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To day therefore they should hear his voice,

23 him infinitely above the most excellent of sect. creatures.

iii. 5 And Moses ver- And that Christ is incomparably more to be ly cas faithful in honoured than Moses, appears even from this

Heb.

iii. 5 servant, for a testi consideration, though inferior to the former, Bony of those things that Moses [was) indeed faithful in all his house, which were to be as a servant, who was appointed to act in an spoken of after :

inferior economy, for a testimony of things
afterwards to be mentioned; the evangelical
design of which we shall in some measure dis-

cuss in the following parts of this epistle, ac6 But Christ as a cording to their relation and connection. But 6 Son over his own Christ was faithful in a far superior character, house: wbose house

even as a Son in his own house, that is, over
are we, if we hold
fast the confidence, the church, in which as Heir of all things he
and the rejoicing of hath not only a trust and office, but also a prop-
the hope firm unto erty, and which is appointed for him to inhabit
the end.

and preside over; whose house, his chosen and
delightful habitation, we Christians now are, if
we strenuously maintain (our] freedom of pro-
fession, and boasting of hope, steadfast unto the
end; if having so glorious an hope set before
us, in which we may justly boast as our great-
est honour and happiness, we resolutely adhere
to it, and permit nothing to wrest it out of our

hands.
7 Wherefore, as And to this I am labouring to animate you, 7
the Holy Ghost

by the representation I have given of the diggaith, To day, if ye will hear his voice, nity and glory of our blessed Saviour.

Therefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, in a psalm which

he dictated to David, (Psal. xcv. 7,) To day if 8 Harden not ye will ever heur his voice at all, Harden not 8 the provocation, in your hearts any longer; lest you bring destruc

tion the day of tempta.

upon yourselves, as your predecessors did, tion in the wilder. in the bitter provocation which they presumed ness:

to offer me in the day of temptation in the wil. 9 When your fa- derness; When your unbelieving fathers tempt- 9 thers tempted me, ed me, and proved me, as if they would have proved me, and saw made an experiment how much it was possible my works forty Fears.

for me to bear; and this, though they saw my

works in such a variety of wonders, as passed * In his own house.) Mr. Peirce brings 8 Our freedom of profession.] Some would many arguments to prove it should be in render it, if we hold fast the confidence, even his house, that is, God's, in which sense the rejoicing of our hope firm unto the end, the very words are used and translated supposing it to refer to that confession before ; but as Christ is appointed the Heir which they made at their baptism with of all things, the paraphrase cannot I solemnity and joy. think be contested. Compare Heb. x. 21.

SECT.

my rest.

24 And not be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

in the wilderness in the course of forty sucii. ceeding years, Therefore I was angry with that 10 Wherefore I

perverse generation, and said they always do was grieved with Heb.

and will err in [their] hearts, through their said, They do al. jjj. 10

own obstinacy and folly, and they have not ways err' in their known my ways, nor paid any regard to the hearts ; and they

have not known my clearest discoveries of my will and design;

ways. 11 So that after repeated abuses of my patience 11 so I sware in and long suffering, I sware in my wrath, and my, wrath, They

shall not enter into solemnly declared by my own holy and majestic name, that they should never enter into my rest ;

h but that the carcasses of all that came adult out of Egypt, shall fall in the wilderness,

and that generation of men be totally consum12 ed. How awful a determination, after all the 12 Take heed,

hopes which such signal deliverances had con- brethren, lest there
curred to inspire ! See to it therefore, brethren, evil heart of unbe-
lest there ever be in any of you a wicked heart lief, in departing
of unbelief, in apostatizing from him who still from the living God.
wears the same omnipotent terrors, and con.
tinues, and will ever continue, the living and
true God, to whom you profess so great a re-
gard, and from whom you will indeed revolt,

if you give up the religion of Christ Jesus his 13 Son. You are surrounded with many temp- 13 But exhort one

tations to do this; but exhort one another daily, inis called, Today:
while you are under this dispensation of grace, lest any of you be
whilst it is called to day, and the deserved judg-hardened through
ments of God are suspended, that no one of you the deceitfulness of

sin.
may by insensible degrees and artful insinua.
tions, be hardened through the deceitfulness of
sin, and its fallacious advances on the mind;
whereby if you are not resolutely on your
guard, you may be seduced finally to forfeit
the invaluable blessings, which are so freely
offered, and which have so long been set be-

fore you.

IMPROVEMENT.

verse

1

We are partakers of this heavenly calling, and to us are the messages

of mercy addressed : let us therefore hear with rev. erence and obedience, the admonitions of the word of God.

1. My rest.] Canaan is so called, as they i Whilst it is called to day.) L'Enfant there reposed themselves after the labours thinks this refers to that patience which of a long war, as well as the fatigues of a God still exercises towards a nation soon tedious march; and perhaps as entering to be overwhelmed with his judgments. upon a course of stated worship, it might appear as a kind of sabbath keeping.

verse

Reflections on the superiority of Christ to Moses. 25 Let us behold with veneration and delight, the Son of God be- sect. coming the Messenger of his Father's love, and the High Priest iii. of our Christian profession. He is the great prophet too, whom God hath raised up unto us like Moses, in many respects; but 0 2 6 how far superior to him! More completely faithful to him, who % hath appointed him ; faithful as a Son in his own house.

The world is an edifice raised by Christ : the church is the house in which he delights to reside. Let both be considered in this important view. The Divine perfections of the great Architect are indeed illustriously displayed in the construction and constitution of this visible world. Does the meanest house or cottage declare itself to be the work of some intelligent agent? And does it not much more evidently appear, that this commodious and magnificent structure must have been planned and reared by proportionable wisdom, grandeur and power ?

It is the work of Christ ; and let it often be devoutly surveyed and contemplated in this view; and from thence let us infer his Divine glories, and read in them his matchless condescen. sions. Let us learn with how much security and delight we may commit our immortal souls to him who stretched out the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, and shall endure the same when they shall be dissolved and perish, Let us view him also as the Lord of the church,; and consider the fabric of grace as raised to his honour ; that in that as his temple, every one might speak of his glory; and let all the churches, and every member of each, make it their faithful care to honour him more and more.

In this view may we hold fast the confidence, and rejoicing of our hope, steadfast unto the end, and never suffer any one to take our crown, or terrify, or allure us, from that faithful subjection of soul to Christ, which his perfections and our obligations to 12 him concur to demand. Who of us can say, he is beyond all 13 danger of being ensnared by an evil heart of unbelief, of being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin ? Let us then, in compli. ance with so salutary and necessary an exhortation, redouble our guard ; let us watch over ourselves and each other ; exhorting one another daily, while it is called to day, and charging our souls by the awful authority of the living God, that after having ap. proached so near him, that after having so solemnly professed to devote ourselves to him, nothing may ever prevail upon us deliberately and wickedly to depart from him.

They should hold their confidence steadfast unto the end :

The apostles what we shows to

SECT. IV. The apostle goes on to repeat the caution he had given against un. belief, as what would prevent their entering into rest : an expression which he shows to refer to something much nobler than that rest which the Jews enjoyed in Canaan, even on their most sacred days, and in their most prosperous ages. Heb. III. 14. IV. 11.

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Hebrews III. 14.

HEBREWS III. 14. sect. T GIVE you such cautions to guard against TOR we are made iv. I the deceitfulness of sin, and an evil heart T partakers of - of unbelief, because I know your highest inter. Christ, if we hold

the beginning of our i la ests are concerned ; for we are made partakers

confidence steadfast of the grace and mercy of Christ, and admitted unto the end. by him into the family of God, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence in him as our great Saviour, steadfast unto the end of our lives,

whatever difficulties and oppositions may arise. 15 Let us therefore be strenuous and incessant in 15 While it is

this care ; forasmuch as it is said, a in the pas, said, To day, if ye sage I have quoted above, To day, if ye will harden not

: 12 will hear his voice,

your hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as they hearts, as in the

did in the provocation which was offered to God provocation. 16 in the wilderness. For some of them who 16 For some, when heard so many Divine messages solemnly de- they had heard, did

provoke : howbeit clared, and the law spoken by the very mouth of PP

ken by the very mouth of not all that came out God himself from mount Sinai, provoked [him] of Egypt by Moses : to indignation ; but not all they who came out of Egypt by Noses :b there was a remnant then,

* Forasmuch, as it is said.] The words 6 But not all they who came out of Egypt.] Sy 5W 2299594 are something ambiguous, Mr. Pyle gives it a different and remarkand may either signify, forasmuch as it is able interpretation, making the former said, or while it is said ; and if the latter part of the verse an interrogation, Who version be preferred, perhaps this 15th were they that when they heard, that is, verse may be connected with the 13th. heard the report of the spies, (Numb. Exhort one another daily while it is called siv.) did provoke him? Were they not all to day, while it is said, To day if ye will that came out of Egypt? And this he sup. hear his voice: as if he had said, The poses is a distinct argument for persevermatter is of so much importance, that it ance, taken from the infectious nature, is not to be neglected so much as for a as well as pernicious consequences of infisingle day, lest the proper season should be delity and apostasy But had this been slipt. But as ex8158, a different phrase, the sense, I think 8%! would have been was used for while in the 13th verse, I used instead of anx's, especially as by this judge the rendering I have given most means the correspondence with the 17th probable, and ventured it, in order to verse would have been more evident. avoid an inconvenient length, by dividing There was a remnant.] Joshua, Cathe section as I have here done.

leb, the women and children, and some

for unbelief would prevent their entering into rest. 27

as there now is, of believing and obedient souls, s&ct.

to whom the promise of God shall be accom. iv. 17 But with whom plished. And by whom was he provoked by along was he grieved forty succession of infidelity and folly for forty years? üi. 17

og Heb. years ? was it not with them that bad (was it not with those who well deserved that sinned, whose car. displeasure ? With those who sinned against casses fell in the wil. him by suspecting his presence with them, after derness?

so many amazing and unparalleled demonstra-
tions of it ; whose carcasses, according to his
awful prediction, fell in the wilderness during

those years of wandering to which they were 18 And to whom justly doomed ? And was there any thing 18 sware he that they in this that looks like a breach of promise on should not enter into his rest, but to them the part of the blessed God? Far from it. Ta that believed not? whom did he swear that they should not enter into

his rest, but unto those who were so obstinate and

disobedient, as entirely to forfeit all claim to his 19 So we see that promise and favour? And when we come to 19 they could not enter consider the cause of that disobedience, we see in because of unbe.

that it was owing to a secret infidelity with
regard to the Divine power and goodness,
either to preserve them in the wilderness, or
conduct them into Canaan. So that I may say
they could not possibly enter into the promised

rest, because of unbelief : that was upon the IV.1 Let us there. whole the evil that destroyed them. Let us IV, 1 fore fear, lest a therefore improve so a promise being lefi therefore improve so awful a dispensation of

of entering into Providence to our own instruction, and fear, his rest, any of you lest a promise being now left(unto us] of entering should seem to come into his most happy and glorious rest, any of use short of it.

should even at any time, so much as seem like 2 For unto us was to come short [of it.] For we are made partakers 2 the gospel preached, of the good tidingsf of the promised rest, as

lief,

think, some of the Levites, were not in. Any of us.] Some copies read nuwe, cluded in the sentence. Bishop Fell men- us, instead of uumy, you ; and their author. tions this as an intimation, that all sball ity is evidently confirmed by the connection. not apostatize in the worst times.

See Dr. Mills in loc. . Let us therefore fear.) This example, as has often been observed, is most suit. Partakers of the good tidings.] So I able, being taken from their own ancestors, choose to render the word wangalousyos. the evil being the same, namely, unbelief, For, that we have the gospel" (taking it the time resembling it just after the estab. for the message by Christ) at least as well lishment of a new constitution, and the as these people had in the wilderness, and Consequence the same, the exclusion from indeed a great deal more plainly, is so evi. rest. The superior dignity of Christ a. dent, that it may seem but a very low bove Moses, and the superior excellence sense of the words, and not worthy the of Heaven above Canaan, greatly confirm wisdom and gravity of the apostle to insert the force of the argument. Peirce on Heb. it. in. 12, note

VOL. 6.

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