« ÖncekiDevam »
der the Old Testament; for although it were so in the substance of it, yet it was not so as a complete rest. Justification, and peace with God thereon, are properly and directly ours; they were theirs by a participation in our privileges; God, having ordained some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect,' Heb. xi, ult.
2. In our freedom from bondage, a servile frame of spirit in the worship of God. Under the Old Testament they had the spirits of servants, though they were sons; For the heir as long as he is (vX110g) an infant, unableto guide himself, differeth nothing from a servant, but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the Father. And this kept them from that full and complete rest, which now is to be entered into, and which cannot be but where there is liberty.
3. Evangelical rest consists in a delivery from the yoke and bondage of Mosaical institutions. For as the people of old had a spirit of bondage, so they had upon them (Buyov) a yoke. And this rest in the consciences of men, from an obligation to a multitude of anxious scrupulous observances, under most severe revenging penalties, is no small part of that rest, which our Savior proposes as an encouragement to sinners for coming to him, Matt. ii, 28-30.
4. This rest consists in that gospel worship to which we are called. This is a blessed rest on account, for instance, of that liberty of spirit which believers have in obeying it; of the assistance which the worshippers have for the performance of the worship in an acceptable manner; and, finally, the worship itself, and the obedience it requires, are not grievous; but easy, gentle, rational, suited to the principles of the new nature of the worshippers.
5. This also is God's rest; for God resteth, ultimately and absolutely, as to all the ends of his glory, in Christ, as exhibited in the gospel; and through him he rests in his love towards believers also; and this is that worship which he ultimately and unchangeably requires in this world, nor is it liable to any alteration or change to the consummation of all things. This, therefore, is God's rest and ours.
$6. “Lest any of you should seem to come short of it; (TIS EŽ Vuwv) any of you. We all ought to take care of one another, or fear each other's dangers and temptations, laboring to prevent their efficacy, by mutual brotherly care and assistance, (doun) should seem, refers to at any time. The apostle intends to warn them against all appearance of any such failing as that he cautions them against; desiring them to take heed that none of them do, by remitting their former zeal and diligence, give any signs of a declension from, or desertion of their profession; let there be no apparent resemblance of any such thing found amongst you. “To come short,' (uolepnuevai) to be left behind, that is, in the work of first receiving the promise when proposed. If men fail in the beginning, probably they will quite give over in their progress. Generally, expositors think here is an allusion to them who run in a race, but the allusion is taken from the people in the wilderness, and their passing into the land of Canaan. Most of them were heavy through unbelief, lagging in their progress, and, as it were, left behind in the wilderness, where they perished, and came short of entering into the promised land.
87. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them, or, For we were evangelized even as they. The word (evayyenišouces) evangelized, though of various construction, is here used positively, and the nominative case (mmeus) we is included in the verb substantive (equev) we are evangelized; we have the gospel preached unto us. And in what way soever the word is used, it no where denotes the receiving of the gospel in the power of it, by them who are evangelized; that is, it includes not the faith of the hearers, but only expresseth the act of preaching, and the outward enjoyment of it. The gospel, and therein the promise of entering into the rest of God, is preaching to us, (nbarep na nervo!) even as they; they who had, who disbelieved, and rejected the promise of God, and so came short of entering into his rest. The comparison therefore intended, is merely between the persons, THEY and we. As they enjoyed the gospel, so do we; as it was preached to them, so to us. The promise made to Abraham, contained the substance of the gospel, and was confirmed to his posterity; all the typical institutions of the law, afterwards introduced, had no other end but to instruct the people in the nature and accomplishment of the promise, and to this purpose they all served until the time of reformation. To the spiritual part of the promise made to Abraham, there was annexed a promise of the inheritance of the land of Canaan, that it might instruct him and his seed in the nature of faith, to live in the expectation of what is not theirs in possession; that it might be a pledge of the love, power, and faithfulness of God, in accomplishing the spiritual part of the promise; that it might be a place of rest for the church, wherein it might attend solemnly to the observance of all those institutions of worship, which were appointed to direct them to the promise. Hence the declaration of the promise of entering into Canaan, and the rest of God therein, became, in an especial manner, the 'preaching of the gospel to them; the land itself
and their possession of it was sacramental. It is worthy of remark, that the words, 'for unto us was the gospel preached even as unto them, seem to import, that we are no less concerned in the gospel declaration, and the promise made unto them, than they were; otherwise the apostle would have rather said, the gospel was preached to them even as to us; seeing of its preaching to the present Hebrews there could be no question. Paul reminds his brethren, that their progenitors had a promise given them of entering into the rest of God, which, because of unbelief, they came short of, and perished under his displeasure; now, whereas, they might reply, what is that to us, wherein are we concerned in it; can we reject a promise which doth not belong to us? The apostle replies, to us, to all the posterity of Abraham in all generations was the gospel preached, in the promise of entering into the rest of God; and may no less be sinned against at any time by unbelief, than it was by them to whom it was at first granted; when it was preached to them, it was also preached to us, so that the obligation to faith and obedience was no less on the one than on the other generation; for the present dispensation of the gospel was but the continuation of the same gracious promise.
$8. The word preached did not profit them;' (o novog Tys axons) the word of hearing, which expression, being general, is limited by (ETHYyEduc) the promise, in the verse foregoing. The word (o nogos) may be (ETayyedia) a promise in itself, but if it be not the word of hearing, that is, so managed by the appointment of God as that we may hear it, we could have no advantage by it. In short, the phrase (o 10yos tus axons) imports, the promise preached, and as preached. Of this word it is said, 'it profited them not,' they had no
advantage by it; for it was a notorious fact, that notwithstanding the promise given of entering into the rest of God, they entered not in. And there seems to be a meiosis in the words also; it was so far from benefiting them, that it became the innocent occasion of their ruin. As if he had said, consider what befell them, how they perished in the wilderness under the indig. nation of God, and you will see how far they were from having any advantage by what they heard; and such will be the issue with all that shall neglect the word in like manner.
89. 'Not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.' The word not being mixed (um OuyXEMPELLEVOS) taken in a natural sense, denotes to mix or mingle one thing with another, as water and wine; or to mix compositions in cordials, or in poisons. This mixture which was properly of a cup to drink, was sometimes so made as to give it strength and efficacy to inebriate, or give it any pernicious effect; and hence a cup of mixture is expressed as an aggravation. Sometimes the mixture was made to temperate and alleviate, as water mixed with strong inebriating wine; hence a cup without mixture is an expression of great indignation; Rev. xiv, 10, nothing being added to the wine of fury and astonishment to take off its fierceness. 'This being the import of the word, expositors illustrate the whole sense by variou6 allusions, whence they suppose the expression to arise: some to the mixture of things to be eaten and drank, that they may be made suitable and useful to the nourishment of the body; some to the mixture of the natural ferment of the stomach with meat and drink, causing digestion and nourishment; and this last allusion seems well to represent the nature of faith in this matter. The sum is, spiritual truths, being savingly believed, are