Hebrews 1:1
On many past occasions and in many different ways, God spoke to our fathers through the prophets.
Sermons
God Speaking to MenD. Young Hebrews 1:1
Messiah's ThroneGrenville KleiserHebrews 1:1
God's Revelation of Redemptive Truth to ManW.J. Jones Hebrews 1:1, 2
The Two Testaments a Progressive Revelation of GodC. New Hebrews 1:1, 2
A Revelation from God to Man Both Probable and NecessaryJ. Cumming, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
A Royal MediatorIllustrations of Truth.Hebrews 1:1-3
Apostolic TactW. Lindsay, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Charles Kingsley's View of ChristWayland Hoyt, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ and the ProphetsA. B. . Bruce, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ Appointed HeirW. Gouge.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ as Prophet of the ChurchJ.S. Bright Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ Explains Past RevelationsS. Cox, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ Sitting in HeavenW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ the Brightness of God's GloryW. Gouge.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ the Revelation of GodW. Pierce.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ the SonF. W. . Robertson, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ the Sunbeam of the Father's GloryT. E. Hankinson, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ the Universal UpholderW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Christ Upholding the WorldsJ. C. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Definition of GodJoseph Cook.Hebrews 1:1-3
Deity and Atonement of ChristTheological Sketch-BookHebrews 1:1-3
Difficulties in the Old Testament Do not Warrant the Rejection of ChristianityR. W. Dale, LL. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Divine Revelation Under the Law, and Under the GospelW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Expiation in Order to ReconciliationA. S. Patterson.Hebrews 1:1-3
Express ImageJ. R. Duryea, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
God as LightG Lawson.Hebrews 1:1-3
God Hath Spoken by His SonArchbp. Sumner.Hebrews 1:1-3
God Revealed by ChristA. M. Fairbairn, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
God's Revelation of HimselfJohn Owen, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
God's Revelation of HimselfD. Rhys Jenkins.Hebrews 1:1-3
God's Revelation to ManHomilistHebrews 1:1-3
Heathen Anticipations of the MessiahProf. Luthardt.Hebrews 1:1-3
Heir of AllHomilistHebrews 1:1-3
Heir of All ThingsD. Rhys Jenkins.Hebrews 1:1-3
Heir of All ThingsHebrews 1:1-3
If Christianity is DivineEvangelical RepositoryHebrews 1:1-3
Jesus Heir of All ThingsJ. Trapp.Hebrews 1:1-3
Jesus the Manifestation of GodJ. Caird, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Judaism and ChristianityJ. Fleming, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Of Christ the HeirW. Gouge.Hebrews 1:1-3
Of the Kingdom or Lordship of ChristHebrews 1:1-3
Our Condition Under the GospelW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Personal ReserveF. Rendall, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
Progressive RevelationThos. Arnold, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
Revealed TruthW. L. Watkinson.Hebrews 1:1-3
Revelation by Jesus; its CertaintyArchibald Hadden.Hebrews 1:1-3
Revelation of GodH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 1:1-3
The .Final Revelation: its HelpfulnessC. S. Home, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Agency of the Divine Father and SonW. GougeHebrews 1:1-3
The Brightness of His GloryG. Calthrop, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Creation of the AgesF. Rendall, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Dignity of ChristF. Tucker, B. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Dignity of ChristT. Hughes.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Glory of ChristE. Doering, B. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Glory of ChristA. Saphir.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Glory of the SonHebrews 1:1-3
The Gospel of the SonD. Dickson, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Greatness and Glory of the RedeemerThomas Galland, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Heavenly VoiceJ. Gumming, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Heir of All ThingsH. Calderwood, LL. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Justly Awarded RemunerationAlex. Jack, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Last DaysW. Gouge.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Manner of RevelationA. A. Livermore.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Mediatorial Work, Glory, and Claims of ChristJ. Parsons.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Method of the Divine TeacherThe Metropolitan PulpitHebrews 1:1-3
The Old and New Covenants One in ChristA. Saphir.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Old and the New Testament Dispensations Compared with Respect to the Different Ways in Which the Will of God was Revealed in EachA. Grierson, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Outflashing Glory of the Son of GodJ. T. Duryea, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Progressiveness of RevelationP. M. Muir.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Prophetic Revelation Contrasted with the Filial Revelation Made by Jesus ChristE. Deering, B. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Reasonableness of a Divine RevelationH. Christmas, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Superiority of Christianity as Shown in the Glory of its Supreme Head as Son of GodD. C. Hughes, M. A.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Superiority of the Christian Revelation Over the PropheticJames Bromley.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Supreme Glory of ChristThe Metropolitan PulpitHebrews 1:1-3
The Variety of Prophetic RevelationH. M'Neile.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Various Classes of Prophetical AnnouncementJ. Robinson.Hebrews 1:1-3
The Word of PowerHomilistHebrews 1:1-3
The World Moderately Admired as God's WorkmanshipW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The World's SustainerA. B. Davidson, LL. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
The. Saviour is GodF. W. Farrar, D. D.Hebrews 1:1-3
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, etc. God has spoken to man. A very significant fact. It suggests the Divine interest in his human creatures. It teaches that man is capable of receiving communications from the infinite Mind. He can understand, appreciate, and appropriate to his unspeakable advantage the thoughts of God concerning him. He is under obligations to do so. Man's attitude towards the communications of God should be that of devout attention and earnest investigation. Our text teaches that God's revelation of redemptive truth to man -

I. WAS MADE THROUGH MAN. "God... spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets;" Revised Version, "in the prophets." The prophets were not simply predictors of future events; the word is applied to the sacred lawgiver, historians, poets, etc. God spake in them and through them to the fathers. "It was the very condition of the prophet's inspiration," says Robertson, "that he should be one with the people. So far from making him superhuman, it made him more man. He felt with more exquisite sensitiveness all that belongs to man, else he could not have been a prophet. His insight into things was the result of that very weakness, sensitiveness, and susceptibility so tremblingly alive. He burned with their thoughts, and expressed them. He was obliged by the very sensitiveness of his humanity to have a more entire dependence and a more perfect sympathy than other men He was me, re man, just because more Divine - more a Son of man, because more a Son of God."

II. WAS MADE GRADUALLY. "At sundry times;" Revised Version, "by divers portions." The revelation was given piecemeal, by fragments, in and by various persons, and in different ages. Very gradual was the revelation of redemptive truth to man. God's first communication (Genesis 3:15) was like the evening star, serene and solitary; the fuller communications of the patriarchal age were like the starry hosts of night; the revelations made to Moses were like the light of the fair and full-orbed moon, in which that of the stars is lost; and those made by succeeding prophets were like the dawn of the day, when the moon grows pale and dim; and the supreme revelation was like the radiance of the sun shining in noontide splendor. This gradualness of revelation may be seen in many things, e.g.:

1. The character of God. Very gradual was the unfolding of the nature and character of the Divine Being to man. The measure of the revelation was adapted to the measure of the human capacity. Jesus, the Son, revealed the essence and heart of the Father. "God is a Spirit." Parable of the prodigal son. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."

2. The salvation of man and its method.

3. True human character and blessedness (cf. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 with Matthew 5:1-12).

4. The immortality of man. We find in the Bible longings for immortality, inquiries after it, hints concerning it, anticipations of it, but not until the final revelation in Christ was it brought into clear and assured light (2 Timothy 1:10). This gradualness of the Divine unfoldment should be remembered by us we study the Divine communications. Let us not expect to find in the earlier portions what the later alone can contain, or put to Moses inquiries which only the Son can reply to.

III. WAS MADE VARIOUSLY. "In divers manners." This is true:

1. Of God's communications to the prophets. He communicated with them by Urim and Thummim, by dreams, visions, ecstasies, by quickening and directing their thoughts, etc. God is not limited as to his modes of access to and influence over the minds of men. He can call them into active exercise, impress them with deep convictions, etc.

2. Of the communications of the prophets to men. They spoke in prose and poetry, in parable and proverb, in history and prediction, in forcible reasoning and glowing eloquence. Each prophet also has his own style. God's revelations in the Bible and in nature are alike in this, that they are characterized by endless and delightful variety. In nature we have the majestic mountain and the lowly valley, the massive oak and the modest daisy, the serene stars and the storm-driven clouds, the booming ocean and the rippling rivulet. Equally great and beautiful is the variety in the sacred Scriptures.

IV. IS CHARACTERIZED BY UNITY. The revelation was given "by divers portions and in divers manners;" it came through different men and in widely distant ages; yet all the portions are in substantial agreement. The voices are many and various, but they meet and combine in one sweet and sublime harmony. In the different portions of the revelation we discover unity of character - every portion is spiritual, pure, sacred; unity of direction - every portion points to the last great revelation, the Divine Son; unity of purpose - to make man "wise unto salvation." We conclude, then, that while the speakers were many, the inspiring Mind was One only. Or, keeping more closely to the phraseology of the text, though the voices were many, the Speaker was but one. In this marvelous unity in such great diversity, we have the basis of a cogent argument for the Divine origin of the sacred Scriptures.

V. IS PERFECTED IN HIS SON. "God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son;" Revised Version, "hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son." The revelations made in and by the prophets were imperfect. "They were various in nature and form, fragments of the whole truth, presented in manifold forms, in shifting lines of separated color. Christ is the full revelation of God, himself the pure Light, uniting in his one Person the whole spectrum" (Alford). It is quite appropriate that the perfect revelation should be made in and through the Divine Son. The Son will be perfectly acquainted with the Father, and therefore able to declare his will. The Son wilt resemble the Father, and therefore be able to manifest him. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son," etc. No one knoweth "the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him;" "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." The Divine revelations of redemptive truth to man culminate in him. No new or further revelations will be granted unto us; but to the devout, patient, and earnest student, new and brighter light will stream forth from the revelations already given. Many of the utterances of the Son are as yet only very partially and imperfectly understood even by his most advanced pupils. His words are of inexhaustible significance; and. that significance will become increasingly manifest to the prayerful and patient inquirer.

CONCLUSION. Let us rejoice that we have this latest and brightest revelation of God, this clearest utterance of his will concerning us and our salvation. Let us heartily accept this revelation. It is truly accepted only when it is acted upon; i.e. when we have received the Son of God as our Savior and Lord. - W. J.







God... hath... spoken... by His Son.
The Epistle to abruptly, like 1 John, without either greeting from the author, address to the church, or words of introduction. This omission distinguishes these two from every other epistle in the New Testament, and creates of itself a strong presumption that St. Paul was not the author. It is obviously not due to any attempt at concealment; for the tone of personal authority occasionally assumed, and the personal allusions towards the close, show that the author was well known to his readers, and affected no disguise. The character of the Epistle supplies an obvious explanation: the dignity of an oratorical address demanded Some personal reserve; and this dignity is especially conspicuous in the measured rhythm and elaborate antitheses of the opening period.

(F. Rendall, M. A.)

The wisdom of the apostle is strikingly displayed in the manner of commencing this letter. He is writing to Jews for the purpose of removing their misconceptions and allaying their prejudices; and the line of argument which he intends to pursue, requires him first of all to treat of the native and essential dignity of Jesus Christ. But he so constructs the opening sentence of his letter, that on the wry fore-front of it there stands a spontaneous acknowledgment of the heavenly origin of the system which they so much admired. The Jews were apt to imagine then Christians undervalued the ancient institutions. Paul does not wait to state his views afterwards in the shape of a concession; but the very first words that flow from his pen do homage to Moses and the prophets. In dealing with an adversary, if it is your wish to persuade him, if you are not merely actuated by the empty desire of gaining a triumph over him, by all means frankly and at once acknowledge whatever you believe to be good and sound in his views. The same acknowledgment, afterwards made and viewed as a concession, will not produce the same effect. The Scriptures display a profound knowledge of human nature.

(W. Lindsay, D. D.)

This long, sonorous sentence forms the introduction to the whole Epistle if as it were, the portico of an august temple, its many weighty clauses being as rows of stately ornamental pillars supporting the roof. This temple front has a most imposing aspect! It fills the mind with awe, and disposes one to enter the sacred edifice in religious silence, rather than to indulge in critical remarks. In these opening verses the writer announces at once the theme of his discourse, and introduces the leading thoughts on which he intends to expatiate. The first point to be noticed in the proem is the contrast drawn, in anithetic terms, between the Old and the New Testament revelations. By "the prophets" may be meant those strictly so called, but more probably the phrase is meant to cover the whole Old Testament revelation, including the law-giving; the recognition of the angels as the agents by whom the law was given being rather a concession to Jewish opinion than the expression of the writer's own view. To be noted is the use of the phrase "the fathers" absolutely, as the recipients of the ancient revelation. It implies that the Epistle is meant solely for Jewish readers. Very remarkable are the terms employed to describe the character of the Old Testament revelation. It is characterised as a piecemeal multiform revelation. For what purpose are these epithets employed? Hardly for the purpose of mere literary description, to suggest, for example, the picturesque nature of the Hebrew literature; still less for the purpose of pointing out its spiritual excellences. Rather, to indicate the inferiority of the earlier revelation, that the Hebrew Christians might not cling to it as something final. This end these epithets are well fitted to serve. The first of the two points to a fact with which the first readers of the Epistle were perfectly familiar. They knew that the Divine communications to Israel came bit by bit: the promise by Abraham; the law by Moses; the song of the sanctuary by David and other poets; the wisdom of life by Solomon and the other sages of Israel; and by the prophets commonly so called, to relieve the gloom of the present, successive rays of light concerning Messiah and the Messianic kingdom. And of course they understood that no one of these partial fragmentary revelations could be regarded as complete or final. Each successive piece of revelation proved the incompleteness of all that went before. But might not all the pieces taken together, when the last had been given, and the Hebrew canon was complete, amount to a full, adequate revelation, possessing the character of finality? The presumption was the other way. The likelihood was that the prophets collectively, including under that category all the men by whom the Hebrew books were written, were but luminaries of the night — street lamps set in a row to show travellers their way through the gloom; stars set in the spiritual firmament to mitigate the darkness till the sun should arise, bringing in the day. This presumption is converted into certainty by the second epithet, which greatly strengthens the argument against finality suggested by the first. It gives us to understand that the ancient revelation was communicated, not only in many parts, but in many modes. The general idea intended is plain. It is that the revelation made to each prophet was relative — relative to him temperament, circumstances, and historical position. This relativity or subjectivity of the ancient revelation makes it impossible to add together the separate pieces of revelation, and so bring out the whole final revelation. For the pieces are not homogeneous fragments of one whole. They are heterogeneous wholes, often incapable of combination. This is most clearly seen in the Messianic prophecies uttered by successive prophets, which are not separate fragments of one picture of the future capable of being combined into a harmonious whose, but independent pictures, each exhibiting the future from its own point of view. Of Him by whom the much needed new revelation was made the writer next proceeds to speak. "God hath, in the end of these days, spoken unto us in (His) Son." The revelation made in the Son is not qualified by descriptive epithets, as in the case of the earlier revelation, the reason being that such epithets in this case are not needed. The finality of the revelation made through the Son is expressly taught by the phrase " in the end of these days." The writer expresses himself in accordance with the Jewish mode of viewing the history of the world as divided into two great periods, the present age, and the age to come. He conceives of Christ as the divider and maker of the ages (as of the worlds), coming at the end of the old time and inangurating the new. Having made mention of the Son, the writer proceeds to invest Him with all due honours, Divine and mediatorial, to win for His word fitting attention. The elaborate encomium which follows presents a very high view of the Person of Christ. It ascribes to Him (by implication) pre-existence, an essential and therefore eternal relation to God, universal heirship, participation in the Divine functions of making and upholding the world.

(A. B. . Bruce, D. D.)

I. The revelation of the will of God, as to all things which concern His worship and our faith and obedience, IS PECULIARLY AND IN A WAY OF EMINENCE FROM THE FATHER.

1. The whole mystery of His will antecedently to the revelation of it, is said to be hid in God, that is, the Father (Ephesians 3:9), it lay wrapt up from the eyes of men and angels, in His eternal wisdom and counsel (Colossians 1:26, 27).

2. The revelation of the mystery of the will of God, so hidden in the counsel of His will from eternity, was always made and given out in the pursuit, and for the accomplishment of the purpose of the Father; or of that eternal purpose of the will of God, which is by the way of eminence ascribed unto the Father (Ephesians 1:8, 9).

3. This purpose of God being communicated with, and unto the Lord Christ, or the Son, became the counsel of peace between them both (Zechariah 6:13). The Son, rejoicing to do the work that was incumbent on Him for the accomplishment of it (Proverbs 8:30-32; Psalm 40:7, 8), it became peculiarly the care and work of the Father to see that the inheritance promised Him upon His undertaking (Isaiah 53:10-12) should be given unto Him. This is done by the revelation of the will of God unto men, concerning their obedience and salvation, whereby they are made the lot, the seed, the portion and inheritance of Christ.

4. The whole revelation and dispensation of the will of God in and by the Word, is, as was said, eminently appropriated unto the Father. "Eternal life (the counsel, the purpose, ways, means, and procurer of it) was with the Father, and was manifested to us by the Word of truth" (1 John 1:1, 2). And it is the Father, that is, His will, mind, purpose, grace, love, that the Son declares (John 1:18); in which work He speaks nothing but what He heard from, and was taught by the Father (John 8:28). And thence He says, "the doctrine is not Mine," that is, principally and originally, "but His that sent Me" (John 7:16). And the gospel is called, the "gospel of the glory of the blessed God" (1 Timothy 1:11), which is a periphrasis of the person of the Father, who is the "Father of glory" (Ephesians 1:17).And from the appropriating of this work originally and principally to the Father, there are three things that are particularly intimated unto us.

1. The authority that is to be considered in it; the Father is the original of all power and authority; of Him the whole family in heaven and earth is named (Ephesians 3:15).

2. There is also love. It was out of infinite love, mercy, and compassion, that God would at all reveal His mind and will unto sinners. This mixture of authority ant love, which is the spring of the revelation of the will of God unto us, requires all readiness, willingness, and cheerfulness in the receipt of it, add submission unto it.

3. There is care eminently seen in it. The great care of the Church is in, and on the Father. He is the husbandman that, takes care of the vine and vineyard (John 15:1, 2).What directions from these considerations may be taken for the use both of them that dispense the word, and of those whose duty it is to attend unto the dispensation of it, shall only be marked in our passage. For the dispensers of the Word, let them —

1. Take heed of pursuing that work negligently, which hath its spring in the authority, love, and care of God (see 1 Timothy 4:13-16).

2. Know to whom to look for support, help, ability, and encouragement in their work (Ephesians 6:19, 20).

3. Not to be discouraged, whatever opposition they meet with in the discharge of their duty, considering whose work they have in hand (2 Corinthians 4:15, 16).

4. Know how they ought to dispense the Word, so as to answer the spring from whence it comes; namely, with authority, love to, and care for ,he souls of men.

5. Consider to whom they are to give an account of the work they are called to the discharge of, and entrusted with (Hebrews 13:7).And for them to whom the Word is preached, let them consider —

1. With what reverence and godly fear they ought to attend to the dispensation of it, seeing it is a proper effect and issue of the authority of God (Hebrews 12:25).

2. How they will escape if they neglect so great salvation declared unto them from the love and care of God (Hebrews 2:3).

3. With what holiness and spiritual subjection of soul unto God, they ought to be conversant in and with all the ordinances of worship, that are appointed by Him (Hebrews 12:28, 29).

II. THE AUTHORITY OF GOD SPEAKING IN AND BY THE PENMEN OF THE SCRIPTURES, IS THE SOLE BOTTOM AND FOUNDATION OF OUR ASSENTING TO THEM, and what is contained in them, with faith divine and supernatural. He spake in them: He then continues to speak by them, and therefore in their word received (2 Peter 1:20, 21).

III. GOD'S GRADUAL REVELATION OF HIMSELF, His mind and will unto the Church, was a fruit of infinite wisdom and care towards His elect.

1. He over-filled not their vessels; He gave them out light as they were able to bear.

2. He kept them in a continual dependence upon Himself, and waiting for their rule and direction from Him, which, as it tended to His glory, so it was exceedingly suited to their safety, in keeping them in an humble waiting frame.

3. He so gave out the light and knowledge of Himself, as that the great work which He had to accomplish, that lay in the stores of His infinitely wise will, as the end and issue of all revelations, namely the bringing forth of Christ into the world, in the way wherein He was to come, and for the ends which He was to bring about, might not be obviated.

4. He did this work so that the pre-eminence fully and ultimately to reveal Him, might be reserved for Him, in whom all things were to be gathered unto a head. All privileges were to be kept for, and unto Him, which was principally done by this gradual revelation of the mind of God.

5. And there was tender care conjoined with this infinite wisdom. None of His elect in any age were left without that light and instruction which were needful for them in their seasons and generations. And this so given out unto them, as that they might have fresh consolation and support as their occasions did require.

IV. We may see hence the absolute perfection of the revelation of the will of God by Christ and His apostles, as to every end and purpose whatever, for which God ever did, or ever will in this world reveal Himself, or His mind and will. For as this was the last way and means that God ever designed for the discovery of Himself, as to the worship and obedience which He requires, so the person by whom He accomplished this work, makes it indispensably necessary that it be also absolutely perfect; from which nothing can be taken, to which nothing must be added under the penalty of the extermination threatened to him that will not attend to the voice of that prophet.

(John Owen, D. D.)

The Metropolitan Pulpit.
I. THE DIVINE METHOD AS TO TIME.

1. As the ages passed on, first one and then another truth was revealed; first one and then another aspect of a truth was made known, until, in the fulness of time, the glory of God shone in the face of Jesus Christ. There is in the East an anticipatory dawn, a sort of premature twilight, which always disappears before the true dawn commences. So in the history of the world, especially in the history of Israel, have there been many dawnings of light, to be followed perhaps by periods of obscurity, yet graciously illumining the successive ages, and heralding the coming of the Light of the world.

2. Is there not even fuller light for the individual, even fuller light for the Church, until we come to that city where the glory of God shall shine forth with unclouded splendour? God always gives light as we are able to

(1)Bear,

(2)Use it.

II. THE DIVINE METHOD AS TO MODE.

1. God presents the truth to the individual in such a form as may best secure his obedience. The Spirit of God shows the things of Christ in an intellectual, ethical, imaginative, emotional light, according to the genius of those to whom He may appeal.

2. God influences the preacher, that in the selection and presentment of his themes he may best win his congregation.

3. God knows the special truths for the times; or the particular aspect in which the truth needs to be recognised.

III. THE DIVINE METHOD AS TO ORGAN. Not any men, but certain men, of spiritual susceptibility and force were selected to be the organs in which God would "speak to the fathers"; and the same rule of selection obtains still, for Christ makes Himself known to the world through certain spiritual agents a d holy ministries. Lessons:

1. Let unconverted men learn the greatness of their responsibility.

2. Let the Church take encouragement touching the salvation of the word.

3. Let the Church be more faithful, that she may increase in the knowledge of Christ.

4. Let the Church be more pure, that she may the better make Christ known.

(The Metropolitan Pulpit.)

I. THE KNOWLEDGE WE POSSESS OF GOD WAS SUPERNATURALLY COMMUNICATED. Language — the words we use to utter our thoughts and feelings must have been a supernatural gift in the first instance. If the casket came from hearers, much more the jewel. 'l he mind of man was created as much to receive the thoughts of God, as the eye was to receive the light of the sun, and to behold the many beauties of creation. All the truest and best thoughts of our mind are heaven-inspired.

II. THE KNOWLEDGE WE POSSESS OF GOD WAS GRADUALLY AND VARIOUSLY REVEALED. There was, first of all, the morning star, then the soft grey dawn, which spread itself by degrees over the horizon, until, in these latter days, the whole world was overtaken by the fuller light of the meridian sun.

III. IN CHRIST WE HAVE A FULL AND FINAL REVELATION OF GOD'S TRUTH. We sometimes find the light in our houses small and feeble, not because there is an insufficient quantity of the means of lighting manufactured, but because a large portion of it is shut up in the meter; only a small quantity is allowed to run into our dwellings, consequently the light is faint, and only illuminates a very small space; but when it is turned on in full force, the light is abundant, lighting up every nook and corner of the apartments in which it is kindled. When men depended on the amount of light which was in the prophets, they could not see far; only a small quantity of Heaven's light was allowed to flow, or could flow. into them, and therefore they could only emit a faint glimmer upon those who wooed to them for illumination; they only saw through "a glass darkly" themselves, and so their power to impart light could not be great. But of Christ it was said, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of none." Between the measure of light that came by the first prophets and that which came by Christ there is no comparison, but a perfect contrast. Just as there is no comparison between the degree of the light of a star and the sun; the star has just enough light to show the darkness, but the sun chases the night away and makes it day. It is our inestimable privilege to live in the meridian light of Him who said, "I am the Light of the world."

(D. Rhys Jenkins.)

I. TIME. Centuries were required to complete the scheme, Man was to be taken at a low and infantile point, and raised up to the fulness of the stature of a perfect manhood; from "a living soul" to "a quickening spirit." By no one sudden blow could the benevolent design of giving man the true knowledge of God, and his own duty and destiny, be executed. The laws of progress, gradation, and periodicity must be observed in regard to our higher nature. One age was to witness one attainment, and another, another. It has much to establish the unity of the Deity; it was more to develop the Idea of the Father.

II. AGENTS AND EXAMPLES. Again, the manner of revelation is not abstract, but concrete. The ordinary as well as supernatural agencies are employed. If angels are sent, so are men; if the special messenger raised up, sanctified, and commissioned be the Son of God by excellence, yet a long line of the good and the great bear up the ark of God; and patriarch, king, and priest, and prophet, and apostle, are seen at different intervals along the majestic procession. In selecting men to act so distinguished a part in the designs of God towards His children, we perceive a part of the same system which we witness in business, art, science, government, and literature. For if "History be philosophy teaching by example," then is revelation religion teaching by example. In this feature of the mode of communication we see the wise adaptation of means to ends, the use of causes to produce effects, such as we should anticipate from so great a Designer.

III. LANGUAGES AND BOOKS. In two principal languages, Hebrew and Greek, with a few passages in the Chaldee — in sixty-six books, written by at least thirty-nine authors — the Jewish and Christian Scriptures present that fertility of human genius, as well as of sacred truth, that fitly entitles it to be called the Bible — The Book. Here are flowers of every hue and fragrance, fruits of every taste and nut iment. The sinner cannot read far without meeting with his warning, nor the saint without hearing his beatitude nor the sad without alighting upon his consolation, nor the weak without touching the wand of spiritual strength, nor the poor without opening the mine of heavenly treasures, nor the rich without being reminded that they brought nothing into this world, and that they can carry nothing out.

IV. MIRACLES. Most of us are so earthly-minded that some extraneous means to arouse us from indifference are needed. We want a bell rung to call us to the temple of the Lord to receive His gracious message. Miracles are that tell. They prove nothing by their solitary selves. It would be hard to defend miracles in general, but not the Christian miracles; for they subserve a great and good end, worthy of the interposing finger of God. All along, too, in speaking of His signs and wonders, Jesus very remarkably and clearly points out their office. It was that men might believe on Him, and believing, have life. They added no weight to the truth as truth, but they did add weight to truth, as received by the ignorant, the degraded, and the inattentive.

V. INSTITUTIONS AND ORDINANCES. The institution of Moses, however puerile they may seem to a Christian, were yet admirably adapted to raise up a low and barbarous people, and give a race of idolators the knowledge and we, ship of the One True and Living God. But if we turn to the Christian revelation, the institutions are more simple, as becomes a more perfect faith and spirituality. Forms are not absolute, but relative; not essential, but important; they have place, but it is not the first place. They are a species of gigantic language, whose letters are facts and whose sentences are customs. They are to be observed, not for their own sake, but for the spiritual purport they imply and convey.

(A. A. Livermore.)

I. DREAMS were a frequent mode by which the future was opened up to the minds of the prophets. There is something peculiarly solemn in the thong it of these revelations of the future made to the mind, whilst the body is in a state of repose and temporary insensibility. They illustrate the capabilities and susceptibilities of the human mind, independent of the corporeal frame: the power of the Most High and His grace and condescension in thus communicating to man H s counsels and purposes. They prove the fact of God's interest in what concerns the human race, and His constant intercourse with a family of His intelligent creatures, perhaps the most unworthy of His notice. The state of the body, too, when these revelations were made, may be regarded as a type of the respective conditions of the mind and body, when death has severed the bond that unites them. The body asleep in the grave, the mind conversant with the plans of the Almighty, and blessed with the vision of His glory. The body at rest — the cares of life, its scenes, its passions all hushed — its conflicts and struggles succeed, d by repose; the mind released from its attention to what was immediate and temporary; but in that solemn hour of release, God, its Creator, appears; the future is unveiled, and truth revealed leaves its right and unqualified impression.

II. The second class of prophetical announcements may be ranged under the head of VISIONS. Dreams and visions are not always distinguished in sacred scripture. Sometimes the same revelation is said to be made by a dream and a vision. Thus Nebuchadnezzar's dream is called the visions of his head (Daniel 2:28). A vision, then, may be defined as a representation of things made to the mind of the prophet while he was awake. The eyes rest on the object, the impression is not only as distinct and vivid as if the object were present to the senses in an ordinary way, but more so, from the extraordinary manner, of its appearance. The most terrible elements of nature — the most beautiful of its inanimate objects — all that is magnificent and costly in art, all that is dignified in personal form, formed scenes surpassing in splendour the conceptions of the most brilliant fancy. They were fitted and intended to produce a due measure of impression on minds like ours, necessarily more affected by what is thus clothed and presented to the eye and the imagination in vivid forms, in order to its awakening attention, and giving a just conception of the importance of the events thus represented. Our responsibility is great, and our gratitude ought to be intense.

III. Another method in which these announcements were made, and to which we must advert, is AN AUDIBLE VOICE. Moses at bush. Giving of law. Elijah in cave.

IV. But although it pleased the Lord to communicate His will to men, and the knowledge of His purposes, by such direct addresses to the senses, or to the imagination, yet a great part of the sacred Scriptures was written under A MORE DIRECT INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY GHOST, communicating immediately to the mind, the doctrines and facts to be recorded.

1. From. them all we learn that the communications thus made, various as they were — sometimes judgments, and at others most signal mercies — all furnish striking illustrations of the providence and government of God.

2. The condescension of God.

3. Our responsibilities.

4. The unbroken continuity of the Divine government, and unity of God's purposes.

(J. Robinson.)

I. The infidel meets us with this PRELIMINARY OBJECTION — A REVELATION FROM GOD IS CONTRARY TO ALL THE EXPERIENCE AND ANALOGIES OF OUR COMMON HISTORY. Now I maintain, in the first place, that a revelation is not contrary even to fact. For how was Adam instructed? Where got he language?' God must have taught him. And now we proceed, further, to maintain that a revelation is not contrary to our experience or to the analogies of nature. We allege that there is every probability that God would give a revelation of His will. Can we believe that the God of nature is benevolent, yet leaves millions of the family He fashioned to grippe in "darkness that may be felt"? I say, the surprise should not be that God has given a revelation; the matter of surprise would be if He had not. Observe that such a revelation of God's will is not contrary to the analogies of nature. Now, observe how we are taught. You find the child is taught by its father; the scholar is taught by his tutor; the inexperienced taught by the experienced. Now what is a revelation but just the extension of this plan, just the addition of another link? If the young be taught by the aged, the stripling by the patriarch, the inexperienced by the experienced, you have only to add another link to the chain, and you come to the inference that the world may be taught by its Creator, the human family by its Almighty Father. Let me ask, in the next place, what is the nature of the instruction that we derive one from another. Is it not of an experimental and a moral kind? In other words, when you see the patriarch or the aged teaching the group that is around him, what is the nature of his teaching? He is teaching them all the dangers and the difficulties through which he had come; he is telling them how to withstand this peril, how to overcome that trial, how to meet this emergency, how to unravel that perplexity. Now what else is God doing in revelation? Just teaching us how we are to meet the difficulties, to overcome the trials, to vanquish the foes, and to inherit the glory and the happiness which lie before us.

II. I observe, in the second place, that a revelation is not only probable, but THAT IT WAS ABSOLUTELY DEMANDED BY THE EXISTING STATE OF THE WORLD. Here I might show you that there are wants in man's heart, which all the philosophy of a Plato cannot satisfy; that there are feelings and perplexities in man's moral constitution, which all the writings of all the moralist, in the world cannot meet. I might show you that there is a consciousness of sin and a dread of punishment, which cannot be stilled unless by the pages of the oracles of God. But I forbear from that, and I take facts; and I will show you, first, from the admitted state of the ancient heathen; secondly, of the modern heathen; and, lastly, of infidels themselves, that a revelation from God was a desiderarum, for which all creation groaned, and for which all mankind earnestly (though unintentionally) prayed.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

The question before us is, whether the great Author of truth, the inexhaustible source of pure celestial light, can — and if He can, whether it be probable that He would — and if it be probable that He would, whether He has — rolled back the veil that hangs between Himself and us; whether it be true that " He giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding," and whether "He revealeth the deep and secret things."

I. In entertaining this grave inquiry, it will be proper, in the first place, to ascertain WHETHER IT BE POSSIBLE FOR THE SUPREME MIND TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO MEN. Two things must be proved. First, that there is a Supreme Being, the Maker and Preserver of all being. And, secondly, that we are rational creatures, capable of entertaining the question at present in debate. It is then admitted that we all are the offspring of God. Such is the testimony of reason, or rather of the common sense of mankind. But surely it will not be denied that He who made us can influence and inform our under-standings — can, in one word, operate up ,n our souls, in any manner that shall be suitable to its faculties.

II. Presuming that we are agreed on the possibility, let us advance another step in the argument. Let us cart fully inquire whether there are not considerations us, THAT RENDER IT HIGHLY PROBABLE THAT THE SUPREME INTELLIGENCE WOULD FAVOUR MAN WITH A REVELATION. The question is this: whether, taking into our consideration the character of the Supreme Being, our necessary connection with Him, the peculiar capacities with which we are endowed, and the deplorable condition in which we find the human family, it be not most probable that this infinitely benevolent Being would make important communications to mankind.

1. It cannot be rationally denied, that the human spirit is capable of enjoying intercourse with "the Father of our spirits." Minds correspond with fellow-minds, and hearts sympathise with kindred hearts. But who will say that that noble spirit, with which the Almighty has distinguished us, is not formed for communion with Him who is a pure spirit, and who has been sublimely defined as Light and Love. Now if it cannot reasonably be denied that man is formed for such lofty communion, then it is highly irrational to deny that God would impart such instructions to him as would lay the foundation for this communion.

2. But if it be rational to suppose that the chief end of our being is to know, and love, and obey our Maker, to glorify God, is it not equally rational to suppose that God would make such communications to His creature as should enable him at once to fulfil the end of his being? Can it be rationally, believed that God would create the first man, or the first men, capable of religion, and designed for its obligations and its exercises, and then abandon him to gather up the necessary information as best he might?

3. We must not, however, overlook the real condition of mankind. Indeed, who can deny that man is the subject of moral derangement — the child of misery? Ask yourself whether it be, or be not, an improbable thing that his compassionate Creator should mercifully make some discoveries that should enlighten and relieve him in relation to his condition, the means of his restoration to happiness, and his final destiny?

III. I would ascend another step in the argument, and endeavour to show THAT SUCH A REVELATION IS NECESSARY.

1. It has been the practice amongst a certain portion of the community, to speak of those who are believers in a Divine revelation as being, on that account, weak and irrational persons, seduced by prejudice, and overreached by designing and self-interested men. Now it may be as well to remind those who thus judge of their fellow-countrymen, that men of all ages and all creeds — Heathens, Jews, Christians, and disbelievers in Christianity — have not thought it a proof of an irrational weakness to believe that our Creator has made some revelations to us, His creatures. Nay, many in each of these classes of persons have entertained the conviction that a revelation is even necessary to teach men language. Even Hobbes gives it as his decided opinion, that God taught Adam this useful invention.

2. But I am to show that God has given to men something more than the faculty of receiving knowledge, and reasoning upon such knowledge. I contend that He has actually unveiled to our race His own character and His law. The constitution of our nature renders the knowledge of these great things absolutely necessary. But was it possible that this knowledge could have been originally acquired otherwise than by revelation?

3. But the necessity of such revelation is most fully sustained by facts. Read history, and learn what man has been; look around you, and see what man is; and turn your eyes within, and analyse yourself; and then candidly say whether such a process has not induced the conviction that revelation is necessary.

IV. In conclusion, I would DIRECT ATTENTION TO THE BIBLE. WHICH PROFESSES TO BE GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD.

1. I remark that the disclosures which the Bible makes, relating to the character of the Supreme Being, are such as commend themselves to right reason. Let not those who live in a country where the revelations of the Bible are known forget the manifold information which, whether they think so or not, they cannot but have derived from this source.

2. Again, the disclosures which the Bible makes to us, relating to the Divine Law, are such as commend themselves to right reason. That Jaw, which this book records as coming from God, will be found to accord with the characters which it ascribes to God. There is no discrepancy between the Lawgiver and His enactments. This law is well deserving the description of "holy, just, and good." It has, moreover, the high advantage of being spiritual; insinuating itself into the soul — reaching the heart — and convincing the understanding. It is further possessed of the character of universal adaptation. It suits men in all conditions, ages, and circumstances. And then it ought, to be particularly remarked of it, that it possesses two points of excellence which every other code must be acknowledged to want — it exhibits a fixed standard, and adequate motives.

3. Once more; I argue, that the things which the Bible reveals, relating to the system of reconciliation, commend themselves to right reason. We are accustomed to trace out the fitness of things in the works of nature. The soil of the earth is made for its vegetable productions, and those vegetables are fitted to the soil in which they grow — the fish is made for the waters, and the waters for the fish; the eye is made for the light, and the light for the eye; and the lungs are made for the air, and the air is adapted to the lungs. Now if we are accustomed to trace these contrivances of the material avid visible world to an all-wise Contriver, can we refuse to allow that a system, which, like nature, is adapted to the end it seeks to accomplish, is likewise from God? A few instances may be sufficient to bring out this fitness of Christianity to the wants of man. Are we not ignorant? And does not this revelation impart all necessary knowledge? What is there necessary to be known about the Supreme Being — our relation to Him — our own nature and responsibilities — our immortality — our death — the final judgment and our ultimate destiny — which this book does not unfold? Jesus Christ is the light of the world; and he that believeth in Him shall not walk in darkness. Have we not broken the Divine Law? In other words, are we not guilty? Do not our consciences accuse us of guilt? And does not the doctrine of Christ's substitution meet our ease? Yet again; are we not conscious of being in a state of moral pollution? Must not all agree that our minds are darkened, and our hearts depraved? Can anything, then, be more rational than the doctrine of a spiritual influence — the influence of God" the Spirit renewing us in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, after the image of Him that created us? This the scheme of redemption provides.

(H. Christmas, M. A.)

Homilist.
I. HE HAS ACTUALLY MADE A REVELATION OF HIMSELF TO MAN.

1. Man has a capacity to appreciate, to some extent, God's thoughts.

2. Man stands in need of God's thoughts.

3. Man is bound to study God's thoughts.

II. HE HAS REVEALED HIMSELF TO MAN THROUGH MAN.

1. To increase the intelligibility of God's thoughts.

2. To increase the attraction of God's thoughts.

III. HE HAS REVEALED HIMSELF TO MAN IN A VARIETY OF WAYS.

1. The necessity of modesty in pronouncing concerning the methods of Divine influence.

2. The importance of keeping the soul ever in a waiting attitude.

IV. HE HAS MADE CHRIST THE FINAL REVELATION OF HIMSELF. Christ, as the final organ of Divine revelation to man, transcends all preceding organs —

1. In His relation to the universe.

(1)He is the inheritor of the creation. "Appointed heir of all things."

(2)He is the creator of the universe. "By whom also He made the worlds."

(3)He is the sustainer of the universe. "Upholding all things," &c.

(4)He is the Sovereign of the universe. On the right hand of the Majesty on high."

2. In the completeness of His Divine manifestations. Represents Him more accurately than the impression on the wax represents the seal that produced it.

3. In the moral service He has rendered to humanity.

4. In His superiority to all angelic intelligences.

(1)In His position.

(2)In His reputation.

(Homilist.)

I. THE SUPERNATURALISM OF THE TENTH. It is impossible for nature to reveal —

1. The spiritual Deity.

2. The special truths needed for fallen man.

II. THE IMMORTALITY OF THE TRUTH. It is truth about —

1. The unchangeable God.

2. The immutable law.

3. The eternal universe.

III. THE UNITY OF THE TENTH. The Divine revelation is a plant of life and healing in which the different parts are not essentially different, but variously developed according to the will of God. and the differing conditions of the human race in successive generations.

IV. THE FULNESS OF THE TRUTH. In Christ we have the truth —

1. Fully.

2. Finally.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

I. ITS SUPERIORITY IN THE EXCELLENCY AND EXTENT OF THE DISCOVERIES MADE.

1. In reference to the perfections of God. His existence, unity, holiness, goodness, love, &c.

2. In reference to the doctrine of providence.

3. In reference to a future life.

4. In reference to the method of salvation.

II. ITS SUPERIORITY IN THE MODE OF MAKING THESE DISCOVERIES.

1. The authority of the medium.

2. The finish and perfection stamped upon it.

3. The simplicity, clearness, mildness, and benignity which characterise it.

4. The superior energy and influence with which it is accompanied.

(James Bromley.)

The great object of the Epistle is to describe the contrast between the old and the new covenant. But this contrast is based upon their unity. The new covenant is contrasted with the old covenant, not in the way in which the light of the knowledge of God is contrast d with the darkness and ignorance of heathenism, for the old covenant also is of God, and is therefore possessed of Divine glory. Great is the glory of the old covenant; yet greater is the glory of the new dispensation, when in the fulness of time God sent forth His own Son and gave unto us the substance of those things of which in the old times He had shown types and prophecy. "God hath spoken unto the fathers"; and by that expression "unto the fathers" the apostle reminds us that without a church, without a union of believers, without a manifestation of God in grace, historically, among a people whom He had set apart for His service, there would have been no Scripture; and that there was a congregation of the Most High from the very beginning of the world. "Unto the fathers " whom He had chosen that they might have fellowship with Him, God spake in old times, even as in the last times unto the Church — unto those who are called both from among Jews and Gentiles — He has made fully known His purpose in Christ Jesus. This, then, is the great resemblance. The Father is the author of revelation in both. The Messiah is the substance and centre of the revelation in both. The glory of God's name in a people brought nigh unto Him, to love and to worship Him, is the end of the revelation in both. The two are one. Martin Luther has quaintly compared it to the two men who brought the branch with the cluster of grapes from the promised land. They were both bearing the same fragrant fruit; but one of them saw it not, yet he knew what he was carrying. The other saw both the fruit and the man who was helping him. Thus is it that the prophets who came before Jesus testified of Him, although they did not yet behold Him; and we who ,ire in the fulness of limes see both the Christ of whom they testified and themselves who were sent by God to witness of Him. But let us consider the marvellous unity of the two covenants. "Sod hath spoken." This is the first point. Oh, how little do we think of the grandeur and majesty and all-importance of this simple declaration, "God hath spoken." A living God and a loving God must needs speak. The god of the philosophers is a silent god, for he hath neither life nor affection; but our God, who created the heavens and the earth, who is and who loves, must speak. Even in the creation, which is an act of the condescension of God, He utters His thoughts; and when He created man as the consummation of the world, it was for this purpose, that man should hear Him and love Him, and should rejoice in His light and in His life. When sin enters into the world silence ensues. Man dreads God, and the melody of praise and prayer ceases; but the need of a revelation remains continually the same. When man forsakes the fountain of living water he cannot get rid of the thirst, and he cannot divest himself of the nature with which God had endowed him; so that there is still within man the same absolute necessity for a revelation of God from on high. And God does speak. Often we read the words and do not realise what marvel of condescending love they reveal, what great and central mystery they unfold. Unless God speaks we do not know the thoughts of God. But notice, secondly, man having by his own sin fallen away from God, and silence reigning now, it is only the infinite compassion and love of God that induces Him to speak. If there was no redemption, there would be no revelation. The love of the Father, and the blood of Jesus Christ, and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; behold, these are the three" necessary foundations upon which the Scripture rests. God, the Triune Covenant God, hath spoken. God hath spoken: in old times unto the fathers by the prophets; fully and perfectly unto us by His Son. In both dispensations the same God, on account of the same sacrifice, impelled by the same love, and for the same sublime and gracious purpose. Both Old and New Testaments are of God; the New Testament, as the Church-father said, is enfolded in the Old, and the Old Testament is unfolded in the New. Nor can we, who live in the times of fulfilment, dispense with the record of the preceding dispensation. As an old author writes: "As the brilliancy of the sun appears far greater when contrasted with the darkness of the shade, so this epistle compares the light of the gospel with the shadows and types of the Old Testament, and by this means displays the glory of the gospel in full relief; for as shadows are images of bodies, so the ancient shadows are images of Jesus Christ, of His power and of His graces, and assist us to recognise more and more the substance and the truth; but from hence we derive also this additional advantage, that although the shadows of other bodies serve only to obscure them, the shadows of the Old Testament are so many reflectors, contributing light to the gospel." But now let us consider the contrast. Jesus Christ was not born till four thousand years after the creation of the world. "At sundry times and in divers manners" did God speak unto the fathers by the prophets. These three things constitute a prophet: direct commission from God Himself, gift of the Holy Ghost, and being entrusted with the very thoughts and words of the Most High. It is not merely by the prophets that God spake. They were chosen not merely as the channels of separate and isolated revelation. God spake in them. They were the personal bearers of the message, the representatives and exponents of Divine truth, Their words and typical actions were inspired, and in them the word of the Lord came unto Israel. Yet let us consider what were the imperfections of these messengers. The first imperfection was this — that they were numerous; they were many. One succeeded another. They lived in different periods. Another imperfection was, that it was "in divers manners," in dreams, in similitudes, in visions, in symbols. Each prophet had his peculiar gift and character. Their stature and capacity varied. They were men of different temperament and tone of mind. The manner in which the revelation of God was given to them varied; even in the case of the same prophet the One Spirit appeared in various manifestations. Another imperfection was that they were sinful men. Another imperfection was that they did not possess the Spirit constantly. Of a sudden, after a long pause, the Spirit of God came upon them. God spake unto them', and gave unto them His message. But it was not like a continuous river. The word came to them from time to time; they did not possess the word. Another imperfection was this, that of that message that was entrusted to them they did not understand the heights and the depths. They themselves had to search diligently, and to inquire what the Spirit that was in them did signify of the sufferings and glory that should come. Another imperfection was that, as they did not understand adequately that portion of the message that was given unto them, they could still less comprehend and contain the whole message. They saw only one aspect of it, only one portion of it in connection with the peculiar history and the peculiar trials of the people at the period to which they were sent. Another imperfection was, that they all testified, like John the Baptist, "I am not the light. I am only sent to witness of the light." They were only finger-posts directing the pilgrim, as he was in pursuit of the heavenly city, to go on further, until he would come to the pearly gates of the new Jerusalem. We notice the imperfect and fragmentary character of the old dispensation, when we consider n,4 merely the words, but the types, which are living prophecies. There was not a single one which could stand by itself, it had always to be supplemented. Wherever we go we find it is in fragments. There is an altar; there is a sacrifice. There is a fourfold sacrifice, a sin-offering, a burnt-offering, a peace-offering, a meat-offering. There is a high priest; there is a tabernacle; there is a holy of holies; there is a candlestick; there is a shewbread; there is a veil. Everything a fragment; everything in itself showing unto us some aspect of truth, some portion of the pressure, without which we would be poor; but we must combine them all to see the fell and blessed truth. But now the time of fragmentary, imperfect, and temporary revelation is past. God speaks to us now in another and more glorious manner. Look now at the contrast. The whole contrast is in one word — in our language in one syllable — "by the Son." The prophets were many: the Son is one. The prophets were servants: the Son is the Lord. The prophets were temporary: the Son abideth for ever. The prophets were imperfect: the Son is perfect, even as the Father is perfect. The prophets were guilty: the Son is not merely pure, but able to purify those that are full of sin and pollution. The prophets point to the future: the Son points to Himself, and says, "Here am I." God has spoken to us "by His Son." He is the true and faithful witness, whose testimony is co-xtensive, if I may so say, with the counsel and the things of God: the Prophet whose mind is adequate to understand the mind of the Father. He is not merely the true and faithful witness because He is from everlasting, He is also the beloved of God. Notice this in the word " Son." "The only begotten," says John, "who was in the bosom of the Father," who is His treasure and delight, the infinite object of His love. in whom from all eternity was His rejoicing, who shares with Him all His counsels. This beloved one of God — oh. surely He is the true messenger who will reveal all the secrets of the Father's heart, and who will tell unto us all the fulness of His counsel, and all the purposes of His grace! God hath spoken to us by His Son. Let me remind you how in the Son all the message of God is contained. You who know the Scripture, and you especially who have come through the law unto the gospel, will understand me when I say that if the sinner knew nothing else but this, "God has sent a messenger, and this messenger is His own Son," he might discover in this the whole gospel; for, in order to send unto us condemnation, in order to give unto us the knowledge of our sin and of our desert, His own Son is not needed. Any angel would suffice for this work; any servant could proclaim this message. When God sends His own Son into the world, when God makes the stupendous sacrifice of allowing His only begotten to take upon Him our flesh and blood, there can be only one meaning in it — salvation. It can only have one purpose — our redemption. It can only have one motive — the overwhelming love of God. God has spoken to us by His Son, and therefore we know that He has spoken peace to us. But notice, secondly, as the Sonship is the beginning of the gospel, so it is also the end and purpose of God's message. God, speaking to us by His Son, shows unto us that we also are to become the sons of God. In the Incarnate Son the Father has brought many sons unto glory. The only begotten of the Father has, after His death on the cross, become the firstborn among many brethren. The Holy Ghost, coming through the glorified humanity of Jesus, unites us to Him, who is the beloved Son, and in whom the eternal and it, finite love of the Father zests upon all His believing people. In the Son we know and have the Father; in the Son we also are the children of God. Lastly, remember this is the ultimate revelation. There can be nothing higher; there can be nothing further. If Christ is our life, then, when the Son of God shall appear, we also who are the sons of God — nosy in weakness, suffering, temptation — shall be made manifest with Him in glory.

(A. Saphir.)

I. First let us note and consider well, touching this doctrine which we are taught, by Christ — THE CERTAINTY OF IT, WHICH IS FIRST IN THE AUTHOR, WHO IS GOD HIMSELF, EVEN THE SAME GOD OF OUR FATHERS, which so many times and ways spake ever by His prophets; even He, in assured truth, hath also spoken by His Son. Thus giving the authority of the word of Christ to God the Father, that it might be confessed true, and to take away all vain quarrelling of contentious men, who under pretence of the name of God, would easily have disputed against our Saviour Christ, and said: We know God is true, and He spake to Moses, He spake to the prophets; but this man speaketh of Himself, and we will not hear Him.

II. Now, as our Saviour Christ is our certain teacher of undoubted truth, so HOW FAR THIS TRUTH IS TAUGHT BY HIM APPEARETH ALSO IN THE WORDS, "many times," "many ways," "by many prophets," "of old," "to our forefathers." Of all these we must set the contrariety in our Saviour Christ, that God spoke by Him, not many times, revealing His will by measure, now some, then more; but once He has sent Him, filled with all treasure of wisdom and understanding. And before God spake many ways, either by angels, or by the cloud, or between the cherubims, or by Urim, or by visions, or by dreams; but now He hath spoken one way, even by Christ made our brother, with the voice of a man, in the midst of the congregation, plain and evident in all men's hearing, and all variety shall cease for evermore. Likewise before God spake by many prophets; now He doth not so, but hath sent His Son alone instead of all, that all His people should hear him. Likewise those times they are old and past; but the time of Christ's teaching passeth not, but is for ever. And that was to the fathers, men of divers calling, but this is to us all of, one condition.

1. Now let us see the difference here spoken of between our Saviour Christ and all other prophets, what we may learn of them was at divers times revealed, but that which Christ teacheth is reveal d but once. And this is twice after expressly noted by the apostle (Hebrews 9:26; 22:26.) And thus it is which St. Jude saith of the Christian faith, "that once it w is given to the saints"; which once doth mean the time of Christ in earth; for so he saith it was by His Son.

2. The second difference, that the doctrine of Christ is taught after one sort. For though first were miracles, and now none; first apostles, now none: these were but means to confirm the preaching, the Word only was the power of salvation, which is the same it was then. Which because it is but one, therefore it is perfect.

3. The third difference here is, that that was old, and therefore abolished; for it cannot be but that which waxeth older and older must at last vanish. But the testament of Christ, it is still new, yea, through it were from the beginning, yet it is still the same, and the day passeth not in which it was given, but it endureth with the age of man.

4. The fourth difference is in the fathers with whom the first covenant was made, who though they were all called in Jesus Christ, yet was there a difference of their honour, and every one more exalted, as God approached more near unto them. So Abraham and His posterity were a more honourable people than the others before him. So the Israelites that had received the law, and dwelt in the land of promise, had greater blessing than their fathers in Egypt. So John Baptist more than all Israel. But now they that are called of Jesus Christ by His own voice, and in Him crucified before their eyes, have attained a singular honor, and the least of them touching their calling are greater than all patriarchs and prophets. And these all in like precious faith, like spirit, like promises, like covenants, like accepted of God, every man in his own measure of grace.

5. The fifth difference is, that God then spake by His prophets, now by His Son: by prophets, meaning the continual succession of prophets in all ages. For as they were men taken away by death, so it was necessary for others to come in their places: and because no prophet was able to give his grace to other, or of his fulness make other learned in the mysteries of God, but they were all taught of the Lord; therefore they had the credit of their word every one in himself, and none judged by another's gifts. But so it is not with the Son of God; for both He liveth to appoint us teachers still, and of His fulness He giveth all other their continual increase of grace; for which cause now the warrant of all dependeth upon Him alone; and the greatest apostle that ever was hath no other glory but only to be His servant and messenger; for He is that Redeemer whose word must be in the mouth of His seed, and in the mouth of His seed's seed after Him for evermore.

(E. Deering, B. D.)

I. THE MATTER OF THE DOCTRINE. It was given them by piecemeal, now a part, then a part. They had one part of it in Adam's time, another in Noah's; one in Abraham's, another in Moses" time; one in David's time, another in Jeremiah's, Isaiah's, and the rest of the prophets. It was parcelled out to them as the capacity of the people in sundry times did require; but we bare the doctrine of salvation at one lamp propounded to us, in one whole and entire sum. Thus God hath dealt more graciously and bountifully with us. They had one flower now and another anon; we have all the flowers in God's garden sweetly smelling all at once in our nostrils. They had now a loaf and then a loaf; now a draught and then a draught of the Lord's wine; the whole magazine of God Almighty is open to us. Then Low thankful ought we to be to God above them! And how careful should we be to enrich ourselves with these heavenly wares, that may freely enter the whole storehouse of the Lord of Hosts!

II. THE MANNER. God delivered His will to them after divers manners: to Abraham by angels in the shape of men; to Moses in a bush and a cloud; to Samuel in a dream; to Ezekiel in visions; by the oracles and answers of the priests, in soft wind, etc. To us He hath delivered His will in one manner, by the sweet, comfortable, powerful voice of His own Son. This one manner far surpasses all the manners whereby God spake to them. Those were dark and obscure, this plain; many of those were terrible to the hearers, this was a rues, mild and amiable manner.

III. THE TIME. He spake to them of old time, in the first and oldest age of the world; He speaks to us in a now time, whereto all things are made green, fresh, and flourishing by our Saviour Christ.

IV. THE PERSONS by whom and in whom it was delivered. They were men; Christ, by whom God speaks to us, is God and man; thy were wise, could foretell things to come, aptly and pithily interpret the Word of God, yet all their wisdom and knowledge was berry wed; Christ was wise of Himself, clad with His own feathers; they mortal, dust and ashes; Christ never saw, corruption but abideth for ever and ever; they were servants m the House of God; Christ is the Son, yea, the Lord and owner of the house. Therefore wonderfully hath Go, honoured ,.s in the time of the gospel above them in the time of the law. If a king should speak to us by one of his privy council, it is much; but if he. speak to us by his son and heir apparent to the crown, it is a greater dignity. Many (prophets and kings) have desired to see these things which we see, and have not seen them. God give us grace ,to use our happiness to His glory and the salvation of us all.

(W. Jones, D. D.)

In these few words are set forth the relation in which the two dispensations stand to one another, the light in which the revelation as a whole is to be regarded. No words can more strongly lay down a principle which was for long regarded with suspicion. That revelation was given by degrees. This truth is necessary in order to prove the necessity or even the allowableness of Christianity; the incompleteness of the first covenant must be admitted ere the reason for the existence of the second could be perceived. God had undoubtedly spoken, but how had He spoken? He had spoken at sundry times and in divers manners.

1. At sundry times, or rather, by divers portions. It was by degrees — fragmentarily — one truth at one time. another at another. And the degree in which God was known, in which He had been manifested to successive generations, was clearly not the same in all. There might be faith, there might be obedience in all ages to Him who was invisible; but unquestionably, though the men of one generation might not be better than the men of another — though,, unfortunately, in all sin and unbelief had prevailed, yet who could not see that, as time went on, there were new truths insisted on, new discoveries made as to His holiness and His spirituality; that while it was the same eternal One whom men served or dishonoured, the way in which His will revealed itself varied from age to age; that the knowledge of David or of Jeremiah was different from the knowledge of Noah or of Abraham? This difference — this evolution, we might almost call it — lies upon the surface of the Old Testament. The history which is recorded there is, as has frequently been pointed out, like the biography of an individual life. It narrates so palpably the childhood, the youth, the manhood of a race; the education in Divine things, the development of spiritual truth. There were times when there were no Scriptures and no solemn ceremonies; there were times when men observed the complicated ritual of the law; there were times when men worshipped amid the splendours of the Temple; there were days when in exile they could not sing the Lord's song in a strange land. Thus gradually, thus at different times, as they were able to bear it, they heard God speaking.

2. And varied as were the times in which He had spoken to men, equally varied were the modes which He had employed to make them listen. How diversified was that volume in which they thought they had eternal life. By what different means were its lessons conveyed: by commandments and by promises, by similitudes and by symbols, by prophecy and by visions. History, psalms, proverbs, poetry, philosophy, all were in turn employed; the heart, the mind, the imagination were in turn appealed to. How different also from one another were those to whom the Word of the Lord came. But amid all the variety there was unity, amid all the diversity of means there was oneness of end and aim. There was progress, there was order. The whole revelation pointed onward, confessed itself imperfect and shadowy, placed its completion and glory in the future, could not be realised until what it showed forth in figure and under a veil should be fully manifested. "Consciously or unconsciously," as has been said by Dean Stanley. "the character and writings of the rest of the Bible fall into their relative places around the gospel history, as surely as in that history itself the soldiers, priests, disciples, Jews, and Romans de, ire their interest and significance from being grouped round the central figure, and round the Cross on Calvary."

3. God hath spoken in His Son, the brightness, the effulgence, the shining-forth of His glory, the express image of His Person, the impress of His substance, the essence of the Divine Being, the revelation of the very heart of God. In Him has been seen the embodiment of the Eternal Power by which the worlds were made. In Him has been unveiled the Eternal Love by which all things are preserved and sustained. In His sacrifice has been seen that offering of Himself through the Eternal Spirit without spot, to God, which alone can purify and reconcile a guilty world. In His exaltation to the right hand of God is seen the completion of the Divine purpose, the final triumph of the kingdom of heaven, our own deliverance from sin and faultless appearance before the throne, the gathering together in one of all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.

(P. M. Muir.)

I THE MANNER IN WHICH GOD COMMUNICATED HIS WILL IN OLD TESTAMENT TIMES. This He is said in the text to have done "at sundry time., and in divers manners." The sundry times here spoken of may perhaps refer to the three great eras of the Old Testament history — the patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the prophetical ages of the Church. But as This view of the subject, however warrantable in itself, would conduce but little to the elucidation of the subject, namely, the manner in which the will of God was revealed, we shall consider the sundry times here spoken of as referring simply to the gradual and sucessive intimations of God's will, which were given to the fathers, or Old Testament saints, from the time of Adam to the time of Christ. During the whole of that period, though the manners in which He spake were divers, yet there is one common property which belonged to the mode of all His communications, namely, that they were made " by the prophets."

1. Let us, then, briefly glance at the means by which, when the prophets had ascertained the will of God for themselves, they communicated it to the people. The two great means by which the prophets communicated God's will to the people were words and representative acts.

2. But before it could be comunicated by the prophets to the people, it required first of all to be announced to the prophets themselves. And this also God accomplished not only at sundry times, but in divers manners. Sometimes it was effected by an impulse or inspiration of the Spirit upon the mind — "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" — and sometimes by an audible voice, as it was to Elijah when he stood upon the mount before the Lord (1 Kings 19:11-13). But there was yet another mode of communication between God and His prophets more striking and wonderful. We find frequent instances in the Old Testament history of the appearance of a mysterious visitor from heaven, who talks with His servants face to face. This is to be understood of Christ our own Immanuel, the great Prophet of the Church. It was the eternal " Word," though not then "made flesh," whose voice was heard by the first guilty pair in Eden, in the cool of the day, who appeared to Abraham, and wrestled with Jacob. It was our identical Saviour who, having heard the groaning of His people in Egypt, came down to deliver them, and gave Moses his commission from the midst of the bush. In short, it was He by whom the scheme of salvation has been administered from its commencement, and shall continue to be administered till its close. What a glorious consistency is thus stamped upon the whole scheme of grace!

II. THE MODE IN WHICH GOD IS NOW ADDRESSING US UNDER THE NEW TESTAMENT DISPENSATION. God "hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son." The use of the word "spoken" is here striking and peculiar. It is not said that God hath sent us a message, but that He hath spoken to us. by or in His Son. It seems to contain an allusion to one of Christ's titles — "The Word." Just as a wore spoken or written is an audible or visible representation of invisible thought, so is Christ "the visible image of the invisible God." "No man hath seen God at any time, the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Farther, He hath declared Him." Now, as we have already seen that there were two ways in which the prophets addressed the people, namely, by words and by representative acts, so there are two ways in which the Son of God addresses us. He speaks to us both by His preaching and by His patience, by what He said and by what He suffered. Is there not a speaking power in the humbleness of His birth, and the stedfastness of His obedience — in His fasting, and watching, and temptation — in His tears, and His agonies, and His cries. As He hung upon the Cross, a spectacle to angels and to men, His latest words, "It is finished," tell of His completed obedience, and the full purchase of eternal salvation to as many as believe. And even after tits body has ceased to breathe, and His heart has cease d to beat, what mean those outstretched arms — those bleeding hands? Do they not tell of the efficacy of His Mediatorship for reconciling sinners to the Holy One?

III. Let us no, COMPARE THESE TWO MODES IN WHICH GOD HAS REVEALED HIS WILL BY NOTICING A FEW POINTS OF RESEMBLANCE AND CONTRAST BETWEEN THEM.

1. Now it is obvious to remark that the revelation contained in t e Old Testament and that contained in the New have the same author. Both are from God. Nor is there any difference in regard to their substance. Christ is set forth as the object of saving faith in both.

2. Let us now consider wherein they differ.(1) First, then, there is this obvious difference between them, that the way of salvation is more clearly revealed to us than it was to the fathers. The Old and the New Testament revelations thus resemble the lesser and the greater lights which were made, the one " to rule the night," the other "to rule the day."(2) But, again, the will of God is now revealed more extensively than it was under the ancient economy. Under that economy the written revelation of God's will was confined to the Jews.(3) Once more, the revelation made to us in the gospel is final, and therefore more enduring than that contained in the Old Testament Scriptures. The revelations which those Scriptures contained, and the economy with which they were more immediately connected, were not intended to be final.(4) But, finally, the most important distinction of all remains to be noticed. In times past, God spake to the fathers by the prophets, hut He hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son. Not that we are to suppose that m former times God spake to the prophets directly and immediately without the intervention or mediatorship of the Son. We have already seen that it has always been the office of Christ to reveal as well as to purchase salvation for His people. But the grand distinctive difference consists in this — that while formerly the Son of God, in His Divine person, revealed the will of God to the prophets; in these last times, Jesus Christ, Incarnate, hath revealed the will of God to the Church. In conclusion, are there any who, while gratefully alive to the importance of all these distinctions, and joyfully appreciating the pre-eminent privileges now possess-d, yet feel as if all these advantages were counterbalanced by the fact that the Jewish people lived under a theocracy, and that prophets were raised up to address them from time to time, according to the ever-varying exigencies of their condition, while Christ is now gone "to His Father and our Father," and we have no farther revelation to expect, however our circumstances may vary? Now it is most true that the Shekinah is no longer visible, resting upon the mercy-seat, and that He whom the Shekinah represented no longer tabernacles among men. "The heavens haw received Him until the time of the restitution of all things." Yet He has not left His people comfortless. Among His latest words we find the promise recorded, "Lo! I am with you alway, even to the end of the world." But the objection keeps out of view the important truth that Christ still "walks among the seven golden candlesticks" — that He sends forth His Spirit to enlighten His people's eyes, and to comfort His people's hearts. Indeed, the objection seems to be anticipated and answered by the very form of expression in the text. "God hath spoken to us by His Son"; as if He had said, You are not dependent merely upon a dead book for counsel and consolation; you have a living teacher, an ever-present guide!

(A. Grierson, M. A.)

God has now ceased to speak in sundry times and in divers manners; there ore, if you dream, you are not to put a construction on your dream as if God inspired it. And hence, if God has ceased thus to speak, we may expect now that the Bible, beginning with Genesis and closing with the Apocalypse, is the completed volume of all God's will and God's ways; and that we are not to expect any additional revelation in the course of this present dispensation; for God has now, says the apostle, in this passage, spoken to us by His Son. Man left to his own fancy falls into all sorts of idolatries and delusions; and it is only when God speaks that man re ponds rationally, and justly, and purely, and worships Him who is a Spirit in spirit and in truth. We must notice here what is very remarkable; God speaks to us by His Son. You must have heard sometimes those who object to the Bible as the only rule of faith argue that they want a speaking judge; they want a living high-priest, or prelate, or pope, who will speak audibly as well as infallibly to them. We answer, though they may feel the want of it, yet if such an officer be not given, it is presumptuous evidence that it is not necessary. But the fact asserted here, that God speaks in the Bible, is evidence that we actually have a speaking tribunal. The Bible is spoken every day; there is a freshness in every chapter of the Bible that makes us feet that we are reading something higher than man's writing, and are in contact with God speaking to us in these last days by His Son. I might argue, in the next place, the great necessity of such a revelation. If this earth were as it once was before sin corrupted it, it would be a lesson-book that any one might adduce as quite sufficient to teach us all we ought to know. But if there were place,! in your hands a book with a great many precious lessons in it, but all stained and blotted with ink, and so stained and blotted that whole pages are illegible, that fragments of other passages only are legible, and those fragments broken sentences, that you cannot fully understand, some of which at times convey meaning positively opposite to that which they originally were designed to convey, you would be very anxious to have some book clearer, distincter, and more intelligible. This world of ours is that blotted book, stained by sin; and what it revealed when it was made in Paradise as the grand and the illuminated lesson-book, it has lost and is now unable to reveal. And if we appeal to the inner page of conscience for an estimate of God, there is in ,he conscience of the holiest up on earth, so much sin, that if we look at God through the m sty and broken atmosphere of our own consciences, our sins will instantly suggest the notion of an angry and an offended God. If, again, we look into the law; if we stand with the Israelites at the bottom of the burning mouser, and see the lightning and hear the thunder, and listen to God's voice as He proclaims, "Thou shalt, and thou shalt not," we like Moses, must quake; and like the children of Israel, we, too, should beg that God would be silent, and not speak any more to us. God in nature is above us, and inscrutable by our investigation to a very great extent; God in the law is against us; but God in Christ is God with us, our Father and our Guide. And, therefore, we rejoice now to hear the apostle say in this passage that God, who spake at sundry times and in divers manners in times pact, has now spoken to us by His Son. But what has He spoken? Words of truth, words of life, words of peace, and happiness, and hope, and joy. The Bible was not written to teach me anything hut religion. If the geologist come and consult it for lessons in geology, the oracle is dumb; if the astronomer come and ask for explanations about the stars, it is dumb; if the philosopher ask it for explanations about metaphysical subjects, the oracle is also dumb. But if the humblest peasant or the poorest mechanic inquire of it the way to heaven, it will tell him in a thousand places, by a thousand different similitudes, so plainly, so intelligibly, that the wayfaring man need not err therein. Now, what He has said m tills blessed book by His Son, and what He still speaks in it, is a word for all; it is an encyclical, addressed from heaven to all that God has made, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same; so much so, that if you are not acquainted with the Bible, it is not because the Bible was not sent to you, but because you have not studied it. Let us be thankful that God has thus spoken to us; let us study this precious book; let us pray that the Spirit would lead us unto all truth; and especially plead that promise that He will take of whatsoever Christ has said, thai is, whatsoever God has spoken by His Son, and will show it unto us.

(J. Gumming, D. D.)

Some men ask, If the prophets spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, why did they not all speak in the same manner? why these varieties of style? I will answer that by a-king you another question: Why do not all the pipes of that organ give one and the same sound? What awakens all the sounds, but one and the same blast from the wind-chest? If there be a mono-blast, why is there not a mono-tone? Because the pipes are of different shapes and different sizes: the awakening breath is one, the intonation varies with the shape and size of the pipe. The inspiration was one, but the style and manner varied with the all-position and character of the individual employed.

(H. M'Neile.)

It is impossible rightly to comprehend Scripture if we read it as we read the Koran, as though it were in all its parts of equal authority, all composed at one time, and all are addressed to persons similarly situated.

(Thos. Arnold, D. D.)

Canon Stubbs says in his "History of England" that "the roots of the present lie deep in the past, and that nothing in the past is dead to the man who would learn how the present comes to be what it is. The political forces which are operating now are the result of forces which have been operating ever since English history began. What they are cannot be understood except on condition of understanding whence they come. On the same condition only can it be foreseen whither they tend." Now, as it is with politics so is it with religion. The present is the outgrowth of the past. The roots of the tree of Christianity lie deep in the soil of Judaism. The New Testament comes from the Old.

(J. Fleming, D. D.)

These last days.
It hath pleased God that these last days should be many, that the world might the longer enjoy the bright light of the gospel, and that all that are ordained to life might in their due time be called. Why are they called the last days (as here), the last time (1 John 2:18), the ends of the world (1 Corinthians 10:11), and why in the beginning of this time was the coming of the Lord said to draw nigh (James 5:8), and the end of all things to be at hand? (1 Peter 4:7).

1. By the exhibition of Christ the prophecies and promises that in former times were made of Christ were accomplished, therefore as the days wherein these promises and prophecies were first made known were counted the first days so these wherein they were accomplished the last.

2. The new covenant of grace is in these last days fully revealed by the gospel, and ratified by the death of Christ; so as no clearer revelation, nor former ratification can be expected, and in this respect also they are fitly styled the last days.

3. No alteration of the stale and order of God's Church is to be expected after Christ exhibited, but a final end of all by Christ's second coming unto judgment; therefore these days may be accounted the ends of the world, and the end of all things to be at hand.

4. As God at first made all things in six days, and rested the seventh, so He continueth to govern the world in six distinct times, which may be accounted as six days of the great week of the world, and eternity following an everlasting Sabbath. The first of these days was from Adam to Noah; in it the covenant of grace was first made to man. The second was from Noah to Abraham; in it that covenant was renewed. The third was from Abraham to David; in it that covenant was appropriated to Abraham and his seed. The fourth was from David to the captivity of Israel; in it that covenant was established in a royal line. The fifth was from their captivity to Christ's coming in the flesh; in it as the brightness of that covenant was eclipsed by the captivity; so it was revived by Israel's return out of the captivity and re-edifying the Temple. The sixth was and still is and shall be from Christ's first coming in the flesh to His second coming in glory; even to the end of the world. In it that covenant most clearly and fully laid open, was most firmly and inviolably ratified. Now when the sixth day, which is the last day, is come, then the end of the week may well be said to be at hand; and the coming of the Lord, following thereupon, to draw nigh.

(W. Gouge.)

1. In those that were the first days some new doctrine was daily to be expected, but in these last days God hath opened to us His whole counsel, there is no mint of any new doctrine to be looked for. If an angel from heaven preach any other doctrine than that which we have received in these last days let him be accursed.

2. In the last days there is greatest abundance of knowledge. "In the last days I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh." God then was sparing Of His Spirit, He sent it down by drops, but now He pours it out upon the Church. They had the moonlight, we have the sunlight. Therefore if we be ignorant our condemnation shall be the greater. The preaching of the Word is a well of water, but we will not come with our buckets to fetch water at this well, or if we do we come with riven buckets, the water runs out by and by.

3. These last days wherein we live are the most dangerous; sin overfloweth with a full stream. In the last days perilous times shall come. Never did sin show herself with such a brazen face as it doth now. Men now stick not to set themselves against the Word of God itself, to call the authority of the Scripture in question, whether all things be true in it or not.

4. Seeing they be the last days, let us not be so much in love with them. Will any be bestowing great cost on his house the last day, when he is to go out of it? In the first days, when they entered first into the farm of the world, they might be merry; we live in the last days, when we cannot have long to tarry in it, therefore let us not be wedded to it; let us use this world as if we used it not, for the fashion of this world fadeth away in these last days; let us so live that wheresoever Christ comes to judgment we may meet Him joyfully in the air and be translated with Him into His kingdom of glory.

(W. Jones, D. D.)

By His Son.
Two critical remarks.

1. "Sundry times" — more literally, sundry portions — sections, not of time, but of the matter of the revelation. God gave His revelation in parts, piecemeal, as you teach a child to spell a word — letter by letter, syllable by syllable — adding all at last together. God had a word to spell — His own Name. By degrees He did it. At last it came entire. The Word was made flesh.

2. "His Son," more correctly, "a Son" — for this is the very argument. Not that God now spoke by Christ, but that whereas once He spoke by prophets, now He spoke by a Son. The filial dispensation was the last. I am to show, then, that the manifestation of God through a Son was implied, not realised, in the earlier dispensation. "Sundry portions" of this truth are instanced in the Epistle. The mediatorial dispensation of Moses — the gift of Canaan — the Sabbath, &c. At present I select these:

1. The preparatory dispensation.

2. The filial and final dispensation.

I. IT WAS IMPLIED, NOT FULFILLED, IN THE KINGLY OFFICE. Three Psalms are quoted, all referring to kingship. In Psalm 2. it was plain that the true idea of a king was only fulfilled in One who was a Son of God. In the 110th Psalm a new idea is added. The true king must be a priest. "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek." Further still. The Epistle extends this idea to man. The psalm had ascribed (Psalm 8:6) kingly qualities and rule to manhood — rule over the creation. Thus the idea of a king belonged properly to humanity; to the Jewish king as the representative of humanity. In Jesus of Nazareth alone all these fragments, these sundry portions of the revealed idea of royalty met.

II. CHRISTIANITY WAS IMPLIED IN THE RACE OF PROPHETS. The second class of quotations refer to the prophets' life and history (Hebrews 2:11-14; Psalm 22:22; Psalm 18:2; Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 8:18). Remember what the prophets were. They were not merely predictors of the future. Nothing destroys the true conception of the prophets' office more than those popular books in which their mission is certified by curious coincidences. But in truth, the first office of the prophet was with the present. He read eternal principles beneath the present and the transitory, and in doing this of course he prophesied the future; for a principle true to-day is true for ever. But this was, so to speak, an accident of his office: not its essential feature. A philosopher saying in the present tense the law by which comets move, predicts all possible cometary movements. Now the prophet's life almost more than his words was predictive. The writer of this Epistle lays down a great principle respecting the prophet, "Both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one." It was the very condition of his inspiration that he should be one with the people. He burned with their thoughts, and expressed them. He was obliged by the very sensitiveness of his humanity to have a more entire dependence and a more perfect sympathy than other men. The sanctifying prophet was one with those whom he sanctified. Hence he uses those expressions quoted from Isaiah and the Psalms above. He was more man, just because more Divine — more a son of man, because more a son of God. He was peculiarly the suffering Israelite: His countenance marred more than the sons of men.

III. THE PRIESTHOOD CONTINUED THIS IDEA LATENT.

1. The Jewish priest represented the holiness of the nation; he went into the holy of holies, showing it. But this great idea was only implied, not fulfilled in the Jewish priest. He was only by a fiction the representative of holiness. Holy he was not. He only entered into a fictitious holy of holies. If the idea were to be ever real, it must be in One who should be actually what the Jewish priest was by a figment, and who should carry our humanity into the real holy of holies — the presence of God; thus becoming our invisible and eternal Priest.

2. Next it was implied that his call must be Divine. But in the 110th Psalm a higher call is intimated than that Divine call which was made to the Aaronic priesthood by a regular succession, or as it is called in the Epistle, "the law of a carnal commandment." Melchizedek's call is spoken of. The king is called a priest after his older. Not a derived or hereditary priesthood: not one transmissible, beginning and ending in himself (Hebrews 7:1-3), but a priesthood in other words, of character, of inward right: a call internal, hence more Divine: or, as the writer calls it, a priest "after the power of an endless life." This was the idea for which the Jewish psalms themselves ought to have prepared the Jew.

3. Again the priests offered gifts and sacrifices. Only Christ's all-perfect sacrifice of Himself can avail in the sight of God. He is the only High Priest of the universe.

(F. W. . Robertson, M. A.)

I. The first truth which God has made known to us, the important conclusion resulting from His message by Christ, is the infinite VALUE OF THE SOUL, and the misery to which it is reduced by sin: that is, by a thoughtless neglect of God, or a practical disobedience to His will.

II. The second truth which is declared to us in the gospel relates to THE WAY OF SALVATION; the way in which this fearful interest of the soul may be secured.

III. The third truth which I mention at present as brought to light by the gospel, is THE NEED OF THE RENEWAL OF THE SOUL IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Archbp. Sumner.)

Imagine a painter who loved his art, and who had a son he loved so well that he would not do a bad piece of art. By and by the painter dies, and one day the son enters a gallery and stands and hears all the empty talk and idle judgment of the crowd, as they stand before his father's great masterpiece and fail to understand it. How would that son say to himself, "These do not know thee; but I know thee, and my knowledge shall vanquish their ignorance." What is here imagined has happened. When this generation was young the greatest painter of the day was unknown. Tarrier awaited an audience; but Ruskin arose, saw and interpreted him, and the world suddenly found itself enriched not simply by the works of a great painter, but also of a great writer and thinker as well. So let us mark that if we are to reach God as Christ knew Him it must be through the Christ who knew.

(A. M. Fairbairn, D. D.)

Fathers, mothers, when you set your little ones some task, and they come and ask you how it is to be done, very likely you have repeated instructions over and over again; but still they do not understand. And then you have taken it in your hands and worked it out before their eyes, and shown the principle, that you could not explain or define embodied in actual form; and they had then to study the realised product, to see bow to copy it, and work it out again in their own way. God has asked from His earthly children the task of the true life, truly lived; they have asked of Him its principles and the method of their application; and by the mouth of lawgiver, and prophet, and priest, He has explained and defined. But the mind of man could not comprehend. There remained one way, and only one. It was that God Himself should take in hand the task of life, and live it out before the world. It was that He should work out its principles, and make them actual in flesh and blood, and leave to men the will of God embodied for all time in the exemplary and redemptive work of Jesus Christ. He is the end and crown of revelation. From the study of that life it is possible to derive all guidance in all difficulty. It is the law of every nature. It is the commandment of God for us; and it is the inspiration and potency of all our effort, and the reward of all our life. For us, then, Jesus Christ and our knowledge of Him is at once our matchless inspiration, and the measure of our shortcoming and our sin. It would be possible for us to keep the Ten Commandments and yet to live lives of very low morality. The standard is raised; the standard is rising. The influence of the Spirit of God, in unfolding the holiness of Christ, is beginning to condemn many things that past generations were content to condone. "God is not dumb that He should speak no more." The holiness of Christ is dawning on the world. There is the world's hope.

(C. S. Home, M. A.)

It is four hundred years since the heroic Columbus sailed over the Atlantic, and unveiled to the world a new continent. The poets had sung of the lost island Atlantis. Geographers had tried to guess the secrets of the great ocean, Many theories had floated about, but there was no certainty. But when the brave Genoese landed in Spain with his trophies and his wonderful story of the new land, his words were not as other men's. He had seen a new world, and men crowded to hear his tale. There was not such another man in Europe. He had uncovered or discovered a new world, and his achievement made him a unique man. Even so our Lord discovered to us the great spiritual world — the Eldorado of the soul — the world of God, of perfect life, of freedom from sin, and sickness, and death. He came from that world, and revealed to us what was there. He was not as other men; He had unique experiences, and so was empowered to tell us what none other could. He gave us not waifs from an unknown world. He was not like Isaac Newton, a learner on the shore of an unexplored ocean of truth. He had explored that ocean, and mastered its secrets, and His story is a statement of facts.

(Archibald Hadden.)

Evangelical Repository.
? — A teacher dare not plunge a child all at once in medias res. He begins with the alphabet and brings him on little by little. The Hebrews, not less than the heathens, were unprepared in the primitive ages for the full blaze of gospel day. They would not have been prepared to understand either the grandeur of Christ's teaching, or the grandeur of His life, or the grandeur of His death. Let the boy be taught his letters and his grammar, and then put Milton before him. And, in like manner, God's plan seems to have been to give the world a few centuries of typical teaching and training among the bills of Judah, and then present them with the wondrous Loges, the Word by whom all things were made. Besides, it seems to have been the purpose of the Most High to let the heathen nations find out the vanity of their false systems of religion and philosophy. Then, when the mind of man was in a state of disquietude and unrest, Jesus came to whisper His heavenly "Peace, be still." Paganism's lords many and gods many were being laughed at by all sensible men. Even in the hands of Plato philosophy had declared herself to be only a tiny lamp; whereas surely a Sun would be sent to illumine our darkness. At length the fulness of time arrived, the clock struck twelve on the great horologe of the world, and lo! "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."

(Evangelical Repository.)

It is a logical mistake to abandon faith in the Lord Jesus because of difficulties, insoluble perhaps to us, which occur in the books of the Old Testament. Look at the block of marble which has only just begun to feel the formative hand of the sculptor, and you may be uncertain whether or no the great master has realty had anything to do with the rough hewing of the still unshapely mass; but because of this you will not hesitate when the idea of the artist is perfected, when the marble has been inspired with beauty, majesty, and strength, and seems to have caught an immortal life from the imagination of genius. And so, whatever difficulty any of you may have for a time — and I believe it will only be for a time — in discovering the presence of God in His primitive revelations to the human race, this should be no reason for regarding with diminished faith the full revelation He has made of Himself in His Son.

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

The devout heart yearns after a personal God. It craves for something more than the works of God, however replete with proofs of His power and glory; it wants to get near Himself. Its instinctive desire is after a Father and a Friend — a loving ear into which its sorrows may be poured — a loving heart on which its weariness may rest. But Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Being without form or place, Existence without beginning or end, Eternal Rest without change or motion; these, in their very sublimity, constitute a notion which tends to repel rather than to attract, to overwhelm and crush rather than gently to raise and foster our human sympathies and desires. Our mortal feebleness shrinks from it in trembling awe. The heart cannot feed on sublimities. We cannot make a home of this cold magnificence; we cannot take Immensity by the hand. The soul lost in such contemplations, like a trembling child wandering on some mountain solitudes, longs, amidst all this vastness and grandeur, for the sound of some familiar voice to break the stillness, or the sight of some sheltered spot in which it may nestle with the sense of friendliness and security. Now that which is thus the deep-felt want of our natures is most fully and adequately met in the Person of Jesus Christ. For here is One whom, while we may reverence and adore as God, we can think of as clearly, and love as simply, trustingly, tenderly, as the best known and loved of our earthly friends. Here is a point which our shadowy conceptions may condense, a focus towards which our aimless aspirations may tend. Here we have set before us the Boundless, limited in form; the Eternal, dwelling in time; the Invisible and Spiritual God revealed in that Word of Life which human eyes have seen, and human hands have handled.

(J. Caird, D. D.)

When a prince, affianced to the heiress of some distant kingdom, has sent his portrait to her by the hand of his vicegerent, and the casket comes, it is so glowing with diamonds and with sapphires rare that it seems itself to be priceless; and yet, on being opened, so royal is the face within, and so does it blaze with superior diamonds, that the casket becomes forgotten. So God is revealed as a worldbuilder arid material worker, as a physical governor, as grand past human language; but when you open the casket and behold Jesus Christ, and hear His voice as revealing what God is in His interior disposition and mother soul, you forget the other.

(H. W. Beecher.)

From the remotest ages prophetic utterances, announcing better times and a coming deliverance, had pervaded the ancient world. Such mutilated and ancient prophecies are found amongst the most widely differing nations. It was the hope of the Persians that a time would come, a Messianic time, in which Ahriman would be annihilated, the world renewed, and delivered from all evil; in which all mankind would be converted to a state of obedience to law, and the happy condition of former times restored. The Indians expected, at the end of the present age of sin, the tenth Avatar, that is, incarnation. That of Buddha was the ninth, and this would be an incarnation of Vishnu, who would appear under the name Kalki, overthrow all evil, and restore the happy times which had prevailed at the beginning of the world. Even the Chinese were not without such Messianic hopes. The advent of a great and Holy One in the West is frequently announced in their sacred books — One who was not only to lay down the way of perfection, but also to destroy the ancient idols. Nor were similar expectations less familiar to other Oriental nations. Among the Greeks they were profoundly expressed in the legend of Prometheus. Prometheus chained to the rock, in daily torment, utters the oracle, known to himself alone, that the dominion of the false god Zeus will one day be terminated b, a Son of God, who will be mightier than Zeus, while he himself beholds Hercules as his deliverer in the distant future. But this deliverance — as Hermes announces to him — is not to take place without vicarious suffering: —

"And of that anguish, look not for the end

Before some god shall come to bear thy woes,

And will to pass to Hades' sunless realm

And the dark, cloudy depths of Tartarus."And this is done by Chiron, the most just and wise of the Centaurs, the son of Chronos, sacrificing himself for him, while Hercules kills the eagle at his breast, and so delivers him from his torments. AEschylus made this significant legend the subject of a dramatic trilogy, of which, indeed, only a fragment, the "Prometheus Bound," remains. Enough has, however, been preserved to show us how the deep ideas of the Greek world concerning guilt, atonement, and the redemption of mankind are poetically reflected therein. This poetic legend is indeed almost a prediction of the true Redeemer.

(Prof. Luthardt.)

1. As the Son is above the servants, so is Christ above the prophets. And no reason, that the Jews should think so much of Moses, and the prophets, as for them to misregard Christ's doctrine and stick to the Levitical service under pretence of estimation of the prophets.

2. The glory of the gospel is greater than the glory of the law.

3. The glory of the ministerial calling of preachers of the gospel is by so much the greater, as it hath the Son of God first man in the roll thereof; as first preacher, and prince of preachers.

4. Christ's sermons are all of them directed unto us: and so much the more highly should the doctrine of the gospel be esteemed of by us.

(D. Dickson, M. A.)

A singer will sometimes sit down to an instrument and strike a few mysterious chords, or pick out a few bars of melody, which excite only vague thoughts and vaguer emotions within us; but soon the rich sweet voice steals in, uttering articulate words, and then our vague thoughts and emotions take definite forms, and we comprehend what it was that touched and moved us in the prelude. Not till God uttered His voice in Christ could men understand the preluding notes which the prophets were constrained to sound, or put dear, definite, authentic meaning into these yearning, mysterious tones.

(S. Cox, D. D.)

Whom He hath appointed heir of all things
God is said to appoint His Son —

1. By ordaining in His eternal counsel that His Son should be heir. As Christ was delivered by the determinate counsel of God to be slain (Acts 2:23) so was He appointed to be heir (1 Peter 1:20).

2. By sending Him into the world, or by giving Him to be incarnate for that very end (Philippians 2:7-9).

3. By raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at His right hand in heaven. On these grounds St. Peter thus saith, "God hath made Him both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). This word "appointed" showeth the right that Christ hath to His supreme dignity. That which is said of Christ's being Priest (Hebrews 5:5) may be applied to this dignity "Christ glorified not Himself to be an heir; but He that said to Him, Thou art My Son, to-day have I begotten Thee," appointed Him heir.

(W. Gouge.)

Be married to this heir, and have all.

(J. Trapp.)

God has appointed Christ heir of all things. What, then, is the preparation being made for the inheritance? The history of the earth is carrying the preparation. How slowly this history unfolds itself, as if it were some long procession. And as we think of that, people following Jesus, the key to the whole situation in the world's history is connected with their combination and their prospect. The history of the world is preparing the inheritance for Jesus Christ. Now take a glimpse of the inheritance itself. This we shall gain if we can look forward with the eye of faith to the consummation of all things. If we can pass away from the tumult, the conflict, the iniquity, the disappointment, the woe, all belonging to us, and go forward to that place where Christ shall stand when He gathers His ransomed to Himself, not one wanting, and receives the inheritance from the Father, we shall have a glimpse of that which He is providing that His Son may be glorified. And towards that distant yet glorious time we may turn with something of the feeling of those who, after they have been battling on the billows for long months, strain the eye to see the first outline of the native land to which they are returning; with something of a gladness like that we may contemplate the coming glory of our Redeemer when He shall receive the inheritance provided for Him. But it must often be with us as with a master of a ship when the clouds have shut out from him the light of the sun, and there has been no visible token by which reckoning could be made for days. What can there be in such a case but uncertainty? And yet the course is fixed. When the clouds break up and pass away, and the dear sun shines once more, reckonings will be simple, adjustments will be prompt, and the haven will be secure. So it must be with us. It is an idle expectation which we cherish in our hearts when we anticipate that all our difficulties are thus to be cleared at once from our path. There is no progress made by us, not a single step which we do not claim as an achievement for ever. So that our progress must be onward and upward until we stand on the level where Christ is. And how much we are now turning our backs upon that will tell us how steadily things are moving; how we are advancing along the way towards coming glory? For what are these things left behind? They belong to the scene of conflict, and as such they must vanish away. The time for ploughing the fields, and for reaping the harvest will come to a close; we shall see the end of conflict, and of all the weariness it brings; we shall see a close of sin, and all that terrific sorrow which has kept trailing along the path on account of our transgression. These are the things which we are leaving behind. The progress of the world means perfect righteousness. For this is the teaching of the Bible, that even worlds wear out and pass away, as a scroll which has been burnt up, and we look for a new heaven and a new earth; not a place tarnished by iniquity, not a place blurred by sorrows, not a place so often the scene of temptation, where wickedness has had dominion — we look for a new heaven and a new earth. This inheritance, then, shall include all the good as it is coming towards perfection. Christ's inheritance is the consummation of all things. If this be so, then He is teaching us that man is destined for an eternal service. And this is the faith that moves in the soul of the human race; this is the faith which has taken possession of it, the faith which dominates it, for the human race will not believe that its life is mere bone and muscle. Man will not believe it, and ought not to; if he has a conscience he cannot. He will rather believe, as the Bible teaches, that he is "little lower than the angels." For Jesus Christ has His inheritance in the souls of men made perfect in the fellowship of saints and angels. In drawing our meditation to a close, let me ask you to remember that as we think of progress we must also place alongside of it the lesson concerning deterioration. Progress is a thing of life; eternal progress, that which belongs to a life which can never die; yet we hear of a second death.

(H. Calderwood, LL. D.)

I. CHRIST AS THE SON OF GOD THE PROPHET OF CHRISTIANITY.

1. Notice the Divine authority of the Old Testament Scriptures.

2. Notice God's gracious adaptations in qualifying His messengers to meet the demands of each age.

3. Notice the transcendent glory of Christianity.

II. CHRIST, AS SON OF GOD, UNIVERSAL PROPRIETOR.

1. His heirship is absolutely universal.

2. Christ's universal ownership is used by Him for the highest moral and spiritual purposes.

3. This investment of Christ with all power is the all-sufficient encouragement of the Church.

III. CHRIST, AS SON OF GOD, SUPREME HEAD OF ALL DISPENSATIONS.

1. Christ has been the leader in every dispensation of the past.

2. Christ will be the leader of future dispensations (Hebrews 2:5; Hebrews 7:24, 28).

IV. CHRIST, AS SON OF GOD, THE REVEALER OF THE ETERNAL FATHER.

1. Christ reveals the supreme excellence of the Divine character in its totality.

2. Christ reveals the infinite perfections of the Divine nature in their individuality.

V. CHRIST, AS SON OF GOD, IS THE ALMIGHTY SUSTAINER OF THE WHOLE UNIVERSE.

1. The absoluteness of His omnipotence is here set forth.

2. The ultimate triumph of Christianity is thus assured by virtue of the power of its glorious Head.

VI. CHRIST, AS SON OF GOD, THE WORLD'S REDEEMER.

1. Notice the personal suffering of Christ by which redemption was wrought.

2. The perfect character of the work.

3. The glorious reward received.

VII. CHRIST, AS SON OF GOD, INFINITELY SUPERIOR TO THE ANGELS.

1. By virtue of His Sonship (vers. 4-7).

2. By virtue of His Kingship (vers. 8, 9).

3. By virtue of His Creatorship (vers. 10-12).

4. By virtue of His ultimate Mastership over all His enemies (vers. 13, 14).Lessons:

1. The unspeakable glory of Christianity.

(1)As seen in its being God's last masterpiece.

(2)As seen in the glory of its Prophet, Priest, and King.

(3)As seen in its intimate object in bringing this fallen race into practical relations with God.

2. the unspeakable obligation the world is under to Christ through Christianity.

(1)In giving us the only true conception of God.

(2)In giving us the only true conception of the value of the soul.

(3) In giving us the only true conception of true manhood in its means and nature.

3. The unspeakable deadness to all that constitutes true moral excellence, seen in indifference to Christ, to Christianity, and to the privileges it offers.

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

The Metropolitan Pulpit.
I. THAT CHRIST IS GOD.

1. The Lordship of Christ.

2. The Creatorship of Christ.

3. The Governorship of Christ.

II. THAT GOD IS MADE KNOWN IN CHRIST.

1. God is unknown out of Christ.

2. God is revealed in Christ.

(1)We can only know God in Christ.

(2)In Christ we know God as He is. Not indeed fully, but really, truly, blessedly.

III. THAT GOD IS MADE KNOWN IN CHRIST AS THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD.

(The Metropolitan Pulpit.)

The grant of dominion in general unto the Messiah, is intimated in the first promise of Him (Genesis 3:15). His victory over Satan was to be attended with rule, power, and dominion (Psalm 68:18; Isaiah 53:12; Ephesians 4:8, 9; Colossians 2:15), and confirmed in the renewal of that promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:17, 18). For in Him it was that Abraham was to be heir of the world (Romans 4:13). His kingdom was fully revealed unto David, and is expressed by him (Psalm 2., Psalms 45:3-8; 89:19-24, &c., Psalms 72:6-9, &c., Psalms 110:1-3). As also in all the following prophets: see Isaiah 11:1, 2; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 63:1-3; Jeremiah 23:5, 6; Daniel 7:13, 14, &c. As this was foretold in the Old Testament, so the accomplishment of it is expressly asserted in the New. Upon His birth, He is proclaimed to be Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11). And the first inquiry after Him is, "Where is He that is born King?" (Matthew 2:2, 6). And this testimony doth He give concerning Himself, namely, that all judgment was His, and therefore all honour was due unto Him (John 5:22, 23). And that all things were delivered unto Him, or given into His hand (Matthew 11:25), yea, all power in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18), the thing pleaded for. Him who was crucified did God make both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:35, 36), exalting Him at His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour (Acts 5:31). He is highly exalted, having a name given Him above every name (Philippians 2:9-11), being set at the right hand of God in heavenly places, far above, &c. (Ephesians 1:20-22), where He reigns for ever (1 Corinthians 15:25), being the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 5:12-14), for He is Lord of quick and dead (Romans 14:7-9). Thus is the Son made heir of all in general; we shall further consider His dominion in a distribution of the chief parts of it, and manifest His power severally in and over them all. He is Lord or Heir, παντων, that is, of all persons and of all things. Persons, or rational subsistences here intended, are either angels or men; for it is evident that "He is exempted, who hath subjected all things unto Him" (1 Corinthians 15:27). Angels are of two sorts:

1. Such as abide doing the will of God, retaining that name by way of eminence.

2. Such as by sin have lost their first habitation, usually called evil angels, or devils. The Lord Jesus hath dominion over all of both sorts of them. Men may be cast under one common distribution, which is comprehensive of all distinctions, either elect or reprobates. And the Lord Jesus hath rule and dominion over them all. Things that are subject unto the Lord Jesus, may be referred unto four heads: for they are either —

1. Spiritual; or,

2. Ecclesiastical; or,

3. Political; or,

4. Natural. Again, Spiritual are either —

(1)Temporal, as Grace, Gifts; or,

(2)Eternal, as Glory.Ecclesiastical, or Church things, are either —

1. Judaical, or Old Testament things; or,

2. Christian, or things of the New Testament.Political and civil things may be considered as they are managed —

1. By His friends;

2. His enemies.Of natural things, we shall speak in a production of some particular instances to prove the general assertion. Those in the first place assigned as part of the inheritance of Christ are the angels, and the good angels in especial.

1. His pre-eminence above them is asserted by the apostle in ver. 4. He is made better, more excellent than the angels.

2. As He is exalted above them, so by the authority of God the Father they are made subject unto Him (1 Peter 3:22).

3. They adore and worship Him; the highest act of obedience, and most absolute subjection. This they have in command (Hebrews 1:6).

4. They always attend His throne (Isaiah 6:1, 2). Thus His lordship over angels is universal and absolute, and their subjection unto Him answerable thereunto.The manner of the grant of this excellence, power, and dignity unto Him, must be further cleared in the opening of these words of the apostle (ver. 4), "being made better than the angels"; the original right and equity of this grant, with the ends of it, are now only to be intimated.

1. The radical fundamental equity of this grant lies in His Divine nature; and in His creation of angels; over whom, as Mediator, He is made Lord.

2. It is founded in that establishment in the condition in which they were created, which they received by His interposition to recover what was lost by sin, and to preserve from ruin the untainted part of the creation.And as this act of God in appointing Christ Lord of angels hath these equitable foundations, so it hath also sundry glorious ends.

1. It was as an addition unto that glory that was set before Him, in His undertaking to redeem sinners.

2. God hereby gathers up His whole family, at first distinguished by the law of their creation into two especial kinds, and then differenced and set at variance by sin, into one body under one head, reducing them that originally were twain, into one entire family (Ephesians 1:10).

3. The Church of mankind militant on the earth, whose conduct unto eternal glory is committed unto Christ, stands in need of the ministry of angels.

II. There is another sort of angels, those who " by sin left their primitive station," and fell off from God, of whom, and of their sin, fall, malice, business, craft in evil, and final judgment, the Scripture treateth at large. These belong not indeed to the possession of Christ, as He is the heir, but they belong unto His dominion as He is Lord. Though He be not a King and Head unto them, yet He is a Judge and Ruler over them.

1. As before, this right is founded in His Divine nature, by virtue whereof He is ἱακανος, fit for this dominion. He made these angels also, and therefore, as God, hath an absolute dominion over them.

2. The immediate and peculiar foundation of His right unto rule over fallen angels rendering the special grant of it equal and righteous, is lawful conquest. This gives a special right (Genesis 48:22). Now that Christ should conquer fallen angels was promised from the foundation of the world (Genesis 3:15). The ends of this lordship of Christ are various, as —

(1)His own glory (Psalm 110:1).

(2)The safety of the Church (Matthew 16:18; Revelation 12:7-9).

(3)Exercise for their good —

(a)By temptation (1 Peter 5.8-10).

(b)Persecution (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 12:10); both which He directs and regulates to their eternal advantage.(4) The exercising of His vengeance on His stubborn enemies, whom these slaves to His righteous power seduce, blind, harden, provoke, ruin, and destroy (Revelation 12:15; Revelation 16:13, 14; Psalm 106.).

III. All mankind (the second sort of intellectual creatures or rational subsistences) belong to the lordship and dominion of Christ.

1. He is Lord over all flesh (John 17:2), both living and dead (Romans 14:9; Philippians 2:9, 10).

2. Particularly He is Lord over all the elect.

1. They were given to Him from eternity in design and by compact, that they should be His peculiar portion, .... and He their Saviour (John 17:2)

2. His grant is strengthened by redemption, purchase, and acquisition. This was the condition of the former grant (Isaiah 53:10-12), and this condition was made good by Him; so that His lordship is frequently asserted on this very account (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 1 Timothy 2:5, 6; John 10:15; John 11:52; Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 5:9).

3. Those thus given Him of the Father and redeemed by Him are of two sorts.(1) Such as are actually called to faith in Him, and union with Him. These are further become His, upon many other especial accounts. They are His, in all relations of subjection, His children, servants, brethren, disciples, subjects, His house, His spouse.(2) Some of them are always uncalled, and shall be so, until the whole number of them be completed and filled. But even before they are called they belong, on the former accounts, to His lot, care, and rule (John 10:6).

2. His lordship and dominion extends to the other sort of men also, namely, reprobates, and men finally impenitent. They are not exempted from that "all flesh" which He hath power over (John 17:2), nor from those "quick and dead" over whom He is Lord (Romans 14:9), nor from that " world" which He shall judge (Acts 17:31). And there are two special grounds that are peculiar to them of this grant, and power, and authority over them.(1) His interposition upon the entrance of sin against the immediate execution of the curse due to it, as befell the angels. This fixed the world under a dispensation of(a) Forbearance and patience (Romans 2:4, 5; Acts 17:30; Romans 9:22; Psalm 75:3).(b) Goodness and mercy (Acts 14:16, 17).(2) He makes a conquest over them. It was promised that He should do so (Genesis 3:15), and though the work itself prove long and irksome, though the ways of accomplishing it be to us obscure and oftentimes invisible, yet He hath undertaken it, and will not give it over, until they are every one brought to be His footstool (Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25). And the dominion granted Him on these grounds is —(a) Sovereign and absolute: His enemies are His footstool (Psalm 110:2; Matthew 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Acts 2:34; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Hebrews 1:13).(b) Judiciary (John 5:22, 23). As He hath power over their persons, so He hath regard unto their sins (Romans 14:9; Acts 17:3; Matthew 25:31). And this power He variously exerciseth over them, even in this world, before He gloriously exerts it in their eternal ruin. He exerciseth rule and dominion over them in providential dispensations (Isaiah 63:1-4; Revelation 6:15, 16; Revelation 19:13). By all which He makes way for the glory of His final judgment of them (Acts 17:3; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10-15). And all this will He do to the ends

(i)Of His own glory.

(ii)The good exercise and safety of the church.

II. The second part of the heirship and dominion of Christ consisteth in His lordship over all things besides, which, added to the former, comprises the whole creation of God. In the distribution of these premised, the first that occur are spiritual things, which also are of two sorts —

1. Temporal, or such as in this life we are made partakers of; and —

2. Eternal, the things that are reserved for them that believe in the state of glory. The former may be reduced to two heads, for they are all of them either grace or gifts, and Christ is Lord of them all.

I. All that which comes under the name of grace in Scripture, which, flowing from the free and special love of God tends directly to the spiritual and eternal good of them on whom it is bestowed, may be referred to four heads. Now these are —

1. Pardon of sin, and the free acceptance of the persons of sinners, in a way of mercy. This is grace (Ephesians 2:8; Titus 3:5, 7). And a saving effect and fruit of the covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:12).

2. The regenerating of the person of a dead sinner, with the purifying and sanctifying of his nature in a way of spiritual power. This also is grace, and is promised in the covenant, and there are three parts of it —(1) The infusion of a quickening principle into the soul of a dead sinner (Romans 8:2; Titus 3:5; John 3:6; Ephesians 2:1-6).(2) The habitual furnishing of a spiritually quickened soul, with abiding radical principles of light, love, and power, fitting it for spiritual obedience (Galatians 5:17).(3) Actual assistance in a communication of supplies of strength for every duty and work (Philippians 1:13; John 15:3).

3. Preservation in a condition of acceptance with God, and holy obedience to Him to the end, is also of especial grace. It is the grace of perseverance, and eminently included in the covenant.

4. Adoption as a privilege, with all the privileges that flow from it, is also grace (Ephesians 1:5, 6). All these, with all those inexpressible mercies that they branch themselves into, giving deliverance to sinners from evil, temporal and eternal; raising them to communion with God here, and to the enjoyment of Him for ever hereafter, are called grace; and do belong to the lordship of Christ, as He is Heir, Lord, and Possessor of them all. All the stores of this grace and mercy that are in heaven for sinners, are given into His hand, and resigned up to His sovereign disposal, as we shall intimate in general and particular.

1. In general (Colossians 1:19). There is a fourfold fulness in Christ —(1) Of the Deity in His Divine nature (Romans 9:5).(2) Of union in His person (Colossians 2:9).(3) Of grace in His human nature (John 1:14; John 3:34; Luke 2:52; Luke 4:1).(4) An authoritative fulness to communicate of it unto others; that is the fulness here intended.

2. In particular —(1) All pardoning grace for the acceptance of our persons, and forgiveness of our sins, is His: He is the Lord of it (Acts 5:31).(2) All regenerating, quickening, sanctifying, assisting grace is His (John 5:21).(3) The grace of our preservation in a state of acceptance with God, and obedience unto Him, is solely His (John 10:28). And so also(4) Are all the gracious privileges whereof we are made partakers in our adoption (John 1:12; Hebrews 3:6). He is so Lord over the whole house and family of God, as to have the whole inheritance in His power, and the absolute disposal of all the good things belonging unto it.

II. All gifts that are bestowed on any of the sons of men, whereby they are differenced from others, or made useful unto others, belong also to the inheritance and kingdom of Christ. Gifts bestowed on men are either natural or spiritual, Natural gifts are special endowments of the persons or minds of men, in relation to things appertaining to this life; as wisdom, learning, skill and cunning in arts and sciences. I design only to show that even they also belong (though more remotely) to the lordship of Jesus Christ, which they do on two accounts —

1. In that the very use of men's reason, and their natural faculties, as to any good end or purpose, is continued to them upon the account of His interposition, bringing the world thereby under a dispensation of patience and forbearance, as was declared (John 1:9).

2. He is endued with power and authority to use them in whose hand soever they lie, whether of His friends or enemies, to the special ends of His glory, in doing good to His Church.

III. Spiritual gifts, which principally come under that denomination, are of two sorts — extraordinary and ordinary. The first are immediate endowments of the minds of men with abilities exceeding the whole system of nature, in the exercise whereof they are mere instruments of Him who bestows those gifts upon them. Such of old were the gifts of miracles, tongues, healing, prediction, and infallible inspiration, given out by the Lord Christ, unto such as He was pleased to use in His gospel service in an extra. ordinary manner. The ordinary gifts are the furniture of the minds of men, enabling them to comprehend spiritual things, and to manage them for spiritual ends and purposes. The end also why all these gifts are given into His power and disposal is evident.

1. The propagation of His gospel, and consequently the setting up of His kingdom in the world, depends upon them.

2. By these is His Church edified; and to that end doth He continue to bestow them on men, and will do so to the end of the world (1 Corinthians 12:7-14; Ephesians 4:8-13; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Peter 3:10, 11; Colossians 2:19).

3. And by these means and ways is God glorified in Him and by Him, which is the great end of His lordship over all the gifts of the Spirit.

IV. To close our consideration of this part of the lordship of Christ, there remains only that we show Him to be the Lord of all spiritual and eternal things, which in one word we call glory. He is Himself the Lord of glory (2 Corinthians 2:4) and the Judge of all (John 5:25). In the discharge of which office He gives out glory as a reward unto His followers (Matthew 25:32; Romans 14:10). Glory is the reward that is with Him, which He will give out at the last day, as a crown (2 Timothy 4:8; John 17:2). And to this end that He might be Lord of it, He hath —

1. Purchased it (Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 9:12; Ephesians 1:14).

2. Taken actual possession of it in His own person (

Homilist.
I. THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE POSITION.

II. MADE BY THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE AUTHORITY,

III. A TREMENDOUS CONTRAST WITH CHRIST'S EARTHLY CONDITION.

IV. THE POSSIBLE EXALTATION OF HUMAN NATURE.

V. THE ULTIMATE TRIUMPH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

(Homilist.)

The apostle here sets out the dignity of Christ under this title heir rather than Lord, as Acts 2:36.

1. To give proof of that relation which he noted before that Christ was truly and properly a Son, for He was the heir.

2. To show the perpetuity thereof; for the heir ever abideth in the house (Genesis 21:10; John 8:35).

3. To manifest the right that we have to be adopted sons and heirs (John 8:36). "If the Son shall make you free ye shall be free indeed." In this respect we are styled "Joint-heirs with Christ." This dignity of Christ to be heir is further amplified by the extent thereof in these words, "of all things."

(W. Gouge.)

Christ is this moment Lord of all the laws that govern material things; and is cognizant of the most elaborate as well as the most simple movements in the world of matter. His comprehensive vision surveys the whole, from the migrations of an atom to the swift revolutions of the most magnificent celestial planets. And He is Lord of all the principles that govern men and all rational beings; therefore He is heir to all the thoughts of men and angels. He has already received a grand return, in the form of the best thoughts and imaginations of the noblest and most illustrious intellects of the past and the present; and as the influence of the fine and ennobling thoughts of past ages grows and spreads amongst men, there will be an increase in the measure of fruit which Christ, as "heir of all things," will receive from that source. He is heir to the affections of all men. There is not a heart beating at this instant in any human breast but should be setting its affections on Christ as its greatest, truest, and best friend. And, undoubtedly, the day is known to Him when all rational beings will be actuated by pure gospel principles; when all the thoughts and affections of humanity will be fixed upon Himself as the true heir to them all. The spring is heir to all the wealth of foliage in park, grove, and forest, when "all the trees on the hills open their thousand leaves." How charming is the product of spring; its fresh inimitable green, so soothing to the eye and refreshing to the senses generally, after the darkness and barrenness of winter. Summer is heir to all the blossoms of the valleys, hills, meadows, and gardens of the world. What riches in bewitching colours, in forms of exquisite beauty, in floating fragrance, belong to the summer; its riches are verily unsearchable, suggestive of inexhaustible wealth in the Giver of them all, and certainly of infinite wisdom. The treasures of the floral world, how extensive they are I Autumn is heir to the vast wealth of fruit that is found in every part of the earth; its splendid thankoffering for the sunshine, rain, and dew which have so unstintingly been given to it during the year; and a noble offering it is. How very poor is the richest of men if compared with a rich autumn. Peter says that when God raised Christ from the dead, He made Him "both Lord and Christ"; and that "He is Lord of all." He is " heir of all things"; we understand "all things" to include all persons and things in the most unlimited sense (John 3:35; Matthew 28:18). All the angels of God are subject to Him, and are come to worship Him: the saints whom tie hath redeemed are His special heritage — His peculiar people. He is the heir and the dispenser of all spiritual blessings.

(D. Rhys Jenkins.)

A great king once said to a favourite, "Ask what thou wilt, and I will give it thee." He thought," If I ask to be made general of all the army, I shall get it; if for great riches of half the kingdom, I will gain it; but I will ask for what will give me all these." So he said to the king, "Give me thy daughter to wife." This made him heir to all the wealth and honours of the kingdom. So he who chooses Christ becomes an heir to all the wealth and glory of the Father's kingdom.

By whom also He made the worlds.
"Created the ages" — not the " worlds," which gives a false impression of the author's meaning; for this clause does not describe an original creation of the material world of space (Cosmos), but the Divine exercise of a creative energy in the successive worlds of time (AEons). The term "ages" includes the idea of time and of the action that takes place in time; and the power by which God through the Son has shaped the course of life and action in the successive ages of man's existence is regarded as a creation. For the Scriptural conception of creation did not consist in bringing matter into existence out of nothing, but in the infusion of life and motion by the moving of the Spirit of God on the face of the waters into matter which had previously existed as a waste void.

(F. Rendall, M. A.)

The Father is said to do this and that by the Son for these reasons —

1. To give proof of the distinction of Persons.

2. To set out the order of the Persons — the Father first, the Son second.

3. To declare their manner of working — the Father by the Son, and the Son from the Father (Genesis 19:24).

4. To show the consent of the distinct Persons, Father and Son.

5. To demonstrate the identity of the essence of Father and Son; that both are one Divine nature and essence, in that the same Divine work is attributed to both. This consequence is inferred upon a like ground (John 5:17, 18). As the Father is here said to make the worlds by His Son, so of God in reference to the Son indefinitely it is said, "By whom are all things" (Hebrews 2:10). The Son therefore is here declared to be true God.

(W. Gouge)

And who may be this Son, who in the last days it is declared hath brought us speech of God? Read the Scripture in immediate connection (Hebrews 1:1, 3). Possession — has He anything? Achievement — has He done anything? Character — is He anything? Position — is He where He can do anything? — these are the four great and universal tests of worth and power. To this Son, by whom, in these last days, God hath spoken to us, our Scripture applies these searching and settling tests of possession, achievement.

I. Behold the glory of this Son in the light of His Possession. "Whom He hath appointed heir of all things." I spent a very interesting day in rambling through the vast naval station at Portsmouth, England. There were huge ironclads floating in the harbour, of enormous force of engines, and armament of thunderous guns; there were huge skeletons of iron ships upon the stocks in process of construction; there were almost miles of streets of anchors so strong and great it looked as though the nethermost rocks must give before their mighty flukes would break; there were circling piles of iron cables, every link of which seemed massive enough to hold against the stoutest storm; there were pyramids of balls and shells, and long, high armouries bursting with weapons; there were machine shops almost innumerable, and multitudinous piles of cordage, and immensities of things of every sort needed for a naval station of a world-including empire. And on every iron plank, and ball, and tool, and gate-post even, was stamped the broad arrow; and twisted into every bit of cordage there was the red line, marking and betokening the ownership of the sovereign. Everything was hers, and the sign of the sovereign's ownership was written upon everything. It may not be so plainly seen; it may look dimmed sometimes even to the clearest vision of our faith, but, more really, deeply, indestructibly there is stamped upon the " all things" which go to make up this universe the sign of their possession by the Son of God. God hath appointed Him heir of all things.

1. All the moneyed wealth of the world is the Son's. In a real way Jesus Christ is possessor of the money of the world.

2. Of the mighty enterprises of the world Jesus Christ is possessor. They are all seen to hold most real relation to the advance of His kingdom — the invention of printing.

3. To the great natural forces of the world, already discovered and to be discovered, Jesus Christ has title — e.g., railroads, telegraphs, swift communications between continents all these are being laid hold of for the widening of Christ's kingdom.

4. And on the thinking of the world the grasp of the Son's possession is also placed. After all, the thought which gets its inspiration from the Bible is the thought that leads.

5. Even upon the wickedness and infidelity of the world Jesus Christ has grasp. Somehow He will compel these to lend ministry to His purpose.

6. And of all the unknown forces in farthest suns, stars, planets, the Son is in possession. God hath appointed Him of all things the heir.

II. Behold the glory of this Son in the light of His ACHIEVEMENT. Three things, the Scripture here declares, this Son, by whom in these lust days God hath spoken unto us, has achieved —

1. Creation.

2. Upholding. "And upholding all things by the word of His power." "In Him all things consist" — stand together.

3. Redemption. "When He had by Himself purged our sins."

III. Behold the glory of this Son in the light of His CHARACTER. "Who, being the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person."

IV. Behold the glory of this Son in the light of His POSITION. "Sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High." In view of the glory of this Son, see —

1. The folly of expecting a farther revelation. He is the Father's utmost revelation.

2. The folly of the thought of any other way of salvation than this Son's way.

3. The wonder that Christians should not more appreciate the honour of confession and service of this Son.

4. The certainty of this Son's triumph. He who by faith and self-surrender allies himself with this Son is on the winning side of things.

1. The world is of God's making, therefore it is to be highly esteemed of us. The Tabernacle was of Bezaleel's making, that was furnished with all skill and wisdom, therefore the more regarded by the Israelites; the Temple was of Solomon's malting, the wisest man that ever was, therefore in that respect more honoured by the Jews. A picture of Apelles' making would be in great request. The world is the glorious workmanship of God Almighty, therefore to be admired of us all. If a stranger be in a boat on the Thames he cannot but wonder at the brave buildings that be situate on it. Shall we pass through this famous frame, and super-excellent building of this world set up by God Himself, and not wonder at the wisdom, power, and goodness of God that made it? We see what a goodly coat the earth hath; Solomon in all his royalty was not so clothed as it. We see the sun in the firmament, the moon, the stars — God Almighty's candles — birds of the air, beasts of the field, fishes of the sea, the admirable work of our own bodies, yet they do not make us almost to think of God. The Gentiles had no book but this to look upon, yet it left them without excuse. Let us all behold God, even in the creation of the world.

2. Though the world be a worthy work, and that of God's making, yet let us not admire it too much; as there was a time when it was set up, so there is a time when it shall be pulled down. The disciples stood gazing on the Temple, wondering at the workmanship of it; but Christ told them that one stone should not be left upon another. This world is but an inn, wherein we take up a night s lodging. If thou comest to an inn, be it never so fair, wilt thou always continue there? Nay, thou wilt leave the inn, and make haste to thy house, though it be nothing so beautiful as the inn. Remember that this world is but an inn, be it never so goodly a piece of work. Hasten to that house that is made without hands, eternal in the heavens.

(W. Jones, D. D.)

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