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The awful nature]

(of apostacy, CHAP. VÌ.

made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5 And have tasted the good word of THEREFORE leaving the princi- God, and the powers of the world to

ples of the doctrine of Christ, let come, us go on unto perfection; not laying 6 If they shall fall away, to renew again the foundation of repentance them again unto repentance ; seeing from dead works, and of faith toward they crucify to themselves the Son of God,

God afresh, and put him to an open 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and shame. of laying on of hands, and of resur- 7 For the earth which drinketh in rection of the dead, and of eternal the rain that cometh oft upon it, and judgment.

bringeth forth herbs meet for them by 3 And this will we do, if God whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing permit.

from God: 4 For it is impossible for those 8 But that which beareth thorns who were once enlightened, and have and briers is rejected, and is nigb unto tasted of the heavenly gift, and were cursing; whose end is tw be burned.

EXPOSITION—Chap. V. Continued. Here are two inquiries that demand A second inquiry here offers itselfsome attention. 1. From what was it that How could our Lord learn obedience, who Christ was delivered in consequence of his was never disobedient? We reply, that prayers and tears? It was not from dying, as he « grew in wisdom, and in stature, for that was the end of his incarnation; and in strength" (Luke ii. 40 and 52), so nor was it from suffering, without which might, and so did, he grow (speakiog of his death would have been no atonement: him as a man) in every virtue, human and that is, he prayed not for either of these divine; and, of course, in a cheerful resis. exemptions absolutely, but conditionally, nation to the divine decrees. “ If it be possible !" and thus hath he left The close of this chapter (as was the us an example, to pray for nothing abso- case with the last) anticipates the subject lutely, but what we know to be agreeable of the following ; distinguishing between to the divine will-namely, our salvation. the first and more matured principles of (1 Thess. iv. 3.) And though he had not, Christianity, comparing the former to and knew he could not have, exemption milk, and the latter to meat ; and consifrom pain and dying; yet he had, subse- dering these Hebrews as children, or babes quently, deliverance from the power of in Christ, who were capable of digesting death and the grave, and from all the the former only; though, from the time principalities and powers of hell, over they had heard the gospel, they ought to whom he triumphed. (Compare our Ex- have been matured Christians, capable of position of Matt. xxvi. 31–46. Also, instructing others. Mr. M'Lean on the chapter before us.)

NOTES. CHAP. VI. Ver. 1. The principles-Marg." The (or ages) to come," certainly designates the gospel word of the beginning;" that is, the elements, or dispensation (see Note on chap. ii. 5; and on Isaiah rudiments; or, as Doddridge explains the words, ix. 6); and the powers of that world, certainly de “first principles.” By leaving these, is not meant signate the miraculous powers altending the frost their abandonment, bot pushing on in the heavenly propagation of the gospel. Matt, vii. 22, 23. course, as the racer flies from the starting-post to Ver. 6. If they shall fall away.-Macka." And the goal.

(yet) have fallen away." So M.Lean, Crucify to Ver. 4. For it is impossible.--This seems to refer themselves.-Mackn." in themselves.” to those apostates who bad committed “the sin unto Ibid. Seeing they crucify to themselvesThat is, death." See I John v. 16.

according to M.Lean, “they approve of, and come Ver. 5. And huve tasted. - To taste, mentally, is sent to the treatment he received from his murderers to experience; and, in this case, to experience the by renouncing and blaspheming him, as one jestly power of the gospel preached, which may afford put to death as an impostor." much gratification, and produce a degree of moral Ver. 7. For the earth, &c.—That is, that earth reform, even when it does not, either deeply or per- is blessed which, by drinking in the rain, becomes manently, affect the beart, as in the cases cited in fraitful; but that sandy soil which, though it was the Exposition.

drink in the rain, produces no useful vegetation, is Ibid. Powers of the world to come. The 6 world accursed. Compare Jer. xvi. 6.

The fidelity of God]

CHAP. VI. [to his oath and promise. 9 But, beloved, we are persuaded endured, he obtained the promise. better things of you, and things that 16 For men verily swear by the accompany salvation, thuugh we thus greater: and an oath for confirmation speak.

is to them an end of all strife. 10 For God is not unrighteous to 17 Wherein God, willing more forget your work and labour of love, abundantly to shew unto the heirs of which ye have shewed toward his pronise the immutability of his counname, in that ye have ministered to sel, confirmed it by an oath : the saints, and do minister.

18 That by twu immutable things, 11 And we desire that every one of in which it was impossible for Gud to you do shew the same diligence to the lie, we might have a strong consofull assurance of hope unto the end : lation, who have fled for refuge to lay

12 That ye be not slothful, but fol- hold upon the hope set before us : lowers of them who through faith and 19 Which hope we have as an patience inherit the promises.

anchor of the soul, both sure and sted13 For when God made promise to fast, and which entereth into that Abraham, because he could swear by within the veil ; no greater, he sware by himself,

20 Whither the forerunner is for us 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will entered, even Jesus, made an High bless thee, and multiplying I will mul- Priest for ever after the order of Mel. tiply thee.

chisedec. (F) 15 And so, after he had patiently


we do," adds he, “ if God permit.” But (F) Ver. 1—20. Exhortations to perse. in order to this, it is necessary to guard vere, with cautions against apostacy.-The against retrogression ; for it is possible for Christian's life is progressive, and never persods to be enlightened-to taste of the stationary; for if we move not forward, we heavenly gift, and be made partakers of are certainly sliding backward. It is so as the Holy Ghost-to taste the good word of respects both our principles and practice : God, and the powers of the world to come; the apostle therefore exhorts the Hebrews —it is possible, very possible, that such not to stop at first principles only, or at the may fall away, not merely by a partial de beginning of the Christian course, which cleusion, like those of Laodicea (Rev. iv. commences with faith and repentance- 14, &c.), but by a total renunciation of with baptism, and the laying on of hands, the paine, as well as the principles of and with the avowal of those foundation Christianity. But let us see how far the truths, the resurrection of the dead, and particulars of this awful character will eternal judgment: Let us not stop here carry us; that is, how far the persons (as if he had said), but go on unto perfec- here described had gone in the profession tion—that is, proceed from truth to truth, of religion. and from virtue to virtue ; " and this will 1. They were enlightened, that is, ia

NOTES. Ver. 9. Things that accompany.-Mackn." which Ver. 17. Confirmed it by an oath.-Marg. “ Interare connected with."

posed himself. Ver. 10. God is not unrighteous.-Though we have

Ver. 18. Fled for refuge.--The words “for reno claim on the divine bounty, yet God having pro- fuge," though not in italics, are merely supplemen. mised and covenanted to reward our unworthy tary, our translators supposing such to be the allu. services, bis justice and fidelity bind him to bis sion; but others think it an allusion to the Grecian promise.

games, and to the prize exhibited to the racers. See Ver. 11. full assurance of hope-That is, the Numb. xxxv. 11, &c. and Notes. most assured bope.

Ver. 20. Whither the forerunner.-Mackn. says, Ver. 12. Followers.-Gr. “ imitators.”_Pali.

" A fore-runner, is one who goes before to do some ence-Gr. “ long-suffering."-Inherit-Gr." are service for another." Here (he thinks) the allusion iaberiting;” meaning the Patriarchs, &c. now in is to one sept from a ship to fix its anchor in the beaven.

place to which it is to be drawn." But M'Lean Ver. 13. Sware by himself.-Sec Gen. xxii. 16, 17. doubts if the word was ever so used; and so do we: Compare Gal. iii. 8. and Note.

we should rather refer to John xiv. 3. Ver. 10. of all strife.-Mackn." contradiction,”

The character of ]

HEBREWS. (Melchisedec explained. CHAP. VII.

the slaughter of the kings, and blessed

him ; FOR this Melchisedec, king of 2 To whom also Abraham gave a

Salem, Priest of the most high tenth part of all; first being by interGod, who met Abraham returning from pretation King of righteousness, and

EXPOSITION-Chap. VI. Continued. structed in the elementary principles of the unhappy persons spoken of, nothing is Christianity; and, by hearing and reading, said that necessarily implies any thing obtained a good knowledge of its evidences more than speculative knowledge, and es. and doctrines, and, by a moral reforma. ternal profession of Christianity-nothing tion, escaped the pollutions of the world" of regeneration, conversion, believing through idolatry and uncleanness. 2. They through grace, or a change of heart: on tasted, that is, participated “ of the bea- the contrary, their profession is described venly gift;" by which many understand, a as utterly barren, or as bearing nothing sense of pardon through Christ; but we but “thorns and briars;" and their persons rather conceive all these expressions refer as “ nigb unto cursing," and to burning. to the powerful effects of the word preached, And farther, in addressing the believing especially as consected with the personal Hebrews, he plainly intimates, that all be ministry of Jesus, or with the miraculous had said, came short of what was necessary gifts of the Holy Spirit. With respect to to salvation : for he says, “We hope better the former, our Lord himself thus describes things of you, and things which accompany the case of apostates in the parable of the salvation," which certainly implies, tbat Sower, where be says, “ He that received the things before referred to were not of the word in stony places, the same is he that class : for, applying the passage to that heareth the word, and anon with joy our own time, when miracles have long receiveth it; yet hath he not root in him. siuce ceased, the preaching of the word self, but dureth for a while : for when tri

may have powerful effects upon the conbulation or persecutiou ariseth because of science, without producing any change of the word, by and by he is offended.(Matt. heart. It is well known, that it chiefly was xiii. 20, 21.) In reference to the miracu- on the authority of this passage the Novalous powers of the apostolic age, we read tians, in the second century, refused to re(Acts viii. 5, &c.), that when Philip went ceive back into their communion any who, down to the city of Samaria, preaching and in times of persecution, had gone back to working miracles, there was great joy Paganism ; though even urged by the torin that city;" and when Simon Magus (or ture, and however penitent: and many the great one) heard the preaching, and penitents themselves have been distressed saw the miracles, “Simon himself believed by it. But Novatjan, though a good mall, also, and was baptized :" yet he soon dis- had not the heart of our compassionate covered bis hypocrisy, and the barren pa- High Priest; nor did he consider, nor do ture of his faith; for when the apostles the distressed penitents we refer to consiPeter and John came to that cily, he of- der, that the difficulty, the impossibility fereil them money, if they would give bim lay, not in restoring penitents, but apaspower to confer the Holy Ghost in like

tates; and true penitents are no more manner as they did ; on which Peter as

apostales. sures him, that, notwithstanding his pro- The rest of this chapter is occupied in fession, his “ heart was not right in the animating exhortations to diligence and sight of God; but, on the contrary, he was perseverance in the Christian course; asyet" in the gall of hitterness, and the bond suring those believers to whom he wrote of iniquity." Aud ecclesiastical history (and in them all others), of the certainty informs us, that he proved one of the most of their reward in heaven : not only as seawful instances of apostacy on record. (See cured by the mediation of Christ, but also Exposition of Acts viii. 1—25.)

by the promise of God; and that promise It is observable, that in the account of ratified by oath, that, by two immutable

NOTES. CHAP. VII. Ver. 1. This Melchisedec-or Mel. 10.) Salem, it is well known, signifies peace; and chisedek, as it is spelled in Gen. xiv. 18, &c.- Jerusalem, as the learned Granville Sharp has King of Salem-So his capital, and probably his shown, signifies Holy (or sacred) Salem ; or, by inwhole territory, was called in Abrabam's time : in terpretation," Holy Peace.” See Mr. Sharp's iro the time of Joshua and the Judges, it was also called Tracts, on Jerusalem and on Melchisedec. by the name of Jebus. (Josh. xviji. 28 ; Judges xix.

His receiving]


[tithes of Abraham. after that also King of Salem, which 10 For he was yet in the loins of is, King of peace;

his father, when Melchisedec met him. 3 Without father, without mother, 11 If therefore perfection were by without descent, having neither begin- the Levitical priesthood, (for under it ning of days, nor end of life; but made the people received the law,) what like unto the Son of God; abideth a further need was there that another Priest continually.

Priest should rise after the order of 4 Now consider how great this man Melchisedec, and not be called after was, unto whom even the patriarch the order of Aaron ? Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 12 For the priesthood being changed,

5 And verily they that are of the there is made of necessity a change sons of Levi, who receive the office of also of the law. the priesthood, have a commandment 13 For he of whom these things are to take tithes of the people according spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of to the law, that is, of their brethen, which no man gave attendance at the though they come out of the loins of altar. Abraham :

14 For it is evident that our Lord 6 But he whose descent is not sprang out of Judah; of which tribe counted from them received tithes of Muses spake nothing concerning priestAbraham, and blessed him that had the hood. promises.

15 And it is yet far more evident : 7 And without all contradiction the for that after the similitude of Melchiless is blessed of the better.

sedec there ariseth another Priest, 8 And here men that die receive 16 Who is made, not after the law tithes ; but there he receiveth them, of of a carnal commandment, but after whom it is witnessed that he liveth. the power of an endless life.

9 And as I may so say, Levi also, 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Priest for ever after the order of MelAbraham.


EXPOSITION. hings the word and oath of God-his eternal life in Christ Jesus : that Jesus people might have not only hope, but con- who has himself, as our great High Priest, olation, even strong consolation, as having entered within the veil with his atoning led for refuge (like the poor manslayer of blood, and ever lives to plead for us before ld), to lay hold upon the hope set before the throne of God. hem in the gospel; namely, the hope of

NOTES. Ver. 3. Without father, &c._" Elsner (as Doddr. the pronoun who, and render the clause," but [was] marks) hath some retnarkable quotations, to prove made like unto (or a type of) the Son of God, (who] lat it was usual among the Greeks to call any one abideth a priest continually.” paler, ameter) without father, withe $ mother, Ver. 5. Have a commandment to take lithes.hen his parents were unknown." Without See Numb. xviii. 21, 24, 26, &c. escent-Marg. “ Pedigree;" Gr. Genealogy.- Ver. 6. He whose descent-Marg. " Pedigree,” as laring neither beginning of days, nor end of life.- in verse 3. he time of service of the Aaronic priests was li- Ver. 8. Of whom il is witnessed that he liveth.ited between the ages of 30 and 50, which were Doddr. " Or whom it is (only] testified that he e terms of their official life; though some think liveth;" that is, of whose death we have no acose expressions mean only, that his birth and

count. Some render it, " that he lived :" Mackn. ath are unrecorded. But made like unto the " That he lived a priest all his life.” Comp. ver. 3. m of God; abideth a priest continually.- Macko. Ver. 9. As I may so say.-Doddr. and Macku. ho applies the latter clause, as well as the former, As one may say."

Melchisedec, renders it, all his life ;” and re- Ver. 11. And not be called.-Doddr. “ not be arks, that the same phrase is applied to the per: reckoned.” taal' dictatorship of Sylla. Bui Doddridge and Ver. 16. But after the power of an endless life'Lean suppose an ellipsis (as is not uncommon) of i, e. for ever.

Christ superior to]


[the Jewish priests, 18 For there is verily a disannulling 24 But this man, because he conof the commandment going before for tinueth ever, hath an unchangeable the weakness and unprofitableness priesthood, thereof.

25 Wherefore he is able also to 19 For the law made nothing per- save them to the uttermost that come fect, but the bringing in of a better unto God by him, seeing be ever liveth hope did ; by the which we draw nigh to make intercession for them. unto God.

26 For such an High Priest became 20 And inasmuch as not without an us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, oath he was made Priest:

separate from sinners, and made higher 21 (For those Priests were made than the heavens ; without an oath ; but this with an 27 Who needeth not daily, as those oath by him that said unto him, The High Priests, to offer up sacrifice, first Lord sware and will not repent, Thou for his own sins, and then for the art a Priest for ever after the order of people's: for this he did once, when he Melchisedec :)

offered up himself, 22 By so much was Jesus made a 28 For the law maketh men High surety of a better testament.

Priests which have infirmity; but the 23 And they truly were many word of the oath, which was since the Priests, because they were not suffered law, maketh the Son, who is conseto continue by reason of death : crated for evermore. (G)


only mean, that his descent is unrecorded (G) Ver. 1—28. The priesthood of Christ, and unknown. according to the order of Melchisedec.—The After stating the pre-eminent character history of this Melchisedec, so far as re- of Melchisedec, St. Paul calls upog the gards the Old Testament, will be found in Hebrews to reflect how great this man our Exposition of, and Notes on Gen. xiv., must have been, to whom Abrabam gave latter part, of which we sball repeat as the tenth of his spoils, undoubtedly thereby little as possible. His name is here inter- acknowledging him as his superior, and, preted as meaning “ King of righteous- consequently, as superior to all the priest ness," and his regal title as implying that who descended from him. But who was he was King of Peace." He was, how- tbis Melchisedec of whom the apostle ever, a real character, and possessed a speaks so highly, and that undoubtedly real domain-he was King of Salem, in- with a view to magnify that Jesus whom cluding the site of that city which was af- he typified? We have mentioned en terwards the metropolis of Judea, namely, Gen. xiv. 17—24) the ancient Jewish trJerusalem, or the Holy Salem. In both dition, that he was the Patriarch Sket. these respects he strikingly typified him This seems the most general opioica who was at once the Son of David and the

among expositors, and was defended with King of Israel. But Melchisedec was also great ability by Mr. Granville Sharpe, a priest of the most high God; and in that above referred to, though this opinion i respect also typified Christ, as being, like by no means essential to the apostle's arhim, of an order peculiar to himsell, and gument. not of the Levitical priesthood, nor of the On comparing our great High Priest house of Aaron. It was in this respect that with the sons of Aaron, the apostle rehe was without parentage and without pe- marks, That the sons of Aaron were digree, though perhaps the expression may made priests without an oath, and so their

NOTES-Chap. VII. Con. Ver. 18. Disannulling.--Doddr. " Abolition." mentators explain the term surety, by that of Ve

Ver. 19. But the bringing in, &c.—Marg. “But it diator. Mackn. was the bringing in of a betier hope"-i. c. the hope Ver. 24. An unchangeable priesthood.-The te of the gospel.

Margin explains to mean, " which passeth sot from Ver. 21. By him that said.See Psalm cx.4. one to another."

Ver. 22. A better testament-Rather, " covenant." So Doddridge, Macknight, &c. The Greek com.

Ver. 25. To the uttermost.–Marg." for everman."

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