and purchase made by his blood. — For he was so brought again as
the Shepherd of the sheep, to the exercise of his entire office towards
the church. For hereon followed his exaltation, and the glorious exer-
cise of his kingly power in its behalf, with all the benefits which
ensue thereon, Acts v. 30, 31 ; Rom. xiv. 9 ; Phil. ii. 8 — 11 ; Rev. i.
17, 18, and the completing of his prophetical office by sending of his
Holy Spirit to abide always with the church for its instruction, Acts
ii. 33, and the discharge of what remains of his priestly office in his
intercession, Heb. vii. 25, 26, and his ministering in the sanctuary to
make the services of the church acceptable to God, Heb. viii. 2 ; Rev.
viii. 4. These are the springs of the administration of all mercy and
grace to the church, and they all follow on his reduction from the
dead, as the Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the covenant.
Obs. IX. All legal sacrifices issued in blood and death, there was
no recovery of any of them from that state. There was no solemn
pledge of their success. But their weakness was supplied by their
Obs. X. There is then a blessed foundation laid of the communica-
tion of grace and mercy to the church, to the eternal glory of God.
Ver. 21. — The other verse contains the things which the apostle,
with all this solemnity, prayeth for on the behalf of the Hebrews. And
VER. 21.] EPISTLE TO TIIF. HEBREWS. 765
they are two, 1. That God would ' perfect them in every good work to
do his will.' 2. That he would 'work in them, that which is well
pleasing in his sight by Jesus Christ.' In this whole prayer we have
the method of the dispensation of grace laid before us. For, 1. The
original of it is in God himself, as he is the God of peace; that is, as
in the eternal counsel of his will he had designed grace and peace to
poor sinners, suitably to his own goodness, wisdom, and grace. 2.
The preparation of it, in a way suitable to the exaltation of the glory
of God, and the original means of its communication, is the mediation
of Christ in his death and resurrection. 3. The nature of it as to one
principal part in our sanctification, is expressed under these two heads
in this verse.
Again, it is evident, that this communication of grace, here prayed
for, consists in a real efficiency of it in us. It is here expressed by
words denoting not only a certain efficacy, but a real actual efficiency.
The pretence of some, that the eventual efficacy of divine grace depends
on the first contingent compliance of our wills, which leaves it to be no
more but persuasion or instruction, is irreconcilable to this prayer of
the apostle. It is not a sufficient proposal of the object, and a press-
ing of rational motives thereon, but a real efficiency of the things
themselves, by the power of God through Christ, that the apostle
First. The first part of the prayer, the first thing prayed for us, is
perfection ' in every good work to do the will of God.' KaraprtcTot
bftag, * make you perfect,' or rather 'make you meei,' — fit and able.
This is a thing which you in yourselves are no way meet, fit, prepared,
able for ; whatever may be supposed to be in you of light, power,
liberty, yet it will not give you this meetness and ability. It is not an
absolute perfection that is intended, nor do the words signify any such
thing, but it is to bring the faculties of the mind into that order, so to
dispose, prepare, and enable them, as that they may work accordingly.
And this is to be tv iravTi tpyoj ayaOnj, 'in every good work ;' in, for,
to every good work or duty of obedience. The whole of our obedience
towards God, and duties towards man, consists in good works, Epli. ii.
10. And, therefore, the end of the assistance prayed for is, Etc to iroir\-
aai to ()t\\)fia avrov, ' that they might do the will of God,' which is
the sole rule of our obedience.
It is hence evident what is the grace that in these words the apostle
prayeth for. In general he designs the application of the grace of God
through the mediation of Christ to our sanctification. And this adapt-
ing of us to do the will of God in every good work, is by that habitual
grace which is wrought in our souls. Hereby are they prepared, fitted,
enabled to all duties of obedience. And whereas, many at least of the
Hebrews, might be justly considered as having already received this
grace, in the first conversion to God, as all believers do ; the daily in-
creases of it in them, whereof it is capable, is that which on their be-
half he prayeth for. For all strengthening, thriving, and growing in
grace, consists in the increases of this spiritual habit in us.
He lets, therefore, the Hebrews know, that in themselves, they are
unable to answer the will of God, in the duties of obedience required
766 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. XIII.
of them; and, therefore, prays that^hey may have supplies of sancti-
fying grace enabling them thereunto. And he doth it, after he hath
in particular prescribed and enjoined sundry gospel duties to them in
this, and the foregoing chapter ; and it may be with especial regard to
the casting out of all contentious disputes about the law, and with a
desire, that they might be established in a holy acquiescency in the
doctrine of the gospel, which he, therefore, prays for from the God of
But there is yet more required in us besides this habitual disposition
and preparation for duties of obedience, according to the will of God ;
namely, the actual gracious performance of every such duty. For nei-
ther can we do this of ourselves, whatever furniture of habitual grace
we may have received.
Secondly. This, therefore, he hath also respect unto, ' Working in
you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ.'
This is the way whereby we may be enabled effectually to do the will
of God. Our whole duty, in all the acts of it, according to his will, is
to svantcrrov tviomov clvtov, ' that which is well pleasing unto him.'
So is it expressed, Rom. xii. 1, ch. xiv. 18 ; Eph. v. 10 ; Phil. iv. 18,
that which is right in his eyes before him, with respect unto the prin-
ciple, matter, forms, and end, of what is so done. This we are not
sufficient for in ourselves in any one instance, act, or duty.
Therefore he prayeth that God would do it, work it, effect it in
them ; not by moral persuasion and instruction only, but by an effec-
tual in-working, or ttoiujv ev vfiiv, ' working in them ;' see Phil. ii. 13.
The efficiency of actual grace in and unto every acceptable act or duty
of obedience, cannot be more directly expressed. This the church
prays for, this it expects and relies upon. Those who judge themselves
to stand in no need of the actual efficiency of grace in and unto every
duty of obedience, cannot honestly give their assent and consent unto
the prayers of the church.
He prays that all may be granted unto them, dia Ijjctov Kpto-rou,
'through Jesus Christ.' This may be referred either to working, or to
acceptance. If to the latter, the meaning is, that the best of our du-
ties wrought in us by the grace of God, are not accepted as they are
ours, but upon the account of the merit and mediation of Christ, which
is most true. But it is rather to be referred unto the former ; showing
that there is no communication of grace unto us from the God of peace,
but in and by Jesus Christ, and by virtue of his mediation; and this
the apostle presseth in a peculiar manner upon the Hebrews, who seem
not as yet to be fully instructed in the things which belong unto his
person, office, and grace.
The close of the words, and so of the Epistle, is an ascription of glory
to Christ : a) ?] $o%a eig rovg atwvag tojv aiwviov. A/urjv. ' To whom be
glory for ever and ever. Amen.' The like ascription of glory, in the
same kind of expression, is made unto God even the Father, Philip, iv.
20, ' Now unto God and our Father, be glory for ever and ever. Amen.'
So 1 Tim. i. 17 ; 2 Tim. iv. 18. So is it jointly to the Father and the
Son, as mediator, Rev. v. 13. See Gal. i. 5. And wherein this assig-
nation of glory to Christ doth consist, is there fully declared. And
VER. 22.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 7G7
whereas it contains divine adoration and worship, with the ascription
of all glorious divine properties unto him, the object of it is his divine
person, and the motive unto it is his work of mediation, as I have else-
where at large declared. All grace is from him, and therefore all glory
is to be ascribed to him..
As this is due, so it is to be given unto him for ever and ever. The
expression of tig rovg aitjvag tiov mwvwv, in secula seculorum, is taken
from the Hebrew ijn 0?ny, Ps. x. 16, nbrjn "ry a^iyr? p, Neh. ix. 5, or
vbrjb "ry, Ps. cxlviii. 6", 'unto eternity,' 'without intermission,' 'with-
Hereunto is added the solemn note of assent and attestation, fre-
quently used both in the Old and New Testament, as in this case,
Horn. xvi. 27, so it is, so let it be, so it ought to be, it is true, it is right
and meet that so it should be ; 'Amen.' Thus shall the whole dispen-
sation of grace issue in the eternal glory of Christ. This the Father
designed, this is the blessedness of the church to give unto him and
behold ; and let every one who says not Amen hereunto, be anathema
This the apostle hath brought his discourse unto with these He-
brevvs, that laying aside all disputation about the law and expectations
from it, all glory, the glory of all grace and mercy, is now, and eternally
to be ascribed to Jesus Christ alone. Of the nature of this glory, and
the manner of its assignation to him, see my discourse of the Mystery
of Godliness, where it is handled at large.
And unto Him, doth the poor unworthy Author of this Exposition,
desire, in all humility, to ascribe and give eternal praise and glory, for
all the mercy, grace, guidance, and assistance, which he hath received
from him in his labour and endeavours therein. And if any thing,
word, or expression, through weakness, ignorance, and darkness, which
he yet laboureth under, have passed from him, that do not tend unto
his glory, he doth here utterly condemn it. And he humbly prays,
that if, through his assistance, and the guidance of his Holy Spirit of
light and truth, any thing hath been spoken aright concerning him,
his office, his sacrifice, his grace, his whole mediation ; any light or di-
rection communicated to the understanding of the mind of the Holy
Ghost in this glorious Scripture, that he would make it useful and ac-
ceptable unto his church, here and elsewhere. And he doth also hum-
bly acknowledge his power, goodness, and patience, in that, beyond all
his expectations, he hath continued his life, under many weaknesses,
temptations, sorrows, tribulations, to bring this work unto its end.' —
' To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.'
This is the solemn close of the Epistle. What follows, arc certain
additional postscripts, which were usual with our apostle in his other
epistles ; and we shall briefly give an account of them.
\ BR. 22. — YlapciKa\k) Se ii/iag, aSeA^ot, avEY^ ^ 6 TOV Xo-you r»;c 7ra-
oah.X))fTfwc" Kai jap Sta ftpa\cu)v, nrtartiXa vfJUV,
768 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. XIII.
Vek. 22. — And 1 beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhor-
tation ; for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
The apostle knew that many of the Hebrews were not without great
prejudices, in the cause wherein he had been dealing with them; as
also that he had been necessitated to make use of some severe admo-
nitions and reprehensions. Having, therefore, finished his discourse,
he adds this word both in his own justification, as unto what he had
written, and to caution them that they lost not the benefit of it, through
negligence or prejudice. And he gives this caution with great wisdom
1. In his kind compellation by the name of a^i\
denoting, 1. His near relation unto them in nature and grace. 2. His
love unto them. 3. His common interest with them in the cause in
hand; all suited to give an access unto his present exhortation. See
ch. iii. 1, with the Exposition.
2. In calling his discourse, or the subject-matter of his Epistle, rov
\oyov Tt]g TrapaaXriGsiog, ' a word of exhortation,' or ' of consolation ;'
for it is used to signify both, sometimes the one, and sometimes the
other, as hath been declared before by instances. Wherefore, Xojoq
7rapaicAi)(7£wc > s the truth and doctrine of the gospel applied unto the
edification of believers, whether by way of exhortation or consolation,
the one of them constantly including the other. Most think, that the
apostle intends peculiarly the hortatory part of the Epistle, in chapters
vi. x. xii. xiii., for therein are contained both prescriptions of difficult
duties, and some severe admonitions, with respect whereunto he desires
that they would bear or suffer it as that which had some appearance of
being grievous or burdensome. But I see no just reason why the whole
Epistle may not be intended; for, 1. The nature of it, in general, is
pareenetical or hortatory, that is, a word of exhortation, as hath been
often shown. 2. The whole Epistle is intended in the next words,
'for I have written a letter unto you in few words.' 3. There is in the
doctrinal part of it, that which was as hard to be borneby the Hebrews,
as any thing in those which are preceptive or hortatory. Wherefore,
the whole of it being a word of exhortation, or a consolatory exhorta-
tion, he might use it with confidence, and they bear it with patience.
And I would not exclude the notion of consolation, because that is the
proper effect of the doctrine of the gospel, delivering men from bondage
unto the ceremonies of the law, which is the design of the apostle in
this whole Epistle ; see Acts xv. 31.
Obs. I. And when ministers take care that the word which they
deliver is a word tending unto the edification and consolation of the
church, they may with confidence press the entertainment of it, by
the people, though it should contain things, by reason of their weak-
ness or prejudices, some way grievous unto them.
3. In persuading them, avex^c", ' to bear,' or ' suffer this wojd ;'
that is, in the first place, to take heed that no prejudices, no inveterate
opinions no apprehension of severity in its admonitions and threatenings,
should provoke them against it, render them impatient under it, and
VER. 23.] EPTSTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 769
so cause them to lose the benefit of it. But there is more intended >'
namely, that they should bear and receive it as a word of exhortation,
so as to improve it unto their edification. This is a necessary caution
for these Hebrews, and indeed for all others, unto whom the word is
preached and applied with wisdom and faithfulness. For neither
Satan, nor the corruptions of men's own hearts, will be wanting to sug-
gest unto them such exceptions and prejudices against it, as may
render it useless.
4. He adds the reason of his present caution, yap Sm fipaxtuv
tiriiCTTtiXa v/luv, ' for 1 have written a letter unto you in few words.'
There are two things in the words warranting his caution. 1. That
out of his love and care towards them, he had written, or sent this
Epistle to them ; on the account whereof they ought to bear with him
and it. 2. That he had given them no more trouble than was neces-
sary, in that he had written in few words. Some inquiry is made why
the apostle should affirm that he wrote this Epistle briefly, or in few
words, seeing it is of a considerable length, one of the longest he ever
wrote. A few words will satisfy this inquiry. For considering the
importance of the cause wherein he was engaged, the necessity that
was on him to unfold the whole design and mystery of the covenant
and institutions of the law, with the office of Christ ; with the great
contests that were amongst the Hebrews about these things, and the
danger of their eternal ruin, through a misapprehension of them ; all
that he hath written may well be esteemed but a few words, and such
as whereof none could have been spared. He hath in this matter
written dta j3pax£wv, or given us a brief compendium, as the words sig-
nify, of the doctrine of the law and the gospel, which they ought to
take in good part.
Ver. 23. — rivuHTKZTt tov a$t\ov Tifiodtov airoXeXvfitvov, nztf ov
eav Ta^iov ep^wai o\pofiai v/xag.
Ver. 23. — Know ye that (our) brother Timothy is set at liberty,
with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
Who this Timothy was, what was his relation unto Paul, how he
loved him, how he employed him and honoured him, joining him with
himself in the salutation prefixed unto some of his Epistles, with what
care and diligence he wrote unto him with reference unto his office of
an evangelist, is known out of his writings. This Timothy was his
perpetual companion in all his travels, labours, and sufferings, serving
him as a son serveth his father, unless when he designed, and sent him
unto any special work for the church. And being with him in Judea,
he was well known unto them also, as was his worth and usefulness.
lie seems not to have gone to Rome with Paul, when he was sent
thither a prisoner, but probably followed him not long after ; and
there, as it is most likely, being taken notice of, either as an associate
of the apostle's or for preaching the gospel, he was cast into prison.
Hereof the Hebrews had heard, and were no doubt concerned in it,
and affected with it. He was at this present dismissed out of prison,
, VOL. IV. 3 E
770 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. XIII.
whereof the apostle gives notice unto the Hebrews, as a matter where-
in he knew they would rejoice. He writes them the good news of the
release of Timothy. He doth not seem to have been present with the
apostle at the dispatch of this Epistle, for he knew not his mind di-
rectly about, his going into Judea; only he apprehended that he had
a mind and resolution so to do. And hereon he acquaints them with
his own resolution to give them a visit, which, that he might do, he
had before desired their prayers for him. However, he seems to inti-
mate, that if Timothy, whose company he desired in his travels, could
not come speedily, he knew not whether his work would permit him
to do so or not. What was the event of this resolution, God only
Ver. 24. — A<77ra
aytovg. Aa7raL,ovrui vfiag oi airo rrje lraXiag.
Ver. 24. — Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the
saints: they of Italy salute you.
This is given in charge unto them to whom the Epistle was sent and
committed. For although it was written for the use of the whole
church, yet the messengers by whom it was carried, delivered and
committed it, according to the apostle's direction, unto some of the
brethren, by whom it was to be presented and communicated unto the
church. These he speaks unto peculiarly in this postscript, giving
them in charge to salute both their rulers, and all the rest of the
saints, or members of the church, in his name. To salute in the name
of another is to represent his kindness and affection unto them. This
the apostle desires for the preservation and continuation of entire love
Who these rulers were that they are enjoined to salute, hath been
fully declared on ver. 17, and all the rest of the members of the church
are called 'the saints,' as is usual with our apostle. Such rulers, and
such members, did constitute blessed churches.
He adds, to complete this duty of communion in mutual salutation,
the performance of it by those that were with him, as well as by him-
self, 'They of Italy salute you :' they did it by him, or he did it unto
the whole church by them. Hence it is taken for granted, that Paul
was in Italy at the writing of this Epistle. But it is not unquestion-
ably proved by the words ; for oi mro r>jc \ra\iag may as well be
' those who were come to him out of Italy,' as ' those that were with
him in Italy.' But in Italy there were then many Christians, both of
Jews and Gentiles. Some of these, no doubt, were continually with
the apostle ; and so knowing his design of sending a letter to the
Hebrews, desired to be remembered unto them ; it being probable that
many of them were their own countrymen, and well known unto them.
Ver. 25. — 'H %apig jucra navTwv v/awv. A/ojv.
Veh. 25. — Grace be with you all. Amen.
VER. 25.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 771
This was the constant close of all his Epistles. This he wrote with
his own hand, and would have it esteemed an assured token, whereby
an Epistle might be known to be his, 2 Thess. iii. 17, 18. He varietb
sometimes in his expressions ; but this is the substance of all his sub-
scriptions, ' Grace be with you all.' And by grace he intends tht
whole good-will of God, by Jesus Christ, and all the blessed effects
of it, for the communication of which unto them, he prays herein.
The subscription in our books, is,
llpog 'E|3patoue typa(j>i] airo rijg IraXiag $ia Tipodtov.
Written to the Hebrews from Italy, by Timothy.
This is partly uncertain, as that it was written from Italy ; anc
partly most certainly untrue, as that it was sent by Timothy, as ex-
pressly contrary unto what the apostle speaks concerning him imme-
diately before. But these subscriptions have been sufficiently proved
by many to be spurious, being the additions of some unskilful tran-
scribers in after ages.
Movent t(o 0f(jj §o
In this Index, there is no reference to the Author's critical discussions. To these the Greek
text of the Epistle furnishes an obvious guide. In the page to which the reference is
made, the illustration of the subject begins. In many of the articles that illustration is
short, and is all comprised in a part of a page. But it also frequently happens that the
illustration is carried on through some of the following pages Of this the reader will
easily be able to judge.
The numerical letters refer to the number of the volume, and the figures to that of the page.
AARON, call of, to be high priest i.
Christ, not belonging to the family
of, could not offer animal sac-
rifices. .... iii. 672
Abel, of iv. 373
and Cain, difference between in state
and character . iv. 377
effects of the faith of . . iv. 379
sacrifice of . . . iv. 374
and Cain, difference between the sacri-
fices of .... iv. 375
a type of the persecuted church iv. 373
blood of, cried to God . iv, 378, 653
Abhorrence of sin, of God's. iii. 591, 592
Abide in Christ, diligent exertion neces-
sary, that we may
Abiding nature of the
Ability, of natural and moral
of Christ's mediatorial
of Christ to save from sin
of Christ to save, we should be esta-
blished in the belief of the . iii. 605
of Christ, to succour his people when
tempted .... ii. 426
Abraham, era of . . i. 328
place of the birth of i. 329
probably an idolater before his call i. 330
call of . . . ' i. 328 iv. 403
left many worldly comforts . iv. 405
journey of, to Canaan . . i. 331
had opportunity of returning to Ur of
the Chaldees iv.
of the change of the name of i. 329 iii.
called the patriarch . . iii.
circumcision of i.
church in the family of . . i.
a twofold seed promised to . i.
Christ promised to . . . iv.
promises made to, in a peculiar man-
ner ..... iii.
why promise of Canaan made to
a numerous offspring promised to iv. 424
Abraham, blessings, both spiritual and
temporal, bestowed on . . iii.
victory of, over the four kings . iii.
the eminent faith of . iv. 409,
glory of the fa'th of . iv. 447,
lived a life of faith . . iv.
life of, a pilgrimage . iv. 413,
ten trials of . . . ii.
trust of, in God under trials . iv.
expected rest in heaven . iv. 416,
in what sense God is said to have
affectionate nature of . . iv.
offered up Isaac iv.
believed the doctrine of resurrection
of the body . . . iv.
received Isaac from the dead in a figure,
how ? . . . . iv..
end of the trials of. . . iv.
Abrogation of Levitical worship . iii.
effected in two ways , . iii.
the apostles did not at first expressly
preach the .... iii.
Abstract terms used for concrete . ii.
Acceptance with God, what included in iv.
with God for our persons, must be
enjoyed before our services can be ac-