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to bless us, nor approached with the honour of be a disappointment. Let us prize him as the worship. There is a disposition in the human gift of God, employ him as the servant of God, mind to exalt them beyond their true condition, use him for the glory of God; but remember his but this is condemned in the scriptures as super- and our dependence upon God, and be ready to stitious and idolatrous. In the book of the part with him at the command of God. "Cease Revelation, xxii. 8, 9, we read, “When I had ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for heard and seen, I fell down to worship before wherein is he to be accounted of ?' the feet of the angel which showed me these The wise man raises his thoughts above the things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it earth. God is his chosen portion. How satisnot, for I am thy fellow-servant; worship God.' fying and secure! He is reconciled to God in Jehovah will not give his glory to another. Let Christ Jesus, and loves, and serves, and honours, us beware, that however we may admire the and enjoys him as a Father. The divine perfecglorified inhabitants of heaven, we do not trust tions are his security; unerring wisdom his in them nor adore.
counsellor; almighty power his support; unBut whatever temptation may arise from this changing faithfulness his refuge; unbounded love source, it is more difficult to say, “There is none his consolation; inflexible justice his defence. upon earth that I desire besides thee.' Our The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the great attractions are to the earth and earthly righteous runneth into it and is safe. "O taste things. And yet how vain are they all! and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the
Riches! They are uncertain, and make to man that trusteth in him. “They that seek the themselves wings and fly away. They are un- Lord shall not want any good thing that satisfying, mere husks, that cannot be food for a
we may ever breathe the spirit of David, saying rational and immortal mind. They are perplex- with our whole heart,ing, often more difficult to keep than obtain, to
“Whom have I in the heavens high use than earn. “If riches increase, set not thy
But thee, O Lord, alone! heart upon them.' Lay up for yourselves
And on the earth whom I desire treasures in heaven.'
Besides thee there is none.' Pleasures! They are commonly the seeds of pain. Hear one who tried all their rounds, and bore faithful testimony to their insufficiency: 'I
TWENTY-SEVENTH Day.-MORNING. gave myself unto wine, I made me great works, I got me servants and maidens, I gathered me
Without shedding of blood is no remission,' also silver and gold; whatsoever mine eyes de
Heb. ix. 22. sired I kept not from them: and, behold, all was If any one will turn to a concordance, and search vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no for the term blood, he will find it is used with so profit under the sun.'
much frequency in the scriptures as at once to Ambition! A mere bubble! A phantom suggest the idea of great importance being atthat may amuse for a moment, but beguiles and tached to it. Nor is it the mere frequency of the leaves to the bitterness of disappointment. Re- term that is remarkable so much as the use of member the history of the great king Nebuchad- the blood itself, in connection with the doctrines nezzar. “He spake, and said, Is not this great intended to be taught, and the ends to be anBabylon, that I have built for the house of the swered by it. Throughout the whole of the Old kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the Testament scriptures, under all dispensations of honour of my majesty? While the word', was religion, it has the greatest prominence given to in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from it. If Abel offered unto God a more acceptable heaven, saying, 0 king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee sacrifice than Cain, one feature of difference beit is spoken. The kingdom is departed from thee. tween their offerings was the shedding of blood. They shall drive thee from men, and thy dwell-When Abraham was taken into covenant with ing shall be with the beasts of the field, until God it was sealed by blood. And for its use unthou know that the most High ruleth in the der the Mosaic economy see the preceding conkingdom of men. • Those that walk in pride, text, from which the passage under meditation he is able to abase.'
an inference, and
every verse of which the The creature! We may love him, but not term occurs, ver. 18—22. · Neither the first supremely. We may enjoy him, provided only Testament was dedicated without blood. Moses we enjoy God in him. Apart from God he will took the blood of calves and goats and sprinkled be a snare.
If put in the room of God, he will the book and all the people—this is the blood of in the supper.
the Testament—he sprinkled with blood the But why was this necessary to the remission of tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry-sin? The law of God required it—the truth of God and almost all things are by the law purged required it—the honour of God required it—the with blood. When it is considered that this is character of God required it. Whom God hath the language of the Holy Spirit, it must be felt set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his that it is used with wisdom and design.
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remisSo also in the gospel. Marked attention is sion of sins, that he might be just, and the justipaid to the shedding of the blood of Christ. In fier of him that believeth in Jesus. Wondrous the agony of the garden his 'sweat was as it were economy! God glorified while the sinner is great drops of blood falling down to the ground.' saved! The law magnified while the guilty is At the time of his death the blood poured freely pardoned! Heaven sounding with praises while from his hands and feet, rudely lacerated by the earth is redeemed from sin. nails that fastened him to the cross, as well as by For in the one appointment of the shedding of the injury of the thorns with which, in mockery, blood a provision is made to meet the evil of sin he was crowned. And the incident is particu- in all its bearings. Here is pardon, and peace, larly noticed that as he hung on the cross, a soldier and purity, and redemption. The blood of Christ pierced his side with a spear, so that there came is alike a title to heaven, and a motive to holithence blood and water. Does there not seem to ness. “There is no condemnation to them that be a design to teach that all the blood which had are in Christ.' And upon all such is it enjoined, flowed in the body of Christ was poured out un- | 'ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price, til life became completely extinct? And when therefore glorify God in your body and spirit, he died, and ordinances were instituted to com- which are his.' memorate his death, these are so ordered as still Am I in Christ? Does the holiness of my to keep the shedding of his blood prominently in life evidence the reality of my faith? O! my view. Witness the water in baptism, and wine soul, the blood of Christ now speaketh peace.
Let it be sprinkled on the conscience by the Holy But let us inquire what meaneth this? What Spirit, whose office it is to apply it to the sinner. is the mystery in the shedding of blood ? The But it may be disregarded, and neither its necesprinciple of interpretation is thus given in the sity nor worth may be known, and if so, the day law of Moses, the life of the flesh is in the cometh when it shall cry for vengeance, worse blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar, than that of Abel—when the charge shall be, to make an atonement for your souls ; for it is ‘guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. And the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul,' then shall the punishment be that of him who Lev. xvii. 11. By pouring out the blood the hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and life was given up, and by giving up the life, in the hath counted the blood of the covenant, whereroom of another, atonement was made. Under with he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath the law this was figuratively and typically de- done despite unto the Spirit of grace.' clared, and only so, for the blood of bulls and of
• Behold the Saviour on the cross, goats could never take away sin. But under the
a spectacle of woe! gospel this was literally and really accomplished
See from his agonizing wounds
the blood incessant flow; when Jesus Christ poured out his soul unto death,
Till death's pale ensigns o'er his cheek and presented it an offering for sin. The cere
and trembling lips were spread; monies of the law were only the shadow, while his
Till light forsook his closing eyes,
and life his drooping head! death was the substance. And so important is
'Tis finish’d-was his latest voice; this doctrine, that the entire epistle to the He
these sacred accents o'er, brews was written for its elucidation.
He bowed his head, gave up the ghost, And what was there so peculiar in the shed
and suffer'd pain no more.
"Tis finish’d--The Messiah dies ding of Christ's blood as to render it thus effica
for sins, but not his own; cious ? This is explained by John saying, “the The great redemption is complete, blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from
and Satan's pow'r o'erthrown. all sin.' He was the Son of God. As Son he “ 'Tis finish’d-All his groans are past; was an equal partaker of the nature and glory of
his blood his pains, and toils,
Have fully vanquished our foes, the Godhead with the Father and the Spirit.
and crown'd him with their spoils. Hence the efficacy of his death—its merit is in- "Tis finish'd-Legal worship ends, finite-enough to satisfy for the sins of an apos
and gospel ages run;
All old things now are past away, tate world.
and a new world begun.'
TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY.—EVENING. towards them are illustrative of his dealings
towards us. They are a living exemplification · Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, of the depth of the divine love, and the power of
and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, divine grace. Hence Christians are addressed, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you,' Ye are come to mount Zion, and the city of the Ezek. xxxvi. 25.
living God'—to all the promises and privileges This promise is addressed to the Jews, and con- of ancient Israel. The clean water of Calvary tains an assurance of their final restoration to the has healing virtue for the souls of men in all ages favour and service of God, as is manifest from and countries. And the rich promise upon which the context, “ Ye shall dwell in the land that I we dwell may be pleaded wherever there is guilt gave to your fathers, and ye shall be my people, to pardon, or impurity to cleanse, or ungodliness and I will be your God,' ver. 28. “Then the to change. The address is to sinners, 'ye shall heathen, that are left round about you, shall know be clean.' And 0 how various and valuable the that I the Lord build the ruined places, and blessings which it contains. plant that that was desolate; I the Lord have It is a promise of pardon. “The blood of spoken it, and I will do it,' ver. 36.
Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.' In him Viewed in this application, the promise is we have redemption through his blood, the forsingularly rich and precious. For how great is giveness of sins. There is no amount of crime the guilt of Israel! Yet shall it be removed. beyond the reach of pardon. In this respect well How deep their depravity! Yet shall it be might Jehovah say by the prophet, “My thoughts healed. How inveterate their sinfulness! Yet are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my shall it be overcome. They crucified the Lord ways; for as the heavens are higher than the of glory, and cried out, “His blood be upon us, earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and upon our children;' for eighteen hundred and my thoughts than your thoughts. He paryears they have continued to “trample under foot doned Saul of Tarsus and Mary Magdalene. the blood of the Son of God; and by an obstinate There may be defilement which water cannot perseverance in iniquity they have done despite cleanse, but there is no guilt which the blood of to the Spirit of his grace. Yet is there mercy in Christ cannot remove. store for them. The blood which they shed It is a promise of purity. And hence is it shall be applied to them for cleansing. This is accompanied with this explanation, “A new the clean water spoken of in the promise. It heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I can, and will make even guilty Israel clean. put within you; and I will take away
the stony • There shall be a fountain opened to the house heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, heart of flesh. The blood of Christ is the “laver for sin and for uncleanness.'
of regeneration,' in which the soul is washed, and What exalted views does such a promise give in which, while its guilt is removed, its nature us of the redeeming power and love of God! It is changed. However hardened in sin before, it is, indeed, a satisfying evidence of the precious becomes tenderly alive to the claims of God and doctrine of the apostle Paul, . Where sin abounded, the obligations of his service. Its views, and grace did much more abound; that as sin hath dispositions, and purposes undergo a complete reigned unto death, even so might grace reign revolution. It may truly be said, “If any man through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature; old Christ our Lord.'
things are passed away, behold all things are And does it not encourage and require us dili- become new.' gently to seek the recovery of Israel? God has It is a promise of external holiness, as well as thoughts of mercy towards them, and we should inward purity. For it is added, “I will cause labour to see them blessed with his favour. O you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep for more of the prophet's spirit in the Christian my judgments, and do them. When sin is parchurch, breathing its anxieties for the ancient doned, it is not that it may be contracted afresh. people of God in his words, “For Zion's sake On the contrary, a powerful motive arises hence will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's to avoid it in future. A sense of pardoning sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof mercy is a mighty sanctifying principle. And go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof when the heart is renewed, this is the qualificaas a lamp that burneth.
tion for a godly life. Till then the inclination is But it is not Israel only that is concerned in wanted; but as soon as this is done, holiness besuch a promise as this. The dealings of God comes the delight of the soul. As Jesus is loved, so is he imitated and obeyed. The more his be .holy, and just, and good!' Holy! distinguishwork is considered, the more powerful its influ- ing in every instance between right and wrong, ence in determining to walk after his precepts. good and evil. Just! determining the claims and The very habit of the Christian is always bear- duties of all intelligent creatures. And good! ing about in the body the dying of the Lord securing the best interests of all who obey it. Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made Now to this law are all subject, at all times, and manifest in his body.' He feels the force of the in all things. None can escape from its observapoet's sentiment
tion, or evade its requirements. Nor can it
relax its demands, nor forego its obligations. "Talk they of morals? O thou bleeding Lamb! The grand morality is love to thee.'
Wherever sin is found, the law detects and con
demns it. It is the guardian of Jehovah's charBut let us not omit to notice that it is a acter, while it is the expression of his will. Nopromise upon which we have been meditating. thing, therefore, can it tolerate that is contrary A promise! Therefore we must come to God by to the nature and the will of God. prayer, and plead it with him. His language
And how illustrative of both the nature and the is , I will for this be enquired of by the house of law of God have all his dealings towards mankind Israel to do it for them. A promise! There- been. His law was published with a solemn sancfore we must receive the blessing gratuitously. tion, in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt We cannot purchase it. While we dream of a surely die.' And since it has been violated, the price, we hinder our reception of it. We are to history of guilty man has been a record of “weepask and receive. It is the office of the Holy ing, and lamentation, and woe. By the offence Spirit to apply the blood of Christ to the con- of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnascience, and this is the exhortation of Jesus, “If tion. One sin involved a world in ruin. And as your fathers, being evil, know how to give good in this sinful world iniquity has abounded, so have gifts unto their children, how much more shall the divine judgments been poured out. These your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to have sometimes been general, as when the waters them that ask him?'
of the deluge swept away, in one awful destruction, the guilty inhabitants of the earth. At other times they have been more special, as when, pro
voked by special transgression, God destroyed TWENTY-EIGHth Day.-MORNING. the cities of the plain with fire and brimstone.
And still are they manifest in the individual his* That will by no means clear the guilty,' Exod. tory of sinners, who have been plainly warned, xxxiv. 7.
be sure your sin will find you out,' and who "By no means!' The phrase is intended to be a have usually found, sooner or later, that verily strong expression of that which is affirmed. But there is a God who judgeth in the earth. To all the expression is not stronger than the reality. which must be added the day of righteous retriGod cannot—will not-on no account—by no bution, when God will lay judgment to the line means clear the guilty
and righteousness to the plummet, and detect, and His nature forbids it. They who know him expose, and punish the guilty. must join with the prophet in saying, “thou art of Nor will the mercy of God extinguish the attripurer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look bute of his justice. Let us particularly observe on iniquity. How hateful sin is to a good man the connection in which we find the subject of when he turns his eyes from the sight of it, loath- our meditation. • The Lord passed by before ing it in his very soul, and feeling towards it only him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, hatred and disgust. But feeble are the emotions merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abunof the purest hearts when compared with the dis- dant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for pleasure of a pure and holy God. “Thou art not thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; neither and sin, and that will by no means clear the shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not guilty. The highest expression of mercy is stand in thy sight; thou hatest all workers of ini- joined with the strongest assertion of justice. quity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leas- And these are obviously brought together for the ing; the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceit- sake of warning and instruction. Let us careful man.
fully weigh the truths which are thus presented The law of God forbids it. This law is correctly for our consideration. and beautifully described by the apostle Paul to We learn that while God delighteth in mercy
he will yet maintain the claims of his justice. In when they sin against him. This is among the the gospel, which is the brightest display of love, promises he has given them, ‘I will visit your we have the most awful expression of justice. iniquity with stripes. And has he not ever done The very same act, even the gift of his Son, pro- so ? How has he exposed and humbled his errclaims at the same time both these attributes. ing servants ! The sin of Abraham, when he "God so loved the world that he gave his only deceived Abimelech, was detected, and is recorded begotten Son ;' yet “it became him to make the to his shame. David sought to cover his sin, Captain of our salvation perfect through suffer- but God made both it and its punishment public. ing. This
of salvation was chosen, because An ungodly man may be allowed to conceal his it was the only one by which the divine attri- crime, for it will be punished hereafter; but God butes could be harmonized in the redemption of will not permit his own servants to escape. Let sinners. "God hath set him forth to be a propi- us learn to be watchful. God is jealous of the tiation though faith in his blood ; that he might holiness of his people. And may we never forbe just, and the justifier of him that believeth in get what may be interpreted either as a warning Jesus.'
or a promise, 'he shall sit as a refiner and purifier We learn that notwithstanding the mercy of of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, God and the gracious provision which it has and purge them as gold and silver, that they made for sinners, they who continue in sin shall may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousnot escape the righteous judgments of God. Such ness.' as have fled to Christ are looked upon in him. God is well-pleased with them for his sake, and he can and does justify them freely through him. But they who have not been united with him, TWENTY-Eighth Day.-EVENING. and must therefore be treated upon the ground The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us of their own worthiness, cannot stand before him when he ariseth to judge terribly the earth. For
all, Isa. liii. 6. as his nature is still opposed to sin, and his law In this passage the prophet states comprehenstill condemnatory of it, the transgressor cannot sively the doctrine of our Lord's atonement, setescape either his cognizance or his wrath. As ting forth in few and simple words its origin, and the provision of the gospel has not been embraced nature, and extent. Let us follow him in the by him, “the wrath of God abideth on him.' views which he has so well expressed. And
We learn that the mercy of the gospel aggra- may their contemplation warm our cold hearts ! vates the guilt of the sinner. After describing 1. What took place is ascribed to the Lord. its provisions, the apostle Paul exclaims, how He it was who laid the iniquity of sinners upon shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?' Christ. The wonderful scheme originated with Unbelief is a sin of the greatest magnitude. The God himself, nor could it have been conceived by fullness, the freeness, and the grace of the gospel, any finite mind. In the wonderful person and are its high aggravations. The unbeliever makes the atoning work of his own Son, he saw how Jesus, the Friend, the Saviour of sinners, his pardon might be dispensed to the guilty conenemy. He has rejected the proffers of his love, sistently with justice; how the law might be and he shall meet the terrors of his displeasure. magnified, while the transgressor was acquitted; And it becomes him to ponder well the question, how God might be glorified, and the sinner •Who may abide the day of his coming? And saved. What divine wisdom devised, his unwho shall stand when he appeareth ?'
bounded love consented should be done. God Finally, we learn that God will visit for sin, so loved the world that he gave his only-beeven in his own people. In them, indeed, it is gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him specially hateful to him. It is said with great should not perish, but might have everlasting emphasis, “Our God is a consuming fire.' The God life. He gave his Son—his only-begotten Son- , of the believer is a consuming fire to him, for he to death-to the most cruel, cursed, and ignowill not suffer sin upon him, but will burn it up minious death—for men, for sinners, for enemies, with the breath of his judgment. How heavy for their sin, their salvation, their redemption. was his hand upon ancient Israel when they dis- Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that obeyed him! And his judgments upon them he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiawere heavy because they were dear to him. And tion for our sins. But justice was not meanwhat is still more to the point, he visits not merely while relaxed. When the Son of God took the his professing people, but those who are really his, place of sinners, the hand of his father was