Working on Hebrews 1. This introduction by Owen is fabulous foundation to approaching every verse.
WE proceed now unto our principal intendment in all these discourses, which is, the consideration and discussion of those great principles, as of all religion in general, so of the Christian in particular, which the apostle supposeth as a foundation of his whole treaty [reasoning] with the Hebrews, and which are the basis that he stands upon in the management of his whole design.
For in all discourses that are parenetical, as this Epistle for the most part is, there are always some principles taken for granted, which give life and efficacy unto the exhortations in them, and where into they are resolved. For, as to persuade men unto particulars in faith, opinion, or practice, without a previous conviction of such general principles of truth as from which the persuasions used do naturally flow and arise, is a thing weak and inefficacious; so to be exercised in the demonstration of the principles themselves, when the especial end aimed at is to persuade, would bring confusion into all discourse.
Wherefore, although our apostle do assert and confirm those dogmata and articles of truth which he dealt with the Hebrews in a way of persuasion to embrace, yet he supposeth and takes for granted those more general first maxims, which are the foundation both of the doctrines and exhortations insisted on, as all skill in teaching doth require.
And these are those which now we aim to draw forth and consider, being these that follow:-
First, That there was a Messiah, or Savior of mankind from sin and punishment, promised upon, and from, the first entrance of sin into the world, in whom all acceptable worship of God was to be founded, and in whom all the religion of the sons of men was to center.
Secondly, That this Messiah, long before promised, was now actually exhibited in the world, and had finished the work committed unto him, when the apostle wrote this Epistle.
Thirdly, That Jesus of Nazareth was this Messiah, and that what he had done and suffered was the work and duty promised of old
There is not a line in the Epistle to the Hebrews that doth not virtually begin and end in these principles, — not an assertion, not a doctrine, not an exhortation, that is not built on this triple foundation.---- John Owen.