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By Andrew Murray






PREFACE.

When first I undertook the preparation of this exposition in Dutch for the Christian people among whom l labour, it was under a deep conviction that the Epistle just contained the instruction they needed. In reproducing it in English, this impression has been confirmed, and it is as if nothing could be written more exactly suited to the state of the whole Church of Christ in the present day. The great complaint of all who have the care of souls is the lack of whole-heartedness, of stedfastness, of perseverance and progress in the Christian life. Many, of whom one cannot but hope that they are true Christians, come to a standstill, and do not advance beyond the rudiments of Christian life and practice. And many more do not even remain stationary, but turn back to a life of worldliness, of formality, of indifference. And the question is continually being asked, What is the want in our religion that, in so many cases, it gives no power to stand, to advance, to press on unto perfection? And what is the teaching that is needed to give that health and vigour to the Christian life that, through all adverse circumstances, it may be able to hold fast the beginning firm to the end.

The teaching of the Epistle is the divine answer to these questions. ln every possible way it sets before us the truth that it is only the full and penect knowledge of what Christ is and does for us that can bring us to a full and perfect Christian life. The knowledge of Christ Jesus that we need for conversion does not suffice for growth, for progress, for sanctification, for maturity. Just as there are two dispensations, the Old Testament and the New, and the saints of the Old, with all their faith and fear of God, could not obtain the more perfect life of the New, so with the two stages in the Christian life of which the Epistle speaks. Those who, through sloth, remain babes in Christ, and do not press on to maturity, are ever in danger of hardening their heart, of coming short and falling away. Only those who hold fast the beginning firm to the end, who give diligence to enter the rest, who press on unto perfection, do in very deed inherit and enjoy the wonderful new covenant blessings secured to us in Christ. And the great object of the Epistle is to show us that if we will but follow the Lord fully, and yield ourselves wholly to what God in Christ is ready to do, we shall find in the gospel and in Christ everything that we need for a life of joy and strength and final victory.

The cure the Epistle has for all our failures and feebleness, the one preservative from all danger and disease, is-the knowledge of the higher truth concerning Jesus, the knowledge of Him in His heavenly priesthood. ln connection with this truth, the writer has three great mysteries he seeks to unfold. The one is that the heavenly sanctuary has been opened to us, so that we may now come and take our place there, with Jesus in the very presence of God. The second, that the new and living way by which Jesus has entered, the way of self-sacrifice and perfect obedience to God, is the way in which we now may and must draw nigh. The third, that Jesus, as our heavenly High Priest, is the minister of the heavenly sanctuary, and dispenses to us its blessings, the spirit and the power of the heavenly life, in such a way that we can live in the world as those who arc come to the heavenly Jerusalem, and in whom the spirit of heaven is the spirit of all their life and conduct; the heavenly priesthood of Jesus, heaven opened to us day by day, our entering it by the new and living way, and heaven entering us by the Holy Spirit. Such is the gospel to the Hebrews the Epistle brings, such is the life to which it reveals the way and the strength. The knowledge of the heavenly character of Christ's person and work is what alone can make heavenly Christians, who, amid all the difficulties and temptations of life on earth, can live as those whom the superior power of the upper world has possessed, and in whom it can always give the victory.

ln offering these meditations now to a wider circle of readers, l do so with the prayer that it may please God to use them to inspire some of His children with new confidence in their blessed Lord, as they learn to know Him better and give themselves up to expect and experience all that He is able to do for them. l have not been afraid of continually repeating the one thought: Our one need is, to know Jesus better; the one cure for all our feebleness, to look to Him on the throne of heaven, and really claim the heavenly life He waits to impart.

Just as l was about to write the Preface to the Dutch issue, in the first week of last year, I received from my beloved colleague as a New Year's text, with the wish that it might be my experience, the words: "Jesus taketh with Him Peter and James and John, and bringeth them into a high mountain, apart by themselves, and He was transfigured before them." I at once passed the word on to my readers, and l do so again. May the blessed Master take us with Hirnself into the high mountain, even the Mount Sion, where He sits as Priest-King upon the throne in power, each of usapart by himself, and prepare us for the blessed vision of seeing Him transfigured before us,seeing Him in His heavenly glory. He will then still be to us the same Jesus we know now. And yet not the same; but His whole Being, bright with the glory and the power of the heavenly life which He holds for us, and waits to impart day by day to them who forsake all to follow Him.

ln humble trust and prayer that it may be so, I commend all my readers to His blessed teaching and guidance.

ANDREW MURRAY.

September 1894.

INTRODUCTION.

Here we enter upon the study of our Epistle, there are some questions on which it is desirable to have some light. lt is well to know what can be told as to its author, the Church to which it was addressed, the object the author had in view, and the plan he adopts to attain that object. The reader then knows something of what he is to expect, and has a point of view suggested from which to overlook the whole.

1. The Author Of The Epistle.

From the very earliest times there have been some among the Church Fathers who maintained that the Epistle was not written by Paul, while those who held the opposite view have admitted that they had no decisive evidence to offer to prove that authorship. All admit that the literary style is not that found in Paul's writings. And some say that the substance of the teaching differs too, and that the great truth which he had been set apart to announce, that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, and of the same body, is entirely wanting. The Epistle speaks as if salvation was for the Jew only: it is absolutely silent as to the existence of a heathen or Christian world outside the Church it addresses.

On the other hand, it may be said that the Epistle contains so much of what had been specially revealed to Paul more than to others concerning the fulfilment of the law in Christ and its passing away, concerning the glory of Christ seated on the throne of heaven and the alone power of faith, that it is almost impossible not to recognise his spirit in its teaching. What adds special weight to this view is that, while from the style it is certain that it cannot be the work of any other of our Bible writers, it appears strange that the history of the Church does not even mention the name of a man who had been favoured with such special revelations from God as the Epistle bears witness to.

The difficulty has led from the earliest times to the supposition that Paul either wrote the letter to the Hebrews in their tongue, and that we only have it in the Greek translation, or that he gave the substance of its contents to someone who gave expression to them in his own peculiar style. The names have been suggested of Barnabas, of Luke (to whose style in the Acts there is considerable resemblance), of Aquila, of Apollos the Alexandrian (eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures), and Clement of Rome. There is such an entire absence of material for forming a decision that we are compelled to rest in the certainty that the name of the author cannot be known. All the more we praise God that we know for certain that the Holy Spirit spake in him who wrote, and that it is He who has given us in the Epistle one of the deepest and fullest revelations which the Bible contains of the counsel of redemption, and the glory of the Son who makes us partakers of it.

2. TO WHOM THE EPISTLE WAS WRITTEN.

The Jews had the name of Hebrews from Abraham, who, in Gen. xiv. 13, is spoken of as "the Hebrew." lt was counted a title of honour, as we see in Paul's, " an Hebrew of the Hebrews." Some have thought that, because no special place or church is mentioned, it was meant for all Christians among the Jews. But expressions as, "Pray that l may be restored to you the sooner," "With Timothy, if he come shortly, l will see you," compel us to think of some special community. The most probable view is that it was addressed, in the first place, to the Christians in Jerusalem. From Acts xxi. 20, we know that there were many thousands of them, who, while believing in Christ, yet clung to the temple and its worship. Nowhere were they in greater danger of yielding to the temptation of conformity to the spirit of the world around them, and losing the boldness and the brightness of their Christian life; and nowhere would there be better opportunity of securing for the letter the widest possible circulation through all the scattered Christian churches among the Jews.

3. The Object Of The Epistle.

What was it that led the writer to take his pen? The Epistle itself gives us the answer. The religious state of those to whom it was addressed was far from right or satisfactory. Some had grown "slothful," were "not giving earnest heed," were "neglecting the great salvation." They were no longer "holding fast their profession " or " their confidence." The Christian life was feeble and ready to die. Others had "gone back," were in danger of " coming short of the promises," and, yielding to "wilful sin," "drawing back to perdition." Still others were in danger of " refusing Him who speaks from heaven," of giving up their faith in Jesus. Expressions such as we have quoted, and others, indicate clearly that there had been much backsliding, and that the Church was in a state thab needed most solemn and pointed warning.

Great stress has been laid upon the difficulties that arose in the mind of the Hebrews from the circumstances in which they were placed. They had hoped that their countrymen would speedily accept the Messiah: they had been signally disappointed. They still clung to the old worship; but felt more and more that, suspected and despised as they were, they could no longer be at home there. The prophecies appeared to fail them, both in regard to the power with which Christ should reign, and the blessing He would bestow. To meet these difficulties, it is said, the Epistle seeks to open up the true glory of the religion of Christ, and to show that all that they lost in the old worship was a hundredfold restored in the "something better" God had now provided. lt seeks to solve the problem that troubled them in the light of the gospel.

There is doubtless a measure of truth in this view. And yet, the more l study the Epistle, the more confident l feel that this was not the chief trouble; the main difficulty lay in the want of religious earnestness. Their case was very much what has been the story of almost every Church, and what marks the state of the greater part of Christendom at the present day.

lt was to meet this spirit of backsliding, to warn against the disease and its danger, and to make known the infallible cure, that our author takes up his pen. He saw that the one cause of all the feebleness and faithlessness was this: the want of the knowledge and the faith of what Christ and His salvati'on truly are. He sets himself to show them how wonderfully, how divinely, all the prophecies and types of the Old Testament have their fulfilment in the salvation the Son of God has wrought for us. He unceasingly places their weakness and Christ's person side by side: he is sure that, if they but know Christ, all will be well.

4. The Plan Of The Epistle.

ln what way does the writer propose to attain his object? ln the opening verses we find the substance of his whole argument. God, who spoke to the fathers in the prophets, hath now spoken to us in the Son. There have been two revelations of God to man. The first was through men; the second through the Son. As much more glorious as God's Son is than His servants, has the new revelation more of life and of glory than the old. He not only writes to prove the superiority of the new above the old, but specially to show what that intrinsic excellence is which gives it that superiority. In the knowledge of this its excellence, both faith and experience will find their strength. The contents of the Epistle, taking its doctrinal and practical aspect together, may be summarised-the knowledge of the Son of God, the power of the Christian life.

The Epistle is divided into two parts. ln the first, the doctrinal half (i. i-x. 18), we have the glory of the person and work of Christ set forth. ln the second, or practical half (x. 19-xiii. 25), the life is described which the knowledge of Christ and His salvation will enable us to live.

l have had the Epistle printed at the beginning of the book, with headings showing the contents of the different parts, with the view of inviting and helping the reader to make himself master of the writing as a whole. It is of great consequence that the student of God's word should not only seek his edification from individual texts or passages, but that each book should be to him a living and connected organism, all alive with the Spirit that dwells in it. The more we thus take time and trouble to accept the great thoughts of God, the more will our life be brought to that unity and breadth, in which the purpose of God will be perfectly fulfilled.

The first three verses give us the summary of the doctrinal part.

Then follow twelve sections.

1. Christ, as Son of God, is more than the angels (i. 4-14).

2. Jesus, as Son of Man, is more than the angels too.

Reasons for His being made lower than the angels (ii. S-18).

3. Christ Jesus more than Moses (iii. 1-6).

4. Jesus, our High Priest, more than Aaron (iv. 14-v. 10).

5. The New Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek

(vii.).

6. The New Sanctuary and the New Covenant (viii.).

7. The power of Christ's blood to inaugurate the New

Sanctuary and the New Covenant (ix.).

8. The New Way into the Holiest (x. 1-18).

Here commences the second, the practical, half, with its call to a life corresponding to our privileges.

9. Of entering the Holiest and dwelling there (x. 19-25).

10. Of the Fulness of Faith (xi. 1-40).

11. Of the Patience of Hope (xii. 1-13).

12. Of Love and Good Works (xiii. 1-25).

ln this summary of contents l have not taken up the passages containing the solemn warnings by which the Epistle is characterised. They are so inserted that they could in each case be left out, without the argument suffering. ln some cases, the connection would in fact be clearer. l have had this indicated in the printing, because I am sure that it is of importance, if we would thoroughly master the lesson given us, that we should fully apprehend the danger which threatened, and in some right measure see how the only deliverance for Christians from all that weakens and hinders them, is the full knowledge of the person and work of Jesus.

The Warnings.

1. After the proof of Christ being more than the angels

-Not to neglect so great salvation (ii. 1-4).

2. After the proof of Christ being more than Moses-Not

like Israel in the wilderness to come short of the promised rest (iii. 7-iv. 13).

3. After the mention of Christ being more than Aaron-

Against the danger of sloth, standing still, and falling away (v. 1 i-vi. 21).

4. After the call to enter the opened Holiest-Against

sinning wilfully, and drawing back to perdition (x. 26-39).

5. After the exhortation to patience - Against falling

short of the grace of God and refusing Him who speaks (xii. 15-29).

The deeper our impression is of the danger that existed, the clearer will be our insight into the truth that the only source of health and strength to the Church is the knowledge of Christ Jesus.

5. The Epistle And The Church Of Our Days.

There is one more point in which an lntroduction can help the reader. lt is to suggest the relation in which a book stands to the special needs of our present times.

ln the Christian Church of our day the number of members is very large, whose experience corresponds exactly with that which the Epistle pictures and seeks to meet. How many Christians are there yet who, after the profession of faith in Christ, come to a standstill. "Taking more abundant heed to what they hear"; "giving diligence to enter into the rest of God "; "pressing on to perfection "; "running with patience the race "-just these are the things which are so little found. So many rest contented with the thought that their sins are pardoned, and that they are in the path of life, but know nothing of a personal attachment to Christ as their Leader, or of a faith that lives in the invisible and walks with God. With many this is the consequence of the hopelessness that came from the failure of their utmost efforts to live as they desired. They struggled in their own strength; they knew not Christ as the secret of strength; they lost heart, and went back. The profession of faith is not cast away; religious habits are kept up; but there is nothing to show that they have entered or are seeking to enter the Holiest to dwell there. The power of the world, the spirit of its literature, the temptations of business and pleasure, all unite to make up a religion in which it is sought to combine a comfortable hope for the future with the least possible amount of sacrifice in the present. The Epistle, with its warnings, is indeed a glass in which the Church of the present day may see itself.

But it is a glass too, thank God, in which we can also see the glory of Jesus on the throne of heaven, in the power that can make our heart and life heavenly too. What the Hebrews needed is what we need. Not in ourselves or our efforts is salvation, but in Christ Jesus. To see Him, to consider Him, to look to Him, as He lives in heaven, that will bring the healing. As little as the Hebrews with the Old Testament, its God-given law, its temple service, and its prophecy, could withstand the temptation to "wax weary and grow faint," can the New Testament, with a sound Church and Church doctrine, and its religious services, give us the true life and power of godliness. lt is Jesus Christ we must know better. lt is He who lives to-day in heaven, who can lead us into the heavenly sanctuary, and keep us there, who can give heaven into our heart and life.The knowledge of Jesus in His heavenly glory and His saving power; it is this our Churches and our Christians need. lt is this the Epistle will bring us, if we yield to that Spirit who speaks in it, to reveal it in us.1

lt is, therefore, with great confidence that l invite all who long for the rest of God, for a life in the holiest of God's love, for the fulness of faith and hope and love, to take up the study of the Epistle, with the confident assurance of finding in its revelation of what Christ and His salvation are, the deliverance from sin and sloth, the joy and the strength of a new life.

1 I have had the texts referring to the heavenly place and work of our Lord printed in red. To direct attention to this, the central thought of our Epistle,-that because Christ came from heaven, and went back to heaven, and opened heaven for us, and does His work in the spirit and power of heaven, Christians can live a supernatural, a heavenly life.
















THE THEME.-i. 1-3.
The Glory of the Son in His Person and Work



Chapter I

THE SON IN WHOM GOD HATH SPOKEN

1. God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers In the prophets by divers portions and In divers manners,

2. Hath at the end of these days spoken onto us In his Son.

God hath spoken! The magnificent portal by which we enter into the temple in which God is to reveal His glory to us! We are at once brought into the presence of God Himself. The one object of the Epistle is to lead us to God, to reveal God, to bring us into contact with Himself. Man was created for God. Sin separated from God. Man feels his need, and seeks for God. This Epistle comes with the gospel message of redemption, to teach us where and how to find God. Let all who thirst for God, for the living God, draw nigh and listen.

God hath spoken! Speaking is the vehicle of fellowship. lt is a proof that the speaker considers him he addresses as capable of fellowship with himself; a token that he longs for that fellowship. Man was created for fellowship with God. Sin interrupted it . Nature speaks of God and His work, but of Himself, His heart, and His thoughts of love towards us as sinners, nature cannot tell. ln his deepest misery man seeks for God-but how often, to all appearance, in vain. But, God be praised, not for always. The silence has been broken. God calls man back to fellowship with Himself. God hath spoken!

God hath spoken! For a time, imperfectly and provisionally in the prophets, in preparation for the more perfect revelation of Himself. But now at length the joyful tidings are heard -God hath spoken in His Son! God, the infinite, incomprehensible, unseen One, hath spoken! And that in His Son! Oh the joy and the glory! who can measure it? "Hear! O heavens, and give ear! O earth, for the Lord hath spoken."

God hath spoken! When man speaks it is the revelation of himself, to make known the otherwise hidden thoughts and dispositions of his heart. When God, who dwells in light that is inaccessible, speaks out of the heights of His glory, it is that He may reveal Himself. He would have us know how He loves us and longs for us, how He wants to save and to bless, how He would have us draw nigh and live in fellowship with Himself.

God hath spoken in His Son! The ministry of angels and prophets was only to prepare the way; it never could satisfy the heart either of God or man; the real power of the life of God, the full experience of His nearness, the true deliverance from sin, the shedding abroad of the love in the heart,- this could not be communicated by the ministry of creatures. The Son Himself had to come as the Word of God to us, the bearer of the life and love of the Father. The Son Himself had to come to bring us into living contact with the divine Being, to dwell in our heart, as He dwells in God's heart, to be in us God's word as He is in God, and so to give us the living experience of what it means that God speaks to us.

God hath spoken! The words of a man carry weight according to the idea l have of his wisdom, his veracity, his power, his love. The words of God! Oh, who can express what they ought to be worth to us! Each word carries with it all the life of God, all His saving power and love. God speaking in His Son! Surely they who have begun to know Him will be ready to cast aside everything for the sake of hearing Him.

God hath spoken! The words of men have often exerted a wonderful and a mighty influence. But the words of God- they are creative deeds, they give what they speak. "He spake, and it was done." When God speaks in His Son, He gives Him to us, not only for us and with us, but in us. He speaks the Son out of the depth of His heart into the depths of our heart. Men's words appeal to the mind or the will, the feelings or the passions. God speaks to that which is deeper than all, to the heart, that central depth within us whence are the issues of life. Let us believe the mighty, quickening power God's word will have.

God hath spoken! Speaking claims hearing. God asks but one thing; it is so simple and right; that we should listen. Shall we not hearken, in holy reverence and worship, with whole-hearted attention and surrender, to what He would say to us in this Epistle too? We too shall know what the power and the joy is of God speaking to us in His Son. God is a Spirit. As such He has no other way of communicating to us His life or His love, but by entering our spirit and dwelling and working there. There He causes Christ to dwell, and there He speaks to us in Christ these words of redeeming love and power which bring life to us. The words of Christ can bring us no profit, except as they unfold to us what God is working in us, and direct us to what is to be revealed in our heart. lt is the heart God wants; let us open the whole heart to listen and to long.

God hath spoken in His Son! The living Jesus, come forth from the fiery furnace of God's holiness, from the burning glow of everlasting love, He Himself is the living Word. Let us seek in the study of this Epistle, in which His glory is so wondrously revealed, to come into contact with Him, to receive Him into our hearts, to take Him as our life, that He may bring us to the Father. ln the beginning God spake: "Let there be light! and there was light." Even so now He speaks with creative power in His Son, and the presence and the light of Christ become the life and the light of the soul.

1. What trouble pevple take to learn a foreign language, to have access to lts writers. Let no trouble be too great to understand the language of God, His Word, His Son. To learn a foreign language l get somevne who knows it to teach me. The language of God is heavenly, spiritual, supernatural-altogether dioine; only the Holy Spirit can teach me to understand it, to think God's own thoughts. Let me take Him as my teacher.

2. "And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him." As personally and directly, even more wonderfully and effectually, will God speak to me in His Son; but deep, holy reverence, and an intense desire to know what God says, must be the spirit in which l study the Epistle and hearken to the blessed Son.

3. "Heavenly truth is nowhere spoken but by the voice of Christ, nor heard but by the power of Christ, lioing in the hearer." "He that is of God heareth God's words." lt is only he who yields himself to the new nature who can truly know what God's speaking in Christ is.

4. During Christ's life the word of God was thrice heard. Each time it was: "This is My beloved Son : hear Him." "l have glorified Him." Let us allow God to speak this one word into our hearts-Mybeloved Son. O my God! speak to me in Thy Son. Oh, speak that one word out of the depth of Thy heart into the depth of my heart.
















II

THE SON-MORE THAN THE PROPHETS.

1. Ood, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners,

2. Hath at the end of these days spoken unto us In his Son.

We all know that there are two Testaments-the Old and the New. These represent two dispensations, two modes of worship, two sorts of religions, two ways in which God has intercourse with man, and man draws nigh to God. The one was provisional, preparatory, and intended to pass away. What it gave and wrought was not meant to satisfy, but only to awaken the expectation of something better that was to come. The other was the fulfilment of what had been promised, and destined to last for ever, because it was itself a complete revelation of an everlasting redemption, of a salvation in the power of an endless life.

ln both Old and New Testament it was God who spake. The prophets in the Old, and the Son in the New, were equally God's messengers. God spake in the prophets no less truly than in the Son. But in the Old everything was external and through the mediation of men. God Himself could not yet enter and take possession of man and dwell in him. ln the New all is more directly and immediately divine-in an inward power and reality and life, of which the Old had only the shadow and hope. The Son, who is God, brings us into the very presence of God.

And wherefore was it that God did not, could not, from the very beginning, reveal Himself in the Son? What need was there of these two ways of worshipping and serving Him? The answer is twofold-lf man were indeed intelligently and voluntarily to appropriate God's love and redemption, he needed to be prepared for it . He needed first of all to know his own utter impotence and hopeless wretchedness. And so his heart had to be wakened up in true desire and expectancy to welcome and value what God had to give.

When God speaks to us in Christ it is as the Father dwelling in the Son. "The words that l say unto you, I speak not from Myself, but the Father abideth in Me doeth the works." Just as God's speaking in Christ was an inward thing. So God can still speak to us in no other way. The external words of Christ, just like the words of the prophets, are to prepare us for, and point us to, that inner speaking in the heart by the Holy Spirit, which alone is life and power. This is God's true speaking in His Son.

lt is of the utmost consequence for our spiritual life that we should rightly understand these two stages in God's dealing with man. In two ways, not in one; not in more than two; in two ways has God spoken.

They indicate what, in substance, is God's way with every Christian.1 There is, after his conversion, a time of preparation and testing, to see whether he willingly and heartily sacrifices all for the full blessing. lf in this stage he perseveres in earnest effort and striving, he will be brought to learn the two lessons the Old Testament was meant to teach. He will become more deeply conscious of his own impotence,

1 "The characteristics which before marked the revelation itself, now mark the human apprehension of the final revelation."-Westcott.

and the strong desire will be wakened after a better life, to be found in the full revelation of Christ as able to save completely. When these two lessons are learned-the lesson of despair of self and hope in God alone-the soul is prepared, if it will yield itself in faith to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to enter truly into the New Testament life within the veil, in the very Holiest of All, as it is set forth in this Epistle.

Where Christians, through defective instruction, or through neglect and sloth, do not understand God's way for leading them on unto perfection, the Christian life will always remain full of feebleness and failure. lt was thus with the Hebrew Christians. They belonged to the New Testament, but their life was anything but the exhibition of the power and joy Christ came to reveal. They were far behind what many of the Old Testament saints had been; and the reason was this- they knew not the heavenly character of the redemption Christ had brought. They knew not the heavenly place in which He ministers, nor the heavenly blessing He dispenses, nor the heavenly power in which He secures our enjoyment of these blessings. They knew not the difference between the prophets and the Son; what it means that God has now spoken to us in His Son. The one object of the Epistle is to set before us the heavenly priesthood of Christ and the heavenly life to which He in His divine power gives us access. lt is this gives the Epistle its inestimable value for all time, that it teaches us the way out of the elementary stage of the Christian life to that of full and perfect access to God.

Let us grasp and hold firmly the difference between the two stages. ln the one, the action of man is more prominent: God speaks in the prophets. ln the other, the divine presence and power are more fully revealed: God speaks in the Son, who bears and brings the very life of God, and brings us into living contact with God Himself. In the one, it is the human words that occupy and influence and help us to seek God; in the other, the divine indwelling Word reveals its power within. In the one, it is multiplicity of thoughts and truths, of ordinances and efforts; in the other, the simplicity and the unity of the one Son of God, and faith in Him alone.

How many have sought by study and meditation and acceptance of the words of the Bible to find God, and yet have failed. They knew not that these were but the finger-posts pointing to the living Son,-words coming indeed from God, most needful and profitable, and yet not sufficient; only yielding us their true blessing when they have brought us to hear God Himself speaking in His Son.

7. Let none of us rest content with the lower stage. Let us see that personal fellowship with God, through the Holy Spirit, is what Christ glves. God calls us to lt: Christ lioes in heaven to work lt, through the Spirit He gioes from heaven.

2. One mag know much of the Bible and the words of God, and get remain feeble. What one needs is to know the lioing Word, in whom God speaks within, in life and power.

3. All the prophets point to the Son, as the true Prophet. Let us take them very definitely as our teachers, to reveal God in us.

4. When l speak a word, l desire all lts meaning and force to enter into him whom l address. God has in these last days but one Word. He desires to have all that Word is and means enter in and lioe in us. Let us open our hearts, and God will speak into lt that one Word, This is My Son, in such a way that He will indeed be all our own.
















III

THE SON-THE GLORY OF HIS PERSON.

1. God hath spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;

3. Who being the effulgence1 of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power.

We know that whatever a man sets his heart on exercises a mighty influence on the life, and leaves its stamp upon his character. He that follows after vanity becomes vain. He that trusts in a god of his own fancy will find his religion an illusion. He that sets his heart upon the living God will find the living God take possession and fill the heart. lt is this that makes it of such infinite consequence that we should not only have a general idea of the Christ through whom God speaks to us, but should know Him aright and have our heart filled with all that God has revealed of Him. Our knowledge of Him will be the food of our faith, and as our faith is will be our experience of His saving power, and of the fellowship with God to which He leads. Let us listen to what we are taught of the Son in whom God speaks to us.

Whom He appointed Heir of all things. The great object and aim of God in creation was to have an inheritance for His Son, in which He might show forth His glory and find His blessedness. The Son is the Final Cause, the End of all things.

He is the Beginning too. Through whom He also made the worlds. He is the origin and Efficient Cause of all that exists. "Without Him nothing was made that was made." The place the Son had in the divine Being was such that God's relation to all that was outside of Himself was only through the Son. Of all that exists the end and the beginning meet in Him.

And He is the Middle, too. Upholding all things by the word of His power. He bears all things, "all things consist in Him." As little as they were created without Him, can they exist without Him? Heupholds them every moment by the word of His power, even as by His word they were created. This is the Son through whom God speaks to us.

And what is it that makes Him worthy of taking this high place between the Creator and the creature? Because, as the Son, it is He alone in whom the unapproachable and utterly incomprehensible glory of God is made manifest, through whom as Mediator the uncreated God, and the works of His hand, can come into contact and fellowship. His relation to creation rests on His relation to the Father. He is the outshining of God's glory, and the express image of His substance. As we only know the sun by the light that shines from it, so is Christ the outshining, the revelation of God's glory. As the light that shines from the sun is of the same nature with it, so the Son is of one nature with the Father- God of God. And as a son bears the likeness of his father, because he has his life and nature from him, so the Son of God is the express image of His substance. He is of one substance with the Father-its express image-and hath therefore life in Himself, even as the Father hath life in Himself.

Someone may be tempted to think that these are theological mysteries too deep for the ordinary Christian, and not needful for our Christian faith and life. And they are inclined to ask, of what importance it can be to a simple believer to know all this? My brother, think not thus. lt is all important that we know the glory of Jesus. The more the soul is filled with that glory, and worships Him in it, the more it will see with what confidence it can count upon Him to do a divine and supernatural work in us, and to lead us to an actual living fellowship with God as our Father. Oh, let us not be so selfish and mean as to be content with the hope that Jesus saves us, while we are careless of having intimate personal acquaintance with Him. lf not for our sake, then for God's sake, for the sake of His infinite love and grace, let us seek to know aright this blessed Son whom the Father has given us. Let us turn away from earth, let us meditate and gaze and worship, until He, who is the outshining of the divine glory, shines into our very heart, and He, to whom the Father hath given such a place as Creator and Upholder and Heir of ali, take that place with us too, and be to us the beginning and the centre and the end of all.

It is through this Son God speaks to us. Not through the words of the Son only, for they too are human words, and may, just like the inspired words of the prophets, bring in but little profit. It is through the Son-the living, mighty, divine Son, direct-that God speaks: it is only in direct living contact with the Son that the words can profit. And the Son, not as we superficially think of Him, but the real divine Son as God has revealed Him, known and worshipped and waited on as the outshining of the divine glory,-it is this Son of God, entering into our heart and dwelling there, in whom God will speak to us, and in whom we shall be brought nigh to God. When Christ reveals the Father, it is not to the mind, to give us new thoughts about Him, but in the heart and life, so that we know and experience the power in which God can dwell and work in man, restoring him to the enjoyment of that blessed fellowship for which he was created, and which he lost by the fall. The great work of God in heaven, the chief thought and longing of His heart is, in His Son, to reach your heart and speak to you. Oh, let it be the great work of your life, and the great longing of your heart, to know this Jesus; as a humble, meek disciple to bow at His feet, and let Him teach you of God and eternal life. Yes, even now, let us bow before Him in the fourfold glory in which the word has set Him before us. He is the Heir of all that God has. He is its Creator. He is the Upholder too. He is the Outshining of God's glory, and the perfect lmage of His substance. O my Saviour! anything to know Thee better, and in Thee to have my God speak to me!

1. "No man knoweth the Son, save the Father, neither doth any know the Father save the Son, and he to whomsvever the Son wllleth to reveal him." How dependent we are on the Father to know the Son; on the Son to know the Father. Let us acknowledge this dependence in deep humility, and believe and wait in meekness of sout for the dioine revealing.

2. There are times when there arises in the soul a deep longing to know God. External teaching dves not satisfy. Treasure such longing as God's loving drawing. Turn from the world in stillness of soul, and exercise faith in the secret power that Jesus can exert in the heart. Become a disciple of Jesus, one who follows Him and learns of Him.

3. O Thou who art Heir, Creator, Upholder of all, the brightness of the Father's glory, the express image of His substance,-O my Lord Jesus, reveal the Father to me, that l may know that God speaks to me.
















IV

THE SON-THE GLORY OF HIS WORK.

1. Who, when he had made purification1 of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

THE description of the glory of Christ's person is followed by that of the work of this Son in whom God speaks to us. God's words are deeds. It is in what Christ is and works that God speaks to us. In His divinity and incarnation we see what God has given us. In His life and death and ascension we see how the gift of God enters and acts in all our human life, how complete our salvation is, and what God now asks of us. All Christ's work is God's word to us.

That work consists in two parts: the one on earth, the other in heaven. Of the former it is said, When He had effected the cleansing of sins; of the latter, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. ln a healthy Christian life we must know and hold fast both parts of Christ's work. The work He did upon earth was but a beginning of the work He was to do in heaven; in the latter the work on earth finds its perfection and its glory. As Priest He effected the cleansing of sins here below; as Priest-King He sits on the right hand of the throne to apply His work, in heavenly power to dispense its blessings, and maintain within us the heavenly life.

When He had effected the cleansing of sins. The cleansing of sins, as something effected by Christ ere He went to heaven, is the foundation of all His work. Let us learn, at the very outset, that what God has to speak to us in Christ begins here: sinmust be cleansed away. This is the root-thought of redemption. As long as we seek salvation chiefly from the desire of personal safety, or approach the study of Christ's person and work as the revelation of what is true and beautiful and good, we cannot enter fully into its power. It is the cleansing of sin God insists on; in a desire so intense that He gave His Son to die for it! lt is in the intense desire after the cleansing of sins, that, all the way through the Christian life, the spiritual capacity to approach and enter into the salvation of Christ will be found. lt lies at the root of all. lt is the secret of Christian perfection. lt was only when He had effected this that heaven opened to Him. The full acceptance of the cleansing of sins, as the meaning of the word will be unfolded later on, will be to us, too, the entrance into the heavenly life.

When He had effected the cleansing of sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. There He lives, opening up and keeping open the blessed access to God's presence and fellowship for us; lifting us up into and maintaining us in its enjoyment; and in the power that prevails there, making the kingdom of heaven a reality within the heart. lt is the great object of the Epistle to bring home to us the heavenly glory of Christ as the ground of our confidence, the measure of our expectation, and the character of that inward salvation He imparts. That Christ as our Leader and Forerunner has rent asunder the veil, and in the power of His blood has taken possession and secured access into the Holiest of All, does not mean only that we are to enter heaven when we die. The whole practical teaching of the Epistle is summed up and applied in the one word: "We have boldness for entering in: let us draw nigh: let us enter in." Christ seated on the throne in heaven means our being actually brought, in the supernatural power which the coming down of the Holy Spirit supplies, into God's holy presence, and living there our daily life. lt was because the Hebrews did not know this, because they had rested content with elementary truths about faith and conversion, and then the life in heaven after death, that they had so signally failed. Truly to know Jesus at the right hand of God would be the healing of their diseases, the restoration to the joy and the strength of a life in accordance with their heavenly calling.

The Church of our days is suffering from the same cause, and needs the same cure. lt is so much easier to appropriate the work of Christ on earth than that in heaven. lt is so much easier to take in the doctrine of a Substitute and an atonement, of repentance and pardon, than of a High Priest bringing us into God's presence, and keeping us in loving communion with Him. lt is not the blood-shedding upon earth only, it is the blood-sprinkling in lieaven, and the blood-sprinkling from heaven on heart and conscience, that brings the power of the heavenly life unto us. And it is this alone that makes us Christians, who not only seek to enter the gate, but who daily press on in the living way that leads ever deeper into the Holiest.

Let no one think that l speak of what is too high. l speak of what is your heritage and destiny. The same share you have in Jesus on the cross, you have in Jesus on the throne. Be ready to sacrifice the earthly life for the heavenly; to follow Christ fully in His separation from the world and His surrender to God's will; and Christ in heaven will prove in you the reality and the power of His heavenly priesthood. Let the cleansing of sins be to you, as it was to Christ, the entrance to the Holiest . He who effected the cleansing on earth, and applies it in person from heaven, will assuredly lead you into all the fulness of blessing it has opened up for Him and for you.

7. Faith has in its foundation four great corner-stones on which the building rests-the Dlvinity of Christ, the incarnation, the Atonement on the Cross, the Ascension to the Throne. The last is the most wonderful, the crown of all the rest, the perfect revelation of what God has made Christ for us. And so in the Christian life it is the most important, the glorious fruit of all that gves before.

2. The Holy Spirit was sent down after the ascension. Why? That He might witness to us of a heavenly Christ, and bring the kingdom of heaven into our hearts and lioes.

3. "Cleansing of sins." Some one says: "At this time l saw plainly that whatever the Lord would communicate and make known of Himself and the mystery of His kingdom, He would do it in a way of purity and holiness." There are two sides from which we can apprvach the higher truth of God's word as to holiness and likeness to Jesus. The one is the desire to know all Scripture truth fully, and to have our system of doctrine complete and perfect. The other is the deep, intense longing to be made free from sin, as free as God can make us in this life. lt is only from this side that real access will be given into the heavenly life of Christ.
















FIRST SECTION-i. 4-14.
The Son of God more than the Angels.



V

THE SON-A MORE EXCELLENT NAME.

L-4. Having become by so muoh better than the angels, as he hath Inherited a more excellent name than they.

5. For unto which of the angels said he at any time,
Thou art my Son,
This day have I begotten thee?
and again,

I will be to him a Father,
And he shall be to me a Son?

The superior excellence of the New Testament above the Old consists in this, that God has spoken to us, and wrought salvation for us in, His Son. Our whole Epistle is the unfolding of the glory of the person and work of the Son. The more completely we apprehend this, and have our heart permeated by it, the better we shall apprehend the completeness of the salvation God hath now provided for us. To know Jesus Christ in His glory is the great need, the only safeguard, the sure growth of the Christian life.

There is often no better way of knowing a thing than by placing it in contrast with what is less perfect . Our Epistle would teach us the glory of the New Testament by placing it in contrast with the Old, especially with those who were its great mediators and representatives. lt will show us the superiority of Christ over the angels, over Moses, over Joshua, over Abraham and Levi and Aaron.

It begins with the angels. .Having become so much better1 than the angels, as He hath inherited a more excellent name than they. Though these words belong grammatically to the preceding verses, they are in reality the heading of what follows. They form the transition from the theme to the first part of the argument - the excellence of Christ as Son of God above the angels. The Jews counted it one of their great privileges that the law was given by the ministration of angels (ch. ii. 2; Acts vii. 38, 53; Gal. iii. 19), heavenly spirits, who came direct from the throne of God. The manifestation of God had frequently been in the form of an angel: "the angel of the Lord" had been Israel's leader. And yet great as was the privilege, it was as nothing to that of the new revelation. Angels were but creatures; they might show signs of heavenly power, and speak words of heavenly truth; as creatures, they could not bring down the life of God itself, nor truly reach into the life of man. They had indeed as a title of honour been called "sons of God" (Ps. xxix. I, lxxix. 6); there is but One to whom it was said, Thou art my Son; this day I have begotten Thee. He alone, making us partakers of the very life of God, could indeed bring God nigh to us, and us nigh to God.

It is the superiority of the Son to the angels the writer is going to prove in this first chapter by a series of quotations from Old Testament Scripture. We must not, however, only regard these as so many proof-texts for the divinity of our

'The word "better" is one of the key words of the Epistle. It occurs thirteen times. See References.

Saviour, but as a divine revelation of the glory of that divinity in its various aspects. At the very commencement of his argument he will prove how the Old Testament had all along borne witness to the glory of God's Son, as the great thought that in God's revelation to man ever had the first place in God's heart.

Ere we proceed to study the texts themselves, it is of importance that we notice how the writer uses them. When our Lord on earth, or Paul, cites the New Testament, they say: Moses says, or David says, or the prophets say. Our Epistle mostly quotes the words as coming from the lips of God Himself. In the seven quotations in our chapter it always is, "He saith." Farther on we find more than once, "The Holy Ghost saith." Scripture has two sides, the human and the divine. The knowledge of all that can illustrate the Scriptures as human compositions has its very great value. But it is of still more importance never to forget the divine side, and to be full of the conviction that Scripture is indeed God's word; that God Himself, through His Spirit, spoke in the prophets, and that it has the power of God dwelling in it.

This conviction will teach us two things, absolutely necessary to the profitable study of the Epistle. The one, that we recognise that these words of God contain a divine depth of meaning which the human mind never could have grasped or expounded. The wonderful exposition of Ps. ii. and the Son of God; of Ps. viii. and the human nature of Jesus; of Ps. xcv. and the rest of God; of Ps. ex. and the priesthood of Melchizedek; all prove to us how they were inbreathed by that Spirit of Christ who knew what was to come, and how it was that same Spirit who alone could have taught our writer to apprehend and unfold their divine meaning.

The other lesson is this, that the divine thoughts, thus deposited in the Old Testament as a seed by the Holy Spirit and unfolded by that same Spirit in the New, still need the teaching of the Spirit to make them life and truth to us. It is God who must shine in our hearts to give the knowledge ot His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Christ is the Word, "that was God," that speaks to us as coming out of- the depth of God's heart, a living person; it is only the heart that yields to be led by the Holy Spirit that can expect to profit by the teaching of the word, and truly to know Christ in His divine saving power. The truths of Christ's sonship and divinity and priesthood and redemptionwere given in charge to the Holy Spirit; He revealed them from time to time; He alone can reveal them to us. To the written words all have free access; our mind can see their purport; but their life and power and blessing, the glory of the Son of God as a power of salvation - this is given to none but those who wait humbly on God's Spirit to teach them.

1. The angels brought wonderful messages from God of old: but God is now drawing far nearer to thee, and waiting to speak in a far more wonderful and blessed way, by revealing the eternal Word in thy heart.

2. Words and wonders, these angels could bring. But to bring the life and the love of God, and gioe lt in the heart-this the Son alone can do. But He dves lt. Christ is the dioine nature manifesting and communicating ltself; l have no contact with Christ or God in Him, but as l receioe Him, as the divine nature imparting itself, as manifested in His human life, and will, and character.

3. lf l were favoured this day with the visit of an angel-what a prioilege l would count lt. But Christ, the Son at the right hand, will not only olslt, but will dwell in me. O my soul, rise to thy prioileges: God speaks to thee in His Son.
















VI

THE SON-THE ONLY BEGOTTEN.

I.-5. For unto which of the angels said he at any time,
Thou art my Son,

This day have I begotten thee? (Fs. 11. 7). and again,

I will be to him a Father,

And he shall be to me a Son? (2 Sam, yll. 14). 6. And when he again brlngeth In the firstborn"into the world, he salth, And let all the angels of God worship him (Fs. xcvil. 7).

It is because Christ is the Son of God that He is higher than the angels, and that the New Testament is so much higher than the Old. If we would grasp the teaching, and get the blessing of our Epistle, and indeed become partakers of the inner power and glory of the redemption Christ hath brought, we must tarry here in deep humility until God reveals to us what it means, that His only Son has become our Saviour. The infinite excellence of the Son above the angels is the measure of the excellence of that heavenly life He brings and gives within us. The angels could tell of God and of life. The Son has, the Son is, that life of God, and gives it. He that hath the Son, hath life.

Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. The

words are used in Acts xiii. 33, of the resurrection of Christ. So the word firstborn in the next verse also has reference to the resurrection (Col. i. 18; Rev. i. 5). The Son was not only begotten of the Father in eternity, but begotten again in the resurrection. ln the incarnation the union between the divine and the human nature was only begun: it had to be perfected by Christ, in His human will, yielding Himself to God's will even unto the death. In the resurrection (Rom. i. 4), " He was declared to be the Son of God with power"; the full outbirth of humanity into the perfected fellowship and equality with Deity was completed; the Son of Man was begotten into all the likeness and glory of the Son of God. Thus Paul applies it (Acts xiii. 33): "God raised up Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have l begotten Thee." He then became the first begotten from the dead.

And again, I will bp to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son. The words were spoken to David of a son God should give to him, but with the clear indication that their meaning reached far beyond what any mere man could be. ln the Son of Man, who in the resurrection was raised up in power, and declared to be the Son of God, they find their complete fulfilment.

And when He again bringeth in the firstborn into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. The Psalm speaks of Jehovah coming to redeem His people: the Son is so one with the Father, that as the Father works only through Him, and can only be known in Him, the worship can only arise to God through Him too. The angels worship the deliverer as Jehovah.

Christ is the Son of God! What does this mean to us, and what is the blessing it brings our faith? lt points us first to the great mystery that God has a Son. This is the mystery of divine love; and that in a double sense. Because God is love He begets a Son, to whom He gives all He is and hasHimself, in whose fellowship He finds His life and delight, through whom He can reveal Himself, with whom He shares the worship of all His creatures. And because God is love, this Son of God becomes the Son of Man, and the Son of Man, having been perfected for evermore, enters through death and resurrection into all the glory that belonged to the Son of God. And now this Son of God is to us the revelation, the bearer, of the love of the divine Being. ln Him the love of God dwells in us; in Him we enter and rest in it. When God speaks to us in this His Son, it is the infinite love imparting itself to us, becoming the inward life of our life.

And if we ask how this can be done, our answer is the second great lesson taught us by the truth that Christ is the . Son of God! lt was by being begotten of God, by a divine birth, that Christ became the Son. ln eternity it was a birth; in the resurrection it was a birth from the dead. And so it is only by a divine birth that the Son, that the love of God, can enter and possess us. lt is by an eternal generation that the Son is God. ln eternity there is no past; what God is and does is all in the infinite power of an ever-present now. And so it is in the power of that eternal generation that the Father begetteth us in His Son (i John v. I-18), and begetteth His Son in us; that the Father speaks the eternal Word to us and in us. The Word of God is the Son, coming from the heart of the Father, spoken into our hearts, and dwelling there. The Son is the Love of God; as the Son, so the Love of God is begotten within us, making us, by a new birth, partakers of its own nature and blessedness.

lf we would learn the lesson of the Epistle, and experience in our Christian life the full power of the everlasting redemption, we must above all learn to know Jesus better. The general knowledge we had of Him before and at conversion is not enough for a strong and healthy growth. God desires that we come to a close friendship, to an intimate acquaintance, with His beloved Son, that we should be the loving, happy witnesses of how completely He can save. Let us do so. Remembering that angels and prophets could only point to Him who was to come, that the words of Scripture, and even of Christ Himself, only profit as they waken the expectancy of something higher, let us wait on God to speak in His Son to us. God's speaking in us will be a mighty act of creative power, a birth of His love within us.

O God! teach us that the blessed secret of a full salvation is this-Christ, our Saviour, is the Son of God.

1. Christ, the Son of God's love: in His heart and in mine.

2. "Let all the angels of God worship Him." All the servants around His throne point to Him: it is to Him we must look. And that in worship. lt is worship, worship, worship, the Son must have. lt is to the heart that worships Him He will make Himself known. Let our study of the glory of Christ in the Epistle be all in the spirit of worship, all tend to make us fall down in adoring worship.

3. The Son is a Son only in the power of a dioine birth. And that not only in eternity, and in the resurrection, but in our heart too. This is the mystery of the dioine life: let us bow in deep impotence and ignorance, and wait on Qod Almighty to reveal the Son to us.

4. The Son is the Word, becavse the dioine speaking is but another aspect of the dioine begetting. Speaking to us in His Son is all in the power of a dioine life. The speaking, just as the begetting, is love lmparting and communicating itself in dioine power as an inward life, it is by God speaking to us in the First Begotten that we are begotten of God.
















VII

THE SON HIMSELF GOD.

I.-7. And of tbe angels he saith,

Who maketh his angels spirits,"

And his ministers a flame of fire: (Ps. oiv. 4). 8. But of the Son he saith,

Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever;

And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre oi thy kingdom. 0. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;

Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee

With the oil of gladness above thy fellows (Ps. xlv. 7, 8).

Ln contrast to what is said of the angels as servants, the Holy Spirit hath said of the Son, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever. Christ is not only the Son, but is God. He is one with the Father: as Son He is partaker of the Father's own nature and being.

Christ is God: to many Christians this has been a dead article of faith, held fast and proved out of Scripture, but without any living influence on the soul. To the true believer it is one of the deepest and most precious truths for the nourishment of the inner life. Christ is God: the soul worships Him as the Almighty One, able to do a divine work in the power of divine omnipotence. Christ is God:even as God works in all nature from within, and in secret, so the soul trusts Christ as the everywhere present and the lndwelling One, doing His saving work in the hidden depths of its being. Christ is God: in Him we come into living contact with the person and life of God Himself. The truth lies at the foundation of our Epistle, and the Christian life it would build up: Christ is God.

Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever. As God, Christ is King: the throne of heaven belongs to Him. When an earthly father has begotten a son, they may be separated from each other by great distance, both in place and character, and know each other no more. ln the divine Being it is not so. The Father and the Son are inseparable, one in life and love; all that the Father is and has, the Son is and has too. The Father is ever in the Son, and the Son in the Father. God is on the throne and Christ in Him: the throne and the kingdom are Christ's too.

For ever and ever. Christ is the King eternal. His dominion is an everlasting dominion. The full meaning of the word eternal will become clear to us later on. Eternal is that which each moment and always exists in its full strength, immoveable, unchangeable. "We receive a kingdom that cannot be moved," because our King is God, and His kingdom for ever and ever. The rule of Christ our Priest-King, even now, in our souls, is in the power of an endless, an imperishable life: the faith that receives this will experience it.

And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. Christ is a righteous King: He is Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness. In His kingdom all is righteousness and holiness. There "grace reigns through righteousness." lt is the kingdom of heaven: in it the will of God is done on earth as in heaven. And when it is farther said, Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, we are reminded that the righteousness is not only His as a divine attribute, but His too as the fruit of His life on earth. There He was tested, and tried, and perfected, and found worthy as man to sit upon the throne of God. The throne which belonged to Him, as Son of God and heir of all things, He had as Son of Man to win. And now He reigns over His people, teaching them by His own example, enabling them by His own Spirit to fulfil all righteousness. As the King of Righteousness He rules over a righteous people.

Therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of joy above Thy fellows. He is an anointed King. Therefore, because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God anointed Him. When He ascended to heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the throne, He received from the Father anew and in fullest measure, as the Son of Man, the gift of the Holy Ghost to bestow on His people (Acts ii. 33). That Spirit was to Him the oil of joy, the joy that had been set before him, the joy of His crowning day when He saw of the travail of His soul. An anointing above His fellows, for there was none like Him; God gave Him the Spirit without measure. And yet for His fellows, His redeemed, whom, as Head, He had made members of His body. They become partakers of His anointing and His joy. As He said, "The Lord hath anointed Me to give the oil of joy." Christ, our King, our God, is anointed with the oil of joy, anointed, too, to give the oil of joy: His kingdom is one of everlasting gladness, of joy unspeakable and full of glory.

O ye souls, redeemed by Christ, behold your God! the Son in whom the Father speaks. Let this be the chief thing you live for-to know, to honour, to serve your God and King. This is the Son in whom God speaks to you in all the divine mystery, but also in all the divine power and blessing, which marks all God's speaking. Let our hearts open wide to receive the King God hath given us.

And as often as we are tempted with the Hebrews to sloth or fear or unbelief, let this be our watchword and our strength: My Redeemer is God! ln this faith let me worship Him. My Redeemer is God! let my whole heart be opened to Him, to receive, as a flower does the light of the sun, His secret, mighty, divine working in me. My Redeemer is God I let me trust this omnipotent Lord to work out in me His every promise, and to set up His throne of righteousness in my soul in a power that is above all we ask or think. My Redeemer is God! let me wait for Him, let me count upon Him, to reveal Himself in the love that passeth knowledge. Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: My Redeemer is God!

1. Who is God? And what is God to us? "He in whom we lioe and move and have our being." He is the life of the unioerse. And how wonderfully perfect all that life is in nature. When we know this God as our Redeemer, "in whom we lioe and move and have our being " in a higher sense, what an assurance that He will make His new life in us as wonderful and perfect.

2. "Thou hast loved rightevusness and hated iniquity, therefore "... This was His way to the throne; this is the only way for us, lioing and doing right, and hating everything that is sin.
















VIII

THE SON-THE EVERLASTING CREATOR. L 10. And,

Thou, Lord, In the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth,

And the heavens are the work of thy hands:

11. They shall perish; but thou continuest:

And they all shall wax old as doth a garment;

12. And as a mantle Shalt thou roll them up,
As a garment, and they shall be changed:
But thou art the same,

And thy years shall not fail (Ps. cil. 26, 27).

COME and hearken once more to what the divine message has to tell us of the glory of the Son, in whom the Father speaks to us. Come and see how truly He is one with God, and shares with him all His glory. The deeper our insight into the true Godhead of our Lord Jesus Christ, His perfect oneness with God, the more confident shall we be that He will, in a divine power, make us partakers of His work, His life, His indwelling.

We find Christ here set before us as the Creator, to whom all owes its existence, as the everlasting and unchangeable One, to whom alone, when all waxeth old and perisheth, can be said, Thou continuest; Thou art the same; Thy years shall not fail. In Isaiah God speaks of Himself: "Hast thou not heard, the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary." ln our text we see the Son as the Almighty Creator, the everlastingly unchangeable One, that we may know who it is through whom God speaks to us, and to whom He has intrusted the work of our salvation.

The words are taken from Ps. cii. The ordinary reader would not think that the Messiah or the Son was here spoken of. But, taught by the Holy Spirit, our writer sees how all redemption is wrought only through the Son, and how, therefore, the building up of Zion and the appearing in His glory (ver. 16), the looking down from the sanctuary and the loosing those who are appointed unto death (ver. 20), all points to the Son as Redeemer. And then what follows is true of Him too. It is: "Thou hast laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands: they shall perish, but Thou shalt endure." God is the Almighty and everlasting: these are the attributes of Him to whom our salvation is entrusted.

Listen, believer! Christ, thy Redeemer, is the Almighty One. God saw that none but His Son could meet thy need: hast thou so seen it, too, that this, His almighty power, has been claimed and appropriated for thy daily life? Hast thou learnt never to think of Him otherwise than as the One who calleth the things that are not as though they were, and creates what otherwise could not be?

Christ, thy Redeemer, is the everlasting and unchangeable One: hast thou heard Him speak ?" l, Jehovah, change not; therefore ye are not consumed," and learnt to trust Him as the One who is each moment to thee all that He can be, and who will, without variation or shadow of turning, maintain in neverceasing power His life within thee? Oh learn that God saw it needful to speak to thee through none other than such a One as could reach the heart and fill it with the power of His eternal Word. The Almighty Son, through whom God hath created all things, who upholdeth and filleth all things by the word of His power; this is He who will even so, in the power of His Godhead, uphold and fill thy whole life and being. Thy Creator is thy Redeemer! One great cause of feebleness and backsliding in the Christian life is the power of circumstances. We often say that temptations that come to us from our position in life, from the struggle to live, from the conduct of our fellow-men, draw us away from God, and are the cause of our falling into sin. lf we but believed that our Redeemer is our Creator! He knows us; He appoints and orders our lot; nothing that comes to us but what He has in His hands. He has the power to make our circumstances, however difficult, a heavenly discipline, a gain and a blessing. He has taken them all up into the life-plan He has for us as Redeemer. Did we but believe this, how we should gladly meet every event with the worship of an adoring faith. My Creator, who orders all, is my Redeemer, who blesses all.

And now let me once again urge my reader to mark well the lesson this chapter is teaching us and the object it has in view. Let no one think, as l myself long thought, that, because we firmly believe in the divinity of our Saviour, this chapter, with its proof-texts, has no special message for our spiritual life, and that we may therefore hasten on to what the Epistle has to teach farther on. No, let us remember that this is the foundation chapter. The divinity of Christ is the rock on which we rest. lt is in virtue of His divinity that He effected a real cleansing and putting away of sin, that He can actually communicate and maintain the divine life in us, that He can enter into our inmost being, and dwell there. lf we open our hearts and give them time to receive the full impression of the truth, we shall see that all that we are to learn of the person and work of Christ has its value and its power from this-that He is God. Our Creator, from whom we have our life-it is He who alone can enter into us to give the new life; it is He, blessed be His name, who will do it now. As God, He is the hidden ground of all existence, and has the power to enter all and fill it with Himself. Every part of His work has the character and the power of a divine work. lf we would but believe that Christ the Son is God, is Jehovah, the Eternal, the Creator, how He would make our inner life the proof of His Almighty power!

Paul said: "l count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." Let us do so, too. In the Christian life the chief thing, the one thing needful, is the knowledge of Christ. Not the intellectual apprehension of the truth, but the living experimental heart knowledge that comes from faith and fellowship with Him, from love and obedience. May it be ours!

7. God is the incomprehensible One. in all thy thoughts of Him, in all thy efforts to know Him as revealed in Christ, remember the true knowledge of God is something above sense and reason. As the light reveals itself to the open eye that has been created for it, God reveals Himself to the longing heart. All the teaching of angels and prophets, of the words and the truths of the Bible, can but point the way: let God in Christ speak in thy heart. Then shalt thou know Him. Bow in adoring awe, and worship Christ. "Let all His saints worship Him. lt is worship, not study, will prepare us to know Christ."

2. They shall perish: they all shall wax old: this is what the creature is, even though created by God, with every experience, even though coming from God. Thou continuest; thou art the same:this is our security and our joy. Christ my Redeemer is the unchangeable -every moment the same, my Keeper and my Life.
















IX

THE SON-ON THE RIGHT HAND OF OOD.

13. But of which of the angels hath he said at any time,

Sit thou on my right hand,

Till I make thy enemies the footstool of thy feet (Ps. ox.).

14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation?

Sit thou on My right hand, till I make Thy enemies the footstool of Thy feet. These words we have from Psalm ex. Luther called it the chief of all the Psalms. The first verse, and the fourth about Melchizedek, contain the hidden mysteries, which we never should have understood without the exegesis of the Holy Spirit. It is from this Psalm that the expression, which is become one of the great articles of our faith, Sitting on the right hand of God, has been taken into the New Testament . Our Lord quoted the words when he taught (Matt . xxii. 41) how David, when he said, "jehovahsaid unto my Lord" had acknowledged that the Messiah who was to be His Son, would also be his Lord. Before Caiaphas (Matt. xxvi. 64) Christ spoke of Himself as "the Son of Man, sitting at the right hand of power." Mark (xvi. 19) in the narrative of the ascension, uses the words, " The Lord Jesus was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God." At Pentecost (Acts ii. 35) Peter proved from this text that David had prophesied of the Messiah. Paul (1 Cor. xv. 25) applies the words to the final conquest of all the enemies of the Lord Jesus. And to the Ephesians (chap. i. 20-22) he speaks of the " working of the strength of God's might, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenlies." Our Epistle uses the expression five times {see Ref.). The words of David spoken through the Holy Spirit of what he could but very little have apprehended, became, through Jesus and the apostles, the revelation of what is the highest glory of Christ, and the greatest strength of our faith and hope.

The word suggests two thoughts. The one, that as Son of Man He is admitted to the perfect fellowship and equality with God; the other, that He is now possessor of divine, of universal authority and power. We are so familiar with the truth, that its infinite magnificence hardly strikes us. God is a God who is, and must be, infinitely jealous of His honour: His glory He will not give to another. When Jesus, the crucified Son of Man, takes His place at the right hand of the Majesty on high, it can only be because He is also the Son of God, because He is God. And it assures us that now the power and dominion of God Himself are in His hands, to carry out the work of redemption to its full consummation, until all His enemies have been put under His feet, and He shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father.

When the writer quotes the words, it is with the question: Of which of the angels hath He said at any time? And He gives the answer: Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to do service for them who shall be heirs to salvation?

He would impress deep upon us the thought that angels, though they come from God's throne, and are the instruments of His power, are still infinitely distinct from the Son. The redemption from sin, the true fellowship with God, the life and the love of God they cannot communicate. lt is the Son, sitting at the right hand of God, acting in the power of God, to whom we must look for the everlasting redemption, for the true inward deliverance from sin, for a complete salvation. The angels, by contrast, all point us to the Son, seated as Man on the throne, in proof of, and to impart, that perfect restoration to the fellowship of the Most High in the Most Holy Place.

This is the Son in whom God speaks to us. The word, Sit thou on My right hand, is spoken in our hearing and in our behoof. ln that word we have concentrated all God's speaking. See, He says, how l have exalted Him, your Brother, your Surety, your Head, to my right hand, in token of My perfect acceptance of His work; your perfect admittance to My presence and the enjoyment of all the power of the heavenly life; your full participation, in your inmost being, of what the kingdom of heaven is. Sit thou on My right hand: let the word enter and master all our heart and life. I have said that it occurs five times in the Epistle. Compare these passages, and the others having reference to Christ's place in heaven (see Ref. i. 3), and observe how the great truth we are to learn is this: the knowledge of Jesus as having entered heaven for us, and taken us in union with Himself into a heavenly life, is what will deliver the Christian from all that is low and feeble, and lift him to a life of joy and strength. To gaze upon the heavenly Christ in the Father's presence, to whom all things are subject, will transform us into heavenly Christians, dwelling all the day in God's presence, and overcoming every enemy. Yes, my Redeemer, seated at God's right hand-if l only know Him aright and trust Him as able to save completely-He will make me more than conqueror.

lf we would obtain this blessed knowledge of our Lord, and the blessed life in the experience of His power, Scripture has a prayer for us (Eph. i. 17-22), that we will do well to pray often: "That the God of our Lord Jesus would give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation, that we may know what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-zvard who believe, according to that working of the strength of His might which He wrought in Christ, when He made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenlies." Let us pray for this spirit of divine illumination; let us study and adore the strength of God's might that lifted Him to the throne; and let us believe joyfully, that that power works in us every day to lift us up and enable us to live as those who are set with Him in the heavenlies. And let us sing without ceasing: Praised be God for such a Saviour!

7. "Now the chief point is this: We have such an High Priest who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high " (oill. 7). Yes, this is the chief point: Jesus in heaven, keeping it open for me, drawing me to enter into the Holiest, and keeping me in it sending down heaven into my heart.

2. "He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things." On earth everything is limited by space and matter, in heaven all is in a dioine, all-pervading power. As the light of the sun pervades all the air, the light and spirit of heaven can fill all our heart. The heavenly Christ fills all things.

3. See how they worship Him who sits on the throne in heaven (Rev. o. B-74, oii. 9-72% and let every thought of Jesus on the throne lead to worship. lt was as, during ten days, the disciples worshipped Him that had just sat down on the right hand of God, that they were filled with the Holy Ghost. The Pentecostal gift is ours: here is the place and the posture in which we shall enter into its full experience.
















THE FIRST WARNING.
Chap. ii. 1-4.
To take heed to what the Son speaks (1-4).



X

THE DANGER OF NEGLECTING SO GREAT SALVATION.

II.-1. Therefore we ought to give more earnest1 heed to the things that were heard lest haply we drift away.

2. For if the word spoken through angels proved stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;

3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard;

4. God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts5 of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.

THE first chapter has set before us the divine glory of Christ the Son, in whom God hath spoken to us in these days. ln the second the humanity and the humiliation of Jesus are to be unfolded. Ere the writer proceeds to this, he pauses to sound a note of warning. He reminds his readers of the greater responsibility and greater danger in case of neglect, which greater privileges bring, and to urge them to take more earnest, more abundant heed to what God is speaking in His Son.

'Abundant. 1 Marg., Distributions.

Therefore, this is the link between the teaching of chap, i. with regard to the Godhead and glory of the Son, and the warning that now comes. The everlasting God speaks to us in His Son; we surely ought to give more abundant heed.

More abundant heed: it is the same word as is used in chap, vi. 17. "God being minded to shewmore abundantly unto the heirs of the promise, the immutability of His counsel." In what God speaks and does, it is all with the desire to show to us more abundantly, in full and overflowing measure, what the purpose of His heart is. It is for this He speaks in none less than His own Son. He has a right to claim that we meet Him with a corresponding whole-heartedness, and give more abundant heed to what He speaks. Nothing less will satisfy Him; nothing less, in the very nature of things, will satisfy us, because nothing less than man's more abundant heed is capable of receiving God's more abundant grace. lt is the lack of this taking more earnest heed, the lack of intense earnestness, giving God and religion the first place and the best powers of our life, which is at the root of the feebleness and sickliness of the Christian life. God is speaking to us in His Son, therefore we ought to take more abundant heed.

Lest haply we drift away-and perish more surely and more terribly than those who sinned under the Old Testament. There the word spoken, with its threatening, was stedfast, and every transgression was punished. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? The gospel does not, as so many think, lessen-it increases our danger. lt does not diminish, but will terribly intensify, the soreness of the punishment in those who neglect it. Oh, let us sound out the warning: it is not only positive enmity or open sin that will be punished. No, simply "not taking earnest heed," just "drifting away" unconsciously with the current of worldliness and halfhearted religion, "neglecting" to give the great salvation that supremacy, that entire devotion which it claims,-it is this which will render escape impossible.

And why? How can we show men that it is right and meet that it should be so? And what is the motive that will stir men to take heed? The answer is in the one word: So great salvation. The insight into the more abundant glory, the divine, the all-surpassing greatness of this salvation, is what will compel men willingly and joyfully to give up all and buy this pearl of great price.

And wherein does the greatness of this salvation consist? In this that it comes to us from and through THE TRIUNE GOD; the Holy Trinity is revealed as combining to work out this salvation for us. Listen. "So great salvation, which having at the first been spoken by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard." Christ the Son, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His substance, it was He in whom God spoke to us; it was He, the Redeemer, God and King, who Himself first preached the kingdom which He established when He effected the cleansing of our sins, and sat down on the right hand of the throne.

So great salvation! First spoken by the Lord, God also bearing witness both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers. God the Father Himself set His seal from heaven on the preaching of the word. The existence of His church is His standing sign and wonder, the proof of His divine power. Not to take heed, to neglect the great salvation, is nothing less than despising God Himself.

God also bearing witness, by distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will. Not only did God bear witness to the great salvation by signs and wonders and powers, but above all by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. The Holy Spirit is God come to dwell on earth, to strive and plead and testify in the hearts of men. There is no fellowship with the Father but through the Son, and no fellowship with the Son and His salvation, but through the Holy Spirit in us. Let us enter the study of Christ's person and work in the Epistle in this faith. Yes, this is the greatness of the great salvation- in its offer THE THREE-ONE God comes to us. The Lord preached, the Father bore witness, the Holy Spirit came as the power of God to work. What a salvation! What sin to neglect it! May God reveal to us, as we study this Epistle, the glory of the so great salvation, that we may indeed more abundantly take heed to it.

7. To know the Son who speaks and reveals the Father; to know the Father to whom, and whose love, the Son brings us in; to know the Holy Spirit with His wonderful gifts of grace and power; to be restored to the image and fellowship of the Holy Trinity: this is salvation.

2. Let every thought of the glory of Christ, and of God, and of the Spirit, and of the great salvation leave this one impression: Take more abundant heed to what you hear! Meet God's abounding grace with abounding desire to listen and believe.

3. To the preaching of Christ and the apostles God bore witness. lf this was needful then, how much more now, at this long distance from those days of heavenly joy and power. Ask, for the study of the Word in the Epistle, that God bear witness of the Holy Ghost. Claim and expect it. Without this, even the teaching of tfie apostles by Christ Himself availed little.

4. Once again. This is the greatness of salvation ; the everlasting Father in His love speaks to mo Himself in the Son. The Son shows and brings and gioes me ail the Father speaks; and l have the Holy Spirit in me, fitting me to hear and know and possess and enjoy all that the Father in the Son speaks and gioes. Let us, above all, hold this fast that there is no dioine witness, or assurance, or experience of the salvation Christ effected, except as the Holy Spirit, which came from heaven, communicates and maintains it within us. Let us, therefore, take more abundant heed to the Holy Spirit ln us, in whom the Father and the Son come to us.

SECOND SECTION.-ii. 5-18.

Jesus, even in His humiliation as Man, more than the Angels. The reason of His humiliation.
















XI

THE WORLD MADE SUBJECT TO MAN, NOT TO ANGELS.

II.-5. For not unto angels did he subject the world to come, whereof we speak.

6. But one hath testified somewhere, saying tPs. vlii. 5),

What Is man, that thou art mindful of him?
Or the Son of man, that thou visitest him?

7. Thou madest him a little lower than the angels;
Thou crownedst him with glory and honour,
And didst set him over the works of thy hands:

8. Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet.

For in that he subjected all things to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him.

9. But we behold Jesus crowned with glory and honour.

As the Son of God Christ is more than the angels. As the Son of Man Jesus is more than the angels too. He was indeed, as man, made a little lower than the angels, and yet, because to man the world to come, of which the Spirit of Christ in the prophets spake, had been made subject, he had a place of honour and dominion greatly excelling them. Not only the divinity but the humanity of Christ will prove how. infinitely superior the new dispensation is to that which was given by the ministry of angels.

For not unto angels did He subject the world to come,

that world to which the Psalm looks forward, the kingdom of the Messiah, the kingdom of heaven upon earth. The Psalm does not speak directly of the Messiah, but of man and his destiny. But it is applied most justly to the Messiah, because in Him the Psalm and man find the fulfilment of what is promised.

The Psalmist first speaks of man's littleness and the wonder that God should notice him. What is man that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that Thou visitest him? He then points out how high the place is which man occupies. His nature is little less than divine. Thou madest Him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honour. And universal dominion is assigned to Him. Thou didst set him over the works of thy hands. Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet. Our Epistle points out how this promise, though not yet true of man, has received its fulfilment in Jesus. Now we see not yet all things subjected to man, but we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. What was true of man in promise, we see fulfilled in Jesus: what we see in Jesus, will be made true of man. What wonderful thoughts the Psalm suggests.

How glorious is the destiny of man! Created in the image of God, he was to bear God's likeness in this too, that as king he was to be ruler of all. The whole world to come was made subject to him. Man has received from God a life, a nature, a spirit, capable of partaking of His own life and spirit. His will and His holiness, capable of likeness to and fellowship with Himself, even to the sitting on His throne, and sharing with Him the dominion over all creation. What a destiny!

How gloriously we sec that destiny fulfilled in Jesus! It was because man had been created with a nature capable of such a destiny, that the Son of God could become man, and not count it unworthy of His divine glory Himself to work out that destiny. He came and proved what the life of man was meant to be-how humility and subjection to God were the sure path to glory and honour. He came and glorified a life of humiliation as the training-school for the exaltation to the right hand of God; fulfilling man's destiny in Himself as Son of Man, He, as Son of God, fulfilled it for us too.

How gloriously and certainly man's destiny will yet be realised! Jesus, the Son of Man, came as the Second Adam. He stands to us in a relation as close, as real, as intimate, as Adam did. As complete as was Adam's communication of a sinful nature will be His impartation of a new, of His own nature. As Son of God, Creator and Upholder of all, in whom all things consist, He has a divine power of living within us with all that He was in Himself. His humanity is the revelation of what we can be; His divinity the pledge that we can be it. We see not yet all things subject to man, but, and that is enough, we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour.

lt was by His union with us in our life in the flesh, by His identifying Himself with our nature, that Jesus was able to claim and to work out and enter into possession of the glory God had promised to man. lt is by our receiving His nature, and identifying ourselves with Him in this life on earth and in heaven, that what He has achieved for us can really become ours. Let us here, at the very outset of our Epistle, get well hold of the truth that what Christ does for as our Leader, our Priest, our Redeemer, is not anything external. All that God works in nature in heaven or on earth, in the stars or in the trees, He does from within, by laws that pervade their whole existence. All that Adam wrought in us is from within, by a power that rules our inmost life. And all that Christ does for us, whether as Son of God or Son of Man, is equally and entirely a work done within us. lt is when we know that He is one with us and we with Him, even as was the case with Adam, that we shall know how truly our destiny will be realised in Him. His oneness with us is the pledge, our oneness with Him the power, of our redemption.

1. Thy destiny, O man, is to sit with Jesus on His throne. Live as one preparing for it. Cultivate a royal spirit. Abide in Him: He will abide in thee.

2. The world made subject to man. How terrible the ruin of sin, by which man was made subject to the world. lts king became its slavc, and is so just when he appears most to master it. Christ teaches us to conquer the world by denying it; to hold it in subjection by not being of it. lt is in the path of humiliation and self-denial alone that man's destiny can be realised.

3. The Epistle has two things to show us in Jesus, as inseparably connected! the place of glory where He is now; the path of humiliation that brought Him there. Make it thy care to follow Christ in His humility; He will make it His care to bring thee to His glory.

4. Study to see the intimate connection, the real unity between the two. lt is the spirit that is subject to God on earth, to which God makes all things subject in heaven. The soul that in the humiliation of earth makes God all is fit for the heavens, when God is manifested in glory as the All in All.
















XII

WE SEE JESUS CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOUR.

II.-8. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him. 9. But we behold Him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour.

What a glorious contrast! We see not yet all things subjected to him, that is, to man: but-what is far better -we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. When we look round upon this world, with all its sin and misery, it does indeed not appear as if man was destined to be higher than the angels, and to have dominion over all the works of God's hands. But when we remember that Jesus became Man, that He might taste death for all men, and that He, a Man upon the throne, now lives as our Surety, our Redeemer, and our Head, it is enough if we see Him crowned with glory and honour. ln that we have the pledge that He will one day bring man to that glory and honour too. ln that we have the assurance that He is using all that glory and honour even now on our behalf. We see not yet all things subjected to man, but -we see Jesus crowned with honour and glory. Blessed contrast!

The right knowledge and use of this antithesis is the secret of the life of faith. We see not yet all things subjected to Him - how exactly this expresses the disappointment and failure which is often the experience of the believer when his first joy and hope begin to pass away. He finds that sin is stronger than he knew; that the power of the world and the flesh and self are not yet made subject to him as he had hoped. At times it is as if he feels that the promises of God, and the expectations they raised in his heart, are vain. Or else, if he acknowledge that God is indeed faithful to fulfil them, the way for one who is as weak as he is, and in his circumstances, to obtain these promises is too hard. The promises of God, to put all things in subjection to us and make us more than conquerors, are indeed most precious, but, alas, ever again the bitter experience comes-man sees not yet all things subjected to him.

Blessed the man who knows, then, in living faith to say: But we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. Blessed the man who knows to look away from all that he finds in himself of imperfection and failure, to look up and behold all the perfection and glory he finds in Jesus! Yes, blessed the man who finds his delight and his life in meeting every disappointment and every difficulty with the blessed: But- we see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. This is all I need! this satisfies the soul, and gives it peace and joy and strength.

The Epistle is about to expound to us the great mystery, why the Son of God was made a little lower than the angels. lt was that, by the grace of God, He might taste death for every man, and so open up again the entrance into God's presence and favour. The necessity and meaning of His sufferings and death it will present to us in three different aspects. The first (v. 10), that in suffering and death Christ Himself must needs be made perfect, so that as our Leader He might open up to us the path of perfection, and prepare that new nature, that new way of living, in which we are to be led to glory. The second (14, 15), that through death, making propitiation for sin, He might destroy the devil, with his power of death, and give us a perfect deliverance from all fear of it. And the third (16-18), that in what He suffered, He might be made a merciful and faithful High Priest, able to secure our perfect confidence, and to give us the succour we need. But before the writer thus unfolds the meaning of Christ's humiliation, he first points to His glory. lt is this which constitutes the excellency of the New Testament, which gives our faith its power of endurance and victory; we see Jesus now at the right hand of the Majesty of God. Let us hold this fast as the chief thought of the Epistle, as the one great lesson the Hebrews, and all feeble backsliding Christians, need: Jesus, who suffered for us; Jesus who in His suffering as our Leader, opened a way to God for us; Jesus who sympathises with us-this Jesus is crowned with honour and glory. To see Him is to know that we have all we can need.

Would you, my reader, give more abundant heed to the great salvation? would you experience how completely Jesus is able to save? do you long for just as much of the love and the presence, the holiness and the joy and the power of God in you as there is in Jesus for you? here you have the secret of it all! Amid all sin and weakness, all darkness and doubt, all failure and perplexity, hold fast this one truth, engage in this one exercise of faith: We see not yet all things subjected to man, but we see Jesus crowned with honour and glory. This gives peace, and victory, and joy unspeakable.

And if you would know how thus ever to have the heart turned to Jesus, remember, He came to save His people from their sins. lt is the heart that is weary of itself and its sins, that fully accepts the fact of the utter corruption and the utter helplessness of all that is of the old nature and of self, that will find itself attracted with strong desire to this mighty Redeemer. In such a heart Jesus, the crowned One, will not only be a distant object, but, by the Holy Spirit, an indwelling presence. The coming of the Holy Spirit is inseparably connected with, is our only proof of, the glorifying of Jesus (John vii. 38, 39; xvi. 14; xvii. 10), is our only real participation in the blessings that flow from it. Let all our worship of Him, crowned with glory and honour, be in the faith that the Pentecostal Spirit glorifies Him in us, so that our whole inner being is filled with His presence.

7. Jesus, made a little lower than the angels. Jesus, because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour. Look not only at the glory, but look well at the place of lts birth, at the way in which it was gained. lt is in the way in which you are walking now. Learn to welcome humiliation and suffering as the seed, the power out of which the glory is brought forth, as the way in which Jesus in glory is preparing you for the glory,

2. We see Jesus crowned with glory and honour. Let every experience of the contrast- we see not yet all things subject to man-become a call and a motive and a help to turn to Jesus. Let us take time and gaze and worship until our whole soul is filled with the faith: this life of humiliation is the bud of the glory everlasting : Jesus in glory is proof that lt is so, the pledge that lt will be so with us. Be this our life: Wc see Jesus, becavse of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour.
















XIII

JESUS TASTING DEATH FOR EVERY MAN.

n.-9. We behold him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that by the grace of God He should taste death for every man.

HERE we have the one great reason why it was meet that Jesus should be made a little lower than the angels. lt was that He might taste death for every man. ln the counsel of divine grace, and in the great plan of redemption, this was one of the first objects of the incarnation-the birth was for the sake of the death. Without that wonderful birth,-THE WORD, that was God, made flesh,-the death would not have profited us. Without that wonderful birth the death would have availed us little. What God hath joined together let no man put asunder. Let us beware of exalting the one at the expense of the other. The birth and the death are two inseparable parts of the one process by which He was perfected as the Firstborn from the dead, and became our Deliverer and King. The humanity and humiliation of Jesus was needful for His death for or on behalf of every man.

And what was the meaning of this death? And wherein lies its efficacy? In Scripture there is a twofold aspect in which the death of Christ, as our Head, is set before us. The one is that He died for sin, bearing its curse, and suffering death as God's righteous judgment on account of it . His death opened up the way to God for us. lt did for us what we cannot and need not do; it wrought out a finished salvation, which we have but to accept and repose upon. According to the other aspect, He died to sin. His death was a proof of His resistance to sin and its temptation, of His readiness rather to give up life than yield to sin; a proof that there is no way of being entirely free from the flesh and its connection with sin, but by yielding the old life to death, in order to receive afresh and direct from God a life entirely new. In this view His death was an act of infinite moral and spiritual value,-the consummation of the work God wrought when He perfected Him through suffering.

The former aspect, the death for sin on our behalf, has its value from the second, which reveals what constitutes its true nature and power. And, even so, the faith in the death for sin, must lead us into the death to sin. The one view is that of substitution: Christ doing what l cannot do. The other that of fellowship: Christ working in me what I see in Himself. The former is a finished work, and gives me boldness at once and for ever to trust God. The latter is the power of sanctification, as the death and the life of Christ work in me.

Both views are found in the Epistle in perfect harmony. See how clearly the former comes out in this chapter. It is because of the suffering of death, that He has been crowned with glory and honour. "He was made a little lower than the angels that He might taste death for every man," might drink the cup of death, as the fruit of sin, for all. Some men die without tasting the bitterness of death; Jesus tasted its

bitterness, as the curse of sin, in full measure. Then we read,

ver. 14, that He became man, that through death He might

bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that

is, the devil, and deliver them who were subject to bondage.

His death accomplished for us what we never could, what we

now need not do. And ver. 17 tells us that His being made

Man was that He might be a High Priest in things pertaining

to God; to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

All these expressions-suffering death, tasting death for all,

bringing to nought the devil, making reconciliation for the

sins of the people-refer to the finished work which Christ

wrought, the sure and everlasting foundation on which our

faith and hope can rest.

ln its subsequent teaching the Epistle will show us what

the building is that rests on that foundation, what the heavenly

power and life, the blessed nearness and service of God, to

which the High Priest, our Forerunner and Leader, brings us in

fellowship with Himself in the way He opened up. But it

would have us begin here and strike the roots of our faith deep

in the work which Christ, as our Substitute, wrought on Calvary.

Let us study the words carefully, and remember them well,

and believe them fully: Christ hath tasted death for all, and

emptied the cup; Christ hath brought to nought the devil;

Christ hath made reconciliation for sin. Death and the devil

and sin: these have been put away, have been brought to

nought . A complete deliverance has been effected. The

sufferings and death of Christ have such an infinite worth

and preciousness in God's sight that no soul, who is resolved

to have nothing more to do with sin, need any longer fear,

but may with boldness meet its God. The death of Christ hath wrought with mighty power in heaven and earth and hell. lt has satisfied, and delighted God; it has conquered death and sin and hell; it has redeemed and delivered mankind. Let that death live in thy heart; it will work there its mighty wonders too. And thou shalt find Jesus in thine heart, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour.

1. The first Adam tasted the forbidden fruit, and won death for all. The Second Adam tasted this death, and brought life for all. To all who accept Him, the power, the indwelling, the energy of the life is no less true and real than that of sin and death has been. "We see Jesus for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour."

2. Jesus tasted the bitterness of thy sin and death, O my soul; that thou mightest taste the sweetness of His life and love. O taste and see that the Lord is good.

3. "By the grace of God taste death for every man." "Where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly, that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through rightevusness unto eternal life."
















XIV

THE LEADER OF OUR SALVATION.

II.-10. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing1many sons unto glory, to make the author2 of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

VV*E have seen that there is more than one reason for the humiliation of the Lord Jesus, even unto the suffering of death. Here we have the first: that as the Leader of our salvation, through whom God leads His sons to glory, He might open up the path, the way of life, in which we were to go. For this He needed to be made perfect through suffering and death. So only could He become a Leader,3 in the true and full sense of the word. ln suffering, His will was perfected, His character fashioned, His dependence on God and delight in His will was confirmed and made manifest . ln suffering, His obedience unto death opened up the living way in which alone the creature can reach the Creator-the deepest humility and entire surrender. As Leader He opened up the path of life, a mode of living and acting, in which we are to follow.

It is this that we also spoke of as the second aspect of

1 Leading. - Leader.

3 The Dutch version has: "The Leadei-in-Chief." The translation "Leader" makes more clear the connection with what precedes: "God leading {agagon) makes the Z^aair-in-Chief (Axchegos)perfect." Of Captain in A.V. and Author, R.V., Westcott says: "Neither word gives the fulness of sense. The Archtgos Himself first takes part in that which He establishes." In xii. I he adopts the word "Leader" in his translation-Jesus the Leader and Finisher of faith.

Christ's death. That death is not only atonement but fellowship. lt is only in suffering, in being crucified and dead with Christ, that we know Christ and His salvation. Christ was made perfect through suffering that He might be a Leader, that in conformity to Him, and in partaking of His Spirit and likeness, we might find the path to God and to glory.

The work of a leader supposes three things. The first: He must Himself lead the way, passing through all its difficulties and dangers, knowing and showing it to those who follow. The second: those who follow must yield themselves wholly to His guidance, walking even as He walked. The third: He must take charge of His followers, seeing that all hindrances are removed, and providing for all their needs. Let us see how blessedly all this is fulfilled in Jesus, and what a comfort it brings us to know that Jesus bears this name too: the Leader of our salvation.

The leader must walk in the very path his followers have to go.-The path we sought in vain was one that could bring us out from under the dominion of sin, both in its guilt as transgression against God, and its power as death to all that is holy and good. There was no possible way out of this state of sin and guilt and death, but by the submission to the judgment of God, and by giving proof, in bearing that judgment, of entire and willing surrender to God's will. There was no way to come out of fallen nature, with the power of self and selfwill ruling it, but by entirely dying to it; suffering anything rather than let it have its way. This was the way in which Jesus would have to lead us. And He had to walk in it Himself. It became God, in leading many sons unto glory, to make the Leader of their salvation perfect through suffering. Christ was perfect from His birth; every wish and inclination was as it should be; but only as a disposition, as a power, that needed to be tested and developed and strengthened by trial. What the suffering and the death effected in Christ personally, in perfecting His characte