[WRITTEN FROM ROME, OR ITALY, A. D. 63.]
I.--God, who in ancient times spoke often, and in various ways, to the fathers, by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by a Son, whom he has constituted Lord of all things, by whom also he made the unvirese: who, being an effulgence of his glory, and an exact representation of his character, and controlling all things by his own powerful word, after he had by himself made expiation for our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; being exalted as far above th angels, as the name he has inherited, is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did he at any time say, "Thou art my Son: to-day I have begotten thee?" and again, "I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son?" But when he brings again the first-born into the world, he says, "Let all the angels of God worship him." Whereas concerning angels, he says, "Who makes winds his angels, and flaming fire his ministers." But to the Son, "thy throne, O God, endures forever. The sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of rectitude. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy associates." And, "Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou dost remain; and they as a garment shall grow old; and as a vesture thou wilt fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same; and thy years shall never fail." Moreover, to which of the angels did he say, at any time, "Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy enemies thy footstool." "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to min-
II.ister for them who shall inherit salvation?" (On this account, weought to attend the more earnestly to the things which were heard; lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by anges was firm, and every transgression and disobedience received a just retribution; how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? which beginning to be spoken by the Lord, was confirmed to us by them who heard him; God also bearing witness, both by signs and wonders, and diverse miracles, and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his own pleasure.) Moreoever, he has not subjected to the angels the world to come, of which we are speaking. But one in a certain place has testified, saying, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him;--or the son of man, that thou dost regard him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory nd honor, thou hast put all things under his feet." Now, by putting all things in subjection to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him: but now, we do not yet see all things subjected to him; but we see Jesus, crowned with glory and honor, who was made a little lower than th eangels, by the suffering of death, that he, by the favor of God, might taste death for all. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, to make him, who leads many sons to glory,--even the Captain of their salvation,--perfect through sufferings. For both he who sanctifies, and they who are sanctified, are all of one father; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren; of the congregation I will sing praises to thee." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Behold I and the children whom God has given me." Since, then, th children partook of flesh and blood; he also, in like manner, partook of these; that, through death, he might vanquish him, who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them, who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For, indeed, he has not at all assumed the nature of angels; but he has assumed the seed of Abraham. Hence, it was necessary for him, to be made like his brethren in all things; that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest, in matters pertaining to God, in order to expiate the sins of the people: for by what he suffered himself, when tried; he is able to succor them who are tired.
III.--Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, attentively consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest whom we have confessed; who, as well as Moses, is faithful to him that appoointed him over all his house. Indeed, he has been accounted worthy of glory, as far superior to Moses,as that of the builder is superior to the house. Now, every house is built by some one; but he, the builder of all things, is God. And Moses, indeed, as a servant, was faithful in all his house, for a testimony of the things, that were to be spoken by him; but Christ, as a Son, over his own house;--whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence, and the rejoicing of our hope, unshaken to the end. Wherefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "To-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the bitter provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness where your fathers temptedme, and proved me, yet saw my works for forty years. Wherefore, I was displeased with that generation, and said, They always err in heart, and they have not known my ways. So I sowre, in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest." Brethren, take heed, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, by departing fromt he living God. But, lest any of you be hardened, thorugh the deceitfulness of sin, exhort one another every day, while it is called To-day: (for we are all partakers of Christ, if, indeed, we hold fast the first confidence firm to the end;) with this saying, "To-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the bitter provocation." For some, when they heard, did bitterly provoke; yet not all that came out of Egypt by Moes. But with whom was he displeased forty years? Was it not with them who sinned, whose carcasses fell in th wilderness? And to whom did he swear, that they should not enter into his rest, but to them who did not believe? So we see, that they could not enter in because
IV.of unbelief. Wherefore, let us be afraid, lest a promise of entrance into his rest being left, any of you should seem to fall short of it. For glad tidings have ben proclaimed to us, as well as to them: but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them who heard it. For we who have believed do enter into the rest, as he said, "So I swore, in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest;" namely, from the works that were finished at the formation of the world. For he has spoken somewhere concerning the seventh day, thus: "And God rested on the seventh day, from all his works." And in this, again, "They shall not enter into my rest." Since, then, it remains, for some to enter into it, and that they who first received the good tidings, did not enter in on account of unbelief;--again he limits a certain day, saying by David, "To-day," after so long a time; as it is said, "To-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." For, if Joshua had caused them to rest, he would not, after that, hve spoken of another day. There remains, therefore, a divine rest for the people of God. For he who has entered into his rest, has himself also rested from his own works, like as God also rested from his. Wherefore, let us carefully strive to enter into THIS REST, lest any one should fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is livng and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and purposes of he heart. And there is no creature concealed from his sight, for all things are naked and open to the eyes of him, to whom we must give an account. Now, having a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a High Priest, who cannot sympathize with our weakneses; but one who was tried in all points, according to the likeness of his nature to ours, without sin. Let us, therefore, approach with boldness to the throne of favor, that we may receive mercy, and obtain favour for the purpose of seasonable help.
V.--For every high priest taken from among men, is appointed to perform for men the things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: being able to have a right measure of compassion on the ignorant and erring; because he himself, also, is surrounded with infirmity. And for that reason he must, as for the people, so also for himself, offer sacrifices for sins. Now, as no one takes this honor to himself, but he who is called of God, as Aaron was; so also Christ did not assume to himself the honor of being a High Priest: but he who said to him, "Thou art my Son; to-day I have begotten thee,"--also says, in another place, "Thou art a Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedec." He, (who, in the days of the flesh, having, with loud cries, and with tears, offered up prayers and supplicatiosn to him, who was able to save him from death, and was delivered from his fear,) though being a Son, learned obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him; being proclaimed by God a High Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedec: (concerning whom we have much to say, and of difficult interpretation, since you have become dull of apprehension. For, when, by this time, you ought to be teachers, you have need of some one to teach you again the first elements of the oracles of God; and have become such as need milk, rather than solid food. Now every one who uses milk, is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe: but solid food is for those of mature age, whose faculties have been habituated by long practice to discriminate both good and evil.
VI.--Wherefore, leaving the first principles of Christian doctrine, let us progress towards maturity, not laying again the foundation concerning reformation from dead works, and faith toward God;--concerning the doctrine of immersions, and of imposition of hands, of a resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment; and this we will do, if God permit. For it is impossible to renew again to reformation, those who have been once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age which was to come, and yet have fallen away, crucifying again to themselves the Son of God, and exposing him to contempt.
7.--For the land that drinks in the rain, which often comes upon it, and brings forth herbs, fit for them by whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God: but that, which produces thorns and briars, is reprobated, and nigh to a curse; whose end is to be burned.
9.--But, beloved, we hope better things of you, even things which are connected with salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous, to forget your work, and the love which you have showed toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Yet we earnestly desire every one of you, to show the same diligence, in order to the realizing of this hope, to the end:--that you may not be slothful, but imitators of them, who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself,--saying, "Surely, blessing, I will bless you, and multiplying, I will multiply you;" and so having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men, indeed, swar by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all contradiction. Therefore, God, willing more abundantly to show to the heirs of promise the immutability of his purpose, confirmed it with an oath; that, by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled away to lay hold on the hope set before us; which we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and entering into the place within the vail, where a forerunner has entered on our account; even Jesus, made a High Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedec.)
VII.--For this Melchizedec--king of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, to whom Abraham imparted even a tenth of all; being, indeed, by interpretation, first, king of righteousness, and next also king of Salem; which, by interpretation, is king of peace--was without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life: but, being made like the Son of God, he remains a priest continually. Now, consider how great this priest was, to whom even Abraham the patriarch, gave a tenth of the spoils. For they, indeed, of the sons of Levi, who recevie the priesthood, have a commandment to tithe people according to the law; that is, their brethren, although they have come forth from the loins of Abraham: but he, who did not derive his pedigree from their progenitors, tithed Abraham, and blessed the holder of the promises. Now, beyond all contradiction, the less is blessed by the greater. Besides, here, indeed, men, who die, take tithes; but there one, of whom it is testified, that he lives. And, as one may say, even Levi, who receives tithes, was tithed in Abraham: for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedec met him.
11.--Moreover, if indeed perfection were through th Levitical priesthood, (for with it the people received the law,) what farther need was there taht another priest should arise, according to the orderof Melchizedec, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? Wherefore, the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity, a change also of law. For he to whom these things are said, was of a different tribe, of which no one gave attendance at the altar. For it is very plain, that our Lord has sprung from Judah, in relation to which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. Moreover, it is still more plain, that according to the similitude of Melchizedec, another priest arises, who is made, not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. For he testifies, "Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedec." Here, then, there is a disannulling of the preceding commandment, because of its weakness and unprofitableness, (for the law made no one perfect,)--and the superinduction of a better hope, by which we draw near to God.
20.--Moreover, inasmuch as not without an oath-----(for they, indeed, were made priests without an oath, but he, with an oath, by him who said to him, "The Lord has sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedec,") by so much was Jesus made the surety of a better institution. Besides, many, indeed, are made priests, because by death they are hindered from continuing: but he, because he lives for ever, has a priesthood which does not pass from him. Hence also he is for ever able to save them, who come to God through him; always living to make intercession for them. Now, such a High Priest became us; who, being holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, has not, like the high priests, need from time to time to offer sacrifices, first for his own sins, then for those of the people; for this latter he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law constitutes men high priests, who have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, constituted the Son, who is perfected for evermore.
VIII.--Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such a High Preist, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the Majesty in the hevens;--a minister of the holy places; namely, of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is constituted to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Hence it was necessary that this High Priest also, should have somthing which he might offer. For, indeed, if he were on earth, he could not be a Priest, there being prists who offer gifts according to the law. (These perform divine service for an example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses, when about to construct the tabernacle, was admonished of God: "See, now, (says he,) that you make all thins according to the type, that was showed you in the Mount." (Besides, he has now obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as he is the mediator of a better institution, which has been established upon better promises. For if that first institution had been faultless, a place would not hve been sought for a second. But finding fault, he says to them, "Behold the days come, says the Lord, when I will make a new institution with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the institution, which I made with their fathrs, at the time of my taking them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt;--because they did not abide in my institution, I also neglected them, says the Lord.--Now this is the institution, which I will make with the house of Israel after these days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and inscribe them on their hearts; and i will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. Because I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more." By saying, "a new institution," he has made the former old: now, that which is decaying and growing old, is ready to vanish away.
IX.--Now, indeed, the first institution has both ordinances of service, and a worldly holy place. For the first tabernacle, which is called holy, was set in order; in which were both the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; and behind the second vail, the tabernacle, which is called most holy;--having the golden censer, and the ark of the institution, covered every where with gold, in which were the golden pot having the manna, and the rod of Aaron which budded, and the tables of the institution; and above it the cherubim of glory, overshadowing the mercy-seat; concerning which things, we cannot at present speak particularly.
6.--Now, these things being thus set in order, the priests go at all times into the first tabernacle, performing the services; but into the second tabernacle,--the high priest alone,--once every year, not without blood, which he offers for himself, and for the errors of the people. The Holy Spirit signifying this, that the way of the holy places was not yet laid open, while the first tabernacle was yet standing; which was a figurative representation for the time being, during which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which cannot, with respect to the conscience, make him who does the service perfect:--only with meats and drinks, and divers immersions;--ordinances concerning the flesh, imposed till the time of reformation. But Christ being come,--a High Priest of the good things to come,--has, through a greater and mroe perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, (that is to say, not of this building,) entered once iinto the holy places, having obtained eternal redemption; not, indeed, by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood. For if the blood of bulls and of goasts, and th ashes of a heifer sprinkling the polluted, sanctified to the cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through an Eternal Spirit, offered himself without fault to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And, for this reason, he is mediator of the new institution, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first institution, those who had been called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. Now where there is such an institution, the death of the instituted sacrifice must necessarily intervene: for since the institution is ratified over the dead, it has no force while the instituted sacrifice lives. Hence neither was the first introduced without blood; for "when Moses had spoken every precept in the law to all the people, taking the blood of calves, and of goasts, with water and scralet wool, and hyssop, he sprinkled both the book itself, and the people;" saying, "This is the blood of the institution, which God has enjoined on you." Moreover, he in like manner sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things, according to the law, were cleansed with blood; and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission. It was necessary then, indeed, that the representations of the things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves, with better sacrifices than these. Therefore, Christ has not entered into the holy places made with hands, the antitypes of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God, on our account. Not, however, that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy places every year with other blood; for then he must have often suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once, at the conclusion of the ages, he has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And, forasmuch as it is appointed to men once to die, and after that the judgment; even so Christ, being once offered, to bear away the sins of many, will, to them who look for him, appear a second time, without a sin-offering, in order to salvation.
X.--Moreover, the law, containing only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of these things, never can, with the same sacrifices, which they offer every year continually, make those, who come to them, perfect. For then, would they not hve ceased to be offered; since the offerers being once purified, should not have had any more conscience of sins? but, in these, there is a remembrance of sins yearly. Besides, it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore, when coming into the world, he says, "Sacrifice and offering thou hast not willed; but a body hast thou prepared for me. In whole burnt offerings, and sin offerings, thou hast no pleasure: Then, said I, behold I come to do thy will, O God! (In the volume of the book it is written concerning me.") Having said above,--that sacrifice, and offering, and whole burnt offerings, and sin offerings, thou hast not willed, neither hast pleasure in them, (which are offered according to the law,) then he said, "Behold I come to do thy will." He takes away the first will, that he may establish the second. By which WILL, we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once. And, indeed, every priest stands daily ministering, and offering often the same sacrifices, which never can take away sins: but he having offered only one sacrifice for sins, thorugh his whole like, sat down at the right hand of God; thenceforth waiting till his enemies be made his footstool. Wherefore, by one offering he has perfected forever the sanctified. Moreover, also the Holy Spirit testifies this to us; for after he had said, "This is the institution which I will make with them after these days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their hearts, and inscribe them on their minds;" he adds, "and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more." Now, where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19.--Having, therefore, brethren, free access to the most holy place by the blood of Jesus,--a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us through the vail, (that is, his flesh;) and--a great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith;--having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water, let us hold fast the confession of the hope unmoved; for he is faithful, who has promised. And let us attentively consider one another, to excite to love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.
26.--For if we sin wilfully, after having received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins; but a dreadful expectation of judgment, and of a fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Any one who disregarded the law of Moses, died without mercy, by two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment, think you, shall he be counted worthy, who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and reckoned the blood of the institution by which he was santified, a common thing, and has insulted the Spirit of Favor? For we know him who has said, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord:" and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after you were enlightened, you sustained a great combat of afflictions; partly, indeed, whilst you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst you became companions of them who were so treated. For you also suffered with me in my bonds, and with joy sustained the spoiling of your goods, knowing within yourselves, that you have in heaven a better and a permanent substance. Wherefore, cast not away your confidence, which has a great retribution. For you must persevere in doing the will of God, that you may obtain the promised reward. For yet a very little while, and He who is coming will come, and will not tarry. Now the just by faith shall live; but if he draw back, my soul will not be well pleased with him. We, however, are not of those who apostatize to perdition; but of those who persevere to the salvation of the soul.
XI.--Now, faith is the confidence of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. By this the ancients obtained reputation. By faith, we understand that the worlds were formed by the word of God; so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear.
4.--By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, on account of which he was commended as righteousness; God testifying in favor of his oblations: and so by it, though dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was translated, that he might not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation, it was testified that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him. By faith Noah, when he received a revelation concerning things not yet seen, being seized with religous fear, prepared an ark for the salvation of his family; by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when called to go out into a place, which he should afterwards receive as an inheritance, obeyed, and went out, not knowing wither he was going. By faith, he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the joint heirs of the same promise: for he expected the city having foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith also Sarah herself received strength for the conception of seed, and brought forth when past the time of life; because she judged him faithful who had promised. And therefore there sprang from one, who was dead in this respect, a race, as the stars of heven in multitude, and as the sand which is on the sea-shore, innumeralbe. All these died in faith, not having received the promises. For seeing the things promised afar off, and embracing them, they confessed that they were strnagers and pilgrims in the land. Now they who speak such tings, plainly declare that they earnestly seek a country. For truly, if they had remembered that from which they came out, they might have had an opportunity to return to it. But, indeed, they strongly desired a better country; that is, a heavenly. Therefore God is not ashamed of them,--to be called their God; because he has prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when tried, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promies, offered up his only begotten, concerning whom it was said, that "In Isaac shall they seed be called;" reasoning that God was able to raise him, even from the dead; from whence indeed, he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, with respect to things to come. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, bowing on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when dying, made mention concerning the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith, Moes, when born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer evil with the people of God, than to have the temporary fruition of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked forward to the retribution. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the wrath of the king. For he courageously persevered, as perceiving the invisible God. By faith he appointed the passover, and the sprinkling of the blood; that he who destroyed the first-born, might not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea, as by dry land, which the Egyptians attempting to do, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, having been encompassed seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot was not destroyed with the unbelievers, having received the spies in peace. And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me to speak of Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthah, and David also, and Samuel, and the prophets,--who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,--quenched the strength of fire, escaped the edges of the sword, grew strong from sickness, became valiant in battle, overturned the camps of the aliens. Women received their dead by a resurrection, and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of mockings and scourgings; and moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they died by the slaughter of the sword, they went about in sheep skins, and in goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, maltrated; of these the world was not worthy: they wandered in deserts, and mountains, and in caves and holes of the earth. Now all these, though commended on account of faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
XII.--Since, then, we have so great a cloud of witnesses placed before us, laying aside every incumbrance, and the sin which easily entangles us, let us run with perseverance the race set before us; looking to Jesus, the leader and perfecter of the faith; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who from sinners endured such opposition against himself, lest becoming discouraged in your minds, you grow weary: ou have not yet resisted to blood, struggling against this sin. Besides, have you forgotten the exhortation, which reasons with you as with children, "My son, do not think lightly of the Lord's chastisement, neither faint when you are rebuked by him: for whom the Lord loves he chastises, and scourges every son whom he receives." If you endure chastisement, God deals with you as his children. For what son is there, whom his father does not chastise? But if you be without chastisement, of which all sons are partakers, certainly you are bastards, and not sons. Farther, we have had fathers of our flesh, who chastised us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of our spirits, and live? For they, indeed, during a very few days, chastised us according to their pleasure; but he for our advantage, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastisement indeed, for the present, seems to be matter of joy, but of sorrow. Nevertheless, afterwards it returns the peaceful fruit of righteousness to them who are trained by it. Wherefore, bring to their right position, the arms that hang down, and th weakened knees. And make smooth paths for your feet, that that which is lame, may not be put out of joint, but that it may rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord: carefully observing, lest any one come short of the favor of God; lest some bitter root springing up, trouble yyou, and by it many be polluted; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau; who, for one meal, gave away his birthrights. And you know, that although afterwards he wished to inherit the blessing, he was reprobated: for he found no scope for effecting a change, though he earnestly sought it with tears.
18.--Now you are not come to a tangible mountin, which burned with fire; and to blackness, and to darkness, and to tempest, and to the sound of a trumpet, and to the voice of words,--the hearers of which earnestly entreated, that a word more might not be addressed to them: for they could not bear this threat, "Even if a beast touch the moutain, it shall be stoned." And so terrible was the appearance, that Moses said, "I exceedingly fear and tremble." But you are come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of messengers; to the general assembly and congregation of the first born, who are enrolled 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 institution, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better things than that of Abel. Take care that you refuse not him who speaks: for if they did not escape, who refused him who spoke on earth, much more we shall not escape, who turn away from him that speaks from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, saying, "Yet once I shake not the earth only, but also the heavens." Now this speech, "YET ONCE," signifies the removing of the things shaken, as of things which were constituted, that the thins not shaken may remain. Wherefore, we having received a kingdom nor shaken, let us have gratitude, by which we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and religious fear. For truly our God is a consuming fire.
XIII.--Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for, by so doing, some have entertained angels, without knowing them. Remember them who are in bonds, as fellow-prisoners; and them who suffer evil, as being yourselves also in the body. Let marriage be honorable among all, and the bed be unpolluted; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your behaviour be without the love of money, being contented with the things you have; for himself has said, "I will never leave you, nor will I at all utterly forsake you." So that, taking courage, we may say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man can do to me." Remember your rulers, who have spoken to you the word of God: observing carefully the issue of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. Be not tossed about with various and foreign doctrines; for it is good that the heart be established by grace, not by meats, by which they have not profited, who have been taken up with them. We have an altar, of which they have no right to eat, who serve in the tabernacle. Moreover, the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought by the high priest into the most holy place, as a sin-offering, are burnt without the camp: wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Well, then, let us go forth to him out of the camp, bearing his reporach. For we have not here an abiding city, but we earnestly seek one to come. Through him, therefore, let us offer up continually, the sacrifice of praise to God; namely, the fruit of our lips, confessing to his name. but to do good, and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey your rulers, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account:--that they may do this with joy, and not with mourning; for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, willing in all things to behave well. And, I the more earnestly beseech you to do this, tht I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting institution, make you fit for every good work, to do his will, producing in you what is acceptable in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. Now I beseech you, brethren, suffer this word of exhortation, for indeed I have sent it to you in brief. Know that our brother Timothy is sent away, with whom, if he come soon, I will see you. Salute all your rulers, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Favor be with you all. Amen.
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