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for what may be considered as implied in 0. l. (comp. ch. i. 3); he offered his sacrifice and then ascended to heaven: the succeeding verse assigns the reason for his not exercising his Priesthood on earth.
In this chapter the Writer declares, that the covenant of which Jesus is the Mediator, is a better covenant than the old one; and having established this, in the next chapters he shows its superior efficacy in moral purification. The ritual sacrifices, he clearly states, had no further effect, than to remove ritual impurities; and they were merely imposed (comp. Gal. v. 1), till the time of reformation, (drop woews, ch, ix. 10,) when the right way of spiritual deliverance should be declared,—till that covenant should be brought into effect, which was ratified by the blood of Jesus. Now as that covenant had for its object, spiritual repentance and holiness on the one side, and merciful forgiveness on the other, the Writer with great justice represents the voluntary sacrifice by which it was ratified, as of infinitely greater importance than those which were the appointed means of removing legal disqualifications merely; and without any violence to truth, he speaks of it as procuring those blessings which, in then existing circumstances, could not have been assured to us without it.--After these general remarks, a few words will suffice for the explanation of the separate parts.
Heb. ix. 12. "Christ-entered once for all into the most holy place,
not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood,'
yielding up his own life to accomplish the will of God concerning mankind, thus having obtained an eternal redemption,'-a deliverance not from the present penalties and disqualifications of the law, but 'eternal salvation to ALL WHO OBEY HIM;' ch. N. 9.
Heb. ix. 14. For if the sacrifice of bulls and goats was the ap-'
pointed means of removing legal impurities, how much more shall the blood of the Christ,' a rational being, holy, and obedient to God, who, through the eternal spirit,' under the guidance of the spirit of God, with a full acquaintance with His will and desire to obey it,' offered himself spotless unto God,' devoted even his life, though himself free from guilt, to accomplish the gracious purposes of God towards mankind, to assure to them the hope of pardon and everlasting life, how much more shall such a sacrifice 'cleanse your conscience from dead works,' from evil desires and dispositions, and the dread of punishment for past sins, ' so as to serve the living God! See p. 372, 383.
In ch. ix. 15,* the Writer distinctly states the grand purpose of the death of Christ, which is also assigned by our Saviour, and forms the basis of the whole phraseology in the Epistles which is so deplorably misunderstood, to the obscuring of some of the simplest and most important declarations of the Gospel,-viz. that those who are called, (to whom the blessings of the Gospel are offered, and by whom they are accepted,) might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. The death of Christ ratified the new covenant,-in then existing circumstances, its
• The following is Newcome's rendering of this passage. And for this cause Christ is the mediator of the new covenant; that, death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, by his death those who are called might receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance.'
blessings could not have been assured and extended without it, and Christ submitted to it with a view to his resurrection, and all its great and glorious consequences.* After having dwelt upon this idea, he states the fact, (v. 22,) that, in the Mosaic institutions, almost all things were purified with blood, and that there was no instance of the remission of ritual offences, without the shedding of blood; and this leads him to remark, that there was a peculiar fitness that, in the new dispensation, purification should be made with superior sacrifices. What he refers to was obviously the death of Christ, and he remarks, (v. 26,) that the Christ'hath been manifested for the removal of sin,' to give every suitable aid and encouragement in the acquisition of holiness in heart and life, by the sacrifice of himself.'
Respecting ch. x. 5, I have already made some remarks, (see p. 271); and there is very little in the chapter which requires any additional explanation in reference to my present object. So far from giving any countenance to a doctrine which one of its adherents has called unaccountable and irrational, the chapter contains passages directly opposing it; see o. 7, 10, 16–18:
* It can scarcely be necessary to remind the reader, that the rendering of diaonin, covenant, by the word testament, greatly obscures and indeed perverts the sense of the Writer. + Mr. Thomas Bradbury says, “ The SATISFACTION of Christ is
UNACCOUNTABLE IRRATJONAL doctrine which DESTROYS “ EVERY NATURAL IDEA WE HAVE OF DIVINE JUSTICE, and lay
aside the evidence of the Scriptures, is so far from being true, " that it is RIDICULOUS." See his Sermons, p. 39, 40.-I rejoice in the belief that it is as inconsistent with the Scriptures as it is with reason.
and however difficult it may be in some cases to discover the precise ideas which the Writer intended to express, it appears to me perfectly clear, that the views which I have so often stated, (see p. 8, 352, &c.) fully account for the strength of bis expressions, and afford the clearest solution of them. The leading idea through the whole is, that the death of Jesus ratified the new covenant; that his blood was therefore the blood of the covenant: and this is the light in which our Saviour has represented it, and which without doubt has been the origin of most of those expressions in the Epistles, which many have made the foundation of s6 an unaccountable irrational doctrine,” in no way justified by the representations of Jesus himself, and in my apprehension inconsistent with them.-One expression may be thought to require distinct notice, viz. v. 14: · For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' To see the force of this, we must attend to o. 1, 2, and 11. The Writer there argues, from the continued representation of the legal sacrifices, that their efficacy was limited and temporary; and that they could not give those who offered them a complete assurance of forgiveness on the contrary, the death of Jesus ratified a perpetual covenant, by which God promised, that he would no more remember the past sins and iniquities of those who complied with the terms of that covenant. There was therefore no need of more sacrifices; since those who, by their belief in Jesus, were brought into a state of spiritual privilege, who thus were sanctified, obtained a complete assurance of forgiveness by means of his one offering. In what sense it may be said that forgiveness was obtained by the death of Christ, I need not again explain : see p. 384.
There are three terms applied to Jesus, which have contributed to confirm the ideas so widely prevalent respecting vicarious punishment, satisfaction, &c.: viz. MEDIATOR, ADVOCATE, and SURETY. The last occurs in Heb. vii. 22; and I cannot do better than quote the words of Mr. Wright, (Anti-satisfactionist, p. 354).
" It is very common for reputed orthodox Christians to call Christ the Surety of sinners, and to talk of his becoming surety to God for them; but never in the Scriptures is he called the surety of sinners, or said to be a surety to God for us. Once only is he called a surety, and then it is of the testament or covenant. He is so called because the new covenant was lodged in his hands, and he confirmed it by his death. His surety-ship has no relation to his becoming responsible for the sins of men, but to his fully attesting the truth of the Gospel, and to his giving us the strongest assurances that all his promises shall be accomplished. The former would destroy our personal responsibility; the latter fills us with faith and hope, and stimulates to obedience."- That his being styled Mediator* has nothing to do with
* 1 Tim, ii, 5. Heb. viii, 6. ix. 15. xii. 24,