(Calvin, Paul to the Hebrews. part 11)

this cause the new covenant was introduced as a remedy; and thus it
appears unjust, that if the blame was in the people it should be
transferred to God's covenant. Then the argument seems not valid, for
though God might have a hundred times blamed the people, yet the covenant
could not on that account be deemed faulty. The answer to this objection
may be easily given. Though the crime of violating the covenant was
justly imputed to the people, who had through their own perfidy departed
from God, yet the weakness of the covenant is also pointed out, because
it was not written in their hearts. Then, to render it perfect and valid,
God declares that it needed an amendment. It was not, therefore, without
reason that the Apostle contended that a place was to be sought for a
=====> 8:8. "Behold, the days come", &c. (Jer. 31: 31-34.) The Prophet
speaks of future time; he arraigns the people of perfidy, because they
continued not faithful after having received the Law. The Law, then, was
the covenant which was broken, as Cod complains, by the people. To remedy
this evil, he promised a new and a different covenant, the fulfilment of
which prophecy was the abrogation of the old covenant.
    But it may be said, the Apostle seems unreasonably to turn this
prophecy to suit his own purpose; for here the question is respecting 
ceremonies, but the Prophet speaks of the whole Law: what has it to do
with ceremonies, when God inscribes on the heart the rule of a godly and
holy life, delivered by the voice and teaching of men? To this I reply
that the argument is applied from the whole to a part. There is no doubt
but that the Prophet includes the whole dispensation of Moses when he
says, "I have made with you a covenant which you have not kept." Besides,
the Law was in a manner clothed with ceremonies; now when the body is
dead, what is the use of garments? It is a common saying that the
accessory is of the same character with his principal. No wonder, then,
that the ceremonies, which are nothing more than appendages to the old
covenant, should come to an end, together with the whole dispensation of
Moses. Nor is it unusual with the Apostles, when they speak of
ceremonies, to discuss the general question respecting the whole Law.
Though, then, the prophet Jeremiah extends wider than to ceremonies, yet
as it includes them under the name of the old covenant, it may be fitly
applied to the present subject.
    Now, by the days which the prophet mentions, all agree that Christ's
kingdom is signified; it hence follows, that the old covenant was changed
by the coming of Christ. And he names "the house of Israel and the house
of Judah", because the posterity of Abraham had been divided into two
kingdoms. So the promise is to gather again all the elect together into
one body, however separated they may have been formerly.
=====> 8:9. "Not according to the covenant", &c. Here is expressed the
difference between the covenant which then existed and the new one which
he caused them to expect. The Prophet might have otherwise said only: "I
will renew the covenant which through your fault has come to nothing;"
but he now expressly declares that it would be one unlike the former. By
saying that the covenant was made in the day when he laid holds on their
hand to rescue them from bondage, he enhanced the sin of defection by
thus reminding them of so great a benefit. At the same time he did not
accuse one age only of ingratitude; but as these very men who had been
delivered immediately fell away, and as their posterity after their
example continually relapsed, hence the whole nation had become
    By saying that he disregarded them or cared not for them, he
intimates that it would profit them nothing to have been once adopted as
his people, unless he succoured them by this new kind of remedy. At the
same time the Prophet expresses in Hebrew something more; but this has
little to do with the present question.
=====> 8:10. "For this is the covenant that I will make", &c. There are
two main parts in this covenant; the first regards the gratuitous
remission of sins; and the other, the inward renovation of the heart;
there is a third which depends on the second, and that is the
illumination of the mind as to the knowledge of God. There are here many
things most deserving of notice.
    The first is, that God calls us to himself without effect as long as
he speaks to us in no other way than by the voice of man. He indeed
teaches us and commands what is right but he speaks to the deaf; for when
we seem to hear anything, our ears are only struck by an empty sound; and
the heart, full of depravity and perverseness, rejects every wholesome
doctrine. In short, the word of God never penetrates into our hearts, for
they are iron and stone until they are softened by him; nay, they have
engraven on them a contrary law, for perverse passions rule within, which
lead us to rebellion. In vain then does God proclaim his Law by the voice
of man, unless he writes it by his Spirit on our hearts, that is, unless
he forms and prepares us for obedience. It hence appears of what avail is
freewill and the uprightness of nature before God regenerates us. We will
indeed and choose freely; but our will is carried away by a sort of
insane impulse to resist God. Thus it comes that the Law is ruinous and
fatal to us as long as it remains written only on tables of stone, as
Paul also teaches us. (2 Cor. 3: 3.) In short, we then only obediently
embrace what God commands, when by his Spirit he changes and corrects the
natural pravity of our hearts; otherwise he finds nothing in us but
corrupt affections and a heart holly given up to evil. The declaration
indeed is clear, that a new covenant is made according to which God
engraves his laws on our hearts, for otherwise it would be in vain and of
no effect.
    The second particular refers to the gratuitous pardon of sins. Though
they have sinned, saith the Lord, yet I will pardon them. This part is
also most necessary; for God never so forms us for obedience to his
righteousness, but that many corrupt affections of the flesh still
remain; nay, it is only in part that the viciousness of our nature is
corrected; so that evil lusts break out now and then. And hence is that
contest of which Paul complains, when the godly do not obey God as they
ought, but in various ways offend. (Rom. 7: 13.) Whatever desire then
there may be in us to live righteously, we are still guilty of eternal
death before God, because our life is ever very far from the perfection
which the Law requires. There would then be no stability in the covenant,
except God gratuitously forgave our sins. But it is the peculiar
privilege of the faithful who have once embraced the covenant offered to
them in Christ, that they feel assured that God is propitious to them;
nor is the sin to which they are liable, a hindrance to them, for they
have the promise of pardon.
    And it must be observed that this pardon is promised to them, not for
one day only, but to the very end of life, so that they have a daily
reconciliation with God. For this favour is extended to the whole of
Christ's kingdom, as Paul abundantly proves in the fifth chapter of his
second Epistle to the Corinthians. And doubtless this is the only true
asylum of our faith, to which if we flee not, constant despair must be
our lot. For we are all of us guilty; nor can we be otherwise released
then by fleeing to God's mercy, which alone can pardon us.
    "And they shall be to me", &c. It is the fruit of the covenant, that
God chooses us for his people, and assures us that he will be the
guardian of our salvation. This is indeed the meaning of these words,
"And I will be to them a God"; for he is not the God of the dead, nor
does he take us under his protection, but that he may make us partakers
of righteousness and of life, so that David justly exclaims, "Blessed are
the people to whom the Lord is God (Ps. 144: 15.) There is further no
doubt but that this truth belongs also to us; for though the Israelites
had the first place, and are the proper and legitimate heirs of the
covenant, yet their prerogative does not hinder us from having also a
title to it. In short, however far and wide the kingdom of Christ
extends, this covenant of salvation is of the same extent.
    But it may be asked, whether there was under the Law a sure and
certain promise of salvation, whether the fathers had the gift of the
Spirit, whether they enjoyed God's paternal favour through the remission
of sins? Yes, it is evident that they worshipped God with a sincere heart
and a pure conscience, and that they walked in his commandments, and this
could not have been the case except they had been inwardly taught by the
Spirit; and it is also evident, that whenever they thought of their sins,
they were raised up by the assurance of a gratuitous pardon. And yet the
Apostle, by referring the prophecy of Jeremiah to the coming of Christ,
seems to rob them of these blessings. To this I reply, that he does not
expressly deny that God formerly wrote his Law on their hearts and
pardoned their sins, but he makes a comparison between the less and the
greater. As then the Father has put forth more fully the power of his
Spirit under the kingdom of Christ, and has poured forth more abundantly
his mercy on mankind, this exuberance renders insignificant the small
portion of grace which he had been pleased to bestow on the fathers. We
also see that the promises were then obscure and intricate, so that they
shone only like the moon and stars in comparison with the clear light of
the Gospel which shines brightly on us.
    If it be objected and said, that the faith and obedience of Abraham
so excelled, that hardly any such an example can at this day be found in
the whole world; my answer is this, that the question here is not about
persons, but that reference is made to the economical condition of the
Church. Besides, whatever spiritual gifts the fathers obtained, they were
accidental as it were to their age; for it was necessary for them to
direct their eyes to Christ in order to become possessed of them. Hence
it was not without reason that the Apostle, in comparing the Gospel with
the Law, took away from the latter what is peculiar to the former. There
is yet no reason why God should not have extended the grace of the new
covenant to the fathers. This is the true solution of the question.
=====> 8:11. "And they shall not teach", &c. We have said that the third
point is as it were a part of the second, included in these words, "I
will put my laws in their mind; for it is the work of the Spirit of God
to illuminate our minds, so that we may know what the will of God is, and
also to bend our hearts to obedience. For the right knowledge of God is a
wisdom which far surpasses the comprehension of man's understanding;
therefore, to attain it no one is able except through the secret
revelation of the Spirit. Hence Isaiah, in speaking of the restoration of
the Church, says, that all God's children would be his disciples or
scholars. (Isa. 28: 16.) The meaning of our Prophet is the same when he
introduces God as saying, "They shall know me". For God does not promise
what is in our own power, but what he alone can perform for us. In short,
these words of the Prophet are the same as though he had said, that our
minds are blind and destitute of all right understanding until they are
illuminated by the Spirit of God. Thus God is rightly known by those
alone to whom he has been pleased by a special favour to reveal himself.
    By saying, "From the least to the greatest", he first intimates that
God's grace would be poured on all ranks of men, so that no class would
be without it. He, secondly, reminds us that no rude and ignorant men are
precluded from this heavenly wisdom, and that the great and the noble
cannot attain it by their own acuteness or by the help of learning. Thus
God connects the meanest and the lowest with the highest, so that their
ignorance is no impediment to the one, nor can the other ascend so high
by their own acumen; but the one Spirit is equally the teacher of them
    Fanatical men take hence the occasion to do away with public
preaching, as though it were of no use in Christ's kingdom; but their
madness may be easily exposed. Their objection is this: "After the coming
of Christ every one is to teach his neighbour; away then with the
external ministry, that a place may be given to the internal inspiration
of God." But they pass by this, that the Prophet does not wholly deny
that they would teach one another, but his words are these, "They shall
not teach, saying, know the Lord"; as though he had said, "Ignorance
shall not as heretofore so possess the minds of men as not to know who
God is." But we know that the use of teaching is twofold; first, that
they who are wholly ignorant may learn the first elements; and secondly,
that those who are initiated may make progress. As then Christians, as
long as they live, ought to make progress, it cannot surely be said, that
any one is so wise that he needs not to be taught; so that no small part
of our wisdom is a teachable spirit. And what is the way of making
progress if we desire to be the disciples of Christ? This is shown to us
by Paul when he says, that Christ gave pastors and teachers. (Eph. 4:
11.) It hence appears that nothing less was thought of by the Prophet
than to rob the Church of such a benefit. His only object was to show
that God would make himself known to small and great, according to what
was also predicted by Joel 2: 28. It ought also in passing to be noticed,
that this light of sacred knowledge is promised peculiarly to the Church;
hence this passage belongs to none but to the household of faith.
=====> 8:13. "In that he saith, A new", &c. From the fact of one covenant
being established, he infers the subversion of the other; and by calling
it the old covenant, he assumes that it was to be abrogated; for what is
old tends to a decay. Besides, as the new is substituted, it must be that
the former has come to an end; for the second, as it has been said, is of
another character. But if the whole dispensation of Moses, as far as it
was opposed to the dispensation of Christ, has passed away, then the
ceremonies also must have ceased.

Chapter 9

=====> 9:1 Then verily the first [covenant] had also ordinances of divine
service, and a worldly sanctuary.
9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein [was] the
candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the
9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest
of all;
9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid
round about with gold, wherein [was] the golden pot that had manna, and
Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which
we cannot now speak particularly.

=====> 9:1. "Then verily the first", &c. After having spoken generally of
the abrogation of the old covenant, he now refers specially to the
ceremonies. His object is to show that there was nothing practiced then
to which Christ's coming has not put an end. He says first, that under
the old covenant there was a specific form of divine worship, and that it
was peculiarly adapted to that time. It will hereafter appear by the
comparison what kind of things were those rituals prescribed under the
    Some copies read, |proote skene|, the first tabernacle; but I suspect
that there is a mistake as to the word "tabernacle;" nor do I doubt but
that some unlearned reader, not finding a noun to the adjective, and in
his ignorance applying to the tabernacle what had been said of the
covenant, unwisely added the word |skene|, tabernacle. I indeed greatly
wonder that the mistake had so prevailed, that it is found in the Greek
copies almost universally. But necessity constrains me to follow the
ancient reading. For the Apostle, as I have said, had been speaking of
the old covenant; he now comes to ceremonies, which were additions, as it
were, to it. He then intimates that all the rites of the Mosaic Law were
a part of the old covenant, and that they partook of the same
ancientness, and were therefore to perish.
    Many take the word |latreias| as an accusative plural. I agree with
those who connect the two words together, |dikaioomata latreias|, for
institutes or rites, which the Hebrews call |chukim|, and the Greeks have
rendered by the word |dikaioomata|, ordinances. The sense is, that the
whole form or manner of worshipping God was annexed to the old covenant,
and that it consisted of sacrifices, ablutions, and other symbols,
together with the sanctuary. And he calls it a "worldly sanctuary",
because there was no heavenly truth or reality in those rites; for though
the sanctuary was the effigy of the original pattern which had been shown
to Moses; yet an effigy or image is a different thing from the reality,
and especially when they are compared, as here, as things opposed to each
other. Hence the sanctuary in itself was indeed earthly, and is rightly
classed among the elements of the world, it was yet heavenly as to what
it signified. 
=====> 9:2. "For there was a tabernacle", &c. As the Apostle here touches
but lightly on the structure of the tabernacle, that he might not be
detained beyond what his subject required; so will I also designedly
abstain from any refined explanation of it. It is then sufficient for our
present purpose to consider the tabernacle in its three parts, - the
first was the court of the people; the middle was commonly called the
sanctuary; and the last was the inner sanctuary, which they called, by
way of eminence, "the holy of holies".
    As to the first sanctuary, which was contiguous to the court of the
people, he says that there were the candlestick and the table on which
the "show-bread" was set: he calls this place, in the plural number, the
holies. Then, after this is mentioned, the most secret place, which they
called the holy of holies, still more remote from the view of the people,
and it was even hid from the priests who ministered in the first
sanctuary; for as by a veil the sanctuary was closed up to the people, so
another veil kept the priests from the holy of holies. There, the Apostle
says, was the |thumiaterion|, by which name I understand the altar of
incense, or fumigation, rather than the censer; then "the ark of the
covenant, with its covering, "the two cherubim, the golden pot" filled
with "manna, the rod of Aaron, and the two tables". Thus far the Apostle
proceeds in describing the tabernacle.
    But he says that the pot in which Moses had deposited the manna, and
Aaron's rod which had budded, were in the ark with the two tables; but
this seems inconsistent with sacred history, which in I Kings 8: 9,
relates that there was nothing in the ark but the two tables. But it is
easy to reconcile these two passages: God had commanded the pot and
Aaron's rod to be laid up before the testimony; it is hence probable that
they were deposited in the ark, together with the tables. But when the
Temple was built, these things were arranged in a different order, and
certain history relates it as a thing new that the ark had nothing else
but the two tables.
=====> 9:5. "Of which we cannot now", &c. As nothing can satisfy, curious
men, the apostle cuts off every occasion for refinements unsuitable to
his present purpose, and lest a longer discussion of these things should
break off the thread of his argument. If, therefore, any one should
disregard the Apostle's example, and dwell more minutely on the subject,
he would be acting very unreasonably. There might be, indeed, an occasion
for doing this elsewhere; but it is now better to attend to the subject
of which he treats: it may further be said, that to philosophize beyond
just limits, which some do, is not only useless, but also dangerous.
There are some things which are not obscure and fitted for the
edification of faith; but discretion and sobriety ought to be observed,
lest we seek to be wise above what God has been pleased to reveal.

=====> 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went
always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service [of God].
9:7 But into the second [went] the high priest alone once every year, not
without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for] the errors of the
9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all
was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet
9:9 Which [was] a figure for the time then present, in which were offered
both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service
perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
9:10 [Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and
carnal ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation.
9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a
greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say,
not of this building;
9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he
entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption
[for us].

=====> 9:6. "Now, when these things were thus ordained", &c. Omitting
other things, he undertakes to handle the chief point in dispute: he says
that the priests who performed sacred rites were wont to enter the first
tabernacle daily, but that the chief priest entered the holy of holies
only yearly with the appointed sacrifice. He hence concludes, that while
the tabernacle under the Law was standing, the sanctuary was closed up,
and that only through that being removed could the way be open for us to
the kingdom of God. We see that the very form of the ancient tabernacle
reminded the Jews that they were to look for something else. Then
foolishly did they act who, by retaining the shadows of the Law, wilfully
obstructed their own way.
    He mentions |protoon skenen|, the first tabernacle, in ver. 2, in a
different sense from what it has here, for here it means the first
sanctuary, but there the whole tabernacle; for he sets it in opposition
to the spiritual sanctuary of Christ, which he presently mentions. He
contends that this had fallen for our great benefit, for through its fall
a more familiar access to God has been obtained for us.
=====> 9:7. "For himself and for the errors of the people", or for his
own and the ignorances of the people. As the verb |shagag|, means in
Hebrew to err, to mistake, so |shgagah|, derived from it, properly
denotes error, or mistake; but yet it is generally taken for any kind of
sin; and doubtless we never sin except when deceived by the allurements
of Satan. The Apostle does not understand by it mere ignorance, as they
say, but, on the contrary, he includes also voluntary sins; but as I have
already said, no sin is free from error or ignorance; for however
knowingly and wilfully any one may sin, yet it must be that he is blinded
by his lust, so that he does not judge rightly, or rather he forgets
himself and God; for men never deliberately rush headlong into ruin, but
being entangled in the deceptions of Satan, they lose the power of
judging rightly.
=====> 9:9. "Which was a figure", &c. The word |parathole|, used here,
signifies, as I think, the same thing with |antitupos|, antitype; for he
means that that tabernacle was a second pattern which corresponded with
the first. For the portrait of a man ought to be so like the man himself,
that when seen, it ought immediately to remind us of him whom it
represents. He says further, that it was a "figure", or likeness, "for
the time then present", that is, as long as the external observance was
in force; and he says this in order to confine its use and duration to
the time of the Law; for it means the same with what he afterwards adds,
that all the ceremonies were imposed until the time of reformation; nor
is it any objection that he uses the present tense in saying, "gifts are
offered"; for as he had to do with the Jews, he speaks by way of
concession, as though he were one of those who sacrificed. "Gifts" and
"sacrifices" differ, as the first is a general term, and the other is
    "That could not make him that did the service perfect as pertaining
to the conscience"; that is, they did not reach the soul so as to confer
true holiness. I do not reject the words, "make perfect", and yet I
prefer the term "sanctify", as being more suitable to the context. But
that readers may better understand the meaning of the Apostle, let the
contrast between the flesh and the conscience be noticed; he denies that
worshippers could be spiritually and inwardly cleansed by the sacrifices
of the Law. It is added as a reason, that all these rites were of the
flesh or carnal. What then does he allow them to be? It is commonly
supposed, that they were useful only as means of training to men,
conducive to virtue and decorum. But they who thus think do not
sufficiently consider the promises which are added. This gloss,
therefore, ought to be wholly repudiated. Absurdly and ignorantly too do
they interpret "the ordinances of the flesh", as being such as cleansed
or sanctified only the body; for the Apostle understands by these words
that they were earthly symbols, which did not reach the soul; for though
they were true testimonies of perfect holiness, yet they by no means
contained it in themselves, nor could they convey it to men; for the
faithful were by such helps led, as it were, by the hand to Christ, that
they might obtain from him what was wanting in the symbols.
    Were any one to ask why the Apostle speaks with so little respect and
even with contempt of Sacraments divinely instituted, and extenuates
their efficacy? This he does, because he separates them from Christ; and
we know that when viewed in themselves they are but beggarly elements, as
Paul calls them. (Gal. 4: 9.) 
=====> 9:10. "Until the time of reformation", &c. Here he alludes to the
prophecy of Jeremiah. (Jer. 31: 37.) The new covenant succeeded the old
as a reformation. He expressly mentions "meats" and "drinks", and other
things of minor importance, because by these trifling observances a more
certain opinion may be formed how far short was the Law of the perfection
of the Gospel.
=====> 9:11. "But Christ being come", &c. He now sets before us the
reality of the things under the Law, that it may turn our eyes from them
to itself; for he who believes that the things then shadowed forth under
the Law have been really found in Christ, will no longer cleave to the
shadows, but will embrace the substance and the genuine reality.
    But the particulars of the comparison between Christ and the ancient
high priest, ought to be carefully noticed. He had said that the high
priest alone entered the sanctuary once a year with blood to expiate
sins. Christ is in this life the ancient high priests for he alone
possesses the dignity and the office of a high priest; but he differs
from him in this respect, that he brings with him eternal blessings which
secure a perpetuity to his priesthood. Secondly, there is this likeness
between the ancient high priest and ours, that both entered the holy of
holies through the sanctuary; but they differ in this, that Christ alone
entered into heaven through the temple of his own body. That the holy of
holies was once every year opened to the high priest to make the
appointed expiation - this obscurely prefigured the one true sacrifice of
Christ. To enter once then was common to both, but to the earthly it was
every year, while it was to the heavenly forever, even to the end of the
world. The offering of blood was common to both; but there was a great
difference as to the blood; for Christ offered, not the blood of beasts,
but his own blood. Expiation was common to both; but that according to
the Law, as it was inefficacious, was repeated every year; but the
expiation made by Christ is always effectual and is the cause of eternal
salvation to us. Thus, there is great importance almost in every word.
Some render the words, "But Christ standing by," or asking; but the
meaning of the Apostle is not thus expressed; for he intimates that when
the Levitical priests had for the prefixed time performed their office,
Christ came in their place, according to what we found in the seventh
    "Of good things to come", &c. Take these for eternal things; for as
|melloon kairos|, time to come, is set in opposition to the present |tooi
enestekoti|; so future blessings are to the present. The meaning is, that
we are led by Christ's priesthood into the celestial kingdom of God, and
that we are made partakers of spiritual righteousness and of eternal
life, so that it is not right to desire anything better. Christ alone,
then, has that by which he can retain and satisfy us in himself.
    "By a greater and more perfect tabernacle", &c. Though this passage
is variously explained, yet I have no doubt but that he means the body of
Christ; for as there was formerly an access for the Levitical high priest
to the holy of holies through the sanctuary, so Christ through his own
body entered into the glory of heaven; for as he had put on our flesh and
in it suffered, he obtained for himself this privilege, that he should
appear before God as a Mediator for us. In the first place, the word
sanctuary is fitly and suitably applied to the body of Christ, for it is
the temple in which the whole majesty of God dwells. He is further said
to have made a way for us by his body to ascend into heaven, because in
that body he consecrated himself to God, he became in it sanctified to be
our true righteousness, he prepared himself in it to offer a sacrifice;
in a word, he made himself in it of no reputation, and suffered the death
of the cross; therefore, the Father highly exalted him and gave him a
name above every name, that every knee should bow to him. (Phil. 2:
8-10.) He then entered into heaven through his own body, because on this
account it is that he now sits at the Father's right hand; he for this
reason intercedes for us in heaven, because he had put on our flesh, and
consecrated it as a temple to God the Father, and in it sanctified
himself to obtain for us an eternal righteousness, having made an
expiation for our sins.
    It may however seem strange, that he denies the body of Christ to be
of this building; for doubtless he proceeded from the seed of Abraham,
and was liable to sufferings and to death. To this I reply, that he
speaks not here of his material body, or of what belongs to the body as
such, but of the spiritual efficacy which emanates from it to us. For as
far as Christ's flesh is quickening, and is a heavenly food to nourish
souls, as far as his blood is a spiritual drink and has a cleansing
power, we are not to imagine anything earthly or material as being in
them. And then we must remember that this is said in allusion to the
ancient tabernacle, which was made of wood, brass, skins, silver, and
gold, which were all dead things; but the power of God made the flesh of
Christ to be a living and spiritual temple.
=====> 9:12. "Neither by the blood of goats", &c. All these things tend
to show that the things of Christ so far excel the shadows of the Law,
that they justly reduce them all to nothing. For what is the value of
Christ's blood, if it be deemed no better than the blood of beasts? What
sort of expiation was made by his death, if the purgations according to
the Law be still retained? As soon then as Christ came forth with the
efficacious influence of his death, all the typical observances must
necessarily have ceased.

=====> 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an
heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal
Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from
dead works to serve the living God?
9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by
means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were]
under the first testament, they which are called might receive the
promise of eternal inheritance.
9:16 For where a testament [is], there must also of necessity be the
death of the testator.
9:17 For a testament [is] of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of
no strength at all while the testator liveth.

=====> 9:13. "For if the blood of bulls", &c. This passable has given to
many all occasion to go astray, because they did not consider that
sacraments are spoken of, which had a spiritual import. The cleansing of
the flesh they leave explained of what avails among men, as the heathens
had their expiations to blot out the infamy of crimes. But this
explanation is indeed very heathenish; for wrong is done to God's
promises, if we restrict the effect to civil matters only. Often does
this declaration occur in the writings of Moses, that iniquity was
expiated when a sacrifice was duly offered. This is no doubt the
spiritual teaching of faith. Besides, all the sacrifices where destined
for this end, that they might lead men to Christ; as the eternal
salvation of the soul is through Christ, so these were true witnesses of
this salvation.
    What then does the Apostle mean when he speaks of the purgations of
the flesh? He means what is symbolical or sacramental, as follows, - If
the blood of beasts was a true symbol of purgation, so that it cleansed
in a sacramental manner, how much more shall Christ who is himself the
truth, not only bear witness to a purgation by an external rite, but also
really perform this for consciences? The argument then is from the signs
to the thing signified; for the effect by a long time preceded the
reality of the signs.
=====> 9:14. "Who through the eternal Spirit", &c. He now clearly shows
how Christ's death is to be estimated, not by the external act, but by
the power of the Spirit. For Christ suffered as man; but that death
becomes saving to us through the efficacious power of the Spirit; for a
sacrifice, which was to the an eternal expiation, was a work more than
human. And he calls the Spirit "eternal" for this reason, that we may
know that the reconciliation, of which he is the worker or effecter, is
eternal. By saying, "without spot", or unblamable, though he alludes to
the victims under the Law, which were not to have a blemish or defect, he
yet means, that Christ alone was the lawful victim and capable of
appeasing God; for there was always in others something that might be
justly deemed wanting; and hence he said before that the covenant of the
Law was not |emempton|, blameless.
    "From dead works", &c. Understand by these either such works as
produce death, or such as are the fruits or effects of death; for as the
life of the soul is our union with God, so they who are alienated from
him through sin may be justly deemed to be dead. 
    "To serve the living God". This, we must observe, is the end of our
purgation; for we are not washed by Christ, that we may plunge ourselves
again into new filth, but that our purity may serve to glorify God.
Besides, he teaches us, that nothing can proceed from us that can be
pleasing to God until we are purified by the blood of Christ; for as we
are all enemies to God before our reconciliation, so he regards as
abominable all our worlds; hence the beginning of acceptable service is
reconciliation. And then, as no work is so pure and so free from stains,
that it can of itself please God, it is necessary that the purgation

(continued in part 12...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-3/epl-01: calhb-11.txt