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19We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,

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19. Hope is found represented on coins by an anchor.

sure and steadfastsure in respect to us: steadfast, or "firm" [Alford], in itself. Not such an anchor as will not keep the vessel from tossing, or an anchor unsound or too light [Theophylact].

which entereth into that—that is the place

within the veil—two images beautifully combined: (1) The soul is the ship: the world the sea: the bliss beyond the world, the distant coast; the hope resting on faith, the anchor which prevents the vessel being tossed to and fro; the encouraging consolation through the promise and oath of God, the cable connecting the ship and anchor. (2) The world is the fore-court: heaven, the Holy of Holies; Christ, the High Priest going before us, so as to enable us, after Him, and through Him, to enter within the veil. Estius explains, As the anchor does not stay in the waters, but enters the ground hidden beneath the waters, and fastens itself in it, so hope, our anchor of the soul, is not satisfied with merely coming to the vestibule, that is, is not content with merely earthly and visible goods, but penetrates even to those which are within the veil, namely, to the Holy of Holies, where it lays hold on God Himself, and heavenly goods, and fastens on them. "Hope, entering within heaven, hath made us already to be in the things promised to us, even while we are still below, and have not yet received them; such strength hope has, as to make those that are earthly to become heavenly." "The soul clings, as one in fear of shipwreck to an anchor, and sees not whither the cable of the anchor runs—where it is fastened: but she knows that it is fastened behind the veil which hides the future glory."

veilGreek, "catapetasma": the second veil which shut in the Holiest Place. The outer veil was called by a distinct Greek term, calumma: "the second (that is, the inner) veil."




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