« ZurückWeiter »
AN ATONEMENT FOR THE SOUL."
An Open-Air Serbice
UNDER THE PORTICO OF
THE ROYAL EXCHANGE,
ON SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 1858.
THE REV. T. RICHARDSON,
Curate of St. Olave, Old Jewry, Cheapside, London,
J. PAUL, CHAPTER-HOUSE COURT, ST. PAUL'S.
ALSO, BY THE SAME AUTHOR,
Second Edition, price One Penny,
"THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S, AND THE FULNESS
AN OPEN-AIR SERVICE,
Delivered on the Steps of the Royal Exchange, London,
ON SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 1858.
J. PAUL, CHAPTER HOUSE COURT, ST. PAUL'S, LONDON,
FOR IT IS THE BLOOD THAT MAKETH AN ATONE
MENT FOR THE SOUL.”
The worship of God was commenced by singing the following psalm :
"All people that on earth do dwell,
A short prayer was then offered up, that the life-giving power of the Holy Ghost might enable the preacher so to speak, and the hearers so to receive, the Word of God, that each might be blessed for the sake of Jesus Christ. Several of the congregation joined in the Lord's prayer ; after which the attention of those gathered together was directed to
THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS, XVII. 10, 11.
"And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood, I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
“ For the life of the flesh is in the blood : and I have given it to you npon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
The last clause of the quotation was selected as the text.
There are three words in this text which will guide you to lift out (as from a mine) truth which is in the Word of God. Open the Bible and you will find that the soul is addressed, that atonement is its subject, and that that atonement is blood-blood expressed, or implied.
To these three words I now direct your attention.
1.- The Soul.
“For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." And what is that? What is man without a soal ? Let us go back to the time when man was not, but there was the image—there was a piece of dead clay, standing erect it might be, but only like a stone npon the earth. But when God breathed into that lifeless dust, then mad became a living soul--an image like anto God himself. A spark of immortality was breathed into the dead clay, and man became a living soul. If it is the blood which maketh atonement for the soul, we deal not with the body as a body only, but simpiy as the shell which contains the immortal part of man. It is the real being which God deals with in His Word; it is the real man- n—that which is, that which was, and that which shall be. Yes, it is that part of man which can go back to childhood; which on trace the progress of his life step by step, which he has passed, and is that which can now stand and elevate itself above the beasts of the field; it is the real man. Where is the hair, for instance, that has passed from our heads ? Where is the flesh, the bodily substance, that has passed away? Yet the soul is still the same while the body is changed. When we are told that blood is the atonement for the soul, it is that which has been ever since we had a being; it is that which constitutes the man. It is not the hand, it is not the foot, it is not the head : it is the immortal part—the real being which is within. Shall I treat my body, or any portion of it, as the man? No! I say, give me that which is adapted to feed my soul, even at the expense of distress to my body. And why? It is that which shall be. It is that which can stand here and look to the time when this body, now animate, shall lie down inanimate, as our original father was, before he had a soul. The body shall return to the dust, but the spirit shall not die ; it shall return to the God who gave it. We are dealing, my dear fellow. sinners, with the real being, when we speak on the subject of the soul; that which looks at to-morrow; that which can grapple with next Sabbath-day; that which can stand at the grave of the relative, and with confidence commit the dead body to the ground, still realizing the living existence of the spirit which once inhabited that body. For, remember, St. Paul, in the Hebrews, represents the Christian's race as one which is run upon a course which is walled up on either side by men like Enoch, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Daniel, and other of the spirits of just med made perfect. All these are represented as looking on at the race that you and I, my friends, ure running, or I hope shall ran in this life. For God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. The immortal soul is that which is, and which shall be ; that which baffles death, and defies the grave; that which Satan cannot destroy; that which God says shall never die. Jesus put this matter into a very simple proposition, when he inquired, “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?', Gain the whole world for time, but lose his soul for all eternity. Yes, it is that part of us which is now, and which shall be in existence, ready and waiting for that great day when Jesus shall come to judge the quick and the dead. Then shall the spirits, which have been separated from their respective bodies, again re-animate those bodies, again inhabit this earthly house of our tabernacle. For then this corruption shall put on incorruption; this mortal shall pat on immortality. The body shall change, but there will be no change in the soul; that is the never-dying part of man, of which the text says " it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul.”
When we look at man as having an immortal and indestructible soul, the responsibility of Christ's minister is aroused: when a man feels that he has something within him which others enjoy not, then is the time that a spiritually-minded man who knows that, if we die in sin, we shall inevitably suffer to all cternity, experiences, “Yea, woe is me if I preach not the gospel.” It is with this view of the soul, not so much for time, but far more for eternity that we preach here, looking forward to the fearful time when the immortal soul shall be introduced into its eternal rest or eternal condemnation : it is the soul, which is redee jed with blood, it is more especially the real part of man that we deal with in thus speaking.
Have you a soul? It is no use our simply referring the matter to Adam and Eve, if we cannot bring it down to ourselves. The human heart, which is “deceitful above all things,” is anxious to get rid of "creation," and of the “fall,” and to put them on Adam and Eve. But have you a soul? Did you feel, when your friend died, that he was exterminated ? Did you even think, when stauding by a death-bed, that the soul was dead? No. Shall we see our friends on a sick-bed with the mind as active, the soul as happy, and the memory as strong as ever, and believe that the last breath which goes out of that body shall destroy that which years of sickness lave not been able to weaken, but rather tended to make it stronger ? No! The body certainly is taken to the dust, but the spirit still lives. “ It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
II. ATONEMENT. What mean we by this term ? Go to any of our prisons, and you will there find out what atonement means. You will there discover that there is an English law, and that those who have broken it have been compelled to make an atonement for breaking it ; and this must be remembered, that there is not a man who, when he is banged for murder, atones for that murder, except in the sight of man whose law he has broken. Having committed murder, and the law in this country being that a man who takes the life of another shall pay it by his own life, he is hanged, and thus he pays the penalty of the law of his country. But he does not thereby pay the penalty of the law of God. No; he has only sinned against man for the time being—against man as such-and it is only in that sense that he has to atone and pay the penalty of the law. You have no right to charge a man with being a thief after he has redeemed his character in the eyes of the law by undergoing the penalty inflicted. He then holds exactly the position he held before the offence was commited, and he cannot be again condemned for the offence for which he was sent to prison and for which he has suffered the sentence of the law. Apply this to the word of God, and what is atonement ? It is the price paid for breaking the law, and when that price is paid, the sinner stands in the eyes of the law, as if he had not broken it at all. Atonement is that which is required on account of the breaking of the law, and when that atonement is presented to the Being whose law is broken, the man is re-introduced into the position which he held before the law was broken. Adam and Eve had a law; there was the tree of life, and another tree which was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When God made man and woman, he planted these two trees in the garden, concerning one of which he said, “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." But they brake God's law, and subjected themselves to the penalty of death. And if, my friends, you do not like the idea of having broken the law in them, look into your own hearts and souls. Have you kept all God's laws ? Can you go to the Ten Commandments and say that you have done your duty to your God, yourself, and to your neighbour? We will not go to Paradise, but we will stand here and examine our own hearts. Have our hands stolen ?