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preferved an exact Harmony between the Law and the Gofpel, the Prophecies and their respective Accomplishments, which crowned the Shadows of the Levitical Difpenfation with their proper Subftance, which provided a Lamb which did indeed take away the Sins of the World; and, to conclude, which fuffered no one Circumftance to be wanting in his Death, that could be neceffary to make good the Promifes, or fatisfy the Juftice, or convince Men of the Love and Goodness, of God!
Wednesday before Easter.
Hebr. ix. 16.
16. WHere a Teftament is, there must also of necessity be
16. I had faid, that the Promife of Eternal Inheritance was received
by means of Death. And this is agreeable to the Condition of all other Inheritances conveyed by Will, and of all Covenants ratified with Blood.
17. For a Teftament is of force after men are dead; otherwife it is of no ftrength at all, while the Teftator liveth.
17. While the Devifor lives he may alter his Will; and therefore his Death must be proved,
to give the Will Force. And in Covenants, till the Blood was shed, no Bargain was ftruck.
18. Whereupon neither the first Teftament was dedicated without blood.
18. The Neceffity of this Bloodshedding God plainly fignified, in the
Rites, by which the Former (the Levitica!) Covenant was made. Exod. xxiv.
19. For when Mofes bad spoken every precept to all the people, according to the Law: He took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and byfop, and Sprinkled both the book and all the people.
20. Saying, This is the blood of the Teftament which God bath enjoined unto you.
21. Moreover, be sprinkled likewife with blood both the tabernacle, and all the veffels of the ministry.
And almost all things are by the Law purged with blood and without shedding of blood is no re
22. Some few excepted, as Metals, which were purified by Fire, and Clothes by Water.
See Numb. xxxi. 23. Levit. xvi. 28. The reft were purified by being sprinkled with Blood.
23. Thus did Men
gain Access to that SanEtuary, which was Type of Heaven; but to procure them Admittance into Heaven it self,
26. For, fince his appearing before God on our behalf is a Confequence of fhedding his Blood; had he often en
27. But in this regard too he was like other Men, who die but
23. It was therefore neceffary, that the patterns of things in the beavens should be purified with thefe; but the heavenly things themselves with better facrifices than thefe.
28. At his first Appearance he was our Sacrifice for Sin, but at his Second he shall come
a nobler Blood (even that of Chrift) was necessary.
24. For Chrift is not entred into the boly places made with bands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven it felf, now to appear in the prefence of God for us.
25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the bigh priest entreth into the boly place, every year with blood of others:
tred into the heavenly Sanctuary (as the High Prieft did into the earthly one) he must have died often in order to each Entrance.
26. (For then must be often have fuffered fince the foundation of the world) but now once in the end of the world bath be appeared to put away fin by the facrifice of bimself.
27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28. So Chrift was once offered to bear the Sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall be appear the second time without Sin, unto falvation.
without any fuch offering; to bestow that Salvation, which the Sacrifice of himself at his Firft Coming purchased, for all that trust in, and expect it from, him.
HE Apostle had faid, in the Verse next before, that Chrift is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of Death they which are called might receive Remiffion of Sins, and the promife of eternal Inheritance. He proceeds here, to fhew the Neceffity of Chrift's Death, in order to that purpose. The Nature of which Argument it may be convenient to illuftrate, according to the Twofold Senfe of the Original Word, as it is capable of being rendred a Teftament, or a Covenant.
If we take it in the Former Signification, our dying Redeemer is the Teftator; The Legacy or Inheritance bequeathed to us is Immortality in Heaven: expreffed thus by himself, Father, I will that they whom thou haft given me, be with me where I am; that they John xviii. 24. may behold my Glory, which thou haft given me: And the Title we have to this Happiness, is that Death of his, which opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all Believers. By this Importance of the Word is intimated to us the Freedom of the Gift: But then our Duty is implied in it likewife: It being a known Rule in all Teftamentary Laws, that He, who takes the Benefit of any Legacy, does, by that very Act, oblige himfelf to, and become anfwerable for, all the Conditions, upon which it pleafed the Deceafed, that fuch Benefit fhould be fufpended. And, in this Latitude, the Expreffion comes very little fhort of that more ufual Notion of the Original Word, which comes next to be confidered, That of a Covenant.
Thus, it is evident, we must understand it, at the 20th Verse here; and indeed in moft places, where the Apoftles and Evangelifts have thought fit to make ufe of it. Nor is this, I conceive, any incommodious Senfe even of the 16th and 17th Verses: Which yet do, more than any other Paffage, incline to that Other Acceptation, of a Teftament, ftrictly fo called. For the method of making Covenants heretofore is known, almost every where, to have been by flaying of Beafts. A fignificant Ceremony, implying a fort of Confeffion, that the Contractors deferved to be, and an Execration, or Wish that they might be, treated by Divine Vengeance, as thofe Beafts then were; in cafe they proved falfe to the Compacts, ratified between them, in fo folemn a manner.
With like Formalities the Author of this Epiftle does here put the Hebrews in mind, that the Covenant, made with their Ancestors by the Law of Mofes, was Ii 5
about this Seafon; and formerly affigned by me to this Time, as most proper for taking it into Confideration.
Now, in this Point there are Two Parts contained, The Infufficiency of the Legal, First; And Then, The Perfection and Efficacy of the Evangelical, Sacrifice. Somewhat concerning Each of Thefe, with all convenient Brevity and Plainnefs.
1. First, For the Infufficiency of the Legal Sacrifices. This Epiftle contains fundry Arguments, which are very clear and full Proofs of it. In the Seventh Chapter, by fhewing, that the Law is changed, by reafon of its being defective in this refpect; and grounding this Inference upon thofe Paffages of the Old Teftament, which fpeak of the Messiah; not only as a Priest more excellent than any other; but as a Priest defcended of a Tribe, none of which had any right to minister in Holy things; and of an Order altogether diftinct from, and foreign to, the Conftitution of the Levitical Oeconomy. Obferve the Author's Reafoning: If Perfection were by the Levitical Priesthood, (for under it the People received the Law) what farther need was there, that another Priest should rise after the order of Melchifedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For, the Priesthood being changed, there is made of neceffity a change alfo of the Law. For he, of whom these things are spoken, pertaineth to another Tribe, of which no Man gave attendance at the Altar. For it is evident, that our Lord fprang out of Judah, of which Tribe Mofes fpake nothing concerning the Priesthood. And it is yet far more evident; for that after the fimilitude of Melchifedec there arifeth another Priest, Who is made, not after the Law of a carnal Commandment, but after the power of an endless Life. For he testifieth, Thou art a Prieft for ever after the order of Melchifedes. For there is verily a difannulling of the Commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the Law made nothing
Heb, vii. 11, to 19.
perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God.
Ver. 7, 8.
He proves it again, in the Eighth Chapter, from the Forgivenefs of Sins, and the more compleat knowledge of God, and Man's Duty, being by their own Prophets foretold, as Bleffings properly belonging to a New Covenant, which God in its proper Seafon promised to make with them. And the Confequence he draws from hence is, that God finds fault with, and abolishes the Old; that, if that First Covenant had been faultlefs, then fhould no place have been fought for the Second. And thus he establishes the truth of what he had affirmed juft before, that Chrift bath obtained a more excellent Ministry, by how much alfo he is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which was eftablished upon better Promifes. So agreeable is all this to the Obfervation of St. Paul elfewhere, that if Rightecufnefs had come by the Law, then Christ is Gal. ii. 21. dead in vain. i. e. Upon this Suppofition, there was no manner of need for that Death: And all the Provifion for Pardon made by it, and all the Weight laid upon it, end in the most fuperfluous, the moft abfurd Contrivance, that ever was in the World. In this Ninth, and at the beginning of the Tenth Chapter, the Apostle produces a farther Evidence of the Infufficiency of thofe Legal Sacrifices; Particularly, of that moft Solemn one in the Great Day of Atonement; in that they were by exprefs Order, frequently repeated. Some of them made a part of the daily Worship: Others had their ftated returns upon particular Days and Occafions. The Priests (he urges) went always into the first Tabernacle, accomplishing the Service of God; But into the Second went the High Prieft alone once every Year, not without Blood, which he offered for himself and for the Errors of the People. From whence he
Heb. x. II.
Heb. ix. 6.
Cb. viii. 8, 9, 10,