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many and long dispersions, there yet remained to them, according to all the prophets, an external rest; and, as most suitable to his purpose, he takes up the comparison of the rest of God after the creation, and their rest on the Sabbath, and the rest that many of their progenitors had had in Canaan, as fit pledges of it. For as Peter spake to them not only of their spiritual rest, (which he allows them already to possess, when he acknowledges their precious faith ;') but also of the external rest they should have for a thousand years in a new earth,-bidding them stick to the prophets, till Christ the day-star now ascended should arise upon them: even so Paul does here mainly speak of their outward condition, in which their spiritual was involved. And this is the more probable, because the disciples themselves, having seen Christ's incarnation, passion, resurrection, and transcendent miracles, did still inquire and look for a visible state of rest: "Lord wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom unto Israel?"m
Upon these considerations there is a strong impression on my mind, that, though a relative intimation of internal and eternal rest needs not to be excluded, the Apostle's main design is to hold forth the eminent external rest which the Jews shall yet enjoy on earth, being gathered into one Church with the Gentiles, and enjoying spiritual peace for which end he calls it not glory, nor a state in the highest heavens; but a Sabbatism, and in the inhabitable world;'n and this he saith doth ' yet remain,' and to the people of God. For a Sabbatism signifies a rest upon a seventh; (most likely in the seventh and last age of the world;) and its remaining signifies, that it is yet to be fulfilled. And further to explain this Sabbatism, the Apostle reminds them, that they had enjoyed a Sabbatism every seventh day; which was principally a rest on account of its immediateness to their bodies; though with it they had also a spiritual rest: out of which weekly seventh was formed their petty jubilee of the seventh year's rest, and their great jubilee of the seven times seven years; viz. beginning at the end of the forty-ninth year. He reminds them also of their rest in Canaan, which was a further kind of Sabbatism; for they divided the land of Canaan
m Acts i, 6. n See on Heb. ii, 5, before treated.
in the fiftieth jubilee from the creation, which was a jubilee of jubilees; and when they returned out of Babylon, where they had been seventy years, it was about the seventieth jubilee from the creation.° The Apostle therefore saith in effect thus: You must have a Sabbatism which must meetly correspond with the former seventh day rests, and to that in Canaan and the sevenths therein enjoyed; and thus to be a corporal rest, and on earth, as the others were. You have had the seventh day rest ever since the creation; and you have had your sevenths of rest in Canaan; and yet there is another Sabbatism, or septenary rest, still remaining." Now what other Sabbatism, septenary, or seventh of rest can we find out, but the seventh thousand of years before the ultimate general judgement? This we have shewn, in our first chapter, to be the opinion of the Rabbins.
Observe further, in regard to the various septenaries and jubilean periods enjoyed in Canaan; that in Hezekiah's time, being a time of great prosperity in Canaan, the prophet Micah says:
Arise ye, and depart, for this is not your rest, because it is polluted," &c.P Which intimates, that Micah, as well as Paul, looks at the rest that shall be unpolluted; as also in Rev. xxi, 27, "There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth." And so St. Paul-" He that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works." In words it is in the past time; but in the intent and meaning it is future: as if he should say,
When any man hath entered, or shall have entered, into his rest." For Pareus observes, that the Greek (eleλ0wv) is in the Aorist, put for the present; but that the context is clearly for the future. For in the ninth verse it is, "there remaineth yet a rest;" and in the eleventh verse, "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest." Sins are most properly our own works, "because, (saith Pareus) they are done by us, and not approved "of God; so that then we begin to act this Sabbatism, when "we cease from sin." This the prophet well confirms where he calls sin doing our own ways, finding our own pleasure, and speaking our own words. And therefore we (even though
• So Bucholcerus in his Ind. Chron.
P Micah i, 1; ii, 10. q v. 10.
believers, are not yet entered into Paul's Sabbatism; because we do not yet totally cease from those our own works.
But it is objected, that the third verse of this fourth chapter must imply a spiritual rest, such as every believer immediately enters upon, because the Apostle saith, "We, which have believed, do enter into his rest." To this Pareus well replies; "We have not yet entered into his rest, but we do;" meaning that do has a future signification: for there immediately follows the proof of a rest yet remaining, into which all believers shall enter. Theophylact therefore renders it in the future, as also the old Latin version; (from whence learned men conceive, that it was thus in the ancient Greek copy, according to which that Latin translation was made;) the Arabian translation is also in the future; and so is Hutter's Hebrew translation. It is true, that by faith we presently enter into the rest of justification of our persons; and into the rest of expectation, or hope, of the possession of glory :r but this will not serve to take in the whole sense of the Apostle, since he speaks of a rest ' yet remaining,' and yet a rest "to them that do believe." Nor can this be meant of ultimate glory for this further reason, that we cannot be said there, in any tolerable sense, to enjoy a Sabbatism, or Seventh; for if this Sabbatism be eternity, it is then swallowed up in an infinite, that cannot be numbered. But if this Sabbatism be a determinate time, bounded with two resurrections, (the one at the beginning, the other at the end,) then it will clearly stand numerable for a seventh. Yea further, unless this be understood of a pure rest on earth, how shall we be said to Sabbatise, as is intimated in a Sabbatism? It is true, that in an ordinary sabbath a rest is signified and enjoyed; but we may rest thus on another day: and every day indeed a believer hath several rests. But we must have, according to the Apostle, a Sabbatismatical rest—a rare word being used by the Apostle to signify a rare rest.
r Rom. v, 1, 2.
Chapter ii, 1-21.
v. 1. "The word &c. concerning Judah and Jerusalem." This verse plainly shews, that the prophecy is ultimately and plainly concerning, for, or in behalf of JUDAH and JERUSALEM. For though at verse 6, the Jews are shewn the reason, why they should go into afflictions before they have the deliverance mentioned in this chapter; yet when it is said (vv. 2, 3,) "It shall "come to pass in the last days, that many peoples shall say, come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house " of the God of Jacob, &c. for out of Zion shall go forth the "Law, &c." there can be no less intended, than that this prophecy doth ultimately concern the welfare of the Jews, when they and the Gentiles being converted shall make one glorious christian Church on earth. The learned indeed grant,† that the promises in this chapter relate to the time of Christ's coming; and also that the Jews in a sublimer sense do understand them of the times of the Messiah: and one of them stej a little higher, and bids us compare Dan. ii, 35, where all the four metals of the image are utterly broken to pieces, and the little stone cut out without hands becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth.
vv. 2, 3. But it must be, "in the last of days," or " utmost end of days." (```) Therefore if the Prophet had looked at no further time than that of Christ's first coming in the flesh, he would not have called that "the last of days," since which have passed above 1650 years. The last of days" properly signifies those after which eternity next and immediately follows; which it does after the completing of the thousand years of this visible kingdom.
"The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the head of the mountains, &c. (,) and peoples,
() shall come and say, Come ye, and let us go up
Heb. y super, propter, juxta, secundum; Sept. væεp Kaι Tɛρɩ. Symm. ut refert Nobilius et Drusius, pro. citat. Eus. Arrode. lib. ii, p. 43, in Hier. pro Juda et Jerusalem.
+ See Junius, Piscator, Alapide, Grotius, and the English Annotationists.
'to the mountain of the Lord, &c." This has not been hitherto fulfilled; for as yet neither the visible power and glory of Christ, nor of his Church (so as for Gentiles to say, Come, let us go up, &c.) hath been established over the Pope, (the head of the seven hills of Rome,) nor over the Turk, (the head of the four hills of Jerusalem,) nor over the height of power and glory of the hills of the generality of the peoples, or nations of the world. The Church at Jerusalem, such as it was, in the time of Christ, was in captivity under the heathen Roman empire; and presently after Christ's death persecution scattered the christians from Jerusalem. And within forty years (or thereabout) after Christ's ascension the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, and after a while the city; and for about three hundred years onward, the Church of Christ was extremely persecuted by the heathen Romans; and presently after the time of Constantine they were sorely persecuted by the Arian heretics. So that instead of all nations going up to the house of the Lord on the top of the mountains for divine worship, christian Jews and Gentiles were scattered among all nations. And though there was a handful of several nations at Jerusalem; (if they were Gentiles, and not rather Jews ;) yet this was far from all nations flowing to it and saying, Come, let us go up to the house of the Lord, and he will teach us of his ways, &c. : for the generality of those very men mocked the apostles, whilst they taught them the ways of the Lord.
v. 4. Nor hath Christ hitherto so " judged among the nations, ' and rebuked many people, that they have beaten their swords
into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, so
that nation hath not lifted up sword against nation, neither learned war any more."
vv. 10—17. Nor have "men so dreaded the majesty of the Lord, that they have hid themselves;" neither have "the lofty looks of men been humbled, and their haughtiness bowed down; so that the Lord alone hath been exalted, &c." Alas! ever since Christ's coming in the flesh, the whole world generally hath been very high and proud against the Lord Christ; Antichrist hath been much exalted; and the Lord—his honor, his cause, his people have been trampled on. In the time of Constantine indeed, some little was done in the Roman empire for the Church