Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.
Access to God in PrayerT. Watson.Hebrews 4:15
All May ComeC. Garrett.Hebrews 4:15
Appeal for MercyCawdray.Hebrews 4:15
Boldness At the ThroneC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 4:15
Boldness At the Throne of GraceW. Jay.Hebrews 4:15
Boldness in PrayerG. S. Bowes.Hebrews 4:15
Christ Tempted in All the Faculties of HumanityH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 4:15
Christ the Strength of the TemptedBp. A. M. Randolph.Hebrews 4:15
Christ Touched with a Feeling of Our InfirmitiesD. Clarkson, B. D.Hebrews 4:15
Christ Touched with the Feeling of Our InfirmitiesS. MacGill, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
Christ's Abiding SympathyJ. Trapp.Hebrews 4:15
Christ's SympathyA. Maclaren, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
Christ's SympathyBp. of Algoma.Hebrews 4:15
Christ's Sympathy with the InfirmC. New.Hebrews 4:15
Christ's Temptation Like OursC. Stanford, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
Come Boldly to the Throne of GraceH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 4:15
Encouragement to Come BoldlyC. Garrett.Hebrews 4:15
Faithfulness Born of SympathyH. O. Mackey.Hebrews 4:15
Fearlessness in PrayerHebrews 4:15
First Mercy, Then GraceF. R. Havergal.Hebrews 4:15
Help in Time of NeedW. Birch.Hebrews 4:15
Of Christ Being Without SinW. Gouge.Hebrews 4:15
On Coming Boldly to the Throne of GraceD. Clarkson, B. D.Hebrews 4:15
Our Sympathising and Sinless High PriestJames Jarvie.Hebrews 4:15
Priestly Sympathy for Fellow-SufferersS. Martin, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
Sin no Aid to SympathyA. B. Davidson, LL. D.Hebrews 4:15
Sympathy with the TemptedJ. Trapp.Hebrews 4:15
The Christian At the Throne of GraceH. M. Villiers, M. A.Hebrews 4:15
The Distinction Between Mercy and GraceJ. B. Patterson, M. A.Hebrews 4:15
The Infinite Friend Before the ThroneC. Garrett.Hebrews 4:15
The Reality and the SymbolH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 4:15
The Sinner At the Throne of GraceF. G. Crossman.Hebrews 4:15
The Sympathetic SaviourA. J. Parry.Hebrews 4:15
The Sympathy of ChristP. J. Rollo.Hebrews 4:15
The Sympathy of ChristArchdeacon Manning.Hebrews 4:15
The Sympathy of ChristF. W. Robertson, M. A.Hebrews 4:15
The Sympathy of ChristThe Preacher's AnalystHebrews 4:15
The Sympathy of ChristA. G. Brown.Hebrews 4:15
The Sympathy of the SaviourE. Paxton Hood.Hebrews 4:15
The Temptation of Our LordJ. Rate, M. A.Hebrews 4:15
The Tempted High-PriestU. Stanford, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
The Tenderness of JesusC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceJohn Wright, M. A.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceW. Atherton.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceE. H. Hopkins.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceC. Bradley, M. A.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceW. J. Brock, B. A.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceJ. Burns, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of GraceC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 4:15
The Throne of Grace (A Sermon to ChildrenA. Fletcher, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
The Transcendent Worth of PardonC. Garrett.Hebrews 4:15
Timely SuccourJohn Owen, D. D.Hebrews 4:15
Times of NeedH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 4:15
Touched with the FeelingF R. Havergal.Hebrews 4:15
Touched with the Feeling of Our InfirmitiesChristian at WorkHebrews 4:15
Unrestraint in PrayerD. Clarkson, B. D.Hebrews 4:15
Whither InvitedC. Garrett.Hebrews 4:15
The Word of God DiscoveringC. New Hebrews 4:12-16
Christ a Great High PriestJ. Burns, D. D.Hebrews 4:14-16
Christ the ReconcilerH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 4:14-16
Encouragement to Hold FastD. Dickson, M. A.Hebrews 4:14-16
Exhortation to SteadfastnessJ. Bunting, M. A.Hebrews 4:14-16
Holding Fast Our ProfessionW. Cadman, M. A.Hebrews 4:14-16
Holding Fast the Christian ProfessionH. Hunter.Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus Christ, the Mediator Between God and ManJ. Crowther.Hebrews 4:14-16
Let Us Hold Fast Our ProfessionW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 4:14-16
Our Great High PriestD. C. Hughes, M. A.Hebrews 4:14-16
Our Great High PriestA. B. Bruce, D. D.Hebrews 4:14-16
SteadfastnessJ.S. Bright Hebrews 4:14-16
The Helpful Nearness to Man of the True High PriestD. Young Hebrews 4:15, 16

I. THE IMPLICATION WITH REGARD TO OTHER PRIESTS. Other priests are lacking in proper sympathy with human weakness. They are lacking in a sense of the almost omnipotence of tempting influence. They themselves, in all important respects, are no better than those for whom they act. Not that they are to blame for this; other things were not expected from them. They were only to be part of an instructive and impressive ceremonial by which might be set forth, by the best means attainable at the time, something as to what a priest, an offering and an approach to God, ought to be. The very defects of the priest taken from among men emphasize the need of something immeasurably better. Sinful men should be able to sympathize with sinful men; but, as a matter of fact, they very frequently are unable to do this even in the most qualified way. They can sympathize in a measure with sickness, with temporal calamity; but too often for sin, for crime, for vice, they have nothing but denunciation with respect to men. There is a hint to us how we should recollect that the greater sinner a man is, the greater is his need for human sympathy.

II. THE PERFECTION OF PRIESTLY QUALITIES FOUND IN CHRIST. In him there is all the true priest needs. He is attracted, not by the strong side of human nature, but by the weak. Easy is it to be drawn to men in the hours of their full life, in their prime, when they are strong for action either of body or of mind; and it is pleasant to look at the results of all their effort. But it is much better, difficult though it be, to look at man in his hours of weakness and need; for it is out, of the midst of his weakness that his highest strength is to be attained. And so Jesus was drawn to men in their weakness. He came, not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to minister to those who really needed ministry. We do not serve rightly when we serve those who are quite able to do things for themselves. This is only to increase the indolence of the world. Christ comes to give the help that but for his coming could not be given. He sympathizes with us in all weakness, in poverty, in sickness, in feebleness of body and harassing circumstances. But his sympathy is specially with us in temptation. He was tempted in all points like as we are, i.e. his temptation was a real thing; and the temptation he had to suffer was one suited to the peculiarities of his position and his work. We are to think here, not so much of his experiences in the wilderness, as of Gethsemane (Hebrews 5:7). The temptations of the wilderness he saw through at once; they must have been very clumsy artifices in his eye. But Gethsemane tried him. The pure gold went into the furnace there that its purity might be made manifest. And thus it was shown that he was without a sin. The more we are made to feel our own sin, the more our hearts are revealed, the closer we are drawn to him who has no sin, and who shows us that sin is no essential part of human nature.

III. THE PRACTICAL RESULT OF THESE CONSIDERATIONS. We are to make full use of the Priest thus provided - a Priest not of our finding or our making. He has not come by some process of selection and training employed by men, but is of Divine appoint-merit; an Apostle from the throne of grace, beseeching us to accept him as the sufficient Interpreter of human needs and human penitence. Our attitude is to be one of approach to the throne of grace, thinking of it as such; thinking of the severities of God and the penal aspects of law as only grace in disguise. Chastisement, punishment, pain, are but grace not understood. We must have boldness, freeness, a strong sense of the right given us to approach the throne of grace. We must have a sense of how God will treat us. He will not only put us into a better state, but do it in a most compassionate and tender way. It is conceivable that a physician might perfectly cure a sick person, yet do it all like a machine, without any manifestation of heart, without a single kind or cheering word. - Y.

Touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
I. CHRIST'S POWER OF SYMPATHY ASSERTED. Differences of position and circumstances among men materially affect their power to sympathise with one another. It is a difficult matter, for instance, for those born in palaces and nurtured in affluence to enter into the difficulties and understand the hardships endured by those to whom life is a perpetual struggle for the barest necessaries; or for those who are hale and strong to sympathize with those whose very existence, by reason of their bodily infirmities, is a burden to them. It was not unnatural, then, that persons who, judged by human analogies, should suppose that He who was the Son of God and had passed into the heavens would be indisposed to sympathise with wretched, sin-benighted men on earth. The text assures us of the contrary. Christ exchanged earth for heaven, the weakness and infirmities of an earthly existence for the everlasting vigour of a heavenly state, degradation for exaltation, the Cross and the thorns for a throne and a crown; but He never exchanged His power of warm, glowing sympathy for men for coldness and indifference. Sympathy was the heritage which earth gave Him to enrich His heavenly state.


1. His exposure to temptation. Just as the light becomes tinged with the hues of the glass it passes through, so the unfathomable love of the Son of God becomes sympathetic towards men as it passes to them through the human heart, steeped in sorrow and agonised with suffering, of the Son of Man Egypt has its two great watercourses, its river and its sweet-water canal. The canal conveys the sweet waters of the river where the river itself cannot take them. The human heart of Jesus is the canal which conducts the sweet waters of the Divine love in streams of sympathy to the parched souls of men.

2. The other condition of His power of sympathy was His freedom from sin, notwithstanding His exposure to its temptations. Flame will not pass through wire gauze of a certain texture. This is the principle of the safety-lamp. This useful and ingenious contrivance is unaffected by any amount of explosive gases external to it. Under ordinary circumstances, the flame of the lamp would set any atmosphere, strongly charged with explosive gases, into a devouring blaze, but, protected by the wire gauze, the lamp-flame merely glows within a little more brilliantly. Such was Christ as He lived among men. The moral atmosphere in which He lived, surcharged as it was with explosive temptations and provocations to sin, did not penetrate the amiability of His sinless nature and cause it to shoot forth into consuming resentment. It merely caused it to burn with a livelier glow of holy anger against hypocrisy and false pretence. Just as the rays of the sun pass over the foulest paths and among heaps of filth untainted, so He passed along the ways and paths of human life untouched by the foulness that surrounded him on all sides. It is a belief with the people of the district that the River Doe passes through the whole length of Bala Lake without mingling with its waters. Its current, they affirm, can be clearly traced, marked off by its clearer, brighter waters. So Christ's life, passing through the lake, so to speak, of earthly existence, is clearly defined. I, is one bright, holy, spotless stream from its beginning to its end — a life without sin. Now, this freedom from sin is no hindrance to His power of sympathy; in fact, it is an additional qualification to Him in this respect. Temptation yielded to makes the heart callous and cruel, and dries up the fountains of feeling. Temptation resisted and overcome mellows the feelings, and quickens their sensitiveness towards the tried and tempted.


1. The blessings we are urged to seek. Mercy represents the new life; grace, all that may be needed to sustain and nourish it until its consummation in everlasting glory. And here we may note the bearing of this promise of "grace to help in time of need" upon the case of a certain class of persons whom we believe to be Christians, true disciples of the Redeemer, but who stand aloof from the fellowship of His people, and shrink from a public avowal of their discipleship. Their reluctance in this direction, they tell us, arises from the sense of their infirmities, and their dread of bringing dishonour on Christ's Church. But such a plea is essentially unbelief. It arises from a failure to apprehend God's power to keep from falling those whom He has graciously converted. They forget that He promises to His children "grace to help in time of need." It is as reasonable to suppose that God will preserve the new life He has quickened in the heart of His people, as that the mother will do all in her power to strengthen the infant that owes its life to her.

2. The place whence these blessings are dispensed. Christ occupies the throne — the place of power and authority. That He is a King as well as a Priest is one of the great truths of this Epistle. And His kingly office becomes the instrument of His priestly sympathies and functions.

3. The spirit of confidence in which, in view of the assurance furnished to us of Christ's power of sympathy, these blessings should be sought. The word rendered "boldly" here may, with equal propriety, be rendered "joyfully." The very fact that such blessings as mercy and grace, blessings so inexpressibly precious to sinful men awakened to a sense of their guilt, are procurable, should fill the seeker with the joy of gratitude. To seek them in this spirit is to carry out the prophetic injunction, "Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." The allusion, no doubt, is to the desert traveller, after days of wanderings in the arid waste, coming parched with thirst upon a well. We can well imagine with what grateful joy he would draw therefrom the refreshing element to quench his consuming thirst. With some such joy, yea, with much deeper and intenser joy, should the Christian man come to the throne of grace to draw the grace which is to quench his soul-consuming thirst, and sustain the Divine life quickened by the Divine mercy in his soul.

(A. J. Parry.)

The compassion of the Son of God was a subject of joyful contemplation to the holy men of old, who saw His day afar off, and were glad. With delight they celebrated the comfort which He should bring to the mourners in Zion; the care which He should take of the lambs of His flock; His sympathy with the afflicted; His condescension to the weak; and the concern with which lie should bring them through their difficulties to safety and peace, and everlasting gladness. Hence it is, also, that in their sacred hymns and songs of triumph they delight to present Him under all those images which are fitted to convey ideas of the gentlest and most engaging order. The design for which the Son of God appeared on earth, and which He voluntarily undertook to accomplish, was a design of the highest compassion. And as the design on which He came was that of unutterable love, so the tenderest compassion distinguished the fulfilment of every part of His great undertaking. He went about doing good, and His Divine power was ever exercised in works of mercy. And with these manifestations of Divine power, how mild and gentle is His demeanour to the humble and the weak! How tender and condescending His addresses to the poor and the contrite! Observe also His sympathy with His disciples in the season of affliction, and the anxiety with which He seeks to give them comfort. But to seek and to save that which was lost Christ came into the world, and all His discourses are full of earnest desire for the welfare of men — of pity for sinners, and of consolation for the miserable. His compassion was manifested even to those who rejected Him. But a view of compassion yet remains to be noticed, which in vain our ideas attempt to reach, or language to describe. He pays the price of human guilt, and gives His life a ransom for many. Having thus directed our attention to the compassion of that great High Priest, who is passed into the heaven — Jesus, the Son of God, let us apply these views to our condition, and consider the encouragement which they are fitted to afford when we approach to the throne of grace. The gracious office which Christ sustains, and the compassion of His character, are fitted to give to us encouragement in all our services, and through the whole of life. But there are special seasons which the apostle describes as "the time of need," in which we are particularly called, in the exercise of hope and trust, to come to the throne of grace.

I. AMONG THESE WE ARE NATURALLY DIRECTED IN THE FIRST PLACE TO THAT OF A SINNER UNDER DEEP CONVICTIONS OF GUILT. How suited is the gospel of Christ to bring back to God and give peace to the troubled soul! And how admirably does the view of such a High Priest, touched with the feeling of our infirmities, harmonise with every part of the gracious plan for our recovery and salvation! In Him we see every quality which is calculated to insure the confidence, and to dissipate the fears of the humble and the contrite, and through Him, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, they seek the offered mercy, and find the promised rest.

II. AND ARE NOT THE SAME VIEWS CALCULATED TO ENCOURAGE US TO APPROACH THE THRONE OF GRACE, UNDER A SENSE OF OUR WEAKNESS, AND OF OUR DANGERS FROM WORLD LYING IN WICKEDNESS? In a state so surrounded with dangers, and especially in those seasons when we are made to feel how weak we are, or when wearied with the struggles and difficulties which we encounter on the path of duty, we are tempted to retire from the contest, and to leave the post; assigned us, hopeless of success — how fitted to inspire us with courage and perseverance is the view of that provision which the Father of mercies hath made for our support and direction, in the mediation of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. He is the same Divine Master who has passed before us through the scene of suffering and temptation, and has shown Himself to be so unspeakably our Friend. He knows the difficulties with which we have to struggle, and by proofs the most affecting He has taught us to place confidence in His care.

III. AND AS THE COMPASSION OF OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST GIVES COURAGE AND SUPPORT AMIDST THE DANGERS AND TRIALS OF LIFE, SO IT GIVES US COMFORT AND PEACE AT THE APPROACH OF DEATH. The Son of God changes the darkness into light. The glory of that state He hath prepared for us, sheds far its light, and illumines every prospect, and the voice of the Saviour is heard conducting and welcoming us to the mansions of His Father. How suited to the fallen state of man is the dispensation of the gospel!

(S. MacGill, D. D.)

1. In attempting to describe the human sympathy of this Divine Being, I will first refer to His wonderful keenness of feeling. Intensely sensitive to nature, and drinking in illustration of highest truth from her homeliest appearances, He felt most keenly anything that could touch the feelings of the fellow-men. Unlike many people who, because they do not feel their own trials very keenly, nor crave for much sympathy amidst them, cannot understand the sufferings and cravings of more sensitive natures, Jesus was so touched by His own troubles, and had such a longing for the Divine and human sympathy in the midst of them, that He is marvellously quick to understand, and ready to sympathise with the most insignificant sorrows of the most sensitive souls.

2. But the sympathy of Jesus is as wide as it is ready. He whose exquisitely sensitive soul was thrilled by the beauty of a lily, and moved by the fall of a wounded sparrow, is keenly touched by whatever can touch a human heart, whether high or low, good or bad, a friend or an enemy. No man can be beyond the reach of His all-comprehending sympathy, because no man can be beyond the embrace of His all-comprehending love.

3. And His sympathy is as deep and tender as it is ready and comprehensive. And the reason of this is two-fold. He has been tempted in all points like as we are; and yet He is without sin. He can sympathise with the poor because He has been poor; with the weary and heavy laden, because He has been tired and worn; with the lonely, misrepresented, and persecuted, because He has been in their position. And because He was also tried, tried in mind as well as heart, by fear, by sad surprise, by mental perplexity, with the hard conflict with evil, and great spiritual depression, He is able to feel to the uttermost for those keenest sorrows of our earthly lot. And then this tried One was without sin. That was what enabled Him to drink in sympathy, and nothing but sympathy from all His sorrows. That is why He received all the sweetness from His sorrows and none of the bitterness, so that He is able out of the pure and exhaustless treasures of His sympathy to sweeten all our bitter cups.

4. For let us also remember that His sympathy is as practical as it is ready, deep, and comprehensive. Smpathising with the fond feeling which led the mothers to bring their children to Him, He at once took the little ones up in His arms, and blessed them; feeling for the hungry multitude He delayed not to spread a table for them in the wilderness. His compassionate soul melted with tenderness when He saw the widow weeping beside the bier; but at that very moment He stopped the bier and restored her only son to his mother's arms. How deep the sympathy which caused Him to burst into tears among the weeping ones He loved, before the grave of Lazarus; but how prompt the power to "help which caused the dead man to come forth. It is the knowledge that now as then He is ready and able to help us as He is to feel for us, that emboldens us to come with all assurance to the throne of grace, and confide to Him our every trouble. And if His sympathy is to be to us anything more than a beautiful dream, we must there come into personal contact with Him amidst our own sorrows, and sound the depths of His sympathy by proving the fulness of His help.

(P. J. Rollo.)

Christian at Work.
There is no warmer Bible phrase than this. We might have never so many mishaps, the Government at Washington would not hear of them; and there are multitudes in Britain whose troubles Victoria never knows; but there is a throne against which strike our most insignificant perplexities. What touches us touches Christ. What robs us robs Christ. He is the great nerve-centre to which thrill all sensations which touch us who are His members.

I. He is touched with our PHYSICAL infirmities.

II. He is touched with the infirmities of our PRAYERS. He will pick out the one earnest petition from the rubbish, and answer it.

III. He is touched with the infirmity of our TEMPER.

IV. He sympathises with our POOR EFFORTS AT DOING GOOD.

(Christian at Work.)

I. HE HAS ASSUMED A VERY TENDER OFFICE. A king may render great aid to the unhappy; but, on the other hand, he is a terror to evil-doers: a high priest is in the highest sense "ordained for men," and he is the friend and succourer of the most wretched.

1. It was intended, first, that by the high priest God should commune with men. That needs a person of great tenderness. A mind that is capable of listening to God, and understanding, in a measure, what He teaches, had need be very tender, so as to interpret the lofty sense into the lowly language of humanity.

2. But a high priest took the other side also: he was to communicate with God from men. Here, also, he needed the tenderest spirit to rule his faculties and to move his affections. But if I understand the high priest's office aright, he had many things to do which come under this general description, but which might not suggest themselves, if you did not have the items set before you.

3. The high priest was one who had to deal with sin and judgment for the people. We have a High Priest into whose ear we may pour all the confessions of our penitence without fear. It is a wonderful easement to the mind to tell Jesus all. No doubt the high priest was resorted to, that he might console the sorrowful. Go to Jesus, if a sharp grief is gnawing at your heart.

4. The high priest would hear, also, the desires and wish, s of the people. When men in Israel had some great longing, some overwhelming desire, they not only prayed in private, but they would make a journey up to the temple to ask the high priest to present their petitions before the Lord. You may have some very peculiar, delicate desire as to spiritual things that only God and your own soul may know; but fear not to mention it to your tender High Priest, who will know your meaning, and deal graciously with you.

5. It was the high priest's business to instruct and to reprove the people. To instruct is delightful; but to reprove is difficult. Only a tender spirit can wisely utter rebuke. Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us our faults in tones of love. His rebukes never break the heart.

II. HE HAS A TENDER FEELING. It is not merely true that He is apprised of our infirmities, since the Lord has said, "I know their sorows"; but He "is touched with the feeling of our infirmities." The sense of feeling is more intense, vivid, and acute than the sense of sight. It is one thing to see pain, but another thing to be touched with the feeling of it. Treasure up this view of your Lord's sympathy, for it may be a great support in the hour of agony, and a grand restorative in the day of weakness. Note again, "The feeling of our infirmities." Whose infirmities? Does not "our" mean yours and mine? Note well that word "infirmities" — "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." He sympathises with those of you who are no heroes, but can only plead, "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." As the mother feels with the weakness of her babe, so does Jesus feel with the poorest, saddest, and weakest of His chosen. How comes this about?

1. Let us think of it a while! Our Lord has a tender nature. His innate tenderness brought Him from the throne to the manger, from the manger to the Cross.

2. Our Lord is not only tender of nature, but quick of understanding as to the infirmities of men.


1. He was tried as we are — in body, mind, spirit.

2. But the text says, "tempted," and that bears a darker meaning than "tried." Our Lord could never have fallen the victim of temptation, but through life He was the object of it.

IV. HE HAS A TENDER PERFECTNESS. Do not imagine that if the Lord Jesus had sinned He would have been any more tender toward you; for sin is always of a hardening nature. If the Christ of God could have sinned, He would have lost the perfection of His sympathetic nature. It needs perfectness of heart to lay self all aside, and to be touched with a feeling of the infirmities of others. Hearken again: do you not think that sympathy in sin would be a poisonous sweet? A child, for instance, has done wrong, and he has been wisely chastened by his father; I have known cases in which a foolish mother has sympathised with the child. This may seem affectionate, but it is wickedly injurious to the child. Such conduct would lead the child to love the evil which it is needful he should hate.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The word "tempted" here includes, of course, all trials of soul and body, such as sorrow, pain, anguish, as well as what we commonly call temptation; but it is to this last that we will now confine ourselves. We can readily understand how our Lord's perfect humanity should sympathise with ours, because both are of one nature; but how He who is sinless should sympathise with us sinners — this is the difficulty. How, it may be asked, can He sympathise in repentance, deserved shame, and guilt of conscience? It may be said, that this difficulty carries its own answer; for His sympathy with penitents is perfect, because He is sinless; its perfection is the consequence of His perfect holiness. And for these reasons:

1. First, because we find, even among men, that sympathy is more or less perfect, as the holiness of the person is more or less so. The living compassion, with which the holiest men have ever dealt with the sinful, is a proof that in proportion as sin loses its power over them, their sympathy with those that are afflicted by its oppressive yoke becomes more perfect.

2. And from this our thoughts ascend to Him who is all-perfect; who being from everlasting very God, was for our sakes made very Man, that He might unite us wholly to Himself. Above and beyond all sympathy is that of our High Priest. None hate sin but those who are holy, and that in the measure of their holiness; and therefore in the Person of our blessed Lord there must exist the two great conditions of perfect sympathy: first, He has suffered all the sorrows which are consequent upon sin and distinct from it; next, He has, because of His perfect holiness, a perfect hatred of evil. And these properties of His human nature unite themselves to the pity, omniscience, and love, which are the perfections of His Divine. Now we may see in what it is that our Lord, by the experience of humiliation in our flesh, has learned to sympathise with us: Not in any motion of evil in the affections or thoughts of the heart; not in any inclination of the will: not, if we dare so much as utter it, in any taint or soil upon the soul. Upon all such as are destroying themselves in wilful commerce with evil, He looks down with a Divine pity; but they have withdrawn themselves from the range of His sympathy. This can only be with those who are in sorrow under sin; that is, with penitents. It is in the suffering of those that would be cleansed and made holy that He partakes.

I. WE MAY PLEAD WITH HIM ON HIS OWN EXPERIENCE OF THE WEAKNESS OF OUR HUMANITY. None knows it better than He, not only as our Maker, who" knoweth our frame, and remembereth that we are but dust," but as Man, who made full trial of our nature "in the days of His flesh." He knows its fearful susceptibility of temptation — how, in its most perfect state, as in His own person, it may be solicited by the allurements of the evil one. And if in Him it could be tempted to sin, how much more in us! When we confess our sins before Him, we may lay open all. Things we hardly dare to speak to any man, to any imperfect being, we do not shrink from confessing before Him — things which men would not believe, inward struggles, distinctions in intention, extenuating causes, errors of belief — all the manifold working of the inward life which goes before a fall. With all His awful holiness, there is something that draws us to Him. Though His eyes be "as a flame of fire," and the act of laying ourselves open to Him is terrible, yet He is "meek and lowly of heart," knowing all our case, "touched with the feeling of our infirmities."

II. WE MAY APPEAL TO HIS EXPERIENCE OF THE SORROW AND SHAME WHICH COME BY SIN UPON MANKIND. He suffered both as keenly and as fully as it was possible for one that was without sin (see Psalm 22:1, 2, 6-8, 14, 15; Isaiah 53:3, 4; Psalm 69:1-3, 7, 10-12, 20, 21; Psalm 88:1, 2, 5-9, 14-16; Lamentations 1:12, 13). All that sin could inflict on the guiltless He endured; and to that experience of shame and sorrow we guilty may appeal. Though we suffer indeed justly, yet can He feel with us though He did nothing amiss. Though in the bitterness of soul which flows from consciousness of guilt He has no part, yet when we take revenge upon ourselves in humiliation, and offer ourselves to suffer all He wills for our abasement, He pities us while He permits the chastisement to break us down at His feet. "When our heart is smitten down within us, and withered like grass, so that we forget to eat our bread," it is a thought full of consolation, "that we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Therefore let us ask for consolation from no other. Let us not go, I will not say to the world, and its fair words, smooth persuasions, shallow comforts, for to these no man whose repentance has any depth or reality in it can bear to go; they are miserable, falsifying stimulants, which beat and bewilder the heart, and leave it open to terrible recoils of sorrow; but let us not go to hooks or to employment; no, nor even to the consolation and tender love of friend, brother, wife, husband, spiritual guide; no, nor to the most perfect saint and nearest to Himself; but to Him for whose sake all these must be forsaken, in whom are all the fresh springs of solace which distil in scanty drops through the tenderest and fondest hearts. Let us go at once to Him. There is nothing can separate us from His sympathy but our own wilful sins. Let us fear and hate these, as for all other reasons, so above all for this, that they cut off the streams of His pure and pitiful consolation, and leave our souls to wither up in their own drought and darkness. So long as we are fully in His sympathy, let our sorrows, shame, trials, temptations, be what they may, we are safe. He is purifying us by them; teaching us to die to the world and to ourselves, that He only may live in us, and that our life may be "hid with Christ in God." And again, that we may so shelter ourselves in Him, let us make to Him a confession, detailed, particular, and unsparing, of all our sins. And lastly, let us so live as not to forfeit His sympathy. It is ours only so long as we strive and pray to be made like Him. If we turn again to evil, or to the world, we sever ourselves from Him.

(Archdeacon Manning.)

Our subject is the priestly sympathies of Christ. But we make three preliminary observations. The perfection of Christ's humanity implies that He was possessed of a human soul as well as a human body. Accordingly in the life of Christ we find two distinct classes of feeling. When He hungered in the wilderness — when He thirsted on the Cross — when He was weary by the well at Sychar — He experienced sensations which belong to the bodily department of human nature. But when out of twelve He selected one to be His bosom friend; when He looked round upon the crowd in anger; when the tears streamed down His cheeks at Bethany; and when He recoiled from the thought of approaching dissolution; these — grief, friendship, fear — were not the sensations of the body, much less were they the attributes of Godhead. They were the affections of an acutely sensitive human soul, alive to all the tenderness, and hope and anguish with which human life is filled, qualifying Him to be tempted in all points like as we are. The second thought which presents itself is that the Redeemer not only was but is Man. He was tempted in all points like us. He is a high priest which can be touched. The present manhood of Christ conveys this deeply important truth, that the Divine heart is human in its sympathies. The third observation upon these verses is, that there is a connection between what Jesus was and what Jesus is. He can be touched now because He was tempted then. His past experience has left certain effects durable in His nature as it is now. It has endued Him with certain qualifications and certain susceptibilities, which He would not have had but for that experience. Just as the results remained upon His body, the prints of the nails in His palms, and the spear-gash in His side, so do the results remain upon His soul, enduing Him with a certain susceptibility, for "He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities"; with certain qualifications, for " He is able to show mercy, and to impart grace to help in time of need." To turn now to the subject itself. It has two branches.

1. The Redeemer's preparation for His priesthood.

2. The Redeemer's priestly qualifications.

I. HIS PREPARATION. The preparation consisted in being tempted. But here a difficulty arises. Temptation, as applied to a Being perfectly free from tendencies to evil, is not easy to understand. See what the difficulty is. Temptation has two senses, it means test or probation; it means also trial, involving the idea of pain or danger. A weight hung from a bar of iron only tests its strength; the same, depending from a human arm, is a trial, involving iv may be the risk of pain or fracture. Now trial placed before a sinless being is intelligible enough in the sense of probation; it is a test of excellence; but it is not easy to see how it can be temptation in the sense of pain, if there be no inclination to do wrong. However, Scripture plainly asserts this as the character of Christ's temptation. Not merely test, but trial. First you have passages declaring the immaculate nature of His mind; as here, "without sin." Again, He was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." But then we find another class of passages, such as this: "He suffered, being tempted." There was not merely test in the temptation, but there was also painfulness in the victory. How could this be without any tendency to evil? To answer this, let us analyse sin. In every act of sin there are two distinct steps. There is the rising of a desire which is natural, and, being natural, is not wrong — there is the indulgence of that desire in forbidden circumstances, and that is sin. Sin is not a real thing. It is rather the absence of a something, the will to do right. It is not a disease or taint, an actual substance projected into the constitution. It is the absence of the spirit which orders and harmonises the whole; so that what we mean when we say the natural man must sin inevitably, is this, that he has strong natural appetites, and that he has no bias from above to counteract those appetites; exactly as if a ship were deserted by her crew, and left on the bosom of the Atlantic with every sail set and the wind blowing. No one forces her t., destruction — yet on the rocks she will surely go, just because there is no pilot at the helm. Such is the state of ordinary men. Temptation leads to fall. The gusts of instincts, which rightly guided, would have carried safely into port, dash them on the rocks. No one forces them to sin; but the spirit-pilot has left the helm. Sin, therefore, is not in the appetites, but in the absence of a controlling will. Now contrast this state with the state of Christ. There were in Him all the natural appetites of mind and body. Relaxation and friendship were dear to Him — so were sunlight and life. Hunger, pain, death, He could feel all. and shrunk from them. Conceive then a case in which the gratification of any one of these inclinations was inconsistent with His Father's will. At one moment it was unlawful to eat, though hungry; and without one tendency to disobey, did fasting cease to he severe? It was demanded that He should endure anguish; and, willingly as He subdued Himself, did pain cease to be pain? Could the spirit of obedience reverse every feeling in human nature? It seems to have been in this way that the temptation of Christ caused suffering. He suffered from the force of desire. Though there was no hesitation whether to obey or not, no strife in the will, in the act of mastery there was pain. There was self-denial — there was obedience at the expense of torture natural feeling.

II. The second point we take is THE REDEEMER'S PRIESTHOOD. Priesthood is that office by which He is the medium of union between man and God. The capacity for this has been indelibly engraven on His nature by His experience here. All this capacity is based on His sympathy — He can be "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Till we have reflected on it, we are scarcely aware how much the sum of human happiness in the world is indebted t,, this one feeling — sympathy. The child's smile and laugh are mighty powers in this world. When bereavement has left you desolate, what substantial benefit is there which makes condolence acceptable? It cannot replace the loved ones you have lost. It can bestow upon you nothing permanent. But a warm hand has touched yours, and its thrill told you that there was a living respouse there to your emotion. One look — one human sigh has done more for you than the costliest present could convey. And it is for want of remarking this, that the effect of public charity falls often so far short of the expectations of those who give. Love is not bought by money, but by love. There has been all the machinery of a public distribution; but there has been no exhibition of individual, personal interest. Again, when the electric touch of sympathetic feeling has gone among a mass of men, it communicates itself, and is reflected back from every individual in the crowd, with a force exactly proportioned, to their numbers. It is on record that the hard heart of an oriental conqueror was unmanned by the sight of a dense mass of living millions engaged in one enterprise. He accounted for it by saying, that it suggested to him that within a single century not one of those millions would be alive. But the hardhearted bosom of the tyrant mistook its own emotions; his tears came from no such far-fetched inference of reflection; they rose spontaneously, as they will rise in a dense crowd, you cannot tell why. It is the thrilling thought of numbers engaged in the same object. It is the idea of our own feelings reciprocated back to us, and reflected from many hearts. And again, it seems partly to avail itself of this tendency within us, that such stress is laid on the injunction of united prayer. Solitary prayer is feeble in comparison with that which rises before the throne echoed by the hearts of hundreds, and strengthened by the feeling that other aspirations are mingling with our own. And whether it be the chanted litany, or the more simple read service, or the anthem producing one emotion at the same moment in many bosoms, the value and the power of public prayer seem chiefly to depend on this mysterious affection of our nature — sympathy. And now, having endeavoured to illustrate this power of sympathy, it is for us to remember that of this in its fullness He is susceptible. Observe how He is touched by our infirmities — with a separate, special, discriminating love. There is not a single throb, in a single human bosom, that does not thrill at once with more than electric speed up to the mighty heart of God. You have not shed a tear or sighed a sigh, that did not come back to you exalted and purified by having passed through the Eternal bosom.

1. We may boldly expect mercy from Him who has learned to sympathise. He learned sympathy by being tempted; but it is by being tempted, yet without sin, that He is specially able to show mercy.

2. The other priestly power is the grace of showing "help in time of need." We must not make too much of sympathy, as mere feeling. We do in things spiritual as we do with the hothouse plants. The feeble exotic, beautiful to look at, but useless, has costly sums spent on it. The hardy oak, a nation's strength, is permitted to grow, scarcely observed, in the fence and copses. We prize feeling and praise its possessor. But feeling is only a sickly exotic in itself — a passive quality, having in it nothing moral, no temptation and no victory. A man is no more a good man for having feeling, than he is for having delicate ear for music, or a far-seeing optic nerve. The Son of Man had feeling — He could be " touched." The tear would start from His eyes at the sight of human sorrow. But that sympathy was no exotic in His soul, beautiful to look at, too delicate for use. Feeling with Him led to this, "He went about doing good." Sympathy with Him was this, "Grace to help in time of need." And this is the blessing of the thought of Divine sympathy. By the sympathy of man, after all, the wound is not healed; it is only stanched for a time. It can make the tear flow less bitterly, it cannot dry it up. So far as permanent good goes, who has not felt the deep truth which Job taught his friends — "Miserable comforters are ye all "? The sympathy of the Divine Human! He knows what strength is needed. He gives grace to help. From this subject I draw, in concluding, two inferences.

1. He who would sympathise must be content to be tried and tempted. There is a hard and boisterous rudeness in our hearts by nature, which requires to be softened down. Therefore, if you aspire to be a son of consolation — if you would partake of the priestly gift of sympathy — if you would pour something beyond common-place consolation into a tempted heart — if you would pass through the intercourse of daily life, with the delicate tact which never inflicts pain — if to that most a cure of human ailments, mental doubt, you are ever to give effectual succour, you must be content to pay the price of the costly education. Like Him, you must suffer — being tempted. But remember, it is being tempted in all points, yet without sin, that makes sympathy real, manly, perfect, instead of a mere sentimental tenderness. Sin will teach you to feel for trials. It will not enable you to judge them; to be merciful to them — nor to help them in time of need with any certainty.

2. It is this same human sympathy which qualifies Christ for judgment. It is written that the Father hath committed all judgment to Him, because He is the Son of Man. The sympathy of Christ extends to the frailties of human nature; not to its hardened guilt: He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." There is nothing in His bosom which can harmonise with malice — He cannot feel for envy — He has no fellow-feeling for cruelty, oppression, hypocrisy, bitter censorious judgments. Remember, He could look round about Him with anger. The sympathy of Christ is a comforting subject. It is besides a tremendous subject; for on sympathy the awards of heaven and hell are built. "Except a man be born again" — not he shall not, but — "he cannot enter into heaven." There is nothing in him which has affinity to anything in the Judge's bosom.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

The Preacher's Analyst.
I. IN ITS NATURE. The words "touched," &c., mean "to have compassion," "to condole with." It is something more than pity. Sympathy cannot properly belong to God, the perfection of His nature raises Him above it. But it is different with Christ. Being man He had all the real affection of human nature.

II. IN ITS OBJECTS. These are all His people on earth, and it is manifested more particularly in their infirmities and afflictions.

III. IN ITS REALITY. The sympathy of Christ is no ideal thing. It is no mere intellectual or ideal supposition. It is one which has been put to a most serious and solemn test. He took away with Him all the meekness, holiness, compassion, and love, which He had when on earth. It is further manifest from the relationship which exists between Him and His people. Again, it is manifest from the offices which He retains in heaven. Can an High Priest whose love was stronger than death be unmindful of those whom He has redeemed? It urges —

1. Affection towards our Redeemer. Shall we sympathise with one another in the common calamities of life, and not be affected by the sufferings of Jesus for us?

2. It incites encouragement to repentance. Repentance is going to Christ. Surely His sympathetic nature and gracious disposition should be sufficient inducement to draw us to His arms.

3. It should make us willing patiently to live for God and employ ourselves in His service. If we suffer, or if we toil, He knows our condition, and is acquainted with our needs.

4. It ought to cause Christians to sympathise one with another. We need sympathy ourselves; we cannot justly withhold it from others.

5. How can any man go on day after day sinning against love and compassion so great?

(The Preacher's Analyst.)

There is much to wonder at here. We wonder that He should care for us at all, but still more that that care should be for those of our experiences apparently least likely to move Him. Men are interested in our successes, in those points where we are strong and brave, for the most part they care little for our weakness. The dull child, who for all his trying makes no progress, has not a tithe of the kindly thought lavsihed on another. In society the timid and nervous are overlooked and fall into the background; the strong, the self-reliant, the well-to-do haw friends, but the weak are passed by. Now it is just these, it is just those points where we are low — our infirmities — that our Lord thinks about, and feels for, and longs to help. And in this He who is farther off than any comes closer than any. Human friends can understand sickness, and suffering, and loss, and care, but how little they understand mere infirmity! They think we could be cheerful if we would, or that infirmity at the worst is not hard to bear, and they do not attach much weight to it, and know not its sore need of thoughtfulness, or of how much it deprives us. But, says the text, Christ does. He comes nearer to us than man, He is the friend " closer than a brother," "He knoweth our frame." Nor does that exhaust the wonder of His sympathy, for many of our infirmities are more or less due to sin. Yet He does not scorn us, or say it serves us right; but is sorry for us, and would help us, and make us what we should have been.


1. It is assured by His personal human experience.

2. And this sympathy is assured by His perfect knowledge and love.

3. But is there not, I had almost said, a still stronger assurance of our Lord's sympathy in His union with His people? For that union is not merely one of love, nor of similarity of taste; it is that of a common life.

II. CONSIDER THIS SYMPATHY IN ITS CONNECTION WITH HIS HIGH-PRIESTLY WORK, He is the medium by which we can approach God with our sin and need, and by which God can approach us with His blessings. Now it is easy to see how priceless is the assurance that this Mediator "is touched with the feeling of our infirmities," that He feels for us and is drawn to us by most tender sympathy.

1. As High Priest He has direct intercourse with us. The glory of God places Him at an infinite distance, but He has appointed Christ as His representative to us, and ours to Him. If a king appoints one to represent him to a prisoner who is not worthy to approach him, or to a poor man who is afraid, it is part of that representative's work to come into close intercourse with them; whoever else is barred from that prisoner's cell, or free to keep away from that poor man's house, that representative is not. So the Lord Jesus, in accepting His high-priesthood, undertook thus to come close to us, and He fulfils what He undertakes.

2. As High Priest He prays for the supply of our need. What they want is ever profoundly sure to His people since His prayer for them is influenced by His sympathy, and " Him the father heareth always."

3. As High Priest He brings us to the Father. We read of "those who come unto God by Him"; He said "no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." Does that only mean that His sacrifice is the ground on which God receives us and refer to those who go to Him trusting that for acceptance, and not also that His is the help by which we tread the new and living way He is I Yes, Jesus brings us to God both by the merits of His sacrifice and by the aid of His Spirit.

III. Then consider, THIS SYMPATHY WITH INFIRMITY THE PATTERN" FOR HIS PEOPLE. Christ-likeness includes sympathy.

1. Thus our Lord's sympathy rebukes our hardness.

2. His sympathy shows one of the great needs of the world. It is part of His saving work as His atonement is; it is to save that He sympathises. What saving power was in His kindness on earth! And that is what the world wants still for its regeneration.

(C. New.)

It has been well said, "Though the lower animals have feeling, they have no fellow-feeling, it only belongs to man to weep with them that weep, and, by sympathy, to divide another's sorrows and double another's joys." I have read that the wounded stag sheds tears as its life blood flows fast upon the purple heather, but never that its pangs and agonies drew tears from its fellows in the herd. That finer touch of nature belongs to man alone. Sympathy is the echo that a heart gives to another's cry of anguish. But a few weeks since I was in the land of mountains, crags, and rocks, and there, at different well-selected spots, I heard the blast of the Swiss horn. Grand were the echoes as they rolled among the mountain gorges, giving every snowy peak a voice, and every pine-clad hill a tongue. Marvellous was it to have the sound that first came from our very feet flung back upon our ears from distant ranges, that looked the very embodiment of silence. But more musical by far, because more heavenly, is the response given by a heart touched with the feeling of another's grief, and that grief, the grief of one who has no legal claim upon its sympathy. But be it remembered, the best of human sympathy is but human sympathy at best. To see it in all its exquisite perfections of tenderness, we have to turn from man to his Maker — from the saint to his Saviour — from earth to heaven.

I. THE SYMPATHY OF JESUS FLOWS THROUGH KNOWLEDGE. Tea thousand springs of earthly sympathy are sealed through ignorance. Child of God, the sympathy of your Saviour is never lacking through want of knowledge. There is no wall of separation, however thin, that hides from His eyes the sorrow and the misery within. Jesus knows the every care of every saint. Poor troubled one, thou mayest venture nigh. Thou canst not tell Him that He knew not long before. Are you trying to carry your cares in your own bosom? Like the Spartan youth who stole a fox and hid it in his coat; are you letting it eat its way into your very vitals rather than it should be discovered? For pity's sake forbear. Go cast yourselves upon the sympathy of Him who not only reads the sorrow of the face, but the deeper anguish of the heart.

II. THE SYMPATHY OF JESUS IS PROMPTED BY HIS NATURE. With Jesus to know is to be touched. If His knowledge cuts the channel, His nature at the same moment fills it with the stream of compassionate love. Would you know what Jesus is? Then you have but to find out what Jesus was.

III. THE SYMPATHY OF JESUS IS DEEPENED BY EXPERIENCE. This is very beautifully taught in the closing sentence of the verse, "But was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." There can after all be but little true sympathy, however loving the heart, where there has been no similar experience. It is the widow who knows best how to speak words of comfort to the one from whose side an affectionate husband has been torn. It is the man who has him. self passed through the agonies of a financial difficulty that knows best how to cheer the one who, after every desperate effort to retrieve his fortune, yet finds himself going to the wall step by step. It is in the school of experience that the language of sympathy is best taught. Christ's knowledge of our trials is not a theoretical but an experimental one. He knows what the weight of a burden is by having carried it.

(A. G. Brown.)

The doctrine of my text is, Able to save is also able to feel.

I. Take the wonderful consolation of the text. Look at the expressive word "TOUCHED"; but is it not a weak, poor, or cold word? No I touched! That is, His sympathy does not overwhelm His power. Too great sympathy is death to power; the Saviour knows, helps, heals. Touched! He is not possessed by our infirmities. He always possessed them. As He said, "I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again." Walk with me through an infirmary; let us step from bed to bed — we are able to see, not to save — alas, what spectacles are here! Can you walk from bed to bed? can you feel for all that and this? Then, would your hand be strong enough to minister the skill of the surgeon and the tenderness of the nurse? It is difficult to walk through this, and to be touched with tenderness, and not lose the skilfulness. Hence it is said of our Lord, "He was touched"; that is, He holds our infirmities; on the contrary they hold us — our infirmities do not overwhelm His power. "Touched by the feeling of our infirmities," He was untouched by the power of our infirmities. It was the last lesson necessary "to make Him a merciful and faithful High Priest"; it only proved His human ability to feel, and gives us confidence in His infinite ability to save.

II. EXTEND THIS ILLUSTRATION INTO DOCTRINE. And now from this shall we, after thus dwelling on the sympathy of the Saviour, proceed to see how it illustrates the principle of Divine Providence. The suffering of the world is the great mystery of the world; but what is the suffering of the world, compared with the greater mystery of the suffering of Christ? Can pure being know pain? Can God condition Himself in infirmity? Can eternity be touched by time? Well, Christ says, I cannot save you from suffering, but I can suffer for you; nay, I can attest Myself to your hearts as perpetually suffering with you.

III. LET US NARROW THE TEXT TO THE APPLICATION. I repeat, the doctrine of the text is, Able to save is able to feel. We find even among men that sympathy is more or less perfect as the holiness of the person is more or less so. There is no real sympathy among men of sensual, worldly, unspiritual life, unless we are to call the mere operations of natural instinct sympathy; it is not natural pity, it is consciousness, it differs little from our fellow-perception of heat and cold. Sin kills sympathy; as a man becomes infected with the power of evil, he ceases to sympathise with others, all his feelings centre in himself. Sin is self-centring; sinners put all worst constructions on each other's words and acts — they have no consideration, no forbearance. Sanctity and charity are one; gentleness, compassion, tenderness, ripens — personal holiness grows more and more mature, and sympathy becomes more perfect as repentance becomes more perfect. May I venture a word on thoughts beyond our probation? They only have true sympathy who are dead to themselves, they must most truly sympathise who are most free from the taints of evil. Now, does not this give light to the nature of His sympathy who was God of very God, was made Man that He might unite us wholly to Himself? Above and beyond all sympathy is that of our High Priest.

(E. Paxton Hood.)

For the explaining of this let me show —

1. What it is to be our High Priest.

2. What those infirmities are, with the feeling of which He is touched.

3. What it is to be touched with the feeling of them.

1. For the first, His office, as High Priest, may be best known by the acts of it. The acts of His office are principally two.

(1)Sacrificing for us to make reconciliation (Hebrews 2:17).

(2)By interceding.

2. What those infirmities are, with the feeling of which He is touched. Infirmities here are whatever our frail condition makes us subject to suffer by.

3. What is it to be touched with the feeling of our infirmities?

(1)He knows all our infirmities. None of them escape His notice.

(2)He knows them experimentally. Has Himself been exercised with them.

(3)He is affected with our infirmities, He feels them, He is touched with the feeling of them.He has a sense thereof which touches His soul, and makes some impression on it; as one who not only has suffered what others feel, but suffers with them in what they feel. As when one member is under some grievance, not only the other members suffer with it, but the soul is affected with grief arising out of love, attended with desire to give or get relief, and anger and indignation against that which brought the grievance, or continues it, and hinders relier. In like manner is Christ affected with the infirmities of His people.(a) He pities, has compassion on them.(b) And this pity and compassion is not without the motions and acts of love. Indeed, this is the rise of it. It is out of such a love as made Him willing to humble Himself so low as to take our weaknesses and infirmities upon Him.(c) This is attended with desire, accompanied with an inclination to succour, relieve such, whose condition is to be pitied; to do that which is best for them in such a condition. That which wants this is no pity indeed. It is that which is most advantageous and desirable in this affection; it is all that we must understand by compassion, when the Scripture ascribes it to the Lord; and when we conceive it to be in Christ as God, in the Divine nature, it is not in Him a troublesome or passionate grief. That is an imperfection not to be ascribed to Him; nor would it be any advantage to us if He were liable to it. But it is a willingness in Him to help and succour those whose state calls for pity or commiseration.(d) This is accompanied with zeal and anger, or indignation, against those who occasion the grievance, or would make it worse and heavier.(4) He is affected with our infirmities as a man. As He has a human nature, so He has human affections.(5) He is affected with our infirmities as one concerned in us very much and nearly. As a friend (John 15:14, 15); as a brother (Hebrews 12:11, 12); as a father, with the grievances of His children (Hebrews 2:13); as a husband, with the wants or sufferings of the wife of His own bosom (2 Corinthians 11:2); as one united to us, as counting Himself one with us (Ephesians 1:22, 23).(6) He is affected with them really and to purpose. He has a more effectual sense of them than any other, men or angels, yea, or we ourselves have; for He has such a sense thereof as will assuredly bring relier, which neither we ourselves, nor men or angels for us, can do in many cases.(7) It is all extensive sympathy, it reaches all our infirmities. He has compassion on us in all our weaknesses, all that we suffer by, in all that has anything of misery or activeness in it. This is plain by the latter end of this verse: He " was in all points tempted," &c. Oh but, it may be said, this exception does exclude the greatest part of our infirmities from this sympathy, and us from the comfort and advantage of it, in those points too which stand in most need of it: for those infirmities which proceed from sin, or are mixed with it, and sin itself especially, are our greatest misery, make our present state most lamentable, and so stand in most need of pity and relief. If Christ be not touched with the feeling of these (which are worst of all), so as to have compassion on us, and be ready to succour us, we are to seek in our greatest pressures and grievances, where we have most necessity of relief and pity; as e.g.,(a) In those infirmities which are from sin, the effects of sin, which are many and great, is He not touched with the feeling, &c.? I answer, Yes, He is touched, &c. These are not excluded by the expression. He Himself laboured under these; for such infirmities as are from sin may be sinless, though they be the effects of sin, yet they may be innocent in themselves, and without sin; and all that are without sin He Himself was exercised with. He was tempted in all points, exercised with all infirmities, even those which are the effects of sin, as we are; only they were in Him without sin, as they are not in us. For He took the nature of fallen man, as it was bruised and rendered infirm by the fall; He took our nature as weakened by sin, though not as defiled by it; there was no sin in His human nature, but there were those weaknesses and infirmities which were the sad issues of sin. These He laboured under, and so knows how to pity and sympathise effectually with those that are yet under them.(b) But in sinful infirmities, what relief is there hereby for them? Christ was not touched with any that were sinful, and how can He be touched with the feeling of them? e.g., the people of Christ have much ignorance and darkness, and many spiritual wants; they are sinfully defective, both in knowledge and holiness; and these are in themselves, and to those that are duly sensible of them, greater miseries than poverty, or sickness, or other outward afflictions and sufferings. I answer, Christ had something of these, though nothing of the sinfulness of them; so much of these, as that He can sympathise with His people under them. He wanted much knowledge of many things; He wanted some spiritual gifts, yea, and some exercise of grace, in some parts of His life, while He was upon earth. He came not to perfection in these, but by degrees, and till then was under some defect and imperfection, though not any that was sinful. For He wanted none that He ought to have had, or that His present state was capable of; yet, wants, defects, and inward weaknesses, without sin, He was really under (Luke 2:40, 52). Hereby it seems plain, that He had not at first that measure of knowledge, and of the Holy Ghost, as afterwards. He knew not so much, nor had that exercise of grace m His infancy or childhood, as at perfect age. His faculties were not capable of full perfection herein till they came to full maturity. So that He knows by experience what it is to be under defects and wants, and so knows how to pity those who labour under them. In this the comparison holds betwixt Him and the Levitical high priest (Hebrews 5:2).(c) Oh, but He was never touched with sin (Hebrews 1:16), and this is our greatest misery, the sting of all grievances, that which makes all other to be heavy and grievous. If He be not touched with the feeling of our sin, we are at a loss where we have most need. I answer, There are four things considerable about sin, the offence, temptation to it, guilt of it, punishment for it. Now there are none of these but Christ was touched with them, but the first only. So that He had a greater sense of sin than any of His people ever had. We may hear Him cry out under the weight of it (Lamentations 1:12). The whole penalty and curse was upon Him, part of which made His soul heavy unto death. So that, though He was without sin, yet He was touched, or rather oppressed with such a sense of sin, as is enough abundantly to move Him to all compassionateness to any of His people under the burden. It is an extensive sympathy; such as reaches not only infirmities that have no respect to sin, but those that are from sin, as its effects, and those that are sinful formally, yea, sin itself; He is touched with the feeling of all.(8) It is a proportionable sympathy; a compassion which is exactly answerable to the nature and quality of every infirmity; fully commensurable to it, whatever it be. As it is not more than it needs, so it is not less than it requires, how much compassion and relief so ever it calls for.(9) A constant and perpetual sympathy. It continues without any intermission so long as He is High Priest, or so long as our infirmities continue; so long as we are under any weakness, inward or outward; so long as we are in any danger or peril; so long as we are exposed to any trouble or suffering. This is one thing wherein the faithful discharge of His priestly office consists. And He is a priest for ever (Psalm 110:4), repeated often in this Epistle (Hebrews 5:6, and Hebrews 7:17,21).Use

I. For instruction. This truth leads the people of Christ to many duties, and strongly obliges to the performance of them.

1. To admire Christ; to employ your minds in high, adoring, admiring thoughts of Christ, in His person, natures, offices, and the execution of them; but especially, wonderful in this, that He would be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.

2. To love Christ. There is no greater attractive of love to an ingenious temper than love. Now in that Christ is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, you have a most evident demonstration that He loves you. For hereby it is very clear what His love to you is.(1) A great love, and most extensive; that can reach all conditions and circumstances which you are or may be in, even such as the love of others will not touch, will not come near: a love that will show itself in all cases, even where it could be least expected; a love that will surmount and overflow all discouragements.(2) A free love. This is an evidence He can love freely; He can love those who are all made up of defects and imperfections.(3) A lasting, a constant love, such as all the waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown. It cannot be nonplussed, it abides the sorest trials.(4) A peerless love. It cannot be matched. There is no such thing to be found in heaven or earth, but in Christ only. Now, as He is High Priest, He is both God and man; and so His love to us is both the love of God and also the love of man in one person. No instance of such a love can be given in the whole world.(5) It is a cordial love, not in show or appearance only, not in outward acts and expressions, but such as springs from His heart and affects that. He is touched, i.e., His heart is touched with the concerns of His people.(6) An all-sufficient love.

II. For comfort to the people of Christ. Here is ground of great consolation in every condition; in the worst, the most grievous circumstances that you can be compassed with in this world.

(D. Clarkson, B. D.)

I. WE HAVE AN HIGH PRIEST. It is in no figurative sense that Christ is called a High Priest.


1. His nature secures us of His sympathy. And this sympathy is of that intimate and tender kind of which He may be supposed capable who was in all respects like His brethren — that is, in all things requisite to constitute a perfect human nature. If, indeed, we make a distinction between sinless and sinful infirmities, we must also make a distinction between the kinds of feeling with which our High Priest can be touched. He is capable of feeling for both, but not certainly in the same manner. Those infirmities which we call sinless, and which are rather the painful consequences of sin than in themselves sinful, He felt Himself, as being inseparable now from human nature; and, consequently, He feels a sympathy of love for these unmingled with any emotions of disapprobation. But those infirmities, again, which are sinful, He could not Himself be conscious of; nay, they must have been, however palliated by circumstances, the subjects of His disapprobation. And yet as an High Priest or Mediator would not be required but on account of sin; and as it is in the work of receiving the confessions, preferring the supplications, and offering the gifts of sinners, through the merits of His atoning sacrifice, that He is expressly engaged, He must also feel the sympathy of compassion for those who are erring and out of the way, however much it be mingled with displeasure and pain.

2. But, lest any distressing doubts should still remain in your minds that, although a partaker of our nature, He may yet never have had our experience, without which He might still be regarded as not capable of being touched with a feeling of our infirmities, the apostle to this negative adds a positive assertion — He "was in all respects tempted as we are." His experience, as well as His constitution, fits Him for our compassionate High Priest, and assures us of His sympathy. Human life is a state of suffering, and a period of temptation. All ranks and conditions of men have their peculiar trials; but to the human family many afflictions are common; and both the peculiar and the general sorrows of our race the Saviour knew by experience. Thus, with good intentions, He was subjected to trials by God. But He was also solicited to sin, for the worst of purposes, both by unprincipled men and malignant fiends.

III. WE HAVE A SINLESS HIGH PRIEST. It is a curious speculation in the science of mind, and it has been made a dangerous one in that of divinity, how far solicitation to sin could assail the mind of the Holy One without His becoming sinful; and how an infallible, impeccable being, could possibly be subjected to real temptations. It is perhaps safe to establish no dogmas upon such subjects, and safer altogether to avoid their agitation. It is sufficient for religious ends, at least, to know, that the angels who kept not their first estate, Adam and Eve who lost paradise, and Christ Jesus who regained it, were all tempted by the solicitations of sin while yet in innocence. It is still more delightful to know that this untainted Saviour, having come out of the fiery furnace of temptation victorious, is able, in consequence of His subjection to trials, more feelingly and effectually to succour those who are tempted.

(James Jarvie.)


1. The similarity of His circumstances. "In all points tempted like as we are." As we, Jesus Christ was tried in the body, tried by toil, exhaustion, hunger, thirst, pain, and death. As we, Jesus Christ was tried in His estate or condition, tried by poverty, persecution, contempt, misrepresentation, desertion, tried by friendlessness, and tried by solitude. As we, Jesus Christ was tried in mind, by fear, perplexity, and sorrow. And as we. Jesus Christ was tried by the presentation of seducements to evil. Now in all this we see a similarity of condition.

2. But now, mark, the dissimilarity of character. "He was tried in all points as we, but without sin." He never transgressed any law. He left nothing undone that he ought to have done. No defilement of sin ever entered His spirit. We would here remark that " without sin," Jesus Christ would be more sensitive towards all kinds of suffering. It is true that He never could experience remorse. But all such feelings as sadness and fear would be stronger in Him than in us, because He was without sin. Sin hardens the soul. Holiness keeps every pore of the spirit open. "Without sin," Christ Jesus would, in a world of sin, suffer that which no sinner in such a world could endure. "Without sin," Jesus Christ would see forms of moral temptation more quickly and completely.

II. THE SPHERE IN WHICH THE SYMPATHY OF CHRIST IS HERE SAID TO BE DISPLAYED. He appears in the presence of God for us as our great High Priest, and in the presence of God for us, appearing as our great High Priest, He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." As He represents us with all our infirmities, He is" touched with the feeling of those infirmities." He offers, as our great High Priest, in the sense of application, the sacrifice for sin. So far as the provision of the atonement was concerned, that was finished when He gave up the ghost. He does not, in that sense, offer Himself often, but so far as the application of His sacrifice is concerned, this is perpetual. And thus offering, in the sense of the application, His own sacrifice for sin, as He does this, He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." Then, as our Priest, He cleanses us and purifies us. This is one of the functions of the priesthood, to sprinkle clean water upon us that we may be clean; and as He purifies us, He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." It is also part of His work, in the name of Jehovah to bless us, to say to us, as the priest of old, "Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee." And as He pronounces upon us this Divine benediction "He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities." It is also His to make intercession for us. And as He mentions our name, and records our circumstances, He is " touched with the feeling of our infirmities," "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" as we exhibit them. Some of our infirmities may be down in the dark depths of our spiritual nature, but when we present ourselves, we present even these infirmities to His eye, and as we exhibit them He is "touched" by them. As we become conscious of them He is "touched" with His fellow-feeling — hence He does not deal with them with rough, but gentle hand. He is " touched with the feeling of our infirmities," as in various ways He recognises them; " touched " because of His goodness, because as God He is love, and " touched" because of His past experience. But what shall we do with this fact? "Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Some are inclined to stay away from the throne of grace because of their sorrows. This sacred writer forbids our keeping at a distance from the throne of grace, because of these infirmities and troubles, and in the name of God he bids us come just as we are. The greater your sorrows, the greater need is there for your coming. The more fierce your temptations, the greater necessity is there for your coming. And, I may say, the more you need to have done for you, the more welcome you will be.

(S. Martin, D. D.)

They tell us that, in some trackless lands, when one friend passes through the pathless forests, he breaks a twig ever and anon as he goes, that those who come after may see the traces of his having been there, and may know that they are not out of the road. Oh, when we are journeying through the murky night and the dark woods of affliction and sorrow, it is something to find here and there a spray broken or a leafy stem bent down with the tread of Christ's foot and the brush of His hand as He passed, and to remember that the path He trod He has hallowed, and that there are lingering fragrances and hidden strengths in the remembrance, "in all points tempted as we are," bearing grief for us, bearing grief with us, bearing grief like us.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Don't you sometimes find it very hard to make even your doctor understand what the pain is like? Words don't seem to convey it. And after you have explained the trying and wearying sensation as best you can, you are convinced those who have not felt it do not understated it. Now, think of Jesus not merely entering into the fact, but into the feeling of what you are going through. "Touched with the feeling" — how deep that goes!

(F R. Havergal.)

Mr. Howells tells of a cab-driver in Florence, in whose cab at nightfall he sent home a child to the hotel from a distance. Being persistent in securing the driver's number, the cabman began to divine his reason, and so he replied to Mr. Howells, "Oh! rest easy, I, too, am a father!"

(H. O. Mackey.)

Our gracious Queen, during her long and chequered reign, has been permitted to send many a letter of condolence to crowned heads in foreign lands, when they have been called, in the providence of God, to exchange their crowns and coronets for tokens of mourning. Amongst them all there never was one that carried with it and in it such a deep, sweet grace of tenderness as that which she wrote with her own hand some time since to the widow of the late President of the great republic of America. And why did it bring such a depth of comfort? Because its I,ages were stained with the tears of a kindred widowhood.

(Bp. of Algoma.)

Having been tempted — or pierced through, Luther was a piercing preacher, and met with every man's temptation; and being once demanded how he could do so? "Mine own manifold temptations," said he, "and experiences are the cause thereof"; for from his tender years he was much beaten and exercised with spiritual conflicts.

(J. Trapp.)

Trajan, the Emperor, being blamed by his friends for being too gentle towards all, answered that being an Emperor he would now be such toward private men, as he once, when he was a private man. wished that the Emperor should be towards him. Christ hath lost nothing of His wonted pity by His exaltation in heaven.

(J. Trapp.)

Christ was "tempted like as we are." Are we tempted through the senses? So was He. Are we tempted by opportunities of carnal honour and carnal power? So was He. Are we tempted through our human affections? So was He. Are we tempted to deflection from the path of obedience by the infirmities of the good, or the crafty questioning of the worldly wise? So was He. Every testing process to which we are subjected He went through. Satan omitted no conceivable mode, and withheld no possible intensity of trial from the holy soul of Immanuel. All the magic prospects and all the soothing illusions that externalism could give, all its joyful or mournful influences, all its power of tenderness or terror, he employed to enchant or to assail the Son of Man. So He was tempted in all points as we are, as to the instruments of temptation, though He had not all our susceptibilities to their touch. In all points in which He could innocently, He did actually resemble us. He was ever tempted as we s re; though ever victorious, as we are not.

(C. Stanford, D. D.)

A geographer may be a competent representative of the land through which he travels, without having stood on every single foot of ground which he describes. Robinson did not need to tread every square inch of the streets of Jerusalem in order to understand the topography of that city, and represent it accurately to us. It was not necessary that Christ should pass through every shade and every inflection of human experience in order to understand them. For all experience issues from certain definite foundations of faculty; and it is enough if every faculty which works in us was proved, pained, tempted, and tried in Him, and tried up to this measure, that no man should thereafter live who should have any temptation or trial that should make against any given faculty such a pressure as was made against our Saviour. Pride — is it tempted among men? All that I require is, that Christ should have felt a temptation of pride that should more than equal it; that should swell immeasurably above and overmatch any trial that befals His followers below — in other words, enough put to proof in that particular faculty of the human soul, to understand what that faculty can suffer; how it can be tempted; what course is needed to sustain one under such temptation. It is not needful, therefore, that Christ should sustain the relationship of husband, for He never was in wedlock; or of father. It only requires that He should sustain such a relation to universal human nature or life that there should be no faculty, no passion, no sentiment that is tempted in us, that should not also be tempted in Him; and that there should be no such pressure brought to bear upon us that our temptation should ever be greater than His knowledge of temptation through His own suffering.

(H. W. Beecher.)


1. "He was tempted." "God is not tempted of evil"; but the Saviour was. It is obvious that temptation can be a possibility only to a created spirit. On this account the Hebrews felt the idea of a tempted Saviour to be one most discordant to their tastes, repulsive to their pride. But Paul in this letter, which was written for the very purpose of confirming their faith, makes no attempt to soften or qualify that truth which so much tried it; he advances considerations which prove that what seemed to be the shame of the gospel was its glory, and that what seemed to be its weakness was one of the secrets of its power. He reiterates the statement that Christ was in reality tempted.

2. Yes, not only was He tempted, but the apostle adds, He was tempted in all points like as we are. He was tempted by all the powers, all the arts, all the devices, and all the instruments which are brought to bear upon us. In all points in which He could innocently, He did actually resemble us: He was ever tempted as we are, though ever victorious as we are not.

3. When the sacred writer has said of Jesus, "He was in all points tempted as we are," he adds the remarkable qualification "yet without sin." That is, the tempter found Him without sin, and left Him without sin. Imagine a father, in some dreary days of poverty, having the chance of taking, undetected, gold belonging to another man. He is without the sin of dishonesty, but the thought of his starving child, and the possibility by this one secret act of saving it from death will surely be a real trial; and, though he shakes off the thought like fire, does he not feel the temptation? Imagine some saint sentenced to perish at the stake for Christ. The authorities say, "Recant and live, or confess and die!" He is without the sin of spiritual disloyalty, but as he looks through the prison-bars on the green of the spring, and the blue glory of the sky, as in contrast to all this comes the thought, that if he should be constant to his Saviour he must shiver in the shaded cell through months of weariness and only be brought forth at last into the glare of day to die; although he may say, "O Jesus, though all men should deny Thee, yet will not!!" — do not all these things combine to make that offer of dear life a temptation hard to overcome? It is therefore conceivable that although Christ was without sin, He was not without the susceptibility of being tempted. He appropriated our nature with all its weakness.

II. Let us now with profound reverence endeavour to ascertain THE ENDS OF THE SAVIOUR'S TEMPTATIONS.

1. He was tempted that He might be perfected. The Divine nature could not be perfected; that, indeed, was perfect already, for that which is not always perfect is not always God. But human nature is born week and undeveloped; it has to grow in mind and in body; one of its essential laws is its capability of improvement. Thus it was that even Jesus had to he educated. He did not start into full stature in the flash of a moment. True, the Saviour was always perfect even as to His human nature, but perfection is a relative thing; the perfection of a child is something lower than the perfection of a man — as negative excellence differs from positive excellence, and as the perfect bud is inferior to " the bright consummate flower."

2. He was tempted that He might destroy the dominion of the tempter.

3. He was tempted that His peculiar and characteristic experience of temptation might lead His followers also to expect the same.

4. He was tempted that He might teach us by His example how to meet and sustain temptation. He was "led" not by the action of His own choice, but "by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil"; and in all subsequent instances you may trace the rule of the same principle. If you dwell in the jungle you are likely to take the jungle fever. If you "daily with the crested worm," you are likely to be smitten with his deadly fang; and so, if you pitch your tent in Vanity Fair, you are likely to catch the vain spirit of the scene. "To grapple with temptation is a venture; to fly from it is a victory."

5. He was tempted, to afford His tempted people the assurance of His sympathy. Even under ordinary circumstances we yearn for sympathy. Without it the heart will contract and droop, and shut like a flower in an unkindly atmosphere, but will open again amidst the sound of frankness and the scenes of love. When we are in trouble, this want is in proportion still more pressing; and for the sorrowful heart to feel alone is a grief greater than nature can sustain. A glance of sympathy seems to help it more than the gift of untold riches. Let it be remembered that it is suffering, and not necessarily similarity in other respects, that gives the power of sympathy. And did not Jesus "suffer, being tempted"? His infinitely holy nature, brought in contact with sin by temptation, must have passed through depths of shame and sorrow that we, the sinful, can never sound.

6. He was tempted that we might be encouraged to boldness in prayer for help. The dispensation of help is lounged in the hands of Jesus. We may infer, therefore, with what wisdom, delicacy, and promptitude it will be brought to us when we seek it.

(U. Stanford, D. D.)

In reflecting on our Lord's temptations, and on the sympathy which He now feels for those who are tempted, it is very necessary to remember the difference between temptation and sin, or the propensity to sin. Many persons cannot comprehend how any one can be tempted to sin who has no sinful propensity. It seems to these persons that an object presented to such an one with a view to temptation can, in fact, be no temptation at all; and that it can exert as little influence on his mind as it can upon a rock or a tree. Hence, as Christ was tempted in all points like as we are; as He is our example in resisting temptations; and as He sympathises with us in all our temptations, they think that He must have had a sinful tendency in His human nature. In order that we may not confound temptation with sin, or with a sinful tendency, let us consider what sin is an! what temptation is. We cannot have a better definition of sin than that which the Apostle John gives us, "Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). Man is the subject of numerous desires and affections which are essential to human nature. All man's natural desires — I mean his desires as man, not as fallen man — were intended to be gratified and were implanted for that very purpose. But they were intended to be gratified only in a certain way; only in that way which God should appoint, and which should be conducive to His glory and to the welfare and happiness of all His holy creatures. And this way He traced out in His law, and delineated upon the hearts and consciences of His creatures. Sin, then, as the apostle tells us, is the transgression of the law. It is the wish or attempt to gratify these natural desires, indifferent in themselves, in a way which God has forbidden. Next, what is temptation? Temptation is trial. Temptation is that which serves to show us what we are, and what is in us. It brings t., light the strength or weakness of our faith, our love to God, and our regard to His law. There are two ways in which a man may be tempted, or tried, or examined. First — When search is made into his heart and conduct by simple inquiry. In this way we are commanded to tempt or examine ourselves. Secondly — A man is tempted when he is exposed to the influence of some object of natural desire, or fear, or aversion, whose tendency, if it were not regulated by the fear of God, would be to draw or drive him out of the path of duty. God, we are told, did tempt Abraham thus, when He commanded him to offer up Isaac. This is the mode of trial which we usually understand by the word temptation. In this mode it is the prerogative of God alone to tempt us, or to lead us into temptation. It is of temptation in this latter sense only that [ at present speak. In order that there should be temptation it is necessary that there should be a certain natural adaptation or affinity in the mind to the object of temptation; but if higher principles so rule and govern the soul that they entirely neutralise that affinity, so that not the slightest inclination or desire for sinful gratification is excited, then there is neither sin nor propensity to sin. So far is there from being any propensity to sin, that the very temptation proves that there is the strongest propensity towards holiness. It puts to the test and proves the existence and strength of the positively holy principles which regulate all the motions of the mind and of the heart. Two substances, suppose, are chemically combined by a mutual affinity or attraction. The strength of this affinity is tested by introducing another substance which has an affinity to one and not to the other of the substances in combination. If one of these substances has a stronger affinity for the test than it has for the substance with which it is combined, it will disengage itself and unite with the test. But if its affinity for the substance with which it is combined be stronger it will remain as before. And if the most powerful tests are applied without producing any change, this proves that the affinity of the two substances in combination is too strong to be overcome by any other which is known to exist. Thus, in a perfectly holy being, the principle of love to God and His law is an affinity too powerful to be overcome by the most powerful of all desires, or the most painful of all sufferings. No temptation can excite even a single momentary inclination to disobey God and to sacrifice the principles of eternal righteousness and truth. Our Lord was perfect Man, and possessed all those affections which naturally belong to a perfect man. Had He not possessed them He could not have been the subject of temptation. But not only so, He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs. He was made subject to all the trials, sorrows, and sufferings which belong to man in his fallen state, save and except those which are inseparably connected with the ignorance, the alienation from God, and the habits of sin, which adhere to every other child of Adam. He always perfectly knew His Father's character and will, and was always, even from the womb, perfectly inclined to obedience, and filled with a perfect abhorrence of sin. He, therefore, could have no ignorance to mislead Him; no alienation of heart from God to overcome; no force of evil habit to subdue. In Him the love of God reigned supreme, and was in constant and uninterrupted exercise. No tendency to sin ever existed in His holy mind. He experienced none of that warfare between the flesh and the spirit which exists in us, because in Him the love of God was perfect, and the Spirit dwelt in Him without measure. Yet His temptations infinitely exceeded ours, both in power, variety, and number; and therefore He is able to sympathise with us in all our temptations far more perfectly, and to enter far more fully into all the difficulties and trials of each individual among us, than it is possible for any other human being to do. He does not, indeed, sympathise with us from experience in the warfare between the flesh and the spirit, for that were to sympathise with us in our sin, in our want of love to God, and in the weakness of our faith. And God forbid that we should ever desire any one to sympathise with us in sin. Yet though He does not sympathise with us in this warfare, yet He has compassion on us, and is ever ready to look with a pitying eye on our weakness.

(J. Rate, M. A.)

The first thought is suggested by the position of the words. They come just after the most solemn warnings and threatenings to be found in the Bible. If they listened only to the warnings from the disastrous history of their forefathers, who perished in the wilderness as the penalty of their backsliding from God, they would be driven to despair lest they should fall after the same example of unbelief; but he points them to the Saviour, who is stronger than all their enemies, and to the love and grace that can redeem them from all their sins. The Bible revelation of God is a combination throughout of these contrasted elements of the Divine nature. Righteousness and mercy, justice and love, are the revelations of God's character in Christ. Our characters as Christians must lay hold of, and grow upon these foundations. Our faith in its fulness is like the tree whose roots grapple the rocks, and twine themselves around the foundations of the hills far below the surface in the hidden recesses; but the branches wave in the breezes, and clothe themselves in the beauty of foliage, and echo with the glad song of birds, and climb up ever towards the light and the sky. So our faith must have roots in the conviction of sin and the justice of God, but it most climb up to the light of God's forgiveness and love in Christ. It must be strong and tender — a combination of awe and childlike trust. Now let us try to understand the meaning of the text itself. Jesus Christ is touched with a feeling of all our infirmities, because He was tempted as we are. He was without sin, and therefore He was not tempted by evil designs. He was not tempted by the hereditary proclivities. But temptations may come from perfectly sinless desires. The motive to violate a law may come from the noblest affections of the human soul. During the late war, thousands of men deserted from the army on both sides, from cowardice, and from ignoble treachery to the cause in which they were enlisted. There was one soldier who entered the army at twenty-three, leaving a young wife at home. His record as a soldier had no stain upon it. He had borne the colours of his regiment in a hundred battles. In the last terrible days of suffering in the winter around Petersburg, he stood to his post without flinching for a moment. A letter comes to him from his home. A poor neighbour writes to him that his wife is dying and his children are starving. He applies for a furlough, but it cannot be granted. Again a pitiful appeal comes from the same hand. He goes to his home, buries his dead wife, cares for his children, comes back to the army, and is arrested for desertion in the face of the enemy. Before the court-martial that tries him, he has nothing to say why the sentence should not be passed upon him. He knew it was death and he was ready to take it; but he asks them, as a favour to him, to read a letter, that they might know he was not a coward. The judge advocate begins to read the letter aloud, but his voice trembles and breaks. It is handed from one to the other and read in silence; and not a man in court could keep back the tears of sympathy for a brave comrade. The sentence is passed with a recommendation for pardon, and the pardon is given by the commanding general. He was tempted to violate his duty as a soldier by fidelity to his wife, and children. We can be tempted by the noblest impulses of which the human heart is capable. A good man suffers more in the presence of temptation than the bad man. The good man resists; and the resistance involves a struggle which strains every nerve, and puts every principle to the test. A distinguished writer illustrates this psychological principle. There are two men in business: one is conscientious and honourable; the other, a trickster ready for any sharp practice. Both are under the pressure of financial difficulties. An opportunity is offered to each to make a fortune by fraud. The conscientious man has seen disaster coming, His wife was reared in affluence; she has parted with her luxuries, and is doing the work of servants. He says to himself, "I might take the care and the burden from her, and save the children from poverty by this single stroke. But no, so help me God, I will see them starve before I sell my honour and conscience." The trickster, on the other hand, welcomes the opportunity. He argues, "Others do it, why may not I?" With him there is no moral struggle. His weakened conscience offers no barrier against which the temptation frets and rages. He and the tempter are of one mind. The wicked fall into temptation, the good resist it. But the resistance involves suffering as the price of the victory. We are told that Christ suffered, being tempted. The difference between our temptation and that of the Saviour is this: the will of His flesh was pure and innocent; the will of our flesh is impure and sinful; and these render us more liable to fall, but they do not increase the pain of the conflict, but rather diminish it. Christ suffered, being tempted, and His suffering was greater in proportion to His moral antagonism to evil. This principle takes His temptation out of the region of unreality and appearance, and unites Him to us in a living bond of human brotherhood. Human sympathy is too dull to comprehend the deeper struggles of a sensitive conscience with hidden temptation. But He who was tempted in all points as we are knows it all, and can give you grace for your hour of need. You may confess all these sins to Him. He triumphed over them, and you have yielded to them. Yet He has measured the strength of each of these temptations; and that experience has qualified Him to redeem you from their power, and to save you by His grace.

(Bp. A. M. Randolph.)

Yet without sin.
Christ was pure, without sin, upon these grounds:

1. That His human nature might be fit to be united to the Divine nature.

2. That He might be a sufficient Saviour of others. "For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, undefiled, separate from sinners" (chap. 7:26).

3. That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5.21).

4. That we might be saved, and yet the law not frustrated (Romans 8:3; Romans 10:4).

5. That Satan might have nothing to object against Him.

6. That death, grave, and devil might lose their power by seizing on Him that was without sin.(1) The aforesaid purity of Christ, to be without sin, puts a difference betwixt Christ and other priests, who "offered for themselves and for the errors of the people" (chap. 9:7).(2) It hence appeareth that no other man could have been a sufficient priest; for "there is none righteous; no, not one." "All have sinned" (Romans 3:10, 23).(3) This affordeth much comfort to us against our manifold sins; for when we appear before God He beholds us in our Surety. God's eye is especially cast upon Him who is without sin.(4) This may be a good incitement unto us to cleanse ourselves from all sin as far as possibly we can, that we may be like unto Him (1 John 3:3).

(W. Gouge.)

It might be supposed that to sinful men a high priest who had known sin would be fuller of sympathy. But the apostle is not writing to men as sinners, to men who have fallen, but to men in danger of falling. And to the condition of such men Christ's history appeals with power. He knew all temptation, and can sympathise with those tempted; He overcame it, and this gives Him skill and power in opening up a way of escape. And even of sin a sinner is an ill judge; he will either regard it with undue abhorrence, or with mawkish sentiment, or with a callousness that comes of thinking it a matter of course among men. A clear, uncoloured view of it, and of those liable to it, can only be found in the mind tempted but unfallen.

(A. B. Davidson, LL. D.)

Come boldly unto the throne of grace.
I. HERE IS OUR GREAT RESORT DESCRIBED: "The throne of grace." Indrawing near to God in prayer we come —

1. To God as a King, with reverence, confidence, and submission.

2. To one who gives as a King; therefore we ask largely and expectantly.

3. To one who sits upon a throne " of grace " on purpose to dispense grace.

4. To one who in hearing prayer is enthroned and glorified.

5. To one who even in hearing prayer acts as a sovereign, but whose sovereignty is all of grace.

II. HERE IS A LOVING EXHORTATION: "Let us come." It is the voice of one who goes with us. It is an invitation —

1. From Paul, a man like ourselves, but an experienced believer who had much tried the power of prayer.

2. From the whole Church speaking in him.

3. From the Holy Spirit.


1. Constantly, at all times.

2. Unreservedly, with all sorts of petitions.

3. Freely, with simple words.

4. Hopefully, with full confidence of being heard.

5. Fervently, with importunity of pleading.


1. "That we may obtain mercy, and find grace"; not that we may utter good words, but may actually obtain blessings.

(1)We may come when we need great mercy because of our sin.

(2)We may come when we have little grace.

(3)We may come when we are in need of more grace.

2. There are many other reasons for coming at once, and boldly.

(1)Our character may urge us. We are invited to come for " mercy," and therefore undeserving sinners may come.

(2)The character of God encourages us to be bold.

(3)Our relation to Him as children gives us great freedom.

(4)The Holy Spirit's guidance draws us near the throne.

(5)The promises invite us by their greatness, freeness, sureness, &c.

(6)Christ is already given to us, and therefore God will deny us nothing.

(7)Our former successes at the throne give us solid confidence.

3. The great reason of all for bold approach is in Jesus.

(1)He once was slain, and the mercy-seat is sprinkled with His blood.

(2)He is risen, and has justified us by His righteousness.

(3)He has ascended and taken possession of all covenant blessings on our behalf. Let us ask for that which is our own.

(4)He is sympathetic, tender, and careful for us; we must be heard.Conclusion:

1. Let us come to the throne, when we are sinful, to find mercy.

2. Let us come to the throne, when we are weak, to find help.

3. Let us conic to the throne, when we are tempted, to find grace.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. LET US SEE WHAT IT DECLARES THE LORD TO BE IN HIMSELF. His throne of grace signifies —

1. That He is a God of glory, of a glorious majesty. Here was the most glorious and majestic appearance of God amongst His people of old. Upon the mercy-seat He appeared in glory. The ark, whereof this very mercy-seat was a part, the most rich and splendid part, is called His glory (Psalm 78:61). Here He vouchsafed His special presence, as upon His throne.

2. That He is a God of dominion and sovereignty, that He rules and reigns and is supreme governor (Psalm 99:1, 2). He reigns; that appears by His throne. He sits between the cherubims. As so represented, the mercy-seat was His throne. Upon this account greatness, supremacy is ascribed to Him (ver. 2), and from hence Hezekiah declares His sovereignty over all kingdoms (2 Kings 19:15).

3. That He is a God of power and might, of almighty power. When He is spoken of as upon His throne, the mercy-seat, He is called the Lord of hosts, one who has all the power in the world (1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2); and the ark, whereof the mercy-seat was a principal part, is called the strength of God (Psalm 78:61, 132:8), because, as it was a testimony of His presence, so a symbol of His strength and power, ready to be engaged for His people.

4. That He is a God of holiness (Psalm 99:5). To worship at His footstool is to worship towards the mercy-seat (ver. 1), between the cherubim. There He resided as a God of holiness. And upon that account every part of the temple, yea, the hill where it was seated, was counted holy (ver. 9). But above all, that part where the mercy-seat was, that was the most holy place, or. as it is in Hebrew, the holiness of holinesses (Exodus 27:23). The mercy-seat was the throne of His holiness (Psalm 47:8); and giving oracles from thence, it is called the oracle of holiness (Psalm 28:2).

5. That He is a God of wisdom, who sees and knows all things, to whom nothing is hid, or obscure, or difficult. From the mercy-seat He gave oracles; He made discoveries to His people of such things which otherwise they could not come to the knowledge of.

6. In fine, the mention of the throne of grace minds us of the wisdom of God, that we should draw near Him as one who knows our state, yea, our hearts, and understands all the ways and means how to help us and do us good.


1. A God in Christ. The throne of grace is "the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Revelation 22:3). The throne of God alone is not to be approached by us; but the throne of God and the Lamb is the seat of mercy, the throne of grace. He not only gives law to His people, but makes provision for them, that their souls may have plenty (ver. 1 with Ezekiel 47.), and he protects His subjects too. As the wings of the cherubims (parts of the mercy-seat) overshadowed and covered the holy things, so does He cover and overshadow His holy ones.

2. A God reconciled. It signifies that His justice is satisfied, His wrath appeased; not now incensed against His people, but well pleased and propitious. The name of the mercy-seat declares this. It is ἱλαστήριον, a propitiatory.

3. A God of forgiveness. As graciously pardoning the sins of His people. When He is represented to us upon the mercy-seat, He is set forth as a God that has found out a way to hide our sins out of His sight.

4. A God in covenant (Numbers 10:33; Hebrews 9:4).

5. A God that will have communion with His people; one who will admit dust and ashes to have fellowship with Him. He offers there to meet them, to commune with them, to discover and communicate Himself to them. He admits His servants to communion with Him when He vouch ales to meet them. And the mercy-seat was the place of meeting which the Lord appointed for Moses (Exodus 30:36). He will meet with him as we meet with a friend whom we desire and delight to converse with. He would meet His servants there to discover Himself to them. The LXX render it, "I will be known to thee from thence," He did make known Himself as a man to his friend. There He did commune with them (Exodus 25:22).

6. A God that bears prayer, and will answer the petitions and supplications of His people. The Lord gave answers from the mercy-seat; and this may be the reason why their posture of old in worshipping and praying was towards the mercy-seat (Psalm 28:2). That was the place where the mercy-seat was. Called the oracle, because the Lord from the mercy-seat gave answers; and so it is rendered by some " the answering place" (so Psalm 5:7).

7. A God that is present with His people. More particularly this denotes —(1) An intimate presence. He is in the midst of His people. So He was while He was on the mercy-seat, so He will be while that remains, which this did but typify; while the throne of grace, while the mediation of Christ continues, who is King and Priest for ever.(2) A special, a gracious presence. He was not present here only as He is in the rest of the world, but in a more special way, as upon a mercy-seat, from which others were far removed, so as they could have no access to the propitiatory, no advantages by it.(3) A glorious presence. As the mercy-seat upon which the Lord appears is a throne of grace, so is it a throne of glory (Jeremiah 17:12; Jeremiah 14:21).(4) An all-sufficient presence — sufficient to secure them from all things dreadful and to supply them with all things desirable. This is the security of His people (Psalm 46:5).(5) A continuing presence. He is said to dwell on the mercy-seat. In reference thereto is His promise (1 Kings 6:13). The throne of grace denotes no less (Revelation 7:15). Here He is, and here He abides. We need never suffer through His absence. Have recourse to Him on the throne of grace, and we need never be at a loss.

8. A God that will show Himself merciful and gracious to His people, that will deal mercifully and graciously with them. Now, when He thus represents Himself, they may find grace and mercy.

(D. Clarkson, B. D.)


1. Pardon.

2. Strength.

II. THE CHRISTIAN'S PRIVILEGE. We may obtain all we require.

1. We may approach the throne of grace.

2. Boldly, not with a feeling of terror, but as unto a loving God, a reconciled Father.

III. THE CHRISTIAN'S ENCOURAGEMENTS. We need an advocate. Christ is the sinner's Advocate. We need an experienced advocate — Jesus was a tempted and experienced Saviour. We need a compassionate advocate — Jesus was an experienced, and therefore a compassionate Advocate.

(H. M. Villiers, M. A.)

I. It will be well — nay, it is all-important — that we understand THE MEANING of the apostle when he bids us " come boldly to the throne of grace." We are not, then, to approach the throne of grace doubting; we are not to draw near as if we thought that we should not be received there gladly; we are not to come as though we expected to be sent away without being heard, for then the weakness of our faith in Christ is at once made manifest. In short, to draw near with the persuasion that God will not hear our prayer is to insult rather than to respect and honour Him. We must guard likewise against a rash, presumptuous approach, because, as sinners guilty and polluted, it is impossible that we can have anything wherewith to appear before the Lord. Such boldness as this can never become those who come to obtain mercy and grace. The boldness which we are authourised to use is that which arises from a knowledge of our own vileness and the sufficiency there is in Christ to His people's wants. Here is our confidence, here is our hope; in Christ and in Him crucified we find both power and willingness to help.

II. THE REASONS why we are to come to the throne of grace are two, namely, that we may obtain mercy, and grace to help in time of need. And oh! what need have we to pray for mercy! Let us for one moment call to mind the many and grievous sins which we have committed against a pure and holy God. Let us remember also that we must very shortly give an account to God for every word we have spoken, every thought we have conceived, every deed we have done. Let us think for one moment of these things, and surely we shall not delay to cry for mercy; surely we shall earnestly and at once cry out with the publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner." We are to come also for "grace to help in time of need." Although salvation is not of debt but of grace, although it is the free gift of God through Christ Jesus, nevertheless we must be made meet to receive it. Holiness, be it remembered, will not entitle us to heaven; it will only make us like those who are accounted worthy of it. Every moment, therefore, of our lives must be under the guidance of Divine grace.


1. The time of prosperity is a "time of need." When the world smiles upon us we are in a situation of great difficulty and danger. We are then apt to put our confidence more in the creature and less in the Creator.

2. The time of adversity is a "time of need." When the hand of God presses heavy upon us, how ready are we to question His loving-kindness! how disposed are we to give way to despair and to indulge in immoderate grief! to doubt those gracious words, "All things shall work together for good to them that love God"!

3. The time of death is a "time of need." It is an awful thing to contend with the prince of this world for the last time. It is an awful thing to know that we are about to enter upon eternity and to appear in the presence of the living God.

(John Wright, M. A.)

We are here directed to a throne with its character: it is said to be a throne of grace. We are here led to contemplate our Redeemer in His most exalted character; we are here called to view Him as a Priest upon a throne. Priests are seldom advanced to a throne, or have the opportunity of exercising influence around them without evil to themselves and mischief to society. We have here, however, a Priest on a throne — from whom we have everything to hope and nothing to fear.

1. Some thrones, you know, are hereditary; and so is this, for He that occupieth it is the Son, the only-begotten Son of God, the Firstborn of every creature, the brightness of His Father's glory and the express image of His person — the Heir of all things, and consequently the Heir of this throne.

2. Some thrones, you know, have been secured by conquest; and so has this. He came up from the conflict, His garments dyed in His own blood and the blood of His enemies; and through the ranks of fiends and death He pushed His triumphant course to the possession of that kingdom, and gained the glorious victory.

3. Some thrones are elective; so is this also. "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool." "Him hath God exalted at His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour."But it is termed "the throne of grace" — not a throne of grace, as we often hear talked about, as though there were a great many of that character: no such thing; there is only one.

1. "The throne of grace" — to distinguish it from that throne of the Redeemer on which He sits as the Ruler of the universe, the Governor of earth and heaven and hell.

2. It is distinguished, again, from that throne of equity on which He sits as the Moral Governor of the world; in which capacity He exercises a judicial influence which extends to all minds and to all consciences.

3. Then, again, it is distinguished from the throne of judgment, on which He will sit by and by. This is "the throne of grace." Here we are called to view the Redeemer as sitting on the mercy-seat, between the cherubim, as He did when He gave audience to the high priest and issued His commands. Hero He opens an audience-chamber to His people; here He receives the applications made in prayer by the needy, humble, desiring children of God.Here He listens to their diversified cases and necessities, and imparts suitable, sustaining, and abundant assistance.

1. It is the "throne of grace," because grace, unmerited love and goodness, designed and erected it. We had neither claim nor right to any such privilege. It is grace continues it; and it is very difficult to say whether grace abounds most in erecting this throne, or in continuing it to the children of men.

2. It is the "throne of grace," because grace is here given. Here He gives grace to instruct the ignorant, to direct the doubting, to enliven the mild spirit, to sustain the feeble heart, to strengthen its weaknesses, to comfort its distresses, to supply its needs. Here He gives grace to save to the uttermost; for every good and perfect gift which comes from the Father of light is here dispensed.

3. Now, to this "throne of grace" we have all errands. In the first place, we have errands because we need mercy. We need the mercy of God to forgive our every offence and to remit the punishment to which we are exposed.

4. We not only need mercy, but we need an assurance that God has given us mercy. We know and feel that we are guilty; why may we not know and feel that we are pardoned? A consciousness of guilt brings alarm, and while this is the case there can be no comfort, no peace, till such time as the guilt is removed and taken away. And what a mercy is this! What a heaven of bliss to be pardoned and to know it! But we are unprofitable, short-coming creatures. We need mercy to bear with us like the barren fig-tree. Our precious time, for instance, has not always been profitably improved; our talents have not always been usefully employed; our duties to God, in gratitude, in faith, in affection — our duties to men, in kindness, charity, and love — have not been strictly discharged. We need God's mercy to pardon all this; we need the mercy of God to bear with us and forgive us all our transgressions. We are necessitous pensioners on the Divine bounty, and need supplies of grace. We are every moment dependent upon God, and we can only live through that dependence; we can live only so long as His bounty is exercised. We are dependent upon Him for life, which is perpetually exposed to danger; we are dependent upon Him for help, which is only to be obtained from His hand. We are dependent upon Him for temporal supplies — day by day for our daily bread. We are dependent upon Him for delivering our souls from the power of sin, the world, the flesh, a d the devil. In short, we need the mercy of God in every period of life, in the article of death, and even at the day of judgment: we shall need to "look for the mercy of God unto eternal life." We have errands at this throne that we may obtain mercy.

5. But we not only need mercy to pardon our sins, to bear with our unprofitableness, and to supply our need, but we need grace to renew us. We need renewing grace — grace to enlighten our minds, grace to renew our hearts, grace to regenerate our heart's nature, grace to conform our will to the will of God — grace that we may approve, desire, and relish spiritual enjoyment, and thus be prepared for all the service of God.

6. We need also grace to keep us in this renewed state. The life of God imparted to human nature placed in circumstances like these would be like dropping a spark of fire upon an ocean of ice. How it should be kept alive, how it should burst into a flame, how it should illuminate with its light the darkness and melt the hardness of the world, can only be by receiving grace. And though God has promised to impart this life, and is delighted to impart it, yet He will not give it without being inquired of: we must go for grace to the throne of grace.

7. But we need grace inasmuch as we have duties to perform. Our duties are numerous; they pertain to God, to man, and to ourselves. The text adverts to a special season, which the apostle calls "time of need": "that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Speaking generally, every time is a "time of need"; for when is it that no enemy, like a cunning, wily beast of prey, is not watching for a moment of unguardedness to seize and to devour? Yet there are certain ascertained seasons which may more emphatically be called a "time of need." We are dying in a state of uncertainty; we know not at all what is before us. I am aware that it may be said that if we have grace to live to God now, suffering grace will be given for suffering times; and if we have grace to live to God now, when God changes the work from doing to suffering, from living to dying, He will change the grace too. Yes, He will; but only in answer to prayer: He will be "inquired of."What is the use that we may make of this subject?

1. The apostle says, "Come boldly to the throne of grace" — not irreverently. We should never forget the justice, holiness, dignity, and mystery of Him whom we address: we should have grace to "serve Him with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire."

2. When it is said, "Come boldly unto the throne of grace," the apostle does not mean you are to come presumptuously. as if you would command God.

3. When the apostle says, "Come boldly to the throne of grace," we understand that we are to come readily. We are to have a knowledge of our state, to feel our wants, to entertain desires after holiness. We are not to pore over our unworthiness; we are not to parley with the enemy; we are not to wait till we are better; we are not to expect a more convenient season.

4. When it is said, "Come boldly to the throne of grace," we understand that we are to come near. It is not enough to catch God's eye at a distance, but to get His heart, and the very fulness of His heart. "Come boldly to the throne of grace," and expect to find Him near to save.

5. "Come boldly to the throne of grace"; come cheerfully. And in order to do this we should contemplate God in all the encouraging aspects of His character. When we come to the throne we should look on Him in all the friendly, brotherly, Scriptural relations in which He has discovered Himself to us.

6. "Come boldly to the throne of grace" — come with liberty; not straitened in your own souls, not contracted in your desires, not limited in your aspirations.

7. "Come boldly to the throne of grace" — come confidently, with the confidence that you shall receive.

8. "Come boldly to the throne of grace" — come frequently. The path leading to this throne should be trampled, well used, such a beaten path as to be as bare as the street.

9. We should come importunately — like Jacob when he grasped the angel and said, "I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me"; like the Canaanitish woman when she said, "Is it meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to the dogs?" like the widow who, by her continued coming to the unjust judge, wearied him; like the person who applied to his neighbour at night for the loan of bread to entertain his friend, and would take no denial.

10. The apostle suggests encouragement. We are encouraged to come because we have a High Priest who is great in all the attributes of mercy and love, who hath finished His work to His Father's satisfaction, and hath entered within the veil. "Seeing that we have such a High Priest." When you come to the throne, He takes you by the hand, and introduces you to God; He takes your prayers, and perfumes them with the incense of His merit, and urges your feeble requests.

(W. Atherton.)

I. THERE IS, THERE WILL BE, A SEASON, MANY A SEASON, IN THE COURSE OF OUR PROFESSION AND WALKING BEFORE GOD, WHEREIN WE DO OR SHALL STAND IN NEED OF ESPECIAL AID AND ASSISTANCE. This is included in the last words, "help in time of need" — help that is suitable and seasonable for and unto such a condition wherein we are found earnestly to cry out for it.

1. A time of affliction is such a season. God is an help (Psalm 46:1) in all sorts of straits and afflictions.

2. A time of persecution is such a season; yea, it may be the principal season here intended (see chap. 10.). And this is the greatest trial that in general God exerciseth His Church withal. In such a season some seed quite decayeth, some stars fall from heaven, some prove fearful and unbelieving, to their eternal ruin; and few there are but that where persecution is urgent, it hath some impression upon them to their disadvantage. Carnal fears, with carnal wisdom and counsels, are apt to be at work in such a season; and all the fruit that comes from those evil roots is bitter.

3. A time of temptation is such a season. St. Paul found it so when he had the messenger of Satan sent to buffet him.

4. A time of spiritual desertion is such a season. When God in any way withdraws Himself from us, we shall stand in need of special assistance.

5. A time wherein we are called unto the performance of any great and signal duty is such a season also. So was it with Abraham when he was called first to leave his country and afterwards to sacrifice his son. Such was the call of Joshua to enter into Canaan, proposed to our example (Hebrews 13:5), and of the apostles to preach the gospel when they were sent out as sheep among wolves.

6. Times of changes and the difficulties wherewith they are attended introduce such a season. "Changes and war," saith Job, "are against me" (Job 10:17). There is in all changes a war against us, wherein we may be foiled if we are not the more watchful and have not the better assistance.

7. The time of death is such a season. To let go all hold of present things and present hopes, to give up a departing soul, entering into the invisible world, and an unchangeable eternity therein, into the hands of a sovereign Lord, is a thing which requires a strength above our own for the right and comfortable performance of.

II. THAT THERE IS WITH GOD IN CHRIST, GOD ON HIS THRONE OF GRACE, A SPRING OF SUITABLE AND SEASONABLE HELP FOR ALL TIMES AND OCCASIONS OF DIFFICULTY. He is the God of all grace, and a fountain of living waters is with Him for the refreshment of every weary and thirsty soul.




VI. GREAT DISCOURAGEMENTS OFTEN INTERPOSE THEMSELVES IN OUR MINDS, AND AGAINST OUR FAITH, WHEN WE STAND IN NEED OF ESPECIAL HELP FROM GOD AND WOULD MAKE OUR APPLICATION UNTO HIM FOR RELIEF. It is included in the exhortation to come with boldness; that is, to cast off and conquer all those discouragements, and to use confidence of acceptance and liberty of speech before Him.

VII. FAITH'S CONSIDERATION OF THE INTERPOSITION OF CHRIST IN OUR BEHALF, AS OUR HIGH PRIEST, IS THE ONLY WAY TO REMOVE DISCOURAGEMENTS AND TO GIVE US BOLDNESS IN OUR ACCESS TO GOD. Let us come, therefore, with boldness; that is, on the account of the care, love, and faithfulness of Christ as our High Priest, before discoursed on.

VIII. IN ALL OUR APPROACHES UNTO GOD WE ARE TO CONSIDER HIM AS ON A THRONE. Though it be a throne of grace, yet it is still a throne, the consideration whereof should influence our minds with reverence and godly fear in all things wherein we have to do with Him.

(John Owen, D. D.)


1. It is set up for those who have been ruined by sin.

2. None will come to it but those who feel sin to be a burden.

3. It is also a kind of holy retirement, where the true followers of Jesus may meet their Lord.


1. His entire reliance on Christ.

2. His experimental knowledge of the eternal priesthood of Christ.

3. His own experience.


1. A time of national lukewarmness is a tithe of need.

2. The time when the Lord is arming Himself with judgment is a time of need.

3. A time of prosperity is a time of need.

4. A time of spiritual warfare is a time of need.

(F. G. Crossman.)


1. A throne — the symbol of dominion — where God manifests His glory (Isaiah 6:1; Revelation 19:4; Matthew 6:13).

2. Power may be taken in two senses-authority and ability. Christ possesses both (Hebrews 8:1).

3. He has authority to pardon, to bestow the gift of sonship, to exercise supreme control (Matthew 9:6; John 1:12; John 17:2).

4. The secret of our power over evil lies in our being under Christ's control (Luke 7:8; Ecclesiastes 8:4).


1. The distinction between the Cross and the throne.

2. The place of atonement and the place of worship (Exodus 25:22).

3. The provisions for worship in Christ. Access (Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 10:19, 20). Pardon and acceptance (Hebrews 10:23).


1. TO meet our unworthiness. "Mercy."

2. To meet our insufficiency. "Grace." "My grace" — "for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

3. A river proceeding out of the throne (Revelation 22:1).

4. The exhortation: "Let us come boldly." "Let us draw near" — "with a true heart" — "in full assurance of faith" (Hebrews 10:22).

(E. H. Hopkins.)

I. WHAT THIS BOLDNESS IS. It is not audacity, rudeness or trifling freedom. Prayer and insolence ill accord together. This boldness arises from nothing in ourselves, but purely from the goodness of the Being we address: and it consists principally in a persuasion that we are freely authorised to come, and may confidently hope to succeed.

II. THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE ARE TO COME TO THE THRONE OF GRACE. To "obtain mercy" and to "find grace." The blessings are wisely connected together by the apostle, because there are too many people who try to separate them. They would be saved from hell, but not from sin. They wished to be pardoned, but not renewed. They would have mercy, but not grace. But be not deceived. Whom God forgives He sanctifies and prepares for His service. And both these blessings are equally important and necessary to our salvation. Let us therefore pray for both.

1. Pray for mercy. And pray like those who know they greatly need it. You are very guilty.

2. Pray for "grace to help in time of need." But is not every time a time of need with us? It is. And there is not a moment in our existence in which we can live as we ought, independently of Divine grace. We need this grace, to mortify our corruptions; to sanctify our affections; to resist temptations: to overcome the world. But there are some seasons in which we peculiarly require the aid of Divine grace.Now if we are to pray "that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," does it not follow, as a fair inference, that a prayerless person is destitute both of the mercy and grace of God?

1. Have you come to this throne? You ate fond of hearing sermons — but while you so often hear from God, does God ever hear from you?

2. Do you design to come? or have you resolved to "restrain prayer before Him"? Do you imagine you can acquire these blessings in any other way than by prayer? Or do you imagine these blessings are not worthy of your pursuit? If you could gain a fortune by prayer — would you not pray? Or health — would you not pray? But what are these to mercy and grace? Or do you imagine they are not to be gained? There is no ground for such despair: He "waiteth to be gracious; and is exalted to have mercy."

(W. Jay.)

I. Our text speaks of a THRONE, — "The Throne of Grace." God is to be viewed in prayer as our Father; that is the aspect which is dearest to us; but still we are not to regard Him as though He were such as we are; for our Saviour has qualified the expression " Our Father," with the words "who art in heaven." In order to remind us that our Father is still infinitely greater than ourselves, He has bidden us say, "Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come"; so that our Father is still to be regarded as a King, and in prayer we come, not only to our Father's feet, but we come also to the throne of the Great Monarch of the universe. If prayer should always be regarded by us as an entrance into the courts of the royalty of heaven; if we are to behave ourselves as courtiers should in the presence of an illustrious majesty, then we are not at a loss to know the right spirit in which to pray.

1. If in prayer we come to a throne, it is clear that our spirit should, in the first place, be one of lowly reverence. It is expected that the subject in approaching to the king should pay him homage and honour.

2. A throne, and, therefore, to be approached with devout joyfulness. If I find myself favoured by Divine grace to stand amongst those favoured ones who frequent His courts, shall I not feel glad?

3. It is a throne, and therefore, whenever it is approached, it should be with complete submission. We do not pray to God to instruct Him as to what He ought to do, neither for a moment must we presume to dictate the line of the Divine procedure.

4. If it be a throne, it ought to be approached with enlarged expectations.

5. The right spirit in which to approach the throne of grace is that of unstaggering confidence. Who shall doubt the King? Who dares impugn the Imperial word?

6. If prayer be a coming before the throne of God, it ought always to be conducted with the deepest sincerity, and in the spirit which makes everything real. If you are disloyal enough to despise the King, at least, for your own sake, do not mock Him to His face, and when He is upon His throne. If anywhere you dare repeat holy words without heart, let it not be in Jehovah's palace.

II. Lest the glow and brilliance of the word "throne " should be too much for mortal vision, our text now presents us with the soft, gentle radiance of that delightful word "GRACE." We are called to the throne of grace, not to the throne of law. It is a throne set up on purpose for the dispensation of grace; a throne from which every utterance is an utterance of grace; the sceptre that is stretched out from it is the silver sceptre of grace: the decrees proclaimed from it are purposes of grace; the gifts that are scattered adown its golden steps are gifts of grace; and He that sits upon the throne is grace itself.

1. If in prayer I come before a throne of grace, then the faults of my prayer will be overlooked.

2. Inasmuch as it is a throne of grace, the faults of the petitioner himself shall not prevent the success of his prayer.

3. If it be a throne of grace, then the desires of the pleader will be interpreted. If I cannot find words in which to utter my desires, God in His grace will read my desires without the words.

4. If it be a throne of grace, then all the wants of those who come to it will be supplied.

5. And so all the petitioner's miseries shall be compassionated.

III. But now regarding the text as a whole, it conveys to us the idea of GRACE ENTHRONED. It is a throne, and who sits on it? It is grace personified that is here installed in dignity. And, truly, to-day grace is on a throne. In the gospel of Jesus Christ grace is the most predominant attribute of God. How comes it to be so exalted?

1. "We reply, well, grace has a throne by conquest.

2. Grace, moreover, sits on the throne because it has established itself there by right. There is no injustice in the grace of .God.

3. Grace is enthroned because Christ has finished His work and gone into the heavens. It is enthroned in power.

IV. Lastly, our text, if rightly read, has in it SOVEREIGNTY RESPLENDENT IN GLORY — THE GLORY OF GRACE. The mercy seat is a throne; though grace is there, it is still a throne. Grace does not displace sovereignty.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)


1. Mercy, pardoning mercy, reconciling mercy, saving mercy. The brightest saint needs it, as well as the greatest sinner. We need it every hour of our life, and in every action of our life.

2. Grace: supporting, helping grace, "grace to help in time of need." It is grace only that can subdue our corruptions, resist temptation, warm our hearts, and bring strength, comfort, and hope to our troubled souls.


1. The apostle tells us to seek them at a throne: he sends us therefore to a God of majesty. A throne implies also that He is a God of infinite, almighty power, in the universe over which He reigns.

2. Yet it is a throne of grace. He who sits upon it has removed out of the way all impediments that He can now be gracious to a world of sinners in a way consistent with His honour, and show Himself a God of mercy without tarnishing the glory of His other perfections.

III. How ARE WE TO SEEK OF HIM MERCY AND GRACE? "Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace."

1. It is plain that if God is seated on a throne as a God of majesty and power, this boldness must be altogether different from fearless presumption or irreverent freedom.

2. The boldness of which the apostle speaks is opposed to self-will, and must consequently include in it submission to the will of God.

3. This boldness is opposed to restraint in prayer, and implies an humble and holy freedom in our addresses to God. If we are habitually living in His faith and fear, we may come to His throne, not as strangers and foreigners, but as those who are of His household.

4. This boldness is opposed to distrust and unbelief, and includes a persuasion that God has grace to bestow and is willing to bestow it, and that we are authorised to ask for and expect it. It is the boldness of faith which the apostle recommends; a confidence, not in our own merits but in sovereign mercy: a faith in the Lord Jesus, and such a faith in Him as triumphs over fears and suspicions, and rises to the confidence of hope. This confidence is quite consistent with that humility which becomes us as sinners; indeed it is closely connected with it.

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

I. WHERE WE ARE TO COME. "Unto the throne of grace." Not the throne of terror, but the throne of grace; not enshrouded in the gloomy darkness of repulsion, but radiant with the sunshine of invitation: not sending forth lightnings and thunders to alarm, bat extending the olive-branch of peace; and from that throne of grace are heard the sweet tones of mercy, beseeching sinners to be reconciled unto God. Do you ask where you are to come? We tell you that wherever is found a penitent and contrite heart, broken on account of its sins, the throne of grace is there; wherever is found a praying soul, the throne of grace is there. In your closets; when you offer your daily sacrifice of prayer and praise beneath the domestic roof at the family altar; when you come to the house of God as sincere worshippers, in the hallowed services of the Church, in the sacraments of Christ's holy institution, the throne of grace is here! And to this throne of grace you are ever welcome. But observe, we must come each one for ourselves.

II. How WE ARE TO COME. "Boldly." Fear not, thou trembling soul; give despondency to the winds. Is your heart sincere? Then come with confidence to the throne of grace.

III. WHY WE ARE TO COME. "That we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Your only sure refuge is the throne of grace. Here you may find at all times the seasonable help you need, a balm for every wound, counsel for every difficulty, comfort for every sorrow. But the word used by the apostle has even a deeper signification than this. It means help rendered in answer to a call for assistance. If we would have God's help, we must ask Him for it with importunate earnestness, as those who feel their destitute need.

(W. J. Brock, B. A.)



1. With liberty of access.

2. With freedom of speech. Need not be overawed by the greatness of the Being we address. We may freely and fully state our case, and make known our need.

3. With assurance of success. Need not fear a repulse.

4. With frequency of application. Original mercy-seat could only be approached annually.

5. We must come just as we are. No ceremony is required. Now we may thus come boldly, because

(1)This is the way expressly laid down.

(2)Because all ancient saints came in this way.

(3)God's great goodness and graciousness should induce us thus to come.

(4)The intercession of Christ for us, and the Spirit within us, should encourage us thus to draw near.


1. That we may obtain mercy.

(1)Mercy to pardon our guilt.

(2)Sparing mercy.

(3)Daily mercy.

2. To find grace to help in time of need. Grace includes all the blessings of the Divine favour. All we need for body, soul, time, and eternity. Grace to "help" us.

(1)To pray and serve God.

(2)To labour in His cause.

(3)To suffer for His sake.

(4)And to triumph over our foes.Application:

1. Learn to what we come in prayer.

2. How we should come.

3. What we should seek — mercy, &c.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

Suppose you were with me in one of the palaces at the west end of the town — St. James's Palace, or Buckingham Palace. We ascend in Buckingham Palace a noble staircase, as white as snow, made of white marble. Then we are admitted by servants in royal livery to a large gallery; and you say, "What a beautiful place! I never saw the like of this before. Oh! what lovely pictures! Oh! what wonderful chairs and tables, sparkling with gold!" Then I take you into another apartment, and I say, "What is that in the upper part of this great grand room, this large gallery? Do you see it?" "Oh! yes," you say; "that appears to me to be a seat." Yes, it is a seat; but it is a throne. That is where the Queen sits sometimes. That is Britain's throne — the most wonderful throne on the face of the earth. But I have to tell you of a throne to-day, the like of which was never seen by mortal eyes. Angels never saw it. What is the name of it? " The throne of grace."


1. What is the throne of grace? The mercy of God in Christ Jesus.

2. Why is it called the throne of grace?

(1)Grace contrived the throne (Psalm 89:2).

(2)Grace shines upon the throne (Exodus 34:6, 7).

(3)Grace is given from the throne. Pardon. Purity. Healing.

3. The excellencies of this throne.

(1)It is a costly throne.

(2)It is a lovely throne.

(3)It is a throne of great height (Psalm 103:9).

(4)It is a throne near at hand.

(5)It is a free throne.


1. King of grace.

2. King of kings.

3. King of glory.


(A. Fletcher, D. D.)

Gather up what you see of tenderness and great-heartedness and generousness of men, and imagine them to be grouped into the character of a perfect being, and put it in the sphere of almightiness, and give it the sweep of eternity, and call it God, or the Son of God, as you please; and then you have a conception ,.f the Lord Jesus Christ, standing over the poor in this world, and saying to them, in a voice that never dies till the last human soul is redeemed, "Come to Me, and obtain help in time of need." Well, what kind of help? No matter what kind. At what time of need? At any time of need. If it is bodily ailment, may one go to God with it? Certainly; because He supplies the wants of the body. If you have domestic trouble, or trouble in your secular affairs, or dispositional trouble in its lower forms, go to Him with it. If you may go to Him for higher things, you may for the lower. A man says, "Here are thousand dollar bills; take as many as you please." "But," say I, "there are hundreds, and fifties, and tens, and fives, and ones; may I take them instead of the thousands?" If he says I may have the thousands, he will not refuse to give me the ones. If he gives me the larger, he will not refuse to give me the smaller. Now, God has given His own Son to us; He hath given Himself to us; He has made overtures of pets, real friendship to us; He has said, "I am your Father, and ye are My sons"; He has granted us the blessing of direct communion with Himself; and since He has given us higher and larger things, is there anything that we need, all the way down to the very sandals with which we tread the earth, that He will not give us? In praying to God we begin by saying, "Give us this day our daily bread"; but, ah, there are different sorts of bread. There is one kind of bread for the body, and God will give that; but there is also another kind of bread for the mind — for taste, and benevolence, and conscience, and veneration, and love — and He will give that. God Himself is the bread of life by which the many mouths of the soul are supplied. He gives us in rich abundance all the things that we need.

(H. W. Beecher.)

A holy boldness, a chastened familiarity, is the true spirit of right prayer. It was said of Luther that, when he prayed, it was with as much reverence as if he were praying to an infinite God, and with as much familiarity as if he were speaking to his nearest friend.

(G. S. Bowes.)

This word "boldly" signifies liberty without restraint. You may be free, for you are welcome. You may use freedom of speech. The word is so used (Acts 2:29; Acts 4:13). You have liberty to speak your minds freely; to speak all your heart, your ails, and wants, and fears, and grievances. As others may not fetter you in speaking to God by prescribing what words you should use; so you need not restrain yourselves, but freely speak all that your condition requires.

(D. Clarkson, B. D.)

A petitioner once approached Augustus with so much fear and trembling that the emperor cried, "What, man! do you think you are giving a sop to an elephant?" He did not care to be thought a hard and cruel ruler. When men pray with a slavish bondage upon them, with cold, set phrases, and a crouching solemnity, the free Spirit of the Lord may well rebuke them. Art thou coming to a tyrant? Holy boldness, or at least a childlike hope, is most becoming in a Christian.

The Aediles among the Romans had their doors always standing open, that all who had petitions might have free access to them. The door of heaven is always open for the prayers of God's people.

(T. Watson.)

— "Seeing that we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens; let us therefore come boldly to the throne." So that the " us" of our text is just as broad as the " we" in the fourteenth verse. Do we ask how broad that is? We shall soon see. The reference here evidently is to the great day of atonement, when the high priest entered into the holy place with the blood of atonement. When that great event took place, whom did the priest represent? The priests, or the elders, or the God-fearing part of the Israelites? Certainly not; but every Jew. There wasn't one of the vast multitude but could say, He is gone in as my representative, and I am accepted in him. Now the apostle says Christ is a great High Priest, of whom the other was but the type. Whom, then, did He represent? The answer of the Book is, all mankind. If you want to measure the "us" whom Christ represents, you can easily do it f His favourite name was not, "I the Jew," but "I the Son of Man."

(C. Garrett.)

During the cotton famine I went to many a man in need, and said, "Why don't you go to the committee and get what you require?" and the reply was, "I can't, I have never asked for help in my life. It has been my joy to give and not to get. If I were to try to speak for myself I should be choked; I can't do it, I'll starve first." And I have said, "I don't want you to speak; I only want you to come, I will do all the talking." And at the appointed time he has come and I have said, "This is the person of whom I spoke"; and they at once relieved his wants, and sent him home rejoicing. And so, poor sinner, it shall be with thee. Thou art saying, "I am such a guilty wretch. My sins have been so many, and so aggravated that I dare not speak to God"; and I point to One who " ever liveth to make intercession" for thee, and who is waiting this moment to plead for thee.

(C. Garrett.)

It is not to the throne of judgment, but the throne of grace. When the cotton famine visited Lancashire, and the generosity of the people of this land was shown as it never had been shown before, and the railways were burdened with the generous gifts of all classes, we didn't leave these treasures in the streets for any passer-by to take. Large warehouses were procured, and committees appointed to see that they were given to the proper persons. Now, suppose I had gone into the street at Preston, and met a poor operative looking thin, and poorly clad, and had asked him if he was out of work, and he had replied, "Yes, sir; and have been for two years." I say, "Then I suppose your resources are exhausted, and you can hardly find food for your family? " He answers, "No; I have neither clothes nor food for myself or them, and I don't know what to do." I say, "Why don't you go to the depot and get what you want? There is abundance there." He says, "Ah! but, sir, I haven't a farthing left." I answer, "I know it; and if you had, there are a hundred shops in Preston that would be glad to see you; but this is a place opened for those who have no money, and there is nobody in the world more welcome to the treasures there than yourself." And so with thee, poor sinner. This place is opened on purpose for thee.

(C. Garrett.)

Go to-night to poor E who lies under sentence of death. Enter his cell, and tell him you have brought him good news. How eagerly he turns to you and asks, "What?" You reply, "Baron Rothschild is dead, and has left you heir to all his vast wealth." Oh, with what disappointment he turns away! You tell him that in addition to this you are come to give him the highest of earth's honours. He heeds you not. He says, "What is all this to me, when I have to die on Thursday? " You say, "Man, do you turn away from boundless wealth, from broad acres, from glittering gems and jewels? What do you want?" And with eager, bloodshot eyes, he turns to you, and hisses from his clenched teeth, "Pardon! Give me that and I'll bless you: without that, all the rest is but mockery."

(C. Garrett.)

David, Hebrews, Joshua
Able, Apart, Can't, Chief, Feeble, Feel, Feeling, Feelings, Flesh, Infirmities, Manner, Ourselves, Points, Priest, Respect, Sin, Sympathise, Sympathize, Tempted, Tested, Touched, Unable, Weaknesses, Yet
1. The Sabbath-Rest for Christians is attained by faith.
12. The power of God's word.
14. By our high priest Jesus, the Son of God,
16. we may and must go boldly to the throne of grace.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Hebrews 4:15

     1030   God, compassion
     2030   Christ, holiness
     2054   Christ, mind of
     2063   Christ, perfection
     2075   Christ, sinless
     2315   Christ, as Lamb
     2372   Christ, victory
     2421   gospel, historical foundation
     2595   incarnation
     4122   Satan, tempter
     4126   Satan, resistance to
     5566   suffering, encouragements in
     5853   experience, of life
     5914   optimism
     5963   sympathy
     6023   sin, universality
     6040   sinners
     6156   fall, of humanity
     6163   faults
     6617   atonement, in NT
     6689   mercy, of Christ
     8203   character
     8279   innocence, examples
     8291   kindness
     8311   morality, and redemption
     8321   perfection, divine
     8358   weakness, physical
     8484   spiritual warfare, enemies

Hebrews 4:14-15

     2206   Jesus, the Christ
     5946   sensitivity

Hebrews 4:14-16

     1270   right hand of God
     2575   Christ, temptation
     6606   access to God
     7769   priests, NT types

Hebrews 4:15-5:2

     2033   Christ, humanity
     6025   sin, and God's character

Hebrews 4:15-16

     5436   pain
     5598   victory, over spiritual forces
     6030   sin, avoidance
     6249   temptation, universal
     6251   temptation, resisting
     6252   temptation, and Christ
     6671   grace, and Christian life

February 22. "He that Hath Entered into his Rest Hath Ceased from his Own Works Even as God did from His" (Heb. Iv. 10).
"He that hath entered into His rest hath ceased from his own works even as God did from His" (Heb. iv. 10). What a rest it would be to many of us if we could but exchange burdens with Christ, and so utterly and forever transfer to Him all our cares and needs that we would not feel henceforth responsible for our burdens, but know that He has undertaken all the care, and that our faith is simply to carry His burdens, and that He prays, labors, and suffers only for us and our interests. This is what
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

October 18. "All Things are Naked and Open unto the Eyes of Him with whom we have to Do" (Heb. Iv. 13).
"All things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Heb. iv. 13). The literal translation of this phrase is, all things are stripped and stunned. This is the force of the Greek words. The figure is that of an athlete in the Coliseum who has fought his best in the arena, and has at length fallen at the feet of his adversary, disarmed and broken down in helplessness. There he lies, unable to strike a blow, or lift his arm. He is stripped and stunned, disarmed and disabled,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

April 23. "An High Priest Touched with the Feeling of Our Infirmities" (Heb. Iv. 15).
"An high priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb. iv. 15). Some time ago we were talking with a greatly suffering sister about healing, who was much burdened physically and desirous of being able to trust the Lord for deliverance. After a little conversation we prayed with her, committing her case to the Lord for absolute trust and deliverance as she was prepared to claim. As soon as we closed our prayer she grasped our hand, and asked us to unite with her in the burden that was
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

October 22. "Touched with the Feeling of Our Infirmities" (Heb. Iv. 15).
"Touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb. iv. 15). Some of us know a little what it is to be thrilled with a sense of the sufferings of others, and sometimes, the sins of others, and sins that seem to saturate us as they come in contact with us, and throw over us an awful sense of sin and need. This is, perhaps, intended to give us some faint conception of the sympathy that Jesus felt when He had taken our sins, our sicknesses and our sorrows. Let us not hesitate to lay them on Him! It
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Throne of Grace
In order to such prayer, the work of the Holy Ghost himself is needed. If prayer were of the lips alone, we should only need breath in our nostrils to pray: if prayer were of the desires alone, many excellent desires are easily felt, even by natural men: but when it is the spiritual desire, and the spiritual fellowship of the human spirit with the Great Spirit, then the Holy Ghost himself must be present all through it, to help infirmity, and give life and power, or else true prayer will never be
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Heavenly Rest
"My rest," says God: the rest of God! Something more wonderful than any other kind of rest. In my text it is (in the original) called the Sabbatism--not the Sabbath, but the rest of the Sabbath--not the outward ritual of the Sabbath, which was binding upon the Jew, but the inward spirit of the sabbath, which is the joy and delight of the Christian. "There remaineth therefore"--because others have not had it, because some are to have it--"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." Now,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

How Should we Make Use of Christ, in Going to the Father, in Prayer, and Other Acts of Worship?
In short, for answering of this question, I shall lay down those particulars: 1. There should be a lively sense of the infinite distance that is between the great God and us finite creatures, and yet more betwixt the Holy Ghost and us sinful wretches. 2. There should be an eyeing of Christ as the great peacemaker, through his death and merits having satisfied justice and reconciled sinners unto God; that so we may look on God now no more as an enemy, but as reconciled in Jesus. 3. There should be,
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Entrance into Rest.
Hebrews 4:1.--Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. Hebrews 4:11.--Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. I want, in the simplest way possible, to answer the question: "How does a man enter into that rest?" and to point out the simple steps that he takes, all included in the one act of surrender and faith. And the first step, I think, is this: that a
Andrew Murray—The Master's Indwelling

What Now is Become of this True Church, or Where must the Man Go...
What now is become of this true church, or where must the man go, who would fain be a living member of it? He need go nowhere; because wherever he is, that which is to save him, and that which he is to be saved from, is always with him. SELF is all the evil that he has, and God is all the goodness that he ever can have; but self is always with him, and God is always with him. Death to self is his only entrance into the church of life, and nothing but God can give death to self. Self is an inward
William Law—An Humble, Affectionate, and Earnest Address to the Clergy

"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God."--Heb. iv. 9. J. S. Kunth, 1700. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 There is a Day of rest before thee-- Thou weary soul, arise and shine. Awhile the clouds hung darkly o'er thee, Awhile the captive's chains were thine. Behold, the Lamb of God will lead thee To still green pastures round the throne; Cast off thy burden, rise and speed thee, For soon the battle storm is done-- For soon the weary race is past, And thou shalt rest in Love at last.
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

The Sabbath Year
Gerhard Ter Steegen Heb. iv. 10 Oft comes to me a blessed hour, A wondrous hour and still-- With empty hands I lay me down, No more to work or will. An hour when weary thought has ceased, The eyes are closed in rest; And, hushed in Heaven's untroubled peace, I lie upon Thy breast. Erewile I reasoned of Thy truth, I searched with toil and care; From morn to night I tilled my field, And yet my field was bare. Now, fed with corn from fields of Heaven The fruit of Hands Divine, I pray no prayer,
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others

Whiter than Snow
Gerhard Ter Steegen Heb. iv. 14 To heart and soul how sweet Thou art, O great High Priest of God! My heart brought nigh to God's own heart By Thy most precious blood. No more my countless sins shall rise To fill me with dismay-- That precious blood before His eyes Hath put them all away. My soul draws near with trust secure, With boldness glad and free; What matters it that I am poor, For I am rich in Thee. Forgotten every stain and spot, Their memory past and gone, For me, O God, Thou seest
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others

Old-Testament Gospel Heb 4:02

John Newton—Olney Hymns

John Newton the Word Quick and Powerful. Heb 4:12,13

John Newton—Olney Hymns

Statement of Faith.
1. We believe in one Unbegotten [428] God, Father Almighty, maker of all things both visible and invisible, that hath His being from Himself. And in one Only-begotten Word, Wisdom, Son, begotten of the Father without beginning and eternally; word not pronounced [429] nor mental, nor an effluence [430] of the Perfect, nor a dividing of the impassible Essence, nor an issue [431] ; but absolutely perfect Son, living and powerful (Heb. iv. 12), the true Image of the Father, equal in honour and glory.
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

The Power of God's Word to Convict Men of Sin.
In Hebrews 4:12 we have a Scripture which draws attention to this peculiar characteristic of the Bible--"For the Word of God is quick, 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, andis a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." The writings of men may sometimes stir the emotions, search the conscience, and influence the human will, but in a manner and degree possessed by no other book the Bible
Arthur W. Pink—The Divine Inspiration of the Bible

The Great High-Priest.
"Having then a great High-priest, Who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high-priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but One that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need. For every high-priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for
Thomas Charles Edwards—The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Hebrews

THE Master had much to say to his beloved children about this festival of God. It was of this that he delighted to tell them. Whilst the pestilence, and the war, and the persecution of Rome, were desolating the city, Master Tauler dwelt in the gladness of the bridal chamber, and told to the weary and sorrowful around him, the things that he had seen and heard. And thus it came to pass that many entered in, and found themselves in that inner chamber of rest, and peace, and joy, and to them "the curse
Frances Bevan—Three Friends of God

Our Compassionate High Priest
"Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity."--Hebrews 5:2 The high priest looked Godward, and therefore he had need to be holy; for he had to deal with things pertaining to God. But at the same time he looked manward; it was for men that he was ordained, that, through him, they might deal with God; and therefore he had need to be tender. It was necessary that he should be one who could have sympathy with men;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892

Sixteenth Day for the Power of the Holy Spirit in Our Sabbath Schools
WHAT TO PRAY.--For the Power of the Holy Spirit in our Sabbath Schools "Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children."--ISA. xlix. 25. Every part of the work of God's Church is His work. He must do it. Prayer is the confession that He will, the surrender of ourselves into His hands to let Him, work in us and through us. Pray for the hundreds
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Here is the Sum of My Examination Before Justice Keelin, Justice Chester, Justice Blundale, Justice Beecher, Justice Snagg, Etc.
After I had lain in prison above seven weeks, the quarter-sessions were to be kept in Bedford, for the county thereof, unto which I was to be brought; and when my jailor had set me before those justices, there was a bill of indictment preferred against me. The extent thereof was as followeth: That John Bunyan, of the town of Bedford, labourer, being a person of such and such conditions, he hath (since such a time) devilishly and perniciously abstained from coming to church to hear Divine service,
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

The Saints' Privilege and Profit;
OR, THE THRONE OF GRACE ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. The churches of Christ are very much indebted to the Rev. Charles Doe, for the preservation and publishing of this treatise. It formed one of the ten excellent manuscripts left by Bunyan at his decease, prepared for the press. Having treated on the nature of prayer in his searching work on 'praying with the spirit and with the understanding also,' in which he proves from the sacred scriptures that prayer cannot be merely read or said, but must
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Water of Life;
OR, A DISCOURSE SHOWING THE RICHNESS AND GLORY OF THE GRACE AND SPIRIT OF THE GOSPEL, AS SET FORTH IN SCRIPTURE BY THIS TERM, THE WATER OF LIFE. BY JOHN BUNYAN. 'And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.'--Revelation 22:17 London: Printed for Nathanael Ponder, at the Peacock in the Poultry, 1688. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. Often, and in every age, the children of God have dared to doubt the sufficiency of divine grace; whether it was vast enough to reach their condition--to cleanse
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

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