« ZurückWeiter »
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 ed 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, 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 hanged 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 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. I 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 as 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 ? Have our tongues lied ? Have not each of our souls prompted our eyes, our hands, and our feet, and our whole body to run in the ways of sin ? May we not say, with the Prophet, “Our whole head is sick, and our hearts faint ; from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, we are full of bruises and putrifying sores ?" Yes, my brethren, let us be honest with ourselves ; for it is with the lost, the depraved, and the fallen, that the minister of Christ has to deal. These are the persons to whom this verse appeals ; "for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Let us not, therefore, lay it on our hands, or our heads, or our feet; for if you will go to the New River, one of the great sources of the water supply of this metropolis, and fill it up with ink, ink will be communicated to every one of your houses, by the means by which water is at present supplied. So it is with the human heart. Its wickedness is exhibited by means of the various members of the body; it is displayed in a man's lusts, his thoughts, his words, and his deeds. It all comes from the internal source—the heart; the soul moves the whole, and atonement is required, which you cannot give. You cannot go now into the presence of God, with all your sins of word and deed, since you were cradled in your mother's lap! Which of you dare go now into the presence of the Deity, and say, “Here am I ?” Nay, would you not rather place your mouths in the dust, and cry, "Guilty! guilty," before God? Would you not say, “ Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God ? Shall I come before him with burut offerings; with calves of a year old ? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil P” Shall I give my first-born for my transgression; the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul ?” No ! this is not required. “We have all sioned, and come short of the glory of God.” Atonement is necessary, because we have broken God's law. * In the day that thon eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” We have sinned ; and we must pay the penalty of that sin-DEATH.
This, my friends, is a fearful view of things, but it is a God-inspiring view of things, and humbling to self. It is the case, and it has been the case ever since the fall. God in His wisdom has treated man as fallen and requiring an atonement, and that atonement must be made by death, and nothing short of it; and unless you and I can give God "death" for our sins, we shall never enter heaven; but we shall descend to hell, the place prepared for the devil and his angels ! Atonement required of God is death. Then let us consider
And now, my friends, I come to a subject which has long interested my heart, because I never found peace with God till I found blood. I remember once preaching at the Obelisk, on the other side of the water, and after addressing a large number of people, one of the men rejected the Bible, as he said, “If you open the Bible anywhere, you will find nothing but blood! blood !! blood!!!" Yes, when the Spirit of God enters that man's heart, and he is born again, he will then know the spirit of that of which he then only knew the letter. May God lay hold on that man! He was right; for the Scripture is made up of this word, blood! blood l blood !
This subject may be illustrated, in a threefold aspect, by a tree, of which there are 1. Roots ; 2. Truuk; 3. Branches. The tree represents the whole Word of God, which may be divided into three parts. It has-1. Patriarchal Roots ; 2. A Judaical Trupk ; and, 3. Christian Branches. Whichever you examine-roots, or trunk, or branchesyou will find oue sap, one life-giving power pervading the whole-BLOOD. If you examine the patriarchal system, you will find blood in the root; if you examine the Jndaical system, you will find blood in the trunk; and if you examine the various branches of New Testament Scriptures, you will find there the blood, which is the life. It is not the letter, it is the spirit which giveth life; it is the BLOOD of Jesus which washes away our sins.
Let us take these three points as they are given in the Bible: Cain and Abel were patriarchs—members of the first human family. Each offered a sacrifice. Cain brought of the first fruits of the earth, for he was a tiller of the ground; Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock, for he was a shepherd; and we are told that God had respect to Abel, and to his offering, but to Cain's he had not respect. No; his was not a bloody sacrifice; and it was the bloody sacrifice which the Lord accepted ; for we are told, “ By faith Abel offered nnto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” We find, therefore, in the patriarchal acceptance with God, that the atonement of Abel was a sacrifice of blood.
Secondly. There is the Jewish view of trae religion made kzown in the Word of God. And now we pass from the roots to the trunk ; they are not different religions; the tree, to give forth branches, must have roots, and must have a trunk. The Word of God did not introduce a new religion ; it was only a growing out of the old root; we find the Jewish religion brings the subject of sacrifice more and more clearly before our view. There we find a morning and evening sacrifice; there was a lamb there which was the sacrifice, for a sin offering; the atonement was by BLOOD ; and the great day of atonement was the only day the High Priest was allowed to enter within the veil, and he dare not go in without blood-blood for himself, blood for the people. And on the day of the great atonement, when our Saviour died upon the cross, that veil which had never been set aside without blood, was when Jesus gave up the ghost, “rent from the top to the bottom.” So truly was it that the Jewish religion centered in blood, and that the Jewish religion being simply the trunk of the tree, introduced us to a new order of things~Jesus “the BRANCH,” which was spoken of by Isaiah, Zechariah, and many other prophets.
Thirdly. Blood is the centre of the Christian religion. “It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Jesus lived holily and godlily in the world; he lived for the benefit of others; he died in their behalf; and His blood cleanseth from all sin. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “ God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The centre of St. Paul's teaching was the blood of Christ following the blood of the Jewish and patriarchal dispensations. "Christ and Him Crucified,”-that is, “ Christ and Christ Crucified."
You may have heard of Jesus, but have you heard of the blood ? You may have heard of Jesus, but have you been to the fountain which is open for sin and for unclean. ness ?
Have you heard of the invitation that “ though your sins be as scarlet, they they shall be made white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Have you heard of this cleansing power which the blood of Christ pos. gesses? In the day you see Christ pouring out his soul unto death for your soul, ye are His; for He says, “Look unto me and be ye saved." Plead the death of Jesus with God, for that is what God reqnires. In Him you will find peace. In Him you will find that which you require-death, atonement, and immortality. “This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Is there a converted character who knows nothing of the blood of Christ ? A man may be repentant and say, "I will arise, and go to my Father,” but this is not salvation : it is the man who can say, “I know in whom I have BELIEVED ;" "I have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” The man who knows that Jesus died for himthat he now pleads in the holiest of the holies for him ; that man who sees his sins nailed to the cross of Jesus. God grant that you may, by the blessings of His Holy Spirit, see that it is by the blood of Christ that you can be cleansed !
In conclusion, I would indeed exhort you to watch and pray; to be conformed to Jesus, who has done so much for you. Will you hear of his living and dying, and still go to the grave without this atonement ? When His word is put into your hands, will you still cast it aside ? When he knocks, will you still keep the door shut ? When the fountain is opened in Jerusalem, and flows to the various nations of the earth, and has forced its way now to the steps of the Royal Exchange, will you allow the cross of our Redeemer to be erected here, and yet not exclaim, “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief p” The whole atonement spoken of in the Word of God, is centred in Him. Eternal life is centred in Him. “I am the door," He says, "and no man cometh to the Father, but by me.” “It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
Then when you and I have passed, it may be, but a short time in the grave, should we arrive in heaven, the theme will still be "blood.” Yes, my friends, read the fifth chapter of the book of Revelation, and you will find that those who are around the throne of God give praise unto the Lamb who redeemed them to God by his precious blood. Read also the seventh chapter of Revelation, and you will find that those who are in heaven are dressed in white. And who are they? Those who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Our Saviour is represented as differing from them, as His vesture is "dipped in blood.” He is alone in this. The whole Church is arrayed in white, while the Saviour's robes are red with blood-dyed garments from Bozrah ; blood that cleanseth from all sin. When you reach heaven, you will still continue your song of praise, commenced on earth
“ Jesus, thy blood and righteousness,
My beauty are, my glorious dress ;
With joy shall I lift up my head.”
Let me hide myself in thee;
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.”
It was announced that these services would be repeated (D.V.) every Sunday afternoon, at half-past five o'clock, until further notice.