[ocr errors]

Lamb." The church has access into the holiest God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, only by the blood of Jesus. The truths of the giving thanks to his nanie.” And the psalmist peace offering have their basis in the expiation that (cvii. 22), “ Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of is made. Let us, then, proceed to notice these thanksgiving.” Such work is certainly one that truths, by examining the peace offering more may well have a place in the sacrificial series, for closely.

it is a celebration of divine goodness eminently We observe, then, that there were three kinds due to God. It is that which angels and archof peace offerings : 1, the sacrifice of thanks- angels are ever, in adoring gratitude, and with giving (Lev. vii. 12); 2, the sacrifice of a vow; unceasing power, rendering to their Creator. It is and 3, the voluntary or free-will offering. These a happy and most beavenly work, raising us above last two come under the same rules (Lev. vii. 14). our earthly wants, bringing us to a nearer imitaThe first was the one more generally offered, both tion of angelic life, and removing us in heart far on the few occasions appointed by the law, and from the sufferings and sorrows that attach to us. also at those times when an Israelite, impressed It is the glad work of the whole creation, from the with a sense of the divine goodness, would ex- highest to the lowest of God's creatures. “Bless press bis deep thankfulness, and would acknow- ye the Lord, all ye his hosts, ye ministers of his ledge God's rich mercies. It was left to the feel that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his works ings of the worshipper to decide on these times in all places of his dominion.” It may well be (Lev. xxii. 29). The second sacrifice was offered the work of the redeemed: “Let them give thanks after special deliverance, in consequence of a vow whom the Lord hath redeemed” (Ps. cvii. 2, made in peculiar danger or distress. Thus the prayer-book version). psalmist: “I will pay thee my vows, which my The grounds for praisc are infinitely various. lips have uttered, and my mouth has spoken when The divine character, perfections, moral governI was in trouble." Voluntary offerings were very ment of the world, attributes, and excellences, similar to vows. The difference seems to consist surpassing all thought, and ever shining forth in in this, that the former were promises without his works and word, are an unfailing ground for the solemn engagement implied by a vow, and adoration. “Praise God in his holiness : praise made at any time when no danger threatened, at him in the firmament of his power” (Ps. cl. 1, the will of the offerer. The last two were a kind prayer-book version). of prayer, symbolizing the desire of the worship- Besides this there are the favours which he be. per for deliverance and blessing" prayers for stows upon his people. These favours are as the good not yet obtained.” Still they were eucha- sands on the sea-shore, innumerable. They tall ristic also ; for the vow was generally offered | upon our path as the drops of dew upon the herbs. after deliverance was effected ; in whiclı case gra- | They are new as the return of morning lighttitude for the deliverance would be the uppermost constant and cheering as the rays of heat from feeling:

the sun. They are ever shown towards us; shown There were some differences also in the rules in respect to this world, and in respect to the respecting them. In the sacrifice of thanksgiving world to come. In the one, there is a regular supthe flesh must be eaten the same day; but in the ply of food, raiment, shelter, friends, and all that vow and voluntary offering part might be eaten forms the source of this life’s good; and in the on the second day. In a voluntary offering, an other, an equally regular supply of means of animal with something superfluous, or lacking, grace—the holy book and day, the sacred mimight be presented (Lev. xxii. 23); but in the nistry, the holy sacraments, the presence of the other two it might not be. A writer has thus eternal Spirit. These (and far more than these distinguished them: “The relation of the three can be told) form

can be told) form an unchanging ground for kinds to each other, with their respective grada- thankfulness and praise. tions, may be indicated with probable correctness But, further, special favours are often granted as follows: The thank or praise offering was the which call for special praise. Seasons of danger expression of the worshipper's feeling of adoring in which vows were made, and from which de. gratitude, on account of having received some liverance was given, as in the case of Jonah (ii. spontaneous tokens of the Lord's goodness: this 9); seasons of sickness and of recovery from it; was the highest form of praise, as here the grace seasons of difficulty, and of direction in them, and of God alone shone forth. The vow sacrifice was of a happy issue from them; seasons of blessing, the expression of like feelings, for benefits re- as in the feast of weeks, when God bestows some ceived from the divine beneficence, but which mercy-all call for special praises. Then, in re. were partly conferred in consideration of a vow ference to spiritual things; seasons when God made by the worshipper. This was a lower grade, manifests himself in fuller measure to the soul; having somewhat of man connected with it. And when he ministers strength in times of strong the free-will offering which was presented without temptation ; when he confers rich gifts of grace, any constraipt of necessity, and either without enabling the soul to advance in holiness, and to respect to any special acts of mercy experienced, do some excellent work for him ; or when he is or with a view to the obtaining of such, occupied with the soul in its hour of sadness and depression, a still lower ground; as the worshipper here took consoling it with his heavenly comfort, and rethe initiative, and appeared in the attitude of ove freshing it with spiritual joy. Or, again, seasons seeking God”*.

like those in Hezekiah's or Josiah's time, when Now the work here symbolically cxpressed is men return to the pure worship of God; as, for very evident-even the work of thankfulness and instance, the season of the reformation, and similar praise. The apostle St. Paul alludes to it in Heb. movements in any part of papal christendom when siii. 15: “Let us offer the sacrifices of praise to either many or few leave that corrupt communion; • Fairbairn on Typol. vol. ii. 476.

seasons when the spiritual temple is evidently


being built, and stones are added to it; when, , cause the praise to be in accordance with the di. through the renewal of the Holy Ghost, sinners vine will and law. This anointing, indeed, is, return to Jesus, and heathen own him Lord; or required to produce true thankfulness. Man, when a material fabric is erected in which the naturally, would receive gifts from above, and church may meet to worship ber Redeemer; would partake of manitold mercies and never these, and other special divine mercies continually praise; or, if he praised, praise in a way that occurring in the church's history, call for a cor- could not be accepted. In proof of this, we have responding gratitude, and for a return of grateful only to remember with sorrow the godless lives praise.

of numbers who live on divine bounty, and to Let us, then, notice this praise. It is first to recal the question of our Lord, “Were there not be voluntary. This was the case with the peace ten cleansed, but where are the nine ?" True offering: And, when ye will offer a sacrifice of praise arises only from a new heart; and a new thanksgiving, offer it at your own will. This heart is the creation of God's Spirit. The Spirit voluntariness proceeds froin the heart. The heart produces a real and heartfelt gratitude; and his feels deeply its own demerit, and the abounding continued operation causes the grateful spirit to goodness of its Lord— feels that God is good, and abound in thanksgiving unto God's glory. It has done good, and thence praises. An external was thus that David prayed, “Open thou my law bidding it praise is not needed. It spontane- lips; and my mouth shall ehow forth thy praise" ously adores, for it is full of gratitude for divine (Ps. li. 15). Through the Spirit, the whole soul mercy. This is the kind of praise (iod seeks. He is engaged in the work, and all that is within does not delight in forced nor constrained ex- unites to bless the holy name. Through the pressions, but in the melody of the heart-in the Spirit, man's ardent love utters itself in fullest free utterances of a willing spirit.

adoration-with joy and energy presents its grateOur hols Lord fully realized this, as well as ful sacrifice; and, based upon the atoning work other offerings. He freely, continually, and with of Jesus, it becomes a spiritual sacrifice acceptable the whole heart, blessed the Father for all his to God. glory and his goodness. In the 22nd psalm he The scripture tells us how acceptable to God says: “My praise shall be of thee in the great the work is. The psalmist says, “ W boso offereth congregation.” And again, in the 54th psalm, praise glorifieth me.” God gives gracious tokens alluding to the peace offering, he says, “I will of the pleasure which he takes therein. His fire freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, consumes the sacrifice; and he manifests more of O Lord; for it is good.”.

his glory and of his mercy to the soul. We have Christian men, indeed, sadly fail in duly pre- an instance recorded in 2 Chron, v. 13, 14: senting this offering, Their thank offerings after And, when they lifted up their voice with the deliverances do not always redeem their vows trumpets and cymbals, and instruments of music, made in time of trouble: their praises do not al- and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good, for ways equal their prayers. Their trials and their his mercy endureth for ever; that then the house crosses seem so to oppress them, that the ever- was filled with a cloud, even the house of the grateful, ever-spontaneous song of praise is want- Lord ; so that the priests could not stand to miing. The psalmist, knowing man's infirmity in nister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the this respect, charges his soul not to forget all God's Lord bad filled the house of God." benefits. Believers then are to seek that spirit But further, a meat offering was required in which ever says, on receiving special or ordinary presenting the peace offerings. In Numb. xv. mercies, “I will freely sacrifice;" and which 8, we read, “And, when thou preparest a bullock leads them to exhort one another, “ Let us offer for a burnt offering, or for a sacrifice in performunto God the sacrifice of praise continually”-a ing a vow, or peace offerings unto the Lord; then voluntary offering.

shall he bring with a bullock a meat offering of But again, the praise is to be pure and sincere. three tenth deals of flour mingled with half an hin One rule for the peace offering was, that un- of oil.” Holy actions and deeds of righteousness, leavened cakes and unleavened wafers should ac- then, are to accompany the believer's praise

. company it (Lev. vii. 12). This emblem of sin- Thanksgiving is a work of life as well as of lip cerity and truth may well accompany this offer- and heart. To utter words of thankfulness, ining. For as guile or hypocrisy vitiates all service, deed, and not to live as God directs, is a profana. 60 especially this service, which is a grateful ac- tion of the work of praise. To profess much grateknowledgment of mercies. Men themselves ab- ful recollection of divine help, and yet to be hor mere expressions of gratitude-thanks which unholy, is a contradiction. God requires a living, are not telt, praise which is not genuine. Much a real homage-the homage of obedience. He more, then, does God reject with abhorrence a seeks for self-denying devotedness, for some outguileful praise or hypocritical thanksgiving. ward and visible marks of grateful feeling. Well, This work, in which men unite with angels and therefore, does the church pray, “that we may the holy in service unto God, should partake of show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but that sincerity and holiness which is the mark of in our lives, by walking before thee in holiness angels. The unleavened bread of sincerity and and righteousness all our days.”. truth must be with it, if it is to be accepted on But we proceed to notice the distribution of the God’s altar. Thus the psalmist," I will praise thee offering, which will lead us to consider, secondly, with uprightness of heart.” Again, this un

Again, this un- the privilege granted to God's people. The dileavened cake was to be mingled with oil. Simi- rections were, first, that all the fat should be larly the praises of believers are to be offered with given to God (Lev. iii. 3, 4, 16). The best was to the Holy Spirit. His influences are needed in belong to God, to be consumed upon bis altar, order to qualify the soul for this work, and to As dedicated to him, it became mast holy, and


might not be profaned. In order, therefore, to ceased. In Christ they are regarded with deepest give expression to this, and to hinder the Jews favour, and they obtain the rest of reconciliation. from profaning it, a law was made that none of There is peace with God, and peace inwardly in the fat which formed part of the offering to God the conscience which, as God's vicegerent echoing should be eaten; and the penalty of breaking the the divine law and holiness, accused and conlaw was a cutting off from God's people (Lev. demned. This peace


and serene. The vii. 25).

calm sweet rest of nature on a sabbath eve is but Next, a portion was the priest's. In Lev. vii. an outward symbol of its character. It is the be34, we read, “For the wave breast and the heave ginning of heaven's own happy rest. It is satisshoulder have I taken of the children of Israel fying to the soul as the refreshing draught of from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and waters at the stream is to the hard-driven, panthave given them unto Aaron the priest and unto ing hart. It sustains and guards the soul in ihe bis sons, by a statute for ever.” The priests, as fierce conflicts to which it is exposed on its jourthe ministers of God, and as dwelling in bis

ney heaven ward. It keeps it tranquil in the house, were to eat this portion. But, before they midst of severest trials. It takes its form and partook of it, the ceremony whence they received colour from that glorious unchanging One in

, their name had to be performed. It has been thus whose presence it is had. “We have peace with described : “The priest moves it forwards and God through Jesus Christ,” saith the apostle. backwards to him whose are the four quarters of “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose the world; and upwards and downwards to him mind is stayed on thee,” saith the prophet. who is the Lord of heaven and earth”*. By this But, further, in the blessed state of peace and the priests acknowledged the universal sovereignty communion, an intercourse as between friends is and the overruling providence of God; owned had; not merely as between friends, but as bethat whatever they had was from him, and that tween parents and their children, between a bridethis food in his temple-in token, perhaps, of all groom and his bride. Now, this communion is in other food-was specially his gift.

all those things wherein God manifests his grace And then the third portion was given back to to believers, and wherein they return to God their the offerer, to be eaten by him, by his family, and affections. God reveals his grace in Christ, bis by any whom he might invite to partake it with heavenly love to them by the Spirit. This grace bim. "Thus Deat. xii, 17, 18, “Thou mayest not is declared in holy scripture ; and men do appreeat within thy gates

any of thy vows which ciate and know it wben their minds have been thou vowest, nor thy free-will offerings, or heave- enlightened and their hearts taught by the Holy offering of thine hand; but thou must eat thein Ghost. By the divine truth thus brought home before the Lord thy God, in the place which the to them, the eternal God holds communion with Lord thy God shall choose, tbou, and thy son, and them: he speaks to them, as to dear children : thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy he makes himself known to them: he reveals maid-seryant, and the 'Levite that is within thy to them his love-his infinite love in the past, gates.

shown in their eternal election in Christ, in Now this distribution of the parts of the offer. his unsought bounty in sending his Son into the ing-one to God, a second to the priest, and a world to make atonement for transgression, and third to the offerer-appears to be the distinguish- to be the medium of his blessing, and in his ing feature in this sacrifice. It was thus sepa- grace, drawing their soul by bis Spirit to himrated from the others, in which no portion was self; his infinite love in the present, manifested allowed to the offerer. The people in this case by pardoning their sin, by accepting them in eat, and that within the precincts of the holy place, Christ, hy daily renewing their souls, by causing or holy city, with their King. The sins and im- the graces of the Spirit to abound in them, by purities which might have stood in the way had preserving them in danger, by constant guardianbeen confessed over the victim, and atoned for by ship, and by exercising bis wisdom, power, and its death; and now there was nothing to hinder goodness in their behalf; and his love in the the offerers from meeting with God, and enjoying future, declared in his unchanging character, in the intercourse which he graciously granted them. his promises of aid and strength and help ; of perTo eat with a person was the established sign of petual guidance, presence, and subjugation of friendship, and an act of communion. This act, spiritual enemies ; of the glory of the undefiled therefore, showed clearly that there was a friend inheritance; of the blessedness of beholding the ship established by means of atonement between Lord, not as now, darkly, through faith and by God, the priest, and people, and that they could means of grace, but in the light, as he is; of the live together as God's family, in holy peace with removal of all sin, imperfection, evil; of the everhim. They could feast together,

lasting honour of the church with her coming Evidently, then, this sacrifice typifies the state Saviour ; and of the final triumph of the Christ of friendship, the privilege of intercourse, which when he si all reign for ever, and be universally exists between the ever-blessed Trinity and the acknowledged Lord of lords and King of kings. true church of the Redeemer. Christ's people, God, thus revealing his love, as declared in the having been brought nigh to God through faith scripture, unto believers, reveals it so that they in the atoning blood of the Immanuel, obtain know and appreciate and taste it; so that they evermore a happy communion with God. In this are assured of his tender mercy toward them, and state, then, there is peace. Through the Peace- of his fatherly affection for them ; so that they maker, believers enter into peace.

All the wrath can truly say, “ Thou art our Father;" “thou to which they were exposed, and all the estrange-art our God, our Light, our Salvation, and Life.” ment that arose on account of sin, have now He reveals his love and other graces to them as * Outram on Sacrif, book i, chap. 15, sec, 5.

they contemplate his works, or meditate upon his


word, or draw sigh to him in the use of any of good to sing praises unto our God; for it is plea. the institntions of religion, prayer, ibe ministry, sant, and praise is comely.” As leaven, it difor the sacraments. God communicates to them fu:es itself ihrough the whole soul, causing a joy the deepest spiritual bicssings. lle imparts to unspeakable and full of glory. Like the leaven them, from Christ's fulness, all they need. He in the parable of the meal, it penetrates the heart, enriches them out of the unsearcbable riches of and works therein until ihe man is made like to Christ. His love is therein shed abroad in their Christ, and has the happiness of holiness. It is a hearts the Holy Ghost. The blessed truth, perfect satisfaction; it is as “ a feast of fat things, that God is love, ihat he loveth them, that he a feast of wines on the lees, of fat ibings full of rests in his love, that he delights in them, rejoicing marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” It is over them with singing, is sealed unto their replete with blessedness. conscience.

Such intercourse Cbrist promises to bis faithful Tben follows, as a consequence, the return be ones: “If a man love me, he will keep my words; lievers make to God. Believing how gracious and my Father will love him, and we will come God is, believing all his love, their whole affec- unto him, and make our abode with liim.”. Such tions are yielded up to bim. Through faith, they blessed privilege be offers to all Laodicean churches rest upon the past, receive and rejoice in the pre- on their repentance : “If any man hear my voice, sent, and hope for the future. Their faith is in and open the door, I will come in to him, and will his name, their joy is in his love, their hope is in sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. iii. 20). A his salvation. They love their God, in some whole book of scripture, the Song of Solomon, degree, as he requires, with all their soul and describes the holy intercourse that exists between strength; certainly with fervour and purity. This renewed men (the bride), and their Redeemer love, centring itself in God, withdraws their affec- (the beavenly husband); and here, in the sacritions altogether from the things which are con- ficial institute, this truth finds a place, as the last trary to divine love, and regulates them in respect crowning act of divine bounty, and as the highest to every lawful object of regard.

state to which God calls his church. She lives In their love they draw nigh to God, seeking with God on terms of closest and of holiest friendto dwell continually in him, to walk with him, ship. She is fed at bis own table; she rejoices to appreciate more duly his infinite compassions, “ before him ;" she partakes of richest gifts in a to know him more, and to come to a closer one- pure fellowship with him. She gains Christ's ness with him in Christ Jesus. In their love they life, his peace, his joy, bis righteousness, and finds draw year, expressing their earnest desires for the her resting-place. As Christ biiselt, realizing accomplishment of all his purposes, for the over- the peace offering, has fellowship with God in all throw of his eyemies, for the advancement of things, so in Christ the church is conducted to Messiah's kingdom, for the universal performance similar high and holy fellowship: thus our Lord of his will, and for the full manifestation of his prayed, " As thou, Father, art in me, and I in eternal glory. In their love they yield their souls thee; that they also may be one in us” (John xvii. to him; they make a full surrender of all their 21). energies and powers, of their will and thoughts ; But we notice, further, that they who enjoy they present their adorations and their praises in this blessedness, and offer praise, must be pure. fcrvent strains, in a lowly, self-renouncing spirit, In Lev. vii. 19-21, we read, “ And as for the and in the humility of those who veil their faces flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof. But the with their wings as they surround the throne ; soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of and they give themselves up, with holy longing, peace offerings that pertain unto the Lord, having to be filled with all the fulness of God. As God | lis uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be bestows his best gifts upon them, so they present cut off from his people. Moreover, the soul that their best, although unworthy, unto him. They shall touch any unclean thing, and eat of the sympathize with all God's plans and all God's Aesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which perpeople. And they take an unfailing interest in tain unto the Lord, even that soul shall be cut off every portion of their heaven!y Father's kingilom. from his people." A similar rule was given to Thus, ihen, in receiving by faith gifts from God, the priests. In answer to tbis typical representaand in presenting their own returns of praise and tion, we know that the unclean, the filthy, will service, they have fellowship with the eternal be cast out from the visible church, and will be Trinity. God provides them with a heavenly cut off eternally from the true seat of fellowship banquet of richest spiritual good, of which they with God, his heavenly presence. We know, too, willingly partake. * Our fellowship is with the that those only, whose sin has been cleansed in the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."

blood of Christ, and who have been renewed by Further, this intercourse with God in Cbrist by the Spirit, so as to be pure, can hold intercourse the Spirit-God revealing himself in his love, bc- with the thrice Holy One. St. John expressly stowing favour upon man, and man, knowing tells us, “ If we say we have fellowsbip with him, God, embracing that favour, and yielding himself and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the to God-is full of blessedness. It is grateful and truth ; but, if we walk in the light, as he is in the pleasant to the soul, as the leavened cake that light, we have fellowship one with another." accompanied a peace offering was to the taste. They who are what they were by nature, who The psalmist says of it, “Thy loving-kindness is have lived in sin, and have not been washed, nor better than life.” He says of the truth which born of God, are not admitted to a spiritual combrings it, “Thy words were sweet unto my taste, munion with him. yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth.” He Again, those brought nigh to God are taught, says of particular acts in which it was obtained, by the 21st verse, to guard against all impurity; “My meditation shall be sweet;" and, “It is to keep themselves unspotted from the world, lest

[ocr errors]

through sin their souls should be cut off. Sin, in ; Belicvers, then, have to watch and pray, that they its own nature, separates from God. God, from may partake their spiritual blessings with a pure his nature, cannot look upon iniquity. If his and holy mind ; feasting upon the favours of God people, then, desire to possess the joys of inter- without turning them into a means of feeding their course with him, and to live in the light of his own corruption, and that, they may not vitiate countenance, they must bave no fellowship with them by any unclean action of their carnal mind. the unfruitful works of darkness. Sin must not Such, then, is the law of the sacrifice of the be upon them when they enter his holy presence peace offering ; teaching us that, through Christ for prayer or praise; it must not be unrepented crucified, believers are admitted into the blessed nor allowed.

If they have contracted guilt privilege of holy, happy intercourse with God; through sin, it must be confessed, and by faith and that their work, as priests in his temple, is to transferred to the sin offering, or it will hide the praise bis name for all bis mercies. face of God from them, deprive them of the Having thus, in this offering, completed our blessedness of their intercourse with God, mar the imperfect view of various truths symbolized by perfection of their communion, and separate be- the tabernacle, its ministers, and sacrifices, let me, tween their souls and God. God saith unto them in conclusion, invite your attention to three points by this rule of the peace offering, “ Touch not the suggested by the whole subject. unclean ibing ; and I will receive you ; and yo 1. That through Christ Jesus alone, as the one shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord atoning Mediator, can sinful man be pardoned | Almighty."

and brought into fellowship with God. EveryBut once more: similar regard to purity is where in the service of the tabernacle we meet discoverable in the rules relating to the sacrifice. with blood. The tabernacle, and the furniture, The flesh of the thanksgiving offering was to be and the priesthood thereof, were touched with eaten on the same day, none of it on the next: the blood. The priests could not enter on their duties flesh of the votive and free-will offering was to be but through blood. All the service of the sanceaten on the first or second, none on the third tuary must, on one solemn day, be, in its chief day (Lev. vii. 15, 17). Thus Lev. vii. 18: “And, symbol, the incense altar, sprinkled with blood. if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace In the sacrifices, again, shedding of blood is ever offering be eaten at all on the third day, it shall prominent. Whatever the truth symbolized be, not be accepted, neither shall it be iinputed unto whether expiation for sin, or trespass that may bin that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, be compensated, or the dedication of the soul to and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his ini- God, or good works, or praise, or intercourse with quity.” And “ the flesh that toucheth any God, it is in connexion with blood. unclean thing shall not be eaten.”.

By the law”, then, saith the apostle, “ almost Now, believers are bere taught to be very all things are purged with blood, and without watchful, in order that their fellowship with God shedding of blood is no remission.” If there is one may not, through their cvil, minister to corrup: truth more strongly marked than another, which tion, nor_be defiled by the acts of their carnal stands out as a principal one, and which is at the nature. For instance, low careful should they be, basis of all others, it is this, that the Jewish people lest they turn the mercies shown them into a lived with God, and to God, through atonement, source of spiritual pride! In St. Paul's case, a Surely, then, it is equally so in the gospel. The special messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him, symbolic actions with blood are realized in the in order that he might not be puffed up by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Christ crucified the revelations made to him. Again, how careful means of drawing men to God-Christ's death the zbould they be, lest tokens of divine favour become ransom for the soul, Christ's atoning blood conSources of vain security and sloth, as in the psalm. secrating man for God, lying at the root of all it's case ! or jest the divine blessings granted man's acceptable service, and encircling all man's them should be made a ground of self-boasting, or hopes and blessedness, Christ crucified—is the one, of party spirit, or contempt for others not blessed grand, central, all-pervading, and ever prominent in ile same way. And, again, how careful should | truth in Christianity. Reserve it we dare not, they be, lest particular approaches to God in with such symbolic teaching before our eyes. prayer or praise become a mere habit, a mere | Keep it back we may not; for it is the life of the repetition of acts in which they, outwardlyhold | whole system, and it must accompany and dedicommunion with God, but in which the freshness cate every action of each believing soul. There of the offering has gone, because there is no lively is no pardon, nor mercy, nor blessiug, nor holidesire after God himself in them! How often are ness, nor communion with God, but through the beauteous aud spiritual expressions of the blood, the atoning blood of our Immanuel. "Common Prayer" the mere decayed offering of Let nie ask you therefore, brethren, have you the church, corrupted remnants, as it were, of an faith in that blood ? Is Christ crucified your sole offering! for there is no holy love in the worship- trust, your sole ground of hope of divine mercy ? pers, no vigorous longing of soul after God, no If not, then learn from the subjects we have con. real energy of faith, bearing the words upward to sidered how essential it is to your salvation. the altar of God as a vital gift of homage to him. Amiability of disposition, uprightness of conduct. How often, again, do believers vitiate their com- honourable dealings with men, exact fulfilment of munion by their impure motives ! by a careless, all relative, social, political duties, attention to the worldly, and frivolous spirit, entering into the duties of religion, will not save you. Christ cruawful presence of the Holy One with an irreve- cified alone is the power of Gud unto salvation, Tence and a lightness that would not be tolerated Through faith in him alone is life. before an earthly kiug; causing the flesh of the Would you, then, be part of the living, glorious offering, as it were, to touch an unclean thing." temple of God Almighty? would you offer to

« 前へ次へ »