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to stir up the Hebrews to STAND FAST 1. in that FAITH which THEY HAD RE1 CEIVED."* The Continuators of Pool.
tell us, that All forgetfulness of memory, ALL APOSTASY IN HEART or profession is that which the spirit forbid
deth in this metaphor, groepoppuwpisy.+ 5 Mr. Christopher Love expounds it,
“Lest we let them slip, as a broken
and leaking vessel runs out; for MOTOTE ή παραρρυωμεν, is a metaphor taken from
leaking ressels."I Dr. Gill observes, Bis that “the vulgate Latin version ren* ders it, Lest we should run out; and
the Syriac version, Lest we should i fall: and the Arabic version, Lest
we should fall from honesty.''s Father Quesnel saith, “ We must not be like leaking vessels out of which the water
runs." The Dutch Annotators, as in ordered by the Synod of Dort, say, ☆ " This is by some understood of the Du word which we have heard, and we
*Assembly's apno on the place. + Pools's Comment on the place. Combat between the flesh and the Spirit, page 191. & Gill on
the place. ll Quesnel on the New Testa! inent.
must take care that the same in ús does not run out, or leak through, as is wont to come to pass in forgetful hearers. By others it is understood of persons themselves, who are said to run out, when like water that runs out, they perish, or are lost•°* Mr. Deering, B. D. saith, “The apostle useth a metaphor taken from old tubs, which run out at the joints, and can hold no liquor"_" So we, if we take into us the sweet wine of the word of Christ, as into"..“ broken vessels that it run out again, we become altogether unprofitable, all goodness falleth away, and we become as water poured on the ground-and is never after profitable any more."7 Once more: The author of Critica Sacra, in his Annotations, and the learned John Trapp, in his commentary, (both Cal. vinists,) tell us that “the Arabic renders it, lest we fall; and the Syriac, lest we PERISH"--" Accordingly, . *See Dutch Annotat. as published by Au. 10 thority in 1637. + See Deering's Lectures; published in 1590.
saith Dr. Hammond, « Theophylact hath Men EX EO WPL Ey jen awowpeda, Let us not FALL AWAY, “let us not PERISH."* : From all that hath been said, it is evident that the apostle here supposes the Hebrews to be in danger of apostasy; and (if the Syriac Interpreters, Theophylact, Crysostom, Erasmus, Camero, Estius, Gerbardus, Beza, Pool, Owen, Hammond, Baxter, Deering, and the Dutch Annotators may be depended on) of such apostasy as would occasion the apostate to PERISH FOR EVER; and therefore it can be no other than total and final apostasy which is here intended.
2. We will consider Chap. iii. ver. 6. " But Christ as a Son over his
own house, whose house are we, if we | HOLD fast the confidence and the re
joicing of the hope FIRM UNTO THE
END." By the end the apostle ceritainly meant, the end of life. And · when he said that we are the house of Christ, if we hold fast the confidence
*Dr. Ilammond on the placer
&c. firm unto the end, it was impossible he should mean, that the goodness of their PRESENT STATE depended on their future conduct; because this would be to suppose the effect to precede the cause. Nor could he mean that their future conduct would be an evidence of their being the house of Christ at present. For in the first place, such an evidence would prove too much. For if what a man does to-morrow will prove that he is in a right state to-day, it will equally prove that he was so yesterday; and, if so, it will equally prove that be was so the day before, and so on to the first day of his existence : from whence it will follow, that if he ever does right in future, he was always the house of Christ, or in a right state and condition. Secondly, such an evidence would be useless. It is certain no argument can prove any thing, before that argument exists.Now the circumstance of holding our confidence firm unto the end, will not exist before the end, or rather, till af. ter it: at which time there will be no · need of any such evidence of our be
ing the house of Christ, at any particular time, while we were here on earth. All that will be necessary to be known of this matter, will then be declared more effectually a thousand other ways; and, therefore, this sort of evidence will be as useless then, as the light of a feeble taper would now be in the presence of the noon-day sun. Once more : that this interpretation is faise, appears from hence, that it has nothing to do with the scope of the epistle. “ This," as the learned and celebrated John Goodwin bas told us, “ was not to teach the Hebrews to know whether they were true believers or not, at present, much less to teach them this knowledge by what they should approve themselves to be, at the day of their death, (which had been to give men darkness to see by!) but to animate, encourage, urge and press them to continue constant in the faith, which at present they had embraced, and made profession