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The Epistle of St Paul Unto the Hebrews(Part Two)
The 10th Chapter
For the law which has but the shadow of good things to come, and not the things in their own fashion can never with the sacrifices which they offer year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. For would not then those sacrifices have ceased to have been offered, because that the offerers once purged should have had no more consciences of sins. Nevertheless in those sacrifices is there mention made of sins every year. For it is unpossible that the blood of oxen and of goats should take away sins.
Wherefore when he comes into the world, he says: Sacrifice and offering you would not have: but a body have you ordained me. In sacrifices and sinofferings you have no lust. Then I said: Lo I come, in the chiefest of the book it is written of me, that I should do your will, O' God. Above, when he had said sacrifice and offering, and burntsacrifices and sinofferings you would not have, neither have allowed (which yet are offered by the law) and then said: Lo I come to do your will, O' God: he takes away the first to establish the latter. By the which will, we are sanctified: by the offering of the body of *Jesu Christ once for all. *Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus.
And every priest is ready daily ministering, and often times offers one manner of offering which can never take away sins. But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, sat him down for ever on the right hand of God, and from this time tarrys till his foes be made his footstool. For with one offering has he made perfect for ever them that are sanctified. And the holy ghost also bears us record of this, even when he told before: This is the testament that I will make unto them: after those days says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts and in their mind I will write them, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. And where remission of these things is, there is no more offering for sin.
Seeing brethren that by the means of the blood of Jesu, we may be bold to enter into that holy place, by the new and living way which he has prepared for us, through the veil, that is to say, by his flesh. And seeing also that we have an high priest which is ruler over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in a full faith, sprinkled in our hearts from an evil conscience, and washed in our bodies with pure water: and let us keep the profession of our hope, without wavering (for he is faithful that promised) and let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works: and let us not forsake the fellowship that we have among ourselves, as the manner of some is: but let us exhort one another, and that so much the more, because you see that the day draws nigh.
For if we sin willingly after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins but a fearful looking for judgment, and violent fire, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despises Moses law, dies without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment suppose you shall he be counted worthy, which treads under foot the son of God: and counts the blood of the testament as an unholy thing wherewith he was sanctified, and does dishonour to the spirit of grace. For we know him that has said: vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense says the Lord. And again: the Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Call to remembrance the days that are passed, in the which after you had received light, you endured a great fight in adversities, partly while all men wondered and gazed at you for the shame and tribulation that was done unto you, and partly while you became companions of them which so passed their time. For you suffered also with my bonds, and took in worth the spoiling of your Goods, and that with gladness: knowing in your selves how that you had in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence which has great reward to recompense. For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. For yet a very little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. But the just shall live by faith. And if he withdraw himself my soul shall have no pleasure in him. We are not which withdraw our selves unto damnation, but pertain to faith, to the winning of the soul.
The 11th Chapter
Faith is a sure confidence of things which are hoped for, and a certainty of things which are not seen. By it the elders were well reported of. Through faith we understand that the world was ordained by the word of God and that things which are seen, were made of things which are not seen. By faith Abel offered unto God a more plenteous sacrifice than Cain: by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: by which also he being dead, yet speaks.
By faith was Enoch translated that he should not see death: neither was he found: for God had taken him away. Before he was taken away, he was reported of, that he had pleased God: but without faith it is unpossible to please him. For he that comes to God must believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him.
By faith Noah honoured God, after that he was warned of things which were not seen and prepared the ark to the saving of his household, through the which ark, he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which comes by faith.
By faith Abraham, when he was called obeyed, to go out into a place, which he should afterward receive to inheritance, and he went out not knowing *whither he should go. *whither=what ever place, result, or condition.
By faith he removed into the land that was promised him, as into a strange country, and dwelt in tabernacles: and so did Isaac and Jacob heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked for a city having a foundation whose builder and maker is God.
Through faith Sara also received strength to be with child and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful which had promised.
And therefore sprang thereof, one (and of one which was as good as dead) so many in multitude, as the stars of the sky, and as the sand of the seashore which is innumerable.
And they all died in faith, and received not the promises: but saw them afar off, and believed them, and saluted them: and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. They that say such things, declare that they seek a country. Also if they had been mindful of that country, from where they came out, they had leisure to have returned again: But now they desire a better, that is to say a heavenly. Wherefore God is not ashamed of them, even to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.
By faith Abraham offered up Isaac, when he was tempted, and he offered him being his only begotten son, which had received the promises of whom it was said, in Isaac shall your seed be called: for he considered that God was able to raise up again from death. Therefore received he him, for an example. In faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come.
By faith Jacob when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph, and bowed himself toward the top of his sceptre.
By faith Joseph when he died, remembered the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment of his bones.
By faith Moses when he was born, was hid three months of his father and mother, because they saw he was a proper child: neither feared they the kings commandment.
By faith Moses when he was great, refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter, and chose rather to suffer adversity with the people of God, then to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, and esteemed the rebuke of Christ greater riches then the treasure of Egypt. For he had a respect unto the reward.
By faith he forsook Egypt, and feared not the fierceness of the king. For he endured even as he had seen him which is invisible.
Through faith he ordained the *ester lamb, and the effusion of blood, least he that destroyed the first born, should touch them.*ester lamb: this is the lamb offered at the first passover.
By faith they passed through the reed sea as by dry land, which when the Egyptians had *assayed to do, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days. *assayed= 1. To be shown by analysis to contain a certain proportion of usually precious metal. God's word is eternal even is this modern definition exactly to the point. This would be men of their own understanding "assaying" of themselves what their own will is, or even by their own thinking ; what the will of God is. RN
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with the unbelievers, when she had received the spies to lodging peaceably.
And what shall I more say, the time would be too short for me to tell of Gideon, of Barach, and of Samson, and of Jephthae: also of David and Samuel, and of the Prophets: Which through faith subdued kingdoms wrought righteousness, obtained the promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, of weak were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. And the women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were racked, and would not be delivered, that they might receive a better resurrection. Others tasted of mockings and scourgings, moreover of bonds and prisonment: were stoned, were hewn asunder, were tempted, were slain with swords, walked up and down in sheepskins, in goatskins, in need tribulation and vexation which the world was not worthy of: they wandered in wilderness, in mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And these all through faith obtained good report and received not the promise, God providing a better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
The 12th Chapter
Wherefore let us also (seeing that we are compassed with so great a multitude of witnesses) lay away all that presses down, and the sin that hangs on, and let us run with patience unto the battle that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, which for the joy that was set before him, abode the cross, and despised the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God. Consider therefore how that he endured such speaking against him of sinners, least you should be wearied and faint in your minds. For you have not yet resisted unto blood shedding, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the consolation, which speaks unto you, as unto children: My son despise not the chastening of the Lord, neither faint when you are rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loves, him he chastens: yes, and he scourges every son that he receives.
If you endure chastening, God offers himself unto you as unto sons. What son is that whom the father chastens not? If you be not under correction (where of all are partakers) then are you bastards and not sons. Moreover seeing we had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: should we not much rather be in subjection unto the father of spiritual gifts that we might live? And they verily for a few days, nurtured us after their own pleasure: but he learns us unto that which is profitable, that we might receive of his holiness. No manner chastising for the present time seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward, it brings the quiet fruit of righteousness, unto them which are therein exercised.
Stretch forth therefore again the hands which were let down, and the weak knees, and see that you have straight steps unto your feet, least any halting turn out of the way: yes let it rather be healed. Embrace peace with all men and holiness: without the which, no man shall see the Lord. And look to, that no man be destitute of the grace of God, and that no root of bitterness spring up and trouble, and thereby many be defiled: and that there be no fornicator, or unclean person, as Esau, which for one breakfast sold his birthright. you know how that afterward when he would have inherited the blessing, he was put by, and he found no means to come thereby again: no though he desired it with tears.
For you are not come unto the mount that can be touched, and unto burning fire nor yet to mist and darkness and tempest of weather, neither unto the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words: which voice they that heard it, wished away: that the communication should not be spoken to them. For they were not able to abide that which was spoken. If a beast had touched the mountain, it must have been stoned, or thrust through with a dart: even so terrible was the sight which appeared. Moses said, I fear and quake. But you are come unto the mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the celestial Jerusalem: and to an innumerable sight of angels, and unto the congregation of the first born sons, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just and perfect men and to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood that speaks better then the blood of Abel.
See that you despise not him that speaks. For if they escaped not which refused him that spoke on earth: much more shall we not escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth, and now declares saying: yet once more will I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. No doubt the same that he says, yet once more, signifies the removing away of those things which are shaken, as of things which have ended their course: that the things which are not shaken, may remain. Wherefore if we receive a kingdom which is not moved we have grace, whereby we may serve God and please him with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
The 13th Chapter
Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to lodge strangers. For thereby have diverse received angels into their houses unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, even as though you were bound with them. Be mindful of them which are in adversity, as you which are yet in your bodies. Let wedlock be had in price in all points, and let the chamber be undefiled for whorekeepers and *advoutrers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with that you have already. For he verily said: I will not fail you, neither forsake you: that we may boldly say: the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man does unto me. Remember them which have the oversight of you, which have declared unto you the word of God. The end of whose conversation see that you look upon, and follow their faith.*advoutry: prefix "a" meaning not or without, devout: devotion; plain hearted to God, being devoted to something or some one else. see James 2 for adultery
Jesus Christ yesterday and today, and the same continues for ever. Be not carried about with diverse and strange learning. For it Is a good thing that the heart be stablished with grace, and not with meats, which have not profited them that have had their pastime in them. We have an altar whereof they may not eat which serve in the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest to purge sin, are burnt without the tents. Therefore Jesus, to sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore out of the tents, and suffer rebuke with him. For here have we no continuing city: but we seek one to come.
For by him offer we the sacrifice of laud (praise, honor) always to God: that is to say, the fruit of those lips, which confess his name. To do good, and to distribute forget not, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey them that have the oversight of you, and submit yourselves to them, for they watch for your souls, even as they that must give accounts: that they may do it with joy, and not with grief. For that is an unprofitable thing for you. Pray for us. We have confidence because we have a good conscience in all things, and desire to live honestly. I desire you therefore somewhat the more abundantly, that you so do, that I may be restored to you quickly.
The God of peace that brought again from death our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting testament, make you perfect in all good works, to do his will, working in you that which is pleasant in his sight through Jesus Christ. To whom be praise for ever while the world endures. Amen.
I beseech you brethren, suffer (allow) the words of exhortation: For we have written unto you in few words: know the brother Timothy, whom we have sent from us, with whom (if he come shortly) I will see you. Salute them that have the oversight of you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Here ends the epistle of saint Paul unto the Hebrews
Sent from Italy by Timothy
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