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were to continue always upon earth, he could not have been a priest,
as there are a certain order of priests who offer the gifts of the people 5 according to the law*, who perform divine service (according] to
the example, and shadow of celestial things : as Moses was charged by the oracle, when he was about to finish the tabernacle : “ For
see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the model 6 shewn thee upon the mountain.” (Exod. xxv. 40.) But he
(i. e. Christ) hath now nobler services allotted to him, inasmuch as
he is the Mediator even of a better covenant which was established 7 upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, 8 there would have been no place sought for a second : for finding
faultt, he saith (to them (the Jews ) « Behold the days come,
saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house 9 of Israel, and with the house of Judah : not according to the cov
enant which I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they
continued not in my covenant, and I disregarded them, saith the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, in the times of the Messiah, saith the Lord : I will give my laws to their soul, and I will inscribe them upon their
hearts ; and I will be unto them for a God, and they shall be to 11 me for a people. And they shall no more teach every man his
neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; . for they shall all know me, from the least of them, even to the greatest 12 of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteous deeds,
and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more." 13 ( Jer. xxxi. 31.) When he saith, a NEW covenant, [it implies that]
he hath made the first old : now that which is antiquated and fallen into old age, is ready to disappear.
REFLECTIONS. Adored be that grace which hath constituted and revealed this ever. lasting covenant, well ordered in all things, and sure ; established on such promises as are, of all that can be conceived, most valuable to sinful creatures ; and especially on that, without which no other declaration could impart any comfort to such, I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more. With this is connected that other promise, so comprehensive of every thing that is truly valuablc, I will be a God unto them, and they shall be unto me a people. Happy indeed the people that are in such a case ; yea happy the people whose God is the Lord, who are taught by him to know him under that character ; taught by that energy of his Spirit, which gives his law to their mind, and inscribes it on their heart. There may we ever retain it, engraven in living and durable characters, as a law of love, which may make obedience to every precept easy.
In this connexion let us look with pleasure to that High-Priest, who is sat down on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, and presides
* Namely the sons of Levi, whereas our Lord was of the tribe of Judah. †“Finding fault (with that covenant) &c.” M. VOL. II.
over all for the good of his people, that minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord, not man, hath pitched ; ever maintaining an humble dependence on the sacrifice he hath offered : A sacrifice better than any of the Aaronical priests could present, in proportion to the degree in 'which the covenant, of which he is the Mediator, is nobler than theirs.
The first covenant, wisely allayed with such a mixture of imperfection as was suitable to its being introductory to the second, is now vanished, to make way for this second and better dispensation : to this let us therefore adhere, and so doing, cheerfully expect all the invaluable blessings it imparts.
The priesthood and intercession of Christ illustrated, by what the Jewish high
priest did on the great day of atonement. Ch, ix, 1-14.
I THE first (covenant*] therefore had' ordinances of divine ser2 1 vice, and a worldly sanctuary. For the first part of the taber
nacle was prepared, in which was the candlestick, and the table, 3 and the show-breadt, which is called the Holy Place. And be.
yond the second vail, the tabernacle, which was called the Holy of 4 Holics, having the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant
covered over on every side with gold, in which was the gold
en pot, containing the manna, and the rod of Aaron that blossomed, 5 and the tables of the covenant : and over it the cherubs of glory, sha
dowing with their wings the mercy-seat : concerning which things 6 there is not now room to speak particularly. And these things
being thus adjusted, the priests went continually into the first ta7 bernacle, performing their services. But into the second, only the
high-priest went once a year and that not without blood, which he
offered for himself, and for the sins of ignorance committed by the 8 people. The Holy Spirit signifying this, that the way into the
holiest place was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle 9 had its continuance. Which is a figure referring to the present
time; in which gifts and sacrifices are still offered, which are not.
able to make the person who performeth the service perfect, with 10 l'espect to the conscience ; but consisted only in meats and drinks,
and in different washings, and ordinances of the flesh, to continue 11 till the time of the reformation. But Christ being become a
high-priest of good things to come, in a greater and more perfect
tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this lower crea12 tion; neitlier by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own
blood, hath entered once for all into the holy place above, having 13 obtained for us eternal.redemption. For if the blood of bulls and
* "Tabernacle." D. “Covenant." C.T.and M. The Alex. and other MSS have only apoln' the first; leaving the reader to supply drama covenant from the former verse. (This word therefore is not so strangely supplied, as the author thought.]
+ “The setting on of loaves.” D. The term shew-bread is the most familiar to the reader. ED.
of goats, and the ashes of the heifer, sprinkled on the unclean, 14 sanctifieth to the cleansing of the flesh; how much more shall
the blood of Christ, who bring animaled by the eternal Spirit, of. fered himself spotless to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works, that you may serve the living God ?
REFLECTIONS. · The whole progress of the apostle's argument will lead us to reflect on the reason we have for thankfulness, whose eyes are directed, not to an earthly sanctuary and its furniture; splendid indeed, yet comparatively dark, mutable, and perishing; but to the holiest of all, the way to which is now clearly manifested. What matter of solid and everlasting joy! that whereas those gifts and sacrifices were incapable of making those perfect who presented them, or attended upon them, and the ordinances of that sanctuary consisted only in meats and drinks, and corporeal purifications and ceremonics ; we by faith behold an high-firiest of a better and more perfect tabernacle, an high-priest who hath wrought out eternal redemption, and entered once for all into heaven for us! Eternal redemption! who hath duly considered its glorious import? To him, and only to him, who hath attentively considered it, is the name of the Redeemer sufficiently dear. But o what, short of the possession of it, can teach us the true value ! What, but to view that temple of God above, where through his intercession we hope to be made pillars, and from thence, to look down upon that abyss of misery and destruction from which nothing but his blood was sufficient to ransom us!
Let that blood which is our redemption be our confidence. We know there was no real efficacy in that of bulls or of goats, or in the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean : all that these things could do was to purify the flesh, and to restore men to an external communion with God in the Jewish sanctuary. But the blood of Christ can purify the conscience, and restore its peace when troubled, when tortured with a sense of guilt, contracted by dead works, which render us unfit for, and incapable of divine converse. To that blood therefore let us look : let the death of Christ be remembered, as the great spotless sacrifice by which we draw nigh unto God; and let those virtues and graces which were displayed in it, under the influences of that eternal Spirit, which was given unto him without measure, concur with that benevolence which subjected him to it for our sakes, to recommend him to our humblest veneration, and our warmest affections. To conclude, since it is so expressly said, that the Holy Ghost signified in some degree the great and important doctrines of the gospel by the constitution of the Jewish ritual ; let us think of that ritual, whatever obscurity may attend it in part, with a becoming esteem ; and peruse it with a view to that great antitype, who is in every sense the end of the law for righteousness to every one who believeth ; to him, who by fulfilling it hath given it a glory, much brighter than that which was reflected upon it from the face of Moses, or the most splendid magnificence of Solomon's temple.
The necessity of shedding Christ's blood, and the sufficiency of the atonement
made by it. Ch. ix. 15, &c.
15 A ND he who thus offered himself to God, is in this respect the
A Mediator of a new covenant, that death being undergone for the redemption of transgressions against the former covenant,
they who are called might receive the promise of an eternal in16 heritance. For where a covenant is, it necessarily importeth the 17 death of that by which the covenant is confirmed: for a covenant
is confirmed over the dead [sacrifices,] so that it doth not avail 18 while he* by whom it is confirmed, liveth. Hence, neither was 19 the first covenant originally transacted without blood. For when
every command was spoken according to the law, by Moses, to all the people, taking the blood of calves and goats, with water,
and scarlet wool, and hyssop, he sprinkled the book itself, and all 20 the people, saying, “ This is the blood of the covenant, which 21 God hath commanded with respect to you." And the tabernacle, 22 and all the vessels of service, he also sprinkled with blood. And
almost all things were under the law purified by blood; and with, 23 out shedding of blood there was no forgiveness. It was there
fore necessary that the copies of things in the heavens should be
purified by these ; but the celestial things themselves with more 24 excellent sacrifices than they. For Christ is not entered into holy
places made with hands, which were the figures of the true ; but
into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. 25 Not that he should offer himself frequently, as the high-priest ene
tered into the most holy place yearly, with the blood of others; 26 for then it would have been necessary for him often to have suf
fered since r the foundation of the world : But now once for all, at
the conclusion of the ages, he hath been made manifest for the abole 27 ishing of sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed 28 to men once to die, and after that the judgment; so Christ har.
ing once been offered, to bear the sins of many, shall the second time appear without sin-offering to those who have waited for him, to their complete salvation.
REFLECTIONS. We are heirs of an eternal inheritance, and we owe all our expec. tations of it to the Mediator of that better covenant, who at the expense of his own blood procured redemption from the guilt and con. demnation of those transgressions which have been committed under the first covenant. What praise do we owe to that voluntary victim, who made his blood the seal of that better covenant ? O that, as all the vess sels of the sanctuary, and all the people were sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifices, on that day when Moses entered them into solemn
covenant with God ; so our souls and all our services might be under the sprinkling of the blood of Jeslls ! By the efficacy of that were the heavenly places sanctified and prepared for us ; by that our way into them is opened : let us daily be looking up to the Lord Jesus Christ, as gone to appear in the presence of God for us, and entered into heaven with his own blood. May his death be as efficacious to subdue the power of sin in our hearts, as it is to expiate our guilt before God. Then may we look forward with pleasure to the great solemnities of death and judgment, and expect that faithful Redeemer, who though he is to come no more as a sacrifice for sin, will then appear for the complete salvation of all, who have obediently received him under that character, and waited for him according to his word.
In the mean time, that we may be engaged thus to apply to him, and improve our knowledge of him to the great purposes intended; may we live in the continual views of death, as what is indispensably appointed to men ; and remember that it is our certain inevitable doom. May we also consider it as standing in a most certain connexion with judgment ; assuring ourselves, that whatever the period of time between the one and the other may be, there is no room for a change in our character or state. Let therefore the thoughts of judgment, and its awful eternal consequences stir us up to a diligent preparation for death, Let it engage us to make an immediate application to Christ as the great Saviour, with entire submission to his princely authority ; for if that be disregarded, how shall we meet him as our Judge! For when he appears the second time for the salvation of his people, he will execute righteous vengeance on his enemies ; and that vengeance can never appear 80 terrible, as when considered as coming from the mouth of him who was once manifested to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
That the legal ceremonies could not purify the conscience, a proof of the in
sufficiency of the Mosaic law, and the necessity of looking beyond it. Ch. X. 1-14.
1 LOR the law having a shadow of future good things, not the
T very image of the things themselves, could by no means, by those sacrifices which they always offer yearly, perfect those who 2 come unto them. Otherwise they would have ceased to be offer.
ed *; because they who had performed that office being once puri. 3 fied, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in them , 4 there is a yearly commemoration of sins. For it is impossible 5 that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sips. There.
fore when the Messiah is described as making his entrance into
the world, he saith (Ps. xl. 7.) “ Sacrifice and offering thou 6 wouldest not accept, but a body thou hast provided me: In whole
* So, many copies. M. with Mill and others, reads it as a question : Since being offered, would they not have ceased ?