John Owen.

An exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews; with the preliminary exercitations (Volume 2) online

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himfelf and his will !

(4.) Becaufe it is final. * Laft of all, he feni. his Son.'
No new, no farther revelation of God, is to be expe£ted
in this world, but what is made by Jefus Chrift, To
this only we mufi: attend, or (dreadful, yet equitable al-
ternative ! j we are loll for ever ! — In fhort, the true and
only way of honouring Chrift, as the Son of God, is by
diligent attention and cheerful obedience to his gofpel.
The apoftle having evidenced his glory as the Son of
God, draws this as the moft important inference from it.
Thus alfo he himfelf; * If ye love me, keep my com-
* mandments.' Where there is no obedience to the word>
there is no faith in, nor love to Jefus Chrift.

Verses 2—4.

for if the word spoken by angels was stf.dfast
and every transgression and disobedience
received a just recompence of reward ; how
shall we escape, if we neglect so great sal-
vation; which at the first began to bb
spoken by the lord, and was confirmed un-
to us by them that heard him ; god also
bearing them witness, both with signs and
wonders, and divers miracles, and giftb of
the holy ghost, according to his own will.

§ I. Connexion and f:opc of the iL'ords. § 2. — 9. (I.) Their

cxpofition. § 10. (II.) Obfervations, I. Threatenings

are evangelical, and of fingular ufe, § 1 1 . This farther

Vol. II. S p-Qved,


proved. § 12, 13. 2. JIl piitiiJhmcHtSarc effcfis of vin-
diii'ive juftice. § 14. 3. T}?e concernments of the law and
gcfpel are to he weighed by believers. § 15. 4. Divine
revelation is flcdfafl. § 16 — 22. 5. T'he gofpel bein^
a great falvation^ whofocvcr ncgUdeth it fhall therefore
unavoidably perifh.

§ I. A N thefe verfcs the apofllc profccutes his exhorta-
tion laid down in that foregoing, with the addition of
many peculiar enforcements. If a difregard to the lavj
was attended with a fare and fore revenge, how much
more muft the negle£t o{ the gofpel be fo. The words
conlift of two general parts— a dcfcription of the law —
and, a dcfcription of the gofpel.

§ 2. * For if the word fpoken by angels was flcdfafl.'
The law, is called by a periphrafis, ' the word fpoken, or
* pronounced, by angels.' The Greek word [y^oyoq)
is very varioufly ufed in the New Teflamcnt, and I*s
here taken for a fyflcm of do£lrines ; and by the addition-
of the term (KaKrfisig) fpoken, as publilhcd, preached or
declared. Thus the gofpel from the principal fubjc£l mat-
ter of it, is called (0 K&yog li (TiocvJi.) [I. Cor. i. 18.]
the word, the do£lrinc, the preaching concerning the crofs^
or Chrifl crucified. So here {J^oyog) the * word,' is the
doftrinc of the law ; that is, the law itfelf fpoken and
promulgated {Taa. c/.yy'c'Kucv) b\ angels ; that is, by the mi-
niflry of angels. Having newly inlilled on a comparifon
between Chrill: and the angels, his argument is greatly
corroborated when it is confidered, that the law was,

* the word fpoken by angels,' but the gofpel was deli-
vered by the vSox, who is fo far exalted above them. It
is no where affirmed, that the \:\w was ' given by angels ;*
but that the people * received it bv the deputation of

* angels ;' and that it was * ordained' by angels, and here

* fpoken' by them. From hence it is evident, that not
the original authoritative giving of the law, but the nil-
niflerial ordering of things in its promulgation, is that
which is afcribcd to angels. They raifcd the fire and


^^ , ,o,u- they framed the

fcoke, they ftook and rent t^e ^^^ ^^ -^ ^^.^^^^^^ .,
i-out.d of the trumpet, they e ^^ ^^^^ ^^_^^ ^^ ^,^,

,hich conveyed the - °f^/ ^^ Wifbed the law ;
people . and therein P^^; ■■ J^,^„ {^ .ngcls.'
thereby ■^became thej P ^^ ^,^^ ^^^^,

And that m t^e^ wo ds ^^^^ .^^^^^^„g,,,,y parucles
argument .s man. eft ^^^^^ ^^^^ p„bh(hed to ou.

C'-r-p) ,/- '-^^J'; fo vh.dicated againftthe d>fobe-
S::; L^ri mi fhaU the neglea of the gofpel be

revenged. ^^ tl,„s pubhihed, that it

He afhrms « tU ^ ^^ ^^^^^^^^^ ^„ ,f.

was (,G3,' >- ^'^■^^tfa'na he people. That peac«
fored covenant between G<k1 - J ^ P ^ J^ _^; ,^.^ ^_.^,,,)
.vhich is firm and well g'-°""'l!j^^^ l^^,^ tecounng hrm.
. . a firm tmalterable P«'«, ^ ;„ it3 being ratified to
1-ure, or ftedfaft, confift thereto ^^^^^_ ^_

be the covenantbetween God and P^^^^^ ^.^^^ ^^

xxvi. IS-] , „r<Trrffion and ftubborn difobe-

. ,. . And every "anfgrcfhon ^ ^^^^^^

. dlnce received a meet ,.mbut. • ^^^^^^^^^^^^ , ^^^^

.vord (7r«p.-|3<r,f) '^ /^"f/^^f.iot- obedient attendance

other (,r«p«KO.) '^^t extend d to every fin and tranf-
But how may this be extendc ^^^^^ ^^^^ j^^

greffion. feeing it is "^"^^/T; atonements ? We
tvcre not puninred, but ^''P f^^;,^7^„„,„,y to the doc-
ftouUl remember, ^f . every i>n was^^^^^^^^^T ^^_^^^,^,^^^,,,
tvine and precepts of th law ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^

.vas affigned to every im hou ^ ^^^^^^^^^

finner. And fo the word (^>.« A ) ,„„ftitution of

tue aaual mfl.aionof pmlbment b^^ ^^^^ ^.^^ .^^^^^

it in the fanaion of the 1^_^ l„,.e been due,

atonement "'^-^^^^^^^^ ^cr.. Rot the fins,
though the finncr was vel-^ed a a ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^

efpeeialiy intended by the apoltie, ^,^^.^

c^enant being broken tl" ^nnL 7'"'^''°" ^ ^"^^l-
"!"cy; and thus to be ut er v elt '° '" ""''"^

f God, or thatof n^an bJS'aoo "''"''' '>' '''= ''^^^
f°- the fins againft the g^ X: '"" ''"' '''"-
'•-' not ail tranfgreflionf or 'n ' «^<= «PPofed to thofe.
-•^>; be guilty ol but ZJ apo'fl! '""■"' ^'"' P-'-^'r°"
-"cler the doftrine of i to^^^f^r' ^ ""'^^'"^' ^^'"■^'^
f".pt.on, altogeti>er unpr^fitab T ° ""= °^ ^'^« "' -

' '-^-ard- (,a«o, u..a-wt '• ' J"" ^^compence of
'.-A P-PortionaSe to tX'^;;. ' — Pence,,^ ,nj
Judgement of God, which i' ' Z' h"°''"S '° "-
fi" are worthy of death ■' [rL ^'^ ''"''° ^^-^'nit

ly refers to the temporal 'p„„iZ' '' '"^ ^'"^ Part.cular-
t'^e 'and of the liviL accor '"' °' "'"'"S off from
the law which the If^'el te IJ''^-" "" '^'^P-fat.on of
i0W3adefcript.„.,4 - -;^^^^

f"l^jca -atte"fpok",o1.'"ro"r'^ 'l^ °"— Tl-e
t'>er defcription of it . f°L ,-f° ^■■.'■" '^^'"tion.'-A far-
' gan to be fpoken o/ b^S^ Lo?;'''^'^P "'*°^' ' " ^^•
of us propagation ; . if w^s ctnf, 7'°'" *^ '"='""^^
' «''« i,card it. '-From t ^ '°" ""'' "'"" "= ^y them

; s"ts of the Ho,; dhort'-if 'f ,7 "°^'^ ^"^ "-o-

Jd : '. -Mve neglea ;• and final; I" "'^^'^^ '^ '""fP-
°f >s nnimated ; ' how ftall 7 P""""™ent there-
to be feveraiiy explained T "I"'"' ■^"^^'"- -
expreffed in thefe words < f„ '■Z^'^-^^^' '""«" treated of is

; - the ,.Aa-/ whicl t i,„if7« ';'"''°n-' And tha
^-t fron. the preceding S'";."' - ","P-ffi°n. i^ evi-
.""^■d ' the word wlnci we ," T' "''"'' '^ ^' -
'gteat falvation:' as alWr '"''' " ^'''' ""ed

"•'^;- " is fi.,d to be didT 'T r'°"°^""S words,
and farther ' propieit..^ , , P"^"" ^v the Lord •'

'ff^a for the caufe. .f^"T ^y "^ ""^tonymy of the

' " " '^'= g^a« of God bring-

Ver.j_4. epistle to the HEBREWS.- ,31
• ing fa!vatio„,.> [Titus .i. , i.] The word that is able
to us. The doarine, the difcovery, the inllrumcn-
tal efficent caufe of falvatio.i. [Rom. i. 16. 1 Cor i
20, 21. j ■ ' ■

§ 5- The apoftle farther defcribes tl>e gofpel from its
prwapM author or revealer; ' which at firft be-an to b=
Ipo.en by the Lord.' Here the word («p,,,,) denotes b..
pnmng, (p,,na,u,m lemporhj ' the beginning of time ' That
IS, .t began ,n its open, clear and adual revelation to be
fpoken by the Lord hi.nfelf, and was carried to perfeftio.
by thofe who were appo.nted and enabled by him for tint
nobe purpoe. [Job . :;, .g.l Thus L it dec W
bgnm .n h,s own perfon, as the law was given by

§ 6. He farther defcribes the gofpel from the «.«v and
means of n, conveyance to us ; ' it was confirmed unto us
by them that heard him.' And herein alfo he pre
vents an objection that might arife in the minds of' ij
Hebrews : ,nah„uch as they, at leaft the greateft pa t
o. them were not acquainted with the perfoLl minir
of the Lord ; they heard not the word fpoken by him
Hereunto the apoftle replies ; that though they tjJZ',
heard huB not, yet the fame word which he pre t

Z 'T "fl ''''"''' "^"^ "'■■^' - '^' ""to them.Tv ofe
that heard h,m. ' Thofe that heard him,' is a peHp Ira
I ot . the apoftles.' from that great privilege'of t"e r
l>eanng unmed.ately all thofe things that our Lord taud t

ill 1, t 1 '' " ^'^ P-^^'^o-nced or heard by a.-

feels but had u confirmed to them by ways and mea^,s of
God s appomtment. And he doth not fay merely that
the word was taught, or preached by them • buTT O^

"•o^efi^, ftedfaft, and fure ».W. A:^ this infalhble



certainty of their word was from their divine infpira-

&' 7 Our infpircd teacher farther defcribes the gofpel
by the Hhinc alicftatlom given it, which alfo adds greatly
to the force of his argument and exhortation. The
word (^vvi^m«p7up«v7oc, agreeing with tk 0») is of a
doul,le compoUtion, denoting a ' concurring teft.mony
• of God,' a tcliiraony given unto, or together with that
of the apoftlcs. Thefc miraculous tokens are various.
The firft are (o-;iu.=;«) A"s ; that is, miraculous works,
Tsrou^ht to fignify the prcfcncc of God by his power with
thcm^that wrouc;ht them, in confirmation ot the doctrine
which they tauglit. The fccond arc (rrpo^ry.) proc/,^:cs
^vonders, works beyond the nature, above the energy of
natural caufes, wrought to fill men with wonder and ad-
miration, ftirring them up to a diligent attention to the
doftrine they accompanied. Thirdly, (Svv^/xi/f) r«,.hly
..orks, wherein evidently a mighty power the power of
God, is exerted in their operation. And fourthly, {-rrviv-
ualoi «v;« ps.'^/^c,) ^ifts of the Holy Ghofi.

And ihis was of fpecial confidcration in dealing with
the Hebrews. For the delivery of the law, and the mi-
niftrv of Mofes, having been accompanied with many
figns'and prodigies, they made great inquiry after J,;.,
for the confirmation of the gofpel, [I. Cor. i. -2. J
which though our Lord neither in his own perfon, nor
bv his apoliles. would grant them in ihar time and man-
ner, to fatisfy their wicked and carnal curiofity, yet in
bis »u.„ way and feafon he exhibited them abundantly for
their conviaion, or to leave them utterly .nexcufaole.

^""ts ''■rS'gofp^i '^^'"5 °f »'»' "'*"''■ '''"' ""^'''' *!-'".'
delivered, thus confirmed, there is a ,.^A-.V of it iuppo cd,
(ver. 3. «/x.=A.a-«v7^=f) ' It" we neglea,' .f vve regard not,
f . . take not due care about it. The word nUimates an
omiffion of all thofc duties which are neceflary tor our
profitable retaining the word preached =«";> *=";° ^^
; degree as utterly to reieft it; for it anfwers to ihoK
.ranfgveftions of, and ftubborn difobcd.cKCC to the av^


which difaniiuUed it as a covenant, and were punifhed
with excifion. * If we negle<5^ i' that is, if we continue
not in a diligent obfervancc of all thole duties which arc
indifpenfably neceflary to a holy, ufeful, profitable profef-
lion of the gofpel.

§ 9. There is an awful punifhment intimated upon
this linful negleft of the gofpel; ' How fhali we efcape,*
fly from or avoid, a jull retribution, ' a meet recompencft

* of reward ?' As the breach of the law had a punifh-
ment, fuitable to the demerit of the crime, inflidcd oft
the quality ; fo there is to a negle6l of the gofpel even a
punilhment juftly deferved by fo great a crime, fo much
greater and more dreadful than that attending the law, by
how much the gofpel, on account of its nature, eireds,
author, and confirmation, was more excellent than the
law. A * forer punifhment,' as our apoHle elfewherc
calls it, [chap, x.] as much exceeding the other as eter-
nal deflruftion under the curfe and wrath of God, ex-
ceeds all temporal punifhments whatever. The manner
of afcertaining the punifhment intimated, is by an inter-
rogation ; * How fhali we efcape ?' Wherein three
things are intended. (i.) A denial of any ways or
means for efcape or deliverance. There is none that can
deliver us, no way whereby we may efcape. [See Peter
iv. 17, 18.] And (2.) the certainty of the punifhment
itfelf, it will as to the event aiTuredly befal us : And (3)
the inexpreffible greatnefs of this unavoidable evil. * How
' fhali we efcape ?' We fhali not, there is no way for it,
nor ability to bear what we are, if continued negle£ters,
liable unto, [Matt, xxiii. 33. I. Pet. iv. 18.]

§ 10. (II.) The words thus explained prefent to us
many interefting obfervations.

OSf. I. Motives to a due valuation of the gofpel, and
perfeverance in the profeflion of it, taken from the pefial-
//Vj annexed to its negle6l, are c-jangelical^ and of fingular
ufe in preaching the word. * How Ihall we efcape if we

* neglc6l ?' Some would fancy, that all threatcnings be-
long to the law; as though Jefus Chrill: had left himfelf
and his gofpel to be fecurely defpifed by prophane and im-


penitent finncrs; but as tliey will find the contrary to their
eternal ruin, fo it is the will of Chrill we fhould let them
know this, and thereby warn others to take heed of their
lins and plagues.

Now thefc motives from comminations or thrcatcninss,
I call evangelical.

(i.) Becaufe they are recorded in the gofpel ; that we
are thence taught them, and thereby commanded to make
ufe of them And if the difpenfers of the word infifl not
on them, they deal deceitfully with the fouls of men, and
detain from them the whole counfel of God. And as
fuch perfons will find themfelvcs. t6 have a weak and fee-
ble miniflry here, fo alfo they will have a fad cxcount of
their * partiality in the word' to give hereafter. Let
not men think themfclves more evangelical than the author
of the gofpel, more {killed in the converiion and edifica-
tion of the fouls of men than the apoflles ; in a word,
more wife than God himfelf, which they mufl do if they
riegle6l this part of his ordinance.

(2.) Becaufe they become the gofpel. It is meet that
the gofpel fhould be armed with threatenings, as well as
attended with promifes : and that on the part of Chrift —
of finners — of belicvrrs — and of preachers. — On the part
cf ChriJ} h'lmfclf the author of it. A fcepter in a kingdom
without a fword ; or a crown without a rod of iron, will
quickly be trampled upon. Both are therefore given into
the hands of Chrifl, that the glory and honour of liis
dominion may be known. [Pfal. ii. 9 — i 2.] On the part
af f.nncrs ; yea of all to whom the gofpel is preached.—
I'd keep them in awe and reilraining fear, that they may
not boldly and openly break out in contempt of Chrift.
Tliefc are his arrows that arc fharp in the hearts of his
adverfarics, whereby he awes them. Chrifl never fuffcrs
them to be fo fecure, but that his terrors in thefc thrcat-
cnings vifit them ever and anon ; that they may be left in-
exciijablr, and the Lord Chrifl julllfied againft them at
the lafl day. He hath told them bcforeliand plainly what
tliey arc to look for, [Heb. x. 26, 27,] On the part of
believers \ even thcv fland in need to be put in mind of



the terrour of the Lord, and what a fearful thing it is to
fall in the hands of the living God ; and that even our
God is a ' confuming iire.' And this to keep up in their
hearts a conflant reverence of the majefty of Jefus Chrift
with whorn they have to do. Thefe commi nations give
them, alfo, conftant matter of pra/fe and thankfulnefs,
when they fee in them, as in a glafs that'will neither flat-
ter nor caufelellly terrify, a reprefentation of that wrath
which they are delivered from by Jefus Chrift, [L ThefT.
i. 10.] They are needful to them, moreover, to ingene-
rate u\2it fear which may check the remainder of their
/«//i and corruptions ; and to prevent y^cwnVj/ and negli-
gence in attending to the gofpel, which by means of thofe
lufls and corruptions are apt to grow upon them. The
hearts of believers are like gardens, wherein there are not
only flowers, but weeds alio; and as the former muft be
watered and cheriflied, ib the latter muft be deftroycd.
If nothing but dews and fliowers of promifes fhould fall
upon the heart, though they feem to tend only to the che-
riihing their graces, yet the weeds of corruption will be
apt to grow up with them, and in the end to choak theni,
unlefs they are blafted by the feverity of threatenings. And
notwithftanding their perfuaiions, t^at in the ufe of means
they fhall be fecured from finally falling, yet they know there
is an infallible connexion fignified in thefe awful threat-
enings, between fin and deftru£lion, [I. Cor. vi. 9.] and
they muft avoid the one, if they would efcape the other.
Hence they have ina readinefs wherewith to balance temp-
tations, efpecially fuch as accompany fufferings forChrift and
the gofpel. Liberty would be fpared, life would be fpared ;
it is hard to fuffer and to die. But arc we afraid of a man
that fhall die, more than of the living God ? Shall we, to^
avoid the anger of a worm, caft ourfelves into his wrath
who is confuming fire. Shall we, to avoid a little mo-
mentary trouble, to preferve a perifliing life, which afick-
nefs may take away to-morrow, run ourfelves into eternal
ruin ? Man threatens me if I forfake not the gofpel, but
God threatens if I do. Man threatens death temporal,
which yet it may be he fhall not have the power to infli6l ;

T God


God threatens death eternal, which no backflidcr in heart
ihaW avoid. On thefe and the like accounts are commina-
tJons ufcful even to believers. Again — Thefe declarations
of eternal punifhment to negleclers of the gofpel are be-
coming on the part of the pycacJ?ers and difpenfers of it;
that their meirage be not flighted, nor their perfons de-
Ipifcd. God would have even thtm to ' have in a rcadi-
' nefs to revenge the difobedience of men,' [II. Cor. x.
6.] not with carnal w^enpons, killing and dcltroying the
bodies of men, but by fuch a denunciation of the ven-
geance that will enfue on their difobedience, as fhall
undoubtedly take hold upon them, and end in their evcr-
laftii\g ruin.

§ I I. And this \\\\\ fart'ner appear if wc confider,

1. That thrcatcnings of future penalties on the difo-
bedient are far more clecn- and exprefs in the gofpel than
in the law. The curfe, indeed, was threatened and de-
nounced under the law, and inflances of its execution
were given in the temporal punilhments that wcie in-
flicted on the tranigreifors of it : but in the gofpel the
ymturc of this curfe is explained, and wherein it confill:eth
is made manifeil. For as eternal life was but obfcurely
prom i fed in the Old Tcflament, though really prom i fed ;
fo deatli eternal under the curfe and wrath of God was
but obfcurely threatened therein, though really threatened.
And therefore, as life and immortality were brought to
light by the gofpel, fo death and hell, the punifhment
of fin under the wrath of God, are more fully declared
therein. The nature of the judgement to come, the du-
ration of the penalties to be intiided on unbelievers, with
fuch intimations of the nature and kind of thofe punilh-
ments as our underflandings are able to receive, are fully
and frequently inililed on in the New Teflament ; whereas
they are but obfcurely inftrrcd from the writings of the
Old Teftament.

2. The punifhment threatened in the gofpel, as tr>
degrees, is greater and ' more fore' than that which was
annexed to the mere tranfgreflion of the firft covenant.
Hence the apoillc calls it, * death unto death,' [11. Cor.



ii. 16.] by reafoii of the fore aggravations which the firft
fentence of death will receive from the wrath due to a
contempt of the gofpel.

And with this ought they to be wx41 acquainted, who
are called to difpcnfc the gofpel. A foiid conceit hath
befallen fome, that all denunciations of future wrath, even
to unbelievers, is legale which therefore it doth not be-
come the preachers of the gofpel to inliil upon : fo would
men make themfelves wifer than Jefus Chrift and his
apoflles ; yea, they would difarm the Lord Chrift, and.
expofe him to the contempt of his vilell enemies. Suf-
fice it to add, that thev have been obferved to have had
the mod efFedual miniilry, both for converfion and edifi-
cation, who have been made wife and dexterous in ma-
naging gofpel comminations towards the confciences of
their hearers.

§ 12. Obf. 2. AH punilliments annexed to the tranf-
greffions either of the law or gofpel are the effects of God's
vindiciive juji'ice^ and confequently juft and equal ; * a

* meet recompence of rev^^ard.' Foolifh men have always
had tumultuating thoughts about the judgements of God.
Hence was the vain imagination of them of old, who
dreamed that an end fhould be put, after fome while, to
the punifhment of devils and wicked men : io turning
hell into a kind of purgatory. Others have prefumptu-
oufly difputed, that there fhall be no hell at all ; but a
mere annihilation of ungodly men at the laft day. That
which they feem principally to have flumbled at, is the
affignation of a punilhment infinite in duration, as well
as in its nature extended to the utmou capacity of the
fubje£l, for a fault finite, temporary, and tranfient.
Now that we may juftify the proceeding of the fupreme
Judge herein, and the more clearly difcern that the pu~
nifhment finally infii£led on fin, is but ^' a meet recom-

* pence of reward,' we muft confider that God's juftice
conftituting, and in the end inrii£ling the reward of fin,
is effcnUal to liim. ' Is God uinigliteous,' faith the
apollle, * who takcth vengeance?' [Rom. iii. 5.] The
true fountain and caufc of the punilhment of fin is the

1^ 2 jnjiicc


juftice of God, which is an cflential property of his na-
ture, and infcparablc from his works. And this, abfo-
lutclv, is the fame with his liolincfs, or the purity of his
nature. So that God doth not affign the punilhment of
iin arbitrarily, that he might do io or otherwife, without
any impeachment of his glory ; but his juftice and holi-
ncfs indifpcnfably require that it fhould be punilhed, even
as it is indifpcnfably nccclTary that God in all things
fhould be jull and holy. We have no more reafon to
quarrel with the punilhment of f.n, than we have to re-
pine that God is holy and juft, that is, that he is God.

He alone knowcth what is the true demerit of fm ; and
except from his own declaration, none of his creatures
l^now any thing of it. And how Ihall we judge of what
we know nothing of, but what we learn from him, or
gather from what he doth ? We fee amongft men, that
the guilt of crimes is aggravated according to the dignity
of the perfons againil whom they are committed. Now,
no creature knowing him perfe6lly againft whom all iin
is committed, none can truly and perfcdiy know what is
the defert and demerit of lin, but by his revelation who
is perfectly known to himfclf. And Vv'hat a madncfs is
it otherwife to judge of what we do not otherwife under-
fland ? Shall we make ourfelves judges of what fm againft
God deferves ? Let us firil by fearching find out the Al-
mighty to pcrfe£lion, and then we may know of ourfelves
what it is to fin againil him. Bcfidcs, we know not
what is the oppojttion that is made by fin to the liolincfs,
the nature, and very being of God. As we cannot know
him pcrfedlly againft whom we fin, fo we know not pcr-
fc£lly what we do when wc fin. It is but the Icaft part
of the malignity and poifon of fin,- that wc are at bcft
able to difccrn. We fee not the depth of the malicious
rcfpcct which it hath to God. And arc wc capable to
judge aright of what is its demerit ? But all thefc things
are open and naked before that infinite wifdom of God,
which accompanieth his righteoufncfs in all his works.
He knows himfclf againft whom fin is committed ; he
knows the condition of the finncr ; he knows what con-


trariety and oppofitioii there is in fin to himfelf; he
knows what it is for the dependent creature to lubdudt
jtlelf from under the government, and oppofe itfelf to
the authority and being of ihe holy creator, ruler, and
governor of all things ; in a word, he abfolutely, per-

Online LibraryJohn OwenAn exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews; with the preliminary exercitations (Volume 2) → online text (page 12 of 46)