湖南快乐十分极速快三【RY2】In x. 3, 4, we are distinctly taught that the one reason why these sacrifices were repeated was, that it was impossible for them to be effectual in removing guilt. “In those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” The dark stain of sin is far too dreadful a thing to be blotted out by the blood of any animal. Those sacrifices did very well as remembrancers. They were daily reminders, and daily acknowledgments of guilt; but as for putting it away, they had no virtue in them, and they p. 25were powerless. They were most important likewise as types; as helping believers, with the eye of faith, to look on and trust to the one sufficient sacrifice of the Lord; and so believers, looking to Christ as represented in the slain lamb, could, through faith in Him, find pardon and peace to their souls. But in themselves they were utterly powerless, for nothing short of the perfect sacrifice of the Son of God could ever really take away sin.
III. But our third question still remains,—“In what way, or by what means, is this great object to be attained?” I am, of course, speaking of the human instruments, and not of the sovereign power of God the Holy Ghost, without whom nothing is strong, and nothing holy.This, then, being the case, we see at once why there is not more self-sacrifice for God. The reason clearly is, that there is a want of the deep sense of mercy. The sacrifice of Christ is not sufficiently realised, and the result is that the self-sacrifice is withheld. I fear there is a great want of self-sacrifice even among those who hold the truth. Surely there are many whose religion never costs them any real personal self-denial. They pass through life easily and respectably, but refer matters more to their p. 44own inclination than to the call of God. They are more ready to pay others to work than to work themselves, and are prone to stand aloof from distasteful service, if, as they say, it does not suit them; or, as they might say, they do not like it. So, again, but few deny themselves in giving, and though many are liberal, there are few whose personal comforts are really diminished by their liberality. Now, why is this? and how is it that the great salvation has not more power over us? Is it not that the salvation itself is not enough felt and appreciated? It is true of us, as it was of the Corinthians, that “we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich.” But though we know it, we do not deeply feel it. It is like paint lying on the surface, but it is not burnt into us, so as to become part and parcel of ourselves. Everything may be correct; our doctrine scriptural, and our principles sound: but neither one nor the other has gone home to the inmost soul with such power that we have learned to “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord.” What is it, then, that we want? What p. 45must lie at the root of all? A more powerful sense of mercy, a deeper conviction of need, a clearer perception of what Christ has done for us, a more thorough appreciation of His perfect sacrifice; and when that is given, we shall be better able to understand the appeal,—“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
We studied last Sunday the one perfect and final sacrifice made for the sins of the whole world, when our Lord Jesus Christ completed our propitiation on the cross. We found that that sacrifice differed from those of the ceremonial law, in the great fact that it was once and for ever; that it was so perfect, so complete, so fully sufficient to satisfy the whole claim of the law, that when it was once offered there was no place left for repetition, perpetuation, or addition. The veil of the temple was then rent from the top to the bottom, and there was no space left for any further rending. The Lord himself said, “It is finished;” so the whole was done, and done for ever.
湖南快乐十分极速快三【RY2】:1. The words themselves prove that they are figurative. Turn to 1 Cor. xi. 25, where we read: “This cup is the new testament in my blood.” Is there any one blind enough to suppose that the cup was changed into the new testament? The words must mean that the cup was an emblem of the covenant. When our Lord said, “I am the vine,” “I am the door,” “I am the bread of life,” He did not mean that He was changed into a vine, into a door, or into bread, but that all these things were emblems of His work. So He says of the cup, that it is an emblem of the covenant; and if we would be consistent interpreters, we must believe also of the bread that it was declared to be an emblem of the body.
p. 6The words teach us that at the present time our Blessed Lord and Saviour is at the right hand of God, and they suggest two subjects, His place, and His employment.
They could never, therefore, satisfy the conscience; as you read, Heb; x. 1, 2:—“For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged shall have had no more conscience of sins.”
The text stands very near the conclusion of a most important argument, in which the Apostle has been drawing the contrast between the Jewish sacrifices under the ceremonial law and the one perfect sacrifice wrought out for us by p. 19the Son of God on the cross. The contrast commences with the 25th verse of the 9th chapter, and extends to the 14th verse of the 10th; after which we are led to the practical application of the whole epistle. Let us, then, first, carefully study the point of contrast, and then the reason of it.
3. Once more: the sacrifice involves the free gift of money. Money with most men lies very near the heart. Open the heart, and you open the purse. Let the heart become dull, lifeless, cold, and unfeeling, and the purse soon closes. Thus the sacrifice of Self is almost sure to lead to the offering of money. Cold hearts give little; but when the heart is full the offerings flow freely. The men of Macedonia were poor people, but no sooner had they given their own selves to the Lord than “the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty, abounded unto the riches of their liberality.” Now these offerings p. 39are described in the Scriptures as a sacrifice to God. St. Paul alludes to them, in Philip, iv. 18. It is not perfectly clear whether he alludes to a contribution towards his own maintenance, or to the collection in which he took so deep an interest for the poor saints in Jerusalem; but, either way, he describes the offerings as an odour of a sweet smell, a “sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.” This gives a delightful view of contributions in a right spirit for the service of the Lord. It shows that the free and generous giver thereby offers a sacrifice well pleasing to God. It rebukes at the same time the niggardly and parsimonious spirit, the spirit that gives reluctantly, and complains of many calls. Yet I verily believe that to give freely can scarcely be called a sacrifice, for no money gives so much pleasure as that freely offered to the Lord’s service; and no people enjoy property so much as they do who are free and open-hearted givers. I have not the slightest hesitation, therefore, in appealing to you for free and generous offerings, for I can say as St. Paul said (Philip, iv. 17), “I desire fruit that may abound to your account;” and I am thoroughly persuaded, that no person who is induced to give freely will ever repent of p. 40“a sacrifice acceptable and well pleasing to God.”
And let me add, that I believe there are many troubled consciences who would find great assistance in their difficulties if they acted more on the advice of the Communion Service. It is a hard thing to bear a burden alone, and I am thoroughly persuaded there are many who might find great help under serious and painful difficulties from the confidential opening of the heart’s wound to a clergyman or Christian p. 66friend. I have known many such cases, and I believe that our just dread of the Romish confessional—and no one can dread it more than I do—combined with our national shyness of character, cuts off many from that which might be an important help to them in their anxious struggle for the peace of God.。
But we must not leave the matter there, for it is not enough for us to be deeply convinced p. 31that the doctrine of the Mass is opposed to the whole truth of God, for such a conviction, though it may keep us clear of Rome, will not, if it be all, bring us to God. What we want is not merely a conviction of the truth, but a personal appropriation of it in our own hearts. It is a blessed thing to know that a perfect sacrifice has been offered, and that no further sacrifice is either necessary or possible; but that knowledge, blessed as it is, may leave the heart dissatisfied, and the conscience ill at ease. When that is the case, we cannot be surprised at persons restlessly feeling after anything that promises peace; and I believe there is no state of mind in which persons are so liable to be led away by Rome, as when the conscience is awakened, but the heart not at rest in Christ the Saviour. It is when we can look to that cross of Christ, assured that the atonement there made was sufficient even for us, and when we can rest in the conviction that, because the atonement was sufficient, we, even we, are free; and when we learn to rest, not on feelings, not on sacraments, not on our doings of any kind whatever, but simply on the great, grand, glorious fact, that a full propitiation has been made even for the chief of sinners, so that we, though the chief p. 32of sinners, are no longer under the guilt of sin; then it is that we discover the strength of the rock under our feet, and, resting on it, we need no other stay. It is enough, for Christ hath died, and through Him God is reconciled. Blessed! oh, blessed that Christian believer, who can thus rest in a perfect Saviour; and be kept in perfect peace through the Saviour’s perfect work!。