Remarks on the Church and the World.

J. N. Darby.

<15017E> 339 {file section b.}

1866. Third Edition. London: Longman and Co.

The question of priesthood and another important one remain. The setting up of a distinct priesthood is the denial of Christianity. A distinct priesthood is a body which can go to God for me, because I cannot so approach God myself. To say there is such a body in Christianity is to deny it. The essence of Christianity is, that we can directly approach God, even the Father, ourselves. We are (1 Peter 2) a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices by Jesus Christ. He has made us kings and priests to God and His Father. (Rev. 1.) That is our christian place; to say that others are priests to approach for us is to deny our place. We cannot hold this too fast that whoever sets up a priesthood other than that of all saints, entering in spirit into heaven, denies (it may be ignorantly, no doubt) Christianity itself.

What does scripture tell us of priesthood now? First, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, we read that if Christ Himself were on earth He could not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law, who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. Now this is exactly what is urged for christian priesthood by the ritualists. They say indeed that they are not merely (ὑποδείγματα) copies, shadows, figures (p. 308) of the worship in heaven, but the priest is the "present vicarious representative of the one true, real, and ever-living priest" (now for a time corporeally absent), acting "in his name." Or, —

"It is the one Mediator, acting in heaven directly, as we may say, and immediately by Himself; acting on earth indirectly and mediately by His minister as His visible instrument, who, forasmuch as in that most solemn of all His duties, He represents the priestly functions of His heavenly Master, is Himself, for that reason, and for that reason only, called a 'priest."' (Page 309.)

And so "the christian Eucharist … is called 'a sacrifice,'" and "that whereon it is celebrated an 'altar.'" (Page 310.)

Now it is clear, Christ on earth, at the time the Epistle to the Hebrews was written, could not have been a priest. There were priests who ministered to the example and shadows. But if Christ could not be a priest on earth, His ministers were. Is it not strange that this whole service is left out where the subject is treated of? Does any honest man (yes, I repeat, honest man) believe that when this was written, and it was said Christ could not be a priest on earth, there was a christian priesthood who served as the mediate and indirect instrument, offering sacrifices on earth, a vicarious representative of the great High Priest in heaven? The apostle tells us that such a High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, made higher than the heavens; that on earth He could not be a priest, seeing there were those that served in the example* and shadow of heavenly things. Yet at this very time, we are to believe, there was on earth what was expressly constituted of God to carry the priesthood on on earth, not as a copy but as "gloriously real." (Page 308.) Further, can an honest man believe what the Epistle teaches, that repetition of sacrifices was a proof that sin was not taken away but remembered, but that, Christ having by one offering perfected for ever them that are sanctified, there was no more sacrifice for sin nor remembrance of sins, and that the worshippers once purged should have no more conscience of sins, left it equally true that there was a sacrifice, a memorial sacrifice, gloriously real? And note, it is not merely intercession in virtue of the sacrifice as alleged: that would be scriptural enough. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. It is breaking His body, it is His blood shed; it is offering a sacrifice, which is not intercession. That is founded on a sacrifice, and appeals to its efficacy, but this is the memorial sacrifice itself. I shall enter more fully and directly into this in another paper, I now refer to it in connection with priesthood.

{* ὑπόδειγμα is not, as stated, a mere copy. Christ has left us (John 13) an example: so 2 Peter 2:6. It is what sets a thing forth in the way of model or example: so in Hebrews.}

340 The declaration that priesthood is in heaven, and Christ could not be a priest on earth, and that there was no more sacrifice for sin — means that there is a priesthood on earth, who are priests only because they offer a sacrifice! Strange that the New Testament writers should never say a word of this priesthood! But they do speak of priesthood, and in a way which excludes this ordained distinctive one. We are all a holy priesthood, all made a kingdom of priests, and to offer up spiritual sacrifices. Peter too, it seems, had forgotten or never heard of this "gloriously real" priesthood, and puts us together as priests.

But it affects, as I have said, our place as Christians. Where there was a distinctive priesthood on earth, the veil was not rent, the people could not come beyond the altar, nor were the priests to go within the veil, the Holy Ghost this signifying (Heb. 9:8) that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest. In contrast with this (the one offering which has perfected for ever them that are sanctified having been offered), the veil is rent, and we all have our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, boldness to enter into the holiest by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, and we are to draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. Where is the place for a mediating priest here, when I draw near myself into the holiest in full assurance of heart? I am a priest and enter myself, where the great High Priest is over the house of God, the family of God upon earth. There is a great High Priest and a whole body of priests under Him. That is, the whole notion of any other priests between me and God is thus sedulously excluded. I enter into the holiest where the great High Priest is; and this is founded on the sedulously elaborated declaration that there is, and can be, no more offering for sin, that a memorial offering is a memorial or remembrance of sins, and there is a diligent application of this to the conscience, that once purged we have no more conscience of sins, that Christ has sat down, is not standing, because there is no more offering, neither by Him nor by any, and with the so urgent and so just reason given by the Spirit, that it must be real, and that if there was, Christ must have often suffered from the foundation of the world, that the reality of suffering was necessary to the reality of His sacrifice; without it there was none accomplished.

341 Christ is not offering Himself now, and on this, that He is not doing so now, the apostle insists. Those high priests were standing, "offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins." What a picture of ritualistic priests! But this Man, when He had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down at the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool, for by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Offering for His friends He has finished once for all; He is seated, and that expecting till His enemies are made His footstool. That Christ is offering Himself now is a heinous anti-christian falsehood. He appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and as it is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and to them that look for Him He shall appear the second time without sin (χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας, apart from sin) to salvation. He is in the presence of God according to the efficacy of that sacrifice, and intercedes for us; but it was when He had by Himself purged our sins that He sat down on the right hand of the majesty in the heavens. But, save to deceive souls, there is not as much value in any pretended sacrifice now, as in the letters I am forming here. As a lie of the enemy's, it may be a snare for those who have no knowledge of the efficacy of Christ's one sacrifice, and that by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified — for those who have not received that word, "who needeth not daily, as these high priests, to offer first for his own sins, and then for the people's, for this he did once, when he offered up himself."

342 Christianity, then, teaches us that in virtue of that one sacrifice we, all believers, enter in through the rent veil into the holiest of all having a great High Priest over the house of God, in full assurance of faith. We are the priests; and to set up a priesthood to do it is to deny the efficacy of Christ's work, the believer's place, and the rending of the veil — that access of every believer to God which is the essential distinction of Christianity. A christian priesthood, save as all saints are priests, is an antichristian lie. Christ offering Himself now is unscriptural and false; a repetition of His sacrifice in any shape or form, or under any semblance, is a denial of the perfect efficacy of His one offering once for all, in which He offered up Himself. Both, the pretended priesthood and the pretended sacrifice, are a subversion of Christianity; one of the believer's place, the other of Christ's one offering. An offering of Himself implies the cross, implies suffering; He cannot suffer and die now.

Another point, calling for notice, as subversive of Christianity in ritualistic doctrine, is the church being founded on incarnation, of which the sacraments are an extension. It is false upon the face of it, even on the ground they put themselves upon, that of the sacrament. Baptism and the supper of the Lord both signify death, have no sense or meaning without it. If these form and nourish the church, the church begins by the death of Christ, not by His previous life, and feeds on Him also as having died. All of us that are baptized unto Christ are baptized to His death. Nothing can be more distinct than this. It is not to a living Christ that we are brought by baptism, which they allege forms the church and unites to Christ; it is to His death we are baptized. The very profession of a Christian can have no place, no existence, till Christ be dead. And, indeed, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; if it die, it brings forth much fruit. A living Christ remained alone; lifted up, He drew all men to Him; He died to gather together in one the children of God which were scattered abroad. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." And Paul, who alone teaches the doctrine of the church, declares, if he had known Christ after the flesh, he knew Him no more. One of these passages is only stronger than the other. And when the incarnate Saviour is so blessedly spoken of as the bread that came down from heaven to give life unto the world, then He especially presses on them — "except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood ye have no life in you;" and to this, as we are aware, the second sacrament refers. Of course for that He must be incarnate; nor is there for the accepted soul a more blessed subject than God manifest in the flesh, the divine person and path of Jesus; but it is not the less true, that in order to our having that life we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, that is, He must die, and we must so know Him, by living faith, to have life, to know Him really at all.

343 But in truth union with Christ has no place at all till He is ascended also. God "set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places … and gave him to be head over all things to the church." Till He ascended as man on high, consequent upon accomplished redemption, He could not send, had not to that effect received the Holy Ghost by which His members are united to Him. They are united to the Head in heaven by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. The Epistle to the Ephesians is clear as to this, as indeed is all scripture. We are to be the church, quickened together with Him, and raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Him. That He had not received the Holy Ghost for this purpose previously is clear from Acts 2. "He, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear." Union before redemption is apostasy from the truth, and the denial of the need of redemption as the basis of the church's place. It is an unredeemed man united to one who has not yet accomplished redemption, a sinner in his sins, and in flesh, with the holy Son of God. And what Christ shed forth after redemption was accomplished was what formed the church, nor did any church exist till then, for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body (1 Cor. 12), and that this was the baptism of the Holy Ghost the Lord shews us, saying, "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence" (Acts 1:5), for which consequently they were told to wait at Jerusalem. Hence too in the distinctive offices given to Christ in John 1, we have first: "The Lamb of God who taketh away [not the sins, as our ritualists, with so many, falsely quote it] the sin of the world," and then, "He it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." Now that the Holy Ghost could not come until Jesus was glorified is beyond all controversy. The Holy Ghost was not yet [given], we read, John 7, because Jesus was not yet glorified. "If I go not away," says Christ, "the Comforter will not come; but if I go away I will send him unto you." The whole distinctiveness of the Christian, the church and Christianity itself, is the presence of that Comforter. It constitutes the living power by which the Christian is what he is, and the church is what she is. Unity, ministry, individual consciousness of sonship, everything that constitutes the Christian and the church lies in the presence of the Holy Ghost.

344 Christianity is, the apostle tells us, as he ministered it, the ministration of righteousness and the ministration of the Spirit. Christ's death was needed for both; and of this the Old Testament types and the New Testament history give us a most interesting testimony. The high priest was anointed by himself without blood; the priests (after being, as well as the high priest, washed with water) were sprinkled with blood and then anointed with oil. So, on the Man Christ, perfect in himself and perfectly acceptable to God, the Holy Ghost descended as a dove: no blood-shedding, we all know, was needed for Him. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power. But for us the blood of sprinkling was needed. Christ's precious death came in, redemption, and cleansing, and then the Holy Ghost came down, sent from Him on high, and not till then. Our union is with a Christ whom God has raised from the dead, and given in that state and place to be head over all things to the church, and that union is by the Holy Ghost who never came till then. Christians ought not to need to have it proved that redemption is necessary in order to our having a part in Christ. Christ's person is the blessed object of our faith — surely — "The Son quickeneth whom he will;" but sinners cannot have a part with Him but through redemption. Even the water of cleansing comes out of His pierced side, but He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. The notion of His being bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, as if that were union, is an Irvingite heresy. We are, as I said before, members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

345 The union of a sinner with the incarnate Lord before He has died is a denial of the need of redemption in order to have a part with Him; it is a denial of the need of blood-shedding for cleansing (or else Christ and Belial can be in concord); it is a denial of the need of the Holy Ghost for the forming the unity of the body, and He alone forms it, for the Holy Ghost could not come till Jesus had died and was glorified. It is a denial of all upon which Christianity is based, as regards the position of sinners.

I understand perfectly well what they allege as to communicating life by baptism from Christ incarnate; but this (besides being false, for it is the Spirit that quickens) is adding another error, for true baptism is baptism unto His death. But the doctrine I combat here is the essence of the system, I mean extension of the incarnation by sacraments. And where we hear Christ speaking, He has no thought of forming tie church during his lifetime. It is upon the title of Son of the living God He founds it; and where was this demonstrated for sinful man in this world? He was declared (determined) Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead. He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and He was rejected by them; but resurrection publicly proved Him the Son of God with power. A man is not justified by incarnation, but by the death and resurrection of the Incarnate One, and being found in Him when risen.

Sin is put away only by the sacrifice of Himself; without shedding of blood is no remission. If union is formed by the sacraments, as an extension of the incarnation, then it is formed without sin being put away, without remission, without that in which the blessed Lord glorified God, and redeemed sinners. It is formed without the Holy Ghost, without our having access to God, for we have access by one Spirit to the Father, and we are builded together for an habitation of God by the Spirit, and it is certain the Spirit could not be given till Christ were glorified.

And it is in vain to say it was by sacraments afterwards; for they are only an extension, or, as some have called them, a continuation of the incarnation, Christ's body having been a source of healing and life. But an extension of the incarnation cannot do more than the incarnation itself; a figurative instrument, exalt it as you please, cannot go beyond the personal living power of Christ. But the incarnation did not and could not put away sin, the incarnation could not bring the gift of the Holy Ghost. Christ declares solemnly, the Comforter could not come unless He went away. Remission of sins could not be obtained by incarnation, or redemption, for it is by His own blood (in the power of it) He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. Incarnation or any continuation or extension of it, could not give an eternal inheritance, for it is by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that they which are called might have the promise of eternal inheritance. Incarnation cannot purge the conscience, for it is the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, which purges our conscience.

346 The whole system — I do not use these as hard words but in the full scriptural force of them — is a lying fable subversive of Christianity. It may deceive one who does not know what sin is (which Christ could not put away but by dying), because the person of the incarnate Son is the blessed object of faith, the attractive object of our spiritual affections, the sufficing delight of the Father Himself, and given to us to be ours. But redemption and remission, with all their consequences in the church by the presence of the Holy Ghost, are the fruit of Christ's death. If there be anything which possesses the soul of the believer, it is the person of the Son of God. Hence what seems to exalt will naturally affect the mind. But used, to set aside, or to dim the necessity of the cross, of redemption, it is Satan transforming himself into an angel of light. If Christ's incarnation and the communication of the benefits of it by sacraments are the whole substance of the truth, that on which the church is founded, and by which man is saved, then the cross loses its value, the sinful state of man is denied, redemption is unnecessary, or an immaterial addition to the main truth. It loses its place in the economy of God. "Therefore doth my Father love me," says the blessed Lord, "because I lay down my life that I might take it again." It was because He was obedient unto death, the death of the cross, that God also has highly exalted Him. It was then He could say, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him, and if God be glorified in Him, God shall glorify Him in Himself and shall straightway glorify Him. There is no remission, no putting away sin, but by shedding of blood, by Christ's sacrifice of Himself. The peace and security this gives to the conscience, leads us back to contemplate from within, from, if I may so speak, the divine side, the perfection of the living Son of God, and His perfectness in obedience unto death. The eye is opened on the divine beauty of that human walk, and the unutterable perfection of that death which was, not that the prince of this world had anything in Him, but that the world might know that He loved the Father, and as the Father had given Him commandment, so He did. But a sinner cannot gaze thus on this but through the efficacy of a redemption which has reconciled him to God and given him a part and a place in and with the now glorified Saviour who is gone to His Father and our Father, His God and our God; words never used, and which never could be used till He was risen from the dead, and could tell to His redeemed ones, calling them then first "brethren," what He had obtained for them, declare His Father's name to them, as One into the full light of whose countenance He was re-entered after drinking the cup of wrath for them, and thus, as He declares, and not before, in the midst of the church sing praise to Him. Oh, what a difference between the position of those that, through redemption, have a part with Him gone up as a man into glory, and the vanity of empty ceremonies! for in such case they are so, though most precious when scripturally used, a pretended extension of incarnation, without any redemption at all.

347 But the very object proposed to us by ritualists is false and unscriptural in this salvation by incarnation and its extension by sacraments. They say that the object proposed is reunion with God by incarnation. Reunion with God is simple nonsense. Save in the person of the blessed Lord there is no union of God and man, or ever was, still less a reunion. Adam was not united to God when innocent. He was His offspring, [the son] of God, living by a life breathed into his nostrils by his divine Creator, but there was no union. The union of man and God is the sole prerogative of the Word made flesh. It is incarnation, and that is true of none but Him. And when the Word was made flesh, it was in a divinely ordered and miraculous way, He was conceived by the Holy Ghost so that that born of the virgin was a holy thing, true flesh and blood surely, but untainted by sin. And this is true now of no other humanity. All are born in sin, and there is no question of any union or reunion with God, or is the idea in any way scriptural, nor is there union with the Lord in incarnation. He was among them "the holy thing;" but He was alone, God and man in one person, but not united to men, to sinful corrupt man; but, having miraculously-formed sinless manhood in His own person. The union with Godhead was now, for the first time, and only here. Reunion there was none; it was not re-establishing an incarnation which had place in the first Adam, for there was none. Incarnation, or union of man with God, was found in Christ alone. We are united to a glorified Christ by the Holy Ghost. It is the man whom God has raised from the dead, whom, as we have seen, God has given to be head over all things to the church. The avowed foundation or ritualism is deadly error and heresy.

348 Another point may require more development — the visible and invisible church. We have already seen that Christ declared He would build His church, and that both Peter and Paul speak of that progressive work, by which the building is carried on, to be completed only in glory; set up, no doubt, perfect at first, but carried on by the Lord by the addition of living stones, and this without recognizing any human hand in it; nay, speaking so as to exclude man's work, whatever wood, hay, and stubble might be put by man into the manifested building on earth. But there was also, as we have seen, an external visible building, called withal "God's building," into the formation of which, day by day, the responsibility of man entered, built with gold and silver, and with wood and hay or stubble, yea defiled, corrupted by man.

The great principle of popery and (of its poor imitation) Anglicanism, is to appropriate all the intrinsic principles of the body formed by the Holy Ghost — such as being members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven — to those who have been admitted by man into the outward and visible manifestation of the body, or the building upon earth (for these they, with equal ignorance, confound together) and, in order to this, they have attributed to baptism (which is the ordinance by which men are received into the christian company) what it is not even the figure of — namely, communication of life, and union with Christ. We have seen that scripture is express as to it, that baptism is a figure of death, and that the Spirit is the giver of life. Baptism receives a man outwardly, publicly, and actually amongst Christians, where the privileges conferred on these people in this world are found. But it is responsible man's building, not the Lord and His grace adding only living stones, forming members of His body.

349 No doubt, at first, the ostensible body and the real members of Christ were identical, because the Lord added daily to the church such as should be saved; but, as to the earthly building, the insertion of wood, hay, and stubble are doctrinally contemplated, and false brethren, coming in unawares, historically recorded. The sacramental church was not identical in principle with the body formed by the Holy Ghost,* and, in fact, soon ceased to be so, as to its limits. This the apostle intimates with warning, when he declares that all Israel were baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and drink the same spiritual drink; … but with many of them God was not well pleased. So a Christian may belong sacramentally lo the church, as Simon did, and have neither part nor lot in the matter, have nothing to do with life in salvation, be still in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity; not "sinned away baptismal grace,"** as they say, but not have any part in grace at all; false brethren, spots in the feasts of charity, while they feast with Christians, yet baptized members of the ostensible, visible body.

{*Indeed it never was coincident in its limits, for the apostles evidently, if we take the divine records, never were baptized at all as Christians, I suppose, or the 120 either. A singular thing if baptism were life and union with Christ. But that is an utter fable.}

{**In the confusion which a false principle brings in, it is curious and sometimes useful to trace it in its results. Thus, in the Romish and Anglican principle, if we fall from baptismal grace, restoration is by the sacrament of penance, but it is not pretended this confers life. Life must remain in the soul; so if a man die in mortal sin, and consequently go to hell, out of which there is no redemption, he goes there with the holy life of Christ.}

If I turn from the statement of actual circumstances to the prophetic statements of scripture, I read that in the last days perilous times will come … there will be a form of godliness denying the power; from such, turn away. That is, the ostensible body is wholly corrupt, so that the obedient Christian is to turn away. And in Romans 11 this responsibility of the professing body is definitely pressed on the conscience, comparison is made with the cutting off of the Jews, and, it is added, Upon thee goodness, if thou continue in His goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. To say that the body of Christ will be cut off from Christ, would be simply monstrous; but the external system which supplanted Judaism will. That is, scripture contemplates an external thing connected with the responsibility of man, as well as the true body of Christ, and the house which the Lord builds; and to appropriate the conferring the possession of the privileges of the one to the forms of the other is to falsify all the teaching of scripture, as to the body of Christ, and the substance of these privileges, the true force of being born of God and partaking of the divine nature, and union with Christ the head, and to falsify the true character and import of the forms themselves. None are more ignorant of what the church is than the Anglicans who talk so much about it.

350 The body is always real; there can be no false members of it. It is formed by the Holy Ghost and not by sacraments at all, though the Lord's supper symbolizes its unity. The house is building by Christ, and in this there is no bad building, but it is only growing into a temple. But there is a building in which man builds, in which wood and hay and stubble have been built in, and which will be cut off, where apostasy sets in, which is become as a great house, in which are vessels to dishonour as well as to honour — vessels from which the obedient Christian has to purge himself. We must not confound what Christ builds and what man has built. Against the former the gates of hell shall not prevail; in the latter we may expect wood, hay, and stubble. We may expect to find a great house in which are vessels to dishonour, from which we have to purge ourselves — a form of godliness in the last days, denying the power, from which we have to turn away — and, having found it, know that the Gentile branches have not continued in God's goodness, and that it will be cut off. Solemn testimony to Christians. Is there anything which we ought more to lay to heart, anything more deeply affecting, than the ruin of that which was planted in grace, in glory, and in beauty?

I have done with the substance of these important questions.

I add some remarks on the fallacies which prejudice or ignorance has introduced into the statement of the questions to be treated of. And the ignorance of these essayists is very great. Now, only note what is assumed or slipped in without any proof. "The visible church," it is said, "that is, a divinely instituted body, and an equally divinely instituted appointed government of the visible body." Now we have seen that, in speaking of the body, scripture is clear; but connection of a divinely appointed government of the body there is none. Gifts there are, members of the body, and manifested in the visible body; but it is to be remarked that the government of the church, save as gifts in power — "helps, governments" — is never in any way connected with the body, visible or invisible. Elders were appointed, as we have seen, in each church; but their office was local, not like the gifts set in the church. I notice this, because it is the secret of the whole papal edifice, confounding gifts and offices. This made the clergy gradually come in, for open ministry continued a good while in some parts, but the confusion went on till office became the exclusive guarantee for gift. But a divinely appointed government had nothing to do with the body as such. Now, unity is made to depend on it, yea, to consist in it.

351 Of priesthood I have spoken. Of mysteries and means and channels of grace we may speak elsewhere; but a divinely appointed priesthood, other than that of all Christians, is a mere lie of the enemy. If not, let it be shewn. And here I beg to insert Tertullian's, and, still better, the Apostle John's, rule, that what was at the first is right. The scriptures are the earliest historical testimony we have, and divinely given. They tell us what was divinely appointed at the beginning. It is in vain to talk of interpretation here. I believe everyone taught of God can use them. It is wicked Satanic fraud to deprive the church of the scriptures. They were written, save three epistles, to the flock — not to ministers but by them. But certainly, as a history, they are worth the corrupt and interpolated trash* which is palmed on the unlearned as the fathers. But Luke, Peter, John, Jude, Paul, James, know no such priesthood. If they do, let it be shewn. I say their history of the church denies it. One taught of the Holy Ghost by the word abhors it, as of the enemy.

{*It is pretty well ascertained that what has long been insisted on as proof of the episcopate (Ignatius's epistles) is on this very point a forgery. Cureton's Syriac edition leads to this conclusion as to five out of eight, and as to all but about one sentence on it in the three genuine ones. Forgery, on a large scale, was the habit of the primitive church, and as early as the second or third century, and corrections and interpolations since. Except a mass of heretical matter, it is hard to say what is genuine in this class of writing, so very busy were these forgers. Since then the Roman index has corrected what did not suit. No honest person can deny what I here state.}

Again, I find in one essay, "the body itself is a visible community — a kingdom." This is very mischievous confusion. The body of Christ is not His kingdom. It is very convenient to assume it, but there is no ground for it whatever. His body is Himself; His kingdom is what He rules over, apart from Himself, He being King over it. King of the church is a thing unknown to scripture*. When He takes to Him His power and reigns, it will be over all the world. The field is the world now. The devil's work [the tares] is in the scene of His kingdom now. They are not members of His body. We are His body, His bride — of His flesh and of His bones; His kingdom is not that. He does not nourish and cherish His kingdom, He governs it, not His bride and His body. There is not a more mischievous error on these points than what is assumed here as a thing to be taken for granted. The kingdom may be realized within certain limits, and so far as to limits coincide as Christendom with the professing church; but the field is the whole world, and the form that the kingdom takes in fact is the work of the enemy as much as of the Lord. That is not true of the body, and shews the profound evil of the false doctrine which makes baptism the means of communicating life and introduction by union into the body, for a large part of what is in the kingdom is introduced by Satan — namely, the tares, which are to be burned. Have they had life and union with Christ communicated to them by the sacrament of baptism? And let it not be said here, "Yes; but, being the seed of the wicked one, they have lost it again." In the parable they are introduced by Satan, and the theory of the Anglican catholic is that they are introduced by baptism and union thereby. Can there be a greater or more deplorable confusion?

{*Even "King of saints" is recognized to be a false reading. It should be "King of nations".}

352 There are a few general remarks I would make in conclusion to clear up the whole question. It is not the existence of a visible church which is denied by the evangelical world. Everyone knows there is such a thing; that there is a Christendom, which, as a religion in the world, can be contrasted with heathens, Jews, and Mohammedans. But evangelicals do not see the responsibility of the visible church, and that there ought to be, as there was, a maintenance of corporate unity as a testimony* for the glory of Christ. They do not see that Christians were bound to maintain unity and godliness. They do, consequently, content themselves with individual salvation, the individuals being members of the invisible body of Christ.

{*I say as a testimony, because the unity of the body is of God in itself, and cannot be destroyed. Christ's body is in itself one. Against His building the gates of hell shall not prevail. The responsibility lies in the manifestation of this on earth by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the unity of the members down here.}

353 But the Anglican catholics do worse; they attribute all the privileges of the true body of Christ to the outward, baptized professors, and the truth of divine operation in the soul, all moral power, all reality in the religion of Christ, is lost. The soul has nothing to say to God in being saved. Christianity becomes a mummery of ordinances, making righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost — the true moral reconciliation with God in a new nature, by the Holy Ghost, in a conscience purged by the blood of Christ — immaterial to the possession of the privileges of Christianity. It is really gross antinomianism with all its legality. Eternal life and union with Christ are acquired without any consciousness of real change in the person: this is simply of Satan. For the kingdom of God is in power; it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The true Christian is really reconciled to God; there is a renewing of the Holy Ghost, which is shed on us abundantly.

But further, as regards the visible church itself, the Anglican catholics, too, have lost the sense of the church's responsibility. For the outward visible church is divided; it is more: the parts most esteemed by the Anglican catholic, are grossly corrupted, full of superstition, idolatry, vice and error. Its history has been the history of the worst vices, the worst corruption in the world; not sought out by secret search, but in the open day. We have a Greek church, a Nestorian church, a Jacobite church, a Latin church, an Anglican church, which have no communion one with another, and those of the most pretentious are the most corrupt. Has the church, then, met its responsibility? Has it continued in God's goodness? Has it waited for its Lord from heaven? Or has it beat the men-servants and maid-servants and eaten and drunk with the drunken? If it has done the latter, its portion is to be cut asunder and to have its portion with the unbelievers, to be cut off. And the attributing the privileges of the body of Christ to this corrupt external system, slighting its responsibility and insensible to its failure, is the most fatal delusion, hurrying those seduced by it to their final destruction. It is the worst proudest denial of the responsibility of the visible church, a seared conscience, which can pretend to security in privileges, as the Jews of old, where God has announced judgment because of the state they are in.

354 If the universal church is in a normal state, why so much pains to make out its case, to re-unite it, to heal its open public divisions? If it be in a fallen state, are we not to think of its responsibility and see what is the result according to the word of God? What is the effect of a doctrine which leads the visible church to claim the possession and power to communicate, by ordinances, its highest privileges, without the slightest reference to its fallen state, with a conscience perfectly dead to the evil, which, if God's word be true, is surely bringing on its judgment? Our essayists, on this very ground of communication of life and union with Christ by ordinances, slight and blame individual earnestness about salvation, individual sorrow for sin, individual peace obtained by grace through faith, Christ having made peace. These are thus described: "A certain consciousness of personal interest in these truths, and a sense of general unworthiness, and a further sense of the removal of that unworthiness in the belief and apprehension of these truths, the whole matter of salvation being a personal one … ." Now this is a very feeble statement of personal conviction of sin and faith; but scripture does deal with the individual and with conscience. It teaches the doctrine of the church — we have spoken of it — and of a church which ought to be visible, holy and one. I have no wish to avoid or enfeeble this part of truth; on the contrary, I desire to press it, as I have done according to my ability, on Christians; but that withal they should have the deep sense of how we have failed and it is ruined. But it is ignorance, or worse, which would put this in opposition to personal individual salvation; and the Anglican catholic system is guilty of this.

Save in the exhortations of chapter 12, all the Epistle to the Romans is individual. In all the Epistle of John everything is individual. In Galatians the teaching is individual, and I might add a great deal more. But, besides this, the ruin of the visible church itself is contemplated, the perilous times of the last days are spoken of, and the judgment of God on its departure and its apostasy. Not only is salvation individual, but the individual Christian is called upon, at his peril, to judge the state of the church, to purge himself from vessels to dishonour; to turn away from such and such, from forms of godliness without the power; to depart from all iniquity, where the foundation of God stands sure; but having this seal (not a recognized visible church, but) the Lord knoweth them that are His. And when the Lord judges the state of the church, whoever has ears is called upon to hear what is said to him. The state is one to be judged, not trusted in; the individual's duty is to give heed to what the Lord pronounced upon it. Not only is salvation necessarily individual, but, when the responsible church is judged, and the Lord, by His testimony, declares that state, the individual Christian is solemnly, and, by divine authority, called upon individually to give heed to that testimony, and act according to it. It is at his peril if he neglect the warning injunction; and, if that be the call of God, what shall we say of a system which sets up the authority of that which is to be judged, and closes the ear of the pious against the warning and summons of God to look at the state the church is in?

355 And let not anyone speak of interpreting scripture, and its being for the church — that is, for the clergy to interpret. It was written by the inspired clergy, if people are pleased to call them so, to the christian people, and for the christian people. Only three short epistles can be pretended to be written for ministers, and these are now, even so, a part of the common heritage of the church of God; and as regards the warning of Christ's judging in the midst of the churches, whoever has ears to hear is called upon peremptorily to give heed to them. The voice of the Lord claims his attention, his individual heed, to His judgment of the state which surrounds the saint in the church. It is disobedience to the voice of the Lord, addressed distinctively to the individual Christian; and attention to it marks one who has ears to hear; and the judgment of Christ on the state of the church is that to which he is to give heed. What is judged cannot be a rule and a guide, when we are called to give heed to the judgment, and to guide ourselves by it in our position, in that which is judged. And to make (when thus judged) the judged church a conclusive and binding rule is open contempt of the authority of Christ. We are bound to hear Christ, and to act on what we hear, Christ singling out the individual and making him responsible for what is communicated to him, as to Christ's judgment of the church. I repeat, not to give heed and obey is to slight Christ Himself. And what is substituted for this giving heed to the testimony of God which claims our attention? What has been justly called ecclesiastical millinery.* But, if the matter be looked at as beneath the surface, it is subjection to ordinances, the denial of being dead and risen with Christ, in which is the force and power of Christianity (Col. 2); a return to the religiousness of the flesh, as if we were alive before God as unredeemed children of Adam; a keeping of days and months and years which, though from Jewish influence, is, the apostle declares, a return to heathenism (Gal. 4:9-10), because as shadows they were instructive before Christ came who was the substance, but, taken up now, they are the rudiments of the world to which we are crucified with Christ, declaring that we have not died to it with Christ, that we are living in the world as children of Adam, subject to its rudiments, not holding the head, certainly not Jews with instructive shadows, but heathens in the flesh, following its religion and abrogated ceremonies. Such are the beggarly and condemned elements which are given to us instead of living union with the head, Christ, by the presence and power of the Spirit of God, and a conscience perfected towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

{*It is curious that, in the seventh century, when the clergy began to put on distinctive garments, white ones, Pope Gregory the Great sharply reproved them, telling them their white robe ought to be personal innocence.}

356 No. 3


I admit the Lord's supper to be the centre of true worship. I admit, and I adore such ineffable goodness, that Christ leads the praises of gathered spiritual worshippers: "In the midst of the church," we read, "will I sing praise unto thee." But as these essayists have used neglected truths in other cases to pervert the minds of the simple, of those not guarded by the word, so they have done here.

But we are speaking of worship, and to know what worship is, one must be a true worshipper; and in this case they have, from the very outset of their pretentious teaching, made statements which prove them wholly ignorant of what true worship is; and I must add that throughout the article there is that ignorance of scripture and scriptural truth which characterizes the school. I am not disposed to deny the existence of piety in many of those brought under the influence of these views.

Where redemption is not known and imagination is strong, piety naturally runs into ordinances and what are called mysteries, for ordinances are the religion of the flesh, and where redemption is not known, man, as to the state of his mind, must religiously be in the flesh.

357 There is, and can be, no walking in the light as God is in the light, for redemption must be experimentally known for that; nor the happy childlike, yet adoring confidence and liberty which cries for itself, "Abba, Father;" and as the soul cannot be in liberty with God (a liberty which is exercised in adoration, for the nearer we are to God the more we adore His greatness, and have done with ourselves), it brings God by imagination not faith, in an awful way near to us in our actual state, and we adore the image formed by our own minds, and are subject to ordinances, have a morbid delight in mysteries, "tremendous mysteries," "transcendent mysteries."* I do not say there is no piety in the article we are occupied with, but there is great pretension to spirituality:

{*All this is a mere abuse of the word mystery. Mystery means in scripture, and indeed it is the original sense of the word, what would be known only by special revelation, but to those taught by it (the initiated) is clearly known.}

"We speak of truths profoundly spiritual, and needing to be spiritually discerned, though liable, alas! like other high spiritual truths, to be unbelievingly rejected by unspiritual minds, or, if unspiritually embraced, to be perverted." (Page 316.)

Our essayist of course discerns spiritually these profoundly spiritual truths, neither rejects them as having an unspiritual mind, nor perverts them by embracing them unspiritually. His is a spiritual mind embracing spiritually high spiritual truths, truths profoundly spiritual. Christ's acts are "embraced in all simplicity of devout affection." This good opinion of self is accompanied by slight and sarcasm cast on the authorities who are over them, the Anglican prelates.

"These would-be iron rulers, whose lightest word would now be obeyed with alacrity, did they know how to shew themselves true ' Fathers in God,' would then (that is, if they cause a schism by 'a mere cold, unsympathetic repression') (p. 319), have time to reflect in the dull peace of the solitude they had made,* and might haply come at last to the conviction that, after all, they had 'fought against God,' and with the usual result — 'their own confusion."' (Page 319.)

{*This alludes to a phrase of Tacitus on Tyrants — "solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."}

So previously, "Little do some of our fathers in God seem to reck of the anguish, not unmixed with indignation, caused to faithful souls by the shallow denials of unpopular truths into which they allow themselves to be drawn." This incessant threatening of ecclesiastical authorities, if they do not acquiesce in and further the movement, is characteristic of the party. Mr. Newman used the same unholy means, and it is now the common weapon to overawe those whom these high-worded men profess to obey, and force them to silence, at least while they carry on their schemes. Do not resist us, they say, or we will make a split in the church.

358 The utterly unchristian character of such a course is too evident to need comment. But let us see what these, if we are to believe their own account of themselves, profoundly spiritual men, these discoverers of high spiritual truths, have to say for themselves and their doctrine when soberly weighed in the light of God's word to which they themselves appeal.

Let us do them justice. They declare that there is no repetition or reiteration of the sacrifice of Christ, but that Christ is always offering on high His one sacrifice, and that the ordained priest on earth is doing the same thing on earth, presenting the one unrepeated sacrifice constantly on the altar to God.

"And what does Christ now offer as our ever-living Priest in the heavenly temple? What but His own most precious body and blood, the one saving victim to make reconciliation for our sins and unite heaven and earth in one?" (Page 306.)

"The continued offering of a sacrifice, made once for all, does not necessarily imply any repetition." (Page 307.) "And this continual offering and presentation of a sacrifice once made, is itself a sacrificial act, and constitutes him who does it a priest." (Page 307.) "It is a propitiatory sacrifice, as pleading before God for all the successive generations," &c. (Page 307.)

"Thus, what the christian priest does at the altar is as it were the earthly form and visible expression of our LORD'S continual action as our High Priest in heaven." (Page 308.) "The earthly priest … does on earth that which Jesus does in heaven. Rather we should say, according to that great principle which is the true key to the whole theory of the christian ministry, it is Jesus who is Himself the Priest, the offerer of His own great sacrifice, in both cases." (Page 309.)

This is connected with perpetual intercession.

"But though He repeats not the sacrifice, nor can again offer Himself as a victim unto death, yet in His perpetual intercession for us He perpetually, as it were, appealeth to it." (Page 307.)

359 "Christian worship is really the earthly exhibition of Christ's perpetual intercession as the sole High Priest of His church." (Page 299.)

Thus intercession is, according to our essayist, the highest act of worship, Christ Himself carrying it on in heaven. Now, to say nothing else, the statement that Christ is worshipping in heaven is itself a strange proposition. He is worshipped there, of which more anon; but where shall we find the blessed Lord worshipping in heaven? Not in scripture, and not in any divinely taught mind, I believe. When He is brought into the world again, all the angels are called on to worship Him, and when the Lamb takes the book to open it in the Revelation, all fall down before Him and declare His worthiness. But who ever heard of Christ's worshipping in heaven? This, while pretending to be profound spirituality and high spiritual truth, flows from what shews total ignorance of what worship is, mistaking intercession for worship.

Intercession is not worship at all. Christ surely intercedes for us, and His intercession is based on His perfect work, and carried on as the perfect One in heaven, whether we speak of a high priest with God, or an advocate with the Father; but intercession applies to infirmity or failure. We have a great High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, having been tempted in all points like as we are; "and having suffered, being tempted, is able to succour those that are tempted." "He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

I will touch in a moment upon the offering and sacrifice in which He is alleged to worship on high, but intercession never is worship. It is done for others, for their actual failures, or infirmities which make them liable to fail; its only connection with worship that can be alleged is the analogy of the golden plate on the high priest's forehead, and his bearing the iniquity of Israel's holy things; but this only confirms what I have said, that the priestly service of intercession applies to failure. It is the same as regards the analogous case of advocate with the Father. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins."

The abiding efficacy of this propitiation no divinely-taught soul denies. We cannot be too thankful for it; but the abiding unchangeable efficacy of Christ's propitiation for us, is not His worshipping, nor is intercession worshipping, but pleading for others in respect of infirmities and failures.

360 Worship is altogether another thing. It is the heart rising up through the power and operation of the Spirit of God in praise, thanksgiving, and adoration, for what God has done and does, and for what He is, as we know Him in Christ. The returning up by the Spirit from our hearts in adoration and praise of what has been revealed and descended in grace through Christ to us, expressed in our present relationship to God, the going up of the heart in spirit and in truth to our God and Father in the full knowledge of Him.

Worship is the expression of what is in our own heart to God according to the holy claim He has upon us, and the full revelation He has made of Himself to us. Intercession is intervention with God for another. Christ may be present in spirit to lead the praises of His saints, and offer also their praises on high that they may be accepted.

It may be in the eternal state that He may lead our praises in glory, but to present Him as carrying on real worship Himself in heaven, and us as entering into it or doing the like sacramentally on earth, is nearer blasphemy and heresy than profound spirituality, though I may acquit the writer of being intentionally guilty of it, and is the result of the egregious blunder of making intercession to be worship. I will now consider what is said of the continual offering of the sacrifice. I will not retort the charge of scandalous carelessness or scandalous dishonesty, bandied against the opponent of the writer for his manner of quoting Tertullian.

It certainly is a more serious thing to deal so with scripture than with that honest and able but heady and unsubdued writer, who, after proving by necessarily legal prescription that it was a sin to leave the great professing body of the church, left it himself (because it was so worldly and corrupt), to throw himself under the power of the fanatical reveries of Montanus, and was as ardent in condemning as once in maintaining the authority of what was held to be catholic unity.

Let us see rather how our essayist quotes scripture to prove his point. I recall to the reader that they say there is no repetition of the sacrifice, only He is ever offering* it to God.

{*There was no offering to God of a sacrifice, but the burning it, or a part of it, on the altar. The truth is the προσφορά is the bringing the victim to be an offering, Korban. Then ἀναφέρεται it is offered upon the altar. After that, however long its efficacy lasts, there can be neither προσφορά nor ἀναφέρειν. Christ προσνηγκε Himself to be a sacrifice, was offered up on the cross.

361 The passage quoted is, "For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices; wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer." After quoting the latter part of this, the writer adds, "And what does Christ now offer, as our ever-living priest in the heavenly temple? What but His own most precious body and blood, the one saving victim to make reconciliation for our sins, and unite heaven and earth in one?" I omit noticing the latter part of this, which, by its obscurity, defies analysis or answer.

Is Christ then a victim now? Is He now making reconciliation for our sins? If not, the sentence has nothing to do with the matter, it is not applicable now. If it means that He is, it is a denial of the plain, positive, christian doctrine that believers are reconciled.

"You hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death." (Col. 1:21-22, and 2 Cor. 5:18.) "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself." Probably it is ignorance of the Gospel and scripture, and I leave it to pursue the question of sacrifice.

Why did the writer omit what goes a few verses before, "Who needeth not daily as these high priests to offer up sacrifice first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once [ἐφάπαξ once for all], when he offered up himself." The passage speaks of the actual offering, as a sacrifice to God (ἀναφέρει). He did this (ἐφάπαξ) once for all.* And on this the apostle insists as contrasted with the Jewish sacrifices, that the work was effectually, finally done by one single act of sacrifice, done only once and completely; once and once for all, excluding constant, subsequent, as well as repeated offering. Thus Hebrews 10. By His own blood He entered in once (ἐφάπαξ) into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption. And again (and note here the passage refers to His entering into the holy place where it is pretended He still offers His sacrifice): "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us." Now here is the very place to lead us to that truth of profound spirituality, the constant offering of His sacrifice to God. Alas! — rather, thank God — it is just the contrary. "Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world he hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." That is, when His appearing personally in heaven is the subject, not only has the Holy Ghost not a word to say of this profoundly spiritual truth, but He negatives any such thought. It was once, in the end of the world, the sacrifice of Himself was made, and as it was appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.

{*The offering of Himself to be a sacrifice was impossible when once ἀνήνεγκε ἑαυτόν and offering Himself to be a sacrifice is the force of προσφέρειν. Once consumed on the altar there could be no further offering to God. It will he well to notice what the divine order of offerings was. If a person would bring an offering to Jehovah, he was to bring it near . This was the technical term for bringing it up as an offering, was the mere physical act of making it come. He or some one slew the victim if of cattle. The priest took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar of burnt offering, or on that before the mercy seat, as the case might be. Then he laid on the altar (after washing when needed) the part that was to be burned there, the whole carcase or the fat, as the case might be, in order, and ) burned it as sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire, when such was its character, on the altar. Προσφέρειν is the Greek word used for the bringing it as an offering to God: ἀναφέρειν for its being actually offered up to God and burned upon the altar. The offerer did the first, the priest and the fire from God did the last. The priest's office did not begin till after the offerer had brought his offering. When the victim, or its fat, or even the Mincha or meat offering, had been consumed on the altar, the essence of the act was that that was absolutely and completely done, gone up to God (hola), consumed as here, and mounted up to God as a sweet savour, an offering made by fire (Ishshee). The thought of any new offering, προσφορά presenting it to God, was impossible. It would have been the setting aside of the burning on the altar, the completeness of the sacrifice to God by fire, as having all gone up to Him as a sweet savour. The value of the blood of Christ, is eternal with God, assuredly; the sweet savour of His sacrifice ever before Him, but an offering of Himself by Christ after He had been sacrificed on the divine altar to God, could not enter into the mind of one who knew what sacrifice was. Christ προσήνεγκεν ἑαυτὸν ἄμωμον τῳ Θεῶ (Heb. 9); so ἑαυτὸν ἀνήεγκε was an actual offering (offered himself) up to God upon the cross. (Heb. 7.) (Compare James 2:21). (If the LXX be consulted, the distinctive use of ἀναφέρω, as the actual offering on the altar, becomes quite clear.) The victim is said to bear the sins when he has been presented by the offerer, but only after he has become an offered victim. So Christ (Heb. 9:28) was once offered to bear the sins of many, προσενεχθεὶς εἰς τὸ ἀνενεγκεῖν. Here He is viewed as a sin-offering: but an offering or presenting the slain victim after it had been on the altar, and the fire of God had consumed the sacrifice as taught by scripture.}

362 It is not, He does not suffer as once, but He offers Himself continually; but He does not offer Himself, for if He did, He must suffer.

363 The doctrine of a perpetual sacrifice in any and every shape, is a simple denial of christian truth on the subject and of the efficacy of Christ's one sacrifice. The once, once for all, is the especial theme of the teaching of the Holy Ghost on the subject when it is elaborately treated of, excluding continuation, as well as repetition. The Epistle adds: "But this man, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down (εἰς τὸ διηνεχές) on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool; for by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified." He was not standing offering oftentimes, as the Jewish priests, but when He had offered one, for ever* sat down (εἰς τὸ διηνεχές), that is, He had not to get up and offer any thing any more, and the reason was, by that one He had perfected for ever the sanctified.

{*I am perfectly aware of the foolish effort to change the sense by putting the comma after "ever," instead of "sins." But this is not changing the sense, but making nonsense. "When He had offered" is necessarily a past thing. "This man (οὗτος) having offered one sacrifice for sins" is a thing done; and the whole argument requires this, for it is in contrast with the High Priest standing and offering. His work was never done, but Christ sits εἰς τὸ διηνεκές because by one offering He has perfected εἰς τὸ διηνεκές. Nothing can be clearer.}

When He rises up it will be to deal with His enemies as His footstool. As to His friends, the sanctified ones, God remembers their sins no more, and "where remission of these is there is no more offering for sins." Is there, or is there not? It is unconscious infidelity in the efficacy of Christ's one sacrifice to think there is; — there is no such thing as a προσφορά περί ἁμαρτίας now; no bringing anything to God about sin. It has been done once (ἐφάπαξ), once for all.

I repeat, it is a simple denial of the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice which purges the conscience and has obtained eternal redemption, the proof given by the Holy Ghost that it had been offered once for all, that it was eternally efficacious, and that there could be no more.

No doubt His intercession is founded on the efficacy of His sacrifice, but that is not the question. The question is, does He in any sense offer it now? The words of my author are, "the continual offering of a sacrifice made once for all," and, "it is a propitiatory sacrifice." Now this the Epistle in every shape and form denies.

He is speaking of offering sacrifice when he says "this he did once (ἐφάπαξ, once for all)." He is speaking of it when he says, "there is no more offering for sin," where he declares that it cannot be, because "by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." We have its being once for all, as προσφορά, that is, the presenting to God to be a sacrifice before Him; and with the word ἀνήεγχε, the technical word for actually offering up. We are told by the essayist, He might offer it without being a suffering victim; the word says, "He must often have suffered if it was not once for all." It is a vital point, and handled consequently in every shape in which the devices of the enemy could undermine its efficacy. It is the keystone of Christianity as to acceptance with God and eternal redemption.

364 We are referred to the Apocalypse as introducing us to these scenes. Well, and what does it shew us? The Lamb presenting His sacrifice and worshipping? Far from it. The Lamb in the midst of the throne, and beasts and elders falling down before Him. You may find angelical figures of priesthood it may be; but Christ presenting His offering, or worshipping, never. Did the writer ever read what he is referring to? But all is blundering in these statements. We have, by way of accurate Greek, This is my body which is being given, This is my blood which is being shed. That from John 13 the Lord is contemplating His going away, and speaking in view of His heavenly position, is perfectly true; but the pretending that it means "is now being given," "now being poured out" (p. 305), that is, in the last supper, save in the general sense that it was not yet, but was going to be accomplished, or that it was "a sacrificial act," is all a delusion; the very passage (p. 305) in which it is stated proves the absurdity of it. "The declaration of Himself as the Lamb of God, the very Paschal Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world … then and there offered by Himself," &c. Now "that taketh away the sin* of the world" was spoken by John the Baptist at the very commencement of the blessed Lord's ministerial life, yet it is the ὁ αἴρων, the present time. The fact is, such present tenses are characteristic, and do not refer to time. It is a broken body and a shed blood we feed on, not a living Messiah simply. Thus ὁ σπείρων is the sower, he that sows. He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd, and he that entereth not in by the door, where it is evidently characteristic. So in John 6, "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood."

{*Let my reader remark "that taketh away the sins," however habitual, is an utterly false citation of the passage. Christ does not take away the sins of the whole world at all. Such a thought is nowhere to be found in scripture. If it were so there would be no sins to be answered for by any. But it is not said. The new heavens and the new earth will be the full effect of this truth.

365 But it is useless to multiply examples. It is the commonest thing possible; and the rather that the case referred to by the essayist proves the fallacy of it, because "He that taketh away the sin of the world" is, upon his own shewing, not the sacrificial period, yet it is the present tense.

We are told that the church triumphant and the church on earth are all one, we being "the outer court;" both worship Christ presenting His offering in heaven actually, and on earth in the Eucharist. Of this last we have spoken. But all is error. There is no church triumphant. That all departed Christians, whose spirits are now with Christ, will finally make one body is quite true; and that when absent from the body they are present with the Lord, so that to depart and be with Christ is far better, this too it is most blessed to know. It has made death to be a gain. But there is no church triumphant. For this we must wait till the resurrection. The saints in their complete state, that is, conformed to the image of Christ, bearing the image of the heavenly, are not yet ascended or glorified. Their spirits, happy with the Lord, await the day of glory which Christ Himself, though glorified, is awaiting. For, as we read, David is not yet ascended into heaven. And however confused and contradictory the ideas of the early doctors may have been, (and on this point they were confusion itself,) still early liturgies and all early teaching recognized this; for they prayed for the departed — what afterwards, under Jewish traditions, became purgatory.

What subsequently was turned into the saints praying for us was at first the church on earth praying for the saints; and this was so distinctly the case, that Epiphanius makes it the proper difference of the person of Christ, that, whereas even the Virgin Mary was prayed for, Christ was not. That all sorts of contradictions may be found in the fathers as to it, I freely admit; but what I state is notoriously true, and known to everyone who has a very slight knowledge of church history. You may find, even as a distinct privilege of saints, that they had at once the beatific vision; but a triumphant church was contradicted by the early doctrine of prayers for the dead: that is certain. Nor is the notion of a triumphant church scriptural, nor is Christ on His own throne now, but on the Father's throne, sitting at the right hand of God till His enemies be made His footstool. The distinction I have referred to of saints who do see God on high is wholly unscriptural. The whole church is composed of saints, and none are glorified. The praying for them may be a superstition, but it proves that the early church held what contradicts a triumphant one, worshipping in heaven, while we do on point of sacrifice contradictory to the Epistle to the earth.

366 But not only is the especial teaching on the Hebrews (saying that there is a continual sacrifice, the Epistle declaring that there is none; saying that the Lord need not go through what He once went through, the Epistle that He must suffer often if His sacrifice, once for all, was not complete and final; saying that there is a continual offering now, and even that it is propitiatory, the Epistle that it was done once for all) — not only is the teaching of the article exactly the opposite of the especial point of the reasoning of the Epistle, but it betrays a total absence of the knowledge of what sin is, what redemption, what reconciliation; so that the whole form and substance of thought is false.

The notions as to Adam and angels, are unfounded. That the angels worship may be freely admitted; that Adam would have done so, we do not doubt; but to attribute surrender of self to them, as if that too was worship, has no ground whatever; there is nothing to surrender; their duty is to stay in the place where they are, such as they are, and just as they are. The delight to serve according to their nature, they have nothing to give up, no selfish will to surrender. Christ could give up His place as to manifested glory, and take upon Himself the form of a servant as man, for He was God.

We have to yield ourselves to God as those alive from the dead (and it is a blessed privilege of the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free), because we have had a selfish will. But in neither case has it anything to do with worship. It may be sovereign grace, it may be duty, through sovereign grace towards us, never worship. Holy and innocent creatures have nothing to do with it. There may be in us a common source of both self-sacrifice and worship, God recovering His rights in the heart; but, save that, one has nothing to do with the other. But the writer's notion of sacrifice betrays his total ignorance of divine truth on these points, that conscience is wholly dead, and that darkness reigns in the mind. Gin, he tells us, did right in offering the fruits of the ground, only something else should be also offered. "This was right." … "But this was not enough." (Page 304.)

367 God says to Cain, "If thou doest well shalt not thou be accepted?" but he was not accepted here, so that he did not do well. It is really monstrous, when it is written, "to Cain and to his offering God had not respect," to say, "this was right." Offering, worship, drawing near to God, is supposed not only possible, but right, only insufficient without redemption. It is a denial of all christian truth. There was no faith in it, as we know from Hebrews; no sense that they were excluded from paradise for sin, and could not, without redemption, draw near to God, and it slighted the appointed and needed sacrifice, instituted, our writer tells us, by God Himself; which I in no way dispute. He was bringing, so blinded in heart and conscience was he, the marks of the curse as an offering to God, and pretending to approach God in the very state in which God had driven out the man because he was in that state. In a word, an offering which proved that there was no faith, no sense of sin, no conscience of God's judgment executed against man, an entire passing by God's instituted and only way of coming back to Him — a state so really hardened as to bring the sign of the curse to God as an offering "was right."

Nothing can betray more completely the state of mind of the writer, his incompetency to speak on such a subject, than his declaring to be right what God had no respect to; what, if we examine its true character, was the demonstration of a hardened conscience and an utterly blinded heart, breaking out in open rebellion thereupon, and ultimate exclusion from the presence of the Lord, and a mark set upon him of perpetual memorial. We may reverently say, If his path was right, what was God's? But this is the expression of the great general principle of ritualism — incarnation, reuniting man to God, and sacraments an extension of that, leaving out the place redemption has in the truth of God according to the necessity of His nature and character. So sacrifice, we are told, means the act of offering or presenting an oblation before almighty God.

Now this very vague statement leaves all the truth untold. We can offer ourselves, everything, to God: our bodies a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God — not that this is worship; but must not Christ come first? That is the question. Can sinful man return to God without redemption? If not, if the nature and will and righteousness and holiness of God require this, so that if the Son took up our cause He must suffer and die, what makes sacrifice thus vague: an act of offering without bringing in redemption is high treason against Christ, apostasy from the only truth. Besides, after all, it is beguiling the English reader.

368 The word specifically rendered sacrifice (Zebach) comes from "to slay," and is in contrast with meat-offerings and burnt-offerings. When the sacrifices are instituted representing Christ, the burnt-offering comes first. Christ's offering Himself to death and the ἀναφέρειν, or offering up to God, was on the altar; there was the sweet savour, an offering made by fire. The testing, consuming judgment of God brought out only what was the delight of God.

The προσφορά was the presenting an oblation before God, and this though a first preliminary was not the sacrifice in the true sense of the word, nor could any offering of a sacrifice come after the sacrifice was made. The altar and fire were needed, or there was no sweet savour, no offering made by fire, and this was true of the Mincha or unbloody sacrifice, it was burnt on the altar and so became a sacrifice. It was presented to be one, but it was not one before that. There was no sweet savour till then.

It was not an Ishah, an offering made by fire, a sweet savour to the Lord, and this is always kept up. The two leavened cakes of Pentecost* were presented, but they could not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour. And these Minchas or meal-offerings, were offered with the other offerings; and as the burnt-offering shewed Christ's perfectness in death as an absolute offering to God, ever sinless, but now offered up, so the meal-offering shewed His perfectness unto death, the pure Man, born of the Spirit, anointed with the Spirit, all the frankincense of His grace going up to the Lord, finally burnt on the altar to God, but the food withal of the priests. In its own way death, the altar, the fire was as much brought in here as for the burnt-offering. No Christian doubts the perfectness, and perfect obedience of Christ all the way along, but here it became a sweet savour perfected on the altar of God. And the peace-offerings which witness communion, not simply the acting of Christ towards God, confirm this fully. The fat was burned to God, was the food of God, as expressed in Leviticus 3, before the flesh became the food of the offerer and his guests, and if this feeding on the flesh was too far removed from God's part in it, from the burning of the fat on the altar, it was iniquity not communion, the sacrifice on the altar, the work of redemption. The fire of God consuming the sacrifice or its fat, must be, for any sweet savour or any communion. It is this that ritualism is directed against. "The word 'sacrifice' means 'a presenting an oblation before almighty God."' This is, whose ever the sentence is, dishonesty or ignorance of divine things. There was no sweet savour but in offerings made by fire. Presenting it to God, was not the true sacrificial act, the sweet savour to God. There must for that be the hiktar as well as the hikriv, the ἀναφέρειν as well as the προσφέρειν; and in the only case where there was not this because of leaven, it was not a sweet savour to God. Further, when application of sacrifice to man was made, it always began with the sin-offering.

{*They surely represent us, not Christ. A sin-offering was offered with them.}

369 When it presents Christ abstractedly, the burnt-offering is first, then the Mincha, then the peace-offering, then the sin-offering. Christ was made this, made sin for us, but having become a man, all that He was for God as sacrifice, began with blood-shedding, and in every case its being burnt on the altar made it to be a sweet savour as an offering made by fire; but where there is application, that is, where man profits by it, the sin-offering comes first; till this is done there cannot be any other, no enjoyment of Christ as a perfect offering of sweet savour to God, for the sin-offering was not an offering for a sweet savour, though as a general rule the fat was burnt on the altar, for Christ was thus Himself perfect for God in that wherein He was made sin. Still for the sinner there must be the perfect putting away of sin by the work of the cross before he can enter into God's presence in the sweet savour of Christ's work. Redemption in the work,, redemption in application, must come first, before there can be any approach of a sinner to God, though God be love, yea, because He is so.

To say therefore that a sacrifice is the act of offering or presenting an oblation before almighty God is utterly false; for the presenting of the victim, the προσφορά did not make it a sacrifice at all, nor the presenting of the fine flour or cakes even. It was when ἀνήεγχε, when it had been offered up on the altar, that it became a sweet savour to God, a true sacrifice. It was not always a living creature, for there was a meal-offering added, Christ's perfect human nature and offering as born and anointed of the Spirit, but it was made by fire on the altar of God, or was no sacrifice. The whole paragraph (p. 302) ignores the true nature of sacrifice, though necessary for the system of the continual presenting of Christ on no altar at all. We are told Melchisedek offered bread and wine. This, however often repeated, is a mere fable. He brought forth bread and wine. There is no hint of a sacrifice, no sacrificial word. People may have repeated it till they believed it; but there is not a hint of it in the passage, but the contrary.

370 And so entirely excluded is redemption and the efficacious work of Christ by which it is wrought, in order to introduce this idle notion of Christ's sacrificial worship in heaven, so entirely is the value of His person as of the essence of true sacrifice ignored, that we are told that "the essence of sacrifice as such, that which has made it, and we can hardly doubt, by God's original primeval appointment, to be the chiefest and most important act of worship in every religion, whether patriarchal, Jewish, Gentile, or christian, is not the material thing offered, but the inward disposition of devout adoring homage, and perfect surrender and dedication of ourselves and our whole will and being to God, of which the outward sacrifice of the most precious of our material possessions is but the visible symbol and embodiment." (Page 302.) Now, could Christ made sin for us, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, the bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, be more completely ignored? That Christ through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, that He did blessedly give Himself up, surrender Himself and His will to God, is most true; but God made Him to be sin for us. The writer is speaking of devout and adoring homage, of an act of worship, so that Christ's sin-bearing sacrifice is wholly excluded; for however perfect His love to His Father, and giving Himself up to His glory, sin-bearing is not an act of worship, nor is enduring wrath. And could we speak of the material thing offered being comparatively immaterial where Christ offered Himself without spot to God? That His inward disposition was perfect no one doubts; but is it not evident that Christ was not in the thoughts of the writer when he wrote this passage? Yet he is treating of what is important in sacrifice and its true nature.

Now Christ's sacrifice is the only true key to all sacrifice developed in the law in figures, in all its parts and in its application; and here God's original, primeval appointment is referred to. This surely points to Christ. The certain difference of this was that it was the fat of lambs and not the fruit of the ground, on which, without redemption, the curse rested (compare too Gen. 8:21), and if the covering the nakedness of Adam with skins was the occasion on which the divine appointment of sacrifice took place, as is very naturally thought by many thoughtful and learned Christians, the nature of sacrifice is plain. One thing is sure, the meat-offering, or Mincha, was an adjunct to other sacrifices and in itself is never called a sacrifice. And on such a subject scripture alone can be allowed to have any weight. If God appointed sacrifice, it is there it must be learned.

371 But though the connection of all true worship with sacrifice is evident from what I have said, and that it is founded on it, yet sacrifice is not worship. It is as a gift that it approaches the nearest to it, as bringing such a gift is a homage done to the majesty of God; but as a sacrifice it is not worship. There death, as meeting the righteous claims of God, comes in, and the fire of His judgment which tests the worthiness, or judges the guilt laid upon the victim; and this, in which God has the principal and essential part, is not worship. The προσφορά, or oblation for free-will offering, alone has at all this character. The moment it gets into the place of sacrifice, the altar of God, the testing fire of God is applied, His claims on that which is offered. And such an offering comes, so to speak, from without. It may be perfect. I need not say in Christ it was so, but as coming on the part of a rebellious race it must be tested by the majesty of God. "It became Him for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." Coming for man, in behalf of man, He must be dealt with as the majesty and truth of God claimed. The result was to prove His absolute perfectness, but He was tested and tried. And He presents Himself as so coming, and this was true of the meat-offering, the Mincha, though not called a sacrifice.

Worship is the free adoration, and for us in the holiest, of those who have been brought nigh by sacrifice, who know God as love, who know Him as a Father who has sought in grace worshippers in spirit and in truth, and brought them in cleansed to do so. The worshippers once purged should have no more conscience of sins. By one offering Christ had perfected them for ever, such is scripture truth (see Heb. 10.); and then they worship, adore, praise in the sense of perfect divine favour and a Father's love. They have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way He has consecrated for them through the veil. It is not that Christ is doing it in heaven actually in the triumphant church, and they on earth in the militant. They enter in spirit into the holiest, in heaven itself, to worship there; and hence a high priest made higher than the heavens was needed for them, because their worship is there. They do not offer the sacrifice in order to come in, they are within in virtue of the sacrifice.

372 And this is the place the symbols, of Christ's broken body and blood, have in worship. The worshippers are in spirit in heavenly places, Christ in spirit in their midst, as it is written, "In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee," and they own and remember that blessed and perfect sacrifice by which they can so worship, by which they have entered in. Doubtless they feed on Christ in spirit; but that is not the point we are on now. The Christ that is represented in the Eucharist is a Christ with a broken body, and the cup is His shed blood, not a glorified Christ in heaven. It is His death, a broken body and the blood separated from it, life given up in this world, that is before us. We may in spirit eat also the old corn of the land — be occupied with a heavenly Christ, assuredly we may, and blessedly so; but that is not the Christ that is here. We eat His flesh and drink His blood, that is, separate from His body — not only the manna which is for the desert and ceased in Canaan, the bread that came down from heaven, but the additional and necessary truth of His death. Hence His going up is only spoken of in John 6 as an additional subsequent truth. We worship as belonging to heaven and own that by which we got there, that perfect blessed work which He, who could speak what He knew there, and testify what He had seen, could tell was needed that we might have the heavenly things, and not only tell but in infinite love, accomplished. But no such Christ as the one whose symbols lie before us in the Lord's supper exists now. It is specifically, solely, and emphatically, as a dead Christ that He is remembered there. They were to do that, that is, to use the emphatic symbols of His death, in remembrance of Him. Hence it is the centre of worship because hereby know I love, because He laid down His life for us. Here He glorified the Father for me, so that I can enter into the holiest. Then the veil was rent and the way opened; but here was the perfect work accomplished, by which I, as risen together with Him, can say I am not in the flesh. In the heavenly Christ I say, by the Holy Ghost, I am in Him and He in me. It is being of Him, being united to Him, He in our midst in grace. A dead Christ I remember. I do not, in the joy and glory in which I have a part through and with Him, forget that lonely work in which He bore the sorrow and drank the cup of wrath. I remember with touched affections the lowly rejected Christ, now that I am in heavenly places through His solitary humiliation. The offering Him up now is a presumptuous denial of Christianity. The remembering Him, that divine Person, in His solitary suffering and perfect love to His Father, is the most touching of christian affections, the basis and centre of all true worship, as the efficacy of the work wrought there alone admits us to worship at all. The drinking of the blood apart points it out as shed. We shew forth the Lord's death, emphatically, not a glorified Christ, but we do so as associated with Him the glorified Man, who Himself purged our sins, remembering with thankful hearts how we got there, and, above all, Him who gave Himself up that we might.

373 It is a singular instance of Satan's power which Romish superstition has occasioned among those who have carried the eucharistic sacrifice to its full extent: the cup is denied to the laity. To comfort them under this, they are assured that the body, blood, soul and divinity, a whole Christ, is contained under both species, that is, in the bread and in the wine. But if the blood be still in the body, there is no redemption. It is a Christ as living on earth which is celebrated, when He had shed no blood to redeem us. It is a sacrament of non-redemption.

I understand these ritualists being angry with Archdeacon Freeman for having presented this view, though he be as ritualist as they could wish; but it is as evident as truth can make it, to anyone who respects the truth, that it is a Christ sacrificed, a Christ who has died, a body broken and blood shed, which is celebrated in the Eucharist, and (false as the essayist's Greek may be in it) his testimony confirms it, for he makes it, My body now being given (or broken), My blood now being shed. If so, it is not a living glorified Christ, but a dying and in real truth a dead Christ, for the blood is clearly presented as shed, and to be drunk apart. But they also see clearly that in this case it can be no carrying on an offering now, as Christ does in heaven, for there is no dead Christ there, no body broken or being broken, and they see clearly enough that this view of Archdeacon Freeman upsets the real presence, for there is no such Christ to be present nor can we think of a dead Christ present thus perpetually in the Eucharist.

374 Finally, the Christian's giving up what he has is not worship, nor is it what an intelligent Christian does. He yields himself to God as alive from the dead, and his members as instruments of righteousness. It is giving himself up to God for service, not worship. Nor is it giving up self, self-surrender. That is surely our part, but that is departing from the wickedness of selfwill, from possessing ourselves in will, in spite of God. That is given up when conversion arrives. The Christian has the privilege, when freed by grace, of yielding himself to God, to be the instrument of His will. That is another thing; but, though a just homage to God, neither is it worship. This is adoration and praise to God for what He has done, and what he is, as standing in His perfect favour in Christ, and in the consciousness of it by the Holy Ghost owning Christ's work as that through the perfect efficacy of which we are brought there; and hence the place of the Eucharist in worship, as we have seen, the memorial of His death, of His having died for us, and the truth it refers to, whether actually celebrating it or not, awakening withal every affection which refers to His love and perfect work.

Our essayist admits Christ to be the one only great High Priest, and all Christians to be priests. And the special priesthood which offers Christ as a sacrifice on the eucharistic altar, we are told, belongs to that "view of christian worship. And that without trenching in the least, when rightly understood, on either of those two cognate truths, the sole and unique priesthood of the one true Priest, Jesus Christ, or the common priesthood of all christian people." (Page 301.) But I can find no explanation of why it does not, nor proof of this third kind of priesthood. Not one word is condescended on the subject. He enlarges with a strange jumble of truth and error on the two first kinds of priesthood, and then says (p. 302), "the special functions of the ordained priest, which distinguish him alike from the deacon and layman." But how we get this priesthood, or what is its authority, whence derived, by whom instituted, where found in scripture, not a word is uttered.

Everyone knows that priest is a corruption of presbyter, or elder; but as to what made elder into a priest, in the modern sense, we are left wholly in the dark. There are three priesthoods — Christ's, all Christians, and ordained priests. Where is this found? These poor christian priests, of whom scripture speaks, are quite incompetent to perform the "functions of the ordained priests." (Page 302.) But where are the three found? If Christ has given to all of us His own titles of kings and priests to God and His Father, how comes it that we cannot do what God's priests have to do? and that another kind of priest, never hinted at in scripture, is to represent Christ in what is alleged to be the solemn act of priesthood, but that those, whom God has made kings and priests — given Christ's titles, cannot? How comes it that He has named the sacrifices which His priests are to offer (that they are a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ), but that He never mentions that as a sacrifice which the priests He never names are to offer? That He is perfectly silent as to both; yet we are to believe that God's priests are laymen, and those that He has not named are, after all, exclusively priests who have supplanted them? Is all this not very strange? Is it not very like an invention? Is it not an invention of man, or Satan? The result being an offering of Jesus Christ now, denying the value of His one offering of Himself once for all, and the solemn declaration founded on it, that there is no more offering for sin; yet there is, according to these men, and a sacrifice and a propitiatory sacrifice.

375 If a propitiation is needed now, Christianity is not true. The allegation that it is said He is, not was, the propitiation for our sins, is but poor sophistry. That the value of the propitiation is constant and eternally so is quite true; but for that very reason He is not offering a propitiatory sacrifice now, because He did it once on the cross.

But sacrifice, we are told, is the central and important word; and it is alleged that 1 Corinthians 10 is a proof that the Eucharist must be one, for it is compared to the idol sacrifices. But it is no such thing; the passage proves just the contrary. It is eating of the sacrifice which it is compared with, and the writer of the article is drawing our attention from that to its being itself a sacrifice. Every true Christian admits, of course, Christ to have been the true sacrifice; and the passage insists that the priests, who eat of the altar (ver. 18), were partakers with the altar; but it was their eating, not their sacrificing, which did this. It was the same with the Gentiles: they eat of the sacrifices; so of Christians: they eat at the Lord's table. But in no case was it the sacrifice itself which is spoken of, but of feeding on what had been sacrificed. In a word, the passage shews that the Spirit and word of God look at it as a feeding on what had been sacrificed, and not as a sacrifice. It teaches the contrary of that which the writer insists on, in a way than which nothing can be plainer.

376 It is not very material to our present subject, but the vulgar error of Christ's being the ladder on which angels descend, uniting heaven and earth, being repeated here, I notice it. Christ has Jacob's place, not the ladder's. Jacob was at the foot of the ladder, and these messengers were coming down and going up from God to him, and from him to God. Now the Son of man was to be the object. God's angels would have the Son of man for the object of their service from an open heaven. There is no ladder thought of. Christ, the Son of man, is the object. Nathaniel had recognized Him as Son of God, King of Israel, according to Psalm 2. Christ carries him on to His title in Psalm 8 (being rejected), and says he would see greater things than that, even heaven open, and the Son of man the object of the service of the angels, of God Himself.

I have pretty much examined the material points of this article, though I have passed over many objectionable passages; but the great principle is what is in question — the continuous offering of a propitiatory sacrifice, and that in heaven by Christ, and on earth by the priest in the Eucharist; and, further, what is involved in it, the nature of worship. Sacrifice is that by which we approach to God as coming from without; worship, adoration, and praise, when we have got within. The Jewish temple-service had the character of sacrifice in general, because they could not go within, the Holy Ghost signifying by the unrent veil that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest. But we pass through the rent veil into the holiest, and worship there as in the holiest. Knowing withal God as our Father, we recognize — remember with adoring thankfulness — that sacrifice, that rending of the veil, that breaking of the body, that shedding of the blood, through which we can so enter, purged from all our sins and reconciled to God. Christ is in the midst of two or three gathered in His name, but it is a living Christ in spirit, not His body broken and shed blood. Having Him in our midst in spirit, we celebrate His precious death; we do this in remembrance of Him. We cannot have a dead Christ in our midst; and, above all, we cannot have both a dead and a living One.

377 Let it fully be remarked that expiatory sacrifice (p. 304) is only added to the precious unbloody sacrifice and worship. Hence, we have seen, it is stated that Cain was right, only wrong in neglecting the other. "This was not enough." Christianity teaches that the sinner cannot come at all but by a true atoning sacrifice; the offering of Cain was the neglect, was the denial, of that. It is said God accepted Abel's repentance and faith. Scripture does not say so. He accepted Abel, bore witness that he was righteous on the ground of his gift (Heb. 11); and (whatever the homage paid) acceptance and the enjoyment of divine favour is the fruit of sacrifice, not worship. And so we see in Leviticus: our High Priest must be one higher than the heavens. As Priest He is separated from us, acting for us, not amongst us. This is certain in all priesthood. The statement that all He did from the moment when He said, "This is my body," to the moment when He said, "It is finished," was one long, continuous, sacrificial, action (p. 305), is necessarily false. First, His surrender of all to God, so far as true was always perfect, the sacrifice was always "made in purpose and in intention." So far as it was a special act, it was in Gethsemane, as the Lord's agonizing prayer demonstrates, and the discourses in John 14, 15, 16 are in no sense sacrificial. The priest had, in ordinary sacrifices, nothing to do with the offering till the blood was shed; he received that, and sprinkled it on the altar. The προσφορά was not a priestly act at all, and this προσφορά (oblation) is what we have, even on the writer's own shewing, before us here.

In the great day of atonement the priest confessed the people's sins on the head of the scape-goat, as representing a guilty people, not as between them and God as priest, but as high priest standing in the place of them all to make their confession. He stood as the guilty person, inasmuch as he represented the people. So did Christ on the cross. He offered Himself, through the Eternal Spirit, without spot to God, to be the victim. God made the spotless One to be sin for us. Except as thus representing the guilty people, the priest did not slay the victim; and the offering a victim or himself to God was quite another thing. In no case was the offering of a victim, or surrender of self to God, a priestly act. The statement (p. 307), that "the act of offering or presenting a victim is a sacrifice," is simply a blunder; this was done by the one who offered the victim, not by the priest. I notice these things to clear the ground by scripture statements; the confusion of the author, by his ignorance of the whole subject, making the analysis of all his statements an unprofitable labour. I have already said a προσφορά, after the victim had been offered (ἀναφέρεσθαι) on the altar, is a thing unknown in sacrifice. We read again: "As the most holy body and blood of Christ, the alone acceptable victim to make our peace with God, are offered … ." (p. 308.) Now He has made peace by the blood of His cross. All this subverts Christianity.

378 In result, the propositions of the author are that Christ is to be adored with the profoundest homage in the Eucharist. Secondly, there is "the solemn pleading … of that once-sacrificed body and blood for ourselves … as our only hope of pardon, reconciliation, and grace." (Page 315.) As to the last, I have spoken of it. We are pardoned, we are reconciled, we stand in grace, if Christianity be true. This theory is not Christianity but denies it. The former proposition requires a little attention.

That Christ is to be adored, every true Christian cordially accepts; but the sting is in the tail, "wherever he is." His body and blood, it is alleged, are in the Eucharist. He is where His body and blood are (p. 315), and, consequently, He is to be adored in the Eucharist. It is the common argument for idols; the divinity is present there. In death, though Godhead may hold its title over the body, nor suffer it to see corruption, yet the soul was separate from the body, or it was not death.

The Eucharist, let them say what they will, is a symbol and sign of the dead Christ — a broken body and shed blood. Christ is personally in heaven. He is present in spirit in the congregation; as He expresses it, "In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." Do they mean to say that He, though in our midst, leads us to worship the signs of what He was when dead? That His body is now to come down from heaven to be broken (for that is what is done in the Eucharist)? and that He returns into life before death to be broken and His blood shed (for that they avow is what was doing when He instituted the Eucharist)? Christ's place, if we speak of "where" as to Him, is in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father, nowhere else. God has said, "Sit at my right hand till," and there accordingly He sits, nor will He leave it till the time appointed of the Father. Is He present alive in the bread before it is broken, and then does He go through death, there symbolized by the broken bread and the wine to be drunk? If so, then His soul is separated from His body. Or is He not present then, that is, before breaking the bread, but only after His body is broken and His blood shed? Then it is not He in any sense who is given and His blood shed. I can understand well that such inquiries offend them, as they talk of the devout and simple affections of faith. Reverence is our place, the right spirit to be in when one thinks of the blessed One given for us. But if they invent false and erroneous views, which pervert the truth, which pretend to bring Christ down from heaven, when God has said to Him, as to His person and glorified body, "Sit at my right hand," it is right to put questions which have no irreverence for Christ, but expose the fallacy of their views, which shew that it is a false pretended Christ of their own imagination — that there can be no such Christ, for He is glorified in heaven, and not now broken and shedding His blood on earth, nor ever will again. If death is symbolized, and partaking of Him in that character — and it certainly and evidently is so — there is no such Christ now. He is alive for evermore. In death His soul was separated from His body. It is not so separated now. It is of faith (the moment you use a circumscribed 'where') to say He is in heaven, and nowhere else, till He rise up from the throne of God — "whom the heavens must receive till the time of the restitution of all things of which the prophets have spoken."