no more, to bear sin, to expiate it, and thereby to take away death so
far as it was penal.
2. As after death men must appear again the second time to judg-
ment, to undergo condemnation thereon ; so after his once offering to
take away sin and death, Christ shall appear the second time to free us
from judgment, and to bestow on us eternal salvation.
In this interpretation of the words, I do not exclude the use of the
comparison, nor the design of the apostle to illustrate the one offering
of Christ once offered, by the certainty of the death of men once only,
for these things do illustrate one another as so compared. But withal
VER. 27, 28.] EPISTLE TO THli HEBREWS. 199
I judge, there is more in them than a mere comparison between things
no way related one to another, but only have some mutual resemblance,
in that they fall out but once. Yea, there seems not to be much light,
nor any thing of argument, in a comparison so arbitrarily framed. But
consider these things in their mutual relation and opposition one to the
other, which are the same with that of the law and the gospel, and there
is much of light and argument in the comparing of them together. For
whereas the end of the death, suffering, and offering of Christ was to
take away and remove the punishment due to sin, which consisted in
this, that men should once die, and but once, and afterwards come to
judgment and condemnation according to the sentence of the law. And
it was convenient to divine wisdom, that Christ for that end should die,
suffer, offer once only, and afterwards bring them for whom he died to
And this is the proper sense of naO' baov, in quantum, which inter-
preters know not what to make of in this place, but endeavour variously
to change and alter. Some pretend that some copies read tcaO' bv, and
one, Kad' 6, which they suppose came from kciOioq. But the only reason
why the word is not liked, is because the sense is not understood. Take
the mind of the apostle aright, and his expression is proper to his pur-
pose. Wherefore, there is in these verses an entire opposition and
comparison between the law and the gospel ; the curse due to sin, and
the redemption that is by Christ Jesus. And we may observe, that,
Obs. I. God hath eminently suited our relief, the means and causes
of our spiritual deliverance, to our misery, the means and causes of it ;
as that his own wisdom and grace may be exalted, and our faith estab-
lished. â€” That which is here summarily represented by our apostle in
this elegant antithesis, he declares at large, Rom. v. from ver. 12, to the
end of the chapter.
But we proceed with the interpretation of the words. Tn the first
part of the antithesis and comparison, ver. 27, there are three things
asserted. 1. The death of men. 2. The judgment that ensues; and,
3. The cause of them both. The last is first to be explained.
AwoKeirai, 'it is appointed,' 'determined,' 'enacted,' statutum est. It
is so by him who hath a sovereign power and authority in and over
these things ; and it hath the force of an unalterable law, which none
can transgress. God himself hath thus appointed it ; none else can
determine and dispose of these things. And the word equally respects
both parts of the assertion, death and judgment. They are both equally
from the constitution of God, which is the cause of them both.
The Socinians do so divide these things, that one of them, namely,
death, they would have to be natural; and the other, or judgment, from
the constitution of God ; which is not to interpret but to contradict the
words. Yea, death is that which in the first place and directly is
affirmed to be the effect of this divine constitution, being spoken of as
it is penal, by the curse of the law for sin ;- and judgment falls under
the same constitution, as consequential thereunto. But if death, as
they plead, be merely and only natural, they cannot refer it to the same
divine constitution with the future judgment, which is natural in no
sense at all.
200 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. IX.
Death was so far natural from the beginning, as that the frame and
constitution of our nature were in themselves liable and subject there-
unto. But that it should actually have invaded our nature to its disso-
lution, without the intervention of its meritorious cause in sin, is contrary
to the original state of our relation to God, the nature of the covenant
whereby we were obliged to obedience, the reward promised therein,
with the threatening of death in case of disobedience. Wherefore, the
law, statute, or constitution here related unto, is no other but that of
Gen. ii. 17, ' In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die,' with
that addition, ' Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return,' Gen.
iii. 19. God enacted it as an everlasting law concerning Adam and all
his posterity, that they should die, and that once, as they were once
taken out of the dust. But in the words of God before mentioned,
there are two things. 1. A penal law enacted, Gen. ii. 17. 2. A ju-
dicial sentence denounced, Gen. iii. 19; not only death, but future
judgment also, was appointed thereby.
Thus ' it is appointed to men,' avdpwiroig, that is, to all men, or men
indefinitely, without exception ; it is their lot and portion. It is ap-
pointed to men, not merely as men, but as sinners, as sinful men. For
it is of sin and the effects of it, with their removal by Christ, that the
It is appointed to them airoQavuv, ' to die,' that is, penally, for sin,
as death was threatened in that penal statute mentioned in the curse of
the law ; and death, under that consideration alone, is taken away by
the death of Christ. The sentence of dying naturally, is continued
towards all ; but the moral nature of dying, with the consequents of it,
are removed from some by Christ ; the law is not absolutely reversed,
but what was formerly penal in it is taken away.
Obs. II. Death in the first constitution of it was penal. â€” And the
entrance of it as a penalty keeps the fear of it in all living. Yea, it
was by the law eternally penal. Nothing was to come after death but
Obs. III. It is still penal, eternally penal to all unbelievers. â€” But
there are false notions of it amongst men, as there are of all other things.
Some are afraid of it when the penalty is separated from it. Some, on
the other hand, look on it as a relief, and so either seek it or desire it ; to
whom it will prove only an entrance to judgment. It is the interest of all
living to inquire diligently what death will be to them.
Obs. IV. The death of all is equally determined 'and certain in God's
constitution. â€” It hath various ways of approach to all individuals.
Hence is it generally looked on as an accident befalling this or that
man. But the law concerning it is general and equal.
The second part of the assertion is, that 'after this is the judgment.'
This, by the same divine, unalterable constitution, is appointed to all.
' God hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righte-
ousness.' Death makes not an end of men, as some think, others hope,
and many would desire it should : ipsa mors nihil et post mortem nihil.
But there is something yet remaining which death is subservient to.
Hence it is said to be jueto Se tovto, 'after this.' As surely as men die,
it is sure that somewhat else follows after death. This is the force of
the particle Â§Â«, 'but;' 'but after it.' Now this 'after' cloth not denote
VER. 27, 28.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 201
the immediate succession of one thing to another ; if one go before, and
the other certainly follow after, whatever length of time be interposed
between them, the assertion is true and proper. Many have been long
dead, probably the most that shall die, and yet judgment is not come
after. But it shall come in its appointed season, and so as that nothing
shall interpose between death and judgment, to make any alteration in
the state or condition of the persons concerned in them. The souls of
them that are dead are yet alive, but are utterly incapable of any change
in their condition between death and judgment. As death leaves men,
so shall judgment find them.
The second part of this penal constitution is, Koiaig, 'judgment ;'
' after death judgment.' It is not a particular judgment on every indi-
vidual person immediately on his death, although such a judgment there
be, for in and by death there is a declaration made concerning the eter-
nal condition of the deceased. But judgment here is opposed to the
second appearance of Christ to the salvation of believers, which is the
great or general judgment of all at the last day. Kptmg and Kpifia, used
with respect to this day, or taken absolutely, do signify a condemnatory
sentence only ; avaaraaig uptaewg, ' the resurrection of,' or ' to judg-
ment,' is opposed to avacrTamg Z,wr\g, * the resurrection of,' or ' to life,'
John v. 29. See ver. 22 â€” 24. So is it here used, 'judgment,' that is,
condemnation for sin, follows after death in the righteous constitution
of God, by the sentence of the law. And as Christ by his death doth
not take away death absolutely, but only as it was penal ; so on his se-
cond appearance, he doth not take away judgment absolutely, but only
as it is a condemnatory sentence with respect to believers. For as we
must all die, so ' we must all appear before his judgment-seat,' Rom.
xiv. 10. But as he hath promised that those that believe in him ' shall
not see death, for they are passed from death unto life,' they shall not
undergo it as it is penal ; so also he hath, that they shall not come tig
Kpiaiv, (the word here used) ' into judgment,' John v. 24. They shall
be freed from the condemnatory sentence of the law. â€” For the nature
and manner of this judgment, see the exposition on ch. vi. 5. This
then is the sense of the words. Whereas, therefore, or inasmuch as
this is the constitution of God, that man, sinful man, shall once die,
and afterwards be judged or condemned for sin ; which would have been
the event with all, had not a relief been provided, which in opposition
hereunto is declared in the next verse. And no man that dies in sin,
shall ever escape judgment.
Ver. 28. â€” This verse gives us the relief provided in the wisdom and
grace of God, for and from this condition. And there is in the words,
1. The redditivc note of comparison and opposition, 'so.' 2. The sub-
ject spoken of; the offering of Christ. 3. The end of it: 'to bear the
sin of many.' 4. The consequent of it, which must be spoken to dis-
1. The redditive note is ourtu, 'so,' 'in like manner,' in answer to
that state of things, and for the remedy against it, in a blessed conde-
cency to divine wisdom, goodness, and grace.
2. The subject spoken of is the offering of Christ. But it is here
mentioned passively, irpoatvtxBetg, ' he was offered.' Most frequently
202 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. IX.
it is expressed by ' his offering of himself,' ' the sacrifice he offered of
himself.' For as the virtue of his offering depends principally on the
dignity of his person, so his human soul, his mind, will, and affections,
with the fulness of the graces of the Spirit resident and acting in them,
did concur to the efficacy of his offering, and were necessary to render
it an act of obedience, ' a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour to God,'
Eph. v. 2. Yea, hereon principally depended his own glory, which
arose not merely from his suffering, but from his obedience therein,
Phil. ii. 7, 8. Wherefore, he is most frequently said to offer himself.
1 . Because of the virtue communicated to his offering by the dignity of
his person. 2. Because he was the only priest that did offer. 3. Be-
cause his obedience therein was so acceptable to God. 4. Because this
expresseth his love to the church ; â– he loved it, and gave himself for it.'
But as himself offered, so his offering was himself. His whole entire
human nature was that which was offered. Hence it is thus passively
expressed. Christ was offered, that is, he was not only the priest who
offered, but the sacrifice that was offered. Both were necessary that
Christ should offer, and that Christ should be offered. And the reason
why it is here so expressed, is because his offering is spoken of as it
was by death and suffering. For having affirmed, that if he must often
offer he must often suffer, and compared his offering to the once dying
of men penally, it is plain that the offering intended is in and by suffer-
ing. ' Christ was offered,' is the same with 'Christ suffered, ' Christ
died.' And this expression is utterly irreconcileable to the Socinian
notion of the oblation of Christ. For they would have it to consist in
the presentation of himself in heaven, eternally free from, and above all
sufferings, which cannot be the sense of this expression, ' Christ was
The circumstance of his being thus offered, is, that it was aira.%,
1 once only.' This, joined, as it is here, with a word in the preter tense,
can signify nothing but an action or passion then past and determined.
It is not any present continued action, such as is the presentation of
himself in heaven, that can be signified hereby.
3. The end of Christ's being thus once offered, and which his one
offering did perfectly effect, was, eig to ttoXXwv a/uLaoTiag avtveyicetv,
1 to bear the sins of many.' There is an antithesis between iroWwv ' of
many, and avOpwirotg, ' unto men,' in the verse foregoing. ' Men,'
expressed indefinitely in that necessary proposition, intends all men
universally. Nor, as we have shown, is there any exception against the
rule, by a few instances of exemption by the interposition of divine
sovereignty. But the relief which is granted by Christ, though it be
unto men indefinitely, yet it extends not to all universally, but to many
of them only. That it doth not so extend unto all eventually, is con-
fessed. And this expression is declarative of the intention of God, or
of Christ himself in his offering ; see Eph. v. 25, 26. He was thus
offered for those ' many,' to bear their sins, as we render the words.
It is variously translated, as we have seen before, and various senses
are sought after by expositors. Grotius wholly follows the Socinians
in their endeavours to pervert the sense of this word. It is not from
any difficulty in the word, but from men's hatred unto the truth, that
they put themselves on such endeavours. And this whole attempt lies
VEK. 27, 28.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 203
in finding out one or two places where avcupzpu) signifies 'to takeaway;'
for the various signification of a word used absolutely in any other
place, is sufficient for these men to confute its necessary signification in
any context. But the matter is plain in itself; Christ did bear sin, or
take it away, as he was offered, as he was a sacrifice for it. This is
here expressly affirmed: he was offered 'to bear the sins of many.'
This he did, as the sacrifices did of old, as unto their typical use and
efficacy. A supposition hereof, is the sole foundation of the whole dis-
course of the apostle. But they bare sin, or took away sin, (not to
contend about the mere signification of the word,) no otherwise but by
the imputation of the sin unto the beast that was sacrificed, whereon it
was slain, that atonement might be made with its blood. This I have
before sufficiently proved. So Christ bare the sins of many ; and so
the signification of this word is determined and limited by the apostle
Peter, by whom alone it is used on the same occasion, 1 Pet. ii. 24, 6?
rag afxapriag ripwv avrog aviivtynev tv Ttp crtopari avrov trri to suXov,
' who himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree.' That place,
compared with this, doth utterly evert the Socinian fiction, of the obla-
tion of Christ in heaven. He was offered avtvsyictiv, ' to bear the sins
of many.' When did he do it ? How did he do it ? avtiveyntv, ' He
bare our sin in his own body on the tree.' Wherefore then he offered
himself for them. And this he did in his suffering.
Moreover, wherever in the Old Testament kid: is translated by ava-
fpw in the LXX. as Numb. xiv. 33 ; Isa. liii. 12, or by 0epw with
reference unto sin, it constantly signifies to ' bear the punishment of
it.' Yea, it doth so when, with respect unto the event, it is rendered
by atyepsiv, as it is, Lev. x. 17. And the proper signification of the
word is to be taken from the declaration of the thing signified by it,
' He shall bear their iniquities,' Isa. liii. 11, ^inDi, ' bear it as a burden
upon him.' He was offered once, so as that he suffered therein. As
he suffered, he bare our iniquities, and as he was offered, he made atone-
ment for them. And this is not opposed unto the appearance of men
before God at the last day, but unto their death, which they were once
to undergo. Wherefore,
Obs. V. The ground of the expiation of sin by the offering of Christ
is this, that therein he bare the guilt and punishment due unto it.
Upon this offering of Christ, the apostle supposeth what he had be-
fore declared, namely, ' that he entered into heaven to appear in the
presence of God for us ;' and hereon he declares what is the end of all
this dispensation of God's grace. ' Unto them that look for him, he
shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.' And he
shows, 1. What, de facto, Christ shall yet do : ' He shall appear.' 2.
To whom he shall so appear : ' Unto them that look for him.' 3. In
what manner : ' Without sin.' 4. Unto what end : ' Unto salvation.'
5. In what order: ' The second time.'
1. The last thing mentioned is first expressed, and must first be ex-
plained. Ek Sevrtpov, 'the second time.' The Scripture is express
unto a double appearing or coming of Christ. The first was his com-
ing in the flesh, coming into the world, coming unto his own, namely,
lu discharge the work of his mediation, especially to make atonement
for sin in the sacrifice of himself, unto the accomplishment all promises
204 AN EXPOSITION OP THE [CH. IX.
made concerning it, and all types instituted for its representation. The
second is in glory, unto the judgment of all, when he shall finish and
complete the eternal salvation of the church. Any other personal ap-
pearance or coming of Christ the Scripture knows not, and in this place
expressly excludes any imagination of it. His first appearance is past;
and appear the second time he will not, until that judgment comes which
follows death, and the salvation of the church shall be completed. Af-
terward there will be no farther appearance of Christ in the discharge of
his office ; for God shall be all in all.
2. That which he affirms of him is, o^S^o-srat, ' he shall appear unto,'
'he shall be seen of.' There shall be a public vision and sight of him.
He was seen on the earth in the days of his flesh : he is now in heaven,
where no mortal eye can see him, within the veil of that glory which we
cannot look into. The heavens must receive him unto the time of the
restitution of all things. He can indeed appear unto whom he pleaseth,
by an extraordinary dispensation. So he was seen of Stephen standing
at the right hand of God, Acts vii. So he appeared unto Paul,
1 Cor. xv. 8. But as unto the state of the church in general, and in the
discharge of his mediatory office, he is not seen of any. So the high
priest was not seen of the people after his entrance into the holy place,
until he came forth again. Even concerning the person of Christ, we
live by faith and not by sight.
Obs. VI. It is the great exercise of faith to live on the invisible act-
ings of Christ on the behalf of the church. So also the foundation of it
doth consist in our infallible expectation of his second appearance, of
our seeing him again, Acts i. 11. We know that our Redeemer liveth,
and we shall see him with our eyes. While he is thus invisible, the
world triumpheth as if he were not. Where is the promise of his com-
ing ? The faith of many is weak. They cannot live upon his invisible
actings. But here is the faith and patience of the church, of all sincere
believers ; in the midst of all discouragements, reproaches, temptations,
sufferings, they can relieve and comfort their souls with this, that their
Redeemer liveth, and that he shall appear again the second time, in his
appointed season. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit and ex-
pression of their faith, ' Even so come, Lord Jesus.' The present long
continued absence of Christ in heaven is the great trial of the world.
God doth give the world a trial by faith in Christ, as he gave it a trial
by obedience in Adam. Faith is tried by difficulties. When Christ
did appear, it was under such circumstances as turned all unbelievers
from him. His state was then a state of infirmity, reproach, and suffer-
ing. Heappeai'ed in the flesh. Now he is in glory, he appeareth not.
As many refused him when he appeared, because it was in outward
weakness, so many refuse him now he is in glory, because he appeareth
not. Faith alone can conflict with and conquer these difficulties. And
it hath sufficient evidences of this return of Christ, 1. In his faithful
word of promise. The promise of his coming recorded in the Scripture,
is the ground of our faith herein. 2. In the continual supplies of his
Spirit, which believers do receive. This is the great pledge of his me-
diatory life in heaven, of the continuance of his love and care towards
the church, and consequently the great assurance of his second coming.
VER. 27, 28.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 205
3. In the daily evidences of his glorious power, put forth in eminent acts
of providence, for the protection, preservation, and deliverance of the
church, which is an uninterrupted assurance of his future appearance.
He hath determined the day and season of it, nor shall all the abuse
that is made of his seeming delay in coming, hasten it one moment.
And he hath blessed ends of his not appearing before the appointed
season, though the time seem long to the church itself. As, 1. That the
world may fill up the measure of its iniquities, to make way for its eter-
nal destruction 2. That the whole number of the elect may be gathered
in. Though days of trouble are sometimes shortened for their sakes,
that they may not faint after they are called, Matt. xxiv. 22, yet are
they also in general continued, that there may be time for the calling of
them all. 3. That all the graces of his people may be exercised and
tried unto the utmost. 4. That God may have his full revenue of
glory from the new creation, which is the first-fruits of the whole.
5. That all things may be ready for the glory of the great day.
3. To whom shall he thus appear ? Of whom shall he be thus seen ?
rote avrov airo^t\ofievoig' ' To them that look for him.' But the Scrip-
ture is plain and express in other places, that he shall appear unto all ;
shall be seen of all, even of his enemies, Rev. i. 7. And the work that
he hath to do at his appearance, requires that so it should be. For he
comes to judge the world in general; and in particular to plead with
ungodly men about their ungodly deeds and speeches, Jude 15. So
therefore must and shall it be. His second illustrious appearance shall
fill the whole world with the beams of it : the whole rational creation of
God shall see and behold him. But the apostle treats of his appear-
ance here with respect unto the salvation of them unto whom he doth
appear. He shall appear, etc
word, ' unto salvation, is capable of a double explication. For it may
refer unto them that look for him; 'that look for him unto salvation,'
that is, that look to be saved by him. Or it may do so unto his appear-
ance: ' He shall appear unto the salvation of them that look for him.'
The sense is good either way.
This looking for the coming of Christ, which is a description of faith
by a principal effect and fruit of it, called also waiting, expecting, long-
ing, earnest expectation, consists in five things. 1. Steadfast faith of
his coming and appearance. This is in the foundation of Christian reli-
gion. And whatever the generality of hypocritical nominal Christians
profess, there are uncontrollable evidences and demonstrations that they
believe it not. 2. Love unto it, as that which is most desirable, which
contains in it every thing wherein the soul takes delight and satisfaction ;
1 that love his appearing,' 2 Tim. iv. 8. 3. Longing for it, or desires
after it : ' Even so come, Lord Jesus ; ' that is, ' come quickly,' Rev. xxii.
20. If the saints of the Old Testament longed after his appearance in