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XI. 35. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Women received their dead restored to life, as the Shunamite and the Sareptan; others were tortured and tormented for their religion, and would not accept of deliverance and ease, as Eleazar and the Maccabean brothers, that, dying for God's cause, they might be partakers of a happy resurrection to eternal life.
XI. 37. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder.
They were stoned, as Zachariah, they were sawn asunder, as Isaiah.
XI. 39. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
All these, having received a good testimony and a gracious acceptation through their faith, yet received not that large measure of grace, which was promised and performed under the Gospel; neither did enjoy the presence of that (now exhibited) Saviour, in whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen:
XI. 40. God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
God having provided for us, in these latter times, better things, even the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, and abundance of grace and illumination; that they might not over-run us in spiritual privileges and perfection; and that their salvation and happiness might wholly depend upon that, which is exhibited and performed in our days.
XII. 1. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Wherefore, since we are compassed about with such innumerable examples of holy men, who have so fully testified the virtue and power of faith, let us, as those that run a race, cast away every thing that may clog and burden us in our passage; and particularly all our sinful corruption, which is both the heaviest and closest weight that lies upon the soul; and let us stir up ourselves to run, with patience and courageous resolution, the race that is set before us.
XII. 4. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against
Ye have, indeed, suffered many things for the Name of Christ; ye have been stripped of your goods, and afflicted in your bodies: but yet ye have not, which ye must not refuse if ye be called unto it, suffered death, for the defence of the truth, and opposition to wickedness and error.
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 afflictions;
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 infect many.
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 removing 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 accep ably 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 is 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 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 divers 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;