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inefficacy. It was “ because their sacrifices could not take away sin, that every priest under the law stood daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices.” “ Had these sacrifices made the comers thereunto perfect, would they not have ceased to be offered ?" The perfection of our Saviour's sacrifice completely superseded, not merely all other sacrifices, but the repetition of itself. This one sacrifice “put away sin-obtained eternal redemption for us,—and perfected for ever all them who are sanctified.” “Haying offered one sacrifice for sin, he for ever sat down on the right hand of the throne of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." The efficacy of his sacrifice is, however, immortal. “ The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin."
The other functions of the priesthood our Saviour continues for ever to perform.
“ He is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” He for ever retains the power and the disposition to bless his people. Whether the priestly office of our Saviour is to be considered as, strietly speaking, eternal, -or whether it is to be considered as everlasting, merely in reference to the present order of things, and to ter.. minate when “the Son shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and shall be all and all,” are questions, the full discussion of which would involve us in some very abstruse inquiries, and the resolution of which is by no means necessary for any important purpose, ejther of duty or of comfort. Whatever view we take of this subject, the superiority of our Lord's priesthood to that of the family of Aaron, is abundantly evident. Their lives were short, and their offiee temporary. His life is immortal, and his office unchanging
Thus does it appear, whether we compare the priesthood of Aaron, and the priesthood of our Lord,—or contrast them, the result to which we are led is the same, the transcendant excellence and glory of our Lord's sacerdotal character. He has received a more excellent ministry.
And now, "holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High-Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” He has been presented to your minds in various aspects; and the believing contemplation of him in each of them is calculated to instruct and to comfort you. As he is a possessor of the nature and perfections of Deity, with reverence and holy fear yield him religious homage; “he is your Lord, and worship ye him ;" rely on his sacrifice, for it must be infinitely valuable; and trust to his grace, which must be all-sufficient. As possessed of immaculate moral excellence, behold in him the pattern of your conduct ; and, contemplating his matchless worth, be transformed into his image from glory to glory. As divinely appointed to, qualified for, and invested with, the high priesthood of our profession, see that ye refuse not him” who bears so high a commission; but, with unsuspecting confidence, commit the management of your spiritual interests to “him whom the Father has sanctified, sent, and sealed.” To the merits of his atonement, look for the pardon of all your sins. To the prevalence of his intercession, look for the acceptance of all your services. To the power of his benediction, look for comfort here, and happiness for ever. As the Possessor of an immutable and immortal Priesthood, fear not to trust him with your everlasting interests; and look forward to eternity without fear, since he ever lives to pardon and bless you. As he is the only High Priest of your profession, beware of going about to establish your own righteousness, and “ trust in the Lord Jehovah, in whom alone is everlasting righteousness and strength.” And, as he has done all for your salvation, devote yourselves with unreserved hearts to the advancement of his honour, and the fulfilment of his will. Improve the atonement, the intercession, and the saving power of the Redeemer, for all the purposes of holiness and of comfort, and “let the life you live in the flesh be by the faith of the Son of God, who loved you, and who
himself for you." How miserable is the situation of those who neglect or despise our great New Testament. High Priest ! How enormous is their crime ! how profound must be their perdition! “How can they escape, who neglect so great salvation !" “For them there remains no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, to destroy the adversaries." Without delay, let every sinner "flee for refuge to the hope set before him in the gospel.” In the world to come, into which we must soon enter--to impenitent men, there is no atoning sacrifice, no quickening Spirit. “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
I conclude with the reflection by which the discourse was introduced : How full are the Scriptures of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is, indeed, the sum and substance of them. He gives them meaning and consistency, importance and beauty. No portion of the Scriptures is apt to be perused with less pleasure and advantage, or indeed, considered by itself, appears less worthy of God, than the very particular detail which we find in the books of Moses respecting the Levitical priesthood. Viewed, however, in connection with the priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we perceive their meaning, we feel their importance. “ As the sun paints the clouds, which are in themselves but dark lowering vapours exhaled from the earth, with the most glorious colours; so, when the Sun of righteousness rises, even the “ carnal ordinances” and commandments of the law, dark and earthly as they seem, are gilded by his beams, and assume a fair and smiling aspect. Under his benignant influence, who is the light of the word, as well as of the world, the most barren parts of Scripture “ blossom as the rose *.”
THE BLOODY BAPTISM OF CHRIST.
LUKE xii. 50.
I have a baptism to be baptized with ; and how am I
straitened until it be accomplished !
It is a melancholy reflection, which occasionally obtrudes itself on his mind, who takes a deep interest in the advancement of the honour of God and the happiness of mankind, when he reviews the history of past ages, and surveys the events of the times which are passing over us,—that the sum of good actually produced bears no adequate proportion to the number of the agents, and the quantity of talent and influence, not only which ought to have been, but which, in reality, has been employed in its production. It would ill become us, who live in an age the most distinguished for combined, vigorous, well directed exertions in doing good, since that of the apostles, to complain, that little good absolutely has been done ; yet still, when we reflect that we live in the nineteenth century of Christianity, and that since the commencement of that dispensation, there have been, in every