In this Chapter the Inefficacy of the Law, and the Sufficiency of the Gospel are stated, The Lord Jesus, is most blessedly represented, under the Spirit of Prophecy, as coming for the Salvation of his People. The gracious Encouragement, of drawing nigh by his Blood.
(1) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
I detain the Reader, at his entry on this most precious Chapter, to beg of him to remark with me, the striking expression, which the Holy Ghost is pleased to make use of, when he calls the Law a shadow. For what is a shadow? It cannot be formed, but from some substance. And the substance must be before the shadow. My hand, or my body, placed between the light and the earth, forms a shadow. But on the supposition, that either be removed, no shadow remains. Now then, to apply this to the subject of these verses. The Law is said to have been a shadow of good things to come. But the very existence of the shadow implied the pre-existence of the substance. And accordingly we find Christ is said to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Revelation 13:8, hence, therefore, the Law acted as a shadow of this substance. And very evident it is, that Christ was set up from everlasting, and in all things he hath the pre-eminence. But Reader! think, if it be possible, how infinitely great most be his Person; and how infinitely momentous his redemption, introduced as both have been, in a way so wonderful, and with such vast preparation?
(5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.
It is hardly necessary for me to inform the Reader, that these words were spoken before, under the spirit of prophecy, by the Lord Jesus Christ, in the 40th Psalm (Ps 40), and at least a thousand years before Christ's incarnation. So infinitely interested God the Holy Ghost was that the Church should always be on the lookout for the Lord Jesus Christ, that from the moment of the Fall, when it was promised, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's Head, and he the heal; every part of scripture, more or less, is engaged to celebrate the great event, and to admonish the Church with the expectation of his coming. Hence, we find the Prophets with one voice, and in the most lofty strain, speaking in raptures of the Lord's coming. The Patriarch Abraham saw the day of Christ afar off, rejoiced, and was glad. Jacob spake of the Shiloh. David lived, and died in the full assurance, that of his loins Christ should arise after the flesh. Isaiah, under the same divine teaching, cried out to the Church; Behold, your God will come and save you. Jeremiah, Micah, Zechariah, Malachi, yea, and all the Prophets. I stay not to quote passages from their inspired writings in proof, this would be almost endless.
But it is blessed to find the same preached in type and figure, as well as proclaimed in prophecy. Christ saith, a body hast thou prepared me; or, as the other scripture hath rendered the phrase, mine ears hast thou opened, or digged; Psalms 40:6, alluding to the servant in Israel, who, when offering to serve his master forever, had his ear bored at the door post; and for the love he bore his master, and his wife and children, thereby declared himself to be his servant forever, Exodus 21:5-6. What a sweet thought the whole furnisheth! Christ, as God-Man-Mediator, having betrothed himself to our nature, becomes the Surety, and Sponsor to Jehovah, for the redemption of his Wife and Children, the Church. Hence he cries, Lo! I come to do thy will, 0 God! Mine ears hast thou opened! Isaiah 1:5.
I beg the Reader to pause over this blessed view, for it is blessed. Through all the Old Testament Scripture, we find the proclamation, Lo! I come. And we find the Church or the constant look out for Christ's coming. The Church is introduced as saying: It is the voice of my Beloved! behold he cometh, leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills, Song of Solomon 2:8; Zechariah 2:10-11. Hence, as the time drew nearer, we are told, that there were some who departed not from the temple night, nor day, waiting for the consolation of Israel: Luke 2:25; Luk_2:37. Yea, after Christ actually came, the message of John the Baptist is in proof, how universal the expectation of the Lord's people was, when the question of enquiry was worded so expressly to this individual Person: art thou he that should come, or look we for another? Matthew 11:3.
But, Reader! in contemplating the Lord's coming, in the days of his flesh, for the accomplishment of redemption, let us not overlook the Lord's coming now, by the sweet influences of his Spirit, to make that redemption personally blessed to each soul. Jesus comes now in his word, and by his ordinances, providences, promises, manifestations; and in the many, numberless, nameless ways, by which he maketh himself known to his people, otherwise than he doth to the world. And, oh! what grace in him, what joy to them? And it must be so. For there is a mutual connection between Jesus and his people. His glory is their joy; their happiness, his pleasure. While he gives out grace, their souls are made blessed in him. And when they are everlastingly housed in his embraces in heaven; he sees the travail of his soul, and is satisfied. It would be always well for every regenerated child of God to have this in view, for it would give strength to his faith. When an exercised soul can say, My God, my, Savior will be glorified, when I am blessed in his salvation!
For the very delightful expressions, of the one offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, and for the vast difference between the priests under the Law, standing daily to minister, and Christ forever sitting down on the right hand of God, having obtained eternal redemption for us; I refer to Hebrews 1:3, where the subject is already considered.
(15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; (17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Let the Reader particularly notice, how blessedly God the Holy Ghost is introduced in this passage, as a witness to the truth of it. What a proof to his Being, Person, Godhead, and Ministry? Who but a Person can be a witness? And who less than God can witness to his own Covenant? Oh! the folly, as well as ingratitude of such men, who reject the counsel of God against their own souls! And let not the Reader, at the same time, overlook the blessed truth, to which God the Holy Ghost bears witness. The Covenant of grace, in the pardoning of sins, is made everlastingly secure in the blood of Christ. Christ hath redeemed his Church from the curse of the law, being made a curse for her, Galatians 3:13. And, where that redemption is, it is full, finished; and complete. There is no more offering for sin. The sin of the Church is done away by Christ. How then shall there be any more offering for what doth not exist? And to this the Holy Ghost himself is the witness. Precious truth, and precious witness, to the regenerated child of God! Jeremiah 1:19; Romans 8:1.
(19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (21) And having a high priest over the house of God; (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
These words are the conclusion to the blessed doctrine going before. And they are so sweet, so gracious, so consolatory, and encouraging to every child of God, in whose spirit the Spirit witnesseth, by his regenerating, soul-renewing grace, that he hath interest in the full remission of sins just before spoken of; that I cannot but beg the Reader to pause over what is said, and ponder them, one by one.
First. The persons spoken to are brethren, yea, holy brethren, as they are called, Hebrews 3:1. And, being one with Christ, and interested in all belonging to Christ, in his communicable grace, and glory; they are indeed holy in him, 1 Corinthians 1:30.
Secondly. They are said to have boldness, to enter in. And this ariseth from many causes. Christ's oneness with the Father, his Suretyship-engagements also being fulfilled. His own personal entrance there, and also as our representative and forerunner, the compleatness of his obedience and sacrifice, the ample reparation he hath made both to law and justice, and the reward which his Church is entitled to, by, and in him; all these, give a boldness to the whole brotherhood of Christ.
Thirdly. The place of entrance, namely, into the holiest. The Holy of Holies, in the Tabernacle, was a type of this. Christ is gone into heaven, which this represented. And there, by faith, we are not only commanded to follow him, but to come with boldness. For, by virtue of their oneness with him, and redemption by him, this is their final home, and their rest. Jesus declared before his return thither, that he only went before to prepare a place for them, and that he would come and receive them to himself, that where he was, there they might be also, John 14:3. Hence, in the lively exercises of faith upon his Person, and their interest in him, and union with him, they are expected to come with continued boldness, 1 Peter 1:5.
Fourthly. And the way is most blessedly spoken of, in which they are to come, namely, by the blood of Jesus. Reader! do mark how blessedly the subject riseth by gradation, higher and higher. The blood of Jesus! This is the sole means, by which real soul-felt communion with God in Christ, through the Spirit, can be carried on, and enjoyed, It is, or ought to be, the soul's daily, hourly act of faith, upon the Person, and blood of Christ. There can be no access, either here, or hereafter, but in, and by Him. He hath opened this way to God and the Father, by his blood. And he ever liveth to keep it open, by his intercession. Oh! it is blessed, most blessed, thus to approach. The Church in heaven, are represented as proclaiming aloud, in their hymns of praise, that this was the way they found, of access to the throne. Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, Revelation 5:9.
Fifthly. The new and living way. Not new, as if the Old Testament saints had not the same good old way. For Christ was set up from everlasting. And He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. But perhaps so called, because Christ had, in fact, been newly slain; and his vesture, which John saw, dipped in blood, as if flowing then fresh from his wounds, Revelation 5:6; Rev_19:13. And, it is probable, moreover, it may be here called a new way, in distinction to the old Covenant of Works under the Law, which this Epistle throughout had been all along shewing the incompetency of, to bring sinners to God. Now here is a new, and it is a living way; for the Law killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. And Jesus himself is the way, the truth, and the life. Oh! what sweetness, what blessedness, what soul-encouraging strength, are in these words, to a poor sinner, condemned in his own heart of sin?
Sixthly. It is also a consecrated way. Yes! For Him hath God the Father sealed, John 6:27. Pause, Reader, over this additional argument of the most unanswerable persuasion, to come with boldness to the mercy-seat. Here is not only the blood of Jesus, to give confidence to his redeemed, in that it cleanseth from all sin: 1 John 1:7. but here is Jehovah's consecration of Christ; his own appointment, and authority. It is the very remedy of God's own providing. God himself is the Author, the Contriver of it. He it is, that hath sworn Christ into his Office of High Priest, and Mediator. So that, when a poor sinner is led this way to God, by the sweet guidings of the Holy Ghost, he may well find boldness; because the way he comes to God in Christ, is not only a righteousness, and a sacrifice complete and full, and answering to all the demands of God's righteous law; but because the remedy is God's own. How can I possibly fail, (the poor sinner may say as he comes to the throne with boldness,) when my God, and Father, hath himself appointed it, accepted it, and commanded me, and every poor awakened sinner so to come?
Lastly, to add no more. What a thought is that, to every child of God, to come, in addition to all that hath been said before when his drawing nigh is in and through the vail of Christ's flesh. Oh! who shall speak the blessedness, or what heart here below shall conceive, the thousandth part of that endless felicity, when we consider that all our approaches to God is in, and through the human nature of Christ; and all his Manifestations to us, are through the same medium? Even in glory, the felicity of the Church must be heightened by this cause. The brightness of celestial objects, and especially the revelations of God, in his threefold character of Person, will be softened, and tempered to our apprehensions; ripened, and made perfect, as they then will be, through the vail of Christ's flesh. And both here and there, in grace, and glory, all that our Jesus makes known to us, while they are the result of his infinite power and Godhead will be naturally unfolded to us, to suit our capacities. Infinite, large, eternal, they will be, because Christ's Godhead gives these properties to them, and such they will continue forever. But coming to us through the manhood of Jesus; this will so assimilate, and humanize them to our apprehension, and enjoyment, as to give a double blessedness to every manifestation, of grace here, and glory hereafter. Reader! behold then, with what strength of persuasion it is that we are here commanded by the Holy Ghost, when in a justified state in Christ, to come boldly to the throne, in the blood and righteousness of Christ, to grasp, and lay hold fast of our profession, and to exhort one another in it!
(26) For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
I beg the Reader's close regard to these verses, because, for want of due attention, God's dear children have sometimes, through the weakness of their faith, and Satan's temptations, been apt to mistake the Lord s Meaning. The Apostle by willful sin, could not be supposed to imply, the common sins, and infirmities of the brethren. For in many things we offend all, James 3:2. The just man (that the justified believer in Christ,) falleth seven times, and riseth up again, Proverbs 24:16. Yea, willful sins against light and knowledge, are not the sin which the Apostle alluded to in this scripture. Such there are in the best of men. Paul himself confessed, that in his flesh dwelt no good thing, Ro 7 throughout. And David hath left it upon record, that the transgression of the wicked said within his heart, that there was no fear of God before his eyes, Psalms 36:1. Nay, the Lord's own testimony to the same solemn truth is, that every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart is only evil continually, Genesis 6:5. And the carnal mind, is not only enmity against God; but it is not subject to the law of God: neither indeed can be. Let the Reader remark the strong emphasis of this latter clause: neither indeed can be, Romans 8:7. Many read this scripture as though it referred to the child of God before his regeneration, And there was a time, I confess, that I read it so too. But I bless God, since he mercifully brought me more into an acquaintance with the plague of my own heart, and his grace, that I have been taught better. I now see, that as the regeneration of the spirit doth not regenerate the flesh, the body of sin and death remains the same. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh. So Christ hath said. And so I know. It is only that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, John 3:6. Hence, the carnal mind is carnal; neither can it be subject to the law of God, as the Holy Ghost hath declared. And it is only by the Spirit, that the deeds of the body are mortified, and the soul lives, Romans 8:13. Hence, neither from the testimony of scripture, neither Paul's own personal experience, neither the experience of the Lord's people, in all ages of the Church, could Paul mean by this expression to allude to, in the common sins and infirmities of the brethren, whether involuntary errors, or those of a more deliberate nature.
But, it is evident by the expression itself, there is intended some one more special act of offence, in a willful transgression. Let the Reader observe, it is spoken of someone sin, not sins. For, if we sin willfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. Hence it is plain, that it was one special, particular sin, against the commission of which the Lord the Holy Ghost warned the Church. And when we consider to whom this Epistle was especially written, and the circumstances of that people, we shall soon discover, under the Lord's teaching, what this willful sin was to which the Lord alluded. But, before we do this, let it be observed, that the expression itself, doth not speak as of a sin done, but if it were done. The Hebrews are not charged with doing it, only cautioned against it. I beg that this also may be properly and fully attended to, in order that no false inference may be made from it, and to which the scripture itself gives not the least countenance, as if there was a possibility implied in it of finally falling away from grace.
In order to a right apprehension of this passage, let it be first considered, that the Apostle is here writing to the Church of the Hebrews; that is, to persons who were brought up in all the prejudices of Jewish ideas, and of consequence had been in the habit of observing all the sacrifices of the law. When, therefore, by regeneration, they were gathered to the Lord, and had learnt the blessed truth, that Christ, by the one offering of himself, once offered, had forever perfected them that are sanctified; a firmness of faith in this one all-sufficient offering, ought to have kept them from having the least disposition to return to any of the sacrifices of the law. Nevertheless, as in this Church of Christ, made up of true believers, there were with them, as there is with us now, a visible professing Church also, of men unregenerated; the weak and fearful of God's people among them were tempted by such characters to suppose, that there could be no harm in observing the sacrifices of the law, and still to look to Christ. To prevent this, and to shew the danger of such conduct, the Apostle solemnly points out that such a willful perversion of the truth, in looking to the shadow, now the substance was come, became virtually a denial of the full and complete sacrifice of Christ for sin; and therefore there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. I am inclined to think that this was the case in this church of the Hebrews; and that this was the object had in view in this Scripture. We know that it was so with the Church of Galatia, which was composed of a mixture of Jews and Gentiles. See Ga 1; 4. And we know that in our own day, too many there are, who mingle law and Gospel, and but few, comparatively speaking, who live wholly upon Christ, as the sole cause of justification before God.
Secondly. Let it be further considered, that, in this Church of the Hebrews, there must have been as there always is in the purest congregations upon earth, a number of mere nominal professors, who had no part nor lot in the matter. The real Church of Christ therefore, was hereby taught how to discriminate the precious from the vile. And this became the more necessary, because, when the after-visitation came, in the destruction of Jerusalem, the people of God might discover that a mere profession would not screen from the just judgment of God. This certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, actually took place at the memorable siege made upon Jerusalem, agreeably to Christ's prediction, when the Roman soldiers, under Titus Vespasian's army, burnt the City and the Temple, and destroyed the people with the sword. It should seem, therefore very plainly to be meant, that the willful sin here spoken of, was that, special act of considering the sacrifice of Christ, either not in itself sufficient for salvation, or that it might receive benefit by the addition of joining with it an attention to the sacrifices under the law. And this transgression is here pointed at, as willfully departing from the faith, and this is done by way of preserving the real child of God from being led away by the temptation, and calling upon the Church to mark the sure destruction of mere nominal professors, in whose hearts no saving act of grace had been wrought by the Holy Ghost.
(28) He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: (29) Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (30) For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (31) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
In following up the same subject, Paul here very strikingly reminds the Heb 1-13. To God the Son also, in denying his Godhead, and counting the blood of the Covenant, wherewith Christ was sanctified by all the Persons of the Godhead, an unholy thing! John 10:36; Joh_17:19; Isaiah 11:2; Isa_61:1; Matthew 4:1. And to God the Holy Ghost, by whom Christ wrought his miracles, and through whom he offered himself without spot to God, when he made his soul an offering for sin, Hebrews 9:14. And what a trembling scripture follows! Vengeance belongeth unto me! Here needs no comments. It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!
(32) But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; (33) Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. (34) For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. (35) Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. (36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (37) For yet, a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. (38) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (39) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
I beg the Reader with all possible attention to observe, in confirmation of all that I have been saying, that the Holy Ghost is all along in this Epistle comforting the Church, when drawing the line of distinction between the real regenerated believers in Christ, and mere nominal professors. An high flaming profession men may make, as is stated Chapter the Sixth, where there is not an atom of grace. But God the Spirit graciously teacheth his people how to estimate their different characters, by the testimonies the Lord hath given them. And I pray the Reader to observe how sweetly he comforts them, by bidding them to mark the ground, which by grace they had trodden.
But call to remembrance (saith the kind Remembrancer of Jesus) the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great sight of afflictions. As if the Lord had said, do ye not see, and know, the certainty of your high calling in Christ Jesus? Have ye not got the richest testimonies of your new birth character? When ye were once illuminated, did ye not desire, as babes in Christ, to be fed with the sincere milk of the word, that ye might grow thereby And though things are low with you in the present leanness of soul, so that when ye ought to be teachers, ye have need to go over again the first principles of the Oracles of God; yet, call to remembrance the former days. There was a time, when your zeal provoked very many. Ye were made a gazing stock yourselves; and ye were companions of them that were so used. Yea, ye took joyfully the spoiling of your goods; from the well-grounded confidence that ye then had, that if the Lord permitted the enemy to turn ye out of house and home, he would the sooner take you to himself in heaven. Cast not away therefore your confidence which hath great recompense of reward. Look forward! Jesus will soon come! And in the mean time the just shall live by faith. As to those who draw back from a mere profession, this is, as was before known. They draw back from lip-confession only, for they never had more, head-knowledge is no heart-renewing. Not falling from grace, for they never were in grace, but falling from natural attainments, for they never rose higher. In such, the Lord Jesus hath no pleasure. But his children, his redeemed, the gift of his Father, the purchase of his blood, and the conquests of his Spirit; though they fall, yet not fall away, for the Lord upholds them with his hand: Psalms 37:24. Though they faint and draw back in the day of adversity, yet draw not back unto perdition, for they are still of them that believe to the saving of the soul! Reader! what saith your personal experience to these things?. Hath the Lord the Holy Ghost regenerated you from the Adam - fall of a nature once dead in trespasses and sins? Can you look back to the wormwood and the gall of that fallen state? Can you call to remembrance, as the Lord here bids his people, the former days, after ye were illuminated? No man that hath passed from death to life can be at a loss to know the saving change. True! you have cause to lament great leanness of soul. There is indeed in the best of men, but too much reason to be humbled to the dust before God, for the small attainments and little progress made in divine life. But the salvation of the Church doth not spring from any holiness wrought in us, but from the work of Christ wrought for us. Not in our brokenness of heart, but in Christ's bruised and broken body on the tree. It is indeed blessed, yea, very blessed, to feel and enjoy all the gracious effects of the precious finished salvation of Christ; but all we feel in the lively actings of faith, are but effects, and not the cause. He is the sole Author and Finisher of salvation. It is a sad consideration, that so many of God's dear children, in the present day, live below their privileges, by living upon what passeth from the work of God the Spirit within them, instead of living wholly upon what Christ is to them; and that their sanctification is in Him, John 17:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30.
PRECIOUS Lord Jesus! how blessedly hast thou manifested in thy Person, blood-shedding, and righteousness, that thou art the end of the Law for righteousness, to everyone that believeth; and that the law was but a shadow of good things to come, which never could, neither ever was designed to make the corners thereunto perfect. Oh! for that sweet voice, Lo! I come! to be heard daily, hourly, in my soul, by the ear of faith, until I see thee as thou art, and dwell with thee forever. Come, Lord, in thy Spirit, in thine ordinances, thy means of grace, and open my soul to receive thee. Come, Lord, continually in the love-visits of thy mercy, until thou shalt come in the glory of thy Majesty, to take me home to thyself, that I may dwell with thee forever! Praised be God the Holy Ghost for the many blessed things contained in this delightful Chapter. Yes! Lord! through thy grace enabling us, we have boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus. And under thy leadings and influences, thy people, are hereby distinguished, from those awful characters, in this Christ-despising generation, who tread under-foot the Son of God, by denying his Godhead, the efficacy of his atoning blood, the blood of the Covenant; and do despite unto the Spirit of grace. Lord! comfort thy poor little ones, in the faith, in giving them to see, their adoption-character, and that they are not of them that draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany