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Full text of "A commentary on the whole Epistle to the Hebrews : being the substance of thirty years' Wednesday's lectures at Blackfriars, London"




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VOL. 11. 


W. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, D.D., Professor of Theology, Congregational Union, Edinburgh. 

JAMES BEGG, D.D., Minister of Newington Free Church, Edinburgh. 

THOMAS J. CRAWFORD, D.D., S.T.P., Professor of Divinity, University, Edinburgh. 

D. T. K. DRUMMOND, M.A., Minister of St Thomas's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh. 

WILLIAM n. GOOLD, D.D., Professor of Biblical Literature and Church History, Reformed 
Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 

ANDREW THOMSON, D.D., Minister of Broughton Place United Presbyterian Church, Edinburgh. 
REV. THOMAS SMITH, M.A., Edinburgh. 










YOL. 11. 









SEC. 1. Of the analysts o/Heb. chap. vi. 
In this chapter the apostle prosecuteth his digres- 
sion, which he began chap. v. ver. 11. 

The first part of his digression was reprehensory, 
in the four last verses of the fifth chapter. 

The other part is exhortatory, throughout this whole 

He exhorteth unto two Christian duties : 

1. To progress in the Christian course, from the 
beginning to ver. 11. 

2. To perseverance therein, from ver. 11 to the end. 
His exhortation to progress is, 

1. Briefly propounded, ver. 1 ; 2. Secondly, largely 

In the amplification are set down, 

1. The distinct heads of those first principles from 
which they must proceed, or wherein they must grow. 
These are six in number, ver. 1, 2. 

2. A motive to enforce that progress. 

Betwixt those heads and the motive there is a 
transition, ver, 3. 

The motive is taken from the danger of not pro- 
ceeding. This is first propounded, secondly illus- 

The danger propounded is apostasy ; which he sets 
out two ways. 

1. By the steps whereon men ascend, before they 
fall, which are five, ver. 4, 5. 

2. By the fearful downfall of apostates. This is, 
1. Afiirmed ; 2. confirmed. 

That which is affirmed is an impossibility of reco- 
very, ver. 4, 6. 

The confirmation is taken from an utter rejecting 
of the only means of recovery, ver. 6. 

The illustration is set forth by a comparison of 
ground moistened with rain, ver. 6, 7. 

Betwixt the fearful downfall of apostates, and the 

Vol. II. 

other part of the exhortation to perseverance, the 
apostle inserteth a sweet insinuation, whereby he tes- 

1. His good persuasion of them, ver. 9. 

2. The ground of that persuasion, ver. 10. 

The second part of the apostle's exhortation is to 

This is, 1, propounded, ver. 11 ; 2, proved by 
sundry arguments. 

1. By their own former practice, implied under this 
phrase, the same diligence, ver. 11. 

2. By the pattern of such saints as were before 
them, ver. 12. 

3. By the recompence of reward. This is, 

1. Generally hinted in this phrase, inherit the pro- 
mises, ver. 12. 

2. Distinctly confirmed in Abraham's example, 
ver. 13. 

The confirmation is by God's oath. About which 
the apostle noteth, 

1. The object of it, God himself, ver. 13. 

2. The form of it, ver. 14. 

3. The issue of it, ver. 15. 

4. The reason why God swore. This is set out 
two ways : 

1. Comparatively, by men's confirming matters, 
ver. 16. 

2. Simply, ver. 17, 18. 

In the simple consideration, two reasons of God's 
oath are rendered : one in reference to God him- 
self, which was to manifest his immutable counsel, 
ver. 17 ; 

The other in reference to men : wherein two points 
are expressed : 

1. The benefits arising from God's oath, strong 

2. The persons that partake thereof, ver. 18. 



[Chap. VI. 

The last argument which the apostle useth to in- 
cite them unto perseverance, is the certainty of their 
hope. This is, 

1. Set out by a fit resemblance, namely, an anchor. 

2. It is amplified by the place where that anchor 
is settled. 

This place is described, 1, by a type, the veil, ver. 
19 ; 2, by Christ's abode there. 

For illustration of this last point, the apostle sets 
out Christ two ways : 

1. In his entrance thither, as o. forerunner. 

2. In his abode there, as a priest. Thus he falleth 
upon the main point, from which he had digi-essed, 
namely, the order of Christ's priesthood, ver. 20. 

Sec. 2. 0/ adding exhortation to reproof. 

Ver. 1. Therefore, leaving the qmnciples of the doc- 
trine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection ; not laying 
again the foundation of repentance from dead works, 
and of faith towards God. 

The apostle here beginneth the second branch of 
his digression ; which is in general an exhortation to 
the duties which they had neglected. 

The first particle is a note of inference, A/o,^ there- 
fore ; it hath reference to his former reproof, and 
sheweth that as faults be reproved, so remedies are 
to be prescribed. 

This was usual with the prophets, as Isa. i. 16, 
with Christ himself, John vi. 27, and with the apostles. 
Gal. V. 1. 

1. The end of reproof is refoi-mation; even as the 
end of potions and pills is health, 2 Cor. ii. 7. 

2. Thus it will appear that reproofs are not in ma- 
lice to disgrace, birt in love to amend ; and that 
reprovers aim thereat. 

This is a good direction for such as are in place to 
reprove. This also is a motive to such as are re- 
proved, patiently to take reproof, and to endeavour to 
redress the faults reproved. Thus will reproof prove 
to be as good physic. 

Sec. 8. Of staying still upon the first principles. 
This word apvng, leaving, both in Greek and other 
languages, implieth two things : 

1. Utterly to forsake a thing upon dislike. Thus 
those h^'pocritos that assayed to tempt Christ, but 
could not ensnare him, ' left him, and went their 
way,' Mat. xxii. 22. In this sense, saith Christ to 
his disciples, concerning blind leaders, apert, ' let 
them alone,' or leave them, Mat. xv. 14. 

2. To go further oft' from a thing, without any dis- 
like of it. In which sense, saith Christ, ci^sg, ' leave 
thy gift,' Mat. v. 24. He would not have him abide 
by his gift, while his brother remained offended with 
him ; but rather go from his gift to his brother. Thus 
runners in a race leave the place where the race 
begins, and make speed to the goal where it ends. 

' See Chap. x. 5, Sec. 13. 

Thus grammar scholars leave their accidence. The 
meaning then of this phrase is, that they should not 
always stay, and abide in learning the first principles ; 
but go on forward in learning more and more the doc- 
trine of Christ. Thus the apostle expoundeth him- 
self in these words following, ' let us go on.' 

That which good Christians must so leave, is in our 
English styled ' The principles of the doctrine of 
Christ ;' in Greek, rhv tHh a-oyjig roZ XsiaroZ /.Cyov, 
' the word of the beginning of Christ,' which intend- 
cth the beginning of the doctrine of Christ ; which 
is that word whereby we are at first brought to know 
Christ, and to believe in him. This is the very same 
which before he called ' the first principles of the 
oracles of God,' whereof see Chap. v. 12, Sees. G3, 65. 

The main drift of the apostle's intendment lieth in 
this word beginning, or principles. For the word, or 
doctrine of Christ, generally taken, containeth all the 
mysteries of godliness, not the deepest excepted. In 
this extent Christ's word is to be left by none ; no, 
not by the strongest. 

It is a proud conceit for any to think that they are 
above or beyond the Scripture, which is the word of 
Christ. * They are they,' saith Christ, * which tes- 
tit]y of me,' John v. 39. These are the things in 
which the apostle would have Timothy to continue, 
though he had * known the holy Scriptures from a 
child,' 2 Tim. iii. 14, 15. 

lie terms it the ivord of Christ, because Christ was 
the subject matter thereof. For Christ is the object 
of a Christian's faith, and that which above all he 
most desires to be instructed in, 1 Cor. ii. 2. 

But that which the apostle especially intendeth is, 
that Christians must not always be learning the first 
principles. That which he further mentioneth, of 
' not laying again the foundation,' tendeth to the same 
purpose ; for a wise builder will not always be spend- 
ing his time, pains, and cost, upon the foundation 
only. If any should so do, all that behold him will 
mock him, saying, ' This man began to build, and 
was not able to finish,' Luke xiv. 28-30. 

Such are those, who, being trained up in a religious 
family, or under a pious ministry, and taught the 
principles of religion, have no care to learn any more. 

This incomparable privilege, that they live where 
the word and doctrine of Christ is taught, even the 
word of theii" salvation, doth much aggravate their 
carelessness. See more hereof, Chap. v. 12, Sec. 63, 
and ver. 13, Sec. 71. 

This phrase, principles of the doctrine of Christ, 
gives us to understand that the church then had her 
catechism. See Chap. v. 12, Sec. 64. 

Sec. 4. Of going on in learning Christ. 

The word (^iiu/MiOa, translated let us go on, is of 
the passive voice, thus, let us he carried; but it im- 
plieth a voluntary act, yet such an one as is per- 
formed with some earnestness and diligence. It is 

Ver. L] 


the word that is used of those that penned the Scrip- 
tures : ' They were moved (or carried) by the Holy 
Ghost,' 2 Pet. i. 21. They faithfully and diligently 
did what the Spirit moved them to do. In that a 
voluntary act on our part is here required, it is in our 
English not impertinently translated, ' let us go on.' 

That where unto we must proceed, is here said to 
be perfection, It! rr^v TiXnor'/tTa. Perfection is taken 
simply, for that which is every way absolute, so as 
nothing need be added thereunto. In this sense, the 
apostle saith of charity, that it is ' the bond of per- 
fection.' It being here thus taken, the going on here 
required implieth a faithful and constant endeavour 
after perfection. Thus Christ requireth us to be 
* perfect, even as our Father which is in heaven is 
perfect,' Mat. v. 48. 

Perfection is also taken comparatively, in reference 
to the first beginning of things. Thus in relation to 
the first principles, it implieth deeper mysteries ; so 
as, going on to perfection, is a proceeding further and 
further in learning the deep mj'steries concerning 
Christ. Hereof see more. Chap. v. 14, Sec. 72. 

Both the foresaid acceptions tend to the same 
intent, namely, that there ought to be a continual 
progress in understanding the mysteries of godliness. 
Saints are in this respect resembled to growing cedars, 
Ps. xcii. 12 ; and to the increasing light of the sun, 
Prov. iv. 18 ; and to the increasing waters, that came 
out of the sanctuary, Ezek. xlvii. 3, &c. ; and to the 
growing corn, Mark iv. 28 ; and mustard seed and 
leaven. Mat. xiii. 82, 33 ; and to the rising up of a 
building, Eph. ii. 21 ; yea, also, to runners in a race, 
1 Cor. ix. 24. 

Frequent are the exhortations of Scripture to this 
kind of proceeding, Philip, iii. 16 ; Eph. iv. 15 ; 
1 Pet. ii. 2 ; 2 Pet. iii. 18. The metaphors also of 
walking and running, frequently used in Scripture, 
tend thereunto. 

Of necessity there must be a going on, because 
that measure and degree which is appointed unto us, 
Eph. iv. 13, cannot be attained till death. Besides, 
the greater measure of grace that we here attain 
unto, the greater degree of glory we shall hereafter 
attain unto, Mat. xxv. 29. 

This much concerns those who have well begun, to 
take heed that they stand not at a stay, but still go 
on. Herein lieth a main difference betwixt the upright 
and hypocrites. The former are never satisfied, but 
still desire more and more ; the latter are contented 
with a mere show. Among good husbands, he is 
almost counted a prodigal who only keeps his own. 
Remember the doom of him that improved not his 
talent. Mat. xxv. 30. See more in The Saint's Sac- 
rifice, on Ps. cxvi. 9, sec. 61. 

Sec. 5. Of endeavouring after fJ^Kf^ction, 
The object whereat Christians should aim in their 
continual progress is perfection ; which, whether it be 

taken simply for an absolute perfection, or compara- 
tively, for an increase in measure, tends in general to 
the full scope, namely, that no stint must satisfy a 
Christian ; he must not content himself with a medi- 
ocrity, but still proceed as far as possibly he can. 
We are hereupon exhorted to ' seek that we may 
excel,' 1 Cor. xiv. 12 ; to be * rich in good works,' 
1 Tim. vi. 18 ; to ' abound in the work of the Lord,' 
1 Cor. XV. 58. Yea, more and more to ' abound in 
knowledge and in all judgment,' Philip, i. 9 ; to 
* abound in hope,' E,om. xv. 13 ; and ' in faith, and 
in all diligence, and in love,' 2 Cor. viii. 7 ; and to be 
' filled with the Spirit,' Eph. v. 18 ; and ' to be per- 
fect,' 1 Cor. xiii. 11. 

The patterns that are set before us, do prove as 
much, for the choicest worthies of God in all former 
ages are set before us as examples for us to follow, 
Heb. xi. We are commanded to ' take the prophets 
for an example,' who were endued with an extra- 
ordinary spirit, James v. 10 ; and an apostle requires 
us to follow him, ' as he followed Christ,' 1 Cor. xi. 1. 
And, as if the best patterns on earth were not suffi- 
cient, we are enjoined to pray, to ' do God's will on 
earth, as it is in heaven,' Mat. vi. 10 ; and, as if the 
patterns of all mere creatures were not sufiicient, it is 
required that ' that mind be in us which was also in 
Christ Jesus,' Philip, ii. 9 ; yea, yet further, we are 
exhorted to be * followers of God,' Eph. v. 1, and to 
be ' perfect as he is,' Mat. v. 48. 

Such is the excellency, such the commodity, such 
the sweetness of Christian knowledge and grace, as a 
man ought never to be satisfied therewith. 

How corrupt is the treasure of the men of this 
world, who account an earnest pursuance after those 
things to be more than needs ? yea, not only need- 
less, but madness, as Festus said to Paul, Acts xxvi. 24. 

Let this add a spur to those who are most forward, 
still to press on further, and to do as the apostle pro- 
fesseth of himself, Philip, iii. 13, &c. 

Of propounding a perfect pattern, and aiming at 
more than we can attain to, see The Guide to go to 
God, or my Explanation of the Lord's Prayer, on 
third petition, sees. 68, 69. 

Sec. 6. Of building upon a foundation ivell laid. 

This phrase, not laying again the foundation, is 
metaphorical. In efi'ect it setteth down the same 
thing which was intended under this phrase, leaving 
the principles, Sec. 3. Only by this metaphor the 
point is more fully and plainly declared. For he 
resembleth principles to a foundation. If only a 
foundation be laid, and no more, no benefit will re- 
dound to the builder, but rather loss of labour : there 
is no fit house to dwell in. We can be no fit house, 
or temple, as is intended we should be, Heb. iii. 6 ; 
Eph. ii. 21 ; 1 Cor. iii. 16, if we stick only in prin- 

What a '^ i IMS Kiov, foundation, in the proper signifi- 


[Chap. VI. 

cation of the word, is, hath been shewed, Chap. i. 10, 
St-c. 131. 

A foundation is both the beginning of a greater 
building, Luke xiv. 20, 80, and also the groundwork, 
whereupon the rest of the building is erected, and 
whereby it is upheld, Eph. ii. 20, 21. 

It is therefore needful that it be very solid and 
substantial, for it must last as long as the building, 
and it useth to be but once laid. 

By the way, here note an undue cavil of the 
Rhemists against reading the Scriptures, and for tra- 
ditions, raised out of this place, which is this : Wc see 
hereby that there was ever a necessary instruction 
and belief had by word of mouth and tradition, before 
men came to the Scriptures. 

To grant there was such a kind of instruction, I 
deny that it was merely hj tradition, without the word 
of God. I deny also that it was before men came 
to the Scriptures, for all sorts had liberty to read 
the Scriptures. As for the points which by word of 
mouth were taught them that were catechised, they 
were no other than the doctrine of the prophets and 
apostles, as also the higher and deeper mysteries were. 
For milk and strong meat may for matter be of the 
same doctrine, but the diflference betwixt them is in 
the manner of delivering it. For that instruction 
which was brought into easy and familiar principles, 
and by word of mouth delivered to babes, was taken 
out of the Scripture, as the several heads following 
shew. See more hereof. Chap. v. 14, Sec. 75. 

The participle xaraCa>.X&',a£vo/, Iciijinr/, joined with 
this noun foundation, addeth further emphasis. It 
signifieth to cast, or hnj iloioi ; and from thence is de- 
rived another Greek word, xrArdZoXri, which also sig- 
nifieth a foundation, as is shewed Chap. iv. 3, Sec. 

This conjunction rrdXiv, again, givcth hint of a 
total apostasy, as if they were in danger to fall from 
all their former principles ; so as a new foundation 
must be laid, or else there could be no further going 
on. This danger is more fully manifested ver. G. 

In this caution, not laying) again the foundation, each 
word is observable. 

1. For erecting a good edifice there must be ^e/ae- 
\i(jv, a foundation ; the first principles must be taught 
them who would be well instructed in the Christian 
faith. See Chap. v. 12, Sec. G4. 

2. A foundation must be well laid, surely, and 
soundly. The notation of this word y.a.TaZuX'/.liJ.ivtji, 
laying, intends as much. This Christ distinctly ob- 
Berveth, Luke vi. 48. This phrase, * As a wise master 
builder, I have laid the foundation,' 1 Cor. iii. 10, 
sheweth that the apostle was very circumspect about 
laying the foundation. Now there is no such way to 
lay the foundation of religion soundly, as to ground it 
on God's word. See Chap. v. 12, Sec. 65. 

8. Laying a foundation intendeth a further build- 
ing ; for a foundation is but the beginning of an edi- 

fice. The negative particle /j,^, not, imports thus 
much : for by forbidding to lay a foundation, he stirs 
them up to diligence in building up the house. So 
as more must be learned than the first principles, see 
Sec. 4. 

4. The inserting this word again gives us to under- 
stand, that a foundation useth to be but once laid. A 
Christian once well instructed must not stand in need 
to be taught the first principles again. Such an one 
in disgrace is called a babe. See Chap. v. Sec. 71. 

Sec. 7. Of the six principles of the apostle's cate- 

The manner of joining the particular principles fol- 
lowing with this general word, foundation, sheweth 
that they are as so many stones of that founda- 
tion. They are joined with this note of the genitive 
case,' of. This phrase, ' The foundation of costly 
stones,' 1 Kings vii. 10, sheweth, that those stones 
made up the foundation. 

The number of principles here set down is diversely 
taken by different expositors. I leave others to their 
own opinion. I suppose that the most proper dis- 
tribution will be into six heads. 

1. Repentance from dead works : which manifesteth 
the natural man's misery. 

2. Faith towards God : which declareth the way 
of freeing man from misery, and bringing him to hap- 

3. The doctrine of baptisms : which pointeth at the 
outward means of working faith and repentance, and 
of revealing and sealing up unto us God's mercy, 
which are the word, and sacraments. 

4. Imposition of hands : which hinteth the order 
and discipline of the church. 

5. Resurrection from the dead ; namely, of our 

G. The eternal judgment : and that of all sorts, 
good and evil ; the one to receive the sentence of 
everlasting life, the other the doom of eternal death. 

These are the heads of that catechism which the 
church had in the apostle's time, and was to be learned 
of such as were to be admitted into the church. 

Sec. 8. Of repentance from dead uvrJcs. 

The first of the foresaid principles is thus expressed, 
' Repentance from dead works.' By dead works aro 
meant all manner of sin ; which aro so styled in re- 
gard of their cause, condition, and consequence. 

1. The cause of sin is privative, the want of that 
Spirit which is the life of the soul ; as the want of life 
is the cause of putrefaction. Men that are without 
that Spirit are said to be dead in sin. They must 
needs be dead works which come from dead men, 
Eph. ii. 1. 

2. The condition of sin is to be noisome and stink- 
ing in God's nostrils, as dead carrion, Ps. xxxviii. 5. 

Ver. 1.] 


3. The consequence of sin is death, and that of 
body and soul, temporal and eternal, Rom. v. 12, and 
vi. 23. 

Repentance impheth a turning from those works. 
The several notations of the word in all the three 
learned languages imply a turning. The Hebrew 
noun n3"lt^*n is derived from a verb, 31t^, that signifies 
to turn, and is used Ezek. xxsiii. 11. The Greek 
word p^irdvoia, according to the notation of it, signifies 
a change of the mind, or change of counsel, |U.£7-a^s- 
Xs/a. So the Latin word also, resi2)iscentia. 

Mirdvoia et fj^irafisKsia componuntur ex prepositione 
fierd, quod significat ^jos?, Acts xv. 13. 

Prior vox fisrdvota componitur ex fisrd et vuog, mens, 
Titus i. 15, sen intellectiis, Philip, iv. 7. Inde vo'su), 
intelligo, considew. Mat. xxiv. 15, /Miravo'su, jmst, vel 
iterum considew; ut ii solent quos hujus vel illius 
facti posnitet. Est igitur furdvoia, posterior cogita- 
tio, qualis fuit in prodigo, Luke xv. 17, fisranosu et 
s-TrigT^i(pu (converto, vel convertor) tanquam synonyma, 
conjunguntur. Acts iii. 19, and xxvi. 20. 

MiTa/xiXiia, componitur ex /u^ird et fiiXsi, cura est. 
Est impersonale. Inde (j^iraiiiXn imnitct. Imper- 
sonale. Est enim poenitentia posterior cura. Sole- 
mus nos pcenitere alicujus facti, cum animum id atten- 
tius expendentem cura et solicitude subit. 

Hinc [jjiTa[jji\6n,ai, pcenitentia diicor. 

Msra/u^'sXsia exponitur apud alios authores mutatio 
consllu, sed nunquam legitur in novo testamento. 

Alii componunt n,i7aii,i\oiJ.ai, ex ixird et /AsXsraw, 
meditor, 1 Tim. iv. 15. Ita ut significet iterum vel 
postea meditor, ut senior filius. Mat. xsi. 29. 

In general, repentance implieth a reformation of the 
whole man. It presupposeth knowledge, sense, sor- 
row, and acknowledgment of sin ; but yet these make 
not up repentance, for they may all be where there is 
no true repentance. Judas had them all, yet was he 
not reformed. He retained a murderous mind, for he 
murdered himself. 

Reformation makes a new man. A man turns from 
what he was, to what he was not. This the apostle 
thus expresseth, * To turn them from darkness to 
light, and from the power of Satan unto God,' Acts 
xxvi. 18. 

From this ground there are made two parts of re- 
pentance : 

1, Mortification, whereby we die to sin. Sin is like 
the Egyptian darkness, which extinguished all lights ; 
it is like thorns in the ground, which soak out all the 
life thereof. Sin therefore must be first mortified. 

2. Vivification, which is a living in righteousness. 
If grace be not planted in the soul, it will be like the 
ground which will send forth weeds of itself. 

The foresaid reformation is of the whole man. For 
the mind seeth a necessity thereof ; the will pursueth 
it ; the heart puts to an holy zeal, and the outward 
parts help to accomplish it. 

Therefore repentance consisteth not simply in sin's 

leaving a man ; for a prodigal, when he hath spent 
all, may cease to be prodigal ; and an old adulterer, 
when his strength is ceased, may forbear his adulter- 
ous acts; but in these, and others like them, though 
the act be forborne, the inordinate desire may remain. 

Nor doth repentance consist in leaving some sins 
only ; so did Herod, Mark vi. 20. Nor in turning 
from one sin to another, as from profaneness to super- 
stition ; so did they whom the pharisees made prose- 
lytes. Mat. xxiii. 15. 

Nor in a mere ceasing to do things unlawful; so may 
such as are idle on the Sabbath day. 

The special principles that are comprised under 
this first head have reference either to the expression 
of dead works, or of repentance from them. They 
are such as these : 

1. Man by nature is* dead in sin, Eph. ii. 1, Titus 
i. 16, though he live a natural life, 1 Tim. v. 6. 

2. All the acts of a natural man are dead works : 
his thoughts, words, and deeds, though they may 
seem never so fair. Gen. vi. 5, Titus i. 15, for they 
are acts of dead men. 

3. The end of all a natural man doth is death, Rom. 
vi. 16. 

4. There is a necessity of man's being freed ; for 
there must be ' repentance from dead works.' He 
were better not be than not be freed. Repentance is 
necessary for freedom from dead works, Luke xiii. 3, 5 ; 
for this end knowledge, sense, sorrow, desire, resolu- 
tion, and endeavour to forbear dead works, are re- 

Under this first head is comprised whatsoever is 
meet to be taught in a catechism of the law, the rigour, 
and curse thereof ; of sin, the kinds, and issue thereof ; 
of death, and the several sorts of it ; of all man's 
misery and impotency ; of repentance, of the nature, 
necessity and benefit thereof ; of means and motives 
to attain it, and signs to know it, 

Sec. 9. Of principles concerning God. 

The second principle is this, * faith towards God.' 
By virtue of this principle they were instructed in two 
great points, one concerning God, the other concerning 

God is here to be considered essentially, in regard 
of his divine nature, or personally, in reference to the 
three distinct persons. Father, Son, Holy Ghost. 

In the former respect they were taught what God 
is, what his divine properties, what his works. 

In the latter respect they were taught the distinction 
betwixt the three persons, and that in regard of order, 
and kind of works, which are to beget, to be begotten, 
and to proceed, and also in their distinct manner of 
working, the Father by the Son and Holy Ghost ; 
the Son from the Father by the Holy Ghost ; the 
Holy Ghost, from the Father and the Son. 

Concerning the Father, they were taught that he is 
the primary fountain of all good ; that he sent his Son 


[Chap. VI. 

to save the worlJ, John iii. 17 ; that he gave the 
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, John xiv. 1G-2G. 

Concerning the Son, they were instructed in his two 
distinct natures, and the union of them in one person, 
which was ' God manifest in the flesh,' 1 Tim. iii. IG., 
and in his three olhccs, which were king, priest, and i 

A king, to gather, preserve, and protect his church. 
A priest, to make satisfaction for our sins by oflering 
himself up a sacrilice ; and being risen from the dead, 
to make intercession for us, by entering into the most 
holy place, and there presenting himself to his Father 
for us. 

A prophet, to make known his Father's will to us ; 
and to enlighten our understandings, so as we may 
conceive it. 

Concerning the Holy Gho^, they were instructed 
that he was true God, a distinct person, and the Spirit 
of sauctilicatiou. 

Sec. 10. Of principles concerning faith. 

The reason why Christians were at first instructed 
in principles concerning God was, that they might 
believe on him. Therefore this principle is thus set 
down, ' faith towards God.' 

The Greek preposition, Jt/, translated toicanh, 
properly signifieth to, and it is oft used in the same 
sense that the preposition iig is, which we translate 
<in, John i. 12. So is the preposition here used in 
this text oft translated by our English, as Acts ix. 42, 
and xxii. 19 ; Rom. iv. 5, 24. 

Thus do most intei-preters here translate it, faith on 
God. The faith then here meant is a justifying faith, 
about which they who are catechised might be in- 
structed in these and such like principles : 

God is to be beUeved on. 

Faith in God is the means to free us out of our 
natural, miserable condition. 

They might also be further instructed in the nature 
of faith, and in the distinct kinds thereof; and how a 
justifying faith diHcreth from other kinds of faith ; and 
what are the grounds of faith, and what the fruits 
thereof; how it is wrought, and how it worketh ; what 
are the signs and evidences thereof ; and concerning 
the benefits thereof, how thereby we have a right to 
the things of this world, yea, and a right to all that 
Christ did, and endured to purchase man's salvation, 
and thereupon a right to salvation itself. 

Of faith, see more in The Whole Armour of God, 
treat, ii. part vi, on Eph. vi. IG, sec. 1, &c. 

Sec. 11. Of principles about God's word. 

Yer. 2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laj/iuff on 
of hands, and (/resurrection of the dead, and of eternal 

This is the third principle, ' the doctrine of bap- 
tisms.' Some make these two distinct principles, 
comprising one under this word doctrine, the other 

under this word baptisms. Whether they be made two 
distinct principles, or only one, it is without question, 
that both the foresaid points of doctrine and baptisms 
are included, and were both taught, as repentance and 
dead works in the first principle, and God and faith 
in the second. 

The Greek noun, hihayji, translated doctrine, is 
derived from a verb, btbdaaui, that signifieth to teach. 
It pointeth at God's word in the holy Scriptures, 
whereby God instructeth us in his will. But more 
particularly the gospel may be here intended. For 
the gospel is the most proper means of working faith, 
Rom. i. IG, 17, and the gospel is in special manner 
the doctrine of baptism, that doctrine which first 
taught baptism, and whereof baptism is a seal. 

About this doctrine, or word, they might be in- 
structed in these particulars : that it is a doctrine of 
divine authority, even the word of God himself ; that 
it is the ground and rule of all things to be believed 
and practised about salvation ; that it instructeth us 
in all the ordinances of God, and declareth both what 
are divine ordinances, and also how they ought to be 
observed ; that it instructeth us in all manner of duties 
to be performed to God, or our neighbour ; that it is 
the only true hght that can direct us in the way to 
salvation ; that it is the ordinary means to breed and 
increase grace ; that by preaching it is made most 
powerful ; that it containeth the covenant, whereof 
the sacraments are seals. 

Of God's word, see more in The Whole Armour of 
God, treat, ii. part viii. on Eph. vi. 17, sec. 1, &c. 

Sec. 12. Of the reasons of baptisms in the plural 

Baptism is added to the foresaid doctrine, because 
the first preacher of the gospel did preach baptism ; 
and upon his preaching it people submitted themselves 
to that ordinance, Mark i. 4, 5 ; and because baptism 
is a seal of the gospel, and from time to time all that 
have embraced the gospel have been baptized. 

The plural number, (Swrne/xoiv, is here used, thus, 
of baptisms, whereabout sundry reasons are given, such 
as these : 

1. To put a differenco betwixt the baptism of John 
and the baptism of Christ ; for some afiirm that they 
were two distinct baptisms, and that many that were 
baptized with John's baptism were rebaptized with the 
baptism of Christ, Acts xix. 5. 

A ns. This is a great error ; John's baptism and 
Christ's were the same. For John preached the same 
doctrine that Christ and his apostles did, and with 
the same baptism confirmed it. Christ himself was 
baptized with John's baptism. He did thereupon 
confirm and sanctify that baptism, which ratification 
and sauctification that baptism which the Christian 
church now useth would want, if John's baptism were 
not the same with Christ's. Besides, the apostle ac- 
knowlodgeth but one baptism, Eph. iv. 5. We cannot, 

Ver. 2.] 


therefore, imagine that there were two distinct and 
different baptisms taught in the apostles' time. As 
for that which is alleged about rebaptiziug those which 
were before baptized by John, it is a manifest mistake 
of Scripture. For that baptism which is mentioned 
Acts xix. 5, was not a rebaptizing of those who were 
baptized before, but a declaration of the ground why 
they were at first baptized by John in the name of the 
Lord Jesus, namely, because John taught them that 
they should believe on Christ Jesus ; so as this phrase, 
' when they heard this,' Acts six. 5, hath reference 
to those who heard John preach, and not to those 
disciples with whom Paul then conferred. 

It is again objected, that John professeth that he 
baptized with water, but Christ with the Holy Ghost, 
Mat. iii. 11. 

Ans. John speaks of himself as a minister, who only 
could use the outward element ; and of Christ as of 
God, the author of baptism, who could also give the 
Holy Ghost. Peter, Paul, and other ministers of the 
gospel, may say as John did, ' We baptize with water,' 
for it is all that a mere man can do. 

2. Others say, that the apostle hath respect in using 
this plural number, baptisms, to the legal washings 
which were among the Jew^s, and are called bajytisms. 
For this word in the plural number is but three times 
more used throughout the new Testament, and in 
every one of them applied to legal washings, as Heb. 
ix. 10, Mark vii. 4. 

Alls. All those legal washings were either abolished 
by the coming of the Messiah, or else they were but 
superstitious rites invented and used by men, so as it 
was not probable that the church then would instruct 
such as were to be her members therein. 

3. Others suppose that the two parts of baptism, 
inward and outw-ard, John iii. 5, are called baptisms. 

Alts. This reason must warily be taken, for howso- 
ever the inward and outward washing may be distin- 
guished, and so respectively called baptisms, yet are 
they not to be severed ; they are but two parts of one 
and the same sacrament, and both of them indeed 
make but one baptism. 

4. Others think that the apostle hath reference to 
a threefold baptism,^ one of water, another of the 
Spirit, a third of blood, which they say martyrdom is. 
For this they allege 1 John v. 8, and compare together 
John iii. 5 and Mat. xx. 22 ; this is the reason ordi- 
narily rendered by popish expositors. But they mis- 
take the meaning of this word blood, mentioned 1 John 
V. 8 ; it is not the blood of martyrs, but the blood of 
Christ, which the apostle there meaneth. 

5. Some of our best expositors are of opinion, that 
this plural number bcq^tisms is here used in reference 
to the many persons which were baptized together, 
and to the several set times when baptism was ad- 
ministered, which reason is confirmed by that name, 
which in our ancient ecclesiastical authors is given 

• Baptisma fluminis, flaminis et sanguinis. 

to the days wherein baptism was solemnly administered, 
for they were called ' days of baptism.' 

G. Baptism may here synecdochically be put for 
both sacraments ; and to shew that the Lord's Supper 
is included under the sacrament of baptism, the plural 
number, baptisms, is used. 

Sec. 13. Of principles about sacraments. 

We cannot imagine that the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper was clean left out of the catechism used in the 
primitive church. This therefore will be the fittest 
place to observe the principles about a sacrament in 
general, and in particular about baptism and the Lord's 
Supper. Wherefore about a sacrament there might 
be delivered such principles as these : 

Christ instituted sacraments in his church. A 
sacrament was a seal of God's covenant. There were 
two parts of a sacrament, the outward sign and in- 
ward grace. A sacrament was of use to ratify God's 
promise, and to strengthen our faith. 

It was of singular use in regard of our dulness to 
conceive, and backwardness to believe. The resem- 
blance betwixt the sign and the thing signified was of 
use to help our understanding in the mysteries set 
out in a sacrament. There are only two sacraments 
of the new Testament : one, a sacrament of regenera- 
tion ; the other, a sacrament of spiritual nourishment. 

Sjc. 14. Of principles abont baptism. 

Baptism is a sacrament of regeneration. The out- 
ward sign in baptism is water. The inward thing, or 
substance thereof, is the blood of Christ. The pour- 
ing or sprinkling of water upon the party baptized 
setteth out the inward cleansing of the Holy Ghost. 
The form of baptism is, * In the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' Baptism is 
to be administered by a minister of the word. They 
who profess the true faith are to be baptized. The 
children also of such are to be baptized. By baptism 
we are ingrafted into Christ's mystical body. Baptism 
setteth out both our dying to sin, and also our rising 
to righteousness. Baptism is but once to be admi- 
nistered. The force and efficacy of baptism lasteth 
as long as a man liveth. 

Of baptism, see more in Domestical Duties on Eph. 
V. 2G, treat, i. sec. 40, &c. 

Sec. 15. Of principles about the Lord's supper. 

The Lord's supper is a sacrament of spiritual 
nourishment. It is added to baptism, to shew the 
spiritual growth of such as are new born. There are 
two outward signs thereof, bread and wine. These 
set out the body and blood of Christ. The bread 
sheweth that Christ's body is spiritual nourishment ; 
the wine, that his blood is spiritual refreshing. These 
two elements shew, that Christ is sufiicient nour- 
ishment. The bread and wine at the Lord's table 
differ from other bread and wine, in use only, not in 


[Chap. VI. 

substance. The form of that sacrament consistoth in 
the sacramental union betwixt the signs and things 
signified. A minister of the word must administer 
that sacrament. Thej' who have been baptized, and 
are fit and worthy, ma}' partake thereof. The minister 
is to bless the elements, to break the bread, to pour 
out the wine, and to give them to the people. The 
people are to take the elements, and to eat the one, 
and drink the other. The body of Christ is eaten, 
and his blood drunk, spiritually by faith. This sacra- 
ment is oft to be received, in regard of the weakness 
of our faith, and repentance, which need oft to be 
renewed, and that Christ might oft be remembered. 

Sec. IG. 0/ imposition of hands. 

The fourth principle is thus set down, ImO'-Ciui Ti 
X^'i'^^i ' of imposition of hands.' This hath been an 
ancient rite in the church of God : no other so long 
continued. Jacob, when he blessed the sons of Joseph, 
laid his bands upon them. Gen. xlviii. 14. Under the 
law it was usual to lay hands on the sacrifices that 
were oflered up. Lev. iv. 15, xvi. 21, Num. viii. 12. 

But because we have to do with the time of the 
gospel, and with a rite then used, we will pass over 
the times of the law, and shew about this rite of im- 
position of hands: 1, by what persons; 2, in what 
cases ; 3, to what ends ; 4, with what exercises, it 
was used. 

1 . They were public persons that used it, as Christ, 
Mark x. 10, Luke iv. 40 ; his apostles. Acts viii. 17 ; 
other public ministers and ciders, 1 Tim. iv. 14, and 
V. 22. 

2. It was used in extraordinary and ordinary cases. 
The extraordinary were spiritual or temporal. Spiri- 
tual extraordinaiy cases wherein imposition of hands 
was used, were the giving of extraordinary gifts, oft 
expressed under this title, the Holy Ghost, Acts viii, 
17, 19, and xix. G ; extraordiuar}' temporal cases were 
an extraordinary manner of restoring healtn, and 
other like miracles, Luke iv. 40, Mark vi. 5, Acts 
«xviii. 8. Ordinary cases wherein imposition of hands 
was used were, 

(1.) Blessing children, Mark x. IG. 

(2.) Setting men apart to a public function, as 
ministers of the word, 1 Tim. v. 22 ; and deacons, 
Acts vi. 6. 

(3.) Deputing men to some special work, Acts 
xiii. 3. 

{4.) Confirming such as had been instructed in the 
principles of religion. 

This last particular is not expressly set down in 
Scripture, but gathered out of it by the ancient ortho- 
dox fathers ; and with a joint consent acknowledged 
by most divines, not papists only, but protestauts 
also. It hath indeed been much abused by papists, 
with their manifold superstitious additions, and vain 
opinions thereabout ; which hath been, I suppose, 
one cause of protestants much neglecting it. 

Imposition of hands for confirming him on whom 
hands were laid, was of old used in two cases. 

1. When one of age, having been well instructed 
in the principles of Christian religion, was brought to 
the Church to be baptized. 

2. When such as had been baptized in their in- 
fancy, and afterwards well instructed in the foresaid 
principles, were judged fit to be made partakers of 
the Lord's table. 

Sec. 17. 0/ layinrf on of hands at ordination. 

This rite of laying hands on them that were to be 
set apart to the ministry, is most expressly set down 
in God's word. For Timothy was sot apart ' by lay- 
ing on of the hands of the presbytery,' 1 Tim. iv. 14, 
and the apostle settcth out the act of ordination under 
this rite, when he saith, ' Lay hands suddenly on no 
man,' 1 Tim. v. 22. 

Such as under the gospel are to be set apart for 
ordinary ministers, are pastors and teachers. Men's 
abilities to these functions are to be tried ; and good 
testimony given of their orthodox judgment and pious 
conversation : and in a public assembly, on a day of 
fasting and prayer, they are, after some exhortation 
and direction concerning the ministerial function, and 
prayer made for God's blessing on them, they are to 
be set apart to the ministerial function, by this rite of 
imposition of hands. 

This rite was used to shew that the blessing which 
they desired, and the abilit}' which was given, or was 
further to be expected, was from above ; and for ob- 
taining thereof, prayer used to be joined with imposi- 
tion of hands, Acts vi. G, and xiii. 3, and xx. 8. 

Of ordaining ministers, see more Chap. iii. 2, Sec. 

Sec. 18. 0/ ininciples about prayer and thanks- 

Because prayer was joined with imposition of hands, 
and lifting up of hands is a rite proper to prayer, 
and put for prayer, 1 Tim. ii. 8, I suppose this to 
be a tit place to bring in that head of our Christian 
religion, which was questionless one branch of that 
ancient catechism. 

Principles about prayer may be such as these : 

Prayer is a bounden dut}-. It is to be made onl}' 
to God, and in the name of Jesus Christ. It is to 
proceed from the heart, and to be made with rever- 
ence, and in faith. It is a means of obtaining all 
needful blessings, All things that tend to God's 
glory, our own, or brother's good, whether temporal 
or spiritual, may be sought of God by prayer. 

To this head also may thanksgiving be referred. 
Christians ought to be as conscionablo in giving 
thanks as in making prayers. Hereby they shall 
testify their zeal of God's glory, as well as they testify 
their desire of their own good. 

Thanks must be given to God, and that for all 

Ver. 2.] 


things, and at all times, and in all places, publicly and 
privately, ever in the name and through the media- 
tion of Jesus Christ. 

Of prayer and thanksgiving, see more in The Whole 
Armour of God, treat iii. part i., on Eph. vi. 18, 
sec. 1, &c. 

Sec. 19. Of jmiicijjles about death. 

The fifth principle is thus set down, * and of the 
resurrection of the dead.' Of this principle there are 
two heads : one concerning the dead; the other con- 
cerning their resurrection. 

About the dead, there might be these principles. 
No man ever yet remained alive on earth for ever. 
' It is appointed unto men once to die,' Heb. ix. 27; 
only one exception is recorded, M'hich was Enoch's, of 
whom it is said that ' God took him,' Gen. v. 24, 
which phrase the apostle thus expoundeth, ' Enoch 
was translated that he should not see death,' Heb. 
xi. 5. As for Elijah, who went up by a whirlwind into 
heaven, 2 Kings ii. 11, it is not expressly said that he 
died not ; though in his body he were taken up from 
the earth, yet might his soul only be carried into 
heaven. Yet I will not deny, but that he also might 
be exempted from death. But if this be granted, 
there are only two that we read of exempted from 
this common condition ; and one or two exceptions, 
especially they being extraordinary, do not infringe a 
general rule.^ Death is only of the body, which the 
soul leaveth, and thereupon it remaineth dead ; the 
soul itself is immortal, Eccles. xii. 7 ; man's body 
was not at first made mortal, for death came by sin, 
Rom. V. 12, yet by Christ is the sting of death pulled 
out, 1 Cor. XV. 65, and the nature of it is altered. 
For at first it was denounced as an entrance to hell. 
Gen. ii. 17, Luke xvi. 22, 23 ; by Christ it is made a 
sweet sleep, 1 Thess. iv. 13, and the entrance into 
heaven, 2 Cor. v. 1, Philip, i. 23; it is to believers, 
a putting ofi" the rags of morality, 1 Cor. xv. 53, 54; 
it is a full abolition. of sin, Rom. vi. 7, and they rest 
from all labours and troubles, Rev. xiv. 13. 

Sec. 20. Of jmnciples about resurrection. 

The bodies of men are not like the bodies of beasts, 
which ever remain in the earth, but they shall be 
raised. Which the apostle proveth by many argu- 
ments, 1 Cor. XV. 12, &c. They shall be raised by 
the power of Christ's voice, John v. 29, and that at the 
last and great day. Mat. xiii. 49, all at once in a 
moment, 1 Cor. xv. 52, even the very same bodies 
that they had on earth. Job xix. 27 ; not the substance, 
but the quality only of the bodies shall be changed, 

^ This rule must not be extended to such as shall be living 
at the moment of Christ's coming to judgment ; for in refer- 
ence to them thus saith the ajiostle, ' We shall not all 
sleep,' 1 Cor. xv. 51 ; and again, ' We which are alive shall 
be caught up together in the clouds,' with them that are 
raised from the dead, 1 Thos. iv. 17. 

1 Cor. XV. 43, 44. Being raised, each body shall be 
united to his own soul, and that for ever, not to be 
separated again. As for men's souls, they never die; 
but immediately upon their separation from the body, 
they go to those places where, after the day of judg- 
ment, their bodies shall be with them, Luke xvi. 23. 
They that are living at the day of judgment shall be 
changed, 1 Cor. xv. 51, and suddenlj' caught up to 
judgment : only the dead shall first rise, and then the 
quick shall be taken up with them, 1 Thes. iv. 15, 
17. Of Christ's resurrection, see Chap. xiii. 20, Sec. 

Sec. 21. Of principles concerning the last judgment. 

The sixth and last principle is thus expressed, ' and 
of eternal judgment.' 

This principle noteth out two points : 1, the matter 
itself, judgment ; 2, the continuance thereof, eternal. 

About the matter itself, these particulars following 
are observable : 

There shall be a day of judgment. All men shall 
be judged. Jesus Christ in his human nature shall 
be the visible judge. Acts xvii. 31. He will judge all 
men according to their works. Mat. xvi. 27 ; every 
work shall be brought to judgment, whether it be open 
or secret, whether it be good or evil, Eccles. xii. 14; 
men shall give an account for every idle word. Mat. 
xii. 36. All shall not receive the same sentence : the 
righteous shall receive a blessed sentence of life ; the 
wicked a fearful doom of condemnation. Mat. xxv. 34, 
&c. There is a set day for this judgment. Acts xvii. 
31 ; but it is unknown to men and angels, that men 
might always watch, Mark xiii. 32, 33, but it shall 
not come till the number of God's elect shall be ful- 
filled. Rev. vi. 11. 

The continuance of the day of judgment, under this 
word eternal (which is to be taken of the time follow- 
ing, that shall never have an end), hath respect to the 
reward of the righteous and of the wicked. 

The righteous shall be taken with Christ into the 
highest heaven, where they shall enjoy such glory and 
happiness, as the tongue of man cannot express, nor 
heart of man conceive. It shall never be altered, but 
be everlasting, and therefore called * eternal life,' 
Mat. xxv. 46. 

The wicked shall be cast down into hell fire, pre- 
pared for the devil and his angels, where they shall 
be tormented in soul and body, which torment shall 
be endless and remediless, and therefore called eternal 
fire, Jude 7. Many more principles, especially such 
as may be counted strong meat, might have been 
reckoned up. But the principles intended by the 
apostle are such as may be comprised under the meta- 
phor of milk. In that respect we have reckoned up 
no more. Yet these which are reckoned up do 
evidently demonstrate that the six principles named 
by the apostle are such as may comprise a complete 
catechism, even all the fundamentals of religion. 



[Chap. VI. 

Sec. 22. Of the resolution ofReh. vi. 1, 2. 

Ver. 1. Their/orc, leaviiu/ the principles of the doc- 
trine of Christ, let us t/o on unto perfection ; not layintj 
again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and 
of faith towards God, 

Ver. 2. ()f the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on 
of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal 

The sum of these two verses is an exhortation to 
progress in the Christian religion. Ilcrcahout are 
two points : 

] . An inference, therefore. 2. The substance. 

The substance is set down two ways : 1. Negatively ; 
2. Affirmatively. 

The negative declares /»y)?« what we must proceed. 

The affirmative to what. 

The negative is, 1, propounded ; 2, repeated. 

In the proposition there is, 

1. An act required : learing. 

2. The object to be left Herein is shewed, 

1. The kind of object : the principles of the doctrine. 

2. The author thereof: Christ. 
The affiiTnative also noteth, 

1. An act to be done : let us go on. 

2. The mark to be aimed at : unto perfection. 

In the repetition of the negative, another act is in- 
hibited : not laying again. And another object is 
specified, and that is, 

1. Generally set down in a metaphor : the founda- 

2. Particularly exemplified in six heads. 

The first declares a duty, of repentance ; and the 
subject thereof, from dead works. 

The second manifesteth a grace, of faith ; and the 
object thereof, towards God. 

The third hinteth two special means of grace, doc- 
trine and bapti.sms. 

The fourth pointeth at an ancient rite, laying on of 

The fifth reveals a special privilege, resurrection ; 
and the persons to be made partakers thereof, the dead. 

The sixth declareth the last act of Christ as medi- 
ator, judgment ; and the continuance or the issue 
thereof, eternal. 

Sec. 23. Of the doctrines raised out ofHeh. vi. 1,2. 

I. To reproof, instruction mtist he added. This 
chapter contains many instructions, which the apostle 
adds to his reproof, in the latter end of the former 
chapter. See Sec. 2. 

II. Christians must not always stick in first prin- 
ciples. This is the meaning of this word leaving. 
See Sec. 8. 

III. The princi] tics taught in Christ's church must 
be the doctrine of t.'hrist. This is here expressly set 
down. See Sec. 3. 

IV. Christians must daily grow in grace. This is 
to go on. See Sec. •!. 

V. Perfection must he a Christians aim. This is 
it whercunto ho must go on. See Sec. 5. 

VI. A foundalion of religion must be laid. This 
is implied under the metaphor of a foundation here 
used. Sec Sec. 6. 

VII. The foundation must be but once laid. It is 
here forbidden to be laid again. See Sec. 6. 

VIII. The primitive church had a set catechism. 
The distinct principles here set down import as much. 
See Sec. 7. 

IX. The natural man's works are all dead. So here 
they are said to be. Sec Sec. 8. 

X. JRepentance is necessary. It is here set down as 
the first principle. See Sec. 8. 

XI. God is to be known. For this end mention is 
here made of God. See Sec. 9. 

XII. Faith is a true grace. It is therefore here 
expressly required. See Sec. 10. 

XIII. Faith is to be fixed on God. This is the 
meaning of this phrase, towards God. See Sec. 

XIV. God's ivord is the church's doctrine. It is that 
wherein the members of the church are to be in- 
structed. See Sec. 11. 

XV. Baptism is the church's privilege. It is here 
reckoned among the privileges which belong to the 
church. Sec Sec. 14. 

XVI. There is an inward and outward baptism. 
This may be one reason of using the plm-al number, 
baptisms. See Sec. 12. 

XVII. Baptism is common to many. This may be 
another reason of the plural number. See Sec. 12. 

XVIII. Imjjosition of hands is an evangelical rite. 
It is one of the principles of the Christian's catechism. 
See Sec. 16. 

XIX. Ministers may be set apart by imposition of 
hands. Hereabout was this rite used in the apostle's 
time. See Sec. 17. 

XX. Our bodies are stdiject to death. This is here 
taken for granted. See Sec. 19. 

XXI. Our dead bodies shall be raised. The re- 
surrection here mentioned is of our bodies. See Sec. 

XXII. There shall be a general judgment. This 
also is here taken for granted. See Sec. 21. 

XXIII. The sentence at the last judgment loill be un- 
alterable. In this respect it is styled eternal judg- 
ment. See Sec. 21. 

Sec. 24. Of the sense of these words, ' And this will 
we do.' 

Ileb. vi. 3, And thistviU we do, if God permit. 

The apostle, to his exhortation made to the He- 
brews, that they would ' go on to perfection,' by this 
copulative particle xal, and, addcth a promise of his 
own endeavour to do what in him lieth for helping 
them on in that progress. 

The relative roZro, (his, hath reference to that 

Vee. 3.] 



general point, which he intended about leaving prin- 
ciples, and going on to perfection. 

Thereabout he maketh this promise, miri(So/j.iv, tee 
will do, namely, that which belonged to a minister, to 
help on people's going to perfection ; which was not 
to lay the foundation again, but to open deeper mys- 
teries, as he doth in the seventh and other chapters 

In setting down the promise, he useth the plural 
number, ive will do. 

1. In reference to other ministers. For there were 
other ministers of this church besides the apostle him- 
self, who were all of the same mind, as the apostle 
testifieth of himself and Titus thus : • Walked we not 
in the same spirit ?' 2 Cor. xii. 18. 

2. To set forth the disposition of other ministers 
in his own example, as where he saith, ' We, ambas- 
sadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by 
us, we pray,' &c. 

3. In relation to the endeavour of them to whom 
he wrote. For being persuaded that they would make 
progress according to that doctrine which should be 
delivered to them by him, he saith, ' This will we 
do.' I in doctrine, and you in proficiency, will go on 
to perfection. Thus he includes them with himself 
where he saith in the plural number and first person, 
p£gw/i£^a, ' let us go on,' ver. 1. 

Thus it appears that it was not an ambitious, epis- 
copal humour in which he here useth this plural 
number, as they who in their edicts thus begin. We 
Gregory, We Pius. 

By expressing his mind ifi. the future tense, he de- 
clareth his purpose beforehand, which is a lawful and 
useful course. Other faithful ministers in all ages 
have so done ; yea, and Christ himself, especially about 
the time of his departure, as John xiv. 3, 13, 16, 18, 
21, 23. All God's promises are such professions. 

Such professions beforehand do much support the 
spirits of them to whom they are made, and make 
them expect the accomplishment of what is professed ; 
yea, this is an holy tie and bond to him that maketh 
the profession, to be faithful in performing the same. 

This may be a good pattern for such as intend good 
to others, freely to profess their intent beforehand, and 
that with a faithful resolution to perform what they 

Sec. 25. Of the ministry of the icord a means of 
going on to x>sfection. 

The foresaid apostolical promise is both a means to 
lead on people forward to perfection, and also a motive 
to stir up people to endeavour after it. That it is a 
means is evident, by this effect of making people to 
grow, attributed to the ministry of the word. In this 
respect saith an apostle, ' Desire the word, that 
you may grow thereby,' 1 Peter ii. 2 ; and, ' I com- 
mend you to the word, which is able to build you up,' 
Acts XX. 32. 

God hath sanctified the ministry of the word, both 
for our spiritual birth and also for our spiritual growth, 
to begin and to perfect grace in us ; in which respect 
ministers are styled j)lanters and waterers, 1 Cor. iii. 6 ; 
fathers and instructors, 1 Cor. iv. 15. 

Such ministers as, having well instructed their 
people in the first principles of religion, do there set 
down their stafl', and go no further, though they may 
seem to have gone far, yet come far short of that which 
becomes a faithful minister. Should a parent that 
had well trained up his child in the childhood and 
youth thereof, then leave it, and take no care of fitting 
it unto some good calling, he would be counted both 
improvident and unnatural ; much more ministers, 
that do not what they can to perfect their people. 
This was the end why Christ gave pastors and teachers, 
Eph. iv. 11-13. 

Sec. 26. Of ministers helping their people to attain 

As the apostle's promise was a means of drawing 
on his people to perfection, so it was a motive to in- 
cite them so to do. For a minister's pattern in doing 
his duty is a forcible inducement unto people for them 
to do their duty. Hereupon, saith the apostle, 
' Brethren, be followers together of me,' &c., PhiUp. 
iii. 17. 

Men are much moved by the example of their 
guides. A generous mind will count it a great dis- 
grace to be a slothful hearer of a diligent preacher, and 
to remain ignorant under a well instructing minister. 

This should stir up us ministers still to be going on 
in laying forth all the mysteries of godliness, that 
thereby we may draw on our people nearer and nearer 
to perfection. 

This is the rather to be done because it is a singular 
help to people's progress, which ministers must en- 
deavour every way they can. As they incite their 
people to perform duty, so they must direct them how 
to do it. Where the apostle exhorteth to * covet 
earnestly the best gifts,' he further addeth, ' And yet 
shew I unto you a more excellent way,' 1 Cor. xii. 31. 
See Chap. iii. ver. 13, Sec. 142. 

Thus there may be hope that a minister's labour 
shall not be in vain. Exhortation is of good use to 
work upon affection ; but directory doctrine so worketh 
upon the understanding as a man's affection is there- 
by well ordered and directed. 

They much fail in their ministerial function who 
are earnest in exhortation and reproof, but scanty in 
directing the people. They are like > foolish rider, 
who letteth go the reins of his bridle, and whips and 
spurs on his horse, so as the horse may carry him 
much further out of the way than he was before. 
Many cry out against ignorance and non-proficiency, 
and earnestly exhort to knowledge and good progress 
in grace ; they complain that their people care not 
how they present themselves to the Lord's table ; yet 



[Chap. VI. 

do not snch ministers perfonn their duty in instruct- 
ing their people, and building them up from one 
degree of grace to another. 

For our parts, as we desire to be accounted faith- 
ful (as Moses was, Num. xli. 7), and would be ' pure 
from the blood of all men, let us not shun to declare 
unto our people all the counsel of God,' Acts xx. 26, 
27, but upon the good foundation which we have laid, 
build gold, silver, and precious stones, 1 Cor. iii. 11, 
12. This is the way to bring people to perfection. 

Sec. 27. 0/ subject i II ff our puijioses to God's trill. 

The apostle's foresaid promise is thus limited, ' if 
God permit.' The conditional particle, //, implieth 
Buch a limitation as makes him subject his purpose to 
the guiding providence of God : as if he had said, I 
fully purpose what I promise ; but yet with this cau- 
tion, if God sufl'er me to do what 1 intend; by which 
pattern we see that our purposes must be submitted 
to God"s permittance. This is thus expressly com- 
manded, ' Ye ought to say, U the Lord will,' James 
iv. 15; and this hath been the practice of God's saints. 
When David had a purpose to bring the ark of God 
into a settled place, he thus expresseth his purpose, 
' If it be of the Lord our God,' 1 Chron. xiii. 2 ; and 
Saint Paul thus, ' I will return again unto you, if God 
will,' Acts xviii. 21 ; and again, ' I wiU come to you 
shortly, if the Lord will,' 1 Cor. iv. 19 ; and ' I trust 
to tarry a while with you, if the Lord will.' 

This submission giveth evidence of that knowleclge 
which we have of the over-ruling providence of God, 
of our faiih therein, and respect thereto. For though 
there may be ' a preparation in the heart of man,' 
yet ' the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.' 
And though ' a man's heart deviseth his way,' yet 
' the Lord directeth his stops,' Prov. xvi. 1, 9. So as 
a man's purposes and promises will be all in vain 
without this permission. 

They are impious and blasphemous thoughts and 
speeches of men who think or say they will do 
this or that whether God will or no. An heathen 
poet' who noteth out this speech of Ajax, He that is 
nobody may, with the help of the gods, much prevail; 
but I am confident to get this done without them, 
withal observeth that divine vengeance followed him. 
How much more is that pope of Rome to be con- 
demned,* who, being forbidden by his physician to eat 
of a dish which he liked exceeding well, but was hurt- 
ful to his health, blasphemously said. Bring me my 
dish in despite of God. Such speeches argue atheis- 
tical minds. 

They go too far in this point of atheism who per- 

' Sopliocl., in Ajac. 

6i«7; flit Kat i ftrii'it £t 'fu, 

K«<tr(; xarcixTr.raiT' lya/ il xa< H;^m 

Kii>w> viTt.^a t»ut' inrrdrnf k>Aos. 

' Julius III., Balai Chron. de Act- Poutif. 

emptorily promise, vow, and bind themselves to do 
such things as are against the mind and will of God, 
as those Jews who ' bound themselves under a curse 
to kill Paul,' Acts xxiii. 12, 

It becomes us who are instructed in the over- 
ruling providence of God, to have always in our heart, 
and, as occasion is given, to manifest in our words, 
our submission of all our intents to the divine provi- 
dence, that so we may rest content if at any time we 
be crossed in our intent. "Well may we know what 
we would have fall out, but God doth best know what 
should fall out, and what is best so to do. Let us 
not, therefore, be too eager in pursuing our own pur- 
poses. This caution, being interposed, may keep us 
from breach of promise when matters fall out other- 
wise than we have promised. 

Sec. 28. 0/ the efficacy of mans ministry, depending 
on God's blessiny. 

The Greek verb' i-riTil-ri, which here setteth out 
God's permitting act, is a compound of a simple verb, 
Tii'TTu, irrto, that signifieth to turn, and a preposition, 
£T/', that signifieth unto. He that permits a thing, to 
testify his permission, will turn to him and grant his 

The same simple verb joined with another preposi- 
tion, a-To, that signifieth /Vow, intendeth the contrary, 
namely, to turn from one, and that in dislike to what 
he desired. Thus is it used, 2 Tim. iii. 5. 

The word of this text implieth God's approving of 
a thing, and such a permitting as he adds his helping 
hand thereunto. For God doth not barely sufier good 
things to be so and so done ; but he hath his hand in 
ordering and disposing them, and thereby brings them 
to a good issue. Well therefore doth the apostle, in re- 
ference to the efficacy of his ministry, add this caution, 
' If God permit ; ' for man's ministry is so far effectual, 
as God adds his blessing thereunto. * I have planted,' 
saith the apostle, ' Apollos watered ; but God gave 
the increase,' 1 Cor. iii. 6. In this respect also he 
saith, ' God hath made us able ministers of the New 
Testament,' 2 Cor. iii. 5. To this purpose may that 
in general be applied, both to the efficacy of man's 
ministry, and also to the profit of people's hearing, 
which a prophet thus expresseth, ' 1 am the Lord thy 
God, which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth 
thee by the way that thou shouldst go,' Isa. xlviii. 17. 

All means are voluntarily appointed by God, sub- 
ordinate to his providence, and ordered thereby, as 
the lower wheels in a clock by the great one. 

This is a great encouragement with diligence, good 
conscience, and in fiith to use the means, which are 
warranted by God ; and in the use of them to call on 
God, and to depend on him for a blessing. 

Sec. 29. Of the resohition and observations of Heb. 
vi. 3. 

Ver. 8. And this uill ue do, if God permit. 

Ver. 4-6.] 



The sum of this verse is a minister's duty. 
In it two points are observable : 

1. The connection of this verse with the two former, 
by this copulative particle and. 

2. A declaration of the duty itself. Hereabout is 
set down, 

1. The minister's intention ; 2, the limitation 
thereof. In setting down the intention, the matter 
and manner are both observable. 

The matter setteth out an act, do. And the object 
thereof, this. 

The manner is manifested in two circumstances. 

1. The plural number, ue ; 2, the time, future, 

The limitation is, 1, generally propounded in this 
conditional particle, if. 

2. Particularly expressed in this phrase, God 


I. 3Iinisters must endeavour to effect ivhat they exhort 
their people to. This ariseth from the connection 
of this verse with the former, by this copulative 
and. See Sec. 24. 

II. Ministers must direct their people in lihat they 
incite them to. By this word do, he intendeth his 
preaching or writing, which is a means to direct 
them. See Sec. 26, 

III. 2Iinisters must lead on their people to perfection. 
This relative this hath reference to that point. See 
Sec, 25. 

IV. Ministers miist judge others in good things to be 
of their mind. 

The plural number tee includeth other ministers. 
See Sec, 24. 

V. Good purjjoses may be beforehand professed. This 
the apostle here doth by a word of the future tense, 
ue tvill do. See Sec. 24. 

VI. 2Ien's purposes must be submitted to God's provi- 
dence. This conditional particle if, as here used, in- 
tends as much. See Sec. 27. 

VII. God's blessing makes men's ministry effectual. 
Thus much is intended under this phrase, God permit. 
See Sec. 28. 

Sec. 30. Of declaring beforehand the utmost danger. 
Heb. vi, 4-6. 

Ver. 4. For it is impossible for those who icere once 
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and 
were made jxirtakers of the Holy Ghost, 

5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the 
powers of the tvorld to come, 

6. If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto 
repentance ; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of 
God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

In these three verses a strong reason is rendered to 
press the Hebrews on forward in their progress of re- 
ligion. This causal particle /or implieth as much. 

It may have reference either to the apostle's promise. 

ver. 3, or to his exhortation, ver. 1. Both tend to 
the same end ; for his promise is to help them on iu 
that whereunto he exhorted them. Applied to his ex- 
hortation, it implieth thus much, be you careful to go 
on unto perfection, lest you fall into the fearful estates 
of apostates. Applied to his promise, it implieth that 
he would not fail to do his best endeavour to help 
them on to perfection, lest they should fall backward 
so far as to prove apostates. 

The reason then is taken from the danger which 
they may fall into, who, having well begun, go not on 
forward till they come to perfection. That danger is 
set out in the estate of apostates, which is a most 
desperate estate. 

The apostle's argument may be thus framed : 

Whatsoever may bring professors unto apostasy is 
carefully to be avoided ; 

But negligence in going on unto perfection, may 
bring professors unto apostasy; therefore such 
negligence is to be avoided. 

To enforce this argument the further, he describeth 
the woful estates of apostates, and that in such a 
manner, as the very hearing thereof may well work in 
men Belshazzar's passion, Dan. v. 6. 

By this it is evident that the utmost danger, where- 
into professors may fall, is to be laid before them. 
This did God, when he said to man, ' In the day that 
thou eatest of such a tree, thou shalt surely die,' Gen. 
ii. 17. So did ]\Ioses in those fearful curses that he 
denounced against God"s people for their transgres- 
sions, Lev. xxvi. 16, Deut. xxviii. 15. This was 
usual with the prophets, Isa. v. 5, Hosea i. 9 ; with 
the forerunner of Christ, Mat. iii. 10 ; with Christ 
himself, Mat. xxiii. 35, Rev. xxv., and iii. 16; and 
with his apostles, Eom. xi. 21. 

This may be an especial means to make men cir- 
cumspect in avoiding all things which may bring us 
into that danger. Seafaring men, that are beforehand 
told of such and such quicksands, rocks, pirates, or 
other like dangers, will as warily as they can avoid them 
all. Of the great need wherein we do stand of cir- 
cumspection in avoiding spiritual dangers, and par- 
ticularly in doing all we can to prevent apostasy, 
see Chap. iii. 12, Sec. 122. 

1. This is a good warrant, yea, and a motive also 
for ministers prudently to observe the danger where- 
unto people are subject, and plainly to declare as much 
unto them. ' Cry aloud, spare not,' &c,, saith the 
Lord to a prophet in such a case, Isa, Iviii. 1. If 
ministers in this case hold their peace, their people 
may fall into that danger, and the blood of people be 
required at the minister's hand, Ezek. iii. 18. 

2. This should make people patient in hearing such 
kind of doctrine ; and not think and say, as many use 
to do, Our preachers are more terrible than God ; if 
God were not more merciful than they, we should all 
be damned. To remove this scandal, let these con- 
siderations be duly observed. 



[Chap. VI. 

(1.) As prophets and apostles of old denounced such 
judgments as God's Spirit suggested to them, so we 
their successors denounce such as they have left re- 
corded for all ages. 

(2.) This is hut an ancient cavil, which was made 
against God's own prophets. Of Jeremiah they said, 
' he is mad,' Jer. xxix. 2G ; and of Paul, he was ' be- 
side himself,' Acts xxvi. 24 ; yea, Jeremiah was 
further charged that he sought ' not the welfare of the 
people, but the hurt,' Jer. xxxviii. 4, and that ' the 
Lord had not sent him,' Jer. xliii. 2. 

(3.) Such preachers as are counted Boanerrfes, sons 
of thunder, Mark iii. 17, may bo most earnest with 
God for their people's good. Instance Moses, Exod. 
xxxii. 32. Who more grieved for the people's running 
on to destruction than Jeremiah ? Jer. iv. 19, and 
ix. 1. Who more earnestly called upon God for them ? 
Jer. xiv. 7, 8. Who more expostulated the people's 
case with God ? Jer. xii. 1. 

(4.) Ministers' declaration of danger beforehand 
may be a means of preventing the danger. Witness 
the case of Nineveh, Jonah iii. 1 0, and this is the end 
which good ministers do aim at. He that wisheth 
another's destruction will hold his peace, and not 
make known the danger whereunto he is subject. 

Sec. 31. Of five steps on uliich apostates may ascend 
touards salvation. 

In ^tting forth the danger whereunto professors 
are subject, the apostle sheweth how far such as fall 
may ascend upon the ladder to salvation ; and withal 
how far they may fall from thence. 

There are five steps, each higher than other, whereon 
he that falleth clean away may ascend.^ Some refer 
those five steps to the fore-mentioned principles of the 
doctrine of Christ, as 

1. Illumination, to * repentance from dead works.' 
For till a man be enlightened, he cannot know his 
natural, miserable condition ; but being enlightened, 
he well discerneth the same ; so as he is brought to 
think of repentance from dead works. 

2. The taste of the heavenly gift, to * faith towards 
God.' For faith is an heavenly gift, and the means 
whereby we partake of such gifts as come from God, 
who is in heaven. 

3. Participation of the Holy Ghost, to * the doc- 
trine of bajitisms,' for they who having heard the 
word were baptized, had gifts of the Holy Ghost be- 
stowed upon them, as a seal of God's accepting them, 
Acts ii. 38. 

4. A taste of the good word of God, to * the laying 
on of hands,' for they who having given evidence of 
their faith were baptized, were further by imposition of 
hands coufiiTned. Thus the gospel, which is here 
called the good word of God, was of use to build them 
up further, 1 Pet. ii. 2, Acts xx. 32. 

' Junius in Paral. 

5. A taste of * the powers of the world to come,' 
to ' resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment,* 
which are the two last principles, and they are the very 
beginning of that full happiness and glory, whereof 
hero we have a taste. 

By this comparing of these things together, some 
light is brought to a more full opening of them. 

We will further proceed in handling the foresaid five 
steps distinctly by themselves. 

Sec. 32. Of the illunnnation of hypocrites.^ 

The first step is thus expressed, ' once enlightened.' 
The Greek word (purirdhrag, translated enliyhtened, 
is metaphorical. The noun (pu;, whence it is derived, 
signifieth liyht. The active verb, ^w-/^w, to yive Uyht, 
Luke xi. 3G ; metaphorically to give knowledge or un- 
derstanding. Thus it is attributed to Christ, John i. 9. 
The passive, f iwr/'^o,aa/, signifieth to he endued with 
knouledye, or understanding, Eph. i. 18. So it is here 

Illumination, then, is a work of the Holy Ghost, 
whereby man's mind is made capable of understanding 
the things of God, and able to discern divine mysteries. 
In one word, the grace or gift of a mind enlightened 
is knowledge : not such knowledge as heathen had, 
who by the heavens and other works of God, might 
somewhat conceive many invisible things of God, Rom. 
i. 20, Ps. xix. 1, but such as the word of God revealed 
concerning the mysteries of godliness. This is that 
knowledge whereof Christ speaketh, Luke xii. 47, and 
his apostle, 2 Pet. ii. 21. 

This knowledge may make men acknowledge, pro- 
fess, maintain, and instruct others in the mysteries of 
godliness, though they themselves be but hypocrites 
and reprobates. Judas did all these, for he was or- 
dained 'an apostle, Luke vi. 13, IG, and therein so 
carried himself, as none of the other apostles could 
judge of him amiss, till Christ manifested his hypocrisy. 

This kind of illumination is here said to be u'za^, 
once, in two especial respects : 

1. Because there was a time when they were not 
enlightened, for they were ' once darkness,' Eph. v. 
8. By nature men are blind in regard of spiritual 
matters, 2 Pet. i. 9, Rev. iii. 17.^ That desire which 
man had to know more than God would have him 
know. Gen. iii. 5, 7, brake his eye-strings, so as man 
is not now capable of understanding the things of God, 
1 Cor. ii. 14. 

Though the word be a bright light, yet to a natural 
man, it is but as the bright sun to a blind man. He 
must be enlightened before he can imderstand the mys- 
teries of godliness. 

2. Because, if after they are enlightened, they grow 
blind ac;ain, there is no recovoiy of their illumination. 
In such a sense * the faith' is said to be ' once delivered 
unto the saints,' Jude 3. In, this sense also Christ 
is said to be ' once oflered up.' And we are said ' once 
to die,' Heb. ix. 27, 28. Therefore, ' it had been 

Ver. 4-6.] 



better for them not to have known the way of right- 
eousness,' 2 Pet. ii. 21. 

This gift of illumination is fitly set in the first 
place, because the Spirit first worketh this gift in a 
man. For it is the ground of all other spiritual gifts, 
Though it be not sufiicient, yet is it of absolute 
necessity, a gift to be laboured after, 2 Pet. i. 5, Prov. 
iv. 5. Yea, we must seek to be ' filled with knowledge,' 
Col. i. 9, and to ' abound therein,' 2 Cor. viii. 7. 

Quest. Wherein lieth the ditference betwixt this 
knowledge, and the knowledge of them that are effec- 
tually called, which doth not thus vanish away ? 

Ans. 1. The knowledge of hypocrites is only a gene- 
ral knowledge of the word, and the mysteries thereof, 
that they are all true, but it is not an experimental 
knowledge of them in themselves. The power, wis- 
dom, mercy, and other divine attributes of God are not 
experimentally known in themselves, nor the virtue of 
Christ's death, nor the misery of man, nor other like 
points. But this experimental knowledge is in those 
that are efi'ectually called, Eph. i. 18, 19, Philip, iii. 8, 
Rom. vii. 24. 

Ans. 2. It swimmeth only in the brain of hypocrites, 
it diveth not into their heart, to make them fear, and 
love God, and trust in him, to make them carry them- 
selves according to that which they know of God's 
word, of God, and of themselves. But the knowledge 
of them who are effectually called doth so afiect them, 
as it is accompanied with other saving graces. This 
knowledge is said to be life eternal, John xvii. 3. 

Ajis. 3. The knowledge which hypocrites have is 
as a wind that puffeth them up, 1 Cor. viii. 1 ; it makes 
them cast their eyes on their own parts, and to be too 
much conceited therein, John ix. 40, Rev. iii. 17 ; but 
the knowledge of them that are effectually called, 
maketh them abhor themselves. Job xhi. 6. 

This, as it may be a trial of our knowledge, whether 
we may rest in it or no, so it may be an admonition 
unto such as know much, not to be proud thereof, in 
that it may be no other gift than that which an hypo- 
crite and reprobate may have, and which may aggra- 
vate thy damnation, Luke xii. 47. Use all thy good 
meaus thou canst to get that eyesalve of the Spirit, 
whereunto Christ adviseth. Rev. iii. 18, which may 
sharpen thy eyesight, and make thee fully and dis- 
tinctly know the word of salvation, and the mysteries 
thereof, to thy eternal happiness. 

Sec. 33. Of tasting the heavenly gift. 

The second step wheron hypocrites may ascend to- 
wards salvation is thus set down, and have tasted of 
the heavenly gift. 

Of the meaning of this word tasted, see Chap. ii. 9, 
Sec. 79. 

Tasting, giistiis, is properly an effect of that sense 
which we call taste. 

It is here metaphorically taken. Applied to the 
soul, it intendeth two things : 

1. The beginning of true sound grace. For by taste, 
the sweetness and goodness of a thing is discerned, 
and an appetite after it provoked, yea, and much com- 
fort received thereby, 1 Sam. xiv. 29. In this sense 
it is said, ' Oh taste and see that the Lord is good,' Ps. 
xxxiv. 8. 

2. A shallow apprehension of the good and benefit 
of a thing ; for by tasting only, and not eating, some 
sweet smack and relish may be in a man's mouth, but 
little or no nourishment received thereby. By this 
kind of taste the benefit of a thing is lost. A man 
may starve, though after this manner he taste the 
most nourishing meat that can be. In this sense this 
metaphor is here twice used : once in this verse, and 
again in the next verse. 

In the former sense tasting is a preparation to eat- 
ing, and it is opposed to an utter refusal and rejection 
of a thing, and implies a participation thereof. 

In this sense Christ saith of those that refused to 
come, ' None of them shall taste of my supper,' Luke 
xiv. 24 ; that is, none of them shall any way partake 

In the latter sense tasting is opposed to eating, and 
implieth no true and real participation of a thing ; as 
they who, being at a feast, do only taste of that which 
is set before them, lose the benefit of that meat. 

To follow this metaphor, Christ is set before all 
that are in the church as dainty, wholesome meat. 

They who are effectually called, being as guests 
bidden to the table, do by a true justifying faith so 
eat, and digest this spiritual meat, as they are re- 
freshed, nourished, strengthened, and preserved there- 
by unto everlasting life. But they who are only out- 
wardly called, do only see, touch, and taste how com- 
fortable and profitable a meat it is ; yet in that they 
eat not thereof, the sweet taste in time vanisheth with- 
out any good, or benefit thereby. 

By tasting faith is here meant. For faith is that 
gift whereby we do in any kind receive or apply 

Of the nature of faith in general, and of the differ- 
ent kinds thereof, see The Whole Armour of God, 
treat, ii., part 6, on Eph. vi. 16, sec. 11, 12, &c. 

Hypocritical and temporary faith is set out by tast- 
ing only, as opposed to eating ; and this is the faith 
here meant. But justifying and saving faith is set 
forth by tasting, as it implieth participation of a thing. 
This cannot be here meant, because this kind of faith 
never falleth away. 

The object of this faith is here styled, the heavenly 
gift. Hereby Christ himself is meant, together with 
all those blessings which, in him and with him, are 
received, Eph. i. 3. 

Christ is called a gift, because he is given to us of 
God, John iii. 16, and iv. 10; so are all manner of 
spiritual graces, they are given of God. In this re- 
spect they are to be sought of God ; and those means 
are to be used for partaking thereof which God hath 



[Chap. VI. 

appointed and sanctified. And the praise and glory 
of this gift is to be ascribed to God, by those that are 
made partakers thereof, Rom. xi. 35, 3G. 
This gift is called i-Tovpaviog, hcavenhj ; — 

1. In general, by reason of the excellency thereof, 
for excellent things are styled heavenly. See Chap, 
iii. 1, Sec, 15. 

2. In a particular reference to the prime author, 
who is above in heaven, James i. 17, and to the kind 
of gift, which is sent down" from heaven. Col. iii. 1, 
and worketh in us an heavenly disposition, Philip, iii. 
20, Col. iii. 2; and also is a means to bring us to 
heaven, 2 Thes. ii. 12. 

The description of the object of faith doth, 

1. Aggravate the wretched disposition of apostates, 
who content themselves with a bare taste of such an 
heavenly gift. 

2. It putteth us on more earnestly to seek after 
this gift, and not to rest till we find that we are truly 
and really made partakers thereof. 

: 3. It should make us careful in proving our faith, 
whether it be a true justifying faith, or rnerely hypo- 
critical and temporal.' Hereof see The Whole Armour 
of God, on Eph. vi. IG, sec. 12, 35, &c. 

Sec. 34. Of bcinff made partakers of the Holy Ghost. 

The third step whereupon apostates are here said 
to ascend is in these words, ' And were made partak- 
ers of the Holy Ghost.' 

Of the meaning of this word partakers, see Chap, 
iii. 1, Sec. 17. 

Of this title Holy Ghost, see Chap. ii. 4, Sec. 35. 

The Holy Ghost is here metonymically put for the 
gifts and operations of the Spirit of God, which he 
worketh in men. In this sense this title Holy Ghost 
is frequently used, as Acts viii. 15, and xix. 6. This 
is evident by joining of the gifts themselves to the 
Spirit ; thus, ' The Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of 
counsel, the'Spirit of knowledge,' &c., Isa. xi. 2. So, 
' The Spirit" of faith,' 2 Cor. iv. 13. 

They properly arc said to be ' made partakers of the 
Holy Ghost,' in whom the sanctifying Spirit hath 
wrought special spiritual gifts, such as are above na- 
ture ; even such as cannot be attained either by the 
instinct of nature, or by any help of man, without an 
especial work of the Holy Ghost. Such were those 
moral virtues which were wrought in him, of whom 
it is said, ' Jesus loved him,' Mark x. 20, 21. Such 
was that counsel wherewith Ahithophel was endued, 
2 Sam. xvi, 23, and that ability which Saul had to 
govern the kingdom, 1 Sam. x. 9, and xi. G, and that 
gift of prophecy and working of miracles that was be- 
stowed on them whom Clirist would not acknowledge. 
Mat. vii. 22, 23, and that obedience which Herod 
yielded to John's ministry, Mark vi. 20, and that re- 
joicing which the Jews had in that light which John 
held forth, John v. 35. 

' That is, temporary.' — Ed. 

Quest. Can hypocrites and reprobates partake of the 
gifts of the sanctifying Spirit ? 

Ans. Yes, they may partake of such gifts as the 
sanctifying Spirit worketh, though not of his sanctify- 
ing gifts. They are said to be made partakers of the 
Holy Ghost, because that Spirit which sanctifieth 
others doth work these gifts in them ; and because 
many of those gifts which are wrought in them prove 
in others to be sanctifying gifts ; as knowledge, wis- 
dom, faith, repentance, fear of God, temperance, and 
such like. 

The difference betwixt that participation of the 
Holy Ghost, which they who are effectually called and 
they who are only formally called have, lieth in three 
things especially. 

1. In the kiinl of them. For the former are altered, 
and renewed in their nature. In this sense saith 
David, ' Create in me a clean heart, God ; and re- 
new a right spirit within me,' Ps. Ii. 10. The other 
are only restrained ; as Saul and Ahithophel were. 

This difference is herein discerned, in that they who 
.are effectually called are wrought upon throughout, as 
David, who is said to have a perfect heart; but the 
other in some respects only, as Abijam, 1 Kings xv. 
3, and Herod, Mark vi. 20. 

2. In the use of them. Renewing gifts are for the J 
good of the parties themselves, even their own salva- | 
tion, Eph. ii. 8, 1 Peter i. 9. Restraining gifts are 
for the good of others ; in which respect the apostle 
saith that they are ' given to profit withal,' 1 Cor. xii. 

7 ; such was Ahithophel's prudence, 2 Sam. xvi. 23. 
These gifts are as the lantern in the admiral's ship, 
for the good of the whole navy. 

3. In the continuance of them. Renewing gifts are 
permanent, they never decay, Rom. xi. 29. 

The other are like the corn sown in stony ground, 
which endureth but for a while, Mat. xiii. 21. If they 
continue the whole time of a man's life, yet then they 
clean fall away. ' For when a wicked man dieth, his 
expectation shall perish,' Prov. xi. 7. 

Quest. What difference is there betwixt the second 
and third step ; namely, betwixt tasting the heavenly 
gift, and being made partakers of the Holy Ghost? 

Ans. Though the second may be comprised under 
the third, for the taste of the heavenly gift is wrought 
by the Holy Ghost ; yet by the latter, such elTects as 
follow upon the former, and are extraordinary evi- 
dences of the work of God's Spirit in men, are meant. 
The effects are such as make a difference betwixt a 
diabolical and hypocritical faith. For the devil be- 
lieves and trembles, James ii. 19 ; but many hypo- 
crites who are outwardly called believe and rejoice, aa 
the Jews did, John v. 35, and Herod, Mark vi. 20. 
This joy presnpposeth comfort and contentment ; and 
restraineth from many sins, and putteth upon the 
practice of many duties. Extraordinary evidences of 
God's Spirit are those gifts which the apostle reckon- 
eth up, 1 Cor. xii. 8-10. These confirm the truth of 

Ver. 4-6. J 



God's word to themselves and others. Thus they 
prove the more useful ; in which respect they who fall 
from them are the more inexcusable. 

That which is here said of hypocrites being ' made 
partakers of the Holy Ghost,' should work care and 
diligence about trying and proving those gifts of the 
Spirit which we think we have, and not upon every 
work of the Spirit too rashly infer that we are cer- 
tainly sanctified, and shall undoubtedly be saved. 

Sec. 35. Of tasting of the good u-orcl of God, ver. 5. 

The fourth step whereon hypocrites ascend towards 
salvation is thus expressed, ' AJad have tasted the good 
word of God.' 

This metaphor, taste, is here used in the same sense 
wherein it was before, Sec. 33. 

Of this phrase, icord of God, see Chap. iv. 12, 
Sec. 69. 

By the good icord of God,^ xaXlv, he meaneth the 
gospel, which, according to the G-reek, and our Eng- 
lish notation, also signifieth a good word, a good speech, 
or good message and tidings. Hereof see more Chap, 
iv. 2, Sec. 16. 

The gospel brought the best tidings that ever was 
brought to any. The sum thereof is expressed John 
iii. 16. 

The law also is called good, Kom. vii. 12 ; but a 
thing may be styled good two ways : 1 , in the matter 
of it ; 2, in the effect that proceedeth from it. 

The law, in regard of the matter of it, is most pure 
and perfect, no corruption, no falsehood therein ; and 
in this respect it is also st3'led holy and just, Eom. 
vii. 12. 

The gospel is not only good in the matter of it, but 
also in the profit and benefit of it. The law to a sin- 
ner, in and by itself, brings no profit ; but the gospel 
doth, by making known a Saviour, and the means of 
attaining to salvation by him ; yea, further, the gos- 
pel is a word of power, enabling sinners to observe 
the condition which it requireth of them. In this re- 
spect it is styled 'the power of God unto salvation,' 
Kom. i. 16 ; for want of this power, the law is said to 

ibe a killing letter, a ministration of death, 1 Cor. iii. 
6, 7, but the gospel the word of life. 
To taste of the good word is not only to be enlight- 
ened in the truth thereof, which was comprised under 
the first step. Sec. 32, but also to have an apprehen- 
sion and sense of the benefit of it, namely, of God's 
love to man, and of his gracious offer of Jesus Christ, 
and of pardon of sin and eternal salvation in and with 
Christ ; such a taste this may be as for the time to 
■work a sweet smack, but yet to bring no true fruit nor 
lasting benefit to him that hath it. 

This degree exceeds the other three in two especial 
respects : 

1. In that it followeth after them, and pre-suppos- 

^ Of the extent of this epithet ffood, see Chap. xiii. 9, Sec. 

Vol. II. 

eth them to be first wrought in a man ; for upon en- 
lightening and tasting of the heavenly gift, and par- 
taking of the Holy Ghost, a man feels such sweetness 
in the means whereby those gifts were wrought as he 
doth exercise himself the more therein. He reads the 
word, and performs other duties of piety privately, 
and frequents the public ordinances of God, and that 
with some joy, in that he feels a smack of sweetness 
in them, Mark vi. 20, Mat. xiii. 20, John v. 35. 

2. In that this good word is a means further to 
build up them who have been enlightened, and tasted 
of the heavenly gift, to build them up further in grace, 
and more and more to assure them of God's love, and 
of all those good and precious things which Christ by 
his blood hath purchased. Acts xx. 32. 

The diflerence in tasting the good word of God be- 
twixt the upright and hypocrites consisteth especially 
in this, that the upright do not only taste the sweet- 
ness of it, but also feel the power of it in their souls. 
There is such a diflerence between these as is betwixt 
the corn sown in the stony ground and in the good 
ground. Mat. xiii. 20, 23. Hypocrites only taste it. 
The upright eat it also, Ezek. iii. 3. David hid God's 
word in his heart, Ps. cxix. 11. The gospel came 
unto the Thessalonians ' not in word only, but also in 
power,' &c., 1 Thes. i. 5. The Romans * obeyed 
from the heart that form of doctrine which was de- 
livered to them,' Rom. vi. 17. This is that hearing 
and keeping of the word whereupon Christ pronounceth 
a man blessed. 

This nearly concerns us who have any way tasted 
the sweetness of this good word of God, not to con- 
tent ourselves with a mere taste, but so to eat it, so 
to believe it, so to conform ourselves thereby, as we 
may live thereby both here and hereafter, Isa. Iv. 3. 

Sec. 36. Of tasting the powers of the world to come. 

The fifth and last step whereon hypocrites ascend 
toward salvation is in these words, and the powers of 
the world to come. The verb in the former clause, 
yivaa'Mhouc, thus translated, have tasted, is here under- 
stood, and that in the same sense wherein it was there 

Many expositors do here understand the mili- 
tant church under the gospel to be meant by this 
phrase, world to come, as it was Chap. ii. 5, Sec. 41. 

1. There is not the same Greek word here put for 
the world as was there. The word there used, o/xou- 
lj.i)iriv, signifieth a place of habitation, and is frequently 
put for the earth. But the word here used, a/wv, sig- 
nifieth a perpetual duration of time. Hereof see 
Chap. i. ver. 2, Sec. 18. 

2. This text doth not so well bear the interpreta- 
tion of the militant church as that ; here the trium- 
phant church is meant. For this clause hath refer- 
ence to the two last principles before mentioned, of 
the resurrection and eternal judgment. Besides, it 




[Chap. VI. 

is the highest step and degree that an hypocrite can 
attain unto. 

3. The things which they intend who take the 
world to come, in this place, for the militant church, 
are gifts conferred on the church of the New Testa- 
ment, which are comprised under the third step, 
namely, jiaitahivff of the liohj Ghost. 

I take the state of the triumphant church in heaven 
to be here meant by the iwikl to cone, fMsM^ovroi 


Thus is this phrase most properly and frequently 
used. Thus it is opposed to the world where here we 
live. For every one hath two worlds : one here present, 
the other to come. The tcorhl to come is indufiuitcly 
put for the future glorious estate of saints, though 
to the reprobate the world to come is a time and place 
of horror and torment, Luke xii. 3G. Thus resun-cc- 
tion is indefinitely put for resurrection to life, because 
resurrection to condemnation is as no resurrection ; 
for such as are raised thereto were better not be 
raised at all. 

By the poicers of this world to come, those excellent 
privileges whereof saints are made partakers in heaven 
are meant. These are, communion with God, Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit ; with glorious angels and glori- 
fied saints ; the perfection and glory of their souls 
and bodies, and of all the powers and parts of them ; 
immunity from alWvil ; fulness and satiety of all 
happiness ; and these unchangeable, everlasting. 

These privileges are called duvd/iug, powers, a 6-jiafiat, 

1. Because they are evident eflects of God's mighty 

2. Because they are ensigns and trophies of power, 
victory, and triumph over all our enemies. 

3. Because no adverse power can ever prevail 
against them that are in that world to come. They 
are firmly established in Christ. 

Hypocrites are said to taste of these powers, in that 
they have such an ajiprehension of that surpassing 
glory as to be enamoured and ati'ected therewith ; as 
he that said, ' Blessed is he that shall eat bread in 
the kingdom of God,' Luke xiv. 15. Balaam had a 
taste hereof, which moved him to say, ' Let me die 
the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like 
his,' Num. xxiii. 10. Though that glory and happi- 
ness be here concealed from our sight and sense, yet 
by faith, and that a temporary faith, it may be dis- 
cerned and tasted. Thus they who are enlightened 
and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and have been 
made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted 
the good word of God, may also taste the powers of 
the world to come. 

This step of an hypocrite's ascending towards 
heaven, is apparently higher than all the rest. The 
things themselves are the greatest privileges of saints, 
and a taste of them far surpasscth nil the former 
tastes. Hereby an hypocrite's conceit may be, as 

it were, rapt out of his body, and out of this world 
into heaven ; and he may be brought lightly to esteem 
all this world in comparison of the world to come. 

It was the gi-eatest prerogative that any had, who 
died in the wilderness, to see the land of Canaan, 
which was vouchsafed to Moses alone, Deut. xxxiv. 1. 
Even so, it is the greatest privilege of any that never 
enter into that glory, to have this taste of the powers 
of the world to come. 

In this privilege there is a great diflference betwixt 
the hypocrite and upright, in that the hypocrite con- 
tents himself with a bare apprehension of such excel- 
lencies, and a presumptuous conceit of some right 
that he may have thereunto ; but he doth not tho- 
roughly examine himself, whether he be fitly qi;alified 
for the same, nor is he careful to get true and sure 
evidences thereof, w'hich the upright with the utter- 
most of his power endeavoureth to do. Briefly to sum 
all, these are the steps whereupon such as miss of 
salvation may ascend towards it : 

1. Their mind may be supernaturally enlightened 
in the mysteries of the word. 

2. They may have faith in those heavenly promises, 1 
which by the word of God are revealed. ' 

3. They may have spiritual fruits of faith wrought 
in them by the Holy Ghost ; as outward restraint 
from sin, practice of many good things, inward 
joy, &c. 

4. A sweet apprehension of the gospel to be that 
good word of grace which bringeth salvation unto all 

5. An inward sight and sense in spirit of that 
eternal glory and happiness which is provided for the 

Seeing that a hypocrite may go thus far, and yet 
come short of heaven, how diligent ought we to be in 
the trial of the truth of grace. \Ve have before shewed 
in every branch difi'erences betwixt the upright and 
hypocrite. In brief, the knowledge of the upright is 
experimental, their faith unfeigned, the work of the 
Holy Ghost renewing, the good word abideth ever in 
them, and they have assured evidence of their future 

Sec. 87. Of an hypocrite's fall, ver. 6. 

The apostle having declared in the two former 
verses how far an hypocrite may ascend on the ladder 
of salvation, in this sixth verse he declareth how far 
he may fall down. The main point is expressed in 
this phrase, i/ theij shall fall away. In Greek thus, 
and falling away. For it depends on the former, 
thus, 'it is impossible, that person enhghtened, &c. ; 
and falling away,' &c. 

The Greek particle, rra^acnaoirai, is a compound, 
and here only used, and nowhere else throughout the 
New Testament. The simple verb, cr/Vrw, signifieth 
to fall. Of it see Chap. iii. 17, Sec. 168. The pre- 
position rrapcc, with which it is compounded, signifieth 


Ver. 4-6.] 



from. The compound verb, va^wTri-Trroj, to fall from a 
thing, or to fall clean away. The metaphor may be 
taken from an house that is fairly built above ground, 
but the foundation thereof not sound. The fall of 
such an house useth to be a total or universal fall, not 
of this or that part alone. Christ, speaking of the 
fall of such an house, saith, * Great was the fall of it,' 
Mat. vii. 27. 

This metaphor may also be taken from a man that, 
having ascended high on a ladder, falleth down to the 
bottom, and so bruiseth his body and breaketh his 
bones, as he is not able to rise up again. Thus the 
falling here spoken of, is not a falling away only from 
some particular graces and gifts received, nor from 
some measure of them, but a total and universal falling 
from them all, as in ' the angels which kept not their 
first estate, but left their own habitation,' Jude 6. 

That the fall here spoken of may the better be dis- 
cerned, I will here more distinctly shew how far such 
as profess the gospel (for the description before men- 
tioned, vers. 4, 5, is of such) may fall. 

Falling away may have respect to the measure or 
continuance of gi'ace. 

In regard of the measure, some fall away in part, 
some in whole. 

In regard of continuance, some so fall as they re- 
cover themselves again, some so as they can never be 

Both the degrees of the measure, namely, partial 
and total, have respect to the outward profession, and 
to the inward disposition of him that falleth away. 

In profession he falleth away in part who denieth 
some of those principles of religion which formerly he 
professed, as Peter and Barnabas, Gal. ii. 12. 

In disposition he falleth away in part, who, through 
his own weakness, carelessness, or temptations, de- 
cayeth in those graces which once he had, at least in 
the measure, power, and comfort of them. Hereof 
see Chap. iii. 12, Sec. 136. 

In profession, he wholly falleth away who renounc- 
eth all his religion, even that whole faith which once 
he professed ; as those Levites in the captivity, whom 
God afterwards, though they repented, would not ad- 
mit to offer sacrifice before him, Ezek. xliv. 9, 10, 
and many Christians in the ten fiery persecutions, 
f and many of our countrymen in Queen Mary's days. 

They in disposition wholly fall away who do not 
only deny the faith, but also clean put away a good 
conscience, 1 Tim. i. 19, and iv. 1, 2. Hence fol- 
ioweth hatred of the truth, persecution against the 
preachers and professors thereof, and blasphemy 
against Christ himself. Such were many of the 
Pharisees, Mark iii. 30 ; Hymeneus and Alexander, 
1 Tim. i. 20, and Julian. These and such other fall 
away toti, wholly, in outward profession and inward 
disposition, in tongue and heart ; and a toto, from the 
u'hole, even from all the articles of Christian religion ; 
and in totum, to the whole, or for ever, even with a 

settled peremptory resolution never to return to the 
religion again. 

They that fall away in these last respects are such 
as are here meant. 

Seeing there are such degrees of falling away, let 
us take heed of proceeding from one degree to another. 
Let us carefully look both to our profession and dis- 
position. If by our own weakness, or any temptation, 
we be brought any way to decay in grace, let us not re- 
nounce the faith. If by fear or other temptation we 
be brought to deny it, let us not put away a good 
conscience. If in part we be brought to do it, let us 
not still go on to add one degree to another, so as we 
should wholly fall from the whole for ever, which is a 
most fearful case. 

The fore-mentioned degrees of falling away are to 
be noted, against the errors of Novatus.^ He lived in 
the year of our Lord 253. He came from Africa to 
Rome. There fell an emulation betwixt him and Cor- 
nelius, bishop of Rome, that Cornelius had admitted 
into the church, upon their repentance, some that had 
fallen away in the seventh persecution under Decius. 
Hereupon Novatus published that none who had 
ofi'ered sacrifice to the heathen gods were to be ad- 
mitted to repentance. He pressed this text to justify 
his error. 

Some of the Latin fathers'* and others, papists' and 
Lutherans,* have, upon a misinterpretation of this 
text, and other passages in this epistle, denied the can- 
onical authority thereof. 

Concerning the point in question, to deny this 
epistle to be canonical, because it avouch eth that ' it 
is impossible to renew again unto repentance ' such 
as are there described, is, nodum scindere, non solvere, 
to cut, not to untie the knot. 

That which the apostle here speaketh of is the ' sin 
unto death,' 1 John v. 16, which is the ' sin against 
the Holy Ghost ; ' but every outward denying of the 
fiiith for fear of persecution, is not the sin against the 
Holy Ghost. For Peter did as much. Mat. xxvi. 70, 
&c., yet, upon his repentance, was continued and con- 
firmed in his apostleship, John xxi. 15, &c. 

It is said of Novatus, that he was so puffed up 
against those that fell, as if there remained no hope of 
salvation for them.^ 

The Novatians affirm that not only sacrificing to 
idols, but also many other sins, are sins unto death. 

^ Novatus ab ecclesia Eomana discessit, quod Cornelius 
episcopus eos ad comraunionem admiserat, qui in persecu- 
tione ab imperatore Decio excitata diis sacrificaverant. — 
Niceph. Histor. Eccles., lib. xi. cap. 14. 

2 Teitul., Cyprian, Lactant., Arnob. 

3 Cajetan. ^ Magdeburg. 

5 Contra lapsos inflatus, qiiasinulla illis reliqua esset sal- 
utis spes. — Euseb. Histor. Eccles., lib. vi. cap. 43. Novatiani 
asserunt, nonsacrificia deorum tantum, sed multa etiam alia, 
esse peccata ad mortem. — Niceph. Hist. Eccles., lib. xiv. cap. 
24. Foenitentiam et benignitatem Dei e medio sustulerunt. 
— Sozom. Hist. Eccles., lib. viii. cap. 1. 




[Chap. VI. 

Thus they left no place for repentance, nor for the 
grace of God, cspcciall}' to such as iu times of perse- 
cution yielded to idolatry. 

Herchy we see how dangerous it is to mistake and 
misapply the sense of sacred Scripture. 

Sec. 38. Of iJic impnssihilitii of apostates' renovation. 

Of those who totally fall away, it is here said, that 
it is * impossible to renew them.' This word abijvaTov, 
■impossible, is a compound. The simple verb d-jm/j,i, 
possum, whence it is derived, signifieth to be able ; so 
as it intcndeth blvafii;, potcutia, a power, but the 
privative preposition a taketh away all power. 

A thing is said to be impossible two ways : 1, im- 
properly ; 2, properly. That improperly is said to 
be impossible, which can hardly be done. Thus doth 
Christ himself use the word. For where he had said, 
* How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the 
kingdom of God ?' he addeth, concerning the very 
same point, ' with men it is impossible,' Mark x, 
23, 27. 

A thing properly is said to be impossible, simply, 
or upon condition. 

That is simpJij impossible which never was, is, or 
can be. Thus it is said, that * it is impossible for God 
to lie,' ver. 18. See Sec. 1-il. 

Upon supposition a thing is said to be impossible, 
either in regard of some present impediment, or of a 
perpetual impotency iu nature. 

It was a present impediment in that course which 
Christ had set down to work miracles amongst those 
that did believe, that Christ * could do no mighty 
■work' among his own kin, Mark vi. 4, 5, Mat. xiii. 58. 

In regard of a perpetual impotencj' in nature, * it 
is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should 
take away sins,' Ueb. x. 4. 

Some take impossible in this text, in the first sense, 
for Jiardhj. 

Others for a present supposition, which may be 
taken away. But the reasons following do evidently 
demonstrate, that a permanent and perpetual impos- 
sibility is here meant ; and that in regard of the 
course which God hath set down to bring men to re- 

In this impossibility lieth a main difference betwixt 
the sin here meant and all other sins. For there are 
many sins, which in the event arc not pardoned, yet 
are pardonable. In which respect Christ saith, in 
opposition to this sin, * All sins shall be forgiven,' 
Mark iii. 28, that is, mau be forgiven, or are par- 

Sec. 30. Of reneuintj ar/ain. 

That which is here said to bo impossible, is thus 
expressed, ' to renew them again unto repentance.' 

The Greek word avay.anl^iiv, translated to renew, is 
a compound. The root, xamg, whence the simple 
verb is derived, signifieth nciv. Thence a verb, xamu, 

xa/w'^w, novo, to malce new. The preposition ava, 
with which the verb is here compounded, signifieth 
ar/ain. The verb compounded herewith, avaxa/w'^w, 
renovo, to renew. This hath reference to man's cor- 
rupt estate, into which he fell by Adam's first sin. 
]\Ian's first estate was after God's image. Gen. i. 27. 
It was a new, fresh, flourishing, glorious estate. Man's 
corrupt estate is resembled to an old man, Eph. iv. 
22, Kom. vi. G. To have this old estate altered is 
to be, uvaxaivo'j/ivjo;, renewed. Col. iii. 10 ; and the 
grace itself is styled avaxa/i wo"/;, renovatio, renewing, 
Rom. xii. 2, Titus iii. 5. 

The conjunction 'rrdXiv, added hereunto, and trans- 
lated again, hath reference to the falling away of those 
who were once before renewed, at least iu appearance. 
And it intcndeth a renewing again of him that had 
becrf before renewed. For it presupposeth a man to 
have cast ofl' the old man, and to have purged out 
the old leaven ; and so after a sort to have been made 
' a new man,' ' a new lump ;' so as ' having escaped the 
pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again en- 
tangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse 
with them than the beginning,' 2 Peter ii. 20. Such 
an one, if he be recovered, must have a second new 
birth, a second renovation ; and this is it which the 
apostle saith is impossible. 

That which is here said of the new lump, and new 
man, from which they fall, is to be understood of one 
so taken to be in the judgment of charity. 

The word dvazaivi^siv, translated to renew them, is 
of the active voice. In this respect it is diversely 

Some refer it to apostates themselves ; some to 
ministers ; some to the word ; some to God. I sup- 
pose that, without any contradiction, it may be referred 
to each and every of them ; for, 

1. It being applied to the apostates themselves, it 
impHeth, that they cannot rise again, repent, and 
turn to God : in that they have deprived themselves 
of all that spiritual ability which was before wrought 
in them. 

2. Applied to ministers, it implieth that they, 
though by virtue of their function and ministry they 
did formerly work upon these apostates, and still con- 
tinue to work upon others, yet now to these their 
labour is altogether in vain ; they can no more work 
upon them. 

3. Applied to the word, it implieth that that which 
is a savour of life to others, is to such apostates a 
savour of death, and a killing letter. 

4. Applied to God, it hath respect to his will, his 
determined purpose, and uuchangeaLlc truth, and so 
proves to be impossible. For as it is impossible that 
God should lie, so it is impossible that God shonk 
alter his determined purpose and resolution, ver. 18. 

But to take away all dispute about this point, il 
may indefinitely, without respect to any particular per- 

Ver. 4-6.] 



son or means, be thus translated, * it is impossible to 
renew them ;' or it may be taken in sense passively, 
thus, ' it is impossible that they should be renewed 
again.' Thus some interpret it. 

Sec. 40. Of repentance the icmj to salvation. 

That whereunto apostates cannot be renewed again 
is here said to be /ji^srdvoia, repentance. Of the nota- 
tion of the Greek word translated repentance, and of 
the general nature thereof, see Sec. 8. 

Some of the ancient fathers understand by this 
word repentance, that solemn form of repentance which 
■was used in the primitive church, for admitting such 
into the church again, who for fear of persecution had 
denied the Christian faith, or otherwise had com- 
mitted some foul and scandalous sin. 

But surely that cannot be here intended ; for, 

1. We do not read of any such form in the apostles' 

2. There is no impossibility of bringing men to such 
a form. The greatest apostate that ever was con- 
fessed his sin, and outwardly repented himself. Mat. 
xxvii. 3, 4, and probably might have been brought to 
such a form. 

3. To bring sinners to a public form of repentance, 
doth not sufSciently express the emphasis of this 
phrase, to renew, ug, %into, repentance, or by re- 

4. This phrase, ' whose end is to be burned,' ver. 8, 
will hardly admit such an interpretation. 

Eepentance, therefore, must here properly be taken 
for a change of the heart ; or for such an alteration of 
mind and disposition as may produce a new life and 
conversation. It is impossible that the apostate be- 
fore mentioned should have a new heart. 

Mention is here made of repentance, because it is 
the only means of recover^', and the way to salvation, 
Luke xiii. 3, 5. So as the apostle here implieth, that 
it is impossible they should be saved, and that upon 
this ground, because they cannot repent. For repent- 
ance is necessary to salvation. This is the doctrine 
of the prophets, Isa. i. 16, 17, Jer. iii. 1, Ezek. 
xxxiii. 11 ; of the forerunner of Christ, Mat. iii. 7 ; 
of Christ himself. Mat. iv. 17 ; and of his apostles, 
Mark vi. 12, Acts ii. 38. 

1. Repentance is necessary for justifying God's 
mercy ; that it may appear that his free grace in par- 
doning sin giveth no occasion to continue in sin ; but 
rather to break off sin. For by repentance sin is 
broken off. 

2. Hereby the clamour of the law against the gos- 
pel is answered, in that they whose sins are par- 
doned do not continue in sin, but rather repent thereof; 
for Christ * came to call sinners to repentance,' Mat. 
ix. 13. 

3. The mouth of the damned is stopped, in that 
such sinners as are saved repented, which the damned 
did not, Luke xvi. 25. 

4. By repentance men are made fit members for 
Christ, yea, and a fit spouse for him, Eph. v. 26. 
They are also fitted hereby for that place whereunto 
nothing that defileth can enter, Piev. xxi. 27. 

1. This discovereth the vain hopes of them who, 
going on in sin, look for mercy. These are ' the 
ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into 
lasciviousness,' Jude 4. ' The grace of God, that 
bringeth salvation, teacheth that, denying ungodliness 
and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, 
and godly,' &c., Titus ii. 11, 12. 

2. This is a strong motive to such as have fallen 
away, and desire recovery, and to be freed from wrath, 
vengeance, and damnation, to repent ; otherwise they 
cannot but perish, Luke xiii. 3, 5. Whensoever there- 
fore thou goest to God for mercy, renew thy repent- 
ance, 1 Tim. ii. 8, Ps. xxvi. 6 ; otherwise thy 
prayer may be rejected, yea, and prove an abomina- 
tion, Ps. Isvi. 18 ; John. ix. 31 ; Isa. i. 13, &c. 
Take heed lest continuance in sin harden thy heart, 
and make it impenitent, Rom. ii. 5. 

We ought the rather to take the opportunities which 
God aflordeth of repentance, because repentance is not 
in man's power. ' No man can come to Christ except 
the Father draw him,' John vi. 44. ' It is God which 
worketh in men, both to will and to do of his good 
pleasure,' Philip, ii. 13, Therefore saints have ever 
called upon God to turn them, Jer. xxxi. 18 ; Lam. v. 
21 ; Ps. Ii. 10. 

Men are wholly prone to evil by nature, as heavy 
things to fall downward. 

It is therefore a very vain conceit to think that a 
man can repent when he will. Satan doth exceedingly 
beguile men herein. This makes many to lead all 
their life in sin, upon conceit that at their death they 
may repent. Hereof see moi'e in The Whole Armour 
of God, treat, ii. part iv. of righteousness, on Eph. vi. 
14, sec. 12. 

Sec. 41. Of apostates crucifijing to themselves the Son 
of God afresh. 

The apostle having denounced a most fearful doom 
against apostates, in the latter part of the sixth verse, 
demonstrateth the equity thereof, in these words, 
seeing theij crucifj to themselves the Son of God 
afresh, &c. 

These words, seeing they crucify afresh, are the in- 
terpretation of one Greek compound participle, avaarau- 
^ouv-ag, which word for word may thus be translated, 
crucifying again. Our English hath well set out the 
sense and emphasis of the word. 

The root, aravsog, from whence the simple verb is 
derived, signifieth a cross, Mat. xxvii. 32. Thence is 
derived a verb, crauohoj, which signifieth to crucify, Mat. 
xxvii. 22. To crucify is properly to nail to a cross, or to 
hang upon a cross. This was the death whereunto 
Christ was put, Mat. xxvii. 35. 

In reference hereunto the apostle here useth this 



[Chap. VI. 

compound, cntcifying agaw. For tbo adverb, ctka, 
with which it is compounded, signifieth again. This 
compound is here only used, and nowhere else in the 
New Testament. It impHeth two things : 

1. That the aforesaid apostates did so obstinately 
reject all the bcnclit of Christ's former death upon the 
cross, that if they should receive any benefit from 
Christ and his sacrifice, Christ must be crucified again. 

2. That they made themselves like to the bitterest 
and deadliest enemies that ever Christ had, who were 
those Jews, whom nothing would satisfy but the death 
of Christ, even that ignominious, painful, and cursed 
death of the cross. For when the judge asked what 
he should do with Jesus, they answered, ' Let him be 
crucified,' Mat. xxvii, 22. Such is that hatred and 
maHce of apostates, that they would, if they could, 
have him crucified again. Not unfitly therefore do 
our last English translators use this word afirsh, for 
when the wounds of him that hath been healed are 
opened andbleed again, we use to say, thcg bleed afresh. 
This then implieth, that though Christ hath finished 
to the uttermost whatsoever was to be endured on 
earth, and is now in rest and glory in heaven, yet 
they would have all his sutierings afresh, all anew. 
They would have him sufler and endure as much as 
ever he did before. 

To meet with an objection that might be made 
against this crucifying of Christ again, that it is a 
matter simply impossible for all the men in the world 
to do ; — Christ being now settled a supreme sovereign 
in heaven, so as they may sooner pull the sun out of 
his sphere, than Christ from his throne ; — the apostle 
addeth this restriction, 'ia-oroT;, to themselves, which 
imi^lieth two things : 

1. That in their own imaginations and conceits 
they would do such a thing, they would do as much 
as in them lieth to crucify Christ again. 

2. That they do so wholly, wilfully, and mali- 
ciously reject all the former sufierings of Christ, as to 
them themselves he must be crucified again. For 
they can have no benefit by his former sacrifice ; 
though others may, yet not they. 

The person whom they so disrespect and reject is 
hero styled, rhv xj'iov roO &iou, ' the Son of God.' Of this 
title Son of God, and of that excellency which belongs 
to Christ thereupon, see Chap. i. ver. 2, Sec. 15, 
and ver. 4. Sec. 41. 

There is no other title whereby the excellency of 
Christ could more be set forth than this. It shews 
him to be not only true God, but also in such a re- 
spect God, as he might also become man, and be given 
for man. As Son of man he died, and shed his blood ; 
as the Son of God, that blood which he shed was the 
blood of God, Acts xx. 28. To disrespect such a Son 
of man, as by his blood purchased their redemption, 
is more than monstrous ingratitude ; but to do this 
against him that is also the Son of God, is the 
highest pitch of impiety that can be. These four 

degrees : 1, to crucify ; 2, to crucify again ; 3, to 
crucify again to themselves ; 4, to do all this to the Son 
of God ; do manifest a wonderful great aggravation of 
the sin of apostates, that they make the invaluable 
sacrifice of the Son of God, which hath been oflered up, 
and the inestimable price, even the precious blood of 
God himself, which hath been paid for man's re- 
demption, and is of sufficient worth to purchase a 
thousand worlds, to be of no worth to them. Another 
sacrifice must be oflered up, and more blood shed, if 
such be redeemed. Is not this to ' tread under foot 
the blood of the covenant, and to account it an unholy 
thing'? Heb. x. 29. 

Sec. 42. Of aiwstatcs putting the Son of God to an 
open shame. 

Yet further to aggravate this sin of apostates, the 
apostle addeth another word, TasaSs/y/xar/^on-a?, thus 
translated, inU to an open shame. This is a compound 
word. The simple biiMviu, ostendo, signifieth to 
shew. Mat. iv. 7. Thence a noun, dily/xa, which 
signifieth a spectacle, or an example, Jude 7, and 
a verb, fis/y/o-ar/^w, which signifieth to inake show of, 
and thereupon to make an example. From thence 
ariseth the compound, rrapadir/fMari'f^oj, here used, 
which for the most part is taken in the worst sense, 
namely, to make one an example of disgrace, to expose 
one to ignominy and open shame. It is used ne- 
gatively of Joseph's mind to the Virgin Mary, he 
was not willing ' to make her a public example,' Mat. 
i. 19. 

This compound verb is here fitly and fully thus 
translated, ' put him to an open shame.' This is an 
evidence of apostates' excessive envy, hatred, and malice 
against Christ ; and it hath reference to their malicious 
handling of Christ at the time of his death.^ For 
they sent men to apprehend him as a thief. When 
they had brought him to the high priest, they suborn 
false witness against him. The high priest's servants 
spit in his face, smite him with their hands and staves. 
They deliver him up to an heathen judge. They 
choose him rather to be put to death, than a notorious 
mm-dcrer. They all cry out to the judge to have him 
crucified. Soldiers, after he was whipped and con- 
demned, in derision put a purple robe upon him, 
plait a crown of thorns upon his head, and put a reed 
for a sceptre into his hand. They lead him out to the 
common place of execution, making him to bear his 
own cross. They nail him to a cross, and so lift him 
up, and that betwixt two thieves, for the greater ig- 
nominy. They deride him so hanging upon the cross. 
They give him gall and vinegar to drink. These and 
sundry other ways did they, who first crucified Christ, 
put him to open shame. 

In like manner do apostates deal with the Lord 
Jesus Christ. They blaspheme his name, they dis- 
grace his gospel, they persecute his members, and that 
* See more hereof Chap. xii. 2, Sec. 19. 

Ver. 4-6.] 



in the sorest and rigourest manner that they can. If 
they could, they would pull Christ himself out of 
heaven, and handle him as shamefully as he was be- 
fore handled ; and all on mere mahce, and that ' after 
they have been enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift, 
been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, tasted of the 
good word of God, and of the powers of the world to 
come.' The fore-mentioned spiteful acts, after such 
mercies received, do manifestly demonstrate, that the 
sin here spoken of is the sin against the Holy Ghost ; 
so as the apostle might well say, that it ' is impossible 
to renew them again unto repentance.' Of the nature 
of this sin, and of the reason why thjs above other 
sins shall never be pardoned, see my treatise of The 
Sin against the Holy Ghost, sec. 15, &c., and sec. 27, 

Sec. 43. Of the resolution o/Heb. vi. 4-6. 

Ver. 4. For it is impossible for those ivho were once 
enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and 
were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 

5. And have tasted the good word of God, and the 
powers of the world to come, 

6. If they shall fall aivay, to renew them again unto ■ 
repentance ; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of 
God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

The main scope of these three verses is, to set out 
the state of apostates. In them observe, 

1. The inference, in this causal particle /or. 

2. The substance, whereof are two parts : 

1. The ascent; 2, the downfall of apostates. 
Their ascent consisteth of five degrees. 

1. Their enlightening, amplified by the time, once. 

2. Their taste of the heavenly gift. In this is set 

(1.) An act, taste ; (2.) the object, gift, amplified 
by the excellency of it, heavenly. 

3. Made partakers of the Holy Ghost. Here ob- 

(1.) With what they are endowed, the Holy Ghost. 
(2.) How they are endowed therewith, made ^jar- 

4. Have tasted the good word of God. Here again 
is expressed, 

(1.) The former act, have tasted. 

(2.) Another object. The gospel, styled the word, 
and ampHfied, 1, by the author, God; 2, by the 
quality, good. 

5. The powers of the world to come. Here, 
(1.) The act is understood. 

2. The object is, 1, expressed, powers ; 2, amplified 
by the place where they are, ivorld to come. 

Their downfall is, 1 , propounded ; 2, proved. In 
propounding it, there is, 

1. A supposition, under which the kind of fall is 
comprised, if they shall fall away. 

2. An inference, wherein is noted an impossibility 
of recovery. This is, . 

1. Generally expressed, it is impossible; 2, par- 
ticularly exemplified in two branches. 

1. The kind of recovery, to renew ; 2, the means 
thereof, unto repentance. 

2. The proof of the foresaid point is taken from 
two eflects. 

The first efiect is described, 

1 . By the kind of act, they crucify. 

2. By the reiteration thereof, afresh. 

3. By the person crucified, the Son of God. 

4. By their own damage, to themselves. 

The second efiect is thus set out, ' And jnit him to 
an open shame.' 

Sec. 44. Of observations gathered out of Heb. vi. 

I. The utmost danger is to be declared. As the note 
of inference, for, so the general scope of these 
verses, afford this observation. See Sec. 30. 

II. Hypocrites may be enlightened. This is here 
taken for granted. See Sec. 32. 

III. One can be but once enlightened. This also is 
taken for granted. See Sec. 32. 

IV. God bestoweth gifts on hypocrites. The word 
gift intends as much. See Sec. 33. 

V. Hypocrites may partake of heavenly gifts. This 
epithet, heavenly, gives proof hereunto. See Sec. 33. 

VI. Hypocrites have but a smack of the gifts they 
have. This metaphor taste implies as much. See 
Sec. 33. 

VII. The Holy Ghost is the worker of those gifts 
that any have. He is therefore metonymically here 
put for the gifts themselves. See Sec. 34. 

VIII. Hypocrites may be made partakers of the Holy 
Ghost. This is here expressly set down. See Sec. 

IX. God's word is common to all of all sorts. For 
hypocrites are here said to taste hereof. See Sec. 35. 

X. Hypocrites do but sip on God's word. They do 
but taste it. See Sec. 35. 

XI. The gospel is a good ivord. For by this phrase, 
good word, the gospel is meant. See Sec. 35. 

XII. There is a world yet to come. This is here 
taken for granted. See Sec. 36. 

XIII. The things of the world to come may be here 
discerned. This also is here taken for granted. See 
Sec. 36. 

XIV. The things of the world to come are as glorious 
trophies. This is intended under this word powers. 
See Sec. 36. 

XV. Hypjocrites may have a sweet apprehension of 
heavenly happiness. They may taste the same. See 
Sec. 36. 

XVI. Hypocrites may totally fall a^vay. The 
emphasis of the Greek word translated fall away im- 
plies as much. See Sec. 37. 

XVII. The fall of apostates is irrecoverable. This 
word impossible proves as much. See Sec. 38. 



[Chap. VI. 

XVIII. There is not a second renovation. This 
particle afjain intends this point. See Sec. 89. 

X]^. Apostates are not capahlc of repentance. They 
cannot be renewed thereunto. See Sec. 40. 

XX. Ixejicntancc is the way to recovery. Thus much 
is intended bj* the mention of repentance about re- 
covery. See Sec. 40. 

XXI. Ajmstates reject the Son of God. This is 
plainly expressed. See Sec. 41. 

XXII. Apostates crucify afresh the Son of God. 
This is in words expressed. See Sec. 41. 

XXIII. Apostates put the Son of God to open shame. 
This is also in words expressed. See Sec. 42. 

Sec. 45. Of instructing by comparisons. Ileb. vi. 

Ver. 7. For the earth, which drinheth in the rain 
that Cometh oft 2(pon it, and hrinejeth forth herbs meet 
for them by whom it is dressed, rcceiveth blessing from 
'God : 

8. But that which beareth thorns and briers is re- 
jected, and is nigh unto cursing ; whose end is to be 

These two verses are an amplification of the fore- 
mentioned estate of apostates ; and that by a com- 
parison, whereby the equity of God's proceeding 
against them is demonstrated : in which respect this 
comparison is brought in as a confirmation of the 
point, and knit to the former verses with this causal 
particle, yas, for. 

The proof is from the less to the greater. If the 
senseless earth, yri, which after rain and tillage beareth 
thorns and briers, be rejected, cursed, and burned: 
much more shall reasonable men, who after illumina- 
tion and other good gifts, crucify the Son of God, and 
put him to open shame, be rejected, not renewed 
again, but for ever accursed. 

This argument is amplified by the contrary event 
of good and fertile ground. For as that earth re- 
ceiveth blessing from God, so they who, having 
means of salvation aflbrded unto them, go on to per- 
fection, shall be blessed of God. 

Thus this comparison that is here set down by the 
apostle hath reference to those that well use the means 
of grace, to encourage them to hold on in so doing ; 
and also to apostates, who pervert the means of grace, 
to keep men from apostasy. 

This manner of the apostle's setting forth his mind 
under a comparison manifesteth his prudence, in lay- 
ing before his people the equity of what he had de- 
livered, and that so as the}' might the better discern 
the same, and be the more thoroughly convinced 
thereof. Thus might they be the more moved there- 
with, and the better edified thereby. 

This is it which ministers ought especially to aim 
at. Seek, saith the apostle, ' Seek that ye may excel 
to the edifying of the church,' 1 Cor. xiv. 12. This 
will be best done by descending to the capacity of 

people, and by delivering the word after such a man- ■ 
ner as it may best be conceived, relished, retained, 
and yielded unto. 

For the foresaid end comparisons are a singular 
help. As they are warrantable, so they are profitable 
to edification. They have been much used by the 
prophets, and by Christ himself. Comparisons are 
of use, 

1. To help understanding, and that by comparing 
things not so well known with such things as we are 
well acquainted withal. 

2. To strengthen memoiy. For earthly things, 
from which comparisons use to be taken, are as coarse 
thread or wire, on which pearls use to be put, and 
thereby kept from scattering. 

3. To work upon affection. For visible and sen- 
sible things do use most to work upon men, whether 
in matters pleasing and joyous, or displeasing and 

Quest. How is it, then, that Christ taught people 
in parables, * because they seeing, see not ? ' Mat. 
xiii. 13. 

Ans. 1. When the understanding of hearers is 
closed, then they can reap no good by those means 
which are useful to others ; as a blind man can reap 
no benefit by light. 

Secondly, Christ opened not his parables to them 
as he did to his disciples, Mat. xiii. 18, &c. Parables 
are in this respect useful for instruction, because they 
may be applied to all sorts of cases. They have herein 
a fitness of teaching above true histories : it is not 
lawful to turn from the truth of an history upon any 
occasion. But in a parable there is no swerving from 
truth, because nothing is delivered for truth. 

For well ordering comparisons, observe these 
rules : — 

First, Take them from common, ordinary matters, 
well known and familiar to all of all sorts, especially 
to those for whose sakes the pai'ables are used. 

Secondly, Let not the matter of them be of matters 
impossible, no, nor improbable. So will they be 
taken to be untrue, and the use of them lost. 

Tliirdhj, Lot them be fitly applied, at least to the 
main point in hand ; otherwise it cannot be well dis- 
cerned what they aim at. 

Fourthhj, Let them be expounded when they ai-e not 
conceived, or may be misapplied. 

All those rules may be gathered out of Christ's 
parables, and his manner of using them ; for. 

First, They were taken from ordinary matters, such 
as every one knew, as from corn, mustard seed, leaven, 
and such other things, or else from familiar stories, 
Luke XV. 3, 8, 11. 

Secondly, They were all carried with great likeli- 
hood of matters to be so as he set them out to be. 

Tliirdhj, Christ, in all his parables, had an especial 
eye upon the main occasion for which he produced 
them, to make that most clear. 

Ver. 7, 8.] 



Fourthly, Christ was careful to expound his parables 
to his disciples : sometimes when they desired him to 
expound them, Mat. xv. 15, &c., and sometimes of 
his own motion, when he was not desired, Mark iv. 34. 

Sec. 46. Of the earth's drinking in the rain that oft 
Cometh upon it. 

If the particular branches of the comparison be duly 
applied, the mind of the apostle will be better dis- 

I conceive that it may be thus fitly applied : 

1. The earth, yr\, may set out children of men. 
For the heart of man is as the ground, dry of itself, 
prone to bring forth all manner of sins, which are as 
weeds, briers, and thorns ; but by good tillage, and 
sowing it with good seed, and rain seasonably falling 
upon it, it may be made fruitful. 

Men's hearts, therefore, must be dealt withal as 
the ground is out of which men expect a good crop. 
If the ground be not ploughed, the seed may lie upon 
it as upon a path, and the fowls eat it. If it be not 
ploughed deep enough, it may be like the stony ground, 
in which that which quickly sprouteth up may quickly 
wither away. If briers and thorns be sufiered to 
grow where the word is sown, the word may be choked, 
Mat. xiii, 19, &c. 

2. By dressing, yiusysTrai, the ground, the minis- 
try of the word may be meant. For ministers are 
God's labourers and husbandmen, 1 Cor. iii. 9. By 
preaching the law, men's hearts are ploughed and 
harrowed ; by preaching the gospel, they are as dunged 
and softened. 

Ministers, by well observing the disposition of their 
people, and answerably ordering their ministry by in- 
struction, refutation, exhortation, consolation, and cor- 
rection, may well manure the heart of their people. 

3. By r-ain, birog, maybe understood both the word 
of God, and also the operation of God's Spirit, without 
which all man's labour is in vain, 1 Cor. iii. 6 ; for 
man's heart is as the dry earth. 

In the use of all means, ministers and people must 
look to God, pray to him, and depend on him. ' Be- 
hold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of 
the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he re- 
ceive the early and latter rain,' James v. 7. 

4. This metaphor of drinking, ■Triovija, takes it for 
granted that the earth is a dry element, and philosophy 
teacheth us that dryness is the predominant quality 
in the earth. Wherefore, as a man or beast that is 
dry readily driuketh down beer or water, and is thereby 
refreshed and satisfied, so the earth. This metaphor 
here implieth a receiving and applying the means of 
grace, whereby they are refreshed, to men's selves. 
The metaphor further implieth a capacity in the earth 
to receive the rain, and to be bettered by it. Hard 
things receive not any rain into them, nor can they be 
mollified thereby. They, therefore, cannot be said to 
drink it. 

God's word, as here understood by rain, is drunk 
in when it is applied to the soul by .faith. Hereupon 
faith is oft set forth under drinking, John iv. 14, and 
vi. 53, 54, and vii. 37. 

Let us therefore, who have the spiritual rain of 
God's word afi"orded unto us, be like the earth, and 
drink it in, and that by applying it to our own souls. 

5. This phrase, that cometh oft npon it, •TroX'ka.xii 
s^'^o/jbivov, setteth out the divine providence, which is 
ordered according to the need of creatures, and that 
in two respects : 

(1.) In causing rain to come upon the earth; for 
the earth hath not rain in itself. God giveth rain 
from heaven. Acts xiv. 17. So doth God cause his 
word to come to us, and poureth his Spirit upon us. 

(2.) In that rain cometh oft upon the earth. 
Though the earth be once thoroughly watered, yet it 
will soon be dry again ; as Christ saith of men in re- 
ference to the ordinary water which they use, ' Who- 
soever drinketh of this water shall thirst again,' John 
iv. 13. Therefore God gives ' early and latter rain,' 
James v. 7, and that time after time. Thus doth he 
afi"ord us his word frequently and plentifully. It is a 
sweet rain that cometla oft upon us. The earth doth 
not more need this oft coming of the rain than we the 
oft preaching of the word. 

Let us not therefore lightly esteem this evidence of 
the divine providence by reason of the frequency 
thereof, as the Israelites did lightly esteem and even 
loathe manna that daily fell among them. Num. xi. 6, 
and xxi. 5. Let us rather well weigh our continual 
need of the word, and the great benefit that we may 
reap thereby, and in that respect be thankful for this 
plentiful provision. 

Sec. 47. Of God's JjJessing on hinging forth herbs 
meet for them, by tchom the earth is dressed. 

6. Bringing forth herbs declareth the end of sending 
rain, and sheweth what is thereupon expected. 

By herbs, (Sordvri,^ are meant all manner of good 
fruit, whereunto briers and thorns are opposed. Thus 
here it is to be taken of those who, enjoying God's 
ordinances, do bring forth good fruit. 

The verb Tr/.Toufa,^ translated bringeth forth, is pro- 
perly used of women's briDging forth children. Mat. 
i. 23, 25. Now the seed or root of herbs lieth in the 
earth, as a child in the womb of a woman, and when 
it sprouteth up, it is as it were brought out of the 

The Greek word translated herb, according to the 
notation of it, signifieth such a kind of herb as may 
be fed upon, which we call, from the Latin nota- 
tion,^ pasture. It implieth therefore such fruit as 
is pleasant and profitable. 

• A verbo, Boa, pasco ; B/xry.^, pabulum. 

2 Thus lust is said to conceive and bring forth sin, James i. 
15. The same word is there and here used. 

^ Pascuum, plur. pascua ; pastura. 



[Chap. VI. 

Hereapon it becomes as to ' prove what is the good, 
acceptable and perfect will of God," Rom. lii. 2, that 
we may bring forth such fruit, and do such works as 
are intended under this metaphor h^rbs. 

7. Tnat we may be the better directed aboat that 
good fruit, the apostle thus describes the foreeaid 
herbs 'meet for them bv whom it is dressed.* 

. The verb yiju^iirau, translated dressed, is a cam- 
pooni of two nouns, yn and «*7«», which signify mirdk 
and UAour. 

The compound noun is translated ' an husbandman,' 
Mat. ni. 83. 2 Tim. ii. 6, James v. 7. This title in 
English we give to such as till land. 

The verb here compounded, ysit^tatj tsja^^fuu 
yr,t yi.t, compriseth under it all that skill and pains 
which useth to be taken by such as till land. 

By them that dress the earth, are here meant minis- 
ters of the word. So as fruit meet for them is such 
fruit as giveth proof of the ministers prudence, dili- 
gence, skill, and £futhfulness, and so be dt for him. 

The epithet r3<%r»;, m«tt, is in Greek a compoond. 
According to the composition, iv, Un<r, Sirgr, posituSy 
it signifieth uteli a«f, otn:, Luke ii. 62, and liv. 35. 
Here it signifieth such fruit as is answerable to the 
law i no which hath been used to produce it. and that 
in the kind, quantity, and quality that is expected. 
Such fruit is expected of such as enjoy a faithful. 
painful, and powerful pastor. It is said of the hus- 
bandman, that he ' waiteth for the precious fruit of the 
«uth,' James t. 7. So the Lord, where he afordeth 
means, looketh that fruit should be brought fonh, Isa. 
V. 2, Luke liii. 6. Such fruit is the end of tillage. 

All ye to whom the Lord affords means, take notice 
of this end. To be bred and brought up where the 
word is preached, safcrainents administered, name 
of God called upon, and other holy ordinances ob- 
served, is a great privilege. God, who afordeih this 
privilege, expects this duty, that fruit answerably be 
brought forth. Let us therefore, according to our 
duty, with the u:term>>st of our power, endeavour to 
satisfy the eipecuiion of the Lord, that he may not 
repent of the goodness that he hath done imto us ; as 
he repented his making of S-iul king, 1 Sam. iv. 11. 

8. The rtvompense of all is thos set oat, norici:h 
bietshtf from God. 

Blessang, according to the notation of the Greek 
vocd otkrymy jea, and of the Latin too, htrnfediaio, 
aignifi^h a tfmkimf mi/. It is trapslated/atr ipwc*. 
Bom. xri. 18. Thos it is c catrstN^, which 

is a fool speech, James iiL 1 . it is attribated 

lo ns in leferanee to God, it can miply nothing bat 
■iwaking well of him, Rev. v. 12, 13. For that is all 
the blwninj; thai we can jield to God. 

B«t where it is attribated to God in reSwtte to 
vs, it eo mprioet h onder it every good thing, that may 
make as htppj^ so as all that see it, or hear of it, mav 
speak well of oa, £ph. i. 3. See Sec. lOi. 

This bleasiag, a froitlol bearar of the word is said 

to reerirtf fisraXjUfLZdtn, in that he hath it not in him- 
self, or of himself, he must receive it from another. 

This act of receiving is set down in the present 
tense, to set out the certainty of it. He may be as sure 
of it as if he had it in his hand, and did actually enjoy 
it. To this purpose the prophets do usually set forth 
promises of things to come in the time present, Zech. 
ix. 9. 

The time present may also be here used in regard 
of an actual and present possession of the blessing 
here promised. For that blesing may comprise tmder 
it both such gifts and graces, as God here in this 
world giveth, together with a continual increase of them, 
and also eternal glory in the world to come. 

This blessing is here said to be from God : God 
blesseth with all blessing, Eph. i. 3, James i. 17. This 
God undertaketh to do. 

1. That every one might have reward, far no erea- 
tare can be too great to be rewarded of God, and the 
greatest that be need his reward, and he is able to 
reward the greatest. Yea, he can reward whole fami- 
lies, churches, and kingdoms. On the other side, 
God is so giaeiotis, as he accounteth none too mean 
to be rewarded of him. ' He raiseth up the poor out 
of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dtmg- 
hill,* 1 Sam. ii. S. When Dives and all his house 
scorned Lazarus, the Lord looked on him, and gave 
his angels charge over him. Luke xvi. 20. 

2. That they might be sure of their reward. That 
which God taketh upon him to do, he will not fidi to 
do : ' The Lord is faithful, and will do it,' 1 Thess. 
V. 24. 

3. That the reward might be worth the having. 
God, in bestowing his rewards, respecteth what is 
meet for his excellency to give, and accordingly pn>- 
portioneth his reward. As a king, when he woald 
reward a faithful servant, cfxitent^ not fcimaolf to 
give him a Uttie money, but gives him high htmours 
and dignities, great lordships, fiur posseasians, many 
immimities and privileges, gainful offices, and other 
like royal rewards. P^raoh set Josqph OTer all the 
land of Egypt, Gen. xli. -41. Such a reward did Darius 
give to Daniel, Dan. vi. 2 ; and Ahasaems to Mor- 
decai, Esth. viii. 15. As God exeeedrth tiiese and 
all other monarchs in greatness, so will his reward be 

1. A great eneooxageaient this is, fiur ns to do oar 
best in bringing fatih fndi answeralde to the means 
that God afibrdeth to us. ' knowing that our labour 
shall not be in vain in the Lord, 1 Cor. xv. 5^. Men 
maj be ignorant of the good froit which we bring 
fnth, as Joseph's master. Gen. xxrix. 19. Or for- 
geital, as Hianah's batlor. Gen. xL 23 ; or witting 
wink Uiereat, as Nabal, 1 Sam. xxv. 10; or mkeonstrae 
it, as Saul. 1 Sam. xrii 7, S ; or envy at it, as Joshua, 
Num. li. 29 ; or slander it, as the Pharisees, Mark 
iii. 22 ; or peraeeote fior it, as the Jews did, John x. 
Si. Agaitxit tlMW Mid all nth<>r like djaennrigpwi niitn 

Yeh. 7, 8.] 



our eyes must be lift up to the Lord, from wliom we 
may be sure to receive blessing. 

2. This directeth as whither to go for blessing, 
even to God, the author and fountain thereof. Be not 
like the Israelites, Jer. ii. 13, Isa. xxx. 1, &c. Observe 
the means which God hath sanctified for receiving 
blessing, and in a conscionable use of them depend on 
God for his blessing. 

3. Retm-n the praise and glory to God. This is, to 
bless him who blesseth thee, Eph. i. 3, Rom. xi. 36. 

Sec. 48. Of rejecting that which beareth thorns and 
briars. Heb. vi. 8. 

The apostle having declared the happy condition of 
such as well use the means of grace, addeth thereunto 
the woful plight of such as pervert those means. This 
particle of opposition, but, sheweth that these two 
verses set down contrai-y subjects. 

In this verse the apostle foUoweth the former com- 
parison. The principal subject mentioned in the 
beginning of the former verse, which is earth, must 
here be understood, thus, ' But the earth which, 
bearing thorns,' kc. 

As in our English, so in the Greek, there are differ- 
ent words used in the former and this verse. For he 
doth not say as he did before, the earth which bringeth 
forth, r/xro-jiTa, but which beareth, r/.^houaa. This 
latter word in Greek is a compound, and according to 
the composition, it signifieth to carry out, as men 
carry out a dead corpse, Acts v. 6, 9, 10. It implieth 
a thrusting out of that which it is not willing to retain. 

The things so brought out are here said to be 
thorns and briers. These are not only unprofitable 
plants, but hurtful also, by reason of their prickles. 

The notation of both Greek words imply a sharp- 
ness and prickhness.^ They are oft joined together, 
as here, and Mat. vii. 16. So Isa. v. 6, and vii. 

Thorns were wi-eathed together, and plaited as a 
crown on Christ's head, to prick and gall him. With 
briers and thorns both, Gideon did tear the flesh of 
the princes of Succoth, Judges viii. 7. Both of them 
use to grow in the wilderness, Judges viii. 16, and 
grounds unfilled, Isa. xxxii. 13. 

Under these metaphors are here understood such 
sins as most grieve God's Spirit, and are most hurt- 
ful to men ; as a renouncing of the Christian faith, 
blasphemy, oppression, persecution, and such other 

The land that after good tillage putteth forth such 
thorns and briers, is said to be rejected. 

The Greek word uooxi/mo:, translated rejected, is a 
compound. The simple biy.iiMoc signifieth that which 
upon experience and good proof is approved, Rom. 
xvi. 10 ; 2 Tim. ii 15. The preposition with which 
it is compounded is privative, so as it setteth forth 

^ 'Aata.^a, Spira ("Ajtii, CutpU) ; Tji/isXs,-, Tribulus ; (BsXJ,-, 

such a thing or person as can no way be approved, 
and thereupon to be utterly rejected. It is oft trans- 
lated reprobate, 2 Cor. xiii. 5-7. 

Hereby is evidently demonstrated, that they who 
despise the means of grace shall be utterly rejected 
of God ; even as that land which, after much and 
long tillage, is so far from bringing forth a good crop, 
as it beareth thorns and briers. This name Lo-ammi 
is a title of rejection, Hosea i. 9 ; God's taking away 
the hedge of his vineyard, and breakmg down the wall 
thereof, proves as much, Isa. v. 5. So doth his 
cutting down the fig-tree, Luke xiii. 7, and the putting 
of the axe to the root of the tree, Mat. iii. 10, and 
leaving Jerusalem desolate. Mat. xxiii. 38. All these 
threatenings are actually accomplished upon the Jews ; 
and to shew that this case is not proper to the Jews 
only, the like is threatened to Christians, Rom. xi. 21. 
This may be exemplified in all the churches planted 
by the apostles. Where now is Ephesus ? where 
Smyrna, and the other golden candlesticks of Asia ? 
where Corinth ? where Galatia, and the rest ? Are 
they not all rejected ? Where is Rome ? Is it not 
a foul nest of unclean birds ? 

Common justice requires as much ; whereupon 
parents, masters, all sorts of governors, use to do the 

Besides, this makes much to the honour of God, 
lest otherwise he might seem to patronise such as are 
past hope. 

Yea, further, this makes to the advantage of such 
as are faithful ; for they are hereby admonished to be 
more careful in improving the means of grace afforded 
unto them, lest otherwise this great mischief should 
befall them. 

Quest. How may men be said to be rejected ? 

Ans. 1. A nation is rejected when the gospel is 
taken away from them, and given to another nation, 
Mat. xxi. 13. 

Ans. 2. A particular assembly is rejected when 
good pastors are taken away ; and instead of them 
idle and idol shepherds are set over them, whereby 
they fall from that which before they seemed to have. 

Ans. 3. Particular persons are rejected when they 
are given over to hardness of heart, as the Jews were, 
Isa. vi. 10. Thus they may stand as dead trees in 
an orchard, but at length they shall be cut down. All 
particular impenitent persons are utterly rejected by 

Obj. So all may be rejected. 

Ans. Not so ; for such as bring forth good fruit 
are by death transplanted from the nursery of God's 
militant church to his glorious orchard of the triumph- 
ant church. 

Take heed that yon provoke not God to complain, 
and say, ' What could have been done more to my 
vineyard, that I have not done in it ?' Isa. v. 4. God 
hath sent us many ministers time after time, and they 
have taken great pains in ploughing, digging, dunging 



[Chap. VI. 

and God hath sent down rain time after time : what 
then can ho expected if, instead of herbs, wo bear 
briers and thorns ? 

Sec. 49. 0/bcinri vir/h inito aositiff. 

To add the greater terror, the apostle thus acjgra- 
vateth the fearful case of the fore-mentioned sinners 
in this phrase, and is nvjh unto ansliifi. 

The Greek word -/.ardoa, translated curs'uig, is a 
compound. The simple noun, aca, dinr, signitieth 
cursing, namely, such cursed speech as proceedoth 
out of the bitter spirit of corrupt man, Rom. iii. 14. 
It seemeth to be derived from an Hebrew root, "il^^, 
inalcdivit, which signitieth to curse. The simple 
noun is but once used in the New Testament. 

The preposition with which the word of my text is 
compounded adds a kind of aggravation. It is put 
for the curse of the law. Gal. iii. 10, 13 ; and the 
participle compounded with this preposition is applied 
to such as arc devoted to hell fire, Mat. xxv. 41. 

The word here signifitth that the curse which God 
will inflict is not only by word of mouth, but also in 
act and deed. 

Yet by way of mitigation, this word hyyvi, n'ujh, 
is added. Where he spake of good ground, he abso- 
lutely said in the time present, * It rcceiveth blessing ;' 
but here, as putting ott' revenge for a time, he saith, 
* is nigh cursing.' This gives proof of God's patience, 
whereof see Chap. iii. 9, Sec. 101. 

The connection of this cursing upon the fore-men- 
tioned rejecting, is an evidence of God's curse follow- 
ing such as are rejected of him ; instance Saul, the 
nation of the Jews, and other churches before men- 

Such seem to be past hope. They have deprived 
themselves of blessing, and so made themselves liable 
to cursing. 

This is a further aggravation. 

Sec. 50. Of apostates' end to he burned. 

The last clause of this verse, in these words, n-hnae 
end is to he bttrncd, is a further prosecution of the fore- 
said metaphor ; for of old men were wont to burn 
those fields which, after much and long tillage, would 
bring forth nothing but briers and thorns.' 

That which the apostle here especially intendcth is, 
that such as arc rejected of God and cursed shall 
assuredly bo cast into hell fire. This is that un- 
quenchable fire whereof the IJaptist speakcth, Mat. 
iii. 12, and which Christ intendcth, Mat. ix. 43, Sec. 

This is thus made known, lest men should lightly 
esteem that which was before spoken of rejecting and 
cursing. "When God is not seen in shewing mercy, 
he will shew himself the more terrible in his judgment. 

Many think it is no great matter to be rejected and 
cursed. They will say. What if we be deprived of our 
ministers ? What if the gospel bo taken away, so 

' Steriles incendere profuit agros. — Virr/il. Geurg. lib. i. 

long as we enjoy peace and plenty ? But if the burn- 
ing here intended were well known and believed, those 
forerunners thereof would not be so lightly esteemed. 

The Greek noun y.aZaic, translated hurninr/, is not 
elsewhere used in the New Testament. It is here 
applied to the earth ; for this relative t/c, uhose, hath 
rci'ercnce to the earth, vcr. 7. Yet the verb za/w, 
urn, nrur, from whence it is derived, is used to set out 
the burning of hell fire, Rev. xix 20, and xxi. 8, xa/o- 
//.ivoc. And this word is here intended to set out, 
under this comparison, the torment of hell ; for there 
is no greater torment than that which cometh by 

The burning here meant is made the end of apos- 
tates ; for many are prone, upon present prosperity, 
to put off the fear of this burning. The apostle, 
therefore, puts them in mind of their latter end. 
Though God in his patience and long-suffering may 
bear with them some time, as he did with the fig-tree, 
Luke xiii. 7, yet burning, and that in hell, shall be 
their end. Their end is to burning, as the Greek 
phrase soundeth, rh r'iXog uc -/.aZgiv. Burning is the 
goal whereunto at last the}' shall come. ' The end of 
the wicked shall bo cut off,' Ps. xxxvii. 38. This is 
exemplified in sundry parables. Mat. iii. 10, and xiii. 
42, 50. 

' Fret not thyself, therefore, because of evil-doers,' 
Ps. xxxvii. 1, though they seem outwardly to prosper. 
Consider their end. Read to this purpose Ps. Ixxiii. 

Sec. 51. Of the resolution ofHeh. Chap. vi. 7, 8. 

Yer. 7. For the earth, which drinlceth in the rain 
that Cometh oft upon it, and hringeth forth herbs meet 
for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from 

8. But that luhich beareth thorns and briers is re- 
jected, and is niijh unto cursing, wJiose end is to be 

In these two verses, the diflerence between perse- 
vering and revolting professors is laid down, both of 
them in a comparison taken from the earth : one 
from good land, ver. 7 ; the other from bad, ver. 8. 
In setting down this comparison we may observe, 

1. The occasion of bringing in this comparison, in 
this particle /o?-. 

2. The expression of the point itself. Hereof are 
two parts : 

(1.) The state of persevering professors. 
(2.) The state of apostates. 

1. About the state of the former, four branches are 
expressed : 

1. The condition of professors. They are as eaW/t. 

2. The means aflbrded for their growth, rain. This 
is amplified two ways : 

(1.) By the coming of it upon the earth. 
(2.) r>y the frequency of that coming, oft. 
o. Their entertaining the means. This is mani- 
fested two ways : 

Ver. 9, 10.] 



1. They drinh it in. 

2. They bring forth fruit. This is amplified, 
(1.) By the kind of fruit, herhs. 

(2.) By the quahfication thereof, meet for tliem 
hy ivhom, &c. 

4. The issue. This is set down, 

1. By their act ; they receive. 

2. By the subject matter which they receive, am- 

(1.) By the kind of it, Uessing. 
(2.) By the author of it, from God. 
2. About the state of the latter, who are apostates, 
is set down, 

1. The opposition betwixt them and such as per- 
severe, in this particle hut. 

2. A declaration of their condition. This is set 

1. By their effect, which is, 

(1.) Generally propounded, they hear. 
(2.) Particularly exemplified in two kinds of fruit, 
thorns, hriers. 

2. By the issue, and that in two branches : 

1. They are rejected. 

2. They are nigh unto cursing. Here observe, 
(1.) The kind of judgment, cursing. 

(2.) The limitation thereof, nigh unto. 

3. Their end, which is, to he hurned. 

Sec. 52. Ohservations raised out o/Heb. vi. 7, 8. 

I. Reasonahle men may make God's dealings with 
senseless creatures a looking-glass to them. They may 
thereby see what to expect from God. This ariseth 
from the inference of this comparison, as a proof of 
what he had before delivered. See Sec. 45. 

II. Comparisons are useful means of teaching. 
This ariseth from the general matter of these two 
verses. See Sec. 45. 

III. Mans disposition is like the earth. This is it 
that is here resembled to the earth. See Sec. 4G. 

IV. God's word and Spirit are as rain. They 
mollify men's hearts, and make them fruitful. See 
Sec. 46. 

Y. A good heart receiveth God's toord and Spirit 
into it, even as the earth receiveth tlie rain. See Sec. 

VI. The ivord and Spirit are given to man. This 
word cometh intendeth as much. See Sec. 46. 

VII. Frequent preaching is needfid. Even as it is 
needful that rain oft come upon the earth. See Sec. 

VIII. Fruit is expected of those who enjoy means. 
This is here taken for granted. See Sec. 47. 

IX. Fruit must he wholesome and pleasant. So is 
the herh here mentioned. See Sec. 47. 

X. Fruit must he ansiverahle to the means ajforded. 
This is meet fruit. See Sec. 47, 

XI. Ministers are God's hushandmen. These are 
they that dress his ground. See Sec. 47. 

XII. Fruit-hearers are hlessed. So they are ex- 
pressly said to be. See Sec. 47. 

XIII. Blessing is received. This also is plainly 
expressed. See Sec. 47. 

XIV. God is the author of hlessing. It is received 
from him. See Sec. 47. 

XV. The state of pjerseverers and revolters are con- 
trary. This is implied under this particle of opposition, 
but. See Sec. 48. 

XVI. Apostates thrust out their fruit. The nota- 
tion of this word heareth declareth as much. See 
Sec. 48. 

XVII. Tlie fruit of apostates is very pernicious. 
It is as thorns and briers. See Sec. 48. 

XVIII. Perverters of good means shall he rejected. 
So much is here denounced. See Sec. 48. 

XIX. The rejected are accursed. These two judg- 
ments are here knit together. See Sec. 49. 

XX. God oft forhears instantly to execute the de- 
served curse. This word nigh implieth as much. See 
Sec. 49. 

XXI. Everlasting burning will he the end of apos- 
tates. Their end is to he hurned. See Sec. 50. 

Sec. 53. Of preventing a prejudicate opinion. Heb. 
vi. 9, 10. 

Ver. 9. But J beloved, we are persuaded better things of 
you, and things that acco)npany salvation, though loe thus 

10. For God is not unrighteous, to forget your ivork, 
and labour of love, which ye have shelved toward his 
name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do 

It was a terrible doom that the apostle denounced 
in the former verses against backsliders. Now that 
these Hebrews might not thereby be induced to think 
that he judged them to be apostates, by a sweet in- 
sinuation, he plainly and expressly declareth his own 
good opinion of them, and entire afiection toward 
them, that so he might make the better way to his 
exhortation following, ver. 11, &c. 

The first particle, hi, bid, as our English hath set 
it, gives evidence of the contrary, namely, that he had 
no such opinion of them ; and it implieth a prevention 
of a prejudicate conceit, which they might have enter- 
tained thereabout. The apostle's meaning may thus 
be more fully expressed : ' You may haply think by 
that which I have delivered about the case of apos- 
tates, that I have reference to you therein, as if I 
judged you to be such. But know, that what I spake 
before, I spake indefinitely of that estate, whereinto 
professors of the gospel may fall. I did not say that you 
Vv'ere fallen into such an estate ; neither have I cause 
so to think, but rather the contrary. Believe me, I 
account you my beloved brethren, and I verily believe 
that your estate is far better than that whereof I spake ; 
yea, that it is such an estate as will in the end bring 
you to eternal salvation.' 



[Chap. VI. 

The apostle doth hereby give us to understand that 
conceits, which may aheuate the hearts of hearers from 
their ministers, are as much as may be to be prevented. 
This doth the apostle much endeavour to do in the 
case of the Galatians. He had, in the beginning of 
his epistle, thundered out a dreadful curse against all 
that should preach any other gospel. He wondered 
that they should hearken to any such, and styled them 
foolish Galatians ; asking them, ' who had bewitched 
them ?' all which might exasperate them, and alienate 
their hearts from him. Therefore, to prevent that 
mischief, he doth thus sweetly insinuate himself into 
them, ' Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am, for I am 
as ye are,' &c.. Gal. iv. 12, &c. 

So long as a prejudicate opinion of a minister 
remains in his people's mind, his ministry cannot well 
relish, it cannot edify them. It is as choler in the 
stomach, which embittereth the most wholesome and 
pleasing food that can be put into it. This made 
Jeremiah's prophecy to be so little regarded as it was ; 
for thus they say of him, This man seeketh not the 
welfare of this people, but the hurt, Jer. xxxviii. 4. 
So Ahab of Micaiah : ' He doth not prophesy good 
concerning me, but evil,' 1 Kings xxii. 8. 

This course of the apostle, in seeking to root out 
such roots of bitterness before they spring up and 
trouble us, is an especial point of wisdom, and worthy 
to be endeavoured after. 

Sec. 54. 0/siveet insinuations. 

The general and principal intendment of the apostle 
is, to insinuate himself into his people's heart, that 
they might retain a good opinion of him, as he did of 
them. The dependence of these verses upon the 
former, the main scope of them, this particle of oppo- 
sition but, this loving title beloved, the good persua- 
sion he had of them, and hope of their salvation, the 
testimony which he gives of their love to God and 
man, and the remembrance which he is confident God 
had thereof, do all prove as much ; they are all evi- 
dent demonstrations of his sweet disposition, and of 
his desire to preserve in them .such an afl'ection 
towards him, as he had towards them. See ver. 11, 
Sec. 76. 

Of sweetening reproofs with mild insinuations, see 
Chap. iii. 12, Sec. 121. 

Sec. 55. Of ministers loving respect to their people. 

This title ayaznTo;, beloved, wherein and whereby 
the apostle expresseth his affection, is very observable. 
It is that whereby God the Father expresseth his en- 
tire ati'ection to his only begotten Sou, Mat. iii. 17, 
and xvii. 5, and xii. 18. It is translated ' beloved,' 
1 Peter iv. 12 ; ' well-beloved,' Mark xii. G ; ' dear,' 
Eph. V. 1 ; ' dearly beloved,' Philip, iv. 1. This 
title is most frequently applied to a son. Mat. xvii. 5, 
1 Cor. iv. 17; yet also to a brother, Eph. vi. 21; and 
to a fellow-servant, Col. i. 7. 

Of the emphasis of this title, see Chap. iii. ver. 1, 
Sec. 17. 

Here it sheweth that ministers must bear a loving 
respect to their people ; even as a parent to his only 
child, or a husband to his wife, or a friend to his 
dearest friend ; yea, and testify as much also, as the 
apostle here doth. Sundry like expressions are else- 
where used to give further proof hereof: as ' brethren,' 
1 Cor. i. 10 ; ♦ my brethren,' Rom. xv. 14 ; ' my be- 
loved brethren,' James i. 16; * my brethren, dearly 
beloved and longed for,' PhiHp. iv. 1 ; * children,' 
John xxi. 5 ; ' little children,' ' my little children,' 
1 John ii. 12, and iii. 18 ; ' my little children, of 
whom I travail in birth again,' Gal. iv. 19. These 
and other like insinuations of love do give people to 
understand, that their ministers do what they do in 
love ; that they instruct in love, that they exhort in 
love, that they reprove in love, that they denounce 
God's judgments in love ; and thereupon will say, 
' Let him smite me, it shall be a kindness ; and let 
him reprove me, it shall be as an excellent oil, which 
shall not break my head,' Ps. cxli. 5. In this respect 
the caveat which the apostle giveth to fathers, Eph. 
vi. 4, ' provoke not to wrath ;' and to husbands, Col. 
iii. 19, ' be not bitter ;' is to be observed of all that 
have an occasion and calling to reprove others. Pro- 
vocations are as scalding hot potions, which no pa- 
tient can endure to drink down ; and bitterness in 
reproof is like gall in the stomach, which it cannot 
retain, but will soon vomit it up. Indeed, all re- 
proofs and denunciations of judgment seem hot and 
bitter ; but testimonies of love cool the heat, and 
sweeten the bitterness of them. There must therefore 
be manifested good evidences of love, by those who 
desire to do good by denunciations of judgment, re- 
prehension of vices, and other like sharp kinds of 

Sec. 56. Of jud(iinf] the best of others. 

That the apostle might not seem to flatter those 
to whom he gave this title beloved, he plainly declares 
his opinion of them in these words, ' we are persuaded 
better things of you,' &c. 

Of this manner of expressing his mind in the plural 
number thus, ' we are persuaded,' see ver. 3, Sec. 

The Greek word -riViigfisda implieth such an opinion, 
as makes one confident that it is so, as he conceives 
it to be. Thus it is said, ' they be persuaded that 
John was a prophet,' Luke xx. 6. Matthew, speak- 
ing of the same thing, thus expresseth it, ' They held 
John as a prophet,' Mat. xxi. 26 ; and Mark thus, 
' They counted John that he was a prophet indeed,' 
Mark xi. 32. By comparing these evangelists together, 
we see, that to hold, or to account a thing to be in- 
deed so and so, is to be persuaded that it is so. Thus 
is this word frequently used, as Rom. xv. 14, 2 Tim. 
i. 5. It is translated 'to have confidence,' Gal. v. 10; 

Veil 9, 10.] 



and to ' be confident,' Philip, i. 6 ; and to * assure,' 
1 John iii. 19. In this respect this word is joined 
with another that signifieth to know, as Eom. xiv. 14, 
Philip, i. 25. 

This comparative, ra K^s'irrova, better, which im- 
plieth the things that he was persuaded of, hath 
reference to the fore-mentioned case of apostates, as 
if he had thus expressed his mind, better than to be 
once enlightened, better than to have only tasted of 
the heavenly gift, better than to be made partakers of 
the common gifts of the Holy Ghost ; better than to 
have only tasted the good word of God, and the powers 
of the world to come, and after all to fall clean away. 
We are persuaded that you are better principled than 
so ; and that you have laid a better and surer founda- 
tion, which will never fail. 

By this pattern we learn in general, to take heed 
of judging others over rashly ; and particularly, of 
judging professors to be hypocrites, and such as will 
prove apostates. This is that judging which Christ 
expressly forbids. Mat. vii. 1 ; and therefore another 
evangelist adds this inhibition to us, ' condemn not,' 
Luke vi. 37. 

Rash judging, especially in this kind, is first against 
Christ's prerogative, Rom. xiv. 10, 11. 2. Against 
the rule of charity, 1 Cor. xiii. 7. 3. It is a means 
to bring the like judgment upon ourselves, Mat. vii. 

Yet notwithstanding it is too common in' these our 
days thus to judge professors. Many put no differ- 
ence betwixt a professor and an hypocrite ; for they 
know no mean between profaneness and hyocrisy ; if 
a man be not openly profane, he is then counted an 
hypocrite. Oh the subtilty of Satan ! never had he 
any stratagem whereby he got greater advantage than 
this. There is hardly anything whei'eby true piety is 
sooner nipped in the head than by this. Many seem 
to be more profane than their conscience tells them 
they should be, to avoid this brand of hypocrisy. 
That we be no instruments of Satan in this kind, let 
us learn of our apostle to hope and think, to judge 
and speak the best of professors. It is necessary for 
ministers to shew some good hope of their people. 
If they have not some hope, what courage can they 
have to preach unto them ? and if people conceive 
they have no hope, what comfort can they have to 
hear them? 

Of the two it is better to have a good persuasion of 
those who inwardly are not sound (at least if we do 
not wittingly wink at the evil which is apparent and 
evident to all), than unjustly to censure and condemn 
the upright. In the latter, the rule of charity is ex- 
pressly violated ; but not so in the former. 

Sec. 57. Of salvation accompanying good ivorks. 

What those better things are, the apostle doth thus 
express, things that accompany salvation. That these 
are the better things meant, is evident by this copu- 

lative conjunction and ; for it joins this latter as an 
exposition of the former. 

Oi salvation see Chap. i. 14, Sec. 159. 

The Greek word is of the genitive case, i^oasva 
eurrioiai, whereby is implied that the things here in- 
tended do, as it were, cleave to salvation ;^ salvation 
cannot be separated, nor taken away from them, it 
necessarily folio weth upon them. 

To express more distinctly what those things are, 
the apostle himself mentioneth those particulars : their 
work, their labour of love, their respect to God's name, 
that is, to his glory, their ministering to saints, and 
their continuance therein. To these may be added 
saving knowledge, justifying faith, patient hope, sound 
repentance, new obedience, humility, sincerity, con- 
stancy, and all other sanctifying graces, and persever- 
ance in them. 

This phrase, such things as accompany salvation, doth 
hereupon clearly demonstrate, that salvation is the 
recompence of good works. In this respect hope is 
styled ' the helmet of salvation,' Eph. vi. 17. Sal- 
vation is as an helmet upon the head of him that is 
possessed with hope, salvation is also said to be the 
* end of our faith,' 1 Peter i. 9. More generally it 
is said that ' to them who continue in well-doing shall 
be eternal life,' Rom. ii. 7. And ' he that endureth 
to the end shall be saved,' Mat. x. 22. And ' he that 
soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life ever- 
lasting,' Gal. vi. 8. 

The special and only ground hereof is God's high 
account and good approbation of those things. Here- 
upon he promiseth salvation. Now ' faithful is he that 
hath promised,' Heb. x. 23 ; salvation therefore must 
needs follow upon such graces as have been before men- 
tioned, and others like unto them. 

Herein lieth a main difference betwixt common and 
renewing graces. They who are endued with the 
former may perish. Mat. vii. 22, 23. The other shall 
assuredly be saved, Rom. x. 9-11. 

This is a strong motive to stir us up to use all good 
means, whereby we may attain unto those graces ; and 
to give no rest to our souls till we have some assur- 
ance thereof; and in this assurance to rest quiet, in 
that salvation will be the end thereof. If salvation be 
worth the having, our endeavour after those graces 
will not be in vain. To enforce this motive, see the 
excellency of this salvation set out, Chap. i. 14, 
Sec. 159 ; and the eternity of it, Chap. v. ver. 9, 
Sec. 51. 

Sec. 58. Of one's j^ersuasion of another's salvation. 

The copulative particle and, which joineth these 
two clauses, ' better things of you, and things that 
accompany salvation,' giveth proof that the apostle was 
persuaded of the one as well as of the other, namely, 
that the things that brought salvation, as well as of 

* ixof^"' cum genitivo significat hoerere alicui, ut conse- 
quentia praecedentibus hserent. 



[Chap. VI. 

the better things intended, so as Christians may be 
well persuaded of others' salvation. So was ho 
■who saith, ' I am confident of this very thing, that he 
which hath begun a good work in you will perform it 
unto the day of Jesus Christ,' Philip, i. G. AVho also 
Baith of others, ' Christ shall confirm you unto the 
end,' tl'C, 1 Cor. i. 8. And of others thus, ' We are 
bound to give thanks alway to God for you, because 
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation,' 
2 Thcs. ii. 18. 

Sanctifying graces are the work of the Spirit of 
Christ in men, which givcth evidence that they belong 
to Christ, who hath purchased salvation for them. 

(ibjict. ' What man knoweth the things of a man ? ' 
1 Cor. ii. 11. ' The heart is deceitful above all things, 
who can know it ? ' Jer. xvii. 9. Many hypocrites 
have long carried a fair show, and thereby deceived 
many ; instance Demas, 2 Tim. iv. 10. 

Ans. There is a double persuasion : one of certainty, 
which a Christian may have of himself; the other 
of chai'ity, which is all we can have of others ; but 
evidences of others' truth may be such as may give 
good ground of a good persuasion. 

The evidences we ought to take due notice of, that 
we may conceive the better hope of professors while 
they live, and receive the more comfort in their de- 
parture out of this world ; for there is nothing that 
can give more sound comfort than persuasion of one's 

Sec. 59. Of threats and hope standing together. 

This conjunction, £/' xa/, though, in this clause, though 
we thus bjmilc, is the note of such disagreeing matters 
as may agree together, but in some particular respects 
are diverse, as 2 Cor. iv, IG, and xi. G. Of this kind 
of argument, see Chap, v. 8, Sec. 4G. 

To denounce judgments, and to suppose them 
against whom they are denounced to be liable to those 
judgments, may stand together, but in this apostle 
they were diverse, for he denounced a terrible judg- 
ment, yet did not think these Hebrews to bo guilty 

This clause, ti xai o'jru} Xa'r.oZ/jLiv, though ive thus 
speak, is therefore a kind of correction ; and thereby 
we may see that denunciation of judgment doth not 
necessarily imply a guiltiness in those to whom the 
denunciation is manifested, much less an utter despair 
of them. 

The apostle doth much aggravate God's severity 
about rejecting the Jews in writing to the Romans, 
and withal bids them take heed ' lest God spare not 
them ;' yet thus he manifesteth his hope of them, * I am 
persuaded of you, that you are full of goodness,' Rom. 
xi. 20, &c. and xv. 1-4. 

Denunciations of judgment have especial respect to 
the future time, in regard of their use, namely, to pre- 
vent such things as cause such and such judgments. 
For dangers beforehand declared make men circum- 

spect and watchful. If one tell a traveller that thieves 
in such and such places have robbed and killed other 
travellers, or tell mariners that pirates have in such 
places surprised other ships, it will make them the 
more wary in avoiding the like dangers. 

People have on this ground just cause to bear with 
their ministers in like cases, and not to think that 
they account them as reprobates, and past all hope, 
because they take occasion to lay forth the severity of 
God before them. They may be better persuaded 
of them, though they speak such and such things. As 
ministers therefore are persuaded better things of 
their people, so must people be persuaded better things 
of their minister. Denunciations may bo used with 
as tender pity, hearty affection, and true love, as the 
sweetest persuasions. But as physic is sometimes as 
needful for the body as food, so this kind of teaching 
is as needful and useful as that which is more mild 
and pleasing. 

This mind of a minister is to be noted by two sorts 
of people, 

1, By such as are of tender consciences. It cannot 
but much support them to believe that ministers in 
their threatening doctrines, are persuaded better things 
of them, 

2. By men of heard hearts. For such to believe, 
that the desire and endeavours of their minister is to 
pull them out of the fire, cannot but somewhat work 
upon them, 

Happy are they who rightly and wisely apply all to 

Sec. GO, Of God's perfect righteousixess. 

Ver, 10. In the tenth verse is laid do\\'n the reason 
of that good persuasion which the apostle had of these 
Hebrews, The causal conjunction yas, for, doth 
import as much. The reason is taken from God's 
righteousness or justice, which is set down negatively, 
thus, o\JK cidiy.o;, not unrighteous. Here ai*e two nega- 
tives, one, o\j7i, a simple conjunction, the other a 
privative composition, unrighteous. These make the 
stronger affirmation. See Chap, iv, 13, Sec, 7G, 

This negative carrieth the greater emphasis, in that 
to do otherwise than is here noted of God, would bo 
a part of injustice. But to conceive any matter of in- 
justice in God is apparent blasphemy. 

Wo may therefore from this negative expression of 
God's righteousness, * God is not unrighteous,' infer 
that God is for certain most perfectly righteous, 
' There is no unrighteousness in him,' The apostle, 
with a kind of indignation and detestation, removeth 
this blasphemous conceit ; for where he had pro- 
pounded this objection, * Is God unrighteous?' and 
this, ' Is there unrighteousness with God ? ' he thus 
rcpelleth it, ' God forbid,' Rom, iii, 5, G, and ix, 14. 
His answer implieth, that no such conceit should 
enter into a Christian's mind. 

God's righteousness is his essence. He were not 

Ver. 9, 10.] 



God, if he were not perfectly righteous ; neither could 
he judge the world, Rom. iii. 6, Gen. xviii. 25. 

1. This should rciake us take heed of a thought to 
enter into our hearts, or of a word to slip out of our 
mouths against God's righteousness. If anything be 
done by God, whereof we cannot see the reason, we 
must lay our hand upon our mouth, and acknowledge 
that, notwithstanding, God is righteous therein. When 
Jeremiah stood amazed in such a case, he thus saith, 
' Righteous art thou, Lord, when I plead with 
thee,' Jer. xii. 1. God's will is the rule of righteous- 
ness. It is impossible that anything done by him 
should be unrighteous. It is therefore righteous, be- 
cause it is done by him. 

2. This should move us in all things that fall out, 
whether losses or any other crosses, to submit our- 
selves, as to that which is just and righteous. If the 
wicked flourish, if the godly be oppressed, acknowledge 
it to be just and righteous, in reference to God, by 
whose righteous providence all things are ordered. 
Such things as are unrighteously done by men, are 
righteously ordered by God, Acts ii. 23. 

3. This should incite us to follow after righteous- 
ness, and therein to shew ourselves the children of 
God. ' The righteous Lord loveth righteousness,' 
both in himself, and in the children of men, Ps. xi. 7. 
Be righteous therefore in the whole course of thy life ; 
righteous in all thy dealings with others. Thy right- 
eousness will be an evidence that God's Spirit, the 
Spirit of righteousness, is in thee. 

4. This cannot be but terror to unrighteous persons. 
' The Lord trieth the righteous ; but the wicked, and 
him that loveth violence, his soul hateth,' Ps. xi. 5. 

Sec. 61. Of the kinds of God's righteousness. 

The word cidixog, here translated mirighteous, is in 
other places translated imjust, as Mat, v. 45 ; Luke 
xvi. 11 ; 1 Cor. vi. 1. For righteousness and justice 
are ordinarily taken for the same thing. 

The notation of the Greek word is taken from 5/x>5, 
jus, right, in that righteousness or justice consisteth 
in giving to every one that which is his right. The 
philosopher' taketh the notation from a word that 
signifieth two parts, or a dividing of things in two 
parts, whereby is intended the same thing, that there 
should be given to one that part which belongeth to 
him, and to the other that which of right he ought to 
have. See more hereof. Chap. i. 9, Sec. 114. 

From this notation we may infer that righteousness 
or justice is an equal dealing. In reference to God, 
his righteousness is the integrity or equity of all his 
counsels, words, and actions. 

This is manifested two ways. 

1. Generally, in ordering all things most equally. 

In this respect Moses thus saith of him, ' His work is 

perfect ; for all his ways are judgment : a God of 

truth, and without iniquity ; just and right is he,' 

' Aristot. Ethic, lib. ii. cap. vii. 

Vol. II. 

Deut. xxxii. 4. This may be called God's disposing 
justice, or righteousness. 

2. Particularly, in giving reward or taking revenge; 
and this may be called distributive justice. Of both 
these it is thus said, ' God will render to every man 
according to his deeds,' Rom. ii. 6. This, the apostle 
saith, is ' a righteous thing with God,' 2 Thes. i. 6. 
This kind of righteousness is most agreeable to the 
foresaid notation. 

That kind of God's righteousness which consisteth 
in giving reward, is here especially meant. 

The ground and cause of God's giving reward, is 
not only grace and mercy, but also justice and right- 
eousness ; but that in reference to his promise, where- 
by he hath bound himself. For it is a point of justice 
or righteousness to keep one's word. Thus God's 
righteousness is his faithfulness. Therefore these two 
epithets, faithful, just, are joined together, as they are 
applied to God, 1 John i. 9. 

This then is the intent of the apostle, that he may 
be well persuaded of these Hebrews in regard of their 
love to God and man, because God, who hath promised 
to recompense such, is faithful and righteous. 

Sec. 62. Of God's righteousness as it implies faith- 

By the argument of the apostle, as righteousness is 
put for faithfulness, it is manifest that God's right- 
eousness is a prop to man's faith and hope. Man 
may and must believe and expect a reward of every 
good thing from the righteousness of God ; even be- 
cause he is righteous, and will not fail to do what he 
hath promised. Herewith the apostle supporteth his 
own faith and hope, 2 Tim. iv. 8. And herewith he 
labours to support the faith and hope of those to whom 
he wrote, 2 Thes. i. 5, 7. On this ground saith the 
psalmist, ' Judge me, Lord my God, according to 
thy righteousness,' Ps. xxxv. 24. 

This righteousness of God assureth us of the con- 
tinuance of his favour and mercy. What grace moved 
him to begin, righteousness will move him to continue 
and finish. 

Of appealing to God's righteousness, see the Saint's 
Sacrifice, on Ps. cxvi. 5, sec. 28. 

1. This informs us in the wonderful great conde- 
scension of God to man : even so low, as to bind him- 
self to man, and that so far, as if he failed in what he 
had promised, he is wilhng to be accounted unright- 
eous. ' What is man, Lord, thou shouldst be thus 
mindful of him ? ' God's grace, pity, mercy, truth, 
power, wisdom, and righteousness, are all props to 
our faith. The psalmist might well say, ' 1 will 
praise the Lord according to his righteousness,' Ps. 
vii. 17. 

2. This doth much aggravate the sin of infideHty ; 
which is not only against the grace and mercy of 
God, but also against his truth and righteousness. 
' He that believeth not God, hath made him a liar,' 




[Chap. VI. 

1 John V. 10. Infidelity doth, as much as in man 
lieth, make him that is not unrighteous to bo unright- 
eous and unfaithful. Great dishonour is done unto 
God hereby, and great wrong to the unbeliever him- 

3. This teacheth us how to trust to God's mercy : 
even so as God may bo just and righteous in shewing 
mercy. God's righteousness is manifested by per- 
forming his word, as he hath declared it. God's 
promise of rewarding men is made to such as are 
upright and faithful, as fear and obey him, as turn 
from sin, and persevere in grace. These are means, 
in reference to God's righteousness, of sharpening our 
prayers, and strengthening our faith : in which respect 
saints have pleaded them before God ; as he that said, 
' Remember now, Lord, I beseech thee, how I have 
walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, 
and have done that which is good in thy sight,' Isa. 
xxxviii. 3. On this ground the psalmist thus prayeth 
to God, * In thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy 
righteousness,' Ps. cxliii. 1. 

Sec. G3. Of GocVs remembering good. 

The manifestation, evidence, or eliect of God's being 
not unrighteous, is thus set out, emXaSse^ai,^ to forget 
your icorh-, &c. 

To forget is directly contrary to remember. He 
therefore that is not unrighteous to forget, is righteous 
to remember : his righteousness will move him to re- 
member such and such persons or things. 

These acts, not to forget, or to remember, are attri- 
buted to God metaphorically, by way of resemblance, 
after the manner of man. They imply that God is 
ever mindful of such and such persons, to support, to 
succour, and every way to do them good : and withal 
to recompense all the good they do. He that forgets 
not, doth ever remember. Hereupon the psalmist 
professeth, that ' the righteous shall be in ever- 
lasting remembrance,' Ps. cxii. G. So faithful is 
God's remembrance of his saints, as a prophet herein 
prefers him before all parents, who use to be most 
mindful of their children, thus, * Can a woman forget 
her sucking child ? &c., yea, they may forget, yet will 
I not forget thee,' Isa. xHx. 15. On this ground doth 
the psalmist with much emphasis expostulate this 
case, ' Hath God forgotten to be gracious ? hath he 
in anger shut up his tender mercy ? ' Ps. Ixxvii. 9. 
These interrogations are strong negations : they imply 
that God neither doth, nor will, nor can forget. To 
assure us the more hereof, the Holy Ghost mentioneth 
certain books or rolls of remembrance written before 
God, wherein the righteous deeds of his servants are 
recorded. How this righteousness of God is a prop 
to man's faith, was shewed, Sec. G2. 

1. This is a great inducement to labour after such 
things as God approveth. If once God like such a 
thing, he will never forget it ; we may rest upon it, 
' Of this compound verb, see Chap. xiii. 2, Sec. 12. 

that what God hath in everlasting remembrance shall 
be abundantly recompensed. If a subject were sure 
that his prince would never forget what he doth for 
his sake, what would he not readily do ? This is it, 
that saints have in all ages trusted to, and accordingly 
desired ; namely, that God would remember them, 
Neh. V. 19, and xiii. 14, Ps. cvi. 4, Isa. xxxviii. 3. 
For well they knew, that upon God's remembrance, 
they might confidently expect an abundant recompence. 
2. This may be an encouragement against man's 
ungrateful forgetfulness. Many are I'eady to forget all 
manner of kindness and goodness done to them, as 
Pharaoh's butler. Gen. xl. 23. Hereby it comes to 
pass that many repent of the good they have done, 
and wax weary in doing more. But if such would 
raise their eyes from man to God, and duly consider 
this evidence of his righteousness, certainly they would 
not, I am sure they need not, repent of any good 
thing they have done ; for he that can most abund- 
antly, and will most assuredly, recompense every good 
thing, nor can, nor will forget any. He is not un- 
righteous to forget them. 

Sec. 64. Of unrighteousness in forgetting Jdndness. 

In that this evidence is given of God's not being 
unjust, because he forgetteth not that which is good, 
it followeth that to forget a good work is a point of 
unrighteousness. Surely Ahasuerus by the light of 
nature discerned thus much, who, when by reading of 
the chronicles, he was put in mind of a great good 
thing that Mordecai had done for him, thus said, 
* What honour and dignity hath been done to Mor- 
decai for this ?' Esther vi. 3. For hereby that which 
is due to a good deed is not rendered, which is 
apparent injustice and unrighteousness. 

1. Hereby is discovered that palpable unrighteous- 
ness which is done by all sorts to God. How are his 
kindnesses forgotten ? Moses and other prophets 
have much complained hereof. ' Of the rock that 
begat thee, thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten 
God that formed thee,' Deut. xxxii. 18. Israel is oft 
taxed for ' forgetting the Lord their God,' Judges iii. 7, 
1 Sam. xii. 9, Ps. Ixxviii. 11, Isa. xvii. 10. Who 
hath not cause to be humbled for this point of un- 
righteousness, and that both in regard of the people 
among whom he liveth, and also in regard of himself ? 
Let this be the rather well noted, that we may here- 
after be more righteous in this kind. 

2. The unrighteousness of man to man is also hereby 
discovered. Both superiors and inferiors, in com- 
monwealth, church, and state, are too prone to for- 
get kindnesses done to them, and therein to prove 
unrighteous. If this wei'o known to be a part of 
injustice and unrighteousness, it would assuredly be 
more amended than it is. 

Sec. Go. Of that irork tchich God will not forget. 
The first particular which God is here said not to 


Ver. 9, 10.] 



forget, is thus expressed, tou esyou l/aZv, your work. 
Some would have this to be joined to the next clause 
as a property of their love, as the next word, labour, 
is ; as if he had thus said, your ivorking and laborious 
love, but this cannot well stand in two respects. 

1. Because the pronoun rjour is interposed ; for if 
these two words, work, labour, were two epithets, this 
relative your should be referred to love, thus, ' the 
work and labour of your love.' 

2. Because labour compriseth ivork under it ; in 
which respect the word icork would be to little pur- 
pose. I rather take these words, your work, to be a 
distinct clause by itself. 

Quest. What kind of work may be here meant ? 

Ans. Most interpreters take faith to be the work 
here intended. Indeed, faith is a work ; and this 
epithet may be given unto it, to set out the life and 
efficacy of it ; but I do not find it simply styled a 
work ; only this phrase, * the work of faith,' is used, 
1 Thes. i. 3, 2 Thes. i. 11, and this, ' This is the 
work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath 
sent,' John vi. 29. 

I will not deny but that faith, taken in a large 
sense, for a mother grace, accompanied with all her 
children, which are all manner of fruits of faith, may 
be here understood ; for so it is all one, as the general 
work of grace, which I take to be here meant. Work, 
therefore, is here the same which the apostle in an- 
other place calleth ' a good work,' Philip, i. 6. 

Obj. Thus it should rather be called, the work of 
God, than your work. 

Ans. It may well be called both. 

The work of God originally, because God is the 
author of it ; but your work instrumentaUy, because 
men, assisted by God's Spirit, bring forth this fruit. 
Both these, God and man, are joined together in this 
work : ' God hath begun a good work in you,' Philip, 
i. 6. * God worketh in yoa both to will and to do,' 
Philip, ii. 13. 

This phrase, rjour icork, generally taken, excludeth 
not faith, hope, repentance, or any other good grace, 
but compriseth all under it. Grace is expressed under 
this word xvork, to shew that it is operative and ef- 
fectual ; yea, also to shew, that it is a working grace 
which God forgets not. So as this is the point here 
especially intended, God will not forget the good work 
of grace. ' I know thy works,' saith Christ to the 
church at Ephesus, Rev. ii. 2. Well, mark such 
places of Scripture as mention God's approving re- 
membrance of a grace, and you shall find the visible 
evidence thereof to be set down ; as Neh. v. 19, Isa. 
xxxviii. 3. 

1. Such a work is God's own work. ' Every good 
gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh 
down from the Father of Hghts,' James i. 17. So as 
God is the author and efficient cause of it. 

2. In regard of the matter of it, it is agreeable to 
God's will. Where the apostle prayeth, that ' God 

would make them perfect in every good work,' he 
addeth this clause to set out the matter thereof, ' to 
do his will,' Heb. xiii. 21. 

8. In regard of the form, it carrieth God's image. 
This is that ' new man, which after God is created in 
righteousness and true holiness,' Eph. iv. 24. 

4. Thus it makes most to God's glory, which is 
the highest end of all ; hereupon Christ gives this 
advice, ' Let your light so shine before men, that they 
may see your good works, and glorify your Father 
which is in heaven,' Mat. v. 16. 

1. This sheweth the prerogative of grace, and the 
work thereof, above wealth, honour, beauty, or any 
other outward dignities, worldly desires, or excellent 
parts. God is not so taken with any of these, as to 
have them in continual remembrance, and not to for- 
get them. * Hath God eyes of flesh ? or seeth he as 
man seeth ?' Job x. 4. Grace, and the work thereof, 
is that which maketh a man most precious in God's 
eyes, and best remembered by him. 

2, This should teach us to labour for this work, to 
nourish and cherish it, and to shew it forth ; for this 
is it that will make us happy ; for in God's remem- 
brance doth our happiness consist. He will remem- 
ber us, to give us more and more grace here in this 
world, Mat. xiii. 12, Philip, i. 6, and to give us eter- 
nal life in the world to come, Rom. ii. 7. Therefore 
' be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in 
the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that 
your labour is not in vain in the Lord,' 1 Cor. xv. 58. 

Sec. 66. Of the Rhemists'' collection about merit an- 

The Rhemists, in their annotations on this place, 
thus vaingloriously insult against protestants : ' It is 
a world to see what wringing and writhing protestants 
make to shift themselves from the evidence of these 
words, which make it most clear to all that are not 
blind in pride and contention, that good works be 
meritorious, and the very cause of salvation, so far as 
God should be unjust, if he rendered not heaven for 
the same :' a blasphemous assertion against God, and 
slanderous against the professors of the true faith. 

But distinctly to answer the several branches there- 

1. Is it wringing, writhing, and shifting to deliver 
that which is not only the general tenant^ of the word, 
but also the particular intent of this place ; which the 
words do not only imply but also express ? For where- 
in is God here said to be just ? Is it not in remem- 
bering ? What hath remembrance relation to ? Hath it 
not relation to God's word and promise ? 

2. Consider how in the verses following the apostle 
labours to assure us of eternal life. Is there any title 
of merit in all his discourse to establish our faith ? 
Doth he not set forth two immutable things, God's 
promise and oath ? 

' That is, ' tenor.' — Ed. 



[Chap. VL 

8. Do wo write this point of God's justice other- 
wise than the Holy Ghost hath tauj.'ht us ? Doth not 
an apostle link these two epithets, faitli/iil and Just, to- 
gether ; and that in iorgiviufr sin ? 1 John i. 9. 

4. Our wringing and writhing is like to skilful 
musicians winding up the strings of their instrument 
to a congruous harmony. 

5. Where they charge us with blindness through 
pride, let this very question decide the point, whether 
they or we are the prouder 7 They labour to find some- 
thing in themselves to trust unto, to advance and puff 
up man ; we do all we can to cast down man, and to 
advance God and his free grace. 

6. For their position of merit, let the nature of 
merit be duly weighed, and any of mean capacity may 
perceive that it is not possible for any mere creature, 
much less for sinful man, to merit anything of God. 
See more hereof in 2'Iie Ultole Aniiour of Clod, treat, 
ii., part 4, of righteousness, on Eph. vi. 14, sec. 7. 
How good works may be necessary to salvation, though 
no cause thereof, is shewed in 2 he SainVs Sacrifice, 
on Ps. cxvi. 9, sec. 59. 

Sec. 67. Of Christian love. 

The next thing that God is here said not to forget, 
is labour of love. Love, according to the notation of 
the Greek word ayurrri, signifieth a kind of com- 
placency, a quieting or pleasing one's self in such a 
person or such a thing. The verb ayarrau, whence 
it is derived, is compounded of an adverb, ayav, valde, 
that signifieth {freuth/, and a simple verb, rrdvo/xai, 
acquiesco, which signifieth to rest. These joined sig- 
nify fjreatli/ to rest in a thing. Men use to rest in 
what they love, and so much to rest therein, as they 
are loath to part with it. 

Love is attributed to God and man. It is so emi- 
nently and transcendently in God, as he is said to be 
love, even love itself: ' God is love,' 1 John iv. 16. 

Love is attributed to men in reference to God, 
and other men, as the object thereof: 'Thou shalt 
love the Lord.' ' Thou shalt love thy neighbour,' 
Mat. xxii. 37, 39. 

In reference to other men, it is indefinitely taken 
without exception of any. Mat. v. 44. 

Or determinately, and in a special respect to pro- 
fessors of the true faith ; in which respect it is styled 
' brotherly love,' 1 Thes. iv, 9. 

This general word love is apparently distinguished 
from that particular brotherly love, both in name and 
thing, 2 Pet. i. 7. Yet that general is also put for 
this particular, as John xiii. 85. So here in this 
place ; for it is exemplified by ' ministering to the 
saints,' which is a special fruit of brotherly love. It 
is therefore brotherly love which God cannot forget, 
but hath in perpetual remembrance. ' Thine alms,' 
saith an angel to Cornelius, ' are come up for a me- 
morial before God,' Acts x. 4. By alms he meaneth 
such a njioistering to saints as in this text is intended ; 

and those were a fruit of such love as is here in- 

1. This love is the truest evidence that can be given 
of our love to God, 1 John iii. 17, and iv. 20. It is 
also a fruit of our faith in God, Gal. v. 6. 

2. This love, of all other graces, maketh us most 
like to God, 1 John iv. 16, Mat. v. 45. 

3. This love is a mother grace ; it comprises all 
other graces under it, Gal. v. 14, Rom. xiii. 9. 

4. This love sea^oneth all things that we take in 
hand, 1 Cor. xvi. 14, and xiii. 2. 

We have hereupon great and just cause to get this 
grace to be well rooted in our. hearts, to nourish and 
cherish it, and on all occasions to shew forth the fruits 
of it. Hereof see more. Chap. xiii. 1, Sec. ii. &;c. 

Sec. 68. Of labour of love. 

The aforesaid grace of love is much amplified by 
this epithet xoVog, labor, labour, which the apostle 
thus expresseth, ' labour of love.' - 

The Greek noun is derived from a verb, M'xroixai, 
premor laboribus, which signifies to be pressed, namely, 
with pains. The verb xocr/aw, laboro, which in the 
New Testament is ordinarily translated to labour, and 
cometh from the same root, is frequentlj' applied to 
such as take great pains ; as to fishermen, and thus 
translated, ' we have toiled,' Luke v. 5 ; and to 
husbandmen, 2 Tim. ii. 6 ; and to such as labour in 
harvest, John iv. 38 ; and to travellers wearied in 
their journey, John iv. 6 ; and to handicraftsmen, 
Eph. iv. 28. All these shew that the word implieth 
a diligent and hard labour, so as it here intendeth, 
that love is industrious. It is not slothful or idle. 
It will make a man take any pains, endure any toil, 
be at any cost. Thus is this phrase, * labour of love,' 
used 1 Thes. i. 8. And love is said to ' endure all 
things,' 1 Cor. xiii. 7. Love makes men strive to over- 
come evil with goodness ; it makes men to bear much. 
It was love that moved Christ to travel till he was 
wear}', and to forbear to refresh himself, John iv. 6, 
32. It made him to watch all night in prayer, Luke 
vi. 12. It made him endure the greatest burden that 
could be laid upon any; witness his agony, Luke xxii. 
44. It was love that moved the apostles to take the 
great pains they did. Of St Paul's pains, labours, 
travels, and sutlerings, read 2 Cor. xi. 23, &c. 

It was love that put him upon all, 2 Cor. xii. 15. 

Love works upon the heart of men within ; it moves 
the bowels ; it puts life to their soul ; it adds feet and 
wings to their body; it makes them readily run to do 
good to those whom they love. If they cannot run 
or go, yet it will make them creep, as we say in the 
proverb ; it makes them willing, yea, and desirous to 
do what they can ; it makes them spare nor pains nor 
cost ; it will not sufior them easily to be hindered. 

This is a matter of trial whether true love possess 
our souls or no. If all our love consist in pitiful 
afi'ections and kind words, but fail in deeds (especially 

Ver. 9, 10.] 



if pains be to be taken, and cost laid out thereabout), 
surely the love that we pretend is but a mere show 
of love. * If a brother or sister be naked, and desti- 
tute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, De- 
part in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstand- 
ing, ye give them not those things which are needful 
to the body, what doth it profit?' James ii. 15, 16, 
1 John iii. 18. Nay, if pains or difficulties keep us 
from exercising love, surely love is not well rooted in 
our soul. Why do men take so much pains as they 
do for themselves ? Surely love of themselves doth 
abound. It is abundance of love that makes parents 
60 careful and diligent for the love' of their children 
as they are. The like may be said of diligent, faith- 
ful, and painful ministers, magistrates, servants, and 
all others ; love abounds in them. On the other side, 
where magistrates, ministers, neighbours, or any 
others are kept from doing good by the pains and 
labour that is to be taken about that good, they do 
hereby declare, that they want true Christian love. 
Let us therefore, in what place, of what rank or de- 
gree soever we are, testify the truth of our love ; let 
not pains, travail, cost, or any like thing hinder us from 
doing of good, which we might and ought to do. We 
hex'e see that God will not forget labour of love ; why 
ehoald anything hinder us from that which God will 
not forget ? 

Sec. 69. Of love to man for the LonVs sake. 

The love of the Hebrews is much commended in 
this phrase, ' which ye have shewed toward his name. 

This relative, rig, irhich, hath apparent reference 
to dyd'!rrig, love, the word immediately preceding; for 
they are both of the same gender, number, and person. 

The other relative, avroij, his, hath an as apparent 
reference to God, mentioned in the beginning of the 
verse. If the sentence here ended, the love before 
spoken of might be taken for their love of God ; but 
because it is thus exemphfied, ' in that ye have mini- 
stered to the saints,' their love must needs be applied 
to saints ; and this clause, ' which ye have shewed 
towards his name,' be inserted as an amplification of 
their love of man. 

By the name of God is indefinitely meant that where- 
by God doth make himself known unto us. Hereof 
see Chap. ii. 12, Sec. 112. 

Here, as in sundry other places, it is put for God 
himself, or for his glory, as Ps. Ixxvi. 1. 

The verb svsbii^affh, translated shewed, is a com- 
pound. The simple verb 3s/xi/uw, vel diJKvv'j./, signi- 
fieth to shew and manifest a thing, as Mat. xvi. 21. 
The compound, hbiixwiJ^i, carrieth emphasis, and im- 
plieth a clear and evident shewing of a thing. There 
are two nouns thence derived, 'ivhuyiia, which we in- 
terpret ' a manifest token,' 2 Thes. i. 5 ; and hhn^ig, 
' an evident token,' Philip, i. 28, and ' a proof,' 2 Cor. 
viii. 24. 

' Qu. 'good'?— Ed. 

Thus, by that love which they did bear to the 
saints, they evidently declared that they eyed God 
therein, and aimed at his glory, and the praise of his 

This clause, ' which ye have shewed towards his 
name,' intendeth the end and manner of their loving 
the saints, namely, for the Lord's sake ; because God 
commanded them so to do, because God approved 
them that so did, because God himself loved the 
saints, and because God accepted, as done to himself, 
what was done to the saints. Yea, hereby also is in- 
tended the efi'ect and fruit that followed thereon, which 
was God's praise and glory. Thus the apostle, in a 
like case, thus expressly affirmeth, * Which causeth 
through us thanksgiving to God.' For the adminis- 
tration of this service not only supplieth the want of 
the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgiv- 
ings unto God, 2 Cor. ix. 10, 11. 

The general intendment of the apostle is this, that 
respect must be had to God in the duties of love which 
we perform to man. ' Do all to the glory of God,' 
1 Cor. X. 31. 'Honour the Lord with thy substance,' 
Prov. iii. 9. The apostle, speaking of ministering to 
the saints, saith that it was administered 'to the glory 
of the Lord,' 2 Cor. viii. 9. He that, upon a work of 
mercy done to men, rendered this reason thereof, *I 
fear God,' Gen. xlii. 18, had respect to God in what 
he did to men ; so he that, in a like case, said, ' I 
thy servant fear the Lord from my youth,' 1 Kings 
xviii. 12. And he also who, forbearing to oppress 
subjects, as other governors had done, said, ' So did 
not I, because of the fear of God,' Neh. v. 15. 

1. God is that high, supreme judge to whom we are 
to give an account of all things that we do, whether to 
God or man, whether they be works of piety, justice, 
or charity. 

2. God's glory is the most high, supreme end, at 
which we ought to aim in all things, and whereunto 
all other ends ought to be subordinate. Whatsoever 
is not directed thereto, cannot be but odious and de- 
testable before God. 

3. It doth much amplify the comfort of doing good 
to men, when therein we shew respect towards the 
name of God. 

(1.) Such works of mercy as are done to other ends 
do lose much of their glory, comfort, and reward. 
False ends, which many propound to themselves, are 
such as these : 

[1.] Praise of men, Mat. vi. 2. 

[2.] Advantage to them themselves who seem to 
shew mercy ; as they who invite such to dinner or 
supper, as may bid them again, and a recompence be 
made them, Luke xiv. 12, Mat. v. 46. 

[3.] Example of others, as they who otherwise 
would not shew the mercy that they do. They think 
it a disgrace to forbear that good which thej' see others 
do. Hereupon they ordinarily ask. What do such and 
such in this case ? These and other like them may 



[Chap. VI. 

do pood to others, but cannot expect to receive good 
to themselves, especiiilly from the Lord. 

(2.) Let our eye be on God in all the good we do 
to men, that it may be said thereof, ' which you have 
shewed toward God's name.' Set, therefore, God be- 
fore thine eyes : do thou look to him, and believe 
that he looks on thee. Let his charge set thee on 
work : aim at his honour, rest upon his approbation 
and remuneration ; yea, in shewing mercy to saints, 
do it as to the members of Christ, and thus thou shalt 
do it to Christ himself ; then Christ will so accept it 
and reward it, Mat. xxv, 34, 35, «S:c. AVho would 
not shew mercy to Christ ? who would not do good 
to him ? 

(3.) In shewing mercy to man for the Lord's sake, 
even towards his name, resteth a main diflerenco be- 
twixt restraining and renewing grace, betwixt that love 
which a natural man sheweth, and a man regenerate. 
For renewing grace moveth a man regenerate to do the 
things that he doth to man ' toward the name of God.' 

(4.) Respect to God in shewing mercy to man will 
take away all vain pretexts and excuses, such as these : 
He never did any good to me, nor can I expect here- 
after any good from him ; the good I do may soon be 
forgotten ; I may want myself, and none do good to 
me. But if thou hast respect to God, thy con- 
science vn\l tell thee that he hath done thee much good, 
and may do thee much more ; that he will never for- 
get any kindness done for his sake ; that he will sup- 
ply the wants of all that trust in him. 

Sec. 70. Of ministering to such as are in need. 

The particular instance of that love which God is 
here said not to forget, is thus set down, ' in that ye 
have ministered to the saints.' The effect itself is in 
this phrase, * ye have ministered.' And the special 
object thereof in this word ' saints.' 

The Greek word diaxovridavTic, translated ministered, 
is a compound. The simple, xoveu, fnmulor, signifieth 
to serve. The compound, diay.oisu, expedite, dilif/enter 
miuistro, implieth readiness and diligence therein. 
It is indefinitely used for any kind of service. It 
eetteth out that seiTice which angels performed to 
Christ, Mat. iv. 11, and which Martha did to him, 
Luke X. 40. It is oft applied to ecclesiastical per- 
formances, as to preaching the word, 2 Cor. iii. 3 ; 
but especially to shewing mercy to the poor, and 
ministering to their necessities, Rom. xv. 25. In this 
respect it is translated diaxovilTueav, to use the office 
of a deacon, 1 Tim. iii. 10, 13. A noun, biav.ovia, 
that in general signifieth any kind of ministry or ser- 
vice, is thence derived, Luke x. 40. In special it 
eetteth out the ministry of the word, Acts vi. 4. 
More particularly, distributing alms of the church, 
2 Cor. ix. 1. Hereupon such persons as are deputed 
to that function are called biuxovoi, deacons, 1 Tim. iii. 
8, 12. Of this word, see more Chap. i. 14, Sec. 

Here it is taken in a particular respect for the re- 
lieving of such as are in need, whereby it appeareth 
that it is an especial fruit of love to succour such as 
are in need ; for it is here set down as a special in- 
stance and fruit of love. Christ sets it down as a fruit 
of love to ' give to him that asketh,' Mat. v. 42, 
meaning such as arc in need. Where the apostle 
saith ' love is bountiful,' 1 Cor. xiii. 4, he meaneth 
in distributing to such as are in need. 

Love is compounded of pity and mercy, which are 
so moved with misery as they cannot but afford suc- 

This affords a good trial about the labour which we 
take, whether it be the labour of love or no. If it be 
simply for ourselves, and our own advantage, it may 
savour rank of self-love, but little of brotherly love. 
But if it be to do good to others, and to succour such 
as are in distress and need, then it may well be judged 
a fruit of love. 

Behold, then, what love especially it is that God 
hath in remembrance, which his righteousness will 
not sufier him to forget, which argueth true love to 
be in our hearts, and giveth evidence that we [shew] 
it to the name of God. All these being here couched 
in my text, are a strong motive to stir us up herein to 
testify our labour of love. 

Of distributing to such as are in need, see Chap, 
xiii. 16. 

Sec. 71. Of charity to saints. 

The particular object of the foresaid ministering 
are here said to be rcTg ayloig, saints. The Greek 
word is the same that was used Chap. iii. ver. 1, Sees. 
5, 6, and translated holy. There it was used as an 
adjective, here as a substantive ; but in both places 
the same persons are intended, namely, such as in 
the judgment of charity may be accounted holy ones ; 
and that by reason of their profession of the true 
faith, and their answerable conversation. 

Quest. Are saints the only object of charity ? Are 
they only to be ministered to in their necessity ? 

Ans. No ; for the law saith, ' Thou shalt love thy 
neighbour ;' and our Lord by a parable demonstrateth, 
that any one that is in need is to be accounted our 
neighbour, Luke x. 27, 29, 30, &c. Yea, he ex- 
pressly commandeth to ' give to every man that 
asketh,' Luke vi. 30 ; meaning every one whom we 
have cause to think to be in need. The apostle doth 
expressly clear this doubt in these words : ' Let us 
do good unto all men, especially unto them who are 
of the household of faith,' Gal. vi. 10 ; so as this 
object of charity, saints, is not to be taken here ex- 
clusively, but by way of eminency and preferment. 
So much doth this word /iaX/ffra, especially, Gal. vi. 
10, intend. We are expressly enjoined to shew mercy 
to a stranger. Lev. six. 34 ; yea, to enemies, to such 
as curse us and hate us, and to such as are evil and 
unjust, Mat. v. 44, 45. 

Ver. 9, 10.] 



1. The ground of charity is another's need, 1 John 
iii. 17. 

2. All of all sorts are of our own flesh, Isa. Iviii. 7. 

3. God in this extent doth make himself a pattern 
to us. Mat. V. 45 ; yet notwithstanding, we may well 
infer from this particular instance of the apostle in 
this place, that saints are the most principal object of 
our love and mercy ; they are especially, before and 
above others, with more readiness and cheerfulness to 
be ministered unto ; for they are ' of the household 
of faith,' Gal, vi. 10. As here, so in other places, 
they are by a kind of excellency in this case named. 
The apostle saith, that he went to ' minister unto the 
saints,' Rom. xv. 25 ; and he was desired to take 
upon him ' the ministering to the saints,' 2 Cor. viii. 
4. The psalmist professeth that his goodness ex- 
tended to the saints, Ps. xvi. 2. 

(1.) God is the most proper object of love, Mat. 
xxii. 37 ; and the nearer that any come to God, and 
are liker to him, the more they are to be preferred in 
love before others. 

(2.) God himself doth prefer such ; for he is said 
to be * the Saviour of all men, especially of those that 
believe,' 1 Tim. iv. 10. 

(3.) Saints are knit to us by the nearest bond that 
can be, which is the bond of the Spirit ; in which 
respect we are said to be ' by one Spirit baptized into 
one body,' 1 Cor. xii. 13. 

(4.) Christ is most properly ministered unto in 
saints. Mat. xxv. 40. 

(5.) Charity to saints is best accepted, and shall 
be most rewarded ; for ' he that shall receive a right- 
eous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive 
a righteous man's reward,' Mat. x. 41, 

Quest. Are saints to be ministered unto before our 
kindred ? 

Ans. In the same degree saints are to be preferred ; 
as if a man have divers children, and among them he 
observe some holy, some profane, he ought to prefer 
the holy ; so a brother ought to prefer pious brethren 
and sisters before such as are impious. The opposi- 
tion which the Holy Ghost maketh is not betwixt 
spiritual and carnal kindred ; for kindred in the flesh 
may also be kindred in the Spirit, but betwixt such 
as are saints and non-saints. There is a double bond 
whereby we are tied to minister to our kindred : one 
general, which is the bond of charity and mercy, 
which is comprised under the sixth commandment ; 
the other particular, which is a particular charge 
which God hath committed to us, comprised under 
the fifth commandment. Hereupon the apostle pro- 
nounceth him ' worse than an infidel that provideth 
not for his own,' 1 Tim. v. 8 ; and Christ condemneth 
such as, upon pretence of religion, neglect their 
parents. Mat. xv. 5, 6. If to the forementioned 
bonds this of an holy profession shall be added, it 
will make a treble bond to tie us to this duty, and * a 
threefold cord is not quickly broken,' Eccles. iv. 12. 

The order about using charity, so far as out of 
Scripture it may be gathered, is this : 

1. Charity is to be shewed to a man's self; for 
this is the rule of love, * Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bour as thyself,' Mat. xxii. 39. In this respect the 
apostle saith, ' No man ever yet hated his own flesh ; 
but nourisheth and cherisheth it.' Hereupon the 
apostle presseth husbands to love their wives, because 
• he that loveth his wife loveth himself,' Eph. v. 
28, 29. 

2. It is to be shewed to his family. * If any pro- 
vide not for his own, and especially for those of his 
own house, he hath denied the faith,' &c., 1 Tim. v. 8. 

3. To parents and progenitors out of the family. 
Children or nephews must * learn first to shew piety 
at home, and to requite their parents,' 1 Tim. v. 4. 

4. To other kindred. Acts vii. 14 ; Esther viii. 6. 

5. To strangers, Deut. x. 19. 

6. To enemies, Prov. xxv. 21. 

Among these, if any be saints, charity is especially 
to be shewed to them. How greatly is their heart 
hardened whose bowels are closed against saints, 
especially in this respect that they are saints ! The 
persecution of Saul (who was afterward Paul) is 
herein aggravated, that it was against ' the disciples 
of the Lord,' and against * those that called on his 
name,' Adis ix. 1, 14. Yet too many, not only Turks, 
Jews, pagans, and papists, but also such as profess 
the faith, much wrong and oppress other professors, 
who it may be are more sincere than themselves in 
this respect, because their profession keeps them from 
revenge. Thus, Julian-like, they smite them on the 
right cheek, because Christ bids them in that case 
turn the other. Mat. v. 39. Many have these and 
such like scornful speeches in their mouths : Such 
professors cannot want ; they have brothers and sisters 
enough ; who can believe them ? They are egregious 
dissemblers. Herein they shew themselves mere for- 
mal professors. Many that give thousands to outward 
pompous works, as alms-houses, hospitals, and the 
like, will deny all succour to saints. As those shew 
little love to the name of God, so God will shew aa 
little love to them, and refuse to hear them when they 

Let us for our parts have our bowels most moved 
in the necessities of saints, and be most forward to 
succour them. Thus may we have the greater assur- 
ance of God's love to us, and of our love to God, yea, 
and of our fellowship in the mystical body ; for mem- 
bers of a body are most moved with the distress and 
need of fellow-members. 

Of rules and motives to love of saints, see Chap, 
xiii. 1, Sec. 7, &c. 

Sec. 72. 0/ continuance in chanty. 

The aforesaid charity towards saints is further 
enlarged by continuance therein, thus set down, and 
do minister. As in our English, so in the Greek, the 



[Chap. VI. 

former and latter word is the same for substance : 
6iay.ovr;sa.vT-;, miniiteird ; diaxovcuvri;, minister. The 
diti'oieuce only is in time. The former liatli reference 
to the time pist, shewing wliat they had done ; the 
hitter to the time present, shewing what they con- 
tinued to do. This latter givoth proof that Christians 
must continue in doing good : ' Be not weary in well- 
doing,' Gal. vi. 9 ; 2 Thes. iii. 13. This phrase, 
' Ye sent once and again unto my necessity,' Philip, 
iv. 16, intendeth continuance in charity ; so doth this 
phrase, ' See that you abound in this grace,' 2 Cor. 
viii. 7. Abundance is manifested both in present 
bounty, and also in continuing, time after time, to do 
the same thing. This phrase, ' His righteousness 
endureth for ever,' Ps. cxii. 9, is by the apostle ap- 
plied to mercifulness, 2 Cor. ix. 9, and extended to 
continuance therein. 

This circumstance of continuance is requisite, 

1. In regard of our brethren in need. They may 
long continue to be in want. He whose hunger is 
once satisfied may be hungry again, and he whose 
thirst is quenched may thirst again, John iv. 13 ; 
besides, others after them may stand in need of our 
charity: * For you have the poor always with you,' 
Mat. xxvi, 11. But charity is not tied to once reliev- 
ing of the same man, nor to relieving of one alone. 

2. In regard of ourselves ; for the rewifl-d is pro- 
mised to such as continue in well-doing, Rom. ii. 7. 

(1.) 1'hey certainly lose the glorv' and recompence 
of the good which they formerly have done, who know 
that there is need of continuing therein, and have both 
opportunity and ability, yet clean cease to do any 
more. Some who in their younger years, yea, and 
when their means was but small, have been very 
charitable, in their elder"3-ears, after that their wealth 
hath much increased, have grown hard-hearted and 
close-handed. There are too many who in this kind 
outlive their good days and their good deeds, yea, even 
such as have continued under the blessing of a power- 
ful ministry, and under God's blessing on their out- 
ward aflairs. Herein appears the corruption of nature, 
the deceitfulness of sin, and subtlety of Sutan, that 
men should be made worse by the means and helps 
which God aflbrdeth to make them better. What 
assurance can such have that they are plants of God ? 
Of God's plants it is said, that they shall still bring 
forth fruit in old age, Ps. xcii. 14. 

(2.) Let such as have begun well be exhorted to 
hold on ; and as their means increase, let their charity 
increase. Let not former good deeds hinder latter. So 
long as God aflbrdeth opportunity, improve the ability 
which God giveth thee in this kind, and let thj^ stock 
for the poor be increased according to the increase of 
the stock of thy wealth. God, by continuing occasion 
of charity, trieth the continuance of thy charity. Wilt 
thou, then, faint and shrink when God expecteth im- 
provement ? Of perseverance in well doing, see Chap, 
iii. 6, Sec. 68, Sec. 

Sec. 73. Of the resolution o/Heb. vi. 9, 10. 

Ver. 9. But, hrlovcil, we arc persuaded better things of 
you, and things that accunipany salvation, though ue thus 

10. For God is not unrighteous to forget your 
work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward 
his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and 
do minister. 

The sum of these two verses is a minister's insinu- 
ation into his people's heart. Hereabout observe, 

1. The inference, in this particle but. 

2. The substance, wherein is contained, 

1. A friendly compellation, beloved. 

2. A good opinion. Hereof are two parts : 

1. The point itself, what he thought of them. 

2. The proof, why he thought so of them as he did, 
ver. 10. 

In propounding the point we may observe, 

1. The manner of propounding it ; 2, the matter of 

which it consisteth. The manner is manifested two 

waj-s : 

1. By using the plural number ive are, intimating a 
consent of others. 

2. By his confident expressing of his opinion, in this 
word persuaded. 

The matter is set down two ways : 

1. By way of asseveration ; 2, by way of correction. 

The asseveration sets down the matter two ways : 

1. Comparatively, better things. 

2. Simply, in this phrase, things that accompany 
salvation. This sheweth the height of his good opinion 
of them. 

The correction is in this phrase, though tve thus 

The motive or reason of the apostle's foresaid 
opinion is taken from the fruits of their profession, 
amplified by God's remembrance of them. 

The amplification is first set down. 

In the reason, therefore, we may observe two effects : 

One on God's part, the other on man's. 

In the former is expressed, 

1. The kind of eftect ; 2, the ground thereof ; both 
set down by their contraries. 

The kind of ellect, thus, 7wt forget ; the ground, 
thus, not Jtn righteous. 

The eflects on man's part are set down under two 

One general, work ; the other particular, love. 

Their love is first illustrated, secondly exemplified. 

In tlie illustration is shewed, 

1 . The earnest ness of their love, in this epithet, labour. 

2. The end of it, which is commended, 

1 . By the excellency of it, God's name. 

2. By the manifestation of it, in that ye have shewed. 
The exemplification hath reference to the time pre- 
sent and past. 

Here we are to observe, 1, their act, ministering ; 2, 
their object, saints. 

Yer. 11, 12.] 



The different tenses (ye have ministered, and do 
minister), imply divers times. 

The object, saints, is expressed in the former, under- 
stood in the laiter. 

Sec. 74. Of ohservations raised out o/Heb. vi. 9, 10. 

I. Misconceits must be prevented. This is the main 
end of the apostle's declaration of his opinion of these 
Hebrews. See Sec. 53. 

II. Ministers may insinuate themselves into their 
people's hearts. This is the general scope of these two 
verses. See Sec. 54. 

III. Testifications of love are commendable. Such 
an one was this title, beloved. Sec. Sec. 55. 

IV. The best things are to be judged of people. So 
doth the apostle here. See Sec. 56. 

V. Salvation is the reward of good ivorks. These are 
such as accompany salvation. See Sec. 57. 

VI. Christians may be persuaded of others' salvation. 
So was the apostle here. See Sec. 58. 

VII. Denunciation of judgment may stand tvith good 
hope. This phrase of correction, though we thus sjoeak, 
imports as much. See Sec. 59. 

VIII. They v^ho judge according to the rules of charity 
may suppose others to be of their mind. This is inferred 
out of the plural number, we are persuaded. See 
Sec. 59. 

IX. God is perfectly righteous. These negatives, noi 
unrighteous, intend as much. See Sec. 60. 

X. God's righteousness makes him remember his saints. 
The conjunction of these two phrases, not unrighteous, 
to forget, proves as much. See Sec. 62. 

XI. God is ever mindful of his. Not to forget is to 
be ever mindful. See Sec. 63. 

XII. God is especially mindful of the work of grace. 
This is the work here mentioned. See Sec. 65. 

XIII. Love is the ground of mercy. Thus it is here 
set down. See Sec. 67. 

XIV. Love is laborious ; for labour is here attributed 
to love. See Sec. 68. 

XV. Respect must be had to God's name in duties to 
man. So did these Hebrews. See Sec. 69. 

XVI. Works of mercy are special evidences of love. 
Ministering being a work of mercy, is here brought in 
as an evidence of their love. See Sec. 70. 

XVII. Charity is specially to be shewed to saints. 
Such were they to whom these Hebrews ministered. 
See Sec. 71. 

XVIII. Christians must continue in well doing. This 
is here expressly commended. See Sec. 72. 

Sec. 75. Of inciting those of whom we hope well. 

Ver. 11. And we desire that every one of you do shew 
the same diligence, to the full assurance of hope unto the 

12. That you be not slothful, hut followers of them 
who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 

Here the apostle beginneth the second part of his 

exhortation, which is unto perseverance. The in- 
ference of this upon the former verses is observable. 
He had before testified his good opinion concerning 
their salvation ; yet here he exhorteth them to use 
means for attaining thereunto. 

Our English joineth these two with a copulative con- 
junction, and. The Greek doth it with a conjunction 
of opposition, ds, but, as if he had said, I conceive well 
of you, and of your former practice ; but yet you must 
not thereupon wax secure, but use all means for attain- 
ing that salvation which I am persuaded is prepared 
for you. 

Thus we see that assurance of the end is no suffi- 
cient cause to neglect means of attaining to the end. 
Election and vocation give assurance of salvation ; 
3'et the apostle exhorteth them who were called, and 
thereby had evidence of their election, to ' give dili- 
gence to make their calling and election sure,' 2 Pet. 
i. 10. Who could have greater assurance of salvation 
than Paul, Rom. viii. 38, 39, yet who more careful 
in using means for attaining thereto than be ? * I so 
run,' saith he, ' not as uncertainly : so fight I, not as 
one that beateth the air ; but I keep under my body, 
and bring it into subjection,' &c., 1 Cor. ix. 26, 27. 
And again, ' I follow after, if that I may apprehend 
that for which also I am apprehended of Christ,' 
Philip, iii. 12. God, who hath promised the end, 
hath ordained the means for attaining thereto. He 
who is rightly assured of the end, as by faith he seeth 
the promise, and resteth on it, so he observeth the 
means which he that promised hath appointed for 
attaining of that promise, and thereupon is careful in 
using the same. 

1. This discovereth the cavil of our adversaries 
against our doctrine about the certainty of salvation. 
Their cavil is, that it is a doctrine of presumption, 
liberty, and security. But they, making men's sal- 
vation to depend merely on conjectures, are no more 
able to judge of a true believer's assurance than a 
blind man of colours. It is their ignorance which 
makes them judge so perversely and preposterously, 
The assurance and certainty of salvation which we 
teach resteth not on man's strength and stability, but 
on the immutability of God's counsel and promise, on 
the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice and intercession, and 
on the continual assistance of God's Spirit* See more 
hereof Chap. iii. 12, Sec. 134. 

Indeed, when we consider our own weakness a.nd 
wearisomeness in holy duties, our mutability and in- 
constancy, together with the many violent temptations 
whereunto we are daily subject, we cannot deny but 
that there is great cause for us to fear. 

Hence is it that there are sundiy exhortations in 
Scripture on the one side to be confident, and on the 
other to fear. 

When the Holy Ghost would shew what we are of 
ourselves, he useth such caveats as these : ' Let him 
that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.' 



[Chap. VI. 

1 Cor. X. 12 ; ' Be not high-minded, bat fear,' Rom. 
xi. 20 ; • Work out your salvation with fear and 
trembling,' Philip, ii. 12. But when he would shew 
the unmoveable gi'ounds of faith and perseverance, ho 
useth such encouragements as these : ' Be ye of good 
cheer,' John xvi. 33 ; ' Fear not, little flock,' Luke 
xii. 82 ; ' Let us draw near with a true heart, in full 
assurance of faith,' Hcb. x. 22. Yea, to shew that 
these arc privileges not only to be endeavoured after, 
but such as may be and shall be attained, he expressly 
setteth down many promises of persevering, and ob- 
taining the things promised, such as these : ' He that 
drinketh of this water shall never thirst again,' John 
iv. 1-4 ; ' He that believeth shall not be confounded,' 

1 Pet. ii. G ; ' The gifts and calling of God are with- 
out repentance,' Rom. xi. 29 ; 'It is your Father's 
good pleasure to give you a kingdom,' Luke xii. 

Thus we see what good warrant we have to teach 
assurance of salvation to them that believe, and yet, 
withal, to press God's people to take heed, to fear, to 
use all means, to give all dihgence, not to be pre- 
sumptuous nor secure. 

This is a good direction for ministers to continue 
to incite those of whom they are best persuaded to 
use all good means of growing and persevering ; as it 
is a point of charity to hope the best, so of godly 
jealousy to fear the worst. In this respect, saith the 
apostle, ' I am jealous over you with godly jealousy,' 

2 Cor. xi. 2. 

Here, by the way, note how needful it is to have 
the word again and again preached, even to such as 
have knowledge, 2 Pet. i. 13. 

Sec. 76. Of mildness in teachinrj. 

The apostle sets down his exhortation by way of 
entreaty thus, 'EmSufMou/Msv, ire desire. The Greek 
word is a compound ; the root whence it ariseth, 
^v/jLo;, animus, signifieth the tnind. To desire is an 
act of the mind. The composition of the word im- 
porteth such a desire as ariseth from the heart, and 
is earnest. 

It is used to set out both an evil and a good desire, 
and that also earnest. When it setteth forth an evil 
desire, it is ordinarily translated ' to lust,' as Mat. v. 
28; 1 Cor..x. G; James iv. 2. In the better sense 
it is applied to the desire which righteous men had to 
see the day of Christ, Mat. xiii. 17 ; Luke xvai. 22 ; 
and to the desire which the angels had to look into 
the mysteries of the gospel, 1 Pet. i. 12 ; and to [thatl 
which Christ had to eat the passover the last time 
with his disci])los, Luke xxii. 15. All these were 
earnest desires. Yea, this word is used to set out the 
desire of such as are hungry to be filled, Luke xv. 10, 
and xvi. 21, and of such as are in anguish to die. 
Rev. ix. 6. These desires use to bo very great and 
earnest ; so was the apostle's in this place. 

This compoand word, then, setteth out two points : 

1. The apostle's mild and gentle disposition; 2. His 
hearty and earnest desire. 

The former is intended under the general force of 
the word desire. He wanted not authority to com- 
mand duty, 3-et he rather entreated them thereto, as 
Philcm. 8, 9. 

People are with mildness to be induced to duty, 
1 Pet. ii. 11 ; 2 John 5. 

Thus will ministers' teaching be like his that said, 
' My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall 
distil as the dew ; as the small rain upon the tender 
herb, and as the showers upon the grass,' Dent, xxxii. 

2. Such teaching will more mollify hard hearts, and 
better soak into them. See more hereof Chap. iii. 1, 
Sec. 4. 

Sec. 77. 0/ ministers' hearty desire of their people's 

The hearty and earnest desire is implied under the 
nature and composition of the word. It is a desire 
of the heart, so as ministers must heartily and ear- 
nestly desire their people's edification and salvation : - 
' My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, M 
that they might be saved,' Rom. x. 1. 

This will make ministers the more careful and dili- 
gent in using all means of doing spiritual good to 
their people. True, hearty, earnest desire, puts on 
men to do the utmost that they can. 

Surely they are most unworthy of any charge over 
people who are destitute of such a desire for their 
good, which too many do manifest by their idleness 
and carelessness. They will do no more than needs 
must, and than law bindeth them unto. 

If ministers did duly weigh the benefit that they 
may bring to their people, and the comfort thereby 
to themselves, their hearts would be enlarged with 
desire of doing all the good they could for their good. 

They who, after they have taken all the pains they 
can for the spiritual good of their people, do, after 
all, earnestly call upon God for his blessing, and that 
not only publicly, but also privately and secretly, do 
manifest thereby such a desire of their people's good 
as is here intended by the apostle. 

Sec. 78. Of ministers' impartial respect to every one 
of their charge. 

This desire of the apostle is further amplified by 
the extent of it, thus expressed, v/.aerov vij^ouv, every 
one of you. Hereby he manifesteth an even and im- 
partial respect which he did bear to them all. This 
impartial desire is thus further explained, ' I would 
to God that all that hear me this day were both 
almost and altogether such as I am,' Acts xxvi. 29 ; 
and again thus, ' I am debtor both to the Greeks and 
to the barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise,' 
Rom. i. 14 ; and thus, ' We exhorted, and comforted, 
and charged every one of you, as a father doth his 
children,' 1 Thes. ii. 11. Here he sheweth that, as 

Ver. 11, 12.] 



a father's heart is impartial to all his children, so was 
his to all that were under his charge ; for, saith he, 
* I ceased not to warn every one night and day.' 
Hereupon he maketh this inference, ' I am pure from 
the blood of all men,' Acts xx. 26, 31. 

All Christians are as fellow members of one and 
the same mystical body : 1 Cor. xii. 12, * Thei-e is 
neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, 
there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in 
Christ Jesus,' Gal. iii. 28. 

Contrary is their practice, who on by-respects dis- 
pense the ordinances of God, shewing more favour to 
great ones and rich ones than to the meaner and 
poorer sort. Gravely and severely is this unchristian 
practice censured by the apostle James, chap. ii. 1-3, 

Surely all that are faithful will be of this our 
apostle's mind. Moses's faithfulness is herein com- 
mended, that it was manifested ' in all the house of 
God,' Heb. iii. 2. Thus will men's ministry be the 
better accepted, and thus will they do the more good, 
and take away occasion of muttering and murmuring. 

As ministers must bear an equal respect to every 
one, so every one, of what rank or degree soever, 
ought to subject themselves to their ministry, and use 
it for their own particular edification. Every one 
needs the benefit thereof. Every one may reap good 
thereby. Should not every one whose good a minister 
ought to endeavour, improve his minister's endeavour 
to his own good ? The desire of the apostle is, that 
every one do so and so. See Chap. iii. 12, Sec. 

Sec. 79. Of diligence about our oivn spiritual good, 
as well as about our brother's temporal good. 

That which the apostle desireth is, that they would 
sJietu the same diligence, &c. The verb svdsr/,vvedai, 
translated sheiu, is the same that was used verse 10, 
and implieth an evident and clear manifestation of a 
thing. See Sec. 69. 

It is not enough to have a purpose of doing a duty, 
or to do it in private, so as others can take no notice 
thereof, but we must shew that we do it, and give good 
proof thereof. 

The noun ffTou^yjv, here translated dilige7ice, is derived 
from the same root that the verb ffTroo^affoi/xsi', trans- 
lated labour, chap. iv. 11, was. So as it intendeth 
both an endeavour, and also forwardness and earnest- 
ness therein, and is fitly interpreted diligence, which 
is to be used for attaining that which is endeavoured 
after. Hereof see chap. iv. 11, sec. 63-65. 

This relative rriv abrriv, the same, hath reference to 
the ' labour of love' mentioned ver. 10, and intendeth 
two points ; — 

One general, that diligence in our Christian course 
be constant. Such diligence as we have formerly 
used must still be used, even the very same. We 
may not slacken, we may not cool, we may not wax 

more remiss therein. Hereof see Sec. 72, and Chap, 
iii. 6, Sec. 68, &c. 

Thus this relative implieth a motive taken from 
their former diligence. For if they who have formerly 
been diligent grow negligent, their former diligence 
will be a witness against them, and an aggravation of 
their after negligence. Ephesus is checked for leaving 
her first love. This therefore is one motive to incite 
them to persevere : they had begun well. 

The other point is more particular. That such 
labour and diligence as we shew in behalf of others' 
bodily need, we shew in behalf of our own souls' good, 
for assurance of hope tends to our spiritual good. 
In this respect the apostle commendeth such as had 
attained to, and given proof of the one and the other, 
namely, * the work of faith,' which makes to our spi- 
ritual good, ' and labour of love,' 1 Thes. i. 3. And 
he makes this the end of the commandment, namely, 
charity and faith, 1 Tim. i. 5. 

1. In both of them God is glorified. It was 
shewed. Sec. 69, how love in ministering to saints is 
shewed towards God's name. So by hope, faith, and 
other like graces which make to our salvation, God is 
glorified. Abraham, * being strong in faith, gave glory 
to God,' Rom. iv. 20, and God accounted it a glory 
to be styled 'the hope of Israel,' Jer. xiv. 8, and 
xvii. 13. 

(1.) By being diligent about the graces that make 
to our salvation, we manifest spiritual prudence about 
the good of our souls, as well as charity to the good of 
our neighbour's body, by diligence in ministering to 

(2.) By our care about our soul's salvation, we 
manifest a Christian and heavenly disposition, which 
diligence about the temporal good of others doth not 
necessarily import. For heathen and other natural 
men may be very charitable to others about their tem- 
poral good. 

They therefore exceedingly fail in Christian pru- 
dence, who are diligent in matters of charity for 
others' temporal good, but are careless and negligent 
about their own souls' eternal good. As they are 
justly taxed who make pretence of faith, and have 
not works of charity, James ii. 14, so they are more 
justly to be censured, who boast of their many good 
works to others, and have attained to no assurance 
of faith and hope in regard of their own salvation. 
Hereof popish and superstitious persons are very 

Ministers may here learn a good lesson, namely, to 
press upon people diligence in both kinds of duties. 
Many are very earnest in stirring up people to works 
of charity and bounty, but neither instruct them in 
articles of faith, nor stir them up to diligence there- 

Let us learn to add grace to grace, and to ' give all 
diligence' therein, 2 Pet. i. 5-7. ' What God hath 
joined together, let no man put asunder,' Mat. xix. 6. 



[Chap. VI. 

Sec. 80. 0/ dilyjence in attainincj assurance of hope. 

The especial mutter whereabout the apostle would 
have them shew their diligence, is stvled /«// assurance 
of hope. This phrase, /»// assurance, is the interpre- 
tation of one Greek word, n7.r,Bo(pooia, which is com- 
pounded of an adjective, -rX^je?!;, that siguifieth full, 
and a verb, psu, that signifielh to brinrf, The active 
verb, TXTiso^osf'w, thence compounded, signifieth to 
assure, or make full proof, 2 Tim. iv. 5. The passive, 
wX?i3of oseo/xa/, to be fully persuaded or assured of a thing, 
Rom. iv. 21, and iv. 5. The noun rrXr^sofosia, here 
used, is applied, as in this place to hope, so to faith, 
chap. X. 22 ; and to understanding, Col. ii. 2. It is 
opposed to wavering, doubting, and uncertaint)'. 

JJy this it is evident that assurance is a property 
of hope. There are the same props to support hope 
as to support faith, which are God's promises and 
properties. They who deny assurance to hope con- 
tradict the Scripture, strip this grace of much joy 
and comfort, which it bringeth in afilictions, and take 
away the difference betwixt the hope of Christians 
and worldlings. 

Quest. Is not then that true hope which wants as- 
surance ? 

Ans. Not the truth, but the perfection of hope 
consistcth in this assm-ance. That which the apostle 
Baith of knowledge, 1 Cor. xiii. 9, may also be applied 
unto hope, and to other Christian graces : ' We hope in 
part.' So long as we remain in this flesh, the flesh 
remaineth in us, as well as the spirit. 

From the flesh comoth doubting, wavering, and all 
manner of weakness. Mat. xxvi. 41. But as the spirit 
getteth strength, and prevaileth over the flesh, so will 
this doubting and wavering be more and more dispelled, 
and assurance more and more increased. Hereof see 
more in The Whole Armour of God, treat ii. part vi. ; 
of faith, on Eph. vi. 16, sec. 39. 

Some take hope in this place to be put for faith. 
Indeed, these two graces do in many things so fitly agree, 
as not unfitly one may be put for the other. The mat- 
ter is not great, whether the one or the other be here 
meant. In the exemplification of this point, both 
faith and hope are expressed : faith, ver. 12 ; hope, 
ver. 18. But because hope is here named by the 
apostle ; and that which is here spoken of it, may 
agree to hope as well as to faith, I take the literal 
expression to be the best and safest. 

Of hope, what it is ; of assurance of hope ; of the 
agreement and disagreement betwixt it and laith, of 
the use and need of hope, see The Whole Armour of 
God, treat, ii. part vii. ; of hope, on Eph. vi. 17, sees. 
8, 4, &c. 

The apostle here gives us to understand, that Chris- 
tians may by diligence attain unto assurance of hope. 
God willbless his in a diligent and careful use of 
such means as he hath appointed for attaining such 
and such graces ; yea, and the measure of them. 
This discovers the reason why many long continue 

wavering, and never get assurance. They take no 
pains, they use no diligence ; they think God should 
work in them this assurance, without any pains of 
their own. 

Such may wish, as Balaam did. Num. xxiii. 10, for 
that which they shall never attain. 

Let not us be wanting to ourselves. If we think 
assurance of hope worth the having, let us do to the 
utmost what God enableth us to do for attaining there- 
unto. Let us acquaint ourselves with the grounds of 
hope, God's promises and properties, and frequently 
and seriously meditate thereon. Let us conscionably 
attend God's ordinances, and earnestly pray that God 
would add his blessing to our endeavour. We are of 
ourselves backward, dull, and slow to believe and 
hope ; we are much prone to doubting. In these re- 
spects we ought to use the more diligence, and to 
quicken up our spirits unto this full assurance, and 
not cease till we have attained some evidence thereof. 

This last phrase, xuito the end, is in sense, and al- 
most in w'ords, the same that was used Chap. iii. 6. 
The difference is only in the prepositions, which are 
two distinct ones in letters, i-i^'i'/^ii and a%f/, bat both 
signify one and the same thing. 

It is hereby intended that perseverance must be 
added to diligence : perseverance, I say, as long as we 
live. For the word end hath reference to the time of 
our life. See more hereof Chap. iii. ver. 6, Sec. 68. 

Sec. 81. Of slothfulness about sanctifying graces, 
ver. 12. 

The apostle, to enforce bis exhortation unto dili- 
gence, addeth an inference against the contrary vice, 
thus, im {Mri, that ye be not slothful, &c. By this in- 
ference it is implied that if they be not diligent, sloth- 
fulness will seize upon them ; which, if it do, they 
cannot attain to the fore-mentioned assurance. 

The Greek word vudsoi, translated slothful, is the 
same that was interpreted dull, Chap. v. 11, Sec. 58. 
There is shewed the notation and emphasis of the 
word. In reference to the mind, it importeth dul- 
ness ; in reference to practice, it intendelh slothful- 
ness : slothfulness, I say, in use of means whereby 
grace may grow and gather strength. 

The word is properly used of such as are slow of 
pace, as an old man, or an ass. It is contrary to 

Here it setteth out, not so much a natural imper- 
fection as an acquired vice, which seized upon them 
by their carelessness. They had not exercised them- 
selves in God's word, thereby to sharpen their wits, 
and make themselves more capable of the mysteries 
of godliness ; they had not acquainted themselves with 
the promises treasured up in the word, nor with the 
properties of him who made those promises, and there- 
upon became dull of hearing, and slow of believing. 

Obj. The apostle commended their diligence in the 
former verse, and desireth them still to ' shew the 

Ver. 11, 12.] 



same diligence,' Why, then, doth he here forewarn 
them of slothfuhiess ? 

Ans. 1. He that admonisheth one to do what he 
doth, commends him for so doing. ^ 

Ans. 2. He commended their diligence in charity, 
but admonisheth them to take heed of slothfulness in 
matters of faith, hope, and other like graces. It ap- 
peareth that herein they were not so diligent, there- 
fore he desireth that they be not slothful therein. 

1. They who are forward in duties of love to man 
may be dull and slothful in knowledge, faith, hope, 
&c. Saul is thus commended, ' He clothed the daugh- 
ters of Israel in scarlet, and put on ornaments of gold 
upon their apparel,' 2 Sam. i. 24. Yet was he sloth- 
ful about sanctifj'ing graces. 

2. Duties of love to others are more outward, and 
in that respect more easy. 

Obj. Love is a fruit of faith. Gal. v. 6. 

Ans. Indeed, true Christian love is so ; yet there 
may be many specious shows of such a love as sprouts 
not from faith. As Saul in his time was diligent in 
seeking and procuring the good of his people, yet slow 
in believing God's promises, and backward in relying 
and trusting on God's providence ; so others in other 
ages, and in this our age also, many that have been 
abundant in works of charity have been of mean 
knowledge and weak faith, if they have had any faith 
at all. See more hereof Sec. 79. 

Sec. 82. 0/ avoiding vices contrary to duties re- 

The slothfulness here dissuaded is directly contrary 
to the fore-mentioned diligence, and mention is thereof 
made to shew that for the more prosperous flourishing 
of a virtue the contrary vice is to be avoided. This 
is oft noted by the Holy Ghost in general terms thus: 
* Cease to do evil, learn to do well,' Isa. i. 16, 17 ; 
' Put oif the old man, put on the new man,' Eph. iv. 
22, 24 ; ' Let us lay aside every weight, and let us 
run with patience the race which is set before us,' 
Heb. xii. 1. So in this particular, Prov. xii. 24, 27. 

As virtue and grace is a fruit of the Spirit, so vice 
and sin of the flesh. ' Now these are contrary the 
one to the other,' Gal. v. 17. If the lusts of the 
flesh be nourished, and not rooted out as noisome 
weeds, they will hinder the growth of the sweet 
flowers. All contraries hinder each other, as dark- 
ness, light ; moisture, dryness. 

When, therefore, we set ourselves to practise any 
virtue, if we desire to be carried on therein to perfec- 
tion, let us observe what is most contrary thereunto, 
to avoid the same. Physicians, chirurgeons, husband- 
men, and other sorts of men who desire to have their 
work prosper, take this course, Jer. iii. 3, 4. 

In particular, in all undertakings for growth in 

' Qui monet ut facias quod jam facis, ills monendo, 
Laudat, he— Ovid, de Trist. 

grace, shake oflf slothfulness ; pretend not needless 
excuses of impossibility, of improbability, of difficulty, 
or of danger. ' The slothful man saith. There is a lion 
without, I shall be slain in the streets,' Prov. xxii. 13. 

Sec. 83. Of being quickened up to duties by prece- 

As a further motive to enforce them unto the fore- 
said diligence, the apostle setteth before them the ex- 
ample of such as had well run the Christian race, and 
attained unto the end thereof, their eternal salvation. 
The particle by which he bringeth in this motive is a 
disjunctive conjunction, hs, but, set down by way of 
opposition unto slothfulness, implying that they who 
obtained the prize were not slothful. So as if we look 
to partake of the same blessing, we may not be sloth- 
ful ; for they in their times and places were diligent. 
Slothful persons hazard the crown. To have an eye 
upon such saints as have well finished their course be- 
fore us, will be an especial means of avoiding sloth- 
fulness. To this very end doth the apostle set before 
these Hebrews a catalogue of the most faithful worthies 
that lived in former ages, Heb. xii. 1. The apostle 
expressly saith that ' salvation is come unto the Gen- 
tiles to provoke the Jews to jealousy,' Rom. xi. 11, 
namely, to be as forward in entertaining the gospel of 
Christ as the Gentiles were. 

Precedents and examples do put a kind of life into 
men ; yea, dumb creatures are hereby incited : a tired 
jade, seeing other horses to gallop before him, is soon 
put on to a gallop. 

It will be therefore a good means for our quicken- 
ing duly to observe the patterns of such as have been 
forward in the way of godliness. ' Mark them which 
walk so as you have us for an ensample,' saith the 
apostle, PhiHp. iii. 17. Till we behold others, we may 
soothe ourselves in our slothfulness, and think it to 
be a kind of diligence. But when we behold others' 
dihgence, then shall we find our own supposed dili- 
gence to be but slothfulness. For quickening us up, 
patterns may be of more force than precepts . 

Sec. 84. Of the use of former patterns. 

This noun ij.iij.7\7al, followers, is derived from the 
same verb which is used Chap. xiii. 7, Sec. 100. 
The following here intended is a diligent endeavour to 
be like unto them, and in our time to do as they did. 
For he here speaks of such as had finished their course, 
and obtained the prize. Hereof see more in the place 
before quoted. The patterns and precedents here in- 
tended to be followed are set down in two respects : 

1. As a motive to incite the living to follow those 
who attained heaven, for so may these followers attain 
thither also. This, then, is a second motive to per- 
severance. Of the first motive see Sec. 79. 

Of the benefits of imitating saints, see Chap. xiii. 
7, Sec. 104. 

2. These patterns are as a direction to shew them 



[Chap. VI. 

the way to happiness. What hotter direction can 
there he to keep on in the right way than to follow 
such as have gone in that way before ? 

Sec. 85. Of faith the means of cnjoyinj GocVs pro- 

To direct them the better in imitating those that 
are here set before them, the apostle doth expressly 
Bet down two graces that are of singular use for ob- 
taining eternal life, namely, faith and patience. These 
are set down with a proposition, bta, that implieth the 
moans and way wherein and whereby the reward is ob- 
tained, which preposition is thus translated, throiujh. 

This proposition, as here used with the genitive case, 
doth set out in general the cause of a thing, and that 
both principal and instrumental, as hath been shewed, 
Chap. ii. 9, Sec. 74, and Chap. iii. 10, Sec. 164. 

It also intends the means of cflectiug a thing, and 
then it useth to be translated thwuijh, as here, and 
1 Cor. X. 1, Acts viii. 18, 1 Cor. iv. 15. 

Here it implieth that the graces following are the 
means of obtaining the promises, for by faith we give 
such credence to the truth of the promises, and so 
apply them to ourselves as we account them our own, 
even as if we were in possession thereof. This is that 
receiving of the promises which is applied to Abraham, 
Heb. xi. 17. In this respect faith is said to be the 
evidence of things not seen, Heb. xi. 1. 

Of faith giving right to God's promise, see Chap. iv. 
3, Sec. 23. 

That faith is needful for enjoying the benefit of 
God's promises is evident by this, that the reward pro- 
mised is in Scripture attributed to faith : ' He that be- 
lieveth hath everlasting hfe,' John iii. 36 ; 'Ye are 
saved through faith,' Eph. ii. 8. And to shew that 
faith is so necessary a means as the thing promised 
cannot be obtained without it, a must is put thereunto : 
♦ He that cometh to God must believe that God is a 
rewardor,' kc, Heb. xi. 6. Yea, eternal life is de- 
nied to such as believe not : ' He that helieveth not is 
condemned already, because he hath not believed,' etc. ; 
and * He that believethnot the Son shall not see life,' 
John iii. 18, 36. In this respect salvation is said to 
be the end of faith, 1 Peter i. 'J. 

Faith is that instrument which God sanctifieth to 
make us partakers of those invisible blessings which 
in and by his word are olicrcd unto us. It is as an 
hand to receive spiritual and heavenly things. 

Now as the ofler of a thing makes it not our own 
unless it be received, so without faith the promises of 
God become void unto us : ' The word preached did 
not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them 
that heard it,' Heb. iv. 2. 

Behold here the benefit and necessity of faith : the 
benefit, in that it brings the fruit of all God's promises 
unto us ; 

The necessity, in that promises are in vain to us 
without it. 

The inheritance is purchased by the blood of Christ, 
but it is faith that settles a right upon us, and gives 
us as it wore a possession of it. It gives a kind of 
being to things promised before the date be accom- 
plished. This is it which makes us ' against hope to 
believe in hope,' Rom. iv. 18. 

Of faith, of the nature of it, of the means of work- 
ing, proving, prospering, and well using it, and of the 
benefit and power of it, see The Whole Armour of God, 
treat, ii. part vi. ; of faith, on Eph. vi. 16, sec. 5, &c. 

Sec. 86. Of patience added tofaith.< 

To faith the apostle addeth patience, as another and 
a joint means for obtaining good things promised. I 

The Greek word translated patience is a compound, 
and that of an adjective, /xaxgi;, that signifieth long, 
and a substantive, '^u/mo;, animits, iracundia, that 
signifieth the mind, and the commotion thereof, Luke 
iv. 28. This compound then signifieth a long forbear- 
ing to be moved. The compound verb, /j,a-/.po6v/i!ii, 
is translated to ' bear long,' Luke xviii. 7 ; to ' sufier 
long,' 1 Cor. xiii. 4, 2 Peter iii. 9 ; ' patiently to en- 
dure,' Heb. vi. 15; ' to have patience,' Mat. xviii. 
26, 29 ; 'to be patient,' 1 Thes. v. 14, James v. 7, 8. 

This compound noun is translated ' longsuffering,' 
Rom. ii. 4, 2 Cor. vi. 6, and • patience' as here, and 
James v. 10. 

There is another Greek word, i/•-&'ao^»;, ordinarily 
translated patience, which is often joined with this 
word in my text as setting forth the same thing. Col. 
i. 11, 2 Tim. iii. 10. That is compounded of a verb, 
/Mivu), maneo, that signifieth to abide, and a preposition, 
vTrh, sub, which signifieth wider. This notation doth 
fitly set out the nature of patience. 

So also doth this word in my text ; it implieth a 
long*enduring with a meek mind, free from fretting 
and gi'udging ; for patience is that grace whereby we 
quietly endure and hold out against everything that 
might hinder us or keep us from the fruition of that 
which God hath promised and faith helieveth. In this 
respect it is resembled to shoes, or to soldier's greaves, 
Eph. vi. 15. A patient mind doth quietly and con- 
tentedly wait for the effecting of what it helieveth. In 
this respect, as here, so in sundry other places, these 
two graces, faith and patience, are oft coupled toge- 
ther, as 2 Thes. i. 4, Rev. ii. 19, and xiii. 10. It is 
needful that patience be added to faith for two especial 
reasons : 

1. For the trial of faith. 

2. For the supporting of it. 

1. Patience gives evidence and proof of the truth of 
faith : ' The trying of faith worketh patience,' James 
i. 3 ; hereupon ' he that helieveth will not make haste,' 
Isa. xxviii. 16 ; the ' honest and good heart,' having 
* heard the word, keeps it, and brings forth fruit with 
patience,' Luke viii. 15. Many hypocrites, making at 
first a fair flourish, but wanting patience, vanish to 
nothing, and waxing wear)', they fall away. 

Ver. 11, 12.] 



2. Patience is needful for supporting faith in three 
especial respects. 

(1.) In regard of the long date of many of God's 

(2.) In regard of the many troubles whereunto we 
are subject in this world. 

(3.) In regard of our own weakness. 

Of these three, and of the nature and ground of 
patience, and means whereby it is wrought, and 
necessity and use of it, see The Whole Armour of God, 
treat, ii. part v., on Eph. vi. 15, sec. 2, &c. 

Sec. 87. Of inheriting the promises. 

The reward that those saints which are set before 
these Hebrews obtained upon their faith and patience is 
thus expressed, inherit the promises. The woi'd xXjjaovo- 
[lovvTuv, translated inherit, is the same that was used 
Chap. i. 14, Sees. 160, 161 , 162. This wordsheweth 
both the right that believers have to salvation, and 
also the everlasting continuance thereof. See more 
hereof in the places quoted. 

The word i'Tra.yyOjag, translated piromises, is the 
same that was used, Chap. iv. 1, Sec. 6. There see 
the notation thereof. The noun here used must be 
taken passively, for things promised, and in special for 
the inheritance promised, namely eternal life, which is 
called the promise of life, 2 Tim. i. 1, and ' promise 
of eternal inheritance,' Heb. ix. 15. Here, then, is a 
double trope ; one a metonymy of the cause for the 
effect, for God's promise is the cause of that inheri- 
tance ; the other a synecdoche, the plural number put 
for the singular ; and this because many blessings are 
comprised under eternal life, and also because eternal 
life is many times and many ways promised. In 
which respect they may be counted many promises. 

The apostle thus expresseth that recompence of 
reward to shew that God's promise is the ground and 
cause of eternal life, for God hath 'promised it to them 
that love him,' James ii. 5. Such are said to be 
' heirs according to promise,' Gal. iii. 29, and ' chil- 
dren of promise,' Gal. iv. 28 ; and they who enjoy it 
are said to ' receive the promise,' Heb. x. 36. 

1. God makes his promise to be the title of the 
heavenly inheritance, to manifest his free grace, good 
pleasure, and abundant mercy in bestowing it, Luke 
xii. 32 ; 1 Peter i. 3. 

2. He doth it to strengthen our faith the more in 
that inheritance. For God's promise is one of those 
* two immutable things, in which it was impossible for 
God to lie,' ver. 18. 

3. To give proof that there is no ground of title in 
ourselves, nor title of birth, nor of desert, nor of pur- 
chase by ourselves. 

1. On this ground we may with the more stedfast 
faith expect this inheritance. A surer ground cannot 
be had. God's promise, as it giveth evidence of his 
good pleasure, so it giveth assurance of his continuance 
thereof, and of that possession which we shall have of 

it. For by his promise, his truth, his righteousness, 
and faithfulness is engaged. ' Faithful is he that pro- 
mised,' Heb. X. 23. On this ground the believer 
' setteth to his seal that God is true,' John iii. 33. 
But on the contrary, ' he that believe th not God, hath 
made him a liar,' 1 John v. 10. It doth therefore 
much concern us well to acquaint ourselves with the 
promises of God. Hereof see The Whole Armour of 
God, treat, ii. part vi. ; of faith on Eph. vi. 16, sec. 
71, &c. 

2. ' Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves 
from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting 
holiness in the fear of God,' 2 Cor. vii. 1. 

3. God's binding himself to us by promise, giveth 
just occasion unto us, to make promises unto him of 
such duties as we owe to him, and he expecteth from 
us ; that so we may not leave ourselves free to omit 
or intermit those duties, and having bound ourselves 
by promise, it becometh us to be faithful, as God is, 
in performing our promise. See The Saint's Sacrifice 
on Ps. cxvi. 9, sec. 64. 

Sec. 88. Of the reward of faith and patience. 

The issue of the inheritance promised is here set 
down as the reward of their faith and patience, and in 
that respect it is a third motive unto perseverance. Of 
the two former motives, see Sec. 84. 

This motive is taken from the recompence of per- 
severance, which is that heavenly inheritance that God 
hath promised. This being annexed to faith and patience, 
giveth proof that those graces shall not lose their re- 
ward; hereupon the apostle saith of these graces, that 
they are ' a manifest token of the righteous judgment 
of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the king- 
dom of God,' "2 Thes. i. 4, 5. 

God doth make high account of those graces, and 
in that respect will not suffer them to pass unre- 

Who would not, who should not, use the uttermost 
diligence that he can, for attaining faith and patience ? 
What zealous followers should we be of them, who 
through faith and patience inherit the promises ? 
That reward which is comprised under these promises 
is worth the having, but without these graces it cannot 
be had, yet through them it shall assuredly be ob- 
tained. In this respect, these and other like graces are 
said to ' accompany salvation.' Hereof see Sec. 57. 

Sec. 89. Of the resolution of Keh. vi. 11, 12. 

Ver. 11. And we desire that every one of you do shew 
the same diligence, to the full assurance of hojje unto 
the end : 

12. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who 
through faith and patience inherit tlie p)r onuses. 

The sum of these two verses is, an exhortation to 
perseverance. In setting down hereof observe, 

1. The coherence, in this copulative particle and, 
or rather disjunctive but. See Sec. 75. 



[Chap. VI. 

2. The substance ; and therein, 1, the manner ; 2, 
the matter. 

The manner is by a word of entreaty, xre dcaire. 

The matter sets out, 1 , the thing desired ; 2, motives. 

The thing desired, is to be as careful for our own 
spiritual good as for others' temporal good. 

In setting ont this point, four things are expressed : 

1. The persons whom it concerns, every one. 

2. The duty, which is set down, 

1. Aflirmatively and positively, (lUirjence. This is 
amplified by the extent of it, in this relative, the same, 
which also imports a motive. See Sec. 79. 

3. The grace whereabout their diligence is to be 
exercised. This is, 

(1.) Expressly named, hope. 

(2.) Amplified by an especial property, /m/^ assur- 

4. Their continuance therein, xm(o the end. 

The foresaid duty is enforced negatively, under the 
contrary vice forbidden, thus, he not slothful. 

Another motive is taken from former patterns. In 
setting down this motive, three things are observable. 

1. The opposition betwixt the fore-named vice and 
this pattern, implied in this particle but. 

2. The expression of the duty thereupon required, 
in this \ford follouers. 

3. A description of the patterns. They are de- 

1. By two special graces, faith and patience. 

2. By the issue thereof, which is set out, 
(1.) By the kind of possession, inherit. 
(2.) By the ground thereof, the promises. 

This issue, l)eing set down as the recompence of 
their continuing in faith and patience, is a third motive 
unto perseverance. 

Sec. 90. 0/ observations raised out o/Heb. vi. 11, 12. 

I. Assurance of salvation takes not away the use of 
means. This is gathered out of the inference. See 
Sec. 75. 

II. People are uith mihlncss to be instructed. To 
desire that which is a duty, is a mild kind of instruc- 
tion. See Sec. 76. 

III. Ministers must earnestly desire their people's 
proyress. So did the apostle here. See Sec. 77. 

IV. Ministers must imparliaUy seek the good of all 
their people. This is the extent of this phrase, every 
one. See Sec. 78. 

V. Christians must be as diliyent for their on-u- souls, 
as they are for the bodies of others. Thus much is im- 
plied under this relative, the same. See Sec. 79. 

VI. DUiyence must be usedfor perseverance. This 
is it for which diligence is here desired. See Sec. 79. 

VII. Good proof must he given of our diligence. 
The verb shew intends as much. See Sec. 79. 

VIII. Hope is an especial grace to be sought for. For 
this end it is here expressly mentioned. See Sec. 80. 

IX. Assurance ia a property of hope. See Sec. 80. 

X. Perseverance must be added to diligence. For 
we must be diligent unto the end. See Sec. 80. 

XI. Slothfulness is unbeseeming Christians. It is 
therefore here expressly forbidden. See Sec. 81. 

XII. Men diligent in love may be slothful in faith. 
The inference of this verse upon the former intends 
as much. See Sec. 81. 

XIII. Vices contrary to duties are to be avoided. 
This is here exemplified in slothfulness, which is con- 
trary to dihgence. See Sec. 82. 

XIV. Good patterns aj-e for imitation. We must be 
followers of such. See Sec. 83. 

XV. Good patterns are good invitations and direc- 
tions. For both these ends are they here propounded. 
See Sec. 84. 

XVI. Faith is an especial means of obtaining things 
promised. For this end is faith here set down. See 
Sec. 85. 

XVII. Patience must he added to faith. It is there- 
fore here coupled with faith ; and p)atienc.e. See Sec. 86. 

XVIII. fJeaven is saints' inheritance. That is it 
which they are here said to inherit. See Sec. 87. 

XIX. God's promise is the ground of saints' inheri- 
tance. That is therefore here called a promise. See 
Sec. 88. 

XX. Faith a7}d patience shall he recompensed. The 
inheritance promised is here set down as a recompence. 
See Sec. 88. 

Sec. 91. Of the coherence. Heb. vi. 13-15. 
Ver. 13. For when God made promise to Abraham, 
because he could swear by nogreater, he sioare by himself, 

14. Sitying, Surely blessing I ivill bless thee, and 
midiiplying 1 irill nudtiply thee. 

15. A7id so, after he had patiently endured, he ob- 
tained the promise. 

That which the apostle generally hinted about those 
patterns which he set before the Hebrews, namely, 
' that through faith and patience they inherited the 
promises,' he here exemplifieth and confirmeth in 
Abraham's example, who also through faith and pa- 
tience did inherit the promise. His faith was famous, 
and well known. For thus it is written of him, ' He 
believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for 
righteousness,' Gen. xv. 6. His patience, and the 
recompence thereof, are thus expressed : ' After he had 
patiently endured, he obtained the promise,' ver. 15. 
To shew that the ground of his faith and patience 
rested on God's promise, the apostle setteth down 
both the ground itself, God's promise ; and also the 
confirmation thereof, God's oath, ver. 13. Therefore 
this particular instance of Abraham is a pertinent 
proof of the general point, and fitly inferred thereupon, 
and that by this causal conjunction yup, for. 

The argument may be thus framed : 

That benefit which Abraham the father of the faith- 
ful reaped through his faith and patience, other saints 
who are children of Abraham may expect ; but Abra- 

Ver. 13-15.] 



ham, througli faith and patience, inherited the promise ; 
therefore other saints may expect through faith and 
patience to inherit the promise. 

Sec. 92. Of the dignity of Abraham's person. 

This example of Abraham is in particular mentioned, 
not because he alone obtained this reward of his faith 
and patience, for in the eleventh chapter there is 
a large catalogue of other like instances ; and many 
millions more have on like grounds obtained the pro- 
mise ; but for two special reasons is his example 

One is, the dignity of his person. 

The other is, the excellency of his faith. See Sec. 

Concerning his person : 

1. He was among the Jews in highest account. 
They much gloried in him ; they thought that his 
posterity, even according to the flesh, should never be 
cast off. Mat. iii. 9 ; they thought that, being Abra- 
ham's seed, they were the most free of all people, and 
did hold out this buckler, ' Abraham is our father,' 
against all threatenings. Job viii. 33, 39. 

2. He is set forth to have the highest place in the 
kingdom of heaven. Mat. viii. 11. Yea, the place of 
deceased^saints' rest is called 'Abraham's bosom, 'Luke 
xvi. 22. 

3. He was accounted and called ' the father of all 
them that believe,' Rom. iv. 11 ; and ' they which are 
of faith, the same are the children of Abraham,' Gal. 
iii. 7. He is in Scripture styled, ' a prince of God,' 
Gen. xxiii. 6 ; * the friend of God,' James ii. 23 ; ' the 
father of circumcision,' Rom. iv. 12, In him were * all 
families of the earth blessed,' Gen. xii. 3. And his 
faith is made a pattern to the Gentiles, Gal. iii. 

Sec. 93. Of Abraham's names. 

4. Abraham's name shewed him to be a man of 
great note. His first name was D~l3S, Abram. That 
is a name in Hebrew, compounded of two nouns. The 
first, 3N, pater, signifieth in Hebrew Chaldee, Syriac, 
and Arabic, father. The other, Q"l, altiis, e.vcelsus, 
signifieth high, excellent. Thence Abram, an high or 
excellent father. The name was questionless given to 
him at first by some special instinct and foresight of 
what he should be afterwards ; or at least in desire 
or hope of some high excellency, whereunto he should 
be advanced. 

The other name, Dmax, Abraham, hath the letter 
n with a vowel in Hebrew added to it, in the beginning 
of the last syllable, whereby it consisteth of a syllable 
more. The former name, Abram, was of two syllables; 
this latter, Abraham, of three. 

The letter He added to this latter name, is one of 
the letters of this sacred name nin"', Jehovah, in which 
the letter He is twice expressed. Hence both Jewish 
and other expositors produce sundry mysteries, which 

Vol. II. 

I suppose to be over curious, and therefore pass over 
in this place. 

Yet this we may afiirm, that it was a great honour 
to Abraham to have any part of the Lord's name added 
to his. Thus it was an honour for Vi^in, Oshea, which 
signifieth a Saviour, to be called V^)n\ Jehoshita, 
Num. xiii. 16, the first syllable being part of the 
foresaid proper name of the Lord Jehovah. This name 
Jehoshua, or as it is commonly called Joshua, as he 
was a type of Jesus, signifieth The Lord a Saviour. 

In this name Abraham, there is not a tittle taken 
from the former name Abram, only there is an addition 
of dignity and honour, which God himself, who changed 
the name, thus expresseth, ' For a father of many 
nations have I made thee,' Gen. xvii. 5. Ab signifieth 
a father, the letter R is left in to retain that excel- 
lency which was in the former name, implied under 
this word Ram. H is the first letter, and Ham the 
first syllable, in Hamon, which signifieth a multitude. 
In Hebrew names, a letter is oft put for a word, as in 
Joshua, Num. xiv. 6 ; and Samuel, 1 Sam. i. 20. 

The full meaning, then, of this name Abraham is, an 
excellent father of a multitude, 3X, imter ; D"i, excelsiis ; 
D'"l, multitudinis. 

The Lord, in rendering the reason of this name 
Abraham, addeth this word nations. Gen. xvii. 15, to 
shew the extent of that multitude, that not only the 
Israelites which came from Abraham after the flesh 
should be very numerous, nor yet that he should have 
other nations also sprout from him after the flesh, as 
the Ishmaelites, Gen. xvii. 20 ; and the other nations 
that descended from him by Keturah, Gen. xxv. 1, 
&c. ; but that also all of all other nations that should 
be of the true faith, should be accounted to come from 
him, Rom. iv. 11, Gal. iii. 7, 29. Thus was his seed 
'as the dust of the earth,' Gen. xiii. 15 ; ' as the stars 
of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea 
shore,' Gen. xxii. 17. By this latter name was he 
ever called, after it was first given him. Indeed, he is 
called Abram twice after this, 1 Chron. i. 27, Nehem. ix. 
7. But in both those places there is reference to the 
time before this name was given him, and withal in 
both those places there is express mention of changing 
that name Abram into Abraham. 

By this name Abraham, God would support his ser- 
vant's faith in that promise which he made unto him, 
when he bid him ' tell the stars, if he were able to 
number them,' and thereupon said, * So shall thy seed 
be,' Gen. xv. 5. Thus we see how careful God is to 
establish the faith of his saints in the promises that 
he makes unto them. The like might be exemplified 
in sundry other names of persons, places, rites, typ^^' 
and other like things. 

This God did both by reason of the knowledge he had 
of our weakness, and also by reason of the great desire 
he had of our good, that we should not fail of the bene- 
fit of his promise. This made him add to his promise 
his oath, as we shall afterward see, ver. 17. 




[Chap. YI. 

Sec. 94, Of God's manifold promises to Abraham, 
and the excellcuaj of his failli in rcstinff on them. 

The excellency of Abraham's faith is clearly mani- 
fested by the kind of promises which he believed. 

It is here said, that ' God made promise to 
Abraham.' This verb irrayyuXd/xnog, made promise, 
is such a compound as the noun irrayyi/.ia, promise, 
was, Sec. 87. It hath reference, as to the other 
promises which God made to Abraham, so in special 
to this, * In blessing I will bless thee, and in mul- 
tiplying I will multiply thy seed,' &c.. Gen. xxii. 17, 
18. For the words of that promise arc here quoted, 
ver. 14. And to that promise was the oath in par- 
ticular annexed, Gen. xxii. 16. The promises made 
to Abraham were verj* great ; and many of them to 
man's reason seemed very improbable, if not im- 
possible. For, 

1. God called him from his kindred, and out of his 
own country ; and promised him the possession of 
many nations, whereof ' he gave him none inheritance, 
no, not so much as to set his foot on,' Acts vii. 5. 

2. He promised to bless him, and to make his 
name great, &c., Exod. xii. 2. This was a great 
promise in the kind of it. 

8. He promised him seed as the stars, when he 
had no child, and had been many years childless, 
Gen. XV. 2, 5. 

4. "When his body was now dead, being about an 
hundred years old ; and Sarah's womb dead, he pro- 
mised to give him a son by Sarah, Rom. iv. 19. 

5. After that son was given him, to whom the 
promise was appropriated, he was commanded to 
sacrifice him with his own hand ; and upon that 
rommand he was ready to do it, and yet believed, 
Heb. xi. 19; see ver. 15. 

In these and other like respects bis faith is thus 
commended : ' Against hope he believed in hope ;' 
♦ he was not weak in faith ;' ' he staggered not at the 
promise of God through unbelief;' 'he was strong in 
faith ;' ' he was fully persuaded that what God had 
promised, he was able also to perform,' Rom. iv. 

In the 11th chapter of this epistle, ver. 8, &c., 
occasion will be given of setting forth Abraham's 
faith yet more largely. 

Abraham's patience is expressly noted, ver. 15. 

13y this it appearcth how prudently and pertinently 
the apostle hath culled out Abraham's example, and 
Bet it in special before them. For if a father so be- 
lieved, and had such patience, then must children 
endeavour to be like him. We are all children of 
Abraham, Gal. iii. 7, 29. Now, it is an honour for a 
child to be like his father. AVe ought then rather to 
be like him, because there are no such dilHculties and 
obstacles opposed unto us. God's promises, and 
means of accomplishing them, do now sweetly concur. 
We live in times wherein we see the substance of all 
former promises accomplished, Rom iv. 24. 

Sec. 95. 0/ Christ comprised under the promises 
made to Abraham. 

The foresaid promises, and also Abraham's faith 
therein, were the greater, in that they hold out Christ, 
and Abraham eyed Christ in them. For, 

1. That general promise, that God would bless 
Abraham, did set out Christ ; for all blessings come 
to children of men in Christ. 

2. The promise of seed intended Christ, which the 
apostle provfth bj- the singular number, seed, spoken 
as of one. Gal. iii. IG. 

3. The numerous increase, as the stars of heaven, 
dust of the earth, and sand of the sea, hath especial 
respect to the church, which is the body of Christ. 

4. The extent of the blessing, to all nation^, Gen. 
xii. 3, and xxii. 18, was in and by Christ accomplished. 

5. The land of Canaan, which was promised, was 
a type of heaven, which was purchased by Christ, 
and where we shall have an eternal communion with 

To Christ, therefore, Abraham had an eye in the 
promises which were made to him. In ^vhich respect 
Christ thus saith to the Jews, ' Your father Abraham 
rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad,' 
John viii. 5G. 

Hereby we may learn what specially to behold in 
God's promises, namely, Jesus Christ, and in him 
God's favour, and all needful blessings that may bring 
us to an eternal communion with him. Thus shall 
our faith be more firmly stablished, and we made the 
more patient in expecting the issue and end of all, 
the salvation of our souls. 

Sec. 96. Of God's promise, the ground of faith and 

The apostle, to give proof of Abraham's faith and 
patience, maketh mention of God's promise, to shew 
that God's promise is the only true ground of faith 
and patience. This made Caleb and Joshua constant 
in their faith and patience, forty years together in the 
wilderness, notwithstanding the many murmurings 
and rebellions of the other Israelites. This made 
David endure many years' persecution, from the time 
of his anointing to the time of his possessing the 
kingdom. This was the ground of the faith and 
patience of all martyrs, and other saints in all ages. 
The word which David intendeth, where he saith, 
' Remember the word unto thy servant,' was a word 
of promise, whereof he thus further saith, 'upon which 
thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in 
my aflliction,' &c., Ps. cxix. 49, 50. 

God's promise is as his very essence, which chang- 
eth not, l^^alachi iii. 6 : ' Heaven and earth may pass 
away, but Gods word shall not pass away,' Mark xiii. 
31 ; for ' faithful is he which promiseth,' Heb. x. 23 ; 
and ' will also do it,' 1 Thes. v. 2i. 

For breeding and strengthening faith, for adding 
patience thereunto, and for making us without faint- 

Ver. 13-^15.] 



ing to hold out, it will be needful and useful to ac- 
quaint ourselves with the promises of God, and with 
his truth in performing the same. Though God in 
his unsearchable wisdom may set a long date for the 
accomphshment of his promises, so as to us, who 
know not his time and season, he may seem to forget 
his promises, yet his justice, truth, faithfulness, and 
unchangeableness will not suffer him to make his pro- 
mise utterly void. If a king or great man make a 
promise of this and that, we can wait for it ; yet they 
are but men, and many ways subject to fail ; for every 
man is a liar, but God most true, Rom. iii. 4. Let 
us not therefore by incredulity or impatiency make 
void to ourselves any promise of God, as the incredu- 
lous prince did, 2 Kings vii. 2, 20. Let us rather 
shew ourselves to be true children of Abraham, by 
such a faith as he had, and manifest tbe truth thereof 
by patience. 

Sec. 97. Of GocVs coufinninfj his promise hy oath. 

God that made the aforesaid promise to Abraham, 
did most solemnly confirm it by his oath. Thus it is 
here taken for granted, in that he sets down the bond 
whereby he bound himself, together with the reason 
thereof, in this manner, ' Because he could swear by 
no greater, he sware by himself.' Here therefore is 
to be considered, 

1. This act of sweariiu/, attributed to God. 

2. The object by whom he swore, himself. 

3. The reason hereof, he could swear hi/ no greater. 
Of the notation of the Hebrew word translated 

swearing, of the general nature of an oath, of this act 
attributed unto God, and of tbe bonds whereby God 
tieth himself in his oath,' see Chap. iii. 11, Sees. 
114, 115. Of the certainty or infallibility of God's 
oath, see Chap. iii. 3, Sec. 26. 

God is oft said to swear in wrath, as we may see 
in the places whereunto reference is made. But here 
his swearing is in mercy, for confirmation of his pro- 
mise made for the good of Abraham and his seed. 
Thus he confirmed the promise of Christ's priesthood, 
Ps. ex. 4 ; and of the everlasting continuance of 
David's kingdom, Ps. cxxxii. 11 ; and of the calling 
of the Gentiles, Isa. xlv. 23 ; and of the prosperity of 
the church, Isa. Ixii. 8. 

This manner of God's confirming his promise may 
not be imagined to arise from any variableness in 
God, but rather from his tender respect to man ; 
partly to strengthen his faith the more, and partly to 
move him with patience to expect God's season for 
the accomplishment of his promise. 

Obj. Abraham gave testimony of his faith ; what 
need was there then that God should swear to him ? 

Ans. 1. Though in somethings he testified a strong 
faith, Rom. iv. 18, &c., Heb. xi. 8, &c., yet he, being 
a man, was subject to human frailties. Instance his 
twice denial of Sarah to be his wife, and that for fear. 
Gen. xii. 12, and xx. 2. This phrase also, ' Lord 

God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it ? ' 
Gen. XV. 8, and his going in unto Hagar, Gen. xvi. 4, 
imply a kind of distrustfulness. We read the like of 
David, a man of great faith, as is evidenced by his 
setting upon a lion, and a bear, and a giant, 1 Sam. 
xvii. 3G, and by his long bearing out Saul's persecu- 
tion ; yet afterwards he manifested great weakness, 
when he said in his heart, ' I shall now perish one 
day by the hand of Saul,' 1 Sam. xxvii. 1 ; and when 
in his haste he said, ' All men are liars,' Ps. cxvi. 11, 
which he especially intendeth of such prophets as told 
him he should be king. 

Ans. 2. God's oath was needful for, and useful to, 
Isaac, who was newly delivered out of the very jaws 
of death, and then present when God confirmed his 
promise to Abraham by oath, Gen. xxii. 12, &c. ; for 
the promise concerned Isaac as well as Abraham. 

Ans. 3. Tbat oath was needful to, and useful for, 
the seed of Abraham, generation after generation ; for 
the promise concerned them all. 

Sec. 98. Of God's swearing hy himself. 

The person by whom God swore is here expressly 
said to be himself : ' he sware by himself.' So much 
is expressly affirmed in the history : ' By myself have 
I sworn, saith the Lord,' Gen. xxii. 16. So Exod. 
xxxii. 13, Isa. xlv. 23, Jer. xxii. 5, Amos vi. 8. 

Obj. In other places other things are mentioned 
whereby God sware : as his soul, Jer. li. 14 ; his 
name, Jer. xHv. 26 ; his right hand, Isa. Ixii. 8 ; his 
strong arm, ibid. ; his excellency, Amos viii. 7 ; his 
holiness, Ps. Ixxxix. 35 ; his throne, Exod. xvii. 16. 

Ans. Those seeming other things are no other than 
God himself ; for there is nothing in God but God 
himself. Faculties, properties, parts of body, and 
other like things attributed unto God, are no other 
than his very essence. God is a simple, pure being, 
without mixture or composition. Properties, parts, 
and other like things are attributed to God merely by 
way of resemblance, for teaching's sake ; to help us who 
are but of shallow capacities, and are brought to con- 
ceive divine mysteries the better by resemblances from 
such things. That there is nothing but a simple, 
pure being in God is evident by this title Jehovah, 
which implieth all being, and that by, from, and in 
himself. So doth this style, which God giveth to 
himself to be distinguished from all others, ' I am 
that I am,' Exod. iii. 14. In this respect sundry pro- 
perties are applied to God not only in the concrete, 
thus, wise, true, loving, but also in the abstract, as 
trisdom, Prov. viii. 12, 14 ; truth, John xiv. 16 ; love, 
1 John iv. 16 ; yea, those things which are qualities 
in man, being applied to God, are put for God him- 
self, thus, ' the Wisdom of God said,' Luke xi. 49, 
that is, God himself; and thus, ii ^sXsi to '^sXri/ji,a rou 
Qiov, *if the will of God will,' 1 Peter iii. 17, that is, 
if God will ; we thus translate it, ' if the will of God 
be so. 



[Chap. VI. 

This, in general, may serve to satisfy that objec- 
tion, which mny more fully be satisfied if wo distinctly 
consider the divers ways whereby God in swearing 
bindeth himself to make good his word. Of the bonds 
of an oath, and of a particular applying of them to 
God, seo The Church's Conquest, on Exod. xvii. 10, 
Sec. 80. 

Sec. 99. Of God's having no greater to sivcar by 
than himself. 

The reason why God swearcth by himself is thus 
Bet down, ' because he could swear by no gi-cater.' 
To set out the gi*eatness of God above all others, this 
title, a great God and a great King above alt gods, is 
by a kind of excellency (xar i^o^rjv) and propriety 
attributed to God, Ps. xcv. 3. There is scarce any 
other title more frequently attributed to God in 
Scripture than this, Great. The heathen by the 
light of nature discerned thus much, and thereupon 
gave this title to God, Optimus Maximus, the best, 
the greatest. 

Everything but God, who is the creator of all, is a 
creature ; but no creature can be greater than his 
creator; therefore everything else must needs be less 
than God. The apostle saith, ' Without all contra- 
diction, the less is blessed of the better,' chap. vii. 7. 
Much more, without all contradiction, the less is 
created by the greater. It is impossible that the 
Creator should create a greater than himself. ' "Who 
in heaven can be compared unto the Lord ? who 
among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the 
Lord ? ' Ps. Ixxxix. 0. This being so, who can be 
imagined to be amongst creatures that God should 
take to be a witness and judge of that which he 
Bweareth ? What can there be out of God so fit and 
precious a pawn to bind himself by as that which is 
in God, even himself and his own excellencies ? If, 
therefore, he sware, he must needs swear by himself. 

That an inferior is not to be sworn by, but a greater, 
is laid down as a ruled case, ver. IG. 

Sec. 100. Of inferences \(pon God's su-earing. 

God's swearing gives good evidence of his good 
respect to man, in that he condescends so low as by 
oath to bind himself to make his word good for our 
eakes. Herein he shews that ho considers what is fit 
rather for our infirmity than his glorious majesty. 
Do magistrates, masters, parents, other superiors, 
ordinarily swear to make good their word to their in- 
feriors ? This uscth to be exacted of inferiors, as 
Gen. xxiv. 8, but not so of superiors. The llomans 
nor exacted nor expected oaths of their magistrates, 
nor we in courts of justice of nobles. Yet God, who 
bath no gi'eater than himself, binds himself to us his 
servants by oath. Thus he addeth seals to his 
covenant, Horn. iv. 11. Oh what matter of holy ad- 
miration doth this afford unto us ! In this case wo 
may say, ' What is man, that thou art mindful of 

him ? and the Son of man, that thou visitest him?' 
Ps. viii. 4. What respect ought we to testify unto 
his majesty, who thus tcndereth our infirmity ! If this 
be not sutiicient to make us cast off all ditfidence, what 
can be sutficient ? If now wo believe not, God may 
well complain and say, ' What could have been done 
more, that I have not done ? ' Isa. v. 4. 

What matter of humiliation doth this minister unto 
us, in regard of the pronencss of our nature to distrust- 
fulness ! Most men make little more of God's pro- 
mise, though confirmed by oath, than of man's. 
God's precious promises hardly make men to depend 
upon him, or to yield obedience to the means which 
are annexed to his promises for accomplishment of 
them. This sin, in regard of itself, and the cursed 
fruits thereof, is a most pestiferous sin. Seo more 
hereof in The Whole Armour of God, on Eph. vi. 16, 
treat, ii. part G ; of faith, sec. 34. 

It becomes us, then, who bear any respect to God, 
to lay to heart this gracious condescension of God, 
and the means which he thus useth to strengthen our 
faith the more. That, therefore, our faith may be 
the more strengthened, let us oft meditate, as on God's 
promises, so on the bond whereby he binds himself to 
make them good for our good. This is next to that 
incomprehensible evidence of his love in giving his 
Son to us. Hereby he obligeth himself, his power, 
his truth, his holiness, his excellency, his name, his 
soul, and whatsoever is precious in him. Ho is con- 
tent to be no more himself, or to retain anything 
whereof he makes account, if he fail in his promise to 
men. ' Oh the depth of the riches both of the wis- 
dom and goodness of God !' 

Should not this stir us up to bind ourselves by 
promise, by vow, by oath, by all warrantable means, 
to keep covenant with God. There was no need on 
God's part why he should bind himself by oath, j-et 
ho did so for our sakes. But there is great need on 
our part to bind ourselves to God. We are as prone 
to start from good purposes and promises as water 
heated to wax cold, and heavy things to fall down- 
wards. Therefore we should, evening and morning, 
when we go to the house of God or to the Lord's 
table, on Sabbath days or fast days, solemnly bind 
ourselves to God. Promises, covenants, vows, oaths, 
and such like bonds, to tie us unto God, are as tutors 
to incite us unto duty, and to check us for neglect 
thereof. As, therefore, they are solemnly to be made, 
so oft to bo renewed. This will make us more con- 
scionable of duty, especially if it be done with a true 
purpose of performing what wo tie ourselves unto, and 
in singleness of heart. Seo more hereof in The Saints' 
Sacrifice, on Ps. cxvi. 9, sec. 04 ; and on Ps. cxvi. 
14, sec. 90, in the end of it, and 91. 

Sec. 101. Of this word, ' Surelg.' 
Ver. 14. Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, 
and multiplying 1 will multiply thee. 

Ver. 13-1 5. J 



In this verse the matter and form of God's promise 
is set down ; whereby it is manifested to be an oath. 
The first word, saying, hath reference to God, and it 
implieth that the words of God himself are here pro- 

The next word, surely, is in Greek used for the form 
of an oath. 

The first particle r, as here used with a circumflex, 
is a note of a strong asseveration : which itself alone 
signifieth surely, or truly. 

The other particle, [Mriv, joined thereto, addeth em- 
phasis, as if we should say, Certe quidem, Surely in 
truth, see Chap. i. 6, Sec. 72. The LXX on Gen. 
xxii. 17 have used this word, to shew that that which 
followeth was the oath which God did swear. Other 
Greek authors^ do also use it as a note of an oath. 

Some, instead of the word used by the apostle, read 
Amen, which is a strong asseveration. Hereof see 
more in the Guide to go to God, or Explanation of the 
Lord's Prayer, Sec. 241. But I suppose the word 
used by the apostle to be the fittest for this place. 

It is expressly said by God himself, ' I have sworn.' 
This clause, therefore, ' in blessing I will bless,' 
plainly demonstrates that this was God's oath. Gen. 
xxii. 16, 17. 

Of God's confirming his promise by oath, see Sec. 

Sec. 102. OJ the blessing j^romised to Abraham. 

Two things doth God by oath promise to Abraham. 

One general, which is, blessing. 

The other particular, which was, m,ultiplication of 

Of the word translated blessing, see ver. 6, Sec. 47. 

Here blessing compriseth under it every good and 
needful thing concerning body and soul, this life pre- 
sent, and the life to come ; as health, wealth, honour, 
long life, with other temporal good things ; and justi- 
fication, sanctification, with other spiritual blessings ; 
and the end of all, eternal salvation. All these make 
to man's happiness, and therefore are comprised under 
the word blessing. 

Obj. Wicked men who are accursed enjoy the tem- 
poral blessings, and Christ himself saith, * Woe unto 
you that are rich,' Luke vi. 24. How then do these 
tend to man's blessedness ? 

Ans. Wicked men pervert the use of temporal good 
things, and so make them to be a curse. But God 
bestoweth such grace on the children of Abraham, as 
they rightly use those temporal good things, and so 
they prove a blessing. See more hereof in Domestical 
Duties, treat, i. on Eph. vi. 3, sees. 101, 102, &c. 

God said to Abraham, * I am thy exceeding great 
reward,' Gen. xv. 1. Here he maketh it good, in this 
phrase, * I will bless thee.' For God's reward is 

' Kara. rraiSuv u/jivvi; vi fivv aVoXojXivai iikf^9r/iv. — DeinOSt. 
Sic apiid Thucid. Xenoph. Flxton. aliosque veterea authores 
post oi/.oirai addi solet ?i f/.hv. et jiisjurandum indicat. 

blessing ; it makes a man blessed. So soon as God 
had made man, he blessed him. Gen. i. 28, and v. 2. 
After man's fall, all the good that God did and in- 
tended to man, is comprised under this word blessed; 
and that before, in, and after the time of the law ; yea, 
in and after this world. Gen. ix. 1 ; Deut. xxviii. 3, 
&c. ; Mat. V. 3, &c., and xxv. 84. 

Blessedness is that summum bonum, that chief good, 
whereof the heathen had a glimpse, but could not find 
out wherein it consisted. It is that whereof Christ 
saith, ' One thing is needful,' Luke x. 42. He that 
is blessed in what he hath, needeth no more. He that 
hath abundance of such things as make not blessed, 
may be truly said to have nothing. 

Indeed, there are many particulars to which blessed- 
ness is annexed. Christ giveth instance of eight to- 
gether, which are commonly called the eight beatitudes. 
Mat. V. 3, &c. And the Scripture in other places gives 
instance of many hundreds more ; but be they never 
so many, they all meet and determine in one chief 
good : as all_ the lines which proceed from a circum- 
ference meet and end in the centre, all rivers in the 
sea, all beams whereby the world is enlightened are 
from the sun, and in the sun. There are many mem- 
bers of one body, 1 Cor. xii. 12. The apostle reckon- 
eth up many unities, Eph. iv. 4-6, which have refer- 
ence to many hundreds and thousands, yea, and 
millions of particulars. There is one Lord, millions 
are servants to that Lord. There is one faith, but 
multitudes of believers that are of that faith. One 
baptism, but innumerable persons in all ages baptized. 
So there is one blessedness, yet many virtues, graces, 
duties, and means which concur to make up that 

But to make this point the more clear, blessedness 
is to be considered in the inchoation and progress 
thereof ; or in the perfection and consummation of it. 

In the inchoation and progress many means are 
used, many graces obtained, many duties performed. 
They that attain to blessedness must hear God's word, 
and keep it, must fear God, must be poor in spirit, 
must mourn, &c. 

Blessedness is ascribed to all and every particular 
saving grace, in two respects especially. 

1. Because no blessedness can be attained without 
all and every of them. 

2. Because they who attain all and every of them 
shall assuredly be blessed. 

Quest. What if a Christian attains some of them, 
though he have them not all ? 

Ans. Whosoever hath one sanctifying grace, hath 
every sanctifying grace. All sanctifying graces are as 
so many links of one chain, whereby we are brought 
to salvation. He that hath one hath all ; he that hath 
not all, hath none at all. 

He that hath any sanctifying grace is truly regene- 
rate. Now regeneration consists of all the essential 
parts of a spiritual man, (which are all sanctifying 



[Chap. VI. 

graces), as natural generation consisteth of all the 
essential parts of a natural man. Yea, though in na- 
tural generation there may bo a defect and want of 
some parts, yet it never so falleth out in spiritual re- 

Fitly therefore is blessedness ascribed to every par- 
ticular grace, because he that hath one hath also every 
one. He that is truly poor in spirit doth mourn, is 
meek, and so in the rest. 

I will not deny but some graces may more conspi- 
cuously appear, and bo in their kind greater and more 
eminent than others, as the stars in the heavens ; yet 
in one degree or other, is every grace in every true 
saint, and that while hero he lives on earth. 

The perfection and consummation of blessedness 
consisteth in that incomprehensible and eternal glory, 
delight, and contentment which saints shall have in 
heaven, where they shall in a beatifical vision see God 
himself fi\ce to face, 1 Cor. xiii. 12, and where God 
will be all in all, 1 Cor. xv. 28. 

1. God's magnificence is herein much commended, 
in that he maketh those blessed to whom he is pleased 
to manifest his favour, and whom he will reward. 

Under blessedness, more is comprised than all the 
world can aflbrd. All things without blessedness are 
nothing worth ; blessedness is of itself invaluable. 
This is that treasure, and that pearl, for which he that 
knoweth the worth thereof will sell that he hath, and 
be no loser. Mat. xiii. 44-4G. 

2. Let him that would have his' desire satisfied, 
seek after blessedness. IMan can well desire no more 
than to be blessed. If ho desire anything under it, 
or without it, his desire is a mean and base desire. 

3. This should make us observe the means to which 
blessing is promised ; and this should make us dili- 
gent in using those means. A man were better not 
be than not be blessed ; but he that is blessed will 
have great and just cause to bless him that hath given 
him his being, and made him blessed. 

4. This is a great aggravation of their wretched dis- 
position, who being born and brought up under the 
light of the gospel, live, lie, and die in their natural, 
cursed condition. 

The heathen could say that all things desire their 
good ;' yet many men who live under the means 
whereby that good is revealed, will not learn how they 
may be blessed, much loss walk in the way that leadeth 
to it. God for his part saith, ' Behold, I set before 
you a blessing and a curse,' Deut, xi. 2G ; but many 
wretched men regard nnt to 'choose the good part,' 
as Mary did, Luke x. 42. Oh more than monstrous 
ingratitude to God ! Oh the irreparable damage that 
such bring to themselves ! 

Sec. 103. Of God's (thindanl hlessiiiff. 
The foresaid blessing is further amplified by doub- 
ling the phrase, thus, llexsin;/ I trill bless. This is an 
' Ayahv Ta.rx lifiirxi. — Arisl. Ethic. Nicom. lib. i. cap. i. 

Hebraism, frequently used in the Old Testament; and 
it addeth much emphasis, for it setteth forth, 

1. The certainty of a thing; as where the Lord 
saith, * Seeing I have seen,' Exodus iii. 7. We thus 
interpret it, ' I have surely seen.' 

2. Diligence and pains in a thing ; as where the 
daughters of Reuel said to their father concerning 
Moses, ' drawing he drew us water,' Exodus ii. 19, 
that is, with great diligence and much pains he drew 
water for us. 

3. Celerity and speed in doing a thing ; as where 
David saith, It is better that ' escaping I should 
escape,' 1 Sam. xxvii. 1. We thus translate it, 
' should speedily escape.' 

4. Abundance in giving a thing ; as in this, ' Bless- 
ing I will bless.' Our former English thus translated 
it in this place, * I will abundantly bless thee.' 

5. Success in doing a thing, or a thorough doing of 
it, or doing it to purpose ; as where Saul saith to 
David, ' doing thou sbalt do, and prevailing thou shalt 
prevail,' 1 Sam. xxvi. 25. We thus translate it, 
' Thou shalt both do gi'eat things, and also shalt still 

6. Finishing and perfecting a thing ; as where 
Solomon saith to God, ' Building I have built thee an 
house,' 1 Kings viii. 13. His meaning is, that he had 
perfectly finished it. 

7. A wonderful increase of a thing ; as in this phrase, 
' Multiplying I will multiply.' Our former English 
thus translate it, ' I will multiply thee marvellously.' 

8. Long continuance ; as, ' waiting I have waited,' 
Ps. xl. 1, that is, I have long waited. 

This phrase, ' blessing I will bless,' gives us to 
understand that blessings appertaining to Abraham 
and to his seed are abundant blessings. God is no 
way scanty to the sinful. He is exceeding bountiful 
to them every way. It is observable that the Hebrew 
useth this word hlexsinrj or blessed in the plural number,' 
which, to translate word for word, signifieth blessed- 
nesses. So much is intended under the fii'st word of 
the fii'st psalm. 

More expressly doth the wise man thus set down the 
fore-mentioned point : ' A faithful man shall abound 
with blessings,' Prov. xxviii. 20. In this respect the 
psalmist saith, * The Lord daily loadeth us with his 
blessings,' Ps. Ixviii. 10; and the apostle thus, 'God 
hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings ;' ' He hath 
abounded towards us,' &c., Eph. i. 3, 8. To this 
purpose it is said, * Godliness is profitable unto all 
things, having promise of the life that now is, and of 
that which is to come,' 1 Tim. iv. 8. 

God proportioneth his blessings according to his 
own greatness. He setteth forth his magnificence in 
blessing children of men. 

Who would not depend upon such a Lord for 
blessing ? 

' *X'K, beatitudines ; TX*S, beatiludinea luce, Ps. cx.\viii. 
1, 2. 


Ver. 13-15.] 


How ought we to enlarge our hearts and open our 
mouths in blessing God for so blessing us ! 

Sec, 104. Of the extent of Abraham's blessing to all 
of his faith. 

In setting down this blessing, the persons blessing 
and blessed, the Giver and the receivers of the bless- 
ing are distinctly expressed under these two pronouns 
I, thee. The former hath reference to God, the latter 
to Abraham ; for God saith to Abraham, ' I will bless 
thee.' God, then, is the author and giver of blessing. 
See ver. 6, Sec. 47. 

Abraham is here to be considered as a public per- 
son, and the father of the faithful ; so as what is here 
confirmed to Abraham, may be applied to all the 
faithful as truly and as efi'ectually as if God had said 
it and sworn it to every one of them in particular. As 
Levi is said to pay tithes in Abraham, Heb. vii. 9, 
so all believers that have been since Abraham, and 
shall be to the end of the world, are blessed in Abra- 
ham : Gal. iii. 9, ' For it was not written for his sake 
alone, but for us also.' Rom. iv. 23. 

All they that are of the faith of Abraham, and none 
but they, have a right to this blessing. For as there 
is an extent in this pronoun thee (which is to be ex- 
tended to Abraham and his seed, Gen. xii. 8, and xxii. 
17), so there is a restraint therein. They must be 
such as are of his faith, and in that respect accounted 
his children. ' For they are not all Israel which are 
of Isi'ael ; neither because they are the seed of Abra- 
ham, are they all children,' Rom. ix. 6, 7. ' But they 
which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham,' 
Gal iii. 9. 

Blessing, then, is proper only to the faithful. Read 
the Scripture thorough, and observe where you find 
any pronounced blessed ; I dare boldly say, you shall 
find them in this sense to be of the seed of Abraham : 
namely, as they are of the faith of Abraham, and walk 
in the steps of Abraham, Ps. i. 1, and xxxii. 1, and 
cxix. 1, and cxii. 1, 2. 

Christ is the fountain of all blessing ; he is that 
blessed seed. Gal. iii. 16. Out of him there can be 
nothing but woe and curse. But all the faithful are 
comprised in his seed. They are members of that 
body, which is Christ, 1 Cor. xii. 12, and none but 
they. Of such saith the apostle, * All are yours, and 
ye are Christ's,' 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. 

1. How should this stir us up to be of this seed; 
and to give no rest to our souls till we have some 
assurance thereof. It would be better never to have 
been of Adam, if we be not also of Abraham. 
That brought us into a cursed condition ; this makes 
us blessed. 

That we may be of this seed of Abraham, let us set 
Abraham before us, and consider how he believed, 
that we may be of the same faith, Gal. iii. 7. Let us 
also consider how he walked, that we may walk in such 
steps, Rom. iv. 12, 

Quest. Is it possible that we may be such as Abra- 
ham was ? 

Ans. Yes ; there are the same means and the same 
Spirit to make us so ; and those means under the 
gospel are more perspicuous and powerful. 

Besides, though we have not such faith in the quan- 
tity and measure, yet we may have it in the kind and 
quality, even so far as will make us blessed, 

2. Let such as have assurance that they are of this 
seed content themselves in this, that they ai*e there- 
upon blessed. They have no cause to envy any estate 
of others that are not of this seed. For what can a 
creature desire more than to be blessed ? yea, what 
can the Creator give above that ? This is the summum 
honum, the chief good of all. 

Sec, 105, Of multiplication of seed, as a part of 
Abraham's blessing. 

One particular instance of the blessing promised to 
Abraham is thus expressed : multiplying, I will mul- 
tiply thee. 

The verb 'jrX/jSuvu, translated multiply, is derived 
from a noun, -TrXjj^og, that signifieth a mriltitude, Acts 
iv. 32, which noun is derived from another verb, 'TrX'/jdoo, 
that signifieth to fill, Luke v. 7, for by multiplying a 
thing is made full. 

Of the emphasis of doubling the word thus, ' mul- 
tiplying I will multiply,' see Sec. 103. 

The Hebrew, and the Greek LXX on Gen, xxii, 17, 
do add thy seed in this last clause, thus : ' I will mul- 
tiply thy seed,' But the apostle, for brevity's sake, 
leaveth it out, and only repeateth this relative pro- 
noun thee ; for it is apparent that the multiplication 
here promised is, of Abraham's seed ; a man cannot 
be multiplied but by his seed. 

Quest. How can multiplication of seed be a part of 
that promise which Abraham is said to obtain (ver. 15), 
seeing in his lifetime he saw no great multiplication ? 

Ans. 1. Abraham saw the beginning and ground- 
work thereof ; for he had seed of his own body, and 
that by Sarah his first wife, to whom the promise was 
made, as well as to himself. Gen. xvii, 16, and xviii. 10. 

2, He lived to see seed of that seed ; for Isaac had 
two sons of fifteen years old, whilst Abraham lived ; 
which ^ thus appeareth : Abraham lived one hundred 
and seventy five years. Gen. xxv. 7 ; Isaac was born 
when Abraham was an hundred years old, Gen. xxi. 5, 
Isaac was sixty years old when Esau and Jacob were 
born. Gen. xxv. 26 ; they therefore lived fifteen years 
in Abraham's time. 

3. I might here further add that Ishmael his son 
had many children in his time, and that by Keturah 
he had six sons, Gen. xxv. 2, every of which might 
have many children in his days ; but because the 
multiplication here mentioned is of the promised seed, 
I pass by this third answer : the two former are sufii- 
cient to satisfy the doubt. 

But that which yet gives fuller satisfaction is the 



[Chap. VL 

vigour of his faith, whereby he saw the day of Christ, 
John viii. 50, aucl all that seed according to the flesh 
and spirit which was promised him. He was by faith 
as fully assured thereof, as if he had lived to the end 
of the world, and seen all with his bodily eyes. 

Of the seed here especially intended, see Sec. 104. 

The multiplication of seed here promised, being 
added to God's promise of blessing Abraham, giveth 
evidence, that multiplication of seed is a blessing. In 
this respect it is said, ' happy is the man that hath his 
quiver full of them,' Ps. cxxvii. 5. Blessing is thus 
exemplified : Ps. cxxvii. 5. * Thy wife shall be as a 
fruitful vme, by the sides of the house : thy children 
like ohve plants,' &c. * Thou shall see thy children's 
children,' Ps. cxxviii. 8, G. On this ground, the 
ciders of Israel thus blessed Boaz : ' The Lord make 
the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel 
and Uke Leah, which two did build the house of Israel,' 
Ruth iv. 11. 

Object. Multiplication of conception is set down as 
a curse. Gen. iii. 16. 

Ans. 1. It is not simply the multiplication of seed 
that is there made a curse, but pain, and sorrow, and 
danger, which accompany the same. Hereupon this 
word sonoir is inserted thus : ' I will greatly multiply 
thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shall 
bring forth children.' 

2. In Christ, that which was at first set down as a 
curse is made a blessing, 1 Tim. ii. 15. 

Multiplication of seed is a means not only of in- 
creasing and continuing the world, but also of increas- 
ing and continuing the church in the world. And in 
this latter respect it is a blessing ; it is the multipli- 
cation of an holy seed, whereby Christ's kingdom is 
increased, and not Satan's. 

This manifesteth the undue desires of many, who 
would have no children at all. To prevent children, 
some will not marry ; others, though they marry, wish 
that they may have no children, or if any, only one. 
Others that have many children wish them dead. 
Herein Christians use to be more faulty than the Jews 
were. ^Yhat other reason can be rendered hereof, 
than covetousness, dislrustfulness, discontentedness, 
and such like corruptions ? Let us, for our parts, 
shake ofl' these corruptions, and depend upon God's 
providence for that seed which he shall be pleased to 
bestow upon us. See more hereof Chap. xi. 11, Sec. 
54, and Chap. xiii. 5, Sec. G5. 

Sec. lOG. (y God's viulti}>hjinri seed. 

Concerning multiplication of seed, we ought the 
rather to depend on God's providence, because he 
Baith, ' I multiply thee.' It is God that multiplieth 
seed. God, when he had made male and female, 
blessed them, and said unto them, ' Be fruitful, and 
multiply,' &c., Gen. i. 28. The like he said to Noah, 
after the flood. Gen. ix. 1. Therefore, children are 
said to be an ' heritage of the Lord,' &c., Ps. cxxvii. 

3. God is said to * open the womb,' Gen. xxix. 31, 
33. He fs also said to ' close the womb,' Gen. xx. 18. 
When Rachel said to her husband, ' Give me children,' 
Jacob thus answered, 'Am I in God's stead?' &c., 
Gen. XXX. 2. 

To give children is a kind of creation, which work 
is proper to the Creator. 

1. Let such as desire seed, seek it of him who is 
able to give it, and multiply it. ' Isaac entreated the 
Lord for his wife, because she was barren : and the 
Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife con- 
ceived,' Gen. XXV. 21. The like is noted of Hannah, 
1 Sam. i. 10. Many wives, that have no children, are 
ready to lay the blame upon their husbands, and many 
husbands upon their wives, and thus set one against 
another, and deprive themselves of that mutual com- 
fort which they might have one in another. If they 
would consider that it is God who giveth increase of 
seed, such discontents would be much allayed. 

2. Let such as have increase of seed, give the praise 
thereof to him who giveth it ; as Leah did, Gen. xxix. 
35, and Hannah, 1 Sam. ii. 1, &c. 

3. That which God giveth, is to be given to him 
again. To this purpose thus voweth Hannah, ' If 
thou wilt give unto thy handmaid a male child, then 
I will give him unto the Lord,' 1 Sam. i. 2. Children 
are given to the Lord when they are instructed in the 
will of God, and brought to fear God, and made his 

Sec. 107. Of Abraham's numerous seed. 

This emphatical phrase, ' multiplying I will multipy,' 
sets out the exceeding great multitude of children that 
proceeded from Abraham, even his innumerable pos- 
terity, which is more expressly set down under these 
phrases, ' like the dust of the earth,' Gen. xiii. 16, 
' like the stars in the heaven, and the sand which is 
upon the sea shore,' Gen. xxii. 17. 

I suppose that there cannot be another instance 
given of so numerous a posterity, as Abraham had ac- 
cording to the flesh. But Abraham was a root of the 
church, and in that respect was this extent of God's 
promise especially verified. 

This much commendeth the goodness of God, which 
is extended to so many ; and from hence we may in- 
fer, that they are not a few that shall be saved. For all 
Abraham's seed after the spirit shall partake of sal- 
vation. See more hereof Chap. ii. 10, Sec. 91, and 
Chap. ix. 28, Sec. 140. 

We have just cause to take notice of this extent of 
the foresaid blessing ; for we among others partake of 
the benefit thereof. That promise hath been extended 
to us of this land, and that in these our days. Lot 
our care be to shew ourselves true children of Abraham. 

Sec. 108. 0/ Abraham's patient endicrinr/. 
Ver. 15. And so, after he had patiently endured, he 
obtained the promise. 

Ver. 13-15.] 



These two particles, xa/ o'urw, aiid so, imply a con- 
sequence following upon tliat which went before. The 
consequence hath reference to God's promise confirmed 
to Abraham by oath, which Abraham believing obtained 
the benefit thereof, which is here set down in this verse. 
That benefit is the consequence here intended. 

This phrase, after he had patiently endured, is the 
interpretation of one Grreek participle, iiax^oQufLvieag, 
which being of the first aorist, that setteth out the time 
past, may be thus also translated, having patiently en- 
dured. Both translations make to the same purpose, 
and shew that the reward of obtaining the promise 
followed upon his patient enduring. 

Of the notation of the word translated patiently en- 
dured, see ver. 12, Sec. 86. It implieth two things, 
patience^ and perseverance.^ For it signifieth, long to 
endure with a meek and quiet mind. Thus it is ap- 
plied to God himself, ,'j,a-/.^odufLuiv, Luke xviii. 7, /xax^odu- 
,'/.£/, 2 Peter iii, 9, and to a wise husbandman, James v. 
7, under whose example the emphasis of the word is fitly 
set forth. For the husbandman waits for a crop from 
the seedtime to the harvest, and in that time he oft 
finds hard nipping frosts, blasting winds, scorching 
heats, yea, sometimes drought through want of rain, and 
sometimes floods through a great abundance of rain, 
yet he continueth to wait till the time of harvest, and, 
if he be not a covetous worldling, he waits with a quiet 
mind, still hoping for a good crop, for in that hope 
he soweth his seed. 

This patient enduring hath reference both to a long 
date, which requireth enduring, and also to such diffi- 
culties as may fall out in that long time, which require 

That Abraham did long endure, and that with 
patience, is evident by the history of his life registered 
in sacred writ. 

A child was one special thing comprised under the 
promise ; for it he waited till he was an hundred year 
old. Was ever the like heard of any since the flood ? 
Indeed, Shem was an hundred year old before he 
begat Arphaxad; but he was born, and lived a great 
part of his time before the flood. The other patriarchs 
that lived betwixt Shem and Abraham, had chikken 
before they were forty. Only Terah, the father of 
Abraham, was seventy years old before he had a child ; 
but the thirty years which Abraham waited, after the 
seventieth year of his age, were much more than 
Terah's first seventy. It is said of Zacharias and 
Elizabeth his wife, that they were ' well stricken in 
years,' Luke i. 7, but their age was not comparable 
to Abraham's. He endured all his life long for the 
promised inheritance. That Abraham endured all 
that time patiently with a meek and quiet mind, is 
evident by that constant, cheerful, ready obedience, 
which he yielded to God upon all occasions ; never 
gainsaying, or making question of any thing which 

^ Of patience, see ver. 12, Sec. 86. 

^ Of perseverance, see Chap. iii. ver. 6, Sec, 68, &c. 

God said ; never fretting, nor murmuring against any 
part of God' sword. This may be exemplified in sundry 

1. Upon God's command, ' he went out of his 
country, and from his kindred, and from his father's 
house,' Gen. xii. 1. 

2. Upon God's appointment, he lived all his days 
in a strange country, Heb. xi. 9. 

3. Famines and other difficulties did not move him 
to return to the place from whence God had called 
him ; but other- where he provided for himself, Gen. 
xii. 10. 

4. Because God would have him only there to 
sojourn, he was content to dwell in tents, G-en. xii. 8, 
and xviii. 1, Heb. xi. 9. He built no palace, castle, 
or house for himself. 

5. In his ninety-ninth year, at God's command, he 
was circumcised, and all his house at that time. Gen. 
xvii. 23, 24. He feared not any such danger as befell 
the Shechemites upon a like occasion, Gen. xxxiv. 
25, &c. 

6. Upon God's command he cast Ishmael out of 
his house, though it were grievous to him, Gen. xxi. 
12, 14. 

7. Upon God's promise, ' against hope he believed 
in hope, that he might become the father of many 
nations,' Gen. xvii. 17, Kom. iv. 18. 

8. Upon God's command, he was ready to sacrifice 
his only, his beloved son, the son of promise, Gen. 
xxii. 2, 10. 

9. He purchased a burying-place for his wife, him- 
self, and other patriarchs, in testimony" of his faith 
that his posterity should enjoy that land, Gen. xxiii. 
17, &c. 

10. He would not suffer his son to be carried to the 
country, out of which God had called him, Gen. xxiv. 6. 

11. He would not make affinity with those strangers, 
that were to be rooted out of that land, but sent to 
take a wife unto his son from among his kindred, Gen. 
xxiv. 3, &c. 

12. He preferred the son of promise before all other 
his children, and sent them all away from Isaac, Gen. 
XXV. 6. 

Of the difficulties which Abraham passed over, 
see ver. 13, Sec. 94. 

Sec. 109. Of the blessings u-hich Abraham enjoyed. 

The main promise made to Abraham was to bless 
him, ver. 14, which compriseth under it all manner 
of good things, that any way tend to make man 
blessed. See ver. 14, Sec. 102. 

Of this word promise, see ver. 12, Sec. 87. 

It is here said, that he obtained the promise. The 
verb s'TriT-j'xi, obtained, is in Greek a compound. 
The simple verb ruyy^dvu signifieth as much, and is 
oft so translated, as Heb. xi. 35, Luke xx. 35. But 
the preposition It/, ad, with which it is compounded, 
questionless addeth some emphasis. It may imply 



[Chap. VI. 

an obtaining to himself. He so obtained the pro- 
mises, as he made them his own. He onl}' and liis 
seed did partake of the benefit tliereof. Thus is this 
compound used, Heb. xi. 83, Kom. xi. 7. To exem- 
plify this in some particulars, the good things pro- 
mised, which Abraham obtained, may be drawn to 
three heads, temporal, spiritual, eternal. 
Concerning tempoi'al blessings, 

1. Ho was honourable in the place of his abode. 
For the nations accounted him ' a prince of God' 
among them, Gen. xxiii. IG, that is, a great prince. 

2. Ho was so mighty a man, as out of his own 
house he could raise an army. Gen. xiv. 14. 

8. Ho was ' very rich in cattle, silver, and gold,' 
Gen. xiii. 2. 

4. He was beloved of the nations thereabouts ; 
instance the good entertainment which Pharaoh, king 
of Egypt, in a time of famine. Gen. xii. 16, and 
Abimelech, king of the Philistines, gave him. Gen. 
XX. 14. Instance also that courteous dealing which 
he found at the hand of the Hittites, Gen. xxiii. G, 

5. He had an heir, a lovely and gracious son, a son 
of promise, Gen. xxi. 2, &c. 

6. He saw his children's children ; for Esau and 
Jacob lived some years in his time. 

7. He lived many days, and those many days were 
good days, Gen. xxv. 8. 

8. He was full of years, which phrase implieth, that 
he outlived not his good days. He was ' an old man 
and full of years, aud died in a good old age,' Gen. 
xxv. 8. 

9. He left a blessed memorial behind him, none 
ever a better. His memory yet as a laurel romaineth 
fresh and green in God's church. He is counted and 
called ' the father of the faithful,' Rom. iv. 11. 

Concerning spiritual blessings, he was endued not 
onl}' with those sanctifying graces, which were abso- 
lutely necessary to the salvation of his soul ; but also 
with such as exceedingly adorned and beautified his 
profession, and made him a good parent, a good 
master, a good neighbour, and every way good. In 
regard of the eminency of those graces wherew'ith God 
endued him, he was called the friend of God, 2 Chron. 
XX. 7 ; Isa. xli. 8 ; James ii. 23. 

Concerning eternal blessings, he had not only a part 
of that rich and glorious inheritance in heaven, which 
Christ by his blood hath purchased, but in some 
respects he may be accounted among men, thechiefest 
therein. See more hereof. Sec. U2. 

Sec. 110. Of intit'uuf for God's promises. 

The points before noted of Abraham, are written 
not for his sake alone, but for us also, Rom. iv. 
23, 24, even for our learning, Rom. xv. 4. So as 
from Abraham's example we may well infer these 
three points : 

1. God's promises are to be waited for. 

2. Waiting for God's promises must be with patience. 

3. Fruition of the good things promised will be 
obtained by a patient waiting for them. 

1. That God's promises are to be waited for, is 
manifest, not only by Abraham's approved example, 
but also by the example of other patriarchs. Jacob 
on his deathbed maketh this profession : * I have 
waited for thy salvation, Lord,' Gen. xlix. 18. ' I 
waited patiently for the Lord,' saith the psalmist, Vs. 
xl. 1. In the Hebrew, the word is doubled thus, 
^DMp nipj expectando expectavi, * waiting I have waited ;' 
of the emphasis hereof, see ver. 14, Sec. 103. Aa 
this duty is commended by sundry approved ex- 
amples, so it is expressly commanded : ' Wait on the 
Lox*d,' Ps. xxxvii. 34, Prov. xx. 22. 

1. God in his wisdom oftscttelh a long date- for the 
accomplishment of his promises. All which time we 
must w-ait, lest we fail of obtaining the benefit of the 

2. God waiteth that he may be gracious to us, 
Isa. XXX. 18. Should not we then wait his good 
pleasure ? 

3. The time which God appointeth is the fittest 
season for eftecting a thing. That time therefore is 
to be waited for. It is a great fault to prescribe a 
time to God ; and if in that time God accomplish not 
his promise, to distrust the truth thereof, and there- 
upon either to faint, or to use indirect means, as Saul 
did, 1 Sam. xxviii. 7. It was an atheistical speech of 
a profane king to say, ' What should I wait for the 
Lord any longer ?' 2 Kings vi. 33. 

Sec. 111. Of trail inr/ with patience. 

It was shewed Sec. 108 that the word fiaxPoSv/M^aag, 
which the apostle useth, intendeth patience in waiting. 
This phrase, ' I was dumb, and opened not my mouth,' 
Ps. xxxix. 9, implieth the psalmist's meek and quiet 
spirit. ' It is good both to hope and to be silent,' 
Lam. iii. 26, that is, quietly to wait for the salvation 
of the Lord. For ' in rest and quietness shall you 
be saved,' Isa. xxx. 15. The psalmist giveth this 
reason thereof, ' because thou, Lord, didst it.' For 
such ought our respect to be to God, as we grudge not 
against anything that ho doth, but contentedly and 
patiently expect the issue thereof, which will prove 
good to them that so wait. 

Contrary hereunto is their perverse disposition who 
grudge and murmur at God's dealing with them, as 
when he stayeth longer than they looked for before he 
accomplish his promise, or when he bringeth them 
into any straits or distresses, or when some outward 
likelihoods appear against the promises which they 
have looked for. Examples of these and other like 
cases we have of the Israelites while they were in the 
wilderness, and of God's severe judgments on them 
for the same, whereupon the apostlo giveth this ad- 
monition to Christians, ' Neither murmur ye, as some 
of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the 

Ver. 13-15.] 



destroyer,' 1 Cor. x. 10. Hereby they tempted God. 
See Chap. iii. 9, Sec. 96. 

This discontented disposition argueth a light esteem 
of God, and a little faith in God's power, providence, 
wisdom, truth, mercy, and other divine properties. 
Though they may seem to wait, yet their waiting can 
be no way acceptable to God. 

Sec. 112. Of the benefit of patient icaitinr/. 

The special benefit which they that patiently wait 
God's time for accomphshing his promise have is, that 
they shall obtain the good things promised. This in 
general was prayed ver. 12, Sees. 87, 88. It might 
further be confirmed by Caleb's and Joshua's and the 
other believing Israelites' entering into Canaan, and by 
David's possessing the kingdom of Israel, and by 
sundry other particular instances recorded in Scrip- 
ture. It is said of old Simeon, that he ' waited for 
the consolation of Israel,' which was for the exhibition 
of the Messiah, and, according to his expectation, he 
saw him before he died, Luke ii. 25, &c. Especially 
is this verified in the heavenly inheritance, which all 
true believers that wait for it do enjoy. * Wait on 
the Lord, and he shall save thee,' Prov. xx. 22. 

The truth and faithfulness of him that maketh the 
promise giveth assurance hereof. 

This is a strong motive to stir us up to shew our- 
selves to be children of Abraham, and that in a patient 
waiting for the accomplishment of such promises as 
God maketh to us. There are many great and pre- 
cious promises made to Christians. They who, as 
Abraham, patiently wait, shall assuredly be made par- 
takers of the good things promised. Acquaint your- 
selves, therefore, with these promises, and rest upon 
the accomplishment of them in due time. 

Sec. 113. Of the resolution o/Heb. vi. 13-15. 

Ver. 13. For when God made promise to Abraham, 
because lie could sivear by no greater, he sioare by him- 
self, ^ ^ 

14. Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and 
m^dtiplying I toill multiply thee. 

15. And so, after he had patiently endured, he ob- 
tained the promise. 

The sum of these three verses is, the recompence 
of Abraham's faith. 

Two things are here to be considered : 

1. The occasion of producing this instance, in this 
causal particle /or. 

2. The exemplification of the point itself. Hereof 
are two parts : 

1. The grounds of Abraham's faith. 

2. The efiect thereof, ver. 15. 

The grounds are two : 1, God's promise ; 2, God's 

In setting down the former, two things are ex- 
pressed : 

1. The persons. 2. The promise itself. 

The persons are of two sorts : 

1. He who maketh the promise, God. 

2. He to whom the promise is made, Abraham. 
The promise itself is, 

1. Generally hinted in this phrase, made promise. 

2. Particularly exemplified, ver. 14. 

God's oath is, 1, generally aSirmed thus, he sware ; 
2, particularly amplified by the object by whom he 

The object is, 1, propounded in this word, himself. 
2. Proved by his superiority over all, thus expressed, 
because he could swear by no other. 

In the exemplification of God's promise confirmed 
by oath is set down, ver. 14, 

1. The note of the oath, surehj. 

2. The matter of the promise so confirmed. This is, 

1. Propounded in two branches : one general, 
blessing ; the other particular, multiplying . 

2. Amplified by the measure of both, and that by 
doubling the words. 

In setting down the efi'ect or fruit of Abraham's 
faith, two points are noted, ver. 15 : 

1. The means used on Abraham's part. 

2. The kind of efi'ect. 

The means noteth out two graces : 1, enduring ; 2, 

In the effect is expressed, 

1. An act, obtained. 2. The subject matter, the 

All these points are amplified by the order. First 
the means was used, then the reward was obtained. 

Sec, 114. Of observations raised out of Heb. vi. 

I. All believers may expect what Abraham obtained. 
The connection of this example of Abraham with the 
former general exhortation, by this causal particle /or, 
evidenceth as much. See Sec. 91. 

II. Abraham's example is an especial pattern. It 
is therefore here produced. See Sec. 92. 

III. Fit names are of good use. Abraham's faith 
was supported by his name. See Sec. 93. 

IV. God's promise is the ground of faith and pa- 
tience. For this end is mention here made of God's 
promise. See Sec. 96. 

V. God covfirms his promise by oath He sware. 
See Sec. 97. 

VI. God sware by himself. This is expressly set 
down. See Sec. 98. 

VII. None is greater than God. This is taken for 
granted. See Sec. 99. 

VIII. An inferior must not be sworn by. For this 
end God sware by himself. See Sec. 99. 

IX. Godframeth his oath after the manner of man. 
The Greek word translated surely was a word used in 
men's oaths. See Sec. 101. 

X. God's reward makes blessed. It is therefore 
comprised under this word blessing. See Sec. 102. 



[Chap. VI. 

XI. God is tlie fountain of hlessiny. It is God 
that saith, 7 will hiess. See Sec. 10-4. 

XII. God hicsseth abundantly. The doubling of 
this phrase, hlessiny I will bless, intends as much. See 
Sec. 103. 

XIII. Blessing is jtroper to tlie faith fid. They arc 
comprised under this pronoun thee. See Sec. 104. 

XIV. Children are a blessing. For this end mul- 
tiplying is added to blessing. See Sec. 105. 

XV. God qives children. God saith, ' I will mul- 
tiply.' See Sec. lOG. 

XVI. Many children are a blessing. This is in- 
tended under the doubling of this phrase, multiplying 
J toill 7niiltiply. See Sec. 105. 

XVII. Abraham had an innumerable seed. This 
doubled phrase, midtijdying I will multiply, is ap- 
plied to him. See Sec. 107. 

XVIII. Abraham long expected things promised. 

XIX. Abraham's long expectation was loith much 
ptatience. These two last observations arise from the 
Greek compound word, thus translated, patiently 
endured. See Sec. 108. 

XX. Abraham enjoyed tvhat he waited for. This is 
expressly set down Sec. 109. 

Of three general observations inferred from Abra- 
ham's pattern, see Sees. 110-112. 

Sec. 115. 0/ God's conforming himself to man. 

Ver. 16. For men verily sivear by the greater : and 
an oath of confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 

This verse is here inserted as a reason of that which 
went before. So much is evidenced by this causal 
particle ya^, for. 

Now two things were before noted of God : one 
general, that he sware ; the other particular, that he 
sware by himself. The reason of both these is here 

The reason of the former is taken from the end of 
swearing, which is to work such credence in men's 
minds as may take away all doubt about the thing 
controverted, and end the strife. 

The reason of the latter is taken from men's usual 
practice in swearing, which is to swear by the greatest. 

The apostle begins with the particular, which is the 
person by whom men use to swear ; because the latter, 
which is the general, will better agree with that which 
follows, about the end of God's swearing, vers. 17, 18. 

The apostle here inscrteth the ordinary note of 
asseveration, /ib, verily, because experience verifieth 
the truth of what he ailirms ; and withal he gives us 
to understand that this is a considerable point. And 
surely it is very considerable that God should conforni 
himself to man, as this causal particle for, and the 
force of the reason couched under it, doth intend. 
This is further manifested by those passions, ail'ec- 
tions, actions, parts, and other like things appertain- 
ing to man, which God assumeth to himself, and in 
Scripture are attributed to God. 

This God doth to condescend to us, and to help 
our weakness, who cannot so well conceive heavenly 
mysteries unless they be set forth by earthly resem- 
blances : ' If I have told you earthly things, and ye 
believe not, how shall ye beUeve if I tell you of 
heavenly things ?' John iii. 12. 

1. This doth much commend God's fatherly respect 
to us, and tender care over us. 

2. This should stir us up to give the more heed 
hereunto, that we may bo the better instructed hereby. 
Let our dealing one with another move us to have 
God's like dealing with us in higher account. If man's 
swearing be regarded, how much more should God's ? 
As God is infinitely greater in majesty, power, truth, 
faithfulness, and other like excellencies, so ought we 
to give more credence to God's oath than to any 

Sec. 116. Of 7nan's shearing, and the lawfulness 

This phrase, men swear, implieth an usual custom, 
which is not disproved, but rather approved ; and that 
two ways : 

1. In that it is here brought in as a ratification of 
that which God did. God sware, because men use to 
do so. 

2. In that God herein conforms himself to men; but 
the righteous God will not conform himself to any 
creature in any evil. 

Obj. Hatred, anger, jealousy, revenge, with other 
like passions, are attributed to God. 

Ans. These are not simply evil in themselves. 
Being placed on their right object, and well ordered, 
they are good ; they are in that respect fruits and 
efiects of justice. 

By this act of swearing attributed to men, as here 
it is, it appears that it is lawful for men to swear : 
* Thou shalt swear by the name of the Lord,' Dent, 
vi. 13. Express injunctions in sundry cases are given 
about this point ; as Exod. xxii. 11 ; Num. v. 19 ; 
1 Kings viii. 31. Saints, guided by God's Spirit, 
have both themselves solemnly sworn, Gen. xxi. 31 ; 

1 Sam. XX. 42, and also caused others so to do. Gen. 
xxiv. 3, and xlvii. 31. 

Obj. Those are instances of the Old Testament. 

Ans. Approved examples about general moral duties, 
which belong to all ages, registered in the Old Testa- 
ment, are good warrants for Christians living in the 
New Testament. Such things are written for our 
instruction, Kom. iv. 29, and xv. 4. 

Besides, this prophecy, ' Every tongue shall swear 
unto the Lord,' is a prediction concerning the times 
of the gospel, Isa. xlv. 23. This phrase, ' I call God 
for a record upon ray soul,' which the apostle useth, 

2 Cor. i. 23, sets down the form of an oath. Angels 
arc brought in swearing, Pan. xii. 7 ; llev. x. 6 ; but 
a pattern taken from angels is for Christians as well 
as for Jews. 

Ver. 16.] 



As for men's swearing, it is a branch of their respect 
to God and man : 

1. To God, in that thereby his name is invocated, 
and he worshipped ; yea, also in that sundry of his 
divine excellencies are acknowledged ; as his omni- 
science, omnipresence, providence in ordering all things, 
sovereignty, power, justice, truth, &c. 

2. To man, in that in sundry cases his innocency is 
cleared, suspicions are removed, truth is manifested, 
and controversies are ended. 

These respects which an oath hath to God and man 
give good proof of the lawfulness of it. 

Sec. 117. Of swearing laivfuUy. 

That which in general is^lawful must lawfully be 
used ; it is therefore requisite to consider what things 
concur to the making up of a lawful oath. They are 
in special four : 

1. The person that sweareth. 

2. The matter that is sworn.' 

3. The manner of swearing. 

4. The end of swearing. 

1. Two things concur to make a man fit to swear : 
(1.) That he be of understanding and discretion, 

well to know what he doth. On this ground babes, 
idiots, frenzy persons, are not fit to swear. 

(2.) That they have power to make good what they 
swear. As they who are under the power of others 
might not make a vow of those things which they that 
were over them might null or make void, Num. xxx. 
3, &c., so neither may such swear in like case. 

2. Four things are requisite for the matter of an 
oath : 

(1.) That that which is sworn be a truth ; and that 
both logically, as the thing is indeed, and also morally, 
as he that sweareth conceiveth it to be. That which 
Paul thus by oath affirmed (' The things v^hich I write 
unto you, behold, before God, I lie not,' Gal. i. 20), 
were logically true, and morally also. 

(2.) That it be possible. To swear to do an im- 
possible matter, is to bring a necessity of perjury. 
Well, therefore, did Abraham's servant interpose this 
caution : ' Peradventure, the woman will not be willing 
to follow me unto this land,' Gen. xxiv. 5. 

(3.) That it be just and lawful. Righteousness is 
one of the requisites in an oath, Jer. iv. 2. To swear 
an unjust and unlawful thing is to impose a necessity 
of sinning, and that either by doing that which ought 
not to be done, or by not doing that which he hath 
sworn to do. 

(4.) That it be weighty, and such a matter as no 
other way can be determined. This may be implied 
under this requisite of an oath, ' in judgment,' Jer. iv. 
2. The highest judge is appealed to in an oath. But 
he must not be troubled in trifles ; they must be great 
matters that should be brought to Moses, the highest 
judge among the Israelites, Exod. xviii. 22. Much 
more must they be great and weighty matters that are 

brought before the highest Judge of heaven and 

3. Two things especially are to be observed in the 
manner of swearing : 

(1.) That it be done deliberately, and advisedly. 
This is also intended under this phrase, ' in judg- 

(2.) That it be done piously, with hearts lift up unto 
him by whom we swear. These cautions are joined 
together : ' Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and 
serve him, and shalt swear by his name,' Deut. vi. 13. 
' Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart 
be hasty to utter anything before God,' Eccles. v. 2. 
The apostle putteth a Ecce before his oath, 'Behold, 
before God I lie not,' Gal. i. 20. 

4. There are two general ends of an oath: 1, God's 
glory ; 2, man's good : and that in reference to others, 
or ourselves. 

(1.) God's glory is aimed at, when, in respect to 
him and his divine attributes, we make him our Judge, 
and answerably order all things in the oath, as may 
set forth the glory of his excellencies. ' Whatsoever 
we do, we must do all to the glory of God,' 1 Cor. x. 
31. Much more this great and weighty matter of an 
especial appeal to him. 

(2.) Man's good is aimed at in reference to others, 
when we swear to clear his integrity, or to declare that 
which is his right. ' All things must be done with 
charity,' 1 Cor. svi. 14. Much more this great and 
weighty matter. 

The good which we ought to aim at in reference to 
ourselves is, that our innocency may be justified, 1 
Kings viii. 32. 

A special end of an oath is to put an end to con- 
troversies. Hereof see Sec. 121. 

Sec. 118. Of cm oath, what it is. 

That the fore-named direction about swearing law- 
fully may be the better observed, it is requisite to 
know what an oath is ; and what the several kinds 
thereof be. 

An oath is a sacred attestation, whereby God is 
made a judge of what is attested. 

This word attestation signifieth more than a bare 
affirming or denying of a thing. It is a kind of con- 
firming of a thing by witness,' in that he by whom one 
swears is made a witness of that which is sworn, Rom. 
i. 9. 

This epithet sacred is added, because therein the 
swearer hath to do with God, making his appeal to 
him, and calling upon him ; for a right Chiistian oath 
must be made by God. See Sec. 120. 

God is in an oath made a judge in two respects : 

1. In regard of his omniscience, who knoweth all 
things, past, present, and to come ; secret and open, 
yea, even the secret intentions of the heart. 

' f/,ec^rvpi>f/,ai, attestor, I call to witness, or, I affirm upon 




[Chap. VI. 

2. In re;:(ard to his omnipotency, in that ho is able 
to take such vougoancc as may make all creatures fear 
to provoke him. 

Hence is it that an oath is counted so strong a bond, 
and that it puttcth an end to difterenccs, because it is 
supposed that no man dares make God a witness of 
any untruth, or provoke such a judj^e to execute ven- 
geance. ' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands 
of the living God, Heb. x. 31. 

Sec. 119. Of the several hinds of stoearinrf, 
An oath may be distinguished according to the 
ground, matter, and manner of it. 

1. The ground of an oath is either imposed, o^xo; 
irraxroi, jurainoittim dehiluin, ah alin im pactum ; or 

An oath may be imposed by such as have authority, 
or such as pretend damage. 

By reason of his authority Abraham made his ser- 
vant to swear, Gen. xxiv. 3, and Jacob his son. Gen. 
xlvii. 31. Thus might the high priest under the law 
impose an oath, Num. v. 19, and public judges, Exod. 
xxii. 8. This power public judges ever had and still 

Upon pretence of damage one neighbour might re- 
quire an oath of another, 1 Kings viii. 31 , 32. 

A free oath is that which one on his own pleasure 
taketh, to move others the more to believe what he 
saith. This may and must be done when the matter 
makes to the glory of God, 1 Kings xxii. 14, or our 
neighbour's special good, 1 Sam. xiv. 45, or our own 
suspected integrity, 1 Sam. xxvi. 10. 

2. The matter of an oath is something past or pre- 
sent, or else something to come. The former end of 
an oath is called assertory, whereby something is 
affirmed or denied. Thus David by an oath affirmed 
that he was in danger of death, and the widow of 
Zarephath denied by oath that she had not a cake, 
&c., 1 Kings xvii. 12. 

The latter kind of oath, which concerns things to 
come, is called promissory, as when king Zedekiah 
Bware that he would not put Jeremiah to deatli, Jer. 
xxxviii. 16. 

3. The manner of swearing hath respect to circum- 
stances ; as the persons betwixt whom the oath is 
made, the place where, the time when, the occasion 
why, with other the hke. Thus an oath is public or 

A public oath is many ways differenced, as when a 
nation or congregation swear to God, 2 Chron. xv. 
14 ; or when one nation sweareth to another, as the 
Israelites did to the Gibeonitcs, Josh. ix. 15 ; or sub- 
jects to their governors, as the Gileadites to Jephthah, 
Judges xi. 10. 

A private oath is betwixt particular persons, as that 
which was made between Jonathan and David, 1 Sam. 
XX. 42. 

The evidences of all the fore-mentioned kinds of 

swearing, being approved in sacred Scripture, give 
proof that they are all warrantable. 

Sec. 120. 0/ sirearinfj by God alone. 

The projier object of men's swearing is thus set 
down, xara ro\J /msi'!^ovo;, b)/ the grealcr. Hereby God 
is meant, God alone. For men that swear are here 
considered as creatures distinguished from their Crea- 
tor. Now all creatures in reference to their Creator 
are fellow-servants ; and in that respect none so great 
over another as meet to be sworn by. Besides, all 
other creatures were made for man. God gave man 
dominion over all creatures in the air, waters, and 
earth. Gen. i. 28. The heavens are made a covering 
for him ; the sun, moon, and stars to give him light ; yea, 
the angels have a charge given unto them to keep man 
in safety, Ps. xci. 11, and they are ministering spirits 
for him, Heb. i. 14. Now that for which other things 
are is counted the best.' There being then among 
creatures no greater than man by whom he may swear, 
he may swear only by the Creator. 

As God, because he had no greater than himself, 
did swear by himself, so man, because he hath no 
gi'eater than God, must, when he sweareth, swear by 
God. This exclusive particle only, which Christ 
addeth to serving of God, Mat. iv. 10, is to be applied 
to swearing by God. For both these are joined to- 
gether, Deut. vi. 13. This phi-ase, ' unto me every 
tongue shall swear,' Isa. xlv. 23, is exclusive ; it ex- 
cludeth all but God ; and this, ' he that sweareth in 
the earth, shall swear by the God of truth,' Isa. Ixv. 10. 

1. Divine properties arc attributed to that by which 
men swear ; as, omnipresence, omniscience, search- 
ing the heart, sujDremc sovereignty, power to revenge, 
and the like, which are proper to God alone. That 
which the Lord saith of the last of these, ' To me be- 
longeth vengeance,' Deut. xxxii. 35, may be said of 
all the rest : to the Lord belongeth omnipresence, 
omniscience, &c., even to him alone. 

2. Divine worship is given to him by whom men 
swear, for there is divine invocation comprised in an 
oath, which is a principal part of divine worship. 

3. It is a gi-eat debasement for man to swear by any 
other than God, in that he maketh himself inferior to, 
and less and lower than that by which he sweareth. 

4. It addeth much to God's honour, to have such 
a prerogative proper and peculiar to himself. 

Sec. 121. Of the inviolableness of an oath, uhereby 
iUlf'eirnccs are ended. 

One special end of men's swearing is thus expressed, 
* An oath for confirmation is to them an end of all 

The principal end of an oath is bi; ^-Zdiusiv, for con- 
firmatinn; the other words arc as a consequence follow- 
ing thereupon, which is to end and determine matters in 
question, whereupon differences and controversies arise. 

> T« ya^ t,Z 'itixa tUXrirm. — Aritt. Pht/s., lib. ii. Cap. iii. 

Ver. 16.] 



The word j3;Qa.wi(fig, translated confirmation, is de- 
rived from that jSi^aiog, which is translated stedfast, 
Chap. ii. 2, Sec. 11. It impUeth such a confirma- 
tion as is not rashly to be gainsaid and contradicted, 
for it must put an end to contradictions. 

The word avnXoyia, translated strife, properly sig- 
nifieth contradiction. It is derived from a compound 
verb avTiXiyoo, that signifieth to speak ayainst, John 
xix. 12 ; or contradict, Acts xiii. 45 ; or gainsay, Rom. 
X. 21. Answerably this noun is translated contradic- 
tion, Heb. vii. 7, and xii. 3 ; and yainsaying, Jude 

The noun cs^aj, translated end, signifieth the utmost 
border or bound of a place. In the plural number, 
iTiPara, it is translated utmost imrts. Mat. xii. 42 ; and 
ends, Kom. x. 18. A privative preposition, a, joined 
with this word a'Xi^avTog, signifieth endless, 1 Tim. i. 4. 

By these notations of these words, this phrase ap- 
peareth to be very emphatical, and they shew that the 
use of an oath is fully to resolve matters in question, 
so as thereupon no gainsaying is to be made, in that 
there remains nothing to be further said in and about 
that point. This is the main end of an oath, to put 
an end to differences. 

Man J' are of opinion that two ends are here intended. 
One in this phrase, for confirmation ; the other in this, 
an end of all strife. 

The former, they refer to a promissory oath, the 
end whereof is, 

First, To bind him that sweareth to make good his 

Secondly, To persuade them for whose sake he 
sweareth to rest on his word. 

Thus an oath is for confirmation. 

The latter they refer to an assertory oath, which is, 

1 . To bind the swearer to utter the whole truth, 
and nothing but truth. 

2. To persuade others, that that which is sworn is 
such a truth as they may well rest upon. Thus an 
oath proves to be ' an end of all strife.' 

When no witnesses can be brought to prove a thing, 
nor sure evidence given, whereby the matter in ques- 
tion may appear to be true, nor undeniable reasons on 
either side given in matters of doubt, gi-eat controversy 
useth to be made thereabouts ; but an oath useth to 
end this controversy, and that because Grod, who 
knoweth the truth, who loveth truth, whohateth false- 
hood, who can and will revenge falsehoods, is made a 
witness and judge. And it is taken for granted, that 
no man will provoke God to take vengeance on him. 
• By this it appeareth that an oath is a most firm, 
and inviolable bond. Men living rest on it, as Abra- 
ham rested on his servant's fidelity, when his servant 
swore to him ; this was a promissory oath. Gen. xxiv. 
9. So David rested upon Achish's favour, when he 
thus sware unto him, * Surely, as the Lord liveth, thou 
hast been upright,' &c., 1 Sam. xxix. 6; this was an 
assertory oath. Yea, dying men also use to rest upon 

an oath, as Jacob did when Joseph sware to bury him 
as he desired, Gen. xlvii. 31. 

The apostle inserteth this relative, ahroTg, to them, 
in reference to men before mentioned, for they cannot 
know others' intents for things to come, nor the truth 
of their words concerning things past, but by proofs ; 
and an oath in sundry cases is the onl}' proof and 
evidence that can be given. Men therefore use to rest 
therein, and so they ought to do. God knows the 
truth of men's words, either in asserting things past, 
or in promising things to come, so as in reference to 
God there is no need of an oath, neither is it properly 
to him an end of strife. But men need this kind of 
proof, and to them it is an end of strife. 

This general <7rdGrig, all, is added, because there are 
sundry cases concerning things past, present, and to 
come, public and private, as was shewed Sec. 119, 
wherein there is need of an oath to satisfy and settle 
men's minds aiout the truth of them, and in them all 
men must upon an oath rest satisfied, if at least there 
be no apparent reason to the contrary, ' An oath is an 
end of all strife.' 

Sec. 122. Of the error of anabaptists in condemning 
all sxoeariny. 

There are sundry errors contrary to the fore-men- 
tioned doctrine of an oath. 

1. Anabaptists hold that it is unlawful for Christians 
to swear. The contrary doctrine, concerning the 
lawfulness of an oath, is sufliciently proved before, 
Sec. 116. 

Anabaptists herein shew themselves disciples of the 
ancient Manichees, who denied the Old Testament to 
be God's word ; and that, among other reasons of 
theirs, because it justified the lawfulness of swearing. 

The main ground that anabaptists pretend is taken 
from these words of Christ, ' Swear not at all, neither 
by heaven,' &c., Mat. v. 34. The like is set down 
James v. 12. 

Ans. They raise their argument from a mistake of 
the true sense of these Scriptures, for they take that 
to be spoken simply, which is intended respectively. 

That Christ did not simply forbid swearing, is 
evident by this which he saith before in his sermon, 
* Think not that I am come to destroy the law or 
the prophets,' Mat. v. 17. Both law and prophets do 
approve swearing on just occasion, as was shewed Sec. 
116. Christ's main scope in that part of his sermon, 
wherein he interpreteth many of the commandments 
of the moral law, is to clear that law from the false 
glosses of the pharisees. Now concerning this law of 
swearing, the pharisees taught two things. 

1. That they might not forswear themselves, which 
if they did not, they thought that the third command- 
ment was observed. 

2. That they might swear by some creatures, as by 
heaven, earth, &c. 

Against these two errors Christ directed his speech. 



[Chap. VI. 

Against the first thus : To swear unduly is against 
the third commandment, which saith, ' Thou shalt not 
take the name of the Lord in vain,' Exod. xx. 7. So 
as they who did not rightly observe the rules of swear- 
ing, took God's name in vain, and brake the third 

Against the second thus : God's glory is some way 
or other manifested in his creatures, for ' heaven is 
God's throne, earth his footstool,' and so in the rest. 
In which respect, to swear by creatures is to dishonour 

Anabaptists urge this phrase, iwt at all. To this I 
answer, that the clause may have a double reference. 

1. To vain swearing, which is the point that Christ 
there labourcth to suppress, so as iu this sense ho in- 
tends thus much : be not moved on any occasion to 
swear vainly and unduly. 

2. To swearing by creatures, then it intends thus 
much, swear not at all, by heaven or earth, or any other 

Again, anabaptists press this phrase, ' Let your 
communication be. Yea, yea. Nay, nay,' Mat. v. 37. 

In answer to this, I grant that these phrases. Yea, 
yea, Naij, iiaj/, do imply a simple affimation or negation, 
without confirming it by oath ; but withal I say, that 
this direction is about a man's ordinary and common 
communication, when there is no great or weighty 
cause to affirm or deny upon oath. 

Lastly, they insist upon this phrase, * Whatsoever 
is more than these comcth of evil.' 

Two things are answered hereunto : 

1. That the occasions that force men to swear, 
though the oath be duly and justly made, come of evil, 
namely, of the evil disposition of them who will not 
believe a truth spoken, unless it be confirmed by oath. 

2. That to use asseverations and oaths in ordinary 
speech is of an e^^l disposition, or of the devil himself, 
who is that evil one. 

As for that which is written, James v. 12, we are to 
hold that the disciple who useth his Master's own 
words, used them in his Master's sense. It appeared 
that the errors about swearing, which were frequent in 
Christ's time, continued also in that time wherein the 
apostle James wrote his epistle, and therefore in his 
Master's words and sense he laboured to suppress that 
evil custom. 

Obj. To justify swearing is to give liberty to common 

A)is. 1. Not so. Doth justifjnng true religion give 
liberty to superstition ? 

Avs. 2. Necessary truths must not be concealed, 
much less denied, because they may bo perverted. 
Some men have such a spider-like disposition as they 
will suck poison out of the sweetest flowers. 

Sec. 123. Of undue stoearinfj by creatures. 
A second error is swearing by creatures. This is 
not only practised by the vulgar sort of papists in their 

ordinary speech (who commonly swear by the rood, 
cross, mass. Virgin Mary, Peter, and sundry other 
saints), but it is also used in their public courts, and 
solemn oaths, thus, * by God and the Virgin Mary,' 
' by God and the holy gospel ' yea, it is also justified 
by their divines.' The llhemists, in their annotations 
on Mat. xxiii. 21, have this gloss : 'Swearing by crea- 
tures, as by the gospel, by saints, is all referred to the 
honour of God, whose gospel it is, whose saints they 

Aus. 1. Their manner of referring that which they 
do to the honour of God is without and against God's 
word, and this conceit hath been the occasion of most 
of their idolatry. 

Ans. 2. God's honour is simply to be referred to 
himself, and not relatively in and through his creatures : 
* I am the Lord,' saith he ; ' that is my name, and my 
glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to 
graven images,' Isa. xlii. 8. 

A)is. 3. That manner of referring honour to God 
draws men's minds from the Creator to the creature. 
They have in such an oath their minds so fixed on the 
creature by whom they swear, as they think not on 

Herein papists do justify pagans, who swear by their 
false gods, as Laban did, Gen. xxxi. 53. 

Scholars in their ordinary grammar schools, yea, 
and in universities too, and in other places where they 
write or speak Latin, do justify the practice of heathens 
herein by using the very words and phrases of the 
heathen, which were concise forms of their swearing 
by their idols, such as these, Hercle, 2Ieherde, Pol, 
yEdepol, Dii immovtales, with the like. 

Profane persons among us do herein exceed both 
papists and pagans. Scarce a creature can be thought 
on by which they do not swear. They swear by the 
heaven, by the sun, by the light, and by aU^the host 
of heaven. They swear by all things on earth that 
are for man's use, as bread, meat, drink, money, fire, 
and what not. They swear by the parts of man, as 
soul, heart, body, head, and other parts. They swear 
by the body of Christ himself, by his blood, by his 
wounds, by his cross, &c. They swear by graces and 
virtues, as faith, truth, honesty, with the like. They 
swear by mere toys. As the Gileadites and Ephraim- 
ites were distinguished by their manner of speech. 
Judges xii. G, so many pagans, papists, pi'ofane and 
pious persons, bo distinguished by their manner of 
speech. Pagans swear by false gods, papists by saints, 
profane persons by mute things, pious persons only i 
by the true God, and that on just occasion, and in a 
due manner. 

Sec. 12-4. Of siveariny thinys unlau-ful. 

A third error is either to swear, or to cause others 
to swear, that which is unlawful. Into this error do 
papists fall many ways. 

' Uouav divines in their annot. on Gen. xlii. 15. 

Ver. 16.] 



1. They swear, and cause others to swear, that which 
oft proves to many impossible, as perpetual continency ; 
for they who admit any into religious orders make 
them vow and swear perpetual continency ;^ and all 
that enter into such orders among them, do vow and 
swear as much. Now it is not in man's power to be 
perpetually continent. To many it is a matter of im- 
possibility. Christ speaking of this point thus saith, 
' He that is able to receive it, let him receive it,' Mat, 
xix. 12. Hereby he implieth that some are not able ; 
it is not possible for them to be continent, at least in 
a single estate, without the benefit of marriage. 

2. They take children that have parents living into 
religious orders, without and against their parents' 
consent f which children being so taken in, they cause 
to swear obedience to these orders ; yet such children 
are not in capacity to keep that oath. They are under 
the power of their parents, who have authority to make 
void their oath. 

3. They make many to swear things uncertain, as 
in the case of regular obedience.^ They who are 
placed under such and such superiors must swear to 
do what their superiors shall enjoin them ; though 
when they take the oath they know not what they will 
enjoin. The rule of this blind obedience is that which 
Absalom gave to his servants in these words, ' have 
not I commanded you ?' 2 Sam. siii. 28. On this 
ground have many zealots attempted to commit trea- 
sons and murders, and received the reward of traitors 
and murderers. 

To this head may be referred oaths of giving what 
others shall desire, though they know not what those 
others will desire. The head of John the Baptist was 
cut off by this means, Mat. xiv. 7-9. 

4. They bring sundry of their profession to swear 
things apparently sinful, as they who bound them- 
selves under a curse to kill Paul, Acts xxiii. 12. 
Many popish Hotspurs did swear to murder Queen 
Elizabeth, whom God preserved from all their plots. 

Sec. 125. Of equivocation upon oath. 

A fourth error is to swear deceitfully, which is com- 
monly called equivocation. This is a most undue 
kind of swearing, whereof papists are in a high degree 
guilty. There is a kind of verbal equivocation, when 
a word or sentence may be diversely taken, which is a 
rhetorical figure, as when Christ said, ' Our friend 
Lazarus sleepeth' ; and his disciples ' thought that he 
bad spoken of taking rest in sleep,' John xi. 11, 13. 
But the equivocation which we speak of is a mental 
equivocation, and that is when a man sweareth a false 
thing, yet so as he reserveth something in his mind 

^ Obi usus adfuerit liheri arbitrii, licet votiim continentisG 
suscipere. — Bellarvi. de Monac. lib. ii. cap. xxxv. 

^ Licet filiis, invitis parentibiis, ingredi religionem. — 
Bellarm, de Monac. lib. ii. cap. xxxvi. 

3 Obedientia religiosa recte vovetur. — Bellarm. de Monac. 
lib. ii. cap. xsi. 

Vol. II. 

which, if it were uttered, would make the speech true ; 
as if one guilty with others be upon oath demanded 
whether he ever saw such an one, answereth, I never 
saw him (though he have seen him often and well know 
him), reserving this clause in his mind, in heaven, 
which expressed maketh the answer true ; but it is no- 
thing to the mind of him that propoundeth the question, 
neither can any such matter be fetched out of the 
words, so as such an oath cometh nothing short of 
perjury. The end of an oath in determining contro- 
versies would thus be taken away. 

Notwithstanding those enormous consequences of 
equivocation, papists use to equivocate, not only all 
their lifetime, but also upon their deathbeds. Francis 
Tresham, one of the conspirators in the gunpowder 
treason, a little before his death protested upon his 
salvation, that for sixteen years before that time he 
had not seen Henry Garnet, superior of the Jesuits 
in England, and yet both the said Henry Garnet him- 
self and sundry others confessed that the said Garnet 
and Tresham had within two years' space been di%-ers 
times together, and mutually conferred one with an- 
other. Garnet being then asked what he thought of 
Tresham's protestation, answered that he thought he 
made it by equivocation. 

This kind of deceit papists have taken from Arius, 
an ancient heretic, who, being to be freed out of 
banishment if he would profess the Nicene faith, caused 
the articles of his own heretical faith to be written in 
a paper, and put them into his bosom ; and in the pre- 
sence of those who were to take his protestation, im- 
mediately after the articles of the Nicene faith were 
read unto him, laying his hand upon his bosom, pro- 
tested that he would constantly hold that faith. His 
judges thought that he plainly meant the Nicene faith, 
but he himself meant his own faith that was in his 

Of equivocation at large, see Chap. xi. 31, Sec. 189. 

Sec. 126. Of dispensing with oaths. 

A fifth error is to dispense with oaths. Popes of 
Rome usurp this power, as might be exemplified in 
many particulars ; but I will insist only upon his 
dispensing with the solemn oath of subjects made to 
their lawful sovereign, or, to use their own words, 
absolving subjects from their oath. This is evidenced 
by that declaratory sentence (commonly called a hull) 
which Pope Pius the Fifth denounced against Queen 
Elizabeth.^ In the very title thereof this clause is 
inserted, * wherein also all subjects are declared to be 
absolved from the oath of allegiance.' In the body 
of the bull this, ' The peers, subjects, and people of 
the said kingdom, and all others, who have any way 
sworn to her, we declare to be for ever absolved from 
that oath,' &c. antichristian presumption ! This 
is he * that opposeth, and exalteth himself above all 
that is called God,' 2 Thes. ii. 4. For oaths are 

' Camdeni Annal. Anno Dom. 1570. An. R. Eliz. 12. 




[Chap. VI. 

made to God ; thereby men are bound to God. When 
Zedekiah had broken his oath made to the king of 
Babylon, the Lord said, ' IMiuc oath ho hath despised,' 
Ezek. xvii. 19. Oaths arc made in God's name; 
God is made a witness and judge in that case. Who- 
soever, therefore, dispcnseth with an oath, or ab- 
Bolveth the swearer from it, makcth himself therein 
greater than God, and exaltoth himself above God ; 
which is a note of antichrist. 

Sec. 127. 0/perjiinj. 

A sixth error is perjury. Perjury in general is a 
false swearing, or ratifying a lie with an oath. 

Perjury may be distinguished according to the dis- 
tinction of an oath set down. Sec. 119. It may have 
respect either fo matters past or to come. 

1. Wben a man swears that to bo true which he 
knoweth or thinks to be false, he forswcarcth himself. 

2. When a man swears that to bo false which he 
knoweth or believeth to be true, then also he for- 
swears himself. 

8. When a man by oath promises to do what he 
intends not, that is perjury. 

4. When a man sweareth to do a thing, and at the 
time of swearing intends to do it, yet afterwards, 
though he might do it, yet doth it not, ho forsweareth 

Perjury in every case is a most heinous sin, and 
that to God, our neighbour, and ourselves. 

1. God's name is highly profaned thereby, and his 
majesty vilified ; for he is made hke the devil, a 
patron of a lie. In this respect he is provoked to 
execute extraordinary vengeance on perjured persons, 
as he did on Zedekiah, Ezek. xvii. 19. These two 
clauses, ' Ye shall not swear by my name falsely, 
neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God,' 
Lev. xix. 12, so joined together, give proof that to 
swear falsely is to profane God's name. Hereupon a 
false oath is put in the number of those things that 
God hateth, Zcch. viii. 17. Surely there is no fear 
of God in false swearers ; they seem to outface and 
to challenge the Most High against themselves. 

2. Neighbours are exceedingly beguiled by such ; 
they are made to believe a lie, and to expect that 
which will never fall out. 

3. False swearers pull much mischief upon their 
own pates ; they make themselves liable to his ven- 
geance who is a consuming fire. He threatcneth to 
be ' a swift witness ' against such, ]\Ial. iii. 5, and to 
' cause his curse to remain in the midst of his house 
that sweareth falsely by his name, to consume it with 
the timber and stones thereof,' Zech. v. 4. There is 
no one sin that sets the conscience more on a rack, 
for the most part, than this, and none that ordinarily 
bringeth greater infamy upon a man. 

Sec. 128. Of common and rash swearing. 

A seventh error is ordinary and rash swearing, 

when men on every occasion, almost in every sentence 
that they utter, for every trifle, swear. This is a 
grievous sin, and a sin crying for vengeance. This 
is the sin against which in special Christ giveth this 
direction, 'Let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, 
nay,' Mat. v. 37. 

1. Hereby God's great name, which ought always to 
be reverenced and honoured, is frequently taken in vain. 

2. Frequent swearing cannot be freed from for- 

3. Rash swearing is herein aggravated, in that it 
hath not such temptations as other sins. Some sins 
are drawn on by preferment, others by reputation, 
others by delight, others by gain, others by other like 
temptations. But what preferment, what reputation, 
what gain, can be got by swearings, what delight can 
there be therein ? Much swearing is a note of a pro- 
fane disposition. Herein a dill'erence is made betwixt 
a pious and impious person ; the one ' feareth an 
oath,' the other ' sweareth,' namely, rashly and fre- 
quently, Eccles. ix. 2. 

4. Sore judgments are threatened against this sin, 
Hos. iv. 2, 3. This phrase, ' Because of swearing the 
land mourneth,' Jer. xxiii. 10, impheth that severe 
judgments were executed on the land for this sin. 

Even this one sin giveth unto us just cause of 
great humiliation ; for the land is full of oaths. All 
sorts do too much accustom themselves thereunto ; 
courtiers, citizens, countrymen, university men, high 
and low, rich and poor, magistrates and subjects, 
minister and people, masters and servants, male and 
female, parents and children ; yea, little children, so 
soon as they can speak. A man cannot pass by shops 
or houses, but if he hear men speaking, he shall for 
the most part hear them swearing. Custom hath 
made it so familiar, as it is thought no sin. But 
Christians, ' be not deceived, God is not mocked,' 
Gal. vi. 7. 

For avoiding it, keep not company with swearers ; 
accustom not thyself thereto, reprove it in others. 

Sec. 129. 0/ the resolution and observations o/'Hcb. 
vi. IG. 

Vcr. 16. For men verily swear by the greater ; and an 
oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 

The sum of this verse is, the end of an oath. 

Hereof arc two parts : 

1. A description of an oath. 

2. A declaration of the end thereof. 
In the description we may observe, 

1. The manner of setting it down in this note of 
asseveration, verily. 

2. The matter, whereabout is expressed, 

1. The act itself, suear. 

2. The persons who swear, men, and by whom, 
the greater. 

' Gravissimum peccatum est falsa jurare, quo citius cadit 
qui coiisucvit juraro. — iuff- Kjjist. 89. 

Ver. 17.] 



In setting down the end, we may observe, 

1. The kind of end, for confirmation. 

2. A consequence following thereupon, which is, 
an end of all strife. This is amplified, 

1. By the persons to whom it is an end, to them, 
namely, to them betwixt whom there is controversy. 

2. By the extent thereof, in this general, all. 


I. God in siuearing conforms himself to men. In 
the former verses, God's swearing was set down ; 
here the reason of it is thus rendered. For men swear. 
See Sec. 115. 

II. Weighty truths may with an asseveration he set 
down ; so doth the apostle this truth thus. Verily, 
See Sec. 115. 

III. It is lawful for men to swear. This is here 
taken for granted. See Sec. 116. 

IV. God only is to le sworn hy. God is comprised 
under this word, the greater. See Sec. 120. 

V. An oath confirms a truth. It is here said to be 
for confirmation. See Sec. 121. 

VI. An oath is to determine controversies. This 
phrase, an end of all strife, intendeth as much. See 
Sec. 121. 

VII. Men ought to rest in an oath. For to them it 
is an end of strife. See Sec. 121. 

VIII. An oath is of use in all manner of differences. 
It is an end of all strife. See Sec. 121. 

Sec. 130. Of God's willingness to do what he doth. 

Ver. 17. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to 
shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his 
counsel, confirmed it by an oath. 

The application of the former comparison, taken 
from men's swearing, is in this and the next verse set 
down ; and therein the reasons of God's swearing are 
expi'essly declared. 

This relative, wherein, in grammatical construction, 
may have reference to the last word of the former 
verse, which in Greek is, o^xog, an oath. But I 
rather refer it to the whole sentence going before, or 
to the point in hand ; as if he had said, ' In which 
matter,' or, ' in which case.' In which case, of con- 
firming a matter by oath, ' God willing more abund- 
antly,' &c. This then sheweth that God conformed 
himself to man's usual practice, for man's good. 

The word (SouXo/j^ivog, translated ivilling, implieth an 
inclination and readiness of one's disposition unto a 
thing, so as he needs no other motive thereunto ; it 
is that which he desireth to do. Covetous men are 
thus described ; ' they that will be rich,' oi /3ouXo,«,£vo; 
'ttXo-jts/v, or * they that are willing to be rich,' 1 Tim. 
vi. 9, for it is the same word that is here used. A 
covetous man needeth no other motive than his own 
inward disposition to seek after riches. It is said of 
Pilate, that he was ' willing to content the people,' 
Mark xv. 15. It was his desire so to do. 

Thus God was of himself ready and forward to do 

that which is here spoken of, and that of his own 
mere free grace ; yea, he was desirous to do it. He 
was no way forced thereunto. 

This then setteth down two points : 

1 . The cause of God's binding himself : his mere 
will and good pleasure. This is the ground of all the 
good he doth to man. Mat. xi. 26. See more hereof 
Chap. ii. 4, Sec. 37. 

2. The manner of God's binding himself. God did 
it readily, cheerfully. This shewed that he was 
willing thereunto. He had in his eternal counsel de- 
creed to do what he did, and yet would by oath bind 
himself thereunto ; and this he was willing to do. 
He doth willingly what he hath bound himself to do. 

This is a point worthy of all admiration, that God 
should of his own will willingly bind himself for our 
sake to accomplish his own determined counsel. 

Should not we now rest with confidence on this 
good will and pleasure of God ? 

This ground and manner of God's doing what he 
doth, namely, willingly, should be a pattern unto us 
to do what we are bound unto willingly and cheer- 
fully. The apostle, speaking of his duty in preaching 
the gospel, thus saith, ' Necessity is laid upon me ; 
3'ea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel ! But 
if I do'this thing willingly, 1 have a reward,' l.Cor. ix. 
16, 17. God loveth such, 2 Cor. ix. 7, and accepteth 
what they are able to do, 2 Cor. viii. 12. This David 
pleaded before God, 1 Chron. xxix. 17, Ps. cxix. 

Sec. 131. Of God's superahounding in means to 
make men believe. 

God's willingness to do good to man is exceedingly 
amplified in this word of the comparative degree, 
TrE^/ffCoVsgof, more abundantly. Of a like word, see 
Chap. ii. 1, Sec. 5. Here it implieth more than was 
necessary ; and it is fitly inserted to meet with a 
secret objection that might be made against God's 
binding himself by oath. For it might be said, God 
is the Lord God of truth ; even truth itself. There is 
no fear, no possibility of his failing in any of his words 
or promises. Why then should he bind himself by 
oath ? For satisfaction hereof, the apostle seemeth 
to grant that what God did in this case was ex 
abundanti, more than needed, namely, in regard of 
himself, his own excellency, and his own faithfulness ; 
but yet he did that which was needful in regard of 
man, by reason of his weakness and dulness, his back- 
wardness to believe, and proneness to doubt, in which 
respect God's word, promise, covenant, and oath, are 
all little enough. That God's binding of himself was 
for man's sake, is made evident in the next verse. 

Hereby we see God's tender respect to man's weak- 
ness ; see ver. 13, Sec. 100. It makes him do more 
than otherwise needed ; it makes him respect our in- 
firmity more than his own excellency. His promises 
and threatenings prove as much. The former are to 



[Chap. VI. 

allure us to duty ; the latter to keep us from sin. 
Such is the supreme sovereignty of God, as it is 
enough for him to declare his mind to his creatures ; 
to command what he would have, to forbid what he 
dislikes. To use any means for the one or other is 
e.i' abutuhiHti, of his superabundant grace and good- 
ness. What is it then to add his oath to promises 
and threateuings ? The like may be said of God's 
adding seals to his covenants ; such arc the sacra- 
ments, Horn. iv. 11. 

What other reason can be rendered hereof than the 
abundance of his grace and mercy ? 

1. This ministercth much matter of humiliatiou to 
us, who do in a manner provoke God to draw the lino 
of his goodness to the uttermost extent thereof, and 
to make him exceed and abound ; to make him do more 
than needs, if we were not so dull and slow in believ- 
ing as we are. 

2. This should move us to superabound in our 
high esteem of God, and in all thankfulness and 
obedience to him. In special it should move us with 
all stcdfastncss to believe that which God doth so 
abundantly confirm unto us. Let us not make 
God's surpassing and superabounding grace to be 
in vain. Let us not provoke him to say, ' What 
could have been done more that I hare not done ?' 
Isa. V. 4. 

8. By this pattern of God we are taught to conde- 
scend to others' infirmity, and that in doing more 
than needs. One immutable thing is sufficient to 
settle a man's mind, yet God used two immutable 
things. Though we be conscious to our own integrity 
and truth which we utter, yet if others question it, 
and require further confirmation, let us not stand too 
much npon our own credit, but yield to their infirmity, 
and, if required, add an oath, provided it be made ' in 
truth, in righteousness, and in judgment,' Jer. iv. 2. 
It cannot be thought but that every word of God 
should be most true. It is impossible that he should 
lie, yet he useth two immutable things. But it may 
be thought that man may lie ; that is not impossible, 
Rom. iii. 4. If God then use two immutable things, 
much more may man. 

Sec. 132. Of God's manijesiing his goodness to 

The Greek word BrtdtT^ai, translated shew, is a com- 
pound. The simple verb dirKvjiiv, ostcndcre, signifieth 
also to sheu-. When God by a vision manifested to 
Peter that all sorts of creatures were clean, Peter thus 
cxpresscth the case, * God hath shewed me,' &c.. Acts 
X. 28. So it is used Heb. viii. 5. 

But the compound carrieth an emphasis. It sig- 
nifieth fully, clearly, evidently, to manifest and shew 
a thing. This word is used where it is said of Christ, 
' lie shewed them (izion'^i) his hands and his feet,' 
Luke xxiv. 40. And where ApoUos his convincing of 
the Jews is thus expressed, * shewing (et/Se/xh);) by 

the Scripture that Jesus was Christ,' Acts xviii. 28, 
that is, evidently demonstrating as much. Thus God's 
oath added to his promise, doth most fully, clearly, 
and evidently shew and demonstrate the truth of his 
promise, which is grounded on his counsel, and the 
immutability thereof. God's counsel is the most im- 
mutable thing that can be ; but to men it would not 
have appeared so to be, unless God had clearly mani- 
fested as much by his oath. 

God will have nothing wanting, on his part, that 
may help to support our faith. He makes matters 
tending thereunto clearer than the sun. 

His desire is that his promises may attain the end 
for which they were made. 

What now may w'e think of those who discern not 
that which is thus evidently and clearly shewed ? 
We have too great cause to judge, that ' the God of 
this world hath blinded the minds of them which be- 
lieve not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, 
who is the image of God, should_shiuc unto them,' 
2 Cor. iv. 4. 

Sec. 133. Of heirs of promise. 

The persons to whom God hath so shewed his 
superabundant goodness, are here styled the heirs of 

They are accounted heirs, who have such and such 
a thing by right of inheritance. 

Of the word inherit, and of sundry instructions 
thence raised, see Chap. i. 14, Sec. 160. 

Promise is here metonymically taken for the reward 
promised, as was shewed ver. 12, Sec. 87. 

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are styled ' heirs of 
promise,' in reference to the land of Canaan promised, 
as a type of the celestial Canaan, Heb. xi. 9. Here, 
in special, are meant the children of Abraham after 
the spirit : ' For the promise that Abraham should 
be the heir of the world, was not made to Abraham, 
or to his seed through the Jaw, but through the right- 
eousness of faith,' Rom. iv. 18. Hereupon it is said 
to believers, ' Ye are Abraham's seed, and heirs 
according to the promise,' Gal. iii. 29. All that are 
'justified' ai'e styled heirs, Titus iii. 7; and all 
that are 'led by the Spirit,' Rom. viii. 14, 17. 

This dignity they have, because they are united to 
Christ, in which respect they are styled 'joint heirs 
with Christ,' Rom. viii. 17. By virtue of that union, 
they are adopted of God to be his children. Gal. iv. 
5, and also regenerate, 1 Pet. i. 3. 

This phrase, 'heirs of promise,' implieth an extent 
and a restraint. 

An extent in relation to Abraham, to shew that 
God's oath rested not only in him, but extended itself 
to all his seed, according to that which the Lord 
saith, ' I will estabhsh my covenant between me and 
thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations, for 
an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and 
to thy seed after thee,' Gen. xvii. 7. 

Ver. 17.] 



It implieth also a restraint, in opposition to such as 
are incredulous and rebellious. They are not accounted 
heirs of promise, though after the flesh they descend 
from Abraham. 

Hence may be inferred two general propositions : 

1. The promise of blessing made to Abraham be- 
longeth to all believers. 

2. None but believers have a right to the promise 
made to Abraham. 

Concerning the first, God in reference thereunto thus 
saith, * In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth 
be blessed," Gen. xxii. 18. Hereupon saith Peter, 
* The promise is unto you, and to your children, and 
to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our 
God shall call,' Acts ii. 89. And Paul saith of God's 
imputing righteousness unto Abraham, ' It was not 
written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him ; 
but for us also,' &c., Eom. iv. 23, 24. 

There are two especial grounds hereof. 

One is the constant and unchangeable mind of him 
that makes the promise, he is always like himself, and 
sheweth like favour to them who are of like faith, of 
like disposition, and like conversation. 

The other ground is the fountain and foundation of 
all God's promises, Jesus Christ, our head and our 
Redeemer. He properly is the true heir of all God's 
promises. * All the promises of God in him are yea, 
and in him amen,' 2 Cor. i. 20 ; that is, they are 
all propounded, ratified, and accomplished in him. 
By reason hereof, all that believe in him are co-heirs 
with him. 

1. Learn hereby how to take the promises of God's 
word, even as made to us ; to stir us up to rely on 
God who made them, and to subject ourselves unto 
his word. The like power and benefit of God's pro- 
mises resteth in this particular application of them. 
Admirable is the use of faith in this case. It will 
settle the soul of a believer on God's promises made 
in former times, as stedfastly as if in particular they 
had been directed to him by name. 

2. This meets with an objection against the cer- 
tainty of a particular man's faith. Many granting 
that the promises of God are sure in themselves, 
deny that thereupon they may be sure of the benefit 
of them, because they are not particularly directed to 
them by name. But if that promise which was made 
to Abraham were intended to all heirs of promise, 
they that are of the faith of Abraham have as good 
right thereto as if the promise had been directed to 
them by name. 

Sec. 134. Of the benefit of God's promise restrained 
to lieii's of promise. 

The other general proposition inferred from this 
phrase, heirs of promise, is this, none but believers 
have a right to the promise made to Abraham. This 
the apostle cleareth, by excluding such as are not of 
the faith of Abraham, and are not his seed after the 

spirit, in these words, * They are not all Israel which 
are of Israel; neither, because they are the seed of 
Abraham, are they all children,' &c. On this ground 
he thus concludeth, * The children !of the promise 
are counted for the seed,' Rom. ix. 6-8 ; and again 
thus, * They which are of the faith, the same are the 
children of Abraham, and blessed with faithful 
Abraham,' Gal. iii. 7, 9. 

They who believe not, despise the counsel of God, 
Luke vii. 32. 

This is set forth to the full, Acts xiii. 45, 46. 

1. This strips the Jews of all vain confidence in 
their external pedigree. Because they had Abraham 
to their Father, they imagined that the promises made 
to Abraham belonged unto them. John the Baptist 
expressly noteth this their vain confidence. Matt, 
iii. 9. So doth Christ, John viii. 33. 39. 

In that they were not heirs of promise, their con- 
fidence was built upon a sandy foundation. The like 
may be said of hypocrites, of loose and carnal gospel- 
lers, of ignorant and profane persons, and of all who 
want that grace which shews them to be heirs of pro- 
mise ; namely, a true, justif3'ing, sanctifying faith. 
They who look for benefit of the promise, must first 
prove themselves to be heirs of promise. 

2. This doth highly commend the grace and favour 
of God, to those who are the heirs of promise. The 
more rare a grace is, the more rare it is ; that is, the 
less common it is, and in that respect rare, the more 
admirable it is, and the more highly to be prized, 
and in that respect also rare. The consideration 
hereof should fill the hearts of those who have evi- 
dence that they are heirs of promise with an holy 
admiration, and move them to say as Judas did, 
* Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto 
us, and not unto the world ?' John xiv. 22 ; and there- 
upon to have our hearts the more enlarged unto 
greater thankfulness. On such a ground did Christ 
give thanks to his Father, Mat. xi. 25. 

Sec. 135. Of the immutahiliti/ of God's coimsel. 

That which the Lord was pleased clearly to mani- 
fest to the heirs of promise, is here said to be, the 
hnmutahHUy of his counsel. 

The Greek noun l3ovXri, translated counsel, is de- 
rived from a verb, jSovXofiai, that signifieth to will. 
Hereof see Sec. 130. Answerably this noun is trans- 
lated icill, ' by the will of God,' Acts xiii. 36. For 
God's counsel is his will. That which God willeth 
is the best counsel that possibly can be. The will of 
God is the ground of his counsel. Well therefore is 
the epithet, rh d/^irdkTov, immutability, here attri- 
buted unto it. 

The word translated immutability, is a double com- 
pound. The simple root, rldrifit, signifieth to put, or 
to set, Mat. xiv. 3; Acts xiii. 47; the single com- 
pound fMrarldyjfjbi, to remove, or translate, Gal. i. 6, 
Heb. xi. 5. This double compound, having a privative 



[Chap. VI. 

preposition, a, prefixed, signifieth iminiitahilit]i, that 
which cannot bo altered. It is found only in this 
and the next verse. It is hero so set down, as it 
carrieth the force of a substantive ; answerably it is 
60 tninsluted, immutability. 

The manifestation of the immutability of God's 
counsel is here brought in as one eud of God's oath. 
God sware, that it might evidently appear, that what 
he had purposed, determined, and promised to Abra- 
ham and his seed, should assuredly be accomplished ; 
there should be, there could be no alteration thereof. 
It was more firm than ' the law of the Medes and 
Persians, which altereth not,' Dan. vi. 12. 

It is here taken for granted, that God's counsel is 
inviolable. His oath was to manifest as much. * My 
counsel shall stand,' saith God by his prophet, Isa. 
xlvi. 10. To like purpose it is said, ' The counsel of 
the Lord, that shall stand,' Prov. xix. 21 ; Ps. xxxiii. 

The grounds of the immutability of God's counsel 
arise from God himself : even from the unchangeable- 
ness of his essence, the perfection of his wisdom, the 
intiniteness of his goodness, the absoluteness of his 
sovereignty, the omnipotency of his power. 

1. God in his essence being unchangeable, Malachi 
iii. 6, his counsel also must needs be so. As dark- 
ness cannot come out of light, so nor changeable 
counsel from an immutable nature. 

2. If God's counsel be changed, it must be to the 
better or worse. To the better it cannot be. For 
Buch is the perfection of God's wisdom, as at first he 
determined matters to the best. To the worse God 
will not suS'er it to be. If he should, it must be be- 
cause he discerneth not which is better or worse, or 
careth not which of them fall out, or is forced to suffer 
the worse to fall out : but none of these can be 
imagined to be in God. 

(1.) That God should not be able to discern what 
is better or worse, cannot stand with the infiniteness 
of his wisdom and understanding. Such is the per- 
fection of God's wisdom, as he is said, not only to 
hare counsel and wisdom, but also, by an excellency 
(xar' iz,oyjhv) and property to he understanding, Prov. 
viii. 14. 

(2.) That God should not care whether the better or 
worse fall out, cannot stand with the infiniteness of 
his goodness. Did the Lord at first so order all 
things, as when he took a view of them, he saw them 
all to be ' very good,' Gen. i. 31, and is that sceptre, 
whereby he still ordercth all things, a sceptre of 
righteousness, Ps. xlv. (5, and can it be thought that 
he should not care how things fall out ? 

(3.) That God should be ovcrswayed with a superior 
power, and forced to suffer the worse to fall out, can- 
not stand with the absoluteness of his sovereignty and 
omnipotency of his power. ' Our God is in the 
heavens, he hath done whatsoever he pleased,' Ps. 
cxv. 8. 

Sec. 186. Of objections against the immutability of 
God's counsel answered. 

Ohj. God's counsel is free, therefore changeable. " 

A)is. I deny the consequence. Freedom and im- 
mutability may well stand together. Though freedom 
be opposed to constraint, yet not to constancy. Free- 
dom hath relation to the cause ; mutabiUty or immu- 
tability to the event. God's counsel is most free in 
the cause ; but in the event, immutable. If it be 
said, that that which is freely done may be ordered 
this way or that way, I deny also this consequence. J 

Besides, that which in the beginning might have 
been ordered this way, or that way, and therein the 
agent shew himself a free agent, being determined, re- 
maineth no mure free to be altered. 

2. Obj. God is oft said to repent : and that some- 
times of bestowing favours, Gen. vi. 0, 1 Sam. xv. 
11. And sometimes of inflicting judgment, Ps. cvi. 
45 ; Jer. xxvi. 3, 13, 19. 

Ans. Repentance is not properly attributed to God, 
but merely by way of resemblance, dvdpojrrorrddug, 
after the manner of man. When men see cause to 
alter that which is done, promised, or threatened, 
they are said to repent, because they find some reason 
to alter their former purpose and determination. But 
that which God altereth about anything foi-merly done, 
promised, or threatened, is according to his first pur- 
pose and determination ; as when God said to Eli, 
' Thy house, and the house of thy father, shall walk 
before me for ever,' his purpose was to cut off that 
house for their transgressions, 1 Sam. ii. 30. And 
when God said of Nineveh, ' Yet forty days, and 
Nineveh shall be overthrown,' his purpose was to 
spare Nineveh upon their repentance, Jonah iii. 4, &c. 
In those mutable sentences, God changed not his 
secret counsel, but his revealed word, niutavit senten- 
tiam, non consilium. God's purpose of casting off 
Eli's house, and sparing Nineveh, was immutable, 
and manifested by the event. The promise of shewing 
mercy to Eli's house, and the threatening of vengeance 
against Nineveh, was a means to accomplish that de- 
termined counsel of God : in that by the promise of 
mercy, the sins of Eli, and of his sons, were so 
aggravated, as they made themselves unworthy of 
that favour; and by the threatening of vengeance, 
Nineveh was brought to repentance. 

8. Obj. Though the secret counsel of God be im- 
mutable, yet the alteration of God's revealed will 
argueth changeableuess. 

A ns. No such thing, but rather contrary ; for those 
and such like promises and tbreatenings had their 
secret and concealed limitations, according to which 
they were to be performed. The limitation of the 
promise was. If they to whom it was made should 
walk in the ways of the Lord. Such a limitation was 
expressed in the promise to Jeroboam, 1 Kings xi. 38, 
which, because it was not observed, the promise was 
not performed, and yet God's truth therein, yea, and 

Ver. 17.] 



thereby accomplished. Put this into syllogistical 
form, and it will be the better discerned, thus : 

If the house of Eli for ever remain upright, it shall 
for ever abide before me ; 

But it hath not remained upright, therefore it shall 
not abide before me. 

So on the other side, the limitation of God's 
threatening against Nineveh was, unless they repent. 
Such a limitation is expressed in God's threatening 
against Abimelech, Gen. xx. 3, 7. Read a pregnant 
place to shew the Umitation of God's promises and 
threatenings, Jer. xviii. 7, &c. 

4. Obj. God's word hath been altered in plain, 
simple declarations, where no such limitation is in- 
tended. The word being neither promise nor 
threats, but a narration of an event ; as where God 
said concerning Benhadad, * Thou mayest certainly 
recover,' and yet he died, 2 Kings viii. 10, and con- 
cerning Hezekiah, ' Thou shalt die,' and yet he re- 
covered, 2 Ivings XX. 1. 

Ans. God's word, in these and such like places, was 
uttered, not of the event, but of the natural and 
ordinary course of secondary causes. In regard here- 
of, Hezekiah could not have recovered, unless God 
bad, against the course of these causes, restored his 
life. And Benhadad might have recovered, if Hazael 
had not treacherously, with a murderous hand, stifled 
him. God's word then rightly understood was true ; 
but the event had reference to God's secret purpose ; 
for the efiecting hereof God's word, uttered in another 
sense, was an especial means. For God's declaration 
of Hezekiah's desperate disease made Hezekiah pray 
the more earnestly ; and his declaration of Benhadad's 
possibility to recover moved Hazael to murder him. 

5. Obj. Divine attributes have been altered. ' He 
took his mercy from Saul,' 2 Sam. iii. 13. ' His 
anger endureth but a moment,' Ps. xxx. 5, 

Ans. In these and other hke places the causes are 
put for the efiects ; mercy and anger for the effects 
that follow from them. The altering of those efiects 
argued an alteration in men, that they continued not 
to be such as they were before ; but constancy in God's 
dealing with them, according to their carriage towards 

Sec. 137. OJ useful instructions arising from the 
immutahility of God's counsel. 

1. The foresaid immutability of God's counsel 
putteth a difference betwixt the Creator and creatures. 
These are changeable, as in their nature, so in their 
counsels. It is said of the most stedfast of God's 
creatures, ' be charged his angels with folly,' Job iv. 18. 

Obj. Good angels never altered their counsels, nor 
will glorified saints in heaven alter theirs. 

Ans. That is not simply in the immutability of 
their counsel (instance the evil angels that fell, and 
Adam in his entire estate), but in the assisting grace 
of God. So as their immutability in regard of the 

event, is an evidence of God's immutability, for it 
Cometh from God. See more hereof in The Guide to 
go to God, or Explanation of the Lord's Prayer, sec. 

2. This gives just matter of humiliation and cause 
of complaint in regard of that woe which Adam, 
through variableness, brought upon himself and his 
posterity ; for man is now variable and inconstant in 
all his ways. Variableness in religion and piety is of 
all the most grievous. Prophets much complain 
hereof, Isa. i. 21, 22; Jer. ii. 11, 13 ; so the apostles, 
Gal. i. 6, and iii. 1 ; 2 Peter ii. 1, 21. Many in our 
days, who in their youth and former years shewed 
great zeal and forwardness, have since changed their 
counsel. This variableness is also blameworthy in 
reference to our dealing with men. 

3. This is one special point wherein we ought to 
be followers of God, namely, immutability in our good 
counsels and purposes. We must be ' stedfast and 
unmoveable,' 1 Cor. xv. 58, and ' continue in the 
faith grounded and settled,' &c., Col. i. 23. 

That our counsels may remain immutable, they 
must be surely and soundly grounded on a good foun- 
dation, which is God's revealed will. We may not be 
rash and over-sudden in our counsels. Wise states- 
men will long consult upon that which they inviolably 
decree. Diu deliberandum quod semel statuendum. 

Wherein our unchangeableness must be manifested, 
see The Guide to go to God, sec. 228. 

4. God's immutability is a good ground of submis- 
sion to the manifestation thereof. It is impossible 
that God's counsel be altered. It is therefore in vain 
to struggle against it ; but to yield unto it is to make 
a virtue of necessity. 

5. This is a point of singular consolation to such 
as have evidence of God's eternal counsel concerning 
their salvation : they may be assured hereupon that 
they shall attain thereunto. Sanctifying graces do 
give unto us assured evidence of that good counsel of 
God, 1 Cor. i. 7-9, Philip, i. 6. 

Of God's immutability in general, see The Guide to 
go to God, sees. 226-228. 

Sec. 138. Of God's oath a hind of suretyship. 

The means whereby God manifested the immuta- 
bility of his counsel is thus set down, confirmed it by 
an oath. The particle it is not in the Greek. 

The verb sfiiffinuas, translated confirmed, is derived 
from an adjective, [/.'seog, that signifieth middle, as 
Mat. xviii. 2, 20. Thence a substantive, (/.iahni, that 
signifieth a mediator : one that standeth, as it were, 
in the midst betwixt two at variance. In this respect 
it is said that ' a mediator is not of one,' Gal. iii. 20. 
There must be different persons, and they also dis- 
senting, where properly there needs a mediator. 
Thus this word is oft attributed to Christ, the medi- 
ator betwixt God and man, as 1 Tim. ii. 5 ; Heb. 
viii. 6, and ix. 15, and xii. 24. Hence the verb here 



[Chap. VI. 

used, fisairsCu, interpono me, is derived. It is inter- 
preted by some intcrpusuit,^ he interposed ; by others 
Jidijusiit,' he undertook ns a surety ; our former Eng- 
lish thus, /((' bound himself. 

This word implicth that the promise which God 
conlirmcd was that which ho made in and through the 
mediation of Jesus Christ, and on that ground was 
God the more willing to bind himself by oath ; for all 
the goodness that God shewed to man since his fall 
was in and through the mediation of Jesus Christ. 

Of God's respect to man in binding himself by oath, 
see ver. 13, Sec. 97, &c. 

Sec. 189. Of God^s condescending for man s sales. 

Vor. 18. 2 hat by two immutable thinys, in lohich 
it tvas impossible for God to lie, tve miyht have a strony 
consolation, dc. 

An especial end of God's willingness to bind him- 
self by oath, and thereby to shew the immutability of 
his counsel, is to settle and quiet men's souls in his 
promise. This conjunction ha, that, whereby this 
verse is inferred on the former, manifesteth as much. 
By this it appears that it is for man's sake, and for 
man's good, that God thus bindeth himself. 

As this coniii'ms God's tender respect to man 
(whereof see Sec. 131), so it should stir us up to the 
more thankfulness, and move us the rather to make 
the right use of that which God so aims at for our 
good, which is stedfastly to believe his word. 

Of this word d/j-irdLhrov, immutable, see Sec. 135. 

The two things here said to be immutable are God's 
promise and God's oath. Both these are expressly set 
down, ver. 13. The other verses following that are 
an explanation and confirmation of God's promise and 

This word of number, duuv, tuv, is not here to be 
taken exclusively, as if there were no other things of 
God immutable (of other immutable things, see The 
Guide to qo to God, sec. 227), but because those two 
are especially pertinent to the point in hand. 

In that the apostle expressly mentionelh txoo im- 
mutable things, he plainly conhrmeth that which he 
intended under this comparative, miioaon^ov, ' more 
abundautlv,' namely, that God did more than needed, 
as is shewed Sec. 131 ; for one would think that one 
immutable thing were sufficient to settle a man's 
mind. If God were well known, indeed it were suili- 
cit-nt. But God well knows us, and therefore, in 
tender respect of us and our weakness, he thinks not 
one sufficient, but adds another thereunto, and that a 
stronger, namely, his oath to his promise. This he 
doth for our sakes, as was shewed before. See more 
hereof. Sec. 131. 

Sec. 110. Of the immulahility of God's oath and 

that bot 
' Vulg. Lat. * Bcza. 


The two things here intended shew that both God's 

oath and also his single promise are immutable. We 
heard before of the immutability of his counsel. Sec. • 
135. This phrase, ' the Lord hath sworn, and will 
not repent,' Ps. ex. 4, proveth the immutability of his 
oath. Not to repent is to remain immutable. To 
like purpose tendeth this phrase, ' the Lord hath 
sworn in truth : he will not turn from it,' Ps. cxxxii. 
11 ; and this, *I have sworn by myself, the word is 
gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not 
return,' Isa. xlv. 23. Of God's single word it is thus 
said, ' God is not a man, that he should lie ; neither 
the son of man, that he should repent : hath he said, 
and shall he not do it ? or hath he spoken, and shall 
he not make it good?' Num. xxiii. 19, 20. 'My 
words shall not pass away,' saith Christ, Mark xiii. 31. 
In this respect it is said, * Faithful is he that pro- 
mised,' Ileb. X. 23. 

By just and necessary consequence, we may hence 
infer that whatsoever proceedeth from the mouth of 
God is unchangeable, and that upon the sam'e grounds 
upon which his counsel was proved to be immutable, 
Sec. 135. 

1. A strong motive this is to stir us up without 
wavering to believe ; this is the end why God addeth 
one immutable thing to another. 

This, therefore, is seriously and frequently to be 
meditated on. Nothing is of such force to remove all 
manner of doubts as this. There are many doubts which 
use to arise, partly from our own inward corruptions, 
and partly from Satan's injections. Sometimes doubts 
arise from the exceeding greatness of the things pro- 
mised ; sometimes from seeming difficulties ; some- 
times from oppositions, lets, and incumbrances ; some- 
times from our own unworthiness. But if God's word 
and oath be immutable, who can imagine that it shall 
not stand ? Put these two immutable things into one 
scale, and all manner of doubts into the other, and 
you shall find that the former will infinitely weigh 
down the latter. 

2. A good precedent this is to make us unchange- 
able in our promises and oaths. For this end we 
ought well to ponder what we promise and swear, Ps. 
cxix. lOG. 

Rashness in this kind oft causeth repentance, 1 Sam. 
xxv. 22, 33. See ver. 13, Sec. 100. 

Sec. 111. Of impossihility in reference to God. 

The immutability of the two foresaid things is am- 
plified by the impossibility of altering them, which is 
thus expressed, ' In which it was impossible for God 
to lie.' 

This relative, sv ol;, in which, is of the plural num- 
ber, and hath reference to the two intended things, 
God's promise and God's oath. These are the things 
which are impossible to be altered. 

Of the derivation and divers acception of this word 
dhu'^aro'j, impossible, see Sec. 38. It is here taken in 
the most proper, simple, and absolute sense that can 

Ver. 18.] 


be. Nothing can be more impossible than that which 
is here set down, namely, for God to lie. 

Quest. Can omnipotency stand with impossibility in 
anything ? 

Ans. Yea, in such things as imply impotency ; or 
which proceed from impotency, as lying doth. Omni- 
potency is a cause of such an impossibility. 

Obj. The notation of this word omnipotent, or al- 
mighty, implieth an ability to anything. 

Ans, 1. An infallible conclusion doth not necessarily 
follow from the notation of a word. 

Ans. 2. The foresaid notation is but from part of 
the word, even from this general particle all ; but the 
word omnipotent, or almiyhty, is a compound, and 
affordeth a double notation : one from the general 
particle all, the other from the word oi poxcer or might. 
Join both together, and the notation may well stand ; 
for it sheweth that he that is omnipotent or almighty 
can do whatsoever requireth power for the effecting 
thereof. But those things which arise from impotency 
may not be brought within the compass of omnipo- 
tency. It may well be said of them, without im- 
peachment of God's omnipotenc}', God cannot do 
them ; it is impossible that he should do them. 

Sundry of those things which God cannot do are 
distinctly noted in The Guide to go to God, sec. 210. 

Sec. 142. Of lying as it is impossible to God. 

The verb ■^iliaaaiai, translated to lie, is of the pas- 
sive voice, but is of a natural signification. It is 
derived from an active, -^sudoo, which signifieth to de- 
ceive, or to frustrate, fail, and disappoint ; so as to lie 
is to utter a thing with a mind to deceive. The Latin 
word, according to the notation thereof, signifieth to 
go, or to speak, against one's mind, mentiri est contra 
vientem ire. To utter an untruth is not simply to lie, 
at least if a man be persuaded that that which he 
uttereth is a truth ; but to utter a thing against con- 
science, and with a mind to deceive, is a plain lie. 
Thus Ananias and Sapphira lied. Acts v. 3, 4. 

That which is so uttered is styled ro -^l^ivdog, a lie, 
John viii. 44 ; rh -^eva/Ma, Rom. iii. 7 ; and he that 
uttereth it, -^ndrig, a liar. Rev. ii. 2 ; -^ivGrrig, John 
i. 44. The titles of such as deal falsely and deceit- 
fully are compounded therewith ; as '^rohahiX(pog, a 
false brother, Gal. ii. 4 ; ■^ivba'xooToXog, a false apostle, 
2 Cor. xi. 13 ; •^iv^ohiha.ax.a'Kog, a false teacher, 
2 Peter ii. 1 ; ->\/ivboXoyog, a false speaker, 1 Tim. iv. 2 ; 
'^i\jbo[j.a^rv^, a false tcitness, Mat. xxvi. 60 ; ^l/suSoTgo- 
(priTYig, a false prophet. Mat, vii. 15 ; '^i-jSo-'^piorog, a 
false Christ, Mat. xxiv. 24 ; -^sudrnv/jbog, a thing falsely 
called, 1 Tim. vi. 20. That which is here intended 
to be impossible for God, is to fail in performing his 
promise, especially that which is confirmed by oath. 

We shall not here need to speak of that which God 
confirmeth by oath ; for it was shewed (Sec. 140) that 
God's oath is inviolable ; and it will by necessary 
consequence follow, that if it be inupossible that God 

should fail in any word at all, it would much more be 
impossible that he should fail in that which he con- 
firmeth by oath. 

For the general, that God cannot in any case lie, 
or fail of his word, is evident by an epithet attributed 
to him, d^j/su^j^s, which we thus translate, that cannot 
lie, Titus i. 2. It intends as much as this phrase. It 
is impossible for him to lie. The foresaid epithet is 
compounded with a privative preposition a, that im- 
plieth an utter privation of such a thing, and that 
there is no inclination thereunto. As ' God is light, 
and in him is no darkness,' 1 John i. 5, so he is truth, 
and in him there can be no lie. ' The strength of 
Israel will not lie,' 1 Sam. xv. 29 ; herein is made a 
difference betwixt God and man : ' God is not a man, 
that he should lie,' Num. xxiii. 19 ; for God to lie 
were to deny himself ; but ' God cannot deny him- 
self,' 2 Tim. ii. 13. 

God's truth is infinitely perfect ; it admits ' no 
variableness, neither shadow of turning,' James i. 17. 
Yea, God's truth is essential to him, so as his essence 
may as soon be brought to nothing as his truth to a 

Sec. 143. Of inferences from the impossibility of God 
to lie. 

1. The impossibility of God to lie is a great aggra- 
vation of the heinousness of unbelief ; for ' he that 
believeth not God, hath made him a liar,' 1 John 
V. 10 ; which is in effect to make God no God. This 
is the rather to be noted, to stir up in us a diligent 
watchfulness against this sin, which many account no 
sin, but a mere infirmity. See more hereof ver. 13, 
Sec. 100. 

2. This is a strong motive to believe. A greater 
cannot be given ; for as there is no will, so neither 
power in God to lie. Men who are conscionable and 
faithful in keeping their word and promise are be- 
lieved, yet being men, they are subject to lie, Rom. 
iii. 4. How much more should God be believed, who 
cannot possibly lie ! If God cannot lie, what pro- 
mise, what threatening of his, shall not be accom- 
plished ? 

3. This should make ministers, who stand in God's 
room, and speak in God's name, to be sure of the 
truth of that which they deliver for God's word, else 
they make God a liar, for their word is taken for God's, 
Col. ii. 13. They are God's ambassadors. An am- 
bassador's failing is counted his master's failing. 
Therefore the apostle useth this asseveration, ' I say 
the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also 
bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,' Rom. ix. 1. 
False prophets are branded for prophesying lies in 
God's name, Jer. xiv. 14. For preventing this, we 
must hold close to God's word. 

4. Though we cannot attain to such an high pitch 
of truth, yet every one ought to endeavour to be like 
God herein, namely, in avoiding lying. Lying is a 



[Chap. VT. 

Bin unbeseeming any man, but most unbeseeming a 
professor of the true religion. 

General arguments against lying arc these : 

1. Lying is condemned by those who were led by 
no other light than the light of nature ; as philoso- 
phers, orators, poets. St Paul quoteth a verse out of 
Epimcnides, whereby the Cretiaus were condemned 
for their frequent lying, Titus i. 12. To brand them 
the more for this vice, to lie was in a proverbial speech 
said X;7jr/^£/i, to Crelize, or play the Cretians. 

2. Every man's conscience condemns lying. If 
one be not impudent, ho will blush when he tells a 
lie ; and infinite shifts are ordinarily made to cloak a 
lie, which shew that he is ashamed thereof, and that 
his conscience checketh him for it. 

8. No man can endure to be accounted a liar. No 
word more provoketh rage than this, Thou liest. It 
is the cause of many duels. 

4. Lying overthrows all society ; ' for what man 
knoweth the things of a man ?' 1 Cor. i. 11. A man's 
purposes must be made known, and speech is the best 
means thereof. If his speech be deceitful, how shall 
his mind be made known ? If not, what commerce 
can there be with him and others ? 

5. A man taken tripping herein will be suspected 
in all his words and actions. He that is not true in 
his words can hardly be thought to deal honestly in 
his deeds. 

Arguments against lying in professors of the Chris- 
tian religion are these : 

1. Lying is expressly forbidden in God's word. 
Lev. xix. 11 ; Eph. iv. 25 ; Col. iii. 9. Thus it is 
against the rule of Christians. 

2. It is against knowledge and conscience ; for a 
liar doth deceitfully utter for truth that which he 
knoweth to be false. 

3. It is a filthy rag of the old man, and one of the 
most disgraceful ; and therefore first set down in the 
particular exemplification of those filthy rags, Eph. 
iv. 22, 25. 

4. It is most directly opposite to God, who is truth 
itself, and concerning whom we heard that it was im- 
possible that he should lie. 

5. Nothing makes men more like the devil ; for 
* he is a liar, and the father thereof,' John viii. 44. 
A lying spirit is a diabolical spirit. A liar carrieth 
the image of the devil, and doth the work of the devil, 
and therein shews himself a child of the devil. 

6. As a lie is hateful to God, so it makes the prac- 
tisers thereof abominable, Prov. vi. IG, 17, and 
xii. 22. 

7. Lying causoth hea\'y vengeance. In general, it 
is said, ' The Lord will destroy them that speak lies,' 
Ps. V. 6 ; in particular, both temporal and eternal 
jutlgments are threatened against such : temporal, 
Hosea iv. 2, S^c. ; eternal, by excluding from heaven. 
Rev. xxi. 27, and by thrusting into hell. Rev. xxi. 8. 
Memorable was the judgment on Gehazi, 2 Kings 

V. 27 ; and on Ananias and Sapphira, Acts v. 5, 

Sec. 144, 0/ comfort arising from faith in God's 

The end of the two immutable things which God 
used is thus expressed, 'iy^co/iiv, ' that we might have,' 
&c. These words in general declare that it was for 
our good that God so far condescended, as was shewed, 
ver. 17, Sec. 131. 

The particular good aimed at therein is in these 
words, 'loyjjoav TaPcixArjOiv, a KtroHfj consohition. 

Of the verb craeaxa/Jw, whence this noun consola- 
tion is derived, see Chap. iii. 13, Sec. 143. 

Among other acceptions, the verb from whence this 
noun is derived signifieth to comfort, Col. iv. 8. 
Hereupon the Holy Ghost, who is the original cause 
of all true sound comfort, is styled UapdxXriTog, the 

The word of my text, TaeaxXriSig, is sometimes 
translated exhortation, Heb. xiii. 22; and sometimes 
consolation, Luke ii. 25. So it is here taken. 

The consolation here meant, is such as ariseth from 
a true, sound, stedfast faith ; so as God added to his 
promise his oath, that we might more stedfastly be- 
lieve his promise, and in believing the same, receive 
comfort to our souls. Metonymically, the eflect is 
put for the cause ; comfort for faith, which worketh it. 

Hence it is evident that credence given to God's 
promise bringeth great comfort to the soul. Here- 
upon, saith the psalmist, ' Remember thy word unto 
thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope ;' 
he means God's word of promise, and thence inferreth, 
' This is my comfort in my affliction,' Ps. cxix. 49, 50. 
David himself gives a good evidence hereof; for when 
he was brought into the greatest strait that ever he 
was in, ' he encouraged himself in the Lord his God,' 
1 Sam. XXX. 6, that is, calling to mind the promise 
that God made to him, his soul was quieted and com- 
forted. Such is the comfort and confidence which 
ariseth from faith in God's promises, as it maketh 
true believers to ' cast their burden and care upon 
the Lord,' Ps. Iv. 22, 1 Peter v. 7, and to ' lay them- 
selves down in peace and sleep quietly," Ps. iv. 8. 

A believer is freed from all undue fears, doubts, 
surmises, and such like passions as most trouble and j 
disquiet the soul, so as a man must needs be much 
comforted therein. That which the apostle saith of 
love, may fitly be applied to faith, 1 John iv. 18. 
There is no fear in faith, but perfect faith casteth out 
fear. Christ opposeth fear and faith where he saith, 
' Why are ye fearful, ye of little faith ?' Mat. 
viii. 2G. Comfort being the eflect of faith in God's 
promises, should stir us up to labour for faith ; and 
it should provoke us to yield all due credence to the 
promises of God, both in respect of God's honour, 
whose truth is sealed up thereby, John iii. 33, and 
also in respect of the peace and comfort of oar own 

Ver. 18.] 



Bouls. Well weigh how sweet a thing true sound 
comfort is, yea, and how needful in regard of the 
many assaults, troubles, and vexations whereunto we 
are subject. They who are troubled in mind and dis- 
quieted in conscience, and thereupon want this com- 
fort, have it in high account, and earnestly desire it ; for 
the benefit of a good thing is commonly better discerned 
by the want than by the fruition of it. Behold here 
the only means to find comfort in all estates, namely, 
faith in God's promises ; wherefore carefully use this 
means. All other means are but as shadows without 
substance, or as dew which is soon dried up with the 
Bun. Wherefore ' believe in the Lord your God, so 
shall you be established ; believe his prophets, so 
ehall you prosper,' 2 Chron. xx. 20. 

Sec. 145. Of strong comfort. 

The fore-mentioned comfort is much illustrated by 
this epithet, 'lOyy^av, strong. Of the notation and 
emphasis of this epithet* see Chap. v. 7, Sec. 37. It 
is here opposed to that which is weak and wavering, 
and full of doubts and fears. Hereby then is shewed 
that God would have our comfort to be steady, like 
the shining of the sun in a fair bright day, and not in a 
cloudy, gloomy day, when it may for a while shine 
forth, and then presently be obscured. Paul's com- 
fort was a strong and steady comfort ; for he saith, 
' Our consolation aboundeth by Christ,' 2 Cor. i. 5 ; 
and again, ' 1 am filled with comfort,' 2 Cor. vii. 4. 
In this respect he styleth it ' everlasting consolation,' 
2 Thes. ii. 16. 

Strong comfort doth much commend the means 
which God hath afforded for that purpose ; and it is 
exceeding useful against the many fierce and strong 
temptations which will much impair our comfort un- 
less it be strong. A foundation set on the sand will 
soon fail when the rain falls and the floods arise, and 
the winds blow and beat upon the house that is built 
on that foundation, Mat. vii. 26, 27. There will 
arise doubts and fears from the flesh ; Satan also will 
add his storms and blusterings, and will do what lieth 
in him to bereave us of all comfort. It is therefore 
requisite that our comfort be strong and stedfast, and 
that we be as a well-rooted and a well-grounded oak, 
which stands steady against all storms. 

1. Let us not be content either with seeming or 
small comforts, lest we be like those who dream that 
they eat, but when they awake, their soul is empty, 
&c., Isa. xxix. 8. Such are many who have been 
long trained up in Christ's school, and lived under 
the ministry of the w'ord, by which God's promises 
have been tendered unto them, and the infallible truth 
of those promises demonstrated, and yet remain as 
weak and wavering, as full of doubts and fears as at 
the beginning. How can such be thought to be of the 
kingdom of God ? The things of that kingdom, 
though they be small in their beginning, yet will grow 
to an admirable greatness, Mat. xiii. 31, &c. 

2. For our parts, let us do our best for attaining 
that which God would have us attain to, and for which 
God aflbrdeth us immutable things, namely, strong 
consolation. This may be attained by a diligent ex- 
ercising ourselves in God's word publicly and privately, 
by a careful observing his promises, and by a due 
consideration of God's faithfulness and immutability. 

Sec. 146. Of flying for refuge to GocTs promise. 

The parties here specially intended for partaking of 
the fore- mentioned end of God's confirming his pro- 
mise by oath are thus described, * Who have fled for 
refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.' 

This phrase, fled for refuge, is the interpretation of 
one Greek word, xarapuy&vTsc, which is a compound. 
The simple verb (pihyu signifieth to fly, Mat. ii. 13. 
This compound is only twice used in the New Testa- 
ment, here and Acts xiv. 6. It carrieth emphasis, 
and that in a double respect. 

1. As it intendeth safety, and is translated /«/ /or 

2. As it intendeth diligence and speed, and may be 
translated fly ivith speed. 

In the former sense it sheweth, that they reap strong 
comfort from God's promise who make it their refuge. 
They who fled to the city of refuge, there rested quiet 
and secure, and feared not what their adversary could 
do against them, Num. xxxv. 12, 15. In this respect 
David oft styleth God his • hiding place,' Ps. xxxii. 7, 
and cxix. 114. 

This will be a means to root out all confidence in 
ourselves or other creatures, and rest on God alone 
and his word ; for he that fled to the city of refuge 
there abode, and went not out of it, Num. xxxv. 
25, 26. 

1 . This excludes all proud, self-conceited justiciaries 
from strong consolation. 

2. This teacheth us to acquaint ourselves with our 
own guilt and emptiness, that thereby we may be 
moved to fly for refuge to God's word. Till we see 
that, we shall never do this. 

Sec. 147. Of diligence in attaining the hope set le- 
fore us. 

As the foresaid compound, xaraipvyovTii, implies 
diligence and speed, it is a metaphor taken from run- 
ners in a race, who use to put on with all the speed 
they can. This sense seems to be the more pertinent 
in this place, because the words following have refer- 
ence thereunto. For, 

1 . To lay hold, z^arricai, hath reference to a prize, 
for which runners in a race make the more speed. 

2. The hope, kXirihoc, here mentioned is that prize. 

3. This word set before, -Tr^oxci/xsvrig, useth to be 
spoken of runners in a race, before whom the prize is 
set, Heb. xii. 1. 

4. There is mention made of a forerunner, '^r^od^o- 
fijOi, ver. 20. 



[Chap. YI. 

1. Our old Enr;lisli translation have reference here- 
unto ; for thus they translate it, ' Which have fled to 
hold last the hope laid heforo us.' In this sense do 
most exiwsitors here take this word. 

Thus the word implicth, that diligence must bo 
used for attaining that which is hoped for ; hereof see 
Chap. iv. 11, Sec. 64.1 

The Greek word x^a7r,aai, here translated to hnj 
hold upon, is the same that is used. Chap. iv. 14, 
Sec. 8G, and there translated hold fast. As there, 
60 here, it implieth perseverance in our Christian 
course, till we have attained to the end thereof. Of 
perseverance, sec Chap. iii. G, Sec. 08. 

Hope is here taken motonymically for the thing 
hoped for, as promise for the thing promised, ver. 
12. Sec. 87. That which was hoped for is the very 
same as was promised, even eternal life. For this is 
the reward that is here said to be set before us. 

Sec. 148. Of heaven a believers hope. 

That which before the apostle termed the promise, 
he here styleth the hope, to shew the mutual corres- 
pondency betwixt God's promise and man's hope. 
What God promiseth man hopeth for ; and man can- 
not in faith hope for anything but that which God 
hath promised. See more hereof in The Whole 
Armour of God, treat, ii. part vii. sec. 3 ; of hope, 
on Eph. vi. 17. 

]f it be demanded what that hope is which is set 
before us, a ready answer may be gathered out of 
the two next verses, which shew that it is heaven itself, 
and the glory thereof, which is hoped for. 

Heavenly glory is that which true believers hope 
for.* Hereupon their hope is styled, ' the hope of 
the glory of God,' Rom. v. 2, namely, that glory which 
with God they shall enjoy in heaven. It is also styled 
* the hope of salvation,' 1 Thes. v. 8, and * the hope 
of eternal life,' Titus iii. 7 ; it is in this respect called 
' the hope which is laid up for us in heaven,' Col. 
i. 5 ; and * that blessed hope,' Titus ii. 13, an hope 
that maketh us blessed ; and the ' hope which shall 
be gladness,' Prov. x. 28. 

1. Herein is manifested a main diflcrencc betwixt 
the hope of them that are regenerate, and them who 
remain in then- natural estate. The utmost of the 
hope of these men is within the compass of this world. 
Hereupon their hope is said to perish, Prov. xi. 7. 
For the promises of things to come belong not to them. 

Besides, they want the eyes of faith, whereby things 
invisible arc seen, Hcb. xi. 27 ; they walk by sense. 

2. Herein further is manifested the ground of a 
believer's boldness. ' The righteous are bold as a 
lion,' Prov. xxviii. 1. He is bold in peace and trouble, 
in safety and danger, in life and death ; and well may 
he be so, by reason of the hope that is set before him. 
Hereupon ' the righteous hath hope in his death,' 

* See ver. 20, Sec. 157. 

Prov. xiv. 32. This is that hope, whereof in a pro- 
verbial speech it is said, Were it not for hope the 
heart would break. This proverb holdeth most true 
in the hope that hero we speak of, the hope of eternal 
life. ' If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we 
are of all men most miserable,' 1 Coi*. xv. 19. 

Sec. 149. Of setting reward before us. 

This phrase, set before, is the interpretation of one 
Greek participle, cr^oxEz/xsi/T;; ; the root whereof, xu/j,ai, 
signifieth to be set, Philip, i. 17. The compound is only 
used in this epistle, and that three times, here and 
Chap. xii. 1,2. It implieth a setting a thing before 
us, as for direction. Chap. xii. 1, to shew how we 
should attain it; so also for imitation, to stir us up 
to use our best endeavoixr for attaining it. 

It is set before us by God himself in his word. We 
may therefore have our eye upon this hope, namely, 
upon that reward which is promised, and thereupon 
we may well hope for it. As God hath set it before 
us, so may we set it before ourselves, and thereby be 
encouraged to hold out in our Christian course. It 
is said of Christ, that ' for the joy which was set be- 
fore him, he endured the cross,' Heb. xii. 2. 

If Christ used this means to encourage him to en- 
dure the cross, much more may we by this means 
encourage ourselves to do and endure whatsoever God 
shall call us unto. Yea, I may add, that we must 
have our eye on that that is set before us. ' For he 
that Cometh to God must believe that he is, and that 
he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,' 
Heb. xi. 6. Thus Abraham * looked for an heavenly 
citv,' and Moses ' had respect unto the recompence 
of Vhe reward,' Heb. xi. 10, 26. With this doth the 
apostle thus persuade Christians to hold out under 
all their pressures, ' Our light affliction, which is but 
for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding 
and eternal weight of glory,' 2 Cor. iv. 17. 

1. The weakness of our flesh needeth this support. 
The spirit may be willing, when the flesh is weak, 
Mat. xxvi. 41. 

2. The difliculty of our task, for doing and suffer- 
ing what we are bound unto, requires such an en- 
couragement ; because ' strait is the gate, and nan'ow 
is the way, which leadeth unto life,' Mat. vii. 14. 

3. The imperfection of the sanctification of the 
best, while here they are in this world, needeth such 
an help. For ' we know in part,' 1 Cor. xiii. 9, and 
of all other graces wo have but a part. If we were 
now as Adam in his innocency was, or glorified saints 
now are, we should need no such means. 

4. Reward, especially the hope here spoken of, 
namely, of eternal life, is the end of om- practice, 
Rom. vi. 22, and of our faith, 1 Pet, i. 9 ; therefore 
we may have our eye fixed on it. 

5. God having promised that which we hoped for, 
wo may well set it before us. For ' whatsoever good 
thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the 

Ver. 18.] 



Lord,' Eph. vi. 8 ; and in due season we shall reap, 
Gal. vi. 9. 

6. None condemns this point of prudence in tem- 
poral things. Who condemns the husbandman for 
sowing bountifully, that he may reap bountifully? 
2 Cor. ix. 6. It is by way of commendation said, 
' The husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of 
the earth,' James v. 7. * He that striveth for a 
mastery, doth it to obtain a corruptible crown,' 1 Cor. 
ix. 25. All tradesmen, merchants, mariners, soldiers, 
and others, have that which they hope for in their 

1. Obj. It is a mercenary disposition, and the part 
of an hireling, to do duty for reward. 

Ans. Not unless they do it wholly and only for 
reward ; or at least, principally, according to this 
proverb. No ijenny, no pater-noster. 

2. Obj. This argues self-love. 

Ans. Indeed, the eyeing of such a reward argues a 
spiritual self-love ; but this is very commendable, as 
is shewed in Domest. Duties on Eph. v. 29, treat, i. 
sec. 58. 

Though this be lawful, yet it admitteth sundry 
cautions, such as these, 

1. That the principal end we aim at in all our 
endeavours be God's will and his glory. We ought 
so far to aim at this mark, as if our salvation and 
God's gloi'y should stand in opposition (which never 
can in a right course), we should with Moses wish to 
be blotted out of the book of life, Exod. xxxii. 32, 
and with Paul to be separated from Christ, rather 
than God's glory be dashed. Our aim, therefore, at 
our own happiness must be subordinate to God's 

2. That the particular thing which we aim at be 
such as proceedeth from God's love and favour, and 
bringeth us into communion with him. 

3. That we aim at a reward, not as a due debt or 
matter of merit, but as that which God on his mere 
grace promiseth. 

4. That the longer we be trained up in Christ's 
school, we do the more acquaint ourselves with the 
beauty and excellency of that which God requireth of 
us, and thereupon to yield unto it, for conscience sake, 
for the Lord's sake, for the love of goodness itself. 

Sec. 150. Of inferences upon doing and enduring 
for reward's sake. 

1. The foresaid doctrine of having an eye to the 
hope set before us, is the doctrine of all reformed 
churches, taught by their preachers in their pulpits, 
maintained by professors of divinity in their chairs, 
and published in the books that are printed about 
this point ; and yet papists falsely charge us to deny 
that Christians should have any respect to reward. 
The Rhemists in their notes on Heb. xi, 26, thus, 
' The protestants deny that we may or ought to do 
good, in respect or for reward in heaven.' And Bel- 

larmine^ chargeth Calvin to deny that we should do 
good in respect to reward. But in those places which 
he quoteth of Calvin, there is nothing to be found 
to that purpose. 

2. It cannot be denied, but that there are some 
of this perverse opinion, to deny the truth of grace 
in them, who are either incited to good by hope of 
reward, or restrained from evil by fear of future 
revenge. But this conceit we utterly detest. 

3. The foresaid doctrine giveth evidence of the great 
indulgency of God towards man, in affording such 
allurements to incite us unto our duty. 

4. The said doctrine manifesteth the hardness or 
their hearts, who are no way wrought upon, but 
remain like the smith's anvil, which is softened 
neither with the beating of the hammer upon it, 
nor with any oil poured on it. They are like those 
that Christ complaineth of, who were wrought upon 
neither by piping nor dancing, Mat. x. 17. 

5. Let this part of God's indulgency towards us 
quicken us up to use this help ; and thereupon both 
to take notice of the hope that God hath set before 
us, and also seriously to meditate on the excellency 
thereof, and frequently to meditate thereon. 

Sec. 151. Of the resolution o/Heb. vi. 17, 18. 

Ver. 17. Wherein God, ivilling more abundantly to 
shew unto the heirs of p)^'omise the immutability of 
his counsel, confirmed it by an oath : 

18. That by two immutable things, in which it ivas 
impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong con- 
solation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the 
hope set before us. 

The sum of these two verses is, a declaration of 
the ends of God's condescension to man. 

Hereabout we are to observe the inference in this 
word wherein, and the substance in the words fol- 

The foresaid ends are two : 

One in reference to God himself, ver. 17, the 
other in reference to man, ver. 18. 

The former is, 1, propounded, in this phrase, to 
sheio the immutability of his counsel. 

2. It is illustrated by sundry circumstances. 

In the point propounded we may observe, 

1. God s act, thus expressed, to shew. 

2. The object thereof, wherein is set down both 
the kind of object, counsel, and the stability of it, in 
this word immutability. 

The circumstances of the illustration are four : 

1. The manner of God's doing what he did, in this 
word willing. 

2. The measure thereof, more abundantly. 

3. The means whereby he did it, his oath. This 
is amplified by the validity of it, in this word con- 

4. The men to whom he did it, heirs offromisQ. 

' Bellarra. de justificat. lib. v. c^p. viii. 


[Chap. VI. 

The other end, which hath reference to man, is, 

1. Propounded ; 2. amplified. 

In the point propounded is set down, 

1. The kind of benefit, consc»/a//c»i. j 

2. The quantity of it, slrouij. 

8. The fruition of it, miijht have. 

In the amplification is set down the means used 
on God's part, and the persons for whom. The 
means are set forth, 

1. By their number, tico things. 

2. By their stability : which is, 1, expressed in 
this word immutable ; 2, confirmed, in this phrase, 
in which it icas impossible for God to lie. 

The persons for whose sake God so far conde- 
scended ai'e described, 

1. By their act, uho have fled. 

2. By the end of that act, to lay hold upon. 
8. By the prize, the hope. 

4. By the ground thereof, set before us. 

Sec. 152. Of observations raised out of Heb. vi. 

17, 18. 

I. God conforms himself to man. This I gather 
out of the inference from this word tiherein. See Sec. 

II. God xviUinfihj doth what he doth for man. For 
it is here said, God willinff. See Sec. 130. 

III. God doth more than needs for manssahe. This 
phrase more abundantly, and this word two things, \. 

18, intend as much. See Sec. 131, 139. 

IV. God clearly manifests his good will to man. 
The word translated to shew significth a clear and 
full manifestation of a thing. See Sec. 132. 

V. All believers are God's heirs. 

VI. None but believers are God's heirs. 

The extent and restraint of this word heirs prove 
these two last observations. See Sees. 133, 131. 

VII. God's promise is the ground of believers' in- 
heritance. For they are heirs of promise. See Sec. 

VIII. God's counsel is immutable. This is here 
taken for granted. See Sec. 135. 

IX. God's oath is a suretyship. The word tran- 
slated confirmed intendeth so much. See Sec. 138. 

X. God's promise is immutable. 

XI. God's oath is immutable. These are the tivo 
things that are here said to be immutable. See sec. 

XII. Matters of impolency are im,possible to God. 
Soe Sec. 141. 

XIII. It is impossible for God to lie. This is here 
expressly aflirmed. See Sec. 141. 

XIV. Faith in God's promise worketh consolation. 
For it is God's word believed whereby we come to 
have comfort. See Sec. 141. 

XV. God would have our consolation to be steady. 
This is the meaning of this word strong. See Sec. 

XVI. Believers make God their refuge. They are 
here said to fly to his promise for refuge. See Sec. 

XVII. Diligence must be used for obtaining life. 
The verb translated y/<'ti implieth diligence. See Sec. 

XVIII. God's promise is the ground of man's hope. 
Hope is here put for that which God hath promised, 
and man believed. See Sec. 148. 

XIX. God hath set a prize before us. This is here 
implied under this phrase, set before us. See Sec. 

XX. We may aim at reward. It is reward that is 
set before us : and it is here mentioned, to move us 
to have our eye upon it. See Sec. 149. 

Sec. 153. 0/ hope an anchor of the soul. Heb. vi. 
19, 20. 

Ver. 19. Which hope toe have as an anchor of the 
soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into 
that within the veil ; 

20. Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even 
Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of 

In these two verses the apostle describeth hope, 
whereof he made mention in the former verse. Which 
description is here brought in for two principal ends. 
One, as a farther argument, to press the main point 
in hand, namely, perseverance without wavering. The 
other is a fit transition from his digression to the 
main matter in hand, concerning Christ's priesthood. 
See Sec. 101. 

The apostle's argument is taken from that help and 
means which God afibrdeth to us for persevering, 
which is a safe and sure anchor. 

Though hope in the former verse were taken meto- 
nymically for the thing hoped for (as was shewed Sec. 
147), yet here it may properly be taken for that grace 
whereby we quietly wait for eternal life. 

The word hope is not expressed in the Greek, but 
fitly supplied in our English ; for the relative which 
hath reference thereunto. 

Of the description of hope, and of sundry other 
points about that grace, see The Whole Armour of 
God, treat, ii. part. vii. sec. 3, &c. ; of hope, on Eph. 
vi. 17. ■ 

The use of hope is excellently set forth under this 
metaphor of an anchor, which sheweth the nature and 
use of it ; that is, to keep us steady against all temp- 
tations, that wc be not tossed up and down, and carried 
this way and that way, or overwhelmed by them. 

Saints are in this world as ships in the sea. A sea 
is oft very troublesome and dangerous, by reason of 
great waves raised by gusts and storms of wind. Thus 
the devil and his instruments bring saints into many 
troubles and dangers. Now, as an anchor is of great 
use to hold a ship fast in the midst of storms and 
tempests, so as it cannot be whirled up and down, 

Ver. 1 9, 20.] 



this way and that way, nor east upon rocks or sands, 
but kept steady in the place where the anchor is cast, 
so hope is of like use to the soul ; it keeps it in the 
midst of all temptations and troubles settled and sted- 
fast, so as they cannot remove it from the promise of 
God, whereon this anchor is cast, nor split it upon 
the rocks of presumption, or drive it into the sands of 
diffidence and despair. 

Hope is here styled the * anchor of the soul,' to 
distinguish it from iron anchors used for ships. By 
the soul, is here meant the spirit of a man, even the 
regenerate part. 

Hope is a special means to keep the soul safe, and 
in that respect styled ' the hope of salvation,' 1 Thes. 
V. 8 ; and ' the helmet of salvation,' Eph. vi. 17. 
It is one part of that spiritual armour whereby the 
soul is fenced, and whereby it is kept safe from 
spiritual enemies and assaults. In this regard it is 
the more excellent in the kind of it, and more neces- 
sary for the use of it. Of spiritual armour, and 
spiritual enemies and assaults, which make much to 
the amplifying of this anchor of the soul, see The 
Whole Armour of God, treat, i. part ii. sec. 4, on 
Eph. vi. 11 ; and part iii. sec. 9, on Eph. vi. 12 ; 
and treat, ii. part viii. sec. 5, on Eph. vi. 17. 

By this metaphor the apostle sheweth that hope is 
of special use to keep the soul safe in all troubles and 
trials. ' They that trust (or hope) in the Lord shall 
be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but 
abideth for ever,' Ps. cxsv. 1. Upon David's pro- 
fessing that he put his trust in God, he maketh this 
inference, ' I will not fear what flesh can do unto me,' 
Ps. Ivi. 4, In this respect the apostle saith, that 
' hope maketh not ashamed,' Eom. v. 5. It doth not 
disappoint him of that which he expecteth, so as he 
should be ashamed. In this respect there is another 
metaphor, whereunto the apostle reserableth hope, 
namely, an helmet ; whereof see The Whole Armour 
of God, treat, ii. part vii. sec. 7. 

Hope doth, as it were, fasten the man in whom it 
is to the promise of God, on whom it is fixed, and to 
heaven which he hopeth for ; as by the anchor and 
cable a ship is fastened to the ground on which the 
anchor is cast. Now God's promise is a most firm 
ground, and heaven is so high, as nor Satan, nor any 
of his instruments, can come thither to loose it. Hope, 
therefore, must needs be of singular use to keep the 
soul safe. 

1. This giveth proof both of the necessity and also 
of the benefit of hope. Of both these, see The Whole 
Armour of God, treat, ii. part vii. sec. 9. 

2. This also may quicken us up to get and preserve 
this needful and useful grace. Hereof see The Whole 
Armour of God, treat, ii. part vii. sec. 13. 

3. The resemblance of hope to an anchor afibrdeth 
a direction for well using of hope. Hereof also see 
Tlie Whole Armour of God, treat, ii. part vii. sec. 

Sec. 154. Of the certainty of hope. 

These two epithets, sure and stedfast, are so ex- 
pressed as they may have reference either to the grace 
itself, which is hope, or to the metaphor, whereunto 
the grace is resembled ; for they are all of the same 
case, gender, and number. In sense, both references 
tend to the same issue ; for if it be referred to the 
metaphor, it implieth that hope is not only like an 
anchor, but also like a sure and stedfast anchor. 

The first epithet, asipocXlj, translated sure, is a com- 
pound. The simple verb, ff^paXXoo, lahefacto, everto, 
from whence it is derived, signifieth to weaken or over- 
throw. The verb is compounded with a privative 
preposition, and signifieth to make fast and sure, or 
to keep safe. Mat. xxvii. 64-GG; Acts xvi. 28. Thence 
the adjective dapaX/j;, here used, is derived, which 
signifieth certain, sure, safe ; and a substantive, agpa- 
Xsia, that signifieth certainty, or sureness, or safety, 
Luke i. 4, Acts v. 23 ; and an adverb, dGpaXojc, 
which signifieth /as^, surely, safely, Acts xvi. 23, Mark 
xiv. 44. 

This epithet applied to an anchor signifieth such an 
one as abideth fast and sure in the ground, and suffer- 
eth not the ship to be carried away, but keepeth it 

Of the other epithet, (SiQalav, translated stedfast, see 
Chap. ii. 2, Sec. 11, and Chap. iii. 6, Sec. 68. 

These two epithets are joined together with a 
double copulative, n %ai, which our English thus 
expresseth, both sure and stedfast ; to set out more 
fully and to the life the certainty of hope, according 
to that which Joseph said of Pharaoh's two dreams : 
' It is because the thing is established by God,' Gen. 
xli. 82. This, then, giveth evident proof that a be- 
liever's hope is firm and stable. See ver. 11, Sec. 80. 

The former of the foresaid epithets being sometimes 
used for safe, and joined with the other, that signifieth 
stedfast, giveth us further to understand that the 
spiritual safety of a Christian dependeth on the assur- 
ance of his hope, as the safety of a ship dependeth on 
the sureness of the anchor ; for ' he that wavereth is 
like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and 
tossed,' James i. 6. Hereupon the apostle exhorteth 
to be ' stedfast and unmoveable,' 1 Cor. xv. 58. 

Satan will not cease to raise storms against us by 
himself and ministers ; if therefore our anchor be not 
sure and stedfast, we shall be exposed to very great 

This should the more incite us to give all diligence 
to have our hope established. See ver. 11, Sec. 80. 

Sec. 155. Of entering into that within the veil. 

The object of hope, or ground whereon the anchor 
of the soul is cast, is thus described, which entereth 
into that within the veil. The Greek noun, /caraTs- 
rasfia, translated veil, is a compound. The simple 
verb, Tirdvwfj,!, signifieth to open. One compound, 
ixTirdnufji,!, signifieth to stretch out, Rom. x. 21 ; an- 



[Chap. VI. 

other, zaraTaravvu/x;, ohteijo, to cover. From thence 
is derived the word that signifieth a veil ; for the use 
of a veil was to cover, Exodus xl. 21, or hide a thin}:;. 

The word to fffwrssov, inleriiis, translated that xvilh- 
in, is of the comparative degree. The positive iou, 
intus, signilieth ivUhin, and this comparative inner, 
Acts xvi. 24. 

In this phrase the apostle alliidcth to the tabernacle 
or temple, wherein the most holy place was severed 
from the other part of the temple by a veil. Exodus 
xxvi. 33 ; 2 Chron. iii. 14. That within the veil was 
the most holy place, which was a t3po of heaven. 
Hereof see more on llcb. ix. 13. 

The hiding of the most holy place with a veil pre- 
figured the invisibility of heaven to us on earth. 

The comparative may be used either by way of dis- 
tinction, and that betwixt this and the outward veil, 
whereby the holy place was divided from the court 
appertaining thereunto, — in reference hereunto, this 
inner veil is called ' the second veil,' Heb. ix. 3 ; or 
else the comparative may set out the inner part ; for 
the noun veil is of the genitive case, rou xaracrsraff- 
(jbaroz, as if it were thus translated, ' the inner part of 
the veil.' Thus it setteth out the most holy place, 
as was noted before. 

Of the emphasis of this compound, E/Vesp/o/ASKTiv, 
enter into, see Chap. iii. 11, Sec. 110 ; and of doub- 
ling the preposition in the verb, and with the noun,' 
as if it were thus translated, entercth in, into, see Chap. 
iv. 11, Sec. G5. 

Here it implieth the extent of a believer's hope, that 
it cannot rest till it have attained to heaven, and till 
it be well settled. 

Herein lieth a difference betwixt the anchor of a 
ship, and this anchor of the soul. That is cast down- 
wards to the bottom of the water where the ship is 
stayed ; this is cast as high as heaven itself. 

Sec. 156. Of hope of things not seen. 

This part of the description of hope, that it * en- 
tereth into that within,' sheweth that hope is of things 
not seen. This doth the apostle expressly prove, 
Rom. viii. 24. As faith, so hope is ' the evidence of 
things not seen,' Heb. xi. 1 ; by hope we ' look at the 
things which are not seen,' 2 Cor. iv. 18. ' God hath 
begotten us again unto a lively hope of an inheritance 
reserved in heaven,' 1 Pet. i. 3, 4. 

This God hath so ordered to try our patience, faith, 
love, &c., 1 Pet. i. 7, 8. 

1. Herein licth a main difference betwixt a Chris- 
tian's hope and sight. This latter is of things visible, 
the former of things invisible. 

2. Herein lieth a main difference betwixt the hope 
of true Christians, and mere worldlings, whoso hope 
is only on the things here below, which are visible. 

8. This teacheth us to wait for the things which 
we hope for. For * if wo hope for that we see not, 

then do we with patience wait for it,' Rom. viii. 2-5. 
It is very requisite that we wait with patience, lest 
otherwise we fail of the end of our hope. 

Sec. 157. Of hope of heaven. 

The mention of the veil, in this phrase, that n-ithin 
the veil, further sheweth that heaven is the object of 
a believer's hope. The apostle's description of the 
hope of God's calling doth evidently demonstrate 
thus much, Eph. i. 18 ; but more clearly doth another 
apostle thus set it out, ' God hath begotten us again 
unto a lively hope, to an inheritance incorruptible,' 
&c., 1 Pet. i. 3, 4. The apostle therefore joineth 
these two together, ' the blessed hope, and the glorious 
appearing of Christ,' Titus ii. 13. It is hereupon 
styled, ' hope of salvation,' 1 Thcs. v. 8 ; 'an helmet 
of salvation,' Eph. vi. 17. The apostle takes this for 
granted, where he saith, ' If in this life only we have 
hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable,' 
1 Cor. XV. 19; and in this respect, saith the wise 
man, ' the righteous hath hope in his death,' Prov. 
xiv. 32. Heaven is the highest and chiefest of all 
God's promises, it is the end of them all. For the 
purchase hereof Christ came down from heaven. 

1. Herein lieth another difference betwixt the hope 
of saints and worldlings. The hope of worldlings 
ariseth no further than the earth ; the hope of saints 
ariseth as far as heaven. 

2. Hereby proof may be made of the truth and 
excellency of a Christian's hope. If it be fixed on 
things below, it is base and false. 

3. In all losses and crosses, let us have an eye to 
this object of our hope. So long as heaven abides, 
we need not be over careful. This makes believers 
think themselves happy, when the world accounts them 

Sec. 158. Of Christ's ninninff in our race. 

Ver. 20. The first part of the twentieth verse is 
an explanation of the place where a believer's hope is 
fixed, in these words, ' whither the forerunner is for 
us entered.' 

1. It is said to be a place entered into, iiarj'Kds, 
and in that respect passable. 

2. It is entered into by rr^ohoixoc, a forerunner. 
Thereupon we may be directed how to enter. 

3. That forerunner is Jesus our Saviour ; so as we 
may with the gi'eater confidence follow him. 

4. He did what he did for us. This adds much to 
the strengthening of our confidence. 

The word translated forerunner is in this place 
only used. 

As our English, so the Greek also is a noun com- 
pound. The simple verb' signifieth to run. Mat. 
xxviii. 8. The preposition cr^i, ante, with which it is 
compounded, signifieth before, Luke xiv. 4. The verb 

' TBixf, curro. praet. activ. liS^dfinKa ; aor. I'h^a/it* ; prset. 
med. lii^ofia ; imle l^if^oi, curaus , 2 Tim. iv. 7. 

Ver. 19, 20.] 



thus compounded ■z^osdoaf/.e, j^riPcurrit, is translated 
outran, John xx. 4. For he that outruns another, 
runs before him. The word may have reference to 
such as run in a race, and so outrun others, as they 
get first to the goal. 

The Greek word rr^ohooiMog, here translated fore- 
runner, is by other authors put, not only for such as 
in a race outrun others, but also for a messenger 
sent beforehand upon a business; or for a scout sent 
to descry an army ; or for a quartermaster, who goeth 
beforehand to prepare quarters for soldiers ; and for 
an harbinger, who is to prepare lodgings for a king's 
court in his progress; and for an herald, that declares 
such a personage to be coming; and for any that^«-e- 
pareth the xcay beforehand ; and for a guide that goeth 
before to direct others. In sundry of these senses, 
John the Baptist was styled a forerunner. He was 
as an herald that declared Christ was coming; as an 
harbinger to make the way plain before Christ's com- 
ing; and as a guide to direct people in the way to 
Christ, Mat. iii. 1, &c. 

But as this metaphor hath reference to heaven, 
whither the forerunner here mentioned entered, it is 
proper to Christ alone. For he is that only one wl o 
through his own merit opened heaven, and first entered 
into it, and made it passable for others after him to 
enter thereinto. 

In general it may, from this metaphor, be inferred, 

1. That Christ was a runner in the Christian race. 

2. That he ran therein before others. 

The first point is evident by the obedience which 
he performed, and sufierings which he endured in the 
days of his flesh. 

1. Christ would run in the same race with others, 
to sanctify the same unto them. For this is one 
benefit of all Christ's undertakings, that the like thereby 
are sanctified unto us. Christ suffered himself to be 
assaulted by Satan, that he might sanctify like assaults 
to us, if it please God to bring us thereunto. In this 
respect Christ is said to be 6 aytdZ^m, * he that 
sanctifieth,' and believers to be 6/ ayiaZpiMzvoi, ' they 
who are sanctified,' Heb. ii. 11. 

2. Christ ran in the race wherein we run, to make 
it the more plain and easy for us. This is another 
benefit of Christ's untertakings. For Christ, as he 
met with blocks and incumbrances, removed them out 
of the way, which otherwise would have hindered us. 

3. Christ did this to draw us on more readily and 
cheerfully to run our race. Company in a work or 
way, is a great means of encouragement; it puts life 
and vigour into such as are ready to faint; a tired jade 

■ with company will be drawn on. 

This giveth an evidence of God's goodness to us, 
who hath provided such an excellent help for that 
whereunto he calls. He hath sent his Son from 
heaven, and set him in the same race, wherein we are 
to run. This is the rather to be thought on, because, 
without this help, it is not possible to hold out. 
Vol. II. 

Sec. 159. 0/ Christ's running he/ore us. 
The second general point, that Christ ran in our 
race ' before us,' may be taken two ways. 

1. In regard of the absolute perfection and sur- 
passing excellency of all that he did, he far outstripped 
all ; and thus by an excellency he is styled ' a fore- 
runner.' This is one respect wherein he may be said 
to be ' anointed above his fellows.' See Chap. i. 9, 
Sec. 123. 

2. In regard of his undertaking to be a guide and 
pattern for us to follow him ; thus is he styled ' the 
Captain of our salvation.' See Chap. ii. 10, Sec. 

This much amplifieth the former point of Christ's 
being a runner in the Christian race. For if thereby 
the way were made more easy, and believers drawn 
on more cheerfully to run their race, much more by 
this, that Christ is a forerunner and a guide; such a 
forerunner as espieth all obstacles, and impediments 
that lie in the way, and will remove them before we 
come at them ; yea, such a guide as can, and will 
direct us in the right way, for he is ' the way, the 
truth, and the life.' Therefore the apostle contenteth 
not himself with setting a cloud, that is, a thick mul- 
titude of others running in this race before us; but 
adds this forerunner, and bids us in special manner to 
look unto Jesus, Heb. xii. 1, 2. 

Let us therefoi'e look unto Jesus. The Israelites 
in the wilderness so looked unto the pillar or cloud 
that went before them, that 'when the cloud was taken 
up in the morning, then they journeyed. Whether 
it was by day, or by night, that the cloud was taken 
up, they journeyed ; or whether it were two days, or a 
month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the 
tabernacle, they abode in their tents and journeyed 
not,' Num. ix. 21, 22. The Lord Jesus, our fore- 
runner, was the truth and substance of that pillar. 
As then in the wilderness he went before his church, 
in that shadow and type, so much more brightly and 
visibly in the days of his flesh, when he ' fulfilled all 
righteousness,' Mat. iii. 15, and for righteousness' 
sake 'endured the cross and despised the shame,' 
Heb. xii. 2. The Lord Jesus is set before us, as the 
object of our faith, and a pattern for our imitation. 
We must therefore look unto him with the two eyes 
of our soul, understanding and faith ; and follow him 
with both the feet of our soul, obedience and pa- 
tience. The church undertakes thus much in this 
prayer and promise, * Draw me, we will run after 
thee,' Cant. i. 3. The prayer gives evidence of her 
understanding and faith ; the promise, of her obedi- 
ence. We must look with the foresaid eyes to Jesus, 
that we may receive life, vigour, strength, and all 
needful ability : for ' of ourselves we are not suffi- 
cient to think anything as of ourselves,' 2 Cor. iii. 5. 
We must follow Christ that we may be both guided 
in the right way, and encouraged to go on therein. 
Thus Paul followed Christ himself, and exhorteth 




[Chap. VI. 

others to follow bim as ho followed Christ, 1 Cor. xi. 
1. For this cud we must, 

1. Inquire what way Christ entered into heaven. 

2. Consider what good reason we have, and how 
great equity there is, that wo should follow him. For 
this end these three points are among others to be 
duly weighed : 

1. The dignity of his person that is our fore- 

2. The perfection of that course which he toal;. 
No such pattern was ever set before us. Every 
saint had his defects; but Christ did no sin. Sec, 1 
Pet. ii. 2-2. 

8. The reward which followeth upon following 
him, 2 Tim. ii. 11, 12. 

Sec. IGO. Of Christ's enteriiu/ into heaven for iis. 

It is said of the foresaid forerunner, that he 
entered thither where our hope is fixed. The word 
iiffTiXOi, translated entered, is the same that was so 
translated in the former verse. Sec. 155. It sheweth 
that Christ attained the end of his race, at which he 
aimed. This was heaven itself, whereinto we also 
shall enter, if in our race we follow this our fore- 

This act of Christ being premised, immediately 
before his priesthood, sheweth that heaven is the 
place where Christ continueth to exercise his priest- 

1. That was prefigured by the most holy place, 
Heb. ix. 11. 

2. There is the mercy-seat or throne of grace, 
whereon his Father sittcth, Heb. viii. 1. 

3. That is the only place of true happiness. 

4. That was shut against us by our sins ; but 
Christ * by his own blood entered in thither, having 
obtained eternal redemption for us,' Heb. ix. 12. 
See more hereof, Chap. iv. 14, Sees. 84, 85. 

To move us the rather to apply this entering of 
Christ into heaven unto ourselves, the apostle here 
expressly saith that he did it for «s ; so as a main 
end of Christ's entering into heaven was for our good. 
As he came down from heaven for our good, so for 
the same end he entered into heaven again. In- 
deed, for us, and for our good, he did and endured 
all that he did and endured. See Chap. ii. Sec. 

In particular he entered into heaven for us, 

1. To prepare places for us, John xiv. 2, and xii. 

2. To make continual intercession for us, Rom. 
viii. 84. 

8. To make us partaker of his own glory, John 
xvii. 24, Rev. iii. 21, 2 Tim. ii. 12. 

We are utterly unable of ourselves to enter into 
heaven, John iii. 13 ; therefore Christ ascended for 
us to open a passage for us, and to bring us thither. 

1. This puttcth a diU'ercnce betwixt the ascension 

of Christ, and of others that ascend thither, Christ 
ascended by his own power, and for the good of 
others. But all others that enter into heaven, entered 
by virtue of Christ's entering thither, and for them- 
selves. This phrase, ' God hath raised us up to- 
gether, and made us sit together in heavenly places 
in Christ Jesus,' Eph. ii. G., is very emphatical, 
and sheweth that we are not only in hope, but in 
deed entered into heaven in the person of Christ, 
and that by virtue of our near union with him. 

2. This is a strong motive to believe in Christ. 
If Christ did all for us, is there not then good 
reason for us to apply what Christ did and sufiered 
to ourselves ? Meditate hereon for strengthening 
your faith. If wc apply not to ourselves what Christ 
did, we do not only lose the benefit of all, but also 
we make void, as much as in us heth, the main end 
of Christ's entering. 

3. From the particular we may receive a general 
direction, to apply to ourselves, as Christ himself, so 
his offices, actions, natures, properties, value, and 
virtue of what he did and endured ; for all was 
for us. 

4. This ministereth singular comfort against all the 
troubles which in this world we are subject unto. 
•Let not your hearts bo troubled,' saith Christ; 'in 
my Father's house are many mansions, and I go to 
prepare a place for you,' John xiv. 1, 2. Thus 
Christ comforteth his disciples against troubles, upon 
this consideration, that he himself, as a forerunner, 
entered into heaven for their sakes, even to prepare 
places for them. On this ground we may support 
ourselves against trouble, because Christ in heaven 
prepareth a rest for us ; and we have no cause to fret 
at the honours whereunto wicked men are advanced 
in this world, in that Christ prepares honour enough 
for us in heaven. 

5. This sheweth the reason of the assurance of 
our hope, that is an anchor cast within the veil ; 
namely, because Christ hath entered thither for vs, 
that we should be made partakers of the happiness 
there enjoyed. For this cause doth the apostle here 
make mention of Christ's entering thither for us. 

This assurance then ariseth not from ourselves : 
but from that order and means which God hath ap- 
pointed and atibrded to us. 

That we might not be mistaken about the foresaid 
forerunner, and his entering into heaven for us, the 
apostle doth expressly name him, under this title 
■Jesus, which signifieth a Saviour : and this ampli- 
fieth all the fore-mentioned points, that the fore- 
runner is a Saviour, and ho that' entered into heaven 
for us ns a Saviour. Upon such a ground did this 
apostle thus set down Jesus by name, Chap. iv. 14. 
Sec. 8G. 

Of this name Jesus, See Chap. ii. 9, Sec. 73. 

> Qu. ' that he ' ?— Ed. 

Ver. 19, 20.] 



Sec. 161. Of Christ a priest after the order of Mel- 

The latter part of this verse (in these words, made 
an highpriest for ever after the order of Melchisedec) is 
a pertinent and perfect transition betwixt the apostle's 
digression, and his description of Christ's priesthood. 

Of his digression, see Chap. v. 11, Sec. 57. 

This transition eyeth both that which went before 
and that which followeth. 

In reference to that which he had delivered about 
the forerunner's entering into heaven, he here shew- 
eth what an one he was : even the only true high- 
priest, who is for us in things pertaining to God. 
Hereby the benefit of Christ's entering thither is 
much amplified. 

In reference to that which followeth, this transi- 
tion layeth down the sum of the apostle's large dis- 
course about Christ's priesthood. 

He doth here resume the very words at which he 
broke off" his fore-mentioned discourse, Chap. v. 
10, that thereby we might the better discern how he 
returns to his former matter, and proceeds therein. 

This is the third time that this testimony of Christ's 
priesthood hath been alleged, namely, chap. vi. 6, and 
10, and here. And it is twice more mentioned in the 
next chapter, verses 17 and 21 ; yea, twice more, hint 
thereof is given, chap. vii. 11, 15. 

It is a testimony that setteth down sundry remark- 
able points about Christ's priesthood ; as, 

1. The warrant that Christ had to execute this func- 
tion, in this word made; which by the apostle himself 
is thus explained, * called of God,' Chap. v. 10, Sec. 54. 
Christ was deputed by God to this excellent function. 
That this word made implieth a deputation or ordina- 
tion to a function, is shewed Chap, v. 5, Sec. 24, 
where this word niade is used to the same purpose. 

2. The kind of function, expressed in this word priest. 
That Christ was a true priest is proved Chap. ii. 17, 
Sec. 172. 

3. The dignity of that function, in this word high; 
which declareth th^t Christ was the chiefest of priests, 
see Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 173. 

4. The everlasting continuance of this function ; for 
he is here said to be a priest for ever. See Chap. v. 6, 
Sec. 29. 

5. The singular kind of priesthood ; for this phrase, 
after the order, implieth a peculiar kind of function. 

6. The eminency of Christ's priesthood ; for the 
mention of this person, Melchisedec, sheweth that 
Christ's priesthood was of all the most eminent. He 
was such an one as never any like him. Of the two 
last points, see Chap. v. 6, Sec. 30. 

Sec. 162. Of the resolution of Heb. vi. 19, 20. 
The sum of these two verses is a description of 
Christian hope. 

Of the description there are two parts : 
One setteth out the use of hope. 

The other, the qualities of it. 
The use of hope is manifested in a metaphor, 
which is, 

1. Propounded ; 2, amplified. 

The metaphor, as propounded, is in this word anchor. 
It is amplified by the kind thereof, in this word soul, 
which sheweth it to be spiritual. 

2. By the interest we have therein, in this word ive 

The qualities are, 1, expressed; 2, confirmed. 

They are expressed in two epithets, sure aiid sted- 

They are confirmed by the place whereon that 
anchor of the soul is settled. 

That place is, 1, generally propounded; 2, parti- 
cularly exemplified. 

In the general there is noted, 

1. An act, ivhich entereth. 

2. A type, whereby the place was prefigured, that 
ivithin the veil. 

The exemplification of the place is by Christ enter- 
ing thereinto. 
In this there is, 

1. An expression of the act itself {is entered) illus- 
trated by the end thereof, for us. 

2. A description of the person who entered. 
The person is described, 

1. By his proper name, Jesus. 

2. By his functions, which are two : 
One -A forerunner, the other a priest. 
The latter function is set out, 

1. By the warrant he had to exercise it, in this 
word made. 

2. By the eminency of his office, high priest. 

3. By the perpetuity of it, for ever. 

4. By the distinct order of it, after the order of 

Sec. 163. Of observations raised out Heb. vi. 19, 20. 

I. Hope is an anchor. See Sec. 153. 

II. Hope Jceeps safe. This is gathered out of the 
meaning of the first epithet, translated sure. See 
Sec. 154. 

III. Hojje is stedfast. ' See Sec. 154. 

IV. Hope keepjs the soul safe. It is an anchor of the 
soul. See Sec. 153. 

V. Hope is settled' in heaven. Heaven is the place 
that is meant under this phrase, that within. See 
Sec. 155. 

VI. The most holy place tvas a type of heaven. That 
within the veil was the most holy place, which typi- 
fied heaven. See Sec. 155. 

VII. Heaven is invisible. It is tvithin the veil. 
See Sec. 155. 

VIII. Hope is of things not seen. For that within 
the veil was not seen of the people. See Sec. 156. 

IX. Christ ran in the Christian race. This is im- 
phed under this word /orerwnner. See Sec. 158. 



[Chap. VII. 

X. Christ is a forerunner. This is plainly expressed. 
See Sec. 159. 

XI. Christ entered into heaven. This phrase, whi- 
ther he entered, intoncleth as much. See. Sec. IGO. 

XII. Christ ascended into heaven for tts. See Sec. 

XIII. Christ is Jesus. See Sec. 160. 

Six other observations raised out of these words, 
' made an high priest for ever, after the order of 
Melchisedec,' are distinctly set down. Sec. IGl. 


Sec. 1. Of the resolution of Heb. vii. 

The apostle in this chapter returneth to that mys- 
terious matter which he had interrupted, Chap. v. II, 
which was concerning Christ's priesthood, after the 
order of Melchisedec. 

The sum of this chapter is, the excellency of Christ's 

This is set out two ways : 

1. By way of similitude. 

2. By way of dissimilitude. 

The similitude hath reference to the priesthood of 
Melchisedec, from the beginning to verse 11. 

This dissimilitude to the priesthood of Aaron, from 
verse 11 to the end. 

The apostle doth the rather induce these two orders, 
because there never were in the church any but these 
two orders of typical priests. 

The Jews had the order of Aaron's priesthood in 
high account. 

The apostle therefore proves the other order of Mel- 
chisedec, after which Christ was a priest, to be far the 
more excellent, that thereby he might draw the Hebrews 
from the legal ceremonies unto Christ and his gospel. 

The excellency of Melchisedec's priesthood is de- 
monstrated two ways : 

1. Simply, ver. 1-3. 

2. Comparatively, from ver. 4 to 11. 

The simple demonstration is, 1, propounded ; 
2, illustrated. 

It is propounded, 1, by an historical narration of 
sundry passages registered ; 2, by a mystical explana- 
tion of some of them, and others. 

Matters of historj- are four : 

1. The name of the high priest here intended, Mel- 

2. His offices. These are two : 1, a Iwuj; 2, a priest. 

3. His actions : 

These are of two kinds : 1, royal, he 7net Abraham, 
returning fi-om his victory ; 2, priestly, ho blessed 

4. His prerogative, which was to receive tithes of 

Matters of mystery are of things either revealed or 

Two mysteries are gathered out of things revealed. 

One from his name Melchisedec, that he was a king 
of rigldcousness. 

The other from the place of bis government, Salem, 
that he was a king of peace. 

Five mysteries are gathered from things concealed. 

1. That he was icilhout father. 

2. That he was ivithout mother. 

3. That he was without descent. 

4. That he had no beginning of days. 

5. That he had no end of life. 

The illustration is by a resemblance of Melchisedec 
to ' the Son of God,' ver. 3. 

The comparative demonstration is from the excel- 
lency of Melchisedec above Abraham, out of whose 
loins Levi, Aaron, and all their posterity came. 

This comparative excellency of Melchisedec is ex- 
emplified in three particulars. 

1. That Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec. This 
was an act of inferiority, and that in Abraham to 
Melchisedec. It is amplified by the relation betwixt 
Abraham and Aaron. Abraham was the great-grand- 
father of Levi, from whom Aaron descended, and whose 
posterity was deputed to the priesthood. Upon this 
account Levi and all his posterity were in the loins 
of Abraham, and in him paid tithes to Melchisedec. 

The argument thus lieth : 

That priesthood which received tithes of others is 
more excellent than that which paid tithes thereto ; 

But Melchisedec received in Abraham tithes of 
Levi, Aaron, and all their posterity ; 

Therefore Melchisedec's priesthood was the more 
excellent, ver. 4-6. 

2. That Melchisedec blessed Abraham. This is an 
act of cmincncy and superiority ; therefore Melchise- 
dec was greater than Abraham, and by consequence 
greater than they who descended from Abraham, 
verses 6, 7. * 

3. That Melchisedec ever liveth, but all the Levi- 
tical priests died ; therefore Melchisedec must needs 
be greater than Aaron and all the Levitical priests, 
ver. 8. 

The extent of the first argument unto Levi and his 
posterity is asserted, verses 9, 10. 

The dissimilitude betwixt Christ's priesthood and 
Aaron's is largely amplified in the remainder of this 

The dissimilitude betwixt Christ's and the Leviticall 
priesthood consists in this : that the Levitical priest- 
hood was imperfect and insuflicient, but Christ's 
every way perfect and all-sufliciout ; yea, the apostle 
distinctly noteth in every branch of the insufficiency 
of the Levitical priesthood, a suflicient and an abun- 
dant supply in and by Christ's priesthood. 

Ver. 1-3.] 



This is exemplified in seven particulars. 

1. The change of the Levitical priesthood. There 
was another order of priesthood to succeed the Levi- 
tical. Therefore the Levitical was imperfect. For that 
which is perfect needs not be altered, ver. 11. 

The consequence is confirmed by this, that the 
change of the priesthood presupposeth the change of 
the law, ver. 12. 

The proposition, that the Levitical priesthood was 
changed by a priesthood of another order, is hereby 
proved, that Christ, the other priest, was of another 
tribe (verses 13, 14), and that he was after the order 
of Melchisedec, ver. 15. 

2. The weakness and unprofitableness of the Levi- 
tical priesthood, which is made up by the efiicacy of 
Christ's priesthood, verses 16-19. 

3. The manner of instituting the one and the other 
priesthood. The Levitical priesthood was instituted 
without an oath ; but Christ's most solemnly by an 
oath, verses 20, 21. 

Hence is inferred the excellency of the New Testa- 
ment, ver. 22. 

4. The mortality of the Levitical priests ; but 
Christ ever remains, verses 23, 24. 

Hence is inferred the fulness of that salvation which 
Christ hath wrought, ver. 25. 

5. The sinfulness of the Levitical priests, which 
forced them to ofi"er for themselves. But Christ was 
perfectly pure, ver. 26. 

6. The reiteration of Levitical sacrifices. But 
Christ's was but once ofi"ered, ver. 27. 

7. The nature of Levitical priests : they were but 
men. Christ was the Son, namely, of God, ver. 

Sec. 2. Of MelcJiisedec, tvho he was. Heb. vii. 1-3. 

Ver. 1. For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest 
of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from 
the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him ; 

2. To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all: 
first being, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and 
after that also, King of Salem, which is. King of 
peace : 

3. Without father, without mother, without descent, 
having neither beginning of days, nor end of life ; hut, 
made like unto the Son of God, alideth a priest con- 

The first particle (as our English hath it) is a causal 
conjunction, -yd^, for, and implieth a reason of that 
which goeth before : which was, that Christ was ' an 
high priest after the order of Melchisedec' The 
apostle here sheweth the reason why Christ was a 
priest after that order ; even because Melchisedec was 
such an one as is here described. 

The mystery concerning the order of Melchisedec, 
as it is a most excellent and useful mystery, so it is 
a very deep and difficult one ; therefore the apostle 
doth largely and distinctly propound and expound it. 

For useful and hard mysteries are to be explained, 
otherwise the benefit of them will be lost. 

The notation of this name Melchisedec is given by 
the apostle, ver. 2. Here therefore we will consider 
who is the person that is thus styled. 

There ever hath been in the Christian church great 
difi'erence about this point, and that by reason of the 
transcendent points here delivered by the apostle about 

1. Some of old, not determining in particular ]who 
he was, have notwithstanding avouched him to be a per- 
son (iiiZoTi^pv Tov 'KgiGToZ,^ greater than Christ, and that 
because he is said to be after the order of Melchisedec. 

Ans. Though there may seem to be some modesty 
in this, that they determine not who he was, yet it 
is high presumption to assert him to be greater than 
Christ. Christ was true God. If greater than Christ, 
greater than God. Their own argument refuteth them ; 
for Christ being high priest after the order of Melchi- 
sedec, Melchisedec was a type of Christ, and Christ 
the truth of that type ; but the truth is greater than 
the type. 

2. Others 2 hold that the Holy Ghost was this Mel- 

Ans. (1.) The Holy Ghost was never incarnate ; 
but Melchisedec here mentioned was a true man, for 
he lived among men, and was a king of men. 

(2.) The Holy Ghost cannot be said to be taken 
from among men, as every high priest is, Heb. v. 1. 
And it is necessary that he should be so, because he 
was to be as a middle person between God and man, 
1 Tim. ii. 5. 

(3.) The Holy Ghost was not a type of Christ ; for a 
type must be visible, and a type is inferior to the truth. 

3. Others^ are of opinion that Melchisedec was an 

Ans. This cannot stand with the description of an 
high priest set down Chap. v. 1. An high priest must 
be taken from among men ; neither can it stand with 
the history noted of Melchisedec, Gen. xiv. 18, &c. 

4. There are that hold Melchisedec to be one of 
Ham's stock, because he was king of Salem, which 
was in Canaan. Many both ancient and latter divines 
are of this opinion. 

Ans. Ham with his posterity were cursed. Gen. 
ix. 25; and it is not probable that any of that "cursed 
generation should be of place and authority to bless 
Abraham, the father of the faithful. 

As for their argument taken from Salem in Canaan, 
nothing hindereth but that one that was no Canaanite 
might live and reign there, at that time that is here 
intended, which was more than four hundred years 
before Joshua subdued the Canaanites. 

' Epipha. Advers. Hser., lib. ii. hei". 55. 

^ '0«£v 'lipa^ rovrov yof/,i^£i MsX^ie-iStx hvai ro Hviv/za. T« 
S.yiov.—Epiph. loc. citat. Melchisedeclii tanta fuit excellen- 
tia ut a nonnullis dubitetur utrum homo an Angelus fuerit. — 
Aug. QuEest super, Gen. lib. i. cap. 70. 

3 Iren. Euseb. Calv. Muse. Merc. Jun. Perer. 



[Chap. YII. 

5. The most common received opinion is, that 
Shem the son of Noah was this Melchiscdec. 

Our countryman, ^Ir Uroughton, produceth two and 
twenty rabbis of the Jews to be of .this opinion, and 
iuferreth that it was the common opinion of the Jews. 

Epiphanius reckoneth this among heresies, which 
ho ascriboth to the Samaritans, and laboureth to dis- 
prove it by an argument, wherein he himself is much 
mistaken. For he affirmeth that Melchisedec' died 
eight and twenty or thirty years before Abraham re- 
scued his brother Lot. But if the six hundred years 
which Shem lived be duly computed with the genea- 
logy of Shem's posterity set down Gen. xi. 10, etc., 
it will be found that Shem lived about an hundred 
years in Isaac's time. That which deceived the fore- 
said, and other Greek fathers, was the false computa- 
tion of the years of the patriarchs made by the LXX. 

Some of the arguments to prove that this Melchisedec 
was Shem are these, 

1 . Shem lived an hundred years before the flood ; 
and none born before that time was then living. So 
as his parentage might well then be unknown. 

2. He was the most honourable then in the w'orld, 
so as he might well be counted greater than Abraham. 

3. Shem was a most righteous man, and in that 
respect the title Melchisedec might be given unto him. 
See Sec. 19. 

4. God is styled ' the Lord God of Shem,' Geaix, 
26, so as he may fitly be called the * priest of the most 
high God,' Gen. xiv. 18. 

5. Shem was that stock from whence Christ accord- 
ing to the flesh descended, Luke iii. 3G. 

G To Shem was the promise made. Gen. ix. 20, 
and in that respect, he the fittest to bless others. 

7. Shem was the root of the church, even that root 
from whence Abraham and his posterity sprouted, so 
as he might well be accounted greater than Abraham, 
and fit to bless him. 

8. All the following branches of the description of 
Melchisedec, may fitly be applied to Shem, as will 
appear in opening the particulars. 

On these grounds I dare not gainsay this opinion. 

G. There are that think it the safest to determine 
none at all to be this Melchisedec, but rather to speak 
and think of him as of one unknown, whoso father, 
mother, kindred, age, and generation are not made 
loiown ; and this the rather, because he is here so 
transcendently described. 

This particular instance of Melchisedec giveth proof 
of profound mysteries to be couched in the sacred 
Scriptures, which require all the means that can be 
used for finding out the true and full sense of them. 
Of which means see The Whole Armour of God, treat, 
ii. part viii. ; of God's word, on Eph. vi. 17, sec. 3. 

Sec. 8. 0/ monarchical government. 
The foresaid Melchisedec is hero said to be a king. 
' Qu. ' Shem' ?— Ed. 

King is a title of sovereignty and superiority, as the 
notation of the word in all the three learned languages 

The Hebrew word, 1?13, rex, is derived from a verb' 
that signifeth to go, yea, and to go before. It hath 
the notation from another word 1?3, bacillus, that 
signifeth a staff. Now the use of a stafl' is to lean 
upon, or to defend one, or to drive away such as may 
be hurtful. A state is supported, provided for, and 
defended against enemies by a king, who is in that 
respect a stay and stafl' for it. 

In Greek the notation of the word iSaai'/.i-j;,^ trans- 
lated king, implieth that the stability of a state resteth 
on him. 

In Latin, the word king, rex d regendo, is derived from 
a verb that signifieth to rule and reign. 

In that this title, hing, is given to Melchisedec, who 
was born an hundred years before the flood, who also 
was a righteous man, and took upon him nothing but 
that which was right, and belonged to him, it appears 
that monarchical government and kingly authority 
is both ancient and warrantable. 

The choice which not only God's people, but also 
God himself, hath made of sundry kings, and the 
directions which he hath given unto them, how to 
manage their authority, and the promises which he 
hath made to them, and blessings which he hath be- 
stowed on them, do all prove the lawfulness of this high 
function, for God would not call men unto unlawful 
callings. But most clear doth the apostle make this 
point, where he exhorteth Christians to be * subject 
unto the higher powers ;' and that on this ground, 
that ' there is no power but of God,' Rom. xiii. 1. 
Another apostle in this case of subjection nameth ' the 
king,' and that ' as supreme,' 1 Peter ii. 13. 

The very heathen, by the light of nature, discerned 
the equity of this point. As most states in all ages 
have been after that manner governed, so their wise 
and learned philosophers have, upon discussing the 
point,^ concluded a monarchical government to bethe 
best kind of government. 

Nature hath instilled thus much into sundry un- 
reasonable creatures. The bees have a kind of king 
among them ; so herds and flocks of great and small 
cattle. The cranes are said to follow one guide.* 

By this kind of government will unity, peace, and 
order, which are the very nerves, whereby politics are 
fastened together, be better preserved. Where there 
are many of equal authority, especially if they have 
not one over them, to overrule them all, there cannot 
but be many distractions. Qiiot homines tot sententia' ; 
So many men, so many minds. 

' "l?n inde j?^ regnavit. Regis est prasire populo. 

^ Quasi /3a<rif mu \a.ov. 

^ Plat, de Rojiub. Dialog. 8. Arist. do Rep. lib. iii. cap. 
xiv. Plutar. Comment. An tract, sen. resp. sit. 

^ Re.x unus apibus, Dux unus gregibus. — Gypr. de Idol, 
vanil. Grues unam scquuntur. — JJier. ad liustic. 

Ver. 1-3.J 



Besides, men's minds are raised up by a monarchical 
government to a due consideration of the eternal, un- 
alterable, supreme monarch over all, the Lord God 
himself. For a monarchical government is a re- 
presentation of the supreme sovereignty, which God 
the highest monarch hath over all. 

Ohj. Many eyes may see more than one can, 
plus vident octtU quam oculus. ' In the multitude of 
counsellors there is safety and stability,' Prov. xi. 14, 
and XV. 22. 

Ans. True, it is so. In that respect wise monarchs 
have had their counsellors. Such were Ahithophel and 
Hushai to David and Absalom, 2 Sam. xv. 34, and 
xvii. 6 ; such were those old men that are said to 
stand before Solomon, and gave counsel to Reboboam 
his son, 1 Kings xii, 6 ; such were those seven coun- 
sellors that Artaxerxes had, Ezra vii. 14 ; such were 
those seven wise men, which are said to see the king's 
face, Esth. i. 14, that is, to have a free access into his 
presence, to advise with him about weighty affairs. 
Thus there were Ephori among the Lacedajmonians, 
for their kings to consult withal, and consuls and 
senators at Rome in the emperors' times. 

1. This layeth a duty upon kings lawfully to use 
■what is lawful in itself, lest they make that which is 
lawful in itself to be unlawful unto them. There are 
many directions in Grod's word given to this purpose, 
which as it is their duty, so it will be. their wisdom 
well to observe. 

2. This layeth a duty upon people, to be subject 
unto them in the Lord, Rom. xiii. 1-5,1 Peter ii. 13. 
Herein they manifest subjection to God himself, whose 
image monarchs bear. Thus also they will bring much 
outward and inward peace to themselves, and avoid 
temporal and eternal vengeance. 

Sec. 4, Of Salem where Melchlsedec reigned. 

The place where Melchisedec was king, is by the 
apostle styled ^aXri//,, Salem, which he taketh from 
Gen. xiv. 18. The apostle in the next verse expound- 
eth this word, and saith it signifieth peace. 

The root in Hebrew, Ci?^, from whence this word is 
derived, signifieth to be atiwace, Job xxii. 21, or to make 
peace, 1 Kings xxii. 44. And a noun, D vC*, signifieth 
peace itself, Deut. xxiii. 6. 

This Salem was in that place where afterwards 
Jerusalem was built. Jerusalem, D'?t:>'n'',isa noun com- 
pound. The first part is taken from that word which 
Abraham used to his son Isaac, who asked him where 
the lamb for a burnt offering was. Abraham answered, 
' God (i^^"!) ivill provide.' Jeru, the first part of Jeru- 
salem, is taken from that verb that is translated provide. 
Salem being added thereunto, maketh up Jerusalem, 
and signifieth, according to that composition, God will 
provide peace. 

Jerusalem was called by this name Salem in David's 
time. For thus saith he, ' In Salem is God's tabernacle,' 
Ps. Ixxvi. 2. 

Salem might be called Jerusalem in memorial of 
God's providence in preserving Isaac from death, when 
his father was about to sacrifice him. Gen. xxii. 12, 
14. This Salem was the place where Isaac should have 
been oflered up, and where Solomon built his temple, 
2 Chron. iii. 1 ; and where David offered up his sacri- 
fice, whereby a great plague was stayed, 1 Sam. xxiv. 
18. The Jews say that Abel and Noah here offered 
up their sacrifices. There was a city in Samaria near 
Shechem of this name, o?^, Gen. xxxiii. 18. But 
the former is here meant. 

Questionless the people that Hved under so right- 
eous a king as Melchisedec was, who also was the 
priest of God, were in profession at least a church of 
God ; so as we may not unfitly infer, that there may 
be a civil monarchical government in the church of 
God. Such were the kings of Israel, many of whom 
had care well to order the things of the church of 
God. This, as a lawful and beneficial thing, is pro- 
mised to the Christian church, ' Kings shall be thy 
nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers,' 
Isa. xlix. 23. Great is the benefit that God's church 
hath in sundry ages reaped from this kind of civil 

Christians therefore, among others, ought for con- 
science' sake, and for the Lord's sake, be subject unto 
them, Rom. xiii. 5, 1 Pet. ii. 18 ; and pray for them, 
1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. 

He is said to be king of Salem, for distinction's sake. 
There were then other kings besides him, Gen, xiv. 
1, 2, but of other places. Though he was born almost 
an hundred years before the flood, and might be then 
the eldest man on the earth, yet he was content with 
that which God allotted to him. So ought all kings, 
and all others. Though God used monarchs to punish 
people, yet he punished them also for their ambitious 
humour, Isa. v. 10, &c., and xiv. 4, 5, &c. 

Sec. 5. 0/ Melchisedec a priest of God. 

Another function here attributed to Melchisedec is 
this, a priest. Of the notation and meaning of this 
word priest, see Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 172, and Chap. v. 1, 
Sec. 2. 

He is here said to be a priest of God in sundry 

1. To shew that he was ordained of God. This 
apostle giveth an hint of his most solemn ordination, 
ver. 20, 21. 

2. To shew that he made God the object of his 
service : his eye was upon God. 

3. To distinguish him from heathenish priests, who 
were priests of idols. 

4. To manifest the reason why Abraham had him 
in so high esteem, and did him such honour as he 
did. We cannot doubt but that Abraham knew him, 
and took him to be the priest of God. 

Of this must all be sure that look for any accept- 
ance from God, or respect from saints of God, that 



[Chap. VII. 

their calling be of God, that they may be truly said 
to be ministers of God. 

Sec. G. Of God the most hiffh. 

Both the penman of the history, wheronnto this 
hath reference, Gen. xiv. 18, and also this apostle, 
having occasion to mention God, thus set him forth, 
tlw most hiifh God. 

The Hebrew word iVpy, translated 7)iost h'ujh, is 
derived from a verb, n?y, that signilieth to ascend on 
h'Kjh, Ps. Ixviii. 18. The Greek word Z^iarnc, is of 
the superlative degree. The positive, Z-^og, suhlhnitas, 
eignifieth heujht, Eph. iii. 18. This word in the sin- 
gular number is attributed only to God in the New 
Testament. The Greek LXX do usually translate 
the foresaid Hebrew P vV, when it is attributed to God, 
with this Greek superlative '•j-^iaroc. 

This noun is one of those ten names, which in 
Scripture are attributed unto God, to set forth his 
excellency unto us. Of those ten names, see The 
Church's Conquest, on Exod. xvii. 15, sec. 72. 

This particular place is given to God in reference to 
his place and power. 

1. In regard of his place, ' The Lord is exalted, for 
he dwelleth on high,' Isa. xxxiii. 5. In this respect, 
eaith the psalmist, ' Who is like unto the Lord our 
God, who dwelleth on high,' Ps. cxiii. 5. 

2. In regard of his power, dignity, and authority, 
he is higher than the highest, and above all kings. 
' The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men ;' and 
' The most high Godgiveth majesty, glory, and honour,' 
Dan. iv. 32, and v, 18 ; 'The Lord is high above all 
nations, and his glory above the heavens,' Ps. cxiii. 4. 

This title, here given to God, gives us to under- 
stand, that when we have occasion to speak or think 
of God, we do it with all reverence, and with an high 
esteem of him. So will dutiful subjects to their sove- 
reign. Thus we use to speak of kings. His Highness, 
His Ercellency, His Majesty, His E.rccllent Majeslij, 
His Most Excellent Majesti/. Should we not much 
more do it to him that is King of kings, to whom most 
properly highness, excellency, majesty, dignity, domi- 
nion, and all manner of glory and honour doth belong ? 

It was usual with Christ, when he spake of God, 
thus to express him, ' your Father in heaven,' 'your 
heavenly Father,' I\Iat. v. G, and vi. 32. 

1. How far short do they come of this, who vainly, 
rashly, yea, many times profanely and blasphemously, 
use the name of God ! This commination in the 
third commiindment, ' The Lord will not hold him 
guiltless that taketh his name in vain,' is a fearful 
doom against such. 

2. Wonderfully doth this amplify the condescension 
of God towards man. The Most High dwelleth in 
the lowest heart, Isa. Ivii. 15. 

3. This description of God affords singular comfort 
to the faithful ; their God is the Most High. He must 
therefore needs see them in all their cases, and be able 

to help them. To this purpose doth the psalmist thus 
press this title, ' He that dwelleth in the secret place 
of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the 
Almighty,' Ps. xci. 1 ; and thereupon thus saith, ' I 
will cry unto God most high,' Ps. Ivii. 2. 

4. This cannot be but great terror to the wicked, 
in that their wickedness cannot be hid from the Most 
High, nor they have power to carry it out against him. 
' The Lord most high is terrible,' Ps. xlvii. 2. It 
was a great aggravation of the sins of Israel, that they 
' provoked the most high God. ' If therefore thou 
seest the oppression of the poor, &c., marvel not at 
the matter, for he that is higher than the highest 
regardeth,' Eccles. v. 7. 

Sec. 7. Of Melchisedec both king and priest. 

It is a surpassing excellency in Melchisedec, that he 
was both king and priest. The like is not noted in 
sacred Scripture of any mere man, namely, of any 
that rightly and lawfully held those two oflSces. 

Some have intruded on them both. Among the 
heathen' very many ; but none of those were priests 
of the most high God. Among the Jews, one king 
presumed to take upon him the priest's function ; but 
for that his presumption, he carried the stamp of God's 
indignation to his dying day, 2 Chron. xxvi. 16, &c. 
The like is noted of Jeroboam, 1 Kings xii. 33, and 
xiii. 1. But at that very time was a prophet sent to 
denounce a most heavy judgment against him and his 

Melchisedec was herein a peculiar type of Christ, 
who was all in all to his church, both King, Priest, 
and Prophet. 

By the way, take notice from hence of the arrogancy 
and presumption of the pope of Rome, who usurpeth 
those two offices of king and priest, which are called 
his two keys. Herein he sheweth himself to be plain 
antichrist. Arguments urged by them to this purpose 
are very ridiculous, as those words of Peter, ' Lord, 
behold here are two swords,' Luke xxii. 38 ; and this 
voice from heaven, ' Rise, Peter, kill and eat,' Acts 
X. 13. 

We, in reference to Christ, may, in regard of the 
union of those two offices in his parson, expect what 
good may be done by a king or a priest. 

Sec. 8. Of Melchisedec s royal entertaining Abra- 
ham's army. 

The first act here attributed to Melchisedec is a 
royal act. It is thus expressed, ' who met Abraham.' 
The Greek word avrnvTuu, nnd occurro, occiirro cum 
aliis, translated met, is a compound. The simple, 
dvrd'jj, occurro, signilieth to meet. The compound, 
to meet with, namely, with others. Thus Cornelius 
met Peter with many in his company. Acts x. 24, 25; 
and much people met Jesus, Luke ix. 87. This word 

—rial. Polilia. 

Ver. 1-3.] 



is here fitly used ; for Melchisedec did not come 
alone, but as a king, with great company and good 
provision. In the history ^hereunto this hath refer- 
ence, it is thus set down, * He brought forth bread 
and wine,' Gen. xiv. 18. Under this word bread, all 
needful and useful food is comprised. In this extent 
is the word bread frequently used in the Scripture, 
particularly in the Lord's prayer, Mat. vi. 11. See 
The Explanation of the Lord's Prayer, on the fourth 
petition, Sec. 81. 

Under this word trine, is in general meant drink ; 
but it further implieth a kind of choice and dainty re- 
freshing : it was not water, which might have been 
sufficient for soldiers, but wine to cheer their spirits ; 
for * wine maketh glad the heart of man,' Ps. civ. 15. 
So as he brought forth not only that which was ab- 
solutely necessary to feed them, but also that which 
might cheer up their spirits : he made them a royal 
feast. Thus doth Josephus, a Jew, who wrote the 
history of the Jews, set down this point. He brought 
forth, saith he, great abundance of such things as the 
season afibrded.' 

This was a warrantable and a commendable act, 
and giveth proof that soldiers are to be succoured and 
rewarded. This must be taken of such soldiers as 
fight in a good cause. Joshua bountifully rewarded 
the Reubenites and others that assisted their brethren 
against the Canaanites, Joshua xxii. 8. It is said of 
Toi that he sent to salute David, and to bless him, 
because he had fought against Hadadezer, and withal 
be sent great presents, 2 Sam. viii. 10. God himself 
gave the rich land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar, ' be- 
cause he had caused his army to serve a great semce 
against T^^us,' Ezek. xxix. 18, 19. On this ground 
it was a custom in Israel to meet such as returned 
.with good success from the war ' with tabrets, with 
joy, and with instruments of music,' 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 
Judges xi. 34. Sore vengeance was executed on the 
men of Succoth and Penuel, because they refused to 
succour soldiers in such a case, Judges viii. 5, &c. 

This kind of succour, as it argueth gratefulness for 
what hath been done, so it gives great encouragement 
for the future. Victory useth not to be easily gotten. 
Much hazard must be undergone, and great hardness 
endured for eff'ectiug it ; no work like unto it. 

Such as tarry at home perceive the fruit and benefit 
of soldiers' pains and danger ; thereby their peace is 
maintained, and they preserved from much violence 
and oppression, which otherwise, through the fury of 
enemies, might fall upon them. 

If encouragement is to be given to soldiers after the 
war is ended, much more while they are in war, that 
they may the better hold out, and not faint in their 
great undertakings. 

As for those who deny to soldiers their due and 

' Multam abundantiam rerum opportunarum exhibuit. — 
Joseph. Antiq. Judaic, lib. i. cap. 18. 

just wages and allowance, they do the greatest injustice 
that can be. The apostle, as a ruled case, thus pro- 
pounds this point, * who goeth a warfare any time at 
his own charges ?' 1 Cor. ix. 7. Who better deserve 
their wages than soldiers ? 

Commendable in this case is the charity of those 
who have built hospitals, or given revenues, or other- 
wise provided for such soldiers as have been maimed 
in war, and made thereby unable to provide for them- 

Sec. 9. Of kings slain in war. 

The time of Melchisedec's meeting Abraham is thus 
described, returning from the slaughter, &c. This 
hath reference to Abraham's arming soldiers, and pur- 
suing those enemies that had sacked Sodom, and, 
among others of the city, had taken Lot and all that 
he had, Gen. xiv. 14, &c. Melchisedec's meeting 
Abraham, and royally entertaining him and his army 
after he had in a warlike manner set upon the enemies 
and slain them, testifieth his approbation of what 
Abraham had done, which is further confirmed by 
Melchisedec's blessing him for what he had done. 
This giveth a plain proof both of the lawfulness of 
war, and also of slaying enemies in war. 

Of these two points, see The Churclis Conquest, on 
Exod. xvii. 9, sec. 13, and on Exod. xvii. 13, sec. 

The parties here said to be slain are styled kings. 
There were four kings that joined together in that 
army which Abraham set upon, and by this text it 
appears that they were slain. To confirm the truth 
whereof, the history itself thus saith : Abraham * di- 
vided himself against them, he and his servants by 
night, and smote them,' Gen. xiv. 15. The history 
in general saith, that the enemies were smitten, which 
includeth commanders, as well as common soldiers ; 
and the apostle, who knew the full extent of that his- 
tory, expressly mentioneth the kings themselves to 
be slain ; so as the greatest that be among men have 
no privilege in war. Bullets, arrows, swords, and 
other warlike instruments, put no difference betwixt 
the greatest and the meanest. Not only Ahab, a 
wicked king of Israel, was in wars slain with an arrow, 
1 Kings xxii. 34, but also Josiah king of Judah, one 
of the best kings that ever Judah had, 2 Chron. xxxv. 
23. The flesh of kings, of captains, and mighty men, are 
in this respect said to be meat for the fowls of the 
air, Rev. xix. 18. 

AH that join in war are as members of the same 
body, and counted by the enemy common trespassers. 
The greater the commanders are, the more they are 
sought after by the enemy, and in that respect in 
greater danger; hereupon David's men would not 
suffer David himself to go with them in his own per- 
son, and that upon this reason, ' Thou art worth ten 
thousand of us,' 2 Sam. xviii. 3. 

God also doth oft take occasion in this case to pun- 



[Chap. VII. 

ish wicked kings, as Ahab, 1 Kings xxii. 28 ; or to 
punish people by taking away good kings, as Josiah, 
2 Kings xxii. 20. 

Kings theretbro and other great ones have just 
cause, when they attempt war, to be sure that their 
cause be just and weighty, and to seek unto God for 
his protection and blessing, yea, and to commend their 
souls into his hands. As in other cases, so in war, 
' unto God the Lord belong the issues from death,' Ps. 
Ixviii. 20. Sco The Church's Conquest, on Exod. xvii. 
IG, sec. 86. 

They who are here said to be slain, were those who 
had before gotten a great victory, and slain many on 
the other side. Gen. xiv. 10. So as this giveth proof 
that conquerers may soon be conquered. See 'The 
Church's Co7i(2ucsts, on Exod. xvii. 11, sec. 47. 

Sec. 10. 0/ succouring siich as wc arc nearly related 

The occasion Abraham took to wage the war where- 
unto this hath reference was, that his kinsman was 
taken by the enemies. For it is thus expressly said, 
' When Abraham heard that his brother was taken cap- 
tive, ho armed his trained servants,' itc, Gen. xiv. 14. 
He that is styled his brother was Abraham's brother's 
son. Gen. xi. 27, and xiv. 12. It hereby is evident 
that distress of kindred is a just occasion to aflbrd 
help unto them ; and if their distress be captivity un- 
der an enemy (as Lot's was), it is a good ground to 
rescue them by force of arms. On this ground the 
Reubcnites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, 
who were settled in their own inheritance, were en- 
joined to help their brethren of the other tribes, 
against their common enemies ; answerably they pro- 
mised so to do, Num. xxxii. 20-25, and they per- 
formed their promise to the full, and were commended 
and rewarded for the same, Josh. xxii. 1, &c. On 
the other side, Reuben, Gilead, Dan, and Asher are 
reproved for failing to aflbrd help to their brethren in 
their need. Judges v. 15-17. 

This is one special end of those bonds of relation, 
whereby God hath knit us one to another. 

This point is to be applied as God by his providence 
shall aflbrd occasion. 

This pattern of Abraham herein is the rather to be 
observed, because not long before this there was a 
strife between the herdsmen of Abraham's cattle and 
Lot's, Gen. xiii. 7. Besides, it was Lot's folly to dwell 
among the Sodomites. 

Abraham would not suffer conceits of any such 
matters to hinder him from this work of charity; no, 
though there were danger in attempting the same 
against such potent enemies. That reason which the 
apostle useth, to stir up children or nephews to shew 
piet}- at home, and to requite their parents, may be 
applied to all that by any bond of relation are "knit 
unto them, and that in all sorts of distresses. The 
reason is thus expressed, ' For that is good and ac- 

ceptable before God,' 1 Tim. v. 4. Who would not be 
moved to a duty by so forcible a motive ? 

Sec. 11. 0/ conr/ratulating the success of neighbours 
of (he satne jtrofession. 

The nearest relation that we read of betwixt Mel- 
chisedec and Abraham was neighbourhood or cohabi- 
tation. For Salem was not far from the place where 
Abraham sojourned. Abraham sojourned in the land 
of Canaan, and Salem was a place bordering near unto 
it. There might bo also a spiritual relation to move 
Melchisedec to do the courtesy which he did to Abra- 
ham ; for they both feared and worshipped the same 
God, and were of the same profession. This instance 
further sheweth, that neighbouring nations ought to 
congratulate one another's good success, especially if 
they be of the same rehgion. 

Success against enemies of our neighbours may be a 
benefit to us that arc their neighbours ; for being 
common enemies, if they prevail against our neigh- 
bours, they may take occasion to annoy us. Enemies 
will not be content with one conquest. When they 
have subdued one neighbouring nation, they will be 
ready to set upon others ; witness Nebuchadnezzar, 
Cyrus, Alexander, and other monarchs. 

As occasion is ofl'ered, this pattern of Melchisedec 
is to be imitated, and that the rather because Mel- 
chisedec was a king of peace, ver. 2. Yet he congra- 
tulated him that was victorious over enemies. 

Such victories are means of peace ; for such ene- 
mies, if not subdued, will disturb the peace of all they 

Besides, there ought to be a sympathy with such 
as are of the same profession and religion. They 
ought to ' rejoice with them that do rejoice,' Rom. 
xii. 15. 

It is in these respects a point of wisdom to en- 
courage such as God gives good success unto, espe- 
cially against enemies of his church, and that in par- 
ticular by congratulating that good success which God 
doth give them. 

Sec. 12. Of one mans blessing another. 

The next act attributed to Melchisedec in reference 
to Abraham is thus set down, and blessed him. Mel- 
chisedec blessed Abraham. 

Of the notation of the Greek word euXoy^ffaj, trans- 
lated blessed, see Chap. vi. G, Sec. 47. 

The Hebrew root 113 signifieth sometimes to bow 
the knee, nin33, ijenujlectamm, Ps. xcv. G, 2 Chron. 
vi. 13 ; sometimes to wish well, or to pray for one, 
Ps. cxxix. 8. In this sense the Greek word used in 
this text is answerable unto it, and the LXX do ordi- 
narily translate that Hebrew word with this Greek 
word. For when man is said to bless man, it is 
ordinarily intended of one man's wishing well to an- 
other, or praying for him. In the general, it may 
here be so taken ; for in the history it is written to 

Ver. 1-3.] 



this effect, ' Melchisedec blessed Abram, and said, 
Blessed be Abram of the most high God,' Gen. xiv. 19. 

The latter clause sheweth that Melchisedec prayed 
unto God to bless Abram, and in that respect is said 
to bless Abram. 

It is also there noted that Melchisedec blessed God ; 
' Blessed be the most high God,' saith he. 

Thus we see that this act of blessing is attributed 
to God and man. It is attributed to God in a double 
respect : 

1. As he sanctifieth and setteth apart anything to 
an holy use. Thus God is said to ' bless the seventh 
day and sanctify it,' Gen. ii. 3. 

2. As he conferreth some real actual good thing 
upon his creature. Thus God is said to bless man 
and woman, Gen. i. 28. 

God's blessing man is in Greek and Latin' set forth 
by words that signify to speak well, iuXoysTi/, bene- 
dicere, to shew the power of God's word. It shall 
indeed be well to them to whom God wisheth or saith 
well. In the creation of God's works, it is on every 
day noted that * God said. Let it be' so and so, and 
thereon it is inferred * it was so,' Gen. i. 7, 9, &c. 
This is further manifest by the ratification of God's 
blessing, thus, *I will bless thee, and thou shalt be a 
blessing,' Gen. xii. 2, and, ' Thou blessest, Lord, 
and it shall be blessed for ever,' 1 Chron. xvii. 27. 
On this ground is the word oft doubled thus, ' In 
blessing I will bless thee,' Gen. xsii. 17 ; Ps. cxxxii. 

Of God's blessing his creatures, see more Chap. vi. 
8, Sec. 47, and ver. 15, Sec. 102. 

The act of blessing is here attributed to man. 

Blessing attributed to man hath reference to the 
Creator and creatures. This Melchisedec blessed 
God, Gen. xiv. 20, as well as Abram. 

God is blessed by man two ways. 

1. By acknowledging and confessing God's excel- 
lencies, 1 Chron. xxix. 10, 11. 

2. By thanking and praising God for the same, 
Ps. xxxiv. 1. 

This is to be observed of such as think it an harsh 
speech to say that man blesseth God. 

The creatures that are blessed by man _are either 
other men or other kinds of creatures. 

Other kinds of creatures are blessed by man two 

1. By way of supplication, by craving God's bless- 
ing upon them. Thus every creature is said to be 
' sanctified, or blessed, by the word of God and prayer,' 
1 Tim. iv. 5. God's word glveth warrant and direc- 
tion for the right use of it, and prayer obtains a bless- 
ing thereupon. Thus it hath been of old, and still is, 
a commendable custom for saints to bless their meat. 
So did Samuel, 1 Sam. ix. 13, and Christ, Luke 
xxiv. 30 : ' For man Hveth not by bread only, but 
by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of 
the Lord man liveth,' Deut. viii. 3. It is not the 

creature alone which can do us any good, but that 
blessing which God is pleased to give unto it. 

2. By way of consecration, when a creature is by 
one sent of God, and standing in God's room, set 
apart in God's name to some rehgious use. In this 
respect the apostle thus saith of the sacramental cup, 
* The cup of blessing which we bless,' 1 Cor. x. 16. 

One man is blessed of another two ways. 

1. By supplication, or gratulation. 2. By confir- 

1. By supplication, when one prayeth for another, 
or desireth God to bless him. Thus any one may 
bless another. An inferior may bless a superior. 
Thus the workmen of Boaz blessed him, Ruth ii. 4. 
In this respect Christ adviseth to bless them that 
curse us, Mat. v. 44 ; so his apostle, Rom. xii. 14. 

By gratulation, one man blesseth another by thank- 
ing him for a kindness, or by praising God for him, 
Job xxix. 11, and xxxi. 20. 

2. By confirmation, when one in God's name assures 
another that God will bless him ; thus is this an act 
of superiors. In this sense ' the less is blessed of the 
greater,' ver. 7. These must be such superiors as 
stand in God's room; and have an especial charge 
over them whom they bless. 

Of these there are three sorts ; governors of fami- 
lies, magistrates in commonwealths, ministers of God's 

1. For governors of families, it is said that * David 
returned to bless his household,' 2 Sam. vi. 20. Of 
these governors, parents have the most especial power 
to bless their children. Hereof see Domest. Duties, 
treat, v. sec. 9, and treat, vi. sees. 58, 59. 

2. For governors in commonwealths, the highest 
therein have especially this prerogative. Joshua in 
his time blessed Caleb, Josh. xiv. 13 ; and he blessed 
the tribe of Reuben, Gad, and half-tribe of Manasseh, 
Josh. xxii. 6 ; so David blessed the people, 2 Sam. 
vi. 18; and Solomon, 1 Kings viii. 14. 

3. For ministers of God's word, to them especially 
belongeth this solemn and public kind of blessing by 
way of confirmation, for they, in a most peculiar 
manner, stand in God's room : ' Wo are ambassadors 
for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us,' 
&c., 2 Cor. v. 20. 

According to tKe different calling and function of 
ministers may their blessing be distinguished. Some 
ministers' calling is extraordinary, as the calling of 
prophets and apostles were ; others ordinary. 

The blessing of extraordinary ministers is more ex- 
traordinary in the kind, and infallible in the issue. 

Their blessing extraordinary in the kind was by 
way of prediction. They foretold the future estate of 
those whom they blessed. In the issue it was infal- 
lible, in that the blessing that they foretold did so 
fall out in every circumstance, and failed not. Thus, 
Isaac * blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to 
come,' Heb. xi. 20, and accordingly they so fell out. 



[Chap. VII. 

The blessing of ordinary ministers, though it be not 
80 extraordinarily distinct and infallible a prediction of 
things to como, yet is it much more than a private 
prayer or desire ; namely, a testimony, a pledge, and 
assurance of that which God will do. So as it is a 
kind of divine work, and a blessing rather of God than 
of man. The minister uttercth what he uttercth in 
God's name; or rather God uttereth it by his minis- 
ter's mouth. In testimonj' hereof the minister uscth 
to stand on high over the people, and to lift up his 
band, to shew that he speaketh from him, who is 
above all. In this respect God having given a charge 
unto the priests under the law, to bless his people, 
addeth this ratification, and I will bless them. Num. 
vi. 'll. 

To apply what hath in general been said, to the 
blessing intended in my text ; the blessing here spoken 
of was of one man's blessing another ; and that man 
a public minister, and an extraordinary one. It was 
a most solemn blessing of confirmation; a part of his 
priestly function, wherein he shewed himself to be 
greater than Abraham, ver. 7. 

Quest. What good thing was it that Melchisedec by 
this blessing ratified to Abraham ? 

Ans. 1. Because no particular is expressed, it may 
in general be extended to all those good things which 
God promised to Abraham, as the stock of the chm*ch, 
and the father of the f\xithful. 

2. This apostle hinteth one main particular, where 
he saith of Melchisedec, in reference to Abraham, 
* He blessed him that had the promises,' ver. 6. Now 
because the principal promise of all, under which all 
the rest may be comprised, was the blessed seed, 
questionless that blessing was here in special ratified 
and sealed up to Abraham. 

Sec. 13. Of saints' pioiis salutations. 

Melchisedec's foresaid blessing of Abraham, was in 
general a congratulation and salutation ; and it sheweth 
how saints should carry themselves one towards 
another, when they first meet, even with wishing well 
one to another, and blessing one another. When 
Boaz came to see his reapers, he said, * The Lord bo 
with you,' and * they answered him, The Lord bless 
thee,' Rulh ii. 4. This phrase, ' we have blessed you 
out of the house of the Lord,' Ps. cxviii. 2G, implieth, 
that it was usual, especially for such as belonged to 
the house of the Lord, to bless those that came to 

In that such holy wishes are denied to unworthy 
ones, it appears that it was very usual to bless those 
whom thuy deemed worthy. The denial hereof is 
thus expressed, 'Neither do they which go by say, 
The blessing of the Lord be upon you; wo bless you 
in the name of the Lord,' Ps. cxxix. 8. 

This kind of salutation is both a testification of 
mutual love, and also a means of preserving it. 

1. Commendable in this respect is the common 

practice of Christians, who use to salute one another 
with these or such like speeches, ' God save you !' ' The 
Lord be with you!' Then especially are they most 
commendable, when they come from the heart. 

2, What may be thought of the usual imprecations 
of many, when they meet one another ? They are such 
as I am ashamed to name. Let them well weigh their 
doom thus expressed, ' As he loved cursing, so let it 
come unto him ; as he delighted not in blessing, so 
let it be far from him,' &c., Ps. cix. 17, 18. See 
more hereof in The Whole Armour of God, on Eph. 
vi. 18, treat, iii. part ii. sees. 57, 58. 

Sec. 14. Of ministers blessing the people. 

Melchisedec being considered in general as a minis- 
ter of God, giveth instance, that ministers of the word 
have power to bless God's people ; to bless them, I 
say, not only with a mere desire and praj'er, but also 
with a declaration of God's blessing them. Thus 
much is intended in this charge of Christ to his dis- 
ciples, ' When ye come into an house, salute it,' Mat. 
X. 12. Hereby is meant the foresaid kind of blessing, 
as appears by this consequence, ' If the house be 
worthy, let your peace come upon it ;' for this end 
did God prescribe an express form of blessing to the 
priests under the law. Num. vi. 23. The apostle 
useth a blessing, 2 Cor. xiii. 14, which the Christian 
church to this day observeth; so it doth Christ's bless- 
ing, Luke xi. 28. 

Ministers stand in God's room, and are to people 
in his stead, and as his mouth, as was shewed before. 

Such a ministerial blessing is of singular use, to 
strengthen the faith of God's people, and to settle their 
conscience. The calling and function of a minister 
maketh much hereunto. 

As ministers are to be conscionable in performing 
their duty herein, so people must have this in high 
account; and not lightly esteem of it, as too many 
do. How usual is it for many to depart from the 
congregation before the minister's blessing be 'pro- 
nounced, and so go away without the grace of the Lord 
Jesus Christ! 

Sec. 15. Of Christ's blessinfj the faithful. 

As in other things, so in this act of blessing, Mel- 
chisedec was an especial type of Christ, and Abraham 
was there blessed as the father of the faithful; so aa 
therein was prefigured an act of Christ towards the 
promised seed; which was, that Christ blesseth thei 
faithful; such as are of the spiritual seed and faith of j 
Abraham. A particular instance hereof is thus given, 
Christ ' lift up his hands, and blessed them,' Luke xiv. 
50. And as a further evidence hereof, when Christ] 
ascended * he gave gifts unto men,' Eph. iv. 8. 

Christ doth thus bless partly as God ; thus he 
blessed Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 29; and partly as Mediator 
betwixt God and man. Thus God ' hath blessed ufl, 
with all spiritual blessings in Christ,' Eph. i. 8. 


Ver. 1-3.] 



1. No doubt but that this blessing -wherewith Mel- 
chisedec blessed Abraham was a singular comfort unto 
him. Much more comfortable may the true blessing, 
which Christ conferreth on his church, be to the 
members thereof. They whom Christ blesseth are 
and ever shall be truly blessed. 

2. This may be a great encouragement against the 
curses of idolaters and profane persons. They use to 
curse us, and to imprecate all evil against us, for 
Christ's sake, and for our profession's sake. We may 
in this case say, ' Surely there is no enchantment 
against Jacob, neither is there any divination against 
Israel,' Num. xxiii. 23. As God turned Balak's en- 
deavour to curse into a blessing, so he will requite 
good for wicked men's cursing, 2 Sam. svi. 12. It 
is further added in the history, that upon Abraham's 
victory, Melchisedec did not only bless Abraham him- 
self, but also ' blessed the most high God,' which de- 
livered his enemies into his hands. Gen. xiv. 20. 
Hereby he evidently sheweth that the praise of victory 
is to be given to God. See more hereof in The 
Church's Conquest, on Exod. xvii. 16, sec. 77. 

Sec. 16. Of Abraham's giving a tenth to Melchisedec. 

Ver. 2. It was an especial prerogative appertaining 
to Melchisedec, that Abraham gave a tenth part of all 
unto him. This relative, a,, to whom, hath reference 
to Melchisedec. 

The verb s/xs^ias, translated gave, is derived from a 
noun, fii^ls, that signifieth apart or portion, Acts viii. 

This verb, fis^ll^oo, implieth a dividing or distribut- 
ing that which is meet to be given to one. It is used 
where it is said, ' God hath dealt to every man the 
measure of faith,' Rom. xii. 3. See more in the 
emphasis of this word. Chap. ii. 4, Sec. 35. 

Abraham saw it meet that Melchisedec should have 
a tenth of what he had. 

Though the word ^j«rt be not expressed in the 
Greek, yet it is here well supplied. The Greek word 
bixarri, translated tenth, when it is set alone, and hath 
not apparent reference to any particular thing, signi- 
fieth a tenth part. It is derived from that numeral 
noun, I'ixa, which signifies ten. 

This general phrase, ath irdnuv, of all, hath especial 
reference to the spoils that Abraham took in war ; for 
so much is expressed, ver. 4. For God's people did 
use to give of that which they took in war unto the 
Lord, 1 Chron. xxvi. 27 ; and this was according to 
the commandments of the Lord, Num. xxxi. 28, &c. 

This giving of a tenth the apostle here setteth down 
as an evidence of Abraham's respect to God's priest, 
and of his thankfulness to the king for that royal kind- 
ness and grace which he shewed him. 

Principally and especially did Abraham give the 
tenth to Melchisedec, as he was a priest of God. 

Two reasons moved Abraham to do this : 

1. To shew that of Christ he held whatsoever he 

had ; in testimony whereof he gives a part to him that 
was a type of Christ and stood in his room. 

2. To shew how just and equal it is that they who 
communicate unto us spiritual blessings, should par- 
take of our temporals. 

These two reasons, resting upon a moral and 
perpetual equity, shew that in those general cases 
Abraham is a pattern to all sorts of saints in all ages, 
to do as he did, namely, 

1 . To testify their acknowledgment of all they have 
to come from Christ, and to testify that they hold all 
they have of Christ, by giving thereof to him. This 
is to ' honour the Lord with our substance, and with 
the first fruits of our increase,' Prov. iii. 9. Of ofi'er- 
ing gifts to God, see Chap. v. 1, Sec. 6. 

2. To communicate of our temporals to such as 
make us partakers of their spirituals. See Sec. 18. 

Sec. 17. Of tenths, how far due to ministers of the 

About Abraham's giving a tenth to Melchisedec 
sundry questions are moved. 

Quest. Have all ministers of the word the same 
right to tenths that Melchisedec had ? 

Ans. Not in every particular circumstance ; for, 

1. Melchisedec was an extraordinary type of Christ, 
and that both of his kingly and priestly function. By 
virtue of both those he received tithes. No other 
priest or ministers are such. 

2. Melchisedec received tithes of Abraham in a 
mystery, to shew the pre-eminency of his priesthood, 
and withal the pre-eminency of Christ's priesthood 
above Levi's. This the apostle himself maketh 
manifest, ver. 4-6. 

Yet there is a common and general equity in Mel- 
chisedec's receiving tithes, which may appertain to all 
sorts of God's ministers. 

Quest. 2. Is the tenth part such an unalterable por- 
tion as to be due to all ministers at all times ? 

Ans. If that precise portion be not unalterable, 
yet that which is equivalent thereunto is, namely, 
that ministers be sufficiently and plentifully main- 

There be some reasons rendered about the Levites 
receiving tenths which are proper to the Jews. 

One is this, that the Jews, paying first fruits and 
tenths, did thereby testify their acknowledgment of 
God's bringing them out of the Egyptian bondage, 
and giving them Canaan as .a settled inheritance, 
Deut. xxvi. 5, &c. 

The other is this, a recompence for their having no 
inheritance proper to the tribe of Levi. Unto the 
tribe of Levi no inheritance was given, Joshua xiii. 14. 
But thus saith the Lord, * I have given the children 
of Levi all the tenth in Israel for inheritance,' Num. 
xviii. 21. 

Ohj. Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec before 
there was any distinction of tribes, Gen. xiv. 20. 




And Jacob also, bofore that distinction of tribes, 
vowed to give the tenth uuto God, Gen. xxviii. 22. 

Ans. Neither of these carry the force of perpetual 

The one was not constantly done, the other was 
not necessarily done. Abraham did not every year 
pay tithes, but only this once. Jacob's vow was a 
voluntaiy act ofj his own, and it was a vow made 
upon conditions, which no moral and inviolable pre- 
cept will admit. 

Quest. 3. Is the law of tenth utterly abolished ? 

Ana. In this case distinction must bo made betwixt 
the ceremony and equity of a law. 

1. That there should be altars, sacrifices, incense, 
&c., was a ceremony ; but that there should be ordi- 
nances, whereiu and whereby God should be worshipped, 
is a perpetual equity, Malachi i, 11. 

2. That there should bo sacrificing priests, and 
high priests, and other orders of Levites, was a cere- 
mony ; but that there should be ministers of the word, 
is a perpetual rule, Isa. Ixvi, 21. 

3. That in their fastings they put on sackcloth, and 
put ashes on their head, was a ceremony ; but that 
there should be times of fasting, and therein men's 
souls alUicted, is a perpetual equity. 

4. That women after child-bearing should be le- 
gally purified, was a ceremony ; but that there should 
be pubHc thanksgiving for their deliverance, is a per- 
petual equity. 

Thus for the point in hand, though it be granted 
that the Levitical tenths were proper to the Jews, yet 
this is a general common equity, that they who labour in 
the word should live of the word ; and that they should 
have suflicicnt maintenance from them for whom they 
do labour ; that they should not be put otherwise to 
seek a maintenance, but rather live upon their labours, 
for whose spiritual good they watch. 

OIJ. Paul wrought for himself in another calling, 
Acts xviii. 3, and xx. 34. 

Alls. The apostle himself implieth that he had power 
to forbear working, 1 Cor. ix. G. That which he did, 
in the foresaid case, was extraordinary. 

Quest. 4. Why are tenths under the gospel paid to 
ministers ? 

Alls. It is for the most part the fittest proportion, 
and that the very heathen did observe about their 
ministers. When God himself set down a particular 
and distinct portion for his ministers, he judged a 
tenth to be the most convenient. Hereupon good 
governors have in their commonwealths thought meet 
to establish such a portion. This general rule, ' Let 
him that is taught in the word communicate unto him 
that tcachcth in all good things,' Gal. vi. G, may be 
most fitly brought to the foresaid proportion of tenths. 
Where such a portion is established by law, people 
are bound in conscience to observe the same. 

Ohj. Establishment of a set maintenance maketh 
ministers negligent. 

Ans. 1. It may make unconscionable ministers to 
be so ; but not such as for the Lord's sake, and con- 
science' sake, perform their duty. 

Ayis. 2. Greater inconveniences may arise from not 
settling of any maintenance, but leaving it wholly to 
people's devotion ; as, 

1. If people be left at such liberty, they will be 
ready, upon all displeasures taken against their minis- 
ter, to withdraw his maintenance ; so as this may be 
a means to make ministers meal-mouthed, and to seek 
to please their people. 

2. This kind of maintenance is accounted a mere 
benevolence ; whereas in this case Christ and his 
apostles make it a matter of due debt ; ' the workman 
is worthy of his meat,' Mat. x. 10, 1 Tim. v. 18. A 
minister's pains is a valuable consideration for the 
greatest allowance that people use to give. ' If we 
have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great 
thing if we shall reap your carnal things ?' 1 Cor. ix. 

3. This is an hindrance of the choice of good minis- 
ters ; for many are ready to entertain ministers as 
they use to hire workmen, such as will come at the 
cheapest rate. 

4. This may be a means of laying the heaviest bur- 
den upon the better sort. When a profaner sort 
withdraw, they that are of the better sort are forced 
to enlarge themselves the more. 

5. From thence may follow undue emulation and 
ostentation, in seeking to be above others. 

A set established maintenance is the nearest to God's 

Sec. 18. Of ministers' maintenance. 

This general point may well be inferred from Abra- 
ham's giving the tenth to Melchisedec, that God's 
ministers, who communicate unto us spiritual blessings, 
are to be made partakers of our temporal commodities. 
This is almost in these words set down by the apostle, 
1 Cor. viii. 11, and again Gal. vi. G. Our Lord 
Christ and his apostle witnesseth that a minister is 
a^io;, * worthy,' hereof. Mat. x. 10, 1 Tim. v. 18. 
The apostle styleth the minister's allowance (iiaOo;, 
' wages,' for it is as due to him as wages is due to a 
servant, soldier, workman, or any other that taketh 
pains for our good. The apostle exemplifieth the 
equity of this by a soldier's living upon his warfai'e, 
by a vino- dresser's partaking of the fruit of it, by a 
shepherd's hving upon the Hock, by an ox's eating of 
the corn that he treadeth out, by a ploughman's, 
thresher's, reaper's, and other workmen's living upon 
their pains, '3'ea, and of the Levites partaking of the 
sacrifices that they prepared, 1 Cor. ix. 7, &c. 

1. Justice requires as much, and this is implied 
under these words trortln/, xaii/cs, Luke x. 7. This, 
therefore, is one of those dues which the apostle would 
have Christians to render, Kom. xiii. 7, and that upon 
these and other like considerations. 

Ver. 1-3.] 



(1.) Ministers use to spend the prime of their age in 
fitting themselves to this caUing. They might other- 
wise have fitted themselves to another calling, where- 
upon they might have lived with greater plenty. 

(2.) Their friends for the most part have been at 
great costs in training them up hereunto. 

(3.) They are deprived of other means of mainte- 
nance by attending upon this calling. 

(4.) The pains required to this calling useth to be 
very great, both while they are in fitting and preparing 
themselves thereto, and also when they come to exer- 
cise the same. Ministers are many times at their 
study while others are asleep, and have no other 
witness of their pains but their candle, which 
teacheth them to spend themselves in giving light to 

(5.) The benefit received by their pains is invaluable ; 
no calling afibrds greater ; it concerneth the soul, the 
spiritual and eternal good thereof. If, therefore, 
recompence be given to men of other callings, much 
more to ministers of the word. 

2. Gratefulness should move people to recompense 
their ministers, for good must be requited with good. 
This was one reason whereby Abraham was moved to 
give the tenth to Melchisedec. This is acceptable to 
God and man. 

3. Wisdom should induce men hereunto, that minis- 
ters might thereby more diligently attend their calling, 
and be better enabled to go through the work of it, 
and so their people receive the more good from them. 
Daily wants whereby ministers are forced otherwise to 
provide for themselves and families, do make them 
more negligent in their calling. Men will well feed 
their beasts, that they may do the more and better 
work, 1 Cor. ix. 9. 

4. That homage which they owe unto God should 
most of all stir up people to be liberal to their minis- 
ter, for ministers stand to them in God's room, 2 Cor. 
V. 20. What is given to them as ministers of the 
word is given to God. The apostle therefore saith of 
that the Philippians sent him, * I have received an 
odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable and well 
pleasing to God,' Philip, iv. 18. In this respect God 
doth account himself robbed by such as withhold from 
his ministers their due, Mai. iii. 8, 9 ; for under the 
law first-fruits, tithes, and all manner of oblations, 
which were given to priests and Levites, were accounted 
to be given to the Lord. 

People therefore ought, for the Lord's sake, John 
xiii. 20, for their soul's sake, Heb. xiii. 17, and for 
their own incomparable advantage. Mat. x. 41, to give 
to their ministers what is meet. 

Many imagine that under the gospel there is no law 
to bind people to give anything to their minister, and 
that what in this kind they do is a mere benevolence 
and an arbitrary gratuity. But that which hath been 
before set down doth sufiiciently manifest that people 
are bound by the strongest bonds that can be to main- 

tain their ministers, namely, God's charge and in- 
valuable benefits received. What law binds men to 
give such liberal fees as they ordinarily do to lawyers 
and physicians ? Were they as sensible of their 
spiritual good as they are of their bodily welfare and 
temporal estate, they would be as liberal to their 
ministers as to others. 

Sec. 19. Of Melchisedec a king of riffhteousness. 

Sundry mysteries are by our apostle observed about 
the foresaid Melchisedec. The first is concerning his 
name. This, because it is the chiefest of all, and be- 
longed unto him before he was king of Salem, the 
apostle bringeth it in in the first place with this particle 
of order, crgwrov, first. 

Of the adverb tntli/, mentioned in Greek, but not 
expressed in our English, see Ver. 5, Sec. 37. 

This phrase s^/j^yiviuo/u^svog, being by interpretation, im- 
plieth that his name did signify that which is here 
set down, and thereupon metonymically he is said to 
be ' by interpretation,' or being interpreted, as John i. 
38, King of righteousness. 

To interpret a word, £g/i>jvauw, is to declare the 
meaning of that which otherwise would not be under- 
stood. Melchisedec was an Hebrew name. They to 
whom the apostle wrote understood Greek better than 
Hebrew ; therefore he expounds the meaning of the 
Hebrew name in the Greek tongue, as we interpret the 
Greek in English. 

Strange words are to be interpreted, so sentences 
also. It was usual with the penmen of the New Testa- 
ment so to do, Mark xv. 20, 34. This is expressly 
commanded, 1 Cor. xiv. 27. For this end a peculiar 
gift of interpreting strange tongues was given to sundry 
particular persons in the primitive church, 1 Cor. 
xii. 10. 

Strange words or sentences without interpretation 
are to no purpose ; no profit can be reaped thereby. 
They are as musical instruments and trumpets sounded 
without any distinction, or like words spoken in the 
air, which soon vanish and come to nothing, 1 Cor. 
xiv. 7, &c. But on the other side, it much satisfieth 
one to have that which he cannot understand ex- 
pounded and made clear, Gen. xl. 7, 8, and sli. 8 ; 
Dan. iv. 5, 6, and v. 29. 

Great is that wrong which papists do to their people 
in and by their Latin liturgy. Latin is not a tongue 
which the common people do at this day in any part 
of the world understand. Yet among papists all their 
public prayers and other sacred ordinances, as reading 
the word or administering sacraments, are in Latin. 
It is a sore doom that the apostle denounceth against 
suchin these words, 'Tongues (namely, strange tongues) 
are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them 
that believe not,' 1 Cor. xiv. 22. 

Too near to these do they come who fill their ser- 
mons with such words and sentences as their people 
cannot understand, and yet do not interpret them. 



[Chap. VII. 

So do they also who afifect strong lines ; that is, such 
kind of piirascs that their people understand not. 

Seeing interpretation of strange tongues is necessary, 
surely it is requisite that ministers be expert in the 
learned tongues especially, that they may be able to 
interpret them. It is also requisite that they be well 
acquainted with the types, proverbs, prophecies, and 
other obscure passages in Scripture, that they may 
declare the meaning of them to the people, as the 
apostle here doth. 

This name ^fek•hisrd(•c, pIV^S'PO, is a compound 
word, and contaiueth in it two Hebrew nouns. The 
former, *1"?0, vielec, rex, a king. The title, /, in this 
word, *370, re.v mcus, mclchi, may signify mij, as if 
it were translated ?»// kiiuj, Ps. v. 2, or else it may be 
enforced for composition's sake. The other word, P"IV, 
tsedcc, justilia, signilieth rir/htcousness, Ps. xv. 2. 

Of the Greek word br/.aioa-jvri, translated riyhleous- 
ness, see Chap. i. 9, Sec. 114, and of the Hebrew and 
Greek word translated liinrj, see ver. i. Sec. 3. 

This name Melchiscdcc compriseth under it two 
things : 

1. His function, he was a Icinrj. 

2. His practice, he ruled in rbjhteousness. 
"NMiether this name was given him in his infancy, 

or after he was a king, is uncertain. If this Melchi- 
sedec were Shem (whereof see ver. i. Sec. 2), then 
Shem was his proper name given him in his infancy ; 
so as it is most probable that it was given him after he 
was king, and manifested his righteousness in govern- 
in« the people. On a like occasion Gideon was called 
Jeruhbaal, Judges vi. 32 ; and Jacob was called Israel, 
Gen. xxxii. 28. 

If this name were given him in his infancy, it was 
certainly by way of prophecy. The Spirit, foreseeing 
what his office should be, and what his practice would 
be, directed those that gave him his name, to give 
this name Melcldscdec : as Koah, Gen. v. 29; and 
Jacofi, Gen. xxv. 2G ; and Solomon, 2 Sam. xii. 24. 

Of giving fit names to children, see Domest. Duties, 
treat, vi. sec. 20. 

Whether this name were given in his infanc}', or 
after he was king, both make to the same purpose. 
One implied a prediction of what should be, the other 
a ratification of what was. 

In the name and meaning thereof, Melchisedec is to 
be considered two ways : 

1. As a type. 

2. As a pattern. 

As a type he foreshewed two things. 

1. That Christ was a true King. 

2. That Christ reigned in righteousness. 

Of both these, see Chap. i. 8, Sees. Ill, 112, 

Sec. 20. Of riffhieous kinrfs. 

As Melchisedec was a pattern to future age?, his 
came importetb two other points : 

1. Men may be kings. Hereof see ver. 5, Sec. 8. 

2. Kings must rule in righteousness. They must 
so carry themselves as they may truly be called Mel- 
cliisrdrcs. ' A king shall reign in righteousness,' Isa. 
xxxii. 1. Hereupon the psalmist thus prayeth, 'Give 
the king thy judgments, God; and thy righteousness 
unto the king's son,' Ps. Ixxii. 1. For this end, when 
David was near his death, he giveth his son, who was 
to be king after him, sundry directions for practice of 
righteousness, 1 Kings ii. 3, &c. 

1. Kings do, after an especial manner, bear the 
image of God. They stand in his room, and reign for 
him ; in which respect they are styled ' gods,' Ps. 
Ixxxii. G, and ' ministers of God,' Rom. xiii. 4. They 
'judge for the Lord,' 2 Chron. xix. 6. 

Now God is a righteous Lord, and loveth righteous- 
ness. See Chap. i. ver. 9, Sees. 114, 115. 

2. Righteousness is the greatest ornament to a 
kingdom that can be. It is the very glory and beauty 
thereof. It makes it like unto heaven. Yea, it is the 
strength and stability of a kingdom. ' Righteousness 
exaltcth a nation ;' and ' the throne is established by 
righteousness,' Prov. xiv. 34, and xvi. 12. When the 
prophet had set down the everlasting unchangeable- 
ness of Christ's kingdom, he addeth this as a reason 
thereof, ' The sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of 
righteousness,' Ps. xlv. 6. 

3. Righteousness is an especial means to maintain 
peace. For all troubles, dissensions, tumults, insur- 
rections, and wars, arise fi'om unrighteousness, one 
way or other ; from the agents or patients. Of the 
benefit of peace, see Sec. 22. 

1. Kings in this especial point must shew them- 
selves like to Melchisedec, and rule in righteousness. 
They shall thus gain a double benefit. One in re- 
gard of their persons, to themselves. The other in 
regard of their place, to their people. 

2. People must pray for their kings, that they may 
be Melchisedecs. We have a pattern hereof, Ps. 
Ixxii. 1, &c. This we may and must do with confi- 
dence, because ' the king's heart is in the hand of the 
Lord,' &c., Prov. xxi. 1. Pray that righteous laws 
may be made, and those righteously executed. Pray 
that the gospel, the rule of righteousness, may be 
estabUshed ; that there may be righteous councillors, 
righteous magistrates. Thus will the eyes of the 
righteous Lord be upon it, to protect it, and to bless 
it with all needful blessings. 

Sec. 21. 0/ Christ a Prince of peace. 

A second mystery is taken from the place where 
Melchisedec reigned; which was Sdlem, and signifieth 
peace, as was shewed ver. 1, Sec. 4. In this also was 
Melchisedec both a type and a pattern. 

As a type he prefigured Christ to be a King of 
peace. This is he who is styled the ' Prince of peace,' 
Isa. ix. G, and said to be ' our peace,' Eph. ii. 14. 
As an evidence hereof, so soon as he was bom, an 

Ver. 1-3.] 



heavenly host sang, * On earth peace,' Luke ii. 14. 
The peace and unity of Christ's kingdom is eloquently 
and emphatically set out, Isa. ii. 4, and xi. 6, &c. 

Two things there be which especially declare him 
to be a King of peace : 

1. That peace which he made betwixt the Creator 
and creatures. 

2. That which he made among creatures them- 

God at first made all in perfect peace. There was 
a sweet harmony and consent. No discord, no dis- 
sension. Creatures by sin brought all out of frame. 

1. God's wrath was incensed, and he made an 

2. Good angels, holding close to their Lord, proved 
also enemies to such as rebelled against him, and be- 
came executioners of God's vengeance upon them. 

3. There was variance in man himself. All the 
powers and parts of soul and body rising one against 
another ; and conscience accusing and terrifying him. 

4. Hatred, malice, and enmities were so betwixt 
man and man, as they became wolves, tigers, lions, 
yea, devils, one to another. 

But Christ, being made King, made up all these 
breaches. For, 

1. He satisfied God's justice, pacified his wrath, 
and reconciled man to God, Rom. iii. 25, and v. 8-10. 

2. Christ took men, and made them members of 
his mystical body ; and having so united them to 
himself, made angels to be at peace with them. Col. 
i. 20. 

3. He communicateth his Spirit unto men, whereby 
all the powers of their souls, and parts of their body, 
are renewed and brought into a sweet harmony. 

4. He brake down the partition wall betwixt Jew 
and Gentile, Eph. ii. 14, and made all one in himself. 
Gal. iii. 28, and so alters their disposition, as they 
may lovingly live together, Isa. xi. 6, &c. 

Obj. Christ himself saith, that he ' came not to 
send peace, but a sword,' Mat. x. 34. 

Ans. Three distinctions are here duly to be ob- 

1. Betwixt peace and peace. There is a peace of 
the world, which is conspiracy of worldlings to- 
gether in evil matters ; and there is a peace of Christ, 
which is spiritual. The former Christ came not to 
send ; the latter he gave to all his, John xiv. 27. 

2. Betwixt persons and persons. Christ came not 
to make wicked ones at peace with his saints ; but 
saints with saints. 

We must distinguish betwixt the proper end of a 
thing, and a consequence following thereupon. Thus 
these words, ' I came not to send peace, but a sword,' 
Mat. X. 34, intend a consequence which followed upon 
Christ's coming into the world. For the gospel of 
Christ being a light, and professors thereof holding 
out this light, thereby is discovered the darkness and 

Vol. II. 

lewdness of the men of this world, which they can no 
way endure ; but thereupon draw the sword, and 
raise all manner of persecution against those that hold 
out this light. By reason of this consequence, Christ 
is said not to come to send peace, but the sword. 

The foresaid peace being proper to Christ's king- 
dom, serves as a matter of trial, to discover who are 
of the kingdom of Christ. 

The subjects thereof are men of peace ; and that, 

1. As they are at peace with God, reconciled to 
him, and made subject to his will. 

2. In that their consciences are pacified, and they 
cheerfully go on in their Christian course. 

3. In that the several powers of their souls and parts 
of their bodies consent to do God's will. 

4. In regard of their peaceable disposition ; they 
pursue peace, and hurt none, Isa. xi. 9. 

Peace being the property of Christ's kingdom, this 
is a strong attractive to draw men unto this kingdom, 
and move them there to abide. Who would not dwell 
in Salem, in a kingdom of peace ? If the excellency 
and necessity of that peace which Christ bringeth 
were duly weighed, this would be found to be a very 
great privilege. All out of this kingdom are haters 
of God, and hated of him, ^iosruyiTg, liable to God's 
wrath, vassals of Satan, heirs of hell ; but all in and 
of this kingdom are lovers of God, and beloved of him, 
(piXodioi, his children, and heirs of glory. 

Sec. 22. Of righteousness and peace joined together. 

The conjunction of these two prerogatives. King of 
righteousness, and King o/Sa?e;«, with conjunction upon 
conjunction, thus, yirs^, rr^urov /j^h, King of righteous- 
ness, and after that also, 'l-rnTo, xai. King of Salem, 
gives us to understand that a king of righteousness is 
also a king of peace. It is said of the king which 
judgeth with righteousness, that ' the mountains shall 
bring peace to the people by righteousness,' Ps. Ixxii. 
3. In this respect, ' righteousness and peace ' are 
said to * meet and kiss each other,' Ps. Ixsxv. 10. 
After the Holy Ghost had set forth the righteousness 
of Christ, he addeth transcendent expressions of 
peace, Isa. xi. 4-6, &c. 

This ariseth partly from their endeavour after peace, 
and partly from God's blessing upon their endeavour. 
Great are the benefits which peace brings to a king- 
dom. Therefore righteous kings seek it, and God 
gives it as a blessing to them. 

Of the benefits of peace, see The Church's Conquest, 
see. 96. 

1. This may serve as a just taxation of those that 
delight in war, who are never well when they are out 
of war. They will therefore pick quarrels, thinking to 
get a name thereby, to live on spoils, to trample under 
and triumph over others. Such are no kings of right- 
eousness. They are more fit to live in wildernesses 
among tigers, and other ravenous beasts, yea, in hell 
among devils, than among men. 




[Chap. VII. 

2. Hereby kings and others may testify their right- 
eous disposition, namely, by love of peace; hereunto 
wo aro much exhorted, Rom. xii. 18, Heb. xii. 14. 
Christ would have us not only keepers of pence, but 
also makers of peace, ]\Iat. v. 9. Holiness and peace 
must go together. Hob. xii. 14. Neither must the 
unrighteousness of others make us break peace ; nor 
must love of peace make us lose righteousness. 

3. Pray that these two may ever go together ; that 
Molchiscdec may dwell in Salem. Pray that the wars 
begun may end in peace, and that that peace may be 
a peace of righteousness. 

4. Be thankful to God for that peace that we have, 
BO far as it meeteth with righteousness, and for the 
benefits that wc enjoy thereby. 

Sec. 23. Of mysteries couched under histories. 

In the third verse there are four mysteries, taken 
from things concealed. They are all spoken of 
Melchisedec, as a type respectiveh', because they are 
not by the Holy Ghost expressed. For in those 
scriptures where mention is made of Melchisedec, 
there is not any mention made of his father, mother, 
descent, birth or death. But all those things are 
spoken of Christ the truth, simply and properly. 

The Syriac, though it go from the words, and from 
the sense also, applied to Christ, yet in relation to 
Melchisedec giveth the right sense, thus,' whose father 
and mother are not written in the genealogies, nor the 
beginning of his days, nor end of his life. 

A learned interpreter of the New Testament thus 
translates it,^ who was of an unknown father, &c. 
This phrase, without descent, thus,* The original of 
whose stock cannot be declared. 

Though these may shew the meaning of the words 
as applied to the type, yet they lose the emphasis of 
them, and obscure the mj'steries contained in them. 

Ohj. There are many men mentioned in Scripture, 
whose father, mother, descent, birth, and death are 
not recorded in Scripture, as Obadiuh, Habakkuk, 
Haggai, Malachi, and others. 

^713. The parentage, kindred, birth, and death of 
these, and sundry others, are passed over, because 
there was no great end of knowing them. But these 
were concealed in the history of this man, purposely 
to imply a mystery. 

Quest. How may we know this ? 

Ans. Because the apostle, who was guided by the 
same Spirit that Moses and David were, hath ob- 
servx'd as much. For the Spirit knoweth his own 
meaning. If one inspired by the Spirit of Gt)d*had 
not revealed this mystery, all the private spirits of 
men that ever were could not have found it out, for 

* Cujus nee pater, nee mater scripti sunt in genealogiis, 
&C. — Tremel. interpr. 

' Ignoti patris, ignotre matris, &c. — Sic Beza de Erasmo. 

' ayfuaxiyttrti. Cujus gcueris origo uoQ posslt Teddl. 
— Erasm. Annot. in loc. 

it is a deep mystery, and as closely couched in the 
history as ever any was. 

Wo may learn hereby diligently to compare the Old 
and New Testament together ; thus may many pro- 
found mysteries be discovered. Thus thou shalt find 
the ark, 1 Peter iii. 21, the cloud, the lied Sea, the 
rock and manna, 1 Cor. x. 2, 3, to be such sacra- 
ments as ours. Thus thou shalt find the two children 
of Abraham, one born of a bond-woman, the other of 
a free-woman, to set forth children of the flesh, and 
of the spirit ; and their two mothers, the two testa- 
ments. Gal. iv. 24, &c. Thus shalt thou find many 
legal rites and ceremonies applied to their proper 
truth and substance ; and many dark and obscure 
prophecies clearly revealed and opened. 

Sec. 24. Of mysteries spoken of Melchisedec applied 
to Christ. 

The first three Greeks words, a^arwp, a/Mf/rup, aysvia- 
Xoyi^Tog, translated, * without father, without mother, 
without descent,' are here only used in the New Testa- 
ment. They are all compound words, and that with 
the privative preposition, that implieth a plain nega- 
tion of a thing, • 

1. This without father must needs be applied to 
the human nature of Christ, For as God, the second 
person in sacred Trinity, he is the Son of the first 
person, which is his Father, John v. 17. But as man 
he had no proper father, he was born of a pure virgin, 
Isa. vii. 14 ; Mat. i. 23 ; Luke i. 35. As for Joseph, 
the husband of his mother, it is said, that he was 
* supposed' to be his father, Luke iii. 23, and that to 
hide this great mystery from such as were obstinately 

2. This epithet, icithout mother, must needs have 
reference to Christ's divine nature ; for we shewed be- 
fore, that as man, he had a mother, he was born of 
the virgin Mary. The history of his birth is distinctly 
set down by the evangelists. But it is blasphemy 
to think that, as God, he should have a mother. The 
great Lord of heaven and earth is not like the gods of 
the heathen, who were imagined to have their wives, 
and some of them to be born of mothers. 

Ohj. The virgin Mary is styled '^ioroxog, Deipara, 
the mother of God. 

Ans. That is, by reason of the hypostatical union 
of his two natures, in which respect that which is 
proper to one nature is attributed to the other. Thus 
the * Son of man' is said to be 'in heaven,' John 
iii. 13, because the divine nature, to which Christ's 
human nature was united, was in heaven. So God is 
said to purchase the church ' with his own blood,' 
Acts XX. 28, because the blood of that human nature, 
which was united to the divine, was shed to that end. 

3. This epithet, icithout descent, or without pcdigi'ee, 
or without kindred, must also be meant of his divine 
nature, in reference whereuuto he had no ancestors, 
no posterity. In reference to his human nature, both 

Vek. 1-3.] 



Matthew and Luke set down his distinct genealogy, 
Mat. i. 1, &c., Luke iii. 23, &c. In regard of his 
divine nature he was begotten of his Father, by an 
eternal, unalterable, unconceivable generation. 

4. The last mystery consisteth of two branches : 
one, that he had no beginning of clays ; the other, nor 
end of life. These two set down a true proper eter- 
nity, without beginning and end. See hereof The Ex- 
planation of the LonVs Prayer, sec. 224. 

This most properly and principally is to be taken 
of his divine nature. As God, he is ' Alpha and 
Omega,' Rev. i. 8. 

Of Christ's eternity, see Chap. i. Sees. 129, 143, 

Christ, as man, had his beginning in the virgin's 
womb, after many hundred generations had passed 
in the world, even in the 8928th year of the world ; 
and about thirty-four years after, there was an end of 
his mortal life in this world, for he was crucified, 
dead and buried. Indeed, he arose again from the 
dead, ascended into heaven, and there ever liveth 
and abideth in his human nature, so as in heaven he 
hath no end of life, but on earth he had. From the 
foresaid mysteries applied to Christ, we may infer 
these orthodox positions : 

1. Christ is true God, without mother, &e. 

2. This true God was not a made God, but eternal, 
without beginning. He had ' neither beginning of 
days nor end of life.' • 

3. Christ was true man, ' a son of man.' 

4. This true God and true man is one person, even 
as the type Melchisedec was one. For the same 
person that, as God, was without mother, was also, 
as man, without father. 

5. This person, God-man, is high-priest in both 
his natures ; for Melchisedec, that high-priest, was in 
reference to Christ's human nature, without father ; 
and in reference to his divine nature, without mother. 

Most of their heresies which are mentioned. Chap. 
ii. 14, Sec. 140, are by these mysteries apparently 

The foresaid mysteries, as in the truth and proper- 
ties of them they belong unto Christ, who is our true 
high priest, are of singular use to strengthen our faith 
in and about his priesthood. For, 

1. Knowledge of his manhood maketh us the more 
boldly and confidently to fly unto him, he being such 
an one as hath experience of our infirmities and ne- 
cessities in himself. 

2. Knowledge of his Godhead makes us more per- 
fectly to rely upon him, and to trust unto him ; for 
hereby we are assured that he is able to help. 

3. Union of his two natures in one person strength- 
eneth our faith in his obedience, death, sacrifice, 
resurrection, and merit of all ; for hereby we are 
assured that he is of infinite power, and that what he 
did and endured for us is of infinite value and worth. 

4. His exercising of his priesthood in both natures, 

as he was God-man, maketh us with greater con- 
fidence to go to him, and to rest upon him, and to 
prefer him before all others, and to account him the 
only sufficient Mediator. 

Sec. 25. Of resemhlances of Christ before his incar- 

Upon the fore-mentioned privileges the apostle 
maketh this inference, that Melchisedec was made 
like unto the Son of God. This inference the apostle 
bringeth in with this conjunction of opposition or 
discretion, ds, but ; as if he had said. Though Mel- 
chisedec were a true man, yet in his singular prero- 
gatives he was made like unto the Son of God. The 
word dipC)}fi,oio}f/,si/og, translated made like, is here only 
used. It is a compound. The simple verb o/JjOiom, 
signifieth to liken one thing to another. Mat. vii. 24. 
The preposition a.'rh, wherewith the verb here used 
is compounded, signifieth to. In this composition 
the word signifieth to represent the very form of 
another thing. Thus did Melchisedec, in the fore- 
said prerogatives, set out the very form and excel- 
lency of the Son of God. Jesus Christ is here meant 
by ' the Son of God.' See Chap. i. 2, Sec. 15. 

Hereby we see that God of old gave visible types 
and resemblances of his Son, and that before he was 
exhibited in the flesh.^ Melchisedec was a mere true 
man, yet was he so set forth as he bare a resemblance 
of the Son of God. In other respects, Aaron and 
other priests, Moses and other prophets, David and 
other kings, were special types and resemblances of 
Christ. So were all the sacrifices, and especially the 
paschal lamb, 1 Cor. v. 7 ; so the ark, 1 Pet. iii. 21 ; 
so the Red Sea, the cloud, manna, and the rock, 
1 Cor. X. 2, &c., and sundry other types. 

God gave beforehand such resemblances of his Son 
for the good of his church in those ages ; even to 
support their faith, and uphold their hope, till the 
fulness of time should come ; that, when it was come, 
they might the more readily embrace and receive that 
truth, and more confidently rest upon it. 

1. Herein the great and good care of God over his 
church is manifested; for though, in his unsearchable 
wisdom, he suffered many ages to pass before his Son 
was exhibited, yet he took such order for his church 
that was on earth before that fulness of time, as it 
should have means to partake of the benefit of those 
things which Christ should do and endure in that 
fulness of time. It is therefore said of those that 
lived many hundred years before that fulness of time 
was come, that ' they did all eat the same spiritual 
meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink,' even 
the same that we do. For, by way of explanation, he 
addeth, ' They drank of that spiritual rock that fol- 
lowed them, and that rock was Christ,' 1 Cor. x. 3, 4. 
In this respect it is said of Abraham that he ' rejoiced 

* See Chap. viii. 5, Sec. 13. 



[Chap. VII. 

to see Christ's day; aud tbat he saw it, and was ghid,' 
John viii. 50. 

The like care doth God shew over his church even 
now, now that the Son of God is taken into heaven; 
for wo still enjoy his ministers, who are in his stead 
to us, 2 Cor. V. 20, and his sacraments ; both the 
sacrament of regeneration and of spiritual nourish- 
ment ; yea, also the benefit of his promise to be 
amongst us. Mat. xviii. 20, even to the end of the 
world, Mat. xxviii. 20. Wherefore as saints that lived 
before Christ was exhibited used priests, sacrifices, 
and other types of Christ before he was exhibited, so 
must wo use his ministers, sacraments, and other 
ordinances now, after he is taken from us, as memo- 
rials of him. 

Sec. 26. Of Christ's everlasting priesthood prefigured 
in M licit isidi'c. 

The most especial and principal thing wherein Mel- 
chisedec was made like unto the Son of God was in 
this, that he ahidc(h a priest coutinualli/. 

In regard of the history concerning Melchisedcc, 
this is to be taken, as the former points were, in the 
former part of this verse. 

Mclchisedec is said to * abide a priest continually,' 
because the history which declareth him to be a priest 
maketh no mention either of the beginning of his 
priesthood or of the ending thereof. Thus was he 
said before to have ' neither beginning of days nor 
ending of life.' 

There are two words that set forth the eternity of 
Christ's priesthood, in reference to the time future, 
which is beyond all determination or end, and in 
I'eference to the continuance thereof, without interrup- 
tion or intermission. 

The Greek word fj.mi, translated dbideth, significth 
the continuance of a thing. Mat. xi. 23. 

The other phrase, £/"; ro bir,\>v/.i:, translated con- 
tinualhj, is another than that which is before translated 
for ever, ci; rov ct/im. Chap. v. G. This word here 
nsed is a compound. The simple rnv/.eg, protentum 
in lonffitmlinem, signifieth a long continuance. The 
preposition bia, wherewith this is compounded, sig- 
nifieth throwjh. Thus the word compounded with it, 
bir,)iiy.i;, continua seric in j'erpetuum tcndens, signifieth 
a continuance tkrout/li pierijctuitif, so as there is no 
intermission, no determination of the thing. 

This applied to Christ the truth, whereof Melchi- 
sedcc was a type, setteth out three points. 

1. That Christ was a true priest. See Chap. ii. 17, 
See. 172. 

2. That Christ's priesthood continueth for ever. 
See Chap. v. G, Sec. 29. 

3. That Christ continually executetb his priesthood 
without intermission. 

In this respect, as a priest, he is said to * continue 
ever,' and to ' have an unchangeable priesthood,' aud 
* ever to live to make intercession for us,' vers. 24, 25. 

In regard of the continual cfllcacy of Christ's priest- 
hood, it is said that ' he oll'ered one sacrifice for sin 
for ever,' or continually, and to perfect continually, sig 
TO biTivixsg, them that are sanctified, Heb. x. 12, 14. 
Christ is in this respect as a spring that continually 
floweth forth. 

There is in men a continual spring of corruption, 
which from time to time defileth them ; so as they 
need continually to be cleansed. They also by their 
continual sins continually provoke God's wrath ; so 
as they have need of a continual priest, to make con- 
tinual atonement for them. 

On this ground we have just cause on all occasions 
to look unto Jesus, to behold him our priest making 
continual intercession for us. A point this is of 
singular comfort. 

Sec. 27. Of the bread and toine uhich Melchisedec 
hroiKjJit forlh. 

Papists do here infer another mystery about the 
priesthood of Melchisedec, namely, that the bread and 
wine which he brought forth was the sacrifice proper 
to the order of his priesthood, aud prefigured the 
body aud blood of Christ, which the}' say is com- 
prised in their mass under the show of bread and 

Ans. If this were such a mystery, why did the 
apostle, in setting out so many mysteries as he did 
about Melchisedec, make no mention at all of this, 
which, as they say, is the greatest and most pertinent 
to Melchisedec's priesthood ? 

Bellarmine is forced in answer hereunto to say, 
that it was nothing to the apostle's purpose to make 
mention of it here.- 

What! is it nothing to the purpose of him that 
sets down a special order of priesthood, to declare the 
special sacrifice that belongeth thereunto, aud to give 
notice thereof to the Christian church ? 

It was too deep a mystery, saith Bellarmine, for 
the Hebrews.^ 

Ans. Was it deeper than those other mysteries 
which he mentioneth, ver. 2, and sundry others, in 
other parts of this epistle ? 

The truth is, that the thing itself, as they would 
have people to believe it, that the very body and 
blood of Christ, under the visible show of bread and 
w^ine, is oHered up for a true, real, propitiator}^ sacri- 
fice, is a mere mockago, apparently against Scrip- 
ture, against reason, against sense. 

1. The Scripture ailirmeth that the body of Christ 
is in heaven, and there must continue until the times 
of restitution of all things. Acts iii. 21. 

2. lieason tells us that a true body cannot be in 
divers places at once. But by their position the 

' Bt'llarm. ilo Missa. lib. i, c. G. 

* 1(1 11(1 propositum ejus non faciebat. 

^Mystcriuui altiua erat, quam ut ab illis capi tunc posset. 

Vek. 1-3.] 



body of Christ must be in millions of places at the 
same time. 

3. Sight, taste, smell, and feeling, tell men that 
that which they eat and drink at the sacrament is 
bread and wine : to say it is flesh and blood is 
against all those senses. 

Papists press this phrase, * he brought farth bread 
and wine,' as signifying an offering up of bread and 

Ans. 1. To hing forth doth not properly, nor 
necessarily in that place, import an offei'ing up. 

2. It was shewed (Sec. 8) that the bringing forth 
of bread and wine there, did declare a royal enter- 
tainment of Abraham and his army. 

3. This was brought in the history, as an act of 
Melchisedec's kingly office, rather than of his priestly. 

Papists reply that there was no need of refreshing 
Abraham's army, which had got great spoils. 

Ans. 1. Though Abraham might not need such 
entertainment, yet Melchisedec might in good respect 
testify his bounty to Abraham. 

'2. Though there might be great spoils, yet they 
might want victuals. 

3. Abraham might rather choose to have his army 
refreshed with Melchisedec's provision, than with the 
spoils that belonged to the king of Sodom, Gen. 
xiv. 23. 

They further say, that if bread and wine were not 
Melchisedec's sacrifice, there is no mention of any 
sacrifice at all : whence it would follow that he should 
be a priest without sacrifice. 

Ans. That would not follow. He might have 
sacrifices belonging to his priesthood, though they 
were not there mentioned ; besides, though his order 
were another order than Aaron's, yet such sacrifices 
might belong to his priesthood as belonged to others' 

If bread and wine had been Melchisedec's ofiering, 
it had been most improper to bring them forth to 
Abraham ; they should have been brought forth to 

This improbable supposition of Melchisedec's offer- 
ing up bread and wine, is too sandy a foundation for 
such a Babel as tran substantiation is to be built upon. 

Sec. 28. Of the resolution o/ Heb. vii. 1-3. 

Ver. 1. For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest 
of the most high God, irho met Abraham returning from 
the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him ; 

2. To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all : 
first being, by interpretation. King of righteousness, and 
after that also, King of Salem, uhich is King of peace : 

3. Without father, icithout mother, without descent, 
having neither beginning of days nor end of life ; but, 
made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest con- 

The sum of these three verses is, the excellency 
of Melchisedec's priesthood. Hereabout observe, 

1. The inference, in this causal particle for. Ver. 

2. The substance : which is, 1, propounded ; 2, 
illustrated, ver 3. 

Of the substance propounded, there are two parts : 

1. An historical narration of some passages. 

2. A mystical application of others. 

About the historical narration, there are two points. 
One concerns Melchisedec ; the other, Abraham. 
Three points concern Melchisedec : 

1. His name. 

2. His functions. These are two : 

(1.) Kingly, amplified by the place, King of Salem. 
(2.) Priestly, ampHfied by the Lord, whose priest he 

This Lord is described, 

(1.) By his nature, God. 

(2.) By bis sovereignty, Most high. 

(3.) By his actions. These are of two sorts : 

1. Regal: he met Abraham. Amplified by the 
victory which Abraham got. 

This victory is described two ways : 
(1.) By Abraham's return from the wars. 
(2.) By the slaughter of the kings. 

2. Priestly : he blessed him. 

The act which concerned Abraham was an act of 
piety mixed with gratitude. 

In setting it down are noted, 1. The person, Abra- 

2. His kind of act, gave. 

3. The subject matter, the tenth part. This is 
amplified by the extent : of all. 

The mystical application is of two sorts : 

1. An interpretation of things expressed. 

2. A manifestation of things concealed. 

Two things are interpreted ; 1. Melchisedec's name. 
2. The city of his kingdom, Salem. 

Five things concealed are in a mystery observed. 

1. Without father. 2. Without mother. 3. With- 
out descent. 4. Without beginning 5. Without end. 

The illustration of the foresaid points is, 

1. Generally expressed, made like unto the Son of 

2. Particularly exemplified, abideth a priest con- 

Sec. 29. Of observations raised out ofHeh. vii. 1-3. 

I. Deep mysteries must be explained. This causal 
particle for sheweth the reason why the apostle doth 
unfold this mystery of Melchisedec, because he had 
imphed that it was a deep mystery, Chap. v. 11. See 
Sec. 2. 

II. Melchisedec was an especial type of Christ, 
This is the general sum of all. 

III. A king is a luarrantable function. It is war- 
ranted in the example of Melchisedec. See Sec. 3. 

IV. Kings have their special jurisdiction. So was 
Salem to Melchisedec. See Sec. 4. 



[Chap. VII. 

V. True priests ore priests of God. Such an one 
was Melchiscdec. See Sec. 5. 

YI. God is the Most lliyh. This is his title. See 
Sec. 0. 

VII. Mdchisedec xoas hath Idng and j)i'iest. Both 
these functions are here expressly attributed to him. 
See Sec. 7. 

VIII. Kindred in distress are to he succoured. 
Abraham succoured Lot his kinsman. See Sec. 10. 

IX. Nei(jhhoiirs oiiyht to congratulate one another s 
rictorif. So did Melchisedec, Abraham's neighbour. 
See Sees. 3, 11. 

X. Refreshing is to he afforded to soldiers. So did 
Melchisedec to Abraham's soldiers. See Sec. 8. 

XI. Enemies in war may he slain. The slaughter 
here mentioned is of such. See Sec. 9. 

XII. Kings in war are not free from slaughter. 
Kings are here said to be slain. See Sec. 9. 

XIII. Pious salutations are commendahle. Mel- 
chisedec's blessing was in the general a salutation. 
See Sec. 13. 

XIV. Ministers have an especial poioer to hless peo- 
ple. Melchisedec, as a minister of God, blessed 
Abraham. See Sec. 14. 

XV. Christ hlesseth the faithful. This is inferred 
from the type. See Sec. 15. 

XVI. Tenths were of old paid to God's ministers. 
Abraliam paid them to Melchisedec. See Sees. 10, 17. 

XVII. 3linisters of the tvord must he maintained hy 
people. This is gathered fi'om the general equity of 
tithes. See Sec. 18. 

XVIII. Strange tongues are to he inteiprcted. This 
phrase, hy interpretation, intendeth as much. See 
Sec. 19. 

XIX. Kings must he righteous. This is the mean- 
ing of Melchisedcc's name. See Sees. 19, 20. 

XX. Kings must he peaceahle. This is implied 
under this word Salem. See Sec. 22. 

XXI. Christ was a King of righteousness and 2')eace. 
He was the truth of both these. See Sec. 21. 

XXII. Matters concealed may he mysteries. Here 
is an instance given of many particulai's. See. Sec. 23. 

XXIII. Christ as man tvas %v it! i out father. 

XXIV. Christ as God ivas tvithout mother and 

XXV. Christ was God eternal. These were the 
truths of the things concealed. See Sec. 24. 

XXVI. There wereresemhlances of Christ hefore his 
incarnation. Melchisedec is here said to be like 
him. See Sec. 25. 

XXVII. Christ toas the Son of God. Christ is here 
meant under that title. See Sec. 25. 

XXVIII. Christ is a perpetual priest. He SO ahidcth 
continually. See Sec. 26. 

Sec. 80. Of considering weighty points especially 
ahout Christ. 

Ver. 4. Now consider hov great this man was, unto 

xvhom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the 

The apostle having set forth Melchisedcc's excel- 
lency in himself, proceodeth to amplify the same in 
reference to others ; and first preferreth him before 
Abraham, from whom Levi, the head of all legal 
priests, descended. 

Because Melchisedec was an especial type of Christ, 
and Abraham, the father of all the Jews, was counted 
by them the most excellent among them, the apostle 
adviseth to consider this argument of Melchisedcc's 
excellency above Abraham's. 

The word ^)iusiTT£, translated consider, doth pro- 
perly belong to the bodily eyes, and is usually trans- 
lated to see, ':)-u^rjffai, Mat. xxviii. 1. It implieth a 
fast fixing of the eyes upon a thing, and is translated 
beheld, Mark xii. 41. 

The word being applied to the mind, it signifieth a 
serious pondering of a matter, and is translated j?er- 
ceive, John xii. 19, or consider, as here. 

It being here implied to the truth of the type, it 
implieth that we should with both the eyes of the 
soul, understanding, and faith, behold or consider 
Christ. So then, such points as set forth, in general, 
weighty matters, and, in particular, the excellencies 
of Christ, are seriously to be pondered. Hereof see 
more. Chap. iii. 1, Sees. 21-23. 

Sec. 31. Of the greatness of Melchisedec. 

The relative oWog, thus translated, this man, hath 
reference to Melchisedec. 

It is sometimes used in scorn and derision. To 
manifest as much, our EngHsh useth to add this word 
fellow ; thus, this fellow. Mat. xii. 24, Acts xviii. 13. 
And sometimes in honour, as where the penitent thief 
said of Christ, * This man hath done nothing amiss,' 
Luke xxiii. 41. So here. The apostle, therefore, 
thus exprcsseth his excellency, 7rr,>Jy..o;, how great. 
This is the interpretation of one Greek word, which 
is used interrogatively and indefinitely. It here im- 
plieth such an excellency as occasioneth much admira- 

I find this word only here and Gal. vi. 11. Another 
like word, tiXikoc, of the same stem, diflering only in 
one letter, is used in the same sense, Col. ii. 1, James 
iii. 5. 

A correlative, rTjXixdvToc, derived from the same 
root, and translated so great, is used. Chap. ii. 3, Sec. 
21. All of them carry a great emphasis, and imply 
a surpassing excellency. 

Melchisedec is hereby implied to be the greatest 
among men. 

I need not seek after more arguments than the 
apostle hath used in the former verses. lie was espe- 
cially the greatest, in that he was such a type of Christ, 
as none ever the like, before, or after him. 

We may therefore well use this note of admiration, 
how great ! If we may use it of the type, much more 

Ver. 4.] 



of the truth, Christ himself. See more hereof, Chap, 
ii. 17, Sees. 173, 174. 

Take notice, by the way, of the blasphemous arro- 
gancy of papists, who make their mass priests to be 
after the order of Melchisedec. 

Thereby they would make them the greatest of 
men. They do much hereby infringe the apostle's 
argument, and pervert his main intent. If the prero- 
gatives of a priest, after the order of Melchisedec 
(expressly set down, vers. 2, 3), be duly weighed, we 
shall find it a blasphemous institution to induct any 
mere man thereinto. 

Sec. 32. Of Abraham a patriarch. 

The argument whereby the apostle proves the great- 
ness of Melchisedec, is Abraham's inferiority to him. 
The Jews counted Abraham the greatest among men. 
If therefore there were one greater than Abraham, 
how great must he needs be ! 

Of Abraham's excellency, see Chap. vi. 13, Sees. 
91, 92. 

As an amplification of Abraham's greatness, this 
title, patriarch, is attributed unto him. 

Patriarch, 'nar^tupy^rig, is a noun compound. The 
first simple noun whereof it is compounded, 'xarri^, 
signifieth father ; and the other, a^-x/i, lyrincipiwn, 
imperium, beginning, or principality. Thus it im- 
plieth the first or chiefest father ; or, the first and 
the chiefest of fathers, '^aT^id^^rjg, quasi, ci.P'^m ruv 
•TrarsoMv, princeps piatrum. 

In the New Testament it is attributed, as to Abra- 
ham here, so to the twelve sons of Jacob, Acts vii. 
8, 9 ; and to David, Acts iii. 29. 

Abraham is called patriarch, because he was the 
first father of the stock of the Jews. 

The twelve sons of Jacob were so styled, because 
they were the first heads and fathers of the twelve 
several tribes. 

David had this title given him for excellency's sake, 
because he was a prime and principal father, or because 
he was the head and father of that stock whereof Christ 
as King should descend ; or, some will have it, because 
the Sanhedrim, or senate of the Jews, were of his stock, 
and he the head thereof. 

In the church of Christ under the gospel, which was 
a spiritual family, bishops were called by a Greek 
name itairai, which signifieth /ai/iers, and archbishops 
were called patriarchs, the chief of those fathers. 

But when the number of bishops and archbishops 
increased, this high title patriarch was restrained to 
four chief archbishops : one at Rome, another at Jeru- 
salem, the third at Antioch, the fourth at Alexandria. 

In process of time, when the emperor had his seat 
at Constantinople, that city also had a patriarch. 

All these continued with a kind of equal dignity, till 
the pride of Rome grew so great, as the bishop thereof 
would endure no mate, and thereupon had a new style, 
pa'pa universalis, universal pope. 

To return to the point in hand, this title patriarch 
doth much illustrate the dignity of Abraham, which 
much tendeth to the magnifying of Melchisedec's excel- 
lency, in that such a patriarch as Abraham was inferior 
to him. 

Sec. 33, Of Melchisedecs receiving tithes as a 

The particular act whereby Abraham's inferiority to 
Melchisedec is demonstrated, is thus expressed, Ss^taTjji/ 
Umzs, gave the tenth. This was before set down, ver. 
2, Sees. 16, 17. Our English useth the same words in 
both places, but the Greek hath two distinct verbs. 
The former, J.as^/frs, properly signifieth to distribute, 
as was shewed ver. 2, Sec. 16, which is a part of pru- 
dence. This other word tduzs, signifieth to give, and 
that freely, cheerfully, which is a sign of love. 

Both of them are appHed to the same person, in the 
same act, and set out the prudence of his mind, and 
cheerfulness of his spirit, in what he did. Thus was 
his act the more commendable and acceptable. 

Commendable through his prudence ; acceptable 
through his cheerfulness, ' for God loveth a cheerful 
giver,' 2 Cor. ix. 7. Herein David shewed himself a 
son of Abraham, 1 Chron. xxix. 17. Let us all so do. 

Of giving tithes, see ver. 2, Sees. 16, 17. 

This act of Abraham's giving a tenth to Melchisedec 
implieth an inferiority in Abraham, that gave the tenth, 
and a superiority in Melchisedec, who received it, be- 
cause the tenth was an holy tribute, due to God, and 
so it was paid by Abraham. His paying it to Melchi- 
sedec sheweth, that he gave it unto him as God's 
priest, standing in God's room, and in that respect 
greater than himself. A king's deputy is in that respect 
greater than those who are under the king. 

Quest. 1. Was this the only end of tithes, to imply 
superiority in them that received them ? 

Ans. No ; there were other reasons why Levites 
under the law received them : for the tribe of Levi, 
which had as great a right to a part of the land of 
Canaan as any other tribe, had none allotted them, 
upon this very ground, because they were to receive 
tenths of the people. Besides, they spent all their 
time and pains in and about those public services 
which by the people were due to God. As a recom- 
pence thereof, they received the tenth of the people. 
But these, and other like reasons, tended not in this 
place to the scope of the apostle ; therefore he passeth 
them over, and insisteth only on this point of inferiority 
in giving, and superiority in taking tenths. 

By the way, we may hereby learn to have an especial 
eye to what we have in hand, and to pass by other 
matters which might otherwise hinder us therein. 

Quest. 2. Are all that receive tenths greater than 
they who give them ? 

Ans. 1. In this particular, as they who receive tithes 
receive them in God's stead, and as an homage due to 
God, they are greater than they of whom they receive 



[Chap. VII. 

them ; yet not in outwartl estate and condition. Kings 
were not exempted from paying tenths ; yet in their 
outward and civil state they were superior to priests, 
for Solomon a king put one high priest out of his 
place for misdemeanour, and set another in his room, 
1 Kings ii. 85 ; and Hezekiah calleth priests and 
Levites his sons, which is a title of inferiority in them 
that are so styled. 

: It was an undue consequence of Pope Boniface to 
infer that popes arc greater than kings, because kings 
pay tenths unto them. 

This Boniface was the eighth of that name, who was 
that pope of Rome, of whom it was said. He entered 
as a fox, ruled as a wolf, and died as a dog. 

The non-consequence gi'ounded upon the text we 
have in hand, is manifest by these particulars. 

1. The pope of Rome hath no right to take tenths 
of kings of other nations. It is a proud usurpation of 
the pope to demand it, and a slavish subjection in 
kings that yield it. 

2. Receiving of tenths implieth no superiority in 
civil and secular affairs. 

3. There is a vast difference betwixt Melchisedec 
and other ministers of God about receiving tithes. 
Abraham paid tenths to Melchisedec, as he was an 
extraordinary priest and type of Christ ; and as a public 
testimony of that homage he owed to Christ, the great 
High Priest. But tenths are paid to other ministers 
for their maintenance. 

4. The foresaid argument makes no more for the 
pope than for the meanest parson, or vicar of a pa- 
rochial church. 

5. By that argument an ordinary parson or vicar 
might be greater than the pope, for if the pope had 
land within the parsonage of the meanest parson, he 
must pay him tithes. 

But to leave this point, the main scope of the apostle 
in setting forth the greatness of Melchisedec, is to 
commend unto us the greatness of him and his 
priesthood that was typiiied by Melchisedec and his 
priesthood ; that is, the greatness of our Lord Jesus, 
who, without comparison, is the greatest priest that 
ever was. Hereof see Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 173. 

Sec. 84. Of r/irinrj the lest to God. 

The subject matter, out of which Abraham is here 
said to pay the tenths, is thus expressed, of the spoils. 
Tlie Greek word axffoOivia, translated s^wils, it is here 
only used in the New Testament. It is compounded 
of two nouns : the former, dy.pov, signilieth the top or 
uppermost part of a thing ; it being applied to the 
finger, is translated the tip thereof, Luke xvi. 24. It 
also signifieth the uttermost part of a thing, and applied 
to the earth it is translated the uttermost part, Mark 
xiii. 27. 

The other word, ^ig, vel ^/V, acervus, signifieth an 
heap ; so as to join them together, the Greek word here 
used being of the plural number, signifieth the tops, 

or uttermost parts of heaps. It is used to set forth 
first fruits, which were wont to be taken from the tops 
of such heaps of fruits as were taken from the earth 
and laid together. The tops of such heaps are com- 
monly the best. 

By heathen authors it is commonly taken for so 
much of the spoils as were dedicated to their gods. 
The apostle here useth the word as fit to his purpose ; 
answerably most interpreters translate it spoils. 

The tenth of spoils were given to God's priests, on 
these grounds : 

1. That people might shew their willingness to give 
part of all they had to God's ministers, according to 
the equity of that rule which is prescribed by the 
apostle. Gal. vi. 6. 

2. Upon a good persuasion, that people are blessed 
in their undertakings by the prayers of God's minis- 

3. In testimony of their acknowledgment of God's 
providence in giving them good success, whereby they 
obtained the spoils that they have. 

The things which the other authors comprised under 
the Greek word here used were commonly the best, 
for the best things are to be given to God. * Abel 
brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat 
thereof unto the Lord,' Gen. iv. 4. The beast that 
had a blemish was not to be sacrificed to the Lord, 
Deut. XV. 21. 

1. God is worthy of the best, for we have all from 

2. That which is dedicated to God is best employed. 
Herein is manifested the deceitfulness of their heart, 

and undue respect towards God, who seem to give 
something unto God, but of the worst that they have ; 
and that in ministers' allowance, in setting apart some 
of their children to the ministry, in works of piety, of 
charity, and other like things. 

Let us be otherwise minded, and as we desire to be 
accepted of God, give him the best we have, even our 
souls, our hearts, our strength, the best of our time, 
the towardcst of our children, the best of our fruits, 
and the like in other things. 

Sec. 35. Of the resolution o/Heb. vii. A, and ob- 
servations raised from thence. 

The sum of this verse is a proof of Melchisedec's 

Hero observe, 1. The manner of propounding it. 
2. The matter. 

The manner is in two branches, 

1 . By calling them to consider what he was. 

2. By way of an indefinite interrogation, how great 
this man was. The matter sets out Abraham's in- 
feriority to Melchisedec. 

Of this there are two parts : 

1. A description of his person. 

2, Declaration of his act of inferiority. 
The person is described. 

Ver. 5-7.] 



1. By his name, Abraham. 

2. By his dignity, patriarch. 

His act is set out, 1. By the manner, gave, which 
implies readiness. 

2. By the measure, tJie tenth. 

3. By the subject matter, spoils. 


I. Weighty matters must he ivell weighed. Consider, 
saith the apostle. See Sec. 30. 

II. Ilelchisedec was su'per-exceUently great. This 
emphatical expression, how great this man was, im- 
plies as much. See Sec. 31. 

III. Tenths of old were paid. Abraham paid them 
to Melchisedee. See ver. 2. Doct. 16. 

IV. What is given to God's ministers must he cheer- 
fidly given. See See. 33. 

V. Abraham was a patriarch. He is so expressly 
styled. See Sec. 32. 

VI. Just titles may he given to men. Patriarch was 
Abraham's just title. See Sec. 32. 

VII. To receive tenth is an act of superiority. Here- 
by Melchisedee is proved to be greater than Abraham. 
See Sec. 33. 

VIII. Victories are to he ascribed to God. This did 
Abraham by giving of the spoils to God's priest. See 
Sec. 34. 

IX. 1 he best is to he given unto God. The Greek 
word translated sp)oils importeth as much. See 
Sec. 34. 

Sec. 36. Of the main scope of verses 5, 6, 7. 

Ver. 5. And verily tlieythat are of the sons of Levi, 
who receive the office of the priesthood, have a com- 
mandment to taJce tithes of the people according to the 
law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of 
the loins of Abraham : 

6. But he, luhose descent is not counted frotn them, 
received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him tiiat had 
the promises. 

7. And, without all contradiction, the less is blessed 
of the better. 

In these three verses there is a confirmation of the 
former argument, whereby the greatness of Melchisedee 
above Abraham was proved. That argument was 
taken from Abraham's giving tithes to Melchisedee. 
See Sec..33. 

The confirmation of that argument is taken from 
that which in logic is called a minori, the less. In 
setting down this confirmation, there is a double dif- 
ference of persons manifest. 

1. A difference of the persons that received tithes. 

2. A diflerence of the persons who gave tithes, or 
of whom tithes were received. 

1. The persons that received tithes, being the sons 
of Levi, were of the same stock that the other Israel- 
ites who paid tithes were. But Melchisedee was 
not so. • 

2. The Levites received tithes of the children of 

Abraham. But Melchisedee received tithes of Abra- 
ham himself. 

Two arguments out of the apostle's words may be 
gathered for confirmation of the former proof of 
Melchisedec's greatness, and thus framed : 

Arg. 1. If among them that are brethren coming 
from the same stock, they who receive tithes, are in 
that respect the greater, then much more he whose 
descent is not counted among them of whom he re- 
ceived tithes ; 

But the Levites, who received tithes of their brethren, 
were in that respect greater than their brethren ; 
* Therefore Melchisedee, whose descent is not from 
them of whom he received tithes, must needs be 

Arg. 2. He that receiveth tithes of the head and 
stock, is greater than they who receive tithes of the 
branches, that sprout out of that head and stock ; but 
Melchisedee received tithes from Abraham, the father 
and stock of the Levites, who received tithes of the 
children of Abraham ; 

Therefore Melchisedee is greater than the Levites. 

There are that make the first verse to contain an 
objection against the apostle's former argument, taken 
from Melchisedec's receiving tithes of Abraham, to be 
thereupon the greater, and an answer to be made to 
this objection in the sixth verse. 

They make the objection to be this : 

Object. The sons of Levi received tithes of the other 
Israelites, yet were not thereupon greater, for they 
were all brethren. Therefore Melchisedec's receiving 
tithes doth not argue him to be greater. 

In answer to this objection, they say that the apostle 
granteth it to be true of the Levites, that their receiv- 
ing tithes argued no superiority of them over the 
other Israelites, but that he denieth the consequence, 
namely, that thereupon it should follow, that Melchi- 
sedec's receiving tithes of Abraham did not argue him 
to be greater than Abraham, and that for two reasons 
here alleged : one, because Melchisedee was not 
counted to be of the same stock that Abraham was. 
But the Levites and other Israelites were all brethren 
of the same stock. 

The other, because the Levites had a commandment 
to receive tithes ; so as their brethren were bound by 
the law to pay them. But Abraham was bound by no 
such law. He gave tithes to Melchisedee voluntarily, 
in testimony of his reverence, subjection, and in- 
feriority to Melchisedee, therefore Melchisedec's re- 
ceiving of tithes may argue a superiority, though the 
Levites' receiving tithes do argue no such thing. 

I take the apostle's confirmation of his former argu- 
ment to be most especially here intended. 

Sec. 37. Of those sons of Levi that were priests. 

The Greek adverb iJ^v, translated verily, is oft used 
merely in reference to the adversative conjunction bi, 
translated but, which is used ver. 6, whereunto this 



[Chap. VII. 

hath reference. Sometimes it is a note of strong aflSr- 
mation ; so it is used Chap. iii. 5, Sec. 50, and Chap. vi. 
16, Sec. 115. Other times it is used as a mere ornament 
of the Greek tongue, and is not translated in English, 
as Chap. i. 7, and in 2d and 8th verses of this chapter. 
So hero it may be taken as a mere ornament. If it 
ho further taken as a note of asseveration, it implieth, 
that the point here spoken of is the more thoroughly 
to he weighed, as a matter most certainly true. 

This phrase, ix ruiv v'lXiv Aiul, thei/ that are of the 
sons of Levi, doth in general imply the posterity of 
Jacob's third son. 

The notation of this name ''"i?, Aey/', Levi, is expressly 
given, Gen. xxix. 3-1. It appeareth that Jacob had 
taken more delight in Rachel's company than Leah's. 
But by this third son, God's blessing being manifested 
in making Leah fruitful, when her sister was barren, 
she was persuaded that her husband would now as- 
sociate himself more with her, and thereupon, this son 
was named Levi. For the verb HI?, mutuo aecepit, 
aceovimodavit, from whence this noun Levi hath his 
notation, in the passive, signifielh to be joined to one, 
Num. xviii. 2; Isa. Ivi. 0. In desire, or hope, or 
foresight that her husband would be joined to her, and 
keep her company, this name Levi is given to her son. 

Among the sons of Jacob, God chose Levi and his 
posterity to be his ministers in public, holy duties, 
and to attend the services of the tabernacle, in the 
room of all the rest of the children of Israel, Num. 
i. oO. 

Of the sons of Levi, Aaron and his seed were chosen 
to serve in the priest's office. They, therefore, that 
were of Aaron's seed are here especially intended, as 
is evident by this clause, ' who receive the office of the 
priesthood.' So much was hinted in the first clause 
of this verse. He saith not in the nominative case, 
' they that are the sons of Levi ;' but in the genitive, 
and that with a preposition prefixed, * they that are, 
ix. Tuiv v'/uv, of the sons of Levi.' This phrase, as it 
implieth such as descended from Levi, so a set and 
distinct number of them ; some chosen out from among 
them. For all the children of Levi received not the 
priesthood. Num. xvi. 10, but only some of them, 
even Aaron and his posterity. 

By /fffarf/a, priesthood, is here meant that office which 
belonged unto priests. It hath the same notation in 
Greek; whereof see Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 172. Of those 
general points which belong to a priest, see Chap. v. 1, 
Sec. 2, &c. This function is here brought in for 
honour's sake ; for it implieth a dignity conferred upon 
those sons of Levi which are here meant. This func- 
tion is expressly styled an honour. See Chap. v. 4, 
Sec. 18. 

This verb, XafM^uvovn;,^ receive, is relative, and hath 

reference to giviiiff. It implieth that they had not 

this office of themselves, but that it was given them, 

namely, of God. For they only have a right to be 

' See Chap. iv. 16, See. 96. 

' for men in things pertaining to God ' (as priests were), 
who are deputed thereunto by God. From hence it 
followeth that all true ministers must have their call 
from God, see Chap. iii. 2, Sees. 34, 35, and Chap. v. 
4, Sec. 20. 

Sec. 38. Of the difference betwixt commandment and 

The manifestation of that honour and prerogative 
which the foresaid sons of Levi had, is in their power 
to receive tithes ; thereupon it is added that they had 
a commandment to receive tithes. 

That receiving tithes argued a superiority was shewed 
ver. 4, Sec. 33. 

The ground of their receiving tithes is set down in 
this word, svrohri, commandment, and also in the 
other word following, voiioc, law. 

Of the derivation of these two Greek words, see 
ver. 16, Sec. 80. 

These are two of those ten words, which are used 
to set out the law or word of God ; and are all of them 
set down in the 119th Psalm. 

In that Psalm they are set down in this order : 

1. "l"n, via, way, ver. 1, whereby is meant that 
course which God hath set before us to walk in. 

2. min, lev, law, ver. 1, whereby the will of God 
is made known unto us, and we enjoined to conform 
ourselves thereto. 

3. nny, testimonium, testimony, ver. 2, whereby 
testimony or witness is given of that which is good or 

4. DnpS, precepta, precepts, ver. 4. The Hebrew 
verb, "ipS, reijuisivit, 1 Sam. xiv. 17, from whence the 
Hebrew noun translated precepts is derived, among 
other things, siguifieth to require. The Rabbins say 
that those precepts especially which are written in 
man's heart, are intended under this word. 

5. Cpn, statuta, statutes, ver. 6. These do espe- 
cially' intend those ceremonial laws to which the Jews 
were bound. 

6. i^'l'i^, mandatum, commandment, ver. 0. Under 
this word such commandments as declared the power 
and authority of God over us, is declared. 

7. D^lDSi^'D, judicia, judyments, ver. 6. By these 
that mutual cquit\', or righteous dealing which should 
be betwixt man and man, is taught. 

8. pTV, just it ia, riyhteousness, or justice, ver. 7. By 
this what is due to every one is manifested. 

9. l^"l, r<'/i»»(, icon/, ver. 9. There is also another 
noun, niJOX, promissum, which we translate toord, ver. 
11. These two last words are oft attributed to the 
whole law. The former signifieth the intent of the mind, 
expressed by words. The latter a promise expressed, 
and it is oft translated promise, Ps. Ixxvii. 8. 

The dill'erenco betwixt these two words, command- 
ment, laiv, here used by the apostle, I take to be this, 
that law is hero in general taken for a statute and rule 
that was set down unto them, that so much should be 

Ver. 5-7.] 



dedicated and given to the Lord ; and commandment, 
for a particular warrant and direction to the sons of 
Levi, to receive such a part as by law was dedicated 
to God; as when a law or statute is made, that such 
subsidies shall be given to the king, the king thereupon 
gives command to such and such to receive the same. 

Sec. 39. Of God's ordering his precepts according 
to law. 

The inference of this phrase, xara rh vofiov, accord- 
ing to the law, upon the commandment which was 
given, giveth evidence that God ordereth particular 
precepts according to his general law. If we compare 
the particular commandments which God from time 
to time gave to his people, we shall find them to be 
according to the law. 

Obj. 1. The commandment given unto Abraham to 
sacrifice his son, Gen. xxii. 2, was not according to 
the law. 

Ans. It was not a commandment of a thing simply 
and absolutely to be done, but a commandment of 
proof and trial. The event proveth as much. 

Obj. 2. The commandment given to the Israelites 
to borrow of their neighbours jewels, raiment, and other 
things, thereby to spoil the Egyptians, was not accord- 
ing to law, Exod. iii. 22. 

Ans. It was not against the law, which is that none 
defraud his neighbour of such goods as he hath a 
right unto. 

2. The Israelites did not fraudulently take what 
they had of the Egyptians. 

Concerning the right to that which the Israelites 
took, it appears to belong to the Israelites two ways : 

(].) By donation on God's part. For God is the 
most high supreme sovereign, and hath power to trans- 
fer what he will to whom he will. 

(2.) By debt on the Egyptians' part. For Israel 
had long served the Egyptians, and done great work 
for them, yet were not satisfied for their pains. 

Concerning the manner of the Israelites taking what 
they had of the Egyptians, they used no fraud therein. 
The word nPNti'l, which our English thus translateth, 
shall borrow, doth properly signify to ask; so do the 
LXX, aiT'/jSsi, the vulgar Latin, postulabit, and 
sundry other translators, turn it. Answerably the 
Egyptians gave to the Israelites what they asked; not 
simply to have the same restored, but to move them 
more speedily to depart, Exod. xii. 33. Besides, it 
appeareth that there was somewhat extraordinary in 
this case ; for it is said, that ' the Lord gave the people 
favour in the the sight of the Egyptians,' Exod. xii. 36. 

To return to the main point, such is the immuta- 
bility of God's justice, so perfect is the law of the 
Lord, so wisely is that law ordered, as the Lord will 
not suffer any particular precept to thwart and cross 
the same. 

1. This giveth one evidence of the corruption of 
man's nature, which is so backward to, and averse 

from, that perfect law of God, and particular precepts 
of the word, which are all according to law. They 
who are truly renewed are otherwise minded, Ps. xix. 
10, and cxix. 72, 103, 127. 

2. This is a forcible motive to yield all holy obe- 
dience to the particular commandments which here 
and there are to be found in God's word; because 
they are all according to law, all grounded on com- 
mon equity, and framed according to right; so as the 
benefit will redound to the practisers thereof. 

3. God's prudence in ordering his commandments 
according to law, is a good pattern for such as are in 
God's stead, and have power to command others. 
Their rule must be God's law, and they ought to 
command nothing but what is according to that law. 
If God, who is the most supreme sovereign, and hath 
none higher than himself, orders his commandments 
according to law, how much more ought men so to 
do, who are to give an account of that which they en- 
join to others. Indeed, God orders his commandments 
according to his own law, because there is no superior 
law, no law more just and equal. As he sware by him- 
selfjbecause he had no greater to swear by, chap. vi. 13, 
so he goeth by his own law, because there is none 
higher, none better. 

If governors would order their commandments ac- 
cording to divine law, they might more boldly press 
them upon the people ; yea, their people would more 
cheerfully yield unto them, and in case any should 
refuse to yield, they might with better conscience 
enforce them. 

Sec. 40. 0/ the law of paying tithes. 

The particular commandment here set down was to 
take tithes of the people. This phrase, to take tithes 
of, is the interpretation of one Greek word, aTods- 
xaroiiv, which we may answerably thus translate, to 
tithe. It is a compound verb. The simple verb is 
derived from that, hr/.aTri, which before was translated 
tenth. Sec. 16. It sometimes signifieth to pay tithes, 
as Luke xviii. 12 ; but here to receive tithes. So doth 
the simple verb signify both to receive and to pay 
tithes, ver. 6, 9. The circumstance therefore of the 
place must direct us in finding out the meaning of the 
word, of paying and receiving tenth. See ver. 3, 
Sec. 17. 

By, Xaov, the people, are here meant all the other 
tribes save the tribe of Levi, for none else_ were 
exempted from this tax. The children of Levi were 
for the people in things pertaining to God, and did for 
them what otherwise the people should have done 
themselves, and in recompence thereof the people 
paid them tithes. 

The Greek phrase word for word thus soundeth, to 
tithe the people {anobvAaToZv rhv Xahv), which impheth 
both a duty on the people's part in paying tithe, and 
also a power or privilege on the Levites' part to receive 



[Chap. VII. 

This was it which is here said to be according to 
the law; and that the judicial, ceremonial, and moral 

1. By the judicial law the Lcvitcs had not their 
portion in Canaan for their inheritance, as other tribes 
had ; therefore, in lieu thereof, by the said law, they 
had the tenth of the rest of the people. 

2. The holy services which they performed to the 
Lord for the people were ceremonial. Therefore the 
recompence given was by a like law. 

3. The general equity, that they who communicate 
unto us spiritual matters, should partake of our tem- 
porals ; and that they who are set apart wholly to 
attend God's service, should live upon that service, is 
moral. See more hereof, ver. 2, Sees. 10, 17. 

Sec. 41. Of cominrj out of ones loins. 

The parties that paid tithes to the foresaid sons 
of Levi are thus described, that is, of their brethren, 
&c. Of the different acception of this title hrethren, 
see Chap, xiii.. Sec. 3. Here it is taken for all those 
that descended from Abraham, and in that respect 
were all of the same stock. So it is used Acts xiii. 

In this place it implieth a kind of equality among 
all the Israelites, of what tribe or what degree soever 
they were. The apostle's meaning is explained in 
these words, thowjh tJiey came out of the loins of 

The Greek word oax:\jo:, translated loina, is of the 
singular nnmber. It is taken for that part of the back 
which uscth to be girded,^ Mat. iii. 4. The Hebrew 
word is of the dual number, D^i*7n, Inmbi, because 
the loins are on both sides of the body. In Latin, 
English, and other languages, the word is of the 
plural number. In reference to the foresaid significa- 
tion, the pluase of 'girding the loins' is frequent, and 
that for steadiness and strength, as soldiers use to 
gird their harness fast to their loins, Eph. vi. 14 ; or, 
for speed and expedition, as runners or travellers use 
to gird up their long- sided garments, Luke xii. 35. 

This word loins is also taken for the inward and 
lower part of a man's belly, where his seed lieth.^ 
In reference hereunto, the phrase of coming out of the 
loins is oft used, as Gen. iii. 11, so here. 

By this phrase, they come out of the loins of 
Abraham, are meant, the very same whom before he 
called the people and brethren. It is here brought in 
to shew that they all came from the same stock, even 
Levitcs that received tithes, and the people their 
brethren that paid tithes. 

The phrase of coming out of Abraham's loins is 
the rather mentioned, because Abraham, who paid 
tithes to Melchisedec, was the father of the Levites, 

* 0<r^t/f dicitur ilorsi ea pars qua cinKimur. — //. Stej'h. 
Tliesaur. Gr. ling. 

' Pars infinii ventris posterior et superior lumbos consli- 
tuit. — Cusp. Barlol. Instil., Analom., lib. i. 

who received tithes, as well as of those who paid 

This discretive conjunction, -/.alma, though, implieth 
that that equality which was betwixt the tribe of Levi 
and other tribes was no hindrance to the Levites 
from receiving tithes, nor afforded any exemption to 
the other tribes from paying tithes. Though in the 
common stock, priests and others were equal, yet the 
priests in office were more excellent, and in this pri- 
vilege of receiving tithes greater. 

Thus we see, that equality in outward condition is 
no bar to superiority in office, nor hindrance to just 
rights appertaining thereunto. Moses and Aaron 
were uterine brothers, that came out of the same 
womb, yet Moses was so preferred in office before 
Aaron, as God himself said to Moses in reference to 
Aaron, ' Thou shalt be to him instead of God,' Exod. 
iv. IG. The Israelites were to choose a king from 
among their brethren, Deut. xvii. 15, yet being king, 
he had a superiority and dignity over his brethren. 
Men who were like unto others in their nature, are in 
regard of their functions styled ' gods and children - 
of the Most High,' Ps. Ixxxii, G. The apostles were ■ 
but of mean outward condition, yet in regard of their 
function, they were in a high degi-ee advanced above 

Excellency, dignity, superiority, and other like 
privileges, are not from nature, but from that order 
which God is pleased to set betwixt party and party. 

They whom God advanceth, have in that respect an 
excellency, whatsoever their birth were : instance 
David, who though the youngest, yet was advanced 
above all his brethren. 

Ohj. The first-born had a dignity by their birth, ■ 
Gen. iv. 7, and xlix. 3. So sons of kings and nobles ■ 
have by their birth a dignity. 

Ans. Even all these are from that order which God 
hath set amongst men. 

On this ground we are to respect men according 
to that place and office wherein God setteth them. 
This may in particular be applied to ministers, whose 
function is not by birth. The Jews, looking upon 
Christ as a mere and mean man, born and brought 
up amongst them, did not discern either his excellent 
function or his eminent gifts, and thereupon despised 
him, Mat. xiii. 54, 55. From this evil disposition 
arose that proverb, ' A prophet is not without honour, 
save in his country, and in his own house,' Mat. xiii. 
57. This was the pretended ground of Korah, Dathan, 
and Abiram's mutiny. Num. xvi. 3. Great damage 
doth hence arise, not only to ministers' persons, who 
are basely accounted of, but also to their function, 
which is too much disrespected. It hath been an old 
trick of Satan, thus to bring contempt upon ministers 
and ministry. 

Sec. 42. Of Melchiseclec's priesthood rjreafer than Levi. 
The main point, that Melchisedec exceeded ievi, is 

Ver. 5-7.] 



here proved in this sixth verse, and withal the conse- 
quence of the former argument, mentioned Sec. 36, is 
confirmed. The consequence was this. If the sons 
of Levi, in receiving tithes from their bretln-en, were 
therein counted greater than their brethren, then 
Melchisedec must needs be counted greater than 

The confirmation of the consequence resteth on the 
person of whom Melchisedec received tithes, which 
was Abraham the father of Levi. For he that is 
greater than the father, must needs be greater than 
the son. 

The former part of the sixth verse containeth a de- 
scription of Melchisedec, in these words, o n,r^ ytvioko- 
youfxevog sj avruv, he whose descent is not counted from 
them ; which are the interpretation of this mystery, 
ayiviokoynroi, ivithout descent, because his descent or 
pedigree was not reckoned up. 

This phrase, descent is counted, is the interpretation 
of one Greek word, yiv^aXoyoui/^ivog, which is a com- 
pound of a noun and a verb. The noun yiviu signi- 
fieth among other things a progemj, or 2)ediijree, or 
linear/e. The verb yAyiiv signifieth to utter, or declare, 
or reckon up ; so as to have one's descent counted is 
to have those from whom he cometh and who descend 
from him reckoned up and declared. But no such 
thing Is done of Melchisedec ; therefore it is said, ' his 
descent is not counted.' 

This clause, 1^ avTMv,from them, is here added to 
shew a farther difference betwixt Melchisedec and the 
Levites. Their descent was counted from Levi and 
from Abraham, but Melchisedec's from none such. 

Or otherwise this phrase from them, may indefinitely 
be taken, as if it had been said, ' from men ;' for he 
was ' without descent,' as is noted Sec. 24. 

This sheweth that the right which Melchisedec had 
to receive tithes was by no privilege of kindi-ed, as 
being one of Abraham's progenitors or predecessors, 
but only in regard of his oifice, merely and simply be- 
cause he was a priest of God, and in that respect hath 
a special prerogative, power, and dignity above Abra- 
ham, And if above Abraham, then much more above 
Levi, who descended from Abraham ; and for this end 
it is again expressly mentioned that ' he received tithes 
from Abraham.' 

The issue of all is, that Melchisedec's priesthood was 
greater than the priesthood of the Levites, and in that 
respect much more was Christ's priesthood greater, 
and thereupon the more to be admired, and with 
greater confidence to be rested upon. See ver. 4, 
Sec. 31, and ver. 11, Sec. 66. 

■ Sec. 43. Of Melchisedec s blessing Abraham. 

A second argument to prove the pre-eminency of 
Melchisedec's priesthood is taken from an act of superi- 
ority which Melchisedec performed in reference to 
Abraham, the father of Levi. This act was to 

The argument may be thus framed : 

He that blesseth one is greater than he whom he 
blesseth ; 

But Melchisedec blessed Abraham ; therefore Mel- 
chisedec was greater than Abraham. 

The general proposition is cleared in the next verse. 
The assumption, which containeth the act itself, is here 
set down. Of the various acceptions of this word 
blessed, and of the particular intendment thereof in 
this place, see ver. 1, Sees. 12, 14, 15. 

Sec. 44, Of the privilege of having promises. 

The person blessed is not by name expressed, but 
thus described, rh 'i-^ovTa rag i'Kayyikiag, him that hath 
the promises. This description doth so clearly belong 
to Abraham, as it may easily be known that he is meant 
thereby, for it hath reference to this phrase, ' God 
made promise to Abraham,' chap. vi. 13. 

This participle, s^ovra, had, may have reference 
both to God, who made the promises, and so gave 
them to Abraham, and also to Abraham himself, who 
believed and enjoyed the benefit of the promises. In 
this respect he is said to have received the promises, 
chap. xi. 17, and to have obtained them, chap. vi. 15. 
Of this word promise, see Chap. iv. 1, Sec. 6, of pro- 

This description of Abraham is set down for honour's 
sake ; for the apostle setteth forth Abraham's privi- 
leges, that thereby the privileges and dignities of Mel- 
chisedec might appear to be the greater. 

Quest. Seeing the promises were such as appertained 
to the whole mystical body of Christ, why are they 
here appropriated to Abraham ? 

Ans. God was pleased to choose Abraham as an 
head and father of his church, and that both of that 
peculiar visible church of the Jews, which for many 
ages was severed from the whole world, and also of 
that spiritual invisible church, the company of true 
believers, which should be to the end of the world, 
Rom. iv, 11. 

Though this honour of having the promises be here 
in special applied to Abraham, yet it is not proper to 
him alone, but rather common to all that are of the 
same faith, who are styled ' heirs of promise,' chap, 
vi. 17. 

It hereby appeareth that it is a great privilege to 
have a right to God's promises. Among other privi- 
leges belonging to the Jews this is one, that * th^ pro- 
mises pertain to them,' Rom. ix, 4. On the contrary 
side it is noted as a matter of infamy, to be ' aliens 
from the covenants of promise,' Eph. ii. 12. 

God's promise is the ground of all our happiness. 
There is no other right whereby we may claim any- 
thing. Man by his fall utterly deprived himself of all 
the happiness wherein God made him. It is God's 
free promise that gives him any hope of other happi- 
ness, Gen. iii. 15. But they who have a right to 
God's promises have a right to all things that may 



[Chap. VIL 

make to their happiness. For what good thing is there 
whereof God hath not made promise ? 

Believers have much cause to rest hereupon, and to 
rejoice herein. Let Jews brap; of their outward privi- 
le<:;es : the promises made in Christ, whereof through 
infidelity they have deprived themselves, far exceed 
and excel all their privileges. 

Let worldlings brag of their outward preferments, 
dignities, wealth, and other like things ; if they have 
not a right to the promises, they have a right to no- 

This should stir us up in general to walk worthy of 
the Lord, who hath made these promises. Col. i. 10, 
1 Thes. ii. 12, and of the gospel, wherein and whereby 
they are tendered unto us, Philip, i. 27. 

In particular, we ought hereupon to believe the pro- 
mises made unto us ; otherwise we deprive ourselves 
of the benefit of the promises, chap. iv. 1, G. 

2. It will be our wisdom to observe the conditions 
annexed to those promises. 

8. It is just and equal that we moderate our care 
about the things of this world, and not seek great 
things for ourselves here, Jer. xlv. 5. 

4. It becomes us to rest content in the state where 
God sets us. Having such promises as God hath made 
unto us, we have enough. 

5. These promises should make us with patience 
expect the time appointed for the accomplishment of 

Sec. 45. Of the need that the best have of means to 
strengthen their faith. 

This phrase, him that had the promises, being in- 
ferred upon Melchisedec's blessing, giveth instance 
that the best faith needeth strengthening. Melchise- 
dec's blessing was by way of ratification and confirm- 
ation of those promises which Abraham had. Now 
consider what a man Abraham was, and how great his 
faith was ; yet this means of blessing was used to 
ratify the same. For this end God addeth promise to 
promise, and his oath also. See Chap. vi. 13, Sec. 97. 

The ground hereof resteth not in ourselves ; for, 

1. As we know but in part, 1 Cor. xiii. 9, so we 
believe but in part. The best have cause to say, 
*Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief,' Mark ix. 2-1. 

2, The flesh is in the best, which is weak when the 
spirit is ready. Mat. xxvi. 41. 

8. The best are subject to many temptations : the 
better men are, the more will Satan seek to sift them, 
Luke xxii. 31. 

How diligent should men hereupon be in observing 
what means God hath sanctified for strengthening 
their faith, and how conscionable in using the same. 

Above all, let men take heed of too much confidence 
in themselves. God is thereby provoked to give men 
over to themselves, which if he do, Satan will soon 
take an advantage against them. Take instance hereof 
in Peter's example, Mat. xxvi. 09, &c. 

Sec. 46. Of undeniable principles. 

Ver, 7. The general proposition, noted Sec. 43, is here 
in the seventh verse expressly set down, namely, that 
he who blesseth is greater than he whom he blesseth. 

So true and sure is this proposition, as the apostle 
premiseth this phrase of asseveration, uithout all con- 

The Greek noun avr/Xoy/a, translated contradiction, 
is the same that was used Chap. vi. IG, sec. 121, 
and translated strife. The notation of the word was 
there declared. 

This general particle, rrdcrig, all, addeth emphasis, 
and implieth, that none that is of understanding can 
or will deny the truth of the foresaid assertion. 

This manner of asseveration, as it setteth forth the 
certainty of the thing itself, so a duty on our part, 
which is, to yield to the truth thereof, and not op- 
pose against it. 

From this particular instance may well be inferred 
this general observation ; — 

There are pxinciples so infallibly true, as they 
admit no doubt or dispute thereabout. The apostle, 
about another and greater principle, useth a like as- 
severation, 6;j:,oXoyou,'j,'svu;, ivitliout controversy, 1 Tim. 
iii. 16. To like purpose this phrase is used, 'This 
is a faithful saying, and worthy all acceptation.' 1 
Tim. i. 15 and 4, 9. 

1. Some principles are expressly set down in the 
word of truth ; these are to be received without all 
contradiction. * He that cometh unto God must 
believe that he is,' &c. Heb. xi. 6. A must, a ne- 
cessity of believing it, is laid upon us. Such are all 
fundamental principles. 

2. There are principles so agreeable to the light of 
nature, to reason itself, and common sense, as they 
admit no contradiction : such are these, a true body 
is circumscribed within a place, and it hath the 
essential properties of a body ; a priest is greater 
than the sacrifice ; works of merit must be answer- 
able to the reward merited. They on whom we call 
must be able to hear us and help us. 

1. The dotage of papists is hereby discovered, in 
that they maintain many heresies contradictory to 
express evidence of Scripture, and to principles of 
nature ; as those before named, and sundiy others. 
Therein they contradict those things which are with- 
out all contradiction. 

2. It will be our wisdom carefully to observe such 
principles, and quietly to rest in them, neither stir- 
ring up needless controversies about them, nor suf- 
fering ourselves to be drawn from them. The philo- 
sopher thought not him worthy to be disputed withal 
that denied principles. If a man deny the fire to 
be hot, the best demonstration to prove it is, to put 
his finger or hand into the fire. 

Sec. 47. Of blessing as an act of pre-eminency. 
That principle which is here brought in, to be with- 

Vee. 5-7.] 



out all contradiction, is thus expressed, The less is 
blessed of the better or greater. Of the Greek word 
x^sirrov, translated better, see Chap. i. 4, Sec. 39. 

This comparative, rb iKarrov, the less, though it 
be of the neuter gender, yet it hath reference to 
Abraham, who is said to be blessed of Melchisedec, 
ver. 1. The neuter gender is used, because it is a 
general proposition, and may be extended to all sorts 
of things as well as persons. 

The other comparative, greater, hath reference to 
Melchisedec, who blessed Abraham, ver. 1. 

Of blessing in general, see Chap. vi. 

That we may the better discern how the foresaid 
proposition is 'without all contradiction,' we must 
take notice of the kind of blessing that is here meant. 
For men may bless God, who is infinitely greater 
than all men, Judges v. 9, James iii. 9 ; and among 
men, the less in many cases bless the greater. As 
Solomon, a king, blessed his people, so the people 
blessed him, 1 Kings viii. 55, 56. Mean persons that 
are relieved, bless great ones that relieve them, Job 
sxxi. 20. 

The blessing here meant is a blessing of ratifica- 
tion, whereby Melchisedec assureth Abraham of the 
full accomplishment of all those promises that God 
had made unto him. This Melchisedec did as a minis- 
ter, and priest, and prophet of God : in all which 
functions he was greater than Abraham. Thus are 
all they who, by virtue of their calling, or relation to 
others, stand in God's room, and in God's name 
assure them of God's blessing to them, or at least 
call upon God for his blessing upon them. This is 
an authoritative kind of blessing, and argueth superi- 
ority in them who bless. Parents, governors of 
families, governors of commonwealths, and minis- 
ters of the word, have a power in this manner to bless. 
See more hereof, ver. 1, Sec. 12. 

Object. Kings and other governors are ofttimes 
among them whom ordinary ministers bless. Are 
ministers thereupon greater than kings or other 
governors ? 

jins. Though in their persons and civil government, 
kings and other governors are greater then ministers 
of the word, yet such ministers, in the execution of 
their office, are greater than the foresaid persons ; for 
they stand in God's stead, and are God's mouth : 
they command in God's name, they exhort to do 
God's will. So they bless in God's name. 

1. This doth much commend the ministerial func- 

2. It should stir up men to have that calHng in 
high account, and to believe God's word preached by 
them, 1 Thes. ii. 13. 

The main point here proved is, that Melchisedec 
was greater than Abraham, and by consequence than 
Levi, and his priesthood greater than the priesthood 
of the Levites ; and that thereupon Christ's priest- 
hood, which is after the order of Melchisedec, is 

greater than the priesthood of the Levites ; and 
answerably to be every way preferred. 

Melchisedec, as a type, blessed Abraham the father 
of the faithful. Christ, as the truth, did not only 
bless little children, Mark x. 16, but also upon his 
ascension into heaven, * he lifted up his hands and 
blessed' his apostles, Luke xxiv. 60, 51, and that in 
the room of all the faithful. 

Sec. 48. Of the resolution of Heb. vii. 5-7. 

Ver. 5. A)id verily they that are of the sons of Levi, 
ivho receive the office of the priesthood, have a command- 
ment to take tithes of the people, according to the law, 
that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the 
loins of Abraham : 

6. But he, whose descent is not counted from them, 
received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had 
the promises. 

7. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of 
the better. 

The sum of these three verses is a proof of Mel- 
chisedec's greatness above Abraham. 
The parts are two : 

1. A confirmation of a former argument. 

2. Another argument. 

The confirmation is taken from the difference be- 
twixt Melchisedec and the Levites. Hereof are two 
branches : 

One concerneth the Levites, the other Melchise - 

In the former is set down, 

1. A description of the persons ; 2, a declaration 
of the difference. 

The persons are described, 

1. By their relation, sons of Levi, which is ampli- 
fied by a select company, in this phrase, of the sons, 
namely, some of them. 

2. By their function, which is set out, 

1. By the kind of it, the office of the priesthood. 

2. By their right to it, in this word receive. 

The foresaid function is amplified by a privilege 
appertaining thereunto. Hereabout four points are 
observed : 

1. The kind of privilege, to tahe tithes. 

2. Their warrant for it, they have a commandment. 

3. The rule, according to law. 

4. The persons of whom they took tithes. These 

1. Generally expressed, the people. 

2. Particularly described : and that by a double 
relation : 

1. To themselves, in this word, brethren. 

2. To their common father. In setting him down, 
is noted, 

(1.) The kind of inference, in this particle though. 
(2.) The manner of , coming from him, they came 
out of his loins. 

(8.) The name of their father, Abraham. 



[Chap. VII. 

The other part of difference declareth two points : 

1. Wherein Melchisedec agreed with Levi, he re- 
ceived tithes, ver. G. 

2. Wherein they differed. Hereof are two branches : 

1. A description of Melchisedec, he whose descent 
is not counted from, them. 

2. The name of the person of whom ho received 
tithes, Ahraham. 

The second argument whereby Melchisedec' s great- 
ness is proved, is an act of superiority on his part. 
Hereabout observe, 

1. The substance of the argument; 2. an inference 
made thereupon. 

In the substance we may observe, 

1. The kind of act performed, blessed. 

2. The person to whom it was performed, him that 
had the prom iscs. 

The inference is an excellency. In setting down 
whereof observe, 

1. The manner of bringing it in, with this asse- 
veration, witliout all contradiction. 

2. The matter, which declareth the difference be- 
twixt him that blessed and him that was blessed. 

He that did bless was greater, the other less. 

Sec. 49. Of the doctrines raised out of Heb. vii. 

I. The excelli'ncij of Melchisedec s iiriesthood is a 
certain truth. This note of asseveration, verily, proves 
as much. See Sec. 37. 

II. All Levis sons hnd not the same dirjnity. 
They were but some of them. See Sec. 37. 

III. The priesthood was a choice office. So it is 
here brought in to be. See Sec. 37. 

IV. True 2iriests were depicted to that office. They 
received it. See Sec. 37. 

V. Tithes were due to priests. They had a com- 
mandment to receive them. See Sec. 39. 

VI. God's command is a good warrant. It was 
the Levites' warrant. See Sec. 39. 

VII. God's command was ordered according to laio. 
Hereof is given a particular instance. See Sec. 39. 

VIII. All sorts j)aid tithes. Under this word 
people all sorts are comprised. See Sec 39. 

IX. An office may give a dignity over equals. This 
phrase, came out of the loins, implieth an equality ; yet 
priests had a dignity above others that came out of 
the same loins. See Sec. 41. 

X. Priests and others were brethren. For priests 
received tithes of their brethren. See Sec. 41. 

XI. Melchisedec s pedigree roas not counted from 
men. This is here expressly aflirmed. See Sec. 42. 

XII. Melchisedec received tithes of the father of 
Levi, namely, of Abraham. See Sec. 42. 

XIII. There is an authoritative hind of blessing. 
Such an one is here mentioned. See Sec. 43. 

XIV. Priests had a potoer to bless authoritatively. 
So did Melchisedec. See Sec. 43. 

XV. The faith of the best needs strengthening. 
Instance Abraham. See Sec. 45. 

XVI. It is a privilege to have a right to God's pro- 
mises. This is here noted as one of Abraham's privi- 
leges. See Sec. 44. 

XVII. There are unquestionable truths. Even such 
as are xvithout all contradiction. See Sec. 46. 

XVIII. jf'o bless is an act of superiority. In this 
was Melchisedec greater. See Sec. 47. 

XIX. To be blessed is an act of inferiority. In 
this was Abraham less. See Sec. 47. 

XX. Christ is greater than all. Christ was the 
truth of that which is here set doA\'n concerning Mel- 
chisedec's excellencies. 

Sec. 50. Of a likeness in unequals. 

Heb. vii. 8. And here men that die receive tithes ; 
but there he receiveth them, of xvhom it is witnessed 
that he liveth. 

In this verse the apostle produceth a third argu- 
ment, to prove the excellency of Melchisedec's priest- 
hood above the Levites. The argument is taken from 
the different condition of the priests. The Levites 
were mortal, Melchisedec not so. 

The argument may be thus framed : 

He that ever liveth, to execute his priesthood, is 
more excellent than they who ai'e subject to death, and 
thereupon forced to leave their office to others ; 

But Melchisedec ever liveth, &c. And the Levites 
are subject to death, &c. Therefore Melchisedec is 
more excellent than they. 

Of the adverb /j,lv, truly, expressed in Greek, but not 
in English, see ver. 5,. Sec. 37. 

In setting down this argument, the apostle giveth 
an instance of a common privilege that belonged to 
the Levites as well as to Melchisedec, which was to 
receive tithes. How this was a privilege is shewed 
Sec. 33. Herein he giveth an evidence, that a com- 
mon privilege in some things argueth not an equality 
in all. There may be a like resemblance in some 
particulars betwixt such things as are much different 
one from another. There is a like resemblance be- 
twixt the sun and a candle in giving light ; yet there 
is a great disparity betwixt these creatures. Man is said 
to be made in the image of God, and after his likeness, 
Gen. i. 20, 27. This implieth a resemblance betwixt 
God and man ; which is further manifested by this 
title, gods, given to sons of men, Ps. Ixxxii. G. Yet, 
if any such imagine man to be equal to God, ho 
neither knoweth God nor man aright. 

1. Hereby sundry places of Scripture, which other- 
wise might seem very strange, are cleared ; such as 
these, ' Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,' 
Eph. V. 2. ' Forgive one another, as God hath for- 
given you,' Eph. iv. 32. • Be perfect, even as your 
Father which is in heaven is perfect,' Mat. v. 48. 
' Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Mat. 
vi. 10. * Every man that hath hope in Christ puri- 

Vee. 8.] 



fieth himself, even as lie is pure,' 1 John iii. 3. All 
these and other like places are to be understood of 
such a resemblance as may stand with much inequality. 

2. This discovereth the false inference which ana- 
baptists do put upon sundry spiritual privileges which 
are common to all Christians ; as, to be one in Christ, 
GaL iii. 28 ; to be made free by Christ, Gal. v. 1 ; 
to have one father, one master, one teacher, and to 
be all brethren, Mat. xxiii. 8-10. From these and 
other like common privileges, they infer that all of all 
sorts, kings and subjects, masters and servants, and 
others diflerenced by other relations, are equal every 
way ; and that the ordinary degrees of superiority and 
inferiority are against the warrant of God's word and 
common privilege of Christians. Herein they bewray 
much ignorance, being not able to discern betwixt 
those different respects, wherein things are equal and 
things differ. By this consequence the difference here 
noted betwixt Melchisedec and Levi would be taken 

These two adverbs, u,di here, stuT there, are fitly 
used in this place. For the apostle speaketh of the 
Levites as of his countrymen, dwelling where he did ; 
but of Melchisedec as of a stranger, dwelling in a remote 

2. He spake of the Levites as men of latter days, 
nearer his time ; but of Melchisedec as of a man of 
ancient days, long before the Levites. 

These two adverbs imply thus much : in this place, 
and in that place, everywhere ; at this time, and at 
that time, at all times, priests of the Lord received 
tithes. This was not a prerogative proper to Mel- 
chisedec, but common also to the Levites. Prudently 
therefore is their due given to both parties. 

Though the main drift of the apostle be to advance 
Melchisedec and his priesthood above the Levites and 
their priesthood, yet he denies not the Levites that 
prerogative which was due to them as well as to Mel- 
chisedec, which was to receive tithes. 

This is [to] be noted against such wrangling sophis- 
ters and intemperate disputers, as, in their heat, through 
violence in opposing their adversaries, deny them that 
which is due unto them, and labour to debase them 
more than is meet ; they will deny many truths, because 
they are averred by their adversaries. 

Sec. 51. Of ministers being mean men that die. 

Albeit there were a common privilege betwixt the 
Levites and Melchisedec, yet there was a great dis- 
parity in their persons ; for of the Levites it is here 
said they were ' men that die,' but of Melchisedec ' he 
liveth.' So as there was as great a difference betwixt 
them as betwixt mortality and immortality. 

There are two points observable in this phrase, men 
that die. The first is about this word civd^uT^oi, men. 
The Greek word signifieth ordinary, mean men. It is 
the same that is used Chap. ii. 6, Sec. 54. 

The other is in this word d-jrodv^iaxoing, die, mQan- 


ing such as are subject unto death, and in their time 
shall die, and thereupon leave this world and all their 
employments therein ; yea, so leave them as not to do 
anything about them any more ; ' for there is no work, 
nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave,' 
Eccles. ix. 10. 

The Greek verb translated die is a compound. The 
simple verb, ^i/s^cxw, mon, signifieth to die. Mat. ii. 20. 
Thence an adjective, ^I'jjro;, mortalis, that signifieth 
mortal, 1 Cor. xv. 53, 54. The compound being with 
a preposition, cc^o, d vel ah, that signifieth /ro??i, hath 
an emphasis, and implieth a departing from all that a 
man hath. 

This mortality of the sons of Levi, who were priests, 
is in special here set down, to amplify the excellency 
of Melchisedec, who liveth ; but withal it may be 
brought in as an evidence of the mutability of the 
legal priesthood, and that by a kind of resemblance 
betwixt the persons and their oflice ; that, as the per- 
sons, who are priests, had their time, and after that 
were taken away, so their office, which was the priest- 
hood, had an appointed time, after which it should 
be abrogated. This point of the mutability of the 
priesthood is expressly proved by the apostle, vers. 
11, 12. 

Of priests being subject to death, see ver. 23, 
Sec. 97. 

That which is here said of the Levites is true of all 
ministers of the word, that they are but men, mean 
men, mortal men, that die. Hereupon this title, son 
of man, is given to a choice prophet, Ezekiel iii. 17; 
and choice apostles say thus of themselves, ' We also 
are men of like passions with you,' Acts xiv. 15. They 
said this when people so admired them as they sup- 
posed them to be gods, and would have sacrificed uuto 

God doth herein magnify his power, by enabhng 
men, that are subject to death, to perform so great 
things as the ministerial function requireth to be per- 

1. This common condition of ministers to be men 
that die, should make them oft to look upon these 
black feet of theirs, that they do not too proudly strut 
out their gay peacock feathers ; that they be not too 
conceited, either in any prerogatives belonging to their 
function, or in any abilities bestowed upon them for 
the execution thereof. 

2. This is a forcible motive to raise up their eyes 
and hearts to God, for his divine assistance in their 
human weakness. 

3. Herein ought people also to be helpful to their 
ministers, in calling on God for them. This is it 
which an apostle earnestly desired his people to do 
for him, Rom. xv. 30, Eph. vi. 19. 

4. This also should move people to tender their 
ministers, as such as are men, and subject to human 
frailties, and thereupon bear with them. 

5. Because ministers are mortal men that must die, 




[Chap. Vll. 

ministers themselves must bo diligent in improving 
that time which God doth nflbrd them, unto the best 
advantage that they can ; and people must take the 
opportunity of their minister's life to reap the best 
good that they can while their ministers remain with 
them, even before they are taken away. 

Sec. 52. OJ ministers' prerogatives nolivilhstanding 
their meanness. 

The inference of the prerogative of receiving tithes 
upon this their condition, that they were men that die, 
giveth instance that the common, fi-ail, mortal, con- 
dition of ministers is no bar to the privileges and pre- 
rogatives of their function. This is verified not only 
in the ordinary privileges of ordinary men, but also in 
the extraordinary prerogatives that belonged to extra- 
ordinary ministers, as prophets and apostles; for these 
all were ' men that die.' 

Sundry privileges that belong unto ministers may 
be gathered out of those titles that are given unto them 
in God's word. Some of those titles are given unto 
them in relation to God himself; as anrfcls, llev. i. 20; 
ambassadors, 2 Cor. v. 20; revealers of the gospel, Eph. 
vi. 19 ; keepers of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, 
Mat. xvi. 19 ; remembrancers, Isa. Ixii. 6 ; steivards, 
1 Cor. iv. 1. 

Other titles have relation to people ; as fathers, 
1 Cor. iv. 15 ; elders, 1 Tim. v. 17 ; riders, Hcb. 
xiii. 7; overseers, Acts xx. 28; pastors, Eph. iv. 11; 
teachers, 1 Cor. xii. 28 ; chariots and horsemen, 2 Kings 
ii. 12. 

Thus God honoureth them, lest by reason of their 
meanness they should be despised, and thereupon 
their ministry prove unprofitable. 

Let people learn hereby to remove their eyes from 
the meanness of their ministers' persons, to the digni- 
ties of their office ; and consider the place wherein God 
hath set them, and the work which he hath deputed 
unto them, and the end whereunto the ministry 

As the Israelites paid tithes to the priests, though 
they were men that die, bo ought Christians to yield 
to their ministers whatsoever is their due, though they 
bo such men. 

Sec. 53. (9/ Mclchisedecs ever living. 

The other branch of the disparity betwixt Melchi- 
sedec and the sons of Levi, is in regard of Melchi- 
sedec's excellency, which is thus expressed, of uhom 
it is tvitiu'ssed that he liveth. The excellency itself 
consisteth in this, that he liveth. The other words 
are a proof hereof. 

This phrase, Iji, he liveth, being of the time present, 
implieth a continual act, which ceaseth not. Many 
hundred, yea and thousand, years had passed betwixt 
that time wherein Melchiscdec met Abraham, and that 
wherein the apostle wrote this epistle ; yet he saith of 
him, he liveth ; so as it implieth an everlasting life, 

which hath no end. This in reference to Melchisedec 
is to be taken mystically and typically. 

Mystically, in that no mention in that history is 
made of his death. 

Tyjiically, in that he prefigured Christ, who doth 
indeed, and that properly, live for ever. It doth there- 
fore set forth the cvcrlastinguess, as of Christ's person, 
so also of his priesthood. For Christ ever liveth to 
execute his priesthood in and by himself. Hereof see 
more, chap. v. G, Sec. 29. 

The proof of this great point is taken from a testi- 
mony : wajruj(/i;,a£K)j, It is icitnessed, saith the apostle. 
Of tiie derivation of the Greek word, see Chap. iii. 6, 
Sec. 53. 

This point is testified, first, negatively and im- 
plicitly, then afiirmatively and expressly. 

Negatively and implicitly the Holy Ghost witnesseth 
that Melchisedec liveth, in that he maketh no mention 
of his death, where he bringeth him forth as a priest, 
Gen. xiv. 18-20. 

Affirmatively and expressly, where he saith, ' Thou 
art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec,' 
Ps. ex. 4. 

Of the force of a testimony of Scripture, see Chap, 
i. 5, Sec. 46. 

Of an implicit proof, see ver. 3, Sec. 23. 

Of things spoken of Melchisedec and applied to 
Christ, see ver. 3, Sec. 24. 

Sec. 54. Of the resolution and observations o/Heb. 
vii. 8. 

Yer. 8. And here men that die receive tithes ; but there 
he receiveth them of xchom it is witnessed that he liveth. 

In this verse is a third proof of Melchisedec's excel- 
lency above the sons of Levi. Hereof are l^wo parts : 
1, an equality; 2, an inequahty. 

The equality was in receiving tithes. 

Of the inequality there are two branches : 

1. The mortality of the sons of Levi. 

2. The immortality of Melchisedec. This is, 

1. Implied, in this phrase, he liveth. 

2. Proved, thus, of whom it is witnessed. 


I. Argument may be added to argument to prove the 
same point. This here is a thu-d argument added to 
the two former. 

II. There may he a likeness betwixt unequals. The 
sons of Levi and Melchiscdec were much unequal ; yet 
the like privilege of receiving tithes belonged to them 
both. See Sec. 50. 

III. Tithes have of old been paid. Both Melchisedec 
and the Levites received them. 

IV. 3Iinisters are mortal men. Such were the Le- 
vites. See Sec. 51. 

V. A divine testimony is a sound j^roof. This is 
the witness here intended. 

VI. Christ ever liveth. Melchisedec, as he was a 
type of Christ, is said to live. See Sec. 53. 

Ver. 9, 10.] 



Sec. 55. Of qualifying strange phrases. Heb. vii. 

Ver. 9. A^id, as I may so say, Levi also, ivTio re- 
ceiveth tithes, jMid tithes in Abraham. 

10. For he loas yet in the loins of his father, lohen 
Melchisedec met him. 

In these two verses the apostle maketh a particular 
application of that which he had delivered about Abra- 
ham's inferiority to Levi. This he doth by shewing, 
that what Abraham the father did, Levi also the son 
did. Thus he doth manifest, that what he had said 
of Abraham was not to vilify his person, but to draw 
the mind of the Hebrews from the priesthood of Le^i 
to Christ's priesthood. 

The foresaid point is brought in with a phrase of 
qualification, thus, wg sVoj ihinh, as I may so say. In 
this mollifying clause there are two Greek words, that 
are of the same stem. One, expressed under this verb, 
itvitv, say ; the other implied under this particle, Jroc, 
so. This clause may be thus translated verbatim, as to 
say the ivord, that is, to use the phrase. Thus we see 
that a phrase or sentence which may seem strange is 
to be mollified. To this purpose tend these qualifica- 
tions, ' I speak as a man,' Rom. iii. 5 ; * I speak after 
the manner of men,' Rom. vi. 19 ; 'I speak this by 
permission,' 1 Cor. vii. 6. 

This is a means to prevent misinterpretations, and 
to make that which is spoken to be more fairly and 
candidly taken. 

Sec. 56. Of Levi paying tithes in Abraham. 

Levi is here metonymically put for his sons, who 
are so set down ver. 5, Sec. 37. For Levi himself 
was no priest, nor did he receive tithes, but he was 
their great grandfather. 

Two things are here spoken of Levi, one taken for 
granted, which was that he received tithes ; the other 
expressed and proved, which was that he paid tithes. 

The former was a prerogative and a sign of supe- 
riority. Of it, see ver. 2, Sec. 17, and ver. 4-, Sec. 33. 

The latter is a sign of inferiority. See ver. 4, Sec. 

Against this latter it might be objected that Levi 
was not then born when tenths were paid to Melchise- 
dec. For Abraham met Melchisedec before Ishmael was 
born. Now he was born in the 86th year of Abraham, 
Gen. xvi. 16 ; Isaac was born 14 years after, in the 
100th year of Abraham, Gen. xxi. 5 ; Jacob was born 
in the 60th year of Isaac, Gen. xxv. 26, which was 74 
years after Isbmael's birth. Jacob was above 40 years 
old when he went to his uncle Laban, Gen. xxvi. 34. 
Thus there were 114 years betwixt Ishmael's birth 
and Jacob's going to Laban. How many years more 
there were betwixt Abraham's meeting Melchisedec 
and Ishmael's birth, and again betwixt Jacob's going 
to his uncle and the birth of Levi, is not expressly 
set down. This is certain, that Levi was born many 
more than 100 years betwixt Abraham's paying tenths 

to Melchisedec, and Levi's being in this world.' So 
as it may seem strange that Levi should pay tithes to 

To resolve this doubt, the apostle here expressly 
saith, that Levi paid tithes in Abraham. 

From this answer ariseth another scruple, namely, 
that Christ was in Abraham as well as Levi, so as 
Christ himself should pay tithes by this reason, and 
therein be inferior to Melchisedec. 

Ans. 1. In general it may be replied that Melchi- 
sedec was a type of Christ, and that that which is said 
of Melchisedec and his priesthood, is spoken of him 
as of a type, and that purposely to set forth the great- 
ness and excellency of Christ and his priesthood. 
Wherefore to put Christ into the rank of those who 
are inferior to Melchisedec, is directly to cross the 
main scope of the apostle. 

2. Christ consisted of two natures, divine and 
human. Though therefore he might be reckoned 
among the sons of Abraham in regard of his human 
nature, yet in regard of his person, which consisted of 
both natures, he was superior to Abraham, and greater 
than he. Thus David, whose son according to the 
flesh Christ was, calleth him Lord, in reference to his 
person, Mat. xx. 44. 

3. Though Christ took flesh by ordinary descent 
from Abraham, yet came he not from Abraham by 
ordinary and natural generation. From his mother the 
Virgin Mary he received the substance and matter of 
his flesh, out of which it was raised and formed ; yet, 
having no father, he came not by any natural act of 
generation. Though a mother afford matter for gene- 
ration, yet the active force and virtue of generation 
Cometh from the father. Hence is it that Christ was 
freed from the common contagion of original sin. For 
though he were of Adam, and so of Abraham, by reason 
of the substance of his flesh, yet he was not by Adam, 
or by Abraham. No son of their posterity was the 
procreant cause or begetter of him. Christ therefore 
cannot be said to do in Abraham those things which 
others of his posterity did. 

Sec. 57. Of children's being in their parents' condi- 

In that Levi paid tithes in Abraham, it appears that 
children are in the same common condition that their 
parents are. I say common condition, to exempt such 
particular privileges, as God by his providence may, 
and oft doth confer upon children above their parents. 
These privileges may be outward and inward. 

Outward, in worldly dignities, as Saul and David 
were both advanced above their fathers, in that they 
were made kings. 

Inward, in spiritual graces. Herein Hezekiah and 

' This sentence is confused. The meaning evidently is, 
that many more than 100 years were betwixt Abraham's 
paying tithes to Melchisedec and Levi's being in the world. 




[Chap. VII. 

Josiah were much advanced above their fathers ; so 
are all pious children that arc born of impious fathers. 

The inferiority of Abraham, and, in him, of Levi, 
here mentioned, was a common condition. Kone of 
their sons were exempted from it. Parents are them- 
selves by nature unclean, so are all their children. 
' Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?' Job 
xiv. 4. In this respect Bildad having said that ' man 
is a worm,' addeth, ' and the son of man is a worm,' 
Job XXV. G. As man is, so is a son of man. In this 
respect this jihrase is oft used, ' We are as all our 
fathers were,' 1 Chron. xxix. lo, Ps. xxxix. 12; and 
this, ' I am not better than my fathers,' 1 Kings xix. 4. 

This the Lord so ordcreth, 1. That the same laws, 
and ordinances, instructions and directions, exhorta- 
tions and consolations, promises and threatenings 
might be of force and use to all of all ages. 

2. Tbat none might presume above others. 

8. That none might be too much debased. 

1. This gives a check to their pride, who, for some 
outward privilege, advance themselves above the com- 
mon condition of man, as if they were gods and not 
men, from heaven and not from earth. Such were 
they who said, ' Let us break their bands asunder, 
and cast away their cords from us,' Ps. ii. 3 ; and such 
as said of Christ, * We will not have this man to reign 
over us,' Luke xix. 14 ; Pharaoh was such an one, 
Exod. V. 2; and Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. iii. 15; and 
Haman, Esther iii. 2 ; and Tyrus, Ezek. xxviii. 2. 
Now mark the end of all these. 

2. This puts us in mind to consider what our 
fathers have been, and to what they have been subject, 
and from thence to gather what we are subject unto ; 
to what inferiority, iniirmity, pains, diseases, dis- 
tresses, and other calamities. A heathen man could 
Bay, I am a man, and find myself exempted from no 
human frailty.' W^e can better discern weakness 
and infirmities in others that have been before us, 
than in ourselves. We can speak much of our fathers' 
infirmities, imperfections, troubles, and mortalities ; 
but self-love so blindeth our eyes as we cannot so 
well discern the same things in ourselves. The like 
may be applied to duties. In our fathers we may ob- 
serve what duties we ourselves are bound unto. 

Sec. 58. Of the mcanwcf of the tenth verse. 

Verse 10. In the tenth verse there is a confirma- 
tion and an explanation of Levi's paying tithes in 
Abraham. The causal conjunction yae, for, sheweth 
that this verse is inferred as a confirmation of that 
which went before. 

The argument is taken from that union that is be- 
twixt a father and his posterity. They are all con- 
tained in him, and as one with him, so as what ho 
doth they do. 

The explanation is in this phrase, he was in his 
father's loins. By father is metonymically meant his 
' Homo sum, bumani uiliil a mc alienum scntio. 

great-grandfather Abraham. In a third generation 
Levi descended from Abraham, in which respect he 
was in him. For that which cometh out of one must 
needs be first in him. 

Of this word loins, and of coming out of one's loins, 
see vcr. 5, Sec. 41. 

This adverb of time, tTi, translated yet, sipnifieth for 
the most part a continuance of time, as Heb. xi. 4. 
'Abel yet speaketh,' that is,hestillcontinueth to speak. 

It hath refei'ence also to all distinctions of time, as 
to time present, thus, ' while he yet talked,' Mat. xii. 
46, and to the time to come, John xiv. 30, and to the 
time past. Acts xxi. 28. 

Here, without question, this particle hath reference 
to the time past, and for perspicuity's sake may be 
translated then. He was then in the loins of his 
father, when Melchisedec met him. 

Of Melchisedec' s meeting Abraham, see ver. 1, 
Sec. 8. 

Sec. 59. Of children's doing ivhat their parents do, 
and that in their loins. 

Levi is said to do what Abraham did, because he 
was in Abraham's loins ; so as parents bear in their 
bowels, and represent the persons of all that are to 
come from them. Not only Isaac, who was Abraham's 
immediate son, but also Jacob his son's son, yea, and 
Levi also, the son of his son's son, was (as the apostle 
here saith) in Abraham's loins, and paid tithe to 
Melchisedec. The like may be said of Aaron, who 
was the son of the son's son of Levi. For Kohath was 
Levi's son, Amram. Kohath's son, and Aaron, Amram's 
son, Exod. vi. 10, &e. 

The like may be applied to all succeeding genera- 
tions, which have been, and shall be to the end of the 

God made this promise to Jacob, ' Kings shall 
come out of thy loins,' Gen. xxxv. 11. Yet there 
came not kings from Jacob's stock, not kings of Israel, 
which are especially meant in that promise, for the 
space of six hundred years after that. This is further 
manifested by these metaphors, wherein the extent of 
God's promise was manifested : ' Thy seed shall be 
as the dust of the earth,' Gen. xiii. 10, 'as the stars 
of heaven,' Gen. xv. 5, ' as the sand on the sea-shore,' 
Gen. xxii. 17. Hereby was meant the promised seed, 
out of which the church would sprout ; yet Abraham 
himself had but one son of that seed, and that one son 
had but one other son, and that other many sons, the 
grandchild had but twelve sons ; so as many genera- 
tions, succeeding one after another, were comprised 
under the seed of Abraham. 

God in his eternal counsel hath appointed that such 
and such shall by degrees come from such a stock ; 
and thereupon he accounteth them to be in that very 
stock ; and withal accounteth the things done by that 
stock to be done by all them, or by all that, time after 
time, shall sprout from thence. 

Ver. 11.] 



Hereupon, as a corollary, and just consequence, it 
may be inferred, that children and children's children, 
generation after generation, stand accessory to the 
natural actions of parents. I say natural, because 
actions of grace are more properly the actions of God's 
Spirit than our own. * For it is God (in that case), 
worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good 
pleasure,' Philip, ii. 13. All such graces are the 

* fruit of the Spirit,' Gal. v. 22. 

This action of Levi was an action of man's common 

In regard of God's accounting a man's posterity to 
be in his loins, the threatening against transgressors 
is thus enlarged, ' I will visit the iniquity of the 
fathers upon their children,' Exod. xxxiv. 7. 

Ohj. Promises also of reward, upon that grace that 
is in fathers, is extended unto their children, as well 
as threatening of revenge for sin, Exod, xx. 5, 6. 

Ans. True, but upon a different ground. The 
promise of reward is of mere grace ; but the threaten- 
ing of vengeance is upon desert. 

On the foresaid ground it may well be inferred, that 
all Adam's posterity did eat of the forbidden fruit in 
him. ' Wherefore by one man sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon 
all men, for that all have sinned,' namely in Adam. 

* And by the offence of one, judgment came on all 
men to condemnation,' Rom. v. 12, 18. Herein this 
proverb is verified, ' The fathers have eaten sour 
grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge,' 
Ezek. xviii. 2. 

Ohj, The Jews are blamed for using that pro- 

Ans. 1. They are blamed for putting sin off from 
themselves, as if they had been punished only for their 
fathers' sins ; as they themselves, in their own per- 
sons, guiltless. 

2. The foresaid proverb holdeth not in such as are 
true penitents ; neither their own, nor their fathers' 
sins shall be laid to their charge. 

A double instruction hence ariseth ; one concerning 
children or posterity, the other concerning parents or 

The former, concerning children, is to instruct them 
how far they ought to ascend in examining their 
spiritual estate, and in making their confession of sin to 
God, even to their father and father's fathers, till they 
come to Adam. A due consideration hereof will be an 
especial means to humble our souls the more. For 
when we shall well weigh how to the numberless 
number of our own most heinous actual transgressions 
the sins of our forefathers lie upon our neck, it can- 
not but deeply humble us, especially if we well under- 
stand the heinousness of Adam's first sin, which, if 
well considered in all the circumstances thereof, will 
be found the greatest sin that ever was committed. 
As Levi in Abraham's loins, by giving tithes, testified 
an homage to Melchisedec, so we in Adam's loins, by 

eating the forbidden fruit, testified our homage to 

The latter instruction concerning parents, is that 
they be the more wary and watchful of their actions, 
even for their children and posterity's sake. Because 
they are counted to do those things which themselves 
do. That damage which by our laws extendeth to 
the children and posterity of felons and traitors, re- 
straineth many that have respect to their posterity 
from those transgressions. See more hereof in Domest. 
Dut. treat, vi. sees. G, 7. 

Sec. 60. Of the resolution and observations of Heb. 
vii. 9, 10. 

Ver, 9. And, as I may so say, Levi also, tvho re- 
ceiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. 

10. For he was yet in the loins of his father v)hen 
Melchisedec met him. 

The sum of these two verses is, Levi's paying tithes 
to Abraham. This is, 1, propounded, ver. 9 ; 2, proved, 
ver. 10. 

In the proposition two points are observable : 

1. The manner of bringing it in, thus, As I may so 

2. The matter. This consisteth of two acts : 

1. An act of superiority, which was to receive tithes. 

2. An act of inferiority. Herein is laid down, 

1. The kind of act, he j^aid tithes. 

2. The manner of doing it, iii Abraham. 
In the proof are two points : 

1. The union betwixt parents and children. A son 
is m the loins of his father. 

2. The extent of this union unto succeeding gene- 
rations. This is implied under this phrase, when 
Melchisedec met him. 

I. Strange phrases must he mollified. This phrase, 
as 1 may so say, is a mollifying phrase. Sje Sec. 55. 

11. Priests received tithes. This is here taken for 
granted. See Sec. 56. 

III. Children in their jiarents do things before they 
are born. Levi paid tithes in Abraham before he was 
born. See Sees. 56, 57, 

IV. Difficult and doubtful points are to he explained 
and confirmed. This is the main scope of the tenth 
verse. See Sec. 58, 

V. Children are in their parents' loins. An instance 
hereof is given in Levi. See Sec. 59. 

VI. Belations of children to parents continue gene- 
ration after generation. This description of the time 
of Levi's being in Abraham's loins, even when Mel- 
chisedec met him, proves this point. See Sec. 56. 

Sec. 61. Of the imperfection of the Levitical priest- 

Ver. 11. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical 
jmesthood {for under it the people received the laiv), 
what further need ivas there that another priest should 



[Chap. VII. 

rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not he called 
after the order of Aaron ? 

Hitherto the apostle hath set forth the excellency 
of Christ's priesthood by way of similitudo to Mel- 
chiscdcc's, who was a type of Christ : so as all the 
excellencies typically set out about Melchisedec were 
really and properly found in Christ, the truth. 

Here further the apostle begins to declare the excel- 
lency of Christ's priesthood, by way of dissimilitude 
betwixt it and the Levitical priesthood ; wherein he 
ehcweth how far Christ's priesthood excelled Aaron's. 

The Jews had Aaron's priesthood in high account; 
and so rested on that, as they little or nothing at 
all regarded Christ's. The apostle therefore endea- 
vours to draw their mind from Aaron's priesthood to 
Christ's, which he proveth to be far the more excel- 

The foresaid dissimilitude is exemplified in seven 
particulars. See Sec. 1. 

The first branch of dissimilitude is in the muta- 
bility of Aaron's priesthood, and the immutability of 

From the mutability of the former priesthood, the 
imperfection thereof is infen-ed, which is the first 
point laid down in this verse, and that by way of sup- 
position, thus, if therefore perfection, &c. 

The apostle here taketh it for granted, that perfec- 
tion was not to be had by the Levitical priesthood. 
His argument may be thus framed : 

IF perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, there 
needed no other; but there needed another priesthood, 
therefore perfection was not by the Levitical. 

Thus this conditional conjunction £/', if, is the ground 
of a strong negation. 

The illative conjunction ovv, therefore, hath reference 
to that which he had before produced out of Scrip- 
ture concerning Melchisedec, who had another kind of 
priesthood than the sons of Levi ; and concerning 
Christ, who was the truth typified by Melchisedec, 
and witnessed to be a priest after the order of Mel- 
chisedec. This, therefore, being so, perfection can- 
not be imagined to be by the Levitical priesthood. 

Of the derivation of the Greek word nXiiMSii, 
tmnslated perf ret ion, sec Chap. ii. ver. 10, Sec. 97. 

Here it is taken in the largest latitude of perfec- 
tion, namely, for such a fulness or absoluteness, as 
nothing needs be added thereto. 

The Levitical priesthood was not so full and abso- 
lute ; for the apostle here in this text implieth, that 
there was need of another priesthood. 

The Levitical priesthood was that which the sons 
of Levi, namel}', Aaron and his posterity, executed 
under the law. 

The Greek word 'liounxirfu, translated priesthood, is 
not the very same that was used before, hsanlav, 
ver. 5, };»driv/x.a, 1 Peter ii. 5, 0, but it is derived 
from the same root, and signifieth the same thing. 
Sec Sec. 87. 

The main point here intended is, that the priest- 
hood under the law was imperfect. This is proved 
in this chapter by many arguments which we shall 
note in their due place. Perfection here meant is a 
furnishing of men with all such graces as may make 
them eternally happy. It compriseth under it efl'ec- 
tual vocation, justification, sanctification, yea, and 
glorification. That priesthood could not by true 
grace bring men to glory. In this respect it is said 
that the gifts and sacrifices which those priests ofl'ered 
up, * could not make him that did the service perfect,' 
Ileb. ix. 9. And that • the law can never make the 
comers thereunto perfect,' Heb. x. 1. 

Quest. "Why then was this priesthood ordained ? 

Ans. It was ordained for a means to draw men on 
to Christ. In this respect the law is said to be ' our 
schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,' Gal. iii. 24. 
See Sec. G8. 

This point discovereth sundry dotages. 

1. The dotage of the superstitious Jews, who lift 
up their eyes no higher than to this priesthood, whereon 
they rested and built their faith.' They would not 
be brought to subject themselves to any other. No, 
not when this was actually abrogated, and another 
more perfect actually established in the room of it. 
Herein they perverted the wisdom and goodness of 
God towards them, and the main end which he aimed 
at in appointing the Levitical priesthood, which was 
to lead them, as it were, by the hand to Christ, and 
to afford them some easy steps, in regard of their 
weakness, to ascend upon, and to see Christ the bet- 
ter thereby. The fulness of time when the Messiah 
was to be exhibited, was then to come. God therefore 
afibrded means answerable to their condition, to sup- 
port their faith and sustain their hope. But they 
made those means an occasion to withhold, or to with- 
draw them from Christ. Such an error this was, as 
the apostle saith of them that were seduced therewith, 
' Christ shall profit you nothing,' Gal. v. 2. The 
Levitical priesthood and Christ's priesthood can no 
more stand together than Dagon and the ark of God. 

2. The dotage of Christian Jews, or Jewish Chris- 
tians, who conform themselves to the Jewish cere- 
monies.^ If the forenamed error of them, who never 
made profession of Christ, be so heinous, as was before 
shewed, what may be thought of them who, being in- 
structed in the Christian religion, and thereupon pro- 
fessing Christ, would induce a priesthood contrary to 
Christ's ? For they who bring in Jewish ceremonies 
bring in the Jewish priesthood, under which the 
Jewish ceremonies were first established. Do not 
these cross the main scope of the apostle ? Do they not 
advance the Levitical priesthood against Christ, and 
make Christ's priesthood imperfect ? 

3. The dotage of papists, who do directly establish 
another priesthood, which is neither Jewish nor Chris- 

' Sec T/ic rroqrcKs of Divine Providaice, on Ezek. xxxvi. 11. 
"^ See Chap. iv. 8, Sec. 49. 

Ver. n.] 



tian, nor after the order of Aaron, nor after the order 
of Melchisedec, a monstrous priesthood, such an one 
as never was heard of before. For, 

1. Their priests are no such persons as Melchisedec 

2. Their sacrifice, they say, is unbloody, and yet 
for sin ; but ' without shedding of blood is no remis- 
sion,' Heb. is. 22. 

3. They make their sacrifice to be for the sins of 
quick and dead; yet * after death the judgment,' Heb. 
ix. 27. 

4. They say that their sacrifice is the very flesh 
and blood of Christ ; yet that which Melchisedec 
brought forth was true bread and wine. 

5. The things that they say they offer, are indeed 
mere creatures, yet they call them their creator. 

6. Their priests are not denied to be ci-eatures, yet 
their sacrifice, they say, is their creator. Thus they 
make creatures greater then their creator ; for the 
priest is greater than the sacrifice. 

7. They pretend a priesthood after the order of 
Melchisedec, wherein there is nothing like to Mel- 

But, to let other absurdities pass, if perfection be 
by Christ's priesthood, what further need was there 
that other priests should be established ? Oh abomin- 
able religion, that obtrudes such an unheard of priest- 
hood to the church ! 

Let us learn to use the priesthood of Christ, which 
succeeds the Levitical priesthood, and that whereby 
perfection may be had, so as to trust perfectly there- 
unto. If the Jews might conceive hope, and receive 
comfort by that Levitical priesthood, how much more 
hope, and more comfort, may we by the priesthood of 
Christ ! Such is the dignity of this priest, being God 
and man ; such the worth of his sacrifice, being the 
body of him that was God ; so efficacious the sprinkling 
of his blood, his entering into the holy place, his inter- 
cession with God, as we may safely, securely, and 
confidently trust thereunto. 

Let us do with our Priest, the Lord Jesus, as the 
Jews did with their priests. They brought all their 
sacrifices to them. 

Let us first apply to ourselves Christ's sacrifice. 
This is a true Catholicon, a general remedy for every 
malady. Then let us offer up the sacrifice of a broken 
heart and contrite spirit, the offering of prayer and 
praise, and the oblation of new obedience to Christ. 

Of yielding obedience to the gospel on such a 
ground, see Sec. 68 in the end thereof. 

Sec, 62. Of the meaning of these words, ' for under it 
the jieople received the law.' 

The apostle, before he bringeth in his proof of the 
imperfection of the Levitical priesthood, inserteth 
within a parenthesis, an especial privilege of that 
priesthood, which is thus set down, for under it the 
people received the law. 

This causal conjunction, yag, for, implieth a reason 
of that priesthood, why there was such a function, 
namely, that there might be a means of passing a law 
betwixt God and the people. Of this word \ahg, 
people, see See. 40, and Chap. iv. 9, Sec. 57. 

Here by people are meant the congregation, or 
nation of the children of Israel, for to them in special 
was the law given, Rom. ix. 4. 

This phrase, received the law, is the interpretation 
of one Greek verb, vivo/Mdirriro, which is a compound, 
and that of a verb, rldi^fxi, pono, that signifieth to put, 
Mat. xii. 18 ; to make, Heb. i. 13 ; and to appoint. 
Mat. xxiv. 51 ; and of a noun, i/o^o$, lex, that signifieth 
a law, ver. 6. 

The verb active, v6[j.ok7iu, leges sancio, signifieth 
to make a law, or to appoint, or establish a law. 

The passive, vo[j.okTii(sdai, lege sancitumesse, signifieth 
to be established by law. This very word is used, 
chap, viii. 6, and translated established. The word 
law, included in the Greek compound, is not expressed 
in our English. The Latin, sancitum, there used by 
most interpreters, signifieth to establish by law. So 
much must be understood in our English. 

The foresaid compound passive verb here used in 
my text, is joined with the noun people, to whom the 
law was given, Xahg vsvo/Mod'iryjTo, populus legi suhfectus 
fait. It cannot be word for word rendered in English. 
It is somewhat like to this phrase, d'rodi-/.aToZv rhv 
}.aov, decimare j^opulum, to tithe the p)eop)le. Sec. 40. 
And to this, Ami dsdBxdruTcn, Levi decimatus est, Levi 
ivas tithed. To come the nearest that we can to the 
original, it may be thus rendered. The people had a 
law made, or the people were subjected to the law. 

Our English, which thus translates it, the pieople 
received the law, followeth the vulgar Latin, legem 
accepit, which hitteth the sense of the apostle. 

By law, is here in special meant the ceremonial 
law, which was most proper to that priesthood, and 
which was most especially abrogated by Christ's priest- 

This relative phrase, lit auTrfj, under it, hath refer- 
ence to the Levitical priesthood. 

The force of the reason lieth in the relation between 
a law and priesthood. There cannot pass a law of 
covenant between God and man without a priesthood. 
This is here taken for granted. Yea, further, he 
taketh it for granted, that the law and priesthood are 
answerable one to another ; such as the law is, such 
is the priesthood. 

Sec. 63. Of the necessity of a priesthood to establish a 

An especial point intended by this clause, for under 
it the jyeople received the law, is this ; — 

A priesthood is necessary for estabhshing ordinances 
betwixt God and man. The main end of a priest, is 
to be ' for men in things pertaining to God,' Heb. 
v. 1. In ordinances betwixt God and man, there is 



[Chap. VII. 

a kind of covenant, for which there must bo a kind of 
mediator betwixt God and man. 

There is no proportion betwixt God and man, 
whether we consider the greatness, the brightness, or 
holiness of God. 

Ol)j. Before Aaron there was no priest. 

Ans. The first-born were priests before the law. 
On this ground the Lord saith, * I have taken the 
Levites from among the children of Israel instead of 
all the first-born.' And again he saith to Moses, 
' Take the Levites instead of all the first-born,' Num. 
iii. 12, 45. 

We may from hence infer, that there is a necessity 
of a priesthood in the church. This is as necessary 
as a covenant to pass betwixt God and man, as neces- 
sary as God's favour to be turned to man, and man's 
service accepted of God. 

Our adversaries in the general grant a necessity of 
priesthood, and thereby think they have a great 
advantage against us. They much insult on this, 
that they have such priests as offer up an outward, 
real, propitiatory sacrifice. 

But the truth is, that we have the substance, they 
but a shadow ; we have the truth, they but a conceit 
of their own. We have that priesthood, which the 
apostle here so much commendcth, the priesthood 
which abolished Aaron's, and succeeded in the room 
thereof ; a priesthood of God's own appointing, which 
is everlasting, and perfecteth all that trusteth there- 
unto. Our priest is both God and man, most holy, 
who offered himself up without spot, who actually 
entered into the true holy place, who there abideth 
ever before God the Father, who doth so fully effect 
all things belonging to a priest, as there needeth none 
to succeed him. 

The popish pretended priesthood is indeed no 
priesthood. It was never ordained of God. It is of 
neither of those two orders, which only are mentioned 
in Scripture. Not of Aaron's, for they themselves will 
not say that they descend from him ; nor of Mel- 
chisedec's, for in nothing they agree with him in his 
priesthood. Their priests are no whit better than the 
sons of Levi ; for they are sons of men, sinful, mortal, 
yea, they are far worse than the Levites were, in their 
usurped power, and palpable idolatry. 

Let them glory in their new non-priesthood, and in 
their devilish idolatry, but let us cleave to our ancient, 
true priest, and perfectly trust unto his priesthood, 
under which we the people of God receive all divine 
ordinances needful for, and useful to, the church. 

Sec. GI. Of the meaning of these words, ' ]Vhat 
further need iras there that another priest should rise ?' 

The main force of the apostle's argument, whereby 
he proveth the imperfection of the Levitical priest- 
hood, is thus interrogatively expressed, ll'hot fitrihcr 
nerd tins there, &c. This interrogation intcudeth a 
strong negation. See Chap. i. 5, Sec. 40. 

Of the word y^sla, translated need, see Chap. v. 12, 
Sec. G2. 

An adjective a'/^^iTcg thence derived, and com- 
pounded with the privative preposition, signifieth iin- 
jirofitahle, IMat. xxv. 80, So as that whereof there is 
no need, especially if it hath been in use before, is 
unprofitable ; so the Levitical priesthood. 

The Greek adverb in, translated further, is the very 
same that was translated yet, Sec. 58. Here it hath 
reference to the time, wherein Christ the true priest, 
far more excellent every way than any of the sons of 
Levi, was exhibited. Hereby he gi*anteth, that for- 
merly the Levitical priesthood was needful and useful ; 
but now affirmeth that there was no farther use or 
need thereof. 

The other priest whom here he intendeth, is Christ 
himself, who is expressly said to be ' after the order 
of Melchisedec' Of that order, see Chap. v. 6, 
Sec. 30. 

The verb auGTac&a.i, translated rise, is a compound ; 
the simple verb 'iaryu, signifieth to set or -place. Mat. 
iv. 5 ; the compound to rise, Mat. ix. 9, or to raise, 
Mat. xxii. 24. It is here used in the former sense, 
and fitly translated rise. It implieth a clear mani- 
festation of a thing. Christ was ever. As God, he 
was from ' everlasting to everlasting,' Ps. xc. 2 ; as 
God-man, mediator, and priest, he was shadowed and 
typified in all the priests, that ever were from the 
beginning of the world ; but being incai'nate, he rose, 
as the sun, and by his rising dispelled the clouds and 
shadows of all the types and ceremonies. 

Upon these premises, that Christ was a priest, and 
after another order than the sons of Levi, and raised 
up instead of them to perfect what they could not, the 
imperfection of the legal priesthood is evinced. 

Sec. 65. Of superfluous additions to perfection. 

From the apostle's argument that the Levitical 
priesthood was imperfect, because another was raised 
after it, it may be well inferred, that nothing need be 
added to that which is perfect. Hereby the wise man 
proveth the work of God to be perfect, because ' no- 
thing can bo put to it,' Eccles. iii. 14. The like may 
be said of the word of God ; and thereupon the wise 
man giveth this advice, ' Add thou not unto his words,' 
Prov. XXX. 5, G. 

1. Whatsoever is added to that which is perfect, 
must needs be superfluous, because nothing is wanting 
or defective in that which is perfect. 

2. An addition to that which is perfect is dishonour- 
able, for it seemeth to impeach it of some imperfec- 

Hereby is discovered the boldness, pride, and pre- 
sumption of the Church of Rome, who, of her own idle 
brain, maketh many additions to things most absolute 
and perfect, as to God, Christ, the Holy Ghost, and 
holy ordinances. 

1. To God, who is all-sufficient, they add many 

Ver. 12.] 



idols to help them in their needs, as if God were not 
of himself able to help in all needs. 

2. To Christ, who is in all that he undertaketh, 
willing and able to accomplish it, they add in all his 
offices coadjutors and helps. To his kingly office they 
add a viceroy, a head, a spouse of his church, as if 
he alone could not govern it ; to his prophetical 
office they add a great prophet to coin new articles of 
faith, to turn those which Christ hath established this 
way, or that way, as the pope pleaseth ; to his priest- 
hood they add other priests to offer up, as they say, 
true, real, propitiatory sacrifices for the quick and 
dead ; to his mediation and intercession they add the 
mediation and intercession of all the angels and saints 
in heaven ; to his blood, the milk of the virgin Mary ; 
to his wounds, the wounds of their Saint Francis ; to 
his death, the death of martyrs, among whom they 
reckon many traitors and other notorious malefactors ; 
to his merits, the merits of men's works. 

3. To the Holy Ghost, who likewise is able to effect 
what he undertaketh (only in wisdom, in regard of 
man's weakness, he useth means, which means are but 
bare instrum ents) , they add bishops and priests, to whom 
they give a divine power of breathing in an holy spirit, 
and to the sacraments of working grace by the very act 

4. To the word of God, which is most perfect, they 
add canons of councils, decrees of popes, and sundry 
human traditions. 

5. To the two sacraments, which Christ the wise 
king of his church hath thought sufficient, they add 
five others, namely, orders, penance, confirmation, 
matrimony, and extreme unction. 

Against these, and all other like additions, may the 
apostle's argument be pressed. If God, Christ, the 
Holy Ghost, the word of God, and sacraments be 
perfect, then those additions are vain. But if there 
need such additions, then are not God, Christ, the 
Holy Ghost, the word of God, and sacraments perfect. 
Take notice hereby of the blasphemous positions of 
that whorish church. 

2. Let us learn to testify our acknowledgment of 
God's, and Christ's, and the Spirit's all-sufficiency and 
perfection, by trusting wholly and only on them. The 
like is to be applied to Christ's offices, sacrifice, merits, 
word, and sacraments. 

Sec. 66. Of Christ's priesthood differing from 

The apostle sets down the difference betwixt the 
Levitical priesthood and Christ's both affirmatively, 
thus, after the order ofMelchisedec, and negatively thus, 
and not to he called after the order of Aaron. This he 
doth purposely, to meet with an objection which might 
be made against his former arguments, namely, that a 
succession of one thing after another doth not ne- 
cessarily imply an imperfection in the one, and per- 
fection in the other. For Eleazar succeeded Aaron, 

and so other priests under the law one after another, 
yet the latter were not more perfect than the former. 

Ans. The apostle doth not draw his argument simply 
from the succession of one priest to another, but of 
one priesthood, and that after another order. 

These two orders of Melchisedec and Aaron are the 
only two orders of priesthood that ever were instituted 
in God's church. In this respect the numeration of 
orders here set down is full and perfect. 

The former, after which Christ was, hath been 
proved to be far more excellent than the latter ; see ver. 
4, Sec. 31. 

The latter, after which Christ was not, is styled the 
order of Aaron. Aaron was the first public legal priest ; 
that priesthood was appropriated to him and his seed, 
and the laws concerning that priesthood were first 
given to him, and, in and under him, to his posterity. 
Fitly therefore is that priesthood said to be ' after the 
order of Aaron.' 

This word Xsyeadai, did, called, is not the same 
xaXo-j/xsvog, that was used, Chap. v. 4, Sec. 20, 
about God's deputing one to an office. It properly 
signifieth to he said, chap. iii. 15. For Christ is no- 
where said to be a priest after the order of Aaron ; 
but he is said to be after the order of Melchisedec, 
Ps. ex. 4. Of a negative argument, see Chap. i. 5, 
Sec. 46. 

That then which is here to be especially observed, 
is, that Christ's priesthood is of another kind than 
Levi's was. The apostle proveth this by many argu- 
ments, namely, in that it was after another order, 
under another law, ver. 12 ; by a priest of another 
tribe, ver. 14 ; of greater efficacy, ver. 19 ; having a 
better sacrifice, chap. ix. 23 ; and a more glorious 
place, chap. ix. 24. 

Aaron's priesthood was not sufficient actually and 
effectually to do the things which are to be done by 
that function. It could not cleanse from sin, it could 
not justify, it could not properly sanctify, it could not 
make perfect those which are under it, chap. x. 1, &c. 
Therefore that which doth these things must needs be 
of another kind. 

This teacheth us to be of other minds and other 
manners, not to doat on outward rudiments ; after 
another manner to come to Jesus and to use him than 
the Jews came to their priests and used them. We 
need not now go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, but with 
the eye of faith look to heaven ; we need not bring 
doves, sheep, goats, bulls, but spiritual sacrifices. 
Another priest requireth another kind of disposition 
and conversation. All things are now new ; so must 
we be new creatures, 2 Cor. v. 17. 

Sec. 67. Of the meaninr/ of the ticelfth verse. 

Ver. 12. For the priesthood being changed, there is 
made of necessity a change also of the laiv. 

The twelfth verse is inferred as a consequence upon 
the change of the Levitical priesthood. He proved in 



[Chap. VII. 

the former verse that that priesthood was changed by 
another, which was after another order, and substi- 
tuted in the room of it. Hereupon be inferreth that 
the law also must needs be changed. 

The causal conjunction, y us, fur, is here a note of a 
consequence. The consequence is inferred upon the 
privilege of a priesthood, which was inserted in the 
former verse within a parenthesis. The privilege was 
this : under the Levitical priesthood ' the people re- 
ceived the law,' Thence it foUoweth that upon the 
change of the priesthood the law also must be changed. 

The noun rz'.u>6\jvr,;, b'anslated jJ/tVs^Aoof/, is the same 
that was used before, ver 11, Sec. 61. 

Of this word /jbiTarih/xsir,;, changed, see Chap. vi. 18, 
Sec. 135. Hero it implieth such a change as one 
priesthood is utterly abrogated and nulled, and an- 
other substituted in the room of it. This noun chanrje, 
IMiTuOiaiz, hero significth in eflect as much as the word 
adizr,(Sii, translated (/;sr7»/(!////»/7, doth, vcr. 18. Both 
the words are compounded with the same simple verb 
rlOiiii, but dill'erent prepositions. We may not there- 
fore think that the apostle intends a translation of one 
and the same priesthood from one priest to another 
(though this word be sometimes used for translating 
the same thing from one place to another, chap. xi. 5, 
Acts vii. IG), but rather a taking of it clean away. 

This phrase, i^ diay/.r,g, of nccessitij, implieth that 
it could not be otherwise. 

There is such a mutual dependence of the law and 
priesthood one upon another, as they cannot be sepa- 
rated. They are like Hippocrates's twins, they live to- 
gether and die together. 

By t/i/Mcv, laic, some take the particular ordinances 
about the Levitical priesthood to be meant. But 
surely it here intendeth as much as it did in this 
clause, ' the people received the law,' ver. 11. Now 
the people did not receive such ordinances only as 
concerned the priesthood, but that whole law which 
concerned the whole politj' of the Jews. 

The apostle doth the rather take this occasion of 
demonstrating the abrogation of the law, to draw their 
mind and hearts from it, that they might more firmly 
and stedfastly be set and settled on that law, which is 
established by Christ's priesthood, and that is the 
gospel. This is the principal intendment of this epistle. 

Sec. G8. Of the ahrorjation of the ceremonial law. 

The apostle in these words, tlie priesthood hcinrj 
chatiffed, taketh it for granted that the Levitical priest- 
hood was abrogated ; for this he had proved in the 
former verse. The main point here intended is the 
abrogation of the law, upon which he layeth a neces- 

The Jews were under a threefold law, moral, cere- 
monial, and judicial. 

The ceremonial law is here in particular intended, 
for that especially depended upon the Levitical priest- 

The moral law concerns all the sons of Adam, but 
the two other concern the sons of Abraham. 

The ceremonial law enjoins such services as were 
to be performed to God, and such ceremonies and 
rites as appertained thereunto ; and withal it directed 
priests and people in the use of them. 

This is that law whereof the apostle thus speaks : 
* Thei'e is verily a disannulling of the commandment,' 
ver. 18 ; this is that * law of commandments' which is 
said to be 'abolished' by Christ, Eph. ii. 15 ; this is 
that ' handwriting of ordinances' which is said to be 
' blotted out,' Col. ii. 14. 

Ohj. This is it that is said to be 'a statute for ever,' 
Exod. xxviii. 43, and ' a covenant of salt for ever,' 
Num. xviii. 19. 

Ans. 1. The Hebrew word o^)]}, translated /or ever, 
is sometimes indefinitely put for a long season, the end 
whereof is not known to us, Eccles. xii. 5. 

2. It is put for an unalterable stability so long as 
the date appointed continued. Thus, that which con- 
tinued unalterable till the year of jubilee is said to be 
for ever, Exod. xxi. G. 

3. It is put for the continuance of one's life. Thus 
Samuel is devoted to * abide before the Lord for ever,' 
1 Sam. i. 22. 

4. It is put for the whole time of the polity of the 
Jews. That which was to continue so long as that 
estate lasted is said to be for ever or everlasting. Gen. 
xvii. 8. . 

5. It is put for that which ended in the truth, the 1 
Lord Jesus, and so is said to be for ever, as Solomon's 
throne, 2 Sam. vii. 13. 

In the first and two last respects before mentioned 
may the ceremonial law be said to continue for ever ; 
for it continued a long time, many hundred years, even 
so long as the polity of the Jews lasted, and it ended 
in Christ, the truth of all the legal ceremonies. 

1. In this respect it could not properly continue for 
ever, but must vanish away, because it was the figure 
of a substance, the shadow of a body, and type of a 
truth, to come, Heb. x. 1. Now a figure and type 
ceaseth when the substance and truth is exhibited, end 
a shadow vanisheth away when the body is in place 
and present. Herein lieth a difterence between shadows 
and types on the one side, and signs and sacraments 
on the other side : that the former are of things future, 
the latter of things exhibited and past. The former 
cannot retain their life and vigour together with the 
substance and truth ; the latter may retain their life 
and vigour together with the thing signified. 

2. The ceremonial law was a wall of partition be- 
twixt Jew and Gentile, whereby the Jews were so 
fenced as the Gentiles could not be mixed with them, 
as when beasts of one lord' are so fenced in a pasture 
as other beasts cannot come into their pasture. There- 
fore when Christ came to unite Jew and Gentile, and 
to make of them one, he is said to * break down this 

» Qii. 'herd'?— Ed. 

Ver. 12.] 



stop of partition wall,' Eph. ii. 14. If that law had 
not been abrogated, the Gentiles could not have been 
brought into Christ's fold, as of necessity they must 
be, John x. 16. Till the fulness of time, wherein the 
truth and substance of all the ceremonies and types 
was exhibited and accomplished, that law of ceremonies 
remained in force with the Jews upon these grounds : 

1. The several branches thereof were part of God's 
outward worship. 

2. Thereby they were kept from will-worship. 

3. They were also thereby kept from conforming 
themselves to the Gentiles in their idolatrous services. 

4. They being types and shadows of Christ to come, 
were as a looking-glass to shew unto them that image 
of Christ. 

5. They being many, heavy, burdensome, painful, 
chargeable rites, they made the Jews the more to long 
after Christ. In this respect the apostle saith of this 
law that it was ' our schoolmaster to bring us unto 
Christ,' Gal. iii. 24. For, 

It pointed out Christ under rudiments and cere- 

It forced men to seek help elsewhere, because it 
could not perfect those that came unto it. 

1. This aggravateth those dotages which were 
noted, Sec. 61. 

2. It informs us in God's goodness to us, who are 
reserved to that fulness of time wherein Christ hath 
been exhibited ; for we are freed from that * yoke 
which neither we nor our fathers are able to bear,' 
Acts XV. 10. This is a bondage worse than the 
Egyptian bondage. They that were freed from that 
bondage had many memorials of God's goodness to 
them therein, the more to quicken up their spirits to 
praise God for their deliverance, and to continue the 
memory thereof from generation to generation. 

3. The change of the law is a strong motive to stir 
us up willingly and cheerfully to submit ourselves to 
this law whereinto that is translated ; that is, to the 
law of the gospel, which is estabhshed under Christ's 
priesthood. This law requires not impossibilities, as 
to ascend into heaven, or to descend into the deep, 
Rom. X. 6, 7 ; but it requires faith and repentance, 
Mark i. 15. Faith, to give evidence to the free grace 
of God, who requireth of us but to receive what he 
graciously ofi'ereth ; repentance, to demonstrate the 
purity of God, who, though he freely justify a sinner, 
yet he will not have have him continue in sin. Yea, 
this law of the gospel giveth power and ability to per- 
form what it requireth. If this law, into which the 
other is translated, be thoroughly compared with that, 
we shall find just cause to acknowledge that this is 
' an easy yoke, and a light burden,' Mat. xi. 30, but 
that a yoke and burden that none could bear. Acts 
XV. 10. 

Sec. 69. Of the judicial law of the Jeivs. 

Besides the ceremonial law, the Jews had a judicial 

law, proper and peculiar to that polity. This law con- 
cerned especially their civil estate. Many branches 
of that law appertained to the Jewish priesthood ; as, 
the particular laws about the cities of refuge, whither 
such as slew any unawares fled, and there abode till 
the death of the high priest. Num. xxxv. 25. And 
laws about lepers, which the priest was to judge. Lev. 
xiv. 3. And sundry other cases which the priest was 
to judge of, Deut. xvii. 9. So also the laws of dis- 
tinguishing tribes. Num. xxxvi. 7 ; of reserving inheri- 
tances to special tribes and famihes, of selling them 
to the next of kin, Ruth iv. 4 ; of raising seed to a 
brother that died without issue. Gen. xxxviii. 8, 9 ; 
of all manner of freedoms at the year of jubilee, Lev. 
XXV. 13, &c. 

There were other branches of the judicial law which 
rested upon common equitj^ and were means of keep- 
ing the moral law : as putting to death idolaters and 
such as enticed others thereunto ; and witches, and wil- 
ful murderers, and other notorious malefactors. So 
likewise laws against incest and incestuous marriages ; 
laws of reverencing and obeying superiors and gover- 
nors ; and of dealing justly in borrowing, restoring, 
buying, selling, and all manner of contracts, Exod. 
xxii. 20 ; Deut. xiii. 9 ; Exod. xx. 18 ; Num. xxxv. 
30; Lev. xx. 11, &c., xix. 32, 35. 

The former sort were aboHshed together with the 

The latter remain as good directions to order even 
Christian polities accordingly. 

1. By these kinds of laws the wisdom of God was 
manifested in observing what was fit for the particular 
kind and condition of people ; and in giving them an- 
swerable laws, and yet not tying all nations and 
states thereunto. 

2. That liberty which God aflfordeth to others to 
have laws most agreeable to their own country, so as 
they be not contrary to equity and piety, bindeth them 
more obediently to submit themselves to their own 
wholesome laws, and to keep peace, unity, and amity 
among themselves. 

Sec. 70. Of the moral law. 

The moral law is a general rule for all sorts oi 
people. It was therefore given to Adam and his pos- 
terity ; yea, it was engi'aven in man's heart, Rom. ii. 
15. It is a perfect rule of all righteousness, whereby 
is declared vftai is due to God and man. It is an in- 
violable, unchangeable, and everlasting law ; of per- 
petual use, never to be abrogated. 

This is that law which Christ came ' not to destroy 
but to fulfil,' Mat. V. 17. This is the law which 
' through faith we establish,' Rom. iii. 31. This is 
that law from which * not one jot or one tittle shall 
pass till heaven and earth pass,' Mat. v. 18, 

Yet because through man's corruption it is so far 
from bringing man to life (which was the primary and 
principal end thereof) as it beateth him down into a 



[Chap. VII. 

most woful and cursed estate, it is by Jesus Christ 
(who is the resurrection nud life, John xi. 25), in sun- 
dry circumstances altered, or rather mollified. 

It will be therefore requisite distinctly to declare, 
both wherein that alteratiun or qualilication consist- 
eth, nud also wherein the moral law still remainoth of 
use to Christians. 

It is mollitiod in these circumstances. 

1. In regard of justification, Acts xiii. 39. The 
law was first given to justify the observers thereof; 
but now in regard of man's corruption, that is impos- 
sible, Kom. viii. 3, Gal. iii. 11, God therefore now 
hath appointed another means for that end, which is, 
Christ and faith in him. Acts xiii. 39, Horn. iii. 28. 

2. In regard of the rigour thereof. The law accept- 
eth no duty, but that which is every way alsolute and 
perfect. Thus rL:uch is implied under this phrase, 
' The man which doth these things, shall live by them,' 
Ivom. X. 5. This therefore is the doom of the law, 
' Cursed is every one that contiuueth not in all things 
which are written in the book of the law, to do them,' 
Gal. iii. 10. Yet there is a righteousness (though not 
framed according to this exact rule) which is accepted 
of God. This is the righteousness of faith, whereby 
laying hold on Christ's righteousness to be justified, 
' we exercise ourselves to have always a conscience 
void of oflence towards God and towards man,' Acts 
xxiv. 16. ' For if there be fii'st a willing mind, it is 
accepted according to that a man hath, and not accord- 
ing to that he hath not,' 2 Cor. viii. 12. 

8. In regard of an accidental power, which the law, 
through man's corruption, hath to increase sin, and to 
make it out of measure sinful, Kom. vii. 13. For the 
very forbidding of a sin by the law maketh the corrupt 
heart of man more eagerly pursue it ; as a stub- 
born child'will do a thing the more, because it is for- 
bidden. Heathen, by the light of nature, discerned 
thus much, hereupon they had this proverb, 

Nitimur in vetitum semper, cupimusque negata, 

We are most prone to that which is forbidden, and de- 
sire things denied. There is a secret antipathy and 
contrary disposition in our corrupt nature to God's 
pure law ; but by the Spirit of Christ that antipathy 
is taken away, and another disposition wrought in true 
believers, namely, a true desire, and faithful endea- 
vour to avoid what the law forbiddeth, and to do that 
which it requireth. In this respect, saith the apostle, 
' I delight in the law of God concerning the inward 
man,' Kom. vii, 22. 

4. In regard of the curse of the law. For the law 
peremptorily denounceth a curse against every trans- 
gressor and transgression, Deut. xxvii. 20, Gal", iii. 10. 
The law admits no surety, nor accepts any repent- 

Ihus, 'all men having sinned, come short of the 
glory of God,' Bom. iii. 23. Yet this curse doth not 
light on all ; for ' Christ hath redeemed us from the 

curse of the law, being made a curse for us,' Gal. iii. 
13. In this respect, ' there is no condemnation to 
them that are in Christ Jesus,' Rom. viii. 1. 

Though the moral law be altered in the fore-men- 
tioned respects, yet still it remains to be of use for 
instruction and direction. 

1. For instruction, it demonstrateth these points 
following : 

(1.) What God himself is, Exod. xx. 2. 

(2.) What his holy will is, Ps. xl. 8. 

(3.) What our duty is to God and man. Mat. xxii. 

(4.) What sin is, 1 John iii. 4, Rom. iii. 20. 

(5.) What are the kinds of sin, James ii. 11, Rom. 
vii. 7. 

(G.) What the pravity o^our nature is, Rom. vii. 14. 

(7.) AVhat thesiuinlncss of our livesis, Rom.vii. 19. 

(8.) God's approbation of obedience, Exod. xx.G, 12. 

(9.) God's detestation of transgressors, Exod. xx. 

(10.) The fearful doom of sinners, Gal. iii. 10. 

(11.) Man's disability to keep the law, Rom. viii. 8. 

(12.) The necessity of another means of salvation, 
Rom. iii. 20, 21. 

2. For direction. The law is of use to these points 

(1.) To convince men of sin. 

(2.) To humble them for the same. 

(3.) To work an hatred of sin. 

(4.) To restrain them from it. 

(5.) To work self-denial. 

(6.) To drive men to Christ. 

(7.) To put them on to endeavour after as near a 
conformity to the law as they can. 

(8.) To make them fearful of pulling upon their 
souls a more fearful doom than the curse of the law, 
which is by despising the gospel. 

(9.) To make impenitcnts the more inexcusable. 

(10.) To make believers more thankful for Christ's 
active and passive obedience, whereby as a surety he 
hath done for them what they could not; and endured 
that curse which they deserved, to free them from the 

Sec. 71. Of the rcsohition and observations of Heb. 
vii. 11, 12. 

Yer. 11. If therefore perfection were hy the Lcvi- 
tical 2'>^'icsthood {for under it the peojjie received the 
law), what further need was there that another priest 
shoidd rise after the order of 3Ielchisedec, and not be 
called after the order of Aaron f 

12. i'br the priesthood beinif changed, there is made 
of necessity a change also of the latv. 

The sum of these two verses is a demonstration of 
the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood. 

Thereof are two parts. 

In the first, the point itself is laid down ; in the 
second, a proof thereof. 

Ver. 13, 14.] 



The point itself is a priesthood. This is set out 
two ways. 

1. By the kind of it. 2. By the privilege apper- 
taining to it. 

In setting down the kind of that priesthood, we are 
to observe, 

1. The manner of setting it down, by way of sup- 
position, in this particle if. 

2. The matter whereof it consisteth. This hath 
two branches. 

1. The persons exercising it, the sons of Levi, im- 
plied in this word Levitical. 

2. The imperfection of it, implied in this supposi- 
tion. If perfection, &c. 

The privilege of a priesthood is a relation betwixt it 
and the law: under it the law, &c. 

This is amplified, (1.) By the persons who received 
the law under it, the people. 

(2.) By a consequence following upon it, ver, 12. 

The proof of the point is from the need of another 

Here again we are to observe the manner and the 

The manner of expressing the proof is by an in- 
terrogation. What need, &c. 

The matter is, (1.) Generally propounded in this 
phrase, another priest, &c. 

(2.) Particularly exemplified. 

The exemplification is in two orders. 

The first order is asserted thus, after the order of 

The other order is removed thus, not called after 
the order of Aaron. 

The consequence of the foresaid privilege of a priest- 
hood, being a relation betwixt it and a law, is a change 
of the one with the other. Hereof are two parts. 

One taken for granted. The priesthood being 

The other, an inference made upon that grant, there 
is made a change, &c. 

This is amplified by the necessity of it, of necessity. 

I. A conditional supposition may he the ground of a 
contrary conclusion. This supposition, if perfection, 
&c., is a ground to prove the priesthood imperfect. 
See Sec. 61. 

II. There was a priesthood under the laiv. This is 
here taken for granted. See Sec. 63. 

III. The priests under the law were sons of Levi. 
This word Levitical sets out as much. See Sec. 61. 

IV. The priesthood under the laio loas imperfect. 
This is implied under the consequence inferred upon 
this supposition. If perfection, &c. See Sec. 61. 

V. A priesthood was used for establishing a law. 
This was the reason of this priesthood. See Sec. 

VI. The law established by a priesthood is for people s 
use. For the people received it. See Sec. 63. 

VII. An imperfect priesthood iieeds another. This 
is here taken for granted. Sec Sec. 64. 

VIII. Nothing may be added to that lohich is per- 
fect. This by consequence foUoweth from the apostle's 
argument. See Sec. 65. 

IX. Christ came in the room of Levi. This also is 
here taken for granted. See Sec. 64. 

X. Christ's priesthood is after the order of Melchi- 
sedec. This is expressly affirmed. See Sec. 66. 

XI. Christ loas not after the order of Aaron. This 
also is expressly affirmed. See Sec. 66. 

XII. 27ie legal priesthood is changed. This is here 
presupposed. See Sec. 67. 

XIII. The laio and priest depend each on other. 
This is the force of the consequence here inferred. 
See Sec. 67. 

XIV. A laio cannot stand without a priesthood. 
This phrase, of necessity, intends as much. See 
Sec. 67. 

Sec. 72. Of the meaning of the \2)th verse. 

Ver. 13. For he of uhom these things are spoken per- 
taineth to another tribe, of ivhich no man gave attend- 
ance at the altar. 

14. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of 
Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning 

In these two verses the apostle giveth a proof of this 
main point, that Christ's priesthood was of another 
kind than the Levitical priesthood. His argument 
is drawn from the different tribes, whereof the one„ 
and the other priests were. The grounds of the argu- 
ment resteth upon this, that God restrained the priest- 
hood, under the law, to the tribe of Levi. None of any 
other tribe might be of that priesthood, Num. xviii. 1 , 
&c. Christ therefore being of another tribe, was 
not a priest after that order. The first particle ydo, 
for, intendeth a reason. 

These words, Jp' h Xsysrai, He of ivhom these things 
are spoken, are relative. They have reference to him 
that was the true priest, whom Melchisedec prefigured ; 
and to whom all those excellent things, before men- 
tioned of Melchisedec, as a type, most truly and pro- 
perly appertained. This was Jesus Christ, who in 
the next verse is styled, ' our Lord.' This relative 
description of Christ, giveth good ground to apply 
that priesthood of Melchisedec, and other excellencies 
spoken of him thereabout, to Christ. See ver. 3, Sees. 
25, 26, and ver. 4, Sec. 31. 

Of the meaning of the Greek word iJ.iTi(Syji%iv, trans- 
lated pertaineth, see chap, ii, 14, Sec. 139. Christ 
was pleased to associate himself among the people of 
God, and that so as to be of one of their tribes. 

A tribe, (puXrj, was a company of people that descended 
from a distinct stock. Now Jacob or Israel having 
twelve sons, so many as descended from each of them 
were accounted to make so many tribes, and there- 
upon were called * the twelve tribes of Israel,' Gen. 



[Chap. VII. 

xlix. 28. This word tribe is also by way of resem- 
blance, applied to other divisions, of people in other 
nations, and translated kindred, Rev. v. U, but here 
it is taken in the tirst and proper sense. 

This distributive pronoun, irbag, another, hath 
reference to the tribe of Levi, so as Christ was not of 
that tribe, yet of another. What that other tribe was, 
and why he was of that tribe, see ver. 1-i, Sec. 75. 

This in general giveth evidence of a great conde- 
scension in Christ, who, being one of the glorious 
Trinity in heaven, vouchsafed to be of one of the twelve 
tribes of Israel on earth. 

Of the tribe whereof Christ was, it is said, no vian 
gave atlendance at the altar. 

An altar was that whereon sacrifices were offered 
up. The Hebrew word n2T0, altare, that signifieth 
an altar, is derived from a verb, n3T, sacrificavit, that 
signifieth to sacrifice. The Greek word here used, 
':^-j(!iaa'rr,or^j, is a compound of two nouns, whereof 
one signifieth a sacrifice, the other implieth a place to 
lay that sacrifice upon. Our English word altar is 
taken from the Latin altare, which signifieth a thing 
raised on high,^ or so called because it used to be 
raised up and set in high places. 

This phrase, he rjavc attendance, is the interpreta- 
tion of one compound Greek word, Taoffsff^jj/cs, where- 
of see Chap. ii. 1, Sec. 6. There is shewed that it 
signifieth a serious heeding of a thing, or attending it, 
so as it is here fitly translated (jave attendance; such 
are said, rtioaihibnv, asaidere,"^ to wait at the altar, 
1 Cor. ix. Vd. 

The altar is here metonymically put for the priests 
offering sacrifices thereon, and the services about the 
altar are synecdochically put for all other services ap- 
pertaining to that calUng. 

Where he saith, no man gave attendance, he speaks 
rather of right than of fact ; for Uzziah, of the tribe 
of Judah, gave attendance at the altar of incense, 2 
Chron. xxvi. IG, but without warrant, and against the 
law. He had no right so to do ; he ought not to have 
done it. 

In this last clause one thing is expressed, that none 
of another tribe gave attendance at the altar ; another 
is implied, that the priests who were of the tribe of 
Levi did give attendance at the altar. 

Sec. 73. Of nolintermeddling with things not apper- 
taining to us^ hut attending our oivn husincss. 

From the foresaid point expressed, that none of 
another tribe gave attendance at the altar, we may 
well infer this general, that no man ought to meddle 
with that ofiico which belongs not to him. When 
Christ was desired to decide a controversy betwixt 
brothers about their inheritance, he returned this 
answer, ' Man, who made me a judge, or a divider 

' Altnrc ab adject, alius: quia altis locis excitari solebat. 
- UQiJileiiiit. li(is T»» liltt. Proprio commodo invigilore. 
—Artst. Polit. 

over you?' Luke xii. 13, 14. None could better have 
done it; but because it belonged not to him, he would 
not do it. ' Every fool will be meddling,' Prov. xx. 
3. The apostle calls such ' busy bodies,' and saith 
that they ' walk disorderly,' 1 Thes. iv. 11. Another 
apostle gives Christians to understand that such 
meddling with other men's matters may cause suffer- 
ing, but such suffering as a Christian can have no 
comfort in, and therefore adviseth that ' none suffer 
as a busy body,' 1 Pet. iv. 15. * The wisdom of the 
prudent is to understand his' way,' Prov. xiv. 8, and, 
' The just man walketh in his integrity,' Prov. xx. 7. 
In these and other like places this relative his implieth 
that which in special appertaincth to him. Express 
in this case is this charge, '.Let every man abide in 
the same calling wherein ho was called,' 1 Cor. vii. 
20. This is the way to bring quietness to a man ; 
thereupon saith the apostle, ' Study to be quiet, and 
to do your own busmess,' 1 Thes. iv. IL Well weigh 
the direction which the Baptist giveth to those that 
inquired of him what they should do, and you shall 
find that it tends to this, to have an eye to the par- 
ticular duties of their several callings, Luke iii. 10, &c. 
See sundry grounds of the equity of this point in 
The Whole Armour of God, on Eph. vi. 14, treat, ii. 
part i. sec. 4. 

Do they swerve from this ruled case who, being of 
other callings, give attendance at the pulpit? and 
such as, being ministers, give attendance at shops, 
farms, and other like places? so they who attend upon 
trades, wherein they were never trained up, nor have 
any skill ? Many, Absalom-like, pretend to do great 
matters if they were in such and such places, 2 Sam. 
XV. 4, when they are most unfit so to do, and do the 
contrary. From that which is taken for granted, that 
they who are of the tribe of Levi gave attendance at 
the altar, it followeth that the duties which belong to 
our particular places must be carefully performed; 
we must be diligent and faithful therein. So were 
two of those servants whom the Lord entrusted with 
talents, Mat. xxv. IG, 17. So were other servants of 
God guided by his Spirit ; and among others, Moses, 
and Christ himself. Chap. iii. 2. 

Those two encouragements, which are of most force 
to quicken any hereunto, are both propounded in the 
parable of the talents — the Lord's gracious approba- 
tion and bountiful remuneration. Mat. xxv. 21. 

It is observable that God frequently manifested 
some extraordinary evidence of his special favour to 
his servants while they were emploj'ed in their pai*- 
ticular callings. The Lord tirst appeared unto Moses 
to make known unto him his purpose of advancing 
him to be a governor over his people, while he was 
keeping the sheep of his father-in-law, Exod. iii. 1, 
&c., for this was his particular calling. Thus EHshu 
was first called to be a prophet while he was ploughing, 
1 Kings xix. 19. The good tidings that old Zacharias 
should have a sou, was brought to him while he gave 

Ver. 13, 14.J 



attendance at the altar, Luke i. 11. The first blessed 
tidings of our Saviour's birth was brought to shep- 
herds while they were keeping their flocks, Luke ii. 8, 
&c. Many like instances might be given of God's ap- 
probation of men's diligence and faithfulness in their 
particular callings. 

Of diligence in our undertakings, see Chap. iv. 11, 
Sees. 63, 61, and Chap. vi. 11, Sec. 79. 

By way of resemblance I may further infer, that as 
they of the tribe of Judah had nothing to do with the 
ordinances proper to the tribe of Levi, so we Chris- 
tians, with the altar and ordinances proper to the 
Jews ; we are another people, and have another priest- 
hood. We have the gospel and ordinances proper 
thereto; upon those we must give attendance. As 
they had an altar whereof we had no right to eat, so 
we have an altar whereof they have no right to eat, 
Heb. xiii. 10. 

Sec. 74. Of Christ our Lord. 

The fourth verse is added both as another argument 
to prove that Christ was not a priest after the order 
of Aaron (because he was of the tribe of Judah), and 
also as a confirmation of the former argument, that he 
was of another tribe ; because he was of the tribe of 
Judah, which was another than the tribe of Levi. The 
causal conjunction, ya^, shews that it is added as a 

The adjective v^oByjXov, translated evident, is a com- 
pound ; properly, it signifieth before-manifest, or ma- 
nifest beforehand. So it is translated 1 Tim. v. 24, 
25 ; but here the preposition addeth emphasis. The 
simple noun, d^Xov, signifieth manifest, 1 Cor. xv. 27 ; 
sundry compounds, h.hrfkog, 2 Tim. iii. 9, -/.ara- 
hrikciv, Heb. vii. 15, very manifest, which emphasis 
our English implieth under this word evident. Hereby 
he gives us to wit that it was most clear and unques- 
tionable truth. 

This title, our Lord, hath reference to Christ. 
Lord setteth out his supreme sovereignty, dignity, and 
dominion. Hereof see Chap. i. 10, Sec. 128. 

This relative, our, hath special reference to the 
church, and to the several members thereof. So was 
the penman of this epistle, and they to whom he 
directed it. 

Christ, then, is in special the Lord of the church. 
In this sense do the apostles use this correlative our, 
joined with Lord, in their salutations. Gal. i. 3, 2 
Pet. i. 2 ; in their gratulations, Eph. i. 3, 1 Pet. i. 3; 
in their benedictions, Rom. xvi. 24, 2 Cor. xiii. 13; 
and on sundry other occasions. Yea, many times 
believers do appropriate this relation to themselves in 
the singular number; thus, My Lord, Ps. ex. 1, John 
XX. 28. 

This being taken of Christ, as he is the mediator 
betwixt God and man, belongeth unto him sundry 
ways; as, 

1. By God's ordination ; for God himself saith of 

this his Son, * I have set my King upon my holy hill 
of Zion,' Ps. ii. 6. And an apostle saith, ' God gave 
him to be the head over all things to the church,' 
Eph. i. 22. 

2. By that redemption which Christ hath made of 
his church. He that redeemeth any out of bondage, 
is in that respect their lord, Exod. xx. 2. Therefore 
these two titles. Lord, Redeemer, are oft joined toge- 
ther, Isa. xliii. 14, and xliv. 24. 

3. By a mutual compact and covenant betwixt Christ 
and his church, as it was of old betwixt God and 
Israel. God avouched Israel to be his peculiar people, 
and Israel avouched the Lord to be their God, Deut. 
xxvi. 17, 18. This was oft foretold by the prophets, 
Jer. xxxi. 33, Hosea ii. 23, Zech. xiii. 9. This the 
apostle testifieth to be accomplished in the Christian 
church, Heb. viii. 10. Christ in and by the gospel 
and sacraments offereth himself to be our Lord ; and 
we take him so to be by subjecting ourselves to his 

4. By the laws and ordinances which Christ hath 
given to his church. It is the part of a lord to give 
laws, and he is their lord in special to whom he giveth 
his laws. But God's word, wherein his laws are con- 
tained, is in a peculiar manner given to his church, 
Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20. In this respect the church is 
styled 'the pillar and ground of truth,' 1 Tim. iii. 15. 

5. By a special care which he taketh of his church. 
He doth good ' unto all men, especially unto them 
who are of the household of faith.' He is ' the Saviour 
of all men, specially of those that believe,' 1 Tim.iv.lO. 

This special relation doth most of all bind those 
who profess themselves to be of the church, carefully 
to perform all duties which belong to Christ as a Lord, 
and with strong confidence to rest on him as their 
Lord, both for provision of all things needful, and for 
protection from all things hurtful. 

Sec. 75. Of God's performing promise. 

Of the fore-mentioned Lord, it is here said that he 
sprany out of Judah. The vei'b avariXkoi, exorior, 
translated sprang, is for the most part in the New 
Testament used to set out the rising of the sun, as 
Mat. xiii. 6, James i. 11. A noun, avaroXyj, oriens, 
thence derived, signifieth the east, whence the sun 
ariseth, Mat. ii. 2. Where a prophet resembleth 
Christ to the sun, and speaketh of the rising of the 
sun, Mai. iv. 1, the LXX render it with this word in 
my text dvanXsi rfkio;. In reference hereunto it may be 
here thus translated, our Lord rose. Many expositors 
thus take it in this place. Others are of opinion that 
the apostle in using this word hath reference to that 
title, which in the Old Testament is oft given to Christ, 
and translated branch, Isa. iv. 2, Jer. xxiii. 5, Zech. 
vi. 12. The foresaid LXX do in all those places trans- 
late that Hebrew word TXCi'i, germen, which signifieth 
a branch, by the Greek word dvaroXri, which is derived 
from the verb here used. In this sense Judah is here 



[Chap. VIL 

respmbled to a stock, and Christtooneof the branches 
that sprang out of that stock. In this sense our Eng- 
lish translateth the verb dvareTuXxi, sjiraiifj. Ilereb}' 
it is evidenced that Christ was a ti"ue man, a Son of 
man, man of man. 

Judah is hero motonymically put for the tribe of 

Express mention is made of this tribe of Jndah, 

1. To make the argument more clear ; for the tribe 
of Judah ^Yas another tribe than the tribe of Levi. 

2. To shew that Christ was a royal Priest ; for the 
royalty of a kingdom appertained to that tribe by virtue 
of Jacob's blessing, Gen. xlix. 10 ; and of God's pro- 
mise made to David of that tribe, 2 Sam. vii. IG, Ps. 
Ixxviii. G8, 70, &c. 

8. To bring to their mind and memory the promise 
made to that tribe, and that under the Ibre-mcutioncd 
metaphor of a lii(iucli,l?s. Ixxx.l5, Isa. xi. 1, Zcch. iii. 8. 

It is more than probable that the apostle had refer- 
ence to that promise in using this phrase spraiKj out of 
Judah, and we may well from thence infer, that God is 
faithful in performing his promises. For this particu- 
lar promise of Christ being a branch, brings to our 
mind that first promise made to man after his fall 
concerning the seed of the woman, Gen. iii. 15, which 
being accomplished, what question can be made of any 
other promise ? That was the first and foundation of 
all other promises. ' All the promises of God in 
Christ are yea, and in him amen,' 2 Cor. i. 20 ; that 
is, they are all ratified and accomplished in Christ. 
God, in accomplishing his promises, is called fa it lij'ul, 
Heb. X. 23 ; and true, Rom. iii. 4. 

All promises made by God are made on good 
counsel, so as he will never repent thereof ; they make 
much to the honour of his name, so as no doubt may 
be made of his accomplishing thereof. 

1. Most heinous is the sin of infidelity, which 
questioncth a matter so infallible. See hereof Chap. 
Ti. 13, Sec. 100, and ver. 18, Sec. 143. 

2. It will be our wisdom to search after God's 
promises, and then for strengthening of our faith in 
them, seriously to consider the faithfulness of him 
who maketh the promises. If a man whom we judge 
fiiithful make us a promise, we rely much upon it, 
yet many things may intervene, which may make that 
man to iiiil ; but nothing can make the faith of God 
to fail. 

Sec. 7G. Of God's wan-ant for God's irorship. 

The apostle's proof that they who were of the tribe 
of Judah, had nothing to do about Aaron's priesthood, 
is taken from Moses's silence thereabout, thus expressed, 
oftcliich tribe Moses spake nothing concerning tlic priest- 

The preposition translated of, especially as it is here 
joined with the accusative case, t/j 951', most properly 
signifioth to. Ijut the sense will hold the same, whe- 
ther we translate it of or to. 

Of Moses, see Chap. iii. 2, Sec. 87. 

God used Moses to reveal and make known to his 
people in that time whatsoever he would have them 
to know, so as that which Moses did not speak and 
make known to them, was not taken to be the mind or 
will of God. The force then of the argument resteth 
on this, that by Moses speaking nothing about the 
priesthood to be of the tribe of Judah, it appeared that 
it was not the Lord's mind that any of the tribe of 
Judah should be of the priesthood. 

Though this be a negative argument, yet it being 
concerning the worship of God, it is a sound concluding 

1. In that Moses spake nothing of it, it appears 
that God would not have it to be so. For whatsoever 
God would have to be done by his people at that time, 
he revealed to Moses, for him to make it known to them. 

2. In that God declared nothing of his mind therein, 
it followeth that God would not have them that were of 
the tribe of Judah to be then his priests. God hath 
not left articles of faith, or parts of his divine wor- 
ship, to man's invention and discretion. He then 
made known whatsoever he would have his church then 
believe and practise about his worship. "What since 
that time, he would have his church to believe or 
practise thereabouts, since that time he hath by his 
prophets and apostles made known to his church, and 
caused to be registered in the sacred Scripture. 

Thus we see that everything wherein and whereby 
God is worshipped, must have an express waiTant 
from God's word. ' In vain they do worship God, 
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,' 
Mat. XV. 9. It is the main scope of the second com- 
mandment to have our warrant from God to worship him. 

1. No man can tell how God will be worshipped, or 
how therein they may please God. 

2. Man's heart is very foolish, addicted to outward 
toys, as is evident by all manner of superstitions which 
are man's inventions. 

1. I may use this apostolical argument against that 
mass of popish inventions wherein and whereby they 
worship God, and I may say, nor Moses, nor anv' other 
penmau of Scripture, spake anything concerning such 
a kind of worshipping God. Therefore no good 
Christian is to join with them therein. What prophet 
or apostle ever spake anything of worshipping God 
before images, or in an unknown tongue, or in numeral 
prayers, or through the mediation of saints or angels, 
or by offering the sacrifice of the mass, or by adoring 
relics, or by crossing themselves, or by sprinkling 
of holy water, or by other sacraments than baptism 
and the Lord's supper, or by pilgrimages, or by going 
barefoot, or by wearing shirts of hair, or by forbearing 
flesh, or by vowing perpetual continency, voluntary 
poverty, regular obedience, or tying themselves to 
nunneries, friaries, abbeys, and such like places of 
retirement, or by making themselves hermits and 
anchorites, or by visiting the holy land, or doing other 

Ver. 13-15.] 



like human "inventions. These and thousands more, 
which they pretend to be matters of great devotion, 
and parts of God's worship, are nowhere spoken of 
in God's word, therefore no more acceptable to God 
than Uzziah's offering incense, 2 Chron. xxvi. 19. 

2. Let us learn to search God's word concerning 
matters of his worship, and what we find prescribed 
therein, in faith perform, but let us take heed of all 
mere human inventions. A man can have no com- 
fort in anything concerning God's worship, of which 
God's word speaketh nothing. 

Sec. 77. Of maVing points more and more clear. 

In the fifteenth verse there is another argument to 
prove that Christ's priesthood was not after the order 
of Aaron's. 

The former argument was taken from the different 
tribes whereof Christ and Aaron were. See Sec. 72. 

This, from the different order of Christ's and 
Aaron's priesthood. 

This first clause, and it is yet far more evident, 
sheweth that another argument is here produced. Of 
the former argument, he said, It is evident, ver. 1. 
Of this, it is yet far more evident. 

Of the Greek adjective translated evident, see ver. 
14, Sec. 71. 

Of this emphatical comparison, far more, see Chap, 
ii. 1, Sec. 5, and Chap. vi. 17, Sec. 131. The word 
intendeth an extension of the point to which it is 
applied. It is interpreted according to the matter in 
hand, as, ynore' earnest, Chap. ii. 1 ; more abundantly. 
Chap. vi. 17 ; far more, in this text. 

Of this adverb yet, see ver. 10, Sec. 5S, and ver. 
11, Sec. 64. Here it hath reference to a former evi- 
dence, and it implieth that the point in hand had by 
the former argument been made clear, and that by 
this argument so much more evidence was added as 
made it more clear. 

This heaping up of these emphatical words, evident, 
far more evident, yet far more evident, do demonstrate 
that weighty points are to be made more and more 
clear. Argument is to be added to argument, and 
the latter argument more clear than the former. 
Thus did this apostle in setting out the deity of Christ, 
see Chap. i. 5, Sec. 63, and ver. 6, Sec. 77. The 
like he doth about the vigour of faith, Heb. xi. 1, 2, 

This is useful both in regard of men's understand- 
ing and judgment, and also in regard of their heart 
and affection. 

1. Many proofs, the latter being clearer, are of the 
more force to enlighten men's minds, and convince 
their judgments of the truth and equity of a point. 
They are as many lights brought into a room, which, 
by their number, make everything seem more clearly. 
By one argument men may be brought to say, it is 
evident, but by many, it is far more evident. 

2. The heart and affection is much more easily 
Vol. II. 

wrought upon, when the judgment is more clearly en- 
lightened and thoroughly convinced. The under- 
standing is a guide to the other faculties of the soul. 
The light thereof discovers all starting-holes ; but if 
the judgment be not well informed and thoroughly 
convinced of the truth and equity of that which is de- 
livered, the most pithy exhortations and powerful 
persuasions will be but as water poured upon a stone. 
Some that have been vehement and earnest in their 
exhortations, persuasions, yea, and denunciations of 
judgments, extending their voice, clapping their hands, 
beating the desk with their fist, stamping with their 
feet, and sweating in their whole body, have yet little 
moved their auditory. One reason may be want of 
convincing their judgments. When this is once done 
the heart will soon be wrought upon. While ministers 
are, in a doctrinal way, clearing the points they have 
in hand, and soundly proving the truth and equity of 
them, by argument upon argument, the hearts of 
hearers are oft wrought upon before the preacher 
Cometh to his application. Then one word of ex- 
hortation or reprehension may more prevail than 
thousands without such a preparative. 

See. 78. Of the meaning of these icords, ' For that 
after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another 

The Greek conjunction u, translated for that, is 
conditional. Most usually and properly it signifieth, 
and is translated, if. But it is also used as a causal 
conjunction, and made the ground or cause of that 
which is said or done, as where it is said, * If we this 
day be examined,' Acts iv. 9, the meaning is, because 
we are examined. So here, for that, or because. 
Where the apostle speaketh of Christ's priesthood in 
reference to Melchisedec, six times he useth this word 
rdt,iv, order, four times before this place, namely, 
Chap. V. 6, 10, Chap. vi. 20, and ver. 11 of this 
chapter; and twice afterwards, namely, ver. 17, 21. 
But here he useth the word o/MtoryiTa, similitude, or 

Of the derivation of the Greek word, see Chap. iv. 
15, Sec. 90. 

These two words, order and similitude, explain each 

The former sheweth that the priesthood whereof 
he speaketh is a warranted priesthood, appointed, and 
set every way most decently. 

The latter sheweth that all the excellencies spoken 
of Melchisedec appertain to Christ ; see ver. 3, Sec. 

As Christ was after the order of Melchisedec, so in 
all the excellencies of Melchisedec he was like him ; 
yea, he was the truth and substance of them all. 
This likeness of Christ to Melchisedec was as the 
likeness of a body to the shadow. Christ was not only 
like Melchisedec in surpassing excellencies, but also 
he was a true priest, after that very order. 



[Chap. VII. 

Of tho Greek verb aviararai, exoritur, translated 
arisrtli, sec ver. 11, Sec. G4. 

The present tense, ariseth, here used, implicth a 
present and continual being of Christ's priesthood, 
after the abolishing of the Levitical priesthood ; for 
under this phrase, t^iv; eVjso:, aiiuther priest, tho 
Lord Jesus is intended. 

This adjective another, is used by way of distinc- 
tion from Aaron. So much is plainly expressed iu 
the latter end of the eleventh verse, thus, ' that 
another priest should rise after the order of Mclchisedec, 
and not be called after the order of Aaron.' Christ 
in person was another than Melchisodec ; yet in ofhco 
he was after his order. But he was another than 
Aaron in person, iu order, in office, in efficacy, and 
sundry other ways. 

That Christ's priesthood was of another kind than 
Aaron's, is shewed, ver. 11, Sec. GO. 

That Christ was like Melchisedcc in all his excellen- 
cies is manifested, Chap. v. G, Sec. 30, Chap. vii. 3, 
Sec. 24. 

Sec. 70. 0/ the resolution and observation q/Heb. 
vii. 13-15. 

Ver. 13. For he of whom these things are spoken 
pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave 
attendance at the altar. 

14. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of 
Judah ; of ivhich tribe Moses spake nothing concerning 
the priesthood. 

15. And it is yet far more evident : for that after 
the similitude of Mtlchisedec there ariseth another pjricst. 

In these three verses it is proved that Christ's 
priesthood was not after the order of Aaron. The 
proofs are two. 

The first proof is taken from the distinction of 
tribes. This is, 

1. Propounded, ver, 13; 2, confirmed, ver. 14. 

In the proposition there is, 

1. A description of Christ by a reference to things 
before mentioned, thus, he of idiom these things are 

2. An expression of the argument, wherein we have, 

1. The kind of proof, he jjcrtaineth to another 

2. The gi'ound thereof. Here, 

1. One thing is expressed, of which no man gave 
attendance, itc. 

2. Another is implied, that they of the tribe of Levi 
gave attendance at tlie altar. 

In the confirmation two points are to be observed : 

1. The manner of bringing it in, it is evident. 

2. The matter whereof it consisteth. Hereof are 
two parts : 

1. An exemplification of tho tribe whence Christ 
epranp. Here arc distinctly noted : 

1. The stock, Judah; 2, the branch, our Lord ; 
3, his manner of coming fi'om thence, he sprang. 

2. A manifestation of the reason why they of Judah 
attended not at the altar. 

The reason is taken from Moses's silence there- 
abouts, he spake nvtJting about that matter. 

The second proof is taken from distinction of orders. 

Here note, 1. The manner of bringing iu the proof. 
It is yet far more erident. 

2. Tlie matter of the proof ; which is, 

1. Generally expressed, there ariseth another priest. 

2. Particularly exemplified, after the similitude of 


I. The excellencies spoken of Melchisedec belong to 
Chrid. The things before spoken were excellencies 
of Melchisedec. Uut here it is said concerning Christ, 
he of whom these things are spoken. See Sec. 72. 

II. Christ ivas of one of tlie tribes of Israel. This 
is here taken for granted. See Sec. 72. 

III. None ought to intermeddle with others' function. 
They who are of another tribe, might not meddle with 
the function that belonged to Levi. See Sec. 73. 

IV. Our oion calling is to he attended upon. This 
phrase, gave attendance, implies as much. See Sec. 

V. Proofs must be clear. This I gather from the 
apostle's premising this phrase, it is evident. See 
Sec. 74. 

VI. Christ is a Lord. This very title is here given 
to him. See Sec. 74. 

VII. Christ is in special the Lord of the church. 
This is implied under this relative, our. See Sec. 

VIII. Christ was man of man. As a branch he 
sprang out of a human stock. See Sec. 75. 

IX. Christ tvas of the tribe cf Judah. This is 
plainly expressed. See Sec. 75. 

X. What about God's worship is not revealed from 
God, ought not to be done thereabout. Because Moses 
spake nothing of the tribe of Judah concerning the 
priesthood, therefore none of Judah was to meddle 
with those duties of God's worship. See Sec. 7G. 

XL \Yeighty points must be made more and more 
clear. Thus much is intended under this phrase, and 
it is here far more evident. See Sec. 77. 

XII. Christ is another priest than Aai-on was. 
This relative, another, is spoken of Christ as dis- 
tinguished from Aaron. See Sec. 78. 

XIII. Christ is like to Melchisedec. He is here 
said to be after his similitude. See Sec, 78. 

Sec. 80. Of the meaning of these tcords, ' Who is 
made not after the laiu of a carnal commandment,' 
Hub. vii. 16. 

Ver. IG. Who is made not after the law of a carnal 
commandment, hut after the jjower of an endless 

The first proof of the imperfection of the Levitical 
priesthood was taken from the mutability thereof. See 

Ver. 16.] 



Ter. 11, Sec. 61. A second proof is taken from the 
weakness of that priesthood, which was supphed by 
the powerful efficacy of Christ's priesthood. These 
two points are handled, vers. 16-19. 

This relative phrase, o; ysyoi/s, u-lio is made, hath 
reference to Jesus Christ, that other priest mentioned 
in the end of the former verse. 

He is said to be made, in that he was appointed 
and deputed to his function. See Chap. v. 5, Sec. 
14, in the end. 

The more to commend Christ's priesthood, the 
apostle removeth from it such things as appertained 
to the Levitical priesthood, but were far before this 
other priesthood, therefore he saith negatively, nol 
after the law, &c. 

The noun 'JofMov, translated laio, is derived from a 
verb, n'MM, distrihuo, that signifieth to give, or to dis- 
tribute, or to govern, for a law sheweth what is one's 
own, or what belongs to him. And by it men are 

The other noun, ivroXri, translated commandment, 
cometh from a verb, lv-sAXofj,ai, mando, that signifieth 
to command, John sv. 14, and it implieth a declara- 
tion of his will, who hath power and authority to com- 

See a distinction betwixt law and commandment, 
ver. 5, Sec. 38. 

Law is a more general and comprehensive word 
than commandment. 

It is indefinitely used for all, or any, of those things 
which were by God given in charge to his people. 

Commandment is here restrained to such ordinances 
as concerned the Levitical priesthood. It is metony- 
mically put for the things commanded or enjoined 
thereabouts. Though those things were man}^ and 
delivered at sundry times, yet the singular number, 
commandment, is used to shew : 

1. That they were in general all of one kind. 

2. That they were all alike carnal. 

3. That they all lived and died together. 

This epithet, (Sapxixog, carnal, is derived from a 
noun, eocp^, caro, that signifieth flesh, 1 Pet. i. 24. 
It is therefore translated y/es/t/(/, 1 Pet. ii. 11. 

In the New Testament it is applied three several 

1. By way of commendation. Thus it signifieth 
that which is soft and pliable, as ' fleshly tables of the 
heart,' 2 Cor. iii. 3. There is a little difi"erence in the 
Greek word, aa^xhaig, translated fleshly, but it cometh 
from the same root the other doth. 

2. By way of detestation, and that in four respects, 
as when it sets out, 

(1.) Man's natural corruption, Rom. vii. 14. 
(2.) A childish disposition, 1 Cor. iii. 3. 
(3.) A politic and crafty intention, 2 Cor. i. 12. 
(4.) A puffing humour, making men rest on weak 
means, 2 Cor. x. 4. 

3. By way of diminution. Thus the goods of this 

world, in opposition to spiritual gifts and graces, are 
called carnal, Rom. xv. 27, 1 Cor. ix. 11. 

Carnal things are much inferior to spiritual. 

Thus this epithet carnal is here used. For as the 
goods of this world are not in themselves evil, but, 
compared with spiritual graces, very mean, small or 
no account to be put upon them, so the legal com- 
mandment about Aaron's priesthood was not evil in 
itself, but compared to the spiritual excellencies of 
Christ's priesthood, very mean, of no esteem, no way 
to come into competition with them. 

Thus is the foresaid commandment called carnal, by 
way of diminution. 

In the New Testament, carnal is oft opposed to 
spiiilual, Rom. vii. 14, and xv. 27, and 1 Cor. iii. 1. 
If therefore we take a view of the transcendent excel- 
lency of that which is spiritual, we shall the better 
discern the diminution of this epithet carnal. 

That which is spiritual is, 

1. Internal, in the spirit and soul of man. 

2. Divine, wrought by the Spirit of God. 

3. Heavenly, coming from above. 

4. Firm and stable, that cannot be removed. 

5. Durable and perpetual, that never vanisheth. 
In opposition hereunto things styled carnal are, 

1. External, concerning the outward man. 

2. Human, wrought by man. 

3. Earthy, of things here below. 

4. Alterable, which may be changed. 

5. Momentary, which lasteth but for a time. 

In all these respects was the foresaid command- 
ment carnal. 

Sec. 81. Of the ceremonial law as a carnal com- 

The foresaid epithet given to the commandment 
whereby the Levitical priesthood was established, shew- 
eth plainly, that the Jews' religion was but a carnal 
religion, consisting of outward, earthy, alterable, mo- 
mentary matters, made with men's hands. The mean- 
ness thei'eof is further manifest by other epithets, as, 

1. That it was flesh, Gal. iii. 3. Flesh implieth 
a greater diminution than carnal. It sheweth that it 
consisted of a putrefying matter. 

2. The Jews then are said to be in bondage under 
elements, Gal. iv. 3. Those ordinances are styled 
elements, in that they were the horn-book (as we 
speak), or ABC, in comparison of the deep mys- 
teries which are i-evealed and learned by the gospel. 
Under them men are said to be in bondage, in that 
they were as children, or schoolboys, kept under a 
mean and strait discipline. 

3. Those elements are called iceak and beggarly 
Gal. iv. 9, in that they had nothing in them that 
could make them thrive in grace, and be rich in God. 

4. They are styled shadows, Col. ii. 17, which of 
themselves have no substance, but carry only a show 
and appearance of a body. 



[Chap. VII. 

Take a view of the particulars comprised under the 
foresaid coniniandmeut, and you shall find it to bo 
such a commaudment as hath been set forth. Some 
of the particuh\rs are these ; — 

The tabernacle, made of linen, stufls, skins, and 
boards ; the ark mercy-seat, cherubims, table and 
candlestick, made of gold ; the incense and oil made 
of spices, and shew- bread made of Hour, the altars 
and layers made of brass ; the high-priest's robes, and 
other priests' garments ; were not these, and the 
other like to these, external, earthy, alterable? Their 
8acrifices, were they not of beasts and birds ? See 
ver. 11, Sec. Gl. 

Ohj. Excellent ends of the ceremonial law are 
set down, ver. 12, Sec. G8. How then can this com- 
mandment bo carnal '? 

Ans. It may be considered two ways : 1, simply ; 
2, comparatively. 

The simple consideration admits also a distinction. 

1. The ceremonial law being instituted by God, as 
the outward part of his worship, and prescribing 
types of Christ the truth, may be accounted spiritual 
and divine ; and thus it was had in high account 
amongst saints, till all things typified thereby were 
accomplished in Christ. 

2. That law consisting of external matters specified 
before, those external things, separated from Christ, 
the divine and spiritual truth, was but carnal. In 
this respect the Lord saith, * I will take no bullock 
out of thy house,' &c., Ps. 1. 9; and to the Lord 
it is said, ' Sacrifice and oflering thou didst not de- 
sire,' &c., Ps. xl. 6. 

Comparatively, and that in opposition to the gospel, 
it was indeed a carnal commandment, especially as 
it was used for justification and salvation, through the 
observing of it, whether joined with Christ or ex- 
cluding Christ. 

Sec. 82. Of men s carnal disposition in ivo) shipping 

That which hath been said of the carnal command- 
ment, discovereth the carnal disposition of sons of 
men. As most Jews, before and after Christ, doated 
upon the ceremonial law as it was carnal, so the 
Gentiles in all ages had a kind of worship, but merely 
carnal, in external, earthly ordinances. Yea, many 
Gentiles, converted by the gospel to the Christian 
faith, much doated upon carnal ordinances, (Jal. iii. 
1, &c. Cast your eyes throughout the world, and 
take notice of the worship of several nations, and 
you shall find it to be a carnal worship. 

Papists exceed herein. Their religion is merely 
carnal. It consistcth in outward rites : as in erect- 
ing curious images and manifold altars, in array- 
ing priests with glorious copes, in j^ompous proces- 
sions, in melodious music, in abundance of tapers, 
in sprinkling water, in magical crossings, in nume- 

ral prayers, in mimical gestures, and a thousand 

These are carnal in tlieir kind and use. 

1. In their kind. They are outward, and mere 
inventions of man. 

2. In their use. They arc all in an unknown 
tongue ; yet their whole service consisteth herein. 
Fitly is that church resembled to a woman upon a 
scarlet-coloured beast, arrayed in purple, &c.. Rev. 
xvii. 3. This is that glorious religion which is so 
much admired and followed in the world. 

If the extent of this epithet carnal be duly weighed, 
many professors of the true reformed religion will be 
found to be of carnal dispositions, in that they con- 
tent themselves with a carnal serving of God, and 
observing Christian ordinances carnally. For how- 
soever the ordinances that ^we use, as assembling 
together to worship God, prayers, thanksgiving, read- 
ing, expounding and preaching the word and hearing 
the same, administering and partaking of the sacra- 
ments, be ordinances warranted by the gospel, and 
so spiritual and excellent in their kind as never 
better to be expected while the world stands ; yet as 
men content themselves with a mere outward per- 
forming of them they are made carnal, and prove to 
be but ' bodily exercises which profit little,' 1 Tim. 
iv. 8. 

Sec. 83. Of the mean in ft of these irords, ' But after 
the power of an endless life.' 

This clause, hut after the power of an endless life, is 
added in opposition to that which was said of the 
carnal commandment, as is evident by this conjunc- 
tion of opposition, aXh.a, but. 

This last clause is spoken of Christ's priesthood ; 
that is it which was ' after the power of an endless 

He calleth the word whereby Christ was made 
priest d-Jva/jLig, power, in that Christ's priesthood had 
a virtue, efficacy, and power, to eflect, and that to the 
full, all the things for which it was ordained : as to 
cleanse from sin, to reconcile to God, to justify our 
persons, to sanctify us throughout, and eternally to 
save us. 

These ends of Christ's priesthood are comprised 
under this word ^w55b, life, so as that which the 
apostle saith of the gospel, Rom. i. IG, may be here 
fitly applied to Christ's priesthood, * It is the power 
of God unto salvation ;' it is a divine power ; a 
power that can and will eflect what it undertaketh. 

The Greek epithet axaraX-jrou, translated endless, 
is a double compound. The simple verb, Xvoo, solvo, 
signifioth to loose, John i. 27. The first compound 
xara'Kvo, destruo, signifioth to destroy, Acts vi. 14. This 
double compound axaraXurou being with a privative 
preposition, a, signifioth that which cannot be dis- 
solved or destroyed, but ever remaineth the same; and 
in that respect is fitly translated endless. 


Ver. 17, 18.] 



This epithet is here used in distinction from or 
opposition to our body, which is thus described, ' our 
earthly house of this tabernacle,' whereof it is said 
that it may be ' dissolved,' 2 Cor. v. 1. 

Here are three distinct points, wherein the excel- 
lency of Christ's priesthood is commended, and 
whereby a supply is made of those things which the 
Levitical priesthood could not do. 

1. That it was a priesthood of power. In which 
respect it is said of this priest, ' He is able to save 
them to the uttermost that come unto God by him,' 
ver. 25. Thus may we safely and securely rest upon him. 

2. Christ's priesthood brings to life. His power 
tends to this, even to save, ver. 25. 

3. The life which Christ brings men unto is indis- 
solvable. In this respect it is styled ' an inheritance 
incorruptible [afdaorov) and that fadeth not away 
{aiMaoavTov), 1 Peter i. 4, and a crown of glory that 
fadeth not away,' aiJ.a^a\tTmv 1 Peter v. 4. The latter 
epithet thus translated, that fadeth not atoay, is the 
name of a flower called amarantus, which is said to 
continue fresh and flourishing winter and summer. 
The word amarantus, according to the Greek notation, 
signifieth that which fadeth not.^ A crown or gar- 
land made of such flowers was counted a not fading 
crown or garland. 

The foresaid benefit and efi'ect of Christ's priest- 
hood is a strong motive to make us patiently endure 
the changes and alterations of this life. They are but 
for a time. After a little enduring, we shall come to 
a settled and immutable estate. 'Our light afiiiction, 
which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more 
exceeding and eternal weight of glory,' 2 Cor. iv. 

This also is a great encouragement against death 
itself. Sooner or later ' our earthly house of this 
tabernacle shall be dissolved ;' but then we have a 
building that cannot be dissolved, 2 Cor. v. 1. 

Sec. 84. Of the meaning of the 11th verse. 

Ver. 17. For he testifeth, Thou art a priest for ever, 
after the order of Melchisedec. 

This verse is added as a proof of that everlasting 
power, virtue, and efficacy of Christ's priesthood, which 
is asserted in the latter part of the former verse. 

To make the proof to be the more heeded, the 
apostle premiseth the ground of his proof, which is a 
divine testimony. He sets it down indefinitely thus, 
H,aoT\j^iT, he testifieth, meaning the Holy Ghost ; for 
the testimony is expressly set down in sacred Scrip- 
ture, concerning which the apostle useth this phrase, 
the Holy Ghost saith, chap. iii. 7. 

The confirmation, being taken out of sacred Scrip - 

' 'A^ajavroj, flos est qiii non marcescit. — Plin. 'A/xa^avr,v^i 
ari(pa.toi, coronaj quse fiunt ex amaranto. Amarautum corunis 
solebant adhibere. 

Ut quum contexunt amarantis alba puellffi 
lAVi\z,.—Tibull. lib. iii. El. 4. 

ture, is demonstrated to be a very sound one. Chap. i. 
5, Sec. 46. 

Of the manner of quoting it, without naming author, 
book, chapter, and verse, and of the emphasis of this 
word testifieth, see Chap. ii. 6, Sees. 50, 51. 

The apostle's argument, to prove the perpetual 
efficacy of Christ's priesthood, is taken from the kind 
of priesthood after which Christ was. 

Herein two branches make much to the proof of the 
point : 

One is the excellency of Christ's priesthood, which 
was after the order of Melchisedec, and thereupon con- 
sisted not of such carnal things as Aaron's priesthood 
did. See ver. 4, Sec. 31, and ver. 11, Sec. G6. 

The other is the perpetuity of Christ's priesthood, 
expressed in this phrase for ever. By this means it 
hath a power to make us partakers of an endless life. 
See ver. 3, Sec. 26. 

Of a further opening of this description of Christ's 
priesthood, see Chap. v. 6, Sec. 28, &c. 

Sec. 85. Of the meaning of the ISth verse. 
Ver. 18. For there is verily a disannulling of the 
commandment going before, for the iveakness and un- 
profitableness thereof. 

This verse is inferred as % consequence following 
upon the establishing of Christ's priesthood. This 
causal conjunction, ya^, for, doth sometimes point at 
a consequence, as ver. 12, Sec. 67. 

The consequence is a disannulling of the former car- 
nal commandment, for two opposite laws cannot stand 
together. Gal. v. 2-4. 

To add the more force to this consequence, he in- 
serteth this adverb of asseveration, /xiv, verily. See 
ver. 5, Sec. 37. 

That which before, ver. 12, Sec. 67, was termed 
/MirddKr/;, a change, is here styled a^sryjir/;, a dis- 
annulling. .Disannulling implieth a plain abrogation 
and clean taking away of a thing. 

How far the commandment here intended is dis- 
annulled, see ver. 12, Sec. 68. 

This phrase, TDoa'/ovffric, going before, is the inter- 
pretation of one compound particle, and properly 
translated according to the true meaning thereof. _ 

The commandment concerning the Levitical priest- 
hood is here said to go before in reference to Christ's 

The Levitical priesthood was a type of Christ's ; 
therefore the commandment concerning that must 
needs, even in time, go before this, for this succeeded 
that, to accomplish what that could not. 

Weakness and unprofitableness imply two reasons 
of disannulling the foresaid commandment. 

Of the derivation of the Greek word to ackng, trans- 
lated weakness, see Chap. iv. 15, Sec. 89. The word 
there used is a substantive, and this an adjective, but 
both from the same root ; and this adjective, being of 
the neuter gender, is as a substantive. 



[Chap. VII. 

The weakness here spoken of consisted in this, that 
that law was utterly unable hy itself, and by strict ob- 
servance of the rites thereof, to do that which was 
needful to he done, namely, to make the observers per- 

This word is translated impotent, and applied to him 
that was born a cripple. Acts iv. 9. It is also trans- 
lated, according to the composition of it, without 
streiKjth, and applied to a natural man's condition, 
Rom. V. G. In this respect the ordinances of this 
law are called iirtilc elements, Gal. iv. 5). 

The other word a'/w^sXs;, translated unprofitable, is 
also a compound, and an adjective used as a sub- 

The simple verb dj^tXiu), signifieth to profit, Rom. 
ii. 25 ; from thence an adjective upiXi/iog, signifying 
profitahle, 1 Tim. iv, 8. 

This compound with a privative preposition, a, hath 
the force of a negative. So it is used, Titus iii. 9. It 
implieth that though a man be zealous of the law, and 
take much pains, and be at great cost thereabouts, yet 
he shall get nothing thereby, but lose all his pains and 
costs : all will be in vain. Therefore these two 
epithets are joined together, avoi^EXs/^ xa/ (idraioi, nn- 
projitahle and rain, Titus iii. 9. The apostle found 
this true by experience ; for after he had set forth his 
zeal about the law, and declared how blameless he 
was, touching the righteousness which is in the law, 
he addfth, ' What things were gain to me, those I 
counted loss and dung,' Philip, iii. G-8. 

The negative is frequently used of such things as 
are here called unprofitable. Thus, ' meats which have 
rot profited them v.hicli have been occupied therein,' 
Heb. xiii. 9 ; * bodily exercise' (that is, external per- 
formances of duties of piety) * profiteth little,' 1 Tim. 
iv. 8 ; ' the flesh profiteth nothing,' John vi. 63 ; 
that is, an external apprehension and observation of 
things spiritually meant. 

These two epithets, iccalnicss and unprofitableness, 
do much aggravate the folly of those who doat on 
carnal ordinances, which cannot be but weak and un- 
profitable ; and when men have spent themselves 
thereupon, if thev look ' on the labour that they have 
laboured to do, they will behold all to Le vanity and 
vexation of spirit,' as the wise man complaineth of the 
works that he had wrought, Eccles. ii. 11. 

These fools arc set down in their ranks, Sec. 82. 

Sec. 8G. Of the meaninrj of these words, '■for the law 
made nothivg perfect' 

Ver. 19. For the laiv made nothinff perfect, hut the 
bringing in of a better hope did ; hy the which we draw 
nigh unto God. 

In this verse an evidence is given of the weakness 
and unprofitableness of the Levitical law, which is 
this, that o'jhiv eri7.iic>jS':v, it made nothing perfect. What 
is meant by perfection hath been shewed, ver. 11, Sec. 
61. If we put the apostle's argument into a sjllo- 

gistical form, the point intended by the apostle will 
appear to be most clear, thus : 

That law which makes nothing perfect is weak and 
unprofitable ; 

But the law of the Levitical priesthood makes 
nothing perfect; therefore it is weak and unprofitable. 

The force of the argument lieth in this, that it is 
the end of a law to make those to whom it belongeth 
perfect. Now that law which cannot eflfect that which 
is the main end thereof, must needs be weak and un- 

To make perfect, so as is here intended, namely, to 
work and accomplish all those graces that may bring 
men to glory, is above the power of any external thing 
done by man. To work such perfection of grace as 
may bring to perfect glory is a divine work, and cannot 
be effected but by a divine power, even the power of God 

He here useth a word of the neuter gender, ohhh, 
nothing, as being most fit to set forth an universality ; 
but he intendeth thereby men's persons, as if he had 
said no man. Thus the neuter gender is used to set 
out persons. Job vi. 37-iO. ' All (Tav) that the Father 
giveth me,' and ' every one (era;) which seeth the Son.' 

Upon that which hath been said of the weakness 
and unprofitableness of the law of the Levitical priest- 
hood, and upon the foresaid ground hereof, the posi- 
tion of papists about sacraments conferring grace, ex 
opere operato, by the work done, appeareth to be false 
and heretical. The sacraments which the Jews had, 
are comprised under that law. In regard of the ex- 
ternal work, What have the sacraments of the New 
Testament more than the sacraments of the Old ? 
They are all institutions and ordinances of God, and 
external parts of his worship, and appointed in general 
to the same ends ; namely, to keep men in obedience, 
to strengthen their faith, and testify their repentance. 
They all have the same spiritual object and thing signi- 
fied. The Jews in their sacraments ' did eat the same 
spiritual meat, and drink the same spiritual drink,' 1 
Cor. x. 3, 4. The dillerence was in the manner of 
setting out Christ, the thing signified. They were 
types of Christ to come, and set him out more ob- 
scurely ; ours are memorials of Christ exhibited, and 
set him out more clearly. In that power which they 
give to sacraments, they make them plain idols, for 
they attribute to them that which is proper to God. 
To make perfect is to regenerate, justify, and sanctify 
men ; but all these are the work of God, John i. 13 ; 
Isa. Iii. 11 ; Rom. i. 4. 

Sec. 87. Of Christ's bringing in a better hope. 

To shew that though the law could not make per- 
fect, yet God left not his church without all hope of 
being made perfect, the apostle declaroth a means that 
can do it. This he bringoth in by the conjunction of 
opposition, 6'-, bid ; and that to amplify the power of 
this means, which could do that that the law could not. 

Ver. 19.] 



The means is thus set down, the bringing in of a 
better liojoe. 

The Greek word l^siffayuyr}, translated bringing in, 
is a double compound. The simple verb, dycj, duco, 
signifieth to bring, Mat. xxi. 2. The simple compound 
iiGuyu, induco, to bring in, Luke xiv. 21. The double 
compound i-s/adyoj, sitperindnco, to superinduce, or to 
bring in upon another. There is a double emphasis 
in this word, bringing in. 

1. In that the abstract or substantive is used. He 
doth not say, ' it doth bring in a better hope,' or, ' is 
the bringer in thereof,' but, ' the bringing in,' which 
implieth that Christ's priesthood doth this, and that 
nothing but Christ's priesthood can do it. 

This work is appropriated to this office. 

2. In that a double compound word is used. The 
Grecians use this double compound for such things as 
are brought in from another place, over and above that 
which is at home, or in their own country ; as wines, 
oranges, spices, and other such commodities, as are 
not in our own countries, but brought to us out of 
other countries. 

This word then implieth that Christ is such a 
bringer of a better hope, as cometh from another order 
and kind of priesthood than Levi's. 

Fitly is this word here used, to shew that the power- 
ful means here spoken of is brought upon the disannul- 
ling of the former, to efiect that which the former 
could not. This emphatical word is found only in 
this place of the New Testament. 

That which is here said to be so brought in, is 
stj'led, -/.osiTTuv sX'Tric, a better hope. 

Hope is here metonymically put for the cause of 
that hope, which was the priesthood of Christ. This 
he styleth hope in a double respect. 

1. In reference to the time wherein David made 
known the excellency of this priesthood. Then it was 
to come, and hoped for. 

2. In reference to that perfection which is, and 
shall be, effected by Christ's priesthood. This is to us, 
while here we live, to come, and hoped for. For 
heaven, where all things are made perfect, is the hope 
of believers. See Chap. vi. 18, Sec, 118. 

Of hope, see Chap. iii. 6, Sec. 62. 

Under this phrase, the bringing in of hope, Christ's 
priesthood is comprised, for that is the ground of hope. 
The law proving bankrupt, man's hope was gone. As 
when a supposed able man, having undertaken to do 
some great work, as to erect a college or hospital, 
faileth in his estate, or ability to accompUsh that work, 
men's hope of having it eflected faileth. But Christ's 
priesthood being established in the room of the Levi- 
tical priesthood, another and surer ground of hope is 
given. Thus is Christ's priesthood ' the bringing in 
of a better hope.' 

The foresaid hope is called belter in two respects. 

One in regard of the matter, or things hoped for. 
By the Levitical priesthood nothing could be hoped 

for but legal purifications, outward privileges, and 
earthly inheritances. Such blessings as are promised, 
Lev. xxvi. 4, &c., Deut. xxviii. 1, &c. But by Christ's 
priesthood all manner of spiritual graces here, and 
eternal glory hereafter, are hoped for. 

The other in regard of the manner of revealing the 
spiritual and heavenly things hoped for, namely, more 
immediately, more perspicuously, more efficaciously 
than under the law. 

It cannot be denied, but that all true saints, even 
under the law, had the hope of the spiritual and 
eternal things here intended. For ' Jesus Christ is 
the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,' Heb. 
xiii. 8 ; and that both in regard of God's promise, 
which is as sure as the performance itself, and also in 
regard of the efficacy of all that Christ did and endured 
for man's redemption, which was as effectual to purge 
Adam's sins as it shall be to purge the sins of the 
last man that shall be purged. 

Under the law Christ was the bringing in of a better 
hope, because the promise which was made of him, 
made them to hope for better things than the law 
could afibrd unto them. 

Thus Abraham, and all the holy patriarchs, pro- 
phets, and saints under the law, ' looked for a city 
whose builder and maker is God ; ' they ' desired a 
better country, that is, an heavenly,' Heb. xi. 10-16. 
This better hope was grounded on Christ, who was 
promised unto them, and confirmed in the legal rites. 
But now under the gospel, Christ hath actually per- 
ibrmed all things that were promised and foretold 
under the law ; and by the revelation of Christ in the 
gospel, the whole counsel of God is most clearly and 
perspicuously opened. So as now ' we all with open 
face behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord,' 2 
Cor. iii. 18. As the hope which we have by Christ's 
priesthood is better, so the covenant and testament 
ratified thereby, and promises depending thereon, and 
sacrifices appertaining thereto, all better, ver. 22, chap, 
viii. 6, and ix. 23 ; Hereupon Christ's blood is said 
to ' speak better things,' chap. xii. 21; and God is said 
to have ' provided some better things for us,' chap. 
xi. 40. 

The principal point here intended is, that by Christ's 
priesthood is efiected to the full, what could not be 
effected by the Levitical priesthood. Oft doth the 
apostle observe this point ; for where he noteth a defect 
in that priesthood, he sheweth a supply in this, as 
here in this text, and vers. 16, 23, 24, 27, 28, and 
chap. ix. 9, &c. This was long observed before by 
David, Ps. xl. 6-8. 

This gives a demonstration both of the excellency, 
and also of the necessity, of Christ's priesthood. 

The excellency thereof appears in this, that it doth 
that which no other priesthood before it could do. 

The necessity is this, that that which must needs 
be done to bring man to happiness, was done thereby 
to the full. 



[Chap. VII. 

Sec. 88. Of the privilege of Christ's priesthood, 
whereby we draw near to Hod. 

Au efl'oct and proof of the foresaid bringing in of a 
better Lope, is added as au especial privilege of Christ's 

This relative, hi rig, by the xvhich, may have reference 
to this word, i'^ncayuyri, tlie bringing in, or to the 
word, iXmdog, hope. They are all of the same gender, 
number, and person. 

The former reference sheweth that Christ's priest- 
hood is the ground of our access to God. 

The latter, that our hope, resting thereupon, puts 
us on to draw nigh to God. 

Both references tend to the same end. For Christ's 
priesthood is the ground of our drawing nigh to God, 
because we hope thereon ; and our hope makes us go 
to God, because it is fixed on Christ's priesthood. 
To say that we are justified in the blood of Christ, 
and to say we are justified hj faith in the blood of 
Christ, intends one and the same thing. 

This verb, syyi'C^ofiiv, ti> draic nigh, is in Greek derived 
from an adverb, iyyvg, prope, that signifieth nigh, or 
7icar, Mat. xxiv. 32, 33. 

It is applied to times, Mat. xxi. 34 ; to things, 
Luke xxi. 20, 28 ; and to persons, Luke xxii. 47. 
It is opposed to far of, Mat. xv. 8. Hence this usual 
phrase, far and near, Esther ix. 20. 

Among persons it is applied to God in reference to 
men, and to men in reference to God, James iv. 8. 
God draweth nigh to us by giving unto us evidences 
of his favour, especially when he hcareth our prayers. 
We draw nigh to God by hearty prayer and praise, 
by attending upon his word, by partaking of his sacra- 
ments, by a due observation of his sacred ordinances, 
by holy meditation, and by all manner of pious de- 

In our drawing nigh to God, and God's drawing 
nigh to us, consisteth our communion with God, which 
is an high privilege and a great prerogative, especially 
if we duly consider the infinite distance betwixt God 
and man ; and that both in regard of God's surpass- 
ing majesty, and excellency, and our meanness and 
baseness ; and also in regard of his infinite holiness, 
and our vile sinfulness. 

This privilege we have by virtue of Christ's priest- 
hood. Christ doth not only appear before God as our 
priest for us, but also * maketh us priests unto God,' 
Rev. i. G, that we ourselves may draw nigh to God. 
It was not so under the law. Only the high priest 
might go into the most holy place, and draw nigh to 
the mercy-seat; yet that not at all times. Lev. xvi. 2, 
but once a year, Heb. ix 7. As for the people, they 
stood without, Luke i. 10. It is Christ that, by his 
priesthood, halh procured this liberty for us to draw 
nigh to God. 

Let us therefore go boldly to the throne of grace. 
See Chap. iv. IG, Sees. G2, G3. 

Sec. 89. Of the resolution of Heb. vii. lG-19. 
Ver. IG. Who is made, not after the law of a carnal 
commandment, but after the j)Ower of an endless life, 

17. For he testijidh, Thou art a priest for ever, after 
the order of Melchisedec. 

18. For there is verily a disannulling of tlie com- 
mandment going before, for the weakness and unprofit- 
ableness thereof. 

19. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bring- 
ing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh 
unto God. 

In these four verses the pre-eminency of Christ's 
priesthood above the Levitical priesthood is proved. 
Hereof are two parts : 

1. The insufficiency of the Levitical priesthood. 

2. The all-sufficiency of Christ's priesthood. 

These two are so opposed, as wherein the insuffi- 
ciency of the former is manifested, the sufficiency of 
the latter is demonstrated ; and that to shew, that by 

. this latter a supply is made of whatsoever is wanting 
in the former. 

The insufficiency of the Levitical priesthood is proved 
by three arguments ; and the all-sufticiency of Christ's 
by as many. 

The first argument to prove the former point is 
taken from the law after which it was made. It was 
a laiu of a carnal commandment. 

The latter point is proved, 

1. Generally, by denying it to»be after that law, not 
after, &c. 

2. By affirming another law, which is styled the 
poicer. This is both illustrated and confirmed. 

The illustration is taken from the end of it, life, 
and amplified by the continuance of it, endless. 

The confirmation is from a divine testimony, ver. 17. 

This is, 1. Generally hinted thus, for he testifeth. 

2. Particulai'ly exemplified. Tliou art a priest, kc. 
Hereof see Chap. v. G, Sec. 31. 

The second argument to prove the insufficiency of 
the Levitical priesthood is taken from the abrogation 
of it. This is, 

1. Expressed thus. There is verily a disannidling 
of the commandment. 

2. Confirmed by two epithets ; which are, 

(1.) Expressed in these words, weakness and un- 

(2.) Confirmed by failing in the main end thereof, 
which was to make perfect, the law made nothing per- 

Another argument to prove the sufliciency of Christ's 
priesthood is taken from the abihty thereof to do 
what the other priesthood could not. 

This is, 

1. Generally intimated in this particle of opposi- 
tion, but. 

2. Particularly expressed ; and that two ways, 
(1.) By a description of Christ's priesthood. 
(2.) By a dcclai'ation of a privilege thereof. 

Vee. 20-22.] 



Christ's priesthood is described, 

1. By substituting it in the room of the other priest- 
hood, implied under this word, bringing in; and ampli- 
fied by the object thereof, a letter hope. 

The privilege is access to God, by the which we 
draw near to God. 

Sec. 90. Of observations raised out of Heb. vii. 

I. Christ was ordained a priest. This is comprised 
under this jDhrase, who is made. See Sec. 80, 

II. Christ was not such a priest as the Levitical 
priests were. This is the intent of this negative, not 
after the law. See Sec. 80. 

III. The Levitical priesthood had a law for it. This 
is taken for granted in this phrase, after the law. 
See Sec. 80. 

IV. The ordinances about the Levitical priesthood 
were carnal. The commandment, which is here said 
to be carnal, comprised those ordinances under it. 
See Sec. 81. 

V. Christ' s priesthood was loith power . This phrase, 
after the poiver, being meant of Christ's priesthood, 
intendeth as much. See Sec. 83. 

VI. The end of Christ's priesthood was life ; even 
to bring men to life. It is therefore styled, the 
poiver of life. See Sec. 83. 

VII. The life ivhich Christ brings is everlasting. 
This epithet, endless, intends so much. See Sec, 83. 

VIII. A divine testimony is a sufficient proof. 
See Sec. 84. 

IX. Christ is a priest after the most excellent order ; 
even after the order of Melchisedec. See Sec. 84. 

[Of other doctrines arising out of this testimony. 
See Chap. v. 6, Sec. 32.] 

X. The laio about the Levitical 'priesthood is abro- 
gated. This is here affirmed with a note of assevera- 
tion. For there is verily, &c. See Sec. 85. 

XI. The ceremonial law ivas weak. 

XII. The ceremonial law was unprofitable. 

These two are expressly affirmed to be so. See 
Sec. 85. 

XIII. No 2^erfection can be attained by the laic. 
This is expressly affirmed. See Sec. 86. 

XIV. Christ's priesthood succeeded in the room of the 
Levitical priesthood. The emphasis of this word, the 
brivging in, imports thus much. See Sec. 87. 

XV. CJirist's priesthood is the ground of hope. 
Therefore it is said to be the bringing in of hope. See 
Sec. 87. 

XVI. Hope of Christians is better than the hope of 
the Jews icas. This comparative, better, intends as 
much. See. Sec. 87. 

XVII. We may draw nigh to God. This is here 
taken for granted. See Sec. 88. 

XVIII. Christ's priesthood is the means of our draw- 
ing nigh to God. This phrase, by the which, hath 
reference to Christ's priesthood. See Sec. 88, 

Sec. 91. Of the meaning of ver. 21. 
Ver. 20. A}id inasmuch as not without an oath he 
was made priest : 

21. [For those priests were made without an oath; 
hut this ivith an oath, by him that said unto him, The 
Lord sware, and tvill not repent, Thou art a p)riest fur 
ever, after the order of Melchisedec :) 

22. By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better 

A third argument to prove the excellency of Christ's 
priesthood above the Levitical, see Sec. 1, is taken 
from the different manner of instituting the one and 
the other. Christ's institution was more solemn than 
the Levites'. Theirs without an oath, Christ's with 
an oath. 

The argument may be thus framed. 

That priesthood which is established by an oath is 
more excellent than that which is without an oath ; 

But Christ's priesthood is with an oath, and theirs 
without, therefore, &c. 

The proposition is implied by the inference of the 
22d verse on the 20th, for the 21st verse is included 
in a parenthesis. 

Both parts of the assumption are expressly set 
down in verse 21. 

The copulative conjunction kui, and, joineth argu- 
ments, and sheweth that this is another argument to 
prove the point in hand. 

This relative phrase, xa&"6<!ov, inasmuch, hath refer- 
ence to the first clause of the 22d verse, which is a 
correlative ; and both may be thus joined together, 
inasmuch, by so much. ' Inasmuch as not without an 
oath, by so much is Jesus,' &c. 

These two negatives, ov, not, %coc/g, without, in- 
tend a strong affirmation. See Chap. iv. 13, Sec. 76. 

It is here taken for granted that Christ was most 
solemnly instituted a priest, even by an oath, the 
oath of God himself; which is the greatest and most 
solemn manner of institution that can be. 
God's oath importeth two things. 

1. An infallible certainty of that which he sweareth. 
See Chap. vi. 18, Sec. 140. 

2. A solemn authority and dignity conferred upon 
that which he instituted by oath. 

Great and weighty matters of much concernment 
use to be established by oath. Hereby it appeareth, 
that Christ's priesthood is a matter of great moment, 
and of much concernment. This will appear the more 
evident, if we consider the person who was priest, the 
ends why he undertook the function, and the benefits 
which accrue from thence. 

1. The person was the greatest that could be, ver. 
28, Chap. i. 3, therefore he is fitly called, * a great 
High Priest,' Chap. iv. 14. 

2. The ends of Christ's priesthood were very weighty, 
and that in reference to God and man. 

To God, for manifestation of his perfect justice, 
infinite mercy, almighty power, unsearchable wisdom. 



[Chap. VIT. 

and other divine attributes, which never were, nor 
ever can be so nianiftsted, as in and by Christ's priest- 

To man, that God's wrath mi^^ht be averted, his 
favour procured, man's sin purged, ho freed from all 
evil, and brought to eternal happiness. 

8. The benefits of Christ's priesthood are answer- 
able to the foresaid ends. For what Christ aimed at, 
he eil'ectcd to the full; and all for man's good. 

1. That little which hath been noted, and that much 
more which might be observed about Christ's priest- 
hood, much aggravateth all those errors, which are 
about that function of Christ. Such are most of the 
controversies betwixt us and papists. God speaks to 
his Son as God and man; yet papists say, that Christ 
is a priest only in his human nature. God saith to 
his Son in the singular number, speaking to him alone, 
' Thou art a priest,' yet they make many priests. God 
made him a priest after the order of Melchisedec, who 
was without father and mother, &c. ; yet they make 
ordinary sons of men to be after that order. God 
makes his son a priest for ever ; yet they substitute 
others in his room. God gave him to offer up but 
one sacrifice, and that but once ; they every day offer 
up many sacrifices in their mass. God gave him to 
oflfer np himself; but they ofler up bread and wine 
upon pretence that it is the bod}' and blood of Christ. 
Christ's sacrifice was a bloody sacrifice; they style 
theirs an unbloody sacrifice. 

2. The weightiness of Christ's priesthood should 
stir us up the more to search into that mystery, that 
we may be the better acquainted therewith, and re- 
ceive the greater benefit thereby. 

These last words, he was made priest, are not in the 
original; 3-et fitly added by our translators, to make 
up the sense, which is better understood in the Greek 
than in our English. 

Sec. 92. Of the meaning of\er. 21. 

The apostle, before he concludes the main point, 
setteth down, within a parenthesis, a proof of the 
argument; and that it may appear, that his main drift 
is to advance Christ his priesthood above the Leviti- 
cal, he premiseth this, that ' those priests were made 
without an oath,' 6/ /xb ^ws/s bixu/xoaiu;, so as they 
were not instituted after so solemn a manner as Christ 

Olij. Ho bringeth no proof for it. 

Alls. By alleging an express testimony for the 
aflarmative, concerning the manner of instituting 
Christ's priesthood, he implicth that there was no such 
matter concerning the Levitical priesthood ; and there- 
upon he might well conclude that they were ordained 
without an oath. If we thoroughly search all those 
scriptures where mention is made of instituting 
priests, we shall find no hint of any oath. 

The first institution of those priests is set down, 
Exod. xxviii. 1, &c. The manner of consecrating 

them, Exod. xxix. 1, Sec. 1'he confirmation of the 
high priest's office to Phiuehas, and his seed for ever, 
Num. XXV. 13. Yet in none of those places is any 
mention of an oath. 

Olij. This is but a negative argument. 

Ans. In such things as the Holy Ghost hath set 
down every particular that is requisite to be known, 
a negative argument holdeth good. See Chap. i. 5, 
Sec. 46. 

That which was taken for granted in the 20th verse, 
is here expressed, in these words, 6 di /zera oszuiMonlag, 
hut this luith an nalh; and it is confii-med in the words 

The confirmation is taken from a divine testimony. 
This testimony is, 

1. In general hinted, thus, bia, toZ Xsj/oitcj, "by him 
that said to him. 

2. Particularly expressed, in the words following. 

In the general, this relative him is twice used. 

The first in this phrase, bid to\j, bij Iiim, hath re- 
ference to God the Father. The other in this phrase, 
crgos auTov, to him, to God the Son. ' The Lord said 
to my Lord,' saith David, Ps. ex. 1. See Chap. v. 6, 
Sec. 28. 

The particular testimony is in these words, The 
Lord sware, &c. 

Of God's swearing, sec Chap. vi. 13, Sec. 97. 

How God doth add dignity and authority to that 
which by oath he instituteth, see ver. 20, Sec. 91. 

It is further said of God, oh ij.iraii,i'Krfir,6iTai, he uill 
not repent. To repent, in Greek and Latin, doth 
signify, to change one's mind and counsel. That God 
doth not, that God will not repent, see Chap. vi. 18, 
Sees. 133, 136. 

God is here said not to repent, to confii'm the ever- 
lastingness of Christ's priesthood. 

He addeth this clause, sli rov aiXiva, for ever, because 
God will never repent his establishing his Son to be 
a priest. 

The gifts which God will continue in his saints are 
styled, ' gifts without repentance,' a.fxsra/ji,s}.r,-a, Piom. 
xi. 29. Repentance itself, which is true and sound, 
is styled ' repentance not to be repented of,' /xirdvoiav 
d/j.iraiM}.rirov, 2 Cor. vii. 10. This clause, therefore, 
a7id uill not repent, being added to God's swearing, 
giveth proof that God's oath is immutable and inviol- 
able. See Chap. vi. 18, Sec. 1-10. 

Of this testimony, * thou art a priest for ever after 
the order of Melchisedec,' see Chap. v. 6, Sees. 28- 

Sec. 93. Of CJirist as surety. 

Ver. 22. By so much tvas Jesus made surety of a 
better Testament. 

In this verso the main point is concluded, namely, 
that Cln-ist's priesthood is more excellent than the 
Levitical. It is laid down compai'atively, thus, xara 
ToaoZrov, by so much ivas Jesus, itc. This phrase, by 

Ver. 20-22.] 



so much, hath reference to the 20th verse, and shew- 
eth that hy hoiv much that which is established with 
an oath is better than that which is estabhshed with- 
out an oath, so much more excellent is Christ's priest- 
hood than the Levitical. 

Because that which foUoweth concerning Christ's 
suretyship tendeth much to our salvation, the apostle 
useth this title, Jesus, which signifieth a saviour. 
Hereof see Chap. ii. 9, Sec. 73. 

Whom he hath hitherto styled priest, he here calleth 
surety ; for a priest is for men in things pertaining to 
God ; he stands betwixt a creditor and debtor, which 
is the part of a surety. 

The Greek word 'iyyuog, translated surety, is but this 
once used in the New Testament ; but in other Greek 
authors it is frequently used for one that undertaketh 
for another. The root out of which this word sprout- 
eth, in general signifieth a part of man's body, and in 
particular, the hand (t-o yj7ov, mevibrum, manus). 
For sureties were wont to strike hands with the party 
to whom they bound themselves. Hereunto the wise 
man alludeth, where he saith, ' If thou be surety for 
thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand,' Prov. vi. 1. 

Others take the notation from a noun, yori, she 
yri, terra, that signifieth earth, which is firm and fast 
fixed ; for a surety is fast bound and tied. Hereupon 
saith a wise man to a surety, ' Thou art snared, thou 
art taken,' Prov. vi. 2. 

This office, a surety, being applied to Christ, shew- 
eth that he hath so far engaged himself for us, as he 
neither can nor will start from his engagement ; earth 
may sooner be removed than he not perform his en- 
gagement. He hath undertaken for all that can be 
required of us, or desired by us. There is another 
word, fiiSiTTig, applied to Christ, and translated 
mediator, chap. viii. 6, which in general intendeth as 
much. But this word is the more emphatical. 

As mediator, Christ standeth betwixt God and man, 
to make intercession to God for man, and to declare 
God's will to man. 

As surety, he engageth himself for man to God, and 
for God to man. 

For man to God, Jesus undertaketh for what can 
be required of man. 

For God to man, he undertaketh for what can be 
desired of God. 

We ought therefore in this respect duly to consider 
both what may be required of man, and what may be 
desired by man. 

Two things are required of man. 

1. A perfect fulfilling of all righteousness according 
to the tenor of the law. 

2. Full satisfaction for every transgression. 

1. That Christ might fulfil all righteousness, he 
was * made under the law,' Gal. iv. 4, by a voluntary 
subjection of himself thereunto ; and being under the 
law he fulfilled all righteousness, Mat. iii. 15. That 
this he did for us, is evident by this phrase, ' By the 

obedience of one shall many be made righteous,' Rom. 
V. 19 ; and by this, ' we are made the righteousness 
of God in him,' 2 Cor. v. 21. 

2. That Jesus might make full satisfaction for all 
our sins, ' he was made a curse for us, whereby he 
hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,' Gal. iii. 
13. All his sufterings were for us. 

All that can be desired of God by man, is mercy 
and truth. Mercy in regard of our misery, truth in 
reference to God's promises. 

That which moved Christ to engage himself as a 
surety for us was his respect to God and man. 

To God, for the honour of his name. Nor the 
mercy, nor the truth, nor the justice of God had been 
so conspicuously manifested if Jesus had not been our 

2. To man, and that to help us in our succourless 
and desperate estate. No creature would, or if any 
would, could it discharge that debt wherein man stood 
obliged to the justice of God. 

1. This is an evidence of the endless love of Christ. 
We count it a great evidence of love for a friend to be 
surety for us, when we intend no damage to him there- 
upon. If a friend be surety for that which he knoweth 
the principal debtor is not able to pay, and thereupon 
proposeth to pay it himself, this is an extraordinary 
evidence of love. What is it then if he engage his 
person and life for his friend ? ' Skin for skin, yea, 
all that a man hath will he give for his life,' Job ii. 4. 
If a friend, to free a captive, or one condemned to 
death, do put himself into the state and condition of 
him whom he freeth, that would be an evidence of 
love beyond all comparison. But if the dignity of 
Christ's person and our unworthiness, if the great- 
ness of the debt and kind of payment, and if the 
benefit which we reap thereby, be duly weighed, we 
shall find these evidences of love to come as much be- 
hind the love of Christ as the light of a candle 
cometh short of the light of the sun. 

2. Christ's suretyship is a prop to our faith. It is 
as sure a ground of confidence as can be. By virtue 
hereof, we have a right to appeal to God's justice ; for 
this surety hath made full satisfaction, and to exact a 
debt which is fully satisfied, is a point of injustice. 

Quest. Why then do saints appeal from the throne 
of justice to the seat of mercy ? 

Ans. In regard of themselves, and their manifold 
pollutions and imperfections. In this respect they 
cannot abide the trial of God's justice. But in 
confidence of that full satisfaction which Christ hath 
made, they dare and do appeal to God's justice. This 
is an especial means to settle troubled consciences. 
A debtor that hath a surety that is able and willing to 
pay his debt, yea, who hath fully paid it, fears not 
his creditor. 

Sec. 94. 0/the better covenant or testam,ent. 

The subject whereabout Christ's suretyship is exer- 



[Chap. VII. 

cised, is here styled oiuOr,y.riZ, testament. Indeed the 
Greek word so traushited is oft put for a testament, 
as Mat. xxvi. 28; Gal. iii. 15 ; Heb. ix. IG, 17. 

The derivation of the word doth also imply as much ; 
for it is derived from a verb, BiaTiJsfj^ai, testor, testa- 
viento statuo, that signifieth among other acceptions, 
to dispose of a thinrf Inj uill. But that Greek verb 
doth also signify to make a covenant,' and from that 
signification, the Greek noun here used may be trans- 
lated a covenant ; and so it is most usually taken in 
the New Testament, Luke i. 72 ; Acts iii. 25, vii. 8 ; 
Rom. xi. 27 ; Ileb. viii. G. 

There is another Greek word, euvdrixri, pactum, 
ftrdiis, which, by other authors, is used for a covenant, 
but not in the New Testament. 

The Hebrew woi'd, rm3, fo'dus (a ITi^ elcr/it., 
1 Sam. xvii. 8),^ doth properly signify a covenant, as 
i.s evident by the notation thereof. The LXX (whose 
phrase and style the penmen of the New Testament 
do much follow), do translate that Hebrew word which 
properly signifieth a covenant, with the Greek word 
that is here used in this text. 

In this place the word covenant seems to be the 
more proper ; for the oflice of a surety hath a more 
fit relation to a covenant than to a testament. Yet I 
will not deny, but that which is a covenant in matter, 
and in the manner of making it, may in regard of the 
confirmation thereof by death, be a testament. Thus 
that which in the Old Testament was a covenant, by 
the death of Christ, may in the New Testament be 
styled a testament. 

Quest. "Wherein lieth the difi'erence betwixt a cove- 
nant and a testament ? 

A7is. 1. A covenant is an agreement between two, at 
least. A testament is the declaration of the will of 

2. The two, or more, between whom a covenant 
passeth, must be all living. A testament receivctb 
force by the death of him that made it. 

8. A covenant is ratified by the mutual consent of 
all that make it, on every side. A testament is rati- 
fied by the will only of him that made it. 

4. A covenant useth to be made on conditions on 
both sides. A testament is made upon the mere 
favour and grace of the testator. 

' AiecTihirfai liafriKnv, pacisci fcGtlus, Acts iii. 25. 

* In f(u(krilius sancieiulis Boleut psso sclcctro personro, 
CDnditiones, alireque circuinstantia). mi edit, 2 Sam. xiii 6, 
]0. In focderibiis paciscendis solebant epulari, Gen. xxvi. 
:iO. et xxxi. 46, rT"13 fransposita litora a 103 divi.'<it. 
Nam ffcdcra olim flebant dividendis sacriiiciis, (Jen. xv. 10; 
Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19. Livius Hist., Dec. 1, lib. 1, de more 
feriendi foederis. ' Si poi)ulus Rum. defexit dolo raalo, tu 
Jupiter sic ferito, ut ego iiiinc porcum feriam. Id ubi dixit, 
sacerdns. porcum saxo silice percussit.' nn3 sa^pe jungitur 
cum n"l2 percussit. Nam fu'dero incumlo solebant coni])lo- 
dere manus ; seu jungeredextras, .Job xvii. 3. n*"l3 et T\'\2 
ta^pe junguntnr, Kxod. xxxiv. 10, 12, 15, 27, et n"'"l2 intelli- 
getur cum m3 expriraitur, 1 Sam. xx. IG, 1 Kings viii. 9. 

The covenant or testament here mentioned is called 
better, in reference to the covenant that was made 
under the Lcvitical priesthood ; not in the matter, 
but rather in the form and manner of delivering it ; 
not in the substance, but rather in certain accidents 
or circumstances ; which are these : 

1. A more clear manifestation thereof by the gos- 
pel, Eph. iii. 5. 

2. A most sure ratification of it by the death of 
Christ, Heb. ix. 15. 

3. A more mighty operation by the work of God's 
Holy Spirit, accompanying the ministry of the gospel, 
2 Cor. iii. G. 

Sec. 05. 0/ the resolution and observations of Heb. 
vii. 20-22. 

Ver. 20. And inasmuch as not without an oath he 
was made priest : 

21. {For those priests were made without an oath ; 
but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The 
Lord sware, and ivill not repent, Thou art a priest for 
ever, after the order of Melchisedcc.) 

22. By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better 

These three verses contain a proof the solemnity of 
Christ's priesthood above the Levitical priesthood. 

Hereof are two parts : 1, the kind of solemnity ; 
2, the kind of proof. 

The solemnity is set down two ways : 1, simply; 
2, comparatively. 

The simple consideration sheweth how Christ was 

Therein observe, 1, the substance ; 2, the conse- 
quence, ver. 22. 

In the substance is noted, 1, the manner of express- 
ing the point. 

2. The matter whereof it consisteth. 

The manner is set out, 1, by a relative expression, 
thus, in as much, by so much. 

2. By a double negative, not without. 

The comparative consideration manifesteth a difi"er- 
ence betwixt the institution of the Levitical priest- 
hood and Christ's, that tvithnut, this with an oath. 

The proof is by a divine testimony, which is, 

1. Intimated, in this phrase, by him that said unto 

2. Expressed. In the expression there is, 

1. The kind of proof ; 2, the thing proved. 

The kind of proof is, 1, propounded in this phrase, 
the Lord sicare. 

2. Amplified by the inviolableness thereof, thus, 
and irilt not repent. 

The thing proved is the excellency of Christ's priest- 
hood. Herein, 

1. The person deputed, thou art. 

2. The function whereunto he is deputed. This is, 

1. Propounded, in this word priest. 

2. Illustrated, and that two ways : 

Ver. 23, 24.] 



(1.) By the kind of priesthood, after the order of 

(2.) By the continuance thereof, /o>- ever. 

The consequence is, 1, hinted in this phrase, by so 
much was. 

2. Expresed herein, (1.) the person, Jesus ; (2.) 
the office. 

The office is set out, 1, by the kind of it, surety. 

2. By the subject whereabout it is exercised. 

The subject is, 1, simply propounded in this word 

2. Comparatively amplified in this word better. 

I. Christ icas solemnly ordained a priest. This is 
implied in this relative connection, inasmuch as. See 
Sec. 91. 

II. The solemnity whereby Christ vms instituted a 
priest ivas an oath. This is also plainly expressed. 
See Sec. 91. 

III. The Levitical priesthood was instituted a priest 
without an oath. This is also plainly expressed. See 
Sec. 92. 

IV. The Levitical priesthood was not tidth such so- 
lemnity ordained as Christ's. That without an oath, 
this with an oath. 

V. A divine testimony is a sound proof. Such a 
proof is here produced. See Sec. 92. 

VI. God in weighty matters sweareth. A particular 
instance is here given. See Sec. 92. 

VII. God repenteth not of that which he sweareth. 
So much is here expressed. See Sec. 92. 

[Of other doctrines concerning this testimony, see 
Chap. V. 6, Sec. 32.] 

VIII. Christ is a Saviour. He is Jesus. See Sec. 

IX. Our Saviour is our surety. For Jesus is a 
surety. See Sec. 93. 

X. Jesus is a surety of the covenant betwixt God 
and man. This is the testament here mentioned. See 
Sec. 94. 

XI. The covenant made with Christians is better 
than that which was made %inth the Jeios. The compa- 
rison in this word better is betwixt Christians and 
Jews. See Sec. 94. 

Sec. 96. Of the meaning of the 2Sd verse. Heb. vii. 
23, 24. 

Ver. 23. And they truly vjere many priests, because 
they were not suffered to continue by reason of death. 

24. But this man, because he continueth ever, hath 
an unchangeable priesthood. 

In these two verses there is a fourth argument to 
prove the excellency of Christ's priesthood above the 
Levitical. See Sec. 1. 

The argument is taken from the different condition 
of the one and other persons. Christ ever endureth. 
They did not so. 

The argument may be thus framed : 

He that ever remaineth, to execute his office him- 
self, is more excellent than they who are forced by 
death to leave their office to others; 

But Christ ever remaineth, &c. And the Levites 
were forced by death to leave their office to others ; 
therefore Christ was more excellent. 

The copulative particle xai, and, whereby these 
verses are knit to the former, sheweth that these 
verses contain in general the same matter that the 
former did. 

Of the adverb fisv, translated truly, see ver 5, 
Sec. 37. 

This numeral adjective •rXilovsg, many, may imply 
many priests together ; because one was not able to 
perform all the offices appertaining to the priesthood. 
Or it may be taken of many successively, one after an- 
other, because one could not ever remain in that 
office ; but as one died, another must come in his 

Both these were points of infirmity, and in both 
Christ excelled the Levitical priests ; for he alone 
did all that his priesthood required. No creature 
afforded any assistance or help unto him. And he 
ever liveth, so as he needeth no successor. The cir- 
cumstances of the text do plainly demonstrate, that the 
latter is here especially intended ; for the apostle 
himself rendereth this reason why * they were many 
priests, because they were not suffered to continue,' &c. 

This phrase they were not suffered, is the interpreta- 
tion of one Greek word -KMXxjiB&ai, which signifieth to 
hinder, Luke xi. 52 ; ov forbid, Markix. 38. So here 
they are forbidden by death, or hindered ; death, as 
an injurious lord, forbids men always to abide here, 
and hinders them in their work. 

The verb 'naoanihiiv, translated to continue, is a com- 
pound. The simple verb signifieth to remain. This 
compound hath an emphasis, which the Latin ex- 
presseth with a like composition, permaneo ; but our 
English, with these words, abide, 1 Cor. xvi. 16 ; 
continue, James i. 25. Death suffers them not to abide 
or continue on earth for ever, no nor very long. See 
Sec. 97. 

Sec. 97. Of priests subject to death. 

By the foresaid explanation of the verse, it is evident 
that priests under the law were subject to death. 
There needs no proof of the point. Ex^^erience hath 
confirmed the truth thereof. For where now are any 
of them ? Are they not all dead ? 

1. They were sons of Adam, and therefore subject 
to that doom which was denounced against him. Gen. 
iii. 19. 

2. Sin was in them. They brought it into the 
world, and retained it while they lived in the world, 
Rom. V. 12, 1 Kings viii. 46. 

Of applying this to ministers, see ver. 8, Sec. 51. 
Priests under the law had a great privilege, yet it 
exempted them not from death, neither doth any out- 



[Chap. YII. 

•ward privilepe : ' Do the prophets live for ever ?' 
Zech. i. 0. Where are the patriarchs ? Where kings, 
where other great ones ? It is appointed unto rueu,' 
none exceptcil, ' once to die,' Heb, ix. 27. 

Should outward privileges exempt men from death, 
they would puU'theui up too much. Ilezckiah having 
assurance of fifteen years' continuance on earth, ren- 
dered not again, according to the benefit done unto 
him, for his heai't was lifted up, 2 Kings xx. 6, 2 Chron. 
xxxii. 25. 

This may be a good warning to such as are advanced 
above others, whether kings, nobles, rich, magistrates, 
masters, or others. 

Though those priests were as other men, subject to 
death, be.»>idcs other infirmities, yet that was no im- 
pediment to that function whereunto God had called 
them, so long as God was pleased to preserve them on 
earth. Though they were taken from among men, and 
so as other men, yet they were for men in things 
pertaining to God, Heb. v. 1. The like may be 
said of prophets, ministers, magistrates, and other 

God who appointeth them their place, giveth them 
power to do their work. When God made Saul king, 
bo pave him ' another heart,' 1 S;im. v. 9. When, by 
God's appointment, there were seventy elders chosen 
to assist Moses, the Lord gave ' the spirit of Moses' 
unto them. Num. xi. 25. God maketh ' able ministers 
of the New Testament,' 2 Cor. iii. 6. 

This is a gi-eat encouragement to those who are 
deputed according to God's word to any function. 

It also warneth others more to consider the special 
function of men than their common condition. 

That which is here noted of the power of death, that 
it ' sulfers not men to continue,' shews that there is no 
hope of ever abiding here. He that well knew this 
eaid, ' Here have we no continuing city,' Heb. xiii. 14. 

This is for the comfort of believers, but for terror 
to the impenitent. 

Believers have a better place provided for them, 
where they shall ever be. 

Impenitents shall have another place, where they 
shall receive the just desert of their sins, even easeless 
and endless torments. 

This clause, they were many priests, is a consequence 
following upon the foresaid mortality of priests, and 
sheweth that among men it is needful that a succession 
of ministers be nourished for continuing God's service. 
To this end governors of families succeeded one another, 
as Isaac succeeded Abraham. Afterwards sons of 
priests succeeded one another, as Eleazcr succeeded 
Aaron. There were after that schools and colleges 
of prophets to train up the younger to succeed the 
elder, as they should be taken away, 1 Sam. xix. 20, 
2 Kings ii. 3, 5, and vi. 2, and xxii. 14. These were 
as nurseries. Commendable in this respect is their 
care, who have erected schools and colleges, which 
ought to bo continued and prayed for. 

Sec. 98. Of Christ's enduring ever. 

It was a deficiency and imperfection which was be-' 
fore noted of the mortality of the legal priests, therefore 
the apostle settcth out Christ in a contrary condition, 
as appears by this conjunction of opposition bi, hut, 
which is frequently so used in the Proverbs. 

The Greek particle 6, here translated this man, is 
not the same that was so translated ver. 4, Sec. 31. 
It is here a single article, which signifieth he. 

The continuance of Christ, here intended and ex- 
pressed under this word [liMu, endureth, is not to be 
taken as that continuance which was denied to the 
priests in the former verse, namely, here on earth ; 
for Christ did not here ever endure ; but of a con- 
tinuance where he may exercise his priestly function, 
and that is in heaven. 

The other priests' functions was to be exercised on 

Of the phrase hg -ov aJouva, translated ever, see Chap. 
V. G, Sec. 29. That which is here said of Christ 
enduring ever, is applied to him, as he was man, and 
mediator betwixt God and man, and priest for men 
in things appertaining to God. Thus is * Jesus 
Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever,' 
Heb. xiii. 8. 

' The son abideth for ever,' John viii. 35. So clear 
was this point that the adversaries of Christ could 
sa}^, ' We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth 
for ever,' John xii. 34. 

His human nature being united hypostatically to 
the divine nature, it was not possible that he should 
be holden of death, Acts ii. 24. 

Olj. Christ did die, Mat. xxvii. 50. 

Aus. 1. It was no forced death, but that whereunto 
he voluntarily subjected himself, John x. 18; for, 
when it pleased him, he took up his life again, John 
ii. 19, Piom. i. 4. 

2. He continued under the power of death but three 

3. Christ's death was a part of the execution of his 
priestly function, so as it caused no intermission of his 

4. Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no 
more : ' Death hath no more dominion over him,' 
Rom. vi. 9. This is he that saith of himself, ' I am 
he that livcth, and was dead ; and behold I am alive 
for evermore,' Ecv. i. 18. This is the enduring ever, 
whereof the apostle here speaketh. 

1. Great ground of confidence hence ariseth. It 
was the ground of Job's confidence, that his Redeemer 
lived, Job xix. 25. By reason of the mystical and 
spiritual union that is betwixt Christ and his believers, 
they may rest upon it, that so long as the head 
liveth, the members shall not be utterly destroyed. 
' Because I live, ye shall live also,' saith Christ, John 
xiv. 19;' God hath given unto us eternal life, and this 
life is in his Son,' 1 John v. 11 ; ' Your life is hid 
with Christ in God,' Col. iii. 3. 

Ver. 23, 24.] 



2. The apostle layetli clown this as a special point, 
wherein we should be like unto Christ, Eom. vi. 11. 
For this end we must labour to feel the life of Christ 
in us, Gal. ii. 20. And we must nourish the spirit 
of Christ in us, Kom. viii- 11. 

3. This is a forcible motive to draw us to Christ, 
and to make us hold close unto him, and never depart 
from him. Christ being the living G-od, is to be 
trusted in, 1 Tim. iv. 10, and vi. 17. Peter and the rest 
of the disciples would not depart from Christ, because 
he had ' the words of eternal life,' and was * the Son 
of the living God,' John vi. G8, 69. We cannot go 
from him, but to death and damnation. 

4. On this ground we need not fear man, for * his 
breath is in his nostrils,' Isa. ii. 22. Hezekiah was 
encouraged against the railings of a potent enemy, 
because he reproached the living God, Isa. xxxvii. 17. 

Sec. 99. Oj the unchanrjeahleness of Christ's priest- 

An especial consequence that followeth upon Christ's 
abiding ever is thus expressed, he hath an unchancje- 
ahle priesthood. 

Of the Greek word ispms-jv/j, translated priesthood, 
see ver. 11, Sec. 61. 

The adjective a'^uDdZarov, ti'anslated unchaufieahJe, 
is here only used in the New Testament. It is a 
double compound. The simple verb, jSaivu, vado, 
whence it is derived, signifieth to r/o. The first com- 
pound, 'TTapaQdiv'yj, trausr/redior, to go or pass over. 
This compound is in the New Testament used meta- 
phorically to transgress a law. Mat. xv. 2, 3, 2 John 
9. This double compound is with a privative pre- 
position, a. It signifieth that which cannot pass 
away and perish, in which respect some translate it 
everlasting ; our last English translators, unchange- 
able. It signifieth also that which cannot p)ass from 
one to another. This our last English translators 
have noted in the margin thus, ' which passeth not 
from one to another.' This I take to be here espe- 
cially intended. Though both be true, yet the latter 
is most proper and pertinent. It giveth proof that 
the priesthood of Christ is inseparably annexed to his 
own person. It cannot pass from him, nor be trans- 
ferred upon another. As the meaning of the word, so 
the force of the apostle's argument declares as much. 
For herein heth a main diflerence betwixt the Levi- 
tical priesthood and Christ's, that that passeth from 
party to party, but this not so. The type doth excel- 
lently clear this ; for Melchisedec had no predecessor, 
no successor. Hence it is that Christ's sacrifice was 
but one, and but once offered up, ver. 27. 

1 . There is no need that Christ's priesthood should 
pass from himself, because he is sufficient of himself 
to do all things required thereby. 

Three things make Christ sufiicient priest of himself : 

(1.) His almighty power. 

(2.) The perpetual vigour of his sacrifice, Heb.ix. 28. 

(3.) His continual abode at God's right hand, Heb. 
X. 12. 

2. There is none able to go on in it if he should 
pass it over, and that in three respects : 

(1.) The impotency of creatures in so great a work. 

(2.) Their ua worthiness to have any hand in such a 

(3.) Their mortality. 

This is an unanswerable argument against popish 
priests, who, they say, succeed Christ. In this and 
the former verse, there are four arguments against that 
heretical position. 

1. The difference betwixt Christ, who is only one, 
able to do all of himself, and them, who are many. 

2. Their mortality. 

3. Christ's eternity. 

4. The inseparableuess of Christ's priesthood from 

This one heresy is enough to make us separate from 
the Church of Rome, and have no communion with 

Learn we, as to stick close to Christ our only priest, 
so to rest us wholly and only upon his priesthood, 
which passeth not away from him. 

Sec. 100. Of the resolution and observations of Heb. 
vii. 23, 24. 

Ver. 23. And they tndi/ were mani/ priests, because 
they ivere not suffered to continue by reason of death. 

24. But this man, because he endureth ever, hath an 
unchangeable priestlwod. 

The sum of these two verses is a difference between 
Christ and the Levitical priests. The diflerence is 
especially about the continuance of the one and of the 

There are two parts : 

1. The mutability of the Levitical priesthood, 
ver. 23. 

2. The stability of Christ's priesthood, ver. 24. 
There is to be considered in both, 1, the substance; 

2, a consequence. 

In the substance of the former is set down, 

1. The point itself, they continued not. 

2. The reason thereof, hg reason of death. 

The consequence thereof is implied in this word 

In the substance of the latter is set down, 

1. The point itself, he endureth. 

2. The extent thereof, /or ever. 

The consequence hereof is, that he hath an un- 
changeable p>riesthood. 


I. The Levitical priesthood did not always continue. 
This is expressed. See Sec. 97. 

II. Death is an imperious lord. This phrase, suffered 
not, implieth as much. See Sec. 96. 

III. Death hinders a perpetual abode on earth. It 
sufi'ers not to continue. See Sec. 97. 

l + l- 


[Chap. VII. 

rV. GocVs service on earth is continued by succession. 
This is intended under the noun of multitude, many. 
See Sec. 97. 

V. Christ still exerciseth his priesthood. In this 
respect be is said to endure. See Sec. 98. 

YI. 'I'here is no end of Christ's priesthood. As priest 
he cndiireth ever. See Sec. 98. 

YII. Christ's priesthood cannot be passed orer to an- 
other. Thus it is unchangeable. See Sec. 99. 

Sec. 101. Of the meaning of these icords, ^Wherefore 
he is able also to save.' 

Ver. 25. Wherefore lie is able also to save them to the 
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever 
liveth to malce intercession for them. 

In this verse an inference is made upon Christ's 
everlasting priesthood. This is evident by the first 
illative conjunction &V=v, wherefore. Hereof see Chap, 
ii. 17, Sec. IGO. 

The reference may in general be extended to all that 
hath been before said of the excellency of Christ's 
priesthood. Because be is the Son of God, and en- 
tered into heaven, made a great high priest for ever 
after the order of Mclchisedec, arising and remaining 
after Levi, making all things perfect, being instituted 
by the solemn and sacred oath of God, and endureth 
ever, he is able to save, itc. 

But in that the apostle in the latter part of this verse 
expressly mentioneth his ever living to make inter- 
cession, a more particular and special reference is here 
intended, namely, to the verse immediately going before ; 
thus, Christ ever endureth and hath an unchangeable 
priesthood, therefore he is able to save, &c. 

This copulative particle, translated also, implieth 
that Christ ever endureth not only for his own honour, 
but abo for our good. 

The verb b-ji^arai, translated able, doth most properly 
imply power and ability to do a thing ; but withal it 
compriseth under it a fitness and readiness to do a 
thing. See Chap. ii. 18, Sec. 183. 

Here it may intend both, especially in relation to 
the foresaid general inference. 

Of the various acception of this word, sui^nv, save, 
see Chap. v. 7, Sec. 42. Here it is taken in the 
largest extent, for preservation from all misery, and 
for settling in all happiness. This salvation is the 
end and benefit of Christ's priesthood. Ho was 
priest, and he continueth priest, to save man. Of the 
salvation whereunto we are brought by Christ, see 
Chap. V. 9, Sec. 50. 

The copulative particle xal, commonly translated 
and, in this place hath an especial emphasis, and 
is not unfitly translated also. It pointeth at one main 
end of Christ's being such a priest as he was, even to 
save, Sec. 

Sec. 102. Of Christ's power to save. 

This word able is here inserted by the apostle to 

shew that Christ can and will accomplish that salva- 
tion which he aimed at. There is in this respect a 
title, (!'jiTr,i, given unto him, and translated, saviour, 
which is proper to such a Saviour as is here spoken 
of. The heathen did appropriate that title both to 
their chief god,^ and also to other gods^ that had pre- 
served them. The Roman orator did upbraid it to 
Verres,' that he applied that title to himself, and 
caused it to be set over a city gate. Most truly and 
properly is it attributed to Christ ; and thereupon his 
name ,hsus was given unto him, see Chap. ii. 9, Sec. 
73. In this respect this metaphor, xhag crwr^a/aj, 
cornu salntis, horn of salvation, is also attributed to 
him, Luke i. G9. By horn, power is meant ; there- 
fore it is reckoned up among other like metaphors, 
as, 'castle,' 'rock,' 'fortress,' 'shield,' Ps. xviii. 1. 

The metaphor is taken from horned beasts, whose 
chiefest strength is in their horns ; thereby they de- 
fend themselves, and seek to annoy those that they 
are afraid of. In reference hereunto Zedekiah the 
false prophet made him horns of iron ; and said to 
Ahab, ' With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until 
thou have consumed them,' 2 Kings xxii. 11. 

By this metaphor the power of monarchs is set 
forth, Dan. vii. 7, 8, and viii. 3, 4. 

1. Christ is of almighty power, and by his power 
he hath overcome all the enemies that any way hinder 
our salvation. 

2. Christ is of infinite dignity in his person, and 
what he did and endured for man is accompanied with 
an infinite merit ; thus is he fit to enter into the place 
of glory and salvation for us. 

Good ground have we hereupon to trust unto Christ. 
The Philistines much trusted in their champion Goliath, 
1 Sam. xvii. 4, Sec. ; yet was he but a man, and as a 
man was overthrown. Our Lord Christ is another 
kind of champion, who cannot be overcome. 

Hereof we are to take notice in regard of the power 
of those enemies which seek to hinder our salvation, 
who, though they may seem terrible, especially the 
devil, 1 Peter v. 8, yet he and all the rest are but 
weakness in comparison of Christ's power, Heb. ii. 14. 

This also ma}' support us against our own weak- 
ness. We are as water spilt on the ground, not able 
to stand of ourselves ; we must therefore do as Jeho- 
shaphat did, 2 Chron. xx. 12. 

Sec. 103. (]f Christ's saving to the uttermost. 

The foresaid power of Christ in saving is much am- 
plified by this phrase, iii to rravn}.);, to the uttermost, 
for it setteth forth the full perfection thereof. 

The Greek adjective, rravziXig, translated uttermost, 

* Aiof (tuth^os. Jovis Servatoris. — Athen. lib. 7. 

2 Hiorj ffurrtoffi. Diis scrvatoribus. — Lucian. 

" Verroni non solum patrouum istius insula, sed etiam 
(Tft/T^fa, iuscriptiiin villi Syracusis. Hoc quantum est? ita 
magnum ut Latino uuo vcrbo exprimi uon possit. Is est 
nimirum <ra»T>ij, qui salutem dedit. — Cic. in Ver. 

Ver. 25.] 



is compouBded of two nouns, whereof one, -rav, signi- 
fieth all, and the other, t-sXoj, end ; so as it iinplieth 
that which is brought to a full end, nothing need more 
to be done thereabouts. Our English word, uttermost, 
signifieth as much as can be done. There is nothing 
beyond the uttermost. There is nothing beyond his 
power in the work of salvation, that is able to save to 
the uttermost. Nothing needeth to be added as an 
help to him ; whatsoever is requisite thereunto is in 
him. Thus the salvation which Christ giveth is full 
and perfect ; in this respect Christ is called, to ffurri- 
pov, salvation itself, Luke ii. 30. 

If we duly weigh the misery from which we are 
saved, and the felicity wherein we are estated by 
Christ, we may well discern that he saveth to the 

He saveth from sin. Mat. i. 21. Sin is the cause 
of all misery. They who are saved from it, are saved 
from all manner of evil. 

There is nothing hurtful to a man, but what is 
caused or poisoned by sin. Before sin there was no 
misery, and he that is altogether freed from sin, is 
freed from all manner of misery. 

Christ saves from the contagion, guilt, punishment, 
power, and remainder of siu. Of the felicity wherein 
Christ settleth those who are saved, see Chap. i. 14, 
Sec. 159. 

1. Hereby is discovered the vanity of the supposed 
church's treasure, wherein papists make their foolish 
people to trust, as man's satisfaction, intercession of 
angels and saints, merits of men, priests, oblations, 
the church's indulgencies, popes' pardons, and such 
like trash. 

2. This fulness of salvation wrought by Christ, giveth 
us further ground to trust wholly and only on Christ, 
and utterly to reject all other grounds of salvation. 

Sec. 104. Of salvation approjmated to those that 
come to God. 

Great is the benefit which is brought to the sons of 
men by Christ's priesthood, even full and perfect sal- 
vation ; but it is here limited and restrained to such 
as endeavour to obtain it. This endeavour is ex- 
pressed under this phrase of ' coming unto God.' 
And the parties that partake of the foresaid benefit 
are thus expressed, roug '7r^o(ri^^o/xs]ioug rw 0£cC, they 
that come unto God. 

This in general giveth proof that man's endeavour 
must be used for attaining salvation. See Chap. iv. 
11, Sec. 63. 

The limitation of the salvation which Christ bringeth 
to such persons, is not to be taken in reference to the 
power of Christ, as if that were restrained thereby, 
but to the fruit and benefit of that which Christ hath 
done, whereof none can partake but such as come to 

Of this word coming, as here used, see Chap. iv. 16, 
Sec. 92. The phrase is metaphorical, transferred 

Vol. II. 

from the body to the soul. The foot of the soul 
whereby we go to God is faith, that hath a power to 
carry up our soul to heaven, where God sitteth on a 
throne of grace ; so as to go or come to God, and to 
come to the throne of grace, do both intend one and 
the same thing. 

The point here intended is this, that they only par- 
take of salvation, that by faith in Christ seek it of 
God, and rest on God for it. This is frequently set 
forth under the metaphor of coming or going, as 
Isa. Iv. 1, Mat. xi. 28, Heb. iv. 16 and s. 22, Rev. 
xxii. 17. 

This act of coming doth not imply any matter of 
merit. For what merit is there in a beggar's coming 
to one for alms and craving it ? 

This duty is enjoined to raise up in us a desire of 
salvation, and an expectation thereof, together with a 
good esteem thereof. 

1. Hereby we see that the benefit of redemption is 
not universal. All shall not be saved. 

2. This cannot be but a matter of great terror to 
all such as on any ground refuse to come to God. 
Note the issue of all those that refused to come to the 
king's supper, Luke xiv. 24. It skilleth not whether 
their refusal be upon despising the offer or upon de- 
spair. If they come not to God, they cannot be 

3. This should stir us up to go to God by prayer, 
by frequenting all his ordinances, and by oft raising 
our hearts unto him. Salvation is worth the seeking. 

4. This is a matter of great comfort to such as have 
their hearts bent to go to God : ' Him that cometh to 
me, I will in no wise cast out,' saith Christ, John 
vi. 37. 

In that salvation is thus appropriated to them that 
come to God, by just consequence it followeth, that 
they who come to God shall be saved. 

Sec. 105. Of Christ the means to hring us to God. 

The means or way here prescribed to come unto 
God is, 6/ ahrov, hy Christ ; for by Christ only is ac- 
cess made to God, Eph. iii. 12. Hereupon this in- 
ference is made upon Christ's being our priest, ' let 
us therefore come boldly,' Heb. iv. 16, and 'let us 
draw near,' chap. x. 22. In this respect he is styled 
' the mediator betwixt God and man,' 1 Tim. ii. 5 ; 
and ' the way,' John xiv. 6, wherein we may go to 
God, even ' a new and living way,' Heb. x. 20 ; and 
' the door,' John x. 9, whereby we may have entrance 
unto God. 

Of the grounds and reasons hereof, see The Whole 
Armour of God, treat, iii. part. ii. ; of prayer, sec. 62. 

1. Hereby is discovered the folly of those, who 
either presume to come to God by themselves alone, 
without Jesus Christ their mediator, as Jews, Turks, 
and all manner of pagans ; or use other mediators, as 
papists do ; none of these can have any access unto 
God, for 'there is one mediator between God and 




[Chap. VII. 

men, the man Christ Jesns,' 1 Tim. ii. 5. The word 
o)ie is there meant exclusively, as if he had said, oiilij 
one, or one ahnip. 

2, Hereby let us learn in all our addresses to God 
to have our eye upon Christ, and our faith fast fixed 
on him ; so may we be sure of a pracious admittance 
to God. Do all therefore in his name. In his name 
pray, John xvi. 23; and give thanks, Eph. v. 20; and 
all other things. Col. iii. 17. 

Sec. 106. Of Christ's intercession. 

The ground of that power or opportunity which 
Christ hath to save such as come to God is thus ex- 
pressed, seeing he ever lireth, &c. 

This phrase, rravroTs ^wv, he ever liveth, intends as 
much as this, /i^^£/ h; rov uiuiva, he endureth ever. Both 
this and that hath reference to Christ's priesthood. 
See ver. 24, Sec. 98. 

This latter phrase, he ever liveth, addeth some light 
to the former, in that it sheweth that he doth not only 
endure, as a lifeless and senseless thing may do ; 
(witness sun and moon, Ps. Ixxii. 5 ; and the earth, 
Ps. Ixxviii. 09) ; but as one living to take notice of 
his church, generation after generation, and to do 
for it what he seeth needful and meet to be done. 

The adverb -rravTOTi, here translated ever, is not the 
same that was used before, ver. 24, Sec. 98, but it in- 
tendeth as much, and it implieth not only an endur- 
ing without end, but also without intermission, 1 Thes. 
iv. 17. 

Upon Christ thus living for ever, this particular 
end, to make intercession, is inferred. 

The verb i\/r\jyyjxviiv, translated intercession, is a 
compound. The simple verb 7vyx^d\iu,^ signifieth to 
have, or to enjoy. Acts xxiv. 2, or to obtain, Heb. xi. 
85. This compound signifieth to call upon one. It 
is a juridical word, and importeth a calling upon a 
judge to be heard in this or that, against another. 
Acts XXV. 24, Rom. xi. 2 ; or for another, Kom, 
viii. 34. So here Christ maketh intci'cession for 
them. The metaphor is taken from attorneys or 
advocates, who appear for men in courts of justice; 
or from councillors who plead their clients' cause, 
answer the adversary, supplicate the judge, and 
pi-ocure sentence to pass on their clients' side ; thus 
is Christ styled our crasax/.jjTo;, advocate, 1 John 
ii. 1. 

This act of making intercession may also be taken 
for kings' favourites, who are much in the king's 
presence, and ever ready to make request to the king 
fur their friend. 

Though this be thiis attributed to Christ, yet we 
may not think that in heaven Christ prostrateth him- 
self before his Father, or maketh actual prayers. 
That was a part of his humiliation, which he did in 
the days of his flesh, Ilcb. v. 7. But it implieth a 
presenting of himself a sacrifice, a surety, and one 
' De hoc verbo, vide Cliap. viii. 8, Sec. 23. 

thathathmade satisfaction for all our sins, together with 
manifesting of his will and desire that such and such 
should partake of the virtue and benefit of his sacrifice. 
So as Christ's intercession consistelh rather in the 
perpetual vigour of his sacrifice, and continual appli- 
cation thereof, than in any actual supplication.^ 

This is to be noted, to meet with an objection 
against the all-sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice, which is 
this : 

OhJ. If it be requisite to add intei'cession unto 
Christ's oblation, then was not that obligation'' perfect 
and all-suflicient. 

Ans. This intercession is not any addition of new 
merit, but only an application of the same. This 
application is not by reason of any defect in the 
sacrifice, but by reason of the need of the church, 
whose members do arise one after another, and that 
in time, so as, his body shall not be full till the end 
of the world, and then will there be no more need of 
this intercession. 

The intendment of this phrase applied to Christ, to 
make intercession, is to shew that Christ, being God's 
fiivourite, and our advocate, continually appeai'eth be- 
fore God to make application of that sacrifice, which 
once he ofl'ered up for our sins. 

That he is God's favourite, is evident by this testi- 
mony which God from heaven gave of him, ' This is 
my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,' Mat. 
iii. 17. He is expressly called ' an advocate with the 
Father,' 1 John ii. 1. It is expressly said, that he 
' entered into heaven, now to appear in the presence 
of God for us,' Heb. ix. 24. 

This Christ doth, 1, to present unto his Father 
himself the price of our redemption. 

2. To make application of his sacrifice to his church 
time after time, accortling to the need of the several 
members thereof. 

3. To make our persons, prayers, services, and all 
good things acceptable to God. 

1. This sheweth that the church needeth no other 
sacrifice, nor yet a reiteration of that sacrifice. The 
reason which papists forge for their supposed unbloody 
sacrifice, is directly against this intercession of Christ, 
for if Christ still remain our priest in heaven, and as 
our priest still makes intercession for us, what need 
is there of any other priest, or any other sacrifice ? 

2. "We may in faith and with boldness at all times 
approach to the throne of grace, in that we have an 
advocate, who also is God's favourite, there, always 
present ; an advocate that is able to make our cause 
good. He himself hath done and endured whatsoever 
is requisite to make our cause good. He is a fiivourite 
to whom God will hearken. Though we be unworthy, 
and have much incensed God's wrath, yet there is 

' Filins in hoc intorpellare Dciim dicitur, dura semper 
Tatri hominem quem suscopit quasi nostrum piguus ostendit 
et oftert, ut verus pontifex et teternus — liter. Comment, in 
Rom. viii. » Qu. ' oblatiou'?— Ed. 

Ver. 26, 27.] 



hope, so as we need not despair, 1 Jolin ii. 1. On this 
ground the apostle with an holy insultation saith, 
' Who is he that condemneth ? It is Christ that 
died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at 
the right hand of God, who maketh continual inter- 
cession for us.' When thou art troubled with horror 
of sin, when thou art in any distress, when thou art 
going out of this woi'ld, lift up the eyes of thy soul to 
Christ thy advocate at the throne of grace making in- 
tercession for thee, and in faith commend thy case 
and soul to him. 

3. This is a good ground of assurance of God's 
constant favour to us, and of our persevering unto the 
end, and it is the more sure, because it is not in our- 
selves, but in Christ. 

4. This is a further ground of presenting our per- 
sons, prayers, and all our services to God in the 
name of Christ. See Sec. 105. 

This relative, for them, hath reference to the per- 
sons described in the former j)art of this verse ; it 
intendeth such a limitation as excludeth all others. 
So as Christ doth not make intercession for all, John 
xvii. 19. See Chap. ii. 9, Sec. 81. 

Sec. 107. Of the resolution and observations of Heb. 
vii. 25. 

Ver. 25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the 
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever 
liveth to make intercession for them. 

The sum of this verse is, the all-sufficiency of 
Christ's priesthood. In setting down hereof, observe, 

1. The inference, in this word wherefore; 2, the 
substance. In it, 

1. An effect ; 2, the means of accomplishing it. 

The effect is set out, 

1. By the kind of it, to save. 

2. By the ground of it, he is able. 

3. By the extent, to the outermost. 

4. By the persons that are saved. These are de- 

1. By their act, them that come. 

2. By the object to whom, unto God. 

3. By the mediator, by Christ. 

The means of accomplishing the foresaid effect is, 

1, Propounded; 2, amplified. 

In the point propounded there is, 1, an act, he 
liveth ; 2, a continuance therein, for ever. 

In the amphfication of it we have, 1, the end, to 
make intercession ; 2, the persons for whom, for 


I. Christ's excellencies made Mm an all- sufficient 
priest. The general reference of this verse to all 
that went before intends thus much. See Sec. 101. 

II. Salvation is the end of Christ' s priesthood. He 
■was such a priest as is before described, to save. See 
Sec. 101. 

III. Christ loas able and meet to accomplish what he 

undertook. This is exemplified in this particular of 
saving. See Sec. 102. 

IV. The salvation which Christ bringeth is full and 
perfect. It is to the uttermost. See Sec. 103. 

V. Men must endeavour to be saved. They must 
come. See Sec. 101. 

VI. Salvation belongs to those that come to God. 
This is here taken for granted. See Sec. 101. 

VII. Christ is the means to bring us to God. Christ 
is understood under this relative him. See Sec. 105. 

VIII. Christ still liveth as our priest. So much is 
intended under this phrase, he ever liveth. See Sec. 

IX. Christ maketh intercession. This is plainly 
expressed. See Sec. 106. 

X. Christ maketh intercession for such as he intends 
to save. This relative, for them, hath reference to 
such. See Sec. 106. 

Sec. 108. Of Christ, such an high priest as became 

Ver. 26. For such an high priest became us, who is 
holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and 
made higher than the heavens. 

27. Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to 
offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the 
people's : for this did he once, when he offered zip him- 

In these two verses, a fifth argument is laid down 
to prove the excellency of Christ's priesthood above 
the Levitical. See Sec. 1. The argument is taken 
from the difference of the persons that executed the 
one and the other. Christ was perfectly pure, ver. 
26, but the Levitical priest polluted, ver. 27. 

Of Christ's being a priest, and an high priest, see 
Chap. ii. 17, Sees. 172, 173. 

The apostle, to make the force of his argument 
more evident, premiseth a necessity of such an high 
priest as Christ was, in this phrase, aVosTsv tj/j^Tv, it 
became zcs. 

Of the various acception of this word became, see 
Chap. ii. 10, Sec. 86. 

It signifieth both a decency or glory, and also a 

In the former respect it hath reference to God, 
whose glory is much set forth thereby. 

In the latter respect it hath reference to man, who 
could not have been saved without such a priest as is 
here set forth. Well, therefore, might he say, roio\)Tog, 
such an high priest. He is such an one as never the 
like was, or can be. Christ being the truth of that 
which was prefigured in Melchisedec, and being so far 
preferred before Aaron as he is in this chapter, this 
relative such, and that in the largest extent, may well 
be applied to him. 

How God's glory is set out by Christ's priesthood, 
wherein he humbled himself to death, was shewed 
Chap. ii. 10, Sec. 87. 



[Chap. VII. 

In reference to Christ himself, that there was a 
nieetuess, a necessity, for Christ to be like man, is 
shewed Chap. ii. 27, Sec, IGG. 

But here, in reference to man, ameetness, a neces- 
sity of Christ's excellency above all men is set forth, 
and that in purity and dignity. Therefore 

' Such a priest became us,' because there was no 
other way to etl'ect that which he did for us, nor other 
means to free us out of our misery. We were every 
way unholy. Our actual sins are many, Isa. lix. 12; 
we are by nature impure, Ps. li. 5 ; we are guilty of 
Adam's sin, llom. v. 12 ; by sin we implunged our- 
tselves into such a gulf of misery, and made ourselves 
such vassals of Satan, and such vessels of God's 
wrath, as none but such an one as was so pure as 
Chz'ist was, and so high as Christ was, could deliver 
us. No man so pure, no angel so high, higher than 
the heavens. 

Thus it appeareth that Christ was the fittest high 
priest and Saviour that could have been given for man. 
Acts iv. 12. 

1. From hence the bottomless depth of man's 
miser}- may be inferred, that no other high priest 
could be fit for him but the Son of God made son of 
man ; so pure, so high as he was. 

2. Herein appears the wonderful great and 'good 
respect of God to man, that would do for him what 
best became man, though it were to give his Son. 

3. This giveth proof of the wisdom of God, whereby 
he ordereth things so as best become himself. Chap. 
ii. 10, Sec. 86 ; yea, also, which may be fittest for 
man, and best become him. 

4. This teacheth us in all things to aim at that 
which becomes us : ' Whatsoever things are true, or 
honest, or just, -or pure, or lovely, or of good report, 
think on those things,' Philip, iv. 8. This was the 
argument which Christ pressed upon the Baptist, 
Mat. iii. 15. Ministers must ' speak the things which 
become sound doctrine,' Titus ii. 1 ; women must 
' adorn themselves as becometh such as profess god- 
liness,' 1 Tim. ii. 10; all saints must 'walk worthy 
of their holy calUng,' Eph. iv. 1 ; this is it that be- 
comes them. 

5. As God did that which becomes us, so we must 
do that which becomes him, and in this respect ' do 
all things to the glory of God,' 1 Cor. x. 31. 

Sec. 109. Of Christ being holy, harmless, unih'jUed, 
se]i(t rate from sin ners. 

The purity of Christ, as he is our priest, is set out 
in four distinct branches. 

The first is this, oeiog, hoi;/. This implieth one that 
is dedicated and consecrated to God. Herein the 
apostle hath reference to the condition of the high 
priests under the law, who were counted and called 
holy. Aaron had this style, ' the holy one of the 
Lord,' Ps. cvi. IG. As his person, so his apparel was 
counted holy, Exod. xxviii. 2. So the plucc where ho 

exercised his ministry was the holy place, Exod. xxviii. 
29, and the place whereinto the high priest went once 
a year ' the holy of holies,' Heb. ix. 3, All apper- 
taining to him was accounted holy, therefore there was 
engraven on the breast-plate, when he went before the 
Lord, ' Holiness to the Lord,' Exod. xxviii. 36. All 
these shewed that in his ofiice he was sanctified and 
consecrated to God. So was Christ, but in a far more 
excellent manner. The legal priests were hoi}' in an 
outward and legal manner ; so they might be holy 
priests, yet unholy men. Christ was inwardly, truly, 
properly, every way holy. This is evident by the other 
parts following concerning Christ's purity, to which 
points, parts, and degrees of holiness none of those 
priests ever attained. 

The second is a-/.a-/.oc, harmless. This is a privative 
compound. The simple noun, y.dx.o;, signifieth an 
hurtful or mischievous person. He that wronged his 
fellow-servant hath this title given unto him, and it is 
translated evil, Mat. xxiv. 28. The wrongs which 
Saul did to the church are comprised under this word 
xay.a, Acts ix. 13. 

This compound signifieth one that doth no wrong. 
In Latin, it is fitly translated innocent,^ one that doth 
no wrong. Every sin is a wrong to God or man. 
This, therefore, sheweth that Christ was free from all 
actual sin within and without. He never did any 
wrong or harm to God or man in thought, word, or 
deed, and in that respect this epithet harmless, or 
innocent, is attributed to him. He never committed 
any ofi'ence outwardly either in speech (for ' no guile 
was found in his mouth,' 2 Pet. ii. 22) nor in deed. 
In this respect he challenged his adversaries, John 
viii. 46. When the devil came to sift him, he ' found 
nothing in him,' John xiv. 30. Neither did he in- 
wardly commit any sin, for ' he knew no sin,' 2 Cor. 
V. 21. Had there been any in him, he must needs 
have known it. As privatively he did no ofi'ence, so 
positively he performed all duty; for he fulfilled the 
law to the full. He loved God * with all his heart, 
with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his 
strength, and his neighbour as himself,' Luke x. 27. 
In reference to God he saith, ' I have finished the 
work which thou gavest me to do,' John xvii. 4 ; and 
in reference to man thus, ' Greater love hath no man 
than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,' 
John XV. 13, and so did Christ. 

The third is c/.a/ai-T-o;, umlffiled. This word also is 
a compound. The simple verb iJ^iantti, polluo, sig- 
nifieth to jiolluh', chap. xii. 15. This compound is 
fitly translated inultfdcd, Heb. xiii. 4. Here it hath 
reference to original corruption, whereby man's nature 
is polluted throughout, in every power of soul and 
part of body. Put in Christ there is no speck of cor- 
ruption. He is holy and fully free from this, even as 
from all actual sin. Hereupon the angel that brought 
the fii'st news of his conception thus styleth him, 
* Innoceus. — Vulg. Lat. 

Ver. 26, 27.] 



* That holy thing which shall he born,' &c., Luke 
i. 35. See more hereof, Chap, iv, 15, Sec. 91. 

The fourth is -/.s^ajsigfisvog octto touv afjacrooXuiv, 
separate from sinners. The verb %wg/(^w, whence this 
word is derived, signifieth to remove, or separate from 
a place. Acts xviii. 1,2; from a person, Philip, v. 15, 
1 Cor. vii. 10, 11, 15 ; and from an estate or condi- 
tion, Rom. viii. 35, 39. 

Under the word sinners, all sorts of men, even all 
that come from Adam, are comprised. This then 
hath reference to the guilt of Adam's sin, whereunto 
all his posterity stood obliged, even all men as they 
came out of his loins, for he as a public person bore 
them all in his loins, Rom. v. 18. 

Obj. Christ also came from Adam. See the answer 
hereunto. Chap. iv. 15, Sec. 91. There is further 
shewed how Christ as our high priest is perfectly pure. 

Sec. 110. Of Christ made higher than the heavens. 

The dignity of Christ as our high priest is thus set 
out, ' made higher than the heavens.' 

This word yivo/ji^svoi, made, having reference to 
Christ's exaltation, intends his advancement there- 
unto, as if it had been thus expressed, exalted higher, 
&c. That word is used to shew, that the exaltation 
here mentioned is to be understood of Christ, as he 
was man, and mediator betwixt God and man, for he 
is exalted partly in regard of his human nature, and 
partly in regard of his office. 

This adjective b-^7}X6Tisog, higher, is the comparative 
of that positive v-^riXog, which is translated high. 
Chap. i. 3, Sec. 15. 

The word heavens may here be taken properly, and 
so imply, that Christ is advanced above all the visible 
heavens, even the starry sky. Or it may be taken 
metonymically, for the inhabitants of the highest 
heaven, which are glorified saints and glorious angels. 

Obj. God himself is said to be in heaven, but Christ 
is not advanced above him. 

Ans. God is not properly in heaven as contained 
therein, but because his glory is there most manifested. 
See The Guide to go to God, or Explanation of the 
Lord's Prayer, preface, sec. 16. 

The point principally here intended is this, Christ 
our priest is advanced above all creatures. Thus is 
he said to ' ascend up far above all heavens,' Eph. 
iv. 10, 'far above all principalities,' &c., Eph. i. 21. 

Of this exaltation of Christ, see Chap. i. 3, Sees. 
34, 35, and ver. 13, Sec. 149, and Chap. iv. 14, 
Sees. 84, 85. 

Sec. 111. Of Christ not offering for himself. 

In the 27th verse, the other part of the diflference 
between Christ and the Levitical priests is set down. 
It is concerning the sinfulness of those priests, which 
is proved by an act of theirs. They ofi'ered up sac- 
rifice for their sins, therefore they were sinners. 

To shew that this efiect is here mentioned, pur- 

posely to magnify Christ above them, the apostle thus 
bringeth it in, ' who needeth not,' &c. 

This relative o$, ivho, hath reference to Christ, 
described in the former verse. For that which is 
here said can be applied to none else. 

This word 'iyji uvdyxrjv, needeth, though it be the 
same in our EngHsh, which w^as used chap. v. 12, 
yet in Greek there are two distinct words in this and 
that place. That word %fe/a implieth a need through 
deficiency ; this a necessity. This is that word which 
is used, ver. 12, and translated necessity. 

It is here negatively spoken of Christ, og ohx 'i-)(it 
dvdyxriv, who needeth not, in reference to the legal 
priests, on whom there lay a necessity of offering up 
sacrifices for their sins. 

This negative giveth us to understand, that Christ 
died not for himself. He needed no sacrifice for him- 
self. When mention is made of the end of Christ's 
sacrifice, we shall find it to be for others, Isa. liii. 4, 
5, Eph. V. 25. 

The two points before noted of Christ, his perfect 
purity and high dignity, demonstrate as much. 

1. This is an evident argument against Christ's 
meriting for himself. See Chap. ii. 9, Sec. 74. 

2. This much amplifieth Christ's love to us, that 
though there were no need of his offering up a sacrifice 
for himself, yet he would do it for us. 

3. This is a good pattern to us, to do good to 
others, though there should be no need therein for 

From the force of this negative argument, that 
Christ offered up no sacrifice for himself, we may well 
infer, that things which need not are not to be done. 
God is ' not to be worshipped with men's hands ; 
because he needeth not any such thing,' Acts xvii. 25. 
Christ would not wash Peter's hands and head, because 
' he that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet,' 
John xiii. 9, 10. In the city that had no need of the 
sun or moon, they shined not, Rev. xxi. 23. 

That which needs not is superfluous, and all super- 
fluity is at least in vain. 

How vain are popish images, and all their super- 
stitious ceremonies ! How vain are their multitudes 
of mediators ! How vain are their sacrificing priests 
and bloody sacrifices ! How vain are prayers for the 
dead, and a thousand like things, which they do even 
in God's worship, whereof there is no need ! 

It becomes us duly to weigh in all our weighty 
enterprises, especially in those wherein we have to do 
with God, what need we have of them, and answerably 
to do them, or forbear them. 

Sec. 112. 0/ daily sacrifices. 

Of the Greek phrase xa^' fj/j,i^av, translated daily, 
see Chap. iii. 13, Sec. 145. It is here set down as 
another diflerence between Christ's sacrifice and the 
sacrifices of the legal priests. They were ofiered up 
day after day, this only once. For Christ at once did 



[Chap. VII. 

to the full what was to be done by his sacrifice. But 
they did not so by theirs. 

Herein is couched a sixth argument to prove the 
excellency of Christ's priesthood above the Levitical ; 
see Sec. 1. It is taken from the oft ofl'cring up of 
their sacrifices, which argueth imperfection. But 
Christ's perfect sacrifice was once only oflcred up. 

This word daily intends two points. 

1. An inxvfficiency in those sacrifices. For oft 
renewing and reiterating a thing, implies an imperfec- 
tion thereof ' "Would they not hiive ceased to be 
oflered,' if they had made perfect ? Heb. x. 2. 

By this our Lord proves that ordinary water could 
not thoroughly quench thirst for ever, because whoso- 
ever drinketh thereof shall thirst again, John iv. 13. 

There is no need of reiterating that which is per- 
fect and makcth perfect ; and if there be no need 
thereof, it must needs bo superfluous and vain. See 
Sec. 111. 

The blasphemous doctrine of the mass is hereby 
discovered, for papists say that therein they offer up 
that very sacrifice which Christ himself oflered upon 
the cross. They offer it up daily, thereby they make 
it imperfect. They can never be able to answer this 

This further sheweth, that our ordinances are not 
simply to be rested in, as in things that can make us 
perfect. They are in themselves but as ' bodily exer- 
cises which profit little,' 1 Tim. iv. 8. That which 
the Baptist said, is true of all the ministers of the gos- 
pel, ' they baptize but with water,' Mat. iii. 11. Men 
may eat and drink sacramental bread and wine, and 
yet ' eat and drink damnation to themselves,' 1 Cor. 
xi. 29. The gospel preached may prove ' a savour of 
death,' 2 Cor. ii. IG. In the use therefore of outward 
ordinances, Christ must be beheld, and faith fixed on 
him ; so may they be called helps to spiritual grace 
and heavenly blessings. Thus might the sacrifices 
and other prescribed rites be under the law. 

2. A duty, which is frequently to observe such 
warrantable means and sanctified helps as cannot at 
first do all that for which they are enjoined. On this 
ground we must 'exhort one another daily.' Sec more 
hereof, Chap. iii. 13, Sec. 145. 

By oft use of such helps, supply may be made of 
that defect and imperfection which is in them through 
our weakness. B}- long putting in water into a vessel 
drop by drop, it may be filled, though it have but a 
small vent. 

It will be our wisdom to observe what means God 
hath sanctified for our spiritual edification, and to be 
frequent and constant in the use of them. Ministers 
must ' preach the word,' and be ' instant in season and 
out of season,' 2 Tim. iv. 2. People must ' search the 
Scriptures daily,' Acts xvii. 11. So they must ' pray 
without ceasing,' 1 Thes. v. 17. They must also 
frequent the public ministry of the word and the Lord's 
table. Nature and reason teach men daily to eat, 

drink, and sleep, because once doing of these things 
cannot be sufficient. Let God's word and true religion 
teach us to be as wise for our souls. 

Sec 113. Ofclcansinyoncssclfjlrat. 

They who did that which Chi-ist needed not, are 
thus expressed, as those hifjh priests. 

The particle, uamp, as, being inferred on a negative, 
implieth a dissimilitude; the dissimilitude is betwixt 
Christ and the legal high priests. For this relative 
pronoun, 6/ di'/jfiiT;, (hose, hath reference to the priests 
of whom he had before spoken, vers. 11, 20, 23. 

An especial work of those priests was to offer up 

Of priests, and of their offering sacrifice, see Chap. 
V. 1, Sees. 6, 7. 

A double end of the legal priest's sacrifices is here 
set down : 

One was for his own sins ; the other for the sins 
of the people. 

That sacrifices were for sins is proved, Chap. v. 1, 
Sec. 8. 

That priests offered sacrifices for their own sins, is 
also proved. Chap. v. 3, Sec. 14. 

This adverb of order, rr^on^ov, first, is remarkable ; 
for it implieth, that they who use means of cleansing 
others, must first seek to cleanse themselves. * First 
cast out the beam out of thine own eye,' Mat. vii. 5 ; 
' Physician, heal thyself,' Luke iv. 23. The apostle 
* kept under his own body, and brought it into sub- 
jection : lest that by any means, when he had preached 
to others, he himself should be a castaway,' 1 Cor. 
ix. 27. 

By this course of a man's first cleansing himself, 
the means which he useth for others will be the more 
powerful and effectual, and that in three respects : 

1. God's blessing doth usually most accompany 
such a course. 

2. The mind and disposition of those whose cleans- 
ing is endeavoured, will more readily be made subject 
to the means used in such a manner of proceeding. 

3. The conscience of those who use the means will 
be more cheerful in performing that duty. A self- 
condemning conscience is a great hindrance to such 

This is a good direction to ministers, who pray for 
and preach to others, to pray for and preach to them- 
selves. Though in regard of their calling they teach, 
yet in regard of their persons they must learn what 
they teach others, and apply all to themselves. The 
like may be said of parents, masters, and other gover- 
nors. All that by virtue of their general or particular 
calling seek to instruct and inform others, must con- 
sider what in this case is said, ' Thou which teachest 
another, teachest thou not thyself?' Horn. ii. 21. 

Of the word ava^£g£/v, anv'ijxa;, here twice used, 
and translated, according to the composition of it, 
offend up, see Chap. v. 1, Sec. 6. 

Ver. 26, 27.] 



Sec. 114. Of cleansing others also. 

The other end of a priest's offering sacrifice, was 
for the people's sins. Hereof see Chap. v. 3, sec. 

This correlative adverb, sVs/ra, then, is also observ- 
able. It gives us to understand, that it is not sufii- 
cient for them who have charge over others, to cleanse 
themselves, unless also they seek to cleanse others. 
Though they must first cleanse themselves, yet withal 
they must seek to cleanse others. So did Jacob, 
Gen. XXXV. 2; Joshua, chap. xxiv. 15; Hezekiah, 
2 Chron. xxix. 2, &c. ; Josiah, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 31, 
32; Ezra, chap. x. 5. This charge did David give 
to the chief of the Levites : ' Sanctify yourselves, ye 
and your brethren,' 1 Chron. xv. 12; and Christ to 
Peter, ' When thou art converted, strengthen thy 
brethren,' Luke xxii. 32. 

Thus men ought to do, in regard of God, those 
others, and themselves. 

1. It is an evidence of an holy zeal of God's glory, 
to bring others with ourselves to God. 

2. It is a fruit of brotherly love, to promote the 
spiritual good of others as of our own. 

3. We shall by this means give up our account to 
God with joy and not with grief. 

Let all those who are conscionable in observing the 
former duty of cleansing themselves, know that if their 
care and endeavour be only for themselves, they come 
very short of performing what they should, and may 
lose the glory and comfort thereof. 

Sec. 115, Of Christ offering vp himself once. 

The latter part of this verse containeth a reason 
why Christ needed not to offer his sacrifice daily. For 
this did he once. The causal particle yag, for, sheweth 
that this clause is added as a reason. 

The relative pronoun towto, this, hath reference to 
that which goeth before. That reference may either 
be general, to the act of offering, which he did once, 
or else particular, to the first clause of this verse; and 
then these words of order, ' first for his own sins, and 
then for the people's,' be included in a parenthesis. 
Or it may have reference to this clause immediately 
before, for the people's. If it should have reference to 
the order of priest's offering sacrifice, ' first for his 
own sins, and then for the people's,' it would contradict 
the description of Christ's purity, ver 26. 

The adverb JpccTrr/^, once, is here used exclusively. 
It excludeth all iterations, as if he had said, once for 
all, once and but once, never again. 

There is a little diflerence in the Greek betwixt this 
word, and that (a'Xa^) which is translated once, Chap, 
vi. 4, Sec. 32; and that by prefixing a preposition. It/, 
before this adverb here. But both words are used in 
the same sense, and applied to the same thing, as 
Heb. ix. 28, and x. 10. 

In this very sense is Christ's sacrifice or offering 
said to be one [^(ua, *iu(T/a, /i/a Tgoffpo^a), namely, ex- 

clusively; only one, but one, and no more, Heb. x. 
12, 14. 

That this adverb once is thus to be taken exclu- 
sively, is evident, in that where the apostle said, 
' Christ died once,' it is also said, ' Christ being raised 
fi'om the dead, dieth no more,' Rom, vi. 9, 10. So 
as to die once, is to die but once and no more. In 
the very same sense it is said, ' It is appointed unto 
men once to die,' Heb. ix. 27. Now we know by ex- 
perience, that men use to die but once and no more. 

It was a full and absolute perfection of Christ's 
sacrifice, and of his offering up thereof, that caused 
that sacrifice to be but one, and that offering to be 
but once. 

A wonder it is that papists should be so blinded as 
they are in this case; for hereby it is evident, that 
the sacrifice of the mass, which they daily offer up, 
is both erroneous and blasphemous : erroneous, in 
that it expressly contradicteth the Scripture ; blasphe- 
mous, in that it maketh Christ's sacrifice, offered by 
himself, to be imperfect. I would demand of them 
whether the sacrifice of the mass be the very same 
that Christ offered upon the cross or no. If they 
should say no, then they make that imperfect, by 
adding another unto it. Thus the sacrifice of the 
New Testament would not be one, and in that respect 
not perfect. If they say yea, that it is the very same, 
then Christ's ofieriag up his sacrifice was not suffi- 
cient, in that it is offered up more than once; yet 
four several times doth the apostle apply this exclu- 
sive adverb, once, to Christ's offering, namely, in this 
verse. Chap. ix. 26, 28, and x. 10. 

All the show of answer that they can make is, by a 
foolish and false distinction of a bloody and unbloody 
sacrifice. That sacrifice, say they, which Christ him- 
self offered up upon the cross was a bloody sacrifice, 
and that was but once offered up; but that which is 
offered up in the mass is unbloody, and this is daily 
offered up. 

Ans. 1. This distinction is without ground of Scrip- 
ture. There is no hint of any such distinction there. 

2. It taketh away all the pretended virtue and 
efficacy of that sacrifice. They hold that their sacri- 
fice is a true, real, propitiatory sacrifice for the sins 
of the quick and dead ; but an unbloody sacrifice can- 
not be so, for ' without shedding of blood is no re- 
mission,' Heb. ix. 22. This phrase, ' without shedding,' 
answers their conceit of transubstantiating wine into 
blood, for by shedding of blood is meant slaughter, or 
taking away of life. 

3. Those terms, bloody and unbloody, being contra- 
dictory, cannot be attributed to the very same thing, as 
they say the body of Christ crucified and the bread tran- 
substantiated are the very same body [idem numero). 

4. According to their own position their sacrifice is 
not unbloody, for they say the wine is transubstantiated 
into blood. To this they rejoin that that blood is not 



[Chap. VII. 

And if not shed, then no sacrifice. But is not the 
wine poured out of the chalice when it is drunk, and 
may not somo of it fall out of the cup, or from the 
mouth or beard of him that drinketh it '? 

They much press this, that the ancient fathers' call 
the eucharist an unbloody sacrifice. 

Alts. 1. They call it a sacrifice mctonymically and 
sacramentally, because it is a memorial of the sacrifice 
of Christ, 2 and unbloody to distinguish it from Christ's 
sacrifice on the cross. There blood was shed, here 
is no blood at all. 

2. They called it an unbloody sacrifice in reference 
to the praises then ofi'ered to God,^ which they called 
sacrifices without body* as well as without blood, and 
an unbloody service.* 

That which is implied in this word ouce, namely, 
the perfection of Christ's sacrifice, should make us 
perfectly, yea, wholly and only, trust thereunto. As 
it is perfect in itself, so must we account of it as of 
that which can make us perfect. This will be mani- 
fested by our stedfast relying upon it, without doubting 
or wavering, and without trusting to anything else. 
Blessed be the gospel, that hath revealed the perfec- 
tion of this sacrifice, and blessed are they that trust 
unto it. 

This is the rather to be done by reason of the kind 
of sacrifice which is thus expressed, ' he oflered up 
{'iaurov) himself.' Hereof see Chap. i. 3, Sec. 29. 
See also Domest. Duties, treat, i. sec, 29. 

This intimation of time, when, hath reference to 
Christ's death upon the cross. I grant that this par- 
ticle when is not expressed in the Greek, yet it is 
implied in the participle, which may thus be translated, 
having offered up. If, then, that which is comprised 
under the word once was accompHshed, how shall ho 
be oll'ered up again in the mass ? 

Sec. 116. Of the resolution and observations of lleh. 
vii. 2G, 27. 

Yer. 2G. For such an high priest became us, toho is 
Judy, harmless, undejlled, separate from sinners, and 
made hif/Jier than the heavens. 

27. Who needeth not dady, as those high priests, 
to offer rip sacrijices, first for his own siyis, and then for 
the people's ; for this did he once when he offered up 

The sum of these two verses is the excellency 
of Christ above other priests. Hereof are two 
parts : 

1. A description of Christ, ver. 20. 

2. A declaration of the ditierenco betwixt Christ and 
other priests. 

' Cyril, ad Reg. ; Euseb. de Demonst, lib. i. 

* Ut caruni, quro pro nobis 8uscoi)ta sunt, perpessionom 
rcconlarcmur. — Theo- in cap. viii. ad llebr. 

•• at<iif/,d.Krcui liur'taf x.a'i ^oe,oXeyi'a(. — Cyril ad Rl'Q. 

* Curias iffufiarovf. — Euseb. de JJemorift., lib. i. 

* arxiftaxTtf kar^iiat, — C'l/ril. Ilteros. Mi/st. Catechts. 5. 

In the description there is set down, 
1. The person described ; 2, the substance of the 

The person is set out by his ofiice, high priest. 
In the substance we may observe two points : 

1 . The purity of Christ ; 2, his dignity. 

The purity of Christ is, 1, set down in four pro- 
perties ; 

2. Amplified by the ground thereof. 

Among the foresaid properties, one in general hath 
respect to his function, which is holy. The other 
three are a qualification of his person, namely, harm- 
less, undefdfd, and separate from sinners. 

About the ground of these is noted, 

1. The kind of ground, hecame ; 

2. The persons whom it concerneth, us. 

The dignity of Christ is, 1, set out by the place, 
heavens ; 

2. Amplified by a comparative expression, higher 

The dificrence betwixt Christ and other priests 

1. Propounded ; 2, proved. 

The point propounded is a dissimihtude, w^herein is, 

1. Intimated an agreement betwixt them ; 

2. Is expressed a difference. 

The agreement is in offering sacrifice. 
The dilierence is in three points : 

1. In time : they offered daily, Christ once. 

2. In the extent of the end : they for their own sins 
and others, Christ only for others. The extent of their 
offering is amplified by the order, first for their own 
sins, then for the people's. 

3. In the kind of sacrifice : Christ offered up him- 
self, they offered up other sacrifices. 


I. Christ tvas an high priest. He is so styled. See 
Sec. 108. 

II. Christ was such a priest as was every xvay fit. 
This relative, such, in this place implieth as much. 
Sec Sec. 108. 

III. God ordered matters so as otcr need required. 
Even so as hecame us. See Sec. 108. 

IV. Christ by his function toas an holy one. In this 
respect he is here styled holy. See Sec. 109. 

V. Christ never committed any actual sin. He was 
Jiarmless. See Sec. 109. 

VI. Christ was ivithout original sin. He was un- 
dcfded. See Sec. 109. 

VII. Christ ivas not guilty of Adam's sin. In this 
sense he is said to be separate from sinners. See Sec. 

VIII. Christ was perfectly pure. This general is 
gathered out of all the fore-mentioned particulars. See 
Sec. 109. 

IX. Christ as our priest is above all creatures. This 
phrase, higher than the heavens, intendeth as much. 
See Sec. 110. 

Ver. 28.] 



X. Christ as mediator is advanced to that high dig- 
nity which he hath. The word made, as here used, 
impiieth as much. See Sec. 110. 

XI. Christ needed not the things which other priests 
did. Thus much is expressed in this phrase, needed 
not. See Sec. 111. 

XII. Priests offered nj) sacrifices. This is taken for 
granted. See Sec. 113. 

XIII. Legal priests oft offered up their sacrifices, even 
daily. See Sec. 112. 

XIV. What cannot at once he effected must by daily 
performance he helped on. This is the reason why the 
priests daily offered. See Sec. 112. 

XV. Legal priests offered sacrifices for their own 
sins. This is plainly expressed. See Sec. 113. 

XVI. They luho are in place to cleanse others must 
first he cleansed themselves. This adverb of order, 
first, demonstrateth as much. See Sec. 113. 

XVII. Priests offered sacrifice for others also. This 
is plainly expressed. See Sec. 114. 

XVIII. They who have charge over others must seek 
their cleansing. This correlative conjunction, then, in- 
tends so much. See Sec. 114. 

XIX. Christ only once offered up his sacrifice. This 
adverb once is exclusive. See Sec. 115. 

XX. Christ offered up himself. This is clearly ex- 
pressed. See Sec. 115. 

Sec. 117. Of the meaning o/Heb. vii. 28. 
Ver. 28. For the law maketh men high priests ichich 
have infirmity ; hut the word of the oath, ivhich was 
since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for 

The causal conjunction ya^, for, sheweth that this 
verse contains a reason of that which went before. 
It giveth a reason of both parts of the former dissimi- 
litude, namely, 

1. That the Levitical priests offered oft, and Christ 
but once, and that only for others, because he is the 
Son of God. 

This verse doth withal set down a seventh argu- 
ment (see Sec. 1), to prove the excellency of Christ's 
priesthood above the Levitical. The argument is 
taken from the different nature of the one and of the 
other priest. They were mere men, Christ was the 
Son of God. 

This being taken for granted, which is an undeni- 
able principle, that the more excellent the priest is 
the more excellent his priesthood is, the argument 
thus lieth. 

The Son of God, perfected for'evermore, hath a more 
excellent priesthood than men which have infirmity ; 
but Christ is the Son, &c., and legal priests men, &c. ; 
therefore Christ's priesthood is more excellent than 

Against this argument there lie sundry exceptions. 

Except. 1. Christ was a true man. 

Ans. He was not a mere man. He was more than 

a man. He was God-man. And in his priesthood 
he must be so considered. 

Except. 2. Christ was subject to infirmities as well 
as other men, chap. ii. 17, 18. 

Ans. He was not subject to sinful infirmities, chap, 
iv. 15. But these are the infirmities which are here 
principally intended. For such infirmities were sacri- 
fices offered up. 

This last argument is so framed, as it compriseth 
under it the sum of the former arguments whereby 
Christ's priesthood was proved to be more excellent 
than the Levitical. 

1. Christ's priesthood succeeded that, ver. 11. For 
the word that makes Christ priest is since the laiv. 

2. They were made priests by a carnal law, ver. 16. 
This is the law here intended. 

3. They were made priests without an oath, ver. 21. 
The u'ord of oath whereby Christ was ordained is here 

4. They died, ver. 23. Christ is consecrated for 

5. They were sinful, ver. 27. Here they are said 
to have infirmity. But Christ is perfected.^ 

6. They offered for themselves, and that oft, ver. 
27 ; but Christ only for others, and that but once. 
Thus much is implied under this phrase, consecrated 

for erermore. 

By the law, 6 v6[iog, here mentioned is meant the 
law of ceremonies, which is called ' the law of a 
carnal commandment.' See ver. 16, Sees. 80, 81. 

The verb %a&i6r'riei, translated maketh, impiieth an 
ordination or institution to such and such a function. 
See Chap. v. 1, Sec 3. 

The noun avd^ui-rovg, translated men, is here used 
in the same sense that it was Chap. v. 1, Sec. 2. 

What, as;^//£g£/g, an high priest is, hath been shewed, 
Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 172. 

The noun acsShua, translated infirmity, is used in 
the same sense that it was Chap. v. 2, Sec. 12. 

By Xoyoi o^xMfLOBiag, the ivord of oath, is meant 
that expression of God's oath, whereof see vers. 20, 
21, Sees. 91, 92. 

The word of oath is here said to be //.sra rhv voyi-ov, 
since, or after the law, namely, the law of ordaining 
priests before mentioned. 

For clearing this point sundry doubts are to be re- 

1. The law is said to be four hundred and thirty 
years after the covenant that was confirmed in Christ, 
Gal. iii. 17. How then is this word of oath since the 
law ? 

Ans. The covenant there said to be confirmed in 
Christ hath respect to a particular promise of Christ 
himself, even of his person to descend from Abraham. 
But this word of oath is a confirmation of a special 

2. The law doth not so follow and succeed the fore- 

' Qu. 'perfect"? — Ed. 



[Chap. VII. Ver. 28. 

named covenant as Christ's priesthood did the Levi- 
tical. The law was added to shew what need there 
was for the covenant to be confirmed in Christ, 
and to drive us to Christ, Gal. iii. 19, 2i. But 
Christ's priesthood came in the room of the Levitical, 
and thrust it clean out. 

Duitbt 2. The law that came after the foresaid cove- 
nant had no excellenc}' thcreupou above the covenant. 
How then doth the cstablishin<,' of Christ's priesthood 
after the Levitical give an e.Kcellency to that above 

Ana. It is not simjily the coming after, but the 
coming in the room of it, to supply that which the 
former could not etlect, which argueth the excellency 
of Christ's priesthood. That therefore the church 
might with confidence expect that to be perfected 
which could not be by the Levitical priesthood and 
law thereof, the word of oath was since the law. 

Doubt 3. Christ was ' a Lamb slain from the be- 
ginning of the world,' Rev. xiii. 8. 

Alls. That is spoken in reference, 

1. To God's purpose in giving his Son, which was 
from everlasting. 

2. To the promise made in the beginning of the 
world. Gen. iii. 15. 

3. To the eflicacy of Christ's sacrifice, which was, 
as Christ himself, ever the same, Heb. xiii. 8. 

4. To the vigour of faith ; for Abel's faith eyed 
Christ and his sacrifice as steadily as believei'S that 
lived since Christ was actually sacrificed, Heb. xi. 4. 

But this is spoken of a solemn manifestation and con- 
firmation of Christ's priesthood. Therefore this phrase, 
' which was since the law,' as here used, contirmeth 
that which was delivered concerning the imperfection 
of the Levitical priesthood, that needed another to 
come after it, ver. 11, Sec. 64, and the excellency of 
Christ, which came in the room of the former, and 
perfected that which the former could not, ver. 19, 
Sec. 87. 

This title, iihv, Son, is here set down by an excel- 
lency ; such a Son as none like him, who alone de- 
servelh this title properly, as it hath reference to God 
the Father, so as the Son of God is hero meant. Of 
this Son of God, see Chap. i. 2, Sec. 15. Of God's 
Son made high priest, see Chap. v. 5, Sec. 27. 

This verb makelh is not here expressed in the Greek, 
but necessarily to be understood ; for this latter clause 
hath reference to the first clause of this verse, and de- 
l>cndeth upon xadlerriSi, the verb there used, and is 
fitly here suppHed by our English. 

Of the divers acceptious of the Greek verb rinXn'jj- 
/aevov, translated consecrated, see Chap. ii. 10, Sec. 

According to the notation of the word is implied 
puch a solemn setting apart of the Son of God to his 
priestly function, as he was every way made perfect 
thereunto, and also makes all that come to him and 
rest upon him perfect. Our English, therefore, in the 

margin have thus expressed this sense, Greek, per- 

Herein Christ far excelleth the legal priests, who 
were neither perfect themselves nor could make others 
perfect, ver. 11, Sec. 61, Chap. x. 1. 

The phrase, el; rbv dr^/va, translated evermore, is the 
same that was used. Chap. v. 6, Sec. 29 ; and that to 
set out the everlastingness of Christ's priesthood. 
Thus we see how this verse is a recapitulation of the 
most material points before set down concerning the 
excellency of Christ's priesthood above the Levitical. 
For this is the main scope of it, and here it is fitly 
brought in as the conclusion of all. 

Sec. 118. Of the resolution and observations of ^Qh. 
vii. 28. 

The general sum of this verse, as of sundry others 
before it, is a proof of the excellency of Christ's priest- 
hood above the Levitical. Hereof are two parts : 

1. The meanness of the Levitical priesthood. 

2. The greatness of Christ's. 
The former is set out, 

1. By the ground or warrant which they had, the law. 

2. By the kind of persons who were priests, men. 
This is amplified by their condition, iihich have in- 

The latter is set out, 

1. By the ground or warrant which he had, the 
xcord of oath. 

2. By the time, or order, when he was confirmed, 
since the law. 

3. By the dignity of his person, Son. 

4. By the manner of institution, cowiccrated. 

5. By the continuance of hispriesthood,/ort'uer??!ore. 


I. There xcere hi<ih priests under the law. This is 
here taken for granted. See Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 173. 

II. The ceremonial law teas tJie L'n-ilical priest's war- 
rant. That law made them. See ver. 16, Sec. 80. 

III. The ler/al hiijh priests were subject to infirmity. 
This is plainly expressed. See Chap. v. 2, Sec. 12. 

IV. The warrant of Christ's priesthood was the word 
of oath. That made him priest. See ver. 20, Sec. 

V. Christ's priesthood succeeded the leyal. This is 
intended under this phrase, since the law. See ver. 
19, Sec. 87. 

VI. 2 he Son of God is our high pried. He is com- 
prised under this title. Son. See Chap. v. 5, Sec. 

VII. Christ tras solemnly instituted into his priest- 
hood. This word consecrated, having reference to God's 
oath, importeth thus much. See ver. 20, Sec. 91. 

VIII. Christ's is a perfect, perfectiny priesthood. 
The notation of the Greek word translated consecrated, 
proveth this extent. See Chap. ii. 10, Sec. 97. 

IX. Christ's is an everlasting priesthood. See 
Chap. V. 6, Sec. 29. 

Chap. VIII. Ver. 1.] 




Sec. 1. Of the resolution 0/ Heb. viii. 

The apostle having proved the excellency of Christ's 
priesthood in the former chapter, proceedeth to set 
out Christ's faithful execution thereof. He doth 
largely insist upon this point, and that throughout 
this whole chapter, and the ninth, and a great part 
of the tenth, even to the 19th verse thereof. 

To consider this chapter singly by itself, the sum 
of it is, 

A declaration of Christ's execution of his priesthood. 

Hereabout three general points are handled. 

1. The place where he executeth that office, verses 

2. The sacrifice which he offered up in executing 
it. This is, 

(1.) Implicitly hinted, ver. 2. 

(2.) Expressly proved by a necessity thereof, which 

[1,] Propounded in the example of other high 
priests, verses 3, 4. 

[2.] Proved by God's appointing it to be so, ver. 5. 

3. The covenant whereabout it was exercised. 
This is set out comparatively. 

There are two parts of the comparison : 
One sets out the excellency of this covenant ; 
The other, the insufficiency of that covenant which 
went before it. Both these are, 
(1.) Propounded; (2.) confirmed. 
The excellency of this covenant is propounded, ver. 6. 
The insufficiency of the other is propounded, ver. 7. 
The proof of both is by a divine testimony. Hereabout, 

1. The substance is expressed. 

2. A consequence is inferred. 

The substance of the testimony setteth out the 
difference betwixt two covenants. 
The former was violated. 
The latter remained stable. 
The violation of the former is, 

1. Implied by God's rebuking them, ver. 8. 

2. Aggravated by their abusing of God's goodness, 
ver. 9. 

The stability of the other covenant is also, 

1. Implied in this epithet, neio, ver. 8. 

2. Confirmed by the distinct promises annexed 

The promises are four. 

1. God will put his law into our minds, ver. 10. 

2. God will be our God, ver. 10. 

3. God will teach us, ver, 11. 

4. God will pardon our sins, ver. 12. 

The consequence following upon this difference is 
the abrogation of the former covenant, ver. 13. 

Sec. 2. Of the meaning 0/ Heb. viii. 1. 

Ver. 1. Now of the things which ice have siwken, this is 

the Sinn : We have such an high priest, uho is set on the 
right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. 

The particle of connection whereby this verse is knit 
to the former, is the conjunction of opposition, 61, com- 
monly translated but, which is oft used as a mere sup- 
plement ; and in that respect is here fitly translated 
noiv. It is also used in the close of a point, after a 
sufficient discourse thereupon ; as if one should say, 
' But to insist no longer on this discourse, the short 
sum of all is this.' 

The word zs(pdXaiov, translated sum, is a diminu- 
tive ; but in Greek and Latin ^ diminutives are oft 
used in way of amplification. 

This diminutive may be here fitly used, in that it 
is but a small sum under which much is comprised. 

The Greek word properly signifieth an head, or a 
little head. But in all sorts of Greek authors it is 
for the most part metaphorically used. It is put for 
a sum of money. Acts xxii. 28. 

Metaphorically taken, it signifieth three things. 

1. The chiefest and most principal point in a dis- 

2. The main scope of a discourse, whereunto all 
the particulars thereof tend, and whereat they aim. 

3. A brief compendium and abridgment of a large 
discourse ; a brief couching together of many parti- 
culars in one sum. 

In all these three respects the word may here fitly 
be used ; for neither of them cross the other ; but all 
agree with the matter follo\A ing. For that which the 
apostle compriseth under this sum, which he accounts 
a most principal point, and which as a mark he mainly 
aimeth at, and is here in few words comprised, is this, 
Christ the priest of the New Testament is a spiritual, 
celestial high priest. He is not as the priests under 
the law, external, terrestrial, occupied about outward 
carnal rites, exercising and ending his function on 
earth ; but a priest of a better covenant, exercising 
his function in heaven. 

1. This is the sum and substance of that long dis- 
course which the apostle, in the former chapter, in- 
sisted upon, and confirmed by many arguments. 

2. This is that main scope and mark at which he 
aimed throughout his whole discourse. 

3. This is the chiefest point which, above all, he 
would have the Hebrews to observe. 

Quest. How can Christ's priesthood be accounted 
spiritual and celestial, when his sacrifice was the body 
and blood of a man, and he sufiered on earth ? 

Ans. 1. Though he were a true man, yet he was not 
man alone, he was God-man ; he ' offered himself up 
by his eternal Spirit.' Thus was his sacrifice spiritual ; 
the spiritual virtue and efficacy that it had came from 

' Capituluin. capitulum lepidissimum. 



[Chap. VITI. 

2. Though Christ began to execute his priestly 
function on earth (for the works of services and 
sufl'erings which belonged thereunto, must be done on 
earth) ; 3'et after that, he ascended into heaven, there 
to continue his intercession, which is also a principal 
part of his priesthood. 

B}' the way, take notice of this main point, that we 
may rightly conceive Christ's priesthood, stedfastly 
believe on it, and every way rightly esteem and use 
it ; so shall we partake of the virtue and comfort 

These words, jV/' toT; y.eyo/xsvoic, of tlie things uhich 
tie have xjwlai, have apparent reference to that which 
he had in the former chapter delivered about the ex- 
cellency of Christ's priesthood, so as this first clause 
is a transition betwixt chapter and chapter, which the 
apostle the rather useth, 

1. To rouse up their attentions, lest by the former 
long discourse they should be over-wearied. 

2. To keep them from a loss, fi'om forgetting that 
which he had before insisted upon. Much matter oft 
confounds men ; such a transition revives them. 

8. To move them to give the more diligent heed to 
a matter that was of so much moment. 

Teachers and instructors of others may hereby learn 
to point out the main point that they intend. * Let 
us hear the conclusion of the w^hole matter,' saith the 
wise man, Eccles. xii. 13. ' These are the command- 
ments which the Lord our God commanded to teach 
you,' saith Moses, Deut. vi. 1. Our Lord Christ 
compriseth the whole law under these two clauses, 
' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine 
heart, &c. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' 
Mat. xxii. 37-39. The apostle compriseth all under 
this one word, ' love,' Horn. xiii. 8. 

By such sums men's minds are held more attentive, 
and brought better to discern the force of every reason 
or argument. A good archer in having his eye 
upon the mark while he is drawing the arrow, will 
shoot the nearer to the mark. Thus, hearers by un- 
derstanding the main scope of that that is taught them, 
will be kept from roving and wandering in their minds, 
and better discern that doctrine which is taught them. 

There are many that only mark words and sentences 
that are taught them, without heeding that scope and 
main sum whereat the preacher aimeth. Thus mis- 
takings many times arise, and a great part of that 
profit which they might reap by that which is taught 
them is lost. 

The sum here intended is in general thus expressed : 
* ^Ve have such an high priest.' Tliis hath reference 
to Jesus, mentioned chap. vi. 20, and vii. 22. So as 
here it is taken for granted, that Jesus is a priest, and 
an high priest. See Chap. ii. 17, Sees. 172-175. 

Uow we are said to have, lyjtinv', this high priest is 
shewed. Chap. iv. 14, Sec. 83^ 

The word, roioHrov, translated stich an o??e, is here 
so used as it was Chap. vii. 2G, Sec. 108. 

In particular the said sinn is thus exemphfied, who 
is set on the right hand, ttc. 

The verb sxaOiai, translated is set, is the very same 
that is used Chap. i. 3, and Chap. x. 12, in both which 
places it is used actively, and translated he sat. For 
the Father said to him, ' sit,' Ps. ex. 1, and he sat. 

Of this act of sitting, of this kind of dignit}', sv 6sg/a, 
on the rii/ht hand, of this amplification thereof, rou 
'i)p6vou TT^g /MiyaXojauiiri:, of tlie throne of the majesty, 
and of this particular place, h roT; ov^avoTg, in the 
heiiveitf, see Chap. i. 3, Sees. 31-35. 

This high transcendent description of the place where 
our high priest exerciseth his function, doth much 
commend his person, and his office, and sheweth what 
just cause there is to have the one and the other in 
high account, and confidently to expect whatsoever 
may be expected from such a priesthood. 

Sec. 3. Of Christ a minister. 

Yer. 2. A minister of the sanctuary, and oj the true 
tabernacle, uhich the Lord pitched, and not man. 

In the former verse, the apostle sets out the excel- 
lency of Christ's priesthood simply and plainlv, by the 
supereminency of the place where he continueth to 
exercise it. Now that he may more distinctly mani- 
fest that therein Christ's priesthood far surpassed the 
Levitical, he doth in this verse further insist on the 
same point, but metaphorically, his metaphors being 
taken from the places where those priests exercised 
their function. The first is thus expressed, a minister 
of the sanctuary. 

The Greek word, XnrovByhg, translated minister, is 
the same that was used, Chap. i. 7, Sec. 79, where it 
was shewed that according to the notation of the 
word, it setteth out one that is employed about public 
services. The Hebrew word, D*mL^'D, whereunto 
this Greek one answereth, is applied to priests, who 
are styled ' ministers for the house of God,' Ezra viii. 
17, and ' ministers of the altar,' Joel i. 13, and 
' ministers of the Lord,' Joel ii. 17. It is here spoken 
of Christ, so as Christ was a minister of those things 
which belonged to his place. There is another Greek 
word, didx-ovoc, which significth in general the same 
thing, and in our English translated, minister, attri- 
buted to Christ, Rom. xv. 8. He is expressly called 
God's servant, Isa. xlii. 2. ' He took upon him the 
form of a servant,' Philip, ii. 7 ; and thus he saith of 
himself, ' the son of man came to minister.' 

The work which he undertook required matters of 
service and suflering. Therefore rather than that work 
should not be done, he would become a minister to 
do it. 

Ohj. That which is here spoken of Christ is a 
matter of dignity and authority. He is here set on a 
throne of majesty, and that in heaven. Is he there a 
minister ? 

Aus. 1. This title may be here given him in re- 
ference to his whole work fiom the beginning to the 

Ver. 2.] 



end ; and because -while he began it on earth he was 
properly a minister, the same title is still continued. 

2. This title is here given unto him in reference 
to the priests under the law ; that as they were minis- 
ters of that sanctuary which belonged to them, so 
Christ of that which belongeth to him. 

3. The title minister hath reference to the work 
done, which if it tend to the good of others, is counted 
and called a service, not in reference to any subjection 
or inferiority of the person that doth it, but merely in 
reference to the good of others, to whom thereby 
service is done. Thus the highest in a kingdom is 
styled a minister, Rom. xiii. 4, and that, as the 
apostle saith, ' for good,' even the good of others. 
Of different kinds of service, see Domest. Dut. on Eph. 
V. 21, Sec. 

Our Lord Christ doth in this very thing set him- 
self forth as a pattern unto us ; for when he had 
shewed himself a minister, by doing a work of service 
to his disciples in washing their feet, he maketh this 
application, ' Ye call me Master and Lord : and ye 
say well ; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and 
Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash 
one another's feet. For I have given you an example, 
that you should do as I have done to you,' John xiii. 
13-15. This pattern of Christ sheweth that no man 
ought to think himself too great to be a minister, 
specially for doing good to others. The glorious 
angels are ' ministering spirits sent forth to minister for 
them who shall be heirs of salvation,' Hob. i. 11. 
Magistrates, ministers, masters, parents, all of all sorts, 
apply this. 

Sec. 4. Of Christ a minister of the sanctuary. 

The first particular place whereof Christ is here said 
to be a minister is in English thus expressed, the 
sanctuary, or word for word, holies. Of the notation 
and meaning of this word holy, see Chap. iii. 1, Sec. 5. 

The Greek word, rZv ayim, is ambiguous. It is of 
the genitive case in the plural number, which com- 
priseth all genders under one termination. Hereupon 
some' take it in the masculine gender, and apply it to 
■ persons; and thus expound it, ' a minister of the saints,' 
because Christ, as a priest, presenteth their persons 
and prayers to God, maketh intercession for them. 

Others take it in the neuter gender, and apply it 
to holy things ; namely, to those heavenly and holy 
gifts which Christ dispenseth to the saints. 

But this word is in this epistle frequently attributed 
to the place where holy things were administered. I 
find it eight several times thus used, as here, and 
Chap. ix. 2, 3, 8, 12,24,25, and Chap. xiii. 11. 
In like manner another word of the plural number, 
and neuter gender, sirovodvia, is put for heaven. We 

' Nonnulli, minlstrum Sanctorum ita intelligunt, ut 
homines faciat sanctiores. — Theophilact. in loc. Quod Sanctis 
ministratus misericordice multse est, et amoris magai, quem 
nobis impendit. — Chrys. Ambr. Lyra. Dionys. 

translate it 'heavenly places,' Eph. i. 20, ii. 6, iii. 

The word thus taken for a place is fitly translated 
sanctuary. This is the title given to that place under 
the law, where holy priests administered holy things, 
Exod. XXV. 8. 

It is here metaphorically used, and put for heaven, 
whereof the sanctuary of the Jews was a type. Of it 
the apostle thus saith, ' It was a figure for the time 
then present.' And Christ by his own blood entered 
in once into 'the holy place,' Heb. ix. 9, 12. The 
word that is here is there also used, whereby we see 
that heaven is metaphorically set forth thereby. 

How Christ our priest is in heaven, was shewed. 
Chap. iv. 14, Sec. 84. 

Here we will consider how he is said to be a 
' minister of this sanctuary.' Sanctuary is sometimes 
indefinitely put for all those holy places wherein any 
of the priests did any of their holy services, as Chap, 
ix. 1, 2. 

Sometimes again it is more restrictively used for 
that most holy place whereinto the high priest only 
went once a year, and this for distinction's sake is 
called dyia, ayiuv, Heb. ix. 3, the holy of holies. 
Our English translates it, ' the holiest of all.' The 
doubled phrase, holy of holies, is an Hebraism, £^"tp 
D'^Ei'lpn, sanctum sanctorum, Exod. xxvi. 38. I 
take the word sanctuary here, in this restrictive sense, 
for the most holy place, into which Christ entered after 
he had oiiei-ed up his sacrifice, even into heaven. 

Christ then is such a minister of this sanctuary, as 
the high priest was a minister of the most holy place ; 
and that in these particulars especially. 

1. The priesthood was anointed, Exod. xxx. 30. 
This ointment ran down from his head, to the skirts 
of his garments, Ps. cxxxiii. 2. This was an outward 
sign of his calling and gifts. 

Thus Christ was anointed, Ps. xlv. 7. The Greek 
name Christ, and Hebrew, Messiah, imply as much. 
He was called, Heb. v. 5, and gifted for his work ; 
John iii. 34, ' And of his fulness we all receive grace 
for grace,' John i. 16. 

2. The high priest was arrayed with rich and glori- 
ous apparel, which is described, Exod. xxviii. 

Thus was Christ arrayed with immortality, incor- 
ruption, purity, majesty, and all manner of glory fit 
for his place. 

3. Among other things wrought by the art of man, 
the high priest had in his breast-plate two things 
called Urim and Thummim ; which, according to the 
notation of the words, signify light and integrity,' 
Exodus xxviii. 30, what kind of things they were is 
not expressed. 

By reason of their notation, they are applied by 

' IIX ignis, lux, D''"11^? luces, T\'OT\ integritas, D^Ofl integrita- 
tcs, Urim et Thumm'im signa erant quibus responsura divi- 
nura dignoscebatur. Num. xxvii. 21, 1 Sam. xxviii. 6, Ezra 
ii. 63. 



[Chap. YIII. 

divines to that light of knowledge and integrity of 
life which is required of ministers. 

Christ the true high priest hath ' all the treasures 
of wisdom and knowledge in him,' Col. iii. 2. llis 
purity is set out to the full, Heb. vii. 26. 

4. The high priest carried before him on his breast- 
plate the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, Exod. 
xxviii. 9, 10, 

Christ hath the names of the whole church in con- 
tinual remembrance, and presenteth them to his 
Father, to be graciously accepted by him. 

5. On the high priest's mitre in a plate of gold was 
engraven, 'Holiness to the Lord,' Exod. xxviii. 30. 
Two reasons are rendered hereof : one, that he might 
bear (and so take away) the imperfections of their 
best works ; the other, that he might make the 
people acceptable to God. 

In Christ were truly and properly accomplished 
those things which were only tj-pified in and by the 
high priest. 

0. There were bells of gold on the skirts of the 
high priest's cphod ; which with the least motion of 
his body sounded. 

Christ, by his intercession, maketh a continual pleas- 
ing sound in the ears of God. 

In these, and other like respects, may Christ be 
said to be a ' minister of the sanctuary.' 

All this is the more to incite us to take Christ for 
our high priest, and so to use him; and that by oller- 
ing up our prayers and praises in him, and to expect 
acceptation from the Father through him. 

Sec. 5. Of the tabernacle typifying Christ's body. 

The other particular place whereof Christ is said 
to be a minister, is thus expressed. The true taber- 
nacle, &c. Herein the apostle hath reference to that 
tabernacle which Moses was commanded to make, 
Exod, xxvi. 1, &c. There it is largely described. 
This tabernacle is that which is called Tgwr?; ay.r,vri, 
the first tabernacle, Heb. ix. 2. This was the place 
of God's worship till the temple was built. Then it 
was carried into the temple and there laid up, 1 
Kings viii. 4. 

It is called exrjv^, a tabernacle, because it was made 
as a tent, of such materials, and after such a manner, 
as after it was set up might be taken down again, 
and that without prejudice thereunto. It is differ- 
enced from an house made of stone, brick, timber, or 
other like substantial materials, which is set upon a 
foundation, and remaineth firm and stable, 2 Cor. 
V. 1. 

In this did the priests offer incense, and did sun- 
dry other services. 

Great question there is about the meaning of the 
word here. Some take the same thing hero to bo 
meant that was before by sanctuary ; namely, heaven. 
They say that heaven answereth to all the places 
which were used by the priests under the law. 

But questionless the apostle doth intend two dis- 
tinct things by these two distinct places. 

Others therefore do apply this to the body of 
Christ, and that upon these grounds. 

1. These two metaphors, sanctuary, tabernacle, are 
thus better distinguished one from the other. 

2. By this interpretation the ground of the apostle's 
inference in the next verse concerning priests' sacri- 
fices, is better cleared. For this tabernacle being 
put for Christ's body, it sheweth what was the sacri- 
fice which Christ oll'ered up, even his body. If the 
sacrifice be not implied under this word, to what 
shall it be applied ? 

3. The body of man is in other places set down 
by this metaphor of a tabernacle, 2 Cor. v. 1, 2 Peter 
i. 13. 

4. These two metaphors, sanctuary and tabernacle, 
are elsewhere put for heaven and the body of Christ. 
Note especially for this purpose. Chap. ix. 11, 12, 
and withal mark the correspondency betwixt these 
two places. 

1. In both places both metaphors are expressed in 
the same words. 

2. The tabernacle is here said to be true; there to 
be a 'greater and more perfect.' All in opposition 
to the typical and earthly tabernacle in the law. 

3. Here this tabernacle is said to be pitched, not by 
man ; there, not to be made with hands. 

4. Here Christ's body is implied to be the sacri- 
fice of this tabernacle ; there, his own blood. 

5. The body of Christ is set out in other places 
by other metaphors like to this of a tabernacle ; as, by 
the temple, John ii. 19 ; and by a way, Heb. x. 20. 

6. As the sanctuary w'as a type of heaven, so the 
tabernacle was a type of Christ's body. That this 
may more evidently appear, I will endeavour to set 
the correspondency betwixt that tabernacle and the 
body of Christ. 

1. God sanctified the tabernacle as a place to 
dwell in, Exod. xxix. 44, 45. In Christ 'dwelleth 
all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,' Col. ii. 9. 

This phrase, the word sa-/.rivuiSi, dwelt among ns, 
John i. 14, in the Greek seemeth to allude to the 
tabernacle here meant : for it hath a notation from 
the word tabernacle, and is thence derived. 

2. God's glory was most conspicuously manifested 
in the tabernacle. ' The glory of the Lord filled the 
tabernacle,' Exod. xl. 34. But never was any place 
so filled with the glory of God as the body of Christ. 
' The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ; and 
we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten 
of the Father,' John i. 14. 

3. In the tabernacle, sacrifices, oblations, and in- 
cense were oflered up, and all holy services performed. 
So Christ in his body ofiered up his own sacrifice, his 
prayers, and all his holy services, Heb. v. 7, and 
X. 5. 

4. To the tabernacle, the people brought all their 

Ver. 2.J 



offerings, Levit. i. 3 ; so must we bring all ours to 
Christ, Heb. xiii. 15. 

5. The tabernacle sanctifieth all in it, Mat. xxiii. 
17 ; so whatsoever is offered up to Christ, or from him 
conveyed to us, is sanctified. 

6. As the priests did tread upon the sanctuary, so 
did Christ upon his body by his many sufferings. 

7. The high priest entered through the tabernacle 
into the most holy place, Exod. xxvi. 33 ; so Christ 
by his body into heaven, Heb. ix. 11. 

What use the Jews did make of their tabernacle, we 
must make of Christ's body. As when they were near 
the tabernacle they performed all their divine services 
therein, so when they were far absent they would 
turn their faces to it in pouring out their supplications, 
Dan. vi. 10 ; so must we, now Christ is in heaven, 
look up to him. He is the ' Beloved Son of God, in 
whom he is well pleased,' Mat. iii. 17. There is no 
other way to be accepted of God. 

Sec. 6. Of Christ the true tabernacle which the Lord 
pitched and not man. 

Christ's body is here styled dXri^ivrj, the true taber- 
nacle, not in opposition to that which is false or feigned, 
but to that which is typical and ceremonial. Thus the 
law and truth are opposed, John i. 17, as the shadow 
and the substance. Thus the Father is said to seek 
such worshippers as shall worship him in truth, John 
iv. 23. Christ's body then is that tabernacle which 
was shadowed at by the Jewish tabernacle. It is that 
tabernacle wherein, and whereby, we, and all our ser- 
vices, are sanctified and made acceptable to God. From 
this that Christ said, he came ' to do God's will,' this 
inference is made, ' by this will we are sanctified, 
through offering of the body of Jesus,' Heb. x. 7, 

This shews the pre-eminency of the Christian church 
above the Jewish church. We have the truth of their 
types, the substance of their shadow. Should not we 
have this truth in higher account than they had the 
type, and should not we be more careful to make a right 
use of this true tabernacle? The zeal of the Jews 
about their tabernacle will be a witness against our 
light esteem of the true tabernacle. 

Yet further to commend this tabernacle unto us, 
the immediate answer thereof is set down both affirma- 
tively and negatively. 

Affirmatively thus, luhich the Lord pitched. This 
word 'i'7rn^s,Jixit ('jrriyvuu, compingo), pitched, in Greek, 
signifieth to set a thing fast. A tabernacle being 
made of linen cloth, and stretched out with cords, 
was by pegs fast fixed in the ground. This doth our 
English comprise under this \ioxdi pitch. Here both 
making and setting up of this tabernacle is intended. 

This negative phrase ohx, av^gwroj, and not man, is 
added to shew a difference betwixt this tabernacle and 
the tabernacle under the law, which was made by the 
hands and art of man, Exod. xxxvi. 1, &c. 

The affirmative and negative phrases, 'which the 
Lord pitched and not man,' being applied to Christ's 
body, have reference to his conception, which was not 
as the conception of others, by any act of man, but 
wondrously above the course of nature, he was con- 
ceived by the Holy Ghost, Mat. i. 10. When the 
Virgin Mary, upon the first message of conceiving in 
her womb, and bringing forth this Son, said, * How 
shall this be, seeing I know not a man ?' this answer 
was returned by an angel, ' The Holy Ghost shall 
come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall 
overshadow thee,' Luke i. 31, iii. 35. 

This negative clause, and not man, is added by way 
of illustration and amplification, implying that this 
true tabernacle was a work above human strain, and 
that that which God doth immediately by himself, 
is far more excellent than that which is done by the 
ministry of man, Ps. viii. 3, and xix. 1, 2 Cor. v. 1, 
Heb. ix. 11. 

This immediate author and maker of Christ's body, 
set down affirmatively and negatively, manifesteth a 
great difference betwixt the typical tabernacle and this 
true one, even as great as betwixt the immediate work- 
manship of God and of man, yea, as great as betwixt 
God himself and man. 

This doth much amplify all the fore -mentioned duties 
about this true tabernacle. 

See more hereof, Chap. ix. 24, Sec. 121. 

Sec. 7. Of the resolution and observations of Heb. 
viii. 1, 2. 

Ver. 1. Noil) of the things ichich we have spoken this 
is the sum : We have such an high priest, icho is set on 
the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens; 

2. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true taber- 
nacle, ivhich the Lord pitched and not man. 

These two verses set out the places where Christ 
exercised his priesthood. Hereabout two things are 
observable : 

1, The circumstances ; 2, the substance. 

The circumstances are two : 

1. The transition, in these words, the things which we 
have spoken. 

2. The sum of all, noiv this is the sum. 

The substance is set out two ways : 1, simply ; 2, 
typically. _ 

In the simple consideration two points are noted : 

1, Christ's office ; 2, the place where Christ exer- 
cised it. 

Christ's office is, 

1. Expressed, in this title high priest. 

2. Amplified two ways : 

(1.) By our right unto it, in this word ive have. 

(2.) By his excellency, in this relative such. 

The place where he exerciseth his function is, 

1, Described; 2, named. 

The place is described, 

1. By Christ's abode there, u-ho is set. 



[Chap. VI IT. 

2. By the dignity tlicro conferred on him. This is 
set out two ways, under two metaphors. 

1. On the riijht hand, namely, of God. 

2. 0/the throne. This is ampliiied by the supreme 
sovereignty of him that sits thereon, in this word 

The name of the place is thus expressed, in the 

In the typical consideration two like points are set 
forth : 

1. Christ's ofEce, a minister. 

2. Theplaces whereof he is a minister. These are two, 
1, The xanctiiari/ ; 2, the tabernacle. 

The latter is amplified, 

1. By the kind thereof, true. 

2. By the author, who is set down, 

1. Alhrmatively, which the Lord pitched. 

2. Negatively, and not man. 


I. Transitions are nsefid. The mention of things 
spoken notes a transition. See Sec. 2. 

II. It is useful to (jive the sum of a discourse. So 
doth the apostle here. See Sec. 2. 

III. Christ is an liijh priest. So is he here called. 
See Sec. 2. 

lY. Christ is a spiritual and heavoihj hif/h priest. 
This is the main sum of these two verses. See Sec. 2. 

Y. Christ is such an hii/h priest as none ever irus or 
can he like him. This word s«c7i intends as much. 
See Chap. vii. 20, Sec. 108. 

YI. Christ remains our priest before God. This act, 
is set, in reference to the place here set down, giveth 
proof hereof. See Chap. i. 3, Sec. 31. 

YII. Christ as our priest is inferior to the Father. 

VIII. Christ as our priest is advanced above all crea- 
tures. These two last doctrines are couched under 
this phrase, at the riyhl hand. See Chap. i. 3, Sec. 

IX. Christ as our priest is a king. He is set on a 
throne. See Chap. i. 3, Sec. 32. 

X. God is a supreme sovereicjn. God is comprised 
under this title, the Majestu, which implieth supreme 
sovereignty. See Chap. i. 3, Sec. 32. 

XI. The highest heaven is the place ivhere Christ 
cxerciseth his priesthood. See Chap. iv. 14, Sec. 84. 

XII. Christ is a minister. Thus much is here 
plainly affirmed. See Sec. 3. 

XIII. Tlie most holy place typified heaven. That 
was it which is here called sanctuary, which was a 
type of heaven. See Sec. 3. 

XIY. Christ is a minister of heavenly ihinys. He 
is a minister of the true and heavenly sanctuary, 
wherein all things are spiritual and heavenly. See 
Sec. 4. 

XY. The Jew:,' tabernacle teas a type of Christ's body. 
Thereupon Christ's body is styled the true tabernacle. 
See Sec. 5. 

XYI. Christ's human nature uas tlie immediate ivork 

of God. This phrase, which the Lord jntched, hath 
reference to Christ's body. See Sec. 6. 

XYII. God's workmanship is far more excellent than 
jnan's. To demonstrate thus much this negative is 
added, and not man. See Sec. G. 

Sec. 8. Of the meaning of the former part of the 
third verse. 

Yer. 3. For every high priest is ordained to offer 
gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this 
man have somewhat also to offer. 

This causal particle yds, for, sheweth that this 
verse is added as a reason of that which goeth before. 
The main and general point was, that ' Christ is a 
minister of the sanctuary and true tabernacle,' where- 
by is intended that Christ did such things as belonged 
to that sanctuary and tabernacle. Among other things 
this was an especial one, to oflfer a sacrifice. This he 
here proveth, from the general to a particular. Every 
high priest, crag ap^n^'sug, is ordained to offer tip gifts 
and sacrifices. Therefore Christ, the great high priest, 
was also ordained to that end. 

Quest. AVhat sacrifice is mentioned in the former 
verses? for this proof seemeth to intend a sacrifice 
that Christ should ofler up. 

Ans. 1. This phrase, minister of the sanctuary and 
tabernacle, intendeth a sacrifice ; for it was one part 
of the ministry of the tabernacle to oflfer sacrifices. 

Ans. 2. The tabernacle was a t3*pe of Christ's body, 
so as to be a minister of the tabernacle was in the 
truth to ofler up his body. And it is expressly said 
that ' he oflered up himself,' Chap. vii. 27. 

Obj. The tabernacle was the place where sacrifices 
were offered up. How, then, can it be put for the 
sacrifice itself? 

Ans. The same metaphor may in divers respects be 
applied to divers things, and the same truth and 
substance may be set out by divers types, rites, and 
figures. Though shadows, types, rites, and figures 
were divers things, one difierent from another, 3'ct one 
and the same truth may answer to them all, namely, 
in divers and different respects. Thus one and the 
same Christ is the sacrifice, the altar, and the priest. 
The sacrifice as man, who was oflered up ; the altar 
as God, who sanctified the sacrifice ; the priest as God- 
man, who oflered the one upon the other. One and 
the same Christ was also the truth and substance of 
the ark, the mercy-seat, the incense, the shew-bread, 
the tables, the lights, and of other t3-pes used under 
the law. The same Christ was also the truth and 
substance of Noah's ark, of the cloud that covered the 
Israelites in the wilderness, of the pillar of fire, of 
manna that fell from heaven, of the water that came 
out of the rock, and of other like types. So also he 
was the truth and substance, both of the tabernacle, 
as it was a place for sacrifices, and also of the sacri- 
fices therein. In what respects the tabernacle typified 
Christ's body is shewed, Sec. 5. That Christ's body 

Ver. 4-.] 



was a sacrifice, is evident by this phrase, * We are 
sanctified through the ofiering of the body of Jesus,' 
Heb X. 10. 

The several branches of the first part of this third 
verse have been handled before. Of Christ an high 
priest, see Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 172, &c. Of ordaining 
an high priest, see Chap. v. 1, Sec. 3, where the very 
word, -/.aOisraTai, of this text is used. 

Of the difierence betwixt hchoa n y.ai ^vaiag, gijts 
and sacrifices, see Chap. v. 1, Sec. 7. 

Of offering, v^oGips^iiv, gifts and sacrifice, see Chap. 
V. 1, Sec. 6. 

A special point here intended is, that Christ did 
that for which he was ordained. The force of the 
apostle's argument resteth hereon ; because every 
high priest is ordained to offer sacrifices, the apostle 
inferreth from thence that Christ did ofler a sacrifice. 
He taketh it therefore for granted, as a point not to 
be denied, that Christ did that to which he was 
ordained. Herein he shewed himself ' faithful to him 
that appointed him.' See Chap. iii. 2, Sec. 32, and 
Chap. vii. 13, Sec. 73. 

Sec. 9. Of the meaning of the latter part of the 
third verse. 

From this general proposition, every high priest is 
to offer sacrifice, the apostle inferreth this consequence, 
It is of necessity that Christ have somewhat to offer. He 
here taketh that for granted, which he had before 
proved, that Christ was an high priest ; thereupon he 
inferreth that he must do what every high priest is 
ordained to do. 

Of this consequence see the former section, where 
is shewed what sacrifice Christ ofiered up, even his 
own body. 

This illative conjunction okv, wherefore, implieth 
a consequence. Hereof see Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 166. 

The apostle enforceth his consequence by a neces- 
sity thus, avayKaTov, it is of necessity. 

Necessity and impossibility are contrary each to 

That properly is necessary that ever was as it is, 
and cannot be otherwise.^ For example, it is neces- 
sary that God be one, and it is necessary that the one 
God be distinguished into three persons. 

On the other side, that is impossible which never 
was, is, or can be. See Chap. vi. Sec. 38. 

In common use, things are said to be necessary 
upon a supposition of some other thing. Thus, upon 
supposition of that course which God had set down 
for rejecting the Jews, namely, their rejecting of the 
gospel first, it was necessary that the word of God 
should be first spoken to them. Acts xiii. 46. For 
how could they reject that which was not offered and 
tendered unto them. Thus also, upon supposition 

' ' AvayKaTov to fit) WBi^ofiivov aX\u; \x-'* — Arist. Poet. I. 

Non iiecessariura absolute potest dici necessarium ex suppo- 
sitione. — Tho. Aquin. part i. q. 219, art. 2, conclus. 
Vol. II. 

that there are sundry good uses of good works, the 
apostle saith, ' Let ours learn to maintain good works 
for necessary uses,' Titus iii. 14. Thus here, upon 
supposition of that order which God in wisdom had 
set down for our redemption, namely, by a ransom, 
and upon supposition of Christ's undertaking so to 
redeem man, and thereupon to be a high priest, it was 
' necessary that he should have somewhat to offer.' 

This necessity, resting upon that which Christ vo- 
luntarily undertook, sheweth that he bound himself 
to offer himself for our sins. Of Christ's binding 
himself for our good, see Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 166. 

Of the Greek pronoun toutov, translated this man, 
see Chap. vii. 4, Sec. 31. 

This word ri, somewhat, implieth somewhat else 
than what other priests offered up. 

What that somewhat is which Christ must have to 
offer, namely, himself, his own body, is shewed in the 
former section. 

Of this word -j^oOiv'syTiri, to off'er, see Chap. v. 1, 
Sec. 6. 

Sec. 10. Of Christ's not being a priest on earth. 

Ver. 4. For if he were on earth, he should not be a 
priest, seeing there are 2^riests that offer gifts according 
to the law. 

As in the former verse, the apostle proved that 
Christ offered up a sacrifice, and that of another kind 
than the legal priest did ; so here in this verse, he 
proveth that he had another place to exercise his 
priesthood in than the legal priests had. 

Here also is prefixed the causal particle ya^, for, 
which declareth this verse to be a reason of that which 
goes before. Now this hath reference to the first 
verse, where that high place wherein Christ exerciseth 
his priesthood is described and manifested to be heaven. 

The apostle's argument is drawn from a distribu- 
tion of two places, which only are fit for executing a 
priesthood, which are heaven and earth. The full 
force of the apostle's argument may be manifested by 
a disjunctive syllogism, thus, 

Christ's priesthood must be exercised in heaven or 
on earth ; 

On earth it could not be. Therefore it must be in 

This argument taketh it for granted, that Christ 
was an high priest. 

The assumption, that Christ exercised not his priest- 
hood on earth, is proved in this verse. Upon that 
proof it necessarily followeth, that heaven must be the 
place of Christ's exercising his priesthood. 

Obj. Christ did offer himself up a sacrifice here on 
earth, but that was a principal part of exercising his 

A)is. 1. The apostle here speaketh of the full exe- 
cution of his whole priesthood. Thereunto belonged 
his continual intercession, as well as the oblation of 
himself; now that intercession must be made in 




[Chap. VIII. 

hesiven at God's right hand. This was typified nnder 
tlie law, for it was not sufficient for the high priest to 
oiler sacrifice in the tabermicle, but he must also enter 
into the most holy place, there to appear before the 
mercy-seat ; Christ was the true high priest, who 
must in truth do what the other in type did. Had 
Christ done no more than ho did on earth, he had not 
lecn a full and complete high priest, but only in part. 
2. Though the external act of Christ's ofiering up 
his body on the cross were on earth, yet the internal, 
spiritual, and eternal vigour thereof was from above, 
even from heaven. The shedding of Christ's blood 
on earth was to man's eye but as the shedding of 
another man's blood ; the expiation of sin wrought 
thereby was a divine and heavenly work, the work of 
his divine and heavenly Spirit : ' Through the eternal 
Spirit he otfered himself,' Heb. ix. 14. 

Christ was on earth but a short time, Heb. v. 7. 
In heaven he is for ever. He came to earth that he 
might shed his blood for a sacrifice, which in heaven 
he could not have done ; and on earth he shed his 
blood, that thereby he might enter into heaven, Heb. 
ix. 12, and so make a passage for us. To conclude 
this point, though Christ's priesthood was in an 
external act begun on earth, yet the continuation, 
consummation, and full accomplishment, airoriy.ieij.a, 
of all is in heaven, and thereupon the apostle's posi- 
tion is true and sound, ' If he were on earth, he should 
not be a priest.' 

The things which appertain to Christ's priesthood, 
for which he was ordained, are heavenly, such as on 
earth could not be accomplished ; as to appear before 
the throne of the divine Majesty, to present the per- 
sons and services of the elect to his Father, and to 
prepare places for them in heaven. • 

This atibrds a clear demonstration against the sup- 
posed popish priesthood, for the apostle's argument 
lieth directly against them. If they be on earth, they 
are no priests ; but on earth they are, from earth they 
arise, on earth they continue, to earth they do return ; 
and by their own confession, they are no priests 
longer than they are on earth, therefore by the apostle's 
conclusion, they are no priests at all. The reason 
which the apostle renders in the latter part of this 
verse, makes strongly against them, for all true priests 
on earth must offer gifts according to the law, but 
popish priests cannot say, that they have gifts to ofier 
according to the law. 

This is the rather to be noted, because they much 
brag of their priesthood, and make it such a note of 
the true church, as they deny our church to be a true 
church, because it hath not a priesthood on earth. 
For us it is sufficient that wo have a priest in heaven. 
As for their priests, they are here by the apostle so 
proved to be no priests, as they shall never be able to 
answer his argument. 

For our parts let not us he like those who * seek 
the living among the dead ;' let us not seek for the 

benefit of Christ's priesthood here on earth ; let the 
eye of our faith pierce into heaven, and there behold 
our priest at God's right hand, and there seek for the 
benefit of his intercession, and seek to enter into 
heaven where Christ is, and where he hath prepared 
a place for us. 

Sec. 11. Of the different places of Christ's and the 
legal priesthood. 

The apostle in the latter part of the fourth verse 
proveth this assertion, that Christ is no priest on 
earth, because he hath not that warrant for a priest- 
hood on earth, which they who were priests on earth 
had, in these words, ' Seeing that there are priests 
that ©O'er gifts according to the law.' 

By priests he here meaneth Aaron and his posterity, 
who were the only true lawful priests, to continue one 
after another on earth. 

Under //(/its synecdochically are comprised all manner 
of sacrifices, and all things else that were to be ofi"ered 
up by legal priests. See Chap. v. 1, Sec. 7. 

By low, y.ard rov v6/mv, he meaneth that ceremonial 
law which appointed who should be priests, and what 
they should do. See Chap. vii. IG, Sec. 80. 

There was no other law that was ever given by God 
concerning priests on earth ; therefore the apostle's 
argument is sound and pertinent. His argument may 
be thus framed : 

Priests on earth must ofi'er gifts according to the 
law ; 

But Christ is not a priest that oficreth gifts accord- 
ing to the law ; 

Therefore Christ is not a priest on earth. 

The manner of bringing in this argument, thus, seeing 
that there are priests. See., or word for word, there 
heing priests, &c., sheweth, that Christ's priesthood 
and the legal priesthood cannot stand together, they 
cannot be both in one place. They are not granted' 
upon the same law, they have not the same oflerings, 
they are not of the same order. Christ was the truth 
and substance, the others but types and shadows. 

It is therefore a most incongruous thing to make a 
mixture of the rites of the law, with the truths of the 
gospel. There were divers in the apostle's time that 
much troubled the church herewith. The first Chris- 
tian council made an express canon against them, 
Acts XV. 24, &c. 

The apostle is very zealous against such, Gal. v. 
2, 4, 12. Yet is this dangerous and pernicious error 
revived in our days. 

The main opposition betwixt Christ's and the legal 
priesthood being about the place, one in heaven, the 
other on earth, giveth us to understand, that there is 
as great diflerence betwixt Christ's priesthood and the 
priesthood under the law, as betwixt heaven and earth. 
For the priesthood is to be esteemed according to the 
place where it is exercised. 

' Qu. ' grounded,' or ' grafted '? — Ed. 

Ver. 5.] 



The different ends of both do demonstrate as much. 
The ends of Christ's priesthood are spiritual and 
heavenly happiness, as to purge away sin, to reconcile 
us to God, and to bring us to heavenly happiness. 
The ends of their priesthood were external and legal, 
as to take away legal uncleanness, to admit them to 
the sanctuary, to make their sacrifices accepted. They 
were indeed types of the things that Christ did, but 
they themselves neither did nor could effect what 
they typified. 

This discovereth their folly, who so doat on ex- 
ternal rites, as they neglect thereby spiritual truth. 
They do herein prefer earth before heaven. This not 
only the Jews do, but also papists, whose whole wor- 
ship consisteth in external, carnal, earthly rites, which 
are either Jewish or worse. Hereof see more, Chap. 
vii. 16, Sec. 82. 

The mention which the apostle maketh of gifts that 
the legal priests offered according to the law, inti- 
mateth that Christ had no such gifts appointed by any 
law for him to offer ; so as there was nothing for him 
to offer but himself ; whereof see Chap. i. 3, Sec. 29. 

Sec. 12. 0/ j^i'issts serving to an example and sha- 

Ver. 5. Who serve unto the example and sliadou; of 
heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when 
he was about to make the tabernacle : for, See {saith he) 
that thou make all things according to the pattern 
shewed to thee in, the mount. 

The apostle in this verse proceedeth yet further to 
prove that Christ was not such a priest as the legal 
priests were. The argument which here he useth 
putteth as great a difference betwixt them as hath 
been put. The difference is as great as betwixt the 
substance and shadow, the truth and type. For of 
the legal priests he saith, ivho serve unto the example 
and shadow of heavenly things ; but under those 
heavenly things he meaneth Christ himself, and such 
things as appertain unto him, who was the substance 
of the aforesaid shadow. 

This relative ohmg, who, hath reference to those 
who are described in the latter part of the former 
verse, styled priests * that offer gifts according to the 
law.' These were legal priests. 

The Greek verb Xar^svouai, translated serve, is in 
the New Testament always used to set out divine and 
religious service. It is sometimes translated to wor- 
ship, as Acts xxiv. 14, Phihp. iii. 3, Heb. x. 2. It 
is applied to the act of idolaters in serving their idols, 
as Acts vii. 42, Rom. i. 25. But that is by reason of 
the esteem which idolaters had of that service which 
they performed to idols. They esteemed it to be a 
divine and religious service. 

According to the composition of the word XargsCw, 
componitur ex "ka, particida extensiva, et r^iu tremo, it 
signifieth to serve with fear or trembling. Thus it im- 
pheth an awful respect to him who is served. To 

express this sense of the word, the apostle addeth 
thereto the qualification, ' with reverence and godly 
fear,' Heb. xii. 28. 

There is a noun, Xar^sla, hence derived, which is 
translated divine service, Heb. ix. 1. 

The verb here used implieth the manner of their 
observing the legal ordinances, even with an awful 
fear ; circumspect lest they should ofiend. 

This was their duty, wherein they failed, who other- 
wise performed those legal services. Hereupon we 
are exhorted to ' serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice 
with trembling,' Ps. ii. 11. On this ground the whole 
service of God is comprised under this word fear, 
Ps. xxxiv. 11. 

If they so served unto the shadow, how should we 
serve to the heavenly things themselves '? 

One thing whereunto they served is here translated 
example, h-johir/ixa. Of this word, see Chap. v. 11, 
Sec. 66. 

Example here signifieth such a pattern as was set 
before them to direct them, and to shew what they 
should do. Hereof see more. Sec. 13. 

The other word, cx/a, shadow, properly signifieth 
a representation of a bodily substance ; as of a man, 
Acts v. 15 ; and of a tree, Mark iv. 32. 

Because legal ordinances and rites were representa- 
tions of evangelical, spiritual, and celestial truths, 
they are called shadows here, and Chap. x. 1, and 
Col. ii. 17. For, 

1. Shadows are not substances, but mere represen- 
tations thereof. 

2. Shadows do but darkly represent the substance. 

3. Shadows are external and visible. 

4. Shadows have no substance of themselves, but 
are mere accidents ; what they are, is in reference to 
the body, whereof they are a shadow. 

5. Shadows are fading and transitory. 

Thus were the legal types mere representations, and 
those dark ones and external, having no substance of 
themselves, and were all transitory. 

6. A shadow doth fitly and proportionably resemble 
the body, in head, arms, back, legs, and feet ; so did 
God ordain fit types to set out Christ in all things that 
were meet then to be known ; one thing by one type, 
another by another. 

By this it appears what kind of service it was that 
the priests under the law performed. Even a service 
about an example and pattern that shewed glorious 
and excellent things, things that made men perfect 
and happy ; but those examples had not those excel- 
lent things in themselves : they were but external, ob- 
scure, vanishing shadows of them. In this respect 
their service was answerable to the law whereon it 
depended, carnal. See Chap. vii. 16, Sees. 81, 82, 
and Chap. iv. 8, Sec. 50. 

Sec. 1^. Of the heavenly things shadoived out by types. 
To prevent a disesteem of the fore-mentioned ser- 



[Chap. VIII. 

vices, and to show that they had weicihty ends and 
uses, the apostle sets down that substance, whereof 
the}' were an example and shadow, in these words, riv 
irrov^avi'ujv, heavenly things. Of the emphasis of this 
compound word, see Chap iii. 1, Sec. 15. 

Under heavenly things are comprised Christ him- 
self, his natures, offices, actions, sufterings; his coming 
into the world, living in the world, and going out of 
the world ; his death, burial, resurrection, r.scension 
into heaven, intercession, and all things that he did, 
undertook, endured, and still coutinueth to do, for man's 
full redemption and eternal salvation. See Chap, 
vii. 8, Sec. 25. 

These were the things which God first shewed to 
Moses on the mount ; and then appointed a taber- 
nacle to prefigure his body, and coming into the 
world : a candlestick and Lamps, to manifest him to 
be the light of the world ; a table, to shew that Christ 
was the means of that communion •which we have 
with God ; great vessels for water, to declare that 
Christ was the means of washing us from our filth ; 
the most holy place, to shew that heaven is the place 
where Christ appeareth before God for us ; the ark, 
to shew that Christ is the cabinet wherein are trea- 
sured up all God's precious things; the mercy-seat, to 
demonstrate Christ to be the means of obtaining all 
mercy from God ; a priest, to shew that Christ is for 
us in things appertaining to God ; sacrifices, to mani- 
fest that Christ is the means of expiating our sins ; 
incense, to shew that by Christ our prayers are made 
acceptable unto God; the altar, to manifest the divine 
nature (of Christ, whereby his sacrifice, intercession, 
and all that he offereth up for us, are sanctified, and 
made meritorious and acceptable for us. Because no 
one type, or rite, could set forth Christ in all his excel- 
lencies and undertakings for us, there were many types 
ordained, one to set forth one thing, another, another. 

Ohj. That which was shewed to Moses in the mount, 
is in the latter part of this verse styled a type, in this 
phrase, xaru rlv rvrrov, accorclinrj to the 2^0-t'tern, or type. 
How, then, could that which was shewed to Moses be 
the substance ? 

Am. 1. The substance might first be shewed to him, 
and then a type or shadow answerable thereunto, and 
fitly resembling the same. 

2. The Greek word ruTo? doth not always signify (as 
the letters sound) a type, which prefigures a thing to 
come ; but also a pattern (as our English hath hero 
well translated it) ; a pattern or ensample, to make, 
form, or order another thing by it. In this sense is 
this word oft used in the New Testament ; thus, ' ye 
were ensamples,' t-uctou;, 1 Thes. i. 7, ' to make our- 
selves an ensample,' r-lrrov, 2 Thes. iii. 9. So 1 Tim. 
iv. 12, Titns ii. 7, 1 Peter v. 3. Herein a metaphor 
is comprised, taken from painters or limners, who 
have their patterns before them, and so set their ej'e 
upon that pattern, as they draw their picture every way 
like the pattern. 

If, as many think, the example of things which God 
commanded Moses to make, Exod. chap, xxv., &c., were 
most the heavenly things themselves, then would 
things earthl}', as those examples were, be heavenly. 
For the tabernacle, most holy place, ark, merc3'-seat, 
altar, and other types, were all of earthly things, and in 
regard of their matter earthly ; but the heavenly 
things here intended were of another kind, even such 
as were before mentioned concerning Clirist ; for * the 
body is of Christ,' Col. ii. 17, and by God's making 
known to Moses, both Moses, and others by his in- 
struction, might understand what the legal types pre- 
figured and set forth unto them. 

Herein consisteth the excellency of the legal types, 
which, though they were in themselves but examples 
and shadows, as vk'as shewed in the former section, 
yet they were examples and shadows of heavenly 
things ; they were 'patterns of things in the heavens,' 
Heb. ix. 23 ; and * a shadow of good things to come,' 
Heb. X. 1. 

1. God ordained them to be shadows of heavenly 
things, to shew that he delighted not in mere external 
and earthly things. ' Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or 
drink the blood of goats ?' saith the Lord, Ps. 1. 13. 
And again, saith Christ to his Father, ' Sacrifice and 
oftering thou didst not desire,' &c., Ps. xl. 6. See 
Chap. iv. 8, Sec. 49. 

2. He so ordained them, to raise his people's minds 
to heaven, the proper place of God's glory, the place 
where Christ himself is, and whither he will bring all 
his saints in their time, and so make them set their 
hearts upon spiritual and heavenly things, set forth 
unto them by the external types. See Chap. iv. 8, 
Sec. 50. 

1. This giveth a demonstration of their erroneous 
opinion, who think that the legal rites were for no 
other end than to keep people's minds occupied about 
those things, so as they should not hunt after mere 
inventions of men. I will not deny, but that for this 
end they might be instituted, but I deny that that was 
the only or principal end of instituting them ; that 
is but a childish end in comparison of that high and 
heavenly end fi)r which thoy were principally ordained. 
They were as mirrors or looking-glasses to represent 
to God's people the heavenly things before mentioned ; 
they were as steps or stairs to raise them up to some 
sight of those heavenly things. They who knew the 
right end and use of them discerned heavenly and 
divine matters in them, and were thereupon moved to 
aspire after those heavenly things, and to place their 
confidence on them. Thus, though they could not in 
themselves justify, sanctify, and make perfect those 
who used them, yet they pointed out the means 
whereby all those things might be done. People were 
taught thereby to rest on Christ, and how to carry 
themselves towards Christ. 

2. The heavenly things whereof the legal types 
were a shadow, give unto us just occasion to acquaint 

Ver. 5.] 



ourselves with the legal shadows and types, and to 
search after such heavenly things as they set forth. 
Thus will they be of singular use to us. This is one 
end why God by his providence hath caused them to 
remain upon such a record as is reserved to our days, 
and shall continue to the end of the world. 

3. It is in this respect good pains which they have 
taken, who have endeavoured distinctly to set out the 
spiritual truths of those types, and the heavenly sub- 
stances of those shadows. It will be worth our pains 
to use all the means and helps we can for finding out 
the heavenly matters intended under them. 

How the mysteries of types may be found out, see 
Chap. iv. 8, Sec. 50. 

Sec. 14. Of the meaning of these words, 'as Moses ivas 
admonished of God ivhen he was about to make the 

To shew that the legal priests had good ground to 
serve, as hath been before shewed, the apostle thus 
expresseth their warrant, as Moses was admonished, &c. 
Of Moses, see Chap. iii. 2, Sec. 37. 

Moses was the man whom God chose first to make 
known his mind unto, that he might declare to priests 
and others what they should do according to the 
mind of God ; so as what Moses delivered unto them 
from God was as delivered by God himself. 

One special ground of God's making his mind 
known to Israel by Moses was, because they were not 
able to endure God's speaking unto them immediately 
by himself ; and thereupon they themselves desired 
that God would speak unto them by Moses, and pro- 
mised to hear and do what God should speak unto 
Moses, Deut. v. 27 ; so as God's word delivered by 
his ministers is to be received as from God himself. 
For this the apostle commends the Thessalonians, 
1 Thes. ii. 13. Christ himself saith that he that re- 
ceiveth such as he sends, receiveth him, yea, receiveth 
his Father, John xiii. 20. 

The practice of the legal priests is a good pattern 
for all sorts of people to do as their ministers shall be 
admonished of God. 

The warrant that Moses had to deliver to the priests 
what he did, is thus expressed, ' was admonished of 
God.' This phrase, of Gud, is not expressed in the 
Greek, but well added by our English ; for the em- 
phasis of the Greek word intendeth as much. 

The verb xiy^oriiXidTicrai, here used, signifieth an 
answer, or warrant, or word from God. 

The active, p^g?)/iar/^w, is applied to him that de- 
livereth to others what he hath received from God, 
or that speaketh by divine inspiration or revelation, 
lieb. xii. 25. 

The passive is used of such as are warned, ad- 
monished, or spoken unto by God,' as the wise men, 

' x^nfi.urilofi.a.i, x^iftari^tr^Ki Is dicitur, quem Deus suo 
coUoquio dignatur. — Bud. 

and Joseph, Mat. ii. 12, 22 ; and Noah, Heb. xi. 7 ; 
and Cornelius, Acts x. 22. 

A participle, Ki^^rjfiarig//.svov, derived from this 
verb, is put for the thing that is revealed by God, 
Luke ii. 2Q. 

A noun, ^erifiaTtsfibg, of the like kind is put for the 
answer of God, Rom. xi. 4. 

The Latins call such a kind of answer oraculum, an 

The word of this text is for the most part used of 
things sacred, future, and made known by God him- 

This warrant, whereupon Moses instructed the 
priests and people, gives us to know, that ministers of 
God must deliver to people that which they receive 
from God, they must deliver that, and nothing but 
that. This was a part of Moses his faithfulness, for 
which he is commended. Chap. iii. 2, Sees. 39, 40. 
See The Whole Armour of God, treat, iii. part vii. ; of 
prayer, on Eph. vi. 19, Sees. 180, 181, &c. 

The time wherein Moses was thus admonished of 
God is thus described, ' when he was about to make 
the tabernacle.' This is meant of that time wherein 
he was forty days with God on the mount, and there 
received directions for the ordering of God's worship, 
Exod. xxiv, 18. Of the Greek word translated to 
make, see Chap. ix. 6, Sec. 38. 

Mention is here made of the tabernacle, because 
that was the place of God's worship. By a synec- 
doche all those things which God gave in charge to 
Moses to be made concerning his worship are comprised. 

Of the word tabernacle, see ver. 2, Sec. 5. 

This mention of the tabernacle, whereabout Moses 
received directions from God, giveth proof that war- 
rant must be had from God for his worship, and for 
such things as concern it. See Chap. vii. 14, Sec. 

Sec. 15. Of special heed to a special charge. 

That which he had before said of Moses being ad- 
monished of God, he here proveth by a divine testi- 

That the testimony is brought in for a proof, is 
evident by this causal particle ya^, for. 

The divine testimony is first generally hinted in 
this word (pria}, he saith, and then particularly expressed 
in the words of Scripture. 

Though there be no antecedent set down where- 
unto this relative, he, may have reference, yet the 
very words which are recorded to be uttered by God 
to Moses, Exod. xxv. 1, 40, being expressed, we are 
thereby given to understand, that God was he that 
gave the charge that was here set down ; so as it is a 
divine testimony. 

Of the force of a divine testimony, see Chap. i. 5, 
Sec. 46. 

Of tlie manner of quoting Scripture without naming 
author, book, chapter, or verse, see Chap. ii. 6, Sec. 



[Chap. VIIT. 

50. Of this phrase, hr sniih, see Chap. xiii. 5, Sec, 

The charge hero given to Moses is enforced with 
this special item, osa, ser, whorehy God would have 
him know that things particularly' and expressly en- 
joined by God, are with more than ordinary heed to 
be regarded. A like item to this purpose did God 
give to Moses when he sent him to Pharaoh, ' See 
that thou dost all those wonders,' Sec, Exod. iv. 24. 
So much is intended under this phrase, 'In all things 
that I have said unto you, be circumspect,' Exod. 
xxiii. 13. 

1. An especial account shall be exacted of such 
things as are in special manner enjoined. 

2. By our diligence and care in them, we shall give 
the greater evidence of our due respect to our Lord. 

We ought therefore in such cases to rouse up our- 
selves, and to put on ourselves unto greater forward- 
ness and dihgence. Where the apostle saith, 'above 
all take the shield of faith,' Eph. vi. IG, he doth the 
more stir us up to labour after it. This is not to make 
us negligent in other points, but to make us more than 
ordinarily conscionable in that which is so pressed. 
If a master give many things in charge to his servant, 
and set a special item on one, saying, See that you do 
this, doth he give his servant any just occasion to 
neglect the other ? 

On this ground wc ought with greater conscience to 
attend the duties of our particular places, for they use 
to be pressed with special items and great earnestness, 
thus, ' Let the wife see that she reverence her husband,' 
Eph. V. 33. With much earnestness doth the apostle 
press upon Timothv the duties of his particular calling, 
1 Tim. iv. 15, 1G,"2 Tim. iv. 2, 5. 

Sec. 16. Of doing all things vhich God givcth in 

The substance of the charge which God gave to 
Moses is that he do what God enjoined to be done, 
which was, '^roirjarjc, to make the things shewed unto 

This word wake must here bo taken mctonymically, 
for procuring or causing to be made. For Moses 
called ' Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted 
man, &c., to come unto the work to do it,' Exod. 
xxxvi. 2. Thus God sitid that ' Solomon should build 
an house for his name,' which yet Solomon did not 
with his own hands, but caused it to be done, 2 Sam. 
vii. 13. In like manner it is said, 'The hands of 
Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house : 
his hands shall also finish it,' Zech. ir. 9 ; yet he pro- 
cured others to do it. Of Christ it is said that ' he 
made and baptized more disciples than John, though 
Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,' John 
iv. 1, 2. 

This metonymy hath an emphasis, and implicth that 
they who have the charge of a work must be as careful 
to see it well done by others as if they did it them- 

selves with their own hands ; for God will exact an 
account of them to whom he giveth the charge ; and 
the defaults and defects of the workmen shall be laid 
to the charge of them that set them on work. In- 
stance Saul, 1 Sam. xv. 13, &c. 

The general point here to be observed is this : God's 
charge is to be fulfilled. In this case Christ laid a 
?««s<upon himself, saying, ' I must work the works of 
him that sent me,' John ix. 4 ; and his apostle a 
necessity : ' Necessity,' saith he, ' is laid upon me ; 
yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel,' 1 Cor. 
ix. 16. 

1. God is an high supreme Lord, to whom wc all 
owe obedience. 

2. God hath power to call us to account, and so he 
will do. Mat. xxv. 19, Luke xvi. 2. 

It well becomes them who take God for their Lord, 
and would be accounted his servants, to take notice of 
that charge that the Lord layeth on them, and to make 
conscience of observing what he requireth. 

There is a word of extent, Tc/'vra, all things, added by 
the apostle, which is not in the Hebrew, yet neces- 
sarily intended. Thus sounds the charge in Hebrew, 
' Look that thou make them,' Exod. xxv. 40. This 
indefinite relative, thon, hath reference to everything 
that God had showed IMoses in the mount. Such an 
indefinite proposition is equivalent to a general. As 
to make clear the full sense of an inhibition, Christ in- 
serted this exclusive particle onlg. Compare Deut. vi. 
13 with Mat. iv. 10. So the apostle here, to make 
clear the fall meaning of this admonition, addeth this 
general adjective all things. Hereby he expressly 
teacheth that every particular which God appointed to 
be done must answerably be done. 

The three reasons which an apostle rendereth for 
keeping the whole law, James ii. 10, 11, may be ap- 
plied to this point. 

1. The author of the law, who is one, ' for he that 
said. Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not steal.' 
So the same Lord that giveth one part of a charge, 
giveth also the other. Now, if a man observe one 
part, and observe not every part, he is a transgressor 
of his will who gave the whole charge. 

2. The nature of the law, which consisteth of many 
links, insomuch as he that breaketh one link breaketh 
the whole chain, which is made up of those links. So 
is a charge that consisteth of many particulars. 

3. The guilt of the law, which extendeth to every 
single transgression ; for he that oflfendeth in one 
point is guilty of all. So it is in every charge that 
God giveth, consisting of several branches. 

They who make conscience of doing anything which 
God enjoineth, must learn hereby to make conscience 
of everything, and to add unto some things all things. 
The apostle's good conscience was extended to all 
things, Heb. xiii. 18. Herein lieth a main difierence 
between a renewed spirit and a spirit only restrained, 
between an upright and an hypocritical heart. The 

Ver. 5.] 



hypocrite, whose spirit is only restrained, may in some 
things seem to begin well, but fails before he hath 
finished all ; or he may do such things as seem to 
come near to his own humour, and clean neglect other 
things ; but the regenerate spirit and upright heart 
hath his eye and heart on God, and observeth what is 
his will and pleasure in all things, to do the same. 
Thus was the charge given to Moses observed : ' Ac- 
cording to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the 
children of Israel made all the work,' Exod. xxxix. 

Herein men testify that what they do, they do in a 
conscionable respect to God and his charge ; where- 
upon they may with greater confidence expect to be 
accepted, approved, and rewarded by God. But they 
whose obedience is partial, who may do something, 
but fail in other things, lose the comfort, glory, and 
recompence of the things which they may think to be 
well done. 

This is a point of egregious folly. 

Partial obedience, as it is unsound, so it is dangerous ; 
for he who on one bye-respect neglecteth one part of 
his charge, may on another bye-respect neglect an- 
other part ; yea, and on other occasions omit every 
part, and do nothing that is enjoined him. 

Sec. 17. Of the rifjht manner of doing duty. 

This phrase, nara rh tu'jov, according to the pattern, 
hath reference to the manner of doing what was en- 
joined, even so as was prescribed, for duty must be 
performed in due manner. The law requireth thus 
much, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' This 
sets down the matter and substance of the first table ; 
' With all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with 
all thy mind.' This sets down the manner of ob- 
serving it. The like is noted in the second table, 
* Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' Mat. xxii. 
87, 39. Thus in the gospel this phrase, ' As it is in 
heaven,' added to the third petition, declares the man- 
ner of evangelical obedience. Thus the apostle pre- 
scribeth the manner of church officers performing their 
duty, Eom. xii. 8. These epithets added to graces, 
' work of faith,' ' labour of love,' ' patience of hope,' 
intend the manner of exercising those graces, 1 Thes. 
i. 3. So do these phrases, ' Serve God acceptably 
with reverence and godly fear,' Heb. xii. 28. See 
Chap, xiii., Sec. 157. 

1. The same Lord who enjoins the matter pre- 
scribes the manner. 

2. As great respect is manifested to God in the 
manner of doing what he requires as in the matter. 
In this was David commended, 1 Kings iii. 6. This 
was it that Hezekiah pleaded before God, 2 Kings 
XX. 3. 

3. Herein lieth a main difi'erence between the 
upright and hypocrite. Instance the difi'erence be- 
twixt Abel's and Cain's offering, Gen. iv. 4, 5. 

4. That which is good is altered and perverted by 

failing in the manner ; good is thereby turned into 
evil, and duty into sin. 

5. Failing. in the manner makes God reject that 
which in the matter he requireth, Isa. i. 11. 

6. God detests things commanded by himself when 
they are done in an ill manner, Isa. Ixvi. 3. 

7. In this case he that doth the work of the Lord is 
accursed, Jer. xlviii. 10. 

1. This giveth just cause of examining ourselves, 
even about the good things that we do. This is to 
be done in ordinary and extraordinary duties, in public 
and private duties, on Sabbath and other days, in 
duties of piety, charity, justice, in our particular call- 
ings and other occasions. If this be not thoroughly 
done, we may think we have done God good service, 
when that w'hich is done is odious in his sight, Isa. 
Iviii. 3. This use is the rather to be observed, be- 
cause every one best knoweth his own failings in the 
manner of what he doth, 1 Cor, ii. 11. 

2. Upon due examination we cannot but be deeply 
humbled ever for our failings in the manner of doing 
good things. I know nothing which ministereth more 
matter of humiliation to professors than this. In this 
respect it may be said of their best performances, 
Ichabod, ' where is the glory ?' 1 Sam. iv. 21. The 
glory of our reading, hearing, praying, singing, par- 
taking of the sacrament, alms-deeds, and other duties, 
is hereby taken away, which, if profane men knew, 
they would insult over professors. 

3. This giveth just occasion of abnegation, and of 
renouncing all confidence even in our best works, for 
we much fail therein, 1 Sam. iii. 2. He well knew this 
who said unto God, ' Enter not into judgment with 
thy servant,' &c., Ps. cxliii. 2 ; and he who said, ' We 
are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses 
are as filthy rags,' Isa. Ixiv. 6. Did justiciaries well 
understand this, it would make them cast down their 
gay peacock feathers. They would not be so con- 
ceited of themselves, as the proud pharisee, but rather 
as the humble publican, Luke xviii. 11-13. There 
is nothing of such force to work in us this lesson of 
denying ourselves, as a consideration of the manner of 
doing the good things we do. This consideration 
would soon put an end to all conceits of fulfilling the 
law, of meriting, of doing works of supererogation, and 
sundry other proud apprehensions. 

4. Upon the foresaid ground be exhorted to learn 
as well how to do what we enterprise, as what we do. 
God loves adverbs. We were as good be ignorant of 
the duty itself as of the manner of performing it. To 
know what ought to be done, and not to know how it 
ought to be done, will be a great aggravation of sin. 

5. For well doing that which is good, observe these 
few rules : 

(1.) Exercise thyself in God's word, diligently read 
it, hear it, and meditate on it. This is an excellent 
help, and the best that I can prescribe, for God's word 
doth expressly and distinctly declare both what is to 



[Chap. VIII. 

be done, and how it is to be done : ' God's word is a 
lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our palh,' Ps. 
cxix. 105. 

(2.) Think on duty beforehand, and endeavour to 
prcjiare thyself thereto. Sudden, hasty, rash, unpre- 
pared enterprising a sacred duty, is one occasion of 
failing in the manner of doing it, Eccles. v. 2. 

(3.) Consider with whom thou hast to do in all 
things, even with him who is the searcher of the heart. 

This will make thee circumspect in every circum- 
stance. Conceits that we have to do with man alone 
makes us look only to the outward duty. Read 2 Cor. 
ii. 17. 

(4.) In penitent confessions acknowledge thy failing 
in the manner of doing duty. Thus mayest thou gain 
assurance of forgiveness for former failings, and be 
made more watchful for the future. Humble, free, 
serious confession is an especial means of obtaining 
pardon for what is past, and power against the like for 
the future. For the former, note Ps. xxxii. 5 ; for the 
latter. Acts xix. 18, 19; for both, 1 John i. 9. 

(5.) Pray for ability even about the manner of doing 
duty : ' Of ourselves we are not sufficient to think any- 
thing as of ourselves,' 2 Cor. iii. 5. The work of the 
Spirit is heroin especially manifested : ' we know not 
what we should pray for as we ought.' Herein * the 
Spirit helpeth our infirmities,' Rom. viii. 2G. In pray- 
ing for the Spirit, plead Christ's promise, Luke xi. 13. 
Uuregeuerate persons may pray, read, hear, fast, re- 
ceive the sacrament, give alms, do just acts, and per- 
form other good duties in the substance, Rom. ii. 1-4 ; 
but none can do good in a x'ight manner except the 
regenerating Spirit be in him and help him. 

G. For comfort in this case we must have our eye 
upon our surety, in whom was no failing at all, Hcb. 
vi. 2G. As John was comforted upon hearing that 
Christ could do that which none else could do, Rev. 
V. 4, 5, so may we be comforted in the perfection of 
our surety, in that what he did, he did it in our stead, 
and for us. 

In regard of our impotency, we have as great cause 
to weep as John bad ; and in regard of our surety's 
perfection, as good ground of comfort as he had. 
Wherefore, in all thy performances, when thou ap- 
pearest before God, let thine eye be fast fixed upon 
thy surety. 

Sec. 18. Of God's care in giving directions for his 

That Moses might know both what to do, and how 
to do it, a pattern was shewed him. 

Of the Greek noun t-l/vtos, translated pattern, see 
Sec. 13. 

Of the Greek verb bityjivra, translated shewed, and 
of the noun IrrChiiy/jLoi., translated example, thence de- 
rived, see Chap. iv. 11, Sec. 6G. 

This act of shewing a pattern hath reference to God, 
who thus said to Moses, ' According to all that I shall 

shew thee,' &c., Exod. xxv. 9. Hereby God mani- 
fested his care over his church, in giving direction for 
the right manner of worshipping him. We heai'd be- 
fore. Chap. vii. 14, Sec. 7G, that warrant must be 
had from God for divine worship ; God therefore is 
careful to give instructions and directions thereabouts. 
For this end God appeared of old to the fathers by 
dreams, visions, revelations, and ministry of angels, 
and thereby declared his will unto them. After that 
he caused Moses to give sundry laws to his people, 
and to write them down for posterity. He gave also 
prophets to make known his mind. After all these he 
sent his Son, ' who was in the bosom of his Father, 
and declared him.' He also sent forth apostles, to 
whom he gave his Spirit, and caused them, not only 
by preaching to reveal his will, but also by writing to 
leave it to succeeding ages. 

The Lord well understands what ignorance, folly, 
and superstition possesseth men's souls, and how all 
the world lieth in darkness, and that none know how 
to worship him except it be revealed unto them from 

1. This giveth proof of God's good respect to man, 
and sheweth how loath he is that man should stumble 
or mistake his way, and perish. Hereby doth God 
justify himself about the destruction of those that 
perish through their ignorance. 

2. This doth much aggravate the sin of superstitious 
persons, and of all that wander out of the right way. 
It sheweth that their wandering is not for want of 
hght, but through their own wilfulness. They close 
their eyes against the light which God hath aUbrded 
unto them. 

3. Let us answer God's good respect to us in afford- 
ing instructions and directions, by giving heed to the 
same. Thus will God continue his light unto us, and 
we shall thus be brought to worship him acceptably 
here, and to enjoy an eternal communion with him 

Sec. 19. 0/ God's giving laws to Moses in the mount. 

The place where God shewed the foresaid pattern to 
Moses is here said to be in the mount. This hath re- 
ference to Exod. xxiv. lG-18. 

There it appeareth that this was mount Sinai, where 
Moses was with the Lord alone forty days and forty 

God took Moses thus on high, far from all society 
with other men, and kept him all those forty days and 
nights without ordinary sustenance, to give the people 
to understand that the ordinances which Moses de- 
livered unto them were from above, even from God 
himself, that thus they might have them in higher 
esteem, and more conscionably and obediently submit 
themselves unto them. 

God also would hereby fit and prepare Moses with 
care and diligence to attend unto all those things that 
he should give him in charge. By being alone with 

Ver. 5.] 



God in the top of the mount, covered with a cloud, 
and kept from hunger and thirst, from sleeping and 
drowsiness, he was freed from all manner of distrac- 
tions and incumbrances, natui'al or secular, arising 
from himself or others, and thereby enabled and fitted 
wholly to attend upon God. His solitariness was an 
especial help thereunto. 

Sec. 20. Of the resolution of TLeh. viii. 3-5. 

Ver, 3. For every high priest is ordained to offer 
gifts and sacrifices; ivherefore it is of necessity that this 
man have somewhat also to offer. 

4. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, 
seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to 
the law ; 

6. Who serve unto the example and shadow of hea- 
venly things, as Moses was admonished of God, ichen he 
was about to make the tabernacle ; for, See (saith he) 
that thou make all things according to the pattern 
shewed to thee in the mount. 

In these three verses there is laid down a difference 
betwixt the sacrifice of Christ and the legal priests. 

This difference is, 1, propounded, ver. 3 ; 2, illus- 
trated, ver. 4 ; 3, confirmed, ver. 5. 

In the proposition there is, 1, a case granted ; 2, 
an inference made thereupon. 

In the case granted, three branches are observable. 

1. The person, high priest, amplified by the gener- 
ality, every. 

2. The ground of the case, is ordained. 

3. The act, to offer. This is amplified by the sub- 
ject matter to be offered, which is distinguished into 
these two kinds, gifts and sacrifices. 

The inference is, that Christ must also offer. This 
inference is, 

1. Generally hinted, in this illative particle, ivhere- 
^2. Particularly expressed. In the particular ex- 
pression we have, 

1. The ground of that which is set down, it is of 

2. The person intended, this man. 

3. The sacrifice implied under this phrase, some- 
what also. 

4. The end of his sacrifice, to offer. 

In the illustration, the place where the one and 
other priests offer is discussed. 
Hereof are two parts. 

1. Where Christ offered his sacrifice. 

2. Where the legal priests offered theirs. 

The former is, 1, implied by a supposition; 2, 

In the supposition we have, 

1. The thing supposed, if he were on earth. 

2. A consequence inferred thereupon, he should not 
he a priest. 

These two imply a strong negation, namely, that 
Christ was not on earth ; whence it foUoweth that 

heaven is the place where Christ exerciseth his priest- 

The proof is taken from the act of the legal priests. 
Here we have, 

1. The persons, there are priests. 

2. Their act, that offer. This is amplified by the 
subject, gifts. 

8. The ground thereof, according to the law. 

The confirmation is taken from God's ordinance, 
ver. 5. 

This may have a remote reference to ver. 3, every 
high priest is ordained to offer, &c. 

This is thus proved, he serveth unto the example, &c. 
Or it may have an immediate reference to this last 
clause of ver. 4, according to the law. For Moses was 
admonished, and received a law that the priests should 
so do, as they did. 

This confirmation manifesteth a main difterence be- 
twixt legal priests and Christ; they served to that 
shadow whereof he is the substance. 

Of that confirmation there are two parts : 

1. The oflice of legal priests ; 2, their warrant. 

Their ofiice is set out, 

1. By their act, who serve. 

2. By the object to which they serve. This is set 
out two ways. 

1. By tlie types ; 2, by the truths. 
The types are in these two words, example, shadow. 
The truth is in this phrase, heavenly things. 
The priest's warrant is, 1, propounded; 2, exem- 

In propounding the warrant there is expressed. 

1. The minister that was employed, Moses was ad- 

2. The principal author thereof, God. 

3. The time when it was given, when he ivas about 
to make the tabernacle. 

In the exemplification of the warrant there is ob- 

1. The manner of enjoining it, see ; 2, the matter. 
Herein we have, 

1. The author, saith he. 

2. The minister employed, that thou make. 

3. The extent of things to be done, all things. 

4. The manner of making them. This is, 

1. Propounded, according to the pattern. 

2. Exemplified, (1.) by the kind of pattern, shewed 
to thee. 

(2.) By the place, in the mount. 

Sec. 21. Of observations raised out of Heb. viii. 


I. Christ is an high priest. This is here taken for 
granted. See Chap. ii. 17, Sec. 172. 

II. Every one in an office is bound to the duty there- 
of. This I gather from this general particle every. 
See Sec. 8. 

III. Ministers of God must be ordained to their minis- 



[CilAP. VITT. 

try. Such were high priests, who were here said to 
be ordained. Sec Chap. v. 1, Sec. 8. 

IV. I'ru'sts iveie to offer to God. 

V. Gifts icere offered to God. 

VI. t>acrifices nho iiere offered to God. 

[These three last words are all iu terms expressed. 
Of them, see Chap. v. 1, Sees. G, 7. J 

VII. Christ did what he teas bmind unto by his office. 
This adverb of reference, uherefore, implieth as much. 
See Sec. 9. 

VIII. Christ hound himself to he a sacrifice for tis. 
This is the necessity here intended. See Sec. 9. 

IX. Christ's sacrifice uas of another kind than the 
sacrifices of a leyal priest. This indefinite particle 
someuhat intiraateth another. See Sec. 9. 

X. Karth is not the ]ilace of Christ's priesthood. 
The supposition in this text, if he tcere on earth, im- 
plieth that he is not on earth. See Sec. 10. 

XI. The leyal priesthood and Christ's cannot stand 
together. This inference, seeing that there are priests, 
&c., proveth as much. See Sec. 11. 

XII. The priests had a law for what they did. For 
they did what they did, according to the law. See 
Sec. 11. 

XIII. Priests irere for service. This act, served, is 
here set down as their duty. See Sec. 12. 

XIV. Priests had a pattern to direct them in their 
sen-ice. For they served unto the example. See Sec. 

XV. The things whereunto legal priests served ivere 
but shadows. To prove this the apostle addeth this 
word shadcxu to example. See Sec. 1 2. 

XVI. Legal ceremonies were shadows of heavenly 
truths. Thus much is here expressed. See Sec. 13. 

XVII. Christ was the substance of legal shadows. 
Christ and the things that belonged to him, are com- 
prised under the heavenly things here mentioned. See 
Sec. 13. 

XVIII. God declared his mind to people by ministe)'S. 
Moses, who was admonished and instructed by God to 
that end, was a minister. See Sec. 14. 

XIX. People must obey God's word delivered by his 
ministers. The priests here did as Moses was ad- 
monished. See Sec. 14. 

XX. Divine worship must have divine warrant. The 
things of the tabernacle concerned God's worship, and 
they here had their warrant from God. See Sec. 14. 

XXI. A special charge must he conscionably regarded. 
This item, see, intendeth as much. See Sec. 15. 

XXII. A divine testimony is a sound proof. This 
word, he saith, is a divine testimony, and it is here 
produced to prove the point in hand. See Sec. 15. 

XXIII. What is done by oiliers under one's charge is 
as his oton act. Thus Moses maketh that which others 
by his direction did his work. See Sec. 16, 

XXIV. Our obedience to God must he universal. 
We must do all things that he enjoincth. See Sec. 

XXV. Duty must be dune after a right manner. 
This phrase, according to the pattern, hath respect to 
the manner of doing what was enjoined. See Sec. 

XXVI. God gave direction for his worship. He 
shewed what should be done thereabout. See Sec. 

XXVII. Solitariness is fittest for communion with 
God. For this end was Moses taken into the mount. 
See Sec. 19. 

Sec. 22. Of the meaning of the first part of the sixth 

Ver. 6. But noiv hath he obtained a more excellent 
m{)iislry, by hoio much also he is the mediator of a 
better covenant, which was established upon better pro- 

The third point wherein and whereby the excel- 
lency of Christ's priesthood above the Levitical is in 
this chapter set forth, is the pre-eminency of the cove- 
nant which was sealed thereby. This is largely 
handled, even to the end of this chapter. See Sec. 1. 

The apostle bringcth in this point with a conjunc- 
tion and with an adverb, wA b\, but now, which imply 
an opposition to something formerly delivered. He 
had shewed before, that in former times, under the 
law, the priests served to a shadow. In opposition 
thereunto, he useth these two participles, but, now; 
as if he had said, But now under the gospel our priest 
hath a more excellent service. 

Of the conjunction but, see Chap. ii. 6, Sec. 50. 

Of the adverb now, see Chap. ii. 8, Sec. 68. 

This may have a special reference to the fourth 
verse, where it is said, ' If he were on earth, he should 
not be a priest;' but here it is inferred, that he is 
not only a priest, but a more excellent priest than any 

This relative, he, is not expressed in the Greek, but 
comprised under the verb of the third person, tet-eu^^e. 
It hath reference to the person whose excellency is be- 
fore set forth; even to the high priest whom he de- 
scribed, vers. 1, 2, and whom he meant under this 
word, Tovrov, this man, ver. 3. Our former English 
and sundry other translators^ express this person 
under these words, our high priest. Or these, or the 
like are understood. For here Christ is apparently 

Of this comparative, diacpoguTegag, more excellent, 
see Chap. i. 4, Sec. 42. 

The verb rhsv/^s,- which we translate obtained, is 
the same that is used Heb. xi. 35. It is translated 
to enjoy, Acts xxiv. 2. Christ continueth to enjoy 
what he hath obtained. 

By this woi-d obtained, is implied that Christ as- 
sumed not that ministry to himself. He was ap- 

' Noater ille Pontifex. — Bcza, Parens, Junius. 
^ A Tvy;^ciyaD quod derivatiu a Ttiix'', uude varia tempora 

Ver. 6.] 



pointed and deputed to it, Chap. iii. 2. So he 
obtained it. 

The noun Xnrovoyla, translated minidry, is derived 
from the same stem that Xnrovpyog, minister, was, see 
ver. 2, Sec. 3. There is shewed how Christ disdained 
not to become a minister, and to undertake a ministry 
for our sake. 

The comparative oVw, translated by hotv much, is 
the same that was used to set out the excellency of 
Christ's name above angels, Chap. i. 4, Sec. 42. 
Here this comparison hath reference to the service or 
ministry of legal priests, which Christ's ministry or 
office far excelleth. 

The excellency of Christ's office hath before been 
set down by many arguments, as, 

1. By the order whence it was; the order of Mel- 
chisedec. Chap. vii. 6, Sec. 42. 

2. By the manner of instituting it; by a solemn 
oath, Chap. vii. 20, Sec. 91. 

3. By the perfection of it. Chap. vii. 19, Sec. 87. 

4. By the powerful operation of it. Chap. vii. 16, 
Sec. 83. 

5. By the place where it was exercised, Chap. viii. 
1, Sec. 2. 

G. By the everlasting continuance of it. Chap. vii. 
3, Sec. 26. 

7. By the kind of sacrifice, himself. Chap. vii. 27, 
Sec. 115. 

8. By the dignity of his person, the Son of God, 
Chap. vii. 28, Sec. 117. 

Now here by the covenant sealed up thereby. 

Of this covenant, and of the respect wherein it is 
styled better, see Chap. vii. 22, Sec. 94. 

The manner of setting down the comparison be- 
twixt the latter and former covenant, in these words, 
by koto much also, is emphatical. Of the emphasis 
thereof, see Chap. i. 4, Sec. 30. 

This conjunction of addition, -/mi, also, which is in 
Greek the ordinary copulative, and, sheweth, that 
the excellency here mentioned is very remarkable, and 
may well be added to the former. He was priest and 
also Mediator. Many offices were requisite to free us 
out of all misery, to reconcile us to God, to justify us, 
and to save us. Therefore he added one to another; 
he underwent all for our sakes. 

Sec. 23. Of Christ a mediator. 

Christ by his priesthood became a ' mediator of the 
better covenant ' here set forth. Hereof he was styled 
' the surety,' Chap. vii. 22, Sec. 93. There is shewed 
the difi'erence betwixt a surety and a mediator. 

Of the derivation of the Greek word (j^iSni^g, trans- 
lated mediator, see Chap. vi. 17, Sec. 138. 

About this office of Christ, whereby he is styled 
mediator, I purpose distinctly to declare, 

1. The nature of that office. 

2. The end thereof. 

3. The persons that were at variance. 

4. The person that interposed betwixt them. 

5. The motive that stirred him thereto. 

6. The benefit of that office. 

7. The parties that partake of that benefit. 

8. The continuance thereof. 

1. The general nature of this office may be gathered 
out of these words, ' A mediator is not a mediator of 
one,' Gal. iii. 20. The meaning is, that a mediator 
stands as a middle person betwixt two parties or sides. 
The notation of the word importeth as much, and most 
properly it is used of standing betwixt such as are at 

2. The main end of a mediator is to reconcile the 
persons that are at variance, namely, the party ofi'end- 
ing to the party olfended. The apostle thus expresseth 
it, ' In Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off 
are made nigh by his blood,' Eph. ii. 13; and again, 
' It pleased God (having made peace through the blood 
of Christ's cross) by him to reconcile all things to 
himself,' Col. i. 19, 20. 

3. The persons that were at variance were on the 
one side, God the Creator, and on the other side, man, 
who had sinned against God, and provoked his wrath. 
Many of the angels sinned also, and stood in need of 
a mediator, but none ever undertook to be a mediator 
for them. Our mediator ' took not upon him the 
nature of angels,' Heb. ii. 16. For man only he in- 
terposed himself. 

4. The person that interposed was the Son of God, 
who for that end assumed man's nature, that he might 
be fit to stand betwixt God and man. * For there is 
one God, and one mediator between God and man, 
the man Christ Jesus,' 1 Tim. ii. 5. None could be 
worthy to appear before God, but God. None fit to 
appear for man, but man. Therefore ' God mani- 
fested in the flesh,' 1 Tim. iii. 16, was this media- 

5. The motive was only his special and peculiar 
love to man, Titus iii. 4. This moved the Father to 
give his Son for that end, John iii. 16; this moved the 
Son to give himself to that end, Eph. v, 25. 

6. The main benefit of this office is reconciliation 
and peace betwixt God and man. God is moved by 
the mediation of his Son to pardon man's sin, and to 
accept him into grace and favour; and Christ under- 
taking to be a mediator for man, so communicates 
his Spirit into him, as thereby man is humbled for 
his sins past, desires pardon, and sets himself to please 
and honour God. Thus this Mediator, as he turned 
the heart of God to man ; so also he turneth the heart 
of man to God. God saith to such as are reconciled, 
'It is my people,' and they say, 'The Lord is my 
God,' Zech. xiii. 9. 

7. The parties that partake of the benefit of Christ's 
mediation are the elect of God. Those God gave to 
Christ. Christ died for those whom God gave to him; 
and he reconcileth those for whom he died. All others 
are comprised under this word world, concerning whom 



[CllAP. VIII. 

Christ thus saith, ' I pray not for tho world,' John 
xvii. 9. 

8. Christ continueth this oftice so long as there re- 
main any of the elect to be reconciled, which will'not 
be till all things be perfected. In this respect, it is 
said, that ' he ever liveth to make intercession for 
them,' Heb. vii. 25. 

1. This gives us to understand the woful condition 
of such as are without this mediator. They are in the 
case of devils ; they are liable to God's wrath ; and 
God's wrath is a consuming lire. This is one cause 
of the everlasting continuance of hell torments, that 
there is no mediator for them that are in hell. Woful 
in this respect are all pagans, that have no knowledge 
of this mediator ; and all heretics, that deny either of 
his natures, or the union of them in one person, where- 
by he becomes lit to be a mediator ; yea, and all in- 
credulous persons who believe not on him. 

2. This gives a demonstration of the folly of those 
that choose to themselves any other mediators. Whut 
show of reason can be rendered of this folly ? Can any 
be thought more able, taken more fit, more worthy, 
more willing than he that hath undertaken it ? Papists 
that heap to themselves many mediators, make humility 
a pretence for what they do. There were in the 
apostle's time who made such a pretence for worship- 
ping of angels. The apostle styles it, * voluntary hu- 
mility,' or aflected humility.' Pretence of humihty 
agaiust God's word is plain presumption and high 
arrogancy. One calls it hypocritical humility." That 
therefore is a mere pretence, and no good ground for 
a matter of so great consequence. Papists, to jvistify 
their multitude of mediators, do further distinguish 
betwixt a mediator of redemption and a mediator of 
intercession. Hereupon they grant that Christ alone 
is the mediator of redemption ; but withal infer, that 
angels and saints may be mediators of intercession. 

Ans. These two etltcts of a mediator, redemption 
and inteixessiou, cannot be severed one from another. 
He that is a mediator of redemption, will also be a 
mediator of intercession ; and he that is a mediator 
of intercession, must be a mediator of redemption, 
that his intercession may be prevalent. Intercession 
is an application of the merit and virtue of redemption; 
who then can do that to purpose but he that hath 
wrought the redemption ? Besides, of the two, the 
mediation of intercession is of as much worth as the 
other ; and the life and virtue of redemption consist- 
eth in intercession. If comparison might be made, 
the mediation of intercession would appear to be the 
more excellent in this, that redemption was done by 
suffering ; but the ground of intercession is in the 
dignity of the person. Thus, by papists' applica- 

' Vulgo dicitur qui divitcra afftctdt thelodives : qui sapi- 
entem, thdosapiens, &c. Ergo et iiic Ikelo-humilis tlicitur, 

i e., volens-buiuilia, uffectans humilitatem Aug. Episl. ad 


* Hypocrisis humilitatis. — Occum. in he. 

tion of the foresaid distinction, the more excellent 
kind of mediation is attributed to mere creatures ; and 
tiiereby Christ is debased below angels and saints. 
But to shew that their distinction is against the inten- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, where mention is made of 
mediation of intercession, there it is said that ' there 
is one mediator between God and man, the man 
Christ Jesus,' 1 Tim. ii. 5. Where mention is made 
of Christ's mediation, there we shall oft find mention 
of his intercession. 

3. This point of Christ's mediation is a ground of 
much comfoi't, encouragement, and confidence to us 
poor sinners, to whom, as sinners, God is in himself 
a consuming fire. If we duly weigh on the one side 
God's majesty, purity, justice, and wrath ; and on the 
other side our baseness, weakness, vileness, and 
wretchedness, we cannot but discern what need there 
is of a mediator. Adam, before he had knowledge 
hereof, when he heard the voice of the Lord, hid him- 
self from the presence of God, Geu. iii. 8. Yea, this 
mediator himself, out of this office, is veiy fearful, 
Kev. vi. IG. But by this mediator, a free access is 
made to the throne of grace, so as we may and ought 
boldly go thereto, Heb. iv. 16. This was it that put 
great confidence in the apostle, Rom. viii. S-i, 35. 

4. This point of Christ's mediation teacheth us to 
do ' whatsoever we do, in word or deed, in the name 
of the Lord Jesus,' Col. iii. 17. Whensoever, there- 
fore, we present our persons, our prayers, praises, or 
any other due service unto God, let the eyes of our soul 
be upon this mediator, and do all in his name, John 
xvi. 23, Eph. V. 20. It hath been an ancient, and is 
a commendable custom, to conclude our prayers and 
praises through the mediation of Jesus Christ our 

5. This office of Christ ought also to stir us up in 
all things to seek to please God, and to endeavour to 
bring our will, heart, and affections, yea, all the powers 
of our soul, and parts of our body, into an holy sub- 
jection to God's blessed will, and that upon these two 
especial grounds : 

1. God's wrath being pacified by Christ's mediation, 
and peace made betwixt God and us, it is most meet 
that we should seek, in what we are able, to preserve 
this peace. 

2. Christ, in pacifying God's wrath and procuring 
his favour to us, hath undertaken to bring us unto 
God, and to make us a free people unto him ; and 
thereupon hath given unto us his Spirit, to enable us 
so to do. 

It is a part of Christ's mediatorship, as to procure 
God to be at peace with man, so to draw man to be 
at peace with God, and to cease to rebel against him. 
By this latter we may have assurance of the former. 
For the latter being a work wrought by the Spirit of 
Christ in us, is more sensible, and may better be dis- 
cerned by us. By our heart to God-ward we may 
know God's heart to us- ward, 1 John iv. I'J. 

Vek. 6.] 



Sec. 24. Of Christ the mediator of a covenant. 

Christ's mediatoi'ship is here in special applied to 
the covenant. This is the covenant whereof Christ is 
said to be a surety. Hereof see Chap. vii. 22, Sees. 
93, 94. He is also styled the mediator of the neio 
testament, Heb. ix. 15 ; and the mediator of the new 
covenant, Heb. xii. 24. 

This Christ is said to be in two respects. 

1. In that he hath procured a covenant to pass be- 
twixt God and man. As upon rebels rising against 
their king, if the king's son should interpose himself 
as a mediator betwixt his father and those subjects, 
and so handle the matter as to procure an agreement, 
and a covenant thereupon, he might be called the me- 
diator of that covenant, a mediator that procured it. 

2. In that he hath engaged himself to see on both 
parts that covenant performed. Thus he is called a 
* surety of the covenant.' See Chap. v. 22, Sec. 93. 

This Christ undertook to do in his respect to God 
and man. 

1. To God, that he might set forth the honour of 
his Father. For never, since the world began, was 
there such an instance of God's wisdom, power, truth, 
justice, and mercy as the reconciliation between God 
and man effected by Christ. See Chap. ii. 10, Sec. 

2. To man, that he might free him out of the most 
miserable and desperate case that a creature could be 
in, and bring him to the most happy state that a crea- 
ture could be brought unto. 

1. This affords matter of great admiration ; for of 
all offices that Christ undertook, this doth most espe- 
cially commend his love unto us ; especially if we duly 
weigh the dignity of his person, and unworthiness of 
ours; the heinousness of man's sin, and the fierceness 
of God's wrath ; the means which Christ used to pacify 
that wrath, and the benefit which redoundeth to us 

2. This also ministers much matter of consolation, 
for it is a strong prop to our faith. Christ being the 
mediator of a covenant betwixt God and man, man's 
faith is suppoi'ted by two most stable and everlasting 
pillars, which are the mercy and faithfulness of God : 
bis mercy, in vouchsafing to be appeased so far as to 
enter into covenant with man ; his faithfulness, in 
making good his covenant, which is a point of justice ; 
and in reference hereunto saints have appealed to the 
righteousness and justice of God. 

8. This also gives to us, who are God's confederates, 
great and just cause to be very careful of keeping cove- 
nant on our part. Our mediator and surety is engaged 
hereupon. If we make forfeiture on our part, we give 
God just occasion to deny us on his part the benefit 
of the covenant. 

This point, of Christ being mediator of a covenant, 
is much amplified by this epithet added thereunto, better. 
He is ' the mediator of a better covenant.' Hereof see 
more Chap. vii. 22, Sec. 94. 

Sec. 25. Of better promises. 

This phi-ase, which was established upon better pro- 
mises, hath reference to the covenant styled better. For 
the antecedent, covenant, and the relative, tvhich, are 
both of the same gender, number, and person. 

Of the emphasis of the Greek word, v<-voij,fj&zrrirai, 
translated established, see Chap. vii. 11, Sec. 62. It 
implieth that the covenant is a firm and stable cove- 
nant, settled upon an inviolable law ; such a law as, 
like ' the law of the Medes and Persians, altereth not,' 
Daniel vi. 8. 

Of the Greek word I'TrayyiXiaig, translated promises, 
see Chap. iv. 1, Sec. 6. 

Of the Greek word x^iir-offi, translated better, see 
Chap. i. 4, Sec. 39. 

Of promises being privileges, see Chap. vii. 6, 
Sec. 44. 

The promises here intended are styled better, in 
reference to those that were made to Abraham and to 
his seed under the law. 

For he speaketh here of promises appertaining to 
the new covenant, whereupon it was established. 

Some make the difference between the promises of 
the one and the other covenant to be in matter and 
substance, as if the promises of the former covenant 
had been only of external, earthly, and temporal 
blessings. But they clean mistake the difference 
who extend it so far, and therein do much dishonour 
God and the faithful Jews. 

1. They make the great Lord of heaven and earth, 
who is ever the same, and changeth not, to be in former 
times hke unto the inferior gods of the Gentiles, whom 
they imagined to abide on earth, and to bestow only 
temporal blessings. 

2. They make the faithful children of God that then 
lived to be as our children, who delight in outward, 
fair toys. 

Their ground for restraining God's promises under 
the law to outward temporal blessings, resteth on the 
form of words wherein those promises were then made. 
But they consider not that spiritual and celestial 
matters were comprised under them. Canaan, Jeru- 
salem, and the temple were types of heaven. Their 
deliverance from Pharaoh and other enemies were 
types of their freedom from sin, Satan, and all manner 
of spiritual enemies. It hath been shewed. Chap. vi. 
13, Sec. 95, that Christ was comprised under the pro- 
mises made to Abraham. Hereupon it is said that 
' they desired a better country, that is, a heavenly,' 
Heb. xi. 16. Therefore for substance the same pro- 
mises were made to them that are made to us. They 
had promises of spiritual blessings made to them, 
Deut. XXX. 6 ; and there are promises of temporal 
blessings made to us, 1 Tim. iv. 8. A main differ- 
ence of promises made to them and us is this, that 
promises of temporal blessings were to them more 
express and frequent, but promises of spiritual and 
heavenly blessings more rare and obscure. We know 



[Chap. VIIL 

by experience that the sun shincth not so brightly in 
the morning, at the rising thereof, as it cloth at noon, 
when it is come to the height ; yet it is the same sun. 

The differences therefore betwixt promises made to 
Jews and Christians is in the manner of revealing the 
one and the other, and in the kind of work, which the 
one and the other hath upon the minds and hearts of 
men. The promises which we have are more perspi- 
cuously and fully made known, and we by them made 
the better to conceive the mind of God, and more 
wrought upon thereby in our hearts and affections. 

How unworthy of these better promises are they 
who take no notice of them, but sit in darkness and 
remain ignorant under the clear light of the gospel. 
Note their doom, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. This may be ap- 
plied to a wavering faith, unsettled hope, faint patience, 
cold zeal, and other such defects as are the shame of 

Our care ought to be to aboumi in knowledge, faith, 
hope, patience, new obedience, and other like gi*aces, 
as God hath abounded to us in means. Having better 
promises, let us have better minds and better lives. 
I)avid hid those promises that he then had in his heart, 
that he might not sin against God, Ps. cxix. 11. 
Should not we hide in our hearts these better promises ? 
"What fruits of faith did God's ancient w^orthies shew 
forth, and yet received not the promise ! Heb. xiv. 39 ; 
note 2 Cor. vii. 1. 

Sec. 26. Of God's covenant established upon promises. 

The foresaid promises arc made the gi'ouud of God's 
covenant with man, for his covenant is here said to be 
established upon pi'omises, so as that which binds 
God to man is his own promise. By covenant he is 
bound to man, but his covenant is established upon 
bis own promise. Hereupon these two, covenant and 
vord (which implicth his promise), are joined together, 
Ps. cv. 8. On this ground saints in all ages have 
pleaded God's promise, and therewith strengthened 
their faith, Ps. cxix. 49, 2 Chron. vi. 42. To this 
purpose it is said that ' God remembered Noah,' Gen. 
viii. 1 ; namely, his promise made to Noah. And 
where Moses saith to God, ' Remember Abraham, 
Isaac, and Israel,' Gen. xxxii. 13, he meaneth God's 
covenant and promise made to them. 

1. There neither was nor could be anything in man 
to move God to enter into covenant with him. 

2. Nor could there be anything out of God to move 
him ; for he is the most high, supreme Sovereign, and 
doth what he will because he will. ' I will,' saith he, 
• be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and shew 
mercy to whom I will shew mercy,' Exodus xxxiii. 19. 

1, Hereby we learn how to strengthen our faith in 
God's covenant, namely, by calling to mind God's 
promises whereon it is established, and by pleading 
them before God. We have in this respect two props 
or pillars to support our faith : one is God's mere}', 
whereby ho was moved to make his promise ; tho 

other is God's truth and faithfulness, in that a cove- 
nant is established upon his promise. 

2, Hereby wo may be encouraged with cheerfulness 
to go on in every good course whereunto God hath 
made any promise ; for his promise is as a covenant, 
it binds him to performance. 

Sec. 27. Of the meaniny oj the first part of the seventh 

Ver. 7. For if that first covenant had been faultless^ 
then should no place have been sought for the second. 

This causal particle yap,for, sheweth that this verse 
is added as a reason of that which went before. And 
this word of number, rrs'Jjrri, first, hath reference to the 
better covenant mentioned in the former verse ; there 
is therefore added this particle of reference, Jxe/v?;, that. 
There he proved that covenant to be better, because it 
was established upon better promises ; here he proveth 
it by another argument, which is the succession of this 
latter covenant in the room of the former, and that 
because the former could not perform that which was 
expected from a covenant. 

The word covenant is not expressed in the Greek, 
but necessarily understood; for these words of number, 
TPwrjj, jirtit, and bi-oTioac, second, can have reference to 
nothing going before but to the covenant. 

By the first covenant he meaneth that which God 
established to the Israelites in many outward rites and 

Ohj. The apostle saith that that * covenant was con- 
firmed before of God in Christ,' Gal. iii. 17. 

Ans. He there speaketh of the substance of the cove- 
nant of grace, which was the same that the better cove- 
nant was, mentioned in the former verse. But here 
he speaketh of the covenant involved and overshadowed 
with many types and shadows ; so as the circumstances 
about delivering the covenant are here meant rather 
than the substance of the covenant itself. 

The manner of bringing in the point with a sup- 
position thus, if that first had been faultless, implieth 
a negative, that it was not faultless. The consequence 
inferred, proveth as much. This will be manifest by 
reducing the argument into a syllogistical form, thus : 

If the first covenant had been faultless, there had 
been no need of a second ; 

But there was need of a second ; therefore the first 
was not faultless. 

The word a/x£,aTro;, translated faultless, is a com- 
pound, derived from a simple verb fi'=/j,fofiai, that 
signifieth to complain, or find fault. It is applied 
not to man only, who may find fault without cause, as 
Mark vii. 2 ; but to God also, and that in man's 
opinion, Rom. ix. 19, and in reality and truth, as in 
the next verse. This adjective here used being com- 
pounded with the privative preposition, a, signifieth one 
that is not blameworthy, or that gives no occasion to 
to be blamed. 

It is attributed to Zacharias and bis wife, and trans- 

Ver. 7.] 



lated blameless, Luke i. 6. It is that which we ought 
to aim at, Philip, ii. 15. 

The apostle praj'eth for it in the behalf of those to 
whom he wrote, 1 Thes. iii. 13. It implielh a kind of 
perfection. On the contrary, that which is faulty is 
imperfect ; there is cause to complain of it, and to find 
fault with it. 

Quest. Wherein was the first covenant faulty ? 
' Ans. Not in the matter and substance of it, as it 
was ordained and instituted of God ; but in the efiect, 
"virtue, power, and efficacy of it. 

It made nothing perfect, it could not justify or 
sanctify the comers thereto. It could not pacify the 
conscience of poor siuners, much less could it save 
souls of the sons of men. 

By the supposition it is implied, and so taken for 
granted, that the covenant under the law was faulty 
and scanty. It was herein like the Levitical priest- 
hood, and like the law under the same, which is styled 
carnal, weak, unprofitable, which made nothing per- 
fect. See Chap. vii. 11, Sec. 61, and vers. 16, 18, 19, 
Sees. 81, 85, 86. 

Sec. 28. 0/ the meaning of the latter part of the 
seventh verse. 

Upon the foresaid supposition, the apostle maketh 
this inference, then should no place have heen sought for 
the second. To seek a place for a thing, is to use 
means to bring it in and to settle it. Thus place was 
sought for Zadok to be high priest, when Abiathar had 
forfeited that ofiice, 1 Kings ii. 35. Thus place was 
sought for another apostle when Judas had failed. 
Acts i. 20. Yea, place was sought for the Gentiles when 
Jews failed. Hereupon saith the church of the Gentiles, 
* Give place to me that I may dwell,' Isa. xhx. 20. 

On the contrary, when any are wholly deprived of 
a privilege, and no admission afforded, "it is thus ex- 
pressed, ' Their place was not found,' Rev. xii. 8. 

Had there not been need, no place had been sought, 
that is, no means had been used, no way made, for 
another covenant. 

The word second, hath reference to the new cove- 
nant, which he calls the second, because it succeeded 
the former, which he called the frst ; as the second is 
next to the first, and immediately succeedeth it, so 
was this covenant next to the former, and immediately 
come into the room of it. 

The consequence here inferred is, that if the first 
had been perfect, there would, &c. See Chap. vii. 11, 
Sec. 65. 

Sec. 29. Of the resolution and ohservations of Heb. 
viii. 6, 7. 

Ver. 6. But noxo hath he obtained a more excellent 
ministry, by how vinch also he is the mediator of a belter 
covenant^ which ua^ established iqjon better promises. 

7. Fur if that first covenant had been faultless, then 
should no place have been sought for the second. 

The sum of these two verses is a further proof of the 
excellency of Christ's priesthood. Hereof are two parts : 

1. The point proved ; 2, the argument whereby it 
is proved. 

In the former we have, 1. The ground of Christ's 
priesthood, in this word obtained. 

2. The kind of Christ's ofiice. This is set out two 
ways : 

1. By the meanness of it ; it was a ministry. 

2. By the excellency of it, set down comparatively, 
more excellent. 

The argument to prove the point, is taken from 
another office thence arising. About the point, observe, 

1. The manner of bringing it in. 

2. The matter whereof it consisteth. 
The manner is implied two ways : 

1. By way of comparison, in this phrase by how much. 

2. By a note of addition, also, or and. 

The matter declareth the other office, wherein two 
points are observable : 

1. The kind of office, mediator. 

2. The subject ratified thereby. This is, 

1. Expressed, in this word covenant. 

2. Illustrated by this comparison, better. 
The illustration is proved by two arguments. 

One taken from the promises whereon it is esta- 
blished, which are styled belter. 

The other from the succession of this covenant in 
the room of the former. 

Of this latter proof there are two parts. 

1. A supposition; 2, an inference. 

The supposition concerneth the first covenant, and 
implieth an imperfection therein. 

The inference expresseth one thing, and intendeth 
another. The thing expressed is this : No place shoidd 
have been sought Jor the second. 

The thing intended is, that jjlace was sought for the 


I. Christ had his office conferred on him. This is 
impHed under this word obtained. See Sec. 22. 

II. Christ subjected himself to a ministry. His priest- 
hood is here styled a ministry. See Sec. 22. 

III. Christ's ministry ivas more excellent than any 
other. It is styled more excellent. See Sec. 22. 

IV. Christ's ministry was according to the law 
whereabout it was exercised. This phrase, by how much, 
intendeth as much. See Sec. 22. 

V. Christ had office upon office. This conjunctioa 
of addition, also, implieth thus much. See Sec. 22. 

VI. Christ is a mediator. See Sec. 23. 

VII. Christ is a mediator of a covenant. See Sec. 24. 
:; VIII. The covenant ivhereof Christ is mediator is 
the better covenant. See Sec. 24. 

IX. God's covenant is firm, it is established. See 
Sec. 25. 

X. God's covenant is established upon promises. See 
Sec. 26. 



[Chap. VIII. 

XI. The promises whereupon God's covenant is esta- 
llished an' better than former promises. See Sec. 25. 

[The six last observations are plainly expressed in 
the text.] 

XII. The covenant under the law ivas not perfect. 
This supposition, if that first had been faultless, in- 
tcndcth as much. See Sec. 27. 

XIII. Nothing needs be added to that which is perfect. 
This is implied under this conseriuence, then should 
no place have been soujht. 

Sec. 80. Of the meaning of these tvords, 'for finding 
fault with them.' 

Ver. 8. For finding fault with them, he saith, Be- 
hold the days com", saith the Lord, when I wiU. make 
a new covenant with the house of Israel, and the house 
of Judah. 

That which the apostle in the former verse by a 
supposition intimated thus, if that firat had been 
faultless, he here plainly dctermineth, and sheweth 
that it was not faultless, for fiiult was found there- 
with ; so as these words are as an assumption of 
the former conditional proposition. Well, therefore, 
is this causal particle ya^, for, premised, this being a 
proof of the former. 

Four things before noted are confirmed in the testi- 
mony following : 

I.' That there was a better covenant to come. 
The epithet Jieio proves it. 

2. That the promises thereof are better. The par- 
ticular promises specified, vers. 10-12, give evidence 

3. That the first covenant was faulty. For they 
to whom it was given continued not therein, ver. 9. 

4. That place was sought for the second. For he 
saith, / ivill make a neio one. 

The Greek participle /is/x^to/isvo?, translated find- 
iwi fault, is derived from the same verb that this 
adjective faultless was. See ver. 7, Sec. 27. 

The object of this act of finding fault is thus 
expressed, in7/j them. This is so placed in the Greek, 
as it may be referred either to the act of finding fault, 
or else to this verb following, he saith, /if/zfo/xsvo; 
u-jroTg }.e-/ii, as if it had been thus expressed, « finding 
fault, he saith to them.' 

It appears by these words of God's complaint, 
' They continued not in my covenant,' ver. 9, that 
God found fault with the people to whom he gave 
that covenant. 

How then, may some say, is this brought in to 
prove that the covenant itself was not faultless ? 

Ans. Both are found fault withal. For the peo- 
ple were careless in doing their best endeavour, and 
the covenant was weak and impotent ; it could not 
atlord sufficient help to make the people perfect 
thereby. The impotency that was in the covenant 
was the greater, because men were very negligent in ob- 
serving it, yea, very refractory and obstinate against it. 

Thus it appeareth that such means as are not able 
to do that which they expected, namely, to make per- 
fect the observers thereof, are faulty and not to be 
continued ; yet such as are negligent, and improve them 
not to the best advantage, are not inexcusable, but 
blameworth}'. Both means, and persons to whom the 
means belong, may be faulty and justly blamed. 

All mankind may justly be condemned for every 
transgi-ession of the moral law. Gal. ii. 10, and for 
not observing the covenant of works ; for in Adam 
there was power to observe it. The disability and 
impotency that seized on man, was through man's 
own default ; he brought it upon himself. .Justly may 
God expect and exact performance according to that 
ability which once he gave. Though the Jews were 
' not able to bear the yoke' that was put upon them, 
yet w^ere they justly punished for breaking that cove- 
nant, which proved to be so heavy a yoke. 

Besides their innate disability, and besides the im- 
potency of that covenant to give them new strength 
and ability, there was in them a rebellious reluctancy 
against that covenant ; they would not subject their 
necks thereto, 2 Kings xvii. 14. 

Justly therefore were they blamed and punished, 
notwithstanding the impotency of the means that 
they enjoyed, which were not faultless but also blame- 

How justly then may they be blamed who have 
powerful means of salvation afforded unto them, and 
yet profit not thereby as they should. This is a fear- 
ful doom of the apostle, ' If our gospel be hid, it is 
hid in them that perish,' 2 Cor. iv. 3. 

This word finding fault, is fitly set before the testi- 
mony following, both to declare the main scope of that 
testimony, which is to disavow the imperfection thereof, 
and also shew how pertinent it is to the point in hand. 

Sec. 31. Of these phrases, ' He saith,' ' Sailh the 

That which the apostle affirmed in these general 
words, finding fault with them, he proveth by a divine 
testimony, which he first hinteth in this phrase, he 
saith, and then largely expresseth in the very words 
of Scripture. 

Of this indefinite phrase, he saith, see ver. 5, Sec. 
IG, and Chap. xiii. 5, Sec. G9. There are indeed two 
several Greek words, whereof one, (pr,al, is used in the 
fifth verse, and another, 'kiyii, in this, yet both of 
them do signify the same thing, and are used in the 
same sense, both there and here, even as much as 
this usual prophetical phrase, Thus saith the Lord. 
There is also a third verb, i'Ur,xs, used in the same 
sense, and translated said, Heb. i. 13, and iv. 3, and 
X. 5, and xiii. 5. 

Besides this indefinite assertion of the author of the 
testimony following, he is in the testimony itself three 
several times, as the apostle hath quoted it, yea, four 
times, as the prophet sets it down, Jer. xxxi. 31-34, 

Ver. 8.] 



expressly named under this phrase, saitli the Lord. 
Yea, in that chapter out of which this testimony is 
taken, he is twenty times named. Three times is 
this phrase, saitli the Lord, used, Zech. i. 3. 

Penmen of holy Scripture were diligent and frequent 
in expressing the primary and principal author of 
what they delivered or wrote, upon these and other 
like grounds. 

1. To shew their warrant, that they might not be 
thought to speak of themselves, Jer. xxvi. 15. 

2. To put the glory of being authors thereof from 
themselves, Dan. ii. 28. 

3. To gain the greater authority to what they deli- 
vered, Micah iv. 4. 

4. To rouse up people's attention to hearken more 
diligently thereto, Jer. xiii. 15. 

5. To move people to give more cl:edence thereunto, 
Exod. xix. 9. 

6. To work in people the greater reverence to the 
word delivered, 2 Chron. xx. 15, 18. 

Sec. 32. Of this remarkable note, ' Behold.^ 
The more to commend that which is here spoken 
of the new covenant, it is ushered in with this remark- 
able note, idov, heliold. Hereof see Chap. ii. 13, 
Sec. 124. 

1. As a note of demonstration, it pointeth out that 
which was much desired of those that knew the imper- 
fection of the old covenant. 

2. As a note of admiration, it declareth this new 
covenant to be a very rare matter, and God's good- 
ness therein to be admired, that he should so far 
respect the children of men as to ordain covenant 
after covenant for their good. 

In these respects ministers ought to do the best 
they can, by reading, studying, preaching, and pray- 
ing, to make known this covenant distinctly and 
plainly, as a matter of weight and worth. And 
people, among other principles of Christian religion, 
ought with all diligence to give good heed hereunto, 
that they may know it, believe it, find the comfort, 
and receive the benefit of it. 

Sec. 33. Of these u-ords, 'The days come.^ 

The time when the foresaid remarkable matter shall 
be accomplished is thus set down, ri,as^ai 'i^yovrai, 
the days come. By these days he means the time of 
the gospel, from the time that Christ was exhibited 
in the flesh to his glorious coming unto judgment. 
They are called ' the last days ;' see Chap. i. 2, Sec. 

This circumstance giveth proof that God reserved 
the best things promised to the Jews for these last 
times. See moi'e hereof. Chap. ii. 3, Sec, 21. 

Though these days were to come when the prophet 
first uttered this prophecy, yet they are set down in 
the time present, 'i^y^ovTai, come ; and that for two 
especial reasons. 

Vol. II. 

1. To shew that they are nigh at hand, even com- 
ing, at the door, as we say. 

2. To assure them of the certainty of the thing, 
that which is here promised was as sure as if it had 
been already accomplished. Such are all God's pro- 
mises, they are as things performed, his words are 
deeds. Thus, ' hope will not make ashamed,' Rom. 
V. 5. As we shall hereby bring much honour to God, 
by * setting to our seal that God is true,' John iii. 33, 
so shall we bring much consolation, satisfaction, and 
quietness to our own souls. Of this phrase, saith the 
Lord, see Sec. 31. 

Sec. 34. Of the meaning of these words, ' ivheii I unll 

This conjunction of time, irhen, is in the Greek the 
ordinary copulative xal, and. That copulative is in 
all Greek authors variously used, as it is also in 
the Hebrew 1. It is oft put for the time, as Mat. ix. 
7, ' And he rose,' that is, ' then he rose ;' and Mark 
XV. 25, ' It was the third hour, and they crucified 
him,' that is, ichen they crucified him. So here. 

The verb awTiX'sdM, translated I tvUl make, signifieth 
to end. Mat. vii. 28 ; to finish, Rom. ix. 28 ; io fulfil, 
Mark xiii. 4. The apostle doth here purposely use 
this verb (for he took it not from^ the LXX; they 
use another word, bia^rtCoiMai) to shew, 

1. That there should be no alteration of this cove- 

2. That all things typified in the former covenant 
were fulfilled in this. 

3. That a covenant is then complete when it is 
solemnly ratified and established. 

The future tense, / will make, hath reference to 
that time when the prophet foretold this ; for at that 
time the old covenant was in force, and the time of 
the new covenant was then to come. 

Sec. 35. Of this title ' new,' annealed to the covenant. 
The covenant that the apostle here speaketh of is 
styled xaivri, new, in four several respects. 

1. In opposition to the former covenant, that was 
old ; and being old, vanished away, ver. 13 ; for old 
things pass away, 2 Cor. v. 17. 

2. In relation to the times when it was established, 
even in the latter times, Isa. ii. 2. 

3. In regard of the succession of it in the room of 
the former, ver. 7. 

4. In regard of the perpetual vigour thereof, it is 
ever as new. It is like unto Aaron's rod, which con- 
tinued as new, fresh, and flourishing so long as the 
ark was among the Jews, Num. xvii. 10. It was like 
to that which is planted in the house of the Lord, Ps. 
xcii. 18, 14. 

This is a great commendation of this covenant, and 
it is attributed to such excellent blessings as were 
promised to the time of the gospel ; as ' a New Testa- 
1 See Chap. i. 6, Sec. 72. 




[Chap. VIII. 

ment,' * a new Jerusalem,' a * 7iew heaven and earth,' 

* a uetv name,' ' a new commandment,' ' a new way,' 
' a new heart,' ' a new spirit,' and ' a new song.' Of 
these see the Progreas of God's Providence, on Ezek. 
xxxvi. 11, Sec C. 

Seeing that in these times of the gospel all things 
are new, we also must bo ' new creatures.' The 
apostle maketh this inference upon this ground, 2 Cor. 
V. 17. This is the true learning of Christ, concerning 
which the apostle giveth this direction, Eph. iv. 21- 

1. 'Cast olV the old man with the corrupt lusts 
thereof.' What was learned in the old school of cor- 
rupt nature must be unlearned in Christ's school. 
These must be ' cast away as a meustruous cloth,' 
Isa. XXX. 22. 

2. ' Be renewed in the spirit of your mind ;' that is, 
in your understanding, which is a light. Mat. vi. 22, 
and a guide to all the powers of the soul. 

3. ' Put on a new man.' This implieth that a man 
be wholly renewed in every power of soul and part of 
body. So much is implied under this phrase, new 
man. Illumination of the mind, without renovation 
of the other parts, causeth more stripes, Luke xii. 47. 

4. Let that renovation be extended to ' holiness 
and righteousness,' that is, to all duties which we owe 
to God and man. 

5. Let all be in a right manner, not in show only, 
but in truth. Such an one is a ' true Israelite,' John 
i. 47. 

By these rules may we be cast into the mould and 
form of the doctrine of Christ, Rom. vi. 17. 

Sec. 3G. 0/ thexe words, 'the house of Israel' and 

* the howie of Judah.' 

The persons with whom the new covenant is made 
are thus expressed, with the house of Israel and the 
house of Juduh. 

In this word or/.oi, house, there are three tropes. 

1. A metonymy of the subject ; the house put for 
the inhabitants thereof, or persons appertaining 

2. A synecdoche of the part for the whole ; an house, 
which is but a part of a nation, for the whole nation, 
or rather for the whole world. 

3. A metaphor; for the church of God is resembled 
to an house. It is to God as his house where he 
dwells, and whereof he taketh special care. See 
Chap. iii. 3, Sees. 37, 58, 59. 

These two names, Israel, Judah, comprise under 
them the whole church of God. Israel was a name 
given to the third grand patriarch, the grandson of 
Abraham, to whom the promises made to Abraham 
were again and a^-ain renewed. Gen. xxviii. 13, 14, 
and XXXV. 11, 12, and xlvi. 3. His first name given 
him at his birth was Jacob, Gen. xxv. 2(5, which sig- 
nifieth a supplanler. The Hebrew root ^?V (supjdan- 
tacit ; inde ^?V\ Jacob), whence this name is derived, 

signifieth to supplant, Jer. ix. 4. This name was 
given him in a double respect. 

1. In reference to the manner of his coming out of 
his mother's womb, which was by taking hold of his 
brother's heel, as striving to come out before him. 
The Hebrew word 3py, calx, that signifieth an heel, 
Cometh from the same root that Jacob doth. 

2. By way of prediction, that he should supplant 
his brother, which he did twice ; first, in getting the 
birth. Gen. xxv. 33 ; and afterward the blessing, Gen. 
xxvii. 28, 29. 

In these two respects said Esau, ' Is not he rightly 
named Jacob ; for he hath supplanted me these two 
times : he took away my birthright ; and, behold, now 
he hath taken away my blessing,' Gen. xxvii. 3G. 

This other name, Israel, was given him as a memo- 
rial of his prayer and stedfast faith, whereby he pre- 
vailed with God himself, and seemed to overcome him, 
Gen. xxxii. 24. ?NT;i'\ Israel is a compound of a verb, 
mtJ', prceraluit, that signifieth to prevail, and a noun, 
^^', I)eus, that signifieth God. According to this 
composition, it implieth one that prevaileth with God. 
The Hebrew verb doth also signify to be a prince, or 
to carry ones self as a prince, ")~l"^, Principem se r/erere 
vel principatum oblinere, Prov. viii. IG, Esther i. 22; 
and thereupon this interpretation of Israel is given, 
' as a prince thou hast power with God,' Gen. xxxii. 
28. That by his fervent, faithful prayer, he had the 
foresaid power with God, is evident by the application 
thereof, Hosea xii. 3, 4. 

From this Israel descended all those that till 
Christ's ascension were the visible church of God on 
earth, and were named in memorial of him ' Israel,' 
Exod. iv. 22, and xviii. 25 ; ' children of Israel,' 
Joshua i. 2 ; ' men of Israel,' Joshua ix. G ; ' house 
of Israel,' Exod. xvi. 31 ; and the place where they 
dwelt, * laud of Israel,' 2 Kings v. 2. 

Judah was the fourth son of the foresaid Jacob or 
Israel ; his name, according to the notation of it, signi- 
fieth praise ; for his mother praised God at his birth, 
for giving her a fourth son, Gen. xxix. 35. ^T, jecit, 
in hiphil, miH, celebravit, Ps. cxxxvi. 1 ; inde, mm*, 

Judah was the head of one of the tribes of Israel, 
Num. i. 7, which was the greatest tribe, most potent; 
and counted the royal tribe, by reason of the promise 
of the sceptre made to it. Gen. xlix. 8, Sec. 

After the death of Solomon, ten tribes revolted 
from the house of David, which was of the tribe of 
Judah, to whose posterity the royal dignity was pro- 
mised, 1 Kings xii. IG, 19. 

The ten tribes that revolted, because they were the 
greater number, retained the name Israel. But the 
tribe of Judah and Benjamin, that remained faithful 
with Judah, were ditferenced by this title Judah. 
Mordecai was a Benjamite, yet called nin^ Juda'us, 
a Jew, Esther ii. 5. In process of time all that re- 
mained of the twelve tribes were called Jews ; so were 

Ver. 8.] 



they called in Christ's and the apostles' time; and 
to this day ai-e they called Jews. The Greek and 
Latin words, lovdawg, Jicdceus, which we translate Jeiv, 
are apparently derived from Judah. To speak Hebrew, 
is said to speak, 'loudtxiari, Judaice, Jewish, and to pro- 
fess that religion which the people of God then pro- 
fessed, to Judaise, — DnnTIJD, Judaizantes, Se Judceos 
prolUehantiir, — or to become Jews. By reason of that 
difference betwixt these, which became two kingdoms, 
and thereupon two nations, the apostle here maketh 
express mention of ' the house of Israel, and of the 
house of Judah ;' but to shew that by the new cove- 
nant the enmity that was betwixt them shall be taken 
away, they are both made confederates, and the new 
covenant is made with the one as well as with the 

Some refer this to the calling of the Jews. But 
that is not agreeable to the scope of the apostle, who 
speaks of all God's confederates, who, at any time, 
shall be under the new covenant, whether Jews or 
Gentiles, so as the Jews are not excluded, though 
this be not appropriated to them alone. 

Sec. 37. Of the union of all nations under the new 

The conjunction of the two foresaid houses, Israel 
and Judah, setteth out the union of all manner of 
nations, who, by the gospel, shall be brought under the 
new covenant. This is expressly proved, Eph. ii. 
14-17. There, 

1. The point itself is plainly expressed in these 
phrases, ' made nigh,' ' one,' ' one bod}',' and * one 
new man.' The Gentiles who were before two, being 
out of the church, of another profession and con- 
versation, are made nigh by being in the church, and 
professing the true faith ; yea, they being two before, 
two distinct people, having diverse laws and ordinances, 
are now one in all privileges, all of one body, under 
one head Jesus Christ, and one new man by the grace 
of adoption and regeneration. 

2. The means whereby this union is made is de- 
clared to be ' by the blood and cross of Christ,' that is 
by his death, for at the death of Christ, the veil of the 
temple was rent. Mat. xxvii. 51, and thereby the parti- 
tion wall betwixt Jew and Gentile was broken down. 

3. The manner of uniting them is by making them 
all ' one new man.' 

1. This is a motive to all that live under this new 
covenant, to endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit 
in the bond of peace. This was foretold, Isa. ii. 4. 

2. This is also a motive to pray for the recalling of 
the Jews ; for as the Gentiles are comprised under the 
house of Israel and Judah, so much more the Jews. 
That Jews may be Christians, is shewed, Chap. iii. 
Sec. 28. Of their calling, see The Progress of 
Divine Providence, in a sermon on Ezek. xxxvi. 11, 
Sec. 17. 

This new covenant is made with the seed of the 

Jews as well as with the Gentiles. Such Jews as shall 
believe, are accounted to be of the spiritual stock and 
house, even of the house of Israel and Judah. 

As we ought to take notice of all God's promises, 
and pray for the accomplishment of them, Ezek. xxxvi. 
37, so of this particular concerning the caUing of the 
Jews, and pray for the accomplishment thereof. This 
is so much the rather to be done, because the time 
was when we were out of Christ, and then they prayed 
for us ; so as zeal of God's glory, desire of the en- 
largement of Christ's kingdom, and gratefulness to 
that stock whence they come, ought to stir us up to 
do what lies in us for the accomplishment of God's 
promise concerning their call. 

Sec. 38. Of God's like respect to the church of the 
Gentiles as to the ancient Jews. 

The conjunction of these two houses, Israel and 
Judah, further giveth evidence that Christians, of what 
nation soever, are as precious to God as the Jews 
were before their rejection ; for Gentiles are comprised 
under Israel and Jndah. In this respect, believing 
Gentiles are called ' the children and seed of Abraham,' 
Gal. iii. 7, 29 ; and ' sons of Zion,' Zech. ix. 13 ; and 
the church of the Gentiles is styled, ' Jerusalem,' 
Rev. iii, 12 ; and ' Zion,' Zech. ix. 9 ; and ministei's of 
the gospel are styled, ' priests and Levites,' Isa. Ixvi. 
21. This is further evident by the application of pre- 
rogatives of old belonging to the Jews, to believing 
Christians. For proof hereof, compare 1 Peter ii. 9 
with Deut. vii. 6 and Exod. xix. 5. 

The same reason that moved God to choose them 
at that time, moveth him to choose us Gentiles in 
these latter days to be his church ; namely, his own 
good pleasure and love. This reason for them is 
rendered, Deut. iv. 37, vii. 7, 8, and Ezek. xvi. 6, 7 ; 
and for the Gentiles it is rendered, Eph. ii. 4, and 
Titus iii. 4. 

Learn hereby, in reading the Old Testament, to 
observe the many great promises made to the Jews, 
and the accomplishment of them, and withal the great 
works which God did for them, and the many deliver- 
ances which from time to time he gave them, and make 
these grounds of thy faith ; and as occasion serveth 
plead them before God. Apply all the evidences of 
God's love manifested to the Jews, apply them to 
yourselves, you believing Gentiles. The promise which 
God made to Abraham the apostle teacheth us to 
apply to ourselves, Rom. iv. 23, 24. ' Whatsoever 
things were written aforetime, were written for our 
learning,' &c., Rom.xv, 4. When enemies arise against 
us, let us call to mind the prayers and supplications 
which the faithful Jews made, and how they put God 
in mind of his covenant, and of his promises, and of 
his ancient love. Let us do so likewise, and with like 
stedfastness of faith expect a blessing from him. We 
have such grounds of faith as they had. 

This also may be applied to such judgments as God 



[Chap. VIII. 

inflicted on them, to move us to take heed of those 
bins for which these judgments were inllictcd. The 
apostle sctteth down a particular catalogue of these, 
and thus concludoth, ' AH these things happened unto 
them for cnsaniplcs ; and they are written for our 
admonition,' 1 Cor. x, G, &c. 

Sec. 89. Of a covenant diriiie and human. 

There being express mention made in this verso of 
a new covenant, mj' purj^oso is to endeavour to set it 
forth at large ; and for that end distinctly to note, 

1. What a covenant in general is. 

2. What kinds of covenant are mentioned in Scrip- 

3. What is the difference betwixt the old and new 

Of the notation of the Hebrew and Greek words, 
nna, 6iadr,x,ri, translated covenant, see Chap. vii. 22, 
Sec. 94. 

1 . A covenant in general intendeth an agreement. 

An agreement is sometimes on one part only, and 
setteth out an absolute promise. Thus God's promise 
of not destroying the earth any more with a Hood, is 
called ' his covenant,' Gen. ix. 9-11. In this respect, 
a testament is called a covenant. See Chap. vii. 22, 
Sec. 9i. 

But for the most part, a covenant is put for an 
agreement betwixt two ; if not two single persons only, 
yet two sides. Then it consisteth of two parts. 

1. A promise of one party. 

2. A restipulation or retribution by the other party. 
In the latter sense, a covenant is taken tropically or 


Tropically, when by a synecdoche a part is put for 
the whole ; thus the promise is called a covenant, 
Exod. ii. 2-4 ; or by metonymy, the seal or sign of the 
covenant is put for the covenant itself. Gen. xvii. 

Properly a covenant is taken when with a promise 
there is a kind of retribution or restipulation of per- 
forming some duty. Thus a covenant binds each to 
other, as Dent. xxvi. 17, 18. 

A covenant thus taken is either divine or human. 

Human betwixt man and man. Gen. xxi. 27. 

Divine betwixt God and man. This is twofold. 

One is made by God with man. 

The other by man with God. In this, man, to 
obtain some special blessing from God, binds himself 
to some ppecial duty to God. In this respect, saith 
Ilezckiah, ' It is in mine heart to make a covenant 
with the Lord,' &c., 2 Chron, xxix. 10. Thus also 
Zedekiah ' and his people made a covenant that every 
man should let his man-servant, and every man his 
maid-servant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go 
free, according to the law,' Jer. xxxiv. 8, 9. Hereof 
are two parts : 

1. A prayer for obtaining good or removing evil. 

2. A promise made for performing duty, Neh. ix. 

82, 88. This is as a vow. It is divine, because we 
have therein to do with God. 

In the covenant which God maketh with man, God 
freely promiseth some special good to man, and re- 
quireth man, in way of gratitude, to perform some 
special duty to God, which he that expecteth to par- 
take of the benefit of the promise must undertake to 
do. Gen. xvii. 7, 10, 14. This is that which here we 
intend to speak of. 

Sec. 40. 0/ a divine covenant. 

A divine covenant is a mutual agreement betwixt 
God and man, whereby the one bindeth himself to the 
other, Hos. ii. 28, Zech. xiii. 9. 

Of this covenant there are two parts. 

1. A promise on God's part, which is in general to 
make man happy. Herein and hereby the Lord 
sheweth himself to be a God, Gen. vi. 18, and xvii. 2. 

2. A retribution on man's part, which is to perform 
his duty in way of gi-atitude, even such duty as God 
requireth of him, Neh. ix. 88. 

The nature of a divine covenant will more clearly 
be manifested by a due consideration of the four causes 
thereof: the efficient, material, formal, and final cause. 

1. The principal efficient is God; for none can 
bind the Creator to a creature but God himself, and 
that of his own mere pleasure and good- will. But the 
Creator hath power to bind his creature to him, and ' 
that in what duty he pleaseth ; to which duty the 
creature is bound readily to yield itself, and that as a 
creature and servant of God, but more especially as a 
confederate, as one of those that are in covenant 
with God. 

The procuring cause is God's pleasure and good 
will, Eph. i. 11, Luke xii. 82, Mat. xi. 2G; for there 
is nothing out of God to move him. He is every way 
perfect and complete in himself. He needeth nothing 
that any creature can do ; neither can a creature do 
anything that may move him to this or that, further 
than he in his own good pleasure seeth meet. 

Besides, though there might be something without 
God to move him, that something cannot be in a 
creature, because the creature itself is of God ; and 
whatsoever it hath it hath from God, and all the abi- 
lity that is in it to any good is from God. 

2. The matter of a divine covenant consisteth in 
the things that are covenanted. These are of two 

One on God's part, which is the good promised. 

The other on man's part, which is the duty engaged, 
and that in way of gratitude. 

8. The formal cause consisteth in the mutual bind- 
ing of the persons covenanting one to the other. A 
covenant is a bond, Ezek. xx. 37. Herein it is like 
a vow and an oath, which are strong bonds. Num. 
XXX. 8. The bond on God's part is most sure, arising 
from himself, Eph. i. 11 ; on man's part it is enjoined 
to him, and imposed on him, Gen. xvii. 7, 9. 

Ver. 8.] 



4. The ends of a covenant are of two sorts, supreme 
and subordinate. 

(1.) The supreme end is God's glory. This is the 
supreme end of all things, and the best end that can 
be. Now wisdom teacheth men to aim at the best 
end. God being wisdom itself, must needs aim at 
the best, which because his glory is, he aimeth at it. 
As he sware by himself, ' because he had no greater 
to swear by,' Heb. vi. 13, &c., so he aims at his own 
glory, because he hath no higher nor better end to 
aim at. At this he aimed in his eternal decree, 
Rom. ix. 22, 23, Eph. i. 6 ; at this he aimed in 
creating the world, Prov. xvi. 4, and in his provi- 
dence, Isa. xlv. 7 ; so likewise in entering into cove- 
nant with man. Herein is set out the glory of his 
sovereignty, by engaging man to what he pleaseth ; 
and of his wisdom, by ordering matters so as man's 
failing of blessing ariseth from his own fault, namely, 
from breach of covenant ; so likewise of his truth, in 
performing covenant on his own part; of his justice, 
in dealing with man according to his covenant of his 
free grace, in doing what he doth on his good plea- 
sure, and of his goodness, in covenanting that which 
is for man's good. 

(2.) The subordinate end is man's happiness, com- 
prised under this word life. This is the end of all 
God's covenants with man, Rom. x. 5, Gen. ii. 9, 
Mai. ii. 5, Ezek. xvi. 6, 8, John iii. 16. 

Sec. 41. Of instructions and directions arising from 
a divine covenant. 

God's covenant with man instructeth us in two 
especial points. 

1. In God's condescension to man. 

2, In the sure prop that man hath to i-est on God 
for happiness. 

1. God's condescension to man is manifested four 

(1.) In that God being the most high supreme 
sovereign over all, vouchsafeth to enter into covenant 
with his servants. To suffer such a relation as con- 
federates and covenanters betwixt so high a sovereign 
and so mean servants is a great condescension, Deut. 
xxvi. 17, 18. 

(2.) In that God being a Lord, hath power to com- 
mand what he pleaseth, so as he need not covenant 
or capitulate with them, saying, Do this, and I will 
do that ; yet doth he enter into covenant. This ma- 
nifesteth a great condescension, Mat. xx. 14, 15. 

(3.) In that being most free, and wholly depending 
upon himself, he need not bind himself to any (for 
* who shall say unto him. What dost thou ? ' Job ix. 12 
and xxxiv. 19, Dan. iv. 35); yet by covenant he binds 
himself to man. 

(4.) In that God being the Lord God of truth, Ps. 
xxxi. 5, he binds himself to perform his promise, as 
if there might be some fear of his failing therein, 
Heb. vi. 17, 18. 

2. The sure prop that man hath to rest on God for 
happiness by reason of his covenant is manifested 
two ways. 

(1.) In that God, who * is good, and doth good,' 
Ps. cxix. 68, doth covenant to make man happy. 
God is as a deep, full, open, overflowing, everflowing 
fountain, so as that might seem sufficient to make us 
go to him for everj'thing that may tend to blessedness. 
But the covenant which God maketh to bring us unto 
happiness doth much more embolden us to go to him, 
and make us confident of receiving from him what he 
hath covenanted to give. 

(2.) By covenant, God hath caused a special rela- 
tion to pass betwixt him and us. He and we are 
confederates. This is a sure prop. 

As God is faithful in himself, so his covenant is 
most sure. It is ' a covenant of salt for ever,' Num. 
xviii. 19. God's confederates may thereupon have 
strong consolation and confidence,' Deut. vii. 9, Heb. 
vi. 18. 

The covenant of God with man doth direct us in 
four special points. 

1. To know what God expects of us; namely, what- 
soever is in the covenant to be performed on our part, 
which we must be careful to observe, as we do desire 
to receive any benefit from the covenant. 

2. To understand what we may expect from God ; 
namely, whatsoever on God's part is covenanted. 
God, by his covenant, binds himself, and he will not 
start from it : ' He is a faithful God, which keepeth 
covenant,' Deut. vii. 9. Saints of old used to plead 
this for strengthening their faith, 1 Kings viii. 23, 
Neh. i. 5 and ix. 32, Dan. ix. 4. 

The way whereby we may expect with confidence 
from God what he hath covenanted, is to be conscion- 
able in observing what is covenanted on our part, 
Deut. vii. 12. 

3. To acquaint ourselves with the covenant of God, 
that thereby we may know what privileges and bless- 
ings belong unto us ; for we have nothing whereby we 
can lay claim to any good thing but God's covenant. 
As this is a duty, so it will be our wisdom to do it. 
A wise heir will search after such evidences as give 
him a right to his lands and goods. 

4. To be careful in observing our own undertak- 
ings, and as conscionable in performing the covenant 
on our part, as we are desirous to partake of the 
benefit of the covenant on God's part. This is laid 
down as a ground of Levi's blessing, that ' they kept 
God's covenant,' Deut. xxxiii. 9. This God expressly 
requireth, Exod. xix. 5. We cannot expect that God 
should keep covenant with us, unless we be careful to 
keep covenant with him, Ps. xxv. 10. Great is that 
loss which followeth upon breach of covenant; yet 
that is not all. God's wrath and vengeance will also 
follow thereupon. Sore vengeance hath been executed 
on breach of covenant with man, 2 Kings xvii. 4, &c., 
Ezek. xvii. 15 ; how much sorer vengeance may be 



[Chap. VIII. 

feared on breach of covenant with God, Jer. xxii. 6, 

9, and xxxiv. 18-20, Hos. viii. 1, 1 Kings xi. 11. 

Sec. 42. Of the covenant of works. 

There are two distinct kinds of divine covenants 
which God made with man : one of works, the 
other of grace. These the apostle expressly calleth 
two covenants. Gal. iv. 21. 

This distinction of a covenant of works and grace 
is according to the means whereby the benefit of the 
covenant is obtained. For in the first covenant life was 
to be obtained by works, but in the latter by grace. 

The covenant of works is God's agreement with 
man to enjoy life upon perfect obedience. 

In setting forth this covenant we will distinctly 

1. The author of it; 2, the ground; 3, the parties 
with whom it was miidc; 4, the good promised; 5, 
the duty to be performed; G, man's ability therein ; 
7, the seals thereof; 8, the ends of it; 9, the extent; 

10, the restraint thereof. 

1. The author was God, considered as man's creator 
and supreme Lord, who had power to require what 
service it pleased him of man, and to appoint man 
what condition he would. Thus the author of that 
covenant stood no way obliged unto man further than 
it pleased him to bind himself. 

2. The ground of that covenant was the good plea- 
sure of the foresaid Lord. Though, after God had 
entered into covenant with man, justice required that 
the promised reward should be given upon perform- 
ance of the condition, yet to er^jo}' such a condi- 
tion for attaining the reward was mere pleasure and 
will, yea, and grace too. The performing of the con- 
dition could not merit such a reward as was promised. 
Besides, the ability to perform the condition was 
given by him that promised the reward. 

3. The party with whom God made that covenant 
was the first man, the father of all mankind, to 
whom God gave a dominion over all his creatures 
here below; who among all God's works was his 
masterpiece, made after God's own image, and who 
of all was most bound to God. 

4. The good promised on God's part was life, a 
most happy life, free from all misery, and everlasting. 
This is evidenced by that tree of life which God set 
in the midst of the garden. Gen, ii. 9. 

5. The duty required on man's part was perfect 
obedience to the law of works, and that in his own 
person. This Moses thus expresseth, 'which if a 
man do he shall live in them,' Lev. xviii. 5. By a 
a man, he mcancth a man himself, in his own person, 
not by a surety. B}' dointj, he meaneth a full and 
perfect performing of all that was required, in every 
part, point, and degree thereof. Hereupon the con- 
trary is thus expressed, 'Cursed is he that confirmeth 
not all the words of this law to do them,' Deut. xxvii. 
26. The apostle settcth forth the like perfection of 

that obedience, both affirmatively, Gal. iii. 12, Rom. 
X. 6 ; and also negatively, Gal, iii. 10. 

Quest. How was this condition made known to man ? 

Ans. 1. It was written in man's heart, Rom. ii. 

(2.) It was further manifested to him by external 
evidences and signs ; namely, by the two sacramen- 
tal trees planted in Eden, Gen. ii. 9. 

(8.) By the commination annexed to the transgres- 
sion of the latter, Gen. ii. 17. 

G. Man had ability given him to observe the con- 
dition to the full at the very instant of his creation. 
This is implied under this phrase, ' God created man 
in his own image,' Gen. i. 27. That image of God is 
expounded to be, 

(1.) Knowledge, Col. iii. 10. Knowledge of all 
things that were requisite for him to know for serv- 
ing and honouring his Creator, and for continuing in 
that happy estate wherein God made him. 

(2.) Righteousness and holiness of truth, Eph. iv. 
24. In this respect it is said that ' God made man 
upright,' Eccles. vii. 29. As God made man perfect 
in purity, so ho made the frame, bent, and inclina- 
tion of man wholly to good ; and withal he gave man 
power and ability so to continue ; only he made him 
alterable, and left it in his power and free will to 
stand or fall, that there might be thereby made a 
more thorough trial of his voluntary obedience. 

7. The seals of the covenant of works were the 
two fore-mentioned signs, the two trees planted in the 
midst of Eden. 

The former seal was to assure him of the accom- 
plishment of the promise upon observing the condi- 
tion. It is hereupon supposed that if Adam had 
eaten of the tree of life before he ate of the other 
tree, he should for ever have been established. Thus 
much is gathered out of this phrase, ' Take of the 
tree of life, and eat and live for ever,' Gen. iii. 22. 

The latter seal was added for further trial of his 
obedience, whether he would be subject to the good 
will of his Creator in everything that he should com- 
mand him, though it were not natural, and as the 
moral law written in his heart, but, as it might 
seem circumstantial, merely upon the will of his 
Lord. For the fruit of that tree, before it was for- 
bidden, was as lawful for him to eat of as the fruit 
of any other tree in Eden ; and it is said that ' the 
tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to 
the eyes,' Gen. iii. 6. 

8. The ends of this covenant were partly on God's 
part, and partly on man's. 

On God's part the most high supreme end of all 
was his glory, manifested in sundry of his divine ex- 
cellencies ; as his supreme sovereignty, unsearchable 
wisdom, incomprehensible goodness, perfect justice, 
both in giving reward according to compact, and also 
in taking revenge according to desert. 

On man's part one especial end was, to make 

Ver. 8. J 



man the more careful in observing the condition, the 
more watchful against transgression, and the more 
confident in expecting the reward. 

There was also another end both on God's part 
and man's, which was to make way for the covenant 
of grace, that thereby the mercy, pity, compassion, 
goodness, and bounty of God might be more mani- 
fested to man, and that man might have his heart the 
more enlarged to magnify God. 

9. The extent of the covenant of works reached to 
Adam and all his posterity. This is evident by the 
extent of the punishment to all mankind, Rom. v. 17. 
Had Adam in his person fulfilled the condition, his 
posterity had been established and enjoyed everlast- 
ing life. 

10. The restraint of this covenant was such, as, 
the condition not observed, but broken in any point, 
DO way was left for repentance by virtue of that 
covenant. Every transgression brought a curse, Deut. 
xxvii. 26. 

Only God reserved to himself liberty to enter into 
another covenant. 

Quest. Why was this covenant promulgated after 
man's fall, and openly proclaimed on mount Sinai, 
Exodus XX. ; and called ' a covenant made with Israel 
in Horeb,' Deut. v. 2 ; and ' the word of the cove- 
nant,' Exod. xxxiv. 28 ; and ' tables of the covenant,' 
Deut. ix. 11 ; and 'ark of the covenant,' Deut. x. 
8 ? "Was man able after his fall to keep this cove- 

Ans. No, for 'the law was weak through the flesh,' 
Rom. viii. 3. Thereupon it is said, that ' no man is 
justified by the law,' Gal. iii. 11. Yet are there 
many reasons for promulging and reviving the same. 

1. That ' every mouth might be stopped,' Rom. iii. 

2. That it might be ' a schoolmaster to drive us 
unto Christ,' Gal. iii. 24. 

3. That we might have a platform of true right- 
eousness to endeavour after it, 1 Tim. i. 8. 

4. That sin might be more thoroughly known, Rom. 
iii. 20, and vii. 7 ; and that both in the vile nature, 
and also in the bitter fruits thereof. 

Sec. 43. Of reward for works standing with grace. 

Quest. Was not God's grace the ground of that life 
which God promised to Adam ? If it were, how could 
it be upon condition of works ? ' To him that work- 
eth is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt,' 
Rom. iv. 4. Grace and works cannot stand together, 
Rom. xi. 6. 

Ans. 1. The ordaining of a covenant to give man a 
reward upon works may be of grace, though the retri- 
bution, or giving the reward to him that worketh, be 
of debt. 

2. All debt doth not necessarily imply desert or 
merit of the work. For a reward may far exceed the 

worth of the work, and then the work doth not merit 
the reward. The reward which God promised in the 
covenant of works far surpassed the work required. 
The reward was eternal and infinite, the work tem- 
porary and finite. 

3. All creatures, men and angels, are bound to do 
whatsoever God requireth of them, on duty, though 
there was no reward, Luke xvii. 10. The very con- 
ceit of merit in the perfectest work that can be done 
by mere creatures would be like the wild gourds that 
were put into the pottage, it would cause death, 2 
Kiogs iv. 39, 40. 

4. All the ability that Adam had, or which the 
glorious angels, or glorified saints have, is from God ; 
so as none of them have of their own to merit any- 
thing of God. 

5. The apostle opposeth works or debt to grace, 
Rom. iv. 4 and xi. 6, in relation to man's corrupt 
estate after his fall, and in relation to man's high 
esteem of works. 

Quest. 2. Why is reward said to be of debt ? Rom. 
iv, 4. 

Ans. 1. In regard of the order of Grod's giving the 
reward, which is upon working. The work must first 
be done, and then the reward is given. 

2. In regard of God's binding himself by promise 
and covenant, to give such a reward upon such a work 
done. In this respect the giving of reward is a part 
of justice ; and men may plead justice, as in a case of 
debt. For truth and faithfulness, in keeping promise 
and covenant, is a part of righteousness and justice. 
In this respect God is said to be ' righteous and just,' 
Ps. cxvi. 5, 1 John i. 9. 

Sec. 44. Of uses raised from the covenant of works. 
The foresaid covenant of works instructeth us in 
four especial points. 

1. In the integrity, holiness, and perfection of God's 
will. For that covenant is a platform of God's will- 
There is nothing therein but that which is holy, just, 
and good, Rom. vii. 12 ; and all holiness, righteous- 
ness, and goodness fit to be enjoined unto man is 
therein set down. That we may know thus much, the 
law still remains registered for our use. 

2. In that duty which men as creatures do owe to 
the Lord, and which the Lord may exact of them. 
For God may still exact what is in the covenant of 
works, and made known by the law, and it is our duty 
to yield it unto him. That impotency and disability 
which man had brought upon himself gives him no 
just dispensation from that that is contained in that 
covenant, if God should in justice deal with him. 

3. In that woful pHght whereunto man hath em- 
plunged himself by transgressing that covenant. For, 

(1.) He hath forfeited all that glory and happiness 
wherein God at first did create him. 

(2.) He hath pulled upon himself a curse which is 
merciless and remediless. 



[Chap. VIII. 

4. In the great need, yea, and absolute necessity, 
of a Redeemer, and such a Ilcdeemer as Christ is. 
For Christ is the only means to free man out of that 
misery. Acts iv. 12. In this respect the law is our 
schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, Gal. iii. 24. 

'2. The covenant of works miuistereth matter of 
humiliation, and that in four respects. 

(1.) For that sin that Adam committed. Adam 
was a public person, and we all were in his loins, and 
sinned in him, Rom. v. 12. 

(2.) For that natural corruption wherein we are 
all conceived and born. For it is against that integrity 
which the law or covenant of works requireth of man. 
The law is spiritual, Rom. vii. 14, and condemueth 
the pollution and pravity of our nature. 

(8.) For the many actual sins which we continually 
commit in thought, word, and deed ; and that by do- 
ing that which is evil, or leaving any good undone, or 
evilly performing the good which we take in hand. For 
they are all expressly against the covenant of works. 

(4.) For all the eU'ects of God's wrath which ftiU on 
us, ours, or others, in body or soul, here or hereafter. 
They are all caused by transgressing the covenant of 

3. The covenant of works giveth direction about 
two things especially. 

(1.) To acquaint ourselves with that covenant, 
because it contains a perfect and everlasting rule of 
righteousness, and sheweth what is good, what evil, 
what lawful, what unlawful, so as thereby we may learn 
what is the will of God, Rom. vii. 12. It also sctteth 
out sin to the life, so as thereby we may know the 
horror thereof, Rom. vii. 7, and iii. 20. 

(2.) To examine ourselves thereby, Isa. viii. 20. 
This is that glass which will shew us every spot upon 
our soul. 

4. That covenant affords mutter of gratulation in 
two especial respects. 

(1.) For God's great and good respect to man in 
giving his Son to be our surety, who in our nature, 
and in our stead, even for us, perfectly fulfilled that 
covenant of works, Rom. viii. 3, and endured to the 
full the curse which we had deserved, that we might 
be freed from the same, Gal. iii. 13. 

(2.) For God's special care over his elect, called by 
the gospel and believing in Christ, whom he hath freed 
from the covenant of works, so as they arc neither 
to be justified thereby (for then would they not bo 
justified at all), nor yet to stand to the condemning 
doom thereof; for then should we be all condemned. 

5. That covenant gives us just ground of denying 
ourselves. For the covenant of works plainly demon- 
strateth that there is nothing in us, and that nothing 
can be done by us, which may abide the trial of that 
covenant ; for nothing is done according to the rule 
thereof. By it we may see that ' all our righteousr 
nesses are as filthy rags,' Isa. Ixiv. 6 ; and that ' all 
the world is guilty before God,' Rom. iii. 19. 

Sec. 45. Of the covenant of grace . 

The covenant of grace is God's compact with Christ 
to save such as believe and repent. 

That this covenant may be the more distinctly and 
fully conceived, I will endeavour to set forth, 

1. The titles in Scripture attributed to it. 

2. The author of it. 

3. The procuring cause thereof. 

4. The mediator in whom it was made. 

5. The time when it was made. 
G. The occasion of making it. 

7. The parties with whom it was made. 

8. The good that was promised therein. 

9. The duties required thereby. 

10. The ratification of it. 

1. The titles given to it are in special four. 

(1.) A ' covenant of peace.' So it is styled, Ezek. 
xxxiv. 25 and xxxvii. 2G. By j)eace is meant recon- 
ciliation with God; for Adam's transgression caused 
enmity betwixt God and man ; but by this covenant, 
that enmity is put away, and peace made. Hereupon 
the mediator that caused that peace, is styled ' the 
Prince of peace,' Isa. ix. 6; and Christ is said to be 
' our peace,' Eph. ii. 14. 

(2.) A * covenant of life,' Mai. ii. 5, for life, even 
eternal Hfe, is the main thing promised in this cove- 

(3.) A ' covenant of salt,' Num. xviii. 19. Salt 
maketh things long continue. It here implies a per- 
petuity. The perpetuity of this covenant is in oppo- 
sition to the covenant of works, which was soon 

(4.) An ' everlasting covenant,' Isa. Iv. 3. This 
sheweth the extent of the aforesaid perpetuity, that it 
shall never have end, Jer. xxxiii. 20, 21. 

2. The author of this covenant is God, considered 
as a Father, propitious, and ready to receive man, 
though a transgressor, into grace and favour, Deut. 
xxxii. 6. Though there be the same author of the 
covenant of works and gi-ace, yet, in making the one 
and the other covenant, he may admit a double con- 
sideration ; the consideration of a Creator and Lord 
in the former, but the consideration of a Father and 
Saviour in the Litter. 

3. The procuring cause was God's free grace, mercy, 
and compassion. God's good pleasure and mere will 
was the cause of the former; not any worth or desert 
in man. But now man was in miser}' ; in such misery 
as all the creatures in the world were not able to de- 
liver him. The Lord thereupon pitied man, and in 
tender compassion entered into this other covenant 
with him, Ezek. xvi. 4-G, &c. This doth much 
amplify this other covenant of grace. 

4. The mediator with whom the covenant of grace 
was made, is Christ Jesus, God-man; for there was 
not only an infinite distance betwixt the Creator and 
creature, as in man's first estate, but also plain con- 
trariety betwixt the pure, hoi}', righteous God, and 

Ver. 8.] 



impure, unholy, unrighteous sinners; so as God could 
not with clear, evident, and full satisfaction of justice, 
enter into a covenant immediately with man fallen, 
without a mediator; neither could there be any other 
mediator than Christ, God-man, 1 Tim. ii. 6. 

5. The time when this covenant was first made, 
was anon after the former covenant was broken. And 
it is observable that before the judgment against the 
man or the woman was denounced, this covenant of 
grace was entered into. Gen. iii. 15. This God so 
ordered, that man might be kept from despair upon 
hearing of the doom; but that, notwithstanding the 
judgment, he might have hope of pardon. 

6. The occasion which God took to enter into this 
covenant of grace was man's transgression, where- 
by both the infinite riches of God's mercy was more 
magnified, and also the unsearchable depth of his 
wisdom more manifested. Had God made such an 
inviolable covenant of grace before man fell into 
misery, nor his pity, nor his justice, nor his power, 
nor his wisdom, had been so manifested as now they 

7. The parties with whom God made the covenant 
of grace were sinners ; such as not only had deserved 
no favour from God (as neither man in his innocency 
had), but also had deserved the extremity of God's 
wrath and indigation to be executed upon them. This 
also doth much amplify the covenant of grace. 

8. The good promised by this covenant was, 

(1.) Freedom from all that misery whereinto man 
by sin had implunged himself. 

(2.) A greater degree of happiness, and a far more 
glorious estate, than that which was promised in the 
first covenant. 

This was by reason of God's giving Christ to man, 
and man to Christ, by virtue whereof they are so 
united, as Christ liveth in man here, Gal ii. 20, and 
man liveth with Christ for ever hereafter, 1 Thes. 
iv. 17. 

9. The duties required in this covenant are faith 
and repentance, Mark i. 15. Faith is required to give 
evidence to the free grace of God ; for faith is but as 
an instrument or hand to receive that which God 
freely and graciously ofiereth unto us, John i. 12. 
Repentance is required to give evidence to the purity 
of God, who, though he do freely confer grace upon 
sinners, yet he suflereth them not to continue in sin, 
Rom. vi. 1, 2. Under repentance all sanctifying 
graces are comprised that tend to mortification and 
vivification, which are the two parts of repentance. 
Repentance required by virtue of the covenant of grace, 
is to be considered as a qualification for participation 
of that glory which God hath freely promised; for 
* the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of 
God,' 1 Cor. vi. 9; ' no unclean thing shall enter into 
it,' Rev. xxi. 27. 

Besides, faith and repentance are not so in man's 
power, as that obedience was, which by the former 

covenant was required of him. God by his Spirit 
worketh, increaseth, and continueth these graces in 
us, Jer. xxxi. 33, Ezek. xi. 19, 20. 

10. The ratification of this covenant is manifold. 
It is ratified. 

(1.) By God's word and promise. Gen. iii. 15. 

(2.) By God's oath, Deut. xxix. 12, 14, Isa. liv. 
9, 10. 

(3.) By sacraments, whereof God had divers in the 
several ages of his church; as, the ark in Noah's 
time, 1 J?eter iii. 21 ; circumcision enjoined to 
Abraham and his seed. Gen. xvii. 10 ; the passover 
under the law, Exod. xii. 11 ; their passing through 
the Red Sea, the cloud, manna, the rock in the wil- 
derness, 1 Cor. X. 2, &c. ; baptism and the Lord's 
Supper under the gospel. Mat. xxviii. 19, 26. 

(4.) Christ's blood, and that typified before his 
exhibition by sundry sacrifices, even from the begin- 
ning, Gen. iv. 4, and actually shed upon the cross, 
John xix. 34. 

Sec. 46. Of the uses of the covenant of grace. 

The covenant of grace is of singular use for instruc- 
tion, consolation, incitation, direction, and gratula- 

1. It instructeth us in God's (piXavd^u'Tria, special 
love to man. Man was a sinner, and retained a re- 
bellious disposition against God, when God made the 
foresaid covenant of grace with him. There was no 
reason that could be found in man to move God here- 
unto. ' When we were enemies we were reconciled.' 
Man neither offered to God, nor desired of God, any 
atonement. The whole cause therefore resteth in 
God, even in his free grace and undeserved love. 
This love of God to man the apostle layeth down as 
the true reason of the covenant of grace, Titus iii. 
4, 5. See more hereof in A Plaster for the Plague, on 
Num. xvi. 46, Sec. 34. 

2. It instructeth us in the desperate condition of 
those that reject this covenant of grace, and still stand 
at odds with God. This is to ' count the blood of 
the covenant an unholy thing,' which is a great aggra- 
vation of sin, Heb. x. 29. That blood which is there 
intended is the blood of the Son of God, shed to 
ransom us from our sins. It is the most precious 
thing that could have been offered up to the Creator; 
and "to man the more precious, because it was ' the 
blood of the covenant;' that is, that blood whereby 
God's covenant with man for remission of sins, recon- 
ciliation with God, all needful grace, and eternal bliss 
is sealed up. Thus the covenant was made a testa- 
ment, that is, unalterable, and inviolable, Heb. ix. 
16, 17, so as that blood was most precious in itself, 
and to man most useful and beneficial. To count 
this an unholy thing, cannot be but a great aggrava- 
tion of sin. The word xomv, which the apostle useth 
in this aggravation, which we translate unholy, pro- 
perly signifieth common; which implieth that those 



[Chap. VIIT. 

persons do account it to have no more virtue and 
erticacy than any other blood. In the law-phrase 
things profane and unholy were called common, Mark 
vii. 2. 

2. The covenant of grace affordeth singular comfort 
to poor sinners, who, on apprehension of their sinful- 
ness and unworthiuess, fear lest they should be utterly 
cast off. But let such call to mind this covenant of 
grace, how God for his own sake, on his free grace and 
favour, hath entered into covenant with men to give 
them life in Christ, requiring nothing of them but that 
they reach out the hand of faith to receive this grace, 
and to repent of their former rebellions against him, 
to come unto him and to accept of atonement and re- 
conciliation. Poor penitent sinners, whose hearts are 
broken with sight and sense of sin, and believe in 
Christ, may from hence receive much comfort. See 
more hereof in A Flaster for the Plcujue, on Num. 
xvi. 4G, sec. 3G. 

3. We may be incited with an holj'^ boldness and 
confidence to go to God's throne of grace, and there 
to seek grace to help in time of need, Heb. iv. 16. 
God hath entered into a covenant of grace, and given 
a mediator, who is also a surety. See Chap. vii. 22, 
Sec. 93. We may therefore take courage to ourselves, 
and not fear to go to the throne of grace. 

4. The said covenant affordeth us a good direction 
in our addresses and accesses to God, which is to have 
the eye of our soul fast fixed upon this covenant of 
grace, to plead it before God, and to ground our faith 
and hope thereupon. This will encourage us, notwith- 
standing our sinfulness and unworthiness, to pour 
forth our whole souls before God. God is said to ' re- 
member his covenant ' when he shewed kindness to 
his people, Exod. ii. 24, 2 Kings xiii. 23 ; and this 
have saints pleaded, Ps. Ixxiv. 20, Jer. xiv. 31. This 
hath moved God to refrain his wrath, Ps. Ixxxix. 34, 
and to repent of his judgments, Ps. cvi. 45. 

5. Great matter of gratulation doth God's covenant 
of grace afford unto man, for it is the ground of all that 
hope that we can have of any favour or blessing from 
God. If gratulation be due to God for any blessing 
at all, then for this especially, which is the ground- 
work and foundation of all. If the particulars about 
this covenant set down Sec. 45 be well weighed, — 
namely, the author of this covenant, God our Father ; 
the mediator, Jesus Christ ; the procuring cause, free 
grace ; the subject matter, full happiness ; God's con- 
descension to man, and binding himself to him ; the 
ratification thereof by the death of his Son ; and other 
like branches, — we shall find great and just cause of 
hearty gratulation, even for this covenant. 

Sec. 47. Of the ngrecment betwixt iJie two covenants 

of unrks and fjrace. 

The two covenants of works and grace agree, 

1. In their principal author, which is God, though 

in a different consideration, namely, as a Creator and 

a Saviour. In which respect the prophet thus saith, 
' Thy Maker is thine husband, and thy Redeemer the 
Holy One of Israel ; the God of the whole earth shall 
he be called,' Isa. liv. 5, Deut. xxxii. G. 

2. In the general procuring cause, which is God's 
good pleasure, without any desert of man, Eph. i. 11, 
liom. xi. 35, 36. 

3. In the parties between whom the covenants 
passed, which were God and man. Gen. ii. 8, 9, and 
iii. 15, and xvii. 7. 

4. In the good promised by both, which is life, even 
eternal happiness, Rom. x. 5, John iii. 16. 

5. In a mutual stipulation, that is, on man's part. 
Though there be several duties required in the one and 
in the other, yet in this they agree, that something is re- 
quired on man's part in both, Lev. xviii. 5, Marki. 15. 

6. In an ability which God giveth to man to fulfil 
the one and the other. Though in the former God left 
the ability that he gave in man's power to retain it or 
lose it, and not so in the latter covenant, yet in both 
there is an abihty given, Eccles. vii. 29, Jer. xxxi. 33. 

7. In the ratification of both, which was by certain 
seals ; the two trees in Eden for the former, Gen. 
ii. 9, and sundry sacraments for the latter. 

8. In the same general ends of both, which were 
God's glory and man's good, Prov. xvi. 4, Isa. xliii. 
7, Rom. X. 5, John vi. 47. 

9. In the same general extent of both. The former 
extended to all the branches of the first root, which 
was Adam, with whom the first covenant was made; 
the latter to all the branches of the other root, which 
is Christ, with whom the other covenant was made, 
Rom. V. 18. 

10. In the penalty against transgressors of the one 
and other, which is death and damnation. Gen. ii. 17, 
Deut. xxvii. 26, John iii. 18, Luke xiii. 35. 

Sec. 48. Of the difference betwixt the two covenants of 
works and r/race. 

The covenants of works and grace do differ in the 
particulars following : 

1. In the different consideration of the author of 
the one and the other, which are in the first God's 
supreme sovereignty, and in the latter his rich mercy. 

2. In the procuring cause of them, Avhich was, of 
the former, God's mere will and pleasure ; of the 
latter, pity and compassion. 

3. In the manner of making the one and the other. 
The former was without a mediator, the latter with 

4. In the time. The former was made before man 
had sinned, the latter after his transgression. 

5. In the occasion of making the one and the other. 
The occasion of the former was to try man's faithful- 
ness in that integrity wherein God made him ; the 
occasion of the latter was to shew the necessity of 
man's continual dependence on God. 

6. In the confederates, or parties with whom the 

Ver. 8.] 



one and the other was made. The former was made 
with all mankind, the latter with the elect only. 

7. In the particular good that was promised. In 
the former a reward was promised upon fulfilling the 
condition by man himself, Rom. x. 5 ; in the latter 
was aflbrded, 

(1.) A surety for man, Heb. vii. 22. 

(2.) Ability to do what God would accept, Ezek. 
xxxvi. 27. 

(3.) A better reward, in man's communion with 
Christ, John xiv. 3, and xvii. 23, 24. 

8. In the duties required by the one and the other. 
Perfect obedience was required by the former, faith 
and repentance by the latter. 

9. In the order of God's accepting. In the former 
God accepted the person for the work, which is thus 
expressed, ' If thou do well, shalt thou not be ac- 
cepted ?' Gen. iv. 7 ; in the latter the work is accepted 
in reference to the person. 

10. In the ratification. The former was ratified by 
word, promise, and seals ; the latter was further rati- 
fied by oath, Heb. vii. 20, and blood, Heb. ix. 16, 17. 

11. In the issue of the one and the other. The for- 
mer was violable ; it might be forfeited, and was for- 
feited ; the latter was inviolable, and shall never be 
broken, Jer. xxxiii. 20, 21. 

12. In the matter of the one and the other. These 
two covenants do so far difler in the very matter and 
substance of them as they can no more stand together 
than the ark of God and Dagon, 1 Sam. v. 3, 4. The 
apostle doth so far oppose works and grace in the case 
of justification and salvation as they cannot stand to- 
gether, Rom. xi. 6. 

This difference be