(Calvin, Paul to the Hebrews. part 12)

through the blood of Christ should intervene, which alone can efface all
stains. And there is a striking contrast between the living God and dead
works.
=====> 9:15. "And for this cause he is Mediator of the New Testament",
&c. He concludes that there is no more need of another priest, for Christ
fulfils the office under the New Testament; for he claims not for Christ
the honour of a Mediator, so that others may at the same time remain as
such with him; but he maintains that all others were repudiated when
Christ undertook the office. But that he might more fully confirm this
fact, he mentions how he commenced to discharge his office of a Mediator;
even through death intervening. Since this is found alone in Christ,
being wanting in all others, it follows that he alone can be justly
deemed a Mediator.
    He further records the virtue and efficacy of his death by saying
that he paid the price for sins under the "first covenant" or testament,
which could not be blotted out by the blood of beasts; by which words he
was seeking draw away the Jews from the Law to Christ. For, if the Law
was so weak that all the remedies it applied for expiating sins did by no
means accomplish what they represented, who could rest in it as in a safe
harbor? This one thing, then, ought to have been enough to stimulate them
to seek for something better than the law; for they could not but be in
perpetual anxiety. On the other hand, when we come to Christ, as we
obtain in him a full redemption, there is nothing which can any more
distress us. Then, in these words he shows that the Law is weak, that the
Jews might no longer recumb on it; and he teaches them to rely on Christ,
for in him is found whatever can be desired for pacifying consciences.
    Now, if any one asks, whether sins under the Law where remitted to
the fathers, we must bear in mind the solution already stated, - that
they were remitted, but remitted through Christ. Then notwithstanding
their external expiations, they were always held guilty. For this reason
Paul says, that the Law was a handwriting against us. (Col. 2: 14.) For
when the sinner came forward and openly confessed that he was guilty
before God, and acknowledged by sacrificing an innocent animal that he
was worthy of eternal death, what did he obtain by his victim, except
that he sealed his own death as it were by this handwriting? In short,
even then they only reposed in the remission of sins, when they looked to
Christ. But if only a regard to Christ took away sins, they could never
have been freed from them, had they continued to rest in the Law. David
indeed declares, that blessed is the man to whom sins are not imputed,
(Ps. 32: 2;) but that he might be a partaker of this blessedness, it was
necessary for him to leave the Law, and to have his eyes fixed on Christ;
for if he rested in the Law, he could never have been freed from guilt.
    "They who are called", &c. The object of the divine covenant is, that
having been adopted as children, we may at length be made heirs of
eternal life. The Apostle teaches us that we obtain this by Christ. It is
hence evident, that in him is the fulfilment of the covenant. But the
"promise of the inheritance" is to be taken for the promised inheritance,
as though he had said, "The promise of eternal life is not otherwise made
to us to be enjoined, than through the death of Christ." Life, indeed,
was formerly promised to the fathers, and the same has been the
inheritance of God's children from the beginning, but we do not otherwise
enter into the possession of it, than through the blood of Christ
previously shed.
    But he speaks of the "called", that he might the more influence the
Jews who were made partakers of this calling; for it is a singular
favour, when we have the gift of the knowledge of Christ bestowed on us.
We ought then to take the more heed, lest we neglect so valuable a
treasure, and our thoughts should wander elsewhere. Some regard the
"called" to be the elect, but incorrectly in my judgment; for the Apostle
teaches here the same thing as we find in Rom. 3: 25, that righteousness
and salvation have been procured by the blood of Christ, but that we
become partakers of them by faith.
=====> 9:16. "For where a testament is", &c. Even this one passage is a
sufficient proof, that this Epistle was not written in Hebrew; for
|berit| means in Hebrew a covenant, but not a testament; but in Greek,
|diatheke| includes both ideas; and the Apostle, alluding to its
secondary meaning, holds that the promises should not have been otherwise
ratified and valid, had they not been sealed by the death of Christ. And
this he proves by referring to what is usually the case as to wills or
testaments, the effect of which is suspended until the death of those
whose wills they are.
    The Apostle may yet seem to rest on too weak an argument, so that
what he says may be easily disproved. For it may be said, that God made
no testament or will under the Law; but it was a covenant that he made
with the ancient people. Thus, neither from the fact nor from the name,
can it be concluded that Christ's death was necessary. For if he infers
from the fact, that Christ ought to have died, because a testament is not
ratified except by the death of the testator, the answer may be this,
that |berit|, the word ever used by Moses, is a covenant made between
those who are alive, and we cannot think otherwise of the fact itself.
Now, as to the word used, he simply alluded, as I have already said, to
the two meanings it has in Greek; he therefore dwells chiefly on the
thing in itself. Nor is it any objection to say, that it was a covenant
that God made with his people; for that very covenant bore some likeness
to a testament, for it was ratified by blood.
    We must ever hold this truth, that no symbols have ever been adopted
by God unnecessarily or unsuitably. And God in establishing the covenant
of the law made use of blood. Then it was not such a contract, as they
say, between the living, as did not require death. Besides, what rightly
belongs to a testament is, that it begins to take effect after  death. If
we consider that the Apostle reasons from the thing itself, and not from
the word, and if we bear in mind that he avowedly takes as granted what I
have already stated, that nothing has been instituted in vain by God,
there will be no great difficulty.
    If anyone objects and says, that the heathens ratified covenants
according to the other meaning by sacrifices; this indeed I admit to be
true; but God did not borrow the rite of sacrificing from the practice of
the heathens; on the contrary, all the heathen sacrifices were
corruptions, which had derived their origin from the institutions of God.
We must then return to the same point, that the covenant of God which was
made with blood, may be fitly compared to a testament, as it is of the
same kind and character.

=====> 9:18 Whereupon neither the first [testament] was dedicated without
blood.
9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according
to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and
scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the
people,
9:20 Saying, This [is] the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined
unto you.
9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the
vessels of the ministry.
9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without
shedding of blood is no remission.
9:23 [It was] therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the
heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves
with better sacrifices than these.

=====> 9:18. "Whereupon neither the first", &c. It hence appears that the
fact is what is mainly urged, and that it is not a question about the
word, though the Apostle turned to his own purpose a word presented to
his attention in that language in which he wrote, as though one, while
speaking of God's covenant, which is often called in Greek |marturia|, a
testimony, were to recommend it among other things under that title. And
doubtless that is a testimony, |marturia|, to which angels from heaven
has borne witness, and of which there have been so many illustrious
witnesses on earth, even all the holy Prophets, Apostles, and a vast
number of martyrs, and of which at last the Son of God himself became a
surety. No one in such a discourse would deem any such thing as
unreasonable. And yet the Hebrew word, |t'udah| will admit of no such
meaning as a covenant; but as nothing is advanced but what is consistent
with the thing itself, no scrupulous regard is to be paid to the meaning
of a word.
    The Apostle then says, that the old testament or covenant was
"dedicated with blood". He hence concludes, that men were even then
reminded, that it could not be valid and efficacious except death
intervened. For though the blood of beasts was then shed, yet, he denies
that it availed to confine an everlasting covenant. That this may appear
more clearly, we must notice the custom of sprinkling which he quotes
from Moses. He first teaches us that the covenant was dedicated or
consecrated, not that it had in itself anything profane; but as there is
nothing so holy that men by their uncleanness will not defile, except God
prevents it by making a renewal of all things, therefore the dedication
was made on account of men, who alone wanted it.
    He afterwards adds, that the "tabernacle and all the vessels", and
also the very "book" of the law, were "sprinkled"; by which rite the
people were then taught, that God could not be sought or looked to for
salvation, nor rightly worshipped, except faith in every case looked to
an intervening blood. For the majesty of God is justly to be dreaded by
us, and the way to his presences is nothing to us but a dangerous
labyrinth, until we know that he is pacified towards us through the blood
of Christ, and that this blood affords to us a free access. All kinds of
worship are then faulty and impure until Christ cleanses them by the
sprinkling of his blood.
    For the tabernacle was a sort of visible image of God; and as the
vessels for ministering were destined for his service, so they were
symbols of true worship. But since none of these  were for salvation to
the people, we hence reasonably conclude, that where Christ does not
appear with his blood, we have nothing to do with God. So doctrine
itself, however unchangeable may be the will of God, cannot be
efficacious for our benefit, unless it be dedicated by blood, as is
plainly set forth in this verse.
    I know that others give a different interpretation; for they consider
the tabernacle to be the body of the Church, and vessels the faithful,
whose ministry God employs; but what I have stated is much more
appropriate. For whenever God was to be called upon, they turned
themselves to the sanctuary; and it was a common way of speaking to say
that they stood before the Lord when they appeared in the temple.
=====> 9:20. "Saying, This is the blood of the testament", &c. If that
was the blood of the testament, then neither the testament was without
blood ratified, nor the blood without the testament available for
expiation. It is hence necessary that both should be united; and we see
that before the explanation of the Law, no symbol was added, for what
would a sacrament be except the word preceded it? Hence a symbol is a
kind of appendage to the word. And mark, this word was not whispered like
a magic incantation, but pronounced with a clear voice, as it was
destined for the people, according to what the words of the covenant
express, "which God hath enjoined unto you". Perverted, then, are the
sacraments, and it is a wicked corruption when there is no explanation of
the commandment given, which is as it were the very soul of the
sacrament. Hence the Papists, who take away the true understanding of
things from signs, retain only dead elements.
    This passage reminds us that the promises of God are then only
profitable to us when they are confirmed by the blood of Christ. For what
Paul testifies in 2 Cor. 1: 20, that all God's promises are yea and amen
in Christ - this happens when his blood like a seal is engraven on our
hearts, or when we not only hear God speaking, but also see Christ
offering himself as a pledge for those things which are spoken. If this
thought only came to our minds, that what we read is not written so much
with ink as with the blood of Christ, that when the Gospel is preached,
his sacred blood distils together with the voice, there would be far
greater attention as well as reverence on our part. A symbol of this was
the sprinkling mentioned by Moses!
    At the same time there is more stated here than what is expressed by
Moses; for he does not mention that the book and the people were
sprinkled, nor does he name the goats, nor the "scarlet wool", nor the
"hyssop". As to the book, that it was sprinkled cannot be clearly shown,
yet the probability is that it was, for Moses is said to have produced it
after he had sacrificed; and he did this when he bound the people to God
by a solemn compact. With regard to the rest, the Apostle seems to have
blended together various kinds of expiations, the reason for which was
the same. Nor indeed was there anything unsuitable in this, since he was
speaking of the general subject Or purgation under the Old Testament,
which was done by means of blood. Now as to the sprinkling made by hyssop
and scarlet wool, it is evident that it represented the mystical
sprinkling made by the Spirit. We know that the hyssop possesses a
singular power to cleanse and to purify; so Christ employs his Spirit to
sprinkle us in order to wash us by his own blood when he leads us to true
repentance, when he purifies us from the depraved lusts of our flesh,
when he imbues us with the precious gift of his own righteousness. For it
was not in vain that God had instituted this rite. David also alluded to
this when he said, "Thou wilt sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop, and I
shall be cleansed." (Ps. 51: 7.) These remarks will be sufficient for
those who wish to be sober-minded in their speculations.
=====> 9:22. "And almost all things", &c. By saying "almost" he seems to
imply that some things were otherwise purified. And doubtless they often
washed themselves and other unclean things with water. But even water
itself derived its power to cleanse from the sacrifices; so that the
Apostle at length truly declares that without blood there was no
remission. Then uncleanness was imputed until it was expiated by a
sacrifice. And as without Christ there is no purity nor salvation, so
nothing without blood can be either pure or saving; for Christ is never
to be separated from the sacrifice of his death. But the Apostle meant
only to say that this symbol was almost always made use of. But if at any
time the purgation was not so made, it was nevertheless through blood,
since all the rites derived their efficacy in a manner from the general
expiation. For the people were not each of them sprinkled, (for how could
so small a portion of blood be sufficient for so large a multitude?) yet
the purgation extended to all. Hence the particle almost signifies the
same as though he had said, that the use of this rite was so common that
they seldom omitted it in purgations. For what Chrysostom says, that
unfitness is thus denoted, because these were only figures under the Law,
is inconsistent with the Apostle's design.
    "No remission", &c. Thus men are prevented from appearing before God;
for as he is justly displeased with them all, there is no ground for them
to promise themselves any favour until he is pacified. But there is but
one way of pacification, and that is by an expiation made by blood: hence
no pardon of sins can be hoped for unless we bring blood, and this is
done when we flee by faith to the death of Christ.
=====> 9:23. "The patterns", or exemplars, &c. Lest any one should object
and say that the blood by which the old testament was dedicated was
different from that of a testator, the Apostle meets this objection, and
says that it was no wonder that the tabernacle which was earthly was
consecrated by the sacrificing of beasts; for there was an analogy and a
likeness between the purification and the things purified. But the
heavenly pattern or exemplar of which he now speaks was to be consecrated
in a very different way; there was here no need of goats or of calves. It
hence follows that the death of the testator was necessary.
    The meaning then is this, - as under the Law there were only earthly
images of spiritual things, so the rite of expiation was also, so to
speak, carnal and figurative; but as the heavenly pattern allows of
nothing earthly, so it requires another blood than that of beasts, such
as may correspond with its excellency. Thus the death of the testator is
necessary, in order that the testament may be really consecrated.
    He calls the kingdom of Christ "heavenly things", for it is spiritual
and possesses a full revelation of the truth. Better "sacrifices" he
mentions instead of "a better sacrifice," for it was only one; but he
uses the plural number for the sake of the antithesis or contrast.

=====> 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with
hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now
to appear in the presence of God for us:
9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest
entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the
world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away
sin by the sacrifice of himself.
9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the
judgment:
9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them
that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto
salvation.

=====> 9:24. "For Christ is not entered", &c. This is a confirmation of
the former verse. He had spoken of the true sanctuary, even the heavenly;
he now adds that Christ entered there. It hence follows that a suitable
confirmation is required. "The holy places" he takes for the sanctuary;
he says that it is "not made with hands", because it ought not to be
classed with the created things which are subject to decay; for he does
not mean here the "heaven" we see, and in which the stars shine, but the
glorious kingdom of God which is above all the heavens. He calls the old
sanctuary the |antitupon|, the antitype of the true, that is, of the
spiritual; for all the external figures represented as in a mirror what
would have otherwise been above our corporeal senses. Greek writers
sometimes use the same word in speaking of our sacraments, and wisely too
and suitably, for every sacrament is a visible image of what is
invisible.
    "Now to appear", &c. So formerly the Levitical priest stood before
God in the name of the people, but typically; for in Christ is found the
reality and the full accomplishment of what was typified. The ark was
indeed a symbol of the divine presence; But it is Christ who really
presents himself before God, and stands there to obtain favour for us, so
that now there is no reason why we should flee from God's tribunal, since
we have so kind an advocate, through whose faithfulness and protection we
are made secure and safe. Christ was indeed our advocate when he was on
earth; but it was a further concession made to our infirmity that he
ascended into heaven to undertake there the office of an advocate. So
that whenever mention is made of his ascension into heaven, this benefit
ought ever to come to our minds, that he appears there before God to
defend us by his advocacy. Foolishly, then, and unreasonably the question
is asked by some, has he not always appeared there? For the Apostle
speaks here only of his intercession, for the sake of which he entered
the heavenly sanctuary.
=====> 9:25. "Nor yet that he should offer himself often", &c. How, then,
is he a priest, one may say, if he offers no sacrifices? To this I reply
that it is not requited of a priest that he should be continually
sacrificing; for even under the Law there were days appointed for the
chief sacrifices every year; they had also their hours daily morning and
evening. But as that only true sacrifice which Christ offered once for
all is ever efficacious, and thus perpetual in its effects, it is no
wonder that on its virtue, which never fails, Christ's eternal priesthood
should be sustained. And here again he shows how and in what things
Christ differs from the Levitical priest. Of the sanctuary he had spoken
before; but he notices one difference as to the kind of sacrifice, for
Christ offered himself and not an animal; and he adds another; that he
repeated not his sacrifice, as under the Law, for the repetition there
was frequent and even incessant.
=====> 9:26. "For then must he often have suffered", &c. He shows how
great an absurdity follows, if we do not count it enough that an
expiation has been made by the one sacrifice of Christ. For he hence
concludes that he must have died often; for death is connected with
sacrifices. How this latter supposition is most unreasonable; it then
follows that the virtue of the one sacrifice is eternal and extends to
all ages. And he says "since the foundation of the world", or from the
beginning of the world for in all ages from the beginning there were sins
which needed expiation. Except then the sacrifice of Christ was
efficacious, no one of the fathers would have obtained salvation; for as
they were exposed to God's wrath, a remedy for deliverance would have
failed them, had not Christ by suffering once suffered so much as was
necessary to reconcile men to God from the beginning of the world even to
the end. Except then we look for many deaths, we must be satisfied with
the one true sacrifice.
    And hence it is evident how frivolous is the distinction, in the
acuteness of which the Papists take so much delight; for they say that
the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was bloody, but that the sacrifice
of the mass which they pretend to offer daily to God, is unbloody. Were
this subtle evasion adopted, then the Spirit o God would be accused of
inadvertence, having not thought of such a thing; for the Apostle assumes
it here as an admitted truth, that there is no sacrifice without death. I
care nothing that ancient writers have spoken thus; for it is not in the
power of men to invent sacrifices as they please. Here stands a truth
declared by the Hoist Spirit, that sins are not expiated by a sacrifice
except blood be shed. Therefore the notion, that Christ is often offered,
is a device of the devil.
    "But now once in the end of the world", &c. He calls that the end of
the world or the consummation of the ages, which Paul calls "the fulness
of time," (Gal. 4: 4;) for it was the maturity of that time which God had
determined in his eternal purpose; and thus cut off is every occasion for
men's curiosity, that they may not dare to inquire why it was no sooner,
or why in that age rather than in another. For it behoves us to acquiesce
in God's secret purpose, the reason for which appears clear to him,
though it may not be evident to us. In short, the Apostle intimates that
Christ's death was in due time, as he was sent into the world for this
end by the Father, in whose power is the lawful right to regulate all
things as well as time, and who ordains their succession with consummate
wisdom, though often hid from us
    This consummation is also set in opposition to the imperfection of
past time; for God so held his ancient people in suspense, that it might
have been easily concluded that things had not yet reached a fixed state.
Hence Paul declares that the end of the ages had come upon us, (1 Cor.
10: 11;) by which he means that the kingdom of Christ contained the
accomplishment of all things. But since it was the fulness of time when
Christ appeared to expiate sins, they are guilty of offering him an
atrocious insult, who seek to renew his sacrifice, as though all things
were not completed by his death. He then appeared once for all; for had
he done so once or twice, there must have been something defective in the
first oblation; but this is inconsistent with fulness.
    "To put away", or to destroy sin, &c. This agrees with Daniel's
prophecy, in which the sealing up and the abolition of sins are promised,
and in which it is also declared that there would be an end to
sacrifices, (Dan. 9: 24-27;) for to what purpose are expiations when sins
are destroyed? But this destruction is then only effected, when sins are
not imputed to those who flee to the sacrifice of Christ; for though
pardon is to be sought daily, as we daily provoke God's wrath; yet as we
are reconciled to God in no other way than by the one death of Christ,
sin is rightly said to be put away or destroyed by it. 
=====> 9:27. "And as it is appointed", &c. The meaning is this: since we
patiently wait after death for the day of judgment, it being the common
lot of nature which it is not right to struggle against; why should there
be less patience in waiting for the second coming of Christ? For if a
long interval of time does not diminish, as to men, the hope of a happy
resurrection, how unreasonable would it be to render less honour to
Christ? But less would it be, were we to call upon him to undergo a
second death, when he had once died. Were any one to object and say, that
some had died twice, such as Lazarus, and not "once"; the answer would be
this, - that the Apostle speaks here of the ordinary lot of men; but they
are to be excepted from this condition, who shall by an instantaneous
change put corruption, (I Cor. 15: 51;) for he includes none but those
who wait for a long time in the dust for the redemption of their bodies.
=====> 9:28. "The second time without sin", &c. The Apostle urges this
one thing, - that we ought not to be disquieted by vain and impure
longings for new kinds of expiations, for the death of Christ is
abundantly sufficient for us. Hence he says, that he once appeared and
made a sacrifice to abolish sins, and that at his second coming he will
make openly manifest the efficacy of his death, so that sin will have no
more power to hurt us.
    "To bear", or, take away sins, is to free from guilt by his
satisfaction those who have sinned. He says the sins of "many", that is,
of all, as in Rom. 5: 15. It is yet certain that all receive no benefit
from the death of Christ; but this happens, because their unbelief
prevents them. At the same time this question is not to be discussed
here, for the Apostle is not speaking of the few or of the many to whom
the death of Christ may be available; but he simply means that he died
for others and not for himself; and therefore he opposes many to one.
    But what does he mean by saying that Christ will "appear without
sin"? Some say, without a propitiation or an expiatory sacrifice for sin,
as the word sin is taken in Rom. 8: 3; 2 Cor. 5: 21; and in many places
in the writings of Moses; but in my judgment he intended to express
something more suitable to his present purpose, namely, that Christ at
his coming will make it known how truly and really he had taken away
sins, so that there would be no need of any other sacrifice to pacify
God; as though he had said, "When we come to the tribunal of Christ, we
shall find that there was nothing wanting in his death."
    And to the same effect is what he Immediately adds, "unto salvation
to them who look", or wait "for him". Others render the sentence
differently, "To them who look for him unto salvation;" But the other
meaning is the most appropriate; for he means that those shall find
complete salvation who recumb with quiet minds on the death of Christ;
for this looking for or wanting has a reference to the subject discussed.
The Scripture indeed does elsewhere ascribe this in common to believers,
that they look for the coming of the Lord, in order to distinguish them
from the ungodly, by whom his coming is dreaded, (1 Thess. 1: 10;) but as
the Apostle now contends that we ought to acquiesce in the one true
sacrifice of Christ, he calls it the looking for Christ, when we are
satisfied with his redemption alone, and seek no other remedies or helps.


Chapter 10

=====> 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not
the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they
offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the
worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
10:3 But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of
sins every year.
10:4 For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should
take away sins.

=====> 10:1. "For the Law having a shadow", &c. He has borrowed this
similitude from the pictorial art; for a shadow here is in a sense
different from what it has in Col. 2: 17; where he calls the ancient
rites or ceremonies shadows, because they did not possess the real
substance of what they represented. But he now says that they were like
rude lineaments, which shadow forth the perfect picture; for painters,
before they introduce the living colours by the pencil, are wont to mark
out the outlines of what their intend to represent. This indistinct
representation is called by the Greeks |skiagrafia|, which you might call
in Latin, "umbratilem", shadowy. The Greeks had also the |eikoon|, the
full likeness. Hence also "eiconia" are called images (imagines) in
Latin, which represent to the life the form of men or of animals or of
places.
    The difference then which the Apostle makes between the Law and the
Gospel is this, - that under the Law was shadowed forth only in rude and
imperfect lines what is under the Gospel set forth in living colours and
graphically distinct. He thus confirms again what he had previously said,
that the Law was not useless, nor its ceremonies unprofitable. For though
there was not in them the image of heavenly things, finished, as their
say, by the last touch of the artist; yet the representation, such as it
was, was of no small benefit to the fathers; but still our condition is
much more favourable. We must however observe, that the things which were
shown to them at a distance are the same with those which are now set
before our eyes. Hence to both the same Christ is exhibited, the same
righteousness, sanctification, and salvation; and the difference only is
in the manner of painting or setting them forth. 
    "Of good things to come", &c. These, I think, are eternal things. I
indeed allow that the kingdom of Christ, which is now present with us,
was formerly announced as future; but the Apostle's words mean that we
have a lively image of future blessings. He then understands that
spiritual pattern, the full fruition of which is deferred to the
resurrection and the future world. At the same time I confess again that
these good things began to be revealed at the beginning of the kingdom of
Christ; but what he now treats of is this, that they are not only future
blessings as to the Old Testament, but also with respect to us, who still
hope for them. 
    "Which they offered year by year", &c. He speaks especially of the
yearly sacrifice, mentioned in Lev. 17, though all the sacrifices are
here included under one kind. Now he reasons thus: When there is no
longer any consciousness of sin, there is then no need of sacrifice; but
under the Law the offering of the same sacrifice was often repeated; then
no satisfaction was given to God, nor was guilt removed nor were
consciences appeased; were it otherwise there would have been made an end
of sacrificing. We must further carefully observe, that he calls those
the same sacrifices which were appointed for a similar purpose; for a
better notion may be formed of them by the design for which God
instituted them, than by the different beasts which were offered.
    And this one thing is abundantly sufficient to confute and expose the
subtlety of the Papists, by which they seem to themselves ingeniously to
evade an absurdity in defending the sacrifice of the mass; for when it is
objected to them that the repetition of the sacrifice is superfluous,
since the virtue of that sacrifice which Christ offered is perpetual,
they immediately reply that the sacrifice in the mass is not different
but the same. This is their answer. But what, on the contrary, does the
Apostle say? He expressly denies that the sacrifice which is repeatedly
offered, though the same, is efficacious or capable of making an
atonement. Now, though the Papists should cry out a thousand times that
the sacrifice which Christ once offered is the same with, and not
different from what they make daily, I shall still always contend,
according to the express words of the Apostle, that since the offerings
of Christ availed to pacify God, not only an end was put to former
sacrifices, but that it is also impious to repeat the sacrifice. It is
hence quite evident that the offering of Christ in the mass is
sacrilegious.
=====> 10:3. "A remembrance again", &c. Though the Gospel is a message of
reconciliation with God, yet it is necessary that we should daily
remember our sins; but what the Apostle means is, that sins were brought
to remembrance that guilt might be removed by the means of the sacrifice
then offered. It is not, then, any kind of remembrance that is here
meant, but that which might lead to such a confession of guilt before
God, as rendered a sacrifice necessary for its removal.
    Such is the sacrifice of the mass with the Papists; for they pretend
that by it the grace of God is applied to us in order that sins may be
blotted out. But since the Apostle concludes that the sacrifices of the
Law were weak, because they were every year repeated in order to obtain
pardon, for the very same reason it may be concluded that the sacrifice
of Christ was weak, if it must be daily offered, in order that its virtue
may be applied to us. With whatever masks, then, they may cover their
mass, they can never escape the charge of an atrocious blasphemy against
Christ.
=====> 10:4. "For it is not possible", &c. He confirms the former
sentiment with the same reason which he had adduced before, that the
blood of beasts could not cleanse souls from sin. The Jews, indeed, had
in this a symbol and a pledge of the real cleansing; but it was with
reference to another, even as the blood of the calf represented the blood
of Christ. But the Apostle is speaking here of the efficacy of the blood
of beasts in itself. He therefore justly takes away from it the power of
cleansing. There is also to be understood a contrast which is not
expressed, as though he had said, "It is no wonder that the ancient
sacrifices were insufficient, so that they were to be offered
continually, for they had nothing in them but the blood of beasts, which
could not reach the conscience; but far otherwise is the power of
Christ's blood: It is not then right to measure the offering which he has
made by the former sacrifices."

=====> 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice
and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
10:6 In burnt offerings and [sacrifices] for sin thou hast had no
pleasure.
10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of
.



(continued in part 13...)


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