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error in leaving his master, that he wished to repair the injury by returning to him; but fear. ing lest his master, on his return, should treat him with severity, he besought the apostle to write to Phile'mon, and to request him to forgive and receive him into his family. Paul, always ready to the discharge of every kind office, complied with his request, and wrote this Epistle, in which, with the greatest tenderness, affection, and address, he not only interceded for Ones'imus' pardon, but urged Philemon to esteem him as a brother, and to confide in him as a sincere Christian.

Questions. What is said of Philemon and his family? what purpose, was this letter writter?

On whose account, and for


Paul rejoiceth to hear of the faith and with me, that in thy stead he might love of Philemon.

a prisoner of Jesus Christ PAUL and Timothy our brother, unto Phile'mon our dearly beloved, and fellow-labourer;

2 And to our beloved Ap'phia,' and Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the church in thy house :

3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers,

5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;

6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual, by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee,


8 Wherefore though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,

9 Yet, for love's sake, I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

10 I beseech thee for my son Ones'imus, whom I have begotten in my bonds;

11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

12 Whom I have sent again; thou therefore receive him, that is mine own bowels;

13 Whom I would have retained

1 Af-fe-a.

2 Ar-kip/-pus.

have ministered unto me in the bonds of the Gospel.

14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly. ed for a season, that thou shouldest 15 For perhaps he therefore departreceive him for ever;

16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially both in the flesh and in the Lord? to me, but how much more unto thee,

17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.

18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine


19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it; albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own seif besides.

thee in the Lord; refresh my bowels 20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of in the Lord.

dience I wrote unto thee, knowing 21 Having confidence in thy obethat thou wilt also do more than I say.

22 But withal prepare me also a lodging; for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you. 23 There salute thee Epaph'ras, my fellow-prisoner in Christ Jesus; 24 Mar'cus, Aristar'chus, De'mas, Lu'cas, my fellow-labourers.

25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.'

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THIS Epistle was written in Italy, probably at Rome, A. D. 61 or 62, and sent to the Jews, living in Judea, who in the apostle's days were called Hebrews, to distinguish them from the Jews living in Gentile countries, who were called Hellenists or Grecians, as appears from Acts vi. 1. ix. 29. xi. 20.

The purpose for which this Epistle was written, was to prove what the learned doctors, and scribes, and elders in Jerusalem denied, namely, that Jesus of Nazareth, whom they had lately put to death, is Christ the Son of God: and that the Gospel, of which Jesus is both the subject and author, is of divine origin, and universal obligation. All the arguments and objections by which those who put Jesus to death, endeavoured to set his claim aside, and overturn the Gospel, are introduced, examined, and confuted;-his title and authority, as Jawgiver, to abolish the institutions of Moses, and to substitute the Gospel dispensation in its stead, is established; the absolute inefficacy of the Levitical atonements to procure the pardon of sin, is demonstrated;-the reality of Christ's offering himself a sacrifice for sin, and its efficacy and acceptableness with God, are clearly proved;-and under all these considerations the unbelieving Jews were exhorted to forsake the law of Moses, and embrace the Gospel; and such of the nation as had already embraced it, were cautioned against apostacy. Paul, who was himself a learned Doctor of the law, likewise proves in this Epistle, that the same God who spake the former revelations to the fathers of the Jewish nation by the prophets, had, in these last days, spoken the Gospel to all mankind by his Son: consequently these revelations could not possibly contradict each other; that although the Son, when he spake the Gospel, was clothed with flesh, he was still the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person; that being appointed of God to expiate our sins by the sacrifice of himself, we are cleansed from our sins by that sacrifice, and not by the Levitical sin-offerings: and that after offering the sacrifice of himself, he sat down at the right hand of God, as High Priest of the heavenly holy place, and as Governor of the world,

But as these great truths were contrary to all the religious opinions of the Jews, and were of course rejected by ther, as overturning their former revelations, Paul, the more effectually. to convince the unbelieving Jews of the truth of these things, proves them by testimonies from their own scriptures, in which the revelations of God are recorded.

Although it is generally believed that Paul wrote this Epistle, yet there is no positive evidence of the fact. It has, however, in all ages of the church been regarded as of very high authority.

What different

Questions. When, where, and to whom was this epistle written ? names were applied to the Jews living in Judea, and to those living in other countries! What was this epistle designed to prove? Is it certainly known who wrote this epistle!



3 Who, being the brightness of his 1 Jesus Christ in these last times com- glory, and the express image of his ing to us from the Father, 4 is pre-person, and upholding all things by ferred before angels, both in person by himself purged our sins, sat down the word of his power, when he had and office. on the right hand of the Majesty on

GOD, who at sundry times, and in


divers manners, spake in time 4 Being made so much better than past unto the fathers by the prophets, the angels, as he hath by inheritance 2 Hath in these last days' spoken obtained a more excellent name than unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

1 Hath in these last days of the Mosaic dispensation. The phrase last days not here being prophetic, does not signify the same that it does 2 Tim. iii. 1.


5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he

saith, And let all the angels of God art mindful of him? or the son of man, worship him. that thou visitest him?

7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom;

7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him':

9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, liath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 9. But we see Jesus, who was made 10 And, Thou, Lord, in the begin- a little lower than the angels for the ning hast laid the foundation of the suffering of death, crowned with glory earth; and the heavens are the works and honour; that he by the grace of of thine hand3: God should taste death for every

11 They shall perish, but thou re-man. mainest; and they all shall wax old, as doth a garment;

12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

11 For both he that sanctifieth and 13 But to which of the angels said they who are sanctified are all of one; he at any time, Sit on my right hand, for which cause he is not ashamed to until I make thine enemies thy foot-call them brethren; stool?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for thein, who shall be heirs of salvation?

Questions. By whom did God make known

his will to the ancients?

By whom to us in later times?
What is said of the angels in verse 14th?


1 We ought to be obedient unto Christ Jesus, 5 and that because he vouchsafed to take our nature upon him. THEREFORE we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things, which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;

12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.


13 And again, I will put my trust children which God hath given me. in him. And again, Behold I and the

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them, who, through fear of death, were all their life time subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren; that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things per3 How shall we escape, if we neg-taining to God, to make reconciliation lect so great salvation; which at the for the sins of the people. first began to be spoken by the Lord, 18 For in that he himself hath sufand was confirmed unto us by them fered, being tempted, he is able to sucthat heard him; cour them that are tempted.

4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

6 But one in a certain place testified,' saying, What is man, that thou

1 In a certain place, &c. Ps. viii. 4.

Questions. What are the first three verses
Who is the Captain of our salvation?
Who is able to succour or support those who
are tempted?


1 Christ is more worthy than Moses: 7 therefore if we believe not in him,

2 Saying, Ps. xxii. 22.
3 Again, Isa. viii. 17.

we shall be more worthy of punishment than hard hearted Israel.

WHEREFORE, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

3 For this man? was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

6 But Christ as a Son over his own 1 house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing! of the hope firm unto the end.

7 Wherefore, (as the Holy Ghost saith,4 To-day, if ye will hear his voice,

8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)"

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called, To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To-day, if ye

1 Of our profession, our religion. 2 This man, Jesus Christ.

3 House here means the Jewish church under Moses, which was designed as a testimony of those things, which were afterwards to be spoken by Jesus Christ and his apostles.

4 As the Holy Ghost saith, Ps. xcv. 7. 5 Provocation. See Exod. xvi. 4, xvii. 29. xxxii. 10. Num. x. 33, and numerous other places, where we read, that the Israelites provoked God by their disobedience.

6 Should not enter into my rest in Canaan,

Bee Num. xiv. 28-35, and Ps. xcv. 7-11.

7 The beginning of our confidence, our faith, which we have begun to exercise.

will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

did provoke; 'howbeit, not all that 16 For some, when they had heard, came out of Egypt by Moses.

17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in

the wilderness?

18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

19 So we see that they could not enter in, because of unbelief.

Questions. Who is the Apostle and High Priest of our religion?

Who built all things?

Against what should we take heed?


The rest of Christians is attained by faith. 12 The power of God's word. 14 By our High Priest Jesus the Son of God, subject to infirmities, but not sin, 16 we must and may go boldly to the throne of grace.

LET us, therefore, fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2 For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest; although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

6 Seeing, therefore, it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7 (Again, he limiteth a certain day, a time; as it is said, To-day, if ye saying in David, To-day, after so long will hear his voice, harden not your


8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day.

9 There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his

1 His rest in heaven.

rest, he also hath ceased from his own self to be made an high priest; but he works, as God did from his.) that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee.

11 Let us labour, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec :1

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any 7 Who, in the days of his flesh, two-edged sword, piercing even to the when he had offered up prayers and dividing asunder of soul and spirit, supplications, with strong crying and and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Friest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Questions. What should we fear?
For what should we labour?
Repeat the 12th and 13th verses.


1 The authority and honour of our Saviour's priesthood: 11 negligence in the knowledge thereof reproved. FOR every high priest, taken from among men, is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity:

3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron :

5 So also Christ glorified not him

2 Verse 3-10. These verses are elliptical and obscure, but the meaning is, that since the rest promised to Abraham and his seed, according to its principal meaning, was not the rest of the seventh day, nor that in Canaan; there certainly remaineth to believers of all nations, a better rest, a rest in heaven, of which that of the seventh day, and of Canaan, were only emblems.

3 Who cannot be touched, &c. Who cannot sympathize with us in our weakness.

tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard, in that he feared;

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered :

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

10 Called of God an high priest, after the order of Melchisedec:"

11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered; seeing ye are dull of hearing.

12 For when for the time4 ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe.7

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Questions. To whom did our High Priest become the author of salvation? What is said metaphorically of milk and


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2 Who, that is, Christ, in the days, &c. 3 Of whom, &c. Concerning Melchisedec I have many things to say for the illustration of Christ's priesthood, which is difficult to be explained, because in spiritual matters ye ara of slow apprehension.

4 For when for the time, for considering the time ye have professed the Gospel, &c.

5 Milk is here used metaphorically for sim-
ple instruction or doctrines; strong meat, for
higher parts of knowledge.

6 Word of righteousness, the Gospel.
7 For he is a babe in Christianity.
1 Principles, beginnings or rudiments.

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