Hebrews 6:15
These assume that there is a strong disposition in men to doubt the veracity of the Divine promise, and in adorable condescension God gives us ample evidence to justify our faith and perseverance. It must be confessed that the abandonment of the Jewish Law, separation from the synagogue, the surrender of earthly pleasure, and submission to manifold trials, require varied reasons to convince and to maintain the conviction of the claims of the gospel. The encouragements consist of the following facts: -

I. THE EXAMPLE OF THE PROMISE AND OATH VOUCHSAFED TO ABRAHAM AND SINCE GLORIOUSLY REALIZED. The patriarch was called by the voice of God to offer up his son on Mount Moriah. It was the highest proof of his faith in Jehovah, and although he received him back in a figure of a nobler sacrifice, "to will was present," and God accepted the purpose of his believing soul. "In the mount of the Lord it was seen" that where there was the sternest trial of his faith there came the most blessed manifestations of the Divine favor, both for himself, his descendants after the flesh, and his more numerous spiritual progeny. God said, "By myself have I sworn, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore" (Genesis 22:16, 17). He waited patiently, and obtained the promise in the birth of Isaac; and afterwards he saw the day of Christ, the seed in whom all nations are blessed. The latest portions of the New Testament verify the promise contained in the earliest part of the Old; and John said, after the sealing of the hundred and. forty and four thousand of the tribes of Israel, "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" (Revelations 7:9, 10). "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29).

II. THE EXTENSION OF THE BLESSING CONTAINED IN THE PROMISE, AND SANCTIONED BY THE OATH, TO ALL BELIEVERS. The words of grace which were spoken to Abraham retain their force and application to all who are his children by a living faith. "The Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto us. The patriarch was the heir of the world, a trustee for the future generations of believers. The oath is still valid, and the promise is made by One who cannot lie, and whose self-sufficiency and omnipotence raise him above the temptation and possibility of deception. The oath in human affairs is final, and is an end of all strife; and, to remove all doubt, Jehovah condescends to adopt a human form of appeal, to assure believers of the immovable ground of confidence which they possess and enjoy. The freeness of the promise tends to confirm the confidence of the righteous; for it is the unexpected, unextorted utterance of Divine love to cheer and inspire believers in their way to heaven. Both furnish strong consolation, which is adequate to disarm all earthly sorrows and assaults of their terror, and recalls those cheering images of the Divine love which ancient psalmists often introduce in their exultation and gratitude after deliverance from adversaries, and with cheerful hope of future safety; for He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress: my God; in him will I trust" (Psalm 91:1, 2).

III. THE POWER AND CONNECTIONS OF CHRISTIAN HOPE. It is not unnatural to imagine that the writer may have thought of the wild and stormy ocean, from whose waves and turbulence the mariner hastens to a port of safety, and. then drops his anchor in the calm waters of the haven. The anchor descends below and grasps the solid earth, and holds the vessel fast amid the raging of the wind and the darkness of the sky. It resembles hope in its retentive capacity, which, amid winds of doctrine, failure of some who go back and walk no more with Christ, temptations from the world, the flesh, and the devil, keeps the believer from leaving his position and surrendering his profession of the gospel. The thought of the anchor is qualified by the connection of our hope with heaven, which our Lord has entered. It attaches itself to him who has entered as the Forerunner. Here we note a striking and glorious difference between the high priest of the temple and the office of the Redeemer. The Aaronic high priest had no one with him in the holiest of all, and stood and ministered in awful solitude before God. Our Lord is the Forerunner, and awaits the arrival of his followers. He is the Captain of salvation, who will bring many sons into glory; for he is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, who, as a sublime type of the Lord Jesus, is presented to our consideration in the following chapter. - B.







After he had patiently endured, he obtained.
Homilist.
I. ENDURANCE.

1. Trials.

2. The frailties of human nature.

3. The Christian contest.

II. PATIENCE.

1. Gives calmness.

2. Bestows strength.

3. Takes away the bitterness of the endurance.

III. REWARD. Not anything actually tangible — a promise. Not the thing itself, but the shadow of the thing. This is to try our faith. But is not the promise really as sure as the reality? It was to Abraham. For there is no uncertainty with God.

(Homilist.)

Good old Spurstow says that some Of the promises are like the almond tree — they blossom hastily in the very earliest spring; but, saith he, there are others that resemble the mulberry — they are very slow in putting forth their leaves. Then what is a man to do, if he has a mulberry tree promise which is late in blossoming? Why, he is to wait till it does. If the vision tarry, wait for it till it come, and the appointed time shall surely bring it.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

O impatient ones! Did the leaves say nothing to you as they murmured when you came hither to-day? They were not "created this spring, but months ago; and the summer, just begun, will fashion others for another year. At the bottom of every leaf-stem is a cradle, and in it is an infant germ; and the winds will rock it, and the birds will sing to it all summer long; and next season it will unfold. So God is working for you, and carrying forward to the perfect development all the processes of your lives.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Patience is but lying to, and riding out the gale.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Pray and stay are two blessed morn)syllables.

(J. Donne.)

The husbandman is fain to have much patience, before he have his corn into the barn: with great toil he ploughs his ground, harrows it, casts his seed into the earth; he knows not whether he shall see it any more, but rests patiently in God's providence. The merchant is fain to have much patience, before he can mount up to any wealth: many a storm he endures on the sea, often in danger of his life. The clothier must have much patience, in buying of his wool, is making of it out, in selling of his cloth, he is fain to stand to many casualties; yet hope of a convenient gain in the end, makes him with cheerfulness to pass through them all. They do it for earthly things, that are h re to-day and gone to-morrow; and shall not we be patient for heavenly treasures, for a kingdom that cannot be shaken, but is eternal in the heavens? Be patient a while: pass through poverty, sickness, malevolent tongues, and all other calamities in this life, that we may at length be taken up into that place, where we shall have need of patience no more; for all tears shall be wiped away from our eyes.

(W. Johns, D. D.)

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