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fruitful works of darkness. Give thanks always for all things to God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray always, with all prayer and supplication for all saints. Let the mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. Look not every man on his own things .only, but every man also on the things of others. Let your moderation be known to all men, and be anxious about nothing. Seek the things that are above. Set your affections on them, and not on the things on the earth. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Walk in wisdom to them who are without. Whatsoever ye do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. Let the rich in this world not be highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good; be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good deposit against the time to come, that ye may lay hold on eternal life. Let the poor see that they be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom. Let husbands love their wives, as Christ loves the Church. Let wives be subject to their husbands, as the Church is to Christ. Let parents bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Let children be obedient to their parents in the Lord. Let masters give to their servants the things that are just and equal; and let servants obey not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but with singleness of heart, as serving God. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. Let the elders feed the flock of Christ ; let them watch for souls as they who must give account; and let the brethren submit themselves to their self-chosen elders, and esteem them very highly in love, for their work's sake.” These are some of the commandments of our Lord Jesus, and of His holy Apostles. Lay them up in your hearts, practise them in your lives; and remember that “this is love, that we walk after His commandments," and in keeping these commandments there is great reward. Look to yourselves, then, brethren, that we lose not the things which we have wrought, but that you and we may both receive a full reward. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and any praise, think on these things. Now may the God of all grace, who hath called you unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. And unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
DISCOURSE VI. .
ENTRANCE INTO THE HOLIEST BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
HEB. X. 19–22.—" Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God ; let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
The text resolves itself into two parts,-a statement of facts or principles, which are taken for granted, as already fully proved; and an exhortation to duty, grounded on the admission of these facts or principles. The statement is in these words :-“We have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, His flesh; and we have a great High Priest over the house of God." The exhortation is in these words :-“ Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience." To the illustration of this statement and of this injunction, in their order, I mean to devote the following discourse.
I. We begin with the statement of the principles taken for granted. These are two-the first of them more largely and particularly stated, the second more generally and briefly. The first principle which the Apostle takes for granted as sufficiently proved, as stated in our version, is, that “we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, His flesh.” What is this principle ? What do these words mean? for they certainly are not self-obvious.
It is not often that we have reason to complain of our excellent translation of the Holy Scriptures, that it is not sufficiently literal. It is, indeed, in consequence of its extreme VOL. II.
literalness, sometimes obscure, if not unintelligible. But in the passage before us, there is ground for such a charge. The words, literally rendered, are: “Having therefore,” or “thus,'
brethren, boldness, or confidence, in reference to the entrance into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus,” or “the entrance of Jesus by blood into the holiest,' “ which”—i.e., which entrance, or by which entrance—“ He has consecrated for us a new and living way, through the vail, that is to say, of His flesh.” The declaration, even thus rendered, is somewhat obscure, and, as a very acute and learned interpreter has remarked, “ few seem to understand it." 1
The first question to be resolved here is, What and where is that “ entrance into the holiest,” of which the Apostle here speaks? It has been common to consider the entrance into the holiest, here, as the entrance of believers; and that entrance has been explained of the thoughts and affections of Christians being fixed on, and their devotions directed to, the reconciled Divinity (of whom the glory hovering over the mercy-seat, sprinkled with blood, in the holy of holies, in the Jewish sanctuary, was an emblem) by which they, as it were, approach God, come to Him, even to His place, enter His peculiar dwellingplace,-in plain words, have all the intercourse with God which is compatible with a state in which the capacities and activities of the mind are limited by its union to a material body. But to this mode of interpretation there are strong objections ; for throughout the whole of this Epistle, “ the holy of holies” is the emblem of heaven ; and to enter into the holy of holies, is, in other words, to go to heaven. Besides, it is plain that the Apostle is not here stating something new ; he is referring to something which he had already illustrated. Now, what the Apostle has been illustrating, is neither that Christians have a present spiritual access to God, as a reconciled God, who is in heaven, nor that they shall have a future real bodily entrance into heaven ; but that Christ, as our High Priest, has really and bodily entered into heaven, the true holy place, the antitype of the holy of holies in the tabernacle and temple. I cannot doubt, then, that the entrance here spoken of is this entrance of our Lord, by His own blood, on the ground of the accepted sacrifice which He finished in shedding His blood on the cross,
the entrance which took place in consequence of His ascension from Mount Olivet.
Thus has one main point been ascertained—the entrance here spoken of is the entrance of our Lord into heaven;' but a few remarks on the construction of the passage, which is considerably involved, will be necessary, to open the way satisfactorily to a distinct apprehension of its meaning. These remarks I shall endeavour to make as brief and as plain as possible.
The words, “ by a new and living way, which He has consecrated for us,” are, literally, “by which entrance He has consecrated for us a new and living way,” and are, I apprehend, parenthetical.
The phrase, “ through the vail,” if I mistake not, is immediately connected with the entrance of Jesus into the holiest of all by blood. It is a further description of this entrance. The entrance of Jesus by blood, through the vail, into the holy place, is just that described in chap. ix. 11, 12: “ Christ being come a High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
The concluding explicatory phrase, “ that is, His flesh,” has commonly been supposed to refer to the expression which immediately precedes it—“ the vail,” and has been considered as teaching that our Lord's body, which He Himself compares to the temple, was the antitype of the vail which in the tabernacle and temple divided “ the holy of holies” from the holy place, the second sanctuary from the first, and that the rending of that vail was symbolical of His death. However plausible this interpretation may be on a cursory survey, on a closer inspection, it will be found liable to great, and, as I conceive, insurmountable objections. Throughout the Epistle, as the holy of holies is the emblem of the heaven of heavens, the place of God's glory, so the holy place, the tabernacle and its vails, seem plainly to be the emblem of the visible heavens, by passing through which our High Priest entered into the heaven of heavens. Besides, though the rending of the vail, taken by itself, and in its consequences, as laying open the holy of holies, may not unfitly