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The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 8

By Thomas Charles Edwards


      THE NEW COVENANT.

      "Now in the things which we are saying the chief point is this: We have such a High-priest, Who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high-priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that this High-priest also have somewhat to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a Priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve that which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses is warned of God when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern that was showed thee in the mount. But now hath He obtained a ministry the more excellent, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises."--HEB. viii. 1-6 (R.V.).

      The Apostle has interpreted the beautiful story of Melchizedek with wonderful felicity and force. The point of the whole Epistle, he now tells us, lies there. He has brought forth the headstone of the corner, the keystone of the arch.[142] It is, in short, that we have such a High-priest. Country, holy city, ark of the covenant, all are lost. But if we have the High-priest, all are restored to us in a better and more enduring form. Jesus is the High-priest and King. He has taken His seat once for all, as King, on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty, and, as Priest, is also Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle. The indefinite and somewhat unusual term "minister" or "public servant"[143] is intentionally chosen, partly to emphasise the contrast between Christ's kingly dignity and His priestly service, partly because the author wishes to explain at greater length in what Christ's actual work as High-priest in heaven consists. For Christ's heavenly glory is a life of service, not of selfish gratification. Every high-priest serves.[144] He is appointed for no other purpose than to offer gifts and sacrifices. The Apostle's readers admitted that Christ was High-priest. But they were forgetting that, as such, He too must necessarily minister and have something which He can offer. Our theology is still in like danger. We are sometimes prone to regard Christ's life in heaven as only a state of exaltation and power, and, consequently, to speak more of the saints' happiness than of their service. It is the natural result of superficial theories of the Atonement that little practical use is made by many Christians of the truth of Christ's priestly intercession. The debt has been paid, the debtor discharged, and the transaction ended. Christ's present activity towards God is acknowledged and--neglected. Protestants are confirmed in this baneful worldliness of conception by their just desire to keep at a safe distance from the error in the opposite extreme: that Christ presents to God the Church's sacrifices of the mass.

      The truth lies midway between two errors. On the one hand, Christ's intercession is not itself the making or constituting of a sacrifice; on the other, it is not mere pleading and prayer. The sacrifice was made and completed on the Cross, as the victims were slain in the outer court. But it was through the blood of those victims the high-priest had authority to enter the holiest place; and when he had entered, he must sprinkle the warm blood, and so present the sacrifice to God. Similarly Christ must enter a sanctuary in order to present the sacrifice slain on Calvary. The words of the Apostle John, "We have an Advocate with the Father," express only one side of the truth. But he adds the other side of the conception in the same verse, "And He is the propitiation," which is a very different thing from saying, "His death was the propitiation." But what sanctuary shall He enter? He could not approach the holiest place in the earthly temple. For if He were on earth, He would not be a Priest at all, seeing there are men ordained by the Law to offer the appointed gifts on earth.[145] The Jewish priests have satisfied and exhausted the idea of an earthly priesthood. Even Melchizedek could not found an order. If he may be regarded as an attempt to acclimatise on earth the priesthood of personal greatness, the attempt was a failure. It always fails, though it is always renewed. On earth there can be no order of goodness. When a great saint appears among men, he is but a bird of passage, and is not to be found, because God has translated him. If it is so of His saints, what of Christ? Christ on earth through the ages? Impossible! And what is impossible to-day will be equally inconceivable at any point of time in the future. A correct conception of Christ's priestly intercession is inconsistent with the dream of a reign of Christ on earth. It may, or may not, be consistent with His kingly office. But His priesthood forbids. We infer that Christ has transformed the heaven of glory into the holiest place of a temple, and the throne of God into a shrine before which He, as High-priest, presents His sacrifice.

      The Jewish priesthood itself teaches the existence of a heavenly sanctuary.[146] All the arrangements of tabernacle and ritual were made after a pattern shown to Moses on Mount Sinai. The priests, in the tabernacle and through their ritual, ministered to the holiest place, as the visible image and outline of the real holiest place--that is, heaven--which the Lord pitched, not man.

      Now Christ's more excellent ministry as High-priest in heaven carries in its bosom all that the Apostle contends for,--the establishment of a new covenant which has set aside for ever the covenant of the Law. "He has obtained a ministry the more excellent by how much He is the Mediator of a better covenant."[147] These words contain in a nutshell the entire argument, or series of arguments, that extends from the sixth verse of the eighth chapter to the eighteenth verse of the tenth. The course of thought may be divided as follows:--

      1. That the Lord intends to establish a new covenant is first of all shown by a citation from the prophet Jeremiah (viii. 7-13).

      2. A description of the tabernacle and of the entrance of the priests and high-priests into it teaches that the way into the holiest place was not yet open to men. This is contrasted with the entering of Christ into heaven through His own blood, which proves that He has obtained for us an eternal redemption and is Mediator of a new covenant, founded on His death (ix. 1-18).

      3. The frequent entering of the high-priest into the holiest place is contrasted with the one death of Christ and His entering heaven once. This proves the power of His sacrifice and intercession to bring in the better covenant and set aside the former one (ix. 25-x. 18).

      I. A NEW COVENANT PROMISED THROUGH JEREMIAH.

      "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He saith,

      Behold, the days come, saith the Lord,
      That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and
      with the house of Judah;
      Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers
      In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth
      out of the land of Egypt;
      For they continued not in My covenant,
      And I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
      For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
      After those days, saith the Lord;
      I will put My laws into their mind,
      And on their heart also will I write them:
      And I will be to them a God,
      And they shall be to Me a people:
      And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen,
      And every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:
      For all shall know Me,
      From the least to the greatest of them.
      For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
      And their sins will I remember no more.

      In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. But that which is becoming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing away."--HEB. viii. 7-13 (R.V.).

      The more spiritual men under the dispensation of law anticipated a new and better era. The Psalmist had spoken of another day, and prophesied of the appearance of a Priest after the order of Melchizedek and a Son of David Who would also be David's Lord. But Jeremiah is very bold, and says[148] that the covenant itself on which the hope of his nation hangs will pass away, and his dream of a more spiritual covenant, established on better promises, will at some distant day come true. It is well to bear in mind that this discontent with the present order lodged in the hearts, not of the worst, but of the best and greatest, sons of Judaism. It was the salt of their character, the life of their inspiration, the message of their prophecy. In days of national distress and despair, this star shone the brighter for the darkness. The terrible shame of the Captivity and the profound agony that followed it were lit up with the glorious vision of a better future in store for the people of God. On the quivering lips of the prophet that "sat weeping," as he is described in the Septuagint,[149] this strong hope found utterance. He had washed the dust of worldliness from his eyes with tears, and, therefore, saw more clearly than the men of his time the threatened downfall of Judah and the bright dawn beyond. In reading his prophecy of the new covenant we almost cease to wonder that some persons thought Jesus was Jeremiah risen from the dead. The prophet's words have the same ring of undaunted cheerfulness, of intense compassion, of prophetic faith; and Christ, as well as the Apostle, cites His prediction that all shall be taught of God.[150]

      Jeremiah blames the people.[151] But the Apostle infers that the covenant itself was not faultless, inasmuch as the prophet seeks, in his censure of the people, to make room for another covenant. We have already been told that there was on earth no room for the priesthood of Christ.[152] Similarly, in the sphere of earthly nationality, there was no room for a covenant other than that which God had made with His people Israel when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. But the earthly priesthood could not give efficacy to its ministering, and thus room is found for a heavenly priesthood. So also, the covenant on which the earthly priesthood rested being inadequate, the prophet makes room for the introduction of a new and better covenant.

      Now the peculiar character of the old covenant was that it dealt with men in the aggregate which we call the nation. Nationalism is the distinctive feature of the old world, within the precincts of Judaism and among the peoples of heathendom. Even the prophets could not see the spiritual truth, which they themselves foretold, except through the medium of nationality. The Messiah was the national king idealised, even when He was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. In the passage before us the prophet Jeremiah speaks of God's promise to write His law on the heart as made to the house of Judah and the house of Israel, as if he were not aware that, in so speaking, he was really contradicting himself. For the blessing promised was a spiritual and, consequently, personal one, with which nationality cannot possibly have any sort of connection. It is a matter of profound joy to every lover of his people to witness and share in the uprising of a national consciousness. Some among us are beginning to know now for the first time that a national ideal is possible in thought, and sentiment, and life. But there must not, cannot, be a nationality in religion. A moral law in the heart does not recognise the quality of the blood that circulates through. This truth the prophets strove to utter, often in vain. Yet the breaking up of the nation into Judah and Israel helped to dispel the illusion. The loss of national independence prepared for the universalism of Jesus Christ and St. Paul. Now also, when an epistle is written to the Hebrew Christians, the threatened extinction of nationality drives men to seek the bond of union in a more stable covenant, which will save them, if anything can, from the utter collapse of all religious fellowship and civil society. It is the glory of Christianity that it creates the individual and at the same moment keeps perfectly clear of individualism. Its blessings are personal, but they imply a covenant. If nationalism has been dethroned, individualism has not climbed to the vacant seat. How it achieves this great result will be understood from an examination of Jeremiah's prophecy.

      The new covenant deals with the same fundamental conceptions which dominated the former one. These are the moral law, knowledge of God, and forgiveness of sin. So far the two dispensations are one. Because these great conceptions lie at the root of all human goodness, religion is essentially the same thing under both covenants. There is a sense in which St. Augustine was right in speaking of the saints under the old Testament as "Christians before Christ." Judaism and Christianity stand shoulder to shoulder over against the religious ideas and practices of all the heathen nations of the world. But in Judaism these sublime conceptions are undeveloped. Nationalism dwarfs their growth. They are like seeds falling on the thorns, and the thorns grow up and choke them. God, therefore, spoke unto the Jews in parables, in types and shadows. Seeing, they saw not; and hearing, they heard not, neither did they understand.

      Because the former covenant was a national one, the conceptions of the moral law, of God, of sin and its forgiveness, would be narrow and external. The moral law would be embedded in the national code. God would be revealed in the history of the nation. Sin would consist either in faults of ignorance and inadvertence or in national apostasy from the theocratic King. In these three respects the new covenant excels,--in respect, that is, of the moral law, knowledge of God, and forgiveness of sin, which yet may be justly regarded as the three sides of the revelation given under the former covenant.

      1. The moral law will either forget its own holiness, righteousness, and goodness, and degenerate into national rules of conduct, or else, by the innate force of its spirituality, create in men a consciousness of sin and a strong desire for reconciliation with God. Men will resist, and, when resistance is vain, will chafe against its terrible strength. "The Law came in beside, that the trespass might abound."[153] But it often happens that guilt of conscience is the alarum that awakens moral self-consciousness out of sleep, never to fall asleep again when holiness has found entrance into the soul. Beyond this the old covenant advanced not a step. The promise of the new covenant is to put the Law into the mind, not in an ark of shittim wood, and to write it in the heart, not on tables of stone. The Law was given on Sinai as an external commandment; it is put into the mind as a knowledge of moral truth. It was written on the two tables in the weakness of the letter; on the heart it is written as a principle and a power of obedience. The power of God to command becomes the strength of man to obey. In this way the new covenant realises what the former covenant demanded. The new covenant is the old covenant transformed, made spiritual. God is become the God of His people; and this was the promise of the former covenant. They are no more children, as they were when God took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. Instead of the external guidance, they have the unction within, and know all things. Renewed in the spirit of their mind, they put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and the holiness of truth.

      2. So also of knowing God. The moral attributes of the Most High are revealed under the former covenant, and the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New. Abraham knows Him as the everlasting God. Elisha understands that there is no darkness or shadow of death where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. Balaam declares that God is not a man that He should lie. The Psalmist confesses to God that he cannot flee from His presence. The father of believers fears not to ask, "Shall not the Judge of the earth do right?" Moses recognises that the Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression. Isaiah hears the seraphim crying one to another, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts." But nationalism distorted the image. The conception of God's Fatherhood is most indistinct. When, however, Christ taught His disciples to say in prayer, "Our Father," He could then at once add the words "Who art in heaven." The spirit of man rose immediately with a mighty upheaval above the narrow bounds of nationalism. The attributes of God became more lofty as well as more amiable to the eyes of His children. The God of a nation is not great enough to be our Father. The God Who is our Father is God in heaven.

      Not only are God's attributes revealed, but the faculty to know Him is also bestowed. The moral law and a heart to love it are the two elements of a knowledge of God's nature. For God Himself is holiness and love. In vain will men cry one to another, saying, "Know the Lord." As well might they bid the blind behold the light, or the wicked love purity. Knowledge of nature can be taught. It can be parcelled in propositions, carried about, and handed to others. But the character of God is not a notion, and cannot be taught as a lesson or in a creed, however true the creed may be. The two opposite ends of all our knowledge are our sensations and God. In one respect the two are alike. Knowledge of them cannot be conveyed in words.

      3. The only thing concerning God that can be known by a man who is not holy himself is that He will punish the impenitent, and can forgive. These are objective facts. They may be announced to the world, and believed. In the history of all holy men, under the Old Testament as well as under the New, they are their first lesson in spiritual theology. To say that penitent sinners under the Law could not be absolved from guilt or taste the sweetness of God's forgiving grace must be false. St. Paul himself, who describes the Law as a covenant that "gendereth to bondage," cites the words of the Psalmist, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered," to prove that God imputes righteousness without works.[154] When the Apostle Peter was declaring that all the prophets witness to Jesus Christ, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins, the Holy Ghost fell on all who heard the word. The very promise which Jeremiah says will be fulfilled under the future covenant Isaiah claims for his own days: "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."[155]

      On the other hand, it is equally plain that St. Paul and the author of this Epistle agree in teaching that the sacrifices of the old covenant had in them no virtue to remove guilt. They cannot take away sin, and they cannot remove the consciousness of sin.[156] The writer evidently considers it sufficient to state the impossibility, without labouring to prove it. His readers' consciences would bear him out in the assertion that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

      It remains--and it is the only supposition left to us--that peace of conscience must have been the result of another revelation, simultaneous with the covenant of the Law, but differing from it in purpose and instruments. Such a revelation would be given through the prophets, who stood apart as a distinct order from the priesthood. They were the preachers. They quickened conscience, and spoke of God's hatred of sin and willingness to forgive. Every advance in the revelation came through the prophets, not through the priests. The latter represent the stationary side of the covenant, but the prophets hold before the eyes of men the idea of progress. What, then, was the weakness of prophecy in reference to forgiveness of sin when compared with the new covenant? The prophets predicted a future redemption. This was their strength. It was also their weakness. For that future was not balanced by an equally great past. However glorious the history of the nation had been, it was not strong enough to bear the weight of so transcendent a future. Every nation that believes in the greatness of its own future already possesses a great past. If not, it creates one. Mythology and hero-worship are the attempt of a people to erect their future on a sufficient foundation. But men had not experienced anything great enough to inspire them with a living faith in the reality of the promises which the prophets announced. Sin had not been atoned for. The Christian preacher can point to the wonderful but well-assured facts of the life and death of Jesus Christ. If he could not do this, or if he neglects to do it, feeble and unreal will sound his proclamation of the terrors and joys of the world to come. The Gospel has for one of its primary objects to appease the guilty conscience. How it achieves this purpose our author will tell us in another chapter. For the present all we learn is that knowledge of God is knowledge of His moral nature, and that this knowledge belongs to the man whose moral consciousness has been quickened. The evangelical doctrine that the source of holiness is thankfulness was well meant, as an antidote to legalism on the one hand and to Antinomianism on the other. The sinner, we were told, once redeemed from the curse of the Law and delivered from the danger of perdition, begins to love the Christ Who redeemed and saved him. The doctrine contains a truth, and is applicable to this extent; that he to whom much is forgiven loveth much. But it would not be true to say that all good men have sought God's forgiveness because they feared hell torments. To some their guilt is their hell. Fear is too narrow a foundation of holiness. We cannot explain saintliness by mere gratitude. For "thankfulness" we must write "conscience," and substitute forgiveness and absolution from guilt for safety from future misery, if we would lay a foundation broad and firm enough on which to erect the sublimest holiness of man.

      Our author infers from the words of Jeremiah that there was an inherent decay in the former covenant. It was itself ready to vanish away, and make room for a new and more spiritual one.[157]

      II. A NEW COVENANT SYMBOLIZED IN THE TABERNACLE.

      "Now even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service, and its sanctuary, a sanctuary of this world. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the first, wherein were the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the Holy place. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holy of holies; having a golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was a golden pot holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and above it cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak severally. Now these things having been thus prepared, the priests go in continually into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the services; but into the second the high-priest alone, once in the year, not without blood, which he offereth for himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holy place hath not yet been made manifest, while as the first tabernacle is yet standing; which is a parable for the time now present; according to which are offered both gifts and sacrifices that cannot, as touching the conscience, make the worshipper perfect, being only (with meats and drinks and divers washings) carnal ordinances, imposed until a time of reformation. But Christ having come a High-priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"--HEB. ix. 1-14 (R.V.).

      With the words of a prophet the Apostle contrasts the ritual of the priests. Jeremiah prophesied of a better covenant, because he found the former one did not satisfy conscience. A description of the tabernacle, its furniture and ordinances of Divine service, follows. At first it appears strange that the author should have thought it necessary to enumerate in detail what the tabernacle contained. But to infer that he is a Hellenist, to whom the matter had all the charm of novelty, would be very precarious. His purpose is to show that the way of the holiest was not yet open. The tabernacle consisted of two chambers: the foremost and larger of the two, called the sanctuary, and an inner one, called the holiest of all. Now the sanctuary had its furniture and stated rites. It was not a mere vestibule or passage leading to the holiest. The eighth verse, literally rendered, expresses that the outer sanctuary "held a position."[158] Its furniture was for daily use. The candelabrum supported the seven lamps, which gave light to the ministering priests. The shewbread, laid on the table in rows of twelve cakes, was eaten by Aaron and his sons. Into this chamber the priests went always, accomplishing the daily services. Moreover, between the holy place and the holiest of all hung a thick veil. Into the holiest the high-priest only was permitted to enter, and he could only enter on the annual day of atonement. This chamber also had its proper furniture. To it belonged[159] the altar of incense (for so we must read in the fourth verse, instead of "golden censer"), although its actual place was in the outer sanctuary. It stood in front of the veil that the high-priest might take the incense from it, without which he was not permitted to enter the holiest; and when he came out, he sprinkled it with blood as he had sprinkled the holiest place itself. In the inner chamber stood the ark of the covenant, containing the pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the two tables of stone on which the Ten Commandments were written. On the ark was the mercy-seat, and above the mercy-seat were the cherubim. But there were no lamps to give light; there was no shewbread for food. The glory of the Lord filled it, and was the light thereof. When the high-priest had performed the atoning rites, he was not permitted to stay within. It is evident that reconciliation through blood was the idea symbolized by the holiest place, its furniture, and the yearly rite performed within it. But the veil and the outer chamber stood between the sinful people and the mercy-seat. Our author ascribes this arrangement of the two chambers, the veil, and the one entrance every year of the high-priest into the inner shrine, to the Holy Spirit, Who teaches men by symbol[160] that the way to God is not yet open. But He also teaches them through the ordinances of the outer sanctuary that access to God is a necessity of conscience, and yet that the gifts and sacrifices there offered cannot satisfy conscience, resting, as they do, only on meats and drinks and divers washings. All we can say of them is that they were the requirements of natural conscience, here termed "flesh," and that these demands of human consciousness of guilt were sanctioned and imposed on men by God provisionally, until the time came for restoring permanently the long-lost peace between God and men.

      Contrast with all this the ministry of Christ. He made His appearance on earth as High-priest of the things which have now at length come to us.[161] The blessings prophesied by Jeremiah have been realised. As High-priest He entered the true holiest place, a tabernacle greater and more perfect, even heaven itself.[162] It is greater; that is, larger. The outer sanctuary has ceased to exist, because the veil has been rent in twain, and the holy place has been taken into the holiest place. The tabernacle has now only one chamber, and in that chamber God meets all His worshipping saints, who come to Him through and with Jesus, the High-priest. The tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell, as in the tabernacle, with them, and they shall be His peoples, and God Himself shall be with them.[163] Yea, the holiest place has spread itself over Mount Zion, on which stood the king's palace, and over the whole city of Jerusalem, which lieth four-square, and is become the heavenly and holy city, having no temple, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple thereof. "And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it; for the glory of God lightens it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb." The city and the holiest place are commensurate. So large, indeed, is the holiest that the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof. It is also more perfect.[164] For Christ has entered into the presence of God for us. Such a tabernacle is not constructed of the materials of this world,[165] nor fashioned with the hands of cunning artificers, Bezaleel and Aholiab. When Christ destroyed the sanctuary made with hands, in three days He built another made without hands. In a true sense it is not made at all, not even by the hands of Him Who built all things; for it is essentially God's presence. Into this holiest place Christ entered, to appear in the immediate presence of God. But the Apostle is not satisfied with saying that He entered within. Ten thousand times ten thousand of His saints will do this. He has done more. He went through[166] the holiest. He has passed through the heavens.[167] He has been made higher than the heavens.[168] He has taken His seat on the right hand of God.[169] The Melchizedek Priest has ascended to the mercy-seat and made it His throne. He is Himself henceforth the shechinah, and the manifested glory of the unseen Father. All this is expressed in the words "through a greater and more perfect tabernacle."

      Moreover, the high-priest entered into the holiest place in virtue of the blood of goats and calves.[170] Add, if you will, the ceremony of cleansing a person who had contracted defilement by touching a dead body.[171] He also was cleansed by having the ashes of a heifer sprinkled upon his flesh. Why, the very defilement is unreal and artificial. To touch a dead body a sin! It may have been well to make it a crime from sanitary considerations, and it may become a sin because God has forbidden it. So far it touched conscience. When Elijah stretched himself upon the dead child of the widow of Zarephath three times, and the soul of the child came into him again, or when Elisha put his mouth upon the mouth of the dead son of the Shunammite, his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands, and the flesh of the child waxed warm, God's holy prophet was defiled! The mother and the child might bring their thank-offering to the sanctuary; but the prophet, who had done the deed of power and mercy, was excluded from joining in thanksgiving and prayer. If the defilement is unreal, what shall we think of the means of cleansing? To touch a dead child defiles, but the touch of the ashes of a burnt heifer cleanses! Yet natural conscience felt guilty when thus defiled, and recovered itself, in some measure, from its shame when thus made clean.[172] Such men resemble the persons, referred to by St. Paul, who have "a conscience of the idol."[173] Judaism enfeebled the conscience. A man of morbid religious sentiment is often defiled in his own eyes by what is not really wrong, and often finds peace and comfort in what is not really a propitiation or a forgiveness.

      On the other hand, Christ entered the true holiest place by His own blood. He offered Himself. The High-priest is the sacrifice. Under the old covenant the victim must be "without spot." But the high-priest was not without blemish, and he offered for himself as well as for the errors of the people. But in the offering of Christ, the spotless purity of the Victim ensures that the High-priest Himself is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. For this reason it is said here[174] that He offered Himself "through an eternal spirit," or, as we should say in modern phrase, "through His eternal personality." He is the High-priest after the order of Melchizedek; and He invests the sacrifice with all the personal greatness of the High-priest. Is He "without beginning of days or end of life"? So also His sacrifice abides for ever. His power of an indissoluble life belongs to His atonement. Is He untouched by the rolling stream of time? His death was of infinite merit in reference to the past and to the future, though it took place historically at the end of the ages. His eternal personality made it unnecessary for Him to suffer often since the foundation of the world. Because of His personal greatness, it sufficed that He should suffer once only and enter once into the holiest place. The eternal High-priest in one transitory act of death offered a sacrifice that remains eternally, and obtains for us an eternal redemption. If, then, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of an heifer appease, in some measure, the weak, frightened conscience of unenlightened nature, how much more shall the conscious, voluntary sacrifice of this eternal, personal Son deliver the conscience of him who worships, not a phantom deity, but an eternal, personal, living God, from the guilt of dead works, and bring him to worship that living God with an eternal, living personality!

      Mark the contrasted notions. The brute life, dragged to the altar, little knowing that its hot blood is to be a propitiation for human guilt, is contrasted with the blood of the Christ (for there is but one), Who, with the consciousness and strength of an eternal personality, willingly offers Himself as a sacrifice. Between these two lives are all the lives which God created, human and angelic. Yet the offering of a beast in some fashion and to some degree appeased conscience, unillumined by the fierce light of God's holiness and untouched by the pathos of Christ's death. With this imperfect and negative peace, or, to speak more correctly, truce, of conscience is contrasted the living, eager worship of him whose enlightened conscience has been purified from spiritual defilement by the blood of Christ. Such a man's entire service is worship, and his worship is the ministering of a priest.[175] He stands in the congregation of the righteous, and ascends unto God's holy hill. He enters the holiest place with Christ. He draws near with boldness to the mercy-seat, now the very throne itself of grace.

      It will be seen, if we have rightly traced the line of thought, that the outer sanctuary no longer exists. The larger and more perfect tabernacle is the holiest place itself, when the veil has been removed, and the sanctuary and courts are all included in the expanded holiest. Several very able expositors deny this. They find an antitype of the holy place either in the body of Christ or in the created heavens, through which He has passed into the immediate presence of God. But this introduces confusion, adds nothing of value to the meaning of the type, and is inconsistent with our author's express statement that the way into the holiest was not yet open so long as the holy place stood.

      III. A NEW COVENANT RATIFIED IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

      "And for this cause He is the Mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it. For a testament is of force where there hath been death; for doth it ever avail while he that made it liveth? Wherefore even the first covenant hath not been dedicated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses unto all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself, and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded to you-ward. Moreover the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry he sprinkled in like manner with the blood. And according to the Law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us: nor yet that He should offer Himself often; as the high-priest entereth into the holy place year by year with blood not his own; else must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath He been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for Him, unto salvation. For the Law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, they can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect them that draw nigh. Else would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshippers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more conscience of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance made of sins year by year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith,

      Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not,
      But a body didst Thou prepare for Me:
      In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hadst
      no pleasure:
      Then said I, Lo, I am come
      (In the roll of the book it is written of Me)
      To do Thy will, O God.

      Saying above, Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein (the which are offered according to the Law), then hath He said, Lo, I am come to do Thy will. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second. By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest indeed standeth day by day ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, the which can never take away sins: but He, when He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made the footstool of His feet. For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. And the Holy Ghost also beareth witness to us: for after He hath said,

      This is the covenant that I will make with them
      After those days, saith the Lord;
      I will put My laws on their heart,
      And upon their mind also will I write them;

      then saith He,

      And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

      Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."--HEB. ix. 15-x. 18 (R.V.).

      The Apostle has proved that a new covenant was promised through the prophet and prefigured in the tabernacle. Christ is come to earth and entered into the holiest place of God, as High-priest. The inference is that His high-priesthood has abolished the old covenant and ratified the new. The priesthood has been changed, and change of the priesthood implies change of the covenant. In fact, to this priesthood the rites of the former covenant pointed, and on it the priestly absolution rested. Sins were forgiven, but not in virtue of any efficacy supposed to belong to the rites or sacrifices, all of which were types of another and infinitely greater death. For a death has taken place for the redemption of all past transgressions, which had been accumulating under the former covenant. Now at length sin has been put out of the way. The heirs of the promise made to Abraham, centuries before the giving of the Law, come at last into possession of their inheritance. The call has sounded. The hour has struck. For this inheritance they waited till Christ should die. The earthly Canaan may pass from one race to another race; but the unchangeable, eternal[176] inheritance, into which none but the rightful heirs can enter, is incorruptible, undefiled, fading not away, reserved in heaven for those who are kept[177] for its possession.

      Because possession of it was delayed till Christ died, it may be likened to an inheritance bequeathed by a testator in his last will. For when a person leaves property by will to another, the will is of no force, the transference is not actually made, the property does not change hands, in the testator's lifetime. The transaction takes place after and in consequence of his death. This may serve as an illustration. Its pertinence as such is increased by the fact, which in all probability suggested it to our author, that the same word would be used by a Hebrew, writing in Greek, for "covenant," and by a native of Greece for "a testamentary disposition of property."[178] But it is only an illustration. We cannot suppose that it was intended to be anything more.[179]

      To return to argument, the blood of Christ may be shown to have ratified a covenant from the use of blood by Moses to inaugurate the former covenant. The Apostle has spoken before of the shedding and sprinkling of blood in sacrifice. When the high-priest entered into the holiest place, he offered blood for himself and the people. But, besides its use in sacrifice, blood was sprinkled on the book of the law, on the tabernacle, and on all the vessels of the ministry. Without a copious stream, a veritable "outflow"[180] of blood, both as ratifying the covenant and as offered in sacrifice, there was under the Law no remission of sins. Now the typical character of all the arrangements and ordinances instituted by Moses is assumed throughout. Even the purification of the tabernacle and its vessels with blood must be symbolical of a spiritual truth. There is, therefore, in the new covenant a purification of the true holiest place. To make the matter still more evident, the author reminds his readers of a fact, which he has already mentioned,[181] in reference to the construction of the tabernacle. Moses was admonished of God to make it a copy and shadow of heavenly things. "For, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount." It appears, then, that not only the covenant was typical, but the tabernacle, its vessels, and the purifying of all with blood were a copy of things in the heavens, the true holiest place. And, inasmuch as the holiest place has now, in Christ, included within it the sanctuary, and every veil and wall of partition has been removed, the purification of the tabernacle corresponds to a purification, under the new covenant, of heaven itself.

      Not that the heaven of God is polluted. Even the earthly shrine had not itself contracted defilement. The blood sprinkled on the tabernacle and its vessels was not different from the blood of the sacrifice. As sacrificial blood, it consecrated the place, and was also offered to God. Similarly the blood of Christ made heaven a sanctuary, erected there a holiest place for the appearing of the great High-priest, constituted the throne of the Most High a mercy-seat for men. By the same act it became an offering to God, enthroned on the mercy-seat. The two notions of ratifying the covenant and atoning for sin cannot be separated. For this reason our author says the heavenly things are purified with sacrifices. But as heaven is higher than the earth, as the true holiest place excels the typical, so must the sacrifices that purify heaven be better than the sacrifices that purified the tabernacle. But Christ is great enough to make heaven itself a new place, whereas He Himself remains unchanged, "yesterday and to-day the same, and for ever."

      The thought of Christ's eternal oneness is apparently suggested to the Apostle by the contrast between Christ and the purified heaven. But it helps his argument. For the blood of Christ, when offered in heaven, so fully and perfectly ratified the new covenant that He remains for evermore in the holiest place and evermore offers Himself to God in one eternally unbroken act. He did not enter heaven to come out again, as the high-priests presented their offering repeatedly, year after year. They could not do otherwise, because they entered "with blood not their own," or, as we may render the word, "with alien[182] blood." The blood of goats and bulls cannot take away sin. Consequently, the absolution obtained is unreal and, therefore, temporary in its effect. The blood of the beasts must be renewed as the annual day of atonement comes round. If Christ's offering of Himself had only a temporary efficacy, He must often have suffered since the foundation of the world. The forgiveness under the former covenant put off the retribution for one year. St. Paul expresses the same conception when he describes it as not a real forgiveness, but as "the passing over[183] of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God." The writer of the Epistle infers that, if Christ's sacrifice were meritorious for a time only, then He ought to have repeated His offering whenever the period for which it was efficacious came to an end; and, inasmuch as His atonement was not restricted to one nation, it would have been necessary for Him to appear on earth repeatedly, and repeatedly die, not from the time of Moses or of Abraham, but from the foundation of the world. But our author has long since said "that the works were finished from the foundation of the world."[184] God Himself after the work of creation entered on His Sabbath rest. The Sabbath developed from initial creation to final atonement, and, because Christ's atonement is final, He has perfected the Sabbath eternally in the heavens. But the Sabbath of God would have been no Sabbath to the Son of God, but a constant recurrence of sufferings and deaths, if He did not finish transgression and atone for sin by His one death. "Once, at the end of the ages," when the tale of sin and woe has been all told, "hath He appeared," which proves that He has finally and for ever put away sin through His one sacrifice.[185]

      The Apostle speaks as one who believed that the end of the world was at hand. He even builds an argument on this to him assured fact of the near future. True, the end of the world was not yet. But the argument is equally valid in its essential bearing. For the important point is that Christ appeared on earth only once. Whether His one death occurred at the beginning of human history, or at the end, or at the end of one period and the beginning of another, is immaterial.

      Then follows a very original piece of reasoning, plainly intended to be an additional proof that Christ's dying once put away sin for ever. To appear on earth often, and to die often, would have been impossible for Him. He was true man, of woman born, not an apparition, not an angel assuming the appearance of humanity, not the Son of God really and man only seemingly. But it is appointed unto men once, and only once, to die. After their one death comes, sooner or later, judgment. To return to earth and make a new beginning, to retrieve the errors and failures of a completed life, is not given to men. This is the Divine appointment. Exception to the Apostle's argument must not be taken from the resurrection of Lazarus and others who were restored to life. The Apostle speaks of God's usual course of action. So understood, it is difficult to conceive how any words can be more decisive against the doctrine of probation after death. For, however long judgment may tarry, our author acknowledges no possibility of changing any man's state or character between death and the final award. On this impossibility of retrieving the past the force of the argument entirely depends. If Christ, Who was true man, failed in His one life and one death, the failure is irretrievable. He cannot come again to earth and try anew. To Him, as to other men, it was appointed to die once only. In His case, as in the case of others, judgment follows death,--judgment irreversible on the things done in the body. To add emphasis to the notion of finality in the work of Christ's life on earth, the Apostle uses the passive verb, "was offered."[186] The offering, it is true, was made by Christ Himself. But here the deed is more emphatic than the Doer: "He was offered once for all." The result of the offering is also emphasised: "He was offered so as[187] to lift up sins, like a heavy burden, and bear them away for ever." Even the word "many" is not to be slurred over. It too indicates that the work of Christ was final; for the sins of many have been put away.

      What will be the judgment on Christ's one redemptive death? Has it been a failure? The answer is that His death and His coming into the judgment have a closer relation to men than mere similarity. He entered into the presence of God as a sin-offering. He will be proved, at His second appearing, to have put away sin. For He will appear then apart from[188] sin. God will pronounce that Christ's blood has been accepted, and that His work has been finished. His acquittal will be the acquittal of those whose sins He bare in His body on the tree.

      Nor will His appearing be now long delayed. It was already the end of the ages when He first appeared. Therefore look out for Him with eager expectancy[189] and upward gaze. For He will be once again actually beheld by human eyes, and the vision will be unto salvation.

      We must not fail to note that, when the Apostle speaks in this passage of Christ's being once offered, he refers to His death. The analogy between men and Christ breaks down completely if the death of Christ was not the offering for sin. Faustus Socinus revived the Nestorian doctrine that our author represents the earthly life and death of Jesus as a moral preparation for the priesthood which was conferred upon Him at His ascension to the right hand of God. The bearing of this interpretation of the Epistle on the Socinian doctrine generally is plain. A moral preparation there undoubtedly was, as the Apostle has shown in the second chapter. But if Christ was not Priest on earth, His death was not an atoning sacrifice. If He was not Priest, He was not Victim. Moreover, if He fills the office of Priest in heaven only, His priesthood cannot involve suffering and, therefore, cannot be an atonement. But the view is inconsistent with the Apostle's express statement that, "as it is appointed unto men once to die, so Christ was once offered." Of course, we cannot acquiesce in the opposite view that His death was Christ's only priestly act, and that His life in heaven is such a state of exaltation as excludes the possibility of priestly service. For He is "a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man,"[190] The death of Christ was a distinct act of priestly service. But it must not be separated from His entering into heaven. Aaron received into his hands the blood of the newly slain victim, and immediately carried the smoking blood into the holiest place. The act of offering the blood before God was as necessary to constitute the atonement as the previous act of slaying the animal. Hence it is that the shedding and the sprinkling of the blood are spoken of as one and the same action. Christ, in like manner, went into the true holiest through His death. Any other way of entering heaven than through a sacrificial death would have destroyed the priestly character of His heavenly life. But His death would have been insufficient. He must offer His blood and appear in the presence of God for us. To give men access unto God was the ultimate purpose of redemption. He must, therefore, consecrate through the veil of His flesh--a new and living way by which we may come unto God through Him.

      Must we, therefore, say that Christ entered the holiest place at His death, not at His ascension? Does the Apostle refer only to the entrance of the soul into the invisible world? The question is not an easy one. If the Apostle means the Ascension, what doctrinal use does he make of the interval between the Crucifixion and the Ascension? Many of the fathers are evidently at a loss to know what to make of this interval. They think the Divine person, as well as the human soul, of Christ was conveyed to Hades to satisfy what they call the law of death. Does the Epistle to the Hebrews pass over in silence the descent into Hades and the resurrection? On the other hand, if our author means that Christ entered the holiest place immediately at His death, we are met by the difficulty that He leaves the holiest, to return finally at His ascension, whereas the Apostle has argued that Christ differs from the high-priests under the former covenant in that He does not enter repeatedly. Much of the confusion has arisen from the tendency of theologians, under the influence of Augustine, to construct their systems exclusively on the lines of St. Paul. In his Epistles atonement is a forensic conception. "Through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to the justification of life."[191] Consequently the death of Christ is contrasted with His present life. "For the death that He died, He died unto sin once; but the life that He liveth, He liveth unto God."[192] But our author does not put his doctrine in a Pauline framework. Instead of forensic notions, we meet with terms pertaining to ritual and priesthood. What St. Paul speaks of as law is, in his language, a covenant, and what is designated justification in the Epistle to the Romans appears here as sanctification. Conscience is purified; the worshipper is perfected. The entering of the high-priest into the holiest place is as prominent as the slaying of the victim. These are two distinct, but inseparable, parts of one priestly action. All that lies between is ignored. It is as if it were not. Christ entered into the holiest through His death and ascension to the right hand of the Majesty. But the initial and the ultimate stages of the act must not be put asunder. Nothing comes between. Our author elsewhere speaks of Christ's resurrection as a historical fact.[193] But His resurrection does not form a distinct notion in the idea of His entrance into the holiest place.

      The Apostle has spoken of the former covenant with surprising severity, not to say harshness. It was the law of a carnal commandment; it has been set aside because of its weakness and unprofitableness; it has grown old and waxed aged; it was nigh unto vanishing away. His austere language will compare with St. Paul's description of heathenism as a bondage to weak and beggarly elements.

      The root of all the mischief was unreality. Our author brings his argument to a close by contrasting the shadow and the substance, the unavailing sacrifices of the Law, which could only renew the remembrance of sins, and the sacrifice of the Son, which has fulfilled the will of God.

      The Law had only a shadow.[194] He is careful not to say that the Law was itself but a shadow. On the contrary, the very promise includes that God will put His laws in the heart and write them upon the mind. This was one of "the good things to come." Endless repetition of sacrifice after sacrifice year by year in a weary round of ceremonies only made it more and more evident that men were walking in a vain show and disquieting themselves in vain. The Law was holy, righteous, and good; but the manifestation of its nature in sacrifices was unreal, like the dark outline of an object that breaks the stream of light. Nothing more substantial, as a revelation of God's moral character; was befitting or possible in that stage of human development, when the purposes of His grace also not seldom found expression in dreams of the night and apparitions of the day.

      To prove the unreal nature of these ever-recurring sacrifices, the writer argues that otherwise they would have ceased to be offered, inasmuch as the worshippers, if they had been once really cleansed from their guilt, would have had no more conscience of sins.[195] The reasoning is very remarkable. It is not that God would have ceased to require sacrifices, but that the worshipper would have ceased to offer them. It implies that, when a sufficient atonement for sin has been offered to God, the sinner knows it is sufficient, and, as the result, has peace of conscience. The possibility of a pardoned sinner still fearing and doubting does not seem to have occurred to the Apostle. One difference apparently between the saints under the Old Testament and believers under the New is the joyful assurance of pardon which the latter receive, whereas the former were all their lifetime subject to bondage from fear of death, and that although in the one case the sacrifice was offered by the worshipper himself through the priest, but in the latter case by Another, even Christ, on his behalf. And we must not ask the Apostle such questions as these: Are we not in danger of deceiving ourselves? How is the assurance created and kept alive? Does it spring spontaneously in the heart, or is it the acceptance of the authoritative absolution of God's ministers? Such problems were not thought of when the Epistle to the Hebrews was written. They belong to a later and more subjective state of mind. To men who cannot leave off introspection and forget themselves in the joy of a new faith, the Apostle's argument will have little force and perhaps less meaning.

      If the sacrifices were unreal, why, we naturally inquire, were they continually repeated? The answer is that there were two sides to the sacrificial rites of the old covenant. On the one hand, they were, like the heathen gods, "nothings;" on the other, their empty shadowiness itself fitted them to be a Divinely appointed means to call sins to remembrance. They represented on the one side the invincible, though always baffled, effort of natural conscience. For conscience was endeavouring to purify itself from a sense of guilt. But God also had a purpose in awakening and disciplining conscience. The worshipper sought to appease conscience through sacrifice, and God, by the same sacrifice, proclaimed that reconciliation had not been effected. The Apostle's judgment on the subject[196] is not different from St. Paul's answer to the question, What then is the Law? "It was added because of transgressions.... The Scripture hath shut up all things under sin.... We were kept in ward under the Law.... We were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world."[197] In allusion to this idea, that the sacrifices were instituted by God in order to renew the remembrance of sins every year, Christ said, "Do this in remembrance of Me,"--of Him Who hath put away sins by the sacrifice of Himself.

      Such then was the shadow, at once unreal and dark. In contrast to it, the Apostle designates the substance as "the very image of the objects." Instead of repeating the indefinite expression "good things to come," he speaks of them as "objects,"[198] individually distinct, substantial, true. The image[199] of a thing is the full manifestation of its inmost essence, in the same sense in which St. Paul says that the Son of God's love, in Whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins, is the image of the invisible God.[200] Indeed, it is extremely questionable whether our author too does not refer allusively to the same truth. For, in the verses that follow, he contrasts with the sacrifices of the former covenant the coming of Jesus Christ into the world to accomplish the work which they had failed to do.[201] When the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, inasmuch as it was an unreal atonement, God prepared a body for His own eternal Son. The Son responded to the Divine summons and, in accordance with the prophecies of Scripture concerning Him, came from heaven to earth to give Himself as the sufficient sacrifice for sin. The contrast, as heretofore, is between the vanity of animal sacrifices and the greatness of the Son, Who offered Himself. His assumption of humanity had for its ultimate end to enable the Son to do the will of God. The gracious purpose of God is to forgive sin, and this was accomplished by the infinite humiliation of the infinite Son. God's will was to sanctify us; that is, to remove our guilt.[202] We have actually been thus sanctified through the one offering of the body of Jesus Christ. The sacrifices of the Law are taken out of the way in order to establish the sacrifice of the Son.[203]

      It will be observed that the Apostle is not contrasting sacrifice and obedience. His meaning is not precisely the same as the prophet Samuel's: that "to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."[204] It is perfectly true that the sacrifice of the Son involved obedience,--a conscious, deliberate, willing obedience, which the beasts to be slain in sacrifice could not offer. The idea pervades these verses, as an atmosphere. But it is not the idea expressed. The dominant thoughts of the passage are the greatness of the Person Who obeyed and the greatness of the sacrifice from which His obedience did not shrink. The Son is here represented as existing and acting apart from His human nature.[205] He comes into the world, and is not originated in the world. The Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews is identical in this vital point with that of St. Paul. The purpose of the Son's coming is already formed. He comes to offer His body, and we have been taught in a previous chapter that He did this with an eternal spirit.[206] For the will of God means our sanctification, in the meaning attached to the word "sanctification" in this Epistle, the removal of guilt, the forgiveness of sins. But the fulfilment of this gracious will of God demands a sacrifice, even a sacrificial death, and that not the death of beasts, but the infinite self-sacrifice and obedience unto death of the Son of God. This is implied in the expression "the offering of the body of Jesus Christ."[207]

      The superstructure of argument has been raised. Christ as High-priest has been proved to be superior to the high-priests of the former covenant. It remains only to lay the topstone in its place. This brings us back to our starting point. Jesus Christ, the eternal High-priest, is for ever King. For the priests under the Law stand while they perform the duties of their ministry.[208] They stand because they are only priests. But Christ has taken His seat, as King, on the right hand of God.[209] They offer the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins, and wait, and wait, but in vain. Though they are priests of the true God, yet they wait, like the priests of Baal, from morning until midday is past and until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there is neither voice nor any to answer. Christ also waits, but not to renew an ineffectual sacrifice. He waits eagerly[210] to receive from God the reward of His effective sacrifice in the subjugation of His enemies. The priests under the Law had no enemies. Their persons were sacred. They incurred no hatred, inspired no love. Our High-priest goes out to war, the most hated, the most loved, of all captains of men.

      The foundation of this kingly power is in two things: first, He has perfected men for ever by His one offering; second, He has put the law of God into the hearts of His people. The final conclusion is that the sacrifices of the Law have passed away, because they are no longer needed. "For where there is forgiveness, there is no more an offering for sin."

      FOOTNOTES:

      [142] =kephalaion= (viii. 1).
      [143] =leitourgos= (viii. 2).
      [144] Chap. viii. 3.
      [145] Chap. viii. 4.
      [146] Chap. viii. 5
      [147] Chap. viii. 6.
      [148] Jer. xxxi. 31-34.
      [149] Lamentations, Preface.
      [150] John vi. 45.
      [151] =autous= (viii. 8).
      [152] Chap. viii. 4.
      [153] Rom. v. 20.
      [154] Rom. iv. 7.
      [155] Isa. xliii. 25.
      [156] Chap. x. 2, 4.
      [157] Chap. iii. 13.
      [158] =echouses stasin= (ix. 8).
      [159] =echousa= (ix. 4).
      [160] =delountos= (ix. 8).
      [161] Reading =genomenon= (ix. 11).
      [162] Chap. ix. 11. Cf. chap. ix. 24.
      [163] Rev. xxi. 3.
      [164] =teleioteras= (ix. 11).
      [165] =kosmikon= (ix. 1).
      [166] =dia= (ix. 11).
      [167] Chap. iv. 14.
      [168] Chap. vii. 26.
      [169] Chap. x. 12.
      [170] Chap. ix. 12.
      [171] Chap. ix. 13.
      [172] =hagiazei= (ix. 13).
      [173] 1 Cor. viii. 7.
      [174] Chap. ix. 14.
      [175] =latreuein= (ix. 14).
      [176] =aioniou= (ix. 15).
      [177] =teteremenen= ... =phrouroumenous= (1 Pet. i. 4).
      [178] =diatheke=.
      [179] To forestall censure for inconsistency, the present writer may be permitted to refer to what he now sees to have been a desperate attempt on his part (in the Expositor) to explain the passage on the supposition that the word =diatheke= means "covenant" throughout. He is bound to admit that the attempt was a failure. If he lives to write retractations, this will be one.
      [180] =haimatekchysias= (ix. 22).
      [181] Chap. viii. 5.
      [182] =allotrio= (ix. 25).
      [183] =paresin= (Rom. iii. 25), as contrasted with =aphesis=.
      [184] Chap. iv. 3.
      [185] Chap. ix. 26.
      [186] =prosenechtheis= (ix. 28).
      [187] =eis=.
      [188] =choris=.
      [189] =apekdechomenois=.
      [190] Chap. viii. 2.
      [191] Rom. v. 18.
      [192] Rom. vi. 10.
      [193] Chap. xiii. 20.
      [194] Chap. x. 1.
      [195] Chap. x. 2.
      [196] Chap. x. 3.
      [197] Gal. iii. 19-iv. 3.
      [198] =pragmaton= (x. 1).
      [199] =eikona=.
      [200] Col. i. 14, 15.
      [201] Chap. x. 5 sqq.
      [202] Chap. x. 10.
      [203] Chap. x. 9.
      [204] 1 Sam. xv. 22.
      [205] Chap. x. 7.
      [206] Chap. ix. 14.
      [207] Chap. x. 10.
      [208] Chap. x. 11.
      [209] Chap. x. 13.
      [210] =ekdechomenos= (x. 13).

Back to Thomas Charles Edwards index.

See Also:
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Preface
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 1
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 2
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 3
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 4
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 5
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 6
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 7
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 8
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 9
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 10
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 11
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 12
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 13
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 14
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 15
   The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews: Chapter 16

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