Lectures on the Day of Atonement.

Leviticus 16
With an appendix on the chief errors recently current on Atonement,
by W. Kelly.

Lecture 1 Leviticus 16:1-4
Lecture 2 Leviticus 16:5-10
Lecture 3 Leviticus 16:11-19
Lecture 4 Leviticus 16:20-23
Lecture 5 Leviticus 16:23-34
Appendix 1 The Scapegoat
Appendix 2 Modern subversive views
Appendix 3 Tenets often misunderstood and mis-applied in Isa. 53:4, 11.

LECTURE 1.

LEVITICUS 16:1-4.

Its General Principle compared with Christ's Work.

The preliminary verses of Lev. 16, introduce the day of atonement. It is indeed a chapter demonstrably instructive in all its provisions. It shows, in the light of the New Testament (that is, of Christ Himself and the mighty work He has accomplished), what the import of "atonement" truly is. But the distance of the O.T. was kept up.

In due course proofs will appear that in this type God not only had all before His mind (as every one that knows Him must feel) but that He has been pleased here to unroll it before us. In a marvellous manner He has contrived, with a wisdom that bespeaks itself as divine, to furnish an earthly people with provisional sacrifices and outward cleansing (or what is called "the purifying of the flesh"); but in these self-same rites grace and truth lay hidden till the light of Christ should shine on them. Then could be perceived, if not the very image, a shadow of the good things to come; some already fulfilled, some not even yet, but no less assuredly to be, according to the word and purpose of God.

Inasmuch, then, as God has yet plans which have not been carried out to the full, as even this chapter does testify, we may see (what is true of Scripture generally) that it is prophetic. Can anything witness to God more than that His word is thus pregnant? Is not prophecy a more enduring and deeper witness than miracle? While the world goes on as usual, a miraculous sign displays God's power and goodness; but prophecy gives living proof of His truth. None but a low-minded or thoughtless man could suppose that power is equal to mind. Yet there is more than this in it. Moral light and love are made known, the maintenance of God's character, will, and grace; which are evidently far beyond not matter only but mind. As a great Frenchmen said, the least mind is above all matter, and all mind is below charity or divine love.

Here we find the true source of atonement. The love of God provided it in a way that should conciliate grace and righteousness, guilty man and a holy God, Who thus, and thus only, causes mercy to glory against judgment. Nowhere is God so highly exalted, nowhere man so truly humbled. What speaks so simply and withal so profoundly of sin as the blood of Christ? But this is applied to our utter unworthiness, meeting man as he is, to bring him out of all his iniquities to God as God is. For such, and nothing less, is the design of atonement. Divine righteousness, based on Christ's work, is its character, when man was proved unrighteous; and as it was according to God's grace, so is it of faith, and thus open to every believer, Jew or Greek.

But the day of atonement necessarily had, first of all, a temporal and imperfect character: "the law made nothing perfect." It was, beyond question, the most solemn rite in the whole Jewish year; but its renewal every year is conclusive evidence, as the Epistle to the Hebrews declares, of its inefficacy for man's conscience as well as for God's judgment in view of eternity. It was therefore provisional, as all the institutions of the law were. Is this any impeachment of the law of God? His own word pronounces it. If such be His word, dispute not that God is a better judge than you or I or all men. If God declares that the law made nothing perfect — and such is His expressed and irrevocable sentence (Heb. 7:19) — who that has the least reverence ought to question it for a moment? The atonement being year by year for Israel disclosed therefore on its face that it did not rise up to the perfection of God's nature and mind. At best it could be but a type of the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. One can understand readily that, only when a perfect being comes, can the result be perfection.

Adam was an admirable creature, if we believe the scriptures, as an innocent man on an unfallen earth. Nevertheless, on the plain surface of fact, the first thing recorded of his doing when tried is that he sinned. There may be perpetual and violent effort to escape the moral inference; honest denial of man's sin there cannot be. The overwhelming fact is out from the beginning. Is sin to be tolerated or ignored because it is universal?

At once God's grace pledges a bruised Vanquisher of the Serpent in the woman's Seed. This ere long decided the difference between the two sons of Adam. Jehovah had respect to Abel and to his offering: why to Abel rather than to Cain? Because "by faith" Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice. Faith submits to, receives, and rests on, the word of God. It was not the mere matter of fact or human feeling; it did not turn on which of the two brought the more valuable offering. By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. What made it so? In Cain there was no more than natural religion: he took no account of sin; as duty to Jehovah he offered of the fruit of the ground — the ground under the curse. It was the expression of unbelieving homage, with total insensibility to sin on one side and to grace on the other. Faith always takes account of sin in man, as it more or less rises up to grace in God. Whatever be the sin of man, the grace of God is beyond it. One of the workings of unbelief is despair, another may be the bolder form of rebellion against God in the open rejection of His word. But the soul may not be so impious and yet be guilty by doubting grace in God to forgive its sin, however heinous. Faith owns the sin truly, but reckons on the mercy God reveals.

Man's device ever fails to cover his evil. God clothed fallen Adam and Eve with coats of skins. It was a provision which, as there was sin, spoke of death, yet of mercy to man through it. This would never have entered the human mind. Naturally Cain's was a more reasonable offering in appearance. What man in unbelief would ever have thought of a sacrifice as acceptable to God? Abel brought of the firstlings of the flock, and of the fat thereof. If slain beasts furnished the clothing which God gave his parents, Abel slays a lamb in sacrifice to God. It was an offering in faith; access to God for a sinner can only be through death. That there was more behind it all, deeper than Abel or any saint of old knew, is true. One does not say that Abel contemplated the sacrifice of the woman's Seed; but it was in God's mind, and faith reaped the blessing. Thereby witness was borne to Abel as righteous, "God bearing witness to his gifts; and by it, having died, he yet speaketh." Abel looked for the One Who should crush the power of evil here below; and against and above nature he, by faith, offered sacrifice to God with the expression of its excellency in "the fat." God blesses according to what He sees in the sacrifice: a principle which comes out plainly in the blood of the paschal lamb (Ex. 12:13).

No doubt all the believers throughout the Old Testament looked for the Kinsman-Redeemer (as we may see in the assurance of Job 19:25, 26), the destroyer of death and of him that has the power of death. They did not question that in due time the Messiah would meet both God and man perfectly; but to suppose that they understood how it was to be done is going beyond scripture. Not even the disciples in the days of our Lord could put the two things intelligently together. Did not Christ's personal envoys, who accompanied the Master from John's baptism till the ascension — did not the apostles know as much as their predecessors? To doubt this would be doing anything but honour to the teaching of Jehovah's righteous Servant (Isa. 53:11). His enemies being judges, "never man spake like this man"; and never did men on earth receive such a course of holy and perfect instruction as did the twelve from the Son of God.

The grand question then is, not what the saints under the Old Testament understood, but what God set up in word or deed, and what its bearing is on the atonement, now that Christ has come and finished the work given Him to do. The true meaning of the atonement is in question; and here the New Testament comes most powerfully to our aid. What can be conceived clearer than the divine comment given in the Epistle to the Hebrews (or Christian Jews) who needed it, as they ought to have appreciated it best? We sometimes hear of commentaries and commentators; wherein the best men show their prepossessions and prejudices. It is a pity that they do not use the Epistle to the Hebrews a little more and to better purpose. There is the greatest of all commentaries, and the one most immediately bearing on this very truth with which we are now occupied. Not only does the inspired text lie in the chapter before us, but we have also the inspired exegesis in that Epistle. No believer can doubt this who reads Hebrews 9. And what does it let us know? That Aaron, the high priest, represents Christ, and that the work He wrought was for no transient purpose but "eternal (or, everlasting) redemption."

Of old there were carnal ordinances imposed till a time of setting things right; but Christ being come, High Priest of good things to come, by the better and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), nor by blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood entered in once for all into the holies, having found (or, obtained) an eternal redemption. His sacrifice is in the strictest sense of everlasting efficacy. The word "eternal" occurs frequently with peculiar stress in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Why eternal? In contrast with the temporal character of what was akin among the sons of Israel. Thus we find not only eternal or everlasting redemption but eternal salvation, eternal inheritance, eternal covenant: all of which words have a pointed reference, to lift the believing Hebrews into familiarity with what was beyond temporal. Christ dead, risen, and in heaven, puts the believer face to face with the unseen and eternal. Just because as Jews they were accustomed to what was displayed on earth, their eyes needed to be raised above and so to see within the veil what can never pass away. If the believing ones slipped into their old thoughts, they would lower the gospel, and perhaps fatally as they are warned in chapter 6 and elsewhere.

Nor did the Hebrews only need this, but we do also. The inspired word has the supreme authority of God, and the deepest value for us all who believe. To faith it is no question of reading the law and of simply concluding that we have only there what is temporal, while of the New Testament we say this is eternal. Such is not the way to read the bible, nor to profit the soul. What God intends by His precious word is that you should be raised above the clouds of tumult, doubt and difficulty, especially during these changeful periods through which we are passing; and that you should be established even now in the certainty of a new, everlasting, and heavenly relationship to God, through the sacrificial work of our Lord Jesus.

The Day of Atonement avowedly was to provide for all the sins, transgressions, and iniquities of the children of Israel. What had the work of Christ in view? Not only the entire, present, and everlasting removal before God of all our iniquities, but the glorifying Himself even about sin by virtue of Christ's atoning death. For indeed such is the need, and nothing less can avail. God assuredly will never slight the value of the sufferings of His Son, nor forget that He is indebted to His cross for perfectly glorifying Himself. Even if we take a lower but true ground, what is the value of an atonement which could fall short of a single sin? Supposing such a scheme possible as a man forgiven 999 sins, but not the 1000th, he is as ill off as if he had none; for by that one unforgiven sin he is absolutely unfit for the presence of God: no sin can enter there; and if we have not our portion above, where must we be consigned?

Nor did atonement contemplate a ground to meet the need which will arise only when we die or appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. It will be admitted by the reader of Leviticus 16, that a Jew rightly looked for the effectual application of that day's sacrifice to his then wants, to his urgent need, to the iniquities that burdened his spirit, and that filled him with apprehension of judgment. But the effect was only for the time.

What then has the coming of our Lord done? Has it not brought life, love, and light into the world? It has revealed God in the divine person of His own Son yet a man, Who suffered for sins once for all, Just for unjust, to bring us to God. To the believer this is soul-salvation, as his body's salvation awaits Christ's coming again.

Certain imperfections were allowed of old, as no saint can deny. Our Lord has ruled it so "because (or in view of) the hardness of their hearts." We find David, Solomon, etc., doing things that no Christian would think of. How comes it then that licences, which notoriously existed under the law, are now intolerable? Because Christ is come, "the true light already shineth." No doubt man put it out, as far as he could; but he has not got rid of it. The rejected Christ is in heaven; but the light, far from being withdrawn, shines more brightly than ever. The First Epistle of John is careful to affirm that the darkness is passing away, and that the true light already shineth. (1 John 2:8) When He was on earth, the darkness comprehended it not, though shining in the darkness (John 1:5). Now that He is risen and in heaven, the darkness passes away. It is not exactly true that it "is past"; for plainly the A.V. is therein too strong. But if it be not absolutely gone, it is quite passing away as each believer receives the light. Now that redemption is effected, he who receives the light is made light in the Lord; and every one, to whom Christ is not only the light but the life, is cleansed by His blood, and freed from sin to live to God.

What is the effect of redemption even outwardly? That men are ashamed now of what, before Christ came, was thought nothing but natural and to be borne. Few know on the one hand, how much is due to the light of Christ in the gospel exposing all, and so deterring men from their audacious and inexpressible iniquities. For that very reason on the other hand, the sins of every one whose conscience is awakened by the word before God become most hateful and even appalling. The first effect of the light of God in Christ is to make the evil appear worse than ever.

Hence it is that wherever the word of God deals vitally with the soul, repentance towards God ensues, even though there must be faith that the repentance should have any divine character. The soul has no comfort as yet, no settled peace, nor real relief. One may say, the burden becomes through the Holy Spirit's action more felt and more oppressive; and thank God for it! There is nothing more dangerous than to slur over our sins because the grace of Christ is preached. How enfeebling to the soul afterwards if we bound, so to say, over the grave of our sins, instead of looking down steadily there to judge ourselves for what we are! A man otherwise is startled to find another day the evil which he at first passed over too lightly; and he is in danger of beginning to question whether he can really have, as he calls it, an interest in Christ and His grace. Had he at the start faced his own evil, he had known better, not only what he himself is, but how the Saviour took all up and cleansed him from every sin with His precious blood when he believed.

According to the plain testimony of the New Testament, Christ's coming has laid sin bare in its full opposition to God, in its evil against man, in all its secret depths as never was known before. No doubt the law acted in an admirable manner; for the commandment is holy, just, and good. But after all the law is not Christ, and Christ revealed God in His grace, instead of merely continuing rites that appealed suitably to fallen man. Yet in the law God had before Himself the evil state of man. At Sinai He commanded "Thou shalt not do this evil; thou shalt not do that." It was of no use to claim from the sons of Israel, what could only to be found in Christ. What the law did was just what man then needed; it forbade doing the evil that was there, it condemned what the evil heart desired. Man was already a sinner before the law was given. No doubt Adam had a law; but this is a very different thing from the law. For the law supposes that man is fallen, and that he is constantly inclined to do the wicked things prohibited and denounced by it. Along with the ten words, the most solemn institution annexed was the Day of Atonement, among other gracious provisions subsequently added.

But now that Christ is come, He has brought in an incomparably deeper and larger standard of sin. The evil and wretched condition of man is shown beyond comparison more complete and profound, and by nothing so much as by the worth of Christ's redemption. No wonder that the Holy Spirit uses grand words, for none less could set forth truly the character of what is revealed to us in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The law claimed man's works. Christ did in the highest sense the will of God. "Lo, I am come to do Thy will, O God." Atonement is God Himself, by and in Christ, taking up and settling the question of sin in His own grace for His own glory, that believers might now be fully blessed. Present association with heaven is in full view, because the immediate object was to wean the Hebrews from yearning after earthly hopes. Yet the future is not forgotten; for the Christian it is unmistakeably "everlasting," whatever the accomplishment of earthly promises by and by. But there is more to heed than this. The Spirit's power gives present enjoyment of that eternal character. Its object is to put the believer now, with purged conscience, into God's presence, or, as Peter has it, "to bring us to God," as He is and will be known in the light for ever.

What a blessed reality this is! Have you or have you not made it yours? The Lord intimates it even in the Gospel of Luke. The prodigal son comes not merely "to himself" but to the father; and the father meets him with not affection only but a vast deal more. He has the best robe put upon him, not when he deserved it (if this ever could be), but before there was the smallest question of aught save his repentant sense of sin. It is his father's love. God acted from and for what He is Himself, and for what He can righteously afford to do for the worst sinners through the redemption that is in Christ. Such and so efficacious is His love displayed in the atoning work of the Lord Jesus. Luke as usual was led thus to present the grace of God in Christ and by His death, as applied to the most worthless who repent. Matthew (Matt 22:2-14) presents grace dispensationally in the well-known parable of the kingdom of heaven; and the professor that despised grace is seen individually judged.

Alas! even those who love His name put off the feast which the Father would have us enjoy here till we get to heaven. They think that such joy and gladness cannot be known in the midst of earthly failure, and that the gathering together for rejoicing must await the heavenly scene at the close, "for ever with the Lord." Unwittingly they do God's grace great injustice, and defraud themselves now of exceeding joy in the Spirit. They practically lose the sweetness and the power of His joy which is their strength even here. It is not only that the once guilty son meets his father, and that the father meets the son in nothing but love, without a reproach so much the more to produce self-reproach (oh, the immense loss for the soul that slightly judges self before God!); but along with this there is the conscious fitting him for the presence of his father in enjoyed communion. The best robe is put upon him. Never had he worn such a robe before levity and self-will induced him to abandon his father's house. Grace goes far beyond restoration.

Adam had not the beauteous robe of Christ when he walked upright in the garden of Eden. Redemption is no mere reinstating of fallen man, as it is sometimes perversely called. The believer puts Christ on, and is made whiter than snow in His blood. Nothing less does the Saviour undertake than to fit for the Father's presence. It is no question at all of bringing back to the condition of innocence. The Last Adam decides everything; Jesus provides and gives the tone to all. God the Father is the source; Jesus the means and channel of love; and the Holy Spirit takes His blessed part in making the written word living and effectual in the soul. The robe therefore must be the best robe; the calf must be the fatted calf; the shoes, the ring, the feast, each and all are in accordance with Christ's person and with His work. Lastly, and above all, there is the communion of joy; for God Himself must have His own deep enjoyment of the feast, as indeed nothing could be good without Him.

Do Christians generally know what all this means? It is exactly what God intends to be made good now in Christianity. Let me hope you have now at least a little of that divine spring of communion in joy and liberty. No one doubts the fulness of joy by-and-by: then and on high, it will be for ever in all perfection. But it is a flagrant mistake that the scene the Lord describes should be put off to heaven. Is it needed to demonstrate why not? In heaven there will be no elder son, nor will the father go out then to entreat. Ungracious murmurers in heaven! nay; there are many now on earth. It is therefore to be realised now and here, though all the springs of the joy are heavenly and divine.

The reason why people relegate it to the heavens may be because they are not in the secret of its joy themselves. There is a feeling in the nature even of righteous men that they do not relish others having what they themselves have not. Ah! let the lack rather awaken an earnest searching of heart to enquire, "How is it that my soul is not in the love, joy, and liberty here described? How is it that I have not yet realised the best robe? or the fatted calf? How is it that one has overlooked the communion of God's own joy in love with His own?" "The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost;" but by that work God was glorified in Him, as God at once glorified Him in Himself, and would have us now to taste its fruit.

Forgiving is not all the gospel told out, nor should it be all for us to know or make known sin's remission. Salvation is immensely misunderstood when it is only held to mean that we are pardoned. God's object is not, nor could be, less than to bring us to the knowledge of the Father and the Son, into the joy and liberty of grace now, while we wait for the glory of God in the hope of which we exult. In this knowledge of our God and Father lies the most effectual power against the worldly snares that encumber us on every side. It is never the gospel order to make us holy in order to be happy before God; an effort that is often made, but always made in vain. In order to be holy in practice, grace makes you happy first. He Who alone was the Holy One died for you in your unholiness and evil, in order to give you peace and joy in believing. By His death Christ deserved it for you, and the grace of God righteously blesses you in the faith of Him. This is exactly in unison with God's heart, mind and word; for His word was written for us that we, believing, might share His joy in love.

Have we wandered from the text and the commentary? From neither. Lev. 16 held up the picture of atonement. Hebrews 9 declares that, as Christ is come and His blood shed atoningly, blessing is now for faith, and everlasting. What was forbidden to Aaron, save a little on one day in the year, is now vouchsafed always to every Christian. "The way into the holies has been and is made manifest". Hence in Hebrews 10:19, it is written, "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holies by the blood of Jesus, a new and living way which He dedicated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith," etc. We are ever welcome there and thus.

But there is another fruit of Christ's work. His blood is equally efficacious in purging our conscience from dead works to serve religiously (or worship) the living God (Heb. 9:14). The two privileges go together; if the way is made manifest into the sanctuary, where Christ is, His own are welcomed to draw near now, but only as purged in conscience, not merely from bad but from dead works, to worship the living God. How great the superiority of our privilege over Israel, and Aaron's sons, yea, even Aaron himself! It is not only that the way is open, and the sins are borne; but the conscience is purified by the same blood of Christ which did all else. Thus the light of God makes only the clearer what that blood has effected.

Nothing there disturbs the conscience of the believer, who is set in love and liberty to serve the living God. Christ's work, which displaces the dead works of man, ever abides in unchanging value as our ground before God. The same efficacious sacrifice of Christ has achieved these inestimable blessings as a whole. As long as the Jewish tabernacle had its standing, there was not the remission of sins for ever, but their rememberance, the conscience unpurged before God, and the barrier maintained between God and man. The blood of Christ has changed all for us who believe. And no wonder. The law had for its aim to shut up those under it till faith came; but the accomplishment of God's will by Christ set aside all the lifeless substitutes and vain endeavours of man. Then the believer, purified from sins and in his conscience, comes freely to God in His sanctuary.

This nearness to God appeared distinctly at Christ's death; as the death of the sons of Aaron was the time to restrict even Aaron from God's presence. Why so? Because his sons had been guilty of presumptuous sin. God had caused His fire from heaven to consume the burnt sacrifice, and they had despised it and Him. They thought that any fire would do just as well: common fire could burn incense no less than His fire. Oh, what readiness in man to set at nought the favour of God, however rich! God had affixed that seal of divine approbation; but it only gave Nadab and Abihu the opportunity of proving their hearts to be wholly careless of His glory as well as of His grace. Jehovah had deigned in grace to send the fire from before Him to consume the burnt offering and the fat. Therefore it was for them to keep up the holy fire. But these two sons of Aaron profanely took common fire; and if God had passed this over, He would have been signing and sealing His own dishonour. Could God do so? Impossible. God judged them. They sinned unto death. It is not every sinner that thus sins unto death. There was then, there is now, sin unto death. This supposes sin in special circumstances to His dishonour. God had just brought in a peculiar work of grace, and in it was distinguishing Israel as His people; and immediately the two sons of Aaron put shame on His favour, and died for it at once, solemnly, and before all.

How plain it was to Israel even on the day of atonement, that God's chosen people could not draw near to God in the sanctuary! Even the high priest could not go within the veil. Nay, the very high priest Aaron could enter the most holy place on this day alone in the year for brief moments, but only with incense and with blood. What did it all indicate? That the way into the holies had not yet been made manifest. Now it is. Such is the striking contrast since the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The way into the holies has been and is made manifest. So, when Christ died, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. Could one conceive a mark more significant? It was plain for those who had eyes to see that the Levitical institution was effete, and that a new thing was come on God's part through Christ's death. This enters into the very core of Christianity. The way into the holiest has been and is made manifest.

Now are you, my brother, in its peaceful enjoyment? Are you in the present conscious possession of this nearness to God? What is the good of knowing that the way into the holies is manifested, if it is not for you to enter in by faith day by day, thereby appropriating the exceeding riches of God's grace toward you? It is for every partaker of the heavenly calling. The veil that God rent was the death-warrant of Judaism. Of course man might repair; but it was only man without God. The veil was by no word from God erected again. For the Christian it is gone for ever, as are earthly sacrifice, altar, and priest. This therefore serves to show, in the most open manner, the essential difference between Jewish atonement and that which the Christian has in Christ's death.

In the Jewish institution who can deny that the barrier abode impassable with the slightest exception even for Aaron? It did not matter whether it were a Samuel or a David, an Isaiah or a Daniel, there was no free entrance into the holies. The faith, or holy character, of the high priest made no difference as to this. Jehovah appeared in the cloud upon the mercy-seat, and even Aaron must not come in at all times within the veil, that he die not. On that one day there was a special sin-offering to atone; then only with the most jealous observance of God's injunctions could he come to atone for himself and his house, as well as for the people. The way thither was otherwise and always closed.

What do we find in the birth and life of our blessed Lord Jesus? God came to man in the person of Christ. And what appeared in the Lord's death? That man, believing man, can now come boldly to God. The unbeliever is blind to both these matchless blessings. God in Christ came to man, believing or not; but unbelieving man rose up against Him, cast Him out, and crucified Him. But in the very cross of our Lord Jesus was a new and living way dedicated by God. He who now believes in His name is free to draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith through the rent veil, and has Christ as the Great Priest over the house of God. In fulfilment of the Levitical types our hearts are sprinkled from a wicked conscience, the body washed with pure water. The Christian has as an abiding settled reality what the Jew had only in form. The word of God has purified his heart by faith. There is but One Whose death has laid the basis for this title of access to God; and there it remains uncancelled and living, till the last believer in our Lord goes up to be with Him, for ever. We shall all in person meet Him there where our faith penetrates now. This is Christianity, and our sure hope.

Are you, Christian, resting intelligently on Christ's work of atonement? It is admitted that more is in Him than what we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Thus one cannot believe in Christ without receiving life in His name. The believer requires divine life, in order to have affections according to God, — affections to hate evil, and to love what is good. Christ is life eternal to every one who believes in Him. He is their life, just as Adam was the head of natural life to mankind at large; and it is well to remark that Adam only became that head and source of life practically when he was a sinner. So Christ becomes the giver of risen life everlasting after His unbroken work of obedience unto death was complete. Righteousness was an accomplished fact, God being glorified in Him to the uttermost.

Christ therefore stands in blessed contrast with Adam. When He rose from the dead, the Lord breathed on His disciples the breath of new life in resurrection power, the distinctive life of the Christian. But this is no more the topic of the Epistle to the Hebrews, than the baptism of the Spirit which forms Christ's body; yet, any one can see the two things were necessary, not His death only but the life which He is, and gives to us. What congruity would there be, if we could conceive the blessed life of Christ given to a man left struggling against his unremoved sins? How suitable that the risen life should be, where the sins were blotted out by His blood! These two privileges of grace are absolutely necessary, and both are given, if one is, to the Christian.

Therefore it is that Christ received by faith secures the believer in them both. What a mercy that the gifts of grace should be thus united! For they are given to the simplest through faith in Christ; even to one that could not read and write, to a poor old man or woman, to a little child, if there be the Spirit of God producing subjection of heart to Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Do you ask, Will it last? The answer is, To all eternity; for "Jesus Christ yesterday and today is the same, and for ever."

For a Jew there was a round of daily, monthly, yearly, and occasional sacrifices. But one of the characteristic features of Christianity is that there is one offering and one only, the antitype that answers to all but infinitely more than all. Creature sacrifices could be nothing but shadows; Christ's work is the divine reality. In the sacrifice of Christ God introduced what He could rest on, a perfection wholly impossible in the probationary plan of Old Testament times. Christ not only made the need of this perfection felt, but alone supplied it to God's glory and man's blessedness; and the Holy Ghost is sent personally from heaven to bring in the power and joy of it all into the Christian's heart, ways, worship, and service.

He that receives the gospel is entitled to receive the blessing at once. At least, whatever hindrance may be, it is from human activity of mind, and from morbid feeling; it is not God who delays the soul. As to these difficulties, the Lord is patient and tender; but no difficulty is on His part; it is purely and solely on his side that ill hears the word. Old habits or thoughts, or it may be will, working one way and another, — these things may cause an obstacle; but He is faithful and unfailing.

See the beautiful instance of the Syro-Phoenician woman. The Lord was ready for her call as soon as she came, but was she yet ready for the Lord? She had not considered how far off she was; but the Lord brought her down to this point. He was not sent but for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. When her cry became simpler as one deeply needing His help, He threw out the hint that it was not meet to cast the children's bread to the dogs. The light shone into her soul now brought truly low, and she sees the need of grace in a moment. Correcting her mistake through His word, she no longer takes the position of being one of the sheep, but virtually calls herself only a little dog. She had no claim, falls back on sovereign grace, and finds far more than she had sought. If not indeed a lost sheep of the house of Israel, she becomes a saved sheep of the Lord Jesus for ever. Here was a case, not for a miracle like her daughter's, but for the coming work of sovereign grace. God would justify all the forbearance He had shown in the past; but He was now bringing to view deeper counsels and ways than man had learnt or could learn before.

Hence it is that the gospel does not merely set forth God vindicated in the cross of Christ, or, according to the language of the theologians, His "satisfaction." Surely that God is glorified says a great deal more. "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him." Is not this far beyond any satisfaction whatever? Even a man is satisfied when he gets what he wants; but God was glorified in Christ's death; and why? Because God took in all the reality, depth, height and compass of Christ's work in redemption. All that is in God and man thereby was met and displayed perfectly; majesty and humiliation, grace and righteousness, holiness and suffering for sins, obedience and moral glory. "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him." God as such was glorified in the rejected Christ, the humbled crucified Son of man. Every attribute of the divine nature, and every declaration of His word shines in the cross to God's glory; and therefore did God at once set the risen Son of man on His own throne, not David's, but at His right hand on His own throne.

Throughout Christ's life and service previously the Father had been glorified by the unswerving obedience of the Son at all cost and in all circumstances. Why is it that we now hear of "God" being glorified rather than "the Father?" Because sin brings forward "God" as the judge of sin; just as sin affects man's conscience and compels him to think of God. For, spite of man's bad habits and hardness, God makes himself felt in the conscience of a sinner who ordinarily quails at the thought of death or judgment. But if conscience will be heard about sin, what did God feel about the self-sacrificing work of the Lord Jesus under His own judgment of sin, and on behalf of sinners? God is glorified even about sin, by the perfection of Christ's enduring all its consequences at God's hand; and what is the effect of it all? If God was thus, and only thus, glorified as He could have been by none other person and in no other way, how does He testify His sense of the worth of His Son's atoning death?

It would have been wholly beneath that worth to have accomplished the Old Testament prophecies for the earth and the earthly people, even if willing. The cross proclaimed mankind evil and lost, most of all Israel; and God takes the Son of man "straightway" into His own glory on high as the only adequate answer to the cross. (Ps. 8; Ps 110.) The holy hill of Zion is not holy or high enough for the Son of man. The "decree" (Ps. 2) which was declared for it will be assuredly fulfilled another day. But what has God done now? He has set the risen Lord at His own right hand. Man in His person is exalted, and shares the throne of God; the Old and the New Testaments declare it.

There had been many kings sitting on David's throne; and God will bestow more abundant dignity and honour on that throne when Christ deigns to sit on it, asking for and receiving the heathen for His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession. But this will be the future kingdom; it is not Christianity. Christianity is founded on Christ dead, risen, and glorified by God's will, as it sheds on the believer the light of heavenly grace and glory in Christ, and puts the soul into living relationship with God the Father on the ground of redemption, according to the efficacy of Christ's blood which shall abide for ever. Oh! beloved brethren, that you would only learn your own Christianity. How much more would you then know Christ, and better estimate His work!

The death of Aaron's profane sons was the occasion of declaring man's unfitness to draw near before Jehovah; even Aaron must not approach at all times within the veil on pain of death (ver. 1, 2). Aaron must come with a young bullock or calf for a sin offering. He had to bring a ram also for a burnt offering (ver. 3). Aaron had to put on the holy linen coat, to have the linen breeches upon his flesh, to be girded with the linen girdle, and to be attired with the linen mitre or turban; also he must bathe his flesh in water before putting them on (ver. 4). All this spoke of intrinsic imperfection and uncleanness. He was as he stood in no degree meet for access to God; and when he did get there, it was through incense and blood.

The high priest appears, not clad in his official robe, but in the garb that spoke of unsullied righteousness, the holy garments. These were not his regular or proper apparel. The high priest was distinguished by a rich dress wherein gold and jewels had their place. But the holy "linen garments" were required for the atoning work of this day.

We may here observe that this very exceptional presentation of the high priest on the Day of Atonement helps to understanding a verse which has been fatal to men otherwise versed in scripture. It is written in Heb. 2:17, "Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in all things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." To reconcile sinners to God is exactly what the gospel proposes; but to make reconciliation for their sins is an unhappy expression. The A.V. did not mean that God can ever be reconciled to sins, or would have us reconciled to them. It is one of those verbal oversights occuring in an otherwise admirable version. Reconciling is not atoning.

In Rom. 5:11, it is commonly known it should be "the reconciliation," not "the atonement;" whereas in Heb. 2:17 "atonement," expiation, or propitiation would be correct, not "reconciliation" which is another word and truth. Atonement implies expiation as to sins, and propitiation as to God, Who is offended at sin, justly indignant at that which directly violates His will on the part of man, who resists His authority and commands. Atonement is God's intervention in His grace by Christ's death to expiate the sins and pardon the guilty who believe; and therefore is it the sole way in which He can righteously bring the sinner into reconciliation with Himself. Therein is God as truly glorified as the repentant soul is brought nigh to Him in peace. By that work the face of God becomes propitious to the sinner, so that his sins being judged on Christ are sent away never to be found again. "To propitiate, or make atonement, for the sins of the people," is the right sense.

But here some stumble at the text in Heb. 2:17, because the High Priest is not in His official status on high till after the sacrifice is made. His proper sphere is in heaven. They therefore deny propitiation till after His death He entered the sanctuary above. But this undermines God's general testimony to the death of His Son, for an imaginary work assigned to Him in His disembodied state as if He were the efficacious High Priest in that condition. It effaces the propitiating character of the work finished on the cross for a different work which is not another. It annuls reconciliation by His death, unless it be true that He reconciled us by it before this fancied and strange doctrine of propitiation made in heaven after His going there in the separate state. "You now He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death" says the apostle, not by an after work in heaven. Here He died, lifted up from the earth no doubt, yet not in heaven, though the virtue of His blood was at once infinitely there as here and for ever. Can one conceive a more admirable shadow than what God gave to put these two things together? The high priest had to act that day in a manner not more necessary than effectual for making atonment for sins; nevertheless he was not arrayed in his official but exceptional garments.

Does not this instructive type singularly tally with the facts? The Lord entered on the proper functions of His Priesthood, after He had been perfected through sufferings and ascended to heaven. But before this the atoning work was effected and accepted. "Having made [by Himself] purification of sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3); nay more, "With His own blood He entered into the holies, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb. 9:12) — the very text misused to confirm the error that propitiation was only made then and there. He obtained that redemption strictly neither in heaven nor on earth, but "lifted up" on the cross. There did God make sin Him Who knew no sin; but if atonement was thus made, its efficiency penetrated the holiest that very moment. "It is finished" said He Who poured out His soul unto death. The blood was for God in the sanctuary and for man's sin on the earth.

The reality far surpasses every part of the type. To this end was He "lifted up from the earth." Thus does He draw, "all men unto Himself," not sons of Israel as such exclusively but all; for as the cross closed all hope for Israel from a living Messiah, every thing for sinful man turned on a crucified Saviour. On the cross He bore God's judgment of sin while the virtue of His blood instantly reached the holiest. Only after His ascension and sending down the Spirit was it preached to men on earth. It was in type the high priest alone acting, not in regular intercession, but in the exceptional position of the one great representative in the judgment of sin before God, both for the heavenly family and for the earthly people, not yet saluted of God as entered on His ordinary functions above. Had it been with the garments proper to His heavenly place, one might have thought of a fresh action of Christ in heaven, to make out a succession of stages answering to the various parts of the type.

But even the type, as it stands and we read, is plain enough, that before the high priest assumes his ordinary garments, he executes a work of the deepest moment, clad in the holy linen, and after this he leaves the sanctuary. For only then does he confess sins on the scape-goat which carried them away to be remembered no more. If believers have not to wait for Christ's coming out of the heavens to enjoy this great privilige from His substitution, we must beware of a too technical treatment of the type. Reasons that called for a pledge to Israel at the end of the age rendered this order necessary for the shadow. Aaron had not, Christ had, obtained eternal redemption when He entered the sanctuary. The very image, the truth, has an immediate completeness and unity which the shadow could not possess. For the law made nothing perfect (Heb. 7:19). Aaron was immeasurably below the Saviour and His work on the cross.

Creature means availed but for the moment, as a mere witness to Christ's everlasting acceptance personally and the efficacy of His blood for us. The offering of our Lord was final and complete. There is no question for us of sacrifice again. There is also in Him life eternal, as well as through Him everlasting redemption. Thereby is the conscience perfectly purged from sin. If He has not purged it by His blood once shed, what can do it? Christ suffers and dies no more.

Do you object that one may go wrong in the course of the day, that one may fall into sin? For this there is divine provision which restores the soul, while humbling it in the dust by the remembrance of what the sin cost Christ. The soul bows to God under the sense of dishonour done to the grace of such a Saviour. The word of God is applied by the Spirit to rebuke and bring the defiled into confession before God. The "washing of water by the word" is the remarkable figure of the apostle answering to the water of separation from defilement in Num. 19. This goes on when needed; but why not the sacrifice? Because it remains absolutely perfect, yea perfecting; which its repetition would deny according to the argument to the Hebrews. Yet, something has to be done; and "If any one sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous."

But the central truth before us now is, that Christ's work of atonement, blotting out the believer's sins and cleansing his conscience, abides for ever before God, and renewal is excluded because its efficacy is perfect. Such is the unqualified and unhesitating doctrine laid down by inspiration. From this sentence of the Holy Spirit there is no appeal. Every form or degree of presenting sacrifice for our sins to God now is a shameless and blasphemous rival set up against Christ's one offering of Himself. It is the grossest unbelief of its ever abiding efficacy. Not only is it everlasting in value, but also without a break which is much more. Christ sat down in perpetuity at God's right hand, for by one offering He has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified. Ritualism like Romanism is an apostate subversion of the truth of the gospel, and a vain and evil effort to resuscitate earthly priests and creature sacrifice.

It was because of their not knowing the true purification of sins made by Christ (Heb. 1:2), that men took up the fable of purgatory. So Cardinal Bellermin (De Purg. I. ii.) summons to his aid, not only Mahometans, but Plato, Cicero, and Virgil, as if naturtal light or rather heathen darkness could possibly bear witness to that which is beyond the grave. So our countryman, Dr. Milner, in his End of Controversy (Letter 43 # 4.), appeals to the same testimonies; for modern Romanists only repeat the same old, sad, and debasing folly. They all ignore the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, and retreat, like birds of night, into the congenial darkness of ancient paganism or of apostate Moslems. Anything they will have to escape the light and love of God in Christ and His redemption, save as a dead dogma, which living souls are not to trust on pain of anathema since the Coucil of Trent.

The reader should beware of the historians as to this grave theme. Even our own Hallam (Lit. of Ear. i. 521, &c., Ed. 1837), writes with philosophic calm on that which concerns not only God's truth and glory, but (what comes nearer to such) the everlasting interests of every man. He piques himself on saying all the good he can of the Tridentine fathers, and on free enough abuse of Luther. But where is the faith of God's elect in heartless indifference to the truth, probably real rather than affected? No doubt the best of men is not void of faults, especially in seasons of excitement or danger. But "it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing," says an authority which no philoipher can despise with impunity. Nor did the meek Lord of glory refrain from a sentence of woe on those who take away the key of knowledge, entering not in themselves and hindering others from entering.

LECTURE 2.

LEVITICUS 16:5-10

Its General Principle compared with Christ's Work.

If we leave for a moment the bullock, the distinction between the two goats claims our consideration. Every one can see on the face of scripture that there is a marked difference between them. It is vain to suppose that God did not intend a definite truth to be taught by each. Notice that they were decided by lot — the disposal in the hand of Jehovah exclusively. This was quite exceptional in the sacrifices. In those of sweet savour the choice of the victim, under expressed conditions, was left to the offerer. For sin or trespass there was no latitude whatever: a positive command was laid down that such or such an animal should be offered in given circumstances. In other cases there is a gracious consideration of the poor in the offering. Poverty is taken into account on the one hand, and ample means, with a large heart, had their full opportunity on the other side. But in this case the chocie was specially decided by Jehovah.

Two goats, no other animals, were to be brought by the children of Israel. Even the high priest himself was not allowed to choose which of them should be Jehovah's lot, and which the people's. This was left absolutely with Jehovah. The reason may be that in all the ritual of Israel no offering has a character so Godward as those presented on the great Day of Atonement. It was His dealing with sin; and He accordingly moves in the matter — Jehovah alone. The high priest himself is the only man permitted to appear. On other days he had the sons of his house; the subordinate priests took their suited part. On that day he acted, and he only. The bearing of these things on our Lord Jesus is manifest. Accordingly the high priest appears, not clad in his official robes, but in a garb that spoke of unsullied righteousness, the holy garments. This was not the dress even of the ordinary priest: a priest was marked by wearing an ephod; the high priest distinguished by a rich attire, wherein ornaments of gold, silver, and jewels had their place. But only the holy "linen garments" were worn for this peculiar duty, the high priest having an altogether exceptional function.

Aaron was the high priest, but here seen in a quite exceptional position — a high priest not for what was intercessional, but in a representative function for sinbearing. He identifyed himself thus for Israel, and not for the people only but for his sons as well as for himself. It is clear therefore that the place altogether differs from his regular one in the sanctuary of God. Intercession in no way fulfilled the type of this great day, but rather laying a righteous basis for it.

It was not as a martyr, nor identification in sympathy, to which some would lower the atonement; neither was it any question only of moral government, nor a pure display of love or of absolute pardon. All these features, perhaps, may in a just measure and true light be found in the death of our Lord Jesus. He was indeed the holiest of martyrs, and beyond all comparison, in His death. And therein did He make good God's moral government, as it never was nor could be save in His own person, and under God's own hand. His obedience in love was absolutely perfect. Yet had He been tempted as none other was. No temptation common to man had He been spared; but it is never said that the Lord was not tempted far beyond all. Suppose you that any man was tempted as the Lord during the forty days?

The great three temptations of our Lord may be known in measure and spirit by not a few of His followers, as they present the only details of it given us. But what do we know of the forty days? Why are there no particulars? Because none will ever be put in such a position again. A man may, on the one hand, imitate it in part as an impostor, and we may have heard of the like; on the other, we read of Moses sustained as long on high, and of Elijah going as long on earth in the strength of divinely supplied food. How different were these from His, Who alone resisted the enemy in the wilderness, with no companion except the wild beasts, till angels came to minister at the close! The Holy One of God triumphantly resisted, but, in resisting suffered to the uttermost.

Is it so with what men call "temptation?" How sadly we know that we have too often yielded instead of resisting, and that we gratify ourselves because we do not suffer! We "enter into temptation," as Peter did, instead of watching and praying as we ought. Our Lord "suffered being tempted." He kept the evil outside; yet the spiritual sensibilities of His holy nature were wrung by the temptation which Satan presented. But there was nothing within that answered to the temptation without; and Satan, finding nothing in Him, was completely foiled. Was that in vain? It was part of the necessary fitting of our blessed Lord to be the sympathising High Priest. He "learnt obedience" by the things which He suffered. Before He became man on earth, He knew what it was to command. When glorified in heaven, He was still man, able more tenderly and more powerfully to sympathise with the tried and tempted saints than if He had not been tried here below. For we are not to suppose that the love is less because He is risen from the dead. We are indeed assured that He ever lives to intercede for them. His sympathy is ever flowing freely and fully from above. Such is the way in which the Holy Spirit presents it in the Epistle to the Hebrews and elsewhere.

But on the Day of Atonement there was no question of sympathy with the sanctified, but of graciously representing men to bear sin's judgment at God's hand. What is wanted for sin is not sympathy, but suffering. Not if a Christian sin, that he is without a blessed resource; for we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. And He is the propitiation for our sins; in this lay the answer to the deepest of all need. Sin had put shame on God, and done violence to His will, nature, and majesty. God, therefore, must be vindicated in every respect about sin. He had been glorified as Father in the life here below of His Son, our Lord Jesus; there He had found the only man that perfectly and always met, not His every requirement only but His mind and affection, in an obedience and dependence that never quailed under sorrow and suffering. But a new question arose: would the Holy One of God stoop to be made sin? Would He bow His head under that intolerable burden? Would He, for God's glory, bear sin in all its enormity, and hatefulness, in its dread unutterable consequences to Himself? Would He give Himself up at all cost to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself?

The judgment of sin entails abandonment on God's part. Would Jesus drink that cup? Only He that would suffer for sins could undertake it: how truly in Him was no sin! A man tainted with the least sin must suffer for His own evil. It was therefore a condition indispensable for atonement that the victim should be without spot or blemish. Where was the man who could suffer for sins without question of his own? Man had been challenged to convince Jesus of sin. God had borne witness of His complacency in Him. Jesus alone could suffer atoningly; and this is what He did, and what the high priest's action represented on that day. Doubtless any one type is quite insufficient to set forth our Lord. He was both the high priest who offered, and the victim that was offered. Scripture plainly sets forth both in Him. The Epistle to the Hebrews incontrovertibly testifies the truth in full. One might almost equally refer to the witness borne by the John: And He is the propitiation (#7985;λασμὸς) for our sins. (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10). There we have the very word which describes the relation of our Lord to the Day of Atonement as the victim. More than this, Rom. 3 declares that God set Him forth as "the propitiatory," or mercy-seat (ἱλαστήριον). No wonder, though this be not all, scripture says that "Christ is all."

Accordingly the goat on which Jehovah's lot fell was beyond question to meet the exigencies of His character. For this reason the blood was brought, not before man who needed its atoning virtue, but to God where He is. The same truth appears on the Paschal night. When the first Passover was instituted, the blood was put, not within the door but without: that precious blood was not for man to look on, in order to extract comfort from his sight of it. Rich comfort he was entitled to draw from it, but not by his looking at it. The blood was expressly and only outside; the Israelitish family was to be as expressly within. "When I see the blood, I will pass over," said Jehovah. Israel could eat the flesh in security, but not without bitter herbs.

So the true, deep, and all-important aspect of propitiation is ever that the blood is offered to God. No doubt it is for man; but the essential truth is, that it was put before God. Faith therefore rests on His estimate of the blood, not on one's own. This is so true that, when the high priest deals with the goat for Jehovah's lot, we have in this, the foundation of all for Israel, not a word said of laying his hands on its head, or of confessing Israel's sins. It is not affirmed that he did not, though the Jews say that he did; but we need not mind Jewish tradition more than what men say today. In scripture we have our lesson, and thus from God whom we thank for it, if indeed we know the value and safety of relying on what He says. Woe be to the man who attempts to speak for God without His word! The silence of God is to be respected in the next place to His utterance. What He deigns to utter, of course, has its own supreme place; but reverent faith abstains from filling up the blank that God leaves. We may be assured that He perfectly knew and provided for all the wants of those to whom He gave His revelation as a boon inestimable.

The offerer laid his hand on the burnt-offering if he brought one: it was his privilege; but here silence reigns about it. Why? Is it inexplicable? In no way. The hand was laid on for identification. In an ordinary sin-offering it was the transfer of the confessed sin to the victim; in the burnt-offering, of the accepted offering to the offerer. Here Jehovah's glory is alone in view. His outraged majesty had to be vindicated, His moral nature satisfied. The clearance of the sinful people was carried out to the full on the same day; but it was on Azazel, the second goat. The first goat is stamped throughout and indelibly with the truth, that not man, not Israel, but God's glory is primarily in question; it must be first, and fully must this be maintained.

For atonement God must be glorified; there is nothing sure, stable, or righteous without this. Scripture forbids the creature's necessity to precede God's moral glory. There was the most comprehensive and thorough confession over the second goat, but not a word of the sort as to the first. Confession is proper and necessary where man's sins are in full view. It is due to God in order to give righteous comfort to man; it is the just expression of self-judgment before God, that he may be forgiven. But there is, and must be, a far deeper claim — that God's holiness and honour be secured first and foremost in atonement. There is no adequate basis without meeting His glory and character: how and where was this effected? In an offering for sin that speaks to Him of Christ, without reserve devoted to His glory in sacrificial death, giving Himself up absolutely to bear all the consequences of sin in divine unsparing judgment.

Man, though the object of compassion to the uttermost, here disappears. Christ, the sufferer judicially, is alone before God. Alas! man likes not to be left out. The first man is all-important in his own eyes, and even becomes all the more sensitive when he is awakened to his need of forgiveness. He is slow to understand that everything should not be about himself. He needs pardon urgently and profoundly: why should he not have the answer to his own grievous wants in the first goat? God has judged otherwise, and He is wise and holy. God has laid down what is due to His own glory in atonement as the first of all rights, in the clearest and most convincing way, except to the infatuated persons who imagine that they can understand the things of God better than God Himself, and so are as ready to take from scripture as to add to it. Even from the shadow, not the very image, God has excluded human vanity and pride. He has here attested to those who tremble at His word that, while the fulness of His blessing is meant for man, this cannot be but through what the first goat tells us, and not the second alone. Both must be heeded, and in God's order. There is no other way of blessing: the soul receives this by faith, that God has been glorified in Christ's death. In order that it should be so, man bows down, and God deals with the victim His representative brings. Aaron here was just a type; but the anti-type was really the Son of man.

How strikingly this was shown in that the only occasion in which Scripture represents our Lord Jesus saying, "My God," was on the cross! When He was here below, He regularly said "Father." He never thought, He never felt, He never spoke, He never acted, except in the perfect communion of the Son with the Father. No wonder the Father was glorified in the Son. But now a total change ensues, and the Lord prepares us for this, conveyed in His words, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and" — the Father? No! — "God is glorified in Him." That this is not casual appears beyond dispute from the words that follow. "If God" — not the Father as such, but God — "be glorified in Him, God shall glorify Him in Himself, and shall glorify Him straightway." It was a question of His being made sin, and God as God is judge of sin, rather than the Father as such. We all know that the theologians talk about our "reconciled Father" (and I allow they mean the truth of atonement, where all my heart is with them); but no man can justify such language from Scripture. God needs atonement. Sin is hateful and intolerable to His nature. If it is expiated, it can only be through a divine and unsparing judgment of an adequate victim.

The Father brings in quite another range of facts and truths, thoughts and feelings. It is His gracious relation to the Son, and now by grace to the family of faith (for one does not here dwell on His more general Fatherhood as in Eph. 3:15, Eph. 4:6). Hence the watchful discipline and holy chastening, as a father towards his children. But, where full judgment of sin is concerned, all consideration of gracious relationship and its fruit is shut out entirely. God is the judge of sin; and there cannot in this be the least mitigation. What sin deserves ought not to be impaired. Mercy is here wholly out of place. Sin must be duly punished. All must be out, and the truth, holiness, and righteousness of God be vindicated at all cost in the execution of His judgment on sin. In the cross of Christ not one kindly ray of light from the Father broke the darkness which surrounded Him Who knew no sin, there made sin for us. Yet never was His perfection so precious in God's eyes as when bearing our sins He cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

This shows how complete was the change of our Lord's position on the cross. Was He not the eternal Son? This was unalterable: He could no more cease to be the Son in the Father's bosom, than the Father could cease to be His Father. Had it been possible and fact, His atonement had been vain for God or for man; but it could not be otherwise than it is. Was He not God? He Who is God can never cease to be God; just as a man can never become God. All such notions are the dreams of human vanity, and profane folly. He Who had deigned to become man was now on the cross made sin. And Who made Him to be sin? God alone: man never thought of such a marvel. God, the Judge of sin, gave His beloved Son that He might in grace become man, not merely to exhibit perfect dependence and obedience throughout "the days of His flesh" in communion with the Father, but above all suffer to the uttermost all that God could expend in His unsparing judgment of sin on the cross.

Therefore it was that darkness supernatural surrounded our Lord so suffering at that moment. Far from ceasing to be the Son, He said "Father" on the cross, not only before He exclaimed "My God," etc., but afterwards, as if expressly to show that the relationship never ceased for a moment. Yet He said "My God" when actually the victim for sin; it was no make-believe. If anything could be real since the world began, His sin-bearing was. As all had been genuine in the life of our Lord, all must be and was equally so in His suffering and death for sin. How blessed for us! That the blessing might be as righteous as full, it was Jehovah's lot, not for His people in the first place. Such is the force of the first goat. Its distinctive principle is propitiation.

When we come to the second goat, substitution is no less plain. In these two will be found some help toward a just appreciation of the day of atonement, as the truth stands fully revealed in the New Testament. For some time an active body of men pronounce themselves "thinkers," and would gladly deny both truths. They wish to fritter all down to the manifestation of gracious feeling in our Lord, to a display of love in martyrdom, or to some kindred departure from God's dealing with sin on the Cross. It is the old error long before Socinus, in a new shape, and on the part of men who shrink from professing to be either Gnostics or Socinians. Such theories are utterly short of, and fatally opposed to, what God wrought in the death of our Lord Jesus. They contradict alike the type and the truth; but the New Testament alone gives the full light of God.

A type is like a parable in this, that it rarely runs on all-fours. What is given in either is but a striking analogy (in the type contrast, no less than resemblance) of some grand principle, but never the complete truth (or image, as it is called in Hebrews 10). Evidently, and of course, a type is either human material, or what is lower than human, such as a goat, ox, ram, birds, etc. So a parable speaks of a sower, or a marriage-feast, a tree or other suitable comparison. But these figures, being of a creature kind, are necessarily limited; what we have in our Lord Jesus is infinite. Had our Lord Jesus been a hair's-breadth less God than the Father, He could not have been an adequate sacrifice for sins before God the Judge; nor could He have fully declared God to man. Only God could perfectly meet what God requires. That the Son did it, in and as man, was part of His perfection. Do you ask, "How can God meet God?" If all can understand that a man can meet a man, why should any disbelieve God? That there is unity in the Godhead, no Christian denies; while he fully believes three persons in the Godhead, even the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19).

Nor is the truth to be enfeebled in the least degree. He who allows no more in the Godhead than three aspects of one person is not a Christian, but a deceiver and an antichrist. He does not confess the fully revealed and true God, not the Godhead merely in three characters but in three Persons; and so distinct that the Father could send the Son, and the Holy Ghost descend on that Son in the presence of the Father, and in the consciousness of the Son, as it was even outwardly before man also. Such is the early and immense fact recorded in the Gospels, a clear witness to "the Trinity." What sympathy can one have with those who, overlooking such a fact, stumble over the term? Why be so servile to the letter, and so anxious to get rid of a word because it is not in the Bible? The thing is distinctly there; the truth, not only open in the N.T., but pervading the Bible (in a more veiled form, like the O.T. in general) from the first chapter to the last. One cannot now read the first chapter of Genesis intelligently without seeing that there are more persons than one in the Godhead. Even the first verse of the first chapter yields a positive though gradual preparation for divulging it, at least after it was revealed.

Do you ask, how can this be? "In the beginning God created." Perhaps all may not have heard, but it is nevertheless true, that in the original Hebrew "God" is in the plural, naturally pointing to more than one person; yet "created" is in the singular, a form not used where it speaks of heathen gods, but of the living God. With the gods of the nations, the verb is plural. With the true God, although the subject be in the plural, the verb is often in the singular. Cases like Gen. 20:13, where the verb is also plural, prove that God (Elohim) was known to be a true plural. Could anything prepare better for revealing unity of the nature and plurality of the persons? Granted that none in the O.T. could certainly see the three persons as revealed later: even the believer had to wait for the N.T. for full light and truth. But when it came in Christ and by the Spirit, the peculiar concord where God's name occurs of old could not but strike those who heed every word of holy writ. Men who hold lax views of inspiration may no doubt dispute the force of any word, because their views are unbelieving and pernicious; for these necessarily enfeeble and undermine inspiration as God revealed it, and as His Spirit reasons on it. No error has consequences more widely spread than limiting inspiration to God's thoughts in general, and denying it to His written words.

Under the law God was not yet manifested, but on the contrary hidden behind a veil and curtain: God was dwelling, as He says there, in thick darkness. Is this the case now? When God sent His own Son, it was no longer so, as St. John bears witness. Far from dwelling in the thick darkness, the true light came in Christ's person. Then the darkness apprehended it not; but there it shone when Christ was here, as it shone out yet more through the rent veil when He died and rose. All that lay concealed behind — incense, priests, shadows, offerings, sacrifices, as well as the tabernacle itself, with its different measures of access to God — all was closed as to letter in the death of Christ. The Levitical system is clean gone that the spirit, the truth couched under it all, and more as yet hid in God, might be known clearly. In the incarnate Son God had come to man; but now, by His death, the way lay open for man in faith to come to God; and this the believer sees and knows to be the essence and distinctive privilege of the gospel. For it is the unmistakeable truth of Christ that God did come to man in the person of His Son (Emmanuel); but the revealed effect of the atoning work of Christ is that the way is now made manifest into the holies. The veil of the temple was then rent from the top to the bottom.

If the striking type of the Day of Atonement falls short, assuredly it gives no small witness to the truth. Even the blood of the first goat was carried into the holiest of all. It was no emblem of carrying in blood after Christ died on the cross, as the letter would say. Carrying in Christ's blood! The literal idea must be in the type. There was no way possible but to carry in the blood shed of old; and none but the high priest could carry it in. But to imagine Jesus should have to do some subsequent act, in order to make His blood available before the throne in the heavens, is strange doctrine. The truth is, that the moment the blood was shed, the effect of His atonement was infinitely felt above, before He entered there as the great High Priest in person. The veil of the temple was rent, not from the bottom to the top, as if by any influence from below, but from the top to the bottom. God was glorified in Christ's work of propitiation. It was God, Who signified the consequences of that expiation in His own eyes even then, as He afterwards caused the grand result to be proclaimed in the gospel of His grace.

Suppose a Jew had looked in through the rent veil, what was there to see? The blood upon the mercy seat and the blood before the mercy seat. The blood once sprinkled "upon" the mercy seat was enough for God. But man requires the utmost means to assure him, and God graciously vouchsafes it: seven times was the blood sprinkled "before" the mercy seat, giving complete evidence for man that he may safely and surely draw near to God. For God it was simply put on it once. It represented the atoning blood of His Son, Who had so truly taken the place of the victim for sin, that He cried out from the cross, "My God, My God, why didst Thou forsake Me?"

Alas! for those who misuse those wondrous words of the Atoning Victim, as an excuse for their own unbelief, and dare to compare their darkness with His. It is false that God ever forsook His saints. Is such unbelief excusable? Assuredly it supposes the densest ignorance of the gospel. But it is also deplorable irreverence to compare your "hours of darkness"* with that which shrouded the Sin-bearer then, and then only. Search the New Testament through, and the Old too, and you will never find an excuse for the darkness of doubting. He who torments his soul with fears may be a believer; but he is a believer who dishonours his faith by his unfaithfulness inwardly if not outwardly. Can you conceive God giving His word for one to hesitate about? Is not the doubt of a child of God worse and more shameful than that of an unbeliever?

{*"If the Master," wrote Bishop Horne, "thus underwent the trial of a spiritual desertion, why doth the disciple think it strange, unless the light of heaven shine continually on his tabernacle? Let us comfort ourselves in such circumstances with the thought that we are thereby!! conformed to the image of our dying Lord, that sun which set in a cloud to arise without one." ( A Commentary on the Book of Psalms, Irving's edition, i. 223, 4, Glasgow, 1825). Their name is Legion who repeat the same error.}

Look at things according to God; consider what doubting Him means; what an insult to His truth and love in Christ! Say not what the child pleads after doing some bad or foolish thing, "Mother, I never meant it." Nobody charges the child with wicked intent. But why meddle with what ought not to have been touched? So it is with those who are but babes in faith and spiritual understanding, sadly ignorant of God and of themselves. It is for want of simple rest in His Son and His word. Has not God given us the most ample grounds on which we should confide in Him? What could match with the truth now before us — the Son of God taking on Himself the full consequences of sin at the hand of God? Was it not that God might be glorified in the Son of man made sin? This may be its most abstract and absolute form; but what is the blessed result for the soul that bows to God in faith? Not only that the believer is saved by grace, but that the gospel can go out to every creature under heaven. What does the gospel declare as its ground and vindication? That He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world (1 John 2:2).

Do you observe that certain words, printed in the italics of the Authorised Version, are here left out? The reason is, because they ought never to have been in. It is no pleasure to make such a remark on the common English Version. They are the words of one who values as a whole the plain English Bible beyond any other version in general use. But let God be true Who did not write those words. There is a marked difference in the two clauses. "He was the propitiation for our sins." Who are the "our"? The family of God, you will answer: as this is the ordinary "we" of scripture: not, as is known, the only "we" there, but beyond just doubt the prevailing usage. For "we," as a general rule, unless there be modifying circumstances clearly marked, regularly means the family of faith, as "we know," "we believe," etc. Does everybody know or believe? Certainly not; but the faithful, or Christians. So in this case Christ is "the propitiation for our sins."

But is this all? Thank God, He is "also for the whole world", not "for the [sins of the] whole world." Had Christ been the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, as He is for the sins of believers, the whole world must be saved. If they were borne away, what remains for judgment? It is not so. There is a marked difference. What then is the preacher of the gospel entitled to proclaim? Life eternal in Christ, and everlasting redemption through His blood. Life eternal He gives; His work is no less valid before God. But for whom is either? For all that repent and believe the gospel. Not a hair's breadth more does God allow. It is the revealed reply in its simplicity, its distinction and its fulness. Man is not entitled to tell an unbeliever, "Christ bore your sins in His own body on the tree;" when one believes, God's word assures him of it.

Scripture is most precise as to the difference between propitiation and substitution. Another opportunity of going into substitution with more detail comes in a subsequent lecture; but the present suffices to indicate, in passing, the distinctive truth of each. Propitiation, as being Godwardly Christ's work, takes in not merely what God is toward His people, but what He is toward sinners, wherever and whatever they may be. Would you limit God, as the Jews did? He will not sanction it. The work of Christ's propitiation, being infinite before God, opens the door consequently to God's love in beseeching every creature on earth. Doubtless the type here or anywhere fails to set forth such love as this. No Jew could possibly understand it, nor did God reveal it before. The reason for the reserve was because the law stood in the way. Yet we now see a dim confirmation in the fact that nothing said or done limits the efficacy of Jehovah's lot, as we find in the people's lot. A not insignificant difference lay in the absence at first of express confession of Israel's sins, and of Aaron's laying on of hands. The people might see a shower of blessing for them only; but in God's mind was much more. His nature, word, majesty, and character, were met in the slain offering for sin. The effect of the antitype is that now God delights in sending His glad tidings to every creature. Still the fact remains that some who hear the gospel are, and some are not, saved. Sinners who hear it are the more guilty if they believe not, and must perish everlastingly.

Is it then that the saved are better than the unsaved? Do you presume that your superiority is the ground why you stand in the favour of God? Suffer me to have doubts of you, if such is your plea. You will not find scripture to support but condemn you. Not that one forgets for a moment that there arises the most decided difference in every soul born of God from every other that is not; but does your superior goodness earn the life of Christ, or enter into the remission of your sins? It flatly contradicts His word and nullifies Christ's work. Look only at the effect of such a thought. If true, God's favour must be turned away from every believer the moment he did not fully answer to the character of Christ, whose advocacy too would be at an end. Is either true? Is justification of works? or is the access into God's presence and grace a fluctuating condition? Does salvation change like the cloudy face of the sky? Is not the believer's nearness stable and constant? According to the Epistle to the Hebrews, approach to God for the believer is as unbroken as the efficacy of the work of Christ for his sins. But, you say, God chastises. Certainly. So you chastise your child when it is needed; but do you love it the less, or is it less your child. On the contrary it is because you are its father, and love it dearly, that you have the rod, and are called to use it.

It is a wonderfully blessed thing to know that God has been pleased to bring us who believe into nothing but favour; if it were not so, even after pardon, we should be lost over and over again. But salvation is a condition that attaches to the believer through his course; and how is this marked? That there is, not only propitiation to meet the character of God, that He may proclaim His love in Christ to every creature; but also substitution to secure an absolute cleansing of all the sins of every believer. The two things are purposely put in juxta-position to give an adequate view of the difference between propitiation and substitution, which together constitute the atonement set forth by the two goats.

There is a continual tendency in the different classes, even of believers in Christendom, to ignore one or other of these truths. Take for instance those zealous that the gospel go out to every creature. It is notorious that most of these habitually deny God's special favour to the elect. They overlook or pare down any positive difference on God's part toward His own children. They hold that a man throughout his course may be a child of God to-day and not to-morrow. This destroys substitution. They hold propitiation, and there they are right, and quite justified in preaching the gospel unrestrictedly to every creature, as the Lord indeed enjoined. But how their one-sidedness enfeebles the proper portion of the saints! They cannot but reduce to a minimum the rich unfoldings of divine love in the settled relationships of faith, as He has revealed in the apostolic Epistles generally, whence they try to cull out appeals to the unconverted, or attenuate what is meant for God's children, if they do not dangerously extend their privileges to the unsaved.

But look now for a moment at the opposite side, which holds that all God has done and reveals is in view of the elect only, that all He has wrought in Christ Jesus is in effect for the church, and that He does not care about the world, except to judge it at the last day. This may be put rather bluntly; for I do not present such grievous narrowness toward man and dishonour of God and His Son in as polished terms as those might desire who cherish notions so unsavoury and unsound. But it is true that a certain respectable class around us do see nothing but the elect as the object of God. Their doctrine supposes only the second goat, or the people's lot. They see the all-importance of substitution; but Jehovah's lot has no place as distinct.

How came the two contending parties of religionists not to see both the goats? The word of God reveals both. Why is it that those, who rightly urge that the message of God's grace should freely go out to every creature, fail to hold the security of the believer too? Oh what a blotting out of Christ's love to the church! Such is the inevitable result of taking up one part of the truth and setting it against another. Thus we see the importance of holding, not merely a truth, but the truth. Here plainly there are two goats. The goat of propitiation is to provide in the fullest manner for the glory of God, even where sin is before Him. In fulfilling it, what was the consequence? Christ was forsaken of God that the believer should never be forsaken. He bore the judgment of sin that God's glory might be immutably established in righteousness. Thus grace in the freest way can and does now go out to every creature here below.

But there is much more. Besides opening the sluices that divine love might flow freely everywhere, we also find another line of truth altogether; the fullest and nicest care that those who are His children should be kept in peace and blessing. They had been guilty or indifferent as others to God. They were the children of wrath and served Satan truly as the worst of those who refuse the gospel. And see how God has provided for their evil, when we come to the goat of substitution. "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquity of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their iniquities." Language seems almost to fail, in order to express the provision of grace in securing relief to the people, whatever their sins and iniquities. God took care not only to indicate His own glory and nature, but to give them knowledge of salvation by the remission of their sins. The sins are all out to be borne away.

Even the type demonstrates, it is evident, that we require these two distinct truths to maintain the balance of God's truth. It is a blessed thing to hold the outgoing of God's grace to every creature, but not at the sacrifice of the security of those who believe. Thus only is manifested in any measure of truth that firm rock on which the elect stand. Their salvation is as secure as the message of grace is free. Supposing one blur the difference between the two goats, and crush them up, so to say, into one indistinguishable mass — the dead and the live goat — and deny any difference between them, what is the effect? Either that you become simply devoted to the gospel that God sends to every sinner under heaven, or that you become shut up to think only of the elect and their salvation. The worst is that each in his shortsight makes out God to be such a One as himself. It is plain that these two things are each of exceeding importance if not taken up exclusively. But, as parts of the truth, they compose God's truth. It is quite true that in the first goat God has secured His majesty, and His righteous title to send forth His message of love to every creature. Again, in the second goat He has equally cared for the assurance of His people, that all their sins, and iniquities, are completely borne away. How could the truth of atonement be more admirably shown by types beforehand?

Only let us preserve the order of the subjects as far as possible. Therefore must one point out the way in which the blessed truth of atonement exceeds the type of both goats. It may seem hard for some to admit such a possibility; but it will be a privilege to be shown that there is an advance in truth connected with "the bullock." This has its own peculiarity for those who are the object of that great offering; and its perfect answer and solution are given in the N.T. But the general distinction between the two goats, I trust, has been sufficiently cleared, and the necessity seen for them both. Let me confirm it by drawing attention to a verse given rightly in the Authorised Version, with a grievous defect in the Revised Version. It is no recondite point, nor open to serious doubt nor of any real difficulty. Being intimately connected with the subject before us, it claims a notice here.

In Rom. 3:22 we read these words, "Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe." There we have the principle of the two goats, or the truth which answers to them. "The righteousness of God unto (εἰς) all" is what corresponds with Jehovah's lot. God is not the God of Israel only, as the Jews have always sought to make out. Is He not the God of Gentiles also? It is exactly what the apostle says in this chapter a little farther on, "Yes, of Gentiles also, seeing God is one, who shall justify circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through their faith." But here we have it in the form, "The righteousness of God, by faith in Jesus Christ unto all," after which words there ought to be a comma to make it strictly correct.

Next comes in the answer of the second goat, "and upon (ἐπὶ) all them that believe." Here is implied the security of the believer. It is not "unto all them that believe." "Unto" thus distinguished is a tendency or direction; and, even when meaning more, it may not reach all. This is exactly what the gospel is — "unto all." The gospel addresses itself to every creature; as also every soul is bound to receive the testimony of God's grace, which puts upon them the responsibility of bowing in their hearts to it as from God. As it is "unto all", he who does not preach it "unto all" misunderstands his duty as a herald of the gospel. On the other hand, the righteousness of God is not merely "unto all them that believe," but upon them. What does "upon" represent here? The effect produced; which is not upon all mankind, but only "upon all that believe." We have therefore to distinguish two objects in this verse: the universal aspect of the gospel in going out to every creature; and the positive effect upon all those that believe.

Here the A.V. exactly gives the truth; what of the R.V.? The revisers, oblivious of a mistake common even in ancient copies (of which some of the company seemed almost idolators) followed the favourites blindly. Wherever a word is followed by the same word, perhaps in the next phrase one of the commonest slips (by writers to-day, as with early scribes) is to skip over the words between the two. The old copies, א A B C P, with two juniors and some ancient versions, would ordinarily have the greatest weight; but here they appear by a merely clerical blunder to have passed from the first "all" (πάντας) to the second with the fatal effect described.

That later copyists could have invented the admirably correct and comprehensive distinction, which the common text intimates, is too much to conceive. The distinction is especially Pauline; which none of the copyists even understood, any more than some modern commentators. Theodoret may interpret unwisely, but he writes unhesitatingly about two clauses; as indeed they are attested by ancient versions older than any existing MSS. But a real conflation is ever feeble, if not false.

A slip, might naturally ruin a nicely poised and fully stated truth, entirely beyond mediaeval mind to construct. The effect of the slip is, "The righteousness of God unto all them that believe." Such is the form in which it is given in the Revised Version. What is the consequence? That they give us an unscriptual platitude. They unwittingly take from scripture its edge and fulness. "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." They have mixed up the two forms of the truth, so that one cannot get at either. The hotch-potch of both destroys the exact sense of each.

The change means that there is not a word "unto all" sinners as such, whilst all believers receive a mere offer of the gospel. "The righteousness of God is unto all believers," if they like to accept it. Thus is effaced the effect of the gospel upon all that believe, while the mercy to unbelievers vanishes away, because His righteousness is only "unto all them that believe." If the words omitted be read, the double truth is given in perfection. This the revisers virtually treat as a blunder of the scribes. But when did mere man ever invent so nice and full a statement of the truth? The change leaves not the smallest ground for preaching the gospel to the unconverted; while the safety of the believer thereby and equally disappears. Yet this mutilated and emasculated sense is given, as if a perfectly adequate authority sustained it, although any one easily sees, when it is once pointed out, how readily the intervening words might be omitted. The twofold truth of God is marred in the passage, and we are deprived of that which answers in the antitype to both the first goat and the second.

To say, as did a lively commentator of modern times, that in the theological meaning, "upon" (epi) has no real difference of sense from "unto" (eis) is to bring contempt on both theology and philology; and the argument annexed only confirms it. For the distinctive use by Paul or any other of the inspired is not rhetorical but to express another shade of meaning to the clearance of the truth. Take the texts alleged, Rom. 3:30, and Gal. 1:1. Justifying the circumcision "out of faith," or on that principle, is most important to exclude out of works of law, as the mass of Jews expected; whereas it was no less important to say that God will justify uncircumcision through their faith, supposing that any have it. But is it not strange that a scholar should affirm that the two phrases have the same import, though the end be the same substantially? In Gal. 1:1 the same writer distinguishes rightly the two prepositions instead of confounding them as when speaking of Rom. 3. They express, as he admits, the remote originating cause, and the nearer instrumental one. Scripture is not loose, scholars are sometimes.

LECTURE 3.

LEVITICUS 16:11-19.

Its General Principle compared with Christ's Work.

The first act of Aaron that now claims our consideration is the offering of incense, and the sacrifice of the bullock for the Sin-offering. This was expressly for himself and his house. But it is important here as elsewhere to bear in mind the scope, character, and limits of typical instruction. There is an analogy, because it cannot otherwise be a type; but there are bounds, because it is only a type and "not the very image." Atonement, according to the full mind and intent of God, could have been but once accomplished, and only by the true High Priest, even Christ. A shadowy form was all that could be of old, for Aaron was sinful as the people were; but for Him whom Aaron represented, as He needed no sin-offering, so was He Himself to be made sin for us. It is well to seize the difference and in some cases contrast, not merely in what is here so obvious, but because there are other points to be noted which may not seem equally plain, where nevertheless the same principle as really applies. We must not fail to read invariably the type in the light of Christ, instead of reducing Christ to the measure of the type.

Great mistakes have been made since (if not in) the first century through neglect of the right use of Christ as He is now fully revealed. So it was, to my own personal knowledge, even among Christians more than usually versed in scripture, fifty years ago at least; so it has been since, and may be at any time. Several portions of the word of God seem peculiarly liable to a kindred sort of misconstruction, and one might specify three. The earliest in point of place would be the types of the Levitical economy. Next comes the Psalms, as bringing in the heart in all its varied feelings, about either the wants and trials of man, or the anticipations given of God; but Christ's Spirit is there, and hence the need of not confounding the first man with the Second. Thirdly, there is the prophetic word, so open to bias and error where Christ is not seen duly, and His kingdom distinct from the church. In all these three departments of divine truth (and it pretty much comprehends the O.T.), who is sufficient for these things? What need of dependence on God, and watchfulness against our own thoughts, that we may have divine guidance!

There is here, as everywhere, but one safeguard. Human canons do not preserve, nor certainly is truth due to human tradition but to Christ kept by the Spirit before us. He alone from God is made to us wisdom; and it never can be otherwise. As He is the life of the Christian, so is He the true light that now shines, the only One who ever did enlighten, and does fully. Therefore we are only safe in following Him through God's word, these portions especially which without Him are indeed dark. But as there is "no darkness at all" in God, so there is none Christ does not graciously dispel, save what unbelief makes for itself in slighting or forcing His word. Reading it hastily we may find peculiar difficulty, where it lies outside our own relationship. For instance, we come in contact with that which is according to the status or measure of the Jew; but we are Christians and ought never to forget our own place. Again, there are depths of grace and glory in Christ, where it becomes us to bow our heads and adore, rather than to rush in familiarly on such holy ground. But there is no danger in keeping behind, yet close to, Christ; there is all possible blessing in hearing His voice. Let us now endeavour to conform to that only just, true, and full rule for interpreting the word of God. At this point it becomes particularly needful, because our theme concerns the utmost nearness to the presence of God.

We have looked a little at Jehovah's lot in the goat that was slain whose blood was also brought in. We are now called to examine the meaning and application of the sacrifice for Aaron and his house. Here the bullock necessarily has a special principle attached to it. Scripture never heaps together things unmeaningly as men sometimes do. The bullock, though it has a general aim in common with the first goat, is also expressly distinct and has marked differences. On the face of the chapter there was but one bullock, though there were two goats. As it was the largest sort of offering, so here it has a higher connection. The bullock was offered only for the priestly house. There was no complementary bullock to be driven away with their sins laid and confessed on its head, like the second goat which followed up the first, after a notable interval. The bullock and the first goat were slain as nearly about the same time as possible, the bullock first (ver. 11), the goat afterwards (ver. 15).

But a remarkable type intervenes before the blood of either was carried within. And Aaron "shall take a censor full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil; and he shall put the incense upon the fire before Jehovah, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy-seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not" (ver. 12, 13). What does this mean? The traditional idea is that incense represents the prayers of the saints: surely an irrelevant interpretation as applied, not only to the type before us, but to what is analogous in the book of Leviticus, and indeed wherever incense is offered under the law. In the special circumstances of Rev. 5, we do find the prayers of the saints symbolised by incense (ver. 8); but in the very same book, Rev. 8:3, we read of "much incense" given, in order to impart efficacy to the prayers of all the saints at the golden altar which was before the throne. Here the distinctness of the incense from the prayers is beyond argument.

It is clear from this, sustained by a great deal more elsewhere, the incense cannot be assumed to mean absolutely or only the prayers of the saints. The royal priests in Rev. 5 present the prayers of the saints as incense; the angel high-priest in Rev. 8 puts to the prayers of all the saints much incense, which no creature could do — only Himself. Where would be the sense in adding the prayers of the saints to the prayers of the saints? We must therefore look for a larger truth in explanation; nor really is it far to seek. Early in Leviticus, and specially in Exodus, we may find seasonable help.

Thus in Exodus 30 we have the detailed composition of the holy perfume for Jehovah, which was not for man "to smell thereto" on pain of being cut off. This it was which beaten small was to be put before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation. It set forth the fragrant grace of Christ, the more tried so much the more abundantly sweet to God. It was what He peculiarly appreciated in Christ. Here the prayers of saints are out of the question. It prefigures the personal grace of Christ tried to the utmost, but even in the minutest thing agreeable to God Who alone could estimate it fully.

In Leviticus 2 we have nothing to do with the prayers of the saints, but Christ livingly acceptable to God. Therefore incense enters as an important element in the "meal (not "meat") offering." Fine flour, oil mingled or anointed, or both, with salt, composed it; so too ears of corn green or full. But the peculiar claim of "all the pure incense" is ever reserved for God. The remnant, after the memorial handful for the burning as a sweet savour to Jehovah, was Aaron's and his sons'; but "all frankincense" was burnt upon the altar. It was the expression of Christ's personal grace in its unspeakable preciousness to God. Our prayers here are clearly out of the question. Do not all these offerings at the beginning of Leviticus speak exclusively of Christ? If none but the presumptuous would dispute the bearing of the Holocaust, of the Peace-offering, and of those for sin and trespass, it ought not to be doubted that the Meal-offering has at least as much of the character of Christ offered up to God, as any other oblation. They are the reflection of Christ and His work, each in a distinctive way.

Surely incense in Lev. 16 has nothing to do with the prayers of the saints. Is it not the fragrant grace of Christ's presence which God alone could appreciate in Him, and in Him only? All went up to God. Elsewhere it was His grace rising up in intercession, when making prayers of saints acceptable to God. Ex. 30:34-38 as seen affords if possible a still clearer proof of the reference to Christ, where our prayers would be quite out of place. But time fails to dwell further on this interesting type, which attests the fragrance of Christ's personal grace to God, and can in no way point to the prayers of saints, whatever be His grace also in making them acceptable.

Before the blood then (not merely of the goat but of the bullock) was brought in and put upon the mercy-seat and before it, the incense rose up before God. Therein was the witness of the exquisite grace of Christ before God, of His personal sweet-savour, when tried by the fire to the uttermost, and this apart from blood-shedding; not apart from fiery judgment, but from that work which was essential to put away sin. The blood was not yet put there; the incense preceded. But how did that incense rise? Was it not kindled by the holy fire of God? And this fire was closely connected with the Burnt-offering. The fire fell there, and thence was kindled the incense which rose up as a cloud before God and filled the most holy place. It was the fire of His consuming judgment; for this is ever the symbol of that which, testing the Lord in every way and to the fullest possible degree, only brought out the more the fragrance of His grace. The object in atonement was to lay a ground for divine righteousness; so that God, in blessing to the full, should act consistently with what was due to Christ and His work, which had glorified God Himself even in judging sin. Yet before this basis was laid, there was in the incense the witness of Christ's ineffably fragrant grace Godward. Such seems the meaning of the incense which the high priest burnt in the most holy place.

After this "he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy-seat eastward; and before the mercy-seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock." It is not, as if there were two offerings of our blessed Lord Jesus; but at least two objects of His work were here in the mind of God. In order to complete atonement for the people the second goat must be taken into account for that work, though typically it only appears when the high priest emerges from the sanctuary (vers. 20 and 32-33). But the foremost shadow before us now is the blood of the bullock put upon and before the mercy-seat, put once upon and seven times before the mercy-seat. Once sufficed for God, where approach to Him was invited; man needed seven times. Alas! how dull has man proved to take in the fullest encouragement on God's part; for He it was Who thus in the figure provided all: He despises not any.

But why the bullock, and why the goat? The blood of the bullock was carried in on behalf of the priestly family; in this type Aaron and his house. Here the Epistle to the Hebrews marks a contrast. If Aaron must be atoned for, it could not be so with Christ. It were blasphemy to include the Son of God in any such requirement. You might suppose such a caveat quite uncalled for. Alas! I remember a Canadian ex-clergyman who, getting into the minutia of these types, and, dull indeed to see the guarded glory of the true high priest, fell into this horrible snare, and was put away from amongst us because of so deep a dishonour to our Lord Jesus. Those who deem such a thought scarcely possible forget we have an active, subtle, and deadly foe. Let us learn what it is to distrust ourselves, and to cherish confidence in the living God and His word.

Nevertheless, it remains that the blood of the bullock was for the priestly family, as that of the goat was for the people. Is there anything in the New Testament to help here? Much. Take one scripture — and a familiar one — in the Gospel of John (John 11:49-52). The occasion came through an uncomely mouth; but it was God's giving. Caiaphas spoke wickedly, yet God prophesied through him as of old through Balaam. It is not that his heart who uttered the prophecy was in the truth. But if the unscrupulous high priest here prophesied that it was expedient for one man to die for the people, it is clearly the Spirit of God Who comments that He died not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. There we have the death of our Lord for two distinct objects. One cannot avoid perceiving that the children of God are a higher object than "that nation." Indeed none so much as John, throughout the whole of his Gospel, shows that nation to be reprobate. Never was a prople more unbelieving and rebellious. It is all over with them from the very first chapter: "He came to His own [things], and His own [people] received Him not." The Jews, the rejectors of the Lord, are seen to be themselves rejected of God from the beginning of the fourth Gospel. The other Gospels gradually come up to the same conclusion, because of Jewish unbelief; but John starts with it. For which reason the Lord is introduced by John purging the temple of these wicked men before His public ministry begins; whereas the Synoptic Gospels give no purging of the temple till we approach the end. What could more than this purifying prove that the Jews were the unclean, notwithstanding their high pretensions? And high pretensions always rise more and more when judgment is at the door. Then are a privileged people most lifted up when they have lost all true sense of communion with God.

Thus the truth comes out plainly that the death of Christ was, not merely for the Jewish people, but to gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. No doubt this purpose of gathering His children in one involved also another truth of all moment; for there could be no such gathering on God's part without a righteous removal of their sins. Thus the propitiation is necessarily implied, although it be not stated in these words. Atonement is the necessary pre-requisite for such a blessing as the gathering together of the scattered children of God unless He could overlook His own dishonour or their unremoved guilt. And therein is one main moral reason why the church never had a place on earth, and never could be called to its own heavenly portion before the Lord Jesus. The atonement was not yet an accomplished fact before God, Who could not, consistently with His glory, gather in one without it.

Let us now a little more closely examine the Epistle to the Hebrews, which, as already remarked, is a divine comment on these Levitical types. We need not guess, nor argue at length; it is enough, and best of all, to believe.

In Hebrews 2:13 we have Isaiah 8:18 applied to the saints now being called. They are the children God has given to Christ. Then in Heb. 3:6 we read, "Whose house are we." Christ had just been treated as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. In the beginning of the chapter after His introduction in His high priesthood, we are told that He has a house over which He acts with divine rights, not merely as a servant: "Whose house are we." The "we" in this Epistle is no doubtful matter. It means not mere Hebrews, but such as were bearing Christ's name, sanctified by His blood, and made free of the holiest of all — the children given to Him. Does any one conceive that this relationship is peculiar to Christian Jews? Is the privilege to be denied to those who now believe generally? Of every Christian it is no less true, though one rejoices to own it was primarily written to believing Hebrews. It is the common but high privilege of every Christian.

Nor can one admire the one-sided rashness which treated the treatise on the Old Testament types (if one does not call it an Epistle), the inspired commentary to these Hebrews, as a child's book. Rather is any such depreciation a childish remark. The Hebrew saints, to whom the Old Testament was expounded, were no doubt children, when they ought for the time to be teachers; but who does not throughout discern the voice of Him that speaks from heaven? The object of the teaching (Heb. 5, 6) was to bring these Hebrews out of the word of the beginning of Christ, elementary as this was, into the full growth or "perfection" which flows from knowing Him on high, after He had made purification of sins. Do you call this a picture book of the nursery? So speak if you will of the Old Testament types. They were part of the rudiments of the world to which Israel was in bondage; and they were all but pictures in part.

But the Epistle to the Hebrews, far from being a nursery book, is a profound and most instructive communication of the Holy Spirit to lead on the Christ-professing Jews into the present elevating and heavenly associations with Him glorified; whilst it made no less clear and certain that those who despise, and still more those who give Him up, are for ever lost. They had been dull of hearing; and it is always so with men proud of their ancient religion: nothing so much hinders growth in the truth. There is no veil over the eyes so impenetrable as religious habit or tradition. Given two persons converted: one of the mere profane world, the other perhaps respected in the professing church. Which of the two ordinarily goes forward steadily in the truth? Not the man who devoted himself to the study of theology for the last ten or twenty years past. He is generally an unapt scholar when he repairs to scripture, even seriously. Such is the effect of old religious prejudice. He needs to unlearn quite as much as to learn; which makes progress difficult and slow.

The Hebrew confessors are thus seen to be dull in rising to the height of Christianity, as they saw feebly into its depths. They were impeded in learning because they had so much to unlearn. They are not the only persons now who are thus entangled. As Christendom grows old, the same difficulty repeats itself, though it be less excusable for Christians now than then for the Jews who believed. The truth fully revealed gives meaning to those ancient shadows. They had before them the material; but they needed the teaching of God's Spirit, Who glorifies Christ. Yet the ancient oracles had been used, not only for the conversion, but for the help and blessing, of souls then for some fifteen hundred years, to say nothing of times antecedent. But these were the persons who proved so slow in spiritual understanding. Therefore it is the more incumbent on all bred in religious habits, and accustomed to a groove of set forms and phrases, to watch against this danger, of which scripture gravely warns.

This, the richest specimen the Bible furnishes of expositional teaching (for it is more particularly of this character) was intended to educate the believing Hebrews into the true meaning of the old types. But to restrict the light or the privileges revealed therein to the Hebrews, to say that they, and they only, were the house of Christ, were sheer ignorance and an intolerable wrong. "Whose house are we" is a principle as truly applicable now as then, and to Gentile Christians no less really than Jewish. But it may be presumed that nobody here would have the least difficulty as to this, and that all concede that the truth applies to believers now in all its forms, and will as long as there are Christians waiting for the Son of God from heaven. But if it be granted that we too are the true Aaron's house, the bullock was beyond doubt for them, in contra-distinction from the people; and we shall find that this is as important in doctrine as for practice. For it is to be noticed that the blood of the bullock has exclusively to do with those who enter the holy places, or the sanctuary of God. The blood of the goat was brought there too; for God must be glorified in reconciling Israel or any others. But the first goat cannot be severed from the second. They coalesce and constitute the necessary atonement for the people who await the coming out of the great High Priest. It is not so with those concerned in the bullock. There is no waiting on His appearance for their acceptance. In this case there is no fresh type nor future time that draws one back to the earth, as there is unquestionably in the second goat applied historically. The bullock has to do at once and only with the presence of God for those entitled to enter there by grace.

On the other hand, if we look at the two goats, the counterpart of them both attaches to the earth, and the earthly people in an unmistakeable way. In that transaction how much was before the eyes of the people! God ordered it thus for the purpose of giving them the visible token that their sins were gone never to be remembered more. No such thing was necessary for, or suited to, the priestly house.

But understand what is meant. There is a time when souls ever so truly converted are not up to the Christian position. Do you ask, Who are in so anomalous a condition? Why, you and myself have been, if we are not, among them. Time was when it was a question, and a great question to us, to be born of God, yet not knowing our sins forgiven. One grieves to think that many a saint on earth thinks the remission of sins rather a high claim, and a very questionable privilege whether it be his own. Do you think thus? Then let me tell you, that you have scarcely got beyond the portion of a devout Jew or Gentile before redemption. If this be so, are you yet really on Christian ground? One is not denying that you are a Christian; but how many converted are on Jewish ground, so far as their state of mind or experience goes?

He who merely looks to Christ, with the hope that he may go to heaven at last and not be lost when he comes into judgment, has but imperfectly learnt by faith the Christian's alphabet. Is this the gospel? The sooner he learns more of God in Christ, the better; and even this chapter is admirably adapted to show, when read in the light of this Epistle, where and how far he has fallen short. The sacrifice of the bullock, teaching us what he omits, gives us precisely enough (though in type) the place into which the young believer is meant and bound to advance. It is likely that the Hebrews at that time were not much beyond what has just been described; and the apostle wrote that they might be Christians in deed and in truth. Therefore one may observe the great stress wherewith that Epistle teaches not merely that Christ has personally gone through the heavens, but that He is in the highest place in all the virtue of His work for us, that we now by faith may draw near into the holiest. Of course it is but in spirit: we are not personally there; we are still on earth, not yet in heaven. But have we no entrance into the favour of God by faith, beyond where we are? or do we merely look up to heaven as the future home of our hearts? Is it the true sanctuary open to us now in spirit, or is it not?

It is a common argument of those who are accepted as soundly evangelical to say that there is but one priest, even Christ on high; and that therefore the sacerdotal pretension of a certain school in Christendom is simply the trash of Popery. To this last we agree with entire cordiality. If the gospel be true, the notion of any on earth being priests for the rest of Christians is evident and pestilent falsehood. It is a revival of Jewish principles, which were in figure nailed to Christ's cross, dead and buried in His grave. But if this be all, you fail to take the full and positive standing of the Christian. Do not content yourself with saying that among Christians there are no priests for others on earth, Christ being the only Great Priest in the presence of God. There is far more than this in what is now revealed. What more, do you ask, is required to supplement it? "Whose house are we?" Why do not evangelical men hold, preach, and practise this? Why do they not tell the saints on earth that they are all and equally priests? It is not merely that such they are to be in heaven. No doubt their title will be perfectly owned there, and they are to be priests to God and of Christ in the resurrection (Rev. 20:6); but have we not from God the self-same title now? (Rev. 1:6). Why not then believe it?

And if any scruple to believe the Apocalypse, why overlook the Epistle to the Hebrews? Does not Peter also say that Christians are a royal priesthood, and, what is still more and better, a holy priesthood? (1 Peter 2: 5-9) The royal priesthood is to be displayed before the world; the holy priesthood is to draw near unto the presence of God. It is the more intimate of the two. If the royal priesthood shines more before men, should it not be dearer to a saintly heart to draw near to God in praise and thanksgiving? St. John speaks of Him that loveth us and washed (or loosed) us from our sins by His blood and made us kings and priests unto God. Are you not misinterpreting the word of God when you infer that, whilst Christ loves us now and proved it by His atoning blood, He is only going to make us kings and priests?

My brethren, be not so weak in faith, but so foolhardy in fact, as thus virtually to set about improving Holy Writ. Were it not better simply to believe it? Leave that to dull and dark men of learning, who tell you how hard it is to understand the scriptures. Certainly it is hard to unbelief or the presumption that would mend the perfect word of God. Without faith you will never understand the scriptures. The true way to understand them is simply to believe. Be content to receive them as of God without understanding first. Scriptural understanding follows faith. Cherish confidence in God that His word cannot but be right. Christ is the key in the hand of the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. Then the heart opens, and what once seemed difficult becomes an everlasting and increasingly enjoyed privilege.

Why is it, therefore, that Christian people have it, and will have it, that Christ alone is priest, and that there are now no true priests at all? Scripture affirms that those, whom Christ is not ashamed to call brethren, are priests, and that they are now called to exercise the highest function of drawing near within the rent veil. It is not at all meant that every Christian is a minister of the word, very far from it indeed; but one must repeat that every Christian man and woman is really and truly a priest of God. The importance of this truth is no less than its sure warrant.

One might well ask, Can you for a moment question what scripture reveals on this head? Nor need one merely go upon the bare words, though they are written by Paul, Peter, and John, three witnesses unparalleled even in scripture. But it may be added if the gospel were better known, there would be no hesitation about that which is now urged — that Christians are the priestly house of Christ, the true sons of the true Aaron. They alone answer to that type, which is ignorantly slipped over by most as if it were nothing. What privilege of the priest exceeds liberty of access to the sanctuary? We have seen that even Aaron of old had it in the scantiest degree.

How is it with the Christian? Liberty of access he has, not merely into the holy place but in to the holiest of all. By Christ's blood is now given boldness at all times for all saints; whilst Aaron entered tremblingly but once a year, with incense and blood ever renewed, into that which was but the figure of the true sanctuary. So greatly does the gospel exceed the highest privilege of not only priesthood but the highest of the priests. Yet it would ill become one to suppose for a moment that Christians are high priests: God forbid! One would no more think of claiming to be high priests than of calling Christ our elder brother, as do Moravians and the like. It is one thing for Christ to call us brethren, quite another for us to call Him brother. It is gracious for the King to show some condescension to you or to me, but altogether an impropriety for us therefore to forget his majesty and to slight his royal place. Reverence becomes us, and especially in the presence of not only unmerited favour, but of the infinite personal glory, of the Saviour, which make the blessing so immense to such as we are.

It is no question of words, but of the momentous fact by divine grace, that, when a man receives the gospel of God by faith, he is entitled to know from that moment that in virtue of Christ's cross he is brought nigh to God. Now if thus reconciled and near, can you tell me of any privilege more truly precious? Was it not on the face of things that only priests could enter the sanctuary? The people were without praying, and the priest came within to burn incense. As long as the temple and the law had a standing, the people could only be outside. Is this, according to the gospel, the actual position of a Christian? Time was, no doubt, when all stood without; and it was a rich and needed mercy to come under the truth of the second goat as well as of the first. But when we entered on the near and proper ground of Christian privilege, what then? We find ourselves in evident and weighty contrast with Israel, who have not yet the blessing. They abide in unbelief outside, and only outside. Is this then where we are now? Is it not true that grace calls us in faith to follow Christ within the veil? It is not only that there we have a hope sure and steadfast, and that which enters within the veil, we have also full assurance of faith, and so are emboldened to enter into the holiest by His blood.

There is a new and living way consecrated (or dedicated) for us — for all who believe on Him. All who are associated with Him are not more called to bear His reproach from the world than they are to draw near where He is glorified in the presence of God. That is not and never will be the portion of the Jew. Christ will come and reign over Israel here below. Believing now we become heavenly. The moment a Jew now receives Christ as His portion, he becomes a Christian. And Christ in heaven is the common portion of all Christians, whether they be Jews or not. They thus acquire a title of access into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus. Hence what believers want, in order to have the force of Christian worship and walk, is not a negation but a positive truth, as here that Christians now are priests of God. They are God's house, and Christ is the anti-typical Aaron, to say nothing of worshipping the Father, as in John 4:23.

This, our priestly place, is the unquestionable doctrine of the New Testament. It is not merely where the word "priest" is used, or the sanctuary is in view. Nearness of access to God, by the faith of Christ through His blood, is everywhere the truth of the gospel, from the fundamental Epistle to the Romans right through the whole extent of the New Testament. Is there any part of it (unless it be the Epistle of James, which without taking up redemption, rather looks to new birth in those begotten of God), which does not present the substance of the truth now lying before us? — that we come under the bullock as well as the incense, to speak Levitically? We have therefore special privileges adumbrated by Aaron and his priestly house, and indeed a vast deal more.

Mark this difference: though the blood of the goat entered within the veil, Israel never got beyond the brazen altar; we, on the other hand, draw near into the holies before the mercy-seat. We come even boldly unto the throne of grace. We are entitled to behold the glory of God there in the face of Jesus Christ. You may perceive that other scriptures are here mingled along with this type which comes before us; for it is scarcely desirable too straitly to sever one truth from another. These are only used in order to show the fulness of the Christian roll of blessing. How comes it to pass that we have our privileges shadowed not only by the sons of Aaron but by Aaron himself? that they really can only be measured by Christ on high? It is because, as we know from other parts of scripture, we are made one with Christ. Yet union is not the doctrine of the Epistle to the Hebrews, simply because it is not God's object there. But he that wrote to the Hebrews is none other than the apostle who brought out the mystery concerning Christ and concerning the church as no man ever could before or ever did since.

It was enough here to set out the peculiar and heavenly status of the Christian in virtue of Christ's work and priesthood. He is associated with Christ in perfect nearness to God. For who could think of Christ as one that separates from God? He is the very One that brings us nigh. Because of His own person, all the more acceptable to God because displayed in the dependence and holiness of man here below, Christ was entitled to the presence of God. But He would not go alone. He loved His master, He loved His wife, He loved His children; He was the true Hebrew servant, and would serve for ever and ever. He laid down His life, that He might take it again in resurrection. He was the corn of wheat which, having fallen into the ground, died bearing much fruit. He gave Himself for us, and whom He loved He loved to the end.

Very different were we, apart from that life which was laid down for us that we too might live of His life. We belonged to the first man, as now to the Second, the last Adam, for ever. What does this import? It is what God teaches His children, even you. It is what we are meant to enjoy here as given to Christ. As is the Heavenly, such are they also who are heavenly. It stamps His whole character, His own associations, His proper relationships, as far as possible, upon the Christian. Is it then the lot or attainment of some only? His grace confers it upon all. There is no Christian save in this near position. It is in no case left us to choose our own place before God. It is God that has chosen us, having given Christ for us; and God will have nothing less as a measure and character of blessing to us than the measure of His own beloved Son, the First-born among many brethren. Here again one may observe another expression of it according to the scope of the Epistle to the Romans. But almost everywhere is presented the same blessed association with Christ.

This, in short, is just the truth which the Spirit presses habitually (Col. 3:11): "Christ is all and in all." Do we desire to know, not merely what Christ will be by and by, but what Christ is now? Then, according to the mind of God, He is not only "all," but "in all," i.e. in all Christians. Himself is the whole spring and character of Christian conduct. He is our life. It is in vain to look for Christian ways, unless you are in, and believe in, your relationship to Christ. Our ways are according to the relationships we fill. Our duties flow from what we are thus. It is not merely a question of right and wrong, of what we ought to do or be. This was law. But now it is a question of being consistent with Christ Who is all and in all. This is what we have as Christians. And what then is the standard of our consistency? Christ, and Christ as He is in the presence of God.

Everything thus supports and carries out more and more manifestly the meaning of this instructive type — the blessing figured by the incense and the bullock, for those that belong to the Lord, while He is now within on high. Mark the force of this. Are we not brought into association with Christ while He is in the sanctuary? Properly speaking, there was no Christian until Christ entered the sanctuary. There were disciples before. A disciple might be a Christian or he might not. For we read of disciples not merely in the Gospels but even in the prophecy of Isaiah (Isa. 8). Thus there were disciples who merged in the church of God, as we see in the Acts of the Apostles, as there were disciples long before the church began. A disciple, therefore, is not necessarily or properly a Christian.

Even when the church began, a disciple might not have the full Christian character, though he ought of course. Those who still went up to the temple to offer sacrifices under the law should have left the Jewish condition for the Christian. On what ground? Christ's death on the cross, known intelligently to faith, and the gift of the Holy Ghost consequent upon His blood-shedding. It is Christ on high that stamps the full and proper Christian character upon us. But this evidently falls in with our relationship to Christ as God's house; indeed all our characteristic blessing now depends upon His being there in virtue of His atoning work. We could not of course have title to be there but through His death. Therefore we must all come in through the narrow door of His cross. And no soul will stoop so low save by being born again, as there is no means of reconciliation with God, still less of being His family, unless our sins are borne away. But the goat of substitution, supplementing that of propitiation (for they constitute the atonement for the people), does not give the full measure of the Christian. It is the necessary foundation for guilt outside. Without it there could be no remission of sins, not to speak of the full privileges of Christianity. But there are privileges beyond it, figured by the bullock and the incense.

Take as an illustration the initiatory sign of Christian faith. We all know that baptism is this, without going into controverted points of mode and subject. What does baptism mean? Is it a sign of life? The Romanists will tell you so, and others who are like them, which they ought not to be. Baptism, contrariwise, is a sign of Christ's death. Hence the Lord instituted proper Christian baptism after, and not before, He rose from the dead. What then, is really taught in that initiatory institution? That one is buried with Christ. Is that life? Is it not plainly to be put in the place of death with Christ? Where also would be the propriety of being buried with Him through baptism into "life"? Were it a sign of life-giving to a soul destitute of it previously, one could understand the figure of the womb or the breast of the mother church; but how incongruous with the death of Christ, and with burial? The ordinary doctrine that connects baptism with new birth is unmitigated Popish error, or rather the delusion of the Fathers before Popery. Baptism is not even the sign (still less the means) of life, but of death and burial with Christ. The Old Testament saints had life, ages before baptism or circumcision. Christian baptism is the sign of a new and distinctively Christian privilege which none could enjoy before our Lord died and rose.

The Old Testament saints hung on God's promise; and perhaps some believers may be "grasping at the promises" now. Would to God all knew better! Do not suppose that anything is meant disrespectful to the ancients, or unkind to anybody here or elsewhere. Would to God you might be aroused from clinging only to what was then of faith, true and right, according to God, when there was nothing more! But, now that an incomparably "better thing" is revealed, why do you saints so obstinately cleave to that which fails to express the full grace of God towards your soul? It is not merely a promised Messiah, but the rejected and crucified Son of man, Who was dead, and is risen and now glorified in heaven. Has all that He wrought made no difference? The atoning work is done. It is no longer promise, but accomplishment. This has made a vast difference for God; surely it ought to make at least as great a difference for you, and it would if you by faith understood the gospel. We are brought into proportionately greater privileges.

The work the Father gave the Son to do is accomplished to His glory, Who has therefore glorified the Son and is now giving every blessing short of our resurrection for His heavenly kingdom. We are even seated in heavenly places in Christ, though not yet taken in person to be seated with Him in heaven. How strong and holy is that great basis of Christianity as revealed in 2 Corinthians 5! Him Who knew no sin He made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. What a blessed character of righteousness is come to us before God! It is what Christ is made to us from God.

When the Holy Ghost was given, it was, as our Lord said, to convince the world of three things — of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, on what ground? Because they violated the law? Not so, nor because they had an accusing conscience, but "because they believe not on Me." A Gentile only thinks of himself; a Jew perhaps of the law, as some others seem to know no better, though they ought; but scripture puts the true measure. Christ brought in the perfect standard. "The law made nothing perfect." There is now the introduction of a better hope, and the rejection of Christ therefore becomes the great sin. If He had not come, and spoken, as well as done, beyond all others, they had not had sin; but now they had no excuse for their sin. They had both seen and hated both Him and His Father — yea, hated Him without a cause. The test-sin therefore is the not believing on Him. Whatever people may argue for other things, Christ is God's present full standard.

But what is the demonstration in respect of "righteousness"? As the world is by the Spirit proved to be unrighteous, because it rejected the Holy One; so God the Father has proved His righteousness, because He has received the rejected Christ to His own right hand. "Because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more." From this point of view Christ is lost to the world. When He comes again, it will not be to present Himself in grace or to preach the kingdom. He will come to judge both quick and dead; He will judge the habitable earth in righteousness. It will not be the day of grace as now, in order that men may believe on Him. This will be all past. The world proved its unrighteousness by crucifying Christ; but the Father received the rejected Son, so that He is thus seen no more. Righteousness is proved in Christ gone to the Father at the right hand of God in heaven: and thereby we who believe are made God's righteousness in Him. We are associated with Christ at the right hand of God. What a high character of righteousness this is! Truly it is the righteousness of God, though infant tongues among the children of God have not yet learned to lisp it aright. But oh! what a blessed privilege! It is not merely a perfect life of obedience under the law on the earth as a whole, nor a making reparation for countless failures of His people in all the isolated details of their lives; but as God showed His righteousness in raising up and glorifying the rejected One, so do we also by grace become God's righteousness in Him. That man in Christ should be in God's glory on high is His righteousness; that, in an unbelieving world, we who believe should be identified with Him in that glory by virtue of His work of redemption is another wondrous result of that same righteousness of God.

This, one can see, is connected in the closest way with the sin-offering, the bullock slain for Aaron and his house. No doubt the believers of Israel looked for the Messiah to come in the due time and bless the people. But when the Son of man comes, He will after solemn judgment, reign in Zion expressly, but over the earth (Ps. 2, Zech. 14); and there will be a temple, veil, priesthood, etc., once more. Now Christians from among the Jews for themselves merge their earthly expectation in the better and heavenly hope, suitable to knowing Christ as we do on high, instead of in connection with the earth. For indeed there is now but "one body and one Spirit." Therefore do we (if we understand our calling, though we rightly begin as poor sinners outside) enter within the sanctuary, whence the Spirit is come out, while Christ is there, to unite us to Him. It is where Christ is hidden from man, hidden in God, that we, Jews or Gentiles, now know Him. Instead of His coming forth from the sanctuary to give us remission of sins, as it will be verified by grace to expectant Israel by and by, the Holy Ghost is sent down by the Father and the Son to associate us with Christ in the glory where He sits now. This distinctively is Christianity. Would to God that every one of us entered into this and more as our proper portion! It is not now laid before us, as a merely interesting doctrine, but as truth bound up with Christ's glory, and hence of the deepest moment for the Spirit Who blesses our souls in glorifying Him.

Along with it goes the third truth which the Spirit demonstrates already to the world, judgment; "because the prince of this world hath been judged" (John 16:11). It was Satan who united the otherwise irreconcilable enemies, the Jews and the Gentiles, as a God-hating world in crucifying His Son the Lord of glory. Being judged himself in that heinous misjudgment, he was proved this world's ruler in such daring rebellion against the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is now here, because the rupture is thus full and final, to carry out divine purposes entirely outside and above the world to God's glory.

As the Jew then was in danger of overlooking the relationships, and hence the duties, of Israel, so are we exposed specially to forget our own place and our own responsibility. An active and subtle foe would ever dishonour God by our failure as by theirs. We need, therefore, to be watchful that we neglect not that which most nearly concerns the glory of God by us. And as Christ is objectively the truth, so is He the only one Who works by the Holy Ghost and the word to keep us from all mistakes and guide us into all the truth. We should be wholly unfit for any such call of grace, unless, having life in the Son, we had peace through the blood of Christ's cross. But as believers, we have eternal life in Him, the self-same life of Christ which was shown and tried and proved in all its perfection on the earth. And our consciences are purged by the blood which rent the veil and opened the way into the holies, God in all His moral being and majesty being for ever glorified thereby. It is because Christ is in the holiest, and we by faith know Him while there, the Holy Ghost is sent forth not only that we may enjoy the blessed fruit of Christ's work, but that we may enter freely, boldly, in spirit where He is. When the Lord comes forth for the people, there will be quite another condition.

But one ought to point out, how before He quits heaven, we have in ver. 16 the reconciliation of the holy place and the altar, no man being there but the high priest while He makes atonement for it till He comes out (ver. 17-19). The counterpart of this we read in Heb. 9:23, "The heavenly things themselves, with better sacrifices than these." Such is God's nice care for His dwelling, to which we allude by the way. No man was to be with the high priest in this unutterably solemn action. He does it all Himself. He was for this purpose alone with God. Nothing mingled with the atonement of Christ. That it should be absolutely fit for the divine glory, the highest perfection for His own to enjoy, He does the work in His own person to the exclusion of every other. This made all sure. How precious to God the Father, and how blessed for us, whose souls should delight not only in the work, but in Him who did all, suffered all, perfectly to God's glory, that all might be of faith according to grace!

LECTURE 4.

LEVITICUS 16:20-23.

Azazel, or, the people's lot.

The subject-matter calling for present consideration is the detail which God gives us of the scapegoat. This will be made somewhat clearer by recalling, for comparison in a general way, the force of Jehovah's lot, or the first goat. For there were, as we have seen, two goats on behalf of Israel. Unquestionably they together constituted the sin-offering (ver. 5), and both were set before Jehovah (ver. 7); but the first goat is of the two the more important in its aim. Its aspect is not toward the people, but toward Jehovah. It was strictly and manifestly Godward. This is to be particularly noticed; because the constant danger of the heart when awakened is to think only of what will relieve it of its newly-felt distress. One becomes absorbed with a remedy for the disease, which the Spirit of God gives the soul to discern, that utter ruin through sin by which it is then truly burdened, and for which it pours out its groans and lamentations to God for mercy.

Now the first goat or Jehovah's lot takes up quite another necessity — His glory, as being struck at and violated by sin. That one soul should be in fact delivered, Jehovah's lot were essential, and in the first place as it is. Before there could be on any righteous basis the issue of saving sinners, God must be glorified about sin, and here Jehovah's lot finds its place. Therefore it is that by virtue of the blood which was carried within the veil, and put upon the mercy-seat and before it, God has His deep satisfaction in that infinite work of His Son, our Lord Jesus; for it has replaced man's iniquity by His own devotedness exclusively ( to the uttermost, and at all cost) to God's nature and glory. God found His rest in that blood, which spoke of divine love and perfect suffering for sin. The incense was rather the sweet savour under judgment of His personal grace.

But the obedience was perfected in shame and suffering up to a death of judgment on sin itself, and such a death as could never be known by any save the Son of God. The work was done, so that all hindrance from sin is taken away; and God can righteously send out the message of His grace to every creature under heaven. We saw that this could not be revealed while the law had a standing. The law necessarily looked at Israel only. They were the people, they only, under it. All other nations were without and unclean, or, according to the ancient figure, dogs, whatever might be the [pitying] affections of God; though God was always plenteous in mercy, and in Himself love, as truly as light. Still, whatever might be not only God's nature, but also His purpose, as long as the barrier of the law was before Him, until it was righteously taken down, there could not be as yet the expression of that grace which in the death of our Lord Jesus swept away every obstacle between God's love and man in his sins.

We must remember that all this time, while the day of atonement was pre-figured for Israel, the law was in power over them. It would have neutralised that law if the grace had been revealed which treats a Gentile, even who believes, exactly as a Jew. Law in point of fact is the system which insists on the distinction between the chosen seed of Abraham and the nations. That this is now done away is essentially true of the gospel, as well as of the church of God; and both the gospel and the church are the fruit, not of the type but of the anti-type, of Christ. The Day of Atonement which Israel observed once a year kept up the difference; but the grace and truth which came by Jesus and shone out in the cross, as well as the light of the glory, have now set aside every shadow of the sort. This entirely accounts for the fact that we hear nothing at all about the Gentiles in the type. At the same time we may notice again how little is said of Israel in the first goat. The reason is plain. God was in the highest degree concerned; He therefore must be glorified; His nature as light and love must be vindicated, as must be also His majesty and His truth in atonement.

All this was the object sought in the first goat, as far as a figure could show it. There was Jehovah's lot. But was this all that atonement includes? Far from it. That which far more nearly concerns and immediately contemplates the sinner, comes before us in the second goat; and this it is of which we have been reading just now.

"And when he had made an end of reconciling (or, atoning for) the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and altar, etc." But this goes along with the first goat. So it was with the bullock, save that it had the special idea of providing for the priestly house. Both in the first goat and in the bullock there was not only the vindication of God as to His own glory in having to do with those who were sinful, but, further, the reconciliation of the heavenly places set forth by the sanctuary, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar.

This is not at all left to be interpreted by our imagination. In the first chapter to the Colossians we have the answering truth: "And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself." What is meant by "all things"? People on earth, or those in heaven? Neither. Creation at large is here, "All things....whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens." To prove that such is the meaning, you have only to read on, "And you hath He reconciled." Nothing can be more exact. The reconciling of "all things," not of "us" only, is bound up with the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. There we hear of God's great future purpose, when peace was made through the blood of His cross, "by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself." Notably there next follows the application of Christ's reconciling work to those who now believe.

It is the order we have here too: "And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat; and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins." Here is given a most lively picture of that which the soul, when awakened, feels to be an intolerable burden. The high priest is seen and heard occupying himself simply and solely with the distressed heart and burdened conscience of Israel. For all that which might well have overwhelmed the soul God provides for according to rich mercy. "Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins." One may well repeat the quotation. Can one conceive language more fitted to take up whatever was thus resting heavily as a heart trouble? How deeply affecting that God should testify so strongly His desire, that they should not be charged with crushing weight upon their souls! "Aaron..... shall confess over him all the iniquities, etc."

It has been already pointed out that in the first goat there was no laying on of hands, any more than there was at that time confession of their sins. Nevertheless what was done exceeds in importance; for there is nothing that so completely goes to the root of sin as God's judgment of it in death; nor does anything more testify to the cancelling of the defilement of sin than the fact that the blood was put on the mercy-seat and before it. It was God met in what sin deserved, and His witness borne that, if sin cannot escape the presence of God, He had provided that the blood which cleanses from all should penetrate there. Thus, what abides before God is not the sin, but the blood which makes full atonement for the sin. Still the sinners were as yet outside. There was no question at all of putting blood upon them. Therein lies one serious misapprehension, and indeed ruinous mistake, as to atonement.

Men only think of the sinner in the work of our Lord Jesus. But not so: the primary aspect of atonement is toward God. Sin is judged before Him. But the sinner is fully considered in his place; and when he does come before us, we have the utmost minuteness of confession. Is there anything that has a more searching and purging effect than confession? Romanism knows how to avail itself of it humanly; for the weaker is the faith of any one, the greater the comfort that he takes from pouring out the acknowledgment of his sins into the ear of a fellow-mortal. God is little or nothing in such a case; but the man's own hardened mind feels intense relief from the assumption that the priest to whom he confesses stands authoritatively in the room of God, and is entitled to absolve man in His name.

Now whatever of truth there is in confession comes here before us in its most important form. Not that one in the least would deny that there is confession on the part of the soul. We know from the First Epistle of John, that "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse as from all unrighteousness." This is an important truth morally, the "cleansing from all unrighteousness." The desire to hide aught from God is a wrong, and there never is a wrong done to Him but what involves with it loss to the soul that is not delivered from evil. But what is it that opens the heart and gives confidence in confession? The certainty that another has charged Himself with the whole of our sins in all their enormity. Who He is is not doubtful. Jesus is the only Man Who knew, and felt, and owned all the sins. We do not speak of His death only as propitiating, nor of our conscience; for much of true and humbling grief consists in the feeling that our self-judgment is so shallow. This then could not give rest to the troubled soul. How blessed to have an absolutely full confession by one so competent as the High Priest!

According to the language of the New Testament, the mediator between God and man is a man, Christ Jesus. Were He not God, it were little indeed; but, being God, it is an infinitely essential and comforting truth that He was also the responsible man Who, knowing every secret thing of every man, told out all the sins and iniquities of every believer to God in the same perfection as He suffered sacrificially. He became man that there might be an adequate representative for our sins laid, felt and abhorred before God. The same One, Who to judge must search the reins and the hearts of all, does here in grace identify Himself with "innumerable evils," with our iniquities, as His own, so as to be unable to look up. It is not priestly work within the holies, but the Holy One our substitute in absolute integrity of confession, represented here by the high priest. He it is whose hands are laid upon the head of the goat. The blood was shed and carried into the presence of God, as the groundwork; yet the sins were none the less but the more confessed unsparingly. God was thus furnishing in type the fulness of Christ's work for Israel; for Israel comes up in the most distinct manner when we have the second goat. Then and there the sins are confessed in all their extent and variety of guilt.

The same principle is in what our Lord said to the sinful woman of whom we read in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Grace does not in the least degree extenuate the sins of the saved. This could not be in salvation according to God. Christ makes no excuse for her, whatever the traps that may have been laid for her in her life of folly. She had not always behaved as she did of late; yet had she been long a sinner in the deepest sense, as were those who despised her. But she was now, as alas! too few are, at the feet of Jesus. There she was, it is true, without a word; but all she did, and all she felt, were perfectly open to His gaze, though she stood behind Him. He did not need to have her before His face. All was in the light to Him; and if not a word was uttered, her ways, thoughts, feelings, were fully and equally known to Him Who reads the life of every soul. To Him only she looked for the mercy she needed. Therefore, said He, "her sins, which are many, are forgiven." Yet surely here was no glossing over her sins.

It was not enough to say, "They are to be all met shortly in the atoning blood;" they are none the less aggravated but the more, because of the grace which gave in Christ the blood that alone can cleanse all away. They are felt every one in all its own heinousness. They were laid upon the head of the live goat; for such was the form which God prescribed to give Israel satisfactory witness that their sins were gone, and, as far as the figure was concerned, gone never to be found again.

No doubt under the law eternity does not strictly appear; but what was yearly to the Jews is for ever to the Christian. We are not left to an inference of reasoning in this matter, but have the positive and distinct revelation of God in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Heb. 10:1-2). What God then testified was, at least to worshippers once purged, "no more conscience of sins."

Have you, my dear friends, such a clearance by the blood of Christ as gives you "no more" conscience of sins? How rare a thing it is to find a child of God freed from all burden or doubt! In a mere man there is no sign of hardness more terrible than to have "no" conscience of sins. The quickening work of the Holy Spirit produces the deepest sense of sins before God. But the effect of the work of Christ is that, while the sense of sin is awakened in the highest degree, the soul is delivered from all dread or anxiety, because of the judgment on the cross which our Lord has already borne. Faith rests on this as the word of God for one's own guilt. The soul at first believing on Christ has a deep and divinely given conscience of his sins; but he also believes what God wrought by Christ's cross to blot out sins and give peace with Himself. Thus it is he is so purged as to have "no more consience of sins." To doubt that they are effaced is to dishonour Christ's work, and God's grace.

Let it be observed in this case that there is no vagueness. The live goat is most definite in its application. We hear confessed over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins. It is not mere piece-meal work; not just thus far and no farther; not 999 sins out of a thousand, or even 9999 out of ten thousand. Far be it from our hearts to make light of that which is abhorrent to the very nature of God, of which we now partake, as the apostle Peter lets us know. He that is born of God sinneth not, as says St. John. But there is on the one hand the facts that we have sin, and that we did sin. Any endeavour either to deny sin in us (1 John 1:8), and that we have sinned (1 John 1:10), or to make an apology for it, is as obnoxious to God as destructive morally. On the other hand God has brought in Christ to annul sin from the universe finally, as He now does for every one that believes. But sacrifice (prefiguring Christ's) was the way of Abel by faith. It was the way of Cain to offer the fruits of the earth, wholly indifferent to the curse of God, as if He were as oblivious of sin as such an offerer is. Certainly such a one soon betrayed murderous hatred of him who was accepted when himself was refused. No hatred is so deep as against God's light and love.

Alas! it is the too constant history of souls, that when they find themselves and their worship unacceptable to God, they turn away in despair, and seek to bury themselves in the pursuits and hopes and enjoyments of the world. This too was "the way of Cain." If you, on the other hand, have been awakened to feel your sins and your sinfulness, have you now "no more conscience of sins"? This is what the apostle Paul contrasts as a Christian privilege of the first magnitude with an Old Testament worshipper resting on his annual sacrifices. Their effect was temporal; consequently they had to be repeated, whenever the anxious calls of another year arose. This could not perfectly suit either God or man. No adequate sacrifice had yet abolished sin before Him; an inadequate one could not make the comers thereunto perfect. Once the worshippers were divinely purged, they had "no more conscience of sins."

This is what alone meets God and the believer, a basis of righteousness, where the Christian is perfectly cleansed. One is not now speaking of his being dead and risen with Christ, which line of truth does not occur in the Epistle to the Hebrews; still less is there any question of being members of Christ. A more fundamental need is met by the sacrifice of Christ, which none can overlook without loss and danger, not to speak of the fresh and deep interest with which it invests the Old Testament. In Hebrews 2 we are "all of one"; but we are nowhere there exactly said to be one spirit with the Lord. The body of Christ and the baptism of the Spirit are not revealed there. It never rises up to the revelation that we are one with Christ, — members of the body of which He is the Head on high. Indeed, to have introduced this truth in the Epistle to the Hebrews would have been wholly out of harmony; because the Spirit here occupies us with the divine idea of the sacrifices and the priesthood. Such are the two pillars of the Epistle to the Hebrews, resting on the personal glory of our Lord, Son of God and Son of man in one person. Hence, instead of learning that we are one with Him glorified, we are taught in all its force that He died for our sins, and that He now appears before the face of God for us. "For us" and "head of the body" are two totally different departments of truth. It would have brought in complete confusion to have mingled them in the same communication.

The same writer, I do not doubt, was inspired by God to make both known; for all should explode the precarious theories, old or new, that Barnabas, or Titus, or Silas, or anybody else than the great apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. It is not a mere question of tradition, which is never sure, but holy scripture (2 Peter 3) intimates it clearly. However differing in style as being addressed to Christian Israelites, below the surface it bears the intrinsic marks of Paul most thoroughly in its depth, height, and comprehensive sweep. For instance we see from the very beginning Christ in heaven in the full rights of His work on earth. There He is seated at the right hand of the majesty on high. It is not that He is traced up to heaven merely as by Peter; but there He is found throughout the whole Epistle. It was thus that Paul was converted; he only saw Christ in heaven. Therefore it is that he calls the good news the gospel of Christ's glory — the glory of God in Christ's face. It was so that it pleased God to reveal His Son in Paul who learnt that to persecute His saints was to persecute Him. The Epistle to the Hebrews bears the imprint just as strongly as any other, though in a remarkably different form, as from the apostle of the uncircumcision writing to the circumcision as an inspired teacher.

What we gather from Hebrews then — returning to the great truth before us — is, that God would give the Christian the distinct knowledge that all his sins are so completely gone that he is already free to draw near habitually to Him revealed as He is. How could the witness to that clearance be represented so well as in the figure of a live animal — the second goat — charged with all the iniquities and transgressions and sins confessed upon its head, and, by a man appointed, or in readiness, to be sent into a solitary land, i.e. let go in the wilderness?

You must drop from your mind all thoughts of resurrection here. It is well known that some are disposed to see the resurrection in the type. It seems rather a taking thought that, as with the two birds in the cleansing of the leper (Lev. 14), so we should have in the first goat death, with resurrection to follow in the live goat. But when the matter is looked into somewhat more closely, it will be found that the interpretation cannot really hold. When Christ rose from the dead, it was in view of His going to heaven, whereas the live goat here is sent into the wilderness. But the wilderness cannot represent a scene of glory: heaven is anything but a land that is not inhabited. No; resurrection has no place whatever in this type; which is just God giving a lively figure of the sins that were confessed dismissed to where they could never be found again.

It is beyond controversy that in the New Testament the resurrection of Christ is treated as the blessed proof that our sins are remitted; as it is said, "He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification." But we must be content with the type that God has given us here. We must not interweave truths that are really distinct by a forced connection of our own. It is quite enough to say that, as the sequel of Jehovah's lot, we have here the people's lot; and that in this case the sins confessed by the high priest and laid on the head of the scape-goat, are by this most significant action sent away, never to be reappear more. If this be really what is intended by it, certainly it cannot be denied to be of the deepest moment to souls.

Now we come to an important difference between the two goats. The first goat, we have seen, was not expressly limited like the second; the bearing of the Antitype assuredly is infinite. It was not only that the first goat was slain, and the blood carried into the holiest, but we hear of it also atoning for the holy place, the tabernacle and the altar. The application of the blood goes far beyond man. Just in the same way in the New Testament the blood of Christ is not at all limited to His people or that to which it is now applied. Its efficacy is also boundless for all those who come at God's call, and believe in Christ.

But the assumption that His blood has no scope beyond the elect is a serious error. Not that to me God's electing love is a doubtful question, but as sure as any other truth of revelation, and a spring of solid comfort to the household of faith, humbling to man's pride and glorifying to the God of all grace. One may be quite willing to allow, therefore, that election is behind the second goat, if such an expression may be allowed. For there limitation comes; but the first goat typically is unlimited in its range. For this reason is grounded upon it the going forth of the gospel to every creature under heaven. What can be less limited, if other truth be safeguarded? Nothing can be conceived more disastrous to the unmeasured width of the gospel than to address the elect merely. The Lord commanded that it be preached to every creature. Therefore you do well to act on His word, and need not fear for God's glory. Be assured that God has found a ransom and is fully vindicated. Do not imagine for a moment that you are in danger of going beyond what the blood of Christ deserves, and what God estimates of His ineffable sacrifice. Were there a thousand worlds to save, were there sinners beyond all that exist to hear God's glad tidings, there is that in the blood of Jesus which would meet every sinner of every world. Such is the unlimited value God finds in the death of His Son.

Yet if God did no more than proclaim the gospel, no person would hearken or could find peace. You may be arrested by the gospel, you may receive the word straightway with joy; but the word so received by nothing deeper than the affections comes as quickly to nought. The soul requires more than that, and the believer by grace is the object of a deeper work. The truth pierces the conscience under the hand of God's Spirit; and the believer being thus brought to God, in a true self-judgment as well as sense of His grace in the person and work of Christ, is justified from all things. Hence one is not entitled to say to an unconverted person "Your sins are blotted out, and you are justified from all things." It is going beyond the word of God for a servant of His to tell an unbeliever that by the work of Christ he, and all the world, are saved; so that all they need is to believe it. On the contrary, till you believe God about His Son, you are yet in your sins. "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved and thy house."

In going beyond God's gospel, you are preaching a spurious one of your own. You are bolder than man ought to be, without the word of God, and even against it. That the blood of Christ is capable of meeting every needy soul is assuredly true. But you have no warrant to tell a soul, until there is faith in Christ, that his sins are all gone. When he believes the gospel, you are entitled to tell him, in virtue of the truth figured in the second goat, that Christ bore his sins in His own body on the tree, and bore them away for ever. The work of propitiation is seen under the first goat. When the sins are confessed and sent away, then is the comfort of knowing that all the heavy burden is clean gone never to reappear. This cannot be said to every soul. Here it is that the limitation to Israel has its importance. The people are concerned in the second goat in a very definite manner. In the former case, it was Jehovah's lot; in the second place, it is the people's lot. By the "people" is not meant everybody, but (as far as Leviticus speaks) the chosen nation, and that nation only. But why reason like a Calvanist to limit the God of grace? Would you narrow the glad tidings of God?

No doubt if you believe the gospel, you are one of God's elect, you are one of His children, crying, Abba, Father. Now you know from His word that you were the object of God's love before the world was made; but you had no right to appropriate one word about it until you believed in His Son. Till then all beyond was outside you; the fact is that you were a child of wrath like another. But when the soul confesses Christ, when the blood is owned in its propitiating value, then you have a true title from God to hear, "Your sins, which are many, are forgiven." Then the full truth can apply unhesitatingly to the soul which believes and repents. For there never is a divinely wrought repentance without a divinely given faith, nor a divinely given faith without a kindred repentance. Be ready to comfort a soul whenever there is either the one or the other apparent. For in some cases the soul is fuller of joy in Jesus as the Saviour than in judgment of self; in others it is filled with anguish of its sins before God, so as to cloud the sense of pardoning love. This should not be, for the gospel is plain. Yet what can be more wholesome for the soul than to pass through a searching self-judgment in the sight of God? Be not uneasy about such a tried one, nor hurry it too much. Do not turn him away prematurely from these profitable exercises of conscience, along with looking to Christ and the cross. Let him bow to an overwhelming sense of his own evil, while learning what the grace of God has wrought in the Lord Jesus; but do not enfeeble that deep work of unsparing self-judgment before God. You may now say confidently in the Lord's name, "Your sins are completely borne away." This for any believer is just the teaching of the scapegoat.

Be it repeaedt that here you have not the broad truth of the work of expiation effected by His blood that grace is sending out to all the world — the work which has for ever vindicated the glory of God where sin had put dishonour on Him, and which leaves Him righteously free to bless according to all that is in His heart. Here we see the witness to what is imperatively needed for the unburdening of the soul. Yet the second goat would be ineffective and vain without the first. If God be not first approached with atoning blood, it is the merest delusion to extract from the scapegoat the shadow of a comfort that your sins are borne away.

But the New Testament speaks so plainly that we may turn profitably to a few scriptures in illustration. Take the earliest that can be in order, the first chapter of Matthew: "Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for it is He that shall save His people from their sins." "Save His people" does not mean save everybody. By "His people" is not meant those of all nations. Jesus is shown to be the divine Messiah. Jehovah's people are His people whom He will save from their sins, and not merely come to govern, as a Jew might have thought. His glory is divine; He is truly Emmanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us. Yea, if possible, He is more than Emmanuel, He is Jehovah. He was therefore to be called Jesus, which involves the ineffable name of Jehovah, "For He shall save His people from their sins." Thus all is definite. The Saviour accomplishes the gracious purpose of God.

In the same Gospel of Matthew, later on, we have not merely words about the Lord, but His own words. Some have the feeling that when we have the very expressions of our blessed Lord, there is more in them than in any other communications of scripture, though these may ever so forcibly set forth the same truth. There is indeed a majesty and a depth in the utterance of our Saviour, which is quite peculiar and characteristic of Himself; but the authority of scripture throughout is really and precisely the same. The moment you bring in varying degrees of authority, you undermine the essence of its power, by introducing uncertainty; and uncertainty as to God's word is deadly. However this be, in Matthew 20:28 it is written, "Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for" — all? Nay; for "many."

There is indeed a true sense in which our Lord is a ransom for all; and the apostle speaks of it in 1 Tim. 2, "the testimony to be borne in its own seasons." But a nice difference distinguishes the two texts. When, as in Matthew, it is a ransom for many, we have it clearly defined. The "for" is "instead of" (ἀντὶ) many. It is strict substitution. When, as in 1 Timothy, all are in view, it is simply "on behalf of" (ὑπὲρ) all. "For" has not always the same sense in Scripture. It is the more needful to make the remark, because so many are apt to reason, that if "for" means one thing in one place, it must have the same force in another. Now take Romans 4:25, He "was delivered for our offences," and next "raised again for our justification." The "for" (διὰ), though it be in Greek the stronger case of the same word, does not mean the same thing in the two clauses. "For our offences" expresses the reason why He was given up; but His being raised is in order to our justification, not because we were justified, which would contradict the truth, and particularly the words immediately after in Romans 5:1.

Perhaps the prejudices of some may be wounded at hearing this; but let me try to convince you, if indeed open to conviction, that what has been said is true. It would involve the consequence that a man is justified before he believes, which is clearly a falsehood. It is by faith that one is justified, not before he believes. If this last were allowed, just think of the inevitable consequences. One is a child of God while still a child of wrath! under guilty condemnation while justified! Can you conceive anything more heinous as well as monstrous, as it might well be, flying in the face of scripture? None but the believer is justified. Before he believed, he was neither washed, nor sanctified, nor justified. It is not a question of God's purpose, but of man's faith. Beyond just doubt there was divine purpose before man or the world was made; but what has this to do with the epoch when a man is justified? How absurd to argue that a man is justified before he is born! That God has a purpose of grace about him is another truth; but in order to justification, he must be born again and believe the gospel, receiving Christ at God's word. You cannot have a man justified without knowing Him. Justification is a condition of immunity into which a person is brought by faith. "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Justification, it is allowed, must have a adequate basis, or (according to men's ordinary theological language) rest on an duly meritorious cause. But the antecedent ground before God must not be confounded with the means or principle by which the soul is brought into it. If scripture decide, a man is not justified until he believes in Christ, and has consequently peace with God. Peace with Him is a state of mind that the man cannot have without knowing that he has it. It is dangerous work, and ruinous to the soul, to tell a man that he has peace with God, if he have no enjoyment of it. Peace is that blessed change which possesses the soul when, through believing in Christ, he gives up warfare against God. When he receives, not only the Saviour, but the atoning work which the Saviour has effected, he rests upon Him before God. Then, and not before, having been justified by faith, he has peace with God to the praise of Christ, not of his faith, though without faith it cannot be.

So also, if we appeal to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, we read in chap. 15 how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3). Now this is a great truth to lay before an anxious or truly enquiring soul. But you cannot apply it save in a vague and general manner to an unbeliever. You can freely say that He tasted death for every one (perhaps indeed every "thing"), Heb. 2:9. If He had not died as a sacrifice for sin, if He had not shed His blood as propitiation, there could have been no gospel to a guilty world. But it is when the soul believes God as to the efficacy of Christ's death, that the burden of guilt is taken away; for this has the surest warrant of God to every one that believes. Where faith is, we cannot exaggerate the assurance He gives to the soul.

Accordingly in Galatians 2:20, if we turn now to the next Epistle after those to the Corinthians, Christ "loved me and gave Himself for me." Impossible to have language more individual. It is not merely the general truth that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Here the soul, now believing, is entitled to claim the love of Christ specially, "He loved me and gave Himself for me." Are you entitled to preach this to an unbeliever? No scripture warrants or admits of such a licence.

But we may briefly look back at the third chapter of the Epistle to the Romans too, more cursorily now, though it was recently used at greater length: "Whom God set forth as a propitiatory through faith in His blood, for the showing of His righteousness, for the passing over of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; for showing, at this time, of His righteousness, that He might be just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus." Evidently there is no such thing as justifying unless there be also the believing in Jesus. Faith in God's message must exist in order to justification.

Still the message goes forth "to all"; for in verse 23 it is written, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all." But the moment you come to application, it is said, "And upon all those that believe." These are justified, but the word of grace goes out to every one. Thus the two truths are borne witness to in a remarkable manner throughout the New Testament. There is universal proclamation by virtue of Christ's precious blood; and there is the positive assurance of justification wherever there is faith in Him. So in Romans 5 we are told, "God commends His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."

We may observe, by the way, that Scripture speaks in three ways of justification as the need of man naturally unrighteous: — justified by His grace (Titus 3:7), if we speak of the source; justified by His blood (Rom. 5:9), if we seek the procuring cause in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ; and justified by faith, if we ask the way by which the soul is individually brought into the blessing (Rom. 5:1).

You may have heard possibly that there are those who will have faith to mean the sum and substance of all Christian virtues! This is in principle to annul the gospel of God. Faith means the soul's reception of divine testimony. He who believes is one who sets to his seal that God is true. If God testifies of Jesus as His Son, he who believes receives it heartily. It is for the guilty and lost: how then can it be the sum and substance of all Christian virtues, when the gospel is expressly for any poor soul as a lost sinner? When we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Take even a stronger word, "To him that works not, but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness." Is this the sum and substance of Christian virtues? It is the full contradiction of such unbelief. It is the full contradiction of such unbelief. Yet it is not simply believing God, or receiving His testimony; it is trust in Him and in His grace. Compare 1 Peter 1:21. There is enlarged exercise of faith, through Christ, on God Himself.

Alas! what is thus expressed is the doctrine of men that heard, but do not understand the gospel: though the particular person referred to is the late Dr. Pusey, and indeed men of his party, besides that school in particular. Their heterodoxy or rather misbelief is, that in effect we become our own saviours by the help of the Holy Ghost. Redemption is unknown, little as they suspect it; for outwardly they pay reverence to more than Christ, some seeming to adore the sign of the cross. They believe that Christ died to put every one, especially the baptised, in the way of salvation, although without baptism nobody in general can be saved. Thus when it comes to the application, they bring in ordinances and morally the sum of all Christian virtues. So that it is a complete robbing the Lord of His redemption spoil, as it deprives the lost of all possibility of peace with God. How could any upright man say to God, "Now let me have peace with Thee, for I have the sum and substance of all the Christian virtues." The very thing the Holy Spirit has been proving home is, that the soul has not one good thing in the estimate of God; and therefore is it forced to fall back on His sovereign mercy in Christ. The idea completely nullifies the direct operation of God in quickening souls, as well as in redemption. Yet these are the sentiments of pious men, but withal sadly blinded by human tradition. They read the Bible only through deceiving mists, unless when they defend it in some little measure against rationalists; for their ignorance of truth is deplorable.

There is no more fruitful source of darkening the spiritual understanding than the allowance of man between the soul and God. How perilous at the solemn moment of a soul's coming for the first time into God's marvellous light, the revealing of the Saviour for eternity!

But, passing on, we may see the same truth in the twin Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, and with no small precision and brilliancy, while each assumes a somewhat different shape. For instance, "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (Eph. 1:7)." Although redemption and atonement are very distinguishable, they are indeed none the less in fact inseparable. You cannot have atonement without redemption, or redemption without atonement. Therefore it appears to me quite lawful to adduce the force of these scriptures into the case. As all is based on the blood of Christ, so none can be enjoyed without faith. The "we" who "have redemption," are those who believe, those described in a previous verse as the faithful in Christ. Col. 1:14 omits "throuh His blood."

So again we may look at a scripture very distinct indeed in the First Epistle of Peter. I purposely pass over the Epistle to the Hebrews for the moment; but in 1 Peter 2 we have what distinctly refers to Christ making good the Day of Atonement. "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps; Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered, threatened not, but committed [Himself] to Him that judges righteously; Who His own self bare our sins in His body on the tree." It is not "up to" the tree. The margin, after many others, so gave it; but this was an ignorant and total oversight of the sacrificial language of the Old Testament. There are two forms employed in the LXX, and always distinctly. When it is a question of "up to," or "to," another different preposition is compounded. Where the one found here is expressed, it invariably means "upon," and not "to." It is allowed that in other connections this may not always hold; but in sacrificial language the distinction is certain and constant. Now it is plain that here the apostle Peter is referring to the sacrificial language of the Old Testament. All his Epistle indeed abounds in allusions of a similar kind. If the world tells us that Peter was an unlearned man, let not believers forget that the Holy Ghost inspired him. There may be no show of human reasoning or rhetoric, no effort to gild the golden truths in what he was given to announce; but the language for all that is divinely accurate. Any unbiassed scholar ought to understand it also on the surface of the passage. The believer ought to be sure.

It is sadly plain that there is, at the bottom of all these efforts to mystify, a want of faith in the true inspiration of God's word as well as in the perfect efficacy of Christ's work. But let me refer to another point showing how unfounded is the idea that our Lord was bearing sins all His life. The word "bare" excludes the desired notion. "Bare" (ἀνήνεγκεν) does not convey continuity but a transient act. The aorist is the definite expression of such a fact. It expresses therefore what took place on the cross, certainly not what was in process before, any more than after. Christ's bearing our sins in His body was complete then, and only then. The form of the word excludes anything begun before that solemn epoch, and it implies a completeness on the cross, where it began. Therefore the notion "up to" is false, not perhaps in the form of the word itself, but in its sacrificial usage, which the tense confirms.

We may add another thing. When our Lord became a sin-bearer, He was surrounded by a supernatural darkness. It is notorious that, on scientific grounds, there could not have been an eclipse at that time. It was not then a mere natural shadow; it was a supernatural darkness. There were other supernatural tokens which accompanied it. The veil of the temple was rent from top to bottom. The graves were opened. The sun was darkened, and the darkness, we know, was absolutely unique. Thus and then it was that Christ was made sin for us. If Christ had been bearing our sins all His life, there might well have been these mysterious tokens all the while. If Christ had been made sin before, He must as such have been forsaken of God. But plainly the forsaking of God was then, and only then. The supernatural darkness, the forsaking of God, and all the other wonderful signs, marked the presence of a crisis unequalled and unfathomable, which stands apart from all that went before. Is it too much, with scripture for our warrant, to add that in all eternity there never can be such a crisis again? How blessed to know that they all point to Christ made sin for us. No doubt it was God's doing for His own glory, whatever the wickedness of the creature in its part about it. The heart is not to be envied which can reason such things away, instead of growing by the truth that what Christ suffered that day constitutes the most important fact of God and man that ever was, or can be.

When a soul is awakened, not merely to the deep and outrageous evil done to the Son of God, but to His and the Father's unspeakable grace in achieving infinitely more than creature could either do or suffer, that sin might be judged and put away as well as forgiven, and God be glorified even as to that which in itself is most hateful to His nature, how immense the change and blessed the victory of good over evil! Conscience, in us who believe, feels that God ought to be vindicated. But if faith cannot but care for His moral glory, yet more has God set His heart on the blessing of man lost in sin. Therefore has He in the cross of Christ made peace, and given us to have redemption through His blood, rising in the majesty of His love above our hatred where it was vilest against His Son going down to the uttermost to save us out of our miserable selfishness, rebellious works, and foreboding of just wrath and judgment. He therefore gives us to know that the same death of our Lord Jesus Christ was both the complete meeting of His glory as Judge of sin on the one hand, and the blotting out by His blood of our sins on the other. Irreconcilable everywhere else, they are united in the reality of Christ's death; as His person alone afforded the sole Being capable of solving the problem of sin to the sinner's blessing and God's majesty and truth as well as His love.

The sending away of the people's sins, grounded on the sin-offering of Atonement Day, is the meaning of the scapegoat. We have but glanced at certain unhallowed speculations which need not be dwelt on. Suffice it now to say that, from the early days of Christendom's departure from apostolic truth till our own day, not a few learned persons have not been wanting who have dared to conjecture that the scapegoat represents the devil! Plain Christians might think that these men must have lost their senses to broach such defiling notions, as if God's word sanctioned them. But one form of the dream was put forward by a chief champion of orthodoxy as opposed to the neologists of Germany. It was quite common among the Fathers, so called, some of whom went so far as to think that there was even a sacrifice to the devil! Far be it from me to attribute such low heathenism to the learned Dr. Hengstenberg of Berlin, or to the respected Mr. George Stanley Faber of our own country. They were Christians, but slipped into the extraordinary delusion that the scapegoat meant Satan dealing with our Lord Jesus Christ. No! it was the figure which God graciously vouchsafed, as the complement of the sacrificed goat, for the removal of all their sins from the burdened souls of His people. It was God Who, as He found His rest as to sin in the shed blood of Christ on the cross, would also signify His banishment of all dread of judgment from the verily guilty that looked to Him who confessed and bore their sins on the tree.

It is almost superfluous to commend the subject as one of urgent and exceeding moment to souls. May the Lord grant, if any now who look to Him be still troubled by their sins, that they may see God's written testimony to the cross, blood, and death of Christ, if one may put it in the largest form. It is not a mere question of their loss through unbelief of scripture; but are they truly doing honour to the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ? How strongly the Holy Spirit testifies the virtue of Christ's death (Heb. 10:15)! It is not the bare fact of His death of course, but God's declaration to and for man of its value in His sight, that you are called to weigh, — the revealed power of it for your sins. It is the cleansing and peace which God gives the believer by reason of Christ. He wants you to have the settled assurance that all against you is so clean gone that God will never remember it more. This so far is Christian faith.

Some of my hearers may remember the teaching founded on the bullock, and perhaps wonder that the scapegoat seems applied to the same purport. Let us look for a few moments how the truth is told us. We all begin standing without, just like Israel; we who believe were no less guilty of sins and iniquities. The bullock is seen when we come to the knowledge that we are made free of entrance into the sanctuary, and so can as priests draw near where God is. This is very far from being our apprehension when first, however truly, awakened. The soul then feels itself without the sanctuary, and cries for mercy, while owning itself a just object of divine judgment. Such is the state to which the two goats apply. Not only do we plead the blood as vindicating God on the one hand, but need the remission of our sins on the other to give us assurance that they are gone.

But are we left there? Not so. Christ is gone into the holiest of all. Are we, now like Israel, waiting for Christ to come out? This is the type strictly for them. The second goat depends on the high priest come out of the sanctuary, to the unspeakable relief of the people who cannot in any sense enter within. When any one presses the literal accomplishment of the scapegoat, it must be Israel. They are outside now, and will be so up to that day. But the Lord Jesus will leave the heavenly sanctuary and will come with power, glory, and blessing. Are we in any such position as Christians? Certainly not, when we bow to the full efficacy of His blood. The gospel brings us far more than the comfort of the second goat to the people without. We give thanks to the Father Who made us meet for sharing the portion of the saints in light (Col. 1:12). Through Christ we have access, whether Jew or Gentile who believe, by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph. 2:18); even those who were once afar off are become nigh by the blood of Christ (13).

The Holy Ghost, as already come out of the sanctuary, makes us know this while Christ is within, so that we may await Christ's coming, not to announce remission of sins, but to change our bodies into conformity with His own, and to present the church to Himself glorious. Such, beyond controversy, is Christianity, and the Christian hope. Through the Holy Ghost now come we draw near within, where Christ is. When Christ quits heaven and appears to bless His people, the Holy Ghost will be shed on all flesh at the same, and a second, time. The blessing of Christianity is that we know Christ while He is in the heavens. This is where the application of the bullock applies to us in all its force, though one must always begin as poor sinners, where Israel ends, with the two goats.

LECTURE 5.

LEVITICUS 16:23 — END.

Concluding Remarks.

These then were the special offerings of the great Day of Atonement, and the difference is clearly given by the Spirit of God between the position of those who can enter the sanctuary, and that which Aaron secured for the people outside by the dismissal of the scapegoat.

After both were done, when Aaron came into the tabernacle of the congregation, he "put off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the holy place and left them there." Then he washed his flesh with water in the (or a) holy place, and put on his garments, that is, his ordinary attire, and came forth and offered his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, thus making atonement for himself and for the people; when he also burnt on the altar the fat of the sin-offering (ver. 23-25).

Now these burnt offerings were in no way a speciality of the Day of Atonement. Hence it is observable that at this point he divested himself of the garments of holiness, which the high priest did not put on except for this single occasion. It has been already adverted to as helping to explain the difficulty some find in Heb. 2:17. They have, indeed, involved themselves in much needless trouble; for the proper call and salutation of the High Priest was after resurrection and ascension. Then perfected He became to all that obey Him author of everlasting salvation, named or addressed by God as high priest according to the order of Melchisedec. But it is no less plain that the high priest was to expiate the sins of the people; and, as this clearly was by an atoning sacrifice, the difficulty for some was, how to conciliate a propitiation made by His blood with an office exercised in risen glory above. The answer is, that what the high priest did on the great Day of Atonement was as peculiar as of the deepest moment. Yet he was not acting in his ordinary functions of the high priest. His proper place was in the sanctuary. It is matter of common knowledge, that when an Israelite brought a burnt-offering or a peace-offering or a sin-offering, it was the offerer that laid his hand on the head of the victim. In every offering by fire to the Lord, where death intervened, as the offerer identified himself with the slain victim, so the priest sprinkled the blood afterwards. It is a mistake that the priest slew the victim. It was the offerer. The priest's part began when the animal was slain. It was in sprinkling the blood where his functions began.

Now, in what special light did the high priest stand on that day? Not at all as the high priest in his habitual glory; not even as an ordinary priest in the sanctuary. The high priest identified himself, first, with the sins of his own house, and subsequently with those of the children of Israel. Thus he stood that day more as a representative, taking upon himself what God directed for the putting away of sins, than according to the dignity of his ordinary duties. This may be illustrated by the distinctive dress during the characteristic acts of that day, as it is stated clearly enough in the text referred to. "Wherefore it behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God to atone for the sins of the people." He partook of blood and flesh.

As the apostle puts it in Rom. 8:3, "God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." This is remarkable phraseology. Adam was not made "in the likeness of sinful flesh." Adam was certainly made of flesh and blood as to his body, which on his fall became sinful. Our Lord Jesus, on the other hand, was certainly not a fallen man, a partaker of sinful flesh and blood. Not only would it have ruined His person, but thus He could not have been a due offering for sin. Had there been the smallest taint of evil, He would not have been "the Holy One of God;" nor could He have offered the most holy sacrifice for sin, nor at all adequately borne our sins. He must have died for His own condition; He could not have suffered vicariously for others. The necessity for the expression of the Spirit is apparent. God sent forth "His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin," etc. There exactly is the truth; and no single-eyed Christian could fail to see and believe it.

For as sacrifice for sin He was sent, but therefore simply in the likeness, not in the reality, of flesh of sin, though as really a man born of woman as He was God. It was in that likeness, because He was born of a woman who, though a virgin of David's house, not less than any other human being, had flesh of sin. How then was the difficulty to be solved? By divine grace and power, through His conception by the Holy Spirit, our blessed Lord was to be as truly a man as any other, but not the sharer of human taint, nor, if I may so call it, of that attainder which had fallen on the race through sin. This was effected, as Luke 1 lets us know, by the power of the Highest overshadowing the virgin Mary; wherefore her Son was called the Son of God. This was absolutely essential. He must derive His flesh and blood really from His mother; but by that miraculous power, which wholly exempted His humanity from all spot or motion of evil, He in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted from which He was clearly void, both in His flesh and in His spirit. From that moment when the virgin was declared to be about to conceive and in due time become the mother of our Lord, a total immunity from sin was secured for Him: "A body didst Thou prepare for Me" (Heb. 10). Otherwise the sin-offering could not have been worthy of God, or efficacious for man. "It is most holy," was the voice even of the law respecting it: how much more was this true of Christ? Still He was in the likeness of flesh of sin, because His mother was certainly of sinful race like others, unless you prefer tradition or superstition to God's word.

And thus is seen the impiety of the heterodoxy introduced of late, the so-called immaculate nature of the virgin. Rome predicates of her what is only true of Him, the natural result of the idolatry of the mother so much more prominent, popular, and real, than worship even of the Father and the Son, from Whom they stand at a distance and in dread. It is the Bona Dea of heathenism in a christened shape, which exactly suits those who know not God, if not those who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. To the simple Christian the enemy there betrays his hand. But the Lord Jesus did take blood and flesh, as it behoved Him, when He became a man, in all things to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation (or atonement) for the sins of the people. Clearly this was by His death. What other way was there than by the shedding of His blood? Consequently to suppose that it is a fresh and subsequent work in heaven, after death and before resurrection, is to depart from God's word, and to expose yourself to danger, as well as delusion. Whatever be the ordinary place of the high priest, it is not so when expiation is made in the garment of linen. According to its force, it very suitably described our Lord as the Holy Offerer and offering for sin.

Very differently is our Lord viewed when in heaven He was crowned with glory and honour. Aaron exceptionally wore his holy garments of linen in the most holy place. The reason is that propitiation had to be effected on the only day when he could enter the holiest of all; and when he did so enter, he wore the unusual garb that indicated his undertaking the work of atonement, whether for his own family, or for the house of Israel generally. Is not the difficulty some find in the verse happily anticipated by the type? Beware of the onesidedness, that will not hear of our Lord as High Priest in any sense or exceptional purpose, until He went on high for His proper function before God. You must, however, allow this latitude, unless indeed you deny propitiation on the cross.

Whilst the N.T. is clear that propitiation was by the High Priest, it excludes all supposition that it was only to be accomplished by our Lord's going to heaven. The work was done and finished, when He was "lifted up." This may not have been strictly on the earth, but it was before He went to heaven. It was when He was crucified, when man poured on Him the deepest scorn and hatred. Then did God give Him to accomplish that work whereby, from all eternity, His grace had designed to save the guiltiest, making it the ground of His righteousness. Without this sacrifice God must have simply destroyed, or in saving forfeited, His character and word. By the cross of Christ He can love, as He has judged, to the uttermost, and thus maintained all — yea, won a fresh and everlasting glory. For what else could God do for sinners? How preserve His rights intact, if He without the cross of Christ simply forgave sins?

If God had acted on our sins, it could only have been as Judge, and He must have destroyed all the sinners. On the other hand, if God had only acted according to the love of His nature, it must have been in giving up that, in His nature equally, which detests and must punish sin. Thus but for Christ and His cross all had been ruin, and confusion, and dishonour. Without it God's moral glory had been virtually undermined. But in Christ God would neither destroy the sinner nor make light of the sins. Hence He gave His Son to be a propitiation. This propitiation was through His death and blood-shedding. This alone suited either God or lost man. This again accounts for the prevalence of sacrifice — no doubt debased and corrupted among the heathen; but in itself it pointed to "A sacrifice of nobler name, And richer blood than they." This Satan endeavoured too successfully to falsify, as he loves to seize everything for evil. The meaning of it, however, was never seen fully till the Lord came and died on the cross, wherein was not the mere shadow but the very image. Directly the Lord died atoningly, it was the true propitiation which God prefigured, and thenceforward abides before Him as an accomplisged fact in all its value.

After the peculiar work of that day was done, Aaron divests himself of the garments of holiness, puts on his ordinary clothing, and going forth offers his Burnt-offering. This might have been offered on any other day: but on that day the high priest was, in all that was of moment, the actor exclusively, though it might be no longer a specially characterised offering. It represented the Lord Jesus by the eternal Spirit offering Himself, without spot, unto God. The two Burnt-offerings were for himself as well as for the people (ver. 24). From Lev. 1, as well as here, we find the Burnt-offering was to make atonement; but this of course only in a general way. It did not express the peculiar solemnity of the great Day of Atonement. When an Israelite brought an offering in the fulness of his heart, to express his sense of dependence on the goodness of God, it always had an atoning character. God could not accept an offering without blood to make atonement. Neither the true God nor faith slurs over sin. Hence, where all went up to God acceptably, as it was invariably offered on the brazen altar — the first point of approach between man and God, the Burnt-offering had an atoning character.

There is another notable fact here: "The fat of the sin-offering shall he burn upon the altar" (ver. 25). This was reserved for the altar of God, though the slain goat and the bullock were offered for sin. The fat of the Sin-offering was not consumed with the carcases outside. The blood, we have seen, was carried into the holiest. What could be a more remarkable indication? It witnessed to the perfect acceptance of Him Who deigned to be a sin offering, however cast out by man and judged of God. If the Antitype, the One Whose love identified Himself with bearing our sins must experience in His person death and judgment — like the goat and the bullock burnt outside the camp — the fat (which, had there been any intrinsic defilement would have been the first to show it) was burnt upon the altar of acceptance. How strikingly this testifies to the inward purity of our Lord Jesus! He was altogether righteous and holy, not in acts only but in nature.

Then, after mentioning that he who let the goat go must wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in water before returning to the camp (ver. 26), it is laid down that the bullock and the goat, whose blood had been brought into the sanctuary for atonement, were to be carried forth, and burnt in the fire, skin, flesh, and dung, without the camp (ver. 27), whilst he that burnt them must wash his clothes and bathe before coming into the camp (ver. 28). Here we are not left to our conjecture about the meaning. In the Epistle to the Hebrews 13:11-13 the apostle gives us invaluable light. "For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp." There can be no question that under this shadow lies a weighty principle and practice too for us. What is the connection with Christ? "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." The application is as sure as the duty; for there is no call so near the Christian's heart as identification with Christ practically.

The Jews were God's chosen people within "the camp," the ground plan of the Epistle being the wilderness, and not the holy land. This position characterised them in contrast with the Gentiles, from whom they were separated. What access they had to the sanctuary was merely through the priests and the high priest; and we have often seen how distant, occasional, and precarious this was; for the law made nothing perfect. Yet they, and they alone, had on earth the title of God's people. This was in the wilderness marked by their having a camp, wherein was the tabernacle where God dwelt in the holiest. But the law kept themselves rigorously outside that sanctuary. The way into the holiest was not yet made manifest; now it is by Christ and His work for us, for the veil is rent.

The cross of Christ brought in a complete contrast with these two most marked circumstances in the position of Israel. On the one hand the Christian is invited and emboldened, as sprinkled by blood from an evil conscience and washed with pure water, to draw near into the holiest of all; on the other, the Christian is equally exhorted to go forth unto Christ without the camp, bearing His reproach. The two extremes now meet in the believer — I do not mean as Christians walk, or as they say; but as Christians ought to believe and act. The meaning is solemn. If you are a Christian in deed and in truth, you are washed or loosed from your sins in the blood of Christ. You will not be one whit cleaner in the eyes of God when you reach heaven than now; for Christ is dead, risen, and glorified. This is a matter of unsophisticated faith; there is nothing which can possibly add to what Christ has done and God has accepted on your behalf. If you look at this or that brother, you may see your own faults, exaggerated perhaps in your eyes. This ought not to be so; we ought rather to count him better than ourselves. But alas! the same flesh which makes us indulgent to our own faults, makes us sharp on the faults of our brethren: so little do we walk in the power of grace by faith. Falsehood we are bound to abhor.

If God's word governs our thoughts, we find ourselves, in this Epistle, among the holy brethren partakers of the heavenly calling. We are of the true house of Christ, the family of the High Priest, and later on are invited to draw near into the holiest of all. On what ground could any soul possibly enter within, if his sins were not completely gone? If they are not so now, what is to blot them out another day? Christ would not take His seat on high till all was settled for every one who should believe (Heb. 1:3). From this the apostle reasons and appeals. If repetition were needed, Christ must often have suffered: whereas the whole force of the doctrine in the Epistle is His work and death once for all. Indeed, the same emphasis appears in the First Epistle of Peter, "He suffered once for sins" (1 Peter 3:18). Nor is it only that He once for all suffered, but that we are cleansed once for all. We are purified in conscience according to the power of that one sacrifice, which has dedicated a new and living way through the veil. The unity of the sacrifice is true only for us in Christ. I speak only of the Christian now, of those who draw not back to perdition but believe to the saving of the soul.

But along with the drawing near into the holiest goes the call to go forth to Christ without the camp. Let us seek no place of honour on earth, no means of reputation, no seat of ease, no outward distinction. The Jews might fairly once have looked for all these. Through unfaithfulness they have lost all. But Christians, instead of being promoted in their stead, are called to join Him Who suffered without the gate. They were not called to take the place of "the camp" when the Jews lost their standing. Nay, before the Jews forfeited their standing. Before the Jews lost their place and nation openly, those of them who by grace became Christians were exhorted to draw near within, even if they had been Jews; and now, being sanctified by Christ's blood which makes them free of the sanctuary, they are also called to go without the camp. His reproach is glorious.

The Christian is a man who is not of the world; he is of Christ for heaven, now called to draw near where He is. The two truths flow together; and what God has thus joined, let no man sunder. What right is there given to anyone of access into the holiest of all, unless along with it there be God's call to follow Jesus Who suffered without the gate? If you value your title to draw near within the sanctuary, shrink not from going forth to Him without the camp. Is it not in both respects your place, and your only right place, with Him? If your faith leads you to Christ in the true and heavenly sanctuary, remember that to you it is given not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Let us be in our faith with Christ, both inside the veil and outside the camp.

Christendom has reversed all this. In theological eyes it is rank presumption to draw near into the holiest while we are on earth. Is not this really the unbelief of christendom? But Christ gives us entrance into the sanctuary as the common privilege of His own. It is open to every Christian, whether Calvinist, Arminian, or Episcopalian, if orthodox. Yet it is well to avoid all such parties; for they lead their votaries into short-sighted views of the truth of God; and there is precious truth which in these disputes is apt to be overlooked. The word of God looks far beyond men's disputations. We may well be suspicious of ecclesiastical parties, no matter what or where they are; and my experience is that those who know much are no better in their spirit and objects, if not worse than others who know less. Surely, my brethren, we ought to be above quarrels, if indeed we have got the truth of God. And have we not Christ so known as to put shame on such manners? He that hath an ear, let him hear. Let Christ's honour and will be our "one thing."

Let us seek earnestly and humbly and as before God to profit by all this, and guard against every snare by cleaving to Christ and the truth in a spirit of grace. If any prefer controversy and strife, let them. One may be grieved thereby; but, as you know, there is nothing so powerful as a good example. As I have often said to some that found us narrow, faulty or what not, Why do not you by your fidelity show us a more excellent way in carrying out God's truth? Nobody will say that it is acceptable to Him for you merely to criticise, while going on with what is known to be wrong. If we have walked but very poorly, why not do better yourselves? Why not help instead of carping? Be thou faithful.

Certainly these are great realities — access into the holiest, and companionship with Christ outside the camp, while we are still on earth. If we own these both to be God's call to us, are we to join in language or conduct which denies them? Are we to be dragged down by custom into Levitical worship which leaves the worshipper outside? Are free before God to forget and forego the truth of Christ every time I worship? Do you ask me who do so? Forgive me for saying I should like to see the Christians who do not "serve the tabernacle," as this Epistle calls it, instead of making good in faith their own proper privileges.

The fault does not belong only to any particular denomination; does it not attach to all? I do not wish to be personal; but is it not really the kindest service possible to urge your weighing what you say in worship with what God teaches? If you receive His word about it, and it is as plain as it is deep and comforting, cleave to the truth with all your heart. Is that too much to ask of a believer? Why should you, my beloved friends, be playing at see-saw between truth and error, between what you know to be acceptable to God and what people in christendom have slipped into? Every one naturally likes the camp. To the natural man "the holiest" is one extreme, and "without the camp" is another. To be in the camp, with a priest for the sanctuary, is the via media so pleasant to the eye and to the mind. They are thus in the acceptable place of the world, the religious world, not of course the merely profane. Such was just the position the Jews occupied of old. It was out of this middle place that the apostle called the Christians, not only to draw within the veil, but to go forth without the camp; and both apply now as ever since the call was made.

Again, let me ask you, was the cross of Christ a respectable thing? Was it really so regarded when He suffered without the gate? One might rather ask, if ever there were greater scorn put upon any one. The two robbers that were hanged had far less odium than the Lord of all. Ah! beloved friends, your place on earth is that place of hatred. If you truly enjoy the nearness of the sanctuary, it will strengthen your faith to go forth to Christ without the camp. When the blood was brought into the holiest, the bodies were burned without the camp. This is a distinct connection of divine truth. The deduction is that we should have communion with our Saviour in both ways. Have Him now for your joy in heaven, and you are to be with Him in eternal joy. Therefore, the little while that we are on earth, be not ashamed of His rejection. Shrink not from the call to be with Christ outside. There is the doctrine, and the practice follows. I do not dwell at greater length on it now, because there are other moral principles of great value to lay before you from this fruitful chapter; and time fails for all.

The next thing that the Spirit of God affirms urgently is, "And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you (34)." We do not hear this about any subordinate matter. The Day of Atonement stands distinctly to itself and separate in dignity from all others; "In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or the stranger that sojourneth among you (29)." The first point insisted on, and most evidently, is the affliction of the soul. Atonement was not to be a matter of mere joy lest it should degenerate into lightness. Where is an act instituted of God so searching?

As we are considering this, let me show you how readily man slips into these errors. In Acts 2:41, we have all read, as the effect of the truth which the apostle was preaching, "Then they that gladly received the word were baptised." It may be new to some, though to many of you more familiar, that the word "gladly" has no sufficient authority to stand there. Reflect for a moment what it means for newly-converted "gladly" to receive the message. Such a word has not the happiest link with an occasion so solemn as souls being brought to God out of darkness. Do not conceive for a moment that there is any wish to cloud the joy and peace of the believer; but our Lord instructs us that it is a bad sign when the first effect of the truth entering the soul is gladness. Deep self-search and humiliation are incomparably better proofs of a true work of God there. Compare Luke 8:13.

Hence one cannot but feel that the modern fashion of singing the gospel, in an elaborate or perhaps very "lively service of song," seems singularly unapostolic and a dangerous innovation. The levity of it is most opposed to the whole spirit of the Day of Atonement which suggests the remark. What is the soul being brought to God by the gospel, but the present application of that great Day to such an one? Look at the contrast between the word of God and the prevalent style in our day. Perhaps it may be hitting rather hard some who are near to me, and valued for their work's sake. While wishing to be as far from personality as possible, I yet mean to set aside unsparingly anything which is contrary to God's word; and if brethren complain of not being let alone, surely so much the worse for them. After all it is much better to try all by the word lest the truth of God be sacrificed to human zeal and popular ways. How will it stand in His presence? Surely it is a great boon to be delivered from mistake that we may do the will of God.

The history of this word "gladly" really is, that it comes from another part of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 21:17). It is a word occurring but this once in the N. T. and rightly applied to receiving beloved servants of the Lord. This curiously illustrates how a word, sometimes a clause, gets occasionally where it ought not. We can understand how brethren who saw the apostle with other servants of the Lord would gladly receive them. One feels how proper this was for men who were at rest and peace with God. But in Acts 2 souls were first brought face to face with their sins, and this in the presence of God. Did not solemnity become them at the most important epoch of their lives? It is not questioned that, whatever may be the difficulties, the result will be joy and peace; but we are speaking now of the process, and the proper, legitimate, and desirable effect of the word of God in dealing with souls, submitting to it, and for the first time taking their stand as confessors of Christ as individuals in the light.

Further, one may notice how one part of the scriptures tallies with another. When the Israelites, with the blood sprinkled on their doors, were eating the body of the lamb, was it with the blowing of trumpets or the striking of cymbals? Do not fancy that they did not sing at other times. Only two chapters afterwards we find the song of Moses, and of Miriam, etc., with their timbrels. They sang on the Arabian bank of the Red Sea, but we hear of no song when they first celebrated the Paschal night. They ate the body of the lamb "with bitter herbs." What does this mean? Certainly not "gladly" receiving His word. They did indeed receive His word, but with deep solemnity and self-judgment. It was in the sense of their sins; and sin is not a matter to sing, smile, or talk lightly about. No wonder that the fruits of the work, on our modern lines, are so unlike apostolic simplicity and depth.

It seems dangerous to invite souls to gladness, not merely the unconverted, but perhaps those ostensibly under conviction of sin and in the process of conversion; souls that you seriously charge to receive God's word. Is it not true then that what answers to one type or another, as well as the plain account of scripture, is the need of solemn dealing with the conscience? For one must be inwardly cleared before God, in order that the heart in due time may go out with freedom of affection. Until the soul is set at large by faith in the work of Christ, it is not rightly fitted for sharing the expression of joy. Still less is it advisable to reason or persuade souls into believing prematurely that they are saved. Thus is the conscience injured, as well as the grace of the Lord. It would make internal dealing quite superfluous, and substitute a call to the affections, instead of ministering Christ's work of atonement to the burdened spirit. The proper thing is that the conscience first be awakened and cleared: then the affections have their suited work and expression afterwards.

Thus exactly was the way of the Lord with the woman of Samaria, who was at first without self-judgment. Christ knew that she had no husband, and by His word her sin was laid upon her conscience, and in that way she was truly brought before God. It was the same with the prodigal. There was no gladness till after he met his father, though enough hope in his misery to draw him on. Not that there was not misery, but conscience was made to work within him. Therefore, it may be fittingly pressed, as an urgent duty, that care be taken, not only in preaching, but in the service one sanctions, that there be no departure from the plainly revealed will of God. It is for Christians to carry truth out, not merely in this or in that but in everything. With the atonement God's word insists on the afflicting of the soul. Not that doubt or distrust can be ever right or tolerable. Anything of that kind differs wholly from humiliation before God. To cherish questions or fears would rather hinder than help on the afflicting of the soul, which should surely be real; and of this there can scarce be too much where the heart is looking to Christ and His atonement. The more this is rested on, the more can you praise God for the truth which humbles, and for His grace in that precious blood which cleanses from all sin. The name of Jesus for saving the soul ill consorts with levity of spirit or fleshly excitement; and the expression of joy does not surely befit the moment when God is bringing His all-searching word to bear on the heart and the life in His sight.

But this is not all. There was another thing which was particularly bound up with the Day of Atonement: not only "ye shall afflict your souls," but also "do no work at all." Is not this injunction remarkable at such a time? It was not a question whether it was the usual sabbath or not. The Day of Atonement peremptorily excluded man's works in that connection. It is impossible to deny that work is a most weighty part of a Christian's duty. Our Lord was always doing the work that the Father gave Him to do; as every Christian is called to do the good works which God afore prepared that he should walk in them. The Christian is not made to be only a meditative being, with heart and mind pondering the truth. This is all-important in its place, but he is called to dependence yet diligence, to obedience and even energy in serving the Lord. But the energy should always follow the meditation. Let the activity flow out of that which passes between himself and God. It is a dangerous thing, when God is showing the evil of sin and His atonement by Christ for all who believe Him to turn aside into merriness of heart. The soul at such a moment should be afflicted, instead of being transported by music and singing, by a solo, or a choir, or any form whatever of exhilaration.

When one does rest in faith, rejoicing cannot but be. The singing of saints is quite another matter. What more proper when filled with the Spirit than to speak to one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs? This wholly differs from introducing music to soothe or stimulate the heart which the Spirit would exercise in self-judgment. Among happy saints it is a question perfectly settled: the outbursts of thanksgiving and praise may well fill the ordinary life of the Christian. But the first injunction to which God calls in the presence of the Day of Atonement is grief of heart because of our sins, though God is covering them with the blood of propitiation.

Connected with this is the second call to no work of man on that day. Had our works been as good as alas! we have to own them bad, how suitable for us to rest before the infinite work of the Saviour in atoning for sinners! "Lo, I come, to do Thy will, O God." "By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." What has God's will not done? In the perfection of His sacrifice it has not only blotted out our sins, but set us apart to God as a settled fact. Sacrifice and offering, holocaust and sacrifice for sin, are all swallowed up in that one offering. By one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. What more is needed by man? What more could God do rightly for us in our present pilgrimage on earth? Therefore, as the just mark of recognising that it was all His work, unmixed with anything on our part, His people, and even the stranger sojourning among them, were forbidden all manner of work on that day. "It is a sabbath of solemn rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls; it is a sabbath for ever" (ver. 31). No levity of heart on the one hand, and on the other no presumptuous adding of their works to that great work which was then wrought and made known to the people of God.

Look at the apostle Paul. There we have a man who afflicted his soul, and eschewed all merit on his part, though found blameless as to righteousness that is in law. His was a case of deeply wrought conversion; he was so absorbed that he neither ate nor drank for three days and nights; so filled was he with the sense of utter sinfulness as well as with the truth of God's atonement in Christ. Blinded with excess of light, he had no room for other persons or other works. Self was profoundly judged. He was completely shut up to Christ's glorious Person and the triumph of grace reigning through righteousness, which God had revealed to his once proud but now afflicted soul.

It is allowed that conversion may be real where every trait is feebler. The jailor in the prison at Philippi was one who soon emerged from his overwhelming horror after he received the Lord Jesus. We may hope he got well through the perils of the wilderness, and have no reason to doubt it. But still his was a case very different from the apostle's; and it is not hard to discern a considerable difference in the way in which people are brought to God, as a general rule. There was affliction, but ere long rejoicing on the jailor's part and all of his house. Not that he did not truly repent, for I am sure he did. In every true case there is the afflicting of the soul; but if there be not a deep searching of heart, the affliction soon passes. Ordinarily the heart rebounds, and one is occupied far more with the joy of the good things grace has given. A deeper self-judgment casts one on Christ, yet more than on the deliverance from evil, however truly this may be felt before God.

Passingly we may notice that some are charged with not enough valuing the Old Testament; but assuredly this can scarcely apply to such as give it the importance here claimed and enforced. We believe it to be of God, no less divinely inspired than the New. It is true you have in the Levitical institutions only the shadows, but also most instructive dealings of God, promises, and prophecies, besides examples for good and warnings of evil, all fruitful indeed. You cannot safely and profitably read Exodus or Leviticus without the full light of the New Testament; but the believer accepts the word as a whole. The sacred letters (2 Tim 3:15) throughout were written by the Holy Ghost. Thankfully, humbly, one accepts all as good for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, as also for comfort and admonition. So what has been brought before us tonight is not without holy and serious import, as in an important way bears on the habits growing up during this degenerate day in Christendom.

But do not overlook danger from legality on the ether side. Far am I from meaning that it was not an evil day in christendom when people first sang, "That day of wrath, that dreadful day," which the thought of Christ's coming then awoke. Was this genuine affliction of the soul? It was little better than a frightful scare: grace was unknown. There is a great difference between repentance and dread. Abject terror of soul may have exactly characterised medieval Christianity. High and low were frightened, and in their terror they gave up their acres or their labour in order to propitiate the God before Whose judgments they trembled in view of the day of the Lord. It was out of that spirit that many a grand cathedral arose with its truly dim religious light. It was not merely the great lords as well as crowned heads who contributed from their wealth or their spoils, but the poor workmen freely gave their skill and toil: a standing and striking testimony to the power of alarm in unenlightened people's souls. It had been the main weapon of heathenism; the sole moral element in that dark deceit was fear. So it was and is now alas! in fallen christendom.

Not that one would exclude pious fear from that which works in those that hear God's word. It is right and fitting that the guilty should be alarmed when they hear of their sins, and of God's justice and sure judgment. How blessed to know that after the sins, and before the judgment, God did come down from heaven in the person of His own Son to work His unfailing atonement! Certainly there could have been no perfection in the work, if Christ had not been a divine person. It is therefore all-important that our Lord Jesus be acknowledged as God unreservedly. If the Word had not been God, if the Son not one with the Father, the Saviour must have been incompetent for the work He undertook. But the Son came; the work was done and accepted, and all is changed. Before our Lord became the sacrifice, the righteousness of God might well fill the soul with deep anxiety: judgment must then take its course. But through Christ's blood, God is just and justifies the believer. How blessed that God justifies us!

That God was to judge the world, every Jew acknowledged. This could give no peace to the guilty. There must be resurrection of the dead, both of just and unjust. After judgment the lake of fire awaited the lost. The second death is not ceasing to exist. Indeed death itself is but a severance of soul from body. For the believer it is "to depart and be with Christ." Even when a wicked man dies, he is in no way annihilated: his soul is severed from the body, and this is death. "All live to God," if not to men. But when the second death comes, the wicked exist for ever, not only in soul, but in body. Resurrection is not temporal being, like living in the world that now is; it ushers in what is final and unchanging.

This brings out the deep importance of the true atonement. Let me ask, Are your souls now resting on Christ and His sacrifice? In the gospel God is announcing to you Christ as the propitiation for the whole world. How awful for your own soul and body if you slight His message! Receive it from God, and may this be without the presumption of your works, but with true affliction of soul. If Christ has thus suffered for sins, why doubt God's love, guilty though you are? The fact that He reveals Christ's atonement is the fullest testimony to God's mercy as well as justice. Is it not for sinners in their sins, in their transgressions, and in their iniquities? Do not these words of His cover all you have done? Does not Christ's work meet the worst that can be alleged against you? The Atonement-day was Jehovah's doing away man's evil for those that bowed to Him. Make no excuses more.

Rest your soul on the Saviour and His propitiation; for there is none other holy, true, or efficacious. It is not merely that He has done the work, but He is the propitiation. John takes particular care thus to identify Him and the work. "He is the propitiation for our sins;" and therefore should we look to Him only for it. God forbid that you should look to yourself or to others! For what can others avail you for sin? What can the Virgin, the angels, or the saints do for you in this stress? Were the church of God here below in its pristine unity, were the staff Beauty and the staff Bands unbroken (if one may apply figures from Israel), what could the saints avail for saving your soul? God's church, if not man's, would tell you, by the lips of its members, what His grace in Christ did for each and all of them. But God tells you the truth in His word better than any of its uninspired members ever preached. His word is intended to give you the sole unfailing decision you can now have on the matter. Here you have all you require in this single chapter, read in the light of Christ. It is admitted that none could make much of it without the New Testament. But have we not both Old Testament and New? Have we not divine light shining on the shadows of the past, so that the truth rises to view in all its unity and holiness, its grandeur, its simplicity, and with absolute certainty?

What about yourselves, who now hear the truth? May God bring you to Himself and fasten His own blessed word on your souls! May you acknowledge the folly of your heart and the wickedness of your life! Is there anything really more evil in His sight than, with the scriptures read and heard continually, to be practically living without God and in despite of Christ? Begin then at once to hear God for eternity. Do not put it off for another day. If you never believed in Christ and His salvation before, may God give you to believe in Him that you may be saved now. Remember that with atonement goes true affliction of the soul; but no work of yours can be connected with that which He has wrought. When your soul's deep want is settled with God, there will be ample room and loud call for you to work, and unfailing joy to express. But the atonement is too holy and too solemn for man to be other than abased and prostrate before the God Who sent His Son to suffer for you. Bow to God then with affliction of your soul; and abhor the presumption of adding to it by work on your part. "They shall come, and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that He hath done (it)."

The words just cited are the end of Ps. 22. First Christ most distinctively undergoes the sufferings of atonement, wherein He appeals to God at His necessary desertion, with the blessed results in the latter half. Its opening cry is so applied in the New Testament, as already pointed out. Every other thought deprives it of grace, not to say of meaning, and is altogether unworthy of the suffering Man Who was God. Ps. 40 is more mingled; but beyond dispute, in the light of Heb. 10, it puts forth Christ setting aside, not only sacrifice and offering but burnt-offering and offering for sin, by the oblation of His body once for all on the cross. His willing obedience unto death is the central thought, though in so doing God's will He graciously feels as His own the sins of the ungodly men, whose substitute He is. Ps. 69 again points to Messiah on the cross, but in the aspect of His rejection by man, and by the ungodly Jews particularly, with the result of judgment on them, whatever the blessing of Zion. Ps. 88 again indicates Messiah's spirit identified with elect Israel, righteously feeling in grace all the power of darkness and death, yet crying to Jehovah day and night. Ps. 102 is Christ identified with the misery of Zion, and referring to Jehovah, Who owns the humbled One as Jehovah, no less eternal and unchangeable than Himself. Ps. 109 closes these marvellous oracles with Christ suffering from the treachery of the Jews, headed by Judas, and looking on to the son of perdition in the last days, when Jews and Gentiles again unite against Him to their everlasting shame; but the needy shall rejoice in Him for ever.

Nor are the Prophets silent, any more than the Law and the Psalms, though one need not now go beyond the clear, and deep, and full testimony of Isa. 52, 53. Even the rationalistic Gesenius, though he contends here for the prophetic body personified and rejected by Israel, confesses as the truth, both from the language employed and the habitual thought, not of that nation only but of all others, that an expiatory work runs through it. Yet while allowing the New Testament teaching to be based on it, he (poor man wise in his own conceit) prefers that the expiation should be by the suffering prophets for Israel's deliverance! But if expiation is admitted, none but an unbeliever can fail to see it in Christ alone. The Righteous Servant of Jehovah, Whom the Jews esteemed smitten of God, was really wounded for their transgressions, bruised for their iniquities: the chastisement of their peace was upon Him; and by His stripes are they healed. Jehovah laid on Him the iniquity of them all. For the transgression of His people was He stricken. He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. "Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise Him. He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many (or rather, instruct the many in righteousness, cf. Dan. 12:3), and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He poured out His soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Argument or even exposition is superfluous; save for the insensible to sin and indifferent to God, the truth of the Holy Sufferer is transparent throughout. It is "Jesus only." We have seen His sufferings; but His glories are not visible as yet, however great some are in the heavens. The visible are to follow, as they surely will "in that day."

APPENDIX.

1. The Scapegoat.

It is generally known that the Hebrew word so translated in the Authorised Version, but left by the Revisers untranslated, has been the occasion of keen debate among men of learning, Jews as well as Christians, though chiefly rationalists. Symmachus gives ἀπερχόμενος, and Aquila ἀπολυόμενος (or, as Montfaucon reads, ἀπολελυμένος); and the Vulgate follows, as did Luther in his day. Theodoret in his comment on the passage seems to have had no question but that the seventy meant ἀποπομπαῖος as ἀποπεμπόμενος. But the learned S. Bochart (Hieroz. II. 54.) objected that their rendering is by a term in classical authors appropriated to the active sense of averting or turning away evils, answering to the Latin averruncus, though he for his part suggests quite a different version of the Hebrew. One of his arguments repeated by moderns, that "ez" is a she goat, not a male, Gesenius confesses it not so certain. Indeed the remark in the Thesaurus, as anyone may verify from Hebrew usage, is "prius caprum quam capram significasse videtur." It is really an epicene, and so capable of application to either sex. Besides, Azazel is a compound, for which the more general designation sufficed with another word to define. This allowed, the natural formation of the word is obvious: Azazel means goat of departure. Nor is there real difficulty in identifying the people's lot with it: as the slain goat was for Jehovah, so the living one for a scapegoat. This is the express distinction of scripture in each case.

People are easily stumbled who for such reasons abandon the intrinsically simple, suitable, and holy sense, for alternatives of the most equivocal nature, if not absurd and profane. Thus not a few suggest that it is the name of a place, of which nobody ever heard; whereas the context supposes a meaning which all could understand at once. This is true only of the ancient and commonly held view. The advocates for a place cannot settle among themselves whether Azazel signifies a precipitous mountain, to which the goat is supposed to be led, or a lonely valley which Deut. 21 probably suggested, though the case was wholly different. Besides, we have the place of consignment already and distinctly specified in ver. 10, which puts this sense of Azazel out of court as intolerable tautology; so Gesenius rightly argues on the latter supposition. "To a desert place, into the desert," cannot stand; any more than the former supposition of casting the goat down a precipice, instead of letting him go free, as ver. 22 requires. Tholuck, Winer, etc., contended for such a strange manipulation of Azazel as would mean "for a complete removal." which Gesenius condemned very properly, both for its frigid character and for its incoherence with ver. 8; and therefore he preferred with many others the abominable sense of a demon or Satan! Hence the Septuagint has been cited as if ὁ ἀποπομπαῖος must mean some such evil genies of the wilderness, who had to be propitiated by the sacrifice of the dismissed goat! One can understand the apostate emperor Julian so sneering at scripture; but Cyril of Alex. found no difficulty in understanding the Greek translation, as the plain English reader does the A.V.

For on the face of the chapter the two goats were taken "for a sin-offering" (ver. 5); and Aaron presented not one only but both before Jehovah at the door of the tabernacle (ver. 7); and lots were cast (ver. 8) that the whole disposal of each might be of Jehovah. Is it not blasphemy then to find such sentiments insinuated as would involve an unholy compact between Jehovah and Satan, not merely in the face of the entire law which forbade giving His sacred honour to His adversary, but this on the most solemn day of sacrifice and confession of sins in the Jewish year? Now ver. 10 is conclusive proof that the Seventy had no such profanity in their minds, any more than they convey it in their words. For though the word in heathen mouths had no better connection, the LXX show that they simply employed it to mean the God-appointed dismisser of the sins charged on its head by varying the rendering in ver. 10. There, instead of saying τὸν ἀποπομπαῖν, as would have been the natural form after their translation of ver. 8, they seem to go out of their way to guard themselves and the scripture in hand by changing the phrase to αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν ἀποπομπήν, "to send him away for the dismissal" (not "the dismisser"). Symmachus has here εἰς τράγον ἀφιέμενον (Origenis Hexapla, Field, ii. 194). It is certain from this comparison that the Seventy meant by ὁ ἀποπομπαιος the goat that was sent away; which demonstrates therefore, notwithstanding their use of the word, that the notion of a caco-demon did not even occur to their thoughts. To crown the evidence, weigh their version of ver. 26, "And he that sends forth the goat that has been set apart to be let go," as Sir L. C. L. Brenton translates τὸν χίμαρον τὸν διεσταλμένον εἰς ἄφεσιν. Who can doubt that there was no unworthy superstition of an Averruncus, but just simply the second goat of departure? It may be added that Mr. Chas. Thompson, the American Translator (Philad. 1808), did not differ as to this from Brenton, save in being less correct, "And he that letteth go the he-goat which was sent away to be set at liberty," etc., as he had rendered l-azazel in vers. 8, 10, simply "for escape." Neither of them allows the idea of the heathen demon in any case.

The notion of Witsius, etc., is less offensive, as might be expected in pious men. It was that the goat sent away to the Averter indicated Christ's relation to the devil, whom He, however tried, did overcome. And Hengstenberg sought to purge it so as to express in symbol that he whom God forgives is freed from the devil's power. But it is all an inexcusable departure from the simple truth of the type by an attempt to christen a heathen idea, which has no ground whatever in the original, and only a semblance in the LXX corrected almost immediately in the context. "When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive." Such is the noble way in which was displayed, completely and for ever, Christ triumphing over the evil powers, which had before seemed to triumph for a while: they were really vanquished and despoiled in His cross.

2. Modern views subversive of the Atonement.

It may be helpful to notice briefly some prevalent speculations of our day which work banefully against the truth, and to the injury of souls.

We need not dwell on the virtual Socinianism which reduces the death of Christ to an example of love, or to a fidelity which stopped not short of martyrdom. His suffering for us was as unique as His person. Many have lived in devoted love, many have died martyrs, and on a cross too. How comes it that not one suffered as Christ, that He alone is a an object of faith or means of peace? Because He, and He only, suffered for our sins. Quite as low do they go who make His death only a necessary step to His resurrection for assuring men of a future life and fresh pardon, either on God's prerogative, or on man's repentance, or on both. It is clear that, for vindicating God and clearing the conscience, any theory of the kind scarce goes beyond heathenism. Such men neglect the true light which now shines with fulness of love in Christ. Righteousness and grace are alike lost by these thoughts, and Christ, far from being "all," is reduced comparatively, and really indeed, to nothing for atonement.

(1) Beyond these in appearance is the scheme that, as our Lord ever went about doing good in grace and mercy, so His sufferings were endured up to death as a perfect manifestation of God in man. So Mr. Maurice on "Sacrifice," who regards the Son of God as the ideal man, the true root and eternal anti-type of humanity. But this is no more than philosophising on Christ. As it obliterates the guilt and ruin of fallen man, so it accounts in no true sense or divine way for the sufferings of Christ at the hand of God. Guilt on the one hand is ignored, and God the Judge of sin on the other. Hence the infinite work of Christ is viewed merely on the side of love and self-surrender, not at all in the light of His suffering once for sins, that He might bring the believer to God. Thus the cross is viewed in its most superficial aspect. The judgment of God therein is wholly absent from the theory, no less than the deliverance and new state of the believer as identified with Christ risen from the dead, and seated at God's right hand in heaven.

It is true that Christ felt the sins of men with that anguish, with which only a perfectly pure and holy one could feel the sins of others, along with perfect grace toward themselves in His heart. But sympathy is not what is wanted with sins, or even with sinners as such. Suffering for sins can alone avail, and that by One Who is adequate to meet God in all His holy feeling and righteous dealing about sin. Sinners need a sufficient Saviour, and a divinely acceptable salvation.

Again, union does not mean Christ becoming partaker of man's nature, though this was essential to save souls. The faithful now are united by and in the Spirit to Him glorified on high. The union of mankind as such with Christ is a destructive fiction.

(2) The late Dr. J. McLeod Campbell, in his book on "The Nature of the Atonement," betrays the like ruinous departure from revealed truth. He contends for Christ's "condemnation of sin in His own Spirit" as atoning, not His blood-shedding. Scriptural atonement is given up for one purely holy and loving sentiment, altogether short of, and differing from, what the cross really means. For Christ is supposed to have atoned for men by offering up to God a perfect confession for their sins, and an adequate repentance! for them, with which divine justice is satisfied! and a full expiation made for human guilt! "Fatherliness in God originating our salvation; the Son of God accomplishing that salvation by the revelation of the Father."

Here again, Christ suffering for sins, the Just for the unjust, has no true place, any more than the righteousness of God in answer to Christ's infinite suffering. It is a strange and vague substitution of Christ making a confession, "Which must, in its own nature, have been a perfect amen in humanity to the judgment of God on the sin of man." It thus evidently leaves out God arrayed against our sins laid on Jesus. All admit the love which brought Him down and carried Him through to the uttermost. But what was the meaning of the cup which His Father gave Him to drink? What of His praying in agony that, if it were possible, this cup might pass from Him? What, still more, of the cry on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" These were no merely sympathetical woes, which last He never prayed should pass from Him, but His unutterable suffering — yea, beyond all our thoughts — at God's hand, when His necessary hatred and judgment of sin broke forth even on His own Son made sin for us. Nothing but vicarious suffering for us from God can account for the profound feelings and language of our Lord when delivered for our offences, and bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. It is allowed also that Christ in grace took up our sins and confessed them as His own, in His heart substitution for us. But to say that all the elements of a perfect contrition and repentance except! the personal consciousness of sin (the very element essential to repentance and contrition) were in Him, is to mistake the word of God, and foist in a fable.

As contrary to scripture is it to say that thus was accorded to divine justice that which is its due, and which could alone satisfy it. Was it not immeasurably more to be forsaken of God? This Christ suffered for us, if we believe Himself on the cross. He poured out His soul an offering for sin. Isaiah: says nothing short of this could satisfy divine justice, nor an adequate expiation be, unless our guilt were righteously borne as it was in His cross. Here again is the same swamping of necessary truth which characterises the theory of Mr. Maurice. Like his it also blots out the essential difference which faith creates. Substitution is wholly gone in these efforts to show nothing but divine love to everybody. If in these solutions there were any adequate answer to the first goat, there is no recognition whatever of what the second conveys; but even as to the first, how poor is the notion of sympathy in the presence of God's judgment of sin in Christ's cross!

(3) Another human key has been offered whereby to escape the offence of the cross. The late Mr. Robertson, of Brighton, laboured to make out that "Christ simply came into collision with the world's evil and bare the penalty of that daring. He approached the whirling wheel, and was torn in pieces. He laid His hand on the cockatrice's den, and its fangs pierced Him. Such is the law which governs the conflict with evil. It can be crushed only by suffering from it. The Son of Man, who puts His naked foot on the serpent's head, crushed it; but the fang goes into His heel." Here again the same irreparable want appears. God is in none of these thoughts. It is not suffering for sins, but suffering from sinners only. The judgment of God is left out, sin being unjudged; and the grace of God does not appeal to or for sinners. How irreverent also to think and speak of Christ bearing the penalty of His "daring"! How grievous the lowering and the loss of truth which reduces all in Christ to "law"! It is a mere victim overcome of evil, instead of a divine sacrifice for us which overcame it with good, but at infinite cost to Himself even from God. Jehovah bruising Him becomes a mere figure, instead of being the deepest reality. Scripture is plain that His sacrifice on the cross was not merely by God's foreknowledge, but by His determinate counsel. Whatever part the Jews played in heart, whatever the lawless hands of Gentiles did, after all it was that which God's hand and God's counsel determined before to be done. "Jehovah laid on Him the iniquity of us all." "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." Such was the baptism with which He must be baptised; such the cup His Father had given Him to drink. Thus only can we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins; as God set Him forth a propitiation through faith in His blood to declare His righteousness. Thereby is God just and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus.

In his Expository Lectures on the Epistles to the Corinthians, Mr. R. joins others of the school in basing all on the Incarnation, as if God then reconciled the world unto Himself and Himself to man. "Consequently every one is to be looked at now, not merely as a man, but as a brother in Christ!" The passage on the contrary declares that, whatever God's loving attitude and overtures in the Incarnate Word, man was so evil and hostile that there was no way to bring him to God, short of His making Christ sin for us that we might become His righteousness in Him (2 Cor. 5).

(4) Hence all the efforts of such men as Dr. Young in the "Life and Light of Men" are vain. "The Jews sacrificed Christ — sacrificed Him to their vile passions; but as certainly (!) He did not mean to atone for their sins (!!), or to render satisfaction to divine justice (!!!)." It is not a question of Jews or Gentiles, but of God's purposes and means. All scripture from beginning to end reveals the way of sacrifice to be not Abel's only, but divine. Of all that was done in faith the foundation lay before God only in the atoning death of the Lord Jesus. His inward sufferings were as perfect as real; but it is sheer unbelief to abuse them to the denial that God made Christ, Who knew no sin, to be sin for us. How false and bold then to say that "a true salvation is not escape from the consequence of sin, present or remote"! Undoubtedly salvation by Christ is far fuller; but it is rebellion against God to deny that remission of sins is included. "Without shedding of blood is no remission": so says the N. T., as well as the old.

(5) Similar remarks apply to Dr. Bushnell's treatise on "Vicarious Sacrifice," and "Forgiveness and Law." His is another variety of atonement by moral power. What can be worse than to say that, in Christ made a curse for us, "the meaning of the expression is exhausted, when Christ is said simply to come into the corporate state of evil, and to bear it with us — faithful unto death for our recovery"? Is this to give "His life a ransom for many"? "He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." "The chastisement of our peace was upon Him." He bore the penalty of our sin, and by His blood purged our conscience to serve the living God. It is to reverse the truth, if His aim and way were, as Dr. B. says, "to bring us out of our sins themselves, and so out of their penalties." Vitally needful was the vicariousness of His suffering for us, and not love only. Indeed love is incomparably more proved therein. Otherwise we have no more left than goodness and martyrdom, an example for us to imitate and reciprocate. "Hereby know we love, because He laid down His life for us." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as propitiation for our sins." This is excluded by all these unbelieving theories. "God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved through His life."

(6) Mr. B. Jowett, in his "Epistles of St. Paul" as elsewhere, has committed himself to rash and irrelevant utterances on this most sacred and momentous subject. His distinct tendency if not effort is to undermine divine authority and certainty in scripture; which if accepted would dissolve the truth of atonement as indeed of everything else. Thus he writes in his second Vol. p. 549: "The Old Testament is not on all points the same with the New, for 'Moses allowed some things for the hardness of their hearts'; nor the law with the prophets, for there were 'proverbs in the house of Israel' that were reversed; nor does the gospel, which is simple and universal, in all respects agree with the epistles, which have reference to the particular state of the first converts; nor is the teaching of St. James, who admits works as a co-efficient with faith in the justification of man, absolutely identical with that of St. Paul, who asserts justification by faith only; nor is the character of all the epistles of St. Paul precisely the same; nor does he himself claim an equal authority for all his precepts." How grave the fault to avail oneself of points more or less true to upset the truth! And what can we think of his statement farther on — "Christ Himself hardly uses, even in a figure, the word sacrifice; never with the least reference to His own life or death." And this, in the face, not only of Matt. 20:28, but of Matt. 26:28! And what is the meaning of His giving His flesh for the life of the world? of His laying down His life for the sheep? of the corn of wheat dying and bringing forth much fruit? of His being lifted up from the earth and drawing all men unto Him? From the transfiguration we hear Him setting His death constantly before His disciples.

In his Essay on the Atonement which follows his Exposition, Mr. J. strives to get rid of the Levitical types of Christ's death on the ground of no such interpretation accompanying them. Now this really means, that, if true, we should have had the N. T. side by side with the Old: a notion which would blot out God's wisdom and will in various dispensations. 1 Peter 1:12 is in principle the inspired answer. Christ's coming and death for us, followed by the gift of the Spirit on His ascension, was the right time and way of teaching plainly all, which had been wrapt up in figure, but not in uncertainty. When declared and seen to be the divine intention after 1500 years, the truth comes out only the more impressively as of God. And unbelief is proved to be not only blind but irreverent, as well as absurd, in presence of such facts when Mr. J. adds, "It would seem ridiculous, to assume a spiritual meaning in the Homeric! rites and sacrifices; and although they may be different in other respects, have we any more reason for inferring such a meaning in the Mosaic (!!)?" One might have hoped that even preoccupation with Plato's reveries, diversified with relaxation over the Iliad and the Odyssey, might leave room even in the most prejudiced mind to remember that the scriptures claim to be inspired of God; so that, even though they consist of two very distinct collections in wholly different tongues, for an earthly people and for Christ's heavenly body, there cannot but be one mind of God in all, either preparing for Christ, or at length revealed in Him fully by the one Spirit sent down from heaven. Now Christ's presence on earth was the stumbling-stone of the one, as the O.T. prophets declared beforehand; and His death of shame, yet in God's hand of eternal redemption, introduces the other; which also explains why He Who was the rejected Messiah, and the glorified Head of the church, did not Himself bring out His death, resurrection, and ascension glory, but left it to the Holy Spirit by the apostles and prophets of the N.T. Yet He said enough to prove that all was known perfectly: only the disciples could not bear to hear all whilst He was here and the atoning work not yet accomplished. How then must one estimate Mr. J.'s words, "It is hard to imagine that there can be any truer expression of the gospel than the words of the Lord Jesus, or that any truth omitted by Him can be essential to the gospel" (Exp. ii. p. 555)? Had it been true that His death for our sins was absolutely left till it was in fact fulfilled and for the Holy Spirit to testify, how childish the reasoning! Alas! it is much worse: "A deceived heart has turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

(7) Another departure from the faith of God's elect is that of Canon J. P. Norris, in his "Rudiments of Theology," which may be noticed briefly as a warning to souls. It is admitted in the letter that Christ bore our sins; but the spirit is neutralised by the distinct denial that He bore the penalty of our sins. For this is the true force of His having borne them in His own body on the tree, of His having suffered for them once. Even the prophet is explicit that "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of (or punishment for) our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." Jehovah "has made to light on Him the iniquity of us all." "For the transgressions of My people was He stricken." It is bold to say that this is not a vicarious punishment for sin. No doubt there was also a dying to sin; but this is also a further N.T. privilege beyond the old and new and everlasting truth that He died judicially, or penally suffered, for our sins, as was expressed even in the types which could give but the surface and semblance, not the very image and fulness of the truth. Redeeming from all iniquity, saving from our sins, is unquestionably scriptural; but it could not be righteously without Christ's enduring the penalty at God's hand that we might not. In the face of scripture to deny this, as the Canon does (p. 49), is extravagantly false and evil.

Dying unto sin, as any one can see in Rom. 6 etc., is that the believer dead with Christ may live to God; it has really no direct connection with "enabling God to forgive the sinner." Sin in the flesh as such is "condemned" by God in Christ a sacrifice for sin (Rom. 8:3), not forgiven as sins are. The doctrine is shallow and anti-scriptural. Our death with Christ to sin is entirely distinct from His dying for our sins. The last alone is what scripture treats as propitiation or atonement. "For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." This is the vital truth of the gospel which the apostle preached and wrote and by which also believers are saved; that He died to sin is a blessed and instructive sequel, as taught from Rom. 5:12 to Rom. 8, no less true, and most necessary for deliverance and practical holiness. But it is ruinous to confound the two truths as is here done, as it really excludes the basis of all righteous blessing in Christ's propitiatory suffering for sins, and renders powerless our death with Him. It exposes also to perilous heterodoxy. Think of a person teaching that Christ "gathered up into His own person all mankind, laden as they were with sin! and with the consciousness of sin upon His heart consummated that dying unto sin which they were in themselves powerless to effect" (p. 56)! Expiation thus vanishes, and a kind of Irvingite universalism remains in Mr. N.'s crucible.

This fundamental error as to Christ's person appears with no less certainty in a later page (282), and no doubt is his real, perhaps unwitting, doctrine: "He could not redeem us without taking our nature, and He could not take our nature without drawing upon Himself the curse in which sin has involved it." This is to destroy His holy person, and to deny His grace in suffering for sins, Just for unjust. It was by no fatal necessity of our nature but by the grace of God that He tasted death ὑπὲρ παντός. It was in the holy liberty of divine love that He laid down His life for us. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abides by itself alone; but if it die, it bears much fruit."

In this only, and for this, lay the inevitable need of His death. It was sacrificial in the strictest sense and the deepest way. To say that it was in itself a Roman military execution, and the blood shed by a soldier's pilum, is to set external circumstances against the revealed mind and purpose of God in what ought to be beyond all dear to the believer's heart and conscience. God's judgment of sin in the cross, and Christ's infinite suffering for our sins there, are ignored and set aside for another truth, distinct yet inseparable, which has no ground-work or application apart from what is denied. There may have been many an Israelite with no thought beyond "There goes my sin in the victim's death"; but that God meant no penalty in the shadow, or the substance, is mere infidelity as to propitiation for sins. Undoubtedly God's mercy appeared in permitting, enjoining, and accepting, the sacrifice; but there was penal suffering in that sacrifice, which prefigured grace reigning through righteousness.

This profound error is the parent of others; as for instance (p. 234), that "the blood of Christ is uniformly spoken of as a most living thing, now communicable," as also in pp. 212, 223, 224. Life eternal in the Son, which we have by faith even now, is thus confounded most grossly with His death and blood as a propitiation for our sins. These truths, every spiritual man ought to see, are wholly distinct, though the Christian knows both: (1) that God has sent His Son that we might live through Him; (2) that He sent Him as propitiation for our sins — in both the manifestation of God's love. Mr. N. utterly confuses the blessed φυχὴ (given up in His death and blood-shedding for our sins) with His ζωὴ αἰώνιος in which we live also, and for ever, in infinite grace. The old errors and worse re-appear in p. 309; but enough.

(8) The last aberration, which we may notice here, consists of a slight on Christ's work on the cross in two opposite directions. One writer will have it that Christ only completed His vicarious suffering after death and before resurrection in hades; the other insists on propitiation being made by Christ's entering heaven after death and before resurrection. I understand both of them to hold that the work was not finished in the blood and death of Christ on the cross, but that propitiation effectively depends on a further action of Christ (whether in heaven or in hades) in the disembodied state. Each of these appears to be a fable as to a foundation truth.

3. Tenets often misunderstood and mis-applied in Isa. 53:4, 11.

It is of moment to disarm the adversary by avoiding a mistaken application or sense of scripture. The truth is enfeebled by anxiety to press texts misunderstood, like John 1:29, and 1 Peter 2:24.

Thus it is notorious how good and learned men have laboured in vain over Isa. 53:4, because they have not taken heed to the Holy Spirit's use of it in Matt. 8:17. There it is applied to the grace with which He used His power in the removal of infirmities and sicknesses in His ministry among the Jews. Partly through the idea that the prophecy must be solely about the atonement and its consequences, partly through the language of the LXX, many will have it that the verse only includes the lesser troubles of the body in the larger thought of man's deepest need. But God is wiser than men, even the most faithful; and subjection to His word is the best and holiest and surest corrective. If Isa. 53:4 were any where applied by an inspired authority to the atonement, this would be decisive. It is only applied to Christ's ministry or at least miracles. When His dying for our sins is meant, the Spirit in 1 Peter 2:24, Heb. 9:28, refers to Isa. 53:11, 12. The wisdom of inspiration shines conspicuously here; for the Septuagintal Version is avoided when incorrect or equivocal, and employed only when exact; and this by Peter who had no erudition to fall back on. God is the only absolutely wise guide; and here we may see it, if we be not blind.

But, again, ver. 11 has two parts, which cannot be confounded without loss. "By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant instruct many (or, the many) in righteousness; and He shall bear their iniquities." Dan. 12:3 serves to show the true force of the verb translated "justify." Translate it as it should be here, and the sense of both clauses is plain and consistent. Take it as is done ordinarily, and violence ensues at once, with error as the result.