11. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
11. Et omnis quidem sacerdos quotidie ad ministrandum adstat, et easdem saepius offerendum victimas, quae nunquam possunt tollere peccata:
12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
12. Ipse autem una pro peccatis oblata victima, perpetuo sedet in dextera Dei;
13. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
13. Quod reliquum est expectans donec ponantur inimici sui scabellum pedum suorum.
14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
14. Una enim oblatione consecravit (vel, perfecit) in perpetuum eos qui sanctificantur.
15. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
15. Testimonium autem reddit nobis etiam Spiritus Sanctus; nam postquam praedixerat,
16. This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
16. Hoc esse testamentum quod statuam cum ipsis post dies illos, dicit Dominus, ut ponam leges meas in corda illorum, et in mentibus eorum inscribam illas,
17. And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
17. Et peccatorum et iniquitatum eorum non recordabor amplius.
18. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
18. Porro ubi fit horum remissio, non est amplius oblatio pro peccato.
11. And every priest, etc. Here is the conclusion of the whole argument, -- that the practice of daily sacrificing is inconsistent with and wholly foreign to the priesthood of Christ; and that hence after his coming the Levitical priests whose custom and settled practice was daily to offer, were deposed from their office; for the character of things which are contrary is, that when one thing is set up, the other falls to the ground. He has hitherto labored enough, and more than enough, in defending the priesthood of Christ; the conclusion then is, that the ancient priesthood, which is inconsistent with this, has ceased; for all the saints find a full consecration in the one offering of Christ. At the same time the word teteleioken, which I render |has consecrated,| may yet be rendered |has perfected;| but I prefer the former meaning, because he treats here of sacred things.
By saying, them who are sanctified, he includes all the children of God; and he reminds us that the grace of sanctification is sought elsewhere in vain.
But lest men should imagine that Christ is now idle in heaven, he repeats again that he sat down at God's right hand; by which phrase is denoted, as we have seen elsewhere, his dominion and power. There is therefore no reason for us to fear, that he will suffer the efficacy of his death to be destroyed or to lie buried; for he lives for this end, that by his power he may fill heaven and earth. He then reminds us in the words of the Psalm how long this state of things is to be, even until Christ shall lay prostrate all his enemies. If then our faith seeks Christ sitting on God's right hand, and recumbs quietly on him as there sitting, we shall at length enjoy the fruit of his victory; yea, when our foes, Satan, sin, death, and the whole world are vanquished, and when corruption of our flesh is cast off, we shall triumph for ever together with our head.
15. The Holy Ghost also is a witness, etc. This testimony from Jeremiah is not adduced the second time without reason or superfluously. He quoted it before for a different purpose, even to show that it was necessary for the Old Testament to be abrogated, because another, a new one, had been promised, and for this end, to amend the weakness of the old. But he has now another thing in view; for he takes his stand on these words alone, Their iniquities will I remember no more; and hence he concludes, that there is no more need of a sacrifice since sins are blotted out.
This inference may indeed seem not to be well founded; for though formerly there were innumerable promises as to the remission of sins under the Law and in the prophets, yet the Church ceased not to offer sacrifices; hence remission of sins does not exclude sacrifices. But if you consider each particular more closely, you will find that the fathers also had the same promises as to the remission of sins, under the Law, as we have at this day; relying on them, they called on God, and rejoiced in the pardon they obtained. And yet the Prophet, as though he had adduced something new and unheard of before, promises that there would be no remembrance of sins before God under the new covenant. Hence we may conclude, that sins are now remitted in a way different from what they were formerly; but this difference is not in the promise, nor in faith, but in the very price by which remissions is procured. God then does not now remember sins, because an expiation has been made once for all; otherwise what is said by the Prophet would have been to no purpose, that the benefit of the New Testament was to be this -- that God would no more remember sins.
Now, since we have come to the close of the discussion respecting the priesthood of Christ, readers must be brief reminded, that the sacrifices of the Law are not more effectually proved here to have been abolished, than the sacrifice of the mass practiced by the Papists is proved to be a vain fiction.
They maintain that their mass is a sacrifice for expiating the sins of the living and of the dead; but the Apostle denies that there is now any place for a sacrifice, even since the time in which the prophecy of Jeremiah has been fulfilled.
They try to make an evasion by saying, that it is not a new sacrifice, or different from that of Christ, but the same; on the contrary, the Apostle contends that the same sacrifice ought not to be repeated, and declares that Christ's sacrifice is only one, and that it was offered for all; and, further, he often claims for Christ alone the honor of being a priest, so that no one was fit to offer him but himself alone.
The Papists have another evasion, and call their sacrifice bloodless; but the Apostle affirms it as a truth without exception, that death is necessary in order to make a sacrifice.
The Papists attempt to evade again by saying, that the mass is the application of the one sacrifice which Christ has made; but the Apostle teaches us on the contrary, that the sacrifices of the Law were abolished by Christ's death for this reason, because in them a remembrance of sins was made; it hence appears evident, that this kind of application which they have devised has ceased.
In short, let the Papists twist themselves into any forms they please, they can never escape from the plain arguments of the Apostle, by which it appears clear that their mass abounds in impieties; for first, according to the Apostle's testimony, Christ alone was fit to offer himself; in the mass he is offered by other hands; -- secondly, the Apostle asserts that Christ's sacrifice was not only one, but was also once offered, so that it is impious to repeat it; but in the mass, however they may prate about the sacrifice, yet it is evidently made every day, and they themselves confess it; -- thirdly, the Apostle acknowledges no sacrifice without blood and death; they then chatter in vain, that the sacrifice they offer is bloodless; -- fourthly, the Apostle in speaking of obtaining pardon for sins, bids us to flee to that one sacrifice which Christ offered on the cross, and makes this distinction between us and the fathers, that the rite of continually sacrificing was done away by the coming of Christ; but the Papists, in order to make the death of Christ efficacious, require daily applications by means of a sacrifice; so that they calling themselves Christians, differ nothing from the Jews except in the external symbol.