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fully expiated the sins of all that come unto God by him. And this declares the glory of his office.
2dly, By his glorious power, he makes all things subservient to the ends of his mediation. For he is given to be head over all things to the church. All things are in his power and at his disposal, as he is exalted at the right hand of God, and he will assuredly make them all work together for the good of them that do believe. And,
3dly, He is able to render the persons and duties of believers accepted in the sight of God. To present them unto God, is the great remaining duty of his office. That they be so, is their only real concern in this world, and that alone which their minds are principally exercised about. And what greater security hereof can they have, than the interest and glory which this their high priest hath in heaven? 1 John ii. 1, 2.
VER. 2.-The second pre-eminence of our Lord Christ as our high priest, which the apostle calls over in this summary of his discourse, is contained in this second verse..
VER. 2.—Των άγιων λειτ8ργος, και της σκηνής αληθινής, ήν έπηξεν ὁ Kuβίος, και εκ ανθρωπος.
Argos, minister; Twy ywv. Vul. Lat. Sanctorum. Rhem. 'Of the holies.' Syr. p 27, of the holy house,' or domus sanctuarii, of the house of the sanctuary.' Sanctuarii, ' of the sanctuary,' as we shall see. 'Hv živo Kugos; Vul. Lat. Quod fixit Deus, which God hath fixed or pitched.' Rhem. ' which our Lord pight;' following the original as to the word Kugies. Syr. x, God.' Nw, and not a Son of man.' Some copies of the Vulgar Latin, Dominus.
VRR. 2.-A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
There are two parts of these words, expressing,
1. What is affirmed of our high priest, namely, that he was a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle.'
2. An amplification of what is so affirmed, by the description and distinction of this tabernacle, which the Lord fixed, and not man.'
In the first also there are two things.
1. The assertion of his office, he is a minister.'
2. The assignation and limitation of his discharge of that office; it is the sanctuary and true tabernacle.'
First, It is affirmed, that he is Arougyos, a minister.' Having declared the glory and dignity which he is exalted unto, as sitting down at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in heaven, what can be farther expected from him? There he lives, eternally happy in the enjoyment of his own blessedness and
glory. Is it not reasonable it should be so, after all the hardships and miseries which he, being the Son of God, underwent in this world? Who can expect that he should any longer condescend unto office and duty? Neither generally have men any other thoughts concerning him. But where then would lie the advantage of the church in his exaltation, which the apostle designs in an especial manner to demonstrate? Wherefore unto the mention of it he immediately subjoins the continuation of his office. He is still aurougyos, a public minister for the church.
ASTUgye, is to minister,' either with God, or before God, as a priest for others; or for God, in the name of God towards others, as do magistrates and ministers of the gospel. And therefore all these sorts are called age, or said urg The Lord Christ is expressly spoken of here as a priest; it is a name of his priestly office wherein he acts towards God. Nor is he any where called or said to be λurgos, in any of his actings from God towards us; although he be said therein to be Saxons, Rom. xv. 8. that is, he was so in the days of his flesh, but that name now no way belongeth to him. He is not therefore styled a minister, because he executeth the purposes of God, towards us, as Schlictingius fancieth; but he acts towards God and before God, on our behalf, according to the duty of a priest. He went into heaven to appear in the presence of God for us, and to discharge his office before God on our behalf. And it is granted also, that by virtue thereof he doth also communicate all good things from God to us. For the whole administration of things sacred between God and the church, is committed to him. And we must observe, that
Obs. I. The Lord Christ in the height of his glory, condescends to discharge the office of a public minister in the behalf of the church. We are not to bound our faith on Christ, as to what he did for us on the earth. The life and efficacy of the whole of his mediation depends on what he did antecedently thereunto, and what he doth consequently to it. For in these things doth the glory of his love and grace most eminently appear. Antecedently to what he did on earth, and to make way for it, there was his infinite condescension in assuming our nature. He was in the form of God, and in the eternal enjoyment of all the blessedness which the divine nature is essentially accompanied withal. Yet being thus rich, this was his grace, that for our sakes he became poor. This ineffable grace and love of Christ is the principal object of our faith and admiration, as it is declared by the apostle, Phil. ii. 6-9. And as he emptied himself, and laid aside his glory for a season, to undertake the work of mediation; so now he hath resumed his glory as to the manifestation of his divine power, and hath the highest addition of glory in his human nature, by his exaltation at the right hand of God, yet he continueth his care of, and
love towards the church, so as yet to discharge the office of a public minister in their behalf. As all the shame, reproach, misery with death, that he was to undergo on the earth, deterred him not from undertaking this work, so all the glory which he is environed withal in heaven, diverts him not from continuing the discharge of it.
Secondly, There is a limitation of this ministration of our high priest, with respect to its proper object, and that in a double expression. For, he is a minister, I. Tway. 2. Tus cons της αληθινης.
Ist, He is so, Tav dyr. The word may be either of the mas culine or of the neuter gender, and so respect either persons or things. If it be taken in the former way, it is of the saints.' And this is the ordinary sense of y, in the books of the New Testament; saints or holy persons. But they cannot be here precisely intended. And the apostle useth this word frequently in another sense in this epistle. Tay ay, from dyia, of the neuter gender, may have a double signification. 1. Of holy things in general. 2. Of holy places.
1. Of things, so the Vul. Lat. renders the word, sanctorum, which the Rhemists translate holies; that is, of holy persons or holy things. And ours, place holy things in the margin. And the sense is true, if the signification of the word be extended to all holy things. For the ministration of them all is committed to Jesus Christ. But the word hath yet a more peculiar signification.
2. The inmost part of the tabernacle, our apostle calls y ay, Heb. ix. 3. that is, wip wp, the holy of holies,' the most holy place. And absolutely he calls it aya,the holies,' Heb. ix. 8. 12. 24, 25. xiii. 11. And in answer thereunto, he calleth our spiritual presence before God, whereunto we have an access by the blood of Christ, by the same name, Heb. x. 19. And hence the word is rendered by most interpreters, the sanctuary,' as by the Syr. The house of the sanetuary. Particularly that part of the tabernacle whereinto the high priest entered alone, and that but once a year. Take this sanctuary properly and literally, and Christ was not the minister of it. He never entered into it, nor could, nor had any right so to do, because it belonged and was appropriated to others, as our apostle declares, ver. 4.
Wherefore we must take our direction herein from the words following. For mentioning the whole tabernacle, as he doth here one part of it, namely the sanctuary, he gives it a note of distinction from the old tabernacle of Moses, the true tabernacle. So must the sanctuary be distinguished from that of old. It is that which answers thereunto. And this is nothing but heaven itself. Heaven, not as considered absolutely, but as the place of God's glorious presence, the temple of the living God, where
the worship of the church is represented, and all its affairs transacted. This is called God's sanctuary, Psal. cii. 19. "He looked down from the height of his sanctuary, from heaven did the Lord behold the earth. And so the apostle himself plainly interprets this place, Heb. ix. 24. "Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself." And this is called the sanctuary, because there doth really dwell and abide, all that was typically represented in the sanctuary below. And therein doth the Lord Christ discharge his priestly office for the good of the church. It was a joyful time with the church of old, when the high priest entered into the holy place. For he carried with him the blood wherewith atonement was made for all their sins. Yet he was quickly again to leave that place and his ministration therein. But our high priest abides in the sanctuary, in the holy place for ever, always representing the efficacy of the blood whereby atonement was made for all our sins.
Obs. I. As no interposition between heaven and us should discourage us, while Christ is there ministering for us; so his being there will draw our hearts and minds thither continually, if so be we are really interested in his holy ministrations.-These things are to some in darkness and obscurity; if not wholly out of their sight yet out of their practice. In their faith, worship and obedience, they find no concernment in the heavenly ministrations of this high priest. Things within the vail are hid from them. Yet would such persons be esteemed Christians. But the relief, the direction, the consolation, which true believers do or may, in the due exercise of faith, receive by the consideration hereof, are gracious and pleasant, yea full of glory.
2dly, The second part of the limitation of the ministration of our high priest is in these words, και της σκηνής της αληθινης, 6 and of that true tabernacle,' which is farther described by its efficient cause, expressed both positively and negatively; which God pitched and not man.'
Expositors generally agree, that by true in this place, that which is substantial, solid and abiding is intended. For it is opposed to that which is umbratile, transitory and figurative. The old tabernacle could in no sense be said to be false or deceiving, for it was an ordinance of God, set up and used by his appointment, and gave true directions to its proper end. But it was figurative and typical, denoting somewhat that was to be the true and substantial tabernacle of God. So is the expression interpreted, John vi. 23. "Moses gave you not the bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven;" that is spiritually substantial, and abiding, nourishing the soul to eternal life.
But what the tabernacle here intended is, deserves our dili
gent inquiry. And I find a fourfold sense to be given of these words, the true tabernacle.'
1. Some (as Grotius) take it for this whole universe, the fabric of heaven and earth. This some, even among the heathen, have called the tabernacle and temple of God. This he hath made as it were to dwell in, as a certain fixed place for the manifestation of his glory. And whereas the ministry of Christ, at least as to the effects of it, is not confined to any certain place, above or below, to no material tabernacle or temple; the whole universe is called his tabernacle, as being that which is true, substantial and abiding. And thus it may answer what is affirmed of all power being given to him in heaven and earth, and his being given to be the head over all things to the church. -I see nothing absurd in this opinion, nor contradictory to the analogy of faith. But the design of the apostle in using these words and expressions, will not allow this to be his especial meaning. For somewhat he doth intend that the old tabernacle did typify and represent; now it did not typify the fabric of the universe, but that especial pattern which was showed to Moses in the mount.
2. Some, with more probability, do judge, that by the true tabernacle, the universal, spiritual, catholic church, is intended. For this is compared expressly to a tabernacle, Isa. xxxiii. 20. liv. 2. And herein doth God dwell, and walk amongst men. Hereof Christ may be said to be the minister. For as he is the head of it, so he dwelleth in it. And it is undoubtedly in the behalf of this tabernacle, that he continueth to administer in the holy place; and all the benefits of his ministration do redound hereunto. But yet all this doth not suffice to have the Lord Christ called the minister of this tabernacle. This indeed is that which he ministereth for, but it is not that which he ministereth by. The tabernacle, and the things contained in it, were the means of worship, and that which was materially employed in divine service, which the catholic church answereth not to. Neither was the tabernacle of old, which is here alluded to, a type of the church, but of Christ himself.
3. Most expositors take the tabernacle, as they do the sanctuary, for heaven itself. And they would have the word true, by a zeugma, to belong to the sanctuary as well as to the tabernacle, which we have also before allowed. But yet this proveth not, that the sanctuary and the tabernacle must be the same, though both be equally true in the same sense. This way go the Greek expositors, as Chrysostome, Theophylact and Oecumenius, on the place. And because this tabernacle is said to be fixed of God, Chrysostome reproacheth them who say, that the heavens do move and are spherical, though he never had a prophetical dream of the Copernican hypothesis. But yet, as Beza well observes, they forsook their own interpreta