WRITTEN FROM ROME, OR ITALY, A. D. 63.
II. 6.--Now one in a certain place, plainly testified, saying, "What is man that thou shouldest remember him? or the son of man, that thou shouldest look upon him? Thou hast made him for a little while less than messengers, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour, and hast set him over the works of thy hands. Thou hast subjected all things under his feet." Wherefore, by subjecting all things to him, he hath left nothing unsubjected. But now, we do not yet see all things subjected to him. But we see Jesus, (who for a little while was made less than heavenly messengers, that, by the favour of God, he might taste of death, on account of every one,) for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, when bringing many sons into glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Wherefore, both he who santifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one father. For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. Saying, "I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to thee." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Behold I and the children whom God hath given me." Since then the children participate of flesh and blood, even he in like manner partook of these, that through death he might render ineffectual him who had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them, who through fear of death were all their life time subject to bondage. MOreover, by no means doth he take hold of [apostate] messengers, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold. Hence it was necessary he should be made like his brethren in all things, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest, in matters pertaining to God, in order to expiate the sins of the people. Besides, by what he suffered himself when tried, he is able to succour them who are tried.
III. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our religion, Jesus Christ, who, as well as Moses, was by him who raised him to taht dignity, entrusted with all his house. But who hath attained honour as far superior to that of Moses, as the glory of the builder is greater than that of the house. For every house hath been built by some person; but he who built all things is God. And Moses was indeed trusted as a servant, for publishing to all God's family whatever he had in charge: but Christ is trusted as a son over his own family; whose family we are, provided we maintain our profession and boasted hope, unshaken to the end.*[App. No. XCI.] Wherefore, as saith the Holy Spirit, "To-day when ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts as in the bitter provocation in the day of temptation in the wilderness, where your fathers tempted me, and proved me, notwithstanding they saw my works for forty years. Wherefore I was displeased with that generation, and said, They always er in heart, adn they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest." Brethren, take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, by departing from the living God. But exhort one another every day, while it is called, "TO-DAY;" lest any of you should be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are all partakers of Christ's house, if indeed we hold fast the begun confidence firm unto the end; as ye may know by the saying, "To-day, when ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the bitter provocation." For many when they heard, bitterly provoked God. However, not all they who went out of Egypt with Moses. But with whom was he displeased forty years? was it not with them who sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom did he swear that they should not enter into his rest, but to them who did not believe. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Wherefore, let us be afraid lest a promise of entrance into his rest being left, any of you should actually fall short of it. For we also have received good tidings [of a rest,] even as they. But the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them who heard it. Wherefore, we who believe enter into the rest of God, seeing he said, "So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest;" namely, that rest from the works done at the formation of the world. For he hath spoken somewhere concerning the seventh day thus: "And God completely rested on the seventh day from all his works." Moreover, in this psalm again, "They shall not enter into my rest." Seeing then it remained for some to enter into it, and seeing they who first received the good tidings did not enter in on account of unbelief: moreover, seeing he limiteth a certain day, saying by David, "TO-DAY," after so long a time; as it is said, "TO DAY (sic) when ye shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts." For, if Joshua had caused them to rest, he would not, after that, have spoken of another day. Therefore a sabbatism*[A rest in heaven.] remaineth to the people of God. For he who is entered into his rest, hath himself also rested from his own works, like as God also rested from his. Wherefore, let us carefully strive to enter into THIS REST, lest any one should fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is living and effectual, and more cutting than any two edged sword, piercing even to the parting both of animal life and spirit, and of the joints also and marrow, and is a discerner of the desires and purposes of the heart. And there is no creature unapparent in his sight, for all things are naked and open to the eyes of him, to whom we must give an account. Now having a great high priest who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses; but one who was tried in all points according to the likeness of his nature to ours, without sin. Let us therefore approach with boldness to the throne of favour, that we may receive mercy, and obtain favour for the purpose of seasonable help.
V. Now every high priest taken from among men, is appointed to perform for men the things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: being able to have a right measure of compassion on the ignorant and erring, because he himself also is surrounded with infirmity. And for that reason he must, as for the people, so also for himself, offer sacrifices for sins. Now, as no one taketh this honour to himself, but he who is called of God, as Aaron was; so also the Christ did not glorify himself to be a high priest:*[App. No. XCII.] but he who said to him, "My son thou art, to-day I have begotten thee." As also in another psalm he saith, "Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedec." He who (in the days of his flesh, having offered up both deprecations and supplications, with strong crying and tears, to him who was able to save him from death; and being delivered from fear, although he was a son, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became to all them who obey him, the author of eternal salvation;) was saluted by God, as high priest, according to the order of Melchizedec: concerning whom we have much speech which is difficult to be explained when spoken, because ye are dull of hearing. For though ye ought to have been teachers, on account of the time, ye have need of one to teach you again, certain first principles of the oracles of God, and have become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. But every one who uses milk only, us unskilful in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them who are full grown, who by use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
VI. Wherefore, dropping the discourse of the government of Christ, let us proceed to perfection,*[The consecration of Jesus as high priest, which he treats of after this digression.] not laying a second time a foundation of reformation from dead works, and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of immersions, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permit. For it is impossible to renew again by reformation, those who have been once enlightened, and have tasted of the bounty of God, and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age which was to come, and yet have fallen away, crucifying again in themselves, and making a public example of, the Son of God.
7. For the land which drinketh in the rain, which often cometh upon it, and bringeth forth herbs fit for them by whom it is cultivated, receiveth a blessing from God. But that which produceth thorns and birars is reprobated, and nigh to a curse: whose end is to be burned.
But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, even things which are connected with salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Yet we earnestly desire every one of you, to show the same diligence, in order to the full assurance of this hope to the end: that ye may not be slothful, but imitators of them who through faith and patience are inheriting the promises. For when God made promis to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he sware by himself;--Saying, "Surely blesing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee." And so having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear to the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all contradiction. Therefore, God, willing more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his purpose, confirmed it with an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled away to lay hold on the hope set before us, which we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, because fixed into the place within the vail, whre a forerunner hath entered on our account, even Jesus, made a high preist for ever, according to the order of Melchizedec. For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, to whom Abraham imparted even a tenth of all, being first indeed by interpretation, king of righteousness, and next also king of Salem, which by interpretatin is king of peace: was without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life: but being made like to the Son of God, he remained a priest all his life. Now, consider how great this preist was, to whom even Abraham the partriarch gave a tenth of the spoils. For they verily of the sons of Levil, who receive the priesthood, have a commndment to tythe the people according to the law, that is, their brethren, although they have come forth of the loins of Abraham. But he who did not derive his pedigree from their progenitors tythed Abraham, Abraham, and blessed the holder of the promises. Now, without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the better. Besides, here verily men who die take tythes; but there one testified of, "That he lived a priest all his life." And as one may say, even Levi who receiveth tythes, was tythed in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedec met him.
11. Moreover, if indeed perfection were through the Levitical priesthood, (because on account of it the people received the law,) what farther need was there that a different priest should arise, according to the order of Melchizedec, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? Wherefore the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is a change also of the law. For he to whom these things are said, partook of a different tribe, of which no one gave attendance at the altar. For it is very plain, that our Lord hath sprung up from Judah, to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood. Moreover, it is still more exceedingly plain, that according to the similitude of Melchizedec, a different priest ariseth, who is made, not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, "Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedec." Here then, there is a disannullling of the precedent commandment, because of its weakness and unprofitableness; (for the law made no one*[No one--Griesbach.] perfect,) and the superinduction of a better hope, by which we draw near to God.
Moreover, inasmuch as not without an oath Jesus was made a priest, (for they verily were made priests without an oath, but he with an oath, by him who said to him, "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedec,") by so much was Jesus made the mediator of a better covenant. Besides, many indeed are made priests, because they are hindered by death from continuing. But he, because he liveth for ever, hath a priesthood which does not pass from him. Hence he is even for ever able to save them who come to God through him; always living to make intercession for them. Now such a high preist became us, who being pious, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and higher than the haves, he hath not, like the high priests, need from time to time to offer sacrifices, first for his own sins, then for those of the people. For this latter he did once when he offered up himself. For the law constituteth men high priests who have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the law, constituted the Son who is perfected for evermore.
VIII. Now of the things spoken the chief is, we have such a high priest as became us, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens,--a minister of the holy places; namely, of the true tabernacle which the Lord ptiched, and not man. For every high preiest is constituted to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Hence it was necessary that this high priest also should have something which he might offer [in heaven.] For verily if he were on earth to offer sacrifice, he could not be a priest, there being priests who offer gifts according to the law. (These perform divine service for a sample and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses, when about to construct the tabernacle, was admonished of God: "See now, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern which was showed thee in the mount.") Besides, he hath now obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as he is the mediator of a better covenant, which is established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, a place would not have been sought for a second. But finding fault, he saith to them, "Behold the days come, saith the Lrod, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, at the time of my taking them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, when they did not abide in my covenant, and I neglected them, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after these days, saith the Lord: Adapting my laws to their understanding, I will write them upon their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.*[App. No. XCIII.] And they shall not teach every man his neighbour,*[Fellow-citizen.--Griesbach.] and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. Because I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more." By saying, "a new covenant," he hath made the former old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish.*[App. No. LXXV.]
IX. Now verily the first covenant had both ordinances of worship, and a worldly holy place. For the first tabernacle, which is called holy, was set in order in which was both the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread. And behind the second vail, the tabernacle, which is called most holy, was set in order; having the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant covered every where with gold, in which were the golden pot having the manna, and the rod of Aaron which budded, and the tables of the covenants;[The covenant, or law, on two stone tables (sic).] and above it the cherubim of glory, overshadowing the mercy seat; concerning which things we cannot at present speak particularly.
6. Now these things being thus set in order, the priests go at all times indeed into the first tabernacle, performing the services; but into the second tabernacle, the high preist alone goeth once every year, not without blood, which he offereth for his own, and the people's sins of ignorance. The Holy Spirit signifying this, that the way of the holy places was not yet laid open, while the first tabernacle still standeth, which was a figurative representation concerning the time being, during which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which cannot, with respect to conscience, make him perfect who worshippeth--only with meats and drinks, and divers immersions, and ordinances concerning the flesh, imposed until the time of reformation. But Christ being come a high priest of the good things which are to be through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, hath entered once into the holy places, not indeed by the blood of goats and of calves, but by his own blood, having obtained for us an eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the polluted, sanctified to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shal the blood of Chrsit, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without fault to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to worship the living God? And for this reason, of the new covenant, he is a mediator, that his death being accomplished for the redemption of the transgressions of the first covenant, the calle dmy receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant, there is a necessity that the death of the appointed sacrifice be brought in. For a covenant is firm over dead sacrifices, seeing it never hath force whilst the appointed sacrifice liveth. Hence not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. "For when Moses had spoken every precept, in the law, to all the people, taking the blood of calves and of goats, with water and scarlet wool, and hyssop, he sprinkled both the book itself, and all the people;" saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God hath commanded me to make with you." Moreover, both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry, he in like manner sprinkled with blood. And almost all things, according to the law, were cleansed with blood; and without the shedding of blood there is no remission. There was a necessity therefore, that the representations indeed of the holy places in the heavens, should be cleansed by these sacrifices, but the heavenly holy places themselves, by sacrifices better than these. Therefore Christ hath not entered into the holy places made with hands, the images of the true holy places; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God, on our account. Not, however, that he should offer himself, often as the high priest entereth into the holy places every year with other blood; for then he must often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once, at the conclusion of the ages,*[App. No. LXVI.] he hath been manifested to abolish sin offerings by the sacrifice of himself. And, forasmuch as it is appointed to men once to die, and after that the judgment, even so Christ being once offered, in order to carry away the sins of many, will, to them who wait for him, appear a second time, without sin offering, in order to salvation.
X. Wherefore the law containing a shadow only of the good things to come, and not the very image of these things, never can, with the same sacrifices which they offer yearly for ever, make those who come to them perfect. Since being offered, would they not have ceased? because the worshippers being once cleansed should have had no longer conscience of sins. Nevertheless in these a remembrance of sins is made yearly. Besides, it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when coming into the world he saith, "Sacrifice and offering thou dost not command; but a body thou hast prepared me. Whole burnt offerings and sin offerings thou art not pleased with. Then I said, Behold I come to do, O God, thy will which is writtenconcerning me, in the volume of the book." Above, having said, certainly sacrifice, and offering, and whole burnt offerings, and sin offerings, (which are offered according to the law) thou dost not will, neither art pleased with: next, seeing he hath said, "Behold I come to do, O God, thy will;" he taketh away the first [will,] that he may establish teh second. By which WILL, we are the sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once. And indeed every priest standeth daily ministering and offering often the same sacrifices, which never can take away sins. But he having offered only one sacrifice for sins, through his whole life, sat down at the right hand of God; thenceforth waiting, till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet. Wherefore, by one offering he hath perfected for ever the sanctified. And even the Holy Spirit testifieth this to us, according indeed to what was before mentioned: "This is the covenant which I will make with them after these days, saith the Lord: having adapted my laws to their understandings, I will write them on their minds; and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more." Now, where remission of these is, no more offering for sin is needed.
19. Well then, brethren, having boldness into the entrance of the holy places, by the blood of Jesus, which entrance he hath dedicated for us, a way new and living, through the vail, (that is, his flesh;) also having a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw nigh, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, being sprinkled in hearts from an evil conscience, and being washed in body with clean water, let us hold fast the confession of the hope unmoved; for faithful is he who hath promised. And let us attentively consider one another, in order to the quickening of love and good works; not leaving off the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.
26. For if we sin wilfully, after having received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but some dreadful expecation of judgment, and a fiery anger which shall devour the adversaries. Any one who disregarded the law of Moses, died without mercy, by two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be counted worthy, who hath trampled under foot the Son of God, and reckoned the blood of the covenant wherewithhe was sanctified, a common thing, and hath insuslted the Spirit of favour? For we know him who hath said, "Vengeance belongeth to me; I will repay, saith the Lord;" and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, being enlightened, ye sustained a great combat of afflictions; partly indeed, whilst ye were made a spectacle both by reproaches and afflictions; and partyly whilst ye became companions of them who were so treated. For ye even suffered wth me in my bonds, and the spoiling of your goods ye took with joy, knowing within yourselves that ye have a better substance in heaven, even a permanent substance. Wherefore, cast not away your boldness, which hath a great retribution. For ye must persevere in doing the will of God, that ye may obtain the promised reward. For yet a very little while, and he who is coming*["He that cometh," a title of the Messiah.] will come, and will not tarry. Now the just by faith shall live; but if he draw back, my soul will not be well pleased with him. But we are not of them who draw back unto destruction, but of faith to the salvation of the soul.
XI. Now faith is the confidence of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.*[App. No. XCIV.] By this the ancients obtained reputation. By faith we understand that the worlds were produced by the command of God, to the end that the things which are seen might not seem to have been made of things which did appear.
By faith Abel offered to God more sacrifice than Cain, on account of which he as testified to be righteous; God testifying this upon his gifts; and so by it, though dead, he still speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated, that he might not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation it was testified that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who worshippeth God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him. By faith Noah, when he received a revelation concerning things not at all seen, being seized with religious fear, prepared an ark for the salvation f his family, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when called to go out into a place which he should afterwards receive as an inheritance, obeyed, and went out, not knowing whither he was going. By faith, he sojourned in the land of promise, as belonging to others, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the joint heirs of the same promise: for he expected the city having foundations, of which city the builder and ruler is God. By faith even Sarah herself received strength for the conception of seed, and brought forth when past the time of age, becasue she judged him faithful who had promised. And therefore there sprang from one, who was dead to these matters, a race, as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand which is on the sea shore, which is innumerable. All these died in faith, not having received the promised inheritance. For seeing them afar off, and being persuaded of them, and embracing them, they cnfessed that they were strangers and pilgrims in the land. Now they who speak such things, plainly declare, that they earnestly seek their father's country. For truly, if they had remembered that from which they came out, they might have had an opportunity to have returned to it. But indeed they strongly desired a better country, that is, a heavenly. Therefore God is not ashamed of them to be called their God, because he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham when tried, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promises, offered up even his only begotten, concerning whom it was said, "Surely by Isaac a seed shall be to thee;" reasoning that God was able to raise him even from the dead, from whence he received him, even in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, with respect to things to come. By faith, Jacob when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, bowing on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when ending his life, made mention concerning the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his own bones. By faith Moses, when born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw the child beautiful, and were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer evil with the people of God, than to have the temporary fruition of sin; esteeming the reproach of Christ, greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked off from them to the retribution. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the wrath of the king. For he courageously persevered, as perceiving the invisible God. By faith he appoointed the passover, and the dashing of the blodo, that he who destoryed the first born, might not touch theirs. By faith, they passed through the red sea (sic), as by dry land,which the Egyptians essaying to do, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, having been encompassed seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot was not destroyed with the unbelievers, having received the spies in peace. And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me to speak of Gideon,and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthah, and David also,and Samuel, and the prophets,--who through faith subdued kingdomes, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,--quenched the strength of fire, escaped the edges of the sword, waxed strong from sickness, became valiant in battle, overturned the camps of the aliens. Women received their dead children by a restoration of them to life,*[As did the widow of Zarephath and the Shunamite. 1 Kings, xvii. 21. 2 Kings iv. 34.] and others were beaten, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of mockings, and scourgings, and moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they died by the slaughter of the sword, they went about in sheep skins, and in goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, maltreated; of these the world was not worthy: they wandered in deserts, and mountains, and in caves and holes of the earth. Now all these though commended on account of faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
XII. Wherefore, even we having so great a cloud of witnesses placed around us, laying aside every weight, and the sin*[Of apostacy.] easily committed, let us run with perseverance the race set before us;*[App. No. XCV.] looking off to Jesus, the captain and perfecter of the faith; who for the joy which was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Wherefore, attentively consider him who endured such contradiction from sinners against himself, that ye may not be weary, being faint in your souls. Not yet unto blood have ye resisted, combatting against this sin. Besides, have ye forgotten the exhortation, which reasoneth with you as with children, "My son, do not think lightly of the Lord's chastisement, neither faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." If ye endure chastisement, God behaveth towards you as his children. For what son is there whom his father doth not chastise? But if ye be without chastisement, of which all sons are partakers, certainly ye are bastards, and not sons. Farther, we have had fathers of our flesh, who chastised us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of our spirits, and live? For they verily during a few days chastised us according to their own pleasure, but he for our advantage, in order to our partaking of his holiness. Now no chastisement indeed, for the present seemth to be matter of joy, but of sorrow. Nevertheless, afterwards it returns the peaceful fruit of righteousness, to them who are trained by it. Wherefore, bring to their right position, the arms which hang down, and the weakened knees. And make smooth paths for your feet, that that which is lame, may not be put out of joint, but rather healed. Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord: carefully observing, lest any one come short of the favour of God, lest some bitter root springing up, trouble you, and by it many be polluted; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one meal gave away his birthrights. Andye know that although afterward he wished to inherit the blessing, he was reprobated: for he found no scope for effecting a change, though he earnestly sought the blessing with tears. Now ye are not come to a tangible mountain which burned with fire, and to blackness, and to darkness, and to tempest, and to the noise of a trumpet, and to the sound of words, the hearers of which earnestly entreated that there might not be added to them a word, for they could not bear this threat, "even if a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot through "with an arrow." And so terrible was that which appeared, that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and quake." But ye are come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of messengers; to the general assembly and congregation of the first born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling which speaketh better things than that of Abel. Take care that ye refuse nto him speaking. For if they did not escape who refused him who spake on earth, much more we shall not escape who turn away from him speaking from heaven.
His voice then shook the earth. But now he hath promised, saying, "Yet once I shake not the earth only, but also the heavens." Now this speech, "YET ONCE," signifieth the removing of the things shaken, as of things which were constituted, that the things not to be shaken may remain. Wherefore, we having received a kingdom not to be shaken, let us have gratitude whereby we may worship God acceptabley, with reverence and religious fear. For even our God is a consuming fire.
XIII. Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained heavenly messengers, without knowing them. Remember them who are in bonds, as jointly bound, and them who suffer evil, as being yourselves also in the body. Let marriage be honourable among all, and the bed be unpolluted: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your behaviour be without the love of money, being contented with the things ye have. For himself hath said, "I will never leave thee, neither will I ever utterly forsake thee." So that taking courage, we may say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man can do to me." Remember your rulers who have spoken to you the word of God: observing carefully the issue of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ, yesterday, and to day, is the same, and for ever. Be not tossed about with various and foreign doctrines, for it is good that the heart be established with gratitude, not by meats, through which they have not been profited, who walk in them. We have an altar, of which they have no right to eat, who worship in the tabernacle. For of those animals, whose blood is brought as a sin offering into the holy places by the high priest, the bodies are burnt without the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Well then, let us go forth with him out of the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have not here an abiding city, but we earnestly seek one to come. And through him let us offer up the sacrifice of praise continually to God, namely the fruit of our lips, confessing to his name. But to do good, and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey your rulers, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account. Obey them that they may do this with joy, and not with mourning: for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, willing in all things to behave well. And I the more earnestly beseech you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus the great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you fit for every good work, to do his will, producing in you what is acceptable in his sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. Now I beseech you brethren, suffer this word of exhortation, for indeed I have sent it to you in brief. Know that our brother Timothy is sent away, with whom, if he come soon, I will see you. Salute all your rulers, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Favour be with you all. Amen.