« PreviousContinue »
which was committed to them," 1 Cor. iv. 9. 2. It is required that this obedience be universa). If there be an allowance in any one instance, where there is a compliance with the world, or other enemies of our obedience, the trouble of it will be much abated. For men by indulging any crooked steps to themselves, do compound for outward peace, and oft-times thuis obtain their aims, though greatly to their spiritual disadvantage. But the gospel obedience which we inquire into, is such as universally agrees in conformity with Christ in all things. And this will cost us dear. Sufferings will attend it. They that live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution. For this kind of obedience will be observed in the world. It cannot escape ohservation, because it is singular; and it provokes the world, because it is universal, and will admit of no compliance with it. And where the world is first awaked, and then enraged, trouble and suffering of one kind or another will ensue.
If it do not bite and tear, it will bark and rage. And Satan will see enough to make such his especial mark, as to all the oppositio'r and actings of enmity, which he puts forth against any in this world. Yea, and God himself 'oft-times delighteth to give a trial to eminent graces, where he endows any with them. For he gives them not for the peculiar advantage of them on whom they are bestowed only, but that he himself may have a revenue of glory from their exercise.
Obs. IV. Sufferings undergone according to the will of God, are highly instructive.-Even Christ himself learned by the things which he suffered, and much more may we do so, who have so much more to learn. God designs our sufferings to this end, and to this end he blesseth them. And this hath frequently been the issue of God's dealing with men ; those who have suffered most, have been most afflicted, most chastised, have been the most humble, most holy, fruitful and wise among them; and he that learneth such things, profiteth well under his instruction.
Obs. V. In all these things, both as to suffering, and learning, or profiting thereby, we have a great example in our Lord Jesus Christ.-As such is he proposed unto us in all his course of obedience, especially in his sufferings, 1 Pet. ii. 21. For he would leave nothing undone, which was any way needful, that his great work of sanctifying and saving his church to the utmost might be perfect.
Obs. VI. The love of God towards any, the relation of any unto God, binders not but that they may undergo great sufferings and trials. The Lord Christ did so, “ although he were a Son." And this instance irrefragably confirms our position. For the love of God to Jesus Christ was singular and super-eminent, He doth not love any with a love so much as of the same kind. The relation also of Christ unto God was singular ; none ever standing in the same relation unto him, he being his only begotten Son. And yet his sufferings and trials were singular also. No sorrows, no pains, no distresses of soul and body, no sufferings like his. And in the whole course of the Scripture we may observe, that the nearer any have been unto God, the greater have been their trials. For, 1. There is not in such trials and exercises, any thing that is absolutely evil ; but they are all such as may be rendered good, useful, yea honourable and glorious to the sufferers, from God's conduct in them, and from the end of them. 2. The love of God, and the gracious emanations of it, can, and do abundantly compensate the temporary evils, which any do undergo according to his will. 3. The glory of God, which is the end designed unto, and which shall infallibly ensue upon all the sufferings of the people of God, and that so much the greater as any of them, on any account, are nearer than others unto him, is such a good unto them which suffer, as that their sufferings neither are, nor are esteemed by them to be evil.
Ver. 9.—The words and design of this verse, have so great a coincidence with those of chap. ii. 10. that we shall the less need to insist upon them. Something only must be spoken to clear the context. The apostle having declared the sufferings of Christ as our high priest, in his offering of himself, with the necessity thereof, proceeded to declare both what was effected thereby, and what was the especial design of God therein. And this in general was, that the Lord Christ, considering our lost condition, might be every way fitted to be a perfect cause of eternal salvation unto all that do obey him.' There are, therefore, two things in the words, both which God aimed at, and accomplished in the sufferings of Christ. 1. On his own part, that he might be made perfect; not absolutely, but will respect unto the administration of his office, in the behalf of sinners. 2. With respect unto believers, that he might be unto them an author of eternal salvation; unto both these ends, the sufferings of Christ were necessary, and designed of God. VER. 9.-Και τελειωθεις εγενετο τοις υπακε8σιν αντω πασιν αιτιος σω
mngios diwy18. T:As.wdus, perfectus, consummatus, consecralus, perfect, consummated, fully consecrated.' Syr. panx x33:11, and so being made perfect, perfectus redditus, as Erasmus. Eystro, faclus est, fuit, he became.' Tos itar88F\V avtW, Vulg. sibi obtemperantibus. So Arias, Eras. Syr. And Beza, qui ipsi auscultant, keeping to the word, which in all the three languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin, signifies originally to hearken, to
hear, to attend unto, with a design to learn and obey. Argos, Syr. Noby, causa, so most. Beza, auctor, whom we follow; • the author.' Euongoces uwie, salutis æternæ, Syr. buhi nn77,
of life (or lives) which are eternal.' One learned Grammarian hath translated artios by causa efficiens et exhibens. Ethiop. The rewarder with life eternal, and the redeemer of the world.'
Teaswbers, being ‘ perfected, consummated, fully consecrated;' for the word is sacred, and expresseth sacred consecrations. As to the sense of it in this place, with respect unto the verses foregoing, it answers directly unto its use, chap. ii. 10. dve faImpathy towany to perfect by sufferings.' Only there it is used actively, with respect unto God the Father; it became him to make perfect the Captain of our salvation; here it is used passively, with respect unto the effect of that act of God on the person of Christ, who by his suffering was perfected. The signification of this word, and the constant use of it in this epistle, the reader may find at large, in our Exposition on chap. ii. 10. The sum is, that it signifies to dedicate, to consecrate, to sanctify and set apart, and that by some kind of suf. fering or other. So the legal high priests were consecrated by the death and suffering of the beasts, that were offered in sacrifice at their consecration, Exod. xxix. But it belonged unto the perfection of the priesthood of Christ, to be consecrated in and by his own sufferings. I shall, therefore, only remove out of the way, the corrupt exposition given us of this word by Schlictingius.
Teasswors, Ista, seu consummatio Christi, opponitur diebus car. nis ejus: tum enim cum Christus infirmus essel, et ipse alieno auxilio indigeret, non potuerat aliis perfectum in omnibus auxilium fer
Sed postquam consummatus est, id est, postquam immortalitatem, seu naturam incorruptibilem, supremamque in cælo et terra potestatem est adeplus, sicut nihil illi desit amplius ; seu postquam est adeo penitus consecratus, et plenè in Sacerdotem inauguratus, (quemadmodum aliqui hanc vocem explicandam putant) factus est causa salutis æterna. Nempe causa perfectissima. Nam et in diebus carnis suæ erat causa salulis æterna ; sed consummatus, factus est causa perfectissima Tunc causa erat nostræ salutis tan. quam Dei maximus lcgatus et apostolus ; nunc tanquam summus pontifex et Rex noster Cælestis a Deo constitutus.-There is also another expositor, who, although he grants that the tiduwois, here mentioned, hath respect unto the Dibra, or sacrifices at · the consecration of priests, which was antecedent unto their right of offering any thing in their own persons, yet so far complies with this interpretation, as to understand, I know not what, inauguration into a Melchisedecian priesthood, which consisted in a power of blessing after his resurrection; and so VOL. IV.
in the application of the word unto Christ, falls into a contradiction unto his own exposition of it, making it consist in his exaltation and endowment with power. But there is nothing sound in these discourses. For, 1. There is no opposition between this consecration of Christ, and the days of his flesh; for it was effected in and by his sufferings, which were only in the days of his flesh. And we have given the reason before, and that taken from the perfection of liis person and his office, why hie was himself consecrated for ever, in and by that sacrifice which he offered for us; for neither could be often offer himself, and it was destructive of his whole office, to have been consecrated by the offering of any other. 4. There is too much boldness in that expression, that Christ could not perfectly help others in the days of his flesh. For, set aside the consideration of his divine nature, wherein he wrought whatever the Father wrought, which this sort of men will not admit; he had declared openly, that “all power, all things were given into his hand,” Matt. xi.' “ Power over all flesh,” John xvii. Which surely extended unto an ability of relieving all them that were committed to him of God. It is true, he had not as yet absolutely perfected all the means of our salvation; but he was furnished with a fulness of power in their accomplishment, according to the method and order appoivted of God unto them. 3. It is not said, that after he was consecrated or perfected, or made immortal, as though these things were of the same in. port. For he was consecrated in and by his sufferings, as is expressly affirmed, chap. ii. 10. which were antecedent unto, and issued in his death. * 4. That the Lord Christ was not constituted and consecrated a high Priest before his entrance into heaven, is a direct contradiction unto the whole design of the apostle in this place. His purpose is, as hath been evidenced, and is acknowledged by all, to compare the Lord Christ as a high Priest, with the priests according to the law, and therein, he shews his pre-eminence above them. Among the things which to this purpose he makes mention of, are his sufferings, ver. 7,8. Now, if he suffered not, when he was a priest, and as he was so, nothing could be less to bis purpose. But, whereas he principally desigued to magnify the priestly office of Christ or his person in the exercise of it, on the account of mercy and compassion, ver. 2.; he proves his excelency unto that end, from his sufferings as he was a Priest, whence, in the future discharge of his office, he is inclined to give out merciful assistance unto them that suffer. 5. The pretended distinction, that Christ in the days of his flesh was inileed the cause of salvation, but afterwards, a most perfect cause of salvation, is unscriptural. The Lord Christ, in every condition, was the most perfect cause of salvation, although he performed some acts and works belonging thereunto in one estate, and some in another, according as the nature of the works themselves, to be performed unto that end, did require. For, some things that were necessary unto our perfect salvation, could not be accomplished, but in a state of humiliation, and some, on the other hand, depended on his exaltation. 6. What is affirmed concerning Christ's being the prophet of the church and the apostle of God, in the days of his flesh, but of his being a King and Priest afterwards, is another invention of this sort of men. He was always equally the King, Priest and Prophet of the church, though he exercises these offices and the several acts or duties of them variously, according as the nature of them doth require.
Tesweis, then, is, 'consecrated, dedicated, consummated sacredly.' And it was necessary that Christ should be so, both from the nature of his office and work, which he was sacredly and solemnly to be set apart unto, and to answer the types of the Aaronical priesthood, which were so eonsecrated and set apart. And in this consecration of the Lord Christ unto his. office of the priesthood, and his offering of sacrifice by virtue thereof, we may consider, 1. The sovereign disposing cause. 2. The formal cause, constitutive of it. 3. The external means. For the First, It was God, even the Father, who by his sovereign authority disposed, designed, called and separated the Lord Christ unto his office, which we have spoken unto once, and must again consider it on the verse following. Secondly, The formal cause of it, was his own will, obedientially giving up himself unto the authority and will of his Father, and that out of love unto, and delight in the work itself, Psal. xl. 6–8. And in especial did he thereby dedicate, separate and consecrate himself unto the principal work and duty of his office, or the offering of a sacrifice, John xvii. 19. Thirdly, The external means were his own sufferings, especially in the offering of himself. This alone hath any difficulty attending it; how the Lord Christ can be said to be consecrated by his own sufferings in his offering, when his offering was an aet of that office which he was consecrated unto. But I answer, that seeing an external means of the consecration of Christ was necessary, it could be no other but only his own sufferings in the offering of himself. For, 1. It was impossible for him, unworthy of him, and beneath both the dignity of his person and excellency of his office, and inconsistent with the very nature of it, that he should be consecrated by any other sacrifice, as of beasts and the like, as were the priests of old. To suppose the suffering and offering of beasts to be useful to this purpose, is repugnant to the whole design of God, and destructive of the office of Christ itself, as is manifest. 2. He could not consecrate himself by an