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the veil with the blood of the sin-offering to
Job (i. 5) offered burnt-offerings continually, upon the bare supposition that his sons might have sinned. But if such was the shadow, what must be the substance? If such was the conduct of the Jew, what should be the conduct of the believing Christian? Surely he should come with joy and gladness to this he passover; should take his part in this sacrifice; he should remember that great High Priest of his profession, who by his own blood entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Now, where remission of sin is, there needs no more offering nor sacrifice. We ought to rest satisfied that all has been done for us which Almighty Wisdom could devise, or Almighty Power execute. It is our duty
to embrace the offer made of pardon, and to live as ransomed at such a price. For we were redeemed not with corruptible things, as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. Whether, therefore, we consider the greatness or the power of that God against whom we have sinned, and who in mercy appoints the sacrifice; or the value of the offering, with the willing obedience of the spotless Lamb of God: in either case our thankfulness is called forth. "What is man, O Lord, that thou art thus mindful of him, or the son of man that thou so regardest him?" Man, the transgressor of a righteous law, is here reinstated in the divine favour by one who had kept the law. "As by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; so by the righteousness of one, the free gift is come upon all men to justification of life." The offer of pardon is freely made, and nothing remains but that we accept it.
And here, again, we have need to bless and praise Almighty God for another act
of his love, even the gift of the Holy Spirit, to "prevent us in all our doings with his most gracious favour, and to further us with his continual help.”
If, to enable us to value this atonement, as our blessed Saviour said to Martha the sister of Lazarus, One thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her:" let us sit at his feet, and hear his word. If we have been led to make this happy choice, and if the care of the soul is found to be the one thing needful, we are bound to give all the glory to God, and to live to him who died for us. There is not a step wanting in the work of man's salvation. The great Artificer plans the building, provides the materials, hires the labourers, and fills up the fabric. We become fitly framed and compacted; and from first to last it is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. We glorify our Creator, our Redeemer, and Sanctifier. It is the Spirit that moves us to accept these offers.
In the last place, let us inquire whether we
have studied, with becoming humility, those great truths, and what effect they have produced upon our lives and conversations.
For men possessed of reason and understanding, who can enter into every other subject with eagerness and anxiety, to be quite dead and altogether indifferent to the concerns of eternity, would scarcely be credited, did we not find a thousand instances every day to confirm the truth of the supposition. They will not hear, nor understand. Who hath believed our report? They have closed their eyes, and hardened their hearts! Such are the declarations of the prophets of the Lord! And when we look into the history of our own day, we find men totally ignorant of the book which God has given them, and knowing little of the nature of the sacrifice made for sin upon the cross: thus neglecting the Giver and the gift. Such conduct is surely strange, and altogether indefensible. It is contrary to the behaviour of the same men on any other subject of importance. They rise early, and late take rest, for profit or pleasure. They eat the bread of carefulness. But when the greatest of all subjects is
proposed; when the historical facts of the Old Testament point to it; when prophecies and types foreshadow it; then, when the sacrifice of Christ is proposed, men make light of it as an atonement for sin. He who had no sin, who was blameless and harmless, who came from the height of glory and blessedness to take our nature upon him, and to be made in the form of a servant, He, the ever-blessed Son of God, did all this, entering with his own blood into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us; and yet (it is a solemn thought) the rebels whom he came to bring back to their allegiance, the transgressors whom he came to pardon, neglect his offers and despise his grace. "Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon!"
Rather, my beloved brethren, let us give this great subject the consideration which it deserves, especially at this season: let us look with an eye of faith to this one sacrifice for sin! let us ask ourselves a few plain questions— Whether the salvation offered to us in the Gospel is not the only salvation? Whether there is any other name under heaven