whereas our redemption is every-where constantly in the Scripture as-
signed unto the blood of Christ, and that alone, Eph. i. 7 ; Col. i. 14;
1 Pet. i. 18, 19 ; Rev. v. 9, ' hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood;'
it is too great a confidence to confine this work unto his entrance into
heaven, without any offering of his blood, and when he had no blood
88 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. IX
to offer. And in this place, the redemption obtained, is the same upon
the matter with the purging of our consciences from dead 'Works, ver.
14, which is ascribed directly unto his blood.
These glosses being removed, I shall proceed unto the exposition of
The apostle hath a double design in this verse, and those two that
1. To declare the dignity of the person of Christ in the dischai'ge of
his priestly office, above the high priest of old. And this he doth, 1.
From the excellency of his sacrifice, which was his own blood. 2.
The holy place whereinto he entered by virtue, of it, which was heaven
itself. And 3. The effect of it, in that by it he procured eternal redemp-
tion ; which he doth in this verse.
2. To prefer the efficacy of this sacrifice of Christ for the purging of
sin, or the purification of sinners, above all the sacrifices and ordinances
of the law, ver. 13, 14.
To manifest the dignity of the person of Christ, in the discharge of
his priestly office, the apostle declares in this verse, ' his entrance into
the holy place,' in answer unto that of the legal high priest, described
ver. 7. The entrance of Christ is declared, 1. As unto the way or
means of it. 2. As unto its season. 3. As unto its effects. In all
which respects Christ was manifested in and by it, to be far more ex-
cellent than the legal high priest.
1. The manner and way of his entrance is expressed, 1st. Negatively,
' it was not by the blood of goats and calves.' 2dly. Positively, it was
by his ' own blood.'
2. For the time of it, it was ? once,' and but once.
3. The effect of that blood of his, as offered in sacrifice, was, that
he obtained thereby ' eternal redemption.'
The thing asserted is the entrance of Christ the high priest, into the
holy place. That he should do so, was necessary, both to answer the
type, and for the rendering his sacrifice effectual in the application of
the benefits of it to the church, as it is afterwards declared at large.
And I shall open the words not in the order wherein they lie in the
text, but in the natural order of the things themselves. And we must
show, 1. What is the holy place whereinto Christ entered. 2. What
was that entrance. 3. How he did it once ; whereon will follow, 4. The
consideration of the means whereby he did it; and, 5. The effect of that
means, ' eternal redemption.'
1. For the place whereinto he entered, it is said he entered, eig ra
ay at, ' into the holies.' It is the same word whereby he expresseth the
sanctuary, the second part of the tabernacle, whereinto the high priest
entered once a-year. But in the application of it to Christ, the signifi-
cation of it is changed. He had nothing to do with, he had no right
to enter into that holy place, as the apostle affirms, ch. viii. 4. That
therefore he intends which was signified thereby, that is, heaven itself,
as he explains it in ver. 24. The heaven of heavens, the place of the
glorious residence of the presence or majesty of God, is that whereinto
2. His entrance itself into this place is asserted. EktjjAS'ev, ' He
VER. 12.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 89
entered.' This entrance of Christ into heaven on his ascension may be
considered two ways. 1. As it was regal, glorious, and triumphant;
so it belonged properly to his kingly office, as that wherein he triumphed
over all the enemies of the church. See it described Eph. iv. 8 — 10,
from Ps. lxviii. 18. Satan, the world, death and hell being conquered,
and all power committed to him, he entered triumphantly into heaven.
So it was regal. 2. As it was sacerdotal. Peace and reconciliation
being made by the blood of the cross, the covenant being confirmed,
eternal redemption obtained, he entered as our high priest into the holy
place, the temple of God above, to make his sacrifice effectual to the
church, and to apply the benefits of it thereunto.
3. This he did t(pa-a'£, 'once only,' once for all. In the foregoing
description of the service of the high priest, he shows how he went
into the holy place, ' once every year,' that is, ' on one day,' wherein he
went to offer. And the repetition of this service every year proved its
imperfection, seeing it could never accomplish perfectly that whereunto
it was designed, as he argues in the next chapter. In opposition
hereunto, our high priest entered once only into the holy place, a full
demonstration that his one sacrifice had fully expiated the sins of the
4. Of this entrance of Christ, it is said, .
First. Negatively, that he did not do it, St' al/naTog rpaywv kui
fioayjiov, ' by the blood of goats and calves ;' and this is introduced
with the disjunctive negative ovde, ' neither,' which refers to what was
before denied of him, as to his entrance into the tabernacle made with
hands. He did not do so, neither did he make his entrance by the
blood of calves and goats. A difference from, and opposition to the
entrance of the high priest annually into the holy place, is intended.
It must therefore be considered how he so entered. This entrance is at
large described, Lev. xvi. And, 1. It was by the blood of a bullock
and a goat, which the apostle here renders in the plural number,
'calves and goats,' because of the annual repetition of the same sacri-
fice. 2. The order of the institution was, that first the bullock or calf
was offered, then the goat ; the one for the priest, the other for the
people. This order belonging not at all to the purpose of the apostle,
he expresseth it otherwise, ' goats and calves.'
Tpayog, is ' a goat,' a word that expresseth totum genus caprinum,
that whole kind of creature, be it young or old. So the goats of his
offering were "Tyir, ' kids,' ver. 5, that is, young he-goats ; for the precise
time of their age is not determined. So the bullock the priest offered
for himself, was, ID, juvencus ex genere bovino, which is juocr\oc, for
it expresseth genus vitulinum, ' all young cattle.' Concerning these it
is intimated in this negative as to Christ, that the high priest entered
into the holy place Si alfuiroc, ' by their blood,' which we must inquire
Two things belonged to the office of the high priest with respect to
this blood. For, 1. He was to offer the blood both of the bullock and
the goat at the altar for a sin-offering, Lev. xvi. (), 11. For it was the
blood wherewith alone atonement was to be made for sin, and that at
the altar, Lev. xvii. 11, so far is it from the truth that expiation for sin
90 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. IX.
was made only in the holy place ; and that it is so by Christ, without
blood, as the Socinians imagine. 2. He was to carry some of the
blood of the sacrifice into the sanctuary, to sprinkle it there, to make
atonement for the holy place, in the sense befoi-e declared. And the
inquiry is, which of these the apostle hath respect to ?
Some say it is the latter, and that Sia here, is put for aw, ' by,' for
'with.' He entered with the blood of goats and calves ; namely, that
which he carried with him into the holy place. So plead the Socinians
and those that follow them ; with design to overthrow the sacrifice
which Christ offered in his death and blood-shedding, confining the
whole expiation of sin in their sense of it to what is done in heaven.
But I have before disproved this surmise. And the apostle is so far
from using the particle oia improperly for aw, so to frame a comparison
between things where indeed there was no similitude, as they dream,
that he useth it on purpose to exclude the sense which aw, 'with,'
would intimate. For he doth not declare with what the high priest
entered into the holy place, for he entered with incense as well as with
blood ; but what it was, by virtue whereof, he so entered as to be
accepted with God. So it is expressly directed, Lev. xvi. 2, 3, ' Speak
unto Aaron that he come not at all times into the holy place — with a
young bullock for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering shall
he come.' Aaron was not to bring the bullock into the holy place, but
he had a right to enter into it by the sacrifice of it at the altar. Thus
therefore the high priest entered into the holy place, 'by the blood of
goats and calves,' namely, by virtue of the sacrifice of their blood
which he had offered without at the altar. And so all things do
exactly correspond between the type and the antitype. For,
Secondly. It is affirmed positively of him, that he entered by his own
blood, and that in opposition unto the other way ; Sia $s tov idiov al/ua-
toq (§s for aX\a) ' but by his own blood.' It is a vain speculation, con-
trary to the analogy of faith, and destructive of the true nature of the
oblation of Christ, and inconsistent with the dignity of his person, that
he should carry with him into heaven a part of that material blood which
was shed for us on the earth. This some have invented to maintain a
comparison in that wherein none is intended. The design of the apostle
is only to declare by virtue of what he entered as a priest into the holy
place ; and this was by virtue of his own blood when it was shed, when
he offered himself unto God. This was that which laid the foundation
of, and gave him right unto, the administration of his priestly office in
heaven. And hereby were all those good things procured, which he
effectually communicates unto us in and by that administration.
This exposition is the centre of all gospel mysteries, the object of the
admiration of angels and men unto all eternity. What heart can con-
ceive, what tongue can express, the wisdom, grace, and love, that is con-
tained therein ! This alone is the stable foundation of faith in our
access unto God. Two things present themselves unto us.
1. The unspeakable love of Christ in offering himself and his own
blood for us; see Gal. ii. 20; Rev. i. 5 ; 1 John hi. 16; Eph. v. 26,
27. There being no other way whereby our sins might be purged and
expiated, ch. x. 5 — 7, out of his infinite love and gra ce, he con-
descended unto this way, whereby God might be glorified, and his
VIR. I,'?.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS.