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flesh and blood for that purpose, or die. So that this exposition con-
tradicts both the express words of the apostle and also the whole
design of his discourse. No proposition can be more plain than this
is, that the power of Satan was destroyed by the death of Christ;
which in this interpretation of the words is denied.

5. And hence it lastly appears what was the delivery that was
'procured for the children by this dissolution of the power of Satan.
It respects both what they feared and what ensued on their fear;
that is, death and bondage. For the delivery here intended is not
merely a consequent of the destruction of Satan, but hath regard
unto the things themselves about which the power of Satan was
exercised. They were obnoxious unto death, on the guilt of sin, as
penal, as under the curse, as attended with hell or everlasting misery.
This he delivered the children from, by making an atonement for
their sins in his death, virtually loosing their obligation thereunto,
and procuring for them " eternal redemption," as shall afterwards be
fully declared. Hereon also they are delivered from the bondage


before described. The fear of death being taken away, the bondage
that ensues thereon vanisheth also. And these things, as they are
done virtually and legally in the death of Christ, so they are
actually accomplished in and towards the children, upon the appli-
cation of the death of Christ unto them, when they do believe. And
we may now close our consideration of these verses with one or two
other observations ; as, —

X. The death of Christ, through the wise and righteous disposal
of God, is victorious, all-conquering, and prevalent.

The aim of the world was to bring him unto death ; and therein
they thought they had done with him. The aim of Satan was so
also; who thereby supposed he should have secured his own king-
dom. And what could worldly or satanical wisdom have imagined
otherwise? He that is slain is conquered. His own followers were
ready to think so. " We trusted," say they, " that it had been he
which should have redeemed Israel," Luke xxiv. 21, But he is
dead; and their hopes are with him in the grave. What can be
expected from him who is taken, slain, crucified? Can he save
others, who it seems could not save himself? " Per mortem alterins,
stultum est sperare salutem;" — " Is it not a foolish thing to look for
life by the death of another?" This was that which the pagans of
old reproached the Christians withal, that they believed in one that
was crucified and died himself; and what could they expect from
him? And our apostle tells us that this death, this cross, was a
.stumbling-block unto the Jews and folly to the Greeks, 1 Cor.
i. 18, 23. And so would it have been in itself. Acts ii. 13, had not
the will, and counsel, and wisdom, and grace of God been in it. Acts
iv. 28. 1 But he ordered things so, that this death of Christ should pull
out that pin which kept together the whole fabric of sin and Satan,
— that, like Samson, he should in his death pull down the palace of
Satan about his ears, land that in dying he should conquer and
subdue all things unto himself. All the angels of heaven stood look-
ing on, to see what would be the end of this great trial. Men and
devils were ignorant of the great work which God had in hand ; and
whilst they thought they were destroying him, God was in and by
him destroying them and their power. Whilst his heel was bruised
he brake their head. And this should teach us to leave all God's
works unto himself. See John xi. 6-10. He can bring light out
of darkness, and meat out of the eater. He can disappoint his ad-
versaries of their greatest hopes and fairest possibilities, and raise up
the hopes of his own out of the grave. He can make suffering to be
saving, death victorious, and heal us by the stripes of his Son. And,
in particular, it should stir us up to meditate on this mysterious
work of his love and wisdom. We can never enougii search into it,
whilst our inquiry is guided by his word. New mysteries, all foun-


tains of refreshment and joy, will continually open themselves unto
us, until we come to be satisfied with the endless fulness of it unto
eternity. Again, —

XL One principal end of the death of Christ, was to destroy the
power of Satan: " Destroy him that had the power of death."
This was promised of old, Gen. iii. 15. He was to break the head
of the serpent. From him sprang all the miseries which He came
to deliver His elect from, and which could not be effected without
the dissolution of his power. He was "anointed to proclaim liberty to
the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound,"
Isa. Ixi. ]. To this end he was to conquer him who detained them;
which he did by his death, Col. ii. 15, and so led captivity captive,
Ps. Ixviii. 18, stilling this enemy and self-avenger, Ps. viii. 2, binding
the strong man, Matt. xii. 29, and dividing the spoil with him, Isa. liii.
12. And this he did by the merit of his blood, and the atonement
he made for sin thereby. This took away the obligation of the law
unto death, and disarmed Satan. And moreover, by the power of
the eternal Spirit, whereby he offered himself unto God, he conquered
and quelled him. Satan laid his claim unto the person of Christ;
but coming to put it in execution, he met with that great and hidden
power in him which he knew not, and v,?« utterly conquered. And
this, as it gives us a particular consideration of the excellency of our
redemption, wherein Satan, our old enemy, who first foiled u.s, who
always hates us, and seeks our ruin, is conquered, spoiled, and
chained; so it teacheth us how to contend with him, by what wea-
pons to resist his temptations and to repel his affrightments, even
those whereby he hath been already subdued. Faith in the death
of Christ is the only way and means of obtaining a conauest over
him. He will fly at the sign of the cross rightly made

Verse 16.

Having asserted the incarnation of the Lord Christ, the captain
of our salvation, and showed the necessity of it, from the ends which
were to be accomplished by it, and therein given the reason of his
concession that he was for a season made less than the anjjels, the
apostle proceeds in this verse to confirm what he had taught before
by testimony of the Scripture; and adds an especial amplification of
the grace of God in this whole dispensation, from the consideration
of the angels, who were not made partakers of the like love and

Ver. 16. — Ou yap hr,<xov ayyiXuv iT/Xa/xCavsra/, aXXa eiripfiuTog
*AZpa.a(i s<}ri'ka[j,Za.Hrai,

Ov y»p 8s)?roy. The Syriac quite omits B-/)xov, and reads only '^''.4 **?, "non
eniin;" "for he did not." V. L., "nusquam enim." Ilow he renders "usquam,"


"anywhrre;" and on the consirleration of the negative particle, ov, " nus(]uaTn,"
"nowhere." Bez.i, "non enim utique." as ours; "for verily "' [he took] "not," —
rot reaching the force or use ot S-^ttov. Arias, "non enim videlicet;" wliieh
an-wers not the intent of this place. Erasmus fully and properly, "non enim
sane usquam," "for verily not anywhere;" that is, in nu place of the Sciip:ure
is any such thing testified unto: which way of expression we observed our apostle
to use before, chap. i. 5.

\h.yyiKuv i'TTi'h.ct.f^ Syr., 223 s:S5^ y^^ «ex angelis assumpsit," "he
took not (if" (or "from among") "the ;mgels;" that is, of their nature. V. L.,
Arias, "angelos appreheiidit," "he doth not t;ike hold of angels." Beza, "nn'^elos
assumpsit." "he assumed not," "he took not angels to himself:" i7n'A»fioocvsr»i
fur lxsX««£, by an enallage of time; which ours follow, "he took not on him the
nature of angels." But this change of the tense is needless; for the apostle
intends not to express what Christ had done, but what the Sc,Ti|iture saith .'nd
te.icheth concerning him in this matter. That nowhere affirms that he takes
hold of angels.

The remaining words are generally rendered by translators according to the
analogy of these: "sed apprehendit," "as-umit," "assumpsit, semen Abrahae," —
'•he laid hold of," "he takes,'' "he took the seed of Abraham;" only the Ethiopia
reads them, "Di(i he not exalt the seed of Abraham?" departing from the sense of
the words and of the text.

The constant use of this word ivi'Koi.;/.ect,vu, in the New Testament, is "to take
hold of;" and so in particular it is elsewhere used in this epistle, chap. viii. 9,
'E7r/X«€o^6j/oy ^ov rrig xnpog ctvTuv, — "In the day that I took them by the
hand." In other authors it is so variously used that nothing from thence can he
determined as to its precise signification in this or any other place. The first and
p'-oper sense of it is acknowledged to be "to take hold of," as it were with the hand.
And however the sense may be interpreted, the word cannot properly be trans-
lated any otherwise than " to take." As for what some contem!, that the eifect or
ei d of taking hold of is to help, to vindicate into liberty, — whence by Castalio it is
rendered "opituLitur," — it belongs to the design of the place, not the meaning of
the word, which in the first place is to be respected.'

Ver. 16. — For verily not anywhere doth he take angels,
but he taketh the seed of Abraham.

In the words there is first the reference that the apostle makes
unto somewhat else, whereby that which he declareth is confirmed,
"For verily not anywhere;" that is, that which he denieth in the
following words is nowhere taught in the Scripture: as chap. i. 5,
"For unto which of the angels said he at any time;" that is, 'There
is no testimony extant in the Scripture concerning them to that
purpose.' So here, 'Nowhere is it spoken in the Scripture that
Christ taketh angels.' And what is so spoken, he is said to do.

' ' E-TTiT^ei/nQ. is now translated differently from the A. V., by almost all exposi-
tors. " He doth succour. ' — Stuart. " He giveth his aid." — Conybeare and
Jlowson. "He doth lay hold on." — Craik. "The church fathers and the
theoloii-ians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries supplied a (pi/aiv to the
genitive, and rendered thus, 'He has not assumed the nature of angels, but that
of the seed nf Abraham.' Castalio was the first to oppose this monstrous inter-
] ]• tit on; after hi-n the and Arminians. Since 1650 the right
iiitei preiaiion has been the general one." — Ebrard. — Ed,


And thus also the affirmative clause of his proposition, "But he
taketh the seed of Abraham," is to be referred to the Scriptuie.
There it is promised, there it is spoken, and therein it is done by

Secondly, That which he asserteth hath the nature of a discrete
axiom, wherein the same thing is denied and affirmed of the dis-
parates expressed, and that univocally in the same sense: "He took
not angels, but lie took tlie seed of Abraham." And tliis, we being
referred to the Scripture for the proof and confirmation of, gives
light and perfect understanding into the meaning of the words. For
how doth Christ in the Scripture take the seed of Abraham, in such
a sense as that therein nothing is spoken of him in reference unto
angels? It is evident that it was in that he was of the posterity of
Abraham according to the flesh; that he was promised to Abraham
that he should be of his seed, yea, that he siiould be his seed, as
Gal. iii. 16. This was the great principle, the great expectation of
the Hebrews, that the Messiah should be the seed of Abraham. This
was declared unto them in the promise ; and this accordingly was
accomplished. And he is here said to take the seed of Abraham,
because in the Scripture it is so plainly, so often affirmed that he
should so do, when not one word is anywhere spoken that he should
be an angel, or take their nature upon him. And this, as I said,
gives us the true meaning of the words. The apostle in them con-
firms what he had before affirmed, concerning his being made par-
taker of flesh and blood together widi the children. This, saith he,
the Scripture declares, wherein it is promised that he should be of
the seed of Abraham, which he therein takes upon him; and which
was already accomplished in his being made partaker of flesh and
blood. See John i. 14, Rom ix. 5, Gal. iv. 4, iii. 16. This, then, the
apostle teacheth us, that the Lord Christ, the Son of God, according
to the promise, took to himself the nature of man, coming of the
seed of Abraham, — that is, into personal union with himself; bat took
not the nature of angels, no such thing being spoken of him or
concerning him anywhere in tlie Scripture. And this exposition
of the words will be further evidenced and confirmed by our exami-
nation of another, which, with great endeavour, is advanced in
opposition unto it.

Some, then, take the meaning of this expression to be, that the
Lord Christ, by his participation of flesh and blood, brought help
and relief, not unto angels, but unto men, the seed of Abraham.
And they suppose to this purpose, that sviKaiMZdvirai is put for
ava.7MiMZclnrai, — "to help, to succour, to relieve, to vindicate iuto
liberty." Of this mind are Castalio and all the Socinians: among
those of the Roman church, Ribera; Estius also and a Lapide speak
doubtfully in the case: of Protestants, Cameron and Grotius, wlio


affirms, moreover, that Chrysostom and the Greek scholiasts so inter-
pret the place and words; wliich I should have marvelled at, had I
not lono- before observed him greatly to fail or mistake in many of
his quotations. Chrysostom, whom he names in particular, ex-
pressly referreth this whole verse unto the Lord Christ's assump-
tion of the nature of man, and not of the nature of angels. Tlie
same also is insisted on by Theophylact and (Ecumenius, without
any intimation of the sense that Grotius would impose upon them.
The Socinians embrace and endeavour to confirm this second
exposition of the words: and it is their concernment so to do; for if
the words express that the Lord Christ assumed human nature,
which necessarily infers his pre-existence in another nature, their per-
suasion about the person of Christ is utterly overthrown. Their ex-
ceptions in their controversial writings unto this place have been
elsewhere considered. Those of Enjedinus on this text are answered
by Paraeus, those of Castalio by Beza, and the objections of some
others by Gomarus. We shall, in the first place, consider what is pro-
posed for the confirmation of their sense by Schlichtingius or Crellius;
and then the exceptions of a very learned expositor unto the sense be-
fore laid down and confirmed. And Schlichtingius first argues from
the context: — " Praster ipsa verba," saith he, "quoe huncsensum nuHo
mode patiuntur ut postea dicemus, contextuset nxtiocinatio auctoris
id repudiat; qui pro ratione et argumento id sumere non potuit
debuitve, quod sibi hoc ipso argumento et ratione probandum sum-
sisset. De eo enim erat qusestio, cur Christus qui nunc ad tantam
majestatem et gloriam est evectus, non angeUcum sed humanam,
morti et variis calamitatibus obnoxiam habuerit naturam? hujus
vero rei, quo pacto ratio redderetur, per id quod non angelicam sed
humanam naturam assumpserit; cum istius ipsius rei, quae in hac
qusestione continetur, nempe quod Christus homo fuit natus, nunc
causa ratioque qu^eratur. At vero si hsec verba, de juvandis non
angelis, sed hominibus, deque ope iis ferenda intelHgamus, pulcher-
riiue omnia cohserent; nempe Christum hominem mortalem fuisse,
non angelum aliquem, quod non angelis sed hominibus juvandis,
servandisque fuerit destinatus." But the foundation of this exposi-
tion of the context is a mistake, which his own preceding discourbo
might have relieved him from; for there is no such question pro-
posed as here is imagined, nor doth he in his following exposition
suppose it. The apostle doth not once propose this unto confirma-
tion, that it behoved the Lord Christ to be a man, and not an angel.
But having proved at large befure, that in nature and autliority he
was above the angels, he grants, verse 7, that he was for a little
wliile made lower than they, and gives at large the reason of the
necessity of that dispensation, taken from the work which God had
designed him unto : which being to "bring many sons unto glory," he


shows, and proves by sundry reasons, that it could not be accom-
plished without his death and suffering; for which end it was indis-
pensably necessary that he should be made partaker of "flesh and
blood." And this he confirms further by referring the Hebrews
unto the Scripture, and in especial unto the great promise of the
Messiah made unto Abraham, that the Messiah was to be his seed ;
the love and grace whereof he amplifies by an intimation that he
was not to partake of the angelical nature. That supposition, there-
fore, which is the foundation of this exposition, — namely, that the
apostle had before designed to prove that the Messiah ought to par-
take of human nature, and not of angelical, which is nothing to his
purpose, — is a surmise suited only to the present occasion. Where-
fore Felbinger, in his Demonstrationes Evangelicae, takes another
course, and affirms that these words contain the end of what was
before asserted, verses 14, 15, — namely, about Christ's participation
of flesh and blood, — which was, not to help angels, but the seed of
Abraham, and to take them into grace and favour. But these
things are both of them expressly declared in those verses, especially
verse 15, where it is directly affirmed that his design in his incar-
nation and death was to destroy tlie devil, and to free and save the
children. And to what end should these things be here again re-
peated, and that in words and terms far more obscure and ambi-
guous than those wherein it was before taught and declared ? for by
"angels" they understand evil angels; and there could be no cause
■why the apostle should say in this verse that he did not assist or
relieve them, when he had declared in the words immediately fore-
going that he was born and died that he might destroy them.
Neither is it comely to say, that the end why Christ destroyed the
devil was that he luight not help him ; or the end why he saved the
children was that he might assist them. Besides, the introduction
of this assertion, oii yap dyj-rou, will not allow that here any end is
intimated of what was before expressed, there being no insinuation
of any final cause in them.

The context, therefore, not answering their occasion, they betake
themselves to the words: " Verbum imXafji^Qdnrai,'' ssLiih he, " sig-
nificat proprie, manu aliquem apprehendere ; sive ut ilium aliquo
ducas, sive ut sustentes; hinc ad opitulationem significandum com-
mode transfertur; quos enim adjutos volumus ne cadant, vel sub
onere aliquo succumbant, aut si ceciderint erectos cupimus, iis manum
injicere solemus, quo sensu Ecclesiastic, iv. 11. De sapientia dictum
est, Ka/ i'ZiXaiiZdvirai ruv Zr^roxivTUv alrriv, — hoc est, ' opitulatur quse-
rentibus se;' eadem est significatio verbi avr/Xa^dCdviTut, quod qui
aliquem sublevatum velint illi ex adverso manum porrigere solent."

it is acknowledged that avTiXa/iZdviTai doth frequently signify as
here is alleged, namely, " to help and assist," as it were by putting


forth the hand for to give relief But if that were intended by the
apostle in this place, what reason can be assigned why he should
waive the use of a word proper unto his purpose, and frequently so
applied by himself in other places, and make use of another, wliich
signifying no such thing, nor anywhere used by him in that sense,
must needs obscure his meaning and render it ambiguous? Whereas,
therefore, avriXaiJjZdviTat signifies " to help and relieve," and is con-
stantly used by our apostle in that sense, it being not used or iip-
plied by him in this place to express liis intention, but s-ttiXu/mQcI-
virai, which signifies no such thing, nor is ever used by him to that
purpose, the sense contended for, of help and relief, is plainly ex-
cluded. The place of Ecclesiasticus, and that alone, is referred
unto by all that embrace this exposition. But what if the word be
abused in that place by that writer? must that give a rule unto its
interpretation in all other writers where it is properly used? But
yet neither is the word used there for to help and relieve, but to
take and receive. Wisdom, " suscipit," " receiveth," or taketh unto
itself, "suo more," those that seek it; which is the sense of the wonl
we plead for, and so is it rendered by translators. So the Lord
Christ, " suo modo," took to himself the seed of Abraham, by
uniting it unto his person as he was the Son of God. In the very
entrance also of his discourse this author acknowledgeth that ivt-
"KaiMZdvirai doth not directly or properly signify "to help" or "to re-
lieve," but signifying "to take hold of," is transferred unto that use
and sense. I ask where? by whom? in what author? If he says in this
place by the apostle, that will not prove it; and where any will
plead for the metaphorical use of a word, they must either prove
that the sense of the place where it is used enforces that accepta-
tion of it, or at least that in like cases in other places it is so ustd ;
neither of which are here pretended.

But he proceeds: "Quod hie dicit, IviXa/M^dvieSai, ver. 18, per
^orjdrjsai, eftert; de eadem enim re utrobique agitur, et rationem
consequentise argumenti, quod in hoc versiculo proponit illic expli-
cat." This is but imagined; the contrary is evident unto every one,
upon the first view of the context. Here the apostle discourseth
the reason of the humiliation of Christ, and his taking flesh; there,
the bf^nefit of his priestly office unto them that do believe.

'Ecr/Xa/o.^avo/Aa/ is therefore properly " assumo," " accipio," " to
take unto," or, " to take upon;" and the apostle teacheth us by it,
that the Lord Christ took unto him, and took on him, our iiurnan
nature, of the seed of Abraham.

That the genuine sense of the place may be yet more fully vindi-
cated, I shall further consider the exceptions of a very learned man
anto our interjjretation of the words, and his answers unto the rea-
t^%- whereby it is confirmed.


First, he says that " sTiXa/j^Zavsrai, being in the present tense, sia-
nifieth a continued action, such as Christ's helping of lis is; but liis
assumption of human nature was a momentaneous action, which
being past h)ng before, tlie apostle would not express it as a thing
present/' It is generally answered unto this exception, that an en-
allage is to be allowed, and that s':riXafiQdnrui is put for irrsXaQsro,
v.'hich is usual in the Scripture. So John i. 31, xxi. 13. But yet
there is no just necessity of supposing it in this place. The apostle
in his usual manner, disj^uting with the Hebrews on the principles
wherein they had been instructed from the Old Testament, minds
them that there is nothing said therein of his taking upon liim the
nature of angels, but only of the seed of Abraham. So that " he
takes" is, " he doth so in the Scripture," that affirms him so to do;
and in respect hereunto the expression in the pi'esent tense is proper
to his purpose. This way of arguing and manner, of expression we
have manifested on chap. i. 5.

Again he adds, " This expression, 'He took not on him angels,' for,
' the nature of angels,' is hard and uncouth, as it would be in the
affirmative to say, ' Assumpsit homines,' or ' hominera,' ' He took
men,' or 'a man;' which we say not, although we do that he took
human nature." But the reason of this phrase of speech is evident.
Having before affirmed that he was partaker aapxhg alfj^arog, " of
flesh and blood," whereby the nature of man is expressed, repeating
here again the same assertion with respect unto the promise, and a
negation of the same thing in reference unto angels, because their
nature consisteth not of flesh and blood, he expresseth it indefinitely
and in the concrete, " He took not them," — that is, not that in and
of them which answers unto flesh and blood in the children, — that
is, their nature. So that there is no need to assert, as he supposeth
some may do, that ffapxhg xai a'/fMuros ought to be repeated ex rou
xonov, and reffrred unto those bodies which the angels assumed for
a season in their apparitions under the old testament, there being

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