« PreviousContinue »
XII. 8. But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
If ye be utterly exempted from whatsoever chastisements, whereof all the true sons of God are partakers, this shall argue unto you,
that ye are not the true and natural but the base and supposititious sons of God.
XII. 11. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous : nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
As it is in these human corrections, those chastisements, which were grievous unto our childhood, are afterwards allowed of us as profitable unto us; so it is in these afflictions from the hand of God: none of them are, for the time, pleasing ; but grievous and irksome; yet, afterwards, we find them to be exceeding beneficial; working a happy and sweet peace in the heart, after all the unquiet broils and tumults of temptation ; and a blessed increase of all grace and sanctification, in the soul of him, that is therewith exercised.
XII. 12. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
Wherefore, comfort yourselves with these things; and rouse up your fainting courage, to the cheerful enduring of all africtions ;
XII. 13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed;
And go on evenly and steadily in this course of Christianity, which ye have entered into ; lest coming once to halt betwixt truth and error, God and the world, ye be, at the last, utterly perverted; but be careful rather, upon the first sense of your doubts or complaints, to receive full satisfaction and due encouragement:
XII. 15. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
Looking diligently, not only to yourselves, but to each other also; carefully stirring up each other, lest any man languish in and come short of that grace of God which he either had or might have had; lest any erroneous or apostating spirit rise up among you, and trouble your peace, and draw away or at least
XII. 17. For he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
For though he did at last earnestly and with tears repent him of his bargain; yet he found no such benefit of that his late repentance, as thereby to recover that which he yielded to forego : neither could those tears of his move his father Isaac,
to repent of that benediction, which he had justly given to Jacob.
XII. 18. For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest.
I would have you to know and seriously consider, that, under the Gospel, there is required a greater care of your holy carriage, than there was under the Law, by how much the means thereof are more gracious and effectual: This different condition may be well expressed to you, by two Mounts, the one of Sinai, the other of Sion; ye are not then come to that earthly and material mount of Sinai, which might be touched and felt'; and that burned, in a delivery of the Law, and was compassed about with blackness, and darkness, and tempest.
XII. 22, 23, 24. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written 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, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
But ye are come to the spiritual mount Sion; even to the Holy Church of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; where ye shall be in the society of innumerable angels; Where ye shall be joined to the universal company of those saints of God, that are and have been most eminent in grace here on earth, and are most conspicuous for glory above; where ye shall enjoy the presence of God, the righteous and glorious Judge, Governor of all; and of the glorified spirits of just and holy men, which are now happy in the blessed vision of God; Where ye shall enjoy the presence of our dear Saviour, Jesus Christ, who is the Mediator of the New Testament, whose blood, being shed for the redemption of mankind, calls out unto God, not for revenge as Abel's, but for a full remission of sin and reconciliation of man unto God.
XII. 25. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
See then that ye refuse not that Christ, which speaketh unto you, in his heavenly Gospel: For if they escaped not, who refused to hearken to the Law, which God by angels delivered to man here upon earth ; how much less shall we escape, if we despise the Gospel, which is delivered unto us from heaven!
XII. 26. Whose voice then shook the earth : but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Whose voice then, in the delivery of the Law, was so terrible, that it caused the earth to tremble and quake; but now, speaking of the promulgation and success of his Gospel, he promiseth a further change and motion, that he will make even in the heaven also, and in the spiritual condition of his Church.
XII. 27. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the remoring of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
And this word, Once more, signifieth, that one main alteration, that shall be made by God, in the bringing in of his Gospel; that all those things, which are subject to change and corruption, shall be removed, as those that are made and ordained to mutation, that the Everlasting Kingdom of Christ may be perpetually established.
XII. 28. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear :
Wherefore, we, having our part in the Spiritual and Everlasting Kingdom of Christ, which cannot be moved, let us labour for that true grace of his Spirit, which may enable us to serve God acceptably, in all holy awe and reverence of his Divine Majesty:
XII. 29. For our God is a consuming fire.
For, God, as he is most gracious and merciful to those that fear and serve him, so he is a most terrible avenger of all wickedness and disobedience, and will be sure to punish it with unspeakable torments.
XIII. 2. For thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
For thereby some, as Abraham and Lot, have entertained angels, in the shape of men, unawares.
XIII. 7. Considering the end of their conversation. Having an eye to the patience and constant martyrdom, wherewith those your teachers have shut up their well-led lives, , here on earth.
XIII. 8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.
And as theirs, so let your faith be stedfastly fixed on Jesus Christ your Saviour, who altereth not, but is, and was, and will be still the same for ever.
XIII. 9. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace ; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
And, as Christ one and the same, so is the truth of his doctrine ; which ye ought, therefore, constantly to embrace: be not therefore carried away with diversity and new fangleness of doctrines, with vain and superstitious observations; for it is a good and happy thing, to have the heart truly settled in a state of regeneration, and not to be taken up with frivolous disquisitions, concerning the choice or cleanness and uncleanness of meats, which have no way availed or benefitted those that have exercised themselves therein.
XIII. 10. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
Under the Law, it was appointed, that they, which served in the tabernacle, should eat of those sacrifices, which were offered upon the altar; but now, it is otherwise : we have a spiritual
a and living altar and sacrifice, even Christ Jesus himself; of whom they cannot claim any right to partake, that are addicted to the ceremonies of the abrogated law.
XIII. 13. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Let us therefore courageously and cheerfully imitate the example of his sufferings: bearing that reproach of impurity and unworthiness, which is cast upon us for his Name's sake.
XIII. 20. Now the God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
Now the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, having approved himself, as the great, so the true and good shepherd of his elect, by shedding that precious blood of his, whereby the everlasting covenant of peace and reconciliation is ratified and confirmed betwixt God and man.
XIII. 22. For I have written a letter unto you in few words.
For I have written a letter unto you, howsoever large in itself, yet very short in comparison of the weight and worth of the argument, and that entire affection of mine from whence it hath proceeded.
THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES.
I. 1. To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting:
To all the believing Jews, that are dispersed among the nations in any part of the world.
I. 2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into dirers temptations ;
Be ye so far, my brethren, from being dejected and disheartened with the afflictions which ye suffer for Christ, as that ye do account this a great and just cause, above all others, of your joy and exultation, that ye are thought worthy, and made able, to undergo these sharp trials for his sake;
I. 3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Knowing that these sufferings whereby your faith is tried, do both exercise, and, through the goodness of God, work patience in you.
I. 4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Let not your patience shrink and fail, but let it hold firm and constant to the end; and let it produce in you those good and gracious effects, which are proper thereunto; that so ye may be entire and perfect in goodness, wanting no virtue or grace fit for Christians.
I. 8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
An unbelieving man, that hath one heart for God, another for the world; one while inclining to a confident reliance upon God, another while distrusting him; is utterly uncertain and unstable in all his actions and purposes.
I. 9. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in thal he is exalted :
Let a Christian, who is taken from a mean condition and advanced to any height of honour, be thankful to God for his exaltation, and acknowledge his promotion to be a favour from God:
I. 10. But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
And let the rich contentedly rest in the hand of God, if he have thought fit to humble him with want; because, if he be in never so prosperous an estate, here is no continuance for him, but even as the flower of the field he shall wither away and vanish.
I. 12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation.
Blessed is the man, that patiently endureth afflictions and persecutions for the Name of Christ.
I. 13. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man :
Let no man, when he is tempted and drawn to sin, cast the fault hereof upon God; for God, as he is most pure and holy, so he can neither be solicited or moved to evil, neither can he move or solicit any man to evil; which is contrary to his most pure and perfect nature and will :
I. 14. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
But every man, when he is tempted, must acknowledge, next to the suggestion of Satan, the fault to be his own; in that he is drawn aside by his own sinful concupiscence, and enticed to do evil thereby.
I. 15. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin : and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.