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VERSES 1, 2. God, who at sundry limes and in divers manner: spake in time
past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all
things, by whom also he made the worlds. $1. The apostle's design. 92. The subject stated. $3. (I.) The law and gospel both agree in having God for their author. 54-6. (II.) The difference as to their revelation consists 1. In the times of their promulgation. $-0. 2. The manner of it. $10, 11, 3. Persons employed: $12. (Ú.) Jewish prejudices against the gospel obviated, by attending to $13. 1. The just statement of God's revealing his will by his Son. $14. 2. Several excellencies attending the revelation itself. $15, 3. The concessions of the Jews. $16. 4. The dignity and glory of Christ the revealer, who is, $17—20. (1.) Heir of all. $21. (e) By appointment. And $22—24. (3.) Maker of the world. $25_-36. (IV.) Doc. tripal and practical observations,
şi. The apostle's grand design, throughout this epistle is, to engage the Hebrews to constancy and perseverance in their attachment to the gospel with its fundamental doctrines; and his main argument, for that purpose, is taken from the immediate author, the promised Messiah, the Son of God. Him, therefore, in this chapter, he describes at large, declaring what he is absolutely, in his person and offices, and comparatively, with respect to other ministerial revealers of the mind and will of God; principally insisting on his excellency and pre-eminence above angels.
$2. A comparison being intended in these verses between the Mosaical law and the gospel, and particularly in reference to their revelation and institution, the apostle shews;
I. Wherein the law and gospel in that view do
II. Wherein the gospel differs from the law. And then,
III. He obviates the great Jewish prejudice against the gospel, by the consideration of Christ's superior excellency. After the discussion of these points, we shall,
IV. Make some doctrinal and practical observations on the whole.
$3. (I.) That wherein the law and gospel, as to their promulgation, do both agree, is, that (à 0805) God was the author of each. About this there was no difference, as to most of them to whom the apostle immediately wrote, which, therefore, he takes for granted. For the professing Jews did not adhere to Mosaical institutions, because God was the author of these, and not of the gospel; but because, as they apprehended, they were given from God by Moses as unalterable. Now God being here spoken of in distinction from the Son, expressly, and from the Holy Ghost, by evident implication; that term, be it observed, is not taken to denote primarily the essence or being of the Deity, but one certain person, and the divine nature only as subsisting in that person, which is, the Father; so that he, by way of eminency, was the peculiar author of the law and gospel. Besides, he immediately assigns divine properties and excellencies unto another person, evidently distinguished from him whom he denotes by the name God in this place; which he could not do, did that name absolutely express the divine nature. From this head of their agreement, the apostle proceeds,
84. (II.) To the instances of difference that was between the law and the gospel, as to their revelation; and these refer to the times, the
persons employed. Let us,
1. Consider that which concerns the times of their promulgation, several of the other instances being regulated thereby
With reference to the law it is said that God spake (rámci) formerly, or of old. Some space of time is denoted in this word, which had then received both its beginning and end. Take the word absolutely, and it comprises the whole space of time from the giving out of the first promise, to the end of the Old Testament revelations. Take it as relating to the Jews (which the apostle hath respect to) and the date is the giving of the law by Moses in the wilderness. So that this dispensation of God's “speaking in the Prophets,” continued for the space of twenty one jubilees, or near eleven hundred years. After the death of the latter prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, as the Jews sreely confess, the Holy Spirit was taken from Israel. The fathers, therefore, to whom God spake in the Prophets, were all the faithful of the Jewish church from the giving of the law until the ceasing of proph
$5. The revelation of the gospel is affirmed to be made (En'eo Xaiw twv Yuepw TOUT Ww) in these last days. · Most expositors suppose this phrase, “the last days," is a periphrasis of the times of the gospel. But it doth not appear that these are any where so called; nos where they ever known by that name among the Jews, upon whose principles the apostle proceeds. Some seasons, indeed, under the gospel, in reference to some churches, are called “the last days,” but the whole time of the gospel, absolutely, is no where so termed. It is therefore, the last days of the Jewish church and state which were then drawing to their final abolition, that are here intended. The apostle takes it for granted, that the Jewish church state did yet continue; and proves that it was drawing to its period, chap. viii, ult. having its present standing in the forbearance of God. Again, the personal ministry of the Son of God, whilst