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A.D.63. fhall devour the ad- Divine Wrath and Vengeance, that
Cap. ii. 3.
28 He that despised Mofes law, died without mercy, under two or three witnesses :
29 Of how much forer punishment, fuppofe ye, fhall he be thought worthy, who hath troden under foot the fon of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was fanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
awaits the obftinate Adverfaries of true Religion.
28 & 29. And how great that will be, you may conclude from God's. dealing with Apoftates, and prefumptuous Offenders against the Jewish. Law. Whoever was convicted of fuch a Crime by the Teftimony of two or three Witneffes, was ordered to be flain without Mercy, Numb. xv. Deut. xvii. How much more dreadful and exemplary, do you think, muft be that final Deftruction of those, who now, contemptuously, and againft the cleareft Evidences, reject the Authority of Christ the Meffiah, the very Son of God, prophaning and treating his precious Blood, that ratified this gracious Covenant of their Redemption, as the Blood of an ordinary Perfon, nay, of a Malefactor; and doing the utmost Contempt to the Holy Spirit fo graciously given; by undervaluing the great and miraculous Powers, which fo amply demonstrated the Truth of their Holy Profeffion? 30 For we know 30. Remember those fevereWords him that hath faid, (Deut. xxxii. 35, 36.) Wherein God Vengeance belongeth declares, that To Him belongeth Venunto me, I will recompenfe, faith the geance and Recompence. And again, Lord. And again, The Lord will judge his [disobedient] The Lord fhall judge People. his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
31. Confider, duly, and in time, how fearful a thing it is to fall under the final Difpleafure of an Infinite Governour, whofe Juftice upon obftinate and incurable Offenders is eternally durable, as his Existence is.
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated, ye
32. And, the better to fupport yourselves under your prefent Perfecutions, recollect and comfort your Spirits with a fenfe of that generous
endured a great fight of Chriftian Courage that carried you A.D. 63. through the Sufferings which befel you at your first Conversion.
33 Partly whilst ye were made a gazingftock, both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly whilst ye became companions of them that were fo used.
34 For ye had compaffion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the poiling of your goods, know ing in your felves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring fubftance. with all you had in
35 Caft not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of
34. When you were fo truly Courageous, as to own and relieve those Apoftles (and me in particular) that were imprifoned in Judea for Chrift's Religion; and were fo intirely convinced of the Certainty of that eternal Happiness of Heaven, promised in the Gospel, as chearfully to part this World for the Sake of it.
35. After fuch fignal Inftances, therefore, of Courage and Refolution, in owning a Religion you know to be attended with fuch ample and glorious Rewards; How little and mean would it now be, to fhrink back and forfeit fuch Hopes!
36 For ye have need of patience; that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promife.
36. Confider, that Courage and Patience is the only thing that is to carry you through, and bring you to the the Heavenly State; which is the Recompence for fubmitting to the Divine Will and Providence.
* Ver. 34. Knowing in your felves, or rather knowing that you your felves (that are thus perfecuted) have in Heaven a betterSubftance. So the Alexand. MSS. read it laurs, as alfo the Syr. Arab. and Clem. Alexandrinus.
|| A&s viii. 2. 1 Thef, ii. 14.
A.D.63. 27 For yet a little 37. Nor be difcouraged, that you while, and the that are not immediately refcued from your fhall come, will come, Perfecutions; for tho' it be not imand will not tarry, mediate, yet, be aflured, your Deliverance will not only be certain, but fpeedy enough too. According to thofe Words of the Prophet, Hab. ii. 3. fpoken of the Coming of Christ, Though he tarry, wait for Him. For He that cometh (i. e. † Chrift) will come, and will not tarry long.
38 Now the just fhall live by faith: but any man draw back, my foul fhall have no pleasure in him.
38. And forget not the following Words, ver. 4. Now the Just shall live by his Faith, i. e. By a firm and refolute Belief of, and Adherence to the Revelation of God's Will, when fufficiently made to him, and by a faithful Perfeverance in a Practice agreeable to fuch Belief. But if any Man drawback, my Soul fhall have no pleasure in him, i. e. Whoever, after the Entertainment of Divine Truth, hypocritically conceals, or cowardly renounces the Profeffion of it; fhall forfeit all the Bleffings to which it entitled him.
39 But we are not Cap. vi. 9.of them who draw back unto perdition: but of them that believe, to the faving of the foul.
39. And, Brethren, I hope the generality of you, that have thus far ftood out, under your former Perfecutions, will not now at last be loft for want of Courage, but will reap the final Salvation promifed in the Gospel, by a teddy Perfeverance in its Faith and Principles.
He that cometh.
See Mat, xi. 3. Luke vii. 19. xeori, will not ftay too long. Septuag. kav vxossínyrai, if, or whenever, he draws back.
Will not tarry:
CHA P. XI.
The Apofile's Third Argument, for encouraging the Chriftians of Judea to Perfeverance in their Profeffion, under all their Perfecutions, viz. The numerous Examples of all the Patriarchs and Holy Men recorded in Scripture, or in the Apocryphal Writings, as the most eminent Servants of God. That they all were juflified by the fame Principle of Faith in God's Revelation; for fuffering under the fame Hopes of future and invifible Bleffings, that Chriftianity now propofeth: And, for the very fame, fhall they, and all good Chriftians, be finally and compleatly rewarded together at the Great Day of Judgment.
OW faith is the 1.
N fubftance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not feen.
•I Said, it was a steddy Faith in A. D. 63. Chrift, and a refolute Profef-~ fion of his Religion, that must pro- Chap. x. cure your Salvation. And whereas 29. the Jewish Zealots are wont to affright you, by confidently affirming, That to embrace Christianity, is to Apoftatize from Mofes and from God: It will be enough to filence that vain Pretence, to confider, that to be a Chriftian, is the Exercife and Result of no other Principle of Faith, but what juftified all the Patriarchs and holy Men of Old; viz. Such a rational and fteddy Belief, either of Things long fince paft, or of the invifible Bleffings of a future Life, proportionable to the Evidences God has given us of them, as will actuate us into Obedience, and make us ready to fuffer for the Profeffion of fuch a Belief,
* Ver. 1. The fubftance of things hoped for: vnosuok, The firm Affurance, or Expectation. So this Word is truly render'd Pfal. xxxix. 7. Ruth i. 12. Ezek. xix. 5. in the LXX. and Chap. iii. 14. of this Epiftle.
&c. Jobni.2, 34.
4. By faith Abel of-
which he obtained
our Services acceptable
5. By faith Enoch
becaufe God had tran-
4. The ferious Belief of Divine Revelation rendered the Sacrifice of Abel acceptable, and the Want of it caufed Cain's to be rejected. God demonstrating his Acceptance of him as a pious and good Man, by caufing Fire from + Heaven to confume his Sacrifice. And though Abel be dead, yet is his Sacrifice a ftanding Evidence, That this is the Principle that makes to God.
5. As a Reward of this very fame Virtue, was Enoch tranflated from Earth, without dying according to the common Courfe of Nature. Gen. v. 22, 24.
his tranflation he had this teftimony, that he pleafed God.
6 But without faith it is impoffible to * See ver. 1. please him: for he that cometh to God, muft believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently feek him,
6. And indeed, nothing is plainer, than that a firm Perfwafion of the Existence of God (tho' he be* invifible to us) and a lively Hope and Affurance, proportionable to the Knowledge Men have of his Nature and Will, that he will reward all
Evenσe. Verfion. Theodof. See Gen. xv. 17. Lev. ix. 24,