Hebrews 10:5

Psalm 40:6-8 (taken along with Hebrews 10:5-9)
That some of the psalms are applied to Christ does not warrant us in applying them all to him; and even if some verses of any one psalm are applied to the Messiah, we. are not thereby, warranted in applying all the verses in such psalm to him. There are direct Messianic psalms, which apply only to the Lord Jesus Christ; such are the second and the hundred and tenth psalms. Critics - some of them, at least - demur to this as being contrary to psychological law. But it is not merely by the psychological law of the natural man that these Messianic psalms are declared to have been written. We are pointed, for their origin, to a fourfold divergence from naturalistic psychology.

1. It is not of psychology we have to think, but of pneumatology.

2. Of the pneumatology of the spiritual man.

3. Of the pneumatology of the spiritual man when "borne along" by the Divine Pneuma.

4. Of such action of the Divine Pneuma on the human for a specific Divine purpose. All this is indicated in 2 Peter 1:21; and therefore all such critics as those to which we refer are totally beside the mark (see our remarks on Psalm 32.). But there are also psalms which are indirectly Messianic. They are marked, speaking generally, by the pronoun "I." The writer speaks for himself, in the first instance; but whether he knew or intended it or not, the words had such a far-reachingness about them, that they could only be filled up in their perfect meaning by the Lord Jesus Christ. Such is the case with the verses now before us. They first of all apply to David, and it is quite possible that he intended nothing further; if so, unwittingly to himself, he was borne along to utter words whose fulness of meaning could only be disclosed by the Incarnation, by David's Son, who had eternally been David's Lord; and, as such, the doctrines they contain are truly sublime. There is a somewhat difficult matter, which may be indicated by the questions:

(1) How came the phrase, "Mine ears hast thou opened," to be rendered by the LXX., "A body hast thou prepared me"? and

(2) whether of the two readings is to be accepted? Dean Alford (see his Commentary, in loc.) prefers to leave the difficulties unsolved. Dr. J. Fye Smith ('Script. Test.,' vol. 1. p. 208), Dr. Boothroyd, and others, with little hesitation, express their conviction that the original and correct phrase is that adopted by the LXX. Calmet suggests, "On lit dans l'hebreu antes, peutetre pour corpus autem. Archdeacon Farrar says, in his notes on Hebrews 10:5-7, Finding the rendering in the LXX., believing it to represent the true sense of the original (as it does), and also seeing it to be eminently illustrative of his subject, the writer naturally adopts it." On the whole, then, the variation presents an interesting point in textual criticism, rather than any doctrinal difficulty. Since, in either case, the substantial meaning is, "My bodily frame has been marked out and sealed for the performance of thy will." By the very frequent quotation from the LXX. rather than from the Hebrew, even when they vary, the sacred writers show how much more important in their view was the main thought than the precise form of expression. Having, then, in two separate homilies, dealt with this psalm in its application to David, we will now luxuriate in these verses as finding their highest and noblest application in Christ, and in him alone. In so doing, eight lines of thought require to be laid down.

I. THERE IS A MOMENTOUS PRINCIPLE UNDERLYING BOTH THE HEBREW AND THE CHRISTIAN ECONOMIES. It is this - that sin has disturbed the relations between man and God, so that nothing is right with man till these relations are readjusted and harmony is restored. The whole of the Mosaic economy was an education in the evil of sin. "By Law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20); "The Law was our child-guide unto Christ" (Galatians 3:24).

II. UNDER THE LAW, THE PEOPLE WERE TAUGHT THAT SIN MUST BE PUT AWAY BY SACRIFICE. "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22). But there will ever remain this wide, this infinite, difference between Jewish and pagan sacrifices - the pagan sacrifices started from man, and expressed his desire to propitiate God; the Jewish sacrifices were appointed by God himself, as by One pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin, who would cancel guilt only as sin had been condemned.

III. THE VARIED SACRIFICES UNDER THE LAW WERE BUT A "FIGURE FOR THE TIME THEN PRESENT." The doctrine of the insufficiency of fleshly sacrifices is found not only in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but also in the Old Testament (see 1 Samuel 15:22,-23; Psalm 51:16; Psalm 40:6-8; Isaiah 1:11-17; Jeremiah 7:22, 23; Micah 6:6-8). The more discerning and spiritually minded of the Hebrew saints saw and felt how ineffective were all the varied offerings to ensure peace with God; and, because ineffective, they were necessarily typical Hence -

IV. THE OLD TESTAMENT DISPENSATION WAS IN ITS ENTIRETY BUT PROPHETIC OF ONE WHO SHOULD COME. (Cf. Luke 24:44; Acts 17:2, 3; Acts 28:23; Daniel 9:24-27.) The entire argument in Hebrews 9. and Hebrews 10. shows this. From the time when he who saw Messiah's day from afar said, "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering," the outlook of the Church of God was towards One "who should come into the world."

V. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, IN THE FACT OF HIS INCARNATION, DECLARED THAT BE HAD COME TO ACCOMPLISH THE UNFULFILLED MEANING OF OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICES. We are not told here that he said this by his Spirit in the fortieth psalm, but that "when he came into the world" he said it. His entrance into our race was itself the great declaration. That act of "emptying himself" spake volumes then, and will do through all time; and thus he put upon the ancient words the sublimest possible significance.

VI. IN ACCOMPLISHING TYPE AND PROPHECY, JESUS FULFILLED THE WORD OF GOD. His advent to earth was an absolute self-surrender to the Father's will (cf. John 4:34; John 6:38). He fulfilled the Father's will

(1) by revealing the Father;

(2) by honouring the Law;

(3) by condemning sin;

(4) by thus laying a basis for the forgiveness of every penitent.

VII. ON THE GROUND OF THIS SURRENDER OF HIMSELF, SIN IS PUT AWAY. "He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9:26). The absolute surrender of the will of the Eternal Son to the Eternal Father accomplished, in fact, that which all past sacrifices had accomplished only in figure. The surrender of that will ensured the fulfilment of all the purposes for which that will was surrendered. "He hath obtained the eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:12; see John 6:38-40).

VIII. SIN HAVING BEEN PUT AWAY FOR EVER, THE ANCIENT SACRIFICES HAVE CEASED FOR EVER. "He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second" (Hebrews 10:9); "By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." Any pretended repetition of the Saviour's sacrifice in the Mass is impiety. No repetition of it is possible. All Old Testament sacrifices have ceased; the Old Testament priesthood has ceased, and has never been renewed. Note: What now remains for us? Only

(1) to accept the one offering of the Son of God as all-sufficient; and

(2) to render now the only sacrifice which is possible for us, viz. the loving, the absolute surrender of our will to him who hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, that we may stand perfect add complete in all the will of God. - C.

A body hast Thou prepared Me.
These words of the Psalmist are a prophecy of the Incarnation.

I. First, it plainly means THE NATURAL BODY, which He took of the substance of the Blessed Virgin. All that makes up the natural perfection of man as a moral and reasonable intelligence, together with a mortal body, He assumed into the unity of His person.

II. As there was a natural, so there is A SUPERNATURAL PRESENCE OF THE BODY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. He said, "The bread that I will give is My flesh," &c.; "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man," &c. And when at the Last Supper He gave this great sacrament to His apostles, He said, "This is My body, this is My blood." It is not for us to attempt to explain the secrets of this mystery. Who can reveal the manner of the resurrection of the body or the mystery of the Incarnation? Then here let us stay our thoughts. What He has said, that He will give, in spirit, substance, and reality. It is enough for us to know that as truly as the life and substance of the first creation are sustained and perpetuated until now, so in the second, which is the mystical Vine, He is root and trunk, branch and fruit; wholly in us, and we in Him.

III. There is yet another and A WIDER MYSTERY SPRINGING UP OUT OF THE LAST. The natural body of our Lord Jesus Christ is, as it were, the root out of which, by the power of the Holy Ghost, His mystical body is produced; and therefore He seems to take this title, "I am the root and the offspring of David" — the offspring according to the descent of the first creation, the root as the beginning of the new. This great work of the regeneration He began to fulfil when, at His descent into hell, He gathered to Himself the saints who of old were sanctified through the hope of His coming; and although "they without us" could not, when on earth, "be made perfect," yet at His descent unto them they "came behind in no gift," but were made equal to the saints of the kingdom. Then began the growth and expansion of the mystical Vine. Upon this unity of patriarchs, prophets, and saints of old were engrafted apostles and evangelists, and all the family of the regeneration. The body which, in its natural and local conditions, was enclosed in an upper chamber or wound in grave-clothes, has multiplied its life and substance as the first Adam in the family of mankind throughout the generations of God's elect. Such is the mystical body of Christ.

IV. ARE THERE, THEN, THREE BODIES OF CHRIST? God forbid; but one only — one in nature, truth, and glory. But there are three manners, three miracles of Divine omnipotence, by which that one body has been and is present — the first as mortal and natural; the second supernatural, real, and substantial; the third mystical by our incorporation.

(Archdeacon H. E. Manning.)

It is one of the most striking things connected with our earthly existence that God sends no life into the world unclothed, bodiless. Every life has a body specially adapted for the service which that life has to render. The higher the life the more complex the .organism; but in each case there is a wondrous harmony between every life and its embodiment and every body and its surroundings. If it be so, how much more when He will send His Son into the world will He prepare a body for Him — a body that shall be specially adapted for His great mission and for the accomplishment of His great design! The Incarnation is confessedly among the greatest of all mysteries. It is the Infinite One accepting a body. What does this mean? We cannot tell; we can only touch the fringe of the great subject. It means — it at least signifies this: that, for a time, the Infinite One —

1. Accepts the limitations of finite existence. We know that as man He hungered, was tempted, wept human tears; we know that He prayed to His Father, and that His was the joy of receiving the Father's approval. His acceptance of a finite existence made these things possible in His experience, and thus made Him an example to us. We are very, very far from seeing the full significance of the Incarnation, but we see enough to rejoice in it and glorify God for that Incarnation which, by virtue of the limitations it involved, made a gospel like ours possible. Again, by the Incarnation Christ accepts —

2. The conditions of service, the submission of a servant: "Lo, I come to do Thy will." How does the Apostle Paul put it? (Philippians 2:6-8). The Incarnation was the form in which the Lord Jesus could render the lowliest service. What a step in the path of obedience was that! Once we accept the story of the birth, and believe that the Christ has accepted a human body, Gethsemane and Calvary are perfectly intelligible and easily accepted. It is as man that Godward He has rendered the most perfect service, and that manward He has left a perfect example that we should follow His footsteps. Again, by the Incarnation He accepts —

3. The highest possibility of self-sacrifice. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all This Man, after that He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." The Incarnation finds its full significance in that sacrifice which was made possible by it. Without the Incarnation there could be no Cross. It is the manger that predicts Calvary.

(D. Davies.)

Be careful to see clearly that Christ is the speaker, and that it is He who says to His Father. "A body hast Thou prepared Me." It is the Deity of the Second Person in the Trinity — not yet become incarnate, but at the very point — addressing God, and declaring the great mystery of the passing away of all sacrifice and offering — that is, of the death of animals and the presenting of gifts — as utterly inadequate, and nothing worth for the atonement of the soul. He introduces Himself — God's one great method with man, in the strange and inexpressible blending of the Divine and human, which was in Him. The God in our Emmanuel explains His own manhood, and traces it all up to the Father's pre-arranging mind: "A body hast Thou prepared Me." Let us look at the time of the "preparation." In the mind and counsel of God that "body" was before all worlds (Proverbs 8:24-31). So was Christ ready before He came, and, or ever man sinned, the scheme was complete. Then came the Fall, and immediately the ready promise (Genesis 3:15). As the ages rolled on, the plan developed. Then, as the time drew on, the "preparation," which was in the bosom of the Father, began to take form and substance. The whole Roman world was stirred, that that "body" should appear at its destined spot. Through the purest channel which this earth could furnish, by miraculous operation, that "body" should come into the world, human but sinless, perfectly human but exquisitely immaculate. By what unfathomable processes I know not. "Curiously wrought" in this lower earth, that "body" — the prototype, before Adam was made, of all that ever should wear human form — that "body" came... But let us stand again by that little form laid in the manger outside the caravansaai, and let us reverently ask, For what is that "body"?

1. The text answers at once, For sacrifice. There is that dear Babe — lovely as no other babe was ever lovely — only a victim, a victim to be slaughtered upon an altar!... But let me ask, Is your "body" fulfilling the purpose for which it was "prepared"? Is it a consecrated body? Is it a ministering body? Ministering — to what? To usefulness, to mission, to truth, to the Church, to Christ?

2. And that "body" was "prepared" for sympathy. Therefore "He took not on Him the nature of angels," but He became the Son of Man, that He might have human instincts; that His heart might throb to the same beat; that He might be true, even to every nerve and fibre of the physical constitution of every child of Adam. When you have an ache or feel a lassitude or depression, do not hesitate to claim and accept at once the fellowship of "the man Christ Jesus."

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

First of all, I shall name the sloven. We have all seen him at times, and a very objectionable fellow he is; clothes, gait, hair, hands, everything about him, denoting a lazy, indolent creature that is utterly without self-respect. If you keep in mind this little text, "A body hast Thou prepared me," you will feel it a sacred duty to keep in proper condition your physical frame. Secondly, I name the boor. It is the greatest mistake in the world to suppose that it is a token of manliness to disregard the courtesies of polite society. "Be courteous" is a Scriptural admonition. Whatever you are, don't be a boor! As little would I like to see you a fop. Dandyism is one of the most contemptible developments of' humanity, and always betokens extreme littleness of mind. But I cannot dismiss the text without pointing out how it bears upon the sensualist. There is no language in Scripture more startling in its awful solemnity than that which condemns the man "who sinneth against his own body." "The body," says St. Paul, "is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." Scripture speaks in many a place of a man "sinning against his own soul." But there is something exceptionally terrible in the wickedness of those who sin against their own bodies. My subject compels me to warn you, in accents of earnest entreaty, against every form of impurity. Your body is God's temple; no marble fane that ever was reared is so beautiful or so perfect. Shudder at the thought of its defilement. "A body hast Thou prepared me, O God; it shall be kept stainless and immaculate for Thee" — let this be your daily vow. And if it is to be kept, you must first of all guard your heart-purity. There is no fuller's soap that will perfectly cleanse the imagination once it is defiled. If a harp be broken, skill may repair it; if a light be extinguished, the flame may be rekindled; but if a flower be crushed, what power can restore it to what it was before? Such a flower is purity. The first step on the down-grade taken, only a miracle of grace can bring you to the level again. The Scriptural doctrine of the resurrection invests this physical frame of mine with an infinite dignity and importance. Death is its temporary dissolution, not its destruction. With what magnitude of interest and importance does this invest these corporeal frames of ours! It confers upon them an awful indestructibility, at the thought of which even the perpetuity of mountains, of suns and stars, become as nothing. You have a bodily as well as a spiritual immortality. These bodies shall claim half of your individuality to all eternity. Can you, then, make them the instruments of sin, or defile them by unholy lusts? Must you not guard with utmost care the imperishable temple of the soul?

(J. T. Davidson, D. D.)

Lo, I come... to do Thy will, O God.
Our text presents an aspect of Christ of the highest charm. He is the great and only fulfiller of "the will of God " the world has ever seen. There was a "book" in which much concerning Him was "written." At different times, in different measures, in different ways, of type in institute and incident, of promise, of comparison and contrast with other men and other doings, did that "book" perpetually speak of Him. But howsoever diverse its utterances were, they were all wonderfully harmonised in their ascription to Him of the spirit of delighted obedience to God.

I. THE LIFE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LIFE THAT HAS EVER BEEN LIVED IN THE WORLD. All sorts of beauty were bright in Him — the beauty of virtue, the beauty of godliness, the beauty of love, the beauty of sympathy, the beauty of obedience, and this without crack or flaw; the beauty of wise words, the beauty of holy action, the beauty of kind and gentle disposition; beauty which shone in the house, beauty which flamed in the temple, beauty which lighted up the cornfield and the wayside, beauty which graced alike the table of the publican and the Pharisee; beauty With smiles and tears, gifts and helps for men, women, and children as He found them.

II. ONE GREAT REASON WHY THAT BEAUTIFUL LIFE HAS BEEN LIVED AMONGST US MEN IS THAT WE MAY MAKE OUR LIVES BEAUTIFUL BY IT. He came to be an example. He bade men follow Him. He called for imitation of His spirit and character. His servants held Him up in the same light; they bade men "put on the Lord Jesus Christ," "follow in His steps," let the same mind be in them as was in Him. There is not a single virtue in Christ that should not have its place and power in you. The scale of its play, the special circumstances and relations which throw such grandeur into His career, must, of course, present a vast disparity between Him and us. But in essence, in spirit, we are bound to cultivate His worth; the actual outworking in our lot and relations of each excellence of His is an obligation on our heart and conscience.

III. THE SECRET OF THIS MOST BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF CHRIST IS TOLD US. Were you to see a rare and beautiful flower in another's garden, you would naturally wish that it might adorn your own also. You would ask whence it came, what soil it liked, and a dozen other questions, so that its true treatment might be leaflet and your own garden enriched with it. And when you are truly roused to spiritual care you ask the like questions about a beautiful action that has struck you or a beautiful character that has crossed your path. Whence came it? What is its inspiration — its culture? Tell me the secret, Never were such queries more seemly than on the survey of Christ's beautiful life. Is its great secret ascertainable? Is it within my reach? Well, Christ's beauty all came from one thing — He did " the will of God." He delighted to do it. Its law was in His heart.

IV. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WILL THE WILL OF GOD MUST BE IF THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF CHRIST IS SIMPLY ITS OUTCOME! Few phrases are so inadequately welcomed by us as "the will of God." We invest it, perhaps, with all the reverence we can, with sublimity, authority, rectitude, and power, but not with beauty. It is not a charm to us, a ravishing delight. We submit to it rather than accept it. We bow, but we do not sing. Oh! let us correct ourselves. The will of God is beautiful beyond all expression. Each commandment it gives is beautiful, "holy, just, and good." The way of life it prescribes is as "the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." The character it forms and moulds is radiant with a lustre that never dies. The good it diffuses is boundless in worth and variety.

V. IF YOU WOULD MAKE YOUR LIFE BEAUTIFUL LIKE THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF CHRIST, YOU MUST DAILY STUDY THE WILL OF GOD, AND JUST BE AND DO WHAT THAT WILL ORDAINS. There is the philosophy of a high, noble, beautiful, glorious life — so simple that a child can understand it, so profound and far-reaching that no maturity of power, no elevation in lot, can ever carry you beyond it. It is the one grand law of time and eternity, of earth and heaven.

(G. B. Johnson.)

To take Jesus Christ for our Redeemer and for our Example is an abridgment of religion, and the only way to heaven. If Jesus Christ be not taken for our Redeemer, alas! how can we bear the looks of a God who is of purer eyes than to behold evil? If we do not take Jesus Christ for our Example, with what face can we take Him for our Redeemer? Should we wish that He who came into the world on purpose to destroy the works of the devil, would re-establish them in order to fill up by communion with this wicked spirit that void which communion with Christ leaves?

I. First, we will consider the text AS PROCEEDING FROM THE MOUTH OF JESUS CHRIST. We will show you Jesus substituting the sacrifice of His body instead of those of the Jewish economy.

1. Our text is a quotation, and it must be verified. It is taken from the fortieth psalm All that psalm, except one word, exactly applies to the Messiah. This inapplicable word, as it seems at first, is in the twelfth verse, "Mine iniquities have taken hold upon Me." This expression does not seem proper in the mouth of Jesus Christ, who, the prophets foretold, should have no deceit in His mouth, and who, when He came, defied His enemies to convince Him of a single sin. There is the same difficulty in a parallel psalm (Psalm 69:50), "O God! Thou knowest My foolishness, and My sins are not hid from Thee." The same solution serves for both places. Jesus Christ on the Cross was the Substitute of sinners, like the scapegoat that was accursed under the Old Dispensation. The Scripture says in so many words, "He bare our sins." Is the bearer of such a burden chargeable with any exaggeration when He cries, "My iniquities have taken hold upon Me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of Mine head"? Moreover, the fortieth psalm is parallel to other prophecies, which indisputably belong to the Messiah. I mean particularly the sixty-ninth psalm, and the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah.

2. A difficult passage, that needs elucidation. The principal difficulty is in these words, "A body hast Thou prepared Me." The Hebrew has it, "Thou hast digged, bored, or opened Mine ears." It is an allusion to a law recorded in the twenty-first chapter of Exodus, where they who had Hebrew slaves were ordered to release them in the Sabbatical year. A provision is made for such slaves as refused to accept of this privilege. Their masters were to bring them to the doors of their houses, to bore their ears through with an awl, and they were to engage to continue slaves for ever, that is to say, to the year of Jubilee, or till their death, if they happened to die before that festival. As this action was expressive of the most entire devotedness of a slave to his master, it was very natural for the prophet to make it an emblem of the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ to His Father's will. But why did not St. Paul quote the words as they are in the psalm? The apostle followed the version commonly called that of the Seventy. But why did the Seventy render the original words in this manner?(1) The word rendered " prepared " is one of the most vague terms in the Greek tongue, and signifies indifferently "to dispose," "to mark," "to note," "to render capable," and so on.(2) Before the Septuagint version the Mosaic rites were very little known among the heathens, perhaps also among the dispersed Jews. Hence in the period of which I am speaking few people knew the custom of boring the ears of those slaves who refused to accept the privileges of the Sabbatical year.(3) It was a general custom among the Pagans to make marks on the bodies of those persons in whom they claimed a property. They were made on soldiers and slaves, so that if they deserted they might be easily reclaimed. Sometimes they apposed marks on them who served an apprenticeship to a master, as well as on them who put themselves under the protection of a god. These marks were called stigmas (see Galatians 6:17; Ezekiel 9:4; Revelation 7:3-8). On these different observations I ground this opinion. The Seventy thought, if they translated the prophecy under consideration literally, it would be unintelligible to the Pagans and to the dispersed Jews, who, being ignorant of the custom to which the text refers, would not be able to comprehend the meaning of the words, "Mine ears hast Thou bored." To prevent this inconvenience they translated the passage in that way which was most proper to convey its meaning to the readers. Now as this translation was well adapted to this end, St. Paul had a right to retain it.

3. Jesus Christ, we are very certain, is introduced in this place as accomplishing what the prophets had foretold; that is, that the sacrifice of the Messiah should be substituted in the place of the Levitical victims. On this account our text contains one of the most essential doctrines of the religion of Jesus Christ, and the establishment of this is our next article. In order to comprehend the sense in which the Messiah says to God, "Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldst not;" we must distinguish two sorts of volition in God — a willing of a mean, and a willing of an end. God may be said to will a mean when He appoints a ceremony or establisheth a rite which hath no intrinsic excellence in itself, but which prepares them on whom it is enjoined for some great events on which their felicity depends. By willing an end I mean a production of such events. If the word "will" be taken in the first sense, it cannot be truly said that God did not will or appoint sacrifices and burnt-offerings. Every one knows He instituted them, and regulated the whole ceremonial of them, even the most minute articles. But if we take the word "will" in the second sense, and by the will of God understand His willing an end, it is strictly true that God did not will or appoint sacrifices and burnt-offerings; because they were only instituted to prefigure the Messiah, and consequently as soon as the Messiah, the substance, appeared, all the ceremonies of the Law were intended to vanish.

II. To WHAT PURPOSE ARE LEVITICAL SACRIFICES, OF WHAT USE ARE JEWISH PRIESTS, WHAT OCCASION HAYS WE FOR HECATOMBS AND OFFERINGS AFTER THE SACRIFICE OF A VICTIM SO EXCELLENT? The text is not only the language of Jesus Christ, who substitutes Himself in the place of Old-Testament sacrifices; but it is the voice of David and of every believer who is, full of this just sentiment that a personal dedication to the service of God is the most acceptable sacrifice that men can offer to the Deity. Ye understand, then, in what sense God demands only the sacrifice of your persons. It is what He wills as the end; and He will accept neither offerings, nor sacrifices, nor all the ceremonies of religion, unless they contribute to the holiness of the person who offers them.

1. Observe the nature of this sacrifice. This offering includes our whole persons, and everything that Providence hath put in our power. Two sorts of things may be distinguished in the victim of which God requires the sacrifice; the one bad, the other good. We are engaged in vicious habits, we are slaves to criminal passions; all these are our bad things. We are capable of knowledge, meditation, and love; we possess riches, reputation, employments; these are our good things. God demands the sacrifice of both these.

2. Having observed the nature of that offering which God requires of you, consider next the necessity of it (1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 50:16, 17; Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 1:11, 16; Jeremiah 7:21, 22, 23). To what purpose do ye attend public worship in a church consecrated to the service of Almighty God, if ye refuse to make your bodies temples of the Holy Ghost, and persist in devoting them to impurity? To what purpose do ye send for your ministers when death seems to be approaching if, as soon as ye recover from sickness, ye return to the same kind of life, the remembrance of which caused you so much horror when ye were afraid of death?

3. The sacrifice required of us is difficult, say ye? I grant it. How extremely difficult when our reputation is attacked, when our morals, our very intentions, are misinterpreted; how extremely difficult when we are persecuted by cruel enemies; how hard is it to practice the laws of religion which require us to pardon injuries, and to exercise patience to our enemies! How difficult is it to sacrifice unjust gains to God, by restoring them to their owners; how hard to retrench expenses which we cannot honestly support, to reform a table that gratifies the senses! How difficult is it to eradicate an old criminal habit, and to renew one's self, to form, as it were, a different constitution, to create other eyes, other ears, another body!

4. But is this sacrifice the less necessary because it is difficult? Do the difficulties which accompany it invalidate the necessity of it? Let us add something of the comforts that belong to it, they will soften the yoke. What delight, after we have laboured hard at the reduction of our passions, and the reformation of our hearts; what delight to find that heaven crowns our wishes with success!

5. Such are the pleasures of this sacrifice: but what are its rewards? Let us only try to form an idea of the manner in which God gives Himself to a soul that devotes itself wholly to Him. "O my God! how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee! " My God! what will not the felicity of that creature be who gives himself wholly to Thee, as Thou givest Thyself to him!

(J. Saurin.)

I. In the first place the text reminds us THAT INTELLIGENT CREATURES CAN FIND THEIR HAPPINESS AND PERFECTION ONLY IN THE HARMONY OF THEIR WILLS WITH THE WILL OF GOD. But what if the new-made man should abuse his freedom? Who can foresee the consequences? As to his body; what if its hand should pluck forbidden fruit — its tongue utter deceit — all its members become instruments of unrighteousness unto sin? As to the material universe around; what if he should take himself out of harmony with its laws — extracting poison from its plants, and maddening juices from its fruits, and forging its metals into weapons for the slaughter of his fellows? What if he should league with other self-willed beings like himself — league with them solely to augment his power for crushing others, and for openly disowning his allegiance to heaven? Nay, what if, in the progress of man's history, he should come to think of setting up a god of his own? Or worse still — there is a rebel angel at large in the universe — a sworn enemy to the righteous government of God; what if a man should be led captive by Satan at his will? And what if he should complete his degradation and his guilt by calling the worship of his own vices, religion; the thraldom of Satan, liberty? What if here, where the will of God should be done as it is in heaven, the will of Satan should be done instead, as it is in hell?

II. I need not say THAT THIS IS HISTORY — THE HISTORY OF MAN. The hour of trial came; and he fell. A law was given him; and, oh, better had a star fallen from its sphere, and been falling still! he broke away from its sacred restraint — deranged the harmony of his own nature — disturbed the tranquillity of the universe — incurred the penalty of transgression. Mercy spared him, but he relented not; justice threatened him, but he quailed not. Generation followed generation, only to take up the quarrel and widen the breach. The Lord looked down from heaven to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek after God. Alas I they had all revolted: there was none that did good; no, not one.

III. But even then, WHEN TO ALL HUMAN EYES THE UNIVERSE WAS UTTERLY VOID OF AID, HELP WAS ON THE WAY. Even then, when infatuated man was saying, "We will not have God to reign over us," and was vowing allegiance to Satan, that God was saying, "As I live, I will not the death of the sinner." And even then a voice was heard replying to that purpose, "I come to do it — lo! I come to do Thy will, O My God. Thy will is My will — I delight to do it — it is within My heart." And that voice came from no uncertain quarter — from no angel ranks — it came, if I may say so, from the centre of the Deity, from the mysterious depths of the Triune God. And the world was spared on the ground of that engagement, and the angels of God held themselves in readiness to behold its fulfilment; and Judaea was prepared to be the theatre of the great transaction, and unnumbered eyes were watching for His coming, and unnumbered interests depending on it. But when He comes, what laws will He obey? — what appearance will He assume? What laws? the very laws which man had broken. What appearance? that of the very nature which man had degraded. And when the fulness of time was come, a body was prepared Him — God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law. And you know what He proceeded to do. All the powers of that body He placed at the disposal of the will of God. Yes, by His obedience unto death, the will of God was done on earth, as it had never been done even in heaven — done in a manner which makes earth, from its centre to its surface, holy ground — done so as to secure the means of converting even this sin-worn world into a loyal province of the King of kings.

IV. And this brings us to the consideration of these MEANS. DO you ask how the will of the rebellious world is to be brought back into harmony with the will of God?" Not by might, nor by power" — not by coercion and force; "but by My Spirit, saith the Lord" — by My Spirit taking of the things of Christ — taking of His voluntary obedience; taking of His love, and showing how He wept over the infatuation of our disobedience; taking of His mediatorial glory, and showing that He is now seated on a throne to receive our submission, to place us once more in harmony with the will of God, and to assure us of His favour.

1. Now, do you not see that when the will of the penitent is secured, the whole man is secured?

2. Here, then, is a willing agent for God. Wonderful as was the creation of a finite will at first — wonderful as was the introduction into the universe of a second will — here is a greater wonder still — the recovery of a lost will to God-a will which had been led captive by Satan, set at liberty and restored, and once more moving in conformity with God's will. What if he could prevail on other wills to unite with his will — how vastly would that increase his power of serving God!

V. The question naturally arises, then, How is it, if the Divine provision be all complete, and the sanctified human means so well understood — How is IT THAT THE WILL OF GOD IS NOT UNIVERSALLY OBEYED, AFTER THE EXAMPLE OF OUR SAVIOUR CHRIST? Eighteen hundred years have elapsed since He said, "Lo, I come," and the redemption of the world was effected. How then, we repeat, is the present condition of the world to be accounted for? By the state of the Church. Whatever the doctrinal heresies of the day may be, the great practical heresy is that of a defective zeal. They seem to forget, that in praying that the will of God may be done in the world, they are presupposing that it is done already in the Church. We do not say that Christians have made no progress in learning this great lesson. All the success which they have achieved of late years, as a missionary Church, is owing to their partial obedience to the will of God. But partial obedience will only be followed by partial success. They have so far obeyed, that they are shut up to the necessity of obeying still further. God has quickened them; and they have given, and prayed, and laboured as the Church had long ceased to do. Let them copy the devotedness of their Lord, and the work will be done. Ask you for motives to such zeal"

1. Need I remind you that one of these motives is the sublime truth — that the brightest example of obedience which heaven now contains is not an angel form, but He who "learned obedience by the things which He suffered"? He now reigns in the same spirit in which He suffered. Think what He is doing as your representative there, and say, what ought you to be doing as His representatives here? He is doing your will — answering your highest requests — what ought not you to be ready to do in obedience to His will?

2. Need I remind you, as another motive, what a theme it is we have to obey and to proclaim? The merest despot finds ready instruments to do his will.

3. Think, next, of the happy results of the reception of this message, as compared with man's present state.

4. Think, again, how some, influenced by these motives, have copied the devotedness of Christ.

5. And then one motive there is which adds force and solemnity to every other — the fact that He who is the subject and substance of our message, on leaving the world, hath said, "Behold, I come quickly."

(J. Harris, D. D.)

It must strike any person, as something that wants accounting for, how it is that a doctrine which has called forth the moral affections of man so strongly, and presented so transcendent an object for them, as that of the Atonement has, should of all criticisms in the world be specially subjected to the charge of being an immoral doctrine. It is based, it is said, upon injustice. What can be the reason of this extraordinary discord in the estimate of this doctrine? Is it not that the Christian body has taken the doctrine as a whole, with all the light which the different elements of it throw upon each other, while the objection has only fixed on one element in the doctrine, abstracted from the others? The point upon which the objector has fixed is the substitution of one man for another to suffer for sin; but he has not taken this point as it is represented and interpreted in the doctrine itself, but barely and nakedly, simply as the principle of vicarious punishment. It is to be observed that, according to this idea of sacrifice for sin, it is not in the least necessary the sacrifice should be voluntary, because the whole principle of sacrifice is swallowed up in the idea of vicarious punishment; and punishment, vicarious or other, does not require voluntary sufferer, but only a sufferer. The victim may be willing or unwilling; it matters not, so long as he is a victim; he endures agony or death in fact, and that is all that, upon the principle of mere substitution, is wanted. It was this low and degraded idea of sacrifice which had possession of the ancient world for so many ages, and which produced, as its natural fruit, human sacrifices, with all the revolt. ing cruelties attending them. Such subtlety of cruelty was the issue of the idea that a mere substitution could be a sacrifice for sin; pain, due in justice to one, be escaped by simple transference to another. But this idea was totally extinguished by the gospel idea, when it was revealed that love was of the very essence of sacrifice, and that there could not be sacrifice without will. A victim then appeared who was the real sacrifice for sin. The circumstance, then, of the victim being a self. offered one, makes, in the first place, all the difference upon the question of injustice to the victim. In common life and most human affairs the rule is that no wrong in justice is done to one who volunteers to undertake a painful office, which he might refuse if he pleased. In accepting his offer this would not indeed always apply; for there might be reasons which would make it improper to allow him to sacrifice himself. But it cannot be said that it is itself contrary to justice to accept a volunteer offer of suffering. Is it in itself wrong that there should be suffering which is not deserved? Not if it is undertaken voluntarily, and for an important object. Upon the existence of pain and evil being presupposed and assumed there are other justifications of persons undergoing it besides ill-desert. The existence of pain or evil being supposed, there arises a special morality upon this fact, and in connection with it. It is the morality of sacrifice. Sacrifice then becomes, in the person who makes it, the most remarkable kind of manifestation of virtue; which ennobles the sufferer, and which it is no wrong-doing in the universe to accept. But this being the case with respect to voluntary sacrifice, the gospel sacrifice is, as has been said, specially a voluntary and self-offered one. It must be remembered that the supernaturalness of the sphere in which the doctrine of the Atonement is placed, affects the agency concerned in the work of the Atonement. He who is sent is one in being with Him who sends. His willing submission, therefore, is not the willing submission of a mere man to one who is in a human sense another; but it is the act of one who, in submitting to another, submits to himself. By virtue of His unity with the Father, the Son originates, carries on, and completes Himself .%he work of the Atonement. But now with regard to the effect of the act of the Atonement upon the sinner. It will be seen, then, that with respect to this effect -the willingness of a sacrifice changes the mode of the operation of the sacrifice, so that it acts on a totally different principle and law from that upon which a sacrifice of mere substitution acts. A sacrifice of mere substitution professes to act upon a principle of a literal fulfilment of justice, with one exception only, which is not thought to destroy but only to modify the literal fulfilment. It is true the sin is committed by one and the punishment is inflicted upon another; but there is sin, and there is punishment on account of sin, which is considered a sort of literal fulfilment of justice. But a voluntary sacrifice does not act upon the principle of & mock literal fulfilment of justice, but upon another and totally different principle, Its effect proceeds not from the substitution of one person for another in punishment, but from the influence of one person upon another for mercy — a mediator upon one who is mediated with. Let us see what it is which a man really means when he offers to substitute himself for another in undergoing punishment. He cannot possibly mean to fulfil the element of justice literally. What he wants to do is to stimulate the element of mercy in the judge. Justice is not everything in the world; there is such a thing as mercy. How is this mercy to be gained, enlisted on the side you want? By suffering yourself. It is undoubtedly a fact of our nature, however we may place or connect it, that the generous suffering of one person for another affects our regard for that other person. It is true that the sufferer for another, and he who is suffered for, are two distinct persons; that the goodness of one of these persons is not the property of the other; and that it does not affect our relations towards another upon the special principle of justice; that, upon that strict principle, each is what he is in himself and nothing more; that the suffering interceder has the merit of his own generosity, the criminal the merit of his crime; and that no connection can be formed between the two on the special principle of justice. And yet, upon whatever principle it is, it is a fact of our nature, of which we are plainly conscious, that one man's interceding suffering produces an alteration of regards toward the other man. But it will be said this is true as far as feeling goes, but it is a weakness, a confessed weakness; this impulse is not supported by the whole of the man. Can you carry it out? it may be said; can you put it into execution? We cannot, for very good reasons, that civil justice is for civil objects, and in the moral sphere final pardon is not in our province. But because this particular impulse to pardon cannot be carried out or put into execution, it is not therefore a weakness. It is something true and sincere which speaks in our nature, though it cannot be embraced in its full bearings and in its full issue. Even if it is a fragment, it is a genuine fragment. It exists in us as a true emotion of the mind, a fact of our true selves; it is a fact of nature, in the correct and high sense of the word. The whole law of association, e.g., is a law of mediation in the way of enlisting feelings for us, by means external to us. The laws of association do in fact plead for persons from the moment they are born; men have advocates in those they never knew, and succeed to pre-engaged affections, and have difficulties cleared away before them in their path. The air they breathe intercedes for them, the ground they have trod on, the same sights, the same neighbourhood. What is the tie of place, or what is even the tie of blood, to the essential moral being; it is a wholly extraneous circumstance; nevertheless these links and these associations, which are wholly external to the man, procure regards for him, and regards which are inspired with strong sentiment and affection. So good deeds of others, with which persons have nothing in reality to do, procure them love and attention. The son of a friend and benefactor shines in the light of others' acts, and inspires, before he is known, a warm and approving feeling. This, that has been described, is the principle upon which the sacrifice of love acts, as distinguished from the sacrifice of mere substitution; it is a principle which is supported by the voice of nature and by the law of mediation in nature; and this is the principle which the gospel doctrine of the Atonement proclaims. The effect of Christ's love for mankind, and suffering on their behalf, is described in Scripture as being the reconciliation of the Father to man, and the adoption of new regards toward him. The act of one, i.e., produces this result in the mind of God toward another; the act of a suffering Mediator reconciles God to the guilty. But neither in natural mediation nor in supernatural does the act of suffering love, in producing that change of regard to which it tends, dispense with the moral change in the criminal. We cannot, of course, because a good man suffers for a criminal, alter our regards to him if he obstinately remains a criminal. And if the gospel taught any such thing in the doctrine of the Atonement, it would certainly expose itself to the charge of immorality. But if there is no mediation in nature which brings out mercy for the criminal without a change in him, neither on the other hand, for the purpose of the parallel, do we want such. Undoubtedly there must be this change, but even with this, past crime is not yet pardoned. There is room for a mediator; room for some source of pardon which does not take its rise in a man's self, although it must act with conditions. But viewed as acting upon this mediatorial principle, the doctrine of the Atonement rises altogether to another level; it parts company with the gross and irrational conception of mere naked material substitution of one person for another in punishment, and it takes its stand upon the power of love, and points to the actual effect of the intervention of suffering love in nature, and to a parallel case of mediation as a pardoning power in nature. There is, however, undoubtedly contained in the Scriptural doctrine of the Atonement, a kind, and a true kind, of fulfilment of justice. It is a fulfilment in the sense of appeasing and satisfying justice; appeasing that appetite for punishment which is the characteristic of justice in relation to evil There is obviously an appetite in justice which is implied in that very anger which is occasioned by crime, by a wrong being: committed; we desire the punishment of the criminal as a kind of redress, and his punishment undoubtedly satisfies a natural craving of our mind. But let any one have exposed himself thus to the appetite for punishment in our nature, and it is undoubtedly the case, however we may account for it, that the real suffering of another for him, of a good person for a guilty one, wilt mollify the appetite for punishment, which was possibly up to that time in full possession of our minds; and this kind of satisfaction to justice and appeasing of it is involved in the Scriptural doctrine of the Atonement. And so, also, there is a kind of substitution involved in the Scripture doctrine of the Atonement, and a true kind; but it is not a literal but a moral kind of substitution. It is one person suffering in behalf of another, for the sake of another: in that sense he takes the place and acts in the stead of another, he suffers that another may escape suffering, he condemns himself to a burden that another may be relieved. But this is the moral substitution which is inherent in acts of love and labour for others; it is a totally different thing from the literal substitution of one person for another in punishment. The outspoken witness in the human heart, which has from the beginning embraced the doctrine of the Atonement with the warmth of religious affection, has been, indeed, a better judge on the moral question than particular formal schools of theological philosophy, The atoning act of the Son, as an act of love on behalf of sinful man, appealed to wonder and praise: the effect of the act in changing the regards of the Father towards the sinner, was only the representation, in the sublime and ineffable region of mystery, of an effect which men recognised in their own minds. The human heart accepts mediation. It does not understand it as a whole; but the fragment of which it is conscious is enough to defend the doctrine upon the score of morals. Undoubtedly the story of the Atonement can be so represented as to seem to follow in general type the poetical legends and romances of the infantine imagination of the world. In details — what we read in the four Gospels — not much resemblance can be charged, but a summary can be made so as to resemble them. And what if it can? What is it but to say that certain turning ideas, Divine and human, resemble each other; that there is an analogy? The old legends of mankind represent in their general scope not mere fancy, but a real longing of human nature, a desire of men's hearts for a real Deliverer under the evils under which life groans. The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. But more than this, do not they represent real facts too? These legends of deliverers would never have arisen had there not been deliverers in fact; the fabulous champions would not have appeared had there not been the real; it was truth which put it in men's heads to imagine. Doubtless, in all ages, there were men above the level, who interposed to put a stop to wrongs and grievances; for, indeed, the world would have been intolerable had it been completely given up to the bad: The romances of early times, then, reflect at the bottom what are facts; they reflect the action of real mediators in nature, who interposed from time to time for the succour of mankind in great emergencies. When, then, a heavenly mediation is found to resemble in general language an earthly one, what is it more than saying that earthly things are types of heavenly? So rooted is the great principle of mediation in nature, that the mediatorship of Christ cannot be revealed to us without reminding us of a whole world of analogous action, and of representation of action. How natural thus does the idea of a mediator turn out to be! Yet this is exactly the point at which many stumble; pardon they approve of; reconciliation they approve of; but reconciliation by means of mediation is what they cannot understand. Why not dispense with a superfluity? they say; and why not let these relieve us from what they consider the incumbrance of a mediator? But this is not the light in which a mediator is viewed by the great bulk of the human race. It has appeared to the great mass of Christians infinitely more natural to be saved with a mediator than without one. They have no desire to be spared a mediator, and cannot imagine the advantage of being saved a special source of love. They may be offered greater directness in forgiveness, but forgiveness by intervention is more like the truth to them. It is this rooted place of a mediator in the human heart which is so sublimely displayed in the sacred crowds of St. John's Revelation. The multitude which no man can number are indeed there all holy, all kings and priests, all consecrated and elect. But the individual greatness of all is consummated in One who is in the centre of the whole, Him who is the head of the whole race, who leads it, who has saved it, its King and Representative, the First-born of the whole creation and the Redeemer of it. Toward Him all faces are turned; and it is as when a vast army fixes its look upon a great commander in whom it glories, who on some festival day is placed conspicuously the midst. Is there humiliation in that look because he commands them? there is pride and exaltation, because he represents them. Every one is greater for such a representative. So in that heavenly crowd all countenances reflect the exaltation of their Head.

(J. B. Mozley, D. D.)

Who said this? He who of all who ever walked this earth alone could say — "I have done Thy bidding." And when did He say it? When all else had failed? When "Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings, and offering for sin, Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein." Then, said He, "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God." It is the announcement of human weakness. It was the final and only way to harmonise the attributes of God, and to make it a just thing for a Holy God to pardon a sinner — to reconcile man to his Maker. And what was God's will? In the first instance God's will was to make a lovely creation, and a creature, man, who should be a free agent to occupy and enjoy it. So He made a happy world, and two persons to inhabit and enjoy it. Free agents! That free agency they broke, and so our whole world fell. Then, all praise to His glory and grace, God recalled this world to happiness, and the question was — How could that be done compatible with the truth and justice of His word? That was the problem Christ came to solve. In Him we have a Brother who is the sharer of our weaknesses and of our sorrows and of our temptations. But oh! at what a cost was all this done! With what intensity of anguish I This then is the lesson, "Lo, I come." But the Greek word which we have translated " I come " is more than that; it is "I am come. I am come." Observe, the expression denotes two things that He came, and that where He comes He stays. "I am come" implies the two facts — the Advent and His presence. "I am come." He came to die, to be our Substitute. And now, having done that, He stays. "I am come." He is with us still — our Companion, our Brother, our Guide, our Friend. Can you not offer up an echo to such words us these in your heart and say to God; "Thou didst say 'I come.' To Thee, Lord, I will say back, 'I come to Thee! I come to Thee!'"

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

"In the volume of the book." In olden times books were not made out of sheets of paper folded into four, six, or eight, or twelve, and so forming one compact volume, with page following page from beginning to end, from left to right as now. A book was made of one very long strip of papyrus or parchment, rolled like a window blind on a roller; or rather, let me say, it was on two rollers, one roller was attached to the top of the strip, the other roller was fastened to the bottom. The strip of parchment paper-rush was many yards long. The book began at the very top of the long strip. There were no pages and no turning over of the leaf, but the reader read straight down the strip, his book was written all over the yards of material. As he read the top lines he turned the top roller, and it rolled them up, and unrolled some more of the material with the writing on it from off the bottom roller. And when the reader came to the end of the book, he had rolled it all off the bottom roller on to the top one. When he began his book it was all rolled on to the. bottom roller. When the words "volume of the book" are used, it means the roll of the book. A long book of several volumes was a book in several rolls. Our word volume is a Latin word and means a roll, such as a roll of calico or cloth at the draper's. This word was used before books were made as they are now, in blocks; when the fashion of making books changed the old name remained on, though it really applied only to books in rolls. When it is said by Christ of His life, "Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of Me, to fulfil Thy will, O God," it really means, "Lo, I come, to do Thy will, so it is written at the head of the scroll," At the head of every volume was written the title of the book. Now Christ is speaking of His life as if it were a book. As the title and heading of His life is this text, "I am come to do Thy will, O my God!" Many a book opens with a quotation which gives the key to the meaning of the book, just as a text stands at the head of a sermon. You may have seen how every chapter in Sir Walter Scott's stories begins with a piece of poetry, quotation from somewhere or other, and it has reference to all that follows. So the text, the heading of the chapter of our Lord's life, is "I am come to do Thy will, O God." That was why He was born of a Virgin — to fulfil the will of God. Why He was born at Bethlehem — to fulfil the will of God. Why He was circumcised — to fulfil the will of God. Why He fled into Egypt — to fulfil the will of God.

(S. Baring Gould, M. A.)

Who would say it was unjust of David, when Abigail took — voluntarily took — her husband's guilt on herself and said, "Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be" (1 Samuel 25:24)? Would it not have been unjust to refuse to her the privilege she asked of being allowed to take on herself a burden, that she might throw it off and secure David's pacification? Still less can we complain of injustice when Jesus, touched with pity, flies down from the eternal throne, and says to His Father in heaven, "Upon Me, My Father, upon Me let this iniquity be; let Me bear this burden, let Me set them free!"

(C. Clemance, D. D.)

In all the Word of God there is not a page that does not testify of Him. Mr. Moody tells of a visit to Prang's chrome establishment in Boston. Mr. Prang showed him a stone on which was laid the colour for the making of the first impression toward producing the portrait of a distinguished public man; but he could see only the faintest possible line of tinting. The next stone that the paper was submitted to deepened the colour a little; but still no trace of the man's face was visible. Again and again was the sheet passed over the successive stones, until at last the outline of a man's face was dimly discerned. At last, after some twenty impressions, from as many different stones, were taken upon the paper, the portrait of the distinguished man stood forth, so perfect that it seemed only to lack the power of speech to make it living. Thus it is with Christ in the Scriptures, especially in the Old Testament. Many persons — even those who know Christ from the New Testament revelations of Him — read rapidly through and over the pages of the book, and declare that they do not see Christ in them. Well, read it again and again; look a little more intently upon these sacred pages; draw a little nearer into the light which the Holy Spirit gives to them that ask Him; read them on your knees, calling upon God to open your eyes, that you may see wondrous things out of His law, and presently the beauteous, glorious face of Him whom your soul loveth will shine forth upon you. Sometimes you will see that dear face in deep shadow, marred more than the face of any man: sometimes He will seem to you as a root out of dry ground; and, again, He will seem fair as the lily of the valley; and as we move toward the end He will rise upon us as the day-dawn and day-star, shining above the brightness of the sun.

(G. F. Pentecost, D. D.)

Socrates, when the tyrant did threaten death to him, told him he was willing. "Nay, then," said the tyrant, "you shall live against your will." "Nay, but," said Socrates," whatever you do with me it shall be my will." And a certain Stoic, speaking of God, said, "What God will, I will; what God nills, I will not; if He will that I live, I will live; if it be His pleasure that I die, I will die." Ah, how should the will of Christians stoop and lie down at the foot of God's will; not my will, but Thine be done.

(J. Venning.)

He taketh away the first.
The way of God is to go from good to better. This excites growing wonder and gratitude. This makes men desire, and pray, and believe, and expect. This aids man in his capacity to receive the best things. The first good thing is removed that the second may the more fitly come.

I. THE GRAND INSTANCE. First came the Jewish sacrifices, and then came Jesus to do the will of God.

1. The removal of instructive and consoling ordinances. While they lasted they were of great value, and they were removed because, when Jesus came-

(1)They were needless as types.

(2)They would have proved burdensome as services.

(3)They might have been dangerous as temptations to formalism.

(4)They would have taken off the mind from the substance which they had formerly shadowed forth.

2. The establishment of the real, perfect, everlasting atonement. This is a blessed advance, for —

(1)No one who sees Jesus regrets Aaron.

(2)No one who knows the simplicity of the gospel wishes to be brought under the perplexities of the ceremonial law.

(3)No one who feels the liberty of Zion desires to return to the bondage of Sinai.


1. The earthly paradise has been taken away by sin, but the Lord has given us salvation in Christ and heaven.

2. The first man has failed; behold the Second Adam.

3. The first covenant is broken, and the second gloriously takes its place.

4. The first temple with its transient glories has melted away; but the second and spiritual house rises beneath the eye and hand of the Great Architect.


1. Our first righteousness is taken away by conviction of sin; but the righteousness of Christ is established.

2. Our first peace has been blown down as a tottering fence; but we shelter in the Rock of Ages.

3. Our first strength has proved worse than weakness; but the Lord is our strength and our song, He also has become our salvation.

4. Our first guidance led us into darkness; now we give up self,. superstition, and philosophy, and trust in the Spirit of our God.

5. Our first joy died out like thorns which crackle under a pot; but now we joy in God.


1. Our body decaying shall be renewed in the image of our risen Lord.

2. Our earth passing away and its elements being dissolved, there shall be new heavens and a new earth.

3. Our family removed one by one, we shall be charmed by the grand reunion in the Father's house above.

4. Our all being taken away, we find more than all in God.

5. Our life ebbing out, the eternal life comes rolling up in a full tide of glory.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

sation: —


1. The Mosaic dispensation was of such a nature that it might be abrogated. It was altogether a positive institution. It was founded on mutable and not immutable reasons.

2. It was predicted that the Mosaic dispensation should be abrogated by another and more perfect dispensation under the gospel.

3. The apostles assure us this did actually take place at the death of Christ.

II. HOW THE MOSAIC DISPENSATION WAS ABROGATED OR SET ASIDE BY THE GOSPEL. There are two ways in which human legislators abrogate their own laws. One way is to pass them for a limited time, and when that time is expired they cease of course; and another way is to pass new particular acts to repeal them. But we do not find that the Mosaic dispensation was abrogated in either of these ways. There was no period specified in the Mosaic laws how long they should continue in force; nor did Christ authoritatively declare that the legal dispensation should be no longer binding. But there were two ways by which He took away the first and established the second dispensation.

1. By completely fulfilling the legal dispensation, which was designed to be typical of Him as Mediator. Just so far as the law had a shadow of good things to come it was entirely abrogated by the incarnation, life and death of Christ.

2. By appointing new ordinances which superseded it.

III. WHAT THINGS UNDER THE LAW WERE ARROGATED BY THE GOSPEL. There is room for this inquiry, because the Mosaic laws were not individually and particularly repealed by anything that Christ did or said. They were only virtually abolished; which proved an occasion of a diversity of opinions on the subject in the days of the apostles, and indeed ever since. It is universally allowed by Christians that some part of the legal dispensation is abrogated, but still many imagine that some part of it continues to be binding.

1. All those things which were merely typical of Christ are undoubtedly abrogated.

2. All things of an ecclesiastical nature under the law are abrogated under the gospel.

3. All things of a political nature in the Jewish church were abrogated by the gospel.

4. All things which were designed to separate the Jews from other nations were abrogated by Christ.

5. The gospel abrogated every precept of a positive nature which was peculiar to the Mosaic dispensation.Improvement:

1. If the Mosaic dispensation ceased when the gospel dispensation commenced, then the apostles had a right to disregard, and to teach others to disregard, all the Mosaic rites and ceremonies,

2. In the view of this subject we may clearly discover the absurdity of Dr. Tindal's reasonings, who maintains that Christianity is as old as the creation.

3. If the Christian dispensation has superseded the Mosaic in the manner that has been represented, then there appears an entire harmony between the Old Testament and the New.

4. It appears from what has been said that the evidence of the truth and divinity of the Christian dispensation is constantly increasing by means of the Mosaic dispensation.

5. If the Christian dispensation has entirely superseded the Mosaic, then there is no propriety at this day in reasoning from the Mosaic dispensation to the Christian.

6. If the Christian dispensation has completely superseded and abolished the Mosaic, then it is a great favour to live under the Christian dispensation.

7. It appears from what has been said, that sinners are much more criminal for rejecting the gospel under the Christian dispensation than those were who rejected it under the Mosaic dispensation. The gospel was preached to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to all the Jews under the law, but it was wrapt up in a multitude of mysterious ceremonies which it was difficult to explain and understand; and those who rejected it, generally rejected it through much ignorance. But those who live under the light of the gospel have no ground to plead ignorance.

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

I.The old was COMPLEX — the new SIMPLE.

II.The old was RESTRICTIVE — the new UNIVERSAL.

III.The old was TRANSIENT — the new ETERNAL.

IV.The old was SENSUOUS — the new SPIRITUAL.

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