregoing, brw>masi kai< po>masi , etc., it agrees not with them in case; if unto zusi>av in the other verse, it agrees not with it in gender. And the apostle had before adjoined unto it a participle of the feminine gender, —duna>menai . Some think that the letter iota is added unto the first word, or taken from the latter, so that originally they were both of the same gender. But whereas the apostle had put together dw~ra kai< zusi>av , the one of the neuter, the other of the feminine gender, he might apply his adjectives either to one or both, without offense to grammar. Yet I rather judge that in this word he had respect unto all the things whereof he had discoursed from the very beginning of the chapter. Concerning them all he declares that they were thus “imposed;” and so the use of the word in the neuter gender is proper.

    Many judge that there is an objection anticipated in these words. For upon the description of the nature and use of the tabernacle, with all its furniture and services, he declares that they could not all of them, nor any of them, perfect the worshippers that attended unto them. Hereon it might be well inquired, ‘To what purpose, then, were they appointed? unto what end did they serve?’ Hereunto he replies, ‘That they were never designed unto perpetual use, but only imposed on the people unto the time of reformation.’ But whether there be a respect unto any such objection or no, he plainly declares their use and duration according unto the mind of God; which were such as their nature did require. And hereby also he confirms his argument of their insufficiency unto the great end of perfecting, sanctifying, or consecrating the state of the church. And hereof there are two evidences in these words: — 1. They were things imposed; that is, on the people under the law. They were laid on them as a burden. The word is properly “incumbentia,” lying on them; that is, as a burden. There was a weight in all these legal rites and ceremonies, which is called a “yoke,” and too heavy for the people to bear, Acts 15:10. And if the imposition of them be principally intended, as we render the word, “imposed,” it respects the bondage they were brought into by them. Men may have a weight lying on them, and yet not be brought into bondage thereby. But these things were so imposed on them as that they might feel their weight, and groan under the burden of it. Of this bondage the apostle treats at large in the epistle unto the Galatians.

    And it was impossible that those things should perfect a church-state, which’ in themselves were such a burden, and effective of such a bondage. 2. As unto the duration assigned unto them, they were thus imposed mecri< kairou~ , —for a determined limited, season. ‘They were never designed to continue for ever. And this is the great controversy which we have at this day with the Jews. The principal foundation of their present unbelief is, that the law of Moses is eternal, and that the observation of its rites and institutions is to be continued unto the end of the world. The contrary hereunto the apostle had evidently proved in the foregoing chapters. Whereas, therefore, he had undeniably demonstrated that they were not to be of perpetual use in the church, nor could ever effect that state of perfection which God designed unto it, he now declares that there was a certain determinate season fixed in the purpose and counsel of God for their cessation and removal. And this he describes in the last word.

    This was the season diorqw>sewv : “correction,” say some; “direction,’’ others; we, “of reformation,” restraining the word unto the things spoken of, and retaining its usual signification, most improperly. For “reformation” is the amendment and reduction of any thing in the church unto its primitive institution, by abolishing and taking away the abuses that have crept into it, or corrupt additions that have been made unto it; but nothing of that nature is here intended. Many such seasons there were under the old testament, wherein the things belonging unto the worship of God were so reformed; but now not the reduction of the tabernacle and its services unto its first institution is intended, but its utter removal and taking away out of the service of God in the church. But if respect be had unto the whole state of the church in general, and what God designed unto it, taking the word “reformation” in a universal sense, for the introduction of a new animating form and life, with new means and ways of their expression and exercise in new ordinances of worship, the word may be of use in this place.

    Those who render it, “of correction,” are no less out of the way. For “correction” might be applied unto the abuses that had crept into the worship of God; —so it was by our Savior with respect unto pharasaical traditions: but the apostle treats here of the worship itself as it was first instituted by God, without respect unto any such abuses. This was not the object of any just correction.

    The time intended is sufficiently known and agreed upon. It is the great time or season of the coming of the Messiah, as the king, priest, and prophet of the church, to order and alter all things, so as it might attain its perfect state. This was the season that was to put an end unto all legal observances, wherein they were to expire.

    Unto the bringing in of this season God had ordered and disposed all things from the foundation of the world. See Luke 1:68-75. And it is called kairosewv , because therein God finally disposed and directed all things in the church unto his own glory and the eternal salvation thereof. See Ephesians 1:10. And we may observe from the whole verse, — Obs. I. That there is nothing in its own nature so mean and abject, but the will and authority of God can render it of sacred use and sacred efficacy, when he is pleased to ordain and appoint it. — Such were the “meats and drinks, and divers washings,” under the law; which, however contemptible in themselves, had a religious use from the appointment of God. For others to attempt the like, as they do with their salt, and oil, and the like, in the Papacy, is foolishly to imitate his sovereignty, and proudly to usurp his authority.

    Obs. II. The fixing of times and seasons, for the state of things in the church, is solely in the hand of God. and at his sovereign disposal. —He alone appointed this “time of reformation;” the church could neither hasten it nor was to refuse it. Wherefore quiet waiting alone is our duty, as unto the accomplishment of all promises concerning the state of the church in this world.

    Obs. III. It is a great part of the blessed liberty which the Lord Christ brought into the church, namely, its freedom and liberty from legal impositions, and every thing of the like nature in the worship of God.

    Obs. IV. The time of the coming of Christ was the time of the general final reformation of the worship of God, wherein all things were unchangeably directed unto their proper use.

    VERSE 11.

    Unto this verse the account of the Levitical priesthood, its sanctuary and services, is continued. Amongst them, the service of the high priest in the most holy place on the day of expiation was principally designed; for this was looked on and trusted unto by the Hebrews, as the principal glory of their worship, and as of the greatest efficacy as unto atonement and reconciliation with God. And so it was, in its proper place. Hence they have a saying yet common amongst them, “That on the day of expiation, when the high priest entered into the most holy place, all Israel were made as innocent as in the day of creation.” In what sense it neither was nor could be so shall be declared on Hebrews 10:1-3. But in these things the glory of the administration of the old covenant did consist; which the apostle allows unto it in his demonstration of the excellency of the new above it. Wherefore this ministry of the high priest on that day he hath an especial respect unto, in the account he gives of the priesthood of Christ and its administration.

    But yet, although he hath a principal regard hereunto, he doth not respect it only and singly. The whole description of the sanctuary and its services he also regards, in the comparison he intends between the Lord Christ in his office and these things. In him, his office, sanctuary, and sacrifice, do the excellency and efficacy of the new covenant consist, in opposition unto all those of the like kind under the law. The want of a due observation hereof hath led some expositors into mistakes: for they would confine all that he says unto a correspondency with what was done on that solemn day by the high priest, whereas he doth also expressly declare that the truth, reality, and substance of the tabernacle, all its utensils, its services and sacrifices, were to be found in him alone; for unto this end doth he give us such a description of them all in particular.

    But, as was said, that which he principally respects in the comparison he makes between the type and the antitype, is the high priest and his especial service in the most holy place, which he makes an entrance into in this verse.

    Ver. 11. Cristomenov , ajrciereuntwn ajgaqw~n , dia< th~v mei>zonov kai< teleiote>rav skhnh~v , ouj ceiropoih>tou , tout j e]stin , ouj tau>thv th~v kti>sewv . f17 Parageno>menov . Vulg., “assistens,” “assisting.” Syr., at;aDe , “who cometh.” “Adveniens,” “coming.” jArciereu>v. Syr., ar,m;WK bw’ aw;h\ , “was an high priest,” or “was made an high priest;” whereunto it adds, instead of “good things to come,” “of the good things which he hath wrought.”

    Dia< mei>zonov kai< teleiote>rav skhnh~v . Vulg. Lat., “per amplius et perfectius tabernaculum;” barbarously for “mains et praestantius.” Syr. aB;r’ an;K]v]m,l] l[‘w] an;m;l]v’m]w’ , “and he entered into that great and perfect tabernacle.”

    Ouj tau>thv th~v kti>sewv . Vulg. Lat., “non hujus creationis.” Syr., ˆyleh; ˆme at;y]y’B] , “of” or “from among these creatures.” Most, “hujus structurae,” “of this building.”

    Ver. 11 . —But Christ being come, an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.

    The introduction of the comparison in the redditive conjunction de< , “but,” answers unto me>n in the first verse of the chapter; which are the common notes of comparison and opposition. Ei=ce me>n ...... Cristogeneral what he proves and confirms by instances in this, and unto the 20th verse of the following chapter.

    And there are two things which he declares in this and the verse ensuing: 1.

    Who is the high priest of the new covenant, and what is the tabernacle wherein he administered his office, ver. 11. 2. What are the especial services he performed, in answer unto those of the legal high priest, and their preference above them, ver. 12.

    In this verse he expresseth the subject whereof he treats, or the person of the high priest concerning whom he treats. And he describes him, 1. By his name; it is “Christ.” 2. By his entrance on his office; “being come.” 3. His office itself; “an high priest.” 4. The effects of his office, or the especial object of it; “good things to come.” 5. The tabernacle wherein he administereth or dischargeth his office; which is described by a comparison with the old tabernacle, and that two ways: (1.) Positively; that it was “greater” and “more perfect” or “more excellent” than it. (2.) By a double negation, the latter exegetical of the former; “not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building” or “creation.” All these particulars must be distinctly opened, to give a right understanding of the sense of the; place and meaning of the words: — First , The person spoken of is “Christ.” I have observed before the variety of appellations or names whereby the apostle on various occasions expresseth him in this epistle, otherwise than he is wont to do in any other of his epistles. Sometimes he calls him Jesus only, sometimes Christ, sometimes Jesus Christ, sometimes the Son, and sometimes the Son of God. And he had respect herein unto the various notions which the church of the Jews had concerning his person from the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament. And he useth none of them peculiarly but when there is a peculiar reason for it, as we have already observed on sundry occasions. And so there is in this place. He doth not say Jesus is come, or the Son, or the Son of God, but “Christ being come; that is, “the Messiah being come.” Under that name and notion was he promised from the beginning, and the fundamental article of the faith of the church was, that the Messiah was to come; —all their desires and expectations were fixed on the coming of the Messiah. Hence oJ ejrco>menov , “he that was to come,” was the name whereby they expressed their faith in him. Su< ei+ oJ ejrco>menov ; Matthew 11:3, — “Art thou he who is to come?” And the coming of Christ, or the Messiah, was the time and the cause wherein and whereby they expected the last revelation of the will of God, and the utmost perfection of the church. Wherefore the apostle on this occasion mentions him by his name, ‘He who was promised of old that he should come, upon whose coming the faith of the church was built, by whom and at whose coming they expected the last revelation of the will of God, and consequently a change in their present administrations, the promised Messiah being come.’ The church was founded of old on the name Jehovah, as denoting the unchangeableness and faithfulness of God in the accomplishment of his promises, Exodus 6:2,3. And this name of Christ is declarative of the accomplishment of them. Wherefore by calling him by this name, as it was most proper when he was to speak of his coming, so in it he minds the Hebrews of what was the ancient faith of their church concerning him, and what in general they expected on his coming. He had now no more to offer unto them but what they had for many ages expected, desired, and earnestly prayed for.

    Secondly , As a general foundation of what is afterwards ascribed unto him, or as the way whereby he entered on his office, he affirms that he is “come:” “Christ being come,” —parageno>menov . The word is nowhere else used to express the advent or coming of Christ. Hence by the Vulgar it is rendered “assistens;” which as it doth not signify to “come,” so the sense is corrupted by it. The Rhemists render that translation, “but Christ assisting an high priest.” But this increaseth the ambiguity of the mistake of that translation, as not declaring that Christ himself was this high priest, which is the direct assertion of the apostle. That which is intended is the accomplishment of the promise of God, in the sending and exhibition of Christ in the flesh: ‘He being now come, according as was promised from the foundation of the world.’ For although the word is inseparable in its construction with what followeth, “an high priest,” —”being come an high priest;” yet his coming itself in order unto the susception and discharge of that office is included in it. And upon this coming itself depended the demonstration of the faithfulness of God in his promises. And this is the great fundamental article of Christian religion, in opposition unto Judaism, as it is declared, 1 John 4:2,3. Wherefore, by his being “come,” in this place, no one single act is intended, as his advent or coming doth usually signify his incarnation only; but the sense of the word is comprehensive of the whole accomplishment of the promise of God in sending him, and his performance of the work whereunto he was designed thereon. In that sense is he frequently said to come, or to be come, 1 John 5:20.

    And, as was before observed, there is not only argument herein unto the apostle’s design, but that which, being duly weighed, would fully determine all the controversy he had with these Hebrews. For all their legal administrations were only subservient unto his coming, and representations thereof, —all given in confirmation of the truth of the promises of God that so he should come: wherefore upon his coming they must all necessarily cease and be removed out of the church.

    Thirdly , There is in the words a determination of the especial end of his coming, under present consideration, —”an high priest,” “being come an high priest;” that is, in answer unto and in the room of the high priest under the law. This states the subject of the apostle’s argument. He had before proved that he was to be a priest, that he was a priest, and how he came so to be. He now asserts it as the foundation of those actings which he was to ascribe unto him in answer unto those of the legal high priests, whose offices and services, with the effects of them, he had before declared: ‘Those high priests did so, “but Christ being come an high priest,” etc.’

    Fourthly , He adds the especial object of his office, or the things about which he is conversant in the discharge of it: Of the good things to come.” As the assertion is positive, so there is a comparison and opposition included in it. The high priests of the law were not so. They were not priests of “good things;” that is, absolutely, or such as were necessary unto the purification, sanctification, and justification of the church. And so far as they were priests of good things, they were so of good things present, not of the good things promised, that were for to come. And this is the force of the article tw~n, “of the good things;” namely, that God had promised unto the church. A priest, or a high priest, may be said to be the priest of the things that he doth in the execution of his office, or of the things which he procureth thereby; he is the priest of his duties, and of the effects of them; — as a minister may be said to be a minister of the word and sacraments which he administereth, or of the grace of the gospel which is communicated thereby. Both are here included, both the duties which he performed and the effects which he wrought.

    The things whereof Christ is a high priest, are said to be “things to come;” — that is, they are yet so, absolutely so; or they were so called with respect unto the state of the church under the old testament. Most expositors embrace the first sense. ‘These good things to come,’ they say, ‘are that future eternal salvation and glory which were procured for the church by the priesthood of Christ, and were not so by the Levitical priesthood. To the administration of the priesthood under the law he assigns only things present, temporal things, or what could be effected by them in their own virtue and power; but unto that of Christ he assigns eternal things, as he speaks immediately, he hath “obtained eternal redemption for us.” The eternal salvation and glory of the church were procured by the priesthood of Christ, or Christ himself in the discharge of that office, and were not so by the Levitical priests. These things are true, but not the meaning, at least not the whole meaning, of the apostle in this place. For, — 1. This confines the relation of the priesthood of Christ in this place unto the effects of it only, and excludes the consideration of his sacerdotal actings in the great sacrifice of himself; for this was not now to come, but was already past and accomplished. But this is so far from being excluded by the apostle, as that it is principally intended by him. This is evident from the words ensuing, wherein the tabernacle is described in which he was thus “an high priest of good things to come;” for this was his human nature, wherein he offered himself, as we shall see. 2. He doth not in this place compare together and oppose the future state of glory which we shall have by Christ with and unto the state of the church in this world under the old testament; which were not equal, nor would be cogent unto his purpose, seeing the saints of old were also made partakers of that glory. But he compares the present state of the church, the privileges, advantages, and grace which it enjoyed by the priesthood of Christ, with what it had by the Aaronical priesthood; for the fundamental principle which he confirms is, that the telei>wsiv , or present “perfection” of the church, is the effect of the priesthood of Christ.

    Wherefore the apostle expresseth these things by that notion of them which was received under the old testament and in the church of the Hebrews, namely, the “good things to come;” —that is, they were so from the beginning of the world, or the giving of the first promise. Things which were fore-signified by all the ordinances of the law, and which thereon were the desire and expectation of the church in all preceding ages; the things which all the prophets foretold, and which God promised by them, directing the faith of the church unto them; in brief, all the good things in spiritual redemption and salvation which they looked for by the Messiah, are nero called the “good things to come.” Of these things Christ was now come the high priest; the law having only the shadow, and not so much as the perfect image of them, Hebrews 10:1. And these things may be referred unto two heads: — (1.) Those wherein the actual administration of his office did consist, for, as we said, he was the high priest of the duties of his own office, he by whom they were performed. These in general were his oblation and intercession. For although his intercession be continued in heaven, yet was it begun on the earth; as his oblation was offered on the earth, but is continued in heaven, as unto the perpetual exercise of it. The whole preparation unto, and actual oblation of himself, was accompanied with most fervent and effectual intercessions, Hebrews 5:7. And such was his solemn prayer recorded John 17:These things themselves, in the first place, were the “good things to come.” For these were they which were designed in, and the substance of, the first promise; as also of all those which were afterwards given for the confirmation of the faith of the church therein. These did all the legal institutions direct unto and represent. And that they are here intended by the apostle, he plainly declares in the next verse; for with respect unto these good things to come, he opposeth his own blood and sacrifice, with the atonement he made thereby, unto the blood of bulls and of goats, with whatever could be effected thereby. (2.) The effects of these sacerdotal actings are also intended: for these also are reckoned hereunto in the close of the next verse, in the instance of one of them, namely, “eternal redemption,” which is comprehensive of them all. And these also were of two sorts: — [1.] Such as immediately respected God himself. Of this nature was the atonement and reconciliation which he made by his blood, and peace with God for sinners thereon. See 2 Corinthians 5:19,20; Ephesians 2:14-16. [2.] The benefits which hereon are actually collated on the church, whereby it is brought into its consummate state in this world. What they are we have discoursed at large on Hebrews 7:11.

    These, therefore, are the “good things to come,” consisting in the bringing forth and accomplishing of the glorious effects of the hidden wisdom of God, according unto his promises from the beginning of the world, in the sacrifice of Christ, with all the benefits and privileges of the church, in righteousness, peace, and spiritual worship, which ensued thereon. And we may observe, — Obs. I. These things alone are the true and real good things that were intended for and promised unto the church from the beginning of the world. —The Jews had now utterly lost the true notion of them, which proved their ruin; and yet do they continue in the same fatal mistake unto this day. They found that great and glorious things were spoken of by all the prophets, to be brought in at the coming of the Messiah; and the hope of good things to come they lived upon, and continue yet so to do. But being carnal in their own minds, and obstinately fixed unto the desire of earthly things, they fancied them to consist in things quite of another nature; —honor, riches, power, a kingdom and dominion on the earth, with a possession of the wealth of all nations, were the good things which they hoped were to come. As to reconciliation and peace with God by a full and perfect atonement for sin, righteousness, deliverance from spiritual adversaries, with a holy worship acceptable unto God, they are things which they neither desired nor regarded. Wherefore, choosing the world and the things of it before those which are spiritual and heavenly, unto the world they are left, and the curse which it lieth under. And it is to be feared that some others also have deceived themselves with carnal apprehensions of the good things, if not of the priesthood, yet of the kingdom of Christ.

    Obs. II. These things alone are absolutely good unto the church; all other things are good or evil as they are used or abused. —Outward peace and prosperity are good in themselves, but oftentimes they prove not so to the church. Many a time have they been abused unto its great disadvantage.

    They are not such things as are too earnestly to be desired, for who knows what will be the end of them? But these things are absolutely good in every state and condition.

    Obs. III. So excellent are these good things, as that the performance and procuring of them were the cause of the coming of the Son of God, with his susception and discharge of his sacerdotal office. —They are excellent in their relation unto the wisdom, grace, and love of God, whereof they are the principal effects; and excellent in relation unto the church, as the only means of its eternal redemption and salvation. Had they been of a lower or meaner nature, so glorious a means had not been designed for the effecting of them. Woe unto them by whom they are despised! “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” And, — Obs. IV. Such a price and value did God put on these things, so good are they in his eyes, as that he made them the subject of his promises unto the church from the foundation of the world. —And in all his promises concerning them, he still opposed them unto all the good things of this world, as those which were incomparably above them and better than them all. And therefore he chose out all things that are precious in the whole creation to represent their excellency; which makes an appearance of promises of earthly glories in the Old Testament, whereby the Jews deceived themselves. And because of their worth, he judged it meet to keep the church so long in the desire and expectation of them.

    Fifthly , That which the apostle hath immediate respect unto in the declaration of the priesthood and sacrifice of Christ, is what he had newly at large declared concerning the tabernacle and the service of the high priest therein. Wherefore he assigns a tabernacle unto this high priest, in answer unto that under the law, whereby he came, or wherein he administered the duties of his office. And concerning this he, 1. Asserts that “he came by a tabernacle.” 2. Describes this tabernacle in comparison with the former: (1.) Positively, that it was “greater and more perfect; (2.) Negatively, in that being “not made with hands,” it was not of the same building with it. 1. He came by a tabernacle. These words may have prospect unto what is afterwards declared in the next verse, and belong thereunto; —as if he bad said, ‘Being come an high priest, he entered into the holy place by a perfect tabernacle, with his own blood;’ for so the high priest of the law entered into the holy place, by or through the tabernacle, with the blood of others But the words do rather declare the constitution of the tabernacle intended than the use of it, as unto that one solemn service; for so before he had described the frame and constitution of the old tabernacle, before he mentioned its use. “Being come an high priest, by such a tabernacle; that is, wherein he administered that office. What is the tabernacle here intended, there is great variety in the judgment of expositors, Some say it is the church of the new testament, as Chrysostom, who is followed by many. Some say it is heaven itself. This is embraced and pleaded for by Schlichtingius, who labors much in the explanation of it. But whereas this is usually opposed, because the apostle in the next verse affirms that “Christ entered into the holies,” which he expounds of heaven itself, by this tabernacle, which therefore cannot be heaven also, he endeavors to remove it. For he says there is a double tabernacle in heaven. For as the apostle hath in one and the same place described a double tabernacle here on earth, a first and a second, with their utensils and services, distinguished the one from the other by a veil; so there are two places in heaven answering thereunto. The first of these he would have to be the dwelling-place of the angels; the other the place of the throne of God himself, represented by the most holy place in the tabernacle. Through the first of these he says theLORD Christ passed into the second, which is here called his tabernacle. And it is indeed said that the Lord Christ in his exaltation did “pass through the heavens,” and that he was “made higher than the heavens;” which would seem to favor that conceit, though not observed by him. But there is no ground to conceit or fancy such distinct places in heaven above; yea, it is contrary to the Scripture so to do, for the residence of the holy angels is before and about the throne of God. So are they always placed in the Scripture, Daniel 7:10; Matthew 18:10; Revelation 5:11. And these aspectable heavens, which Christ passed through, were not so much as the veil of the tabernacle in his holy service, which was his own flesh, Hebrews 10:20. The only reason of this ungrounded, curious imagination, is a design to avoid the acknowledgment of the sacrifice of Christ whilst he was on the earth. For this cause he refers this tabernacle unto his entrance into the most holy place, as the only means of offering himself. But the design of the apostle is to show, that as he was a high priest, so he had a tabernacle of his own wherein he was to minister unto God. 2. This tabernacle, whereby he came a high priest, was his own human nature. The bodies of men are often called their tabernacles, Corinthians:5:1; 2 Peter 1:14. And Christ called his own body the temple, John 2:19. His flesh was the veil, Hebrews 10:20. And in his incarnation he is said to “pitch his tabernacle among us,” John 1:14.

    Herein dwelt “the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” Colossians 2:9, — that is, substantially; represented by all the pledges of God’s presence in the tabernacle of old. This was that tabernacle wherein the Son of God administered his sacerdotal office in this world, and wherein he continueth yet so to do in his intercession. For the full proof hereof I refer the reader unto our exposition on Hebrews 8:2.

    And this gives us an understanding of the description given of this tabernacle in the adjuncts of it, with reference unto that of old. This is given us, — (1.) Positively, in a double comparative property: — [1.] That it was “greater” than it; —greater in dignity and worth, not quantity and measures. The human nature of Christ, both in itself, its conception, framing, gracious qualifications and endowments, especially in its relation unto and subsistence in the divine person of the Son, was far more excellent and glorious than any material fabric could be. In this sense, for comparative excellency and dignity, is mei>zwn almost constantly used in the New Testament. So is it in this epistle, Hebrews 6:13,16. The human nature of Christ doth thus more excel the old tabernacle than the sun doth the meanest star. [2.] “More perfect.” This respects its sacred use. It was more perfectly fitted and suited unto the end of a tabernacle, both for the inhabitation of the divine nature and the means of exercising the sacerdotal office in making atonement for sin, than the other was. So it is expressed, Hebrews 10:5, “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not have, but a body hast thou prepared me.” This was that which God accepted, wherewith he was well pleased, when he rejected the other as insufficient unto that end. And we may hence observe, that, — Obs. V. The human nature of Christ, wherein he discharged the duties of his sacerdotal office in making atonement for sin, is the greatest, the most perfect and excellent ordinance of God; far excelling those that were most excellent under the old testament. —An ordinance of God it was, in that it was what he designed, appointed, and produced unto his own glow; and it was that which answered all ordinances of worship under the old testament, as the substance of what was shadowed out in them and by them. And I have labored elsewhere to represent the gloW of this ordinance as the principal effect of divine wisdom and goodness, the great means of the manifestation of his eternal glory. The wonderful provision of this tabernacle will be the object of holy admiration unto eternity. But the glory of it is a subject which I have elsewhere peculiarly labored in the demonstration of. And unto the comparison with those of old, here principally intended, its excellency and glory may be considered in these as in other things: 1st. Whatever they had of the glory of God in type, figure, and representation; that it had in truth, reality, and substance. 2dly. What they only shadowed out as unto reconciliation and peace with God, that it did really effect. 3dly. Whereas they were capable only of a holiness by dedication and consecration, which is external, giving an outward denomination, not changing the nature of the things themselves; this was glorious in real internal holiness, wherein the image of God doth consist. 4thly. The matter of them all was earthly, carnal, perishing; his human nature was heavenly as unto its original, —”the Lord from heaven;” and immortal or eternal in its constitution, —he was “made a priest after the power of an endless life;” for although he died once for sin, yet his whole nature had always its entire subsistence in the person of the Son of God. 5thly. Their relation unto God was by virtue of an outward institution or word of command only that of his was by assumption into personal union with the Son of God. 6thly. They had only outward, typical pledges of God’s presence; “in him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” 7thly. They were exposed unto the injuries of time, and all other outward occurrences, wherein there was nothing of the glory or worship of God; he never did nor could suffer any thing but what belonged unto his office, and is now exalted above all adversities and oppositions. And other considerations of the like nature might be added.

    Obs. VI. The Son of God undertaking to be the high priest of the church, it was of necessity that he should come by or have a tabernacle wherein to discharge that office, — He” came by a tabernacle.” So it is said unto the same purpose, that it “was of necessity that he should have somewhat to offer,” Hebrews 8:3. For being to save the church by virtue of and in the discharge of that office, it could not be otherwise done than by the sacrifice of himself in and by his own tabernacle. (2.) He describes this tabernacle by a double negation: [1.] That it was “not made with hands.” [2.] That it was “not of this building.” And this latter clause is generally taken to be exegetical of the former only, and that because of its introduction by tout j e]stin , “that is to say.” I shall consider both: — [1.] It was ajceiropoi>htov, — ”not made with hands.” The old tabernacle whilst it stood was the temple of God. So it is constantly called by David in the Psalms. Temples were generally sumptuous and glorious fabrics, always answering the utmost ability of them that built them. Not to have done their best therein they esteemed irreligious; for they designed to express somewhat of the greatness of what they worshipped, and to beget a veneration of what was performed in them. And this men in the degenerate state of Christianity are returned unto, endeavoring to represent the greatness of God, and the holiness of his worship, in magnificent structures, and costly ornaments of them. Howbeit the best of them all are made by the hands of men; and so are no way meet habitations for God, in the way he had designed to dwell among us. This Solomon acknowledgeth concerning the temple which he had built, which yet was the most glorious that ever was erected, and built by God’s own appointment: Chronicles 2:5, 6, “The house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods. But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?”

    And 1 Kings 8:27, “Will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”

    Service was to be done unto God in that temple according unto his appointment, but a meet habitation for him it was not. And our apostle lays it down as a principle suited unto natural light, that “God, who made all things, could not dwell ejn ceiropoih>toiv nasi~v ,” —”in temples made with hands,” Acts 17:24. Such was the tabernacle of old; but such was not that wherein our Lord Jesus administereth his office.

    There seems to me to have been an apprehension among the Jews that there should be a temple wherein God would dwell, that should not be made with hands. Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the first year of his ministry, upon his purging of the temple, upon their requiring a sign for the justification of his authority in what he had done, says no more but only, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” John 2:19.

    He spake of the same temple, as to their destruction of it and his own raising it again. Thus he called his own body. “He spake,” saith the evangelist, “of the temple of his body.” That other fabric was a type thereof, and so partook of the same name with it; but yet was no further a temple, or a habitation of God, but as it was typical of that body of his, wherein the fullness of the Godhead did dwell. This testimony of his seemeth to have provoked the Jews above every other; —unless it was that, when he plainly declared his divine nature unto them, affirming that he was before Abraham; for this cast them into so much madness, as that immediately “they took up stones to cast at him,” John 8:58,59. But their malice was more inveterate against him for what he thus spake concerning the temple; for, three years after, when they conspired to take away his life, they made these words the ground of their accusation. But as is usual in such cases, when they could not pretend that his own words, as he spake them, were criminal, they variously wrested them to make an appearance of a crime, though they knew not of what nature. So the psalmist prophesied that they should do, Psalm 56:5,6. Some of them affirmed him to have said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days,” Matthew 26:61.

    Which was apparently false, as is evident in comparing his words with theirs. Wherefore others of them observing that the witness was not yet home unto their purpose, and the design of the priests, they sware positively that he said, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands,” Mark 14:58.

    For they are not the words of the same persons, variously reported by the evangelists; for these in Mark are other witnesses, which agreed not with what was sworn before, as he observes, verse 59, “But neither so did their witness agree together.” However, they fix on a notion that was passant among them, of a temple to be built without hands. And sundry things there are in the prophets which led them into an apprehension that God would dwell among men in a temple or tabernacle that should not be made with hands. And all their predictions were accomplished when the eternal Word, by the assumption of our nature, fixed his tabernacle among us, John 1:14.

    This is that which the apostle intimates: Whereas Solomon openly affirms that the habitation of God could not be in the temple that he had built, because it was made with hands, and it is a principle of natural light, that he who made the world and all things contained therein could not dwell in such a temple; and whereas it seems to have belonged unto the faith of the church of old that there should be a temple wherein God would dwell that was to be ajceiropoi>htov; in comparing the human nature of Christ with the old tabernacle, he affirms in the first place that it was not made with hands.

    Respect also is had herein unto the framing of the fabric of the old tabernacle by Bezaleel. For although the pattern of it was shown unto Moses in the mount from heaven, yet the actual framing and erection of it was by the hands of workmen skillful to work in all kinds of earthly materials, Exodus 31:1-6, <023601> 36:1. And although by reason of the wisdom, cunning, and skill which they had received in an extraordinary way, they framed, made, and reared a tabernacle most artificial and beautiful; yet when all was done, it was but the work of men’s hands. But the constitution and production of the human nature of Christ was an immediate effect of the wisdom and power of God himself, Luke 1:35.

    Nothing of human wisdom or contrivance, nothing of the skill or power of man, had the least influence into or concurrence in the provision of this glorious tabernacle, wherein the work of the redemption of the church was effected. The body of Christ, indeed, was “made of a woman,” of the substance of the blessed Virgin; but she was purely passive therein, and concurrent in no efficiency either moral or physical thereunto. It was the contrivance of divine wisdom and the effect of divine power alone. [2.] The apostle’ adds, as a further dissimilitude unto the other tabernacle, “That is, not of this building.” Expositors generally take these words to be merely exegetical of the former: “Not made with hands; that is, not of this building.” To me there seems to be an au]xhsiv in them. ‘It is so not made with hands like unto that tabernacle, as that it is not of the order of any other created thing; not of the same make and constitution with any thing else in the whole creation here below.’ For although the substance of his human nature was of the same kind with ours, yet the production of it in the world was such an act of divine power as excels all other divine operations whatever. Wherefore God speaking of it saith, “TheLORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man,” Jeremiah 31:22; or conceive him without natural generation.

    Kti>siv is the word whereby the creation of all things is constantly expressed in the New Testament; and sometimes it signifies the things that are created. Neither is it ever used, nor kti>zw , whence it is derived, to signify the constitution of the ordinances of the old testament, the tabernacle, the temple, or any thing belonging thereunto. Wherefore tau>thv here doth not limit it unto that constitution, so as that “not of this building” should be, “not made with hands as that tabernacle was.” It is therefore not of the order of created things here below, either such as were immediately created at the beginning, or educed out of them by a creating act of power. For although it was so as unto its substance, yet in its constitution and production it was an effect of the divine power above the whole order of this creation, or things created.

    Obs. VII. God is so far from being obliged unto any means for the effecting of the holy counsels of his will, as that he can when he pleaseth exceed the whole order and course of the first creation of all things, and his providence in the rule thereof.

    VERSE 12.

    From the comparison between the tabernacle of old and that of the high priest of the new covenant, there is a procedure in this verse unto another, between his sacerdotal actings and those of the high priest under the ,law.

    And whereas, in the description of the tabernacle and its especial services, the apostle had insisted in a peculiar manner on the entrance of the high priest every year into the most holy place, —which was the most solemn and most mystical part of the tabernacle service, —in the first place he gives an account of what answered thereunto in the sacerdotal administrations of Christ; and how much on all accounts, both of the sacrifice in the virtue whereof he entered into the most holy place, and of the place itself whereinto he entered, and of the time when, it did in glory and efficacy excel that service of the high priest under the law.

    Ver. 12. — Oujde< di j ai[matov tra>gwn kai< mo>scwn , dia< de< tou~ ijdi>ou ai[matov eijsh~lqen ejfa>pax eijv ta< a[gia , aijwni>an lu>trwsin eujra>menov .

    Dia< de< tou~ ijdi>ou ai[matov . Syr., Hvep]n’D] am;d]B’ , “by the blood of his own soul” or “life.” He made his soul an offering for sin, Isaiah 53:10.

    Blood is the life of the sacrifice. jEfa>pax . Syr., ˆb’z] ad;j\ , “one time;” not many times, not once every year, as they did under the law. Eijv ta< a[gia .

    Syr., . hv;d]q]m’ tybel] , “into the house of the sanctuary;” less properly, for by that expression’ the old tabernacle is intended, but the apostle respects heaven itself. “In sancta,” “sancta sanctorum,’ “sacrarium;” —that which answers unto the most holy place in the tabernacle, where was the throne of God, the ark and mercy-seat. Aijwni>an . Vulg., “aeterna redemptione inventa;”” aeternam redemptionem nactus;” “aeterna redemptione acquisita;” most properly, and according unto the use of the word in all good authors.

    Ver. 12. —Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the [most ] holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

    In this verse there is a direct entrance into the great mystery of the sacerdotal actings of Christ, especially as unto the sacrifice he offered to make atonement tot sin. But the method which the apostle proceedeth in is what he was led unto by the proposal he had made of the types of it under the law; wherefore he begins with the complement or consequent of it, in answer unto that act or duty of the high priest wherein the glory of his office was most conspicuous, which he had newly mentioned.

    And here, because part of our design in the exposition of this whole epistle is to free and vindicate the sense of it from the corrupt glosses which the Socinians, and some that follow them, have cast upon it, I shall on this great head of the sacrifice of Christ particularly insist on the removal of them. And indeed the substance of all that is scattered up and down their writings against the proper sacrifice of Christ, and the true nature of his sacerdotal office, is corn- prised in the comment on this epistle composed by Crellius and Schlichtingius I shall therefore first examine their corrupt wrest-ings of the words and false interpretations of them, before. I proceed unto their exposition.

    They begin, “Nunc etiam opponit sacrificium ipsius Christi, sacrificio pontificis antiqui.” This is the prw~ton yeu~dov, of their interpretation of this and the following verses. If this be not so, all that they afterwards assert, or infer from it, falls of itself. But this is most false. There is not any thing directly either of the sacrifice of Christ or of the high priest, but only what was consequent unto the one and the other; yea, there is that which excludes them from being intended. The entrance of the high priest into the holy place was not his sacrifice. For it supposed his sacrifice to be offered before, in the virtue whereof, and with the memorial of it, he so entered; that is, with “the blood of goats and calves.” For all sacrifices were offered at the brazen altar; and that of the high priest on the day of expiation is expressly declared so to have been, Leviticus 16. And the entrance of Christ into heaven was not his sacrifice, nor the oblation of himself. For he offered himself unto God with strong cries and supplications; but his entrance into heaven was triumphant. So he entered into heaven by virtue of his sacrifice, as we shall see; but his entrance into heaven was not the sacrifice of himself.

    They add in explication hereof: “Pontifex antiquus per sanguinem hircorum et vitulorum ingrediebatur in sancta, Christus vero non per sanguinem tam vilem, seal pretiosissimum; quod alius esse non potuit quam ipsius proprius. Nam sanguis quidem humanus sanguine brutorum, sed sanguis Christi, sanguine caeterorum omnium hominum longe est pretiosior; cum ipse quoque caeteris hominibus omnibus imo omnibus creaturis longe sit praestantior, Deoque charior et proprior, utpote unigenitus eius Filius.” What they say of the “preciousness of the blood of Christ” above that of brute creatures, is true; but they give two reasons for it, which comprise not the true reason of its excellency as unto the ends of his sacrifice: 1. They say, it was “the blood of a man.” 2. That “this man was more dear to God than all other creatures, as his only-begotten Son.” Take these last words in the sense of the Scripture, and the true reason of the preciousness and efficacy of the blood of Christ in his sacrifice is assigned; take them in their sense, and it is excluded. The Scripture by them intends his eternal generation, as the Son of the Father; they, only his nativity of the blessed Virgin, with his exaltation after his resurrection. But the true excellency and efficacy of the blood of Christ in his sacrifice was from his divine person, whereby “God purchased his church with his own blood,” Acts 20:28.

    Nor do I know of what consideration the “preciousness” of the blood of Christ can be with them in this matter; for it belonged not unto his sacrifice, or the oblation of himself, as they pretend. For they would have the offering of himself to consist only in his entrance into heaven, and appearing in the presence of God, when, as they also imagine, he had neither flesh nor blood.

    They proceed unto a speculation about the use and signification of the preposition per, by, or dia> : “Notandum est auctorem, ut ele-gantiae istius comparationis consuleret, usum esse in priori membro voce, ‘per;’ licet pontifex legalis non tantum per sanguinem hircorum et vitulorum, hoc est, fuso prius sanguine istorum animalium, seu interveniente sanguinis eorum fusione, sed etism cum ipsorum sanguine in sancta fuerit ingressus, ver. 7. Verum quia in Christi sacrificio similitudo eousque extendi non potuit, cum Christus non alienum sed suum sanguinem fuderit, nec sanguinem suum post mortem, sed seipsum, et quidem jam immortalem, depositis carnis et sanguinis exuviis, quippe quae regnum Dei possidere nequeant, in coelesti illo tabernaculo obtulerit; proindeque non cum sanguine, sed tantum fuso prius sanguine, seu interveniente sanguinis sui fusione in sancta fuerit ingressus; idcirco auctor minus de legali pontifice dixit quam res erat; vel potius ambiguitate particulae, ‘per,’ quae etiam idem quod ‘cum,’ in sacris literis significare solet, comparationis concinnitati consulere voluit.”

    The design of this whole discourse is to overthrow the nature of the sacrifice of Christ, and to destroy all the real similitude between it and the sacrifice of the high priest; the whole of its sophistry being animated by a fancied signification of the preposition “per,” or falsely-pretended reason of the use of it by the apostle. For, 1. The high priest did indeed carry of the blood of the sacrifice into the holy place, and so may be said to enter into it with blood; as it is said he did it “not without blood,” verse 7: yet is it not that which the apostle hath here respect unto; but it is the sacrifice at the altar, where the blood of it was shed and offered, which he intends, as we shall see immediately. 2. There is therefore nothing less ascribed unto the high priest herein than belonged unto him; for all that is intended is, that he entered into the holy place by virtue of the blood of goats and calves which was offered at the altar. Less than his due is not ascribed unto him, to make the comparison fit and meet, as is boldly pretended. Yea, 3. The nature of the comparison used by the apostle is destroyed by this artifice; especially if it be considered as a mere comparison, and not as the relation that was between the type and the antitype; for that is the nature of the comparison that the apostle makes between the entrance of the high priest into the holy place and the entrance of Christ into heaven. That there may be such a comparison, that there may be such a relation between these things, it is needful that they should really agree in that wherein they are compared, and not by force or artifice be fitted to make some kind of resemblance the one of the other. For it is to no purpose to compare things together which disagree in all things; much less can such things be the types one of another. Wherefore the apostle declares and allows a treble dissimilitude in the comparates, or between the type and the antitype: for Christ entered by his own blood, the high priest by the blood of goats and calves; Christ only once, the high priest every year; Christ into heaven, the high priest into the tabernacle made with hands. But in other things he confirms a similitude between them; namely, in the entrance of the high priest into the holy place by the blood of his sacrifice, or with it. But by these men this is taken away, and so no ground of any comparison left; — only the apostle makes use of an ambiguous word, to frame an appearance of some similitude in the things compared, whereas indeed there is none at all! For unto these ends he says, “by the blood,” whereas he ought to have said, “with the blood.” But if he had said so, there would have been no appearance of any similitude between the things compared. For they allow not Christ to enter into the holy place by or with his own blood in any sense; not by virtue of it as offered in sacrifice for us, nor to make application of it unto us in the fruits of his oblation for us. And what similitude is there between the high priest entering into the holy place by the blood of the sacrifice that he had offered, and the Lord Christ entering into heaven without his own blood, or any respect unto the virtue of it as offered in sacrifice? 4. This notion of the sacrifice or oblation of Christ to consist only in his appearance in heaven without flesh or blood, as they speak, overthrows all the relation of types or representations between it and the sacrifices of old. Nay, on that supposition, they were suited rather to deceive the church than instruct it in the nature of the great expiatory sacrifice that was to be made by Christ. For the universal testimony of them all was, that atonement and expiation of sin was to be made by blood, and no otherwise; but according unto these men, Christ offered not himself unto God for the expiation of our sins until he had neither flesh nor blood. 5. They say, it is true, he offered himself in heaven, “fuse prius sanguine.”

    But it is an order of time, and not of causality, which they intend. His blood was shed before, but therein, they say, was no part of his offering or sacrifice. But herein they expressly contradict the Scripture and themselves. It is by the offering of Christ that our sins are expiated, and redemption obtained. This the Scripture doth so expressly declare as that they cannot directly deny it. But these things are constantly ascribed unto the blood of Christ, and the shedding of it; and yet they would have it that Christ offered himself then only, when he had neither flesh nor blood.

    They increase this confusion in their ensuing discourse: “Aliter enim ex parte Christi res sese habuit, quam in illo antique.

    In antique illo, ut in aliis quae pro peccato lege divina constituta erant, non offerebatur ipsum animal mactatum, hoc est, nec in odorem suavitatis, ut Scriptura loquitur, adolebatur, sod renes ejus et adeps tantum; nec inferebatur in sancta, sed illius sanguis tantum. In Christi autem sacrificio, non sanguis ipsius quem mactatus effudit, sod ipse offerri, et in illa sancta coelestia ingredi debuit. Idcirco infra ver. 14, dicitur, seipsum, non vero sanguinem suum Deo obtulisse; licet alias comparatio cum sacrificiis expiatoriis postulare videretur, ut hoc posterius potius doceretur.” 1. Here they fully declare, that, according to their notion, there was indeed no manner of similitude between the things compared, but that, as to what they are compared in, they were opposite, and had no agreement at all.

    The ground of the comparison in the apostle is, that they were both by blood, and this alone. For herein he allows a dissimilitude, in that Christ’s was “by his own blood,” that of the high priest “by the blood of goats and calves.” But according unto the sense of these men, herein consists the difference between them, that the one was with blood, and the other without it; which is expressly contradictory to the apostle. 2. What they observe of the sacrifices of old, that not the bodies of them, but only the kidneys and fat were burned, and the blood only carried into the holy place, is neither true nor any thing to their purpose. For, (1.) The whole bodies of the expiatory sacrifices were burnt and consumed with fire; and this was done without the camp, Leviticus 16:27, to signify the suffering of Christ, and therein the offering of his body without the city, as the apostle observes, Hebrews 13:11, (2.) They allow of no use of the blood in sacrifices, but only as to the carrying of it into the holy place: which is expressly contradictory unto the main end of the institution of expiatory sacrifices; for it was that by their blood atonement should he made on the altar, Leviticus 17:11.

    Wherefore there is no relation of type and antitype, no similitude for a ground of comparison between the sacrifice of Christ and that of the high priest, if it was not made by his blood. (3.) Their observation, that in verse 14 the Lord Christ is said to offer himself, and not to offer his blood, is of no value. For in the offering of his blood Christ offered himself, or he offered himself by the offering of his blood; his person giving the efficacy of a sacrifice unto what he offered.

    And this is undeniably asserted in that very verse. For the “purging of our consciences from dead works,” is the expiation of sin; but Christ, even according to the Socinians, procured the expiation of sin by the offering of himself; yet is this here expressly assigned unto his blood, “How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from dead works?”

    Wherefore in the offering of himself he offered his blood.

    They add, as the exposition of these words, “He entered into the holiest;” — “Ingressus in sancta, necessario ad sacrificium istud requiritur. Nec ante oblatio, in qua sacrificii ratio potissimum consistit, peragi potuit, cum ea in sanctis ipsis fieri debuerit. Hinc manifestum est pontificis nostri oblationem et sacrificium non in truce, sed in coelis peractam esse, et adhuc peragi.” Ans. 1. What they say at first is true; but what they intend and infer from thence is false. It is true that the entrance into the holy place, and carrying of the blood in thither, did belong unto the anniversary sacrifice intended; for God had prescribed that order unto its consummation and complement.

    But that the sacrifice or oblation did consist therein is false; for it is directly affirmed that both the bullock and goat for the sin-offering were offered before it, at the altar, Leviticus 16:6,9. 2. It doth not therefore hence follow, as is pretended, that the Lord Christ offered not himself a sacrifice unto God on the earth, but did so in heaven only; but the direct contrary doth follow. For the blood of the sin-offering was offered on the altar, before it was carried into the holy place; which was the type of Christ’s entrance into heaven. 3. What they say, that the sacrifice of Christ was performed or offered in heaven, and is yet so offered, utterly overthrows the whole nature of his sacrifice. For the apostle everywhere represents that to consist absolutely in one offering, once offered, not repeated or continued. Herein lies the foundation of all his arguments for its excellency and efficacy. Hereof the making of it to be nothing but a continued act of power in heaven, as is done by them, is utterly destructive.

    What they add in the same place about the nature of redemption, will be removed in the consideration of it immediately. In the close of the whole they affirm, that the obtaining of everlasting salvation by Christ was not an act antecedent unto his entering into heaven, as the word seems to import, —eujra>menov , “having obtained;” but it was done by his entrance itself into that holy place; whence they would rather read the word eujra>menov in the present tense, “obtaining.” But whereas our redemption is everywhere constantly in the Scripture assigned unto the blood of Christ, and that alone, — Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Revelation 5:9, “Hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood,” —it is too great a confidence, to confine this work unto his entrance into heaven, without any offering of his blood, and when he had no blood to offer. And in this place, the “redemption obtained” is the same upon the matter with the “purging of our consciences from dead works,” verse 14, which is ascribed directly unto his blood.

    These glosses being removed, I shall proceed unto the exposition of the words.

    The apostle hath a double design in this verse and those two that follow: 1. To declare the dignity of the person of Christ in the discharge of his priestly office above the high priest of old. And this he doth, (1.) From the excellency of his sacrifice, which was his own blood; (2.) The holy place whereinto he entered by virtue of it, which was heaven itself; and, (3.) The effect of it, in that by it be procured eternal redemption: which he doth in this verse. 2.

    To prefer the efficacy of this sacrifice of Christ for the purging of sin, or the purification of sinners, above all the sacrifices and ordinances of the law, verses 13, 14.

    In this verse, with respect unto the end mentioned, the entrance of Christ into the holy place, in answer unto that of the legal high priest, described verse 7, is declared. And it is so, 1. As unto the way or means of it; 2. As unto its season 3. As unto its effect: in all which respects Christ was manifested in and by it to be fax more excellent than the legal high priest. 1. The manner and way of it is expressed, (1.) Negatively; it was “not by the blood of goats and calves.” (2.) Positively; it was “by his own blood.” 2. For the time of it, it was “once,” and but once. 3. The effect of that blood of his, as offered in sacrifice, was, that he “obtained” thereby “eternal redemption.”

    The thing asserted is the entrance of Christ, the high priest, into the holy place. That he should do so was necessary, both to answer the type and for the rendering his sacrifice effectual in the application of the benefits of it unto the church, as it is afterwards declared at large. And I shall open the words, not in the order wherein they lie in the text, but in the natural order of the things themselves. And we must show, 1. What is the holy place whereinto Christ entered. 2. What was that entrance. 3. How he did it once; whereon will follow, 4. The consideration of the means whereby he did it, 5. With the effect of that means: — 1. For the place whereinto he entered, it is said he did so eijv ta< a[gia, — ”into the holies.” It is the same word whereby he expresseth the “sanctuary,” the second part of the tabernacle, whereinto the high priest entered once a-year. But in the application of it unto Christ, the signification of it is changed. He had nothing to do with, he had no right to enter into that holy place, as the apostle affirms, Hebrews 8:4. That, therefore, he intends which was signified thereby; that is, heaven itself, as he explains it in Hebrews 9:24. The heaven of heavens, the place of the glorious residence of the presence or majesty of God, is that whereinto he entered. 2. His entrance itself into this place is asserted: “He entered.” This entrance of Christ into heaven upon his ascension may be considered two ways: (1.) As it was regal, glorious and triumphant; so it belonged properly unto his kingly office, as that wherein he triumphed over all the enemies of the church. See it described, Ephesians 4:8-10, from Psalm 68:18. Satan, the world, death, and hell, being conquered, and all power committed unto him, he entered triumphantly into heaven. So it was regal (2.) As it was sacerdotal. Peace and reconciliation being made by the blood of the cross, the covenant being confirmed, eternal redemption obtained, he entered as our high priest into the holy place, the temple of God above, to make his sacrifice effectual unto the church, and to apply the benefits of it thereunto. 3. This he did “once” only, “once for all.” In the foregoing description of the service of the high priest, he shows how he went into the holy place “once every year;” that is, on one day, wherein he went to offer. And the repetition of this service every year proved its imperfection, seeing it could never accomplish perfectly that whereunto it was designed, as he argues in the next chapter. In opposition hereunto, our high priest entered once only into the holy place; a full demonstration that his one sacrifice had fully expiated the sins of the church. 4. Of this entrance of Christ it is said, — (1.) Negatively, that he did not do it “by the blood of goats and calves.”

    And this is introduced with the disjunctive negative, oujde> , “neither;” which refers unto what was before denied of him, as unto his entrance into the tabernacle made with hands. ‘He did not do so, neither did he make his entrance by the blood of goats and calves’ A difference from and opposition unto the entrance of the high priest annually into the holy place is intended. It must therefore be considered how he so entered.

    This entrance is at large described, Leviticus 16:And, [1.] It was by the blood of a bullock and a goat, which the apostle here renders in the plural number, “goats and calves,” because of the annual repetition of the same sacrifice. [2.] The order of the institution was, that first the bullock or calf was offered, then the goat; the one for the priest, the other for the people. This order belonging not at all unto the purpose of the apostle, he expresseth it otherwise, “goats and calves.”

    Tra>gov is a “goat;” a word that expresseth “totum genus ca-prinum,” — that whole kind of creature, be it young or old. So the goats of his offering were yrey[ic] , “kids,” verse 5; that is, young he-goats, for the precise time of their age is not determined. So the bullock the priest offered for himself was rp’ , “juvencus ex genere bovino;” which is mo>scov , for it expresseth “genus vitulinum,” all young cattle.

    Concerning these it is intimated, in this negative as unto Christ, that the high priest entered into the holy place di j ai[matov , “by their blood;” which we must inquire into.

    Two things belonged unto the office of the high priest, with respect unto this blood. For, [1.] He was to offer the blood both of the bullock and the goat at the altar for a sin-offering, Leviticus 16:9,11. For it was the blood wherewith alone atonement was to be made for sin, and that at the altar, Leviticus 17:11; so far is it from truth that expiation for sin was made only in the holy place, and that it is so by Christ without blood, as the Socinians imagine. [2.] He was to carry some of the blood of the sacrifice into the sanctuary, to sprinkle it there, to make atonement for the holy place, in the sense before declared. And the inquiry is, which of these the apostle hath respect unto.

    Some say it is the latter; and that dua> here is put for su>n, — ”by” for “with.” He entered with the blood of goats and calves; namely, that which he carried with him into the holy place. So plead the Socinians and those that follow them, with design to overthrow the sacrifice which Christ offered in his death and bloodshedding, confining the whole expiation of sin, in their sense of it, unto what is done in heaven. But I have before disproved this surmise. And the apostle is so far from using the particle dia> improperly for suframe a comparison between things wherein indeed there was no similitude, as they dream, that he useth it on purpose to exclude the sense which suhigh priest entered into the holy place, for he entered with incense as well as with blood; but what it was by virtue whereof he so entered as to be accepted with God. So it is expressly directed, Leviticus 16:2,3, “Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place.... With a young bullock for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering, shall he come.”

    Aaron was not to bring the bullock into the holy place, but he had right to enter into it by the sacrifice of it at the altar. Thus, therefore, the high priest entered into the holy place by the blood of goats and calves; namely, by virtue of the sacrifice of their blood which he had offered without at the altar. And so all things do exactly correspond between the type and the antitype. For, — (2.) It is affirmed positively of him that “he entered by his own blood,” and that in opposition unto the other way; dia< de< tou~ ijdi>ou ai[matov (de> for ajlla>), — ”but by his own blood.”

    It is a vain speculation, contrary to the analogy of faith, and destructive or the true nature of the oblation of Christ, and inconsistent with the dignity of his person, that he should carry with him into heaven a part of that material blood which was shed for us on the earth. This some have invented, to maintain a comparison in that wherein is none intended. The design of the apostle is only to declare by virtue of what he entered as a priest into the holy place. And this was by virtue of his own blood when it was shed, when he offered himself unto God. This was that which laid the foundation of, and gave him right unto the administration of his priestly office in heaven. And hereby were all those good things procured which he effectually communicates unto us in and by that administration.

    This exposition is the center of all gospel mysteries, the object of the admiration of angels and men unto all eternity. What heart can conceive, what tongue can express, the wisdom, grace, and love, that are contained therein? This alone is the stable foundation of faith in our access unto God. Two things present themselves unto us: — [1.] The unspeakable love of Christ in offering himself and his own blood for us. See Galatians 2:20; Revelation 1:5; 1 John 3:16; Ephesians 5:25-27. There being no other way whereby our sins might be purged and expiated, Hebrews 10:5-7, out of his infinite love and grace he condescended unto this way, whereby God might be glorified, and his church sanctified and saved. It were well if we did always consider aright what love, what thankfulness, what obedience, are due unto him on the account hereof. [2.] The excellency and efficacy of his sacrifice is hereby demonstrated, that through him our faith and hope may be in God. He who offered this sacrifice was “the only-begotten of the Father,” the eternal Son of God.

    That which he offered was “his own blood.” “God purchased his church with his own blood,” Acts 20:28. How unquestionable, how perfect must the atonement be that was thus made! how glorious the redemption that was procured thereby 5. This is that which the apostle mentions in the close of this verse as the effect of his blood-shedding, “Having obtained eternal redemption.” The word eujra>menov is variously rendered, as we have seen. The Vulgar Latin reads, “redemptione aeterna inventa.” And those that follow it do say that things rare, and so sought after, are said to be found. And Chrysostom inclines unto that notion of the word. But eujri>skw is used in all good authors, for not only “to find,” but “to obtain” by our endeavors. So do we render it, and so we ought to do, Romans 4:1; Hebrews 4:16. He obtained effectually eternal redemption by the price of his blood. And it is mentioned in a tense denoting the time past, to signify that he had thus obtained eternal redemption before he entered into the holy place. How he obtained it we shall see in the consideration of the nature of the thing itself that was obtained.

    Three things must be inquired into, with what brevity we can, for the explication of these words: (1.) What is “redemption;” (2.) Why is this redemption called “eternal; (3.) How Christ” obtained” it. (1.) All redemption respects a state of bondage and captivity, with all the events that do attend it. The object of it, or those to be redeemed, are only persons in that estate. There is mention, verse 15, of “the redemption of transgressions,” but it is by a metonymy of the cause for the effect. It is transgression which cast men into that state from whence they are to be redeemed. But both in the Scripture and in the common notion of the word, “redemption” is the deliverance of persons from a state of bondage.

    And this may be done two ways: [1.] By power; [2.] By payment of a price.

    That which is in the former way is only improperly and metaphorically so called. For it is in its own nature a bare deliverance, and is termed “redemption” only with respect to the state of captivity from whence it is a deliverance. It is a vindication into liberty by any means. So the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, though wrought merely by acts of power, is called their redemption. And Moses, from his ministry in that work, is called lutrwth>v , a “redeemer,” Acts 7:35. But this redemption is only metaphorically so called, with respect unto the state of bondage wherein the people were. That which is properly so is by a price paid, as a valuable consideration. Lu>tron is a “ransom,” a price of redemption.

    Thence are lu>trwsiv , ajpolu>trwsiv , lutrwth>v, “redemption” and a “redeemer.” So the redemption that is by Christ is everywhere said to be a “price,” a “ransom.” See Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Corinthians 6:20; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 Peter 1:18,19. It is the deliverance of persons out of a state of captivity and bondage, by the payment of a valuable price or ransom. And the Socinians offer violence not only to the Scripture, but to common sense itself, when they contend that the redemption which is constantly affirmed to be by a price is metaphorical, and that only proper which is by power.

    The price or ransom in this redemption is two ways expressed: [1.] By that which gave it its worth and value, that it might be a sufficient ransom for all; [2.] By its especial nature.

    The first is the person of Christ himself: “He gave himself for us,” Galatians 2:20; “He gave himself a ransom for all,” 1 Timothy 2:6; “He offered himself to God,” Hebrews 9:14; Ephesians 5:2. This was that which made the ransom of an infinite value, meet to redeem the whole church. “God purchased the church with his own blood,” Acts 20:28.

    The especial nature of it is, that it was by blood, “by his own blood.” See Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18,19. And this blood of Christ was a ransom, or price of redemption, partly from the invaluableness of that obedience which he yielded unto God in the shedding of it; and partly because this ransom was also to be an atonement, as it was offered unto God in sacrifice. For it is by blood, and no otherwise, that atonement is made, Leviticus 17:11. Wherefore he is “set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,” Romans 3:24,25.

    That the Lord Jesus Christ did give himself a ransom for sin; that he did it in the shedding of his blood for us, wherein he made his soul an offering for sin; that herein and hereby he made atonement, and expiated our sins; and that all these things belong unto our redemption, is the substance of the gospel. That this redemption is nothing but the expiation of sin, and that expiation of sin nothing but an act of power and authority in Christ now in heaven, as the Socinians dream, is to reject the whole gospel Though the nature of this redemption be usually spoken unto, yet we must not here wholly put it by. And the nature of it will appear in the consideration of the state from whence we are redeemed, with the causes of it: [1.] The meritorious cause of it was sin, or our original apostasy from God. Hereby we lost our primitive liberty, with all the rights and privileges thereunto belonging. [2.] The supreme efficient cause is God himself. As the ruler and judge of all, he cast all apostates into a state of captivity and bondage; for liberty is nothing but peace with him. But he did it with this difference: sinning angels he designed to leave irrecoverably under this condition; for mankind he would find a ransom. [3.] The instrumental cause of it was the curse of the law. This falling on men brings them into a state of bondage. For it separates as to all relation of love and peace between God and them, and gives life unto all the actings of sin and death; wherein the misery of that state consists. To be separate from God, to be under the power of sin and death, is to be in bondage. [4.] The external cause, by the application of all other causes unto the souls and consciences of men, is Satan. His was the power of darkness, his the power of death over men in that state and condition; that is, to make application of the terror of it unto their souls, as threatened in the curse, Hebrews 2:14,15. Hence he appears as the head of this state of bondage, and men are in captivity unto him. He is not so in himself, but as the external application of the causes of bondage is committed unto him.

    From hence it is evident that four things are required unto that redemption which is a deliverance by price or ransom from this state. For, [1.] It must be by such a ransom as whereby the guilt of sin is expiated; which was the meritorious cause of our captivity. Hence it is called “the redemption of transgressions,” verse 15; that is, of persons from that state and condition whereinto they were cast by sin or transgression. [2.] Such as wherewith in respect of God atonement must be made, and satisfaction unto his justice, as the supreme ruler and judge of all. [3.] Such as whereby the curse of the law might be removed; which could not be without undergoing of it. [4.] Such as whereby the power of Satan might be destroyed. How all this was done by the blood of Christ, I have at large declared elsewhere. (2.) This redemption is said to be “eternal.” And it is so on many accounts: [1.] Of the subject-matter of it, which are things eternal; none of them are carnal or temporal. The state of bondage from which we are delivered by it in all its causes was spiritual, not temporal; and the effects of it, in liberty, grace, and glory, are eternal. [2.] Of its duration. It was not for a season, like that of the people out of Egypt, or the deliverances which they had afterwards under the judges, and on other occasions. They endured in their effects only for a season, and afterwards new troubles of the same kind overtook them. But this was eternal in all the effects of it; none that are partakers of it do ever return into a state of bondage. So, [3.] It endures in those effects unto all eternity in heaven itself. (3.) This redemption Christ obtained by “his blood.” Having done all in the sacrifice of himself that was, in the justice, holiness, and wisdom of God, required thereunto, it was wholly in his power to confer all the benefits and effects of it on the church, on them that do believe. And sundry things we may observe from this verse.

    Obs. I. The entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ as our high priest into heaven, to appear in the presence of God for us, and to save us thereby unto the uttermost, was a thing so great and glorious as could not be accomplished but by his own blood. — No other sacrifice was sufficient unto this end: “Not by the blood of bulls and goats.” The reason hereof the apostle declares at large, Hebrews 10:4-10. Men seldom rise in their thoughts unto the greatness of this mystery; yea, with the most, this “blood of the covenant,” wherewith he was sanctified unto the remainder of his work, is a common thing. The rain of Christian religion lies in the slight thoughts of men about the blood of Christ; and pernicious errors do abound in opposition unto the true nature of the sacrifice which he made thereby. Even the faith of the best is weak and imperfect as to the comprehension of the glory of it. Our relief is, that the uninterrupted contemplation of it will be a part of our blessedness unto eternity. But yet whilst we are here, we can neither understand how great is the salvation which is tendered unto us thereby, nor be thankful for it, without a due consideration of the way whereby the Lord Christ entered into the holy place. And he will be the most humble and most fruitful Christian whose faith is most exercised, most conversant about it.

    Obs. II. Whatever difficulties lay in the way of Christ, as unto the accomplishment and perfection of the work of our redemption, he would not decline them, nor desist from his undertaking, whatever it cost him. — “Sacrifice and burnt-offering thou wouldest not have; then said I, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” He made his way into the holy place by his own blood. What was required of him for us, that we might be saved, he would not decline, though never so great and dreadful; and surely we ought not to decline what he requires of us, that he may be honored.

    Obs. III. There was a holy place meet to receive the Lord Christ after the sacrifice of himself, and a suitable reception for such a person, after so glorious a performance. — It was a place of great glory and beauty whereinto the high priest of old entered by the blood of calves and goats; the visible pledges of the presence of God were in it, whereunto no other person might approach. But our high priest was not to enter into any holy place made with hands, unto outward, visible pledges of the presence of God, but into the heaven of heavens, the place of the glorious residence of the majesty of God itself.

    Obs. IV. If the Lord Christ entered not into the holy place until he had finished his work, we may not expect an entrance thereinto until we have finished ours. —He fainted not, nor waxed weary, until all was finished; and it is our duty to arm ourselves with the same mind.

    Obs.V. It must be a glorious effect which had so glorious a cause; and so it was, even “eternal redemption.”

    Obs. VI. The nature of our redemption, the way of its procurement, with the duties required of us with respect thereunto, are greatly to be considered by us.

    VERSES 13, 14.

    There is in these verses an argument and comparison. But the comparison is such, as that the ground of it is laid in the relation of the comparates the one unto the other; namely, that the one was the type and the other the antitype, otherwise the argument will not hold. For although it follows, that he who can do the greater can do the less, whereon an argument will hold “a majori ad minus;” yet it doth not absolutely do so, that if that which is less can do that which is less, then that which is greater can do that which is greater; which would be the force of the argument if there were nothing but a naked comparison in it: but it necessarily follows hereon, if that which is less, in that less thing which it doth or did, was therein a type of that which was greater, in that greater thing which it was to effect. And this was the case in the thing here proposed by the apostle.

    The words are, — Ver. 13, 14. — Eij garwn kai< pra>gwn , kai< spodolewv rJanti>zousa tounouv , aJgia>zei prothata? po>sw| ma~llon to< ai=ma tou~ Cristou~ , o[v dia< Pneu>matov aijwni>ou eJautonegken a]mwmon tw~| Qew~| , kaqariei~ thdhsin hJmw~n (uJmw~n ) ajpo< nekrw~n e]rgwn , eijv to< latreu>ein Qew~| zw~nti .

    The words have no difficulty in them as to their grammatical sense; nor is there any considerable variation in the rendering of them in the old translations. Only the Syriac retains aleg][,d] , that is, mo>scwn, from ver. 12, instead of tauJrwn , here used. And both that and the Vulgar place tra>gwn here before tau>rwn , as in the foregoing verse, contrary unto all copies of the original, as to the order of the words.

    For Pneu>matov aijwni>ou the Vulgar reads Pneu>matov aJgi>ou , “per Spiritum sanctum.” The Syriac follows the original, µl’[;l]D’ aj;WrB]D’ , “by the eternal Spirit.”

    Thdhsin hJmw~n . The original copies vary, some reading hJmw~n , “our,” but most uJmw~n , “your;” which our translators follow. f19 Ver. 13, 14. —For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth unto the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God!”

    The words are argumentative, in the form of a hypothetical syllogism; wherein the assumption of the proposition is supposed, as proved before.

    That which is to be confirmed is what was asserted in the words foregoing; namely, “That the Lord Jesus Christ by his blood hath obtained for us eternal redemption.” This the causal redditive conjunction; “for,” doth manifest; whereunto the note of a supposition, “if,” is premised as a note of a hypothetical argumentation.

    There are two parts of this confirmation: 1. A most full declaration of the way and means whereby he obtained that redemption; it was by the “offering himself through the eternal Spirit without spot unto God.” 2. By comparing this way of it with the typical sacrifices and ordinances of God. For arguing “ad homines,” — that is, unto the satisfaction and conviction of the Hebrews, — the apostle makes use of their concessions to confirm his own assertions. And his argument consists of two parts: 1. A concession of their efficacy unto their proper end. 2. An inference from thence unto the greater and more noble efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ, taken partly from the relation of type and antitype that was between them, but principally from the different nature of the things themselves.

    To make evident the force of his argument in general, we must observe, 1. That what he had proved before he takes here for granted, on the one side and the other. And this was, that all the Levitical services and ordinances were in themselves carnal, and had carnal ends assigned unto them, and had only an obscure representation of things spiritual and eternal; and on the other side, that the tabernacle, office, and sacrifice of Christ were spiritual, and had their effects in eternal things, 2. That those other carnal, earthly things were types and resemblances, in God’s appointment of them, of those which are spiritual and eternal.

    From these suppositions the argument is firm and stable; and there are two parts of it: 1. That as the ordinances of old, being carnal, had an efficacy unto their proper end, to purify the unclean as to the flesh; so the sacrifice of Christ hath a certain efficacy unto its proper end, namely, the “purging of our conscience from dead works.” The force of this inference depends on the relation that was between them in the appointment of God. 2. That there was a greater efficacy, and that which gave a greater evidence of itself, in the sacrifice of Christ, with respect unto its proper end, than there was in those sacrifices and ordinances, with respect unto their proper end: “How much more! And the reason hereof is, because all their efficacy depended on a mere arbitrary institution. In themselves, that is, in their own nature, they had neither worth, value, nor efficacy, — no, not even as unto those ends whereunto they were by divine institution designed: but in the sacrifice of Christ, who is therefore here said to “offer himself unto God through the eternal Spirit,” there is an innate glorious worth and efficacy, which, suitably unto the rules of eternal reason-and righteousness, will accomplish and procure its effects, Ver. 13. —There are two things in this verse, which are the ground from whence the apostle argueth and maketh his inference in that which follows: 1. A proposition of the sacrifices and services of the law which he had respect unto. 2. An assignation of a certain efficacy unto them.

    The sacrifices of the law he refers unto two heads: 1. “The blood of bulls and of goats.” 2. “The ashes of an heifer.”

    And the distinction is, 1. From the matter of them; 2. The manner of their performance. For the manner of their performance, the blood of bulls and goats was “offered,” which is supposed and included; —the ashes of the heifer were “sprinkled,” as it is expressed. 1. The matter of the first is “the blood of bulls and of goats.” The same, say some, with the “goats and calves” mentioned in the verse foregoing. So generally do the expositors of the Roman church; and that because their translation reads “hircorum et vitulorum,” contrary unto the original text.

    And some instances they give of the same signification of mo>scwn and tau>rwn . But the apostle had just reason for the alteration of his expression. For in the foregoing verse he had respect only unto the anniversary sacrifice of the high priest, but here he enlargeth the subject unto the consideration of all other expiatory sacrifices under the law; for he joins unto the “blood of bulls and of goats” the “ashes of an heifer,” which were of no use, in the anniversary sacrifice. Wherefore he designed in these words summarily to express all sacrifices of expiation and all ordinances of purification that were appointed under the law. And therefore the words in the close of the verse, expressing the end and effect of these ordinances, “sanctifieth the unclean unto the purifying of the flesh,” are not to be restrained unto them immediately foregoing, “the ashes of an heifer sprinkled;” but an equal respect is to be had unto the other sort, or “the blood of bulls and of goats.”

    The Socinian expositor, in his entrance into that wresting of this text wherein he labors in a peculiar manner, denies that the water of sprinkling is here to be considered as typical of Christ, and that because it is the anniversary sacrifice alone which is intended, wherein it was of no use. Yet he adds immediately, that in itself it was a type of Christ; so wresting the truth against his own convictions, to force his design. But the conclusion is strong on the other hand; because it was a type of Christ, and is so here considered, whereas it was not used in the great anniversary sacrifice, it is not that sacrifice alone which the apostle hath respect unto.

    Wherefore by “bulls and goats,” by a usual synecdoche, all the several kinds of clean beasts, whose blood was given unto the people to make atonement withal, are intended. So is the matter of all sacrifices expressed, Psalm 50:13, “Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?”

    Sheep are contained under goats, being all beasts of the flock.

    And it is the “blood” of these bulls and goats which is proposed as the first way or means of the expiation of sin, and purification under the law.

    For it was by their blood, and that as offered at the altar, that atonement was made, Leviticus 17:11. Purification was also made thereby, even by the sprinkling of it. 2. The second thing mentioned unto the same end, is “the ashes of an heifer,” and the use of them; which was by “sprinkling.” The institution, use, and end of this ordinance, are described at large, Numbers 19. And an eminent type of Christ there was therein, both as unto his suffering and the continual efficacy of the cleansing virtue of his blood in the church. It would too much divert us from the present argument, to consider all the particulars wherein there was a representation of the sacrifice of Christ and the purging virtue of it in this ordinance; yet the mention of some of them is of use unto the explication of the apostle’s general design: as, — (1.) It was to be a red heifer, and that without spot or blemish, whereon no yoke had come, verse 2. Red is the color of guilt, Isaiah 1:18, yet was there no spot or blemish in the heifer: so was the guilt of sin upon Christ, who in himself was absolutely pure and holy. No yoke had been on her; nor was there any constraint on Christ, but he offered himself willingly, through the eternal Spirit. (2.) She was to be led forth without the camp, verse 3; which the apostle alludes unto, Hebrews 13:11, representing Christ going out of the city unto his suffering and oblation. (3.) One did slay her before the face of the priest, and not the priest himself: so the hands of others, Jews and Gentiles, were used in the slaying of our sacrifice. (4.) The blood of the heifer being slain, was sprinkled by the priest seven times directly before the tabernacle of the congregation, verse 4: so is the whole church purified by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ. (5.) The whole heifer was to be burned in the sight of the priest, verse 5: so was whole Christ, soul and body, offered up to God in the fire of love, kindled in him by the eternal Spirit. (6.) Cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet, were to be cast into the midst of the burning of the heifer, verse 6; which were all used by God’s institution in the purification of the unclean, or the sanctification and dedication of any thing unto sacred use, to teach us that all spiritual virtue unto these ends, really and eternally, was contained in the one offering of Christ. (7.) Both the priest who sprinkled the blood, the men that slew the heifer, and he that burned her, and he that gathered her ashes, were all unclean, until they were washed, verses 7-10: so when Christ was made a sinoffering, all the legal uncleannesses, that is, the guilt of the church, were on him, and he took them away.

    But it is the use of this ordinance which is principally intended. The ashes of this heifer, being burned, were preserved, that, being mixed with pure water, they might be sprinkled on persons who on any occasion were legally unclean. Whoever was so, was excluded from all the solemn worship of the church. Wherefore, without this ordinance, the worship of God and the holy state of the church could not have been continued. For the means, causes, and ways of legal defilements among them, were very many, and some of them unavoidable. In particular, every tent and house, and all persons in [hem, were defiled, if any one died among them; which could not but continually fall out in their families. Hereon they were excluded from the tabernacle and congregation, and all duties of the solemn worship of God, until they were purified. Had not therefore these ashes, which were to be mingled with living water, been always preserved and in a readiness, the whole worship of God must quickly have ceased amongst them. It is so in the church of Christ. The spiritual defilements which befall believers are many, and some of them unavoidable unto them whilst they are in this world; yea, their duties, the best of them, have defilements adhering unto them. Were it not that the blood of Christ, in its purifying virtue, is in a continual readiness unto faith, that God therein hath opened a fountain for sin and uncleanness, the worship of the church would not be acceptable unto him. In a constant application thereunto doth the exercise of faith much consist. 3. The nature and use of this ordinance are further described by its object, “the unclean,” kekoinwme>nouv that is, those that were made common.

    All those who had a liberty of approach unto God in his solemn worship were so far sanctified; that is, separated and dedicated. And such as were deprived of this privilege were made common, and so unclean.

    The unclean especially intended in this institution were those who were defiled by the dead. Every one that by any means touched a dead body, whether dying naturally or slain, whether in the house or field, or did bear it, or assist in the bearing of it, or were in the tent or house where it was, were all defiled; no such person was to come into the congregation, or near the tabernacle. But it is certain that many offices about the dead are works of humanity and mercy, which morally defile not. Wherefore there was a peculiar reason of the constitution of this defilement, and this severe interdiction of them that were so defiled from divine worship. And this was to represent unto the people the curse of the law, whereof death was the great visible effect. The present Jews have this notion, that defilement by the dead arises from the poison that is dropped into them that die by the angel of death; whereof see our exposition on Hebrews 2:14. The meaning of it is, that death came in by sin, from the poisonous temptation of the old serpent, and befell men by the curse which took hold of them thereon. But they have lost the understanding of their own tradition. This belonged unto the bondage under which it was the will of God to keep that people, that they should dread death as an effect of the curse of the law, and the fruit of sin; which is taken away in Christ, Hebrews 2:14; Corinthians 15:56, 57. And these works, which were unto them so full of defilement, are now unto us accepted duties of piety and mercy.

    These and many others were excluded from an interest in the solemn worship of God, upon ceremonial defilements. And some vehemently contend that none were so excluded for moral defilements; and it may be it is true, for the matter is dubious. But that it should thence follow that none under the gospel should be so excluded, for moral and spiritual evils, is a fond imagination; yea, the argument is firm, that if God did so severely shut out from a participation in his solemn worship all those who were legally or ceremonially defiled, much more is it his will that those who live in spiritual or moral defilements should not approach unto him by the holy ordinances of the gospel. 4. The manner of the application of this purifying water was by sprinkling, being sprinkled; or rather, transitively, “sprinkling the unclean.” Not only the act, but the efficacy of it is intended. The manner of it is declared, Numbers 19:17,18. The ashes were kept by themselves. When use was to be made of them, they were to be mingled with clean living water, water from the spring. The virtue was from the ashes, as they were the ashes of the heifer slain and burnt as a sin-offering.

    The water was used as the means of their application. Being so mingled, any clean person might dip a bunch of hyssop (see Psalm 51:7) into it, and sprinkle any thing or person that was defiled. For it was not confined unto the office of the priest, but was left unto every private person; as is the continual application of the blood of Christ. And this rite of sprinkling was that alone in all sacrifices whereby their continued efficacy unto sanctification and purification was expressed. Thence is the blood of Christ called “the blood of sprinkling,” because of its efficacy unto our sanctification, as applied by faith unto our souls and consciences.

    The effect of the things mentioned is, that they “sanctified unto the purifying of the flesh;” namely, that those unto whom they were applied might be made Levitically clean, — be so freed from the carnal defilements as to have an admission unto the solemn worship of God and society of the church. “Sanctifieth.” Jagia>zw in the New Testament doth signify for the most part, “to purify and sanctify internally and spiritually.” Sometimes it is used in the sense of vd’q; in the Old Testament, “to separate, dedicate, consecrate.” So is it by our Savior, John 17:19, Kai< uJpezw ejmauto>n , ”And for them I sanctify myself;” that is, ‘separate and dedicate myself to be a sacrifice.’ So is it here used. Every defiled person was made common, excluded from the privilege of a right to draw nigh unto God in his solemn worship: but in his purification he was again separated to him, and restored unto his sacred right.

    The word is of the singular number, and seems only to respect the next antecedent, spodolewv , —”the ashes of an heifer.” But if so, the apostle mentions “the blood of bulls and goats” without the ascription of any effect or efficacy thereunto. This, therefore, is not likely, as being the more solemn ordinance. Wherefore the word is distinctly to be referred, by a zeugma, unto the one and the other. The whole effect of all the sacrifices and institutions of the law is comprised in this word. All the sacrifices of expiation and ordinances of purification had this effect, and no more.

    They “sanctified unto the purifying of the flesh.” That is, those who were legally defiled, and were therefore excluded from an interest in the worship of God, and were made obnoxious unto the curse of the law thereon, were so legally purified, justified, and cleansed by them, as that they had free admission into the society of the church, and the solemn worship thereof.

    This they did, this they were able to effect, by virtue of divine institution.

    This was the state of things under the law, when there was a church purity, holiness, and sanctification, to be obtained by the due observance of external rites and ordinances, without internal purity or holiness.

    Wherefore these things were in themselves of no worth or value. And as God himself doth often in the prophets declare, that, merely on their own account, he had no regard unto them; so by the apostle they are called “worldly, carnal, and beggarly rudiments.” Why then, it will be said, did God appoint and ordain them? why did he oblige the people unto their observance? I answer, It was not at all on the account of their outward use and efficacy, as unto the purifying of the flesh, which, as it was alone, God always despised; but it was because of the representation of good things to come which the wisdom of God had inlaid them withal. With respect hereunto they were glorious, and of exceeding advantage unto the faith and obedience of the church.

    This state of things is changed under the new testament. For now “neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

    The thing signified, namely, internal purity and holiness, is no less necessary unto a right unto the privileges of the gospel, than the observance of these external rites was unto the privileges of the law. Yet is there no countenance given hereby unto the impious opinion of some, that God by the law required only external obedience, without respect unto the inward, spiritual part of it; for although the rites and sacrifices of the law, by their own virtue, purified externally, and delivered only from temporary punishments, yet the precepts and the promises of the law required the same holiness and obedience unto God as doth the gospel.

    Ver. 14. —”How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God!”

    This verse contains the inference or argument of the apostle from the preceding propositions and concessions. The nature of the argument is “a minori,” and “a proportione.” From the first, the inference follows as unto its truth, and formally; from the latter, as to its greater evidence, and materially.

    There are in the words considerable, 1. The subject treated of, in opposition unto that before spoken unto; and that is, “the blood of Christ.” 2. The means whereby this blood of Christ was effectual unto the end designed, in opposition unto the way and means of the efficacy of legal ordinances; he “offered himself” (that is, in the shedding of it) “unto God without spot, through the eternal Spirit.” 3. The end assigned unto this blood of Christ in that offering of himself, or the effect wrought thereby, in opposition unto the end and effect of legal ordinances; which is, to “purge our consciences from dead works.” 4. The benefit and advantage which we receive thereby, in opposition unto the benefit which was obtained by those legal administrations; that we may “serve the living God.” All which must be considered and explained.

    First, The nature of the inference is expressed by, “How much more.”

    This is usual with the apostle, when he draws any inference or conclusion from a comparison between Christ and the high priest, the gospel and the law, to use an au]xhsiv in expression, to manifest their absolute preeminence above them: See Hebrews 2:2,3, 3:3, 10:28, 29, 12:25.

    Although these things agreed in their general nature, whence a comparison is founded, yet were the one incomparably more glorious than the ether.

    Hence elsewhere, although he alloweth the administration of the law to be glorious, yet he affirms that it had no glory in comparison of what doth excel, 2 Corinthians 3:10. The person of Christ is the spring of all the glory in the church; and the more nearly any thing relates thereunto, the more glorious it is.

    There are two things included in this way of the introduction of the present inference, “How much more:” — 1. An equal certainty of the event and effect ascribed unto the blood of Christ, with the effect of the legal sacrifices, is included in it. So the argument is “a minori.” And the inference of such an argument is expressed by, “much more,” though an equal certainty be all that is evinced by it. ‘If those sacrifices and ordinances of the law were effectual unto the ends of legal expiation and purification, then is the blood of Christ assuredly so unto the spiritual and eternal effects whereunto it is designed.’ And the force of the argument is not merely, as was observed before, “a comparatis,” and “a minori,” but from the nature of the things themselves, as the one was appointed to be typical of the other. 2. The argument is taken from a proportion between the things themselves that are compared, as to their efficacy. This gives greater evidence and validity unto the argument than if it were taken merely “a minori.” For there is a greater reason, in the nature of things, that “the blood of Christ should purge our consciences from dead works,” than there is that “the blood of bulls and of goats should sanctify unto the purifying of the flesh.” For that had all its efficacy unto this end from the sovereign pleasure of God in its institution; in itself it had neither worth nor dignity, whence, in any proportion of justice or reason, men should be legally sanctified by it. The sacrifice of Christ also, as unto its original, depended on the sovereign pleasure, wisdom, and grace of God; but being so appointed, upon the account of the infinite dignity of his person, and the nature of his oblation, it had a real efficacy, in the justice and wisdom of God, to procure the effect mentioned in the way of purchase and merit.

    This the apostle refers unto in these words, “Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unto God.” That the offering was “himself,” that “he offered himself through the eternal Spirit,” or his divine person, is that which gives assurance of the accomplishing of the effect assigned unto it by his blood, above any grounds we have to believe that “the blood of bulls an.d goats should sanctify unto the purifying of the flesh.” And we may observe from this, “How much more,” that, — Obs. I. There is such an evidence of wisdom and righteousness, unto a spiritual eye, in the whole mystery of our redemption, sanctification, and salvation by Christ, as gives an immovable foundation unto faith to rest upon in its receiving of it. —The faith of the church of old was resolved into the mere sovereign pleasure of God, as to the efficacy of their ordinances; nothing in the nature of the things themselves did tend unto their establishment. But in the dispensation of God by Christ, in the work of our redemption by him, there is such an evidence of the wisdom and righteousness of God in the things themselves, as gives the highest security unto faith. It is unbelief alone, made obstinate by prejudices insinuated by the devil, that hides these things from any, as the apostle declares, 2 Corinthians 4:3,4. And hence will arise the great aggravation of the sin, and condemnation of them that perish.

    Secondly, We must consider the things themselves.

    First , The subject spoken of, and whereunto the effect mentioned is ascribed, is “the blood of Christ.” The person unto whom these things relate is Christ. I have given an account before, on sundry occasions, of the great variety used by the apostle in this epistle in the naming of him. And a peculiar reason of every one of them is to be taken from the place where it is used. Here he calls him Christ; for on his being Christ, the Messiah, depends the principal force of his present argument. It is the blood of him who was promised of old to be the high priest of the church, and the sacrifice for their sins; in whom was the faith of all the saints of old, that by him their sins should be expiated, that in him they should be justified and glorified; Christ, who is the Son of the living God, in whose person God purchased his church with his own blood. And we may observe, that, — Obs. II. The efficacy of all the offices of Christ towards the church depends on the dignity of his person. —The offering of his blood was prevalent for the expiation of sin, because it was his blood, and for no other reason. But this is a subject which I have handled at large elsewhere.

    A late learned commentator on this epistle takes occasion in this place to reflect on Dr Gouge, for affirming that Christ was a priest in both natures; which, as he says, cannot be true. I have not Dr Gouge’s Exposition by me, and so know not in what sense it is affirmed by him; but that Christ is a priest in his entire person, and so in both natures, is true, and the constant opinion of all protestant divines. And the following words of this learned author, being well explained, will clear the difficulty. For he saith, “That he that is a priest is God; yet as God he is not, he cannot be a priest. For that Christ is a priest in both natures, is no more but that in the discharge of his priestly office he acts as God and man in one person; from whence the dignity and efficacy of his sacerdotal act-ings do proceed. It is not hence required, that whatever he doth in the discharge of his office must be an immediate act of the divine as well as of the human nature. No more is required unto it, but that the person whose acts they are is God and man, and acts as God and man, in each nature suitably unto its essential properties. Hence, although God cannot die, —that is, the divine nature cannot do so, —yet ‘God purchased his church with his own blood;’ and so also ‘the Lord of glory was crucified’ for us. The sum is, that the person of Christ is the principle of all his mediatory acts; although those acts be immediately performed in and by virtue of his distinct natures, some of one, some of another, according unto their distinct properties and powers. Hence are they all theandrical; which could not be if he were not a priest in both natures.” Nor is this impeached by what ensues in the same author, namely, “That a priest is an officer; and all officers, as officers, are made such by commission from the sovereign power, and are servants under them.” For, — 1. It may be this doth not hold among the divine persons; it may be no more is required, in the dispensation of God towards the church, unto an office in any o£ them, but their own infinite condescension, with respect unto the order of their subsistence. So the Holy Ghost is in particular the comforter of the church by the way of office, and is sent thereon by the Father and Son; yet is there no more required hereunto, but that the order of the operation of the persons in the blessed Trinity should answer the order of their subsistence: and so he who in his person proceedeth from the Father and the Son is sent unto his work by the Father and the Son; no new act of authority being required thereunto, but only the determination of the divine will to act suitably unto the order of their subsistence. 2. The divine nature considered in the abstract cannot serve in an office; yet he who was “in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, took upon him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death.” It was in the human nature that he was a servant; nevertheless it was the Son of God, he who in his divine nature was in the form of God, who so served in office and yielded that obedience. Wherefore he was so far a mediator and priest in both his natures, as that whatever he did in the discharge of those offices was the act of his entire person; whereon the dignity and efficacy of all that he did did depend.

    That which the effect intended is ascribed unto, is the blood of Christ.

    And two things are to be inquired hereon. 1. What is meant by “the blood of Christ.” 2. How this effect was wrought by it.

    First, It is not only that material blood which he shed, absolutely considered, that is here and elsewhere called “the blood of Christ,” when the work of our redemption is ascribed unto it, that is intended; but there is a double consideration of it, with respect unto its efficacy unto this end: 1. That it was the pledge and the sign of all the internal obedience and sufferings of the soul of Christ, of his person. “He became obedient unto death, the death of the cross,” whereon his blood was shed. This was the great instance of his obedience and of his sufferings, whereby he made reconciliation and atonement for sin. Hence the effects of all his sufferings, and of all obedience in his sufferings, are ascribed unto his blood. 2. Respect is had unto the sacrifice and offering of blood under the law.

    The reason why God gave the people the blood to make atonement on the altar, was because “the life of the flesh was in it,” Leviticus 17:11,14.

    So was the life of Christ in his blood, by the shedding whereof he laid it down. And by his death it is, as he was the Son of God, that we are redeemed. Herein he made his soul an offering for sin, Isaiah 53:10.

    Wherefore this expression, “the blood of Christ,” in order unto our redemption, or the expiation of sin, is comprehensive of all that he did and suffered for those ends, inasmuch as the shedding of it was the way and means whereby he offered it, or himself (in and by it), unto God.

    Secondly , The second inquiry is, how the effect here mentioned was wrought by the blood of Christ. And this we cannot determine without a general consideration of the effect itself; and this is, the “purging of our conscience from dead works.” Kaqariei~ , —”shall purge.” That is, say some, shall purify and sanctify, by internal, inherent sanctification. But neither the sense of the word, nor the context, nor the exposition given by the apostle of this very expression, Hebrews 10:1,2, will admit of this restrained sense. I grant it is included herein, but there is somewhat else principally intended, namely, the expiation of sin, with our justification and peace with God thereon. 1. For the proper sense of the word here used, see our exposition on Hebrews 1:3. Expiation, lustration, carrying away punishment by making atonement, are expressed by it in all good authors. 2. The context requires this sense in the first place; for, — (1.) The argument here used is immediately applied to prove that Christ hath “obtained for us eternal redemption;” but redemption consists not in internal sanctification only, although that be a necessary consequent of it, but it is the pardon of sin through the atonement made, or a price paid: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Ephesians 1:7. (2.) In the comparison insisted on there is distinct mention made of “the blood of bulls and goats,” as well as of “the ashes of an heifer sprinkled;” but the first and principal use of blood in sacrifice was to make atonement for sin, Leviticus 17:11. (3.) The end of this purging is to give boldness in the service of God, and peace with him therein, —that we may “serve the living God;” but this is done by the expiation and pardon of sin, with justification thereon. (4.) It is “conscience” that is said to be purged. Now conscience is the proper seat of the guilt of sin; it is that which chargeth it on the soul, and which hinders all approach unto God in his service with liberty and boldness, unless it be removed: which, — (5.) Gives us the best consideration of the apostle’s exposition of this expression, Hebrews 10:1,2; for he there declares, that to have the conscience purged, is to have its condemning power for sin taken away and cease.

    There is therefore, under the same name, a twofold effect here ascribed unto the blood of Christ; the one in answer and opposition unto the effect of the blood of bulls and goats being offered; the other in answer unto the effect of the ashes of an heifer being sprinkled: the first consisting in making atonement for our sins; the other in the sanctification of our persons. And there are two ways whereby these things are procured by the blood of Christ: 1. By its offering, whereby sin is expiated. 2. By its sprinkling, whereby our persons are sanctified.

    The first ariseth from the satisfaction he made unto the justice of God, by undergoing in his death the punishment due to us, being made therein a curse for us, that the blessing might come upon us; therein, as his death was a sacrifice, as he offered himself unto God in the shedding of his blood, he made atonement: the other from the virtue of his sacrifice applied unto us by the Holy Spirit, which is the sprinkling of it; so doth the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanse us from all our sins.

    The Socinian expositor on this place endeavors, by a long perplexed discourse, to evade the force of this testimony, wherein the expiation of sin is directly assigned unto the blood of Christ. His pretense is to show how many ways it may be so; but his design is to prove that really it can be so by none at all; for the assertion, as it lies in terms, is destructive of their heresy. Wherefore he proceeds on these suppositions: — 1. “That the expiation for sin is our deliverance from the punishment due unto sin, by the power of Christ in heaven.” But as this is diametrically opposite unto the true nature of it, so is it unto its representation in the sacrifices of old, whereunto it is compared by the apostle, and from whence he argueth. Neither is this a tolerable exposition of the words: ‘The “blood of Christ,” in answer unto what was represented by the blood of the sacrifices of the law, doth “purge our consciences from dead works;” that is, Christ, by his power in heaven, doth free us from the punishment due to sin.’ 2. “That Christ was not a priest until after his ascension into heaven.”

    That this supposition destroys the whole nature of that office, hath been sufficiently before declared. 3. “That his offering himself unto God was the presenting of himself in heaven before God, as having done the will of God on the earth.” But as this hath nothing in it of the nature of a sacrifice, so what is asserted to be done by it can, according to these men, be no way said to be done by his blood, seeing they affirm that when Christ doth this he hath neither flesh nor blood. 4. “That the resurrection of Christ gave all efficacy unto his death.” But the truth is, it was his death, and what he effected therein, that was the ground of his resurrection. He was “brought again from the dead through the blood of the covenant.” And the efficacy of his death depends on his resurrection only as the evidence of his acceptance with God therein. 5. “That Christ confirmed his doctrine by his blood;” that is, because he rose again.

    All these principles I have at large refuted in the exercitations about the priesthood of Christ, and shall not here again insist on their examination.

    This is plain and evident in the words, unless violence be offered unto them, namely, that “the blood of Christ,” — that is, his suffering in soul and body, and his obedience therein, testified and expressed in the shedding of his blood, — was the procuring cause of the expiation of our sins, “the purging of our consciences from dead works,” our justification, sanctification, and acceptance with God thereon. And, — Obs. III. There is nothing more destructive unto the whole faith of the gospel, than by any means to evacuate the immediate efficacy of the blood of Christ. — Every opinion of that tendency breaks in upon the whole mystery of the wisdom and grace of God in him. It renders all the institutions and sacrifices of the law, whereby God instructed the church of old in the mystery of his grace, useless and unintelligible, and overthrows the foundation of the gospel.

    The second thing in the words, is the means whereby the blood of Christ came to be of this efficacy, or to produce this effect. And that is, because in the shedding of it “he offered himself unto God, through the eternal Spirit, without spot.” Every word is of great importance, and the whole assertion filled with the mystery of the wisdom and grace of God, and must therefore be distinctly considered.

    There is declared what Christ did unto the end mentioned, and that is expressed in the matter and manner of it: 1. He “offered himself.” 2. To whom; that is, “to God.” 3. How, or from what principle, by what means; “through the eternal Spirit.” 4. With what qualifications; “without spot.” 1. “He offered himself.” To prove that his blood purgeth away our-sins, he affirms that he “offered himself.” His whole human nature was the offering; the way of its offering was by the shedding of his blood. So the beast was the sacrifice, when the blood alone or principally was offered on the altar; for it was the blood that made atonement. So it was by his blood that Christ made atonement, but it was his person that gave it efficacy unto that end. Wherefore by “himself,” the whole human nature of Christ is intended. And that, — (1.) Not in distinction or separation from the divine. For although the human nature of Christ, his soul and body, only was offered, yet he offered himself through his own eternal Spirit. This offering of himself, therefore, was the act of his whole person, both natures concurred in the offering, though one alone was offered. (2.) All that he did or suffered in his soul and body when his blood was shed, is comprised in this offering of himself. His obedience in suffering was that which rendered this offering of himself “a sacrifice unto God of a sweet-smelling savor.”

    And he is said thus to offer “himself,” in opposition unto the sacrifices of the high priests under the law. They offered goats and bulls, or their blood; but he offered himself. This, therefore, was the nature of the offering of Christ: — It was a sacred act of the Lord Christ, as the high priest of the church, wherein, according unto the will of God, and what was required of him by virtue of the eternal compact between the Father and him concerning the redemption of the church, he gave up himself, in the way of most profound obedience, to do and suffer whatever the .justice and law of God required unto the expiation of sin; expressing the whole by the shedding of his blood, in answer unto all the typical representations of this his sacrifice in all the institutions of the law.

    And this offering of Christ was proper sacrifice, — (1.) From the office whereof it was an act. It was an act of his sacerdotal office; he was made a priest of God for this end, that he might thus offer himself, and that this offering of himself should be a sacrifice. (2.) From the nature of it. For it consisted in the sacred giving up unto God the thing that was offered, in the present destruction or consumption of it. This was the nature of a sacrifice; it was the destruction and consumption by death and fire, by a sacred action, of what was dedicated and offered unto God. So was it in this sacrifice of Christ. As he suffered in it, so in the giving himself up unto God in it there was an effusion of his blood and the destruction of his life. (3.) From the end of it, which was assigned unto it in the wisdom and sovereignty of God, and in his own intention; which was to make atonement for sin: which gives an offering the formal nature of an expiatory sacrifice. (4.) From the way and manner of it. For therein, — [1.] He sanctified or dedicated himself unto God to be an offering, John 17:19. [2.] He accompanied it with prayers and supplications, Hebrews 5:7. [3.] There was an altar which sanctified the offering, which bore it up in its oblation; which was his own divine nature, as we shall see immediately. [4.] He kindled the sacrifice with the fire of divine love, acting itself by zeal unto God’s glory and compassion unto the souls of men. [5.] He tendered all this unto God as an atonement for sin, as we shall see in the next words.

    This was the free, real, proper sacrifice of Christ, whereof those of old were only types and obscure representations; the prefiguration hereof was the sole cause of their institution. And what the Socinians pretend, namely, that the Lord Christ offered no real sacrifice, but only what he did was called so metaphorically, by the way of allusion unto the sacrifices of the law, is so far from truth, as that there never had been any such sacrifices of divine appointment but only to prefigure this, which alone was really and substantially so. The Holy Ghost doth not make a forced accommodation of what Christ did unto those sacrifices of old, by way of allusion, and by reason of some resemblances; but shows the uselessness and weakness of those sacrifices in themselves, any further but as they represented this of Christ.

    The nature of this oblation and sacrifice of Christ is utterly overthrown by the Socinians. They deny that in all this there was any offering at all; they deny that his shedding of his blood, or any thing which he did or suffered therein, either actually or passively, his obedience, or giving himself up unto God therein, was his sacrifice, or any part of it, but only somewhat required previously thereunto, and that without any necessary cause or reason- But ‘his sacrifice, his offering of himself, they say, is nothing but his appearance in heaven, and the presentation of himself before the throne of God, whereon he receiveth power to deliver them that believe in him from the punishment due to sin. But, — (1.) This appearance of Christ in heaven is nowhere called his oblation, his sacrifice, or his offering of himself. The places wherein some grant it may be so, do assert no such thing; as we shall see in the explanation of them, for they occur unto us in this chapter. (2.) It no way answers the atonement that was made by the blood of the sacrifices at the altar, which was never carried into the holy place; yea, it overthrows all analogy, all resemblance and typical representation between those sacrifices and this of Christ, there being no similitude, nothing alike between them. And this renders all the reasoning of the apostle not only invalid, but altogether impertinent. (3.) The supposition of it utterly overthrows the true nature of a proper and real sacrifice, substituting that in the room of it which is only metaphorical, and improperly so called. Nor can it be evidenced wherein the metaphor doth consist, or that there is any ground why it should be called an offering or a sacrifice; for all things belonging to it are distinct from, yea, contrary unto a true, real sacrifice. (4.) It overthrows the nature of the priesthood of Christ, making it to consist in his actings from God towards us in a way of power; whereas the nature of the priesthood is to act with God for and on the behalf of the church. (5.) It offers violence unto the text. For herein Christ’s offering of himself is expressive of the way whereby his blood purgeth our consciences; which in their sense is excluded. But we may observe, unto our purpose, — Obs. IV. This was the greatest expression of the inexpressible love of Christ; “he offered himself.” —What was required thereunto, what he underwent therein, have on various occasions been spoken unto. His condescension and love in the undertaking and discharge of this work, we may, we ought to admire, but we cannot comprehend. And they do what lies in them to weaken the faith of the church in him, and its love towards him, who would change the nature of his sacrifice in the offering of himself; who would make less of difficulty or suffering in it, or ascribe less efficacy unto it. This is the foundation of our faith and boldness in approaching unto God, that Christ hath “offered himself” for us.

    Whatsoever might be effected by the glorious dignity of his divine person, by his profound obedience, by his unspeakable sufferings, all offered as a sacrifice unto God in our behalf, is really accomplished.

    Obs. V. It is hence evident how vain and insufficient are all other ways of the expiation of sin, with the purging of our consciences before God. — The sum of all false religion consisteth always in contrivances for the expiation of sin; what is false in any religion hath respect principally thereunto. And as superstition is restless, so the inventions of men have been endless, in finding out means unto this end. But if any thing within the power or ability of men, any thing they could invent or accomplish, had been useful unto this end, there would have been no need that the Son of God should have offered himself. To this purpose, see Hebrews 10:5-8; Micah 6:6,7. 2. The next thing in the words, is unto whom he offered himself; that is, “to God.” He gave himself an offering and a sacrifice to God. A sacrifice is the highest and chiefest act of sacred worship; especially it must be so when one offereth himself, according unto the will of God. God as God, or the divine nature, is the proper object of all religious worship, unto whom as such alone any sacrifice may be offered. To offer sacrifice unto any, under any other notion but as he is God, is the highest idolatry. But an offering, an expiatory sacrifice for sin, is made to God as God, under a peculiar notion or consideration. For God is therein considered as the author of the law against which sin is committed, as the supreme ruler and governor of all, unto whom it belongs to inflict the punishment which is due unto sin. For the end of such sacrifices is averruncare malum,” — to avert displeasure and punishment, by making atonement for sin. With respect hereunto, the divine nature is considered as peculiarly subsisting in the person of the Father. For so is he constantly represented unto our faith, as “the judge of all,” Hebrews 12:23. With him, as such, the Lord Christ had to do in the offering of himself; concerning which, see our exposition on Hebrews 5:7. It is said, ‘If Christ were God himself, how could he offer himself unto God? That one and the same person should be the offerer, the oblation, and he unto whom it is offered, seems not so much a mystery as a weak imagination.’ Ans. (1.) If there were one nature only in the person of Christ, it may be this might seem impertinent. Howbeit there may be cases wherein the same individual person, under several capacities, — as of a good man on the one hand, and a ruler or judge on the other, — may, for the benefit of the public, and the preservation of the laws of the community, both give and take satisfaction himself. But whereas in the one person of Christ there are two natures so infinitely distinct as they are, both acting under such distinct capacities as they did, there is nothing unbecoming this mystery of God, that the one of them might be offered unto the other.

    But, — (2.) It is not the same person that offereth the sacrifice and unto whom it is offered. For it was the person of the Father, or the divine nature considered as acting itself in the person of the Father, unto whom the offering was made. And although the person of the Son is partaker of the same nature with the Father, yet that nature is not the object of this divine worship as in him, but as in the person of the Father. Wherefore the Son did not formally offer himself unto himself, but unto God, as acting supreme rule, government, and judgment, in the person of the Father.

    As these things are plainly and fully testified unto in the Scripture, so the way to come unto a blessed satisfaction in them, unto the due use and comfort of them, is not to consult the cavils of carnal wisdom, but to pray “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, would give unto us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, that the eyes of our understandings being enlightened,” we may come unto “the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.” 3. How he offered himself is also expressed; it was “by the eternal Spirit.” “By,” dia>. It denotes a concurrent operation, when one works with another. Nor doth it always denote a subservient, instrumental cause, but sometimes that which is principally efficient, John 1:3; Romans 11:36; Hebrews 1:2. So it doth here; the eternal Spirit was not an interior instrument whereby Christ offered himself, but he was the principal efficient cause in the work.

    The variety that is in the reading of this place is taken notice of by all.

    Some copies read, “by the eternal Spirit;” some, “by the Holy Spirit;” the latter is the reading of the Vulgar translation, and countenanced by sundry ancient copies of the original. The Syriac retains “the eternal Spirit;” which also is the reading of most ancient copies of the Greek. Hence follows a double interpretation of the words. Some say that the Lord Christ offered himself unto God in and by the acting of the Holy Ghost in his human nature; for by him were wrought in him that fervent zeal unto the glory of God, that love and compassion unto the souls of men, which both carried him through his sufferings and rendered his obedience therein acceptable unto God as a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savor: which work of the Holy Spirit in the human nature of Christ I have elsewhere declared. Others say that his own eternal Deity, which supported him in his sufferings and rendered the sacrifice of himself effectual, is intended. But this will not absolutely follow to be the sense of the place upon the common reading, “by the eternal Spirit;” for the Holy Spirit is no less an eternal Spirit than is the Deity of Christ himself.

    The truth is, both these concurred in, and were absolutely necessary unto the offering of Christ. The acting of his own eternal Spirit was so, as unto the efficacy and effect; and the acting of the Holy Ghost in him was so, as unto the manner of it. Without the first, his offering of himself could not have “purged our consciences from dead works.” No sacrifice of any mere creature could have produced that effect. It would not have had in itself a worth and dignity whereby we might have been discharged of sin unto the glory of God. Nor without the subsistence of the human nature in the divine person of the Son of God, could it have undergone and passed through unto victory what it was to suffer in this offering of it.

    Wherefore this sense of the words is true: Christ offered himself unto God, through or by his own eternal Spirit, the divine nature acting in the person of the Son. For, — (1.) It was an act of his entire person, wherein he discharged the office of a priest. And as his human nature was the sacrifice, so his person was the priest that offered it; which is the only distinction that was between the priest and sacrifice herein. As in all other acts of his mediation, the taking our nature upon him, and what he did therein, the divine person of the Son, the eternal Spirit in him, acted in love and condescension, so did it in this also of his offering himself. (2.) As we observed before, hereby he gave dignity, worth, and efficacy unto the sacrifice of himself; for herein “God was to purchase his church with his own blood.” And this seems to be principally respected by the apostle; for he intends to declare herein the dignity and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ, in opposition unto those under the law. For it was in the will of man, and by material fire, that they were all offered; but he offered himself by the eternal Spirit, voluntarily giving up his human nature to be a sacrifice, in an act of his divine power. (3.) The eternal Spirit is here opposed unto the material altar, as well as unto the fire. The altar was that whereon the sacrifice was laid, which bore it up in its oblation and ascension. But the eternal Spirit of Christ was the altar whereon he offered himself. This supported and bore it up under its sufferings, whereon it was presented unto God as an acceptable sacrifice.

    Wherefore this reading of the words gives a sense that is true and proper unto the matter treated of.

    But on the other side, it is no less certain that he offered himself in his human nature by the Holy Ghost. All the gracious actings of his mind and will were required hereunto. The “man Christ Jesus,” in the gracious, voluntary acting of all the faculties of his soul, offered himself unto God.

    His human nature was not only the matter of the sacrifice, but therein and thereby, in the gracious actings of the faculties and powers of it, he offered himself unto God. Now all these things were wrought in him by the Holy Spirit, wherewith he was filled, which he received not by measure. By him was he filled with that love and compassion unto the church which acted him in his whole mediation, and which the Scripture so frequently proposeth unto our faith herein: “He loved me, and gave himself for me.” “He loved the church, and gave himself for it.” “He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” By him there was wrought in him that zeal unto the glory of God the fire whereof kindled his sacrifice in an eminent manner. For he designed, with ardency of love to God above his own life and present state of his soul, to declare his righteousness, to repair the diminution of his glory, and to make such way for the communication of his love and grace to sinners, as that he might be eternally glorified. He gave him such holy submission unto the will of God, under a prospect of the bitterness of that cup which he was to drink, as enabled him to say in the height of his conflict, “Not my will, but thine be done.” He filled him with that faith and trust in God, as unto his supportment, deliverance, and success, which carried him steadily and safely unto the issue of his trial, Isaiah 50:7-9. Through the actings of these graces of the Holy Spirit in the human nature, his offering of himself was a free, voluntary oblation and sacrifice.

    I shall not positively determine on either of these senses unto the exclusion of the other. The latter hath much of spiritual light and comfort in it on many accounts; but yet I must acknowledge that there are two considerations that peculiarly urge the former interpretation: — (1.) The most, and most ancient copies of the original, read, “by the eternal Spirit;” and are followed by the Syriac, with all the Greek scholiasts. Now, although the Holy Spirit be also an eternal Spirit, in the unity of the same divine nature with the Father and the Son, yet where he is spoken of with respect unto his own personal actings, he is constantly called “the Holy Spirit,” and not as here, “the eternal Spirit.” (2.) The design of the apostle is to prove the efficacy of the offering of Christ above those of the priests under the law. Now this arose from hence, partly that he offered himself, whereas they offered only the blood of bulls and goats; but principally from the dignity of his person in his offering, in that he offered himself by his own eternal Spirit, or divine nature. But I shall leave the reader to choose whether sense he judgeth suitable unto the scope of the place, either of them being so unto the analogy of faith.

    The Socinians, understanding that both these interpretations are equally destructive to their opinions, the one concerning the person of Christ, the other about the nature of the Holy Ghost, have invented a sense of these words never before heard of among Christians. For they say that by “the eternal Spirit,” “a certain divine power” is intended, “whereby the Lord Christ was freed from mortality, and made eternal; that is, no more obnoxious unto death. “By virtue of this power,” they say, “he offered himself unto God when he entered into heaven;” —than which nothing can be spoken more fond or impious, or contrary unto the design of the apostle. For, — (1.) Such a power as they pretend is nowhere called “the Spirit,” much less “the eternal Spirit;” and to feign significations of words, without any countenance from their use elsewhere, is to wrest them at our pleasure. (2.) The apostle is so far from requiring a divine power rendering him immortal antecedently unto the offering of himself, as that he declares that he offered himself by the eternal Spirit in his death, when he shed his blood, whereby our consciences are purged from dead works. (3.) This divine power, rendering Christ immortal, is not peculiar unto him, but shall be communicated unto all that are raised unto glory at the last day. And there is no color of an opposition herein unto what was done by the high priests of old. (4.) It proceeds on their prw~ton yeu~dov in this matter; which is, “that the Lord Christ offered not himself unto God before he was made immortal:” which is utterly to exclude his death and blood from any concernment therein; which is as contrary unto the truth and scope of the place as darkness is to light. (5.) Wherever there is mention made elsewhere in the Scripture of the Holy Spirit, or the eternal Spirit, or the Spirit absolutely, with reference unto any actings of the person of Christ, or on it, either the Holy Spirit or his own divine nature is intended. See Isaiah 61:1,2; Romans 1:4; Peter 3:18.

    Wherefore Grotius forsakes this notion, and otherwise explains the words: “Spiritus Christi qui non tantum fuit vivus ut in vita terrena, sed in aeternum corpus sibi adjunctum vivificans.” If there be any sense in these words, it is the rational soul of Christ that is intended. And it is most true, that the Lord Christ offered himself in and by the actings of it; for there are no other in the human nature as to any duties of obedience unto God. But that this should be here called “the eternal Spirit,” is a vain conjecture; for the spirits of all men are equally eternal, and do not only live here below, but shall quicken their bodies after the resurrection for ever. This, therefore, cannot be the ground of the especial efficacy of the blood of Christ.

    This is the second thing wherein the apostle opposeth the offering of Christ unto the offerings of the priests under the law: — (1.) They offered bulls and goats; he offered himself. (2.) They offered by a material altar and fire; he by the eternal Spirit.

    That Christ should thus offer himself unto God, and that by the eternal Spirit, is the center of the mystery of the gospel. All attempts to corrupt, to pervert this glorious truth, are designs against the glory of God and faith of the church. The depth of this mystery we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it; of the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. And those who choose rather to reject it than to live by faith in a humble admiration of it, do it at the peril of their souls. Unto the reason of some men it may be folly, unto faith it is full of glory. In the consideration of the divine actings of the eternal Spirit of Christ in the offering of himself, of the holy exercise of all grace in the human nature that was offered, of the nature, dignity, and efficacy of this sacrifice, faith finds life, food, and refreshment. Herein doth it contemplate the wisdom, the righteousness, the holiness, and grace of God; herein doth it view the wonderful condescension and love of Christ; and from the whole is strengthened and encouraged. 4. It is added that he thus offered himself, “without spot.” This adjunct is descriptive not of the priest, but of the sacrifice; it is not a qualification of his person, but of the offering.

    Schlichtingius would have it, that this word denotes not what Christ was in himself, but what he was freed from. For now in heaven, where he offered himself, he is freed from all infirmities, and from every spot of mortality; which the high priest was not when he entered into the holy place. Such irrational fancies do false opinions force men to take up withal.

    But, — (1.) There was no spot in the mortality of Christ, that he should be said to be freed from it when he was made immortal. A spot signifies not so much a defect as a fault; and there was no fault in Christ from which he was freed. (2.) The allusion and respect herein unto the legal institutions is evident and manifest. The lamb that was to be slain and offered was antecedently thereunto to be “without blemish;” it was to be neither lame, nor blind, nor have any other defect. With express respect hereunto, the apostle Peter affirms that we were “redeemed ...... with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1 Peter 1:18.

    And Christ is not only called “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” John 1:29, — that is, by his being slain and offered, — but is represented in the worship of the church as “a Lamb slain,” Revelation 5:6. It is therefore to offer violence unto the Scripture and common understanding, to seek for this qualification anywhere but in the human nature of Christ, antecedently unto his death and blood-shedding.

    Wherefore this expression, “without spot,” respects in the first place the purity of his nature and the holiness of his life. For although these principally belonged unto the necessary qualifications of his person, yet were they required unto him as he was to be the sacrifice. He was “the Holy One of God;” “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.” “He did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;” — he was “without spot.” This is the moral sense and signification of the word. But there is a legal sense of it also. It is that which is meet and fit to be a sacrifice. For it respects all that was signified by the legal institutions concerning the integrity and perfection of the creatures, lambs or kids, that were to be sacrificed. Hence were all those laws fulfilled and accomplished. There was nothing in him, nothing wanting unto him, that should any way hinder his sacrifice from being accepted with God, and really expiatory of sin. And this was the church instructed to expect by all those legal institutions.

    It may be not unuseful to give here a brief scheme of this great sacrifice of Christ, to fix the thoughts of faith the more distinctly upon it: — 1. God herein, in the person of the Father, is considered as the lawgiver, the governor and judge of all; and that as on a throne of judgment, the throne of grace being not as yet erected. And two things are ascribed, or do belong unto him: — (1.) A denunciation of the sentence of the law against mankind: “Dying, ye shall die;” and, “Cursed be every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (2.) A refusal of all such ways of atonement, satisfaction, and reconciliation, as might be offered from any thing that all or any creatures could perform. “Sacrifice and offering, and whole burnt-offerings for sin, he would not have,” Hebrews 10:5,6. He rejected them as insufficient to make atonement for sin. 2. Satan appeared before this throne with his prisoners. He had the power of death, Hebrews 2:14; and entered into judgment as unto his right and title, and therein was judged, John 16:11. And he put forth all his power and policy in opposition unto the deliverance of his prisoners, and to the way or means of it. That was his hour, wherein he put forth the power of darkness, Luke 22:53. 3. The Lord Christ, the Son of God, out of his infinite love and compassion, appears in our nature before the throne of God, and takes it on himself to answer for the sins of all the elect, to make atonement for them, by doing and suffering whatever the holiness, righteousness, and wisdom of God required thereunto: “Then said I, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burntofferings for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein, which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second,” Hebrews 10:7-9. 4. This stipulation and engagement of his, God accepteth of, and withal, as the soverign lord and ruler of all, prescribeth the way and means whereby he should make atonement for sin, and reconciliation with God thereon.

    And this was, that “he should make his soul an offering for sin,” and therein “bear their iniquities,” Isaiah 53:10,11. 5. The Lord Christ was prepared with a sacrifice to offer unto God, unto this end. For whereas “every high priest was ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices, it was of necessity that he also should have somewhat to offer,” Hebrews 8:3. This was not to be the blood of bulls and goats, or such things as were “offered according to the law,” verse 4; but this was and was to be himself, his human nature, or his body. For, — (1.) This body or human nature was prepared for him and given unto him for this very end, that he might have somewhat of his own to offer, Hebrews 10:5. (2.) He took it, he assumed it unto himself to be his own, for this very end, that he might be a sacrifice in it, Hebrews 2:14. (3.) He had full power and authority over his own body, his whole human nature, to dispose of it in any way, and into any condition, unto the glory of God. “No man,” saith he, “taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again,” John 10:18. 6. This, therefore, he gave up to do and suffer according unto the will of God. And this he did, — (1.) In the will, grace, and love of his divine nature, he offered himself unto God through the eternal Spirit. (2.) In the gracious, holy actings of his human nature, in the way of zeal, love, obedience, patience, and all other graces of the Holy Spirit, which dwelt in him without measure, acted unto their utmost glory and efficacy.

    Hereby he gave himself up unto God to be a sacrifice for sin; his own divine nature being the altar and fire whereby his offering was supported and consumed, or brought unto the ashes of death. This was the most glorious spectacle unto God, and all his holy angels. Hereby he “set a crown of glory on the head of the law,” fulfilling its precepts in matter and manner unto the uttermost, and undergoing its penalty or curse, establishing the truth and righteousness of God in it. Hereby he glorified the holiness and justice of God, in the demonstration of their nature and by compliance with their demands. Herein issued the eternal counsels of God for the salvation of the church, and way was made for the exercise of grace and mercy unto sinners. For, — 7. Herewith God was well pleased, satisfied, and reconciled unto sinners.

    Thus was he “in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing our trespasses unto us,” in that “he was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” For in this tender of himself a sacrifice to God, — (1.) God was well pleased with and delighted in his obedience; it was “a sacrifice unto him of a sweet-smelling savor.” He was more glorified in that one instance of the obedience of his only Son, than he was dishonored by the sin of Adam and all his posterity, as I have elsewhere declared. (2.) All the demands of his justice were satisfied, unto his eternal glory.

    Wherefore, — 8. Hereon Satan is judged, and destroyed as unto his power over sinners who receive this atonement; all the grounds and occasions of it are hereby removed, his kingdom is overthrown, his usurpation and unjust dominion defeated, his goods spoiled, and captivity led captive. For of the anger of the Lord against sin it was that he obtained his power over sinners, which he abused unto his own ends. This being atoned, the prince of this world was judged and cast out. 9. Hereon the poor condemned sinners are discharged. God says, “Deliver them, for I have found a ransom.” But we must return to the text.

    Secondly , The effect of the blood of Christ, through the offering of himself, is the “purging of our consciences from dead works.” This was somewhat spoken unto in general before, especially as unto the nature of this purging; but the words require a more particular explication And, — The word is in the future tense, “shall purge.” The blood of Christ as offered hath a double respect and effect: — 1. Towards God, in making atonement for sin. This was done once, and at once, and was now past. Herein “by one offering he for ever perfected them that are sanctified.” 2. Towards the consciences of men, in the application of the virtue of it unto them. This is here intended. And this is expressed as future; not as though it had not had this effect already on them that did believe, but upon a double account: — (1.) To declare the certainty of the event, or the infallible connection of these things, the blood of Christ, and the purging of the conscience; that is, in all that betake themselves thereunto. ‘It shall do it;’ that is, effectually and infallibly. (2.) Respect is had herein unto the generality of the Hebrews, whether already professing the gospel or now invited unto it. And he proposeth this unto them as the advantage they should be made partakers of, by the relinquishment of Mosaical ceremonies, and betaking themselves unto the faith of the gospel. For whereas before, by the best of legal ordinances, they attained no more but an outward sanctification, as unto the flesh, they should now have their conscience infallibly purged from dead works Hence it is said, “your conscience.” Some copies read hJmw~n , “our.” But there is no difference in the sense. I shall retain the common reading, as that which refers unto the Hebrews, who had been always exercised unto thoughts of purification and sanctification, by one means or another.

    For the explication of the words we must inquire, 1. What is meant by “dead works.” 2. What is their relation unto “conscience.” 3. How conscience is “purged” of them by the blood of Christ.

    First , By “dead works,” sins as unto their guilt and defilement are intended, as all acknowledge. And several reasons are given why they are so called; as, — 1. Because they proceed from a principle of spiritual death, or are the works of them who have no vital principle of holiness in them, Ephesians 2:1,5; Colossians 2:13. 2. Because they are useless and fruitless, as all dead things are. 3. They deserve death, and tend thereunto. Hence they are like rotten bones in the grave, accompanied with worms and corruption.

    And these things are true. Howbeit I judge there is a peculiar reason why the apostle calls them “dead works” in this place. For there is an allusion herein unto dead bodies, and legal defilement by them. For he hath respect unto purification by the ashes of the heifer; and this respected principally uncleanness by the dead, as is fully declared in the institution of that ordinance. As men were purified, by the sprinkling of the ashes of an heifer mingled with living water, from defilements contracted by the dead, without which they were separated from God and the church; so unless men are really purged from their moral defilements by the blood of Christ, they must perish for ever. Now this defilement from the dead, as we have showed, arose from hence, that death was the effect of the curse of the law; wherefore the guilt of sin with respect unto the curse of the law is here intended in the first place, and consequently its pollution.

    This gives us the state of all men who are not interested in the sacrifice of Christ, and the purging virtue thereof. As they are dead in themselves, “dead in trespasses and sins,” so all their works are “dead works.” Other works they have none. They are as a sepulcher filled with bones and corruption. Every thing they do is unclean in itself, and unclean unto them. “Unto them that are defiled nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled,” Titus 1:15.

    Their works come from spiritual death, and tend unto eternal death, and are dead in themselves. Let them deck and trim their carcasses whilst they please, let them rend their faces with painting, and multiply their ornaments with all excess of bravery; within they are full of dead bones, — of rotten, defiled, polluting works. That world which appears with so much outward beauty, lustre, and glory, is all polluted and defiled under the eye of the Most Holy.

    Secondly , These dead works are further described by their relation unto our persons, as unto what is peculiarly affected with them, where they have, as it were, their seat and residence: and this is the conscience. He doth not say, “Purge your souls, or your minds, or your persons,” but “your conscience.’ “And this he doth, — 1. In general, in opposition unto the purification by the law. There it was the dead body that did defile; it was the body that was defiled; it was the body that was purified; those ordinances “sanctified to the purifying of the flesh.” But the defilements here intended are spiritual, internal, relating unto conscience; and therefore such is the purification also. 2. He mentions the respect of these dead works unto conscience in particular, because it is conscience which is concerned in peace with God and confidence of approach unto him. Sin variously affects all the faculties of the soul, and there is in it a peculiar defilement of conscience, Titus 1:15. But that wherein conscience in the first place is concerned, and wherein it is alone concerned, is a sense of guilt. This brings along with it fear and dread; whence the sinner dares not approach into the presence of God. It was conscience which reduced Adam unto the condition of hiding himself from God, his eyes being opened by a sense of the guilt of sin. So he that was unclean by the touching of a dead body was excluded from all approach unto God in his worship Hereunto the apostle alludes in the following words, “That we may serve the living God; for the word latreu>w properly denotes that service which consists in the observation and performance of solemn worship. As he who was unclean by a dead body might not approach unto the worship of God until he was purified; so a guilty sinner, whose conscience is affected with a sense of the guilt of sin, dares not to draw nigh unto or appear in the presence of God. It is by the working of conscience that sin deprives the soul of peace with God, of boldness or confidence before him, of all right to draw nigh unto him. Until this relation of sin unto the conscience be taken away, until there be “no more conscience of sin,” as the apostle speaks, Hebrews 10:2, — that is, conscience absolutely judging and condemning the person of the sinner in the sight of God, — there is no right, no liberty of access unto God in his service, nor any acceptance to be obtained with him. Wherefore the purging of conscience from dead works, doth first respect the guilt of sin, and the virtue of the blood of Christ in the removal of it. But, secondly, there is also an inherent defilement of conscience by sin, as of all other faculties of the soul. Hereby it is rendered unmeet for the discharge of its office in any particular duties. With respect hereunto conscience is here used synecdochically for the whole soul, and all the faculties of it, yea, our whole spirit, souls, and bodies, which are all to be cleansed and sanctified, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. To purge our conscience, is to purge us in our whole persons.

    Thirdly , This being the state of our conscience, this being the respect of dead works and their defilement to it and us, we may consider the relief that is necessary in this case, and what that is which is here proposed: — Unto a complete relief in this condition, two things are necessary: — 1. A discharge of conscience from a sense of the guilt of sin, or the condemning power of it, whereby it deprives us of peace with God, and of boldness in access unto him. 2. The cleansing of the conscience, and consequently our whole persons, from the inherent defilement of sin.

    The first of these was typified by the blood of bulls and goats offered on the altar to make atonement. The latter was represented by the sprinkling of the unclean with the ashes of the heifer unto their purification.

    Both these the apostle here expressly ascribes unto “the blood of Christ;” and we may briefly inquire into three things concerning it: 1. On what ground it doth produce this blessed effect. 2. The way of its operation and efficacy unto this end. 3. The reason whence the apostle affirms that it shall much more do this than the legal ordinances could, sanctifying unto the purifying of the flesh: — 1. The grounds of its efficacy unto this purpose are three: — (1.) That it was blood offered unto God. God had ordained that blood should be offered on the altar to make atonement for sin, or to “purge conscience from dead works” That this could not be really effected by the blood of bulls and goats is evident in the nature of the things themselves, and demonstrated in the event. Howbeit this must be done by blood, or all the institutions of legal sacrifices were nothing but means to deceive the minds of men, and ruin their souls. To say that at one time or other real atonement is not to be made for sin by blood, and conscience thereby to be purged and purified, is to make God a liar in all the institutions of the law.

    But this must be done by the blood of Christ, or not at all. (2.) It was the blood of Christ, of “Christ, the Son of the living God,” Matthew 16:16, whereby “God purchased his church with his own blood,” Acts 20:28. The dignity of his person gave efficacy unto his office and offering. No other person, in the discharge of the same offices that were committed unto him, could have saved the church; and therefore all those by whom his divine person is denied do also evacuate his offices.

    By what they ascribe unto them, it is impossible the church should be either sanctified or saved. They resolve all into a mere act of sovereign power in God; which makes the cross of Christ of none effect. (3.) He offered this blood, or himself, by the eternal Spirit. Though Christ in his divine person was the eternal Son of God, yet was it the human nature only that was offered in sacrifice. Howbeit it was offered by and with the concurrent actings of the divine nature, or eternal Spirit, as we have declared.

    These things make the blood of Christ, as offered, meet and fit for the accomplishment of this great effect. 2. The second inquiry is concerning the way whereby the blood of Christ doth thus purge our conscience from dead works. Two things, as we have seen, are contained therein: — (1.) The expiation, or taking away the guilt of sin, that conscience should not be deterred thereby from an access unto God. (2.) The cleansing of our souls from vicious, defiling habits, inclinations, and acts, or all inherent uncleanness Wherefore, under two considerations doth the blood of Christ produce this double effect: — (1.) As it was offered; so it made atonement for sin, by giving satisfaction unto the justice and law of God. This all the expiatory sacrifices of the law did prefigure, this.the prophets foretold, and this the gospel witnesseth unto. To deny it, is to deny any real efficacy in the blood of Christ unto this end,. and so expressly to contradict the apostle. Sin is not purged from the conscience unless the guilt of it be so removed as that we may have peace with God and boldness in access unto him. This is given us by the blood of Christ as offered. (2.) As it is sprinkled, it worketh the second part of this effect. And this sprinkling of the blood of Christ is the communication of its sanctifying virtue unto our souls. See Ephesians 5:26,27; Titus 2:14. So doth “the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanse us from all sin,” 1 John 1:7; Zechariah 13:1. 3. The reason why the apostle affirms that this is much more to be expected from the blood of Christ than the purification of the flesh was from legal ordinances hath been before spoken unto.

    The Socinians plead on this place, that this effect of the death of Christ doth as unto us depend on our own duty. If they intended no more but that there is duty required on our part unto an actual participation of it, namely, faith, whereby we receive the atonement, we should have no difference with them. But they are otherwise minded. This purging of the conscience from dead works, they would have to consist in two things: 1. Our own relinquishment of sin. 2. The freeing us from the punishment due to sin, by an act of power in Christ in heaven.

    The first, they say, hath therein respect unto the blood of Christ, in that thereby his doctrine was confirmed, in obedience whereunto we forsake sin, and purge our minds from it. The latter also relates thereunto, in that the sufferings of Christ were antecedent unto his exaltation and power in heaven. Wherefore this effect of the blood of Christ, is what we do ourselves in obedience unto his doctrine, and what he doth thereon by his power; and therefore may well be said to depend on our duty. But all this while there is nothing ascribed unto the blood of Christ as it was offered in sacrifice unto God, or shed in the offering of himself, which alone the apostle speaks unto in this place.

    Others choose thus to oppose it: This purging of our consciences from dead works is not an immediate effect of the death of Christ, but it is a benefit contained therein; which upon our faith and obedience we are made partakers of. But, — 1. This is not, in my judgment, to interpret the apostle’s words with due reverence. He affirms expressly, that “the blood of Christ doth purge our conscience from dead works;” that is, it doth make such an atonement for sin, and expiation of it, as that conscience shall be no more pressed with it, nor condemn the sinner for it. 2. The blood of Christ is the immediate cause of every effect assigned unto it, where there is no concurrent nor intermediate cause of the same kind with it in the production of that effect. 3. It is granted that the actual communication of this effect of the death of Christ unto our souls is wrought according unto the method which God in his sovereign wisdom and pleasure hath designed. And herein, (1.) The Lord Christ by his blood made actual and absolute atonement for the sins of all the elect. (2.) This atonement is proposed unto us in the gospel, Romans 3:25. (3.) It is required of us, unto an actual participation of the benefit of it, and peace with God thereby, that we receive this atonement by faith, Romans5:l1; but as wrought with God, it is the immediate elect of the blood of Christ.

    Thirdly , The last thing in these words, is the consequent of this purging of our consciences, or the advantage which we receive thereby: “To serve the living God.” The words should be rendered, “that we may serve;” that is, have right and liberty so to do, being no longer excluded from the privilege of it, as persons were under the law whilst they were defiled and unclean.

    And three things are required unto the opening of these words; that we consider, 1. Why God is here called “the living God; 2. What it is to “serve him;” 3. What is required that we may do so.

    First , God in the Scripture is called “the living God,” — 1. Absolutely, and that, (1.) As he alone hath life in himself and of himself; (2.) As he is the only author and cause f life unto all others. 2. Comparatively, with respect unto idols and false gods, which are dead things, such as have neither life nor operation.

    And this title is in the Scripture applied unto God,1. To beget faith and trust in him, as the author of temporal, spiritual, and eternal life, with all things that depend thereon, 1 Timothy 4:10. 2. To beget a due fear and reverence of him, as him who lives and sees, who hath all life in his power; so “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” And this epistle being written principally to warn the Hebrews of the danger of unbelief and apostasy from the gospel, the apostle in several places makes mention of God with whom they had to do under this title, as Hebrews 3:12, 10:31, and in this place.

    But there is something peculiar in the mention of it in this place. For, 1. The due consideration of God as “the living God,” will discover how necessary it is that we be purged from dead works, to serve him in a due manner. 2. The nature of gospel-worship and service is intimated to be such as becomes the living God, “our reasonable service,” Romans 12:1.

    Secondly , What is it to “serve the living God?” I doubt not but that the whole life of faith in universal obedience is consequently required hereunto. That we may live unto the living God in all ways of holy obedience, not any one act or duty of it can be performed as it ought without the antecedent purging of our consciences from dead works. But yet it is sacred and solemn worship that is intended in the first place.

    They had of old sacred ordinances of worship, or of divine service. From all these those, that were unclean were excluded, and restored unto them upon their purification. There is a solemn spiritual worship of God under the new testament also, and ordinances for the due observance of it. This none have a right to approach unto God by, none can do so in a due manner, unless their conscience be purged by the blood of Christ. And the whole of our relation unto God depends hereon. For as we therein express or testify the subjection of our souls and consciences unto him, and solemnly engage into universal obedience, (for of these things all acts of outward worship are the solemn pledges,) so therein doth God testify his acceptance of us and delight in us by Jesus Christ.

    Thirdly , What is required on our part hereunto is included in the manner of the expression of it, Eijv to< latreu>ein , — “that we may serve.” And two things are required hereunto: 1. Liberty; 2. Ability.

    The first includes right and boldness, and is expressed by parjrJhsi>a : our holy worship is prosagwgh< ejn parjrJhsi>a| , —”an access with freedom and confidence.” This we must treat of on Hebrews 10:19-21. The other respects all the supplies of the Holy Spirit, in grace and gifts. Both these we receive by the blood of Christ, that we may be meet and able in a due manner to serve the living God. We may yet take some observations from the words: — Obs. VI. Faith hath ground of triumph in the certain efficacy of the blood of Christ for the expiation of sin: “How much more!” The Holy Ghost here and elsewhere teacheth faith to argue itself into a full assurance. — The reasonings which he proposeth and insisteth on unto this end are admirable, Romans 8:31-39. Many objections will arise against believing, many difficulties do lie in its way. By them are the generality of believers left under doubts, fears, and temptations, all their days. One great relief provided in this case, is a direction to argue “a minore ad majus:”’ If the blood of bulls and goats did so purify the unclean, how much more will the blood of Christ purge our consciences!’ How heavenly, how divine is that way of arguing unto this end which our blessed Savior proposeth unto us in the parable of the unjust judge and the widow, Luke 18:1-8; and in that other, of the man and his friend that came to seek bread by night, Hebrews 11:5-9. Who can read them, but his soul is surprised into some kind of confidence of being heard in his supplication, if in any measure compliant with the rule prescribed? And the argument here managed by the apostle leaves no room for doubt or objection. Would we be more diligent in the same way of the exercise of faith, by arguings and expostulations upon Scripture principles, we should be more firm in our assent unto the conclusions which arise from them, and be enabled more to triumph against the assaults of unbelief.

    Obs. VII. Nothing could expiate sin and free conscience from dead works but the blood of Christ alone, and that in the offering himself to God through the eternal Spirit. — The redemption of the souls of men is precious, and must have ceased for ever, had not infinite wisdom found out this way for its accomplishment. The work was too great for any other to undertake, or for any other means to effect. And the glory of God is hid herein only unto them that perish.

    Obs. VIII. It was God, as the supreme ruler and lawgiver, with whom atonement for sin was to be made: “He offered himself unto God.” It was he whose law was violated, whose justice was provoked, to whom it belonged to require and receive satisfaction. — And who was meet to tender it unto him, but “the man that was his fellow,” who gave efficacy unto his oblation by the dignity of his person? In the contemplation of the glory of God herein the life of faith doth principally consist.

    Obs. IX. The souls and consciences of men are wholly polluted, before they are purged by the blood of Christ. And this pollution is such as excludes them from all right of access unto God in his worship; as it was with them who were legally unclean.

    Obs. X. Even the best works of men, antecedently unto the purging of their consciences by the blood of Christ, are but “dead works.” — However men may please themselves in them, perhaps think to merit by them, yet from death they come, and unto death they tend.

    Obs. XI. Justification and sanctification are inseparably conjoined in the design of God’s grace by the blood of Christ: — “Purge our consciences, that we may serve the living God.”

    Obs. XII. Gospel-worship is such, in its spirituality and holiness, as becometh “the living God;” and our duty it is always to consider that with him we have to do in all that we perform therein.

    VERSE 15.

    Kai< dia< tou~to diaqh>khv kainh~v mesi>thv ejstitou genome>nou , eijv ajpolu>trwsin tw~n ejpi< th~| prw>th diaqh>kh| paraza>sewn , than la>zwsin oiJ keklhme>noi , th~v aijwni>ou klhronomi>av .

    Dia< tou~to . Vulg., “et ideo,” “and therefore.” Syr., an;h; lWfm, , “propter hoe,” “for this;” or “propterea,” “itaque ob id,” “and for this cause.”

    Mesi>thv e]stin . Syr., ay;[;x]m, aw;h\ wh’ , “he himself was the mediator.” “He is the mediator.” Heb., µyin’yBe vyai , “a man coming between.” [Opwv zana>tou genome>non . Vulg., “ut morte intercedente,” “by the interposition of death.” The Syriae reads the passage, “Who by his death was a redeemer unto them who had transgressed against the first testament;” probably, to avoid the difficulty o£ that expression, “for the redemption of transgressions.” The Ethiopic corrupts the whole text.

    Eijv ajpolu>trwsin tw~n paraza>sewn , “in redemptionem eorum praevaricationum.” Vulg., “ad redemptionem eorum transgressionum;” properly, “for the redemption of transgressions,” or those transgressions which were. jEpaggeli>an la>zwsin . Vulg., Syr., “that they may receive the promise who are called to the eternal inheritance.” But in the Original and in the Vulgar “eternal inheritance” is joined unto and regulated by “the promise;” —”the promise of an eternal inheritance.” f Ver. 15. —And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first testament, they who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

    The things which are to be considered in this verse are, 1. The note of connection in the conjunction, “and.” 2. The ground of the ensuing assertion: “For this cause.” 3. The assertion itself: “He is the mediator of the new testament.” 4. The especial reason why he should be so: “For the redemption of transgressions under the first testament.” 5. The way whereby that was to be effected: “By means of death.” 6. The end of the whole: “That they who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

    But before we proceed unto the exposition of the whole or any part of it, a difficulty must be removed from the words as they lie in our translation.

    For an inquiry may be justly moved, why we render the word diaqh>kh by a “testament” in this place, whereas before we have constantly rendered it by a “covenant.” And the plain reason of it is, because from this verse unto the end of the chapter the apostle argues from the nature and use of a testament among men, as he directly affirms in the next verse.

    Hereby he confirms our faith in the expectation of the benefits of this diaqh>kh , — that is, “covenant” or “testament.” We may answer, he doth it because it is the true and proper signification of the word. Diaqh>kh is properly a “testamentary disposition of things;” as sunqh>kh is a “covenant.” For in the composition of the word there is nothing to intimate a mutual compact or agreement, which is necessary unto a covenant, and is expressed in sunqh>kh . However, there is a great affinity in the things themselves: for there are covenants which have in them free grants and donations, which are of the nature of a testament; and there are testaments whose force is resolved into some conventions, conditions, and agreements, which they borrow from the nature of covenants. So there is such an affinity between them as one name may be expressive of them both.

    But against this it will be replied, ‘That what the apostle speaks unto is in the Hebrew called tyriB] , —that is, a “covenant,” and it nowhere signifies a testament; so that from thence the apostle could not argue from the nature of a testament what is required thereunto and what doth depend thereon.’ Hereunto it is answered, That the LXX. constantly rendering tyriB] , “berith,” by diaqh>kh , and not by sunqh>kh , the apostle made use of that translation and that signification of the word. But this will not solve the difficulty; for it would resolve all the apostle’s arguings in this great and important mystery into the authority of that translation, which is fallible throughout, and (at least as it is come to us) filled with actual mistakes. We must therefore give another answer unto this objection.

    Wherefore I say, — 1. The word tyriB] could not be more properly rendered by any one word than by diaqh>kh . For it being mostly used to express the covenant between God and man, it is of such a nature as cannot properly be termed sunqh>kh , which is a covenant or compact upon equal terms of distributive justice between distinct parties; but God’s covenant with man is only the way and the declaration of the terms whereby God will dispose and communicate good things unto us, which hath more of the nature of a testament than of a covenant in it. 2. The word tyriB] is often used to express a free promise, with an effectual donation and communication of the thing promised, as hath been declared in the foregoing chapter; but this hath more of the nature of a testament than of a covenant. 3. There is no word in the Hebrew language whereby to express a testament but tyriB] only. Nor is there so in the Syriac: their yqytyd is nothing but diaqh>kh . The Hebrews express the thing by tyBel] hW;xi , to “order, dispose, give command concerning the house or household of a dying man,” Isaiah 38:1; 2 Samuel 17:23. But they have no other word but berith to signify it; and therefore, where the nature of the thing spoken of requires it, it is properly rendered a “testament,” and ought so to be.

    Wherefore there is no force used unto the signification of the word in this place by the apostle. But that which makes the proper use of it by him evident in this place, is that he had respect unto its signification in the making of the covenant with the people at Sinai; for this he compares the new testament unto in all its causes and effects. And in that covenant there were three things: — 1. The prescription of obedience unto the people on the part of God; which was received by their consent in an express compliance with the law and terms of it, Deuteronomy 5:1-27. Herein the nature of it, so far as it was a covenant, did consist. 2. There was a promise and conveyance of an inheritance unto them, namely, of the land of Canaan, with all the privileges of it. God declared that the land was his, and that he gave it unto them for an inheritance. And this promise or grant was made unto them without any consideration of their previous obedience, out of mere love and grace. The principal design of the book of Deuteronomy is to inlay this principle in the foundation of their obedience. Now the free grant and donation of an inheritance of the goods of him that makes the grant, is properly a testament. A free disposition it was of the goods of the testator. 3. There was in the confirmation of this grant the intervention of death.

    The grant of the inheritance of the land that God made was confirmed by death and the blood of the beasts offered in sacrifice; whereof we must treat on verses 18-20. And although covenants were confirmed by sacrifices, as this was, so far as it was a covenant, namely, with the blood of them; yet as in those sacrifices death was comprised, it was to confirm the testamentary grant of the inheritance. For death is necessary unto the confirmation of a testament; which then could only be in type and representation; the testator himself was not to die for the establishment era typical inheritance.

    Wherefore the apostle having discoursed before concerning the covenant as it prescribed and required obedience, with promises and penalties annexed unto it, he now treats of it as unto the donation and communication of good things by it, with the confirmation of the grant of them by death; in which sense it was a testament, and not a covenant properly so called.

    And the arguing of the apostle from this word is not only just and reasonable, but without it we could never have rightly understood the typical representation that was made of the death, blood, and sacrifice of Christ, in the confirmation of the new testament, as we shall see immediately.

    This difficulty being removed, we may proceed in the exposition of the words.

    First . That which first occurs is the note of connection, in the conjunction “and.” But it cloth not here, as sometimes, infer a reason of what was spoken before, but is emphatically expletive, and denotes a progress in the present argument; as much as “also,” “moreover.”

    Secondly . There is the ground of the ensuing assertion, or the manner of its introduction: “For this cause.” Some say that it looks backward, and intimates a reason of what was spoken before, or why it was necessary that our consciences should be purged from dead works by the blood of Christ, namely, because “he was the mediator of the new covenant;” others say it looks forward, and gives a reason why he was to be the mediator of the new testament, namely, “that by means of death for the transgressions,” etc.

    It is evident that there is a reason rendered in these words of the necessity of the death and sacrifice of Christ, by which alone our consciences may be purged from dead works. And this reason is intended in these words, Dia< tou~to, — “For this cause.” And this necessity of the death of Christ the apostle proves, both from the nature of his office, namely, that he was to be “the mediator of the new covenant,” which, being also a testament, required the death of the testator; and from what was to be effected thereby, namely, the “redemption of transgressions” and the purchase of an “eternal inheritance.’’ Wherefore these are the things which he hath respect unto in these words, “For this cause.”

    But withal the apostle in this verse enlargeth his discourse, as designing to comprehend in it the whole dispensation of the will and grace of God unto the church in Christ, with the ground and reason of it. This reason he layeth down in this verse, giving an account of the effects of it in those that follow. Hereunto respect is had in this expression.

    For the exposition of the words themselves, — that is, the declaration of the mind of the Holy Ghost, and nature of the things contained in them, — we must leave the order of the words and take that of the things themselves. And the things ensuing are declared in them: — 1. That God designed an eternal inheritance unto some persons. 2. The way and manner of conveying a right and title thereunto was by promise. 3. That the persons unto whom this inheritance is designed are those that are called. 4. That there was an obstacle unto the enjoyment of this inheritance, which was transgression against the first covenant. 5. That this obstacle might be removed, and the inheritance enjoyed, God made a new covenant; because none of the rites, ordinances, or sacrifices of the first covenant, could remove that obstacle, or expiate those sins. 6. The ground of the efficacy of the new covenant unto this end was, that it had a mediator, a high priest, such as had been already described. 7. The way and means whereby the mediator of the new covenant did expiate sins under the old was by death; nor could it otherwise be done, seeing this new covenant, being a testament also, required the death of the testator. 8. This death of the mediator of the new testament did take away sins by the redemption of them: “For the redemption of transgressions.” All which must be opened, for the due exposition of these words. 1. God designed unto some an “eternal inheritance.” And both the reason of this grant with the nature of it must be inquired into: — (1.) As unto the reason of it: God in our first creation gave unto man, whom he made his son and heir, as unto things here below, a great inheritance, of mere grace and bounty. This inheritance consisted in the use of all the creatures here below, in a just title unto them and dominion over them. Neither did it consist absolutely in these things, but as they were a pledge of the present favor of God, and of man’s future blessedness upon his obedience. This whole inheritance man forfeited by sin. God also took the forfeiture, and ejected him out of the possession of it, and utterly despoiled him of his title unto it. Nevertheless he designed unto some another inheritance, even one that should not be lost, that should be eternal. It is altogether vain and foolish to seek for any other cause or reason of the preparation of this inheritance, and the designation of it unto any person, but only his own grace and bounty, his sovereign will and pleasure. What merit of it, what means of attaining it, could be found in them who were considered under no other qualification but such as had wofully rejected that inheritance which before they were instated in? And therefore is it called an “inheritance,’’ to mind us that the way whereby we come unto it is gratuitous adoption, and not purchase or merit. (2.) As unto the nature of it, it is declared in the adjunct mentioned; it is “eternal.” And it is so called in opposition unto the inheritance which by virtue of the first testament God granted unto the Israelites in the land of Canaan. That was an inheritance, and was conveyed by a promise. And when God threatened to deprive them of that land, he said he would “disinherit them,” Numbers 14:12. And this inheritance consisted not only in the land itself, but principally in the privileges of holy worship and relation unto God which they enjoyed therein, Romans 9:4,5. But yet all things that belonged unto it were in themselves carnal and temporary, and only types of good things to come. In opposition hereunto God provided an “eternal inheritance.” And as the state of those who are to receive it is twofold, namely, that in this life, and that in the life to come, so there are two parts of their inheritance, namely, grace and glory; for although grace be bestowed and continued only in this life, yet the things we enjoy by virtue of it are eternal. The other part of their inheritance is glory; which is the way of the full, unchangeable possession and enjoyment of it. This, therefore, is not to be excluded from this inheritance, at least as the end and necessary consequent of it. But that which is principally and in the first place intended by it, is that state of things whereinto believers are admitted in this life. The whole inheritance of grace and glory was in the first place given and committed unto Jesus Christ. He was “appointed heir of all things,” Hebrews 1:2. By him is it communicated unto all believers; who thereby become “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ,” Romans 8:15-17. For the Lord Christ, as the great testator, did in and by his death bequeath unto them all his goods, as an eternal legacy. All that grace, mercy, and glory, all the riches of them which are prepared in the covenant, are comprised herein. And a goodly inheritance it is; the lines are fallen unto believers in pleasant places. And the way whereby we become interested in this inheritance is by gratuitous adoption. “If sons, then heirs.”

    This is that which is the end of all, and regulates all that precedes in this verse. It declares the way whereby .God would communicate unto some persons the inheritance which in free grace and bounty he had provided.

    And, — Obs. I. It is an act of mere sovereign grace in God to provide such a blessed inheritance for any of them who had sinfully cast away what they were before intrusted withal. — And into this are all God’s following dealings with the church to be resolved. If there was nothing in us to move God to provide this inheritance for us, no more is there of the communication of any part of it unto us; as we shall see further on the next words. 2. The way whereby God did convey or would communicate this inheritance unto any, was by promise: “Might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance.” The Syriac translation refers the inheritance unto the “called:” “Those that are called to an eternal inheritance.” But in the original it respects the “promise: “The promise of an eternal inheritance;’’ for by the promise is assurance given of it, and it is the means of the actual conveyance of it unto us. And the apostle hath respect unto what he had discoursed about the promise of God, and the confirmation of it by his oath, Hebrews 6:15-18. So he declares it also, Galatians 3:18. The promise made unto Abraham, and confirmed by the oath of God, was concerning the eternal inheritance by Christ. The inheritance of Canaan was by the law, or the first covenant; but this was by promise. And we may consider three things: (1.) What is the promise intended. (2.) How and why it was by promise. (3.) How we do receive the promise of it. (1.) The “promise” principally intended is that which was given unto Abraham, and confirmed by the oath of God: for the inheritance, that is, the eternal inheritance, was of the promise, Galatians 3:18, namely, that in the seed of Abraham all nations should be blessed. It includes, indeed, the first promise, made unto our first parents, which was the spring and foundation of it, and respects all the following promises concerning the Lord Christ and the benefits of his mediation, with all the grace which is administered by them, which were further declarations and confirmations of it; but that great solemn promise is principally intended: for the apostle designs to convince the Hebrews that neither by the law nor by the sacrifices and ordinances of it they could come unto the inheritance promised unto Abraham and his seed. This was “the promise of eternal inheritance,’’ whereof that of the land of Canaan was a type only. (2.) We must inquire how and why this inheritance is conveyed by promise. And God made this settlement by promise for these ends; — [1.] To evince the absolute freedom of the preparation and grant of it. The promise is everywhere opposed unto every thing of works or desert in ourselves. It hath no respect unto what we were or did deserve. The land of Canaan was given to the posterity of Abraham by promise. And therefore doth God so often mind them of the freedom of it, — that it was an act of mere love and sovereign grace, which in themselves they were so far from deserving, as that they were altogether unworthy of it, Deuteronomy 9:4,5, 7:7, 8. Much less hath the promise of the eternal inheritance respect unto any thing of works in ourselves. [2.] To give security unto all the heirs of it unto whom it was designed.

    Hence in this promise and the confirmation of it, there was the highest engagement of the faithfulness and veracity of God. There was so, “to the end that the promise might be sure unto all the seed,” Romans 4:16.

    Wherefore God doth not only declare the relation of it unto his essential truth, — ‘God, who cannot lie, hath given this promise of eternal life,’ Titus 1:2, — but hath ‘confirmed it with his oath; that by two immutable things, wherein it was impossible that God should lie, it might be established.’ The reasons of the use and necessity hereof have been declared on Hebrews 6:17,18. [3.] It was thus conveyed, and is communicated by promise unto all the heirs of it in their successive generations, that the way of obtaining this inheritance on our part might be by faith, and no otherwise; for what God hath only promised doth necessarily require faith unto its reception, and faith only. There is nothing can contribute aught unto an interest in the promise, but the mixing of it with faith, Hebrews 4:2. And “it is of faith, that it may be by grace,” Romans 4:16; namely, that it may be evidenced to be of the mere grace of God, in opposition unto all worth, works and endeavors of our own. And if all grace and glory, all benefits of the mediation of Christ, our sanctification, justification, and glorification, be an inheritance prepared in grace, conveyed by promise, and received by faith, there is no place left for our own works, with reference unto the procurement of an interest in them. Freely it was provided, freely it is proposed, and freely it is received. (3.) We may inquire what it is to “receive” the promise. And it hath a double sense: [1.] As the promise may be considered formally or materially. To receive the promise formally as a promise, is to have it declared unto us, and to mix it with faith, or to believe it. This it is to receive the promise, in opposition unto them by whom it is rejected through unbelief. So Abraham is said to “receive the promises,” Hebrews 11:17, in that when they were given unto him, “he staggered not through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God,” Romans 4:20. [2.] As the promise is materially considered, so to receive it is to receive the thing promised. So it is said of the saints under the old testament, that “they obtained a good report through faith,” but “received not the promise,” Hebrews 11:39. They received the promises by faith in them as proposed; but the principal thing promised, which was the coming of Christ in the flesh, they received not. The receiving of the promise here mentioned is of both kinds, according to the distinct parts of this inheritance. As unto the future state of glory, we receive the promise in the first way; that is, we believe it, rest upon it, trust unto the truth of God in it, and live in the expectation of it. And the benefit we receive hereby, as unto our spiritual life and consolation, is inexpressible. As unto the foundation of the whole inheritance, in the oblation and sacrifice of Christ, and all the grace, mercy, and love, with the fruits of them, whereof in this life we are made partakers, and all the privileges of the gospel, believers under the new testament receive the promise in the second sense; namely, the things promised. And so did they also under the old testament, according to the measure of the divine dispensation towards them. And we may observe, — Obs. II. All our interest in the gospel inheritance depends on our receiving the promise by faith. — Though it be prepared in the counsel of God, though it be proposed unto us in the dispensation of the gospel, yet, unless we receive the promise of it by faith, we have no right or title unto it.

    Obs. III. The conveyance and actual communication of the eternal inheritance by promise, to be received by faith alone, tends exceedingly unto the exaltation of the glory of God, and the security of the salvation of them that do believe. — For, as unto the latter, it depends absolutely on the veracity of God, confirmed by his oath. And faith, on the other hand, is the only way and means of ascribing unto God the glory of all the holy properties of his nature, which he designs to exalt in this dispensation of himself. 3. The persons unto whom this inheritance is designed, and who do receive the promise of it, are “those that are called.” It is to no purpose to discourse here about outward and inward calling, effectual and ineffectual, complied with or not: no others are intended but those that actually receive the promise. It was the design of God, in this whole dispensation, that all the called should receive the promise; and if they do not so, his counsel, and that in the greatest work of his wisdom, power, and grace, is frustrated. They are the “called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28; — those who obtain the inheritance “being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will,” Ephesians 1:11. God here puts forth his almighty power, that his purpose, or the counsel of his will, may be established, in giving the inheritance unto all that are called: “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified,” or gave them the whole eternal inheritance, Romans 8:30. Hence Estius, an expositor of the Roman church, chargeth the contrary opinion in Catharinus as unorthodox. It is not a general call, wherein those who are so called may or may not receive the inheritance; but what God designs unto them that are intended, they are so called as that they shall assuredly be made partakers of it. This is the end that God designed in the dispensation of himself by Jesus Christ here declared, and therefore respect is had thereunto in the whole of it.

    Some think that by “the called” here, those only are intended who were so under the old testament: for mention is made only of the redemption of transgressions under that covenant; in what sense shall be immediately declared. But this is contrary both unto the design of the apostle and the use of the word. For on that supposition, he says no more but that Christ was the mediator of the new testament,’ that those might be saved who lived and died under the old. But his principal design is to prove the advantage that we now have, even above the elect themselves under the old testament; yet so as not to exclude them from the same benefit with us by. the mediation of Christ, as unto the substance of it. And “the called,” in the language of this apostle, doth principally signify the “called in Christ Jesus.”

    Obs. IV. Effectual vocation is the only way of entrance into the eternal inheritance; for it is accompanied with adoption, which gives us right and title thereunto, John 1:12. In vain do they expect it who are not so called. 4. Things being thus prepared in the counsel and grace of God, yet there was an obstacle in the way of actually receiving the promise; namely, the “transgressions that were under the first testament.” God designed unto the elect an eternal inheritance; yet can they not be made partakers of it, but in such a way as was suited unto his glory. It was unjust and unreasonable that it should be otherwise. Whereas, therefore, they were all of them guilty of sin, their sins must be expiated and taken out of the way, or they cannot receive the promise of the inheritance.

    Paraza>seiv , µyniwO[\ µy[iv;P] . Our word “transgressions” doth properly express the original word. And in the distribution of sins by their names into µyniwO[\ µy[iv;P] , and µyaif;j\ , Leviticus 16:21, we render µy[iv;P] by it. But it compriseth all sorts of sins whereby the law is transgressed, be they great or small. Every thing that hath the nature of sin must be expiated, or the inheritance cannot be enjoyed.

    Obs. V. Though God will give grace and glory unto his elect, yet he will do it in such a way as wherein and whereby he may be glorified also himself. — Satisfaction must be made for transgression, unto the honor of his righteousness, holiness, and law.

    There are yet sundry difficulties in this expression, which must be inquired into. For, — (1.) “The redemption” or expiation “of sins” is confined unto those under the old testament; whence it should seem that there is none made for those under the new. Ans. The emphasis of the expression, “sins under the old testament,” respects either the time when the sine intended were committed, or the testament against which they were committed. And the preposition ejpi> will admit of either sense. Take it in the first way, and the argument follows “a fortiori,” as unto the sins committed under the new testament; though there be no expiation of sins against it, which properly are only final unbelief and impenitency. For the expiation intended is made by the mediator of the new testament: and if he expiated the sins that were under the first testament, that is, of those who lived and died whilst that covenant was in force, much more doth he do so for them who live under the administration of that testament whereof he is the mediator; for sins are taken away by virtue of that testament whereunto they do belong. And it is with peculiar respect, unto them that the blood of Christ is called “the blood of the new testament, for the redemption of sins.”

    But yet more probably the meaning may be, the sins that were and are committed against that first covenant, or the law and rule of it. For whereas that covenant did in its administration comprise the moral law, which was the substance and foundation of it, all sins whatever have their form and nature with respect thereunto. So “sins under the first covenant,” are all sins whatever; for there is no sin committed under the gospel but it is a sin against that law which requires us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and all our strength.

    Either way, the sins of them who are called under the new testament are included. (2.) It is inquired whether it is the nature of the sins intended that is respected, or the persons guilty of them also under that testament. The Syriac translation avoids this difficulty, by rendering the words of the abstract, “the redemption of transgressions,” in the concrete, “a redeemer unto them who had transgressed.” That it is a certain sort of sins that is intended, Socinus was the first that invented. And his invention is the foundation of the exposition not only of Schlichtingius, but of Grotius also on this place. Such sins they say they are, as for which no expiation was to be made by the sacrifices of the law, — sins of a greater nature than could be expiated by them; for they only made expiation of some smaller sins, as sins of ignorance, or the like. But there is no respect unto the persons of them who lived under that testament; whom they will not grant to be redeemed by the blood of Christ. Wherefore, according unto them, the difference between the expiation of sin by the sacrifices of the law and that by the sacrifice of Christ, doth not consist in their nature, that the one did it only typically, and in an external representation, by the purifying of the flesh, the other really and effectually; but in this, that the one expiated lesser sins only, the other greater also.

    But there is nothing sound or consonant unto the truth in this interpretation of the words. For,- [1.] It proceeds on a false supposition, — that there were sins of the people (not only presumptuous sins, and which had impenitency in them) for which no atonement was made, nor expiation of them allowed; which is expressly contrary unto Leviticus 16:16,21. And whereas some offenses were capital amongst them, for which no atonement was allowed to free the sinner from death, yet that belonged unto the political rule of the people, and hindered not but that typically all sorts of sins were to be expiated. [2.] It is contrary unto the express design of the apostle. For he had proved before, by all sorts of arguments, that the sacrifices of the taw could not expiate any sin, could not purge the conscience from dead works; that they “made nothing perfect.” And this he speaks not of this or that sin, but of every sin wherein the conscience of a sinner is concerned, Hebrews 10:1,2. Hence two things follow: — 1st. That they did not, in and of themselves, really expiate any one sin, small or great. It was impossible, saith the apostle, that they should do so, Hebrews 10:4; only they “sanctified to the purifying of the flesh:” which overthrows the foundation of this exposition. 2dly. That they did typify and represent the expiation of all sorts of sins whatever, and made application of it unto their souls. For if it was so, that there was no atonement for their sins, that their consciences were not purged from dead works, nor themselves consummated, but only had some outward purification of the flesh, it cannot be but they must all eternally perish; but that this was not their condition the apostle proves from hence, because they were called of God unto an eternal inheritance, as he had proved at large concerning Abraham, Hebrews 6. Hence he infers the necessity of the mediation and death of Christ, as without the virtue whereof all the called under the first covenant must perish eternally, thero being no other way to come to the inheritance. (3.) Whereas the apostle mentions only the sins under the first covenant, as unto the time past before the exhibition of Christ in the flesh, or the death of the mediator of the new testament, what is to be thought of them who lived during that season who belonged not unto the covenant, but were strangers from it, such as are described Ephesians 2:12? I answer, The apostle takes no notice of them; and that because, taking them generally, Christ died not for them. Yea, that he did not so, is sufficiently proved from this place. Those who live and die strangers from God’s covenant have no interest in the mediation of Christ.

    Wherein the redemption of those transgressions did consist shall be declared in its proper place. And we may observe, — Obs. VI. Such is the malignant nature of sin, of all transgression of the law, that unless it be removed, unless it be taken out of the way, no person can enjoy the promise of the eternal inheritance.

    Obs. VII. It was the work of God alone to contrive, and it was the effect of, infinite wisdom and grace to provide, a way for the removal of sin, that it might not be an everlasting obstacle against the communication of an eternal inheritance unto them that are called. 5. We have declared the design of God here represented unto us, who are the persons towards whom it was to be accomplished, and what lay in the way as a hinderance of it. That which remains in the words, is the way that God took and the means that he used for the removal of that hinderance, and the effectual accomplishment of his design.

    This in general was, first, the making of a new testament. He had fully proved before that this could not be done by that covenant against which the sins were committed, neither by the priests, nor sacrifices, nor any other duties of it. Therefore had he promised the abolition of it, because of its weakness and insufficiency unto this end, as also the introduction of a new to supply its defects, as we have seen at large in the exposition of the foregoing chapter. For it became the wisdom, goodness, and grace of God, upon the removal of the one for its insufficiency, to establish another that should be every way effectual unto his purpose, namely, the communication of an eternal inheritance unto them that are called. But then the inquiry will be, how this covenant or testament shall effect this end; what is in it, what belongs unto it that should be so effectual, and by what means it might attain this end. All these are declared in the words. And, — 6. In general, all this arose from hence, that it had a mediator, and that the Lord Christ, the Son of God, was this mediator. The dignity of his person, and thereon both the excellency and efficacy of his priestly office, — whereunto alone respect is had in his being called here a mediator, — he had abundantly before demonstrated. Although the word in general be of a larger signification, as we have declared on Hebrews 8:6, yet here it is restrained unto his priestly office, and his acting therein. For whereas he had treated of that alone in the foregoing chapter, here, declaring the grounds and reasons of the necessity of it, he says, “For this cause is he the mediator.” And proceeding to show in what sense he considers him as a mediator, he doth it by his being a testator and dying; which belongs to his priestly office alone. And the sole end which in this place he assigns unto his mediatory office, is his death: “That by means of death.”

    Whereas, therefore, there were sins committed under the first covenant, and against it, and would have been so for ever, had it continued, which it was no way able so to take away as that the called might receive the inheritance, the Lord Christ undertook to be the mediator of that covenant, which was provided as a remedy against these evils. For herein he undertook to answer for and expiate all those sins. Whereas, therefore, expiation of sin is to be made by an act towards God, with whom alone atonement is to be made, so as that it may be pardoned, the mediation of Christ here intended is that whereby, suffering death in our stead, in the behalf of all that are called, he made atonement for sin.

    But moreover, God had a further design herein. He would not only free them that are called from that death which they deserved by their sins against the first covenant, but give them also a right and title unto an eternal inheritance, — that is, of grace and glory; wherefore the procurement hereof also depends on the mediation of Christ. For by his obedience unto God in the discharge thereof he purchased for them this inheritance, and bequeathed it unto them, as the mediator of the new testament.

    The provision of this mediator of the new testament is the greatest effect of the infinite wisdom, love, and grace of God. This is the center of his eternal counsels. In the womb of this one mercy all others are contained.

    Herein will he be glorified unto eternity. (1.) The first covenant of works was broken and disannulled, because it had no mediator. (2.) The covenant at Sinai had no such mediator as could expiate sin.

    Hence, — (3.) Both of them became means of death and condemnation. (4.) God saw that, in the making of the new covenant, it was necessary to put all things into the hand of a mediator, that it also might not be frustrated. (5.) This mediator was not in the first place to preserve us in the state of the new covenant, but to deliver us from the guilt of the breach of the former, and the curse thereon. To make provision for this end was the effect of infinite wisdom. 7. The especial way and means whereby this effect was wrought by this mediator, was by death: “Morte obita,” “facta,” “interveniente,” “intercedente. “By means of death,” say we. Death was the means, that whereby the mediator procured the effect mentioned. That which in the foregoing verse is ascribed unto the blood of Christ, which he offered as a priest, is here ascribed unto his death as a mediator. For both these really are the same: only in the one, the thing itself is expressed, it was death; in the other, the manner of it, it was by blood: in the one, what he did and suffered, with respect unto the curse of the first covenant, it was death; in the other, the ground of his making expiation for sin by his death, or how it came so to do, name]y, not merely as it was death or penal, but as it was a voluntary sacrifice or oblation.

    It was therefore necessary unto the end mentioned that the mediator of the new testament should die: not as the high priests of old died, a natural death for themselves; but as the sacrifice died that was slain and offered for others. He was to die that death which was threatened unto transgressors against the first covenant; that is, death under the curse of the law. There must therefore be some great cause and end why this mediator, being the only begotten of the Father, should thus die. “This was,” say the Socinians, “that he might confirm the doctrine that he taught. He died as a martyr, not as a sacrifice.” But, — (1.) There was no need that he should die unto that end; for his doctrine was sufficiently confirmed by the scriptures of the Old Testament, the evidence of the presence of God in him, and the miracles which he wrought. (2.) Notwithstanding their pretense, they do not assign the confirmation of his doctrine unto his death, but unto his resurrection from the dead.

    Neither indeed do they allow any gracious effect unto his death, either towards God or men, but only make it something necessarily antecedent unto what he did of that kind. Nor do they allow that he acted any thing at all towards God on our behalf. Whereas the Scripture constantly assigns our redemption, sanctification, and salvation, to the death and blood of Christ, these persons [1.] Deny that of itself it hath any influence into them: wherefore, [2.] They say that Christ by his death confirmed the new covenant; but hereby they intend nothing but what they do also in the former, or the confirmation of his doctrine, with an addition of somewhat worse. For they would have him to confirm the promises of God as by him declared, and no more; as though he were God’s surety to us, and not a surety for us unto God. Neither do they assign this unto his death, but unto his resurrection from the dead. But suppose all this, and that the death of Christ were in some sense useful and profitable unto these ends, which is all they plead, yet what use and advantage was it of, with respect unto them, that he should die an accursed death, under the curse of the law and a sense of God’s displeasure? Hereof the Socinians, and those that follow them, can yield no reason at all. It would become these men, so highly pretending unto reason, to give an account upon their own principles of the death of the only-begotten Son of God, in the highest course and most intense acts of obedience, that may be compliant with the wisdom, holiness, and goodness of God, considering the kind of death that he died.

    But what they cannot do, the apostle doth in the next words. 8. The death of the mediator of the new testament was “for the redemption of transgressions;” and for this end it was necessary. Sin lay in the way of the enjoyment of the inheritance which grace had prepared. It did so in the righteousness and faithfulness of God. Unless it were removed, the inheritance could not be received. The way whereby this was to be done, was by redemption. The “redemption of transgressions,” is the deliverance of the transgressors from all the evils they were subject unto on their account, by the payment of a satisfactory price. The words used to express it, lu>tron , ajnti>lutron , lu>trwsiv , ajpolu>trwsiv , lutrou~sqai , will admit of no other signification. Here it must answer “the purging of conscience by the blood of Christ.” And he calls his life “a ransom,” or price of redemption. And this utterly destroys the foundation of the Socinian redemption and expiation for sin; for they make it only a freedom from punishment by an act of power. Take off the covering of the words, which they use in a sense foreign to the Scripture and their proper signification, and their sense is expressly contradictory unto the sense and words of the apostle. He declares Christ to have been the high priest and mediator of the new testament in the same acts and duties; they teach that he ceased to be a mediator when he began to be a priest. He affirms that the blood of Christ doth expiate sin; they, that he doth it by an act of power in heaven, where there is no use of his blood. He says that his death was necessary unto, and was the means or cause of the redemption of transgressions, — that is, to be a price of redemption, or just compensation for them; they contend that no such thing is required thereunto. And whereas the Scriptures do plainly assign the expiation of sin, redemption, reconciliation and peace with God, sanctification and salvation, unto the death and blood-shedding of Christ; they deny them all and every one to be in any sense effects of it, only they say it was an antecedent sign of the truth of his doctrine in his resurrection, and an antecedent condition of his exaltation and power: which is to reject the whole mystery of the gospel.

    Besides the particular observations which we have made on the several passages of this verse, something may yet in general be observed from it; as, — Obs. VIII. A new testament providing an eternal inheritance in sovereign grace; the constitution of a mediator, such a mediator, for that testament, in infinite wisdom and love; the death of that testator for the redemption of transgressions, to fulfill the law, and satisfy the justice of God; with the communication of that inheritance by promise, to be received by faith in all them that are called; are the substance of the mystery of the gospel.

    And all these are with wonderful wisdom comprised by the apostle in these words.

    Obs. IX. That the efficacy of the mediation and death of Christ extended itself unto all the called under the old testament, is an evident demonstration of his divine nature, his pre-existence unto all these things, and the eternal covenant between the Father and him about them.

    Obs. X. The first covenant did only forbid and condemn transgressions; redemption from them is by the new testament alone.

    Obs. XI. The glory and efficacy of the new covenant, and the assurance of the communication of an eternal inheritance by virtue of it, depend hereon, that it was made a testament by the death of the mediator; which is further proved in the following verses.

    VERSES 16, 17. [Opou gakh , za>naton ajna>gkh qe>resqai tou~ diaqeme>nou? diaqh>kh gaa , ejpei< mh>pote ijscu>ei o[te zh~| oJ diaqe>menov .

    Qa>naton ajna>gkh fe>resqai . Syr., ay;Y]j’m] Yh at;w]m’ the death of him is declared,” showed, argued, or proved. “Mors intercedat necesse est;” “necesse est mortem intercedere.” Ar., “Necesse est mortem ferri;” which is not proper in the Latin tongue: however, there is an emphasis in fe>resqai , more than is expressed by “intercedo.” Diaqeme>non . Syr., Hd;b][‘D] wh;D] , “of him that made it; “of the testator.’’ jEpi< nekroi~v .

    Syr., Wh at;ymi l[‘ , “in him that is dead;” “in mortuis,” “among them that are dead.” Bezai>a . Vulg., “confirmatum est;” and so the Syriac, “ratum est,” more proper. Mh>pote iescu>ei . Syr., Wjv]j’ HB; tyl’ , “there is no use, profit, or benefit in it.” Ar., “nunquam valet;” “quandoquidem nunquam valet;” “nondum valet;” “it is not yet of force.” f22 Ver. 16, 17. — For where a testament [is, ] there must also of necessity be brought in the death of the testator. For a testament [is ] firm [or ratifed ] after men are dead; otherwise it is of no force whilst the testator liveth.

    There is not much more to be considered in these verses, but only how the observation contained in them doth promote and confirm the argument which the apostle insists upon. Now this is to prove the necessity and use of the death of Christ, from the nature, ends, and use of the covenant whereof he was the mediator; for it being a testament also, it was to be confirmed with the death of the testator. This is proved in these verses from the notion of a testament, and the only use of it amongst men. For the apostle in this epistle doth argue several times from such usages amongst men as, proceeding from the principles of reason and equity, were generally prevalent among them. So he doth in his discourse concerning the assurance given by the oath of God, Hebrews 6. And here he doth the same from what was commonly agreed upon, and suitable unto the reason of things, about the nature and use of a testament. The things here mentioned were known to all, approved by all, and were the principal means of the preservation of peace and property in human societies. For although testaments, as unto their especial regulation, owe their original unto the Roman civil law, yet as unto the substance of them, they were in use amongst all mankind from the foundation of the world. For a testament is the just determination of a man’s will concerning what he will have done with his goods after his decease; or, it is the will of him that is dead. Take this power from men, and you root up the whole foundation of all industry and diligence in the world. For what man will labor to increase his substance, if when he dies he may not dispose of it unto those which by nature, affinity, or other obligations, he hath must respect unto?

    Wherefore the foundation of the apostle’s arguing from this usage amongst men is firm and stable.

    Of the like nature is his observation, that “a testament is of no force whilst the testator liveth.” The nature of the thing itself, expounded by constant practice, will admit no doubt of it. For by what way soever a man disposeth of his goods, so as that it shall take effect whilst he is alive, as by sale or gift, it is not a testament, nor hath any thing of the nature of a testament in it; for that is only the will of a man concerning his goods when he is dead.

    These things being unquestionable, we are only to consider whence the apostle takes his argument to prove the necessity of the death of Christ, as he was the mediator of the new testament.

    Now this is not merely from the signification of the word diaqh>kh , — which yet is of consideration also, as hath been declared, — but whereas he treats principally of the two covenants, it is the affinity that is between a solemn covenant and a testament that he hath respect unto. For he speaks not of the death of Christ merely as it was death, which is all that is required unto a testament properly so called, without any consideration of what nature it is; but he speaks of it also as it was a sacrifice, by the effusion of his blood, which belongs unto a covenant, and is no way required unto a testament. Whereas, therefore, the word may signify either a covenant or a testament precisely so called, the apostle hath respect unto both the significations of it. And having in these verses mentioned his death as the death of a testator, which is proper unto a testament, in the 4th verse, and those that follow, he insists on his blood as a sacrifice, which is proper unto a covenant. But these things must be more fully explained, whereby the difficulty which appears in the whole context will be removed.

    Unto the confirmation or ratification of a testament, that it may be bezai>a , “sure, stable, and of force;,” there must be death, “the death of the testator.” But there is no need that this should be by blood, the blood of the testator, or any other. Unto the consideration of a covenant, blood was required, the blood of the sacrifice, and death only consequentially, as that which would ensue thereon; but there was no need that it should be the blood or death of him that made the covenant. Wherefore the apostle, declaring the necessity of the death of Christ, both as to the nature of it, that it was really death; and as to the manner of it, that it was by the effusion of his blood; and that from the consideration of the two covenants, the old and the new testament, and what was required unto them; he evinceth it by that which was essential unto them both, in a covenant as such, and in a testament precisely so called. That which is most eminent and essential unto a testament, is, that it is confirmed and made irrevocable by the death of the testator; and that which is the excellency of a solemn covenant, whereby it is made firm and stable, is, that it was confirmed with the blood of sacrifices, as he proves in the instance of the covenant made at Sinai, verses 18-20. Wherefore, whatever is excellent in either of these was to be found in the mediator of the new testament. Take it as a testament, which, upon the bequeathment made therein of the goods of the testator unto the heirs of promise, of grace and glory, it hath the nature of, and he died as the testator; whereby the grant of the inheritance was made irrevocable unto them. Hereunto no more is required but his death, without the consideration of the nature of it, in the way of a sacrifice. Take it as a covenant, as, upon the consideration of the promises contained in it, and the prescription of obedience, it hath the nature of a covenant, though not of a covenant strictly so called, and so it was to be confirmed with the blood of the sacrifice of himself; which is the eminency of the solemn confirmation of this covenant. And as his death had an eminency above the death required unto a testament, in that it was by blood, and in the sacrifice of himself, which it is no way necessary that the death of a testator should be, yet it fully answered the death of a testator, in that he truly died; so had it an eminency above all the ways of the confirmation of the old covenant, or any other solemn covenant whatever, in that whereas such a covenant was to be confirmed with the blood of sacrifices, yet was it not required that it should be the blood of him that made the covenant, as here it was.

    The consideration hereof solves all the appearing difficulties in the nature and manner of the apostle’s argument. The word tyriB] , whereunto respect is here had, is, as we have showed, of a large signification and various use. And frequently it is taken for a “free grant and disposition” of things by promise, which hath the nature of a testament. And in the old covenant there was a free grant and donation of the inheritance of the land of Canaan unto the people; which belongs unto the nature of a testament also. Moreover, both of them, a covenant and a testament, do agree in the general nature of their confirmation, the one by blood, the other by death.

    Hereon the apostle, in the use of the word diaqh>kh , doth diversely argue both unto the nature, necessity, and use of the death of the mediator of the new testament. He was to die in the confirmation of it as it was a testament, he being the testator of it; and he was to offer himself as a sacrifice in his blood, for the establishment of it, as it had the nature of a covenant. Wherefore the apostle doth not argue, as some imagine, merely from the signification of the word, whereby, as they say, that in the original is not exactly rendered. And those who have from hence troubled themselves and others about the authority of this epistle, have nothing to thank for it but their own ignorance of the design of the apostle, and the nature of his argument. And it were well if we all were more sensible of our own ignorance, and more apt to acknowledge it, when we meet with difficulties in the Scripture, than for the most part we are. Alas! how short are our lines, when we come to fathom the depths of it! How inextricable difficulties do appear sometimes in passages of it, which when God is pleased to teach us, are all pleasant and easy!

    These things being premised, to clear the scope and nature of the apostle’s argument, we proceed unto a brief exposition of the words.

    Ver. 16. — “For where a testament [is,] there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

    There are two things in the words: 1. A supposition of a testament. 2. What is required thereunto. 1. In the first place there is, (1.) The note of inference; (2.) The supposition itself. (1.) The first is the particle “for.” This cloth not infer a reason to ensue of what he had before affirmed, which is the common use of that illative; but only the introduction of an illustration of it, from what is the usage of mankind in such cases, on supposition that this covenant is also a testament. For then there must be the death of the testator, as it is in all testaments amongst men. (2.) The supposition itself is in these words, [Opou diaqh>kh . The verb substantive is wanting. “Where a testament is;” so it is by us supplied, it may be, not necessarily. For the expression, “Where a testament is,” may suppose that the death of the testator is required unto the making of a testament; which, as the apostle showeth in the next verse, it is not, but only unto its execution. ‘In the case of a testament, namely, that it may be executed,’ is the meaning of the word “where;” that is, ‘wherever.’

    Amongst all sorts of men, living according unto the light of nature and the conduct of reason, the making of testaments is in use; for without it neither can private industry be encouraged nor public peace maintained.

    Wherefore, as was before observed the apostle argueth from the common usage of mankind, resolved into the principles of reason and equity. 2. What is required unto the validity of a testament; and that is, the death of the testator. And the way of the introduction of this death unto the validity of a testament is, by “being brought in,” — fe>resqai ; that it enter, namely, after the ratifying of the testament, to make it of force, or to give it operation. The testament is made by a living man; but whilst he lives it is dead, or of no use. That it may operate and be effectual, death must be brought into the account. This death must be the death of the testator, — tou~ diaqeme>nou . JO diaqe>menov is he who disposeth of things; who hath right so to do, and actually doth it. This in a testament is the testator. And diaqh>kh and diaze>menov have in the Greek the same respect unto one another as “testamentum” and “testator” in the Latin.

    Wherefore, if the new covenant hath the nature of a testament, it must have a testator, and that testator must die, before it can be of force and efficacy; which is what was to be proved.

    This is further confirmed, — Ver. 17. — “For a testament [is ] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all, while the testator liveth.”

    It is not of the making and constitution of a testament, but of the force and execution of it, that he speaks. And in these words he gives a reason of the necessity of the death of the testator thereunto. And this is because the validity and efficacy of the testament depend solely thereon. And this reason he introduceth by the conjunction ga>r , “for.”

    A testament ejpi< nekroi~v bezai>a , — “is of force,” say we; that is, firm, stable, not to be disannulled. For “if it be but a man’s testament, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereunto,” Galatians 3:15.

    It is ratified, made unalterable, so as that it must be executed according unto the mind of the testator. And it is so ejpi< nekroi~v , “among them that are dead,” “after men are dead;” that is, those who make the testament: for it is opposed unto o[te zh~ oJ diaqe>menov , “whilst the testator liveth;” for testaments are the wills of dead men. Living men have no heirs. And this sense is declared in these words, ejpei< mhei, “quandoquidem,” “quoniam,” “seeing that;” “otherwise,” say we, — without this accession unto the making of a testament, as yet it prevaileth not, it is not of force for the actual distribution of the inheritance or the goods of the testator.

    Two things must yet further be declared: 1. What are the grounds or general reasons of this assertion. 2. Where lies the force of the argument from it: — 1. The force of a testament depends on the death of the testator, or the death of the testator is required to make it effectual, for these two reasons: — (1.) Because a testament is no act or deed of a man whereby he presently, and in the making of it, conveys, gives, or grants, any part of his possession unto another, or others, so as that it should immediately thereon cease to be his own, and become the property of those others: all such instruments of contract, bargain, sale, or deeds of gift, are of another nature, they are not testaments. A testament is only the signification of the will of a man as unto what he will have done with his goods after his death. Wherefore unto the force and execution of it his death is necessary. (2.) A testament, that is only so, is alterable at the pleasure of him that makes it whilst he is alive. Wherefore it can be of no force whilst he is so; for he may change it or disannul it when he pleaseth. The foundation, therefore, of the apostle’s argument from this usage amongst men is firm and stable. 2. Whereas the apostle argueth from the proportion and similitude that is between this new testament or covenant and the testaments of men, we may consider what are the things wherein that similitude doth consist, and show also wherein there is a dissimilitude, whereunto his reasonings are not to be extended. For so it is in all comparisons; the comparates are not alike in all things, especially where things spiritual and temporal are compared together. So was it also in all the types of old. Every person or every thing that was a type of Christ, was not so in all things, in all that they were. And therefore it requires both wisdom and diligence to distinguish in what they were so, and in what they were not, that no false inferences or conclusions be made from them. So is it in all comparisons; and therefore, in the present instance, we must consider wherein the things compared do agree, and wherein they differ. (1.) They agree principally in the death of the testator. This alone makes a testament among men effectual and irrevocable. So is it in this new testament. It was confirmed and ratified by the death of the testator, Jesus Christ; and otherwise could not have been of force. This is the fundamental agreement between them, which therefore alone the apostle expressly insisteth on, although there are other things which necessarily accompany it, as essential unto every testament; as, — (2.) In every testament amongst men there are goods disposed and bequeathed unto heirs or legatees, which were the property of the testator.

    Where a man hath nothing to give or bequeath, he can make no testament; for that is nothing but his will concerning the disposal of his own goods after his decease. So is it in this new testament. All the goods of grace and glory were the property, the inheritance of Christ, firmly instated in him alone; for he was “appointed heir of all things.” But in his death, as a testator, he made a bequeathment of them all unto the elect, appointing them to be heirs of God, co-heirs with himself. And this also is required unto the nature and essence of a testament. (3.) In a testament there is always an absolute grant made of the goods bequeathed, without condition or limitation. So is it here also; the goods and inheritance of the kingdom of heaven are bequeathed absolutely unto all the elect, so as that no intervenience can defeat them of it. And what there is in the gospel, which is the instrument of this testament, that prescribes conditions unto them, that exacts terms of obedience from them, it belongs unto it as it is a covenant, and not as a testament. Yet, — (4.) It is in the will and power of the testator, in and by his testament, to assign and determine both the time, season, and way, whereby those to whom he hath bequeathed his goods shall be admitted unto the actual possession of them. So it is in this case also. The Lord Christ, the great testator, hath determined the way whereby the elect shall come to be actually possessed of their legacies, namely, “by faith that is in him,” Acts 26:18. So also he hath reserved the time and season of their conversion in this world, and entrance into future glory, in his own hand and power.

    And these things belong unto the illustration of the comparison insisted on, although it be only one thing that the apostle argues from it, touching the necessity of the death of the testator. But notwithstanding these instances of agreement between the new testament and the testaments of men, whereby it appears to have in it, in sundry respects, the nature of a testament, yet in many things there is also a disagreement between them, evidencing that it is also a covenant, and abideth so, notwithstanding what it hath of the nature of a testament, from the death of the testator; as, — (1.) A testator amongst men ceaseth to have any right in or use of the goods bequeathed by him, when once his testament is of force. And this is by reason of death, which destroys all title and use of them. But our testator divests himself neither of right nor possession, nor of the use of any of his goods. And this follows on a twofold difference, the one in the persons, the other in the goods or things bequeathed: — [1.] In the persons. For a testator amongst men dieth absolutely; he liveth not again in this world, but “lieth down, and riseth not, until the heavens be no more.” Hereon all right unto, and all use of the goods of this life, cease for ever. Our testator died actually and really, to confirm his testament: but, 1st. He died not in his whole person; 2dly. In that nature wherein he died he lived again, “and is alive for evermore.” Hence all his goods are still in his own power. [2.] In the things themselves. For the goods bequeathed in the testaments of men are of that nature as that the propriety of them cannot be vested in many, so as that every one should have a right unto and the enjoyment of all, but in one only. But the spiritual good things of the new testament are such, as that in all the riches and fullness of them they may be in the possession of the testator, and of those also unto whom they are bequeathed. Christ parts with no grace from himself, he diminisheth not his own riches, nor exhausts any thing from his own fullness, by his communication of it unto others. Hence also, — (2.) In the wills of men, if there be a bequeathment of goods made unto many, no one can enjoy the whole inheritance, but every one is to have his own share and portion only. But in and by the new testament, every one is made heir to the whole inheritance. All have the same, and every one hath the whole; for God himself thence becomes their portion, who is all unto all, and all unto every one. (3.) In human testaments, the goods bequeathed are such only as either descended unto the testators from their progenitors, or were acquired during their lives by their own industry. By their death they obtained no new right or title unto any thing; only what they had before is now disposed of according unto their wills. But our testator, according unto an antecedent contract between God the Father and him, purchased the whole inheritance by his own blood, “obtaining for us eternal redemption.” (4.) They differ principally in this, that a testament amongst men is no more but merely so; it is not moreover a solemn covenant, that needs a confirmation suited thereunto. The bare signification of the will of the testator, witnessed unto, is sufficient unto its constitution and confirmation. But in this mystery the testament is not merely so, but a covenant also. Hence it was not sufficient, unto its force and establishment, that the testator should die only, but it was also required that he should offer himself in sacrifice by the shedding of his blood, unto its confirmation.

    These things I have observed, because, as we shall see, the apostle in the progress of his discourse doth not confine himself unto this notion of a testament, but treats of it principally as it had the nature of a covenant.

    And we may here observe, — Obs. I. It is a great and gracious condescension in the Holy Spirit, to give encouragement and confirmation unto our faith by a representation of the truth and reality of spiritual things in those which are temporal and agreeing with them in their general nature, whereby they are presented unto the common understanding of men. — This way of proceeding the apostle calls a speaking kat j a]nqrwpon , Galatians 3:15, “after the manner of men.” Of the same kind were all the parables used by our Savior; for it is all one whether these representations be taken from things real or from those which, according unto the same rule of reason and right, are framed on purpose for that end.

    Obs. II. There is an irrevocable grant of the whole inheritance of grace and glory made unto the elect in the new covenant. — Without this, it could not in any sense have the nature of a testament, nor that name given unto it. For a testament is such a free grant, and nothing else. And our best plea for them, for an interest in them, for a participation of them, before God, is from the free grant and donation of them in the testament of Jesus Christ.

    Obs. III. As the grant of these things is free and absolute, so the enjoyment of them is secured from all interveniencies by the death of the testator.

    VERSES 18-22. \Oqen oujd j hJ prw>th cwrinistai . Lalhqei.shv gashv ejntolh~v kata< no>mou ujpo< Mwu`se>wv panti< tw~| law|~ , lazwscwn kai< tra>gw , meta< u[datov kai< ejri>ou kokki>nou kai< uJssw>pou , aujto> te to< bizli>on kai< pa>nta tontise , le>gwn? Tou~to to< ai[ma th~v diaqh>khv , h=v ejnetei>lato prov? Kai< thnta ta< skeuav tw~| ai[mati oJmoi>wv ejrjrJa>ntise . Kai< scedonta kaqari>zetai kata< tomon , ai< cwriav ouj gi>netai a]fesiv . [Oqen , “unde;” “hence,” “therefore.” Syr., hn;j; lWfm, , “propter hoc,” “quia,” “propter.” “For this cause.” “And hence it is,” Arab. jEgkekai>nistai Syr., ty’y]T’v]a, , “was confirmed;” “dedicatum fuit,” “was dedicated,” “consecrated,” “separated unto sacred use.”

    Lalhqei>shv gashv ejntolh~v kata< no>mon . Syr., “when the whole command was enjoined.” Vulg. Lat., “lecto omui mandato legis,” “the command of the law being read; taking ejntolh< and no>mov for the same.

    Arias, “exposito secundum legem.” Most, “cum recitasset;” “having repeated,” “recited,” namely, out of the book.

    Mo>scwn kai< tra>hwn. The Syriac reads only at;l]g,[]d’ , “of an heifer;” as the Arabic omits tra>gwn also, “of goats;” it may be in compliance with the story in Moses, without cause, as we shall see. Scedo>n is omitted in the Syriac.

    Ver. 18-22. — Whereupon neither the first [testament ] was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people, saying, This [is ] the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry: and almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

    What we have before observed is fully confirmed in this discourse, namely, that the apostle intended not to argue absolutely and precisely from the name and nature of a testament properly so called, and the use of it among men. For he makes use of these things no further but as unto what such a testament hath in common with a solemn covenant; which is, that they are both confirmed and ratified by death. Wherefore it was necessary that the new testament, as it was a testament, should be confirmed by death; and as it had the nature of a covenant, it was to be so by such a death as was accompanied by bloodshedding. The former was proved before, from the general nature and notion of a testament; the latter is here proved at large from the way and manner whereby the first covenant was confirmed or dedicated.

    But the apostle in this discourse doth not intend merely to prove that the first covenant was dedicated with blood, which might have been despatched in a very few words; but he declares moreover, in general, what was the use of blood in sacrifices on all occasions under the law; whereby he demonstrates the use and efficacy of the blood of Christ, as unto all the ends of the new covenant. And the ends of the use of blood under the old testament he declares to have been two, namely, purification and pardon; both which are comprised in that one of the expiation of sin. And these things are all of them applied unto the blood and sacrifice of Christ in the following verses.

    In the exposition of this context we must do three things: \\ 1. Consider the difficulties that are in it. 2. Declare the scope, design, and force of the argument contained in it. 3. Explain the particular passages of the whole. FIRST. Sundry difficulties there are in this context; which arise from hence, that the account which the apostle gives of the dedication of the first covenant and of the tabernacle seems to differ in sundry things from that given by Moses, when all things were actually done by him, as it is recorded, Exodus 24. And they are these that follow: — 1. That the blood which Moses took was the blood of calves and goats, whereas there is no mention of any goats or their blood in the story of Moses. 2. That he took water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, to sprinkle it withal; whereas none of them are reported in that story. 3. That he sprinkled the book in particular; which Moses cloth not affirm. 4. That he sprinkled all the people; that is, the people indefinitely, for all the individuals of them could not be sprinkled. 5. There are some differences in the words which Moses spake in the dedication of the covenant, as laid down verse 20. 6. That he sprinkled the tabernacle with blood, and all the vessels of it; when at the time of the making and solemn confirmation of the covenant the tabernacle was not erected, nor the vessels of its ministry yet made.

    For the removal of these difficulties some things must be premised in general, and then they shall all of them be considered distinctly: — First, This is taken as fixed, that the apostle wrote this epistle by divine inspiration. Having evidence hereof abundantly satisfactory, it is the vainest thing imaginable, and that which discovers a frame of mind disposed to cavil at things divine, if from the difficulties of any one passage we should reflect on the authority of the whole, as some have done on this occasion. But I shall say with some confidence, he never understood any one chapter of the epistle, nay, nor any one verse of it aright, who did or doth question its divine original. There is nothing human in it, — that savors, I mean, of human infirmity, — but the whole and every part of it is animated by the wisdom and authority of its Author.

    And those who have pretended to be otherwise minded on such slight occasions as that before us, have but proclaimed their own want of experience in things divine. But, — Secondly, There is nothing, in all that is here affirmed by the apostle, which hath the least appearance of contradiction unto any thing that is recorded by Moses in the story of these things; yea, as I shall show, without the consideration and addition of the things here mentioned by the apostle, we cannot aright apprehend nor understand the account that is given by him. This will be made evident in the consideration of the particulars, wherein the difference between them is supposed to consist. Thirdly, The apostle doth not take his account of the things here put together by him from any one place in Moses, but gathers up what is declared in the Law, in several places unto various ends. For, as hath been declared, he doth not design only to prove the dedication of the covenant by blood, but to show also the whole use of blood under the law, as unto purification and remission of sin. And this he doth to declare the virtue and efficacy of the blood of Christ under the new testament, whereunto he makes an application of all these things in the verses ensuing. Wherefore he gathers into one head sundry things wherein the sprinkling of blood was of use under the law, as they are occasionally expressed in sundry places.

    And this one observation removes all the difficulties of the context; which all arise from this one supposition, that the apostle gives here an account only of what was done at the dedication of the first covenant. So, in particular, by the addition of those particles, kai< de> , verse 21, which we well render “moreover,” he plainly intimates that what he affirms of the tabernacle and the vessels of its ministry was that which was done afterwards, at another time, and not when the covenant was first confirmed.

    On these grounds we shall see that the account given of these things by the apostle is a necessary exposition of the record made of them by Moses, and no more. 1. He affirms that Moses took the blood mo>scwn kai< tra>gwn , “of calves and goats,” And there is a double difficulty herein: for, (1.) The blood that Moses so used was the blood of oxen, Exodus 24:5; which seems not to be well rendered by mo>scwn , “of calves.”

    But this hath no weight in it. For µyriP; , the word there used, signifies all cattle of the herd, great and small, every thing that is “generis bovini.” And there is no necessity from the words that we should render µyriP; there by “oxen,” nor mo>scwn here by “calves;” we might have rendered both words by “bullocks.” But, (2.) There is no mention at all of goats in the story of Moses; and, as we observed, it is here omitted by the Syriac translator, but without cause. Ans . [1.] There were two sorts of offerings that were made on this occasion; 1st, Burnt-offerings; 2dly, Peace-offerings: Exodus 24:5, “They offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings.”

    The distinct expression of them proves the offerings to have been distinct: µymil;v] µyjib;z] WjB]z]Yiw’ tlo[o Wl[\Y’w’ , — “they offered burnt-offerings, and they sacrificed,” or “slew peace-offerings.” And as for the peaceofferings, it is said that they were of bullocks or oxen; but it is not said of what sort the burnt-offerings were. Yea, and it may be that although bullocks only are mentioned, yet that goats also were sacrificed in this peace-offering; for it is so far from being true what Ribera observes on the place, that a goat was never offered for a peace-offering, that the contrary unto it is directly expressed in the institution of the peace-offering, Leviticus 3:12. Wherefore the blood of goats might be used in the peaceoffering, though it be not mentioned by Moses. But, — [2.] The apostle observes, that one end of the sacrifice at the dedication of the first covenant was purging and making atonement, verses 22, 23; for in all solemn sacrifices blood was sprinkled on the holy things, to purify them and make atonement for them, Leviticus 16:14,19,20. Now this was not to be done but by the blood of an expiatory sacrifice; it was not to be done by the blood of peace-offerings. Wherefore the burnt-offerings mentioned by Moses were expiatory sacrifices, to purge and make atonement. And this sacrifice was principally of goats, Leviticus 16:9.

    Wherefore the text of Moses cannot be well understood without this exposition of the apostle. And we may add hereunto, also, that although the blood of the peace-offering was sprinkled on the altar, Leviticus 3:13, yet was it not sprinkled on the people, as this blood was; wherefore there was the use of the blood of goats also, as a sin-offering, in this great sacrifice. [3.] In the dedication of the priests these two sorts of offerings were conjoined, namely, peace-offerings and sin-offerings, or burnt-offerings for sin, as here they were. And therein expressly the blood of goats was used, namely, in the sin-offering, as the blood of bullocks was in the peaceoffering, Leviticus 9:3,4. Neither is there mention anywhere of burntofferings or sin-offerings and peace-offerings to be offered together, but that one of them was of goats; and therefore was so infallibly at this time, as the apostle declares. 2. It is affirmed in the text, that he took the blood with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled it; but there is mention of none of these things in the story of Moses, but only that he sprinkled the blood. But the answer hereunto is plain and easy. Blood under the law was sprinkled either in less or greater quantities. Hereon there were two ways of sprinkling. The one was with the finger; when a small quantity of blood, it may be, some few drops of it, were to be sprinkled, it was done with the finger, Leviticus 8:15, 16:14. The quantity being small, though the blood were unmixed, and almost congealed, it might be so sprinkled. But there was a sprinkling whereunto a greater proportion of blood was required; as namely, when a house was to be sprinkled, and thereby purified. This was done by mixing running water with the blood, and then sprinkling it with scarlet wool and hyssop, Leviticus 14:50-52. For these things were needful thereunto. The water prevented the blood from being so congealed as that it could not be sprinkled in any quantity; the scarlet wool took up a quantity of it out of the vessel wherein it was; and the bunch of hyssop was the sprinkler. Whereupon, when Moses sprinkled the altar, book, and people, he did it ,by one of these two ways, for other there was none. The first way he could not do it, namely, with his finger, because it was to be done in a great quantity; for Moses took that half of it that was to be sprinkled on the people and put it into basins, Exodus 24:6,8. It was therefore infallibly done this latter way, according as our apostle declares. 3. It is added by the apostle that he sprinkled the book; which is not expressed in the story. But the design of the apostle is to express at large the whole solemnity of the confirmation of the first covenant, especially not to omit any thing that blood was applied unto; because in the application he refers the purification and dedication of all things belonging unto the new covenant unto the blood of Christ. And this was the order of the things which concerned the book: Moses coming down from the mount, told the people by word of mouth all things which God had spoken unto him, or the sum and substance of the covenant which he would make with them: Exodus 24:3, “And Moses came and told the people all the words of theLORD,” — that is, the words spoken on mount Sinai, the ten commandments; “and all the judgments,” — that is, all the laws contained in Exodus 21-23, with this title, µymiP;v]Mih’ aL,ae , “These are the judgments,” Exodus 21:1. Upon the oral rehearsal of these words and judgments, the people gave their consent unto the terms of the covenant: “All the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which theLORD hath said, will we do,” Exodus 24:3. Hereon Moses made a record, or “wrote all the words of theLORD” in a book, verse 4. This being done, the altar and pillars were prepared, verse 4. And it is evident that the book which he had written was laid on the altar, though it be not expressed. When this was done, “he sprinkled the blood on the altar,” verse 6. After which, when the book had been sprinkled with blood as it lay on the altar, it is said, “He took the book,” that is, from off the altar, “and read in the audience of the people,” verse 7. The book being now sprinkled with blood, as the instrument and record of the covenant between God and the people, the very same words which were before spoken unto the people are now recited or read out of the book. And this could be done for no other reason, but that the book itself, being now sprinkled with the blood of the covenant, was dedicated to be the sacred record thereof. 4. In the text of Moses it is said that he sprinkled the people; in explanation whereof the apostle affirms that he sprinkled all the people.

    And it was necessary that so it should be, and that none of them should be excluded from this sprinkling; for they were all taken into covenant with God, men, women, and children. But it must be granted, that for the blood to be actually sprinkled on all individuals in such a numberless multitude is next unto what is naturally impossible: wherefore it was done in their representatives; and what is done towards representatives as such, is done equally towards all whom they do represent. And the whole people had two representatives that day: (1.) The twelve pillars of stone, that were set up to represent their twelve tribes; and, it may be, to signify their hard and stony heart under that covenant, verse 4. Whereas those pillars were placed close by the altar, some suppose that they were sprinkled, as representing the twelve tribes. (2.) There were the heads of their tribes, the chief of the houses of their fathers, and the elders, who drew nigh unto Moses, and were sprinkled with blood in the name and place of all the people, who were that day taken into covenant. 5. The words which Moses spake unto the people upon the sprinkling of the blood are not absolutely the same in the story and in the repetition of it by the apostle. But this is usual with him in all his quotations out of the Old Testament in this epistle. He expresseth the true sense of them, but doth not curiously and precisely render the sense of every word and syllable in them. 6. The last difficulty in this context, and that which hath an appearance of the greatest, is in what the apostle affirms concerning the tabernacle and all the vessels of it; namely, that Moses sprinkled them all with blood. And the time which he seems to speak of, is that of the dedication of the first covenant. Hence a twofold difficulty doth arise; first, as unto the time; and secondly, as unto the thing itself. For at the time of the dedication of the first covenant, the tabernacle was not yet made or erected, and so could not then be sprinkled with blood. And afterwards, when the tabernacle was erected, and all the vessels brought into it, there is no mention that either it or any of them was sprinkled with blood, but only anointed with the holy oil, Exodus 40:9-11. Wherefore, as unto the first, I say the apostle doth plainly distinguish what he affirms of the tabernacle from the time of the dedication of the first covenant. The manner of his introduction of it, kai< th, — “ And moreover the tabernacle,” — doth plainly intimate a progress unto another time and occasion. Wherefore the words of verse 21, concerning the sprinkling of the tabernacle and its vessels, do relate unto what follows, verse 22, “and almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and not unto those that precede, about the dedication of the first covenant: for the argument he hath in hand is not confined unto the use of blood only in that dedication, but respects the whole use of the blood of sacrifices under the law; which in these words he proceeds unto, and closeth in the next verse. And this wholly removes the first difficulty. And as unto the second, expositors generally answer, that aspersion or sprinkling with blood did commonly precede unction with the holy oil. And as unto the garments of the priests, which were the vessels or utensils of the tabernacle, it was appointed that they should be sprinkled with blood, Exodus 29:21; and so it may be supposed that the residue of them were also. But to me this is not satisfactory. And be it spoken without offense, expositors have generally mistaken the nature of the argument of the apostle in these words. For he argues not only from the first dedication of the tabernacle and its vessels, — which, for aught appears, was by unction only, — but making, as we observed before, a progress unto the further use of the blood of sacrifices in purging, according to the law, he giveth an instance in what was done with respect unto the tabernacle and all its vessels, and that constantly and solemnly every year; and this he doth to prove his general assertion in the next verse, that “under the law almost all things were purged with blood.” And Moses is here said to do what he appointed should be done. By his institution, — that is, the institution of the law, — the tabernacle and all the vessels of it were sprinkled with blood. And this was done solemnly once every year; an account whereof is given, Leviticus 16:14-16, 18-20.

    On the solemn day of atonement, the high priest was to sprinkle the mercy-seat, the altar, and the whole tabernacle with blood, to make an atonement for them, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, the tabernacle remaining among them in the midst of their uncleanness, verse 16. This he takes notice of, not to prove the dedication of the first covenant and what belonged thereunto with blood, but the use of blood in general to make atonement, and the impossibility of expiation and pardon without it. This is the design and sense of the apostle, and no other.

    Wherefore we may conclude, that the account here given concerning the dedication of the first covenant, and the use of blood for purification under the law, is so far from containing any thing opposite unto or discrepant from the records of Moses concerning the same things, that it gives us a full and clear exposition of them. SECONDLY. The second thing to be considered, is the nature of the argument in this context; and there are three things in it, neither of which must be omitted in the exposition of the words.

    He designeth, 1. To prove yet further the necessity of the death of Christ, as he was the mediator of the new testament, both as it had the nature of a testament and that also of a solemn covenant. 2. To declare the necessity of the kind of his death, in the way of a sacrifice by the effusion of blood; because the testament, as it had the nature of a solemn covenant, was confirmed and ratified thereby. 3. To manifest the necessity of shedding of blood in the confirmation of the covenant, because of the expiation, purging, and pardon of sin thereby.

    How these things are proved, we shall see in the exposition of the words. THIRDLY, There are in the words themselves, 1. A proposition of the principal truth asserted, verse 18. 2. The confirmation of that proposition: which is twofold; (1.) From what Moses did, verse 19; (2.) From what he said, verse 20. 3. A further illustration of the same truth, by other instances, verse 21. 4. A general inference or conclusion from the whole, comprising the substance of what he intended to demonstrate, verse 22.

    In the proposition there are five things considerable: 1. A note of introduction; “whereupon.” 2. The quality of the proposition, it is negative; “neither was.” 3. The subject spoken of; “the first.” 4. What is affirmed of it; it was “dedicated.” 5. The way and manner thereof; it was “not without blood.” 1. The note of introduction is in the particle o[den , which the apostle frequently makes use of in this epistle, as a note of inference in those discourses which are argumentative. We render it by “therefore,” and “wherefore;” here, “whereupon.” For it intimates a confirmation of a general rule by especial instances. He had before laid it down as a general maxim, that a testament was to be confirmed by death. For thereupon the first testament was confirmed with the blood of sacrifices shed in their death. ‘Wherefore let not any think it strange that the new testament was confirmed by the death of the testator; for this is so necessary, that even in the confirmation of the first there was that which was analogous unto it.

    And moreover, it was death in such a way as was required unto the confirmation of a solemn covenant.’ 2. The proposition hath a double negative in it, oujde> , and cwrisubject spoken of is hJ prw>th , “the first;” that is diaqh>kh , “testament,” or “covenant.” And herein the apostle declares what he precisely intended by the first or old covenant, whereof he discoursed at large, Hebrews 8. It was the covenant made with the people at Horeb; for that and no other was dedicated in the way here described. And, to take a brief prospect into this covenant, the things ensuing may be observed: — (1.) The matter of it, or the terms of it materially considered, before it had the formal nature of a covenant. And these were all the things that were written in the book before it was laid on the altar; namely, it was that epitome of the whole law which is contained in chapters 20-23, of Exodus And other commands and institutions that were given afterwards belonged unto this covenant reductively. The substance of it was contained in the book then written. (2.) The manner of the revelation of these terms of the covenant. Being proposed on the part of God, and the terms of it being entirely of his choosing and proposal, he was to reveal, declare, and make them known.

    And this he did two ways: [1.] As unto the foundation and substance of the whole in the decalogue. He spake it himself on the mount, in the way and manner declared, Exodus 19,20. [2.] As unto the following judgments, statutes, and rites, directive of their walking before God, according to the former fundamental rule of the covenant. These he declared by revelation unto Moses; and they are contained in chapters 21-23. (3.) The manner of its proposal. And this also was twofold: [1.] Preparatory. For before the solemn covenanting between God and the people, Moses declared all the matter of it unto the people, that they might consider well of it, and whether they would consent to enter into covenant with God on those terms; whereon they gave their approbation of them. [2.] Solemn, in their actual and absolute acceptance of it, whereby they became obliged throughout their generations. This was on the reading of it out of the book, after it was sprinkled with the blood of the covenant on the altar, Exodus 24:7. (4.) The author of this covenant was God himself: “The covenant which the Load hath made with you,” verse 8. And immediately after, he is thereon called “the God of Israel,” verse 10; which is the first time he was called so, and it was by virtue of this covenant. And the pledge or token of his presence, as covenanting, was the altar, the altar of Jehovah; as there was a representative pledge of the presence of the people in the twelve pillars or statues. (5.) Those with whom this covenant was made were “the people;” that is, “all the people,” as the apostle speaks, none exempted or excluded. It was made with the “men, and women, and children,” Deuteronomy 31:12; even all on whom was the blood of the covenant, as it was on the women; or the token of the covenant, as it was on the male children in circumcision; or both, as in all the men of Israel. (6.) The manner on the part of the people of entering into covenant with God, was in two acts before mentioned: [1.] In a previous approbation of the matter of it; [2.] In a solemn engagement into it. And this was the foundation of the church of Israel.

    This is that covenant whereof there is afterwards in the Scripture such frequent mention, between God and that people, the sole foundation of all especial relation between him and them. For they took the observation of its terms on themselves for their posterity in all generations, until the end should be. On their obedience hereunto, or neglect hereof, depended their life or death in the land of Canaan. No farther did the precepts and promises of it in itself extend. But whereas it did not disannul the promise that was made unto Abraham, and confirmed with the oath of God, four hundred years before, and had annexed unto it many institutions and ordinances prefigurative and significant of heavenly things, the people under it had a right unto, and directions for the attaining of an eternal inheritance. And something we may hence observe.

    Obs. I. The foundation of a church-state among any people, wherein God is to be honored in ordinances of instituted worship, is laid in a solemn covenant between him and them. — So it was with this church of Israel.

    Before this they served God in their families, by virtue of the promise made unto Abraham, but now the whole people were gathered into a church-state, to worship him according to the terms, institutions, and ordinances of the covenant. Nor doth God oblige any unto instituted worship but by virtue of a covenant. Unto natural worship and obedience we are all obliged, by virtue of the law of creation and what belongs thereunto. And God may, by a mere act of sovereignty, prescribe unto us the observation of what rites and ordinances in divine service he pleaseth.

    But he will have all our obedience to be voluntary, and all our service to be reasonable. Wherefore, although the prescription of such rites be an act of sovereign pleasure, yet God will not oblige us unto the observance of them but by virtue of a covenant between him and us, wherein we voluntarily consent unto and accept of the terms of it, whereby those ordinances of worship are prescribed unto us, And it will hence follow, — (1.) That men mistake themselves, when they suppose that they are interested in a church-state by tradition, custom, or as it were by chance, — they know not how. There is nothing but covenanting with God that will instate us in this privilege. And therein we do take upon ourselves the observance of all the terms of the new covenant. And they are of two sorts: [1.] Internal and moral, in faith, repentance, and obedience; [2.] Such as concern the external worship of the gospel, in the ordinances and institutions of it.

    Without such a covenant formally or virtually made, there can be no church-state. I speak not at all of any such covenants as men may make or have made among themselves, and with God, upon a mixture of things sacred, civil and political, with such sanctions as they find out and agree upon among themselves. For whatever may be the nature, use, or end of such covenants, they no way belong unto that concerning which we treat.

    For no terms are to be brought hereinto but such as belong directly unto the obedience and ordinances of the new testament. Nor was there any thing to be added unto or taken from the express terms of the old covenant. whereby the church-state of Israel was constituted And this was the entire rule of God’s dealing with them. The only question concerning them was, whether they had kept the terms of the covenant or no. And when things fell into disorder among them, as they did frequently, as the sum of God’s charge against them was that they had broken his covenant, so the reformation of things attempted by their godly kings before, and others after the captivity, was by inducing the people to renew this covenant, without any addition, alteration, or mixture of things of another nature. (2.) That so much disorder in the worship of God under the gospel hath entered into many churches, and that there is so much negligence in all sorts of persons about the observance of evangelical institutions, so little conscientious care about them, or reverence in the use of them, or benefit received by them; it is all much from hence, that men understand not aright the foundation of that obedience unto God which is required in them and by them. This, indeed, is no other but that solemn covenant between God and the whole church, wherein the church takes upon itself their due observance. This renders our obedience in them and by them no less necessary than any duties of moral obedience whatever. But this being not considered as it ought, men have used their supposed liberty, or rather, fallen into great licentiousness in the use of them, and few have that conscientious regard unto them which it is their duty to have.

    Obs. II. Approbation of the terms of the covenant, consent unto them, and solemn acceptance of them, are required on our part, unto the establishment of any covenant between God and us. and our participation of the benefits of it. — Thus solemnly did the people here enter into covenant with God, whereby a peculiar relation was established between him and them. The mere proposal of the covenant and the terms of it unto us, which is done in the preaching of the gospel, will not make us partakers of any of the grace or benefits of it. Yet this is that which most content themselves withal. It may be they proceed to the performance of some of the duties which are required therein; but this answers not the design and way of God in dealing with men. When he hath proposed the terms of his covenant unto them, he doth neither compel them to accept of them nor will be satisfied with such an obedience. He requires that upon a due consideration of them, we do approve of them, as those which answer his infinite wisdom and goodness, and such as are of eternal advantage unto us; that they are all equal, holy, righteous, and good. Hereon he requires that we voluntarily choose and consent unto them, engaging ourselves solemnly unto the performance of them all and every one. This is required of us, if we intend any interest in the grace and glory prepared in the new covenant.

    Obs. III. It has been the way of God from the beginning, to take children of covenanters into the same covenant with their parents. — So he dealt with this people in the estabhsnment of the first covenant; and he hath made no alteration herein in the establishment of the second. But we must proceed with the exposition of the words. 4. Of this covenant it is affirmed, that it “was consecrated with blood,” or “was not dedicated without blood.” jEgkaini>zw is “solemnly to separate any thing unto a sacred use.” Ën’j; is the same in Hebrew. But it is not the sanction of the covenant absolutely that the apostle intends in this expression, but the use of it. The covenant had its sanction, and was confirmed on the part of God, in offering of the sacrifices. In the killing of the beasts, and offering of their blood. did the ratification of the covenant consist. This is included and supposed in what is signified by the dedication of it. But this is not an effect of the shedding and offering of blood, but only of the sprinkling of it on the book and the people.

    Thereby had it its ejgkai>nismov , its “consecration’’ or “dedication unto sacred use,” as the instrument of the peculiar church relation between God and that people, whereof the book was the record. So was every thing consecrated unto its proper use under the law, as the apostle declares.

    This, therefore, is the meaning of the words: ‘That first covenant, which God made with the people at mount Sinai, wherein he became their God, the God of Israel, and they became his people, was dedicated unto sacred use by blood, in that it was sprinkled on the book and the people, after part of the same blood had been offered in sacrifice at the altar.’ Hence it follows that this, which belongs so essentially unto the solemn dedication and confirmation of a covenant between God and the church, was necessary also unto the dedication and confirmation of the new covenant, — which is that which is to be proved.

    Obs. IV It is by the authority of God alone that any thing can be effectually and unchangeably dedicated unto sacred use, so as to have force and efficacy given unto it thereby. — But this dedication may be made by virtue of a general rule, as well as by an especial command. 5. The assertion of the apostle concerning the dedication of the first covenant with blood is confirmed by an account of the matter of fact, or, — First, What Moses did therein, verse 19.

    Ver. 19. — “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people.”

    There are two things considerable in the words: 1. The person made use of in the dedication of the covenant; which was Moses. 2. What he did therein; which is referred unto two heads: (1.) His speaking or reading the terms of the covenant, every precept out of the book; (2.) His sprinkling of the book and people with blood. 1. Moses was the internuncius between God and the people in this great transaction. On God’s part he was immediately called unto this employment, Exodus 3:And on the part of the people he was chosen, and desired by them to transact all things between God and them, in the making and confirmation of this covenant; because they were not able to bear the effects of God’s immediate presence, Exodus 20:19; Deuteronomy 5:22-27. And this choice of a spokesman on their part God did approve of, verse 28. Hence he became in a general sense a mesi>thv, a mediator between God and men, in the giving of the law, Galatians 3:19. Whatever, therefore, was done by Moses in this whole affair of the dedication of the covenant, on the part of God or of,the people, was firm and unalterable, he being a public person authorized unto this work. And, — Obs. I. There can be no covenant between God and men but in the hand or by virtue of a mediator. The first covenant, in the state of innocency, was immediately between God and man. But since the entrance of sin it can be so no more. For, (1.) Man hath neither meetness nor confidence to treat immediately with God. Nor, (2.) Any credit or reputation with him, so as to be admitted as an undertaker in his own person. Nor, (3.) Any ability to perform the conditions of any covenant with God.

    Obs. II. A mediator may be either only an internuncius, a messenger, a daysman; or also a surety and an undertaker. Of the first sort was the mediator of the old covenant; of the latter, that of the new.

    Obs. III. None can interpose between God and a people in any sacred office, unless he be called of God and approved of the people, as was Moses. 2. That which Moses did in this affair was first in way of preparation.

    And there are three things in the account of it: (1.) What he did precisely. (2.) With respect unto whom. (3.) According to what rule or order he did it: — (1.) He “spake every precept.” Vulg. Lat., “lecto omni mandato,” “having read every command;” which is the sense intended. Lalhqei>shv is as much in this place as “recited.” So it is rendered by most translators, “cum recitasset;” that is, when he had read in the book. For his first speaking unto the people, Exodus 24:3, is not here intended, but his reading in the audience of the people, verse 7. He spake what he read, — that is, audibly; so it is in the story, “He read it in the audience of the people,” so as that they might hear and understand. It is added by the apostle, that he thus read, spake, recited “every precept” or “command.” “He took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people,” saith the text; that is, the whole book, and all that was contained in it, or “every precept.”

    And the whole is reduced by the apostle unto precepts, It was no>mov ejntolw~n , Ephesians 2:15; “a law, a system of precepts.” And it is so called to intimate the nature of that covenant. It consisted principally in precepts or commandments of obedience, promising no assistance for the performance of them. The new covenant is of another nature; it is a “covenant of promises.” And although it hath precepts also requiring obedience, yet is it wholly founded in the promise, whereby strength and assistance for the performance of that obedience are given unto us. And the apostle doth well observe that Moses read “every precept unto all the people;” for all the good things they were to receive by virtue of that covenant depended on the observation of every precept. For a curse was denounced against every one that continued not “in all things written in the book of the law to do them,” Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10.

    And we may observe, — Obs. IV. A covenant that consisted in mere precepts, without an exhibition of spiritual strength to enable unto obedience, could never save sinners. — The insufficiency of this covenant unto that end is that which the apostle designs to prove in all this discourse. But thereon a double inquiry may be made: [1.] Why God gave this covenant, which was so insufficient unto this great end? This question is proposed and answered by the apostle, Galatians 3:19. [2.] How then did any of the people yield obedience unto God, if the covenant exhibited no aid or assistance unto it? The apostle answereth in the same place, that they received it by faith in the promise, which was given before, and not disannulled by this covenant.

    Obs. V. In all our dealings with God respect must be had unto every one of his precepts. — And the reason hereof is given by the apostle James, namely, that the authority of God is the same in every one of them, and so may be despised in the neglect of the least as well as of the greatest, James 2:10,11. (2.) To whom did Moses thus read every precept? It was, saith the apostle, “to all the people.” In the story it is said indefinitely, “In the audience of the people;” as afterwards, “He sprinkled the people.” The apostle adds the note of universality in both places; “all the people.” For whereas these things were transacted with the representatives of the people, (for it was naturally impossible that the one-half of the individuals of them should hear Moses reading,) they were all equally concerned in what was said and done. Yet I do believe, that after Moses first “told the people,” — that is, the elders of them, — “all the words of theLORD ,” Exodus 24:3, there were means used by the elders and officers to communicate the things, yea, to repeat the words unto all the people, that they might be enabled to give their rational consent unto them. And we may observe, — Obs. VI. The first eminent use of the writing of the book of the law, (that is, of any part of the Scripture, for this book was the first that was written,) was, that it might be read unto the people. — He gave not this book to be shut up .by the priests; to be concealed from the people, as containing mysteries unlawful to be divulged, or impossible to be understood. Such conceits befell not the minds of men, until the power and ends of religion being lost, some got an opportunity to order the concerns of it unto their own worldly interest and advantage.

    Obs. VII. This book was both written and read in the language which the people understood and commonly spake. — And a rule was herein prescribed unto the church in all ages; if so be the example of the wisdom and care of God towards his church may be a rule unto us.

    Obs. VIII. God never required the observance of any rites or duties of worship without a previous warranty from his word. — The people took not on them, they were not obliged unto obedience, with respect unto any positive institutions, until Moses had read unto them every precept out of the book.

    Obs. IX. The writing of this book was an eminent privilege, now first granted unto the church, leading unto a more perfect and stable condition than formerly it had enjoyed. — Hitherto it had lived on oral instructions, from traditions, and by new immediate revelations; the evident defects whereof were now removed, and a standard of divine truth and instruction set up and fixed among them. (3.) There is the rule whereby Moses proceeded herein, or the warranty he had for what he did: “According unto the law.” He read every precept according to the law. It cannot be the law in general that the apostle intends, for the greatest part of that doctrine which is so called was not yet given or written; nor doth it in any place contain any precept unto this purpose. Wherefore it is a particular law, rule, or command, that is intended; — according unto the ordinance or appointment of God. Such was the command that God gave unto Moses for the framing of the tabernacle: “See thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Particularly, it seems to be the agreement between God and the people, that Moses should be the internuncius, the interpreter between them. According unto this rule, order, or divine constitution, Moses read all the words from God out of the book unto the people. Or it may be, “the law” may here be taken for the whole design of God in giving of the law; so as that “according unto the law,” is no more but, according unto the sovereign wisdom and pleasure of God in giving of the law, with all things that belong unto its order and use. And it is good for us to look for God’s especial warranty for what we undertake to do in his service.

    The second thing in the words is, what Moses did immediately and directly towards the dedication or consecration of this covenant. And there are three things to this purpose mentioned: (1.) What he made use of. (2.) How he used it. (3.) With respect unto what and whom: — (1.) The first is expressed in these words: “He took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop.” He took the blood of the beasts that were offered for burnt-offerings and peaceofferings, Exodus 24:5,6,8. Unto this end, in their slaying he took all their blood in basins, and made an equal division of it. The one half he sprinkled on the altar, and the other half he sprinkled on the people. That which was sprinkled on the altar was God’s part; and the other was put on the people. Both the mutual stipulation of God and the congregation in this covenant, and the equality of it, or the equity of its terms, were denoted hereby. And herein lies the principal force of the apostle’s argument in these words: ‘Blood was used in the dedication of the first covenant. This was the blood of the beasts offered in sacrifice unto God.

    Wherefore both death, and death by blood-shedding, was required unto the confirmation of a covenant So also, therefore, must the new covenant be confirmed; but with blood and a sacrifice far more precious than they were.’

    This distribution of blood, that half of it was on the altar, and half of it on the people, — the one to make atonement, the other to purify or sanctify, — was to teach the twofold efficacy of the blood of Christ, in making atonement for sin unto our justification, and the purifying of our natures in sanctification. (2.) With this blood he took the things mentioned with respect unto its use, which was sprinkling. The manner of it was in part declared before.

    The blood being put into basons, and having water mixed with it to keep it fluid and aspersible, he took a bunch or bundle of hyssop bound up with scarlet wool, and dipping it into the basons, sprinkled the blood, until it was all spent in that service.

    This rite or way of sprinkling was chosen of God as an expressive token or sign of the effectual communication of the benefits of the covenant unto them that were sprinkled. Hence the communication of the benefits of the death of Christ unto sanctification is called the sprinkling of his blood, Peter 1:2. And our apostle compriseth all the effects of it unto that end under the name of “the blood of sprinkling,” Hebrews 12:24 And I fear that those who have used the expression with some contempt, when applied by themselves unto the sign of the communication of the benefits of the death of Christ in baptism, have not observed that reverence of holy things that is required of us. For this symbol of sprinkling was that which God himself chose and appointed, as a meet and apt token of the communication of covenant mercy; that is, of his grace in Christ Jesus unto our souls. And, — Obs. X. The blood of the covenant will not benefit or advantage us without an especial and particular application of it unto our own souls and consciences. — If it be not as welt sprinkled upon us as it was offered unto God, it will not avail us. The blood of Christ was not divided, as was that of these sacrifices, the one half being on the altar, the other on the people; but the efficacy of the whole produced both these effects, yet so, as that the one will not profit us without the other. We shall have no benefit el the atonement made at the altar, unless we have its efficacy on our own souls unto their purification. And this we cannot have unless it be sprinkled on us, unless particular application be made of it unto us by the Holy Ghost, in and by an especial act of faith in ourselves. (3.) The object of this act of sprinkling was “the book” itself “and all the people.” The same blood was on the book wherein the covenant was recorded, and the people that entered into it. But whereas this sprinkling was for purifying and purging, it may be inquired unto what end the book itself was sprinkled, which was holy and undefiled. I answer, There were two things necessary unto the dedication of the covenant, with all that belonged unto it: [1.] Atonement; [2.] Purification. And in both these respects it was necessary that the book itself should be sprinkled. [1.] As we observed before, it was sprinkled as it lay upon the altar, where atonement was made. And this was plainly to signify that atonement was to be made by blood for sins committed against that book, or the law contained in it. Without this, that book would have been unto the people like that given to Ezekiel, that was “written within and without; and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe,” Ezekiel 2:10.

    Nothing but curse and death could they expect from it. But the sprinkling of it with blood as it lay upon the altar was a testimony and assurance that atonement should be made by blood for the sins against it; which was the life of the things. [2.] The book in itself was pure and holy, and so are all God’s institutions; but unto us every thing is unclean that is not sprinkled with the blood of Christ. So afterwards the tabernacle and all the vessels of it were purified every year with blood, “because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions,” Leviticus 16:16. Wherefore on both these accounts it was necessary that the book itself should be sprinkled.

    The blood thus sprinkled was mingled with water. The natural reason of it was, as we observed, to keep it fluid and aspersible. But there was a mystery in it also. That the blood of Christ was typified by this blood of the sacrifices used in the dedication of the old covenant, it is the apostle’s design to declare. And it is probable that this mixture of it with water might represent that blood and water which came out of his side when it was pierced. For the mystery thereof was very great. Hence that apostle which saw it, and bare record of it in particular, John 19:34,35, affirms likewise that “he came by water and blood,” and not by blood only, Epist. 5:6. He came not only to make atonement for us with his blood, that we might be justified, but to sprinkle us with the efficacy of his blood, in the communication of the Spirit of sanctification, compared unto water.

    For the sprinkler itself, composed of scarlet wool and hyssop, I doubt not but that the human nature of Christ, whereby and through which all grace is communicated unto us, (“for of his fullness we receive, and grace for grace,”) was signified by it; but the analogy and similitude between them are not so evident as they are with respect unto some other types. The hyssop was a humble plant, the meanest of them, yet of a sweet savor, 1 Kings 4:33; so was the Lord Christ amongst men in the days of his flesh, in comparison of the tall cedars of the earth. Hence was his complaint, that he was as “a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people,” Psalm 22:6. And the scarlet wool might represent him as red in the blood of his sacrifice. But I will not press these things, of whose interpretation we have not a certain rule.

    Secondly, The principal truth asserted is confirmed by what Moses said, as well as what he did: — Ver. 20. — “Saying, This [is ] the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.”

    The difference between the words of Moses and the repetition of them by the apostle is not material, as unto the sense of them. hNehi, “behold,” in Moses, is rendered by tou~to , “this;” both demonstrative notes of the same thing. For in pronouncing of the words Moses showed the blood unto the people; and so, “Behold the blood,” is all one as if he had said, “This is the blood.” The making of the covenant in the words of Moses is expressed by tr’K; , “hath cut,” “divided,” solemnly made. This the apostle renders by ejnetei>lato “hath enjoined” or “commanded you.”

    And this he doth partly to signify the foundation of the people’s acceptance of that covenant, which was the authority of God enjoining them or requiring them so to do; partly to intimate the nature of the covenant itself, which consisted in precepts and injunctions principally, and not absolutely in promises, as the new covenant doth. The last words of Moses, “Concerning all these words,” the apostle omits; for he includes the sense of them in that word, “Which God hath commanded you.” For he hath respect therein both unto the words themselves written in the book, which were precepts and injunctions, as also the command of God for the acceptance of the covenant.

    That which Moses said is, “This is the blood of the testament.” Hence the apostle proves that death, and the shedding of blood therein, was necessary unto the consecration and establishment of the first testament.

    For so Moses expressly affirms in the dedication of it, “This is the blood of the covenant; without which it could not have been a firm covenant between God and the people. Not, I confess, from the nature of a covenant in general, for a covenant may be solemnly established without death or blood; but from the especial end of that covenant, which in the confirmation of it was to prefigure the confirmation of that new covenant which could not be established but with the blood of a sacrifice. And this adds both force and evidence unto the apostle’s argument. For he proves the necessity of the death and blood-shedding or sacrifice of Christ in the confirmation of the new covenant from hence, that the old covenant, which in the dedication of it was prefigurative hereof, was not confirmed without blood. Wherefore, whereas God had solemnly promised to make a new covenant with the church, and that different from, or not according unto the old (which he had proved in the foregoing chapter), it follows unavoidably that it was to be confirmed with the blood of the mediator (for by the blood of beasts it could not be); which is that truth wherein he did instruct them. And nothing was more cogent to take off the scandal of the cross and of the sufferings of Christ.

    For the enunciation itself, “This is the blood of the covenant,” it is figurative and sacramental. The covenant had no blood of its own; but the blood of the sacrifices is called “the blood of the covenant,’’ because the covenant was dedicated and established by it. Neither was the covenant really established by it; for it was the truth of God on the one hand, and the stability of the people in their professed obedience on the other, that the establishment of the covenant depended on. But this blood was a confirmatory sign of it, a token between God and the people of their mutual engagement in that covenant. So the paschal lamb was called “the\parLORD’ S passover,” because it was a sign and token of God’s passing over the houses of the Israelites when he destroyed the Egyptians, Exodus 12:11,12. With reference it was unto those sacramental expressions which the church under the old testament was accustomed unto, that our Lord Jesus Christ, in the institution of the sacrament of the supper, called the bread and the wine, whose use he appointed therein, by the names of his body and blood; and any other interpretation of the words wholly overthrows the nature of that holy ordinance.

    Wherefore this blood was a confirmatory sign of the covenant. And it was so, 1. From God’s institution; he appointed it so to be, as is express in the words of Moses. 2. From an implication of the interest of both parties in the blood of the sacrifice; God, unto whom it was offered; and the people, on whom it was sprinkled. For it being the blood of beasts that were slain, in this use of it each party as it were engaged their lives unto the observation and performance of what was respectively undertaken by them. 3. Typically, in that it represented the blood of Christ, and fore-signified the necessity of it unto the confirmation of the new covenant. See Zechariah 9:11; Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25. So was it “the blood of the covenant,” in that it was a sign between God and the people of their mutual consent unto it, and their taking on themselves the performance of the terms of it, on the one side and the other.

    Obs. XI. The condescension of God in making a covenant with men, especially in the ways of the confirmation of it, is a blessed object of all holy admiration. — For, 1. The infinite distance and disproportion that is between him and us, both in nature and state or condition; 2. The ends of this covenant, which are all unto our eternal advantage, he standing in no need of us or our obedience; 3. The obligation that he takes upon himself unto the performance of the terms of it, whereas he might righteously deal with us in a way of mere sovereignty; 4. The nature of the assurance he gives us thereof, by the blood of the sacrifice, confirmed with his oath; do all set forth the ineffable glory of this condescension. And this will at length be made manifest in the eternal blessedness of them by whom this covenant is embraced, and the eternal misery of them by whom it is refused.

    The apostle having given this full confirmation unto his principal assertion, he adds, for the illustration of it, the use and efficacy of blood, that is, the blood of sacrifices, unto purification and atonement.

    Ver. 21. — “Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.”

    The manner of the introduction of this observation, verse 21, by kai< oJmoi>wv , “and in like manner,” doth manifest that this is not a continuation of the former instance, in that which belongs thereunto; but that there is a proceed unto another argument, to evince the further use of the sprinkling of blood unto purification and atonement under the old testament. For the design of the apostle is not only to prove the necessity of the blood of Christ in sacrifice, but also the efficacy of it in the taking away of sins.

    Wherefore he shows that as the covenant itself was dedicated with blood, which proves the necessity of the blood of Christ unto the confirmation of the new covenant; so all the ways and means of solemn worship were purged and purified by the same means, which demonstrates its efficacy.

    I will not absolutely oppose the usual interpretation of these words; namely, that at the erection of the tabernacle, and the dedication of it with all its vessels and utensils, there was a sprinkling with blood, though not expressly mentioned by Moses, for he only declares the unction of them with the holy oil, Exodus 40:9-11. For as unto the garments of Aaron and his sons, which belonged unto the service of the tabernacle, and were laid up in the holy place, it is expressly declared that they were sprinkled with blood, Exodus 29:21; and of the altar, that it was sprinkled when it was anointed, though it be not said wherewith. And Josephus, who was himself a priest, affirms that “all the things belonging unto the sanctuary were dedicated with the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices;” which things are usually pleaded for this interpretation.

    I shall not, as I said, absolutely reject it; yet because it is evident that the apostle makes a progress in these words, from the necessity of the dedication of the covenant with blood unto the use and efficacy of the sprinkling of blood in all holy administrations, that they might be accepted with God, I choose rather to refer the words unto that solemn sprinkling of the tabernacle and all the vessels of it by the high priest with blood of the expiatory sacrifice which was made annually, on the day of atonement.

    This the introduction of these words by kai> and oJmoi>wv; doth declare. As the covenant was dedicated with the sprinkling of blood, so in like manner afterwards, the tabernacle and all the vessels of it were sprinkled with blood unto their sacred use.

    All the difficulty in this interpretation is, that Moses is said to do it, but that which we intend was done by Aaron and his successors. But this is no way to be compared with that of applying it unto the dedication of the tabernacle, wherein there is no mention made of blood or its sprinkling, but of anointing only. Wherefore Moses is said to do what he appointed to be done, what the law required which was given by him. So “Moses” is frequently used for the law given by him: Acts 15:21, “For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath-day;” that is, the law. Moses, then, sprinkled the tabernacle, in that by an everlasting ordinance he appointed that it should be done. And the words following, verse 22, declare that the apostle speaks not of dedication, but of expiation and purification.

    This sprinkling, therefore, of the tabernacle and its vessels, was that which was done annually, on the day of atonement, Leviticus 16:14-16,18.

    For thereon, as the apostle speaks, “both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry were sprinkled with blood;” as the ark, the mercy-seat, and the altar of incense. And the end of it was to purge them because of the uncleannesses of the people; which is that the apostle intends. And that which we are taught herein is, that, — Obs. I. In all things wherein we have to do with God, whereby we approach unto him, it is the blood of Christ, and the application of it unto our consciences, that gives us a gracious acceptance with him. — Without this all is unclean and defiled.

    Obs. II. Even holy things and institutions, that are in themselves clean and unpolluted, are relatively defiled, by the unholiness of them that use them; defiled unto them. — So was the tabernacle, because of the uncleannesses of the people among whom it was. For unto the unclean all things are unclean.

    From this whole discourse the apostle makes an inference which he afterwards applies at large unto his present purpose.

    Ver. 22 . — “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

    There are two parts of this verse, or there is a double assertion in it: 1. That “almost all things are by the law purged with blood.” 2. That “without shedding of blood is no remission.” 1. In the first of these there is considerable the assertion itself, and the limitation of it. (1.) The assertion itself is, that “by the law all things were purged with blood; kata< tomon according unto the law; the rules, the commands, the institutions of it; in that way of worship, faith, and obedience, which the people were obliged unto by the law. According unto the law, there was a necessity of the blood of sacrifices, for the purging of sin and making of atonement. This he infers and concludes from what he had said before, concerning the dedication of the covenant and the purification of the tabernacle with all the vessels of its ministry. And from hence he designs to prove the necessity of the death of Christ, and the efficacy of his blood for the purging of sin, whereof those legal things were types and representations. Of these legal purifications, or purgings by blood, we have treated already. (2.) The limitation of this assertion is in the word scedo>n , “almost.” Some few purifications there were under the law that were not by blood. Such, as some judge, was that by the ashes of a heifer mingled with water; whereof we have treated on verse 13. But I am not certain that this may be esteemed a purification without blood. For the heifer whose ashes were used in it was first slain, and its blood poured out; afterwards the blood as well as the flesh was burnt and reduced unto ashes. Wherefore that way of purification cannot be said to be without blood. And it was a type of the purifying efficacy of the blood of Christ, who offered himself a whole burnt-offering unto God, through the fire of the eternal Spirit. But there were two sorts of purifications under the law wherein blood was neither formally nor virtually applied or used. The one was by fire, in things that would endure it, Numbers 31:23 (and the apostle speaks of things as well as persons, as the word pa>nta declares); the other was by water, whereof there were many instances. See Exodus 19:10; Leviticus 16:26,28, 22:6, 7. All other purifications were ejn ai[mati , “in blood;” ejn for dia< ; di j ai[matov , by the offering and sprinkling of blood.

    From the consideration of the purifications mentioned, the apostle adds the limitation of “almost.” For the conceit of some of the ancients, that scedo>n is as much as fere, and is to be joined with “purged,” “were almost purged,” — that is, they were so only ineffectually, — is most improper; for it is contrary to the natural construction of the words and the direct intention of the apostle. Only we may observe, that the purifications which were by fire and water were of such things as had no immediate influence into the worship of God, or in such cases as wherein the worship of God was not immediately concerned; nor of such things wherewith conscience was defiled. They were only of external pollutions, by things in their own nature indifferent, and had nothing of sin in them.

    And the sacred institutions which were not concerning the immediate worship of God, nor things which in themselves did defile the consciences of men, were as hedges and fences about those which really did so. They served to warn men not to come near those things which had a real defilement in themselves. See Matthew 15:16-20.

    Thus “almost all things,” — that is, absolutely all which had any inward, real moral defilement, — “were purged with blood,” and directed unto the purging efficacy of the blood of Christ. And we may observe, that, — Obs. I. There was a great variety of legal purifications. For as all of them together could not absolutely purge sin, but only direct unto what would do so, so none of them by themselves could fully represent that one sacrifice by blood whereby all sin was to be purged; therefore were they multiplied.

    Obs. II. This variety argues that in ourselves we are ready to be polluted on all occasions. Sin cleaveth unto all that we do, and is ready to defile us even in our best duties.

    Obs. III. This variety of institutions was a great part of the bondage state of the church under the old testament; a yoke that they were not able to bear. For it was almost an insuperable difficulty to attain an assurance that they had observed them all in a due manner; the penalties of their neglect being very severe. Besides, the outward observation of them was both burdensome and chargeable. It is the glory of the gospel, that we are directed to make our address by faith on all occasions unto that one sacrifice by the blood of Christ, which cleanseth us from all our sins.

    Howbeit many that are called Christians, being ignorant of the mystery thereof, do again betake themselves unto other ways for the purification of sin, which are multiplied in the church of Rome.

    Obs. IV. The great mystery wherein God instructed the church from the foundation of the world, especially by and under legal institutions, was, that all purging of sin was to be by blood. This was that which by all sacrifices from the beginning, and all legal institutions, he declared unto mankind. Blood is the only means of purging and atonement. This is the language of the whole law. All was to manifest that the washing and purging of the church from sin was to be looked for from the blood of Christ alone. 2. The second assertion of the apostle is, that “without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Some would have these words to contain an application of what was spoken before unto the blood of Christ; but it is manifest that the apostle yet continues in his account of things under the law, and enters on the application of them not before the next verse.

    Wherefore these words, kata< tomou , “according to the law,” or by virtue of its institutions, are here to be repeated: “By the law, without shedding of blood,” that is, in sacrifice, “there is no remission.” Yet though that season be particularly intended, the axiom is universally true, and applicable unto the new covenant; — even under it, without shedding of blood is no remission.

    The curse of the law was, that he that sinned should die; but whereas there is no man that liveth and sinneth not, God had provided that there should be a testification of the remission of sins, and that the curse of the law should not be immediately executed on all that sinned. This he did by allowing the people to make atonement for their sins by blood; that is, the blood of sacrifices,” Leviticus 17:11. For hereby God signified his will and pleasure in two things: (1.) That by this blood there should be a political remission granted unto sinners, that they should not die under the sentence of the law as it was the rule of the government of the nation. And in this sense, for such sins as were not politically to be spared no sacrifice was allowed. (2.) That real spiritual forgiveness, and gracious acceptance with himself, were to be obtained alone by that which was signified by this blood; which was the sacrifice of Christ himself.

    And whereas the sins of the people were of various kinds, there were particular sacrifices instituted to answer that variety. This variety of sacrifices, with respect unto the various sorts or kinds of sins for which they were to make atonement, I have elsewhere discussed and explained.

    Their institution and order are recorded, Leviticus 1:7. And if any person neglected that especial sacrifice which was appointed to make atonement for his especial sin, he was left under the sentence of the law, politically and spiritually; — there was no remission. Yea also, there might be, there were, sins that could not be reduced directly unto any of those for whose remission sacrifices were directed in particular. Wherefore God graciously provided against the distress or ruin of the church on either of these accounts. For whether the people had fallen under the neglect of any of those especial ways of atonement, or had contracted the guilt of such sins as they knew not how to reduce unto any sort of them that were to be expiated, he had graciously prepared the great anniversary sacrifice, wherein public atonement was made for all the sins, transgressions, and iniquities of the whole people, of what sort soever they were, Leviticus 16:21. But in the whole of his ordinances he established the rule, that “without shedding of blood was no remission.”

    There seems to be an exception in the case of him who was so poor that he could not provide the meanest offering of blood for a sin-offering; for he was allowed by the law to offer “the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour” for his sin, and it was forgiven him, Leviticus 5:11-13. Wherefore the word scedo>n , “almost,” may be here again repeated, because of this single case. But the apostle hath respect unto the general rule of the law. And this exception was not an ordinary constitution, but depended on the impossibility of the thing itself, whereunto it made a gracious condescension. And this necessity ofttimes of itself, without any constitution, suspends a positive law, and gives a dispensation unto the infringers of it. So was it in the case of David when he ate of the shewbread in his hunger; and as to works of necessity and mercy on the Sabbath-day: which instances are given by our Savior himself. Wherefore the particular exception on this consideration did rather strengthen than invalidate the general rule of the law. Besides, the nearest approach was made unto it that might be. For fine flour is the best of the bread whereby man’s life is sustained; and in the offering of it the offerer testified that by his sin he had forfeited his own life and all whereby it was sustained: which was the meaning of the offering of blood.

    The expositors of the Roman church do here greatly perplex themselves, to secure their sacrifice of the mass from this destroying sentence of the apostle. For a sacrifice they would have it to be, and that for the remission of the sins of the living and the dead; yet they say it is an unbloody sacrifice. For if there be any blood shed in it, it is the blood of Christ, and then he is crucified by them afresh every day; as indeed in some sense he is, though they cannot shed his blood. If it be unbloody, the rule of the apostle is, that it is no way available for the remission of sins. Those that are sober have no way to deliver themselves, but by denying the mass to be a proper sacrifice for the remission of sins: which is done expressly by Estius upon the place. But this is contrary unto the direct assertions contained in the mass itself, and raseth the very foundation of it.

    Now, if God gave them so much light under the old testament, as that they should know, believe, and profess, that “without shedding of blood is no remission,” how great is the darkness of men under the new testament, who look, seek, or endeavor any other way after the pardon of sin, but only by the blood of Christ!

    Obs. V. This is the great demonstration of the demerit of sin, of the holiness, righteousness, and grace of God. — For such was the nature and demerit of sin, such was the righteousness of God with respect unto it, that without shedding of blood it could not be pardoned. They are strangers unto the one and the other who please themselves with other imaginations. And what blood must this be? That the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin was utterly impossible, as our apostle declares.

    It must be the blood of the Son of God, Romans 3:24,25; Acts 20:28.

    And herein were glorified both the love and grace of God, in that he spared not his only Son, but gave him up to be a bloody sacrifice in his death for us all.

    VERSE 23.

    In the following verses, unto the end of the chapter, the apostle makes an application of all that he had discoursed, concerning the services and sacrifices of the tabernacle, with their use and efficacy, on the one hand, and the sacrifice of Christ, its nature, use, and efficacy, on the other, unto his present argument. Now this was to demonstrate the excellency, dignity, and virtue of the priesthood of Christ, and the sacrifice of himself that he offered thereby, as he was the mediator of the new covenant. And he doth it in the way of comparison, as unto what there was of similitude between them; and of opposition, as unto what was singular in the person and priesthood of Christ, wherein they had no share; declaring on both accounts the incomparable excellency of him and his sacrifice above the priests of the law and theirs, And hereon he concludes his whole discourse with an elegant comparison and opposition between the law and the gospel, wherein he compriseth in few words the substance of them both, as unto their effects on the souls of men.

    That wherein in general there was a similitude in these things is expressed, verse 23.

    Ver. 23 — jAna>gkh ou+n ta< megmata tw~n ejn toi~v oujranoi~v , tou>toiv kaqari>zesqai? aujta< de< ta< ejpoura>nia krei>ttosi zusi>aiv para< tau>tav .

    There is no difference of importance in the translation of these words by any interpreters of reputation, and singly they have been all of them before spoken unto. Only the Syriac renders uJpodei.gmata by at;Wmd] “similitudes;” not unaptly.

    Ver. 23. — It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

    An entrance is made in these words into the comparison intended. For as unto both sorts of sacrifices compared, it is here granted in general that they purged the things whereunto they were applied. But there is a difference also laid down in this verse, namely, as unto the things that were purified by them, and consequently in the nature of their respective purifications.

    There are in the words, 1. A note of inference, or dependence on the former discourse; “therefore.” 2. A double proposition of things of diverse natures compared together. 3. The modification of both these propositions; “it was necessary.” 4. In the first proposition there is, (1.) The subject-matter spoken of; “the patterns of things in the heavens.” (2.) What is affirmed of them as necessary to them; that they “should be purified.” (3.) The means whereby; “with these.” 5. The same things are proposed in the second, namely, (1.) The things spoken of, or the “heavenly things themselves.” (2.) What is affirmed of them is traduced from the other proposition; they also were “purified.” (3.) The means whereby they were so; “with better sacrifices than these.” 1. That which first occurs is the note of inference, or dependence on the former discourse; “therefore.” And it hath an equal respect unto both parts of the assertion. And it is not the being of the things, but their manifestation, that is intended: ‘From what hath been said concerning the legal purification of all things, and the spiritual purification that is by the sacrifice of Christ, these things are evident and manifest.’ 2. Of both the things affirmed it is said that “it was necessary” they should be so; that is, it was so from God’s institution and appointment.

    There was no necessity in the nature of the things themselves, that the patterns of heavenly things should be purged with these sacrifices; but on supposition that God would in and by them represent the purification of the heavenly things, it was necessary that they should be thus purged with blood. And on the supposition of the same divine ordination that the heavenly things themselves should be purified, it was necessary thai; they should be purified with better sacrifices than these, which were altogether insufficient unto that end. 3. The subject of the first proposition is, “The patterns of things in the heavens.” The ta< ejn toi~v oujranoi~v are the ta< ejpoura>nia in the next words. “Things in the heavens” are “heavenly things.” And they are the same with ajnti>tupa tw~n ajlhqinw~n , in the next verse; “figures of the true things. (1.) The things intended are those which the apostle hath discoursed of; the covenant, the book, the people, the ta- bernacle, with all the vessels of its ministry. These he calls uJpodei>gmata, which we well render “patterns.” And patterns are of two sorts: [1.] Such as are prwto>tupa , “exemplaria;” those from and according unto which any other thing is framed. That is the pattern of any thing, according unto which it is contrived, made and fashioned. So a scheme or frame drawn and delineated, is the pattern of — an edifice. [2.] Such as are e]ktupa , “exemplata;” that are framed according unto other things which they do resemble and represent. These also are uJpodei>gmata .

    The things mentioned were not patterns of the heavenly things in the first sense; the heavenly things were not framed by them, to answer, resemble, and represent them. But they were so in the latter only. And therefore in the first constitution of them, those which were durable and to abide, as the tabernacle with all its utensils and vessels, with the positure and disposal of them, were made and erected according to an original pattern showed in the mount; or they were framed according unto the idea of the heavenly things themselves, whereof he made a representation unto Moses, and communicated a resemblance of them unto him, according unto his own good pleasure.

    This is the order of these things: The heavenly things themselves were designed, framed, and disposed in the mind of God, in all their order, courses, beauty, efficacy, and tendency unto his own eternal glory. This was the whole mystery of the wisdom of God for the redemption and salvation of the church by Jesus Christ. This is that which is declared in the gospel, being before hid in God from the foundation of the world, Ephesians 3:8-10. Of these things did God grant a typical resemblance, similitude, and pattern, in the tabernacle and its services. That he would make such a kind of resemblance of those heavenly things, as unto their kind, nature, and use, that he would instruct the church by them, was an act of his mere sovereign will and pleasure. And this is that effect of his wisdom which was manifest under the old testament; whereon the faith and obedience of the church were wholly to acquiesce in his sovereignty.

    And this their resemblance of heavenly things, which they had not from their own nature, but merely from the pleasure of God, gave them all their glory and worth; which the saints under the old testament did in some measure understand. The present Jews do, as their forefathers did, under the degeneracy of their church, conceive their glory to consist in the materials and curious structure of them; things that the wealth and art of men might exceed. But in themselves they were all earthly, carnal, perishing, and liable unto all sorts of corruption. Much inferior they were in nature and glory unto the souls of men, which were conversant in their highest and most noble acts about them. But herein alone consisted their honor, worth, and use, — they were “patterns of heavenly things,” And we may observe, that — Obs. I. The glory and efficacy of all ordinances of divine worship which consist in outward observance (as it is with the sacraments of the gospel) consist in this, that they represent and exhibit heavenly things unto us. — And this power of representation they have from divine institution alone. (2.) What they were patterns of is expressed; namely, of “things in the heavens.” What these were in particular must be spoken unto in the exposition of the next proposition, whereof they are the subject, “The heavenly things themselves.” (3.) Of these things it is affirmed that they were “purified.” The apostle had treated before of a double purification: [1.] Of that which consisted in a cleansing from defilements of its own; “sprinkling the unclean,” and “sanctifying to the purifying of the flesh,” verses 13, 22. [2.] That which consisted in a dedication unto sacred use. But this also had some respect unto uncleanness: not unto any that the things so dedicated had in themselves, but because of the uncleanness of them that were to make use of them. This was such, as that God would have the intervention of the sprinkling of blood between him and them in all their services, as he declares, Leviticus 16:15-17. And this he would do, that he might teach them the absolute and universal necessity of the purifying efficacy of the blood of Christ, in all things between him and sinners. Of this purification he gives us in this discourse two instances: [1.] That which was initial, at the first solemnization of the covenant, verses 18-20. [2.] That which was annual, in the sprinkling of the tabernacle and its vessels, because of the uncleannesses of the people, verse 21. This latter purification is that which is intended. (4.) The means whereby they were thus to be purified is, “with these.” In the next proposition, the heavenly things themselves are said to be purified zusi>aiv , “with sacrifices.’’ But the purification of these patterns was not absolutely confined unto sacrifices. Water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and the ashes of an heifer, in some cases, were required thereunto. “With these;” that is, with all those things which were appointed by the law to be used in their purification or dedication unto sacred use. (5.) If inquiry be made why these patterns were thus purified, the apostle affirms that “it was necessary” it should be so. This, as it respects both propositions in this verse equally, was spoken unto in general before. The grounds of this necessity with respect unto these patterns were these: [1.] The will and command of God. This is that which originally, or in the first place, makes any thing necessary in divine worship. This is the only spring of rational obedience in instituted worship; whatever is without it, whatever is beyond it, is no part of sacred service. God would have them thus purified. Yet also was there herein this manifest reason of his will, namely, that thereby he might represent the purification of heavenly things. On this supposition, that God would so represent heavenly things by them, it was necessary that they should be purified. [2.] Seeing he would have them purified, there was a meetness that they should be so with these things. For being themselves carnal and earthly, as were the tabernacle and all the vessels of it, it was meet they should be purified with things carnal also; such as were the blood of beasts, water, hyssop, and scarlet wool. [3.] In particular, it was necessary that they should be purified with the blood of sacrifices; because they were types of those things which were to be purified with the only proper expiatory sacrifice. These were the foundations of the whole system of Mosaical rites and ordinances; and on them they stood until they were removed by God himself.

    Obs. II. And that which we should learn from hence is, a due consideration of that respect which we ought to have to the holiness of God in his worship and service. He did manifest it unto us, to beget in us a due reverence of it. He would never admit of any thing therein but what was purified according unto his own institution. All other things he always rejected as unclean and profane. Without a due apprehension hereof, and endeavoring to have both our persons and our services purified by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ. neither they nor we can be accepted before him. 4. The other proposition in the text is, that “the heavenly things themselves were to be purified with better sacrifices” (1.) The first thing in the words is the subject of the proposition, “the heavenly things themselves;” that is, the things whereof the other were the patterns, by which God represented them unto the church. But what these things are is not easy to determine. Some say that heaven itself is intended, the superethereal heavens; the place of the present residence of Christ, and of the souls of them that are saved by him. But taking the heavens absolutely, especially for that which is called “the heaven of heavens,” with respect unto their fabric, and as the place of God’s glorious residence, and it is not easy to conceive how they stood in need to be purified by sacrifice. Some say it is spiritual things, that is, the souls and consciences of men, that are intended. And they are called “heavenly” in opposition unto the things of the law, which were all carnal and earthly.

    And it is certain they are not to be excluded out of this expression; for unto their purification is the virtue of the sacrifice of Christ directly applied, verse 14. Yet the whole context, and the antithesis in it between the types and the things typified, make it evident that they alone are not intended.

    To clear the mind of the apostle in this expression, sundry things must be observed out of the context: — [1.] The apostle treats of a double purification, as was immediately before declared. In this application of his discourse he intends them both. But whereas some things stood in need of the one only, namely, of that of dedication unto God; and some of the other, namely, purging from defilements, as the souls and consciences of men; they are distinctly to be applied unto the things spoken of, according to their capacity. Some were purified by dedication, some by actual cleansing from real defilements; both which are included in the notion of sacred purification, or sanctification. [2.] These heavenly things must be all those, and only those, whereof the other were patterns or resemblances This is plain in the context and antithesis. Wherefore, — [3.] By “heavenly things,” I understand all the effects of the counsel of God in Christ, in the redemption, worship, salvation, and eternal glory of the church; that is, Christ himself in all his offices, with all the spiritual and eternal effects of them on the souls and consciences of men, with all the worship of God by him according unto the gospel. For of all these things those of the law were the patterns. He did in and by them give a representation of all these things, as we may see in particular: — 1st. Christ himself, and the sacrifice of himself, were typed out by these things To prove this, is the principal purpose of the apostle.

    They were the “shadow,” he the “body” or substance, as he speaks elsewhere. He was “the Lord from heaven;” “who is in heaven,” “who speaketh from heaven,” 1 Corinthians 15:47; John 3:13; Hebrews 12:25. 2dly. All spiritual and eternal grace, mercy, blessings, whereof the souls of men are made partakers by the mediation and sacrifice of Christ, are “heavenly things,” and are constantly so called, Hebrews 3:1; John 3:12; Ephesians 1:3, 2:6. 3dly. The church itself and its worship are of the same kind; the things principally to be purified by these sacrifices It is God’s heavenly kingdom, Ephesians 5:25,26. 4thly. Heaven itself is comprised herein, not absolutely, but as it is the mansion of Christ and the redeemed in the presence of God for evermore. (2.) Hereon the inquiry will be, how these things are said to be “purified;” for of real purification from uncleanness not one of them is capable but only the church, — that is, the souls and consciences of men. I answer, that we are to have recourse unto that twofold sense of purification before laid down, namely, of external dedication, and internal purging; both which are expressed by the name of “sanctification” in the Scripture. Most of the things that were purified by the blood of the sacrifices at the ,giving of the law were so in the first sense, and no otherwise. The covenant, the book of the law, and the tabernacle with all its vessels, were purified in their sacred dedication unto God and his service. Thus were all the heavenly things themselves purified. Christ himself was sanctified, consecrated, dedicated unto God, in his own blood. He “sanctified himself,” John 17:19; and that by “the blood of the covenant,” Hebrews 10:29; even when he was “consecrated” or “made perfect through sufferings,” Hebrews 2:10. So was the church and the whole worship of it dedicated unto God, made holy unto him, Ephesians 5:25,26. And heaven itself was dedicated to be a habitation for ever unto the mystical body of Christ, in perfect peace with the angels above, who had never sinned, Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 12:22-25.

    But yet there was, moreover, a real purification of the most of these things. The church, or the souls and consciences of men, were really cleansed, purified, and sanctified, with an internal, spiritual purification, Ephesians 5:25,26; Titus 2:14. It was washed in the blood of Christ, Revelation 1:5; and is thereby cleansed from sin,1 John 1:7. And heaven itself was in some sense so purified, as the tabernacle was because of the sins of the people among whom it was, Leviticus 16:16. Sin had entered into heaven itself, in the apostasy of angels; whence it was not pure in the sight of God, Job 15:15. And upon the sin of man, a state of enmity ensued between the angels above and men below; so that heaven was no meet place for a habitation unto them both, until they were reconciled; which was done only in the sacrifice of Christ, Ephesians 1:10. Hence, if the heavenly things were not defiled in themselves, yet in relation unto us they were so; which is now taken away.

    The sum is: As the covenant, the book, the people, the tabernacle, were all purified, and dedicated unto their especial ends, by the blood of calves and goats, wherein was laid the foundation of all gracious intercourse between God and the church, under the old covenant; so all things whatever, that in the counsel of God belonged unto the new covenant, the whole mediation of Christ, with all the spiritual and eternal effects of it, were confirmed, dedicated unto God, and made effectual unto the ends of the covenant, by the blood of the sacrifice of Christ, which is the spring from whence efficacy is communicated unto them all. And moreover, the souls and consciences of the elect are purified and sanctified from all defilements thereby; which work is gradually carried on in them, by renewed applications of the same blood unto them, until they are all presented unto God glorious, “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” And we are taught that, — Obs. III. The one sacrifice of Christ, with what ensued thereon, was the only means to render effectual all the counsels of God concerning the redemption and salvation of the church. Ephesians 1:3-7, Romans 3:24-26. (3.) Of these heavenly things it is said,that they were purified “with better sacrifices than these,” — krei>ttosi zusi>aiv para< tau>tav . Para> is added to increase the signification. All sober expositors agree that here is an enallage of number, the plural put for the singular. The one sacrifice of Christ is alone intended. But because it answered all other sacrifices, exceeded them all in dignity, was of more use and efficacy than they all, it is so expressed. That one sacrifice comprised the virtue, benefit, and signification of all others. The gloss of Grotius on these words is intolerable, and justly offensive unto all pious souls: Qusi>aiv , saith he, “quia non tantum Christi perpessiones intelligit, sed eorum qui ipsum sectantur, una cum precibus et operibus misericordiae.” Is it possible that any Christian should not tremble to join the sufferings of men and their works with the sacrifice of Christ, as unto the same kind of efficacy in purifying of these heavenly things? Do they make atonement for sin? Are they offered unto God for that end? Are they sprinkled on these things for their purification? (4.) The modification of the former proposition belongs unto this also. “It was necessary” these things should be thus purified: [1.] As that which the holiness of God required, and which therefore in his wisdom and grace he appointed; [2.] As that which in itself was meet and becoming the righteousness of God., Hebrews 2:10. Nothing but the sacrifice of Christ, with the everlasting efficacy of his most precious blood, could thus purify the heavenly things, and dedicate the whole new creation unto God. (5.) The last thing we shall observe hereon is, that it was zusi>a that this dedication and purification is ascribed unto. Now zusi>a is a “slain sacrifice,” a sacrifice as slain; a sacrifice by mactation, killing, or shedding of blood. So is jb’z, , also. Wherefore it is the sacrifice of Christ in his death and blood-shedding that is the cause of these things. Other zusi>a of him there was none, he offered none. For the vindication hereof we must examine the comment of Schlichtingius on this place. His words are, — “Licet enim non sanguinem suum Christus Deo obtulerit, sed se ipsum; tamen sine sanguinis effusione offerre se ipsum non potuit neque debuit. Ex eo vero quod diximus fit, ut auctor divinus Christum cum victimis legalibus contferens, perpetuo fugiat dicere Christi sanguinem fuisse oblatum; et nihilominus ut similitudini serviat, perpetuo Christi sanguinis fusionem insinuet, quae nisi antecessisset, hand quaquam tam plena, tamque concinna inter Christum et victimas antiquas comparatio institui potuisset. Ex his ergo manifestum est in ilia sancta celestia ad eorum dedicationem emundationemque peragendam, victimam pretiosissimam, proinde non sanguinem hircorum et vitulorum, imo ne sanguinem quidem ullum, sed ipsum Dei Filium, idque omnibus mortalis naturae exuviis de-positis, quo nulla pretiosior et sanctior victima cogitari potuit, debuisse inferri.” Ans. [1.] The distinction between Christ offering [his blood and offering himself to God (the foundation of this discourse), is coined on purpose to pervert the truth. For neither did Christ offer his blood unto God but in the offering of himself, nor did he offer himself unto God but in and by the shedding and offering of his blood. There is no distinction between Christ offering of himself and offering of his blood, other than between the being of any thing and the form and manner of its being what it is [2.] That “he could not offer himself without the antecedent effusion of his blood,” seems a kind concession; but it hath the same design with the preceding distinction. But in the offering of himself he was zusi>a , “a slain sacrifice,” which was in and by the effusion of his blood; in the very shedding of it, it was offered unto God. [3.] It is a useless observation, that the apostle, in comparing the sacrifice of Christ with the legal victims, doth (as it is said) “carefully avoid the saying that he offered his blood.” For in those legal sacrifices the beasts themselves were always said to be offered, although it was the blood alone wherewith atonement was made on the altar, Leviticus 17:11. And this the apostle expressly ascribes unto the blood of Christ, in answer unto the blood of bulls and goats, verses 13, 14. [4.] The apostle doth not “insinuate the mention of the shedding of the blood of Christ only to make up a full and fit comparison with the legal victims,” as is impudently insinuated; but he directly ascribes the whole effect of reconciliation, peace, atonement, remission of sins, and sanctification, unto the blood of Christ, as shed and offered unto God.

    And this he doth not only in this epistle, where he insists on this comparison, but in other places also, where he hath no regard unto it, Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7, 5:2, 25, 26; Titus 2:14; Colossians 1:20. [5.] Having advanced thus far, in the close of his exposition he “excludes the blood of Christ from any more interest or efficiency in the purification of these heavenly things than the blood of goats and calves;” which is such an open contradiction unto the whole design and express words of the apostle, as that the assertion of it exceeds all the bounds of sobriety and modesty.

    From the words thus opened, we may observe unto our own use, — Obs. IV. Neither could heavenly things have been made meet for us or our use, nor we have been meet for their enjoyment, had they not been dedicated and we been purged by the sacrifice of Christ. — There was no suitableness either in them unto us, or in us unto them, until it was introduced by the blood of Christ. Without the efficiency hereof, heavenly things would not be heavenly unto the minds and souls of men; they would neither please them nor satisfy them, nor make them blessed.

    Unless they themselves are purged, all things, even heavenly things themselves, would be unclean and defiled unto them, Titus 1:15.

    Obs. V. Every eternal