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Bible Commentaries

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews

Hebrews 2

Verse 1

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Therefore, or, on this account, viz, the consideration of the surpassing dignity of the Son of God, by whom God had spoken in these last days.

We ought to give the more earnest heed.— Here we are taught that our regard to what is spoken, ought to be in proportion to the dignity and authority of the speaker. Now, if attention is to be given to the Gospel in proportion to the dignity of its author, who is no less a personage than the Son of God, with what solemn reverence ought we to listen to His words! They are not only to be at first received, but to be kept in memory. The persons addressed had already received the Gospel, but they were to continue in faith and obedience to the end of their lives. Matthew 24:13.

To the things which we have heard.—Believers ought diligently to attend to whatever the Lord Jesus has said in His Word. The Gospel itself is the great truth, the belief of which is salvation, however great men's ignorance in other respects may be; yet nothing which God has said is to be overlooked, but everything is to be attended to as far as it is understood. All things said by Jesus are not of equal importance, but all things are important, and to be received and obeyed at every hazard and every loss. The consideration that the Lord forgives the ignorance of his people ought never to be alleged in justification of inattention to whatever he hath spoken, or of the neglect of the least of his commandments. It may also be observed that we are to give heed to the things that we have heard, that Isaiah, the things recorded in the Scriptures. Christians have nothing to learn from other sources. They are not to employ speculations of their own to eke out their information with respect to Divine things, far less are they to receive the doctrines and commandments of men. The word which I have spoken, says the Lord, it shall judge you. The word rendered "let slip," literally signifies "to run out," as a leaky vessel, which strikingly corresponds with our proneness gradually and insensibly to lose sight of one or another part of the doctrine of Christ. It is evidently a warning not to depart from the faith.

Verse 2

For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward.

The word spoken by angels.—The law spoken by angels, is the law delivered at Mount Sinai. Stephen speaks of the Jews having received the law by the disposition of angels, Acts 7:53, and the Apostle describes the law as being ordained of angels. Galatians 3:19. We are, however, expressly taught that God spake the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:1. This may be explained by the11th verse of Psalm 68 :, " The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." Angels were employed in publishing the law given by God.

But, perhaps, the difficulty may be solved by the consideration that He who was afterwards manifested in the flesh ruled over the Mosaic dispensation in the character of an angel. He is called the Messenger of the Covenant,—the Lord whom they sought, who was to come suddenly to his temple. Malachi 3:1. This is evidently descriptive of Christ. Again, it is said my name is in Him, Exodus 23:21, and under the guidance of this angel Moses had no scruple to proceed. But when the Lord said he would send an angel to drive out the nations, and to give them the land, but that He would not go in the midst of them, Moses objected. He was not satisfied with being under the protection of a created angel, and requested, that if God's presence went not with them, he would not command them to pursue their journey. Exodus 33:15. The angel who had hitherto conducted Israel is frequently called Jehovah; He is the angel of God's presence. Isaiah 63:9. Thus, He who was afterwards manifest in the flesh ruled that dispensation in the character of an angel; but this was only for a season, and to this the prophet refers,—"O the hope of Israel, the Savior thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?" Jeremiah 14:8.

The Apostle had previously established the infinite superiority of the Son of God to angels, and hence he argues the inferiority of the Law to the Gospel,—the Law having been promulgated by God in the temporary character of an angel, implying the temporary nature of the dispensation; the Gospel by the Son of God who abideth for ever, and who has said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word shall not pass away." Matthew 24:35.

Was steadfast.—Many prophets were raised up in Israel, but no alteration of the law was permitted. Malachi, the last of the prophets, concludes his testimony by enjoining upon Israel to remember the Law of Moses, with the statutes and judgments. Malachi 4:4.

Every transgression and disobedience.—The words are nearly synonymous when used together, transgression implies the doing of what is forbidden, and disobedience the omission of what is required. This exactly corresponds with the injunction neither to add to, nor diminish, what Moses had commanded. Deuteronomy 12:32.

Just recompense of reward.—The punishment justly awarded according to the offence. It would be unjust not to visit transgression with merited punishment.

Verse 3

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?

How shall we escape.—This implies that there is no possibility of escaping the wrath of God revealed from heaven against sin. Men may deceive themselves by hopes founded on false views of the mercy of God; but the door of mercy is for ever shut against all transgressors who do not avail themselves of the only remedy provided by God through the death of His Son.

If we neglect so great salvation.—The Apostle includes himself and his fellow-believers, because it was as true of them as of others. Had they neglected the great salvation there would not have been any way of escape for them. Believers are secured by having been chosen in, and given to Christ, and, consequently, they are secured from neglecting the great salvation; for He who has begun a good work in them, has engaged to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.

It is a wonderful proof of the wisdom of God that, in the salvation of sinners, He has given a more awful manifestation of the exceeding sinfulness of sin than in the destruction of the rebel angels. So far from sin appearing less pernicious by an unlimited pardon being proclaimed to the chief of sinners by faith in Christ, its malignity is more fully displayed. It was God's eternal purpose to pluck a multitude of our fallen race, which no man should be able to number, as brands from the burning, and His purpose could only be effected by the incarnation, sufferings, and death of His only- begotten and well-beloved Son. If there was no other channel through which mercy could flow to sinners of mankind, how could any who neglected so great salvation possibly escape?

The salvation here spoken of is deliverance from the love and power of sin, hence the Son of God was named Jesus. Matthew 1:21. It is great in every point of view, whether we consider the ruin and misery from which it delivers us, the means by which the deliverance was accomplished, or the glory into which those who receive it are introduced. On the other hand, he that believeth not the record that God gave of His Song of Solomon, hath made Him a liar. 1 John 5:10.

Some openly reject the Gospel, accounting it a cunningly-devised fable; others, although they do not openly reject it, are so much occupied with the things of time and sense as altogether to neglect it. All men neglect the great salvation who do not consider it as the one thing needful. All men neglect it who do not receive it. All men neglect it who are not influenced by it, for it effectually works in them that believe.

Perhaps, in speaking of the great salvation, the Apostle refers to the deliverance of Israel from the iron furnace. In bringing them out of Egypt, God gave a glorious display of his power and goodness. This, however, was only a temporal salvation, but the salvation announced in the Gospel is eternal. It is deliverance from the bondage of Satan, and, consequently, from the wrath to come—from that lake of fire, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. It translates the lost and ruined sinner into the kingdom of God's dear Son. It restores him to the image of God in which he was created. So long as God's Word abode in the heart of Adam, he stood firm in that estate of holiness and happiness in which he was created; but Satan gained admission into his heart in the form of a lie, and thus was man changed into the image of him who was a liar from the beginning. But the believer is created anew in Christ; by receiving the love of the truth he is saved; Christ, who is the truth, takes possession of his heart, and he is thus delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son; and, after having fellowship with Christ in His death and resurrection, shall sit with Him for ever on His throne. Such is the great salvation, and how shall the sinner who neglects it escape?

Began to be spoken by the Lord.—The great salvation began to be spoken by the Lord. The title, " The Lord," belongs to Jesus as fully as to the Father. He is Lord of heaven and earth, the Lord of life and glory. The great salvation had been announced to our first parents, and intimated by all the prophets by types, and figures, and shadows; but the full and clear declaration of it was made by the Lord during his personal ministry.

Confirmed unto us by them that heard him.— That Isaiah, by the Apostles, who were the Lord's chosen witnesses. John 15:27. They had attended Him during His public ministry, they went about with Him and heard all His discourses. When he spoke in parables, He explained them in private to the Apostles. But after all, their views were dark, they still expected a worldly kingdom,—that He would restore the kingdom to Israel, and raise it to additional splendour, and that He should sit on the throne of His Father David. Even after His resurrection they still fondly adhered to this notion. They were therefore, after all the advantages they had enjoyed, not qualified to preach the Gospel. Hebrews, therefore, commanded them to tarry at Jerusalem till they were endued with power from on high, and on the day of Pentecost they were baptized with the Holy Ghost, and not only qualified to preach the Gospel with unerring certainty, but to do so in all the various languages of the assembled multitudes. A new proof was also given of the truth of their doctrine by multitudes receiving the love of the truth. The Gospel came to them not in word only, but in power and in much assurance. Those who believed, according to the Lord's commandment, were baptized, thus putting on Christ, professing their faith in Him who died for their sins and was raised for their justification, and that by His resurrection they were begotten again to a lively hope of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. The Apostle, as was customary with him, classes himself with his brethren whom he was addressing; he says, confirmed to us. It was, indeed, confirmed to believers in every age and country. This does not imply that the previous evidence from the discourses and miracles of the Lord was not satisfactory, but it proves that the believer's faith is capable of increase. It is like the path of the just, which shineth more and more to the perfect day. The same Apostle gives thanks for the Thessalonians, because their "faith groweth exceedingly."

Verse 4

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

God also bearing them witness.—Not only did the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost establish the truth of the Gospel, but they were enabled to confirm their doctrine by the most astonishing miracles, giving feet to the lame and life to the dead. The Lord had promised that the Spirit of Truth, whom He would send from the Father, should testify of Him, and that the Apostles also should bear witness. . In this and the preceding verse we see his promise fulfilled, in verse3we have the testimony of the Apostles, and here we have the testimony of the Spirit.

Signs—are evidences of Divine interposition, and may, or may not, be beyond the course of nature;

Wonders—things that excite wonder, prodigies;

Diverse miracles—a variety of miraculous attestations to the truth of the Gospel.

Gifts of the Holy Ghost.—Rather distributions or divisions. The word employed here does not signify gifts, but that the powers conferred by the Holy Spirit were variously divided,—to some, one power; to others, another. .

According to his own will.—In the distribution of these powers, or gifts, God acted as a sovereign. Miraculous gifts, are termed the manifestation of the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:7. The Spirit dwells in every believer, but they do not all possess what is termed the manifestation of the Spirit. "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. These gifts were bestowed, not according to the will of Prayer of Manasseh, but according to the sovereign will of God. The will of God is His only guide in all His works. This will is always holy, just, and wise—but it is always sovereign.

Verse 5

For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

For unto the angels.—Here the Apostle returns to the subject of Christ's superiority to angels. The Apostles reasoned from the Scriptures, not because their own authority was insufficient, confirmed as it was by the miracles which they wrought, but to show that the Old and New Testaments are in perfect harmony, and that the latter is the fulfilling of the former. Believers are, also, thus taught to prove everything by the Word of God. If the ambassadors of Christ proved their doctrine by the Scriptures of the Old Testament, much more should uninspired men prove what they teach by the Word of God. What is not contained in Scripture is no part of Divine truth.

World to come.—This is evidently the new, or Gospel dispensation; and, perhaps, in contrast with this the Apostle speaks of "this present evil world," Galatians 1:4, from which Christ came to deliver His people. The first, the earthly or natural Adam, was at the head of the first world. The second, the heavenly and spiritual Adam, is at the head of the new world, which God foretells by the prophet as a new creation. "For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 65:17. God made the worlds, both the present and that which is to come, by His Son. Hebrews 1:2. We have seen that the old dispensation was subjected to the angel of the covenant; but He rules the new dispensation, in the character of the Son of God, God manifest in the flesh. The great object of the epistle is the development of the glory of the new dispensation, and he begins by giving the most conclusive proof of the superiority of its Author to the angels of God. We enter the first world by birth; we are introduced to the second by being born again. Adam, the head of the old creation, was of the earth earthy; Christ, the head of the new, is the Lord from heaven.

Whereof we speak.—The Apostle's object was to speak of the things belonging to the world to come, the new creation.

Verse 6

But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is Prayer of Manasseh, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of Prayer of Manasseh, that thou visitest him?

But one in a certain place testified.—Here the Apostle proves his assertion by quoting the eighth Psalm, and establishes the universal dominion of the Son of Prayer of Manasseh, the title which Jesus commonly assumed while on earth. The culminating evidence of his being the Son of God was not given till his resurrection.

It is to be observed that the Apostle does not name the Psalm, although this is not always the case, ; but all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and the Lord establishes its authority by so frequently referring to it during His personal ministry. He divides it into three parts—the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalm. To the Jews were committed the lively oracles; and, amidst all their wickedness, they have been faithful to this trust, and have preserved the Scriptures as delivered to them by the prophets. On this subject they have been very cautious; and, although they have adopted many false interpretations, they have never trifled with the purity of the sacred books.

Testified, saying, What is Prayer of Manasseh, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of Prayer of Manasseh, that thou visitest him?—It has been observed, that, were it not for the Apostle's authority, we should not have considered the conclusion of the102Psalm as an answer to the prayer of Christ, and a similar remark may be made respecting the eighth Psalm, which we should have confined to a description of the dominion over the creatures with which man is invested, Genesis 1:26; but the question is decided by the Apostle's application of it to the Lord Jesus, showing that it contains a prophetic intimation of the universal dominion of the Son of man. At the same time it holds true, in a measure, of the authority bestowed on man over the creatures as a type of the unlimited power of Jesus. One testimony from the Scriptures is amply sufficient for the establishment of any truth; but, by comparing one passage with another referring to the same subject, we have a confirmation of the interpretation just given. Now, in 1 Corinthians 15:27, Ephesians 1:22, Matthew 21:16, where the eighth Psalm is applied to Christ, we have a confirmation of the true application of the Psalm. Compared with the magnitude and glory of creation, man appears very insignificant; but this evidently refers to man in his fallen state. Man was made in the image of God, and the world which contains all within his reach was subjected to him; but now man is altogether vanity, he is cut down as a flower. All flesh is grass; man is of few days, and full of trouble, and in this state he is viewed by the Psalmist.

That thou art mindful of him.—Considering the glorious majesty of God, how could it be expected that God should be mindful of him?

Son of man.—This is not applicable to Adam, he was a man but had no father; he was created of the dust by God.

Visitest him.—God condescended to visit Prayer of Manasseh, as we read of his walking in the garden.

Verse 7

Thou modest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

Thou madest him a little lower than the angels.—Commentators are divided as to the expression—a little lower; some refer it to the shortness of time—a little while lower.

It holds true in a measure in both senses. Man held the next place in creation to the angels; he is now not a little, lower than they. In his natural state he is like the beasts that perish.

Verse 8

Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not get all things put under him.

Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.—In a very limited sense this is true of Adam and his posterity. The subjection of the animals, even to a child, is very wonderful, and can only be accounted for by the fear and dread of man being on all the creatures. Genesis 9:2.

For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.— We have seen that the words quoted by the Apostle, in a limited and modified degree, hold true even of fallen man; but the Apostle takes them in their full extent, without any modification. But now we see not yet all things put under him.—Not unfrequently the word all must be understood with limitation; but the Apostle teaches us that the word all, in the eighth Psalm, is to be understood in the fullest and most unlimited sense, as leaving nothing in the universe which is not put under the Son of Prayer of Manasseh, whether in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath. Even in this world there are many things which Prayer of Manasseh, by his utmost exertions, is unable to accomplish; and, although the animals are in a measure subjected to him, yet there are many of which he is justly afraid, and which devour him when they find opportunity.

Verse 9

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor: that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels.—While the language of the Psalm can only be applied to mankind in general in a very limited and confined sense, it has its full accomplishment in the Lord Jesus.

He was made for a little while lower than the angels by His incarnation—coming in the likeness of sinful flesh.

There is in our translation some confusion from the order in which the words are placed. Christ is represented as being crowned with glory and honor, that He might taste death; whereas He first tasted death, and then, as the reward of His sufferings, was crowned with glory and honor. This was the joy set before Him, for which He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of God. He has ascended far above all heavens, such is the uniform doctrine of Scripture. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a Prayer of Manasseh, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." . Christ drank of the brook in the way, therefore He lifted up His head. He is seated at the right hand of God, till all His enemies be made His footstool. Psalm 110:1 : At the same time it is true that our translators have followed the order of the words in the original; but, although the Greek may admit of this inverted order, it is evident that Christ was made for a little while lower than the angels by His incarnation and that, in consequence of His voluntary humiliation, He is crowned with glory and honor.

That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.—Here we are taught the object of the death of Christ. A multitude whom no man shall be able to number were chosen in, and given to Christ. They came under the curse of the broken law, and by the grace of God He laid down His life for them, that He might redeem them from death, might ransom them from the power of the grave, and swallow up death in victory. Adam was the source or fountain of their natural life, but it was dried up, the streams, consequently, all failed; but Jesus said, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." Hebrews 10:9. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Chap10:10.

Having risen from the dead to die no more, He is to all His people the fountain of eternal life; because I live, ye shall live also.

By the grace of God.—The gift of Christ to die for His people was an act of pure grace; but if Song of Solomon, the withholding of this boon, and the consequent condemnation of all mankind would have been no injustice. Many seem to think, that it would have been unjust to punish mankind without opening for them a way of escape, and putting them a second time in a state of probation. Were this correct, all mankind must have heard the Gospel, whereas the number of those to whom the glad tidings have come is comparatively small. There would be no more grace in the salvation of believers than there would have been justice in their condemnation. But if mankind were lost in their first father Adam, then their redemption in Christ is wholly of grace.

Taste death.—Death is the king of terrors. Those who know not God are described as being, through fear of death, all their lifetime subject to bondage. It is bitter and distasteful, and hence the figurative expression, "tasting death." So distasteful was it to the Lord Jesus, that in the days of His flesh He offered up supplication with strong crying and tears, to Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; not that He was unwilling to drink the bitter cup, or endeavoured to avoid it, but He thus earnestly prayed for victory over this last enemy.

For every man. [Man here is a supplement. Macknight says the supplement may be "huiou," every son, which exactly corresponds with the following verse.] This general expression is frequently employed when a limitation is absolutely necessary. For instance, "every man shall have praise of God." 1 Corinthians 4:5. God deals to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3. The blind Prayer of Manasseh, when the Lord opened his eyes, saw every man clearly. "Every man" is said to press "into the kingdom of God." Luke 16:16. In the passage before us, the context proves that the general expression must be limited to those to whom Christ stands in the relation of the Captain of their salvation. Ver10.

He tasted death for every one of the " many sons" whom He brings to glory. Here the expression imports that Christ died for each of His people; he died for them (as Israel is to be gathered) "one by one." [See the author"s "Doctrine of the Atonement." Second edition. Pages276-277] He tasted death for every one of the sanctified. Ver11. For every one of his brethren, ver11, 12; for every one of the Church, for which He gave Himself, Ephesians 5:23. Hebrews 2:12. For every one of the children whom God gave unto Him. Ver13. For every one of the seed of Abraham. "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:29. So far from dying for all, Christ will say to many, "I never knew you." He prays for the men whom His Father had given Him out of the world, while He expressly states He prays not for the world, John 17:6-9. In point of fact, the greater part of mankind have never heard of a Savior, and are not only living without God, but without hope in the world. If Christ died for all, no man is saved by His death. But perhaps it is said, that they are saved by faith in His death. Still, faith is the gift of God, which, like every other gift, is imparted to sinners through the atonement by which God's righteousness in the remission of sins is manifested.

If salvation be purely of grace, no difficulty is got rid of by holding that Christ died for all. Besides, if the atonement of Christ was not made exclusively for the elect and saved, but for all, even for those who are lost, the unity of the Godhead is denied. If Christ died for all, and the Spirit effectually reveals the truth only to some, where is the unity of operation between Christ and the Holy Spirit?

[Mr. Haldane's work on the Atonement was his last and, probably, his ablest publication. The Rev. Dr. Stanford, of Dublin, so well known as the able editor of Mr. Krause's sermons, has alluded to it in his preface to a new edition of the celebrated Elisha Coles' "Discourse on God's Sovereignty." Dr. Stanford says,—"After so much experience as, I trust, may secure me from the charge of presumption, in venturing an opinion of my own, I do not hesitate to say, that if the expositor of Divine truth would desire to be consistent in his doctrine,—if he would avoid being self-contradictory,—it can be only by the vivid and unclouded perception, and the unqualified adoption, of such views as are to be found in this (Coles') and similar works. Rare, I regret to say, they are; but though few, they are inestimable. I shall just here mention one, which is happily of easy attainment, and which, I think, no inquirer into truth should fail to provide himself with,—I mean "The Doctrine of the Atonement,' by J. A. Haldane. The object is in a good measure parallel with Elisha Coles' work; of course it has the advantage of a more modern and polished style. It is a singularly able and unanswerable advocacy of those views which, no matter how men may recoil from them, it has, nevertheless, been God's will to reveal."

The first editions of Elisha Coles' work were published with the strong recommendations of such men as Owen, Annesley, and Goodwin. At the great revival of the Church of England, a new edition was published by the celebrated William Romaine, who states that it is "from these doctrines only that settled peace can rule in the conscience, the love of God be maintained in the heart, and a conversation kept up in our walk and warfare as becometh the Gospel. It is from them all good works proceed, and that all fruits of holiness abound, to the praise of the glory of the grace of God."

It may here be remarked that the errors revived in the present day, involving universal pardon and the denial of eternal punishments, render the enforcement of the old doctrines taught by the Reformers and the Puritan divines all the more important One of the last acts of the judicious Thomas Scott was to republish in English the decisions of the Synod of Dort, with a preface, in which is contained the manly concession that he had been himself prejudiced against them. It may, however, be fairly said, that if good men, who hold the doctrines of free grace were to compare their respective views, it would be found that their differences on the questions of general and particular redemption, are often reduced to a mere logomachy, or war of words. If disobedience to God"s Holy Commandments be a sin against God of infinite demerit, it could only be atoned for by a sacrifice of infinite value. The sacrifice of Christ is admitted by every Christian to be of infinite value, and such a sacrifice was necessary to atone for the sin of Adam, even had he stood alone before his Maker, the solitary inhabitant of this world. But that sacrifice being infinite in value, it must have been sufficient for the salvation not of Adam only, but of all the countless millions of his posterity. It is from no defect in the value of Christ's blood, that His sacrifice is efficacious only for the salvation of the elect. But it can hardly be said, without an abuse of words, that there is an actual atonement, or reconciliation, accomplished for those who are lost. "No man cometh unto me except the Father draw him" are the words of Christ Himself. "But why are not all drawn? Ask not the reason why," says Benedict Pictet. "It is secret, but not unjust." All true Christians agree that the value of Christ's sacrifice was infinite. All who receive the doctrines of grace through the electing love of God, believe that the atonement purchased by that sacrifice is efficacious only for the elect given to Christ in covenant by the Father. Is there not then in the dispute often a confusion as to the meaning of the word atonement? The sacrifice was infinite in value, but limited in its effects; for, unless we adopt the fatal error of universal pardon, it will be admitted that it is the procuring cause of an atonement only for the saved who are reconciled to God by the priceless blood of His beloved Son. Here there is no fetter on the free proclamation of the Gospel. Salvation is proclaimed to all who will believe in Christ, to all who will come to Christ, to all who will trust the promise that He is able and willing to save. It is not for us to try to reconcile God"s sovereignty with man's undoubted responsibility, by bending the truths of revelation either to the one side or the other.—Editor.

ON THE EXTENT OF THE ATONEMENT.

A great deal of disputation on this subject arises from a doubtful interpretation of the meaning of the word Atonement. In the Bible the sacrifice of Christ is always represented as a price paid to Divine Justice. Revelation 5:9. But the adversaries of the Vicarious Sacrifice calumniously represent orthodox Divines as placing the Father and the Son in an adverse relation. Scripture and all orthodox creeds represent the Godhead as acting in unison from the Councils of Eternity. The Father, in his boundless love for the world, sends the Son to shed his blood and offer a sacrifice, as an atonement for all who believe; the Song of Solomon, comes in the fulness of time, to offer himself as a good Shepherd, giving his life for the sheep; and the Holy Spirit applies the benefits of Christ's sacrifice and intercession for all whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. It is from confounding the infinite value of the sacrifice with its limited application as an atonement that many have been beguiled into those errors which explain away the vicarious sacrifice, making Christ an example only and not a victim, and introducing the fatal but delusive notions of Universal Pardon or Universal Restoration.

It Isaiah, however, supposed by many, generally sound Divines, in our days, that if they hold that Christ died only for his people the invitations of the Gospel must be restricted. On this subject the following extract is taken from Robert Haldane's Exposition of , Romans 5:11 :—

"Many suppose that in preaching the Gospel it is necessary to tell every man that Christ died for him, and that if Christ did not actually atone for the sins of every individual, the Gospel cannot be preached at all. But this is very erroneous. The Gospel declares that Christ died for the guilty, and that the most guilty who believe it shall be saved. "It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,' even the chief of sinners. The Gospel does not tell every individual to whom it is addressed, that Christ died for him, but that if he believes he shall be saved. This is a warrant to preach the Gospel unto all men; and it is only as he is a believer that it is known to any man that Christ died for him individually. To preach the Gospel then to every Prayer of Manasseh, and call on every one to believe and be saved, is quite consistent, as it is a truth that whoever believes shall be saved. If the most guilty of the human race believe in Jesus, there is the most perfect certainty that he shall be saved. If any man is straitened in preaching the Gospel, and find a difficulty in calling on all men to believe, except he can at the same time tell them that Christ died for every individual of the human race, he does not clearly understand what the Gospel is. It is the good news that Christ died for the most guilty that believe, not that He died for every individual, whether he believe or not. To the truth that every man shall be saved who believes, there is no exception.

"The difficulty of those who feel themselves restrained in exhorting sinners to believe the Gospel, on the ground that the atonement of Christ was not made for all, is the same as that which is experienced by some who, believing the doctrine of election, suppose it inconsistent to exhort all indiscriminately to believe the Gospel, since it is certain that they who are not chosen to eternal life will never be saved. In this they err. The Gospel, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, is to be made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. It is certain, however, that they for whom Christ did not die, and who do not belong to the election of grace, will not believe. These are secret things which belong to God, to be revealed in their proper time. We are not, then, to inquire first, either for ourselves or others, for whom Christ died, and who are chosen to eternal life, before we determine to whom the Gospel is to be preached; but to preach it to all, with the assurance that whoever believes it shall receive the remission of sins. In believing it, we ascertain for ourselves that Christ bare our sins in His own body on the tree, and that God from the beginning hath chosen us to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (Vol. I, p386. Eighth Edition.)]

Verse 10

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

For it became him, for whom are all things...—Here the salvation of sinners, through the sufferings and death of Christ, is ascribed as resulting from the character of God. He hath made all things for Himself. His own glory is the ultimate end of all His works. Why did He make the Captain of Salvation perfect through sufferings? Because it became Him; it was suitable to His glorious character to make the Captain of their Salvation perfect through sufferings. Hence it was not possible that the cup should pass from Jesus. Matthew 26:39. This is more fully explained in other parts of the Scriptures; but here we are simply told,—it became the great Creator, who has made all things for Himself, and for whose pleasure they are and were created.

In the works of creation and providence, and especially in the work of redemption, the glorious attributes of God are manifested.

His character is perfect, His Wisdom of Solomon, goodness, and compassion are infinite; but the exercise of one attribute at the expense of another would derogate from this perfection, and therefore it became Him, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their Salvation perfect through sufferings. Eternal life is the gift of God; but the boon could only be bestowed on sinners through the Savior's sufferings. The justice of God must be satisfied and His truth vindicated by the surety and representative of His people enduring the penalty of their disobedience,— grace must reign through righteousness unto eternal life by the sufferings of Christ.

Many sons.—Well might the Apostle John exclaim,—" Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God" (and it is not an empty title); "if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." Revelation 21:7. Believers are so inseparably united to the only-begotten, that they shall sit with Him upon His throne; indeed, they are represented as already enthroned. Ephesians 2:6. They shall judge angels, and reign with Christ for ever and ever. Revelation 22:5.

Captain of their salvation.—When Israel were entering upon the wars of Canaan, Joshua, their leader, beheld a warrior with his sword drawn in his hand, who announced himself as the Captain of the Lord's Host. Joshua fell on his face to the earth, loosed his shoe from off his foot, worshipped, and received instructions respecting the siege of Jericho. Hebrews, who was in the Church in the wilderness, Acts 7:38, the Captain of the Lord's Host, after having thus appeared to Joshua, although afterwards unseen, conducted Israel to their promised rest.

The word here rendered " Captain" is elsewhere rendered " Prince," Acts 3:15; Acts 5:31; and "Author," chap12:2. He is the leader and commander of His people, Isaiah 55:4; who by Him are brought to glory, are healed by His stripes, and live by His death.

But how is He said to be made perfect? Was He not absolutely perfect? He did no sin, nor was guile found in His lips. He always did the things that pleased His Father. How, then, was He made perfect through sufferings? The reference is not to moral but official perfection. In order to redeem His people from the curse of the law, it behoved Him to be made a curse for them. He could only swallow up death in victory by coming into contact with it—grappling with it—tasting it, —and thus was He made perfect through sufferings. Thus He restored what he took not away. To this He alluded in His message to Herod. Luke 13:32. The flaming sword, which turned every way, kept the tree of life; but Hebrews, having submitted to the deadly stroke, returned laden with its fruit, and dispenses it to the heirs of salvation. Having risen from the dead, He dieth no more; and because He lives, they shall live also. There is a passage exactly parallel. "Though he were a Song of Solomon, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." Hebrews 5:8-9. The consecration of Aaron and his sons was completed by the offering up of a ram, Leviticus 8:22; which is therefore termed the ram of perfections. To consecrate a priest is to perfect him. Exodus 28:41. Now, the Captain of Salvation was made perfect through sufferings. His consecration was thus completed, as the great High Priest of our profession. Having, according to the will of God offered the body prepared for Him, He is now fully invested with the office of our High Priest; and, having received all power in heaven and in earth, He is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to male intercession for them. His intercession is founded on the perfection of His one offering, to which His Father hath set His seal, by raising Him from the dead and giving Him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God.

Verse 11

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which came he is not ashamed to call them brethren.

For both he that sanctifieth and them that are sanctified.—Christ says: "And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth." John 17:19. Israel were sanctified, or set apart, as God's peculiar people, by the blood of the Sinai covenant, which could not tale away sin, but only sanctified to the purifying of the flesh. Christ sanctified His people with His own blood, Hebrews 13:12, which cleanseth them from all sin.

Of one.—Some explain this of one Father; others, of one nature; but it is evidently of one family. Christ is the seed of the woman; and all believers, in common with the rest of mankind, are born of a woman. It has been already observed, that, immediately after the fall, mankind were divided into two families, —the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Christ was eminently the seed of the woman, the head of the family, and all His people are His brethren.

He is eminently the Son of the Father, 2 John 1:3; and, as the sanctifier and the sanctified are all of one family, He acknowledges them as His brethren, Mark 3:34; Luke 8:21; John 20:17; and, in virtue of their union with Him, they are called the sons of God, 1 John 3:1.

Sanctification means separation. Christ, that He might sanctify the people with His own. blood, suffered without the gate. Hebrews 13:12.

This is the blood of sprinkling of which the Apostle speaks. Hebrews 12:24. The blood of the old covenant was sprinkled on the bodies of the children of Israel at Sinai, and thus they became externally holy. The blood of Christ is sprinkled upon the consciences of all His people, and gives them confidence in coming to God. The firstborn of the family received the Spirit without measure, and through Him it is communicated to the whole family. " But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Song of Solomon, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a Song of Solomon, then an heir of God through Christ." Galatians 4:4-7.

For which cause; that Isaiah, because they belong to the same family, Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren.

Verse 12

Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

The Apostle here confirms his assertion by a quotation from Psalm 22 :, which he applies to Christ. Indeed, it is evident that this Psalm is descriptive of the sufferings of Christ and of the glory which should follow. If it has any relation to David, it is very remote. In the passage quoted by the Apostle, Christ expressly calls His people brethren. Through Him they are all adopted into God's family, and are even now the sons of God1John iii2. This, like other mysteries of the kingdom of God, was represented in His dealings with Israel, concerning whom He says,—"Israel is my Song of Solomon, even my firstborn," Exodus 4:22, in reference to which the Apostle writes,— "To whom pertaineth the adoption." Romans 9:4.

God promised to Abraham a numerous posterity, to be a God to Him and to his seed after Him, and to give them the land of Canaan. These promises were all limited to that branch of the family from which Christ was to spring; for one great object which God had in view, was to manifest His faithfulness in the promise, that all the families of the earth should be blessed in the seed of Abraham. It was therefore necessary that this family should be kept distinct; and therefore was the middle- wall of partition set up between it and all other families.

Isaac, as being the progenitor of Christ, was the child of promise, Galatians 4:23; and for the same reason Jacob was beloved and Esau hated, Abraham had seven sons besides Isaac, but they had no part in the covenant. The Apostle teaches us that the promise, "I will be a God to thee and to thy seed," does not refer to Abraham"s posterity in general, but to one of his descendants, namely, Christ. Galatians 3:16.

Now, the Jewish dispensation was a model of the kingdom of God; and, as only they that are Christ's are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise, Galatians 3:29, so the first covenant was exclusively made with that branch of the family from which Christ was to spring. That family alone, of all the families of the earth, was acknowledged of God as His people. He dwelt among them. He showed His Word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel, while He suffered all the other families of the earth to walk in their own ways. The carnal relation of Israel to Christ was a shadow of the spiritual relation of the true Israel to their glorious Head; and the carnal blessings in earthly places, with which Israel after the flesh was blessed, were a figure for the time then present of the spiritual blessings bestowed on the true Israel. When our Lord was informed that His mother and His brethren stood without desiring to speak with Him, He replied,— "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?" He knew, or acknowledged no man after the flesh; but "stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."

. Hence we learn, that those whom Christ is not ashamed to call brethren are the members of His Church. The children of the new covenant, who are all taught of God, have all heard and learned of the Father; are delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son. These alone are the brethren of Christ whom He is not ashamed to acknowledge.

Thy name.—The name of God is the expression of his character. One man is distinguished from another by his name. Jesus declared the name of God to His brethren, John 17:26, by manifesting His own character. God proclaimed His name before Moses. Exodus 33:19. He was alone, no man was to be seen throughout the mount, Exodus 34:3; and when he came down, Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone, so that Aaron and the children of Israel were afraid to come nigh him. Exodus 34:30. This transaction is explained by the Apostle, when he says,—" We all, with open face," or, perhaps rather, in an unveiled face, " beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18. A view of God's character has a transforming influence. Here we see through a glass darkly; but hereafter we shall see Him as He Isaiah, and shall be satisfied when we awake with His likeness. Psalm 17:15. 1 John 3:2.

In the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto thee.—Jesus sang praises to God in the midst of the great assembly in the temple, which was typical of the Church. He is still present in the Churches of the saints; and through His brethren, and in the midst of them, He still praises His Father.

Verse 13

And again, I will put mg trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

And again, I will put my trust in Him.— There are several passages of Scripture in which this expression occurs, Psal; 2 Samuel 22:3; and in Isaiah 8:17 the same sense, with a slight variation, is expressed; to whatever passage the reference is made, the sense in the argument is the same. We have here a decisive proof of Christ being made like unto His brethren.

In the preceding verse he had been represented as saying, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto thee;" thus acknowledging them as His brethren, and His Church, which, we are elsewhere taught, is His body,

1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:23; like the human body it is one, although composed of many members. The next quotation is either from Psalm 18:2, or Isaiah 8:17. In the Psalm the words are the same with those used by the Apostle, and in Isaiah the sense exactly corresponds. That the eighteenth Psalm is a prediction of the humiliation and exaltation of the Lord Jesus is manifest. With his dying breath the Lord Jesus cried, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit;" and the cry came into His ears. The earthquake which accompanied His resurrection, and His being drawn out of many waters, are then described, Psalm 18:7; Psalm 18:16-17, together with the punishment which He inflicted on His enemies, ver37, and His being made the head of the heathen, ver43. Now the quotation, "I will put my trust in Him," ver2; or, "I will wait upon the Lord, and I will look for him," Isaiah 8:17, proves the unity of Christ and his people. He has left us a perfect example of confidence in God. This is plainly exhibited in innumerable passages of the Book of Psalm, which may be viewed as our Lord's diary, describing His manifold sorrows and afflictions, and His triumph over all His enemies.

The Apostle adds another quotation, cited from Isaiah 8:18. In the preceding chapter God had given Ahaz, the idolatrous King of Judah, as a sign of the stability of the kingdom of Judah, viz, the birth of the virgin's Song of Solomon, namely, Immanuel, Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23, at the same time informing him (Isaiah) that before his son Shear-jashub (whom he had been directed to take with him to meet Ahaz) should know to refuse the evil and choose the good, Syria and Israel should be forsaken of both her kings. Ahaz was warned at the same time of the judgments which should come upon him, although not from the quarter he dreaded. The birth of another son to the prophet, which he had predicted, is then recorded, chap8:1; and he is informed that, before the child was able to speak, the spoil of Damascus and Samaria should be taken away by the King of Assyria. Judah, however, is reminded that they should not escape the same scourge. They are, however, encouraged to trust in God,—to fear Him; and it is predicted that Christ should be the sanctuary of his people, but a stumbling-stone and rock of offence to both houses of Israel.

This passage is frequently applied in the New Testament to Christ. The prophecy Isaiah, no doubt, obscure; but Shear-jashub and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, the sons of the prophet, were for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Hosts; and as Isaiah and all the other prophets were types of Christ, the great. Prophet so long predicted, he and his children were for signs and wonders.

The Apostle does not finish the quotation; what remains was not to his purpose. He intended to prove that Christ and His people were all of one family; and this is established by His first acknowledging them as His brethren, and declaring that in the midst of the great congregation He will lead their praises, and then representing them as His children, who, along with their glorious Head, shall be God's witnesses to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8; Revelation 1:5.

Verses 14-15

V:14, 15.—Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that Isaiah, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Having shown that Christ and His people were all of one family—that they were represented as His brethren and His children—the Apostle goes on to prove the incarnation of Christ as essential to perfect the unity which was to subsist between them. The children were partakers of flesh and blood, and Hebrews, therefore, took part of the same. As the Captain of their salvation it behoved Him to be made perfect through sufferings. As the great High Priest of His people it was of necessity that He should have somewhat to offer. Chap.

God had declared that He had no pleasure in the burnt-offerings and sacrifices enjoined by the law, Hebrews 10:6; but He prepared a body for the incarnation of Jesus, who came to do His will by offering up Himself. The children whom God had given Him were partakers of flesh and blood, and He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that He might through death destroy Him that had the power of death, that Isaiah, the devil.

Satan had introduced death, and Christ came that He might despoil Him of His usurped dominion; that He might bruise Him under the feet of His people; and by magnifying the law which they had broken and offering a full atonement for their sins, He might deliver them who were all their lifetime subject to bondage, and give them the answer of a good conscience through His resurrection.

Men are said to be, through fear of death, all their lifetime subject to bondage. This fear is natural to us. Children from their earliest age show their apprehension of danger.

Indeed, since the fall it is necessary to our preservation. Man in innocence had no apprehension of danger; satisfied with favor and full with the blessing of the Lord,—all animals subject to him,—not liable to pain,—what should he fear? But fear, the inseparable companion of guilt, effected a lodgment in the heart of Adam the moment he sinned, which is conveyed to all his posterity. The mind recoils from death; but in the atonement for sin, offered upon the cross, Christ has given His people the victory. They look to the empty grave of Jesus, and there they see the pledge of their resurrection. "This," says the Apostle, "is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith;" and here he describes the victory of believers over the god of this world — thus are his plans defeated. His success issued in his destruction. Perhaps he imagined that the death of the Son of God secured the permanence of his dominion; but Christ being crucified in weakness, was the means of the utter subversion of his usurped power.

Now, Christ"s people are enabled to say,— "It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again, who also liveth to make intercession for us." He committed His spirit to God when about to quit His body; and God showed Him the path of life, and set Him as the first of many brethren at His own right-hand, where there are pleasures for evermore. He has received power over all flesh, that He might give eternal life to as many as His Father had given Him; in other words, to all who by faith should enter His family—thus proving themselves vessels of mercy.

Verse 16

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham,

Angels as well as men had fallen, but Christ took not hold [In our version "the nature of" is supplied, but it is unnecessary and improper; both angels and men had fallen into a fearful pit He who is mighty to save passed by the former and took hold of the latter; not, indeed, of all the natural seed of Adam, but of the seed of Abraham, as the father and representative of all the faithful.] of angels, they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day; but the Lord hath showed light to the seed of Abraham. It has arisen from the sacrifice being bound to the horns of the altar, from the atonement of Jesus Christ. He took not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham. Why is there this limitation? Why is it said the seed of Abraham instead of the seed of Adam? Because He took part in flesh and blood only for the sake of the heirs of salvation, the children whom God had given Him, whom He is not ashamed to call brethren. Others, it is true, were also partakers of flesh and blood, but He never knew them. They belong to another family. He calls them not brethren. Abraham was chosen that in his seed a multitude, whom no man should be able to number, might be eternally blessed. The Savior sprang from Abraham; and in God's dealings with Abraham's descendants he exhibited a pattern of His dealings with his spiritual children, with those who are of faith, who are blessed with faithful Abraham. Israel after the flesh were redeemed from bondage, were taken into covenant, guided through the wilderness, fed with the emblem of the body of Christ, made to drink from the smitten rock, which the Apostle tells us was Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:6, and were brought to the promised land flowing with milk and honey. And thus God's love and care of the true Israel, who are Christ's and heirs according to the promise, Galatians 3:29, were strikingly exhibited. The whole plan of salvation is embodied in the history of the descendants of Abraham. Every doctrine of the Gospel is exhibited in God's dealings with them. God's chosen Israel sprang from an idolater; they were a perverse and crooked generation. They were separated from all other nations by the blood of their covenant;

God"s Spirit remained among them. He chastened them as a man chasteneth his son; and, at length, wrath came upon them to the uttermost, and God cast them off. But they have not stumbled that they should fall; they shall be restored to the favor of God, and serve Him in the land He gave to their fathers. Such is the parable.

The interpretation of it is God's unchanging love to the true Israel, whom He hath loved with an everlasting love, and with lovingkindness hath drawn unto Himself; whom He guides by His counsel, and will afterwards receive to glory.

The wisdom of God is apparent in representing spiritual and eternal things in types and figures, thus bringing the truth down to our capacity. By the folly of mankind this has been the grand means of corrupting the Gospel and carnalizing the doctrine of Christ. The spiritual ordinances of the New Testament have been changed into a system of external observances, which give an utterly fallacious view of the character of the religion of Christ.

Verse 17

Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Having taken hold of the seed of Abraham, it behoved Him to be in all things made like unto his brethren, in order that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest. Brethren are of the same family, their hearts are fashioned alike, Psalm 33:15; and in order to Christ being a merciful and faithful high priest, He must in all things be made like unto His brethren, and thus it was with our Lord Jesus Christ. He not only, as the Apostle had already stated, took part with them in flesh and blood, Hebrews 2:14, but was touched with a feeling of our infirmities, and was in all things tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Chap4:15. The prince of this world came to Him in all his malignity and in all his power. He attempted to prevail over Him through hunger, to which He was subject in common with His brethren; he held out to Him the prospect of admiration; he proposed to Him the sovereignty of the world, but by the Word of God's lips He kept Himself from the paths of the destroyer. Psalm 17:4. He not only baffled the adversary, but, in doing Song of Solomon, He taught His people how they might successfully resist the devil by opposing truth to falsehood. But he was also to make reconciliation for the sins of the people,—that Isaiah, to expiate the sins of the people; and this could only be done by the sacrifice of Himself. The sin-offering under the law must be perfect to be accepted. Now, Jesus was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; he was a lamb without spot or blemish, under the law, which was the figure of good things to come— without shedding of blood there was no remission. Now, Christ reconciled His Church unto God by His own blood. The word " reconcile," in Scripture, means "to make atonement." Leviticus 6:30; Leviticus 16:20; Leviticus 8:15. 2 Chronicles 29:24. Ezekiel 45:15. Daniel 9:24. Romans 5:10. 2 Corinthians 5:19. Now, Christ, by the sacrifice of Himself, made reconciliation, or atonement, for the sins of His people; they are all covered by His blood, and, when sought for, shall not be found.

Verse 18

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Chap. Now though Christ had no sin, yet, as we have seen, He was in all things tempted as we are. He was truly Prayer of Manasseh, and therefore had all those inclinations and dispositions which His brethren have, although in entire subjection to the will of His heavenly Father.

Chap. As God, He knew all things, all our pains and sorrows; but by assuming our nature, by being tempted like as we are, yet without sin, He has become a merciful and faithful High Priest.

In God being manifested in the flesh, we have an exhibition of the full restoration of man to the favor of God, and learn how we may pour out our hearts before that sympathizing One who knoweth our frame, and remembereth we are dust, and how we can thus put our case into the hands of Him who, although perfect and almighty, yet experienced the temptations to which we are subject, and triumphed over them all, when He put His foot on the neck of our adversary, in proof of that complete victory which He achieved, and in which all His people shall participate.

When entering on His last conflict, He said to His persecutors, "This is your hour, and the power of darkness." His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. He met with no sympathy, even from his chosen disciples; they were overcome with sleep. His agony is described in : " But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Lord, why casteth thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness." At length He exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!" proving that He was tasting all the bitterness of death, that He felt the sword of justice entering His soul; but still His confidence in His Father's love was unshaken; with His dying breath He exclaimed, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit;" and, at its departure, Satan fell as lightning from heaven. His power was broken, whilst the resurrection and exaltation of Immanuel to the throne of the universe, as the supreme Judge of men and angels, showed the magnitude of the work which He had accomplished, and the perfection of that sacrifice which had finished transgression, made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Truly His glory is great in having accomplished this salvation. Honor and majesty are laid upon Him; and, because He humbled Himself, took on Him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that is above every name; "that at the name of Jesus every knee should how, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:10-11.

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Bibliographical Information
Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Hebrews 2". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hal/hebrews-2.html. 1835.