Page images
[ocr errors]

· shall never stand in need of any far

ther Change or Alteration. These are Sermon the heads of those Arguments which I. the Author of this Epistle does largely discourse upon.

Now the Gospel having in these respects the advantage of t) Dispensation, the Apostle doth all along in this Epistle earnestly exhort the Jews to a constant Profession and steadfast Belief of the Gospel, and not to return back from Christianity to Judaism, which was a far less perfect Institution. Ch. 2. 1. Therefore we ought to give the more earnesto heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we foould let them slip, napagguõues, lest we should fall away, so the word may be render'd. And Ch. 3. 12. Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.' And Ch. 4. 1. Let us therefore fear, left a promise being left us ofena tring into his reft, any of you should seem to come sort of it. And Ch. 10. 23. Let us hold fást the Profesion of our faith without wavering.

B 2 After

Volume After which he declares the dan-

ger of Apostacy, or falling off from
the Belief and Profession of the Go-
spel which they had entertained ;
v. 26. For if we fin wilfully after we
have received the knowledge of the
truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice
for fín. He tells them they would
be Ihrewdly tempted to Apostacy
by the Reproaches, Amictions and
Perfecutions that they would meet
withal : but the Promiles of the Go-
spel were sufficient to support and
bear up good men under these, if
they were but firmly perswaded of
the truth of them; and tho' they did
not for the present receive the things
promised, yet a firm belief of them
would carry them through all Suf-
ferings, and make them hold' out
under them. The just shall live by
faith. v. 38..

And having mention’d the power of Faith, that is, of a confident perswafion of the truth and reality of the Promises of the Gospel to support Men under Sufferings, he gives an account how Faith uses to have this influence,


[ocr errors]

ver. 1. Faith is the substance of things

Sermon hoped for, so we render the word υπότασκ: but it might be much better · render'd, both according to the frequent use of it in the Septuagint, and in the New Testament, 'a confidence of things hoped for, that is, a confident expectation of things hoped for, or a firm perswasion that our Hopes will not be frustrated. And as this is more agreeable to the Scope and Design of the Apostle, so likewise to the common acceptation of this word in the New Testame

Testament, for which I will appeal to two places. 2 Cor. ix. 4. That we be not put to Name in this confidence of boasting, fy sñ úrosage taula. The other Text is in this Epist. Ch.iii. 14. That we hold fast the beginning of our confidence, την αρχήν υποτάσεως, which is of the very faine sense with tasimoia, at the 6th ver. If we hold fast the confidence mapinoiav, and rejoycing of the hope firm unto the end. And the evidence of things not seen, reyzu, the conviction,a being convinced,or perswaded of the truth of those things, for which we have no occular or sensible demonstration. Now if Faith in the Promises of the Gospel do perswade us

B 3


m and give us satisfaction that we shall Volume receive a Reward, which will outXII. weigh and countervail our present Suf

ferings, then Faith is likely to fupport us under Sufferings.

And that this is no strange thing which the Apostle speaks of Faith, he shews that in all Ages Faith hath been the principle of all Holy and Heroick Actions. By it the Elders obtained a good report; it is that which made the Holy Men of the Old Testament so famous; and this he proves throughout this Chapter, by a large indu

tion of particular Instances, in which we see the power of Faith, the wonderful effects of it, and the mighty works it hath done in the World."

But because he said before that Faith is the evidence, or conviction of thing's not seen, as well as a confident expectation of things hoped for, before he comes to instance in the effects of Faith upon particular persons in the Old Testament, he proves it to be The evidence of things not seen, that is, being convinc'd and perswaded of things of which we have no sensible and o


cular demonstration, ver. 3d. Throu n Faith we understand that the Worlds Sermon were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear; that is, tho’ we were not present at the making of the World, nor did see it framed; yet we are satisfied, and do believe that it was made by the powerful word of God, and that all those things which we see were not produced out of things which do now appear, but either immediately out of nothing, or a dark confused Chaos.

And having thus prov'd that we may be perswaded of things we do not see, of things past, or future, he comes to the particular instances of the Holy Men of the Old Testament, in whom the power of Faith did appear. He begins with Abel, who being perfwaded of the Being of God, and the Perfection and Excellency of the Divine Nature, and consequently that he was worthy to be served with the best, by virtue of this Faith offer'd up to God a more, excellent Sacrifice, than Cain. The second Instance is in Enoch, who being perswaded of the Being of God,


: B4

« PreviousContinue »