OFFERINGS of Leviticus 1-5 CHM" /> OFFERINGS of Leviticus 1-5 CHM" /> OFFERINGS of Leviticus 1-5 CHM" />

Notes on Leviticus 1-5
C. H. Mackintosh.  via Stem Publishing and Bible Truth Publishers - public domain


Leviticus 1.

Ere entering upon the details of the chapter before us, there are two things which demand our careful consideration; namely, first, Jehovah's position; and, secondly, the order in which the offerings are presented.

"And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation." Such was the position from which Jehovah made the communications contained in this Book. He had been speaking from Mount Sinai, and his position, there, gave marked character to the communication. From the fiery mount "went a fiery law;" but, here, He speaks "out of the tabernacle of the congregation." This was an entirely different position. We have seen this tabernacle set up, at the close of the preceding book. "And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle . . . . . . . For the glory of the Lord was upon the tabernacle, by day, and fire was on it, by night, in the sight of all the House of Israel, throughout all their journeys." (Ex. 40:33-38)

Now, the tabernacle was God's dwelling place, in grace. He could take up His abode there, because He was surrounded, on all sides, by that which vividly set forth the ground of His relationship with the people. Had He come into their midst, in the full display of the character revealed upon Mount Sinai, it could only have been to "consume them in a moment," as a "Stiff-necked people." But He retired within the veil — type of Christ's flesh, (Heb. 10:20) — and took His place on the mercy seat where the blood of atonement, and not the "stiff-neckedness" of Israel, was that which met His view, and satisfied the claims of His nature. The blood which was brought into the sanctuary, by the high priest, was the type of that precious blood which cleanses from all sin; and, although Israel, after the flesh, saw nothing of this, it, nevertheless, justified God in abiding amongst them — it "sanctified to the purifying of the flesh." (Heb. 9:13)

Thus much as to Jehovah's position in this Book, which must be taken into account, in order to a proper understanding of the communications made therein. In them we shall find inflexible holiness united with the purest grace. God is holy, no matter from whence He speaks. He was holy on Mount Sinai, and holy above the mercy-seat; but, in the former case, His holiness stood connected with "a devouring fire;" in the latter, it was connected with patient grace. Now, the connection of perfect holiness with perfect grace is that which characterizes the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, which redemption is, in various ways, shadowed forth in the Book of Leviticus. God must be holy, even though it should be in the eternal condemnation of impenitent sinners; but the full display of His holiness, in the salvation of sinners, calls forth heaven's loudest and loftiest note of praise. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, Good-will toward men." (Luke 2:14.) This doxology could not have been sung in connection with "the fiery law." No doubt, there was "glory to God in the highest," but there was no "Peace on earth" nor "good pleasure in men," inasmuch as it was the declaration of what men ought to be, ere God could take pleasure in them. But when "the Son" took His place, as a man, on the earth, the mind of Heaven could express its entire delight in Him as the One whose Person and work could combine, in the most perfect manner, divine glory with human blessedness.

And, now, one word, as to the order of the offerings, in the opening chapters of the Book of Leviticus. The Lord begins with the burnt offering, and ends with the trespass offering. That is to say, He leaves off where we begin. This order is marked and most instructive. When, first, the arrow of conviction enters the soul, there are deep searchings of conscience, in reference to sins actually committed. Memory casts back its enlightened eye over the page of one's past life, and sees it stained with numberless trespasses against God and man. At this point of the soul's history, it is not so occupied with the question of the root from whence those trespasses have sprung, as with the stern and palpable fact that such and such things have actually been committed; and, hence, it needs to know that God has provided a sacrifice through which "all trespasses" can be "frankly forgiven." This is presented to us in the trespass offering.

But, as one advances, in the divine life, he becomes conscious that those sins which he has committed are but branches from a root, streams from a fountain; and, moreover, that sin in his nature is that fountain — that root. This leads to far deeper exercise, which can only be met by a deeper insight into the work of the cross. In a word, the cross will need to be apprehended by that in which God Himself has "condemned sin in the flesh," (Rom. 8:3) My reader will observe, it does not say, "sins in the flesh," but the root from whence these have sprung, namely, "sin in the flesh." This is a truth of immense importance. Christ not merely "died for our sins, according to the scriptures," but He was "made sin for us." (2 Cor. 5:21) This is the doctrine of the sin offering.

Now, it is when the heart and conscience are set at rest, through the knowledge of Christ's work, that we can feed upon Himself as the ground of our peace and joy, in the presence of God. There can be no such thing known as peace or joy, until we see all our trespasses forgiven and our sin judged. The trespass offering and the sin offering must be known, ere the Peace offering, joy offering, or thanksgiving offering can be appreciated. Hence, therefore, the order in which the peace offering stands, corresponds with the order of our spiritual apprehension of Christ.

The same perfect order is observable in reference to the meat offering. When the soul is led to taste the sweetness of spiritual communion with Christ — to feed upon Him, in peace and thankfulness, in the divine presence, it is drawn out in earnest desire to know more of the wondrous mysteries of His Person; and this desire is most blessedly met in the meat offering, which is the type of Christ's perfect manhood.

Then, in the burnt offering, we are conducted to a point beyond which it is impossible to go, and that is, the work of the cross, as accomplished under the immediate eye of God, and as the expression of the unswerving devotion of the heart of Christ. All these things will come before us, in beauteous detail, as we pass along; we are here only looking at the order of the offerings, which is truly marvellous, whichever way we travel, whether outward from God to us, or inward from us to God. In either case, we begin with the cross and end with the cross. If we begin with the burnt offering, we see Christ, on the cross, doing the will of God — making atonement, according to the measure of His perfect surrender of Himself to God. If we begin with the trespass offering, we see Christ, on the cross, bearing our sins, and putting them away, according to the perfection of His atoning sacrifice; while, in each and all, we behold the excellency, the beauty, and the perfection of His divine and adorable Person. Surely, all this is sufficient to awaken in our hearts the deepest interest in the study of those precious types which we shall now proceed to consider in detail. And may God the Holy Ghost, who penned the Book of Leviticus, expound its contents in living power to our hearts; that so, when we have reached the close, we may have abundant cause to bless His name for many thrilling and soul-stirring views of the Person and work of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, now, henceforth, and for evermore. Amen.

In the burnt offering, with which our book opens, we have a type of Christ "offering himself without spot to God." Hence the position which the Holy Ghost assigns to it. If the Lord Jesus Christ came forth to accomplish the glorious work of atonement, His highest and most fondly-cherished object, in so doing, was the glory of God. "Lo, I come, to do thy will, O God," was the grand motto in every scene and circumstance of His life, and in none more markedly than in the work of the cross. Let the will of God be what it might, He came to do it. Blessed be God, we know what our portion is in the accomplishment of this "will" for by it "we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once." (Heb. 10:10) Still, the primary aspect of Christ's work was to God-ward. It was an ineffable delight to Him to accomplish the will of God on this earth. No one had ever done this before. Some had, through grace, done "that which was right in the sight of the Lord;" but no one had ever, perfectly, invariably, from first to last, without hesitation, and without divergence, done the will of God. But this was, exactly, what the Lord Jesus did. He was "obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:8) "He steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." And as He walked from the garden of Gethsemane to the cross of Calvary, the intense devotion of His heart told itself forth in these accents: "The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?'

Now, in all this self-emptied devotedness to God, there was truly a sweet savor. A perfect Man on the earth accomplishing the will of God, even in death, was an object of amazing interest to the mind of Heaven. Who could fathom the profound depths of that devoted heart, which displayed itself, under the eye of God, on the cross? Surely, none but God; for in this, as in everything else, it holds good that "no man knoweth the Son, but the Father;" and no one can know ought about Him, save as the Father reveals Him. The mind of man can, in some measure, grasp any subject of knowledge "under the sun." Human science can be laid hold of by the human intellect; but no man knoweth the Son, save as the Father reveals Him, by the power of the Holy Ghost, through the written word. The Holy Ghost delights to reveal the Son — to take of the things of Jesus, and show them unto us. These things we have, in all their fullness and beauty, in the word. There can be no new revelation, inasmuch as the Spirit brought "all things" to the apostles' memory, and led them into "all truth." There can be nothing beyond "all truth;" and, hence, all pretension to a new revelation, and the development of new truth, — meaning thereby truth not contained in the sacred canon of inspiration — is an effort, on man's part, to add to what God calls "all truth." No doubt, the Spirit may unfold and apply, with new and extraordinary power, truth contained in the word; but this is, obviously, a very different thing from our travelling outside the range of divine revelation, for the purpose of finding principles, ideas, or dogmas, which shall command the conscience. This latter can only be regarded in the light of impious presumption.

In the gospel narrative, we have Christ presented to us in the varied phases of His character, His Person, and His work. To those precious documents the people of God in all ages have rejoiced to betake themselves, and drink in their heavenly revelations of the object of their love and confidence — the One to whom they owed everything, for time and eternity. But very few, comparatively, have ever been led to regard the rites and ceremonies of the Levitical economy as fraught with the most minute instruction in reference to the same commanding theme. The offerings of Leviticus, for example, have been too much regarded as so many antiquated records of Jewish customs, conveying no intelligible voice to our ears — no spiritual light to our understandings. However, it must be admitted that the apparently abstruse records of Leviticus, as well as the sublime strains of Isaiah, take their place amongst the "things which were written aforetime," and they are, therefore, "for Our learning." True, we shall need to study those records, as indeed all Scripture, with an humble, self-emptied spirit; with reverent dependence upon the teaching of Him who graciously penned them for us; with sedulous attention to the general scope, bearing, and analogy of the entire body of divine revelation; with an effectual curb on the imagination, that it may not take unhallowed flights; but if thus, through grace, we enter upon the study of the types of Leviticus, we shall find in them a vein of the richest and finest ore.

We shall now proceed to examine the burnt offering, which, as we have remarked, presents Christ, offering Himself, without spot, to God.

"If His offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male, without blemish." The essential glory and dignity of Christ's Person form the basis of Christianity. He imparts that dignity and glory to every thing He does, and to every office He sustains. No office could possibly add glory to Him who is "God over all, blessed for ever" — "God manifest in the flesh" — the glorious "Immanuel" — "God with us" — the eternal Word — the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. What office could add to the dignity of such an One? In point of fact, we know that all His offices are connected with His humanity; and in assuming that humanity, He stooped from the glory which He had with the Father, before the world was. He thus stooped, in order to glorify God perfectly, in the very midst of a scene where all was hostile to Him. He came to be "eaten up" by a holy, unquenchable zeal for the glory of God, and the effectual carrying out of His eternal counsels.

The unblemished male, of the first year, was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ offering Himself for the perfect accomplishment of the will of God. There should be nothing expressive either of weakness or imperfection. "A male of the first year" was required. We shall see, when we come to examine the other offerings, that "a female" was, in some cases, permitted; but that was only expressive of the imperfection which attached to the worshipper's apprehension, and in nowise of any defect in the offering, inasmuch as it was "unblemished" in the one case, as well as in the other. Here, however, it was an offering of the very highest order, because it was Christ offering Himself to God. Christ, in the burnt offering, was exclusively for the eye and heart of God. This point should be distinctly apprehended. God alone could duly estimate the Person and work of Christ. He alone could fully appreciate the cross as the expression of Christ's perfect devotedness. The cross, as foreshadowed by the burnt offering, had an element in it which only the divine mind could apprehend. It had depths so profound that neither mortal nor angel could fathom them. There was a voice in it which was intended exclusively for, and went directly to, the ear of the Father. There were communications between the cross of Calvary and the throne of God, which lay far beyond the highest range of created intelligence.

"He shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord." The use of the word "voluntary," here, brings out, with great clearness, the grand idea in the burnt offerings. It leads us to contemplate the cross in an aspect which is not sufficiently apprehended. We are too apt to look upon the cross merely as the place where the great question of sin was gone into and settled, between eternal Justice and the spotless victim — as the place where our guilt was atoned for, and where Satan was gloriously vanquished. Eternal and universal praise to redeeming love! The cross was all this. But it was more than this. It was the place where Christ's love to the Father was told out in language which only the Father could hear and understand. It is in the latter aspect that we have it typified, in the burnt offering; and, therefore, it is that the word "voluntary" occurs. Were it merely a question of the imputation of sin, and of enduring the wrath of God on account of sin, such an expression would not be in moral order. The blessed Lord Jesus could not, with strict propriety, be represented as willing to be "made sin" —willing to endure the wrath of God, and the hiding of His countenance; And, in this one fact, we learn, in the clearest manner, that the burnt offering does not foreshadow Christ, on the cross, bearing sin but Christ on the cross, accomplishing the will of God. That Christ Himself contemplated the cross in these two aspects of it, is evident from His own words. When he looked at the cross as the place of sin-bearing — when He anticipated the horrors with which, in this point of view, it stood invested, He exclaimed, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me." (Luke 23:42) He shrank from that which His work, as a sin-bearer, involved. His pure and holy mind shrank from the thought of contact with sin; and His loving heart shrank from the thought of losing, for a moment, the light of God's countenance.

But, then, the cross had another aspect. It stood before the eye of Christ as a scene, in which He could fully tell out all the deep secrets of His love to the Father — a place in which He could, "of his own voluntary will," take the cup which the Father had given Him, and drain it to the very dregs. True it is that the whole life of Christ emitted a fragrant odor, which ever ascended to the Father's throne — He did always those things which pleased the Father — He ever did the will of God; but the burnt offering does not typify Him in His life — precious, beyond all thought, as was every act of that life — but in His death, and in that, not as one "made a curse for us," but as one presenting to the heart of the Father an odor of incomparable fragrance.

This truth invests the cross with peculiar charms for the spiritual mind. It imparts to the sufferings of our blessed Lord an interest of the most intense character. The guilty sinner, no doubt, finds in the cross a divine answer to the deepest and most earnest cravings of heart and conscience. The true believer finds in the cross that which captivates every affection of his heart, and transfixes his whole moral being. The angels find in the cross a theme for ceaseless admiration. All this is true; but there is that, in the cross, which passes far beyond the loftiest conceptions of saints or angels; namely, the deep-toned devotion of the heart of the Son presented to, and appreciated by, the heart of the Father. This is the elevated aspect of the cross, which is so strikingly shadowed forth in the burnt offering.

And, here, let me remark that the distinctive beauty of the burnt offering must be entirely sacrificed, if we admit the idea that Christ was a sin-bearer all His life. There would then be no force, no value, no meaning in the word "voluntary." There could be no room for voluntary action in the case of one who was compelled, by the very necessity of his position, to yield up his life. If Christ were a sin-bearer, in His life, then, assuredly, His death must have been a necessary, not a voluntary, act. Indeed, it may be safely asserted that there is not one of the offerings the beauty of which would not be marred, and its strict integrity sacrificed, by the theory of a Life of sin-bearing. In the burnt offering, this is especially the case, inasmuch as it is not, in it, a question of sin-bearing, or enduring the wrath of God, but entirely one of voluntary devotedness, manifested in the death of the cross. In the burnt offering we recognize a type of God the Son, accomplishing, by God the Spirit, the will of God the Father. This He did "of His own voluntary will." "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again." (John 10:17) Here we have the burnt offering aspect of the death of Christ. On the other hand, the prophet, contemplating Him as the sin offering, says, "his life is taken from the earth." (Acts 8:33, which is the LXX. version of Isaiah 53:8) Again, Christ says, "No one (ou deis) taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself." Was He a sin-bearer when He said this? Observe, it is "no one," man, angel, devil, or else. It was His own voluntary act, to lay down His life that He might take it again. "I delight to do thy will, O my God." Such was the language of the divine burnt offering — of Him who found His unutterable joy in offering Himself without spot to God.

Now, it is of the last importance to apprehend, with distinctness, the primary object of the heart of Christ, in the work of redemption. It tends to consolidate the believer's peace. The accomplishment of God's will, the establishment of God's counsels, and the display of God's glory, occupied the fullest, deepest, and largest place in that devoted heart which viewed and estimated everything in reference to God. The Lord Jesus never once stopped to inquire how any act or circumstance would affect Himself. "He humbled himself" — "He made himself of no reputation" — He surrendered all. And, hence, when He arrived at the close of His career, He could look back upon it all, and say, with His eyes lifted up to heaven, "I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17:4) It is impossible to contemplate the work of Christ, in this aspect of it, without having the heart filled with the sweetest affections toward His Person. It does not detract, in the smallest degree, from our sense of His love to us, to know that He made God His primary object, in the work of the cross. Quite the opposite. His love to us, and our salvation in Him, could only be founded upon God's established glory. That glory must form the solid base of everything. "As truly as I live, All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." (Num. 14:21) But we know that God's eternal glory, and the creature's eternal blessedness, are, in the divine counsels, inseparably linked together, so that if the former be secured, the latter must needs be so likewise.

"And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement for him." The act of laying on of hands was expressive of full identification. By that significant act, the offerer and the offering became one; and this oneness, in the case of the burnt offering, secured for the offerer all the acceptableness of his offering. The application of this to Christ and the believer sets forth a truth of the most precious nature, and one largely developed in the New Testament; namely, the believer's everlasting identification with, and acceptance in, Christ. "As he is, so are we, in this world." "We are in him that is true." (1 John 4:17; 1 John 5:20) Nothing, in any measure, short of this could avail. The man who is not in Christ is in his sins. There is no middle ground. You must be either in Christ or out of Him. There is no such thing as being partly in Christ. If there is a single hair's-breadth between you and Christ, you are in an actual state of wrath and condemnation. But, on the other hand, if you are in Him, then are you "as he is" before God, and so accounted in the presence of infinite holiness. Such is the plain teaching of the Word of God. "Ye are complete in him" — "accepted in the beloved" — "members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." "He that is joined to the Lord, is one Spirit." (1 Cor. 6:17; Eph. 1:6;Eph. 5:30; Col. 2:10) Now, it is not possible that the Head can be in one degree of acceptance and the members in another. No; the Head and the members are one. God counts them one; and, therefore, they are one. This truth is, at once, the ground of the loftiest confidence, and of the most profound humility. It imparts the fullest assurance of "boldness in the day of judgement," inasmuch as it is not possible that ought can be laid to the charge of Him with whom we are united. It imparts the deep sense of our own nothingness, inasmuch as our union with Christ is founded upon the death of nature and the utter abolition of all its claims and pretensions.
Since, therefore, the Head and the members are viewed in the same position of infinite favour and acceptance, before God, it is perfectly evident that all the members stand in one acceptance, in one salvation, in one life, in one righteousness. There are no degrees in justification. The babe in Christ stands in the same justification as the saint of fifty years' experience. The one is in Christ, and so is the other; and this, as it is the only ground of life, so it is the only ground of justification. There are not two kinds of life, neither are there two kinds of justification. No doubt, there are various measures of enjoyment of this justification — various degrees in the knowledge of its fullness and extent — various degrees in the ability to exhibit its power upon the heart and life; and these things are frequently confounded with the justification itself, which, as being divine, is, necessarily, eternal, absolute, unvarying, entirely unaffected by the fluctuation of human feeling and experience.

But, further, there is no such thing as progress in justification. The believer is not more justified today than he was yesterday; nor will he be more justified tomorrow than he is today; yea, a soul who is "in Christ Jesus" is as completely justified as if he were before the throne. He is "complete in Christ." He is "as" Christ. He is, on Christ's own authority, "clean every whit." (John 13:10) What more could he be, at this side of the glory? He may, and — if he walks in the Spirit — will, make progress in the sense and enjoyment of this glorious reality; but, as to the thing itself, the moment he, by the power of the Holy Ghost, believed the gospel, he passed from a positive state of unrighteousness and condemnation into a positive state of righteousness and acceptance. All this is based upon the divine perfectness of Christ's work; just as, in the case of the burnt offering, the worshipper's acceptance was based upon the acceptableness of his offering. It was not a question of what he was, but simply of what the sacrifice was. "It shall be accepted for him, to make atonement for him."

"And he shall kill the bullock before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." It is most needful, in studying the doctrine of the burnt offering, to bear in mind that the grand point set forth therein is not the meeting of the sinner's need, but the presentation to God of that which was infinitely acceptable to Him. Christ, as foreshadowed by the burnt offering, is not for the sinner's conscience, but for the heart of God. Further, the cross, in the burnt offering, is not the exhibition of the exceeding hatefulness of sin, but of Christ's unshaken and unshakable devotedness to the Father. Neither is it the scene of God's out-poured wrath on Christ the sin-bearer; but of the Father's unmingled complacency in Christ, the voluntary and most fragrant sacrifice. Finally, "atonement," as seen in the burnt offering, is not merely commensurate with the claims of man's conscience, but with the intense desire of the heart of Christ, to carry out the will and establish the counsels of God — a desire which stopped not short of surrendering up His spotless, precious life, as "a voluntary offering" of "sweet savor" to God.

From the carrying out of this desire, no power of earth or hell, men or devils, could shake Him. When Peter ignorantly sought to dissuade Him, in words of false tenderness, from encountering the shame and degradation of the cross — "Pity thyself, Lord! this shall not be unto thee" — what was the reply? "Get thee behind me, Satan; thou art an offence unto me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." (Matt. 16:22, 23) So also, on another occasion, He says to His disciples, "Hereafter, I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me: but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, even so I do." (John 14:30) These and numerous other kindred scriptures, bring out the burnt offering phase of Christ's work, in which, it is evident, the primary thought is His "Offering himself without spot to God."

In full keeping with all that has been stated, in reference to the special point in the burnt offering, is the place which Aaron's sons get, and the functions assigned them therein. They "sprinkle the blood" — they "put the fire upon the altar" — they "lay the wood in order upon the fire" — they "lay the parts, the head and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar." These are very prominent actions, and they form a marked feature of the burnt offering, as contrasted with the sin offering, in which Aaron's sons are not mentioned at all. "The sons of Aaron" represent the church, not as "one body," but as a priestly house. This is easily apprehended. If Aaron was a type of Christ, then Aaron's house was a type of Christ's house, as we read, in Heb. 3. "But Christ as a Son over his own house, whose house are we." And, again, "Behold I and the children whom God hath given me." Now, it is the privilege of the Church, as led and taught by the Holy Ghost, to gaze upon, and delight in, that aspect of Christ, which is presented in this opening type of Leviticus. "Our fellowship is with the Father," who graciously calls us to participate, with Him, in His thoughts about Christ. True, we can never rise to the height of those thoughts; but we can have fellowship therein, by the Holy Ghost who dwells in us. It is not, here, a question of having the conscience tranquilized, by the blood of Christ, as the sin-bearer, but of communion with God in the matter of Christ's perfect surrender of Himself on the cross.

"The priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." Here, we have a type of the Church, bringing the memorial of an accomplished sacrifice, and presenting it in the place of individual approach to God. But, we must remember, it is the blood of the burnt offering, and not of the sin offering. It is the Church, in the power of the Holy Ghost, entering into the stupendous thought of Christ's accomplished devotedness to God, and not a convicted sinner, entering into the value of the blood of the sin-bearer. I need hardly say that the Church is composed of sinners, and convicted sinners, too; but "Aaron's sons" do not represent convicted sinners, but worshipping saints. It is as "priests" they have to do with the burnt offering. Many err as to this. They imagine that, because one takes the place of a worshipper — being invited by the grace of God, and fitted by the blood of Christ, so to do — he, thereby, refuses to acknowledge himself a poor worthless sinner. This is a great mistake. The believer is, in himself, "nothing at all." But in Christ, he is a purged worshipper. He does not stand, in the sanctuary, as a guilty sinner, but as a worshipping priest, clothed in "garments of glory and beauty." To be occupied with my guilt, in the presence of God, is not humility, as regards myself, but unbelief, as regards the sacrifice.

However, it must be very evident to my reader, that the idea of sin-bearing — the imputation of sin — the wrath of God, does not appear in the burnt offering. True, we read, "it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement for him;" but, then, it is "atonement" not according to the depths and enormity of human guilt, but according to the perfection of Christ's surrender of Himself to God, and the intensity of God's delight in Christ. This gives us the very loftiest idea of atonement. If I contemplate Christ as the sin offering, I see atonement made according to the claims of divine justice, with respect to sin. But when I see atonement, in the burnt offering, it is according to the measure of Christ's willingness and ability to accomplish the will of God; and according to the measure of God's complacency in Christ and His work. What a perfect atonement must that be which is the fruit of Christ's devotion to God! Could there be anything beyond this? Assuredly not. The burnt offering aspect of atonement is that about which the priestly household may well be occupied in the courts of the Lord's house, for ever.

"And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces." The ceremonial act of "flaying" was peculiarly expressive. It was simply the removing of the outward covering, in order that what was within might be fully revealed. It was not sufficient that the offering should be, outwardly, "without blemish," "the hidden parts" should be all disclosed, in order that every sinew and every joint might be seen. It was only in the case of the burnt offering that this action was specially named. This is quite in character, and tends to set forth the depth of Christ's devotedness to the Father. It was no mere surface-work with Him. The more the secrets of His inner life were disclosed, the more the depths of His being were explored, the more clearly was it made manifest that pure devotion to the will of His Father, and earnest desire for His glory, were the springs of action in the great Antitype of the burnt offering. He was, most assuredly, a whole burnt offering.

"And cut it into his pieces." This action presents a somewhat similar truth to that taught in the "sweet incense beaten small," (Lev. 16) The Holy Ghost delights to dwell upon the sweetness and fragrance of the sacrifice of Christ, not only as a whole, but also in all its minute details. Look at the burnt offering, as a whole, and you see it without blemish. Look at it in all its parts, and you see it to be the same. Such was Christ; and as such He is shadowed forth in this important type.

"And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall lay the parts, the head and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar." This was a high position for the priestly family. The burnt offering was wholly offered to God. It was all burnt upon the altar;* Man did not partake of it; but the sons of Aaron the priest, themselves being likewise priests, are here seen standing round the altar of God, to behold the flame of an acceptable sacrifice ascending to Him — an odor of sweet smell. This was a high position — high communion — a high order of priestly service — a striking type of the Church having fellowship with God, in reference to the perfect accomplishment of His will in the death of Christ. As convicted sinners, we gaze on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, and behold therein that which meets all our need. The cross, in this aspect of it, gives perfect peace to the conscience. But, then, as priests, as purged worshippers, as members of the priestly family, we can look at the cross in another light, even as the grand consummation of Christ's holy purpose to carry out, even unto death, the will of the Father. As convicted sinners, we stand at the brazen altar, and find peace through the blood of atonement; but, as priests, we stand there, to behold and admire the completeness of that burnt offering — the perfect surrender and presentation of the spotless One to God.

{*It may be well, at this point, to inform the reader that the Hebrew word which is rendered "burn," in the case of the burnt offering is wholly different from that which is used in the sin offering. I shall, because of the peculiar interest of the subject, refer to a few of the passages in which each word occurs. The word used in the burnt offering signifies "incense," or to "burn incense," and occurs in the following passages, in some one or other of its various inflections.Lev. 6:15; "and all the frankincense, . . . . and shall burn it upon the altar." Deut, 33:10; "they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. Ex. 30:1; "and thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon." Ps. 46:15; "with the incense of rams." Jer. 44:21; "The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah." Cant. 3:15; Perfumed with Myrrh and frankincense." Passages might be multiplied, but the above will suffice to show the use of the word which occurs in the burnt offering.

The Hebrew word which is rendered "burn," in connection with the sin offering, signifies to burn, in general, and occurs in the following passages. Gen. 40:3; "let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly." Lev. 10:16; "And Moses diligently sought the goat of the sin offering and, behold, it was burnt." 2 Chr. 16:14; "And they made a very great burning for him."

Thus, not only was the sin offering burnt in a different place, but a different word is adopted by the Holy Ghost to express the burning of it. Now, we cannot imagine, for a moment, that this distinction is a mere interchange of words, the use of which is indifferent. I believe the wisdom of the Holy Ghost is as manifest in the use of the two words, as it is in any other point of difference in the two offerings. The spiritual reader will attach the proper value to the above most interesting distinction.

We should have a very defective apprehension of the mystery of the cross, were we only to see in it that which meets man's need as a sinner. There were depths in that mystery, which only the mind of God could fathom. It is, therefore, important to see that when the Holy Ghost would furnish us with foreshadowings of the cross, He gives us, in the very first place, one which sets it forth in its aspect to God-ward. This alone would be sufficient to teach us that there are heights and depths in the doctrine of the cross which man never could reach. He may approach to "that one well-spring of delight," and drink for ever — he may satisfy the utmost longings of his spirit — he may explore it with all the powers of the renewed nature; but, after all, there is that in the cross which only God could know and appreciate. Hence it is that the burnt offering gets the first place. It typifies Christ's death as viewed and valued by God alone. And surely, we may say, we could not have done without such a type as this, for, not only does it give us the highest possible aspect of the death of Christ, but it also gives us a most precious thought in reference to God's peculiar interest in that death. The very fact of His instituting a type of Christ's death, which was to be exclusively for Himself, contains a volume of instruction for the spiritual mind.

But though neither man nor angel can ever fully sound the amazing depths of the mystery of Christ's death, we can, at least, see some features of it which would needs make it precious, beyond all thought, to the heart of God. From the cross, He reaps His richest harvest of glory. In no other way could He have been so glorified, as by the death of Christ. In Christ's voluntary surrender of Himself to death, the divine glory shines out in its fullest brightness. In it, too, the solid foundation of all the divine counsels was laid. This is a most comforting truth. Creation never could have furnished such a basis. Moreover, the cross furnishes a righteous channel through which divine love can flow. And, finally, by the cross, Satan is eternally confounded, and "principalities and powers made a show of openly." These are glorious fruits produced by the cross; and, when we think of them, we can see just reason why there should have been a type of the cross exclusively for God Himself, and also a reason why that type should occupy the leading place — should stand at the very top of the list. Again, let me say, there would have been a grievous blank among the types had the burnt offering been lacking; and there would be a grievous blank in the page of inspiration had the record of that type been withheld.

"But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord." This action rendered the sacrifice, typically, what Christ was essentially — pure, both inwardly and outwardly, pure. There was the most perfect correspondence between Christ's inward motives and His outward conduct. The latter was the index of the former. All tended to the one point, namely, the glory of God. The members of His Body perfectly obeyed and carried out the counsels of His devoted heart — that heart which only beat for God, and for His glory, in the salvation of men. Well, therefore, might the priest "burn all on the altar." It was all typically pure, and all designed only as food for the altar of God. Of some sacrifices the priest partook; of some, the offerer; but the burnt offering was "all" consumed on the altar. It was exclusively for God. The priests might arrange the wood and the fire, and see the flame ascend; and a high and holy privilege it was so to do. But they did not eat of the sacrifice. God alone was the object of Christ, in the burnt offering aspect of His death. We cannot be too simple in our apprehension of this. From the moment that the unblemished male was voluntarily presented at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, until it was reduced to ashes, by the action of the fire, we discern in it Christ offering Himself, by the Eternal Spirit, without spot to God.

This makes the burnt offering unspeakably precious to the soul. It gives us the most exalted view of Christ's work. In that work God had His own peculiar joy — a joy into which no created intelligence could enter. This must never be lost sight of. It is unfolded in the burnt offering, and confirmed by "the law of the burnt offering," to which we shall just refer.

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, this is the law of the burnt offering: it is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. And the priest, shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it, it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it, and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offering. The fire shall ever be burning upon the, altar: it shall never go out." (Lev. 6:8-13) The fire on the altar consumed the burnt offering, and the fat of the peace offering. It was the apt expression of divine holiness which found in Christ, and His perfect sacrifice, a proper material on which to feed. That fire was never to go out. There was to be the perpetual maintenance of that which set forth the action of divine holiness. Through the dark and silent watches of the night, the fire blazed on the altar of God.

"And the priest shall put on his linen garment," &c. Here, the priest takes, in type, the place of Christ, whose personal righteousness is set forth by the white linen garment. He, having given Himself up to the death of the cross, in order to accomplish the will of God, has entered, in His own eternal righteousness, into heaven, bearing with Him the memorials of His finished work. The ashes declared the completion of the sacrifice, and God's acceptance thereof. Those ashes, placed beside the altar, indicated that the fire had consumed the sacrifice — that it was not only a completed, but also an accepted, sacrifice. The ashes of the burnt offering declared the acceptance of the sacrifice. The ashes of the sin offering declared the judgement of the sin.

Many of the points on which we have been dwelling will, with the divine blessing, come before us with increasing clearness, fullness, precision, and power as we proceed with the offerings. Each offering is, as it were, thrown into relief, by being viewed in contrast with all the rest. All the offerings, taken together, give us a full view of Christ. They are like so many mirrors, arranged in such a manner, as to reflect, in various ways, the figure of that true and only perfect Sacrifice. No one type could fully present Him. We needed to have Him reflected in life and in death — as a Man and as a Victim — to God-ward and to us-ward; and we have Him thus, in the offerings of Leviticus. God has graciously met our need, and may He give us an enlarged capacity to enter into and enjoy His provision.

Leviticus 2.

We, now, come to consider the meat offering which presents, in a very distinct manner, "the man Christ Jesus." As the Burnt offering typifies Christ in death, the meat offering typifies Him in life. In neither the one nor the other, is there a question of sin-bearing. In the burnt offering, we see atonement but no sin bearing* — no imputation of sin — no outpoured wrath on account of sin. How can we know this? Because it was all consumed on the altar. Had there been ought of sin-bearing, it would have been consumed outside the camp. (Comp. Lev. 4:11, 22, with Heb. 13:11)

{*That is to say sin-bearing is not prominent. Of course, where there is atonement, sin must be in question.}

But, in the meat offering, there was not even a question of blood shedding. We simply find, in it, a beauteous type of Christ, as He lived and walked and served, down here, on this earth. This one fact is, of itself, sufficient to draw the spiritual mind to the close and prayerful consideration of this offering. The pure and perfect manhood of our blessed Lord is a theme which must command the attention of every true Christian. It is to be feared that great looseness of thought prevails, in reference to this holy mystery. The expressions which one sometimes hears and reads are sufficient to prove that the fundamental doctrine of incarnation is not laid hold of as the word presents it. Such expressions may, very probably, proceed from misapprehension as to the real nature of His relations, and as to the true character of His sufferings; but, from what cause soever they arise, they should be judged in the light of holy scripture, and rejected. Doubtless, many who make use of those expressions, would recoil, with just horror and indignation, from the real doctrine contained in them, were it put before them in its broad and true characters; and, for this reason, one should be sorry to attribute unsoundness as to fundamental truth, where it may merely be inaccuracy of statement.

There is, however, one consideration which should weigh heavily in the estimation of every Christian, and that is, the vital nature of the doctrine of Christ's humanity. It lies at the very foundation of Christianity; and, for this reason, Satan has diligently sought, from the beginning, to lead people astray in reference to it. Almost all the leading errors which have found their way into the professing church disclose the Satanic purpose to undermine the truth as to the Person of Christ. And even when earnest, godly men have sought to combat those errors, they have, in many cases, plunged into errors on the opposite side. Hence, therefore, the need of close adherence to the veritable words which the Holy Ghost has made use of in unfolding this profound and most sacred mystery. Indeed, I believe that, in every case, subjection to the authority of holy scripture, and the energy of the divine life in the soul, will prove effectual safeguards against every complexion of error. It does not require high theological attainments to enable a soul to keep clear of error with respect to the doctrine of Christ. If only the word of Christ be dwelling richly, and "the Spirit of Christ" be in energy, in the soul, there will be no room for Satan to thrust in his dark and horrible suggestions. If the heart be delighting in the Christ which Scripture unfolds, it will, assuredly, shrink from the false Christs which Satan would introduce. If we are feeding upon God's reality, we shall unhesitatingly reject Satan's counterfeit. This is the best possible way in which to escape the entanglements of error, in every shape and character. "The sheep hear His voice, and . . . . . . follow him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers." (John 10:4, 5) It is not, by any means, needful to be acquainted with the voice of a stranger, in order to turn away from it; all we require is to know the voice of the good Shepherd." This will secure us against the ensnaring influence of every strange sound. While, therefore, I feel called upon to warn the reader against strange sounds, in reference to the divine mystery of Christ's humanity, I do not deem it needful to discuss such sounds, but would rather seek, through grace, to arm him against them, by unfolding the doctrine of Scripture on the subject.

There are few things in which we exhibit more failure than in maintaining vigorous communion with the perfect manhood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence it is that we suffer so much from vacancy, barrenness, restlessness, and wandering. Did we but enter, with a more artless faith, into the truth that there is a real Man, at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens — One whose sympathy is perfect, whose love is fathomless, whose power is omnipotent, whose wisdom is infinite, whose resources are exhaustless, whose riches are unsearchable, whose ear is open to our every breathing, whose hand is open to our every need, whose heart is full of unspeakable love and tenderness towards us — how much more happy and elevated we should be, and how much more independent of creature streams, through what channel soever they may flow! There is nothing the heart can crave which we have not in Jesus. Does it long for genuine sympathy? Where can it find it, save in Him who could mingle His tears with those of the bereaved sisters of Bethany? Does it desire the enjoyment of sincere affection? It can only find it in that heart which told forth its love in drops of blood. Does it seek the protection of real power? It has but to look to Him who made the world. Does it feel the need of unerring wisdom to guide? Let it betake itself to Him who is wisdom personified, and "who of God is made unto us wisdom." In one word, we have all in Christ. The divine mind and the divine affections have found a perfect object in the man Christ Jesus;" and, surely, if there is that in the Person of Christ which can perfectly satisfy God, there is that which ought to satisfy us, and which will satisfy us, in proportion as, by the grace of the Holy Ghost, we walk in communion with God.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the only perfect man that ever trod this earth. He was all perfect — perfect in thought, perfect in word, perfect in action. In Him every moral quality met in divine and, therefore, perfect proportion. No one feature preponderated. In Him were exquisitely blended a majesty which overawed, and a gentleness which gave perfect ease in His presence. The Scribes and the Pharisees met His withering rebuke; while the poor Samaritan, and "the woman that was a sinner," found themselves unaccountably, yet irresistibly, attracted to Him. No one feature displaced another, for all was in fair and comely proportion. This may be traced in every scene of His perfect life. He could say, in reference to five thousand hungry people, "Give ye them to eat;" and, when they were filled, He could say, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." The benevolence and the economy are both perfect and neither interferes with the other. Each shines in its own proper sphere. He could not send unsatisfied hungry away; neither could He suffer a single fragment of God's creatures to be wasted. He would meet, with a full and liberal hand, the need of the human family, and, when that was done, He would carefully treasure up every atom. The self-same hand that was widely open to every form of human need was firmly closed against all prodigality. There was nothing niggardly nor yet extravagant in the character of the perfect, the heavenly Man.

What a lesson for us! How often, with us, does benevolence resolve itself into an unwarrantable profusion! and, on the other hand, how often is our economy marred by the exhibition of a miserly spirit! At times, too, our niggard hearts refuse to open themselves to the full extent of the need which presents itself before us; while, at other times, we squander, through a wanton extravagance, that which might satisfy many a needy fellow-creature. Oh! my reader, let us carefully study the divine picture set before us in the life of the "Man Christ Jesus." How refreshing and strengthening to "the inward man" to be occupied with Him who was perfect in all His ways, and who "in all things must have the pre-eminence!"

See Him in the garden of Gethsemane. There, He kneels in the profound depths of a humility which none but Himself could exhibit; but yet, before the traitor's band, He exhibits a self-possession and majesty which cause them to go backward and fall to the ground. His deportment before God is prostration; before His judges and accusers, unbending dignity. All is perfect. The self-emptiness and the self-possession, the prostration and the dignity, are all divine.

So also, when we contemplate the beauteous combination of His divine and human relations, the same perfectness is observable. He could say, "How was it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" And, at the same time, He could go down to Nazareth, and there set an example of perfect subjection to parental authority. (See Luke 2:49-51.) He could say to His mother, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" And yet, when passing through the unutterable agony of the cross, He could tenderly commit that mother to the care of the beloved disciple. In the former case, He separated Himself in the spirit of perfect Nazariteship to accomplish His Father's will; while, in the latter, He gave expression to the tender feelings of the perfect human heart. The devotion of the Nazarite and the affection of the man were both perfect. Neither was permitted to interfere with the other. Each shone with undimmed lustre in its proper sphere.

Now, the shadow of this perfect man passes before us in the "fine flour" which formed the basis of the meat offering. There was not so much as a single coarse grain. There was nothing uneven — nothing unequal — nothing rough to the touch. No matter what pressure came from without, there was always an even surface. He was never ruffled by any circumstance or set of circumstances. He never had to retrace a step, or recall a word. Come what might, He always met it in that perfect evenness which is so strikingly typified by the "fine flour."

In all these things, it is needless to say, He stands in marked contrast with His most honored and devoted servants. For example, Moses, though "the meekest man in all the earth," yet "spoke unadvisedly with his lips." In Peter, we find a zeal and an energy which, at times, proved too much for the occasion; and, again, a cowardice which shrank from the place of testimony and reproach. There was the assertion of a devotedness which, when the time for action arrived, was not forthcoming. John, who breathed so much of the atmosphere of the immediate presence of Christ, exhibited, at times, a sectarian and an intolerant spirit. In Paul, the most devoted of servants, we observe considerable unevenness. He uttered words to the high priest which he had to recall. He sent a letter to the Corinthians, of which at first he repented, and afterwards repented not. In all, we find some flaw, save in Him who is "the fairest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely.
In the examination of the meat offering, it will give clearness and simplicity to our thoughts to consider, first, the materials of which it was composed; secondly, the various forms in which it was presented; and, thirdly, the persons who partook of it.

As to the materials, the "fine flour" may be regarded as the basis of the offering; and, in it, we have a type of Christ's humanity, wherein every perfection met. Every virtue was there, and ready for effectual action, in due season. The Holy Ghost delights to unfold the glories of Christ's Person, to set Him forth in all His peerless excellence — to place Him before us in contrast with all beside. He contrasts Him with Adam, even in his very best and highest state; as we read, "the first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." (1 Cor. 15:47) The first Adam, even in his unfallen condition, was "of the earth;" but the second Man was "the Lord from heaven."

The "oil," in the meat offering, is a type of the Holy Ghost. But, inasmuch as the oil is applied in a twofold way, so we have the Holy Ghost presented in a double aspect, in connection with the incarnation of the Son. The fine flour was "mingled" with oil; and there was oil "poured" upon it. Such was the type; and, in the Anti type, we see the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, first, "conceived," and then "anointed," by the Holy Ghost. (Comp. Matt. 1:18, 23, with Lev. 3:16) This is divine! The accuracy, which is here so apparent, draws forth the soul's admiration. It is one and the same Spirit which records the ingredients of the type, and gives us the facts in the antitype. The one who has detailed for us, with such amazing precision, the types and shadows of the Book of Leviticus, has also given us the glorious subject thereof, in the gospel narratives. The same Spirit breathes through the pages of the Old and those of the New Testament, and enables us to see how exactly the one corresponds with the other.

The conception of Christ's humanity, by the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin, unfolds one of the most profound mysteries, which can possibly engage the attention of the renewed mind. It is most fully set forth in Luke's gospel; and this is entirely characteristic, inasmuch as, throughout that Gospel, it would seem to be the special object of the Holy Ghost to unfold, in His own divinely touching manner, "the Man Christ Jesus." In Matthew, we have "the Son of Abraham — the Son of David." In Mark, we have the Divine Servant — the Heavenly Workman. In John, we have "the Son of God — the Eternal Word — the Life — the Light, by whom all things were made. But the great theme of the Holy Ghost in Luke is "the Son of man."

When the angel Gabriel had announced to Mary the dignity which was about to be conferred upon her, in connection with the great work of incarnation, she, not in a spirit of scepticism, but of honest ignorance, inquired, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" It, manifestly, seemed to her that the birth of this glorious Person who was about to appear should be according to the ordinary principles of generation; and this her thought is made the occasion, in the exceeding goodness of God, of developing much valuable light, in reference to the cardinal truth of incarnation. The angel's reply to the virgin's question is unspeakably interesting, and cannot be too closely considered. "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

From this magnificent passage, we learn that the human body into which the eternal Son entered, was formed by "the power of the Highest." "A body hast thou prepared me." (Comp. Psalm 40:6 with Heb. 10:5) It was a real human body — real "flesh and blood." There is no possible foundation here, on which gnosticism or mysticism can base its vapid and worthless theories — no warrant for the cold abstractions of the former, or the misty fancies of the latter. All is deep, solid, and divine reality. The very thing which our hearts needed — the very thing which God has given. The early promise had declared that "the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head," and none but a real man could accomplish this prediction — one whose nature was as real as it was pure and incorruptible. Thou shalt conceive in thy womb," said the angelic messenger, "and bring forth a son"* And, then, lest there should be any room for an error, in reference to the mode of this conception, he adds such words as prove unanswerably, that "the flesh and blood" of which the Eternal Son "took part" while absolutely real, was absolutely incapable of receiving, of retaining, or of communicating a single taint. The humanity of the Lord Jesus was, emphatically, "that holy thing." And, inasmuch as it was wholly without taint, it was wholly without a seed of mortality. We cannot think of mortality, save in connection with sin; and Christ's humanity had naught to do with sin, either personally or relatively. Sin was imputed to Him, on the cross, where He was "made sin for us." But the meat offering is not the type of Christ as a sin-bearer. It foreshadows Him in His perfect life, here below — a life in which He suffered, no doubt, but not as a sin-bearer — not as a substitute — not at the hand of God. Let this be distinctly noted. Neither in the burnt offering, nor in the meat offering, have we Christ as a sin-bearer. In the latter, we see Him living; and, in the former, we see Him dying; but, in neither, is there a question of the imputation of sin, nor of enduring the wrath of God, on account of sin. In short, to present Christ as the sinner's substitute any where else save on the cross, is to rob His life of all its divine beauty and excellency, and to displace the cross altogether. Moreover, it would involve the types of Leviticus in hopeless confusion.

{*"But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." (genomenon ek gunaikos, genomenon hupo nomon.) This is a most important passage inasmuch as it sets forth our blessed Lord as Son of God, and Son of man. "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman" Precious testimony.}

I would, at this point, solemnly admonish my reader, that he cannot be too jealous in reference to the vital truth of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there be error as to this, there is no security as to anything. God cannot give the sanction of His presence to ought that has not this truth for its foundation. The Person of Christ is the living — the divine ground which the Holy Ghost carries on all His operations. Let slip the truth as to Him, and you are like a vessel broken from its moorings, and carried, without rudder or compass, over the wild watery waste, and in imminent danger of being dashed to fragments upon the rocks of Arianism, Infidelity, or Atheism. Question the eternal Sonship of Christ — question His Deity — question His unspotted humanity, and you have opened the floodgate for a desolating tide of deadly error to rush in. Let no one imagine, for a moment, that this is a mere matter to be discussed by learned theologians — a curious question — a recondite mystery — a point about which we may lawfully differ. No; it is a vital, fundamental truth, to be held in the power of the Holy Ghost, and maintained at the expense of all beside — yea, to be confessed, under all circumstances, whatever may be the consequences.

What we want is simply to receive into our hearts, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Father's revelation of the Son, and, then, our souls shall be effectually preserved from the snares of the enemy, let them take what shape they may. He may speciously cover the trap of Arianism or Socinianism with the grass and leaves of a most plausible and attractive system of interpretation; but directly the devoted heart discovers what this system attempts to make of the Blessed One to whom it owes everything, and where it attempts to put Him, it finds but little difficulty in sending it back to where it manifestly came from. We can well afford to do without human theories; but we can never do without Christ — the Christ of God — the Christ of God's affections — the Christ of God's counsels — the Christ of God's word.

The Lord Jesus Christ, God's eternal Son, a distinct Person in the glorious Trinity, God manifest in the flesh, God over all, blessed for ever, assumed a body which was inherently and divinely pure, holy, and without the possibility of taint — absolutely free from every seed or principle of sin and mortality. Such was the humanity of Christ, that He could at any moment, so far as He was personally concerned, have returned to heaven, from whence He had come, and to which He belonged. I speak not here of the eternal counsels of redeeming love, or of the unswerving love of the heart of Jesus — His love to God — His love to God's elect, or of the work that was needful to ratify God's everlasting covenant with the seed of Abraham, and with the whole creation. Christ's own words teach us that "it behooved Him to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day." (Luke 24:46) It was necessary that He should suffer, in order to the full manifestation and perfect accomplishment of the great mystery of redemption. It was His gracious purpose to "bring many sons unto glory." He would not "abide alone," and, therefore, He, as the corn of wheat, "should fall into the ground and die." The more fully we enter into the truth of His Person, the more fully do we apprehend the grace of His work.

When the apostle speaks of Christ's being "made perfect through suffering," it is as "the Captain of our salvation" that he contemplates Him, and not as the eternal Son who, as regards His own abstract Person and nature, was divinely perfect and could not possibly have ought added to Him. So, also, when He Himself says, "Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected," (Luke 13:32) He refers to His being perfected, in the power of resurrection, as the accomplisher of the entire work of redemption. So far as He was personally concerned, He could say, even on His way forth from the garden of Gethsemane, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matt. 26:53, 54)

It is well that the soul be clear as to this — well to have a divine sense of the harmony which exists between those scriptures which present Christ in the essential dignity of His Person, and the divine purity of His nature, and those which present Him in His relation with His people, and as accomplishing the great work of redemption. At times we find both these things combined, in the same passage, as in Heb. 5:8, 9: "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." We must, however, bear in mind that not one of those relations into which Christ, voluntarily, entered — whether as the expression of divine love to a lost world, or the servant of the divine counsels not one of these could possibly interfere with the essential purity, excellency, and glory of His Person. "The Holy Ghost came upon" the virgin, and "the power of the Highest overshadowed her;" and "therefore that holy thing which was born of her was called the Son of God." Most magnificent unfolding, this, of the deep secret of Christ's pure and perfect humanity — the great antitype of the "fine flour mingled with oil!"

And here, let me observe, that, between humanity, as seen in the Lord Jesus Christ, and humanity, as seen in us, there could be no union. That which is pure could never coalesce with that which is impure. That which is incorruptible could never unite with that which is corruptible. The spiritual and the carnal — the heavenly and the earthly — could never combine. Hence, therefore, it follows that incarnation was not, as some have attempted to teach, Christ's taking our fallen nature into union with Himself. If He could have done this, there would have been no need of the death of the cross. He needed not, in that case, to feel "straitened" until the baptism was accomplished — the corn of wheat did not need to "fall into the ground and die." This is a point of great moment. Let the spiritual mind ponder it deeply. Christ could not possibly take sinful humanity into union with Himself. Hear what the angel said to Joseph, in the first chapter of Matthew's gospel. "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." See now Joseph's natural sensibilities, as well as Mary's pious ignorance, are made the occasion of a fuller unfolding of the holy mystery of Christ's humanity; and also of guarding that humanity against all the blasphemous attacks of the enemy!

How, then, is it that believers are united to Christ. Is it in incarnation or resurrection? In resurrection, assuredly. How is this proved? "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone." (John 12:24.) At this side of death, there could be no union between Christ and His people. It is in the power of a new life that believers are united to Christ. They were dead in sin,and He, in perfect grace, came down, and, though Himself pure and sinless, was "made sin" — "died unto sin" — put it away — rose triumphant over it, and all pertaining to it, and, in resurrection, became the Head of a new race. Adam was the head of the old creation, which fell with him. Christ, by dying, put Himself under the full weight of His people's condition, and having perfectly met all that was against them, rose, victorious over all, and carried them with Him into the new creation, of which He is the glorious Head and Center. Hence, we read, He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." (1 Cor. 6:17.) "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:4-6.) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." (Eph. 5:30.) "And you being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses." (Col. 2:13.)

Passages might be multiplied, but the above are amply sufficient to prove that it was not in incarnation, but in death, that Christ took a position in which His people could be "quickened together with him." Does this seem unimportant to the reader? Let him examine it in the light of Scripture. Let him weigh all the consequences. Let him view it in its bearing upon Christ's Person, upon His life, upon His death, upon our condition, by nature, in the old creation, and our place, through mercy, in the new. Let him consider it thus, and, I feel persuaded, he will no longer regard it as a light matter. Of one thing, at least, he may rest assured, that the writer of these pages would not pen a single line to prove this point, did he not consider it to be fraught with the most momentous results. The whole of divine revelation so hangs together — is so adjusted by the hand of the Holy Ghost — is so consistent in all its parts, that, if one truth be disturbed, the entire arch is injured. This consideration should suffice to produce, in the mind of every Christian, a holy caution lest, by some rude touch, he mar the beauteous superstructure. Every stone must be left in its divinely appointed place; and, unquestionably, the truth as to Christ's Person is the keystone of the arch.

Having thus endeavored to unfold the truth typified by the "fine flour mingled with oil," we may remark another point of much interest in the expression, "He shall pour oil upon it." In this we have a type of the anointing of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Ghost. The body of the Lord Jesus was not merely formed, mysteriously, by the Holy Ghost, but that pure and holy vessel was also anointed for service, by the same power. "And it came to pass when all the people were baptized, and Jesus also being baptized and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove, upon him, and there was a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased." (Luke 3:21, 22)

The anointing of the Lord Jesus, by the Holy Ghost, previous to His entrance upon His public ministry, is of immense practical importance to every one who really desires to be a true and an effectual servant of God. Though conceived, as to His manhood, by the Holy Ghost; though, in His own proper Person, "God manifest in the flesh;" though embodying, in Himself, all the fullness of the Godhead; yet, be it well observed, when coming forth, as man, to do the will of God, on the earth, whatever that will might be, whether preaching the gospel, teaching in the synagogues, healing the sick, cleansing the leper, casting out devils, feeding the hungry, or raising the dead, He did all by the Holy Ghost. That holy and heavenly vessel in which God the Son was pleased to appear in this world, was formed, filled, anointed, and led by the Holy Ghost.

What a deep and holy lesson for us! A most needful and salutary lesson! How prone are we to run unsent! How prone to act in the mere energy of the flesh! How much of that which looks like ministry is only the restless and unhallowed activity of a nature which has never been measured and judged in the divine presence! Truly, we need to contemplate, more closely, our divine "meat offering" — to understand, more fully, the meaning of the "Fine flour anointed with oil." We need to meditate, more deeply, upon Christ Himself, who, though possessing, in His own Person, divine power, nevertheless, did all His work, wrought all His miracles, and, finally, offered himself without spot to God, by the eternal Spirit. He could say, "I, by the Spirit of God, cast out devils."

Nothing is of any value save that which is wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost. A man may write; but, if his pen be not guided and used by the Holy Ghost, his lines will produce no permanent result. A man may speak; but, if his lips be not anointed by the Holy Ghost, his word will not take permanent root. This is a solemn consideration, and, if properly weighed, would lead to much watchfulness over ourselves, and much earnest dependence upon the Holy Ghost. What we need is thorough self-emptiness, so that there may be room left for the Spirit to act by us. It is impossible that a man full of himself can be the vessel of the Holy Ghost. Such an one must, first, be emptied of himself, and, then, the Spirit can use him. When we contemplate the Person and ministry of the Lord Jesus, we see how that, in every scene and circumstance, He acted by the direct power of the Holy Ghost. Having taken His place, as man, down here, He showed that men should not only live by the Word, but act by the Spirit of God. Even though, as man, His will was perfect — His thoughts, His words, His acts, all perfect, yet would He not act, save by the direct authority of the Word, and by the direct power of the Holy Ghost. Oh! that in this, as in every thing else, we could, more closely, more faithfully, follow in His steps. Then, indeed, would our ministry be more effective, our testimony more fruitful, our whole course more entirely to the glory of God.

The next ingredient in the meat offering demanding our consideration is "the frankincense." As has been remarked, the "fine flour" was the basis of the offering. The "oil" and "frankincense" were the two leading adjuncts; and, truly, the connection between these two latter is most instructive. The "oil" typifies the power of Christ's ministry; the "frankincense" typifies the object thereof. The former teaches us that He did everything by the Spirit of God; the latter that He did everything to the glory of God. The frankincense presents that in the life of Christ, which was, exclusively, for God. This is evident from the second verse: "And he shall bring it (the meat offering) to Aaron's sons, the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord." Thus was it in the true meat offering — the Man Christ Jesus. There was that in His blessed life which was exclusively for God. Every thought, every word, every look, every act of His, emitted a fragrance which went up, immediately, to God. And, as in the type, it was the "fire of the altar" that drew forth the sweet odor of the frankincense; so, in the Antitype, the more he was "tried," in all the scenes and circumstances of His blessed life, the more fully was it manifested that, in His manhood, there was nothing that could not ascend, as an odor of a sweet smell, to the throne of God. If, in the burnt offering, we behold Christ "offering himself, without spot, to God;" in the meat offering, we behold Him presenting all the intrinsic excellence and perfect actings of His human nature to God. A perfect, a self-emptied, an obedient man, on the earth, doing the will of God, acting by the authority of the word, and by the power of the Spirit, had a sweet odor which could only be for divine acceptance. The fact that "all the frankincense" was consumed on the altar, fixes its import in the simplest manner.

It now only remains for us to consider an ingredient which was an inseparable adjunct of the meat offering, namely, "salt." "And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." The expression, "salt of the covenant," sets forth the enduring character of that covenant. God Himself has so ordained it, in all things, that naught can ever alter it — no influence can ever corrupt it. In a spiritual and practical point of view, it is impossible to over-estimate the value of such an ingredient. "Let your conversation be always with grace, seasoned with salt." The whole conversation of the Perfect Man exhibited the power of this principle. His words were not merely words of grace, but words of pungent power — words divinely adapted to preserve from all taint and corrupting influence. He never uttered a word which was not redolent with "frankincense" and seasoned with salt. The former was most acceptable to God, the latter most profitable for man.

Sometimes, alas! man's corrupt heart and vitiated taste could not tolerate the pungency of the divinely salted meat offering. Witness, for example, the scene in the synagogue of Nazareth. (Luke 4:16-29) The people could "bear him witness, and wonder at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth;" but when He proceeded to season those words with salt, which was so needful, in order to preserve them from the corrupting influence of their national pride, they would fain have cast Him over the brow of the hill whereon their city was built.

So, also, in Luke 14, when His words of "grace" had drawn "great multitudes" after Him, He instantly throws in the "salt," by setting forth, in words of holy faithfulness, the sure results of following Him. "Come, for all things are now ready." Here was the "grace." But, then, "whosoever forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple." Here was the "salt." Grace is attractive; but "Salt is good." Gracious discourse may be popular; but salted discourse never will. The pure gospel of the grace of God may, at certain times, and under certain circumstances, be run after by "the multitude" for a while; but when the "salt" of a fervid and faithful application is introduced, it will soon thin the benches of all save such as are brought under the power of the word.

Having thus considered the ingredients which composed the meal offering, we shall now refer to those which were excluded from it.

The first of these was "leaven." "No meat offering which ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with leaven." This ingredient is used throughout the inspired volume, without so much as a single exception, as the symbol of evil. In Lev. 23, which will be noticed in due course, we find leaven admitted in the two loaves which were offered on the day of Pentecost; but from the meat offering, leaven was most sedulously excluded. There was to be nothing sour: nothing that would puff up, nothing expressive of evil in that which typified "the Man Christ Jesus." In Him, there could be nothing savouring of nature's sourness, nothing turgid, nothing inflated. All was pure, solid, and genuine. His word might, at times, cut to the quick; but it was never sour. His style never rose above the occasion. His deportment ever exhibited the deep reality of one walking in the immediate presence of God.

In those who bear the name of Jesus, we know, too well, alas! how leaven shows itself in all its properties and effects. There has been but one untainted sheaf of human fruit — but one perfectly unleavened meat offering; and, blessed be God, that one is ours — ours to feed upon in the sanctuary of the divine presence, in fellowship with God. No exercise can be more truly edifying and refreshing for the renewed mind than to dwell upon the unleavened perfectness of Christ's humanity — to contemplate the life and ministry of One who was, absolutely and essentially, unleavened. In all His springs of thought, affection, desire, and imagination, there was not so much as a particle of leaven. He was the sinless, spotless, perfect Man. And the more we are enabled, by the power of the Spirit, to enter into all this, the deeper will be our experience of the grace which led this perfect One to place Himself under the full consequences of His people's sins, as He did when He hung upon the cross. This thought, however, belongs entirely to the sin-offering aspect of our blessed Lord. In the meat offering, sin is not in question. It is not the type of a sin-bearer, but of a real, perfect, unblemished Man, conceived and anointed by the Holy Ghost, possessing an unleavened nature, and living an unleavened life, down here; emitting, ever, to God-ward, the fragrance of His own personal excellency, and maintaining, amongst men, a deportment characterized by "grace seasoned with salt."

But there was another ingredient, as positively excluded from the meat offering as "leaven," and that was "honey." "For ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire." (Ver. 11). Now, as "leaven" is the expression of that which is positively and palpably evil, in nature, we may regard "honey" as the significant symbol of that which is apparently sweet and attractive. Both are disallowed of God — both were carefully excluded from the meat offering — both were unfit for the altar. Men may undertake, like Saul, to distinguish between what is "vile and refuse," and what is not; but the judgement of God ranks the delicate Agag with the vilest of the sons of Amalek. No doubt, there are some good moral qualities in man which must be taken for what they are worth. "Hast thou found honey, eat so much as is convenient;" but, be it remembered, it found no place in the meat offering, nor in its Antitype. There was the fullness of the Holy Ghost; there was the fragrant odor of the frankincense; there was the preservative virtue of "the salt of the covenant." All these things accompanied the "fine flour," in the Person of the true "meat offering;" but "no honey."

What a lesson for the heart is here! yea, what a volume of wholesome instruction! The blessed Lord Jesus knew how to give nature and its relationships their proper place. He knew how much honey "was convenient." He could say to His mother, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" And yet He could say, again, to the beloved disciple, "Behold thy mother." In other words, nature's claims were never allowed to interfere with the presentation to God of all the energies of Christ's perfect manhood. Mary and others too might have thought that her human relation to the blessed One gave her some peculiar claim or influence, on merely natural grounds. "There came, then, his brethren ("after the flesh") and his mother, and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him; and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee." What was the reply of the true Meat Offering? Did He, at once, abandon His work, in order to respond to nature's call? By no means. Had He done so, it would have been to mingle "honey" with the meat offering, which could not be. The honey was faithfully excluded, on this, as on every occasion, when God's claims were to be attended to, and instead thereof, the power of the Spirit, the odour of the "frankincense," and the virtues of the "salt" were blessedly exhibited. "And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother."* (Mark 3:31-35.)

{*How important to see, in the above beautiful passage, that doing God's will brings the soul into a relationship with Christ, of which His brethren according to the flesh knew nothing, on merely natural grounds. It was as true, with respect to those brethren, as any one else, that "except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Mary could not have been saved by the mere fact of her being the mother of Jesus. She needed personal faith in Christ as much as any other member of Adam's fallen family. She needed to pass, by being born again, out of the old creation into the new. It was by treasuring up Christ's words in her heart that this blessed woman was saved. No doubt, she was "highly favoured" in being chosen as a vessel, to such a holy office; but, then, as a lost sinner, she needed to "rejoice in God her Saviour," like any one else. She stands on the same platform, is washed in the same blood, clothed in the same righteousness, and will sing the same song, as all the rest of God's redeemed.

This simple fact will give additional force and clearness to a point already stated, namely; that incarnation was not Christ's taking our nature into union with Himself. This truth should be carefully pondered. It is fully brought out in 2 Cor. 5. "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh, yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." (Ver. 14-17)}

There are few things which the servant of Christ finds more difficult than to adjust, with spiritual accuracy, the claims of natural relationship, so as not to suffer them to interfere with the claims of the Master. In the case of our blessed Lord, as we know, the adjustment was divine. In our case, it often happens that divinely-recognized duties are openly neglected for what we imagine to be the service of Christ. The doctrine of God is constantly sacrificed to the apparent work of the gospel. Now, it is well to remember that true devotedness always starts from a point within which all godly claims are fully secured. If I hold a situation which demands my services from ten till four every day, I have no right to go out to visit or preach, during those hours. If I am in business, I am bound to maintain the integrity of that business, in a godly manner. I have no right to run hither and thither preaching, while my business, at home, lies in sixes and sevens, bringing great reproach on the holy doctrine of God. A man may say, I feel myself called to preach the gospel, and I find my situation, or my business, a clog. Well, if you are divinely called and fitted for the work of the gospel, and that you cannot combine the two things, then resign your situation, or wind up your business, in a godly manner, and go forth, in the name of the Lord. But, clearly, so long as I hold a situation, or carry on a business, my work in the gospel must begin from a point within which the godly claims of such business or situation are fully responded to. This is devotedness. Ought else is confusion, however well intended. Blessed be God, we have a perfect example before us in the life of the Lord Jesus, and ample guidance, for the new man, in the word of God; so that we need not make any mistakes, in the varied relationships which we may be called, in the providence of God, to all, or as to the various claims which God's moral government has set up, in connection with such relationships.

2. The second point, in our theme, is the mode in which the meat offering was prepared. This was, as we read, by the action of fire. It was "baked in an oven" — "baked in a pan" — or "baked in a frying pan." The process of baking suggests the idea of suffering. But inasmuch as the meat offering is called "a sweet savor" — a term which is never applied to the sin offering, or trespass offering — it is evident that there is no thought of suffering for sin — no thought of suffering the wrath of God on account of sin — no thought of suffering at the hand of infinite Justice, as the sinner's substitute. The two ideas of "sweet savor" and suffering for sin, are wholly incompatible, according to the Levitical economy. It would completely destroy the type of the meat offering, were we to introduce into it the idea of suffering for sin.

In contemplating the life of the Lord Jesus, which, as we have already remarked, is the special subject foreshadowed in the meat offering, we may notice three distinct kinds of suffering; namely, suffering for righteousness; suffering by the power of sympathy; and suffering, in anticipation.

As the righteous Servant of God, He suffered in the midst of a scene in which all was contrary to Him; but this was the very opposite of suffering for sin. It is of the utmost importance to distinguish between these two kinds of suffering. The confounding of them must lead to serious error. Suffering as a righteous One, standing amongst men, on God's behalf, is one thing; and suffering instead of men, under the hand of God, is quite another. The Lord Jesus suffered for righteousness, during His life. He suffered for sin, in His death. During His life, man and Satan did their utmost; and, even at the cross, they put forth all their powers; but when all that they could do was done — when they had traveled, in their deadly enmity, to the utmost limit of human and diabolical opposition, there lay, far beyond a region of impenetrable gloom and horror into which the Sin-bearer had to travel, in the accomplishment of His work. During His life He ever walked in the unclouded light of the Divine countenance; but, on the cursed tree, the dark shadow of sin intervened, and shut out that light, and drew forth that mysterious cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" This was a moment which stands absolutely alone, in the annals of eternity. From time to time, during the life of Christ, down here, heaven had opened to give forth the expression of divine complacency in Him; but on the cross God forsook Him, because He was making His soul an offering for sin. If Christ had been a sin-bearer all His life, then what was the difference between the cross and any other period? Why was He not forsaken of God during His entire course? What was the difference between Christ on the cross, and Christ on the holy mount of transfiguration? Was He forsaken of God, on the mount? Was He a sin-bearer there? These are very simple questions, which should be answered by those who maintain the idea of a life of sin-bearing.

The plain fact is this, there was nothing either in Christ's humanity, or in the nature of His associations, which could possibly connect Him with sin, or wrath, or death. He was "made sin" on the cross; and there He endured the wrath of God, and there He gave up His life, as an all-sufficient atonement for sin; but nothing of this finds a place in the meat offering. True, we have the process of baking — the action of fire; but this is not the wrath of God. The meat offering was not a sin offering, but a "sweet savor" offering. Thus, its import is definitely fixed; and, moreover, the intelligent interpretation of it must ever guard, with holy jealousy, the precious truth of Christ's spotless humanity, and the true nature of His associations. To make Him, by the necessity of His birth, a sin bearer, or to place Him, thereby, under the curse of the law, and the wrath of God, is to contradict the entire truth of God, as to incarnation — truth announced by the angel, and repeated, again and again, by the inspired apostle. Moreover, it destroys the entire character and object of Christ's life, and robs the cross of its distinctive glory. It lowers the sense of what sin is, and of what atonement is. In one word, it removes the keystone of the arch of revelation, and lays all in hopeless ruin and confusion around us.

But, again, the Lord Jesus suffered by the power of sympathy; and this character of suffering unfolds to us the deep secrets of His tender heart. Human sorrow, and human misery ever touched a chord in that bosom of love. It was impossible that a perfect human heart could avoid feeling, according to its own divine sensibilities, the miseries which sin had entailed upon the human family. Though, personally free, both from the cause and the effect — though belonging to heaven, and living a perfect heavenly life, on the earth, yet did He descend, by the power of an intense sympathy, into the deepest depths of human sorrow; yea, He felt the sorrow, more keenly by far, than those who were the direct subjects thereof, inasmuch as His humanity was perfect. And, further, He was able to contemplate both the sorrow and its cause, according to their just measure and character, in the presence of God. He felt as none else could feel. His feelings — His affections — His sensibilities — His whole moral and mental constitution were perfect; and, hence, none can tell what such an One must have suffered, in passing through such a world as this. He beheld the human family struggling beneath the ponderous weight of guilt and wretchedness; He beheld the whole creation groaning under the yoke; the cry of the prisoner fell upon His ear; the tear of the widow met His view; bereavement and poverty touched His sensitive heart; sickness and death made Him "groan in the spirit;" His sympathetic sufferings were beyond all human conception.

I shall quote a passage for my reader, illustrative of that character of suffering to which we are now referring. "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." (Matt. 8:16, 17) This was entirely sympathetic — the power of fellow-feeling, which in Him was perfect. He had no sicknesses or infirmities of His own. Those things which are sometimes spoken of as "sinless infirmities," were, in His case, but the evidences of a veritable, a real, a perfect manhood. But by sympathy — by perfect fellow feeling, "He took our infirmities, and bareour sicknesses." None but a perfect man could have done this. We may feel for, and with, each other; but only Jesus could make human infirmity and sickness His own.

Now, had He been bearing all these things by the necessity of His birth, or of His relations with Israel and the human family, we should have lost all the beauty and preciousness of His voluntary sympathy. There could be no room for voluntary action when absolute necessity was laid upon Him. But, on the other hand, when we see His entire freedom, both personally and relatively, from human misery and that which produced it, we can enter into that perfect grace and compassion which led Him to "take our infirmities, and bear our sicknesses," in the power of true sympathy. There is, therefore, a very manifest difference between Christ's suffering as a voluntary sympathizer with human misery, and His sufferings as the sinner's substitute. The former are apparent throughout His entire life; the latter are confined to His death.

Finally, we have to consider Christ's sufferings, by anticipation. We find the dark shadow of the cross casting itself athwart His path, and producing a very keen order of suffering which, however, must be as clearly distinguished from His atoning suffering as either His suffering for righteousness, or His suffering by sympathy. Let as take a passage, in proof: "And he came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:39-44.) Again, we read, "And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me . . . . . he went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." (Matt. 26:37-42.)

From these verses, it is evident, there was a something, in prospect, which the blessed Lord had never encountered before. There was a "cup" being filled out for Him of which He had not yet drunk. If He had been a sin-bearer all His life, then why this intense agony at the thought of coming in contact with sin and enduring the wrath of God on account of sin? What was the difference between Christ, in Gethsemane, and Christ, at Calvary, if He were a sin-bearer all His life? There was a material difference! but it is because He was not a sin-bearer all His life. What is the difference? In Gethsemane, He was anticipating the cross! at Calvary, He was actually enduringit. In Gethsemane, "there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him;" at Calvary, He was forsaken of all. There was no angelic ministry there. In Gethsemane He addresses God as"Father," thus enjoying the full communion of that ineffable relationship; but at Calvary, He cries, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Here the sin-bearer looks up, and beholds the throne of eternal Justice enveloped in dark clouds, and the countenance of inflexible Holiness averted from Him because He was being "made sin for us."

The reader will, I trust, find no difficulty in examining this subject for himself. He will be able to trace, in detail, the three characters of the life-sufferings of our blessed Lord, and to distinguish between them and His death-sufferings — His sufferings for sin. He will see how that, when man and Satan had done their utmost, there yet remained a character of suffering which was perfectly unique, namely, suffering, at the hand of God, on account of sin — suffering as the sinner's substitute. Until He came to the cross, He could ever look up and bask in the clear light of His Father's countenance. In the darkest hour, He found a sure resource above. His path down here was a rough one. How could it be otherwise, in a world where all was directly contrary to His pure and holy nature? He had to "endure the contradiction of sinners against himself." He had to endure "the reproach of them that reproached God." What had He not to endure? He was misunderstood, misinterpreted, abused, maligned, accused of being mad, and of having a devil. He was betrayed, denied, deserted, mocked, buffeted, spit upon, crowned with thorns, cast out, condemned, and nailed between two malefactors. All these things He endured at the hand of man, together with all the unutterable terrors which Satan brought to bear upon His spirit; but let it be, once more, emphatically repeated, when man and Satan had exhausted their power and enmity, our blessed Lord and Saviour had to endure a something compared with which all the rest was as nothing, and that was the hiding of God's countenance — the three hours of darkness and awful gloom, during which He suffered what none but God could know.

Now, when scripture speaks of our having fellowship with Christ's sufferings, it refers, simply, to His sufferings for righteousness — his sufferings at the hand of man. Christ suffered for sin, that we might not have to suffer for it. He endured the wrath of God, that we might not have to endure it. This is the ground of our peace. But, as regards suffering from man, we shall always find that the more faithfully we follow in the footsteps of Christ, the more we shall suffer in this respect; but this is a matter of gift, a matter of privilege, a favour, a dignity. (See Phil. 1:29, 30) To walk in the footsteps of Christ — to enjoy companionship with Him — to be thrown into a place of sympathy with Him, are privileges of the very highest order. Would that we all entered, more fully, into them! But, alas! we are too well content to do without them — too well satisfied, like Peter, "to follow afar off" — to keep aloof from a despised and suffering Christ. All this is, undoubtedly, our heavy loss. Had we only more fellowship with His sufferings, the crown would glisten, far more brightly, in our soul's vision. When we shrink from fellowship with Christ's sufferings, we rob ourselves of the deep joy of His present companionship, and also of the moral power of the hope of His future glory.

3. Having considered the ingredients which composed the meat offering, and the various forms in which it was presented, it only remains for us to refer to the persons who partook of it. These were the head and members of the priestly house. "And that which is left of the meat offering shall be Aaron's and his sons: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire." (Ver. 10) As in the burnt offering, we observed the sons of Aaron introduced as types of all true believers, not as convicted sinners, but as worshipping Priests; so, in the meat offering, we find them feeding upon the remnant of that which had been laid, as it were, on the table of the God of Israel. This was a high and holy privilege. None but priests could enjoy it. This is set forth, with great distinctness, in "the law of the meat offering," which I shall here quote at length. "And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the Lord, before the altar. And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor, even the memorial of it unto the Lord. And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten, in the Holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it. It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering. All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations, concerning the offerings of the Lord made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy." (Lev. 6:14-18)

Here, then, we are furnished with a beauteous figure of the Church, feeding, "in the holy place," in the power of practical holiness, upon the perfections of the Man Christ Jesus." This is our portion, through the grace of God; but, we must remember, it is to be eaten "with unleavened bread." We cannot feed upon Christ if we are indulging in anything evil. "Every one that toucheth them shall be holy." Moreover, it must be "in the holy place." Our position, our practice, our persons, our associations, must be holy, ere we can feed upon the meat offering. Finally, it is, "all the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it." That is to say, real priestly energy, according to the divine idea of it, is required, in order to enjoy this holy portion. Aaron's "sons" set forth the idea ofenergy in priestly action. His "daughters," feebleness therein. (Comp. Num. 18:8-13) There were some things which the sons could eat which the daughters could not. Our hearts should earnestly desire the highest measure of priestly energy, so that we may discharge the highest priestly functions, and partake of the highest order of priestly food.

In conclusion, let me add that, inasmuch as we are made, through grace, "partakers of the divine nature," we can, if living in the energy of that nature, walk in the footsteps of Him who is foreshadowed in the meat offering. If only we are self-emptied, our every act may emit a sweet odor to God. The smallest as well as the greatest services may, by the power of the Holy Ghost, present the fragrance of Christ. The paying of a visit, the writing of a letter, the public ministry of the word, giving a cup of cold water to a disciple, giving a penny to a pauper, yea, the common-place acts of eating and drinking — all may emit the sweet perfume of the name and grace of Jesus.

So, also, if only nature be kept in the place of death, there may be, in us, the exhibition of that which is not corruptible, even a conversation seasoned with the "salt" of abiding communion with God. But, in all these things, we fail and come short. We grieve the Holy Spirit of God in our ways. We are prone to self-seeking or men-pleasing, in our very best services, and we fail to "season" our conversation. Hence, our constant deficiency in the "oil," the "frankincense," and the "salt" while, at the same time, there is the tendency to suffer the "leaven" or the "honey" of nature to make its appearance. There has been but one perfect "meat offering;" and, blessed be God, we are accepted in Him. We are the "sons" of the true Aaron; our place is in the sanctuary, where we can feed upon the holy portion. Happy place! Happy portion! May we enjoy them more than ever we have done. May our retirement of heart from all but Christ be more profound. May our gaze at Him be so intense, that we shall have no heart for the attractions of the scene around us, nor yet for the ten thousand petty circumstances, in our path, which would fret the heart and perplex the mind. May we rejoice in Christ, in the sunshine and in the darkness; when the gentle breezes of summer play around us, and when the storms of winter rage fiercely abroad; when passing over the surface of a placid lake, or tossed on the bosom of a stormy ocean. Thank God "we have found Him" who is to be our satisfying portion for ever. We shall spend eternity dwelling upon the divine perfections of the Lord Jesus. Our eyes shall never be averted from Him, when once we have seen Him as He is.

May the Spirit of God work mightily in us, to strengthen us, "in the inner man." May He enable us to feed upon that perfect Meat Offering, the memorial of which has been fed upon by God Himself! This is our holy and happy privilege. May we realise it, yet more fully!

Leviticus 3.

The more closely we contemplate the offerings, the more fully do we see how that no one offering furnishes a complete view of Christ. It is only by putting all together, that anything like a just idea can be formed. Each offering, as might be expected, has features peculiar to itself. The Peace offering differs from the burnt offering, in many points; and a clear understanding of the points in which any one type differs from the others, will be found to help much in the apprehension of its special import.

Thus, in comparing the peace offering with the burnt offering, we find that the threefold action of "flaying," "Cutting it into its pieces," and "washing the inwards and legs" is entirely omitted; and this is quite in character. In the burnt offering, as we have seen, we find Christ offering Himself to, and accepted by God, and hence, the completeness of His self-surrender, and also the searching process to which He submitted Himself, had to be typified. In the peace offering, the leading thought is the communion of the worshipper. It is not Christ as enjoyed, exclusively, by God, but as enjoyed by the worshipper, in communion with God. Therefore it is that the whole line of action is less intense. No heart, be its love ever so elevated, could possibly rise to the height of Christ's devotedness to God, or of God's acceptance of Christ. None but God Himself could duly note the pulsations of that heart which throbbed in the bosom of Jesus; and, therefore, a type was needed to set forth that one feature of Christ's death, namely, His perfect devotedness therein to God. This type we have in the burnt offering, in which, alone, we observe the threefold action above referred to.

So, also, in reference to the character of the sacrifice. In the burnt offering, it should be "a male without blemish;" whereas, in the peace offering, it might be "a male or female," though equally "without blemish." The nature of Christ, whether we view Him as enjoyed exclusively by God, or by the worshipper in fellowship with God, must ever be one and the same. There can be no alteration in that. The only reason why "a female" was permitted in the peace offering, was because it was a question of the worshipper's capacity to enjoy that blessed One, who, in Himself, is "the same yesterday, today, and for ever." (Heb. 13)
Again, in the burnt offering, we read, "The priest shall burn all;" whereas, in the peace offering, apart only was burnt, that is, "the fat, the kidneys, and the caul." This makes it exceedingly simple. The most excellent portion of the sacrifice was laid on God's altar. The inward parts — the hidden energies — the tender sensibilities of the blessed Jesus, were devoted to God as the only One who could perfectly enjoy them. Aaron and his sons fed upon "the wave breast" and "the heave shoulder."* (See carefully Lev. 7:28-36) All the members of the priestly family, in communion with their head, had their proper portion of the peace offering. And now, all true believers constituted, by grace, priests unto God, can feed upon the affections and the strength of the true Peace Offering — can enjoy the happy assurance of having His loving heart and powerful shoulder to comfort and sustain them continually.** "This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the Lord made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the Lord in the priest's office; which the Lord commanded to be given them of the children of Israel, in the day that he anointed them by a statute for ever throughout their generations." (Lev. 7:35, 36)

{*The "breast" and the "shoulder" are emblematical of love and power — strength and affection.}

{**There is much force and beauty in verse 31: "The breast shall be Aaron's and his sons." It is the privilege of all true believers to feed upon the affections of Christ — the changeless love of that heart which beats with a deathless and changeless love for them.}
All these are important points of difference between the burnt offering and the peace offering; and, when taken together, they set the two offerings, with great clearness, before the mind. There is something more in the peace offering than the abstract devotedness of Christ to the will of God. The worshipper is introduced; and that, not merely as a spectator, but as a participator — not merely to gaze, but to feed. This gives very marked character to this offering. When I look at the Lord Jesus in the burnt offering, I see Him as One whose heart was devoted to the one object of glorifying God and accomplishing His will. But when I see Him in the peace offering, I find One who has a place in His loving heart, and on His powerful shoulder, for a worthless, helpless sinner. In the burnt offering, the breast and shoulder, legs and inwards, head and fat, were all burnt on the altar — all went up as a sweet savor to God. But in the peace offering, that very portion that suits me is left for me. Nor am I left to feed, in solitude, on that which meets my individual need. By no means. I feed in communion — in communion with God, and in communion with my fellow priests. I feed, in the full and happy intelligence, that the selfsame sacrifice which feeds my soul has already refreshed the heart of God; and, moreover, that the same portion which feeds me feeds all my fellow worshippers. Communion is the order here — communion with God — the communion of saints. There was no such thing as isolation in the peace offering. God had His portion, and so had the priestly family.

Thus it is in connection with the Antitype of the peace offering. The very same Jesus who is the object of heaven's delight, is he spring of joy, of strength, and of comfort to every believing heart; and not only to every heart, in particular, but also to the whole church of God, in fellowship. God, in His exceeding grace, has given His people the very same object that He has Himself. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1) True, our thoughts of Jesus can never rise to the height of God's thoughts. Our estimation of such an object must ever fall far short of His; and, hence, in the type, the house of Aaron could not partake of the fat. But though we can never rise to the standard of the divine estimation of Christ's Person and sacrifice, it is, nevertheless, the same object we are occupied with, and, therefore, the house of Aaron had "the wave breast and the heave shoulder." All this is replete with comfort and joy to the heart. The Lord Jesus Christ — the One "who was dead, but is alive for evermore," is now the exclusive object before the eye and thoughts of God; and, in perfect grace, He has given unto us a portion in the same blessed and all-glorious Person. Christ is our object too — the object of our hearts, and the theme of our song. "Having made peace by the blood of his cross," He ascended into heaven, and sent down the Holy Ghost, that "other Comforter," by whose powerful ministrations we feed upon "the breast and shoulder" of our divine "Peace Offering." He is, indeed, our peace; and it is our exceeding joy to know that such is God's delight in the establishment of our peace that the sweet odor of our Peace offering has refreshed His heart. This imparts a peculiar charm to this type. Christ, as the burnt offering, commands the admiration of the heart; Christ, as the peace offering, establishes the peace of the conscience, and meets the deep and manifold necessities of the soul. The sons of Aaron might stand around the altar of burnt offering; they might behold the flame of that offering ascending to the God of Israel; they might see the sacrifice reduced to ashes; they might, in view of all this, bow their heads and worship; but they carried naught away for themselves. Not so in the peace offering. In it they not only beheld that which was capable of emitting a sweet odor to God, but also of yielding a most substantial portion for themselves on which they could feed, in happy and holy fellowship.

And, assuredly, it heightens the enjoyment of every true priest to know that God (to use the language of our type) has had His portion, ere he gets the breast and the shoulder. The thought of this gives tone and energy, unction and elevation to the worship and communion. It unfolds the amazing grace of Him who has given us the same object, the same theme, the same joy with Himself. Nothing lower — nothing less than this could satisfy Him. The Father will have the prodigal feeding upon the fatted calf, in fellowship with Himself. He will not assign him a lower place than at His own table, nor any other portion than that on which He feeds Himself. The language of the peace offering is, "it is meet that we should make merry and be glad" — "Let us eat and be merry." Such is the precious grace of God! No doubt, we have reason to be glad, as being the partakers of such grace; but when we can hear the blessed God saying, "Let us eat and be merry," it should call forth from our hearts a continual stream of praise and thanksgiving. God's joy in the salvation of sinners, and His joy in the communion of saints, may well elicit the admiration of men and angels throughout eternity.

Having, thus, compared the peace offering with the burnt offering, we may, now, briefly glance at it, in connection with the meat offering. The leading point of difference, here, is that, in the peace offering, there was blood-shedding, and in the meat offering, there was not. They were both "sweet savour" offerings; and, as we learn, from Lev. 7:12, the two offerings here very intimately associated. Now, both the connection and the contrast are full of meaning and instruction.

It is only in communion with God that the soul can delight itself in contemplating the perfect humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Holy Ghost must impart, as He must also direct, by the word, the vision by which we can gaze on "the Man Christ Jesus." He might have been revealed "in the likeness of sinful flesh;" He might have lived and labored on this earth; He might have shone, amid the darkness of this world, in all the heavenly lustre and beauty which belonged to His Person; He might have passed rapidly, like a brilliant luminary, across this world's horizon; and, all the while, have been beyond the range of the sinner's vision.

Man could not enter into the deep joy of communion with all this, simply because there would be no basis laid down on which this communion might rest. In the peace offering, this necessary basis is fully and clearly established. "He shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about." (Lev. 3:2) Here, we have that which the meat offering does not supply, namely, a solid foundation for the worshipper's communion with all the fullness, the preciousness, and the beauty of Christ, so far as He, by the gracious energy of the Holy Ghost, is enabled to enter thereunto. Standing on the platform which "the precious blood of Christ" provides, we can range, with tranquilized hearts, and worshipping spirits, throughout all the wondrous scenes of the manhood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Had we naught save the meat offering aspect of Christ, we should lack the title by which, and the ground on which, we can contemplate and enjoy Him therein. If there were no blood-shedding, there could be no title, no standing place for the sinner. But Leviticus 7:12 links the meat offering with the peace offering, and, by so doing, teaches us that, when our souls have found peace, we can delight in the One, who has "made peace," and who is "our peace."

But let it be distinctly understood that while, in the peace offering, we have the shedding and sprinkling of blood, yet sin-bearing is not the thought. When we view Christ, in the peace offering, He does not stand before us as the bearer of our sins, as in the sin and trespass offerings; but (having borne them) as the ground of our peaceful and happy fellowship with God. If sin-bearing were in question, it could not be said, "It is an offering made by fire of a sweet savour unto the Lord." (Lev. 3:5 comp. with Lev. 4:10-12) Still, though sin-bearing is not the thought, there is full provision for one who knows himself to be a sinner, else he could not have any portion therein. To have fellowship with God we must be "in the light;" and how can we be there? Only on the ground of that precious statement, "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1) The more we abide in the light, the deeper will be our sense of everything which is contrary to that light, and the deeper, also, our sense of the value of that blood which entitles us to be there. The more closely we walk with God, the more we shall know of "the unsearchable riches of Christ."

It is most needful to be established in the truth that we are in the presence of God, only as the partakers of divine life, and as standing in divine righteousness. The Father could only have the prodigal at his table, clothed in "the best robe," and in all the integrity of that relationship in which He viewed him. Had the prodigal been left in his rags, or placed "as a hired servant" in the house, we never should have heard those glorious words, "Let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found." Thus it is with all true believers. Their old nature is not recognized as existing, before God. He counts it dead, and so should they. It is dead, to God — dead, to faith. It must be kept in the place of death. It is not by improving our old nature that we get into the divine presence; but as the possessors of a new nature. It was not by repairing the rags of his former condition that the prodigal got a place at the Father's table, but by being clothed in a robe which he had never seen, or thought of before. He did not bring this robe with him from the "far country," neither did he provide it as he came along; but the father had it for him in the house. The prodigal did not make it, or help to make it; but the father provided it for him, and rejoiced to see it on him. Thus it was they sat down together, to feed in happy fellowship, upon "the fatted calf."

I shall now proceed to quote at length "the law of the sacrifice of peace offering," in which we shall find some additional points of much interest — points which belong peculiarly to itself: "And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the Lord. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten; but the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity. And the flesh that toucheth any unclean thing shall not be eaten; it shall be burnt with fire: and as for the flesh all that be clean shall eat thereof. But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings that pertain unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people. Moreover, the soul that shall touch any unclean thing, as the uncleanness of man, or any unclean beast, or any abominable unclean thing, and eat of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which pertain unto the Lord, even that soul shall be cut off from his people." (Lev. 7:11-21)

It is of the utmost importance that we accurately distinguish between sin in the flesh, and sin on the conscience. If we confound these two, our souls must, necessarily, be unhinged, and our worship marred. An attentive consideration of 1 John 1:8-10 will throw much light upon this subject, the understanding of which is so essential to a due appreciation of the entire doctrine of the peace offering, and more especially of that point therein at which we have now arrived. There is no one who will be so conscious of indwelling sin as the man who walks in the light. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." In the verse immediately preceding, we read, "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Here the distinction between sin in us, and sin on us, is fully brought out and established. To say that there is sin on the believer, in the presence of God, is to call in question the purging efficacy of the blood of Jesus, and to deny the truth of the divine record. If the blood of Jesus can perfectly purge, then the believer's conscience is perfectly purged. The word of God thus puts the matter; and we must ever remember that it is from God Himself we are to learn what the true condition of the believer is, in His sight. We are more disposed to be occupied in telling God what we are in ourselves, than to allow Him to tell us what we are in Christ. In other words, we are more taken up with our own self-consciousness, than with God's revelation of Himself. God speaks to us on the ground of what He is in Himself and of what He has accomplished, in Christ. Such is the nature and character of His revelation of which faith takes hold, and thus fills the soul with perfect peace. God's revelation is one thing; my consciousness is quite another.

But the same word which tells us we have no sin on us, tells us, with equal force and clearness, that we have sin in us. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Every one who has "truth" in him, will know that he has "sin" in him, likewise; for truth reveals every thing as it is. What, then, are we to do? It is our privilege so to walk in the power of the new nature, that the "sin" which dwells in us may not manifest itself in the form of "sins." The Christian's position is one of victory and liberty. He is not only delivered from the guilt of sin, but also from sin as a ruling principle in his life. "knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin . . . . . .let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof...For sin shall not have dominion over you: for we are not under the law, but under grace." (Rom. 6:6-14) Sin is there in all its native vileness; but the believer is "dead to it." How? He died in Christ. By nature he was dead in sin. By grace he is dead to it. What claim can anything or any one have upon a dead man? None whatever. Christ "died unto sin once," and the believer died in Him. "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God." What is the result of this, in reference to believers? "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." Such is the believer's unalterable position, before God! so that it is his holy privilege to enjoy freedom from sin as a ruler over him, though it be a dweller in him.

But, then, "if any man sin," what is to be done? The inspired apostle furnishes a full and most blessed answer: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) Confession is the mode in which the conscience is to be kept free. The apostle does not say, "If we pray for pardon, he is gracious and merciful to forgive us." No doubt, it is ever happy for a child to breathe the sense of need into his father's ear — to tell him of feebleness, to confess folly, infirmity, and failure. All this is most true; and, moreover, it is equally true that our Father is most gracious and merciful to meet His children in all their weakness and ignorance; but, while all this is true, the Holy Ghost declares, by the apostle, that, "if we confess," God is "faithful and just to forgive." confession, therefore, is the divine mode. A Christian, having erred, in thought, word, or deed, might pray for pardon, for days and months together, and not have any assurance, from 1 John 1:9, that he was forgiven; whereas the moment he truly confesses his sin, before God, it is a simple matter of faith to know that he is perfectly forgiven and perfectly cleansed.

There is an immense moral difference between praying for forgiveness, and confessing our sins, whether we look at it in reference to the character of God, the sacrifice of Christ, or the condition of the soul. It is quite possible that a person's prayer may involve the confession of his sin, whatever it may happen to be, and thus come to the same thing. But, then, it is always well to keep close to scripture, in what we think, and say, and do. It must be evident that when the Holy Ghost speaks of confession, He does not mean praying. And, it is equally evident that He knows there are moral elements in, and practical results flowing out of, confession, which do not belong to prayer. In point of fact, one has often found that a habit of importuning God for the forgiveness of sins, displayed ignorance as to the way in which God has revealed Himself in the Person and work of Christ; as to the relation in which the sacrifice of Christ has set the believer; and as to the divine mode of getting the conscience relieved from the burden, and purified from the soil, of sin.

God has been perfectly satisfied, as to all the believer's sins, in the cross of Christ. On that cross, a full atonement was presented for every jot and tittle of sin, in the believer's nature, and on his conscience. Hence, therefore, God does not need any further propitiation. He does not need ought to draw His heart toward the believer. We do not require to supplicate Him to be "faithful and just," when His faithfulness and justice have been so gloriously displayed, vindicated, and answered, in the death of Christ. Our sins can never come into God's presence, inasmuch as Christ who bore them all, and put them away, is there instead. But, if we sin, conscience will feel it, must feel it; yes, the Holy Ghost will make us feel it. He cannot allow so much as a single light thought to pass unjudged. What then? Has our sin made its way into the presence of God? Has it found its place in the unsullied light of the inner sanctuary? God forbid! The "Advocate" is there — "Jesus Christ the righteous," to maintain, in unbroken integrity, the relationship in which we stand. But, though sin cannot affect God's thoughts in reference to us, it can and does affect our thoughts in reference to Him.* Though it cannot make its way into His presence, it can make its way into ours, in a most distressing and humiliating manner. Though it cannot hide the Advocate from God's view, it can hide Him from ours. It gathers, like a thick, dark cloud, on our spiritual horizon, so that our souls cannot bask in the blessed beams of our Father's countenance. It cannot affect our relationship with God, but it can very seriously affect our enjoyment thereof. What, therefore, are we to do? The word answers, "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." By confession, we get our conscience cleared; the sweet sense of our relationship restored; the dark; cloud dispersed; the chilling, withering influence removed; our thoughts of God set straight. Such is the divine method; and we may truly say that the heart that knows what it is to have ever been in the place of confession, will feel the divine power of the apostle's words, "My little children, these things write I unto you, THAT YE SIN NOT." (1 John 2:1)

{*The reader will bear in mind that the subject treated of in the text, leaves wholly untouched the important and most practical truth taught in John 14:21-23, namely, the peculiar love of the Father for an obedient child, and the special communion of such a child with the Father and the Son. May this truth be written on all our hearts, by the pen of God the Holy Ghost}

Then, again, there is a style of praying for forgiveness, which involves a losing sight of the perfect ground of forgiveness, which has been laid in the sacrifice of the cross. If God forgives sins, He must be "faithful and just," in so doing. But it is quite clear that our prayers, be they ever so sincere and earnest, could not form the basis of God's faithfulness and justice, in forgiving us our sins. Nought save the work of the cross could do this. There the faithfulness and justice of God have had their fullest establishment, and that, too, in immediate reference to our actual sins, as well as to the root thereof, in our nature. God has already judged our sins in the Person of our Substitute, "on the tree;" and, in the act of confession, we judge ourselves. This is essential to divine forgiveness and restoration. The very smallest unconfessed, unjudged sin, on the conscience, will entirely mar our communion with God. Sin in us need not do this; but if we suffer sin to remain on us, we cannot have fellowship with God. He has put away our sins in such a manner, as that He can have us in His presence; and, so long as we abide in His presence, sin does not trouble us. But, if we get out of His presence, and commit sin, even in thought, our communion must, of necessity, be suspended, until, by confession, we have got rid of the sin. All this, I need hardly add, is founded, exclusively, upon the perfect sacrifice and righteous advocacy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, as to the difference between prayer and confession, as respects the condition of the heart before God, and its moral sense of the hatefulness of sin, it cannot, possibly, be over-estimated. It is a much easier thing to ask, in a general way, for the forgiveness of our sins than to confess those sins. Confession involves self-judgement; asking for forgiveness may not, and, in itself, does not. This alone would be sufficient to point out the difference. Self-judgement is one of the most valuable and healthful exercises of the Christian life; and, therefore, anything which produces it, must be highly esteemed by every earnest Christian.

The difference between asking for pardon, and confessing the sin, is continually exemplified in dealing with children. If a child has done anything wrong, he finds much less difficulty in asking his father to forgive him, than in openly and unreservedly confessing the wrong. In asking for forgiveness, the child may have in his mind a number of things which tend to lessen the sense of the evil; he may be secretly thinking that he was not so much to blame, after all, though, to be sure, it is only proper to ask his father to forgive him; whereas, in confessing the wrong, there is just the one thing, and that is self-judgement. Further, in asking for forgiveness the child may be influenced, mainly, by a desire to escape the consequences of his wrong; whereas, a judicious parent will seek to produce a just sense of its moral evil, which can only exist in connection with the full confession of the fault — in connection with self-judgement.

Thus it is, in reference to God's dealings with His children, when they do wrong. He must have the whole thing brought out and thoroughly judged. He will make us not only dread the consequences of sin which are unutterable — but hate the thing itself, because of its hatefulness, in his sight. Were it possible for us, when we commit sin, to be forgiven, merely for the asking, our sense of sin, and our shrinking from it, would not be nearly so intense; and, as a consequence, our estimate of the fellowship with which we are blessed, would not be nearly so high. The moral effect of all this upon the general tone of our spiritual constitution, and also upon our whole character and practical career, must be obvious to every experienced Christian.*

{*The case of Simon Magus, in Acts 8, may present a difficulty to the reader. But of him, it is sufficient to say that one "in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity," could never be set forth as a model for God's dear children. His case in nowise interferes with the doctrine of 1 John 1:9. He was not in the relationship of a child, and, as a consequence, not a subject of the advocacy. I would further add, that the subject of the Lord's prayer is by no means involved in what is stated above. I wish to confine myself to the immediate passage under consideration. We must ever avoid laying down iron rules. A soul may cry to God, under any circumstances, and ask for what it needs. He is ever ready to hear and answer.}

This entire train of thought is intimately connected with, and fully borne out by, two leading principles laid down in "the law of the peace offering."

In verse 13, of the seventh of Leviticus, we read, "he shall offer for his offering leavened bread." And, yet, at verse 20, we read, "But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, that pertain unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, even that soul shall be cut off from his people." Here, we have the two things clearly set before us, namely, sin in us, and sin on us. "Leaven" was permitted, because there was sin in the worshipper's nature. "Uncleanness" was forbidden, because there should be no sin on the worshipper's conscience. If sin be in question, communion must be out of the question. God has met and provided for the sin, which He knows to be in us, by the blood of atonement; and, hence, of the leavened bread in the peace offering, we read, "of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for an heave offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the peace offerings." (ver. 14) In other words, the "leaven," in the worshipper's nature, was perfectly met by the "blood" of the sacrifice. The priest who eats the leavened bread, must be the sprinkler of the blood. God has put our sin out of His sight for ever. Though it be in us, it is not the object on which His eye rests. He sees only the blood; And, therefore, He can go on with us, and allow us the most unhindered fellowship with Him. But if we allow the "sin" which is in us to develop itself in the shape of "sins," there must be confession, forgiveness, and cleansing, ere we can again eat of the flesh of the peace offering. The cutting off of the worshipper, because of ceremonial uncleanness, answers to the suspension of the believer's communion now, because of unconfessed sin. To attempt to have fellowship with God in our sins, would involve the blasphemous insinuation that He could walk in companionship with sin. "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." (1 John 1:6)

In the light of the foregoing line of truth, we may easily see how much we err, when we imagine it to be a mark of spirituality to be occupied with our sins. Could sin or sins ever be the ground or material of our communion with God? Assuredly not. We have just seen that, so long as sin is the object before us, communion must be interrupted. Fellowship can only be "in the light;" and, undoubtedly, there is no sin in the light. There is naught to be seen there, save the blood which has put our sins away, and brought us nigh, and the Advocate which keeps us nigh. Sin has been for ever obliterated from that platform on which God and the worshipper stand in hallowed fellowship. What was it which constituted the material of communion between the Father and the prodigal? Was it the rags of the latter? Was it the husks of "the far country?" By no means. It was not anything that the prodigal brought with him. It was the rich provision of the Father's love — "the fatted calf." Thus it is with God and every true worshipper. They feed together, in holy and elevated communion, upon Him whose precious blood has brought them into everlasting association, in that light to which no sin can ever approach.

Nor need we, for an instant, suppose that true humility is either evidenced or promoted by looking at, or dwelling upon, our sins. An unhallowed and melancholy mopishness may, thus, be super induced; but the deepest humility springs from a totally different source. Whether was the prodigal an humbler man, "when he came to himself" in the far country, or when he came to the Father's bosom and the Father's house? Is it not evident that the grace which elevates us to the loftiest heights of fellowship with God, is that alone which leads us into the most profound depths of a genuine humility? Unquestionably. The humility which springs from the removal of our sins, must ever be deeper than that which springs from the discovery of them. The former connects us with God; the latter has to do with self. The way to be truly humble is to walk with God in the intelligence and power of the relationship in which He has set us. He has made us His children; and if only we walk as such, we shall be humble.

Ere leaving this part of our subject, I would offer a remark as to the Lord's Supper, which, as being a prominent act of the Church's communion, may, with strict propriety, be looked at in connection with the doctrine of the peace offering. The intelligent celebration of the Lord's Supper must ever depend upon the recognition of its purely eucharistic or thanksgiving character. It is, very especially, a feast of thanksgiving — thanksgiving for an accomplished redemption. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10:16) Hence, a soul, bowed down under the heavy burden of sin, cannot, with spiritual intelligence, eat the Lord's Supper, inasmuch as that feast is expressive of the complete removal of sin by the death of Christ. Ye do show the Lord's death till he come." (1 Cor. 11) In the death of Christ, faith sees the end of everything that pertained to our old-creation standing; and, seeing that the Lord's Supper "shows forth" that death, it is to be viewed as the memento of the glorious fact that the believer's burden of sin was borne by One who put it away for ever. It declares that the chain of our sins, which once tied and bound us, has been eternally snapped by the death of Christ, and can never tie and bind us again. We gather round the Lord's table in all the joy of conquerors. We look back to the cross where the battle was fought and won; and we look forward to the glory where we shall enter into the full and eternal results of the victory.

True, we have "leaven" in us; but we have no "uncleanness" on us. We are not to gaze upon our sins; but upon Him who bore them on the cross, and put them away for ever. We are not to "deceive ourselves" by the vain notion "that we have no sin" in us; nor are we to deny the truth of God's word, and the efficacy of Christ's blood, by refusing to rejoice in the precious truth that we have no sin on us, for "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. It is truly deplorable to observe the heavy cloud that gathers round the Supper of the Lord, in the judgement of so many professing Christians. It tends, as much as anything else, to reveal the immense amount of misapprehension which obtains, in reference to the very elementary truths of the gospel. In fact, we know that when the Lord's Supper is resorted to on any ground save that of known salvation — enjoyed forgiveness — conscious deliverance, the soul becomes wrapped up in thicker and darker clouds than ever. That which is only a memorial of Christ is used to displace Him. That which celebrates an accomplished redemption is used as a stepping-stone thereto. It is thus that the ordinances are abused, and souls plunged in darkness, confusion, and error.

How different from this is the beautiful ordinance of the peace offering! In this latter, looked at in its typical import, we see that the moment the blood was shed, God and the worshipper could feed in happy, peaceful fellowship. Nothing more was needed. Peace was established by the blood; and, on that ground, the communion proceeded. A single question as to the establishment of peace must be the death-blow to communion. If we are to be occupied with the vain attempt to make peace with God, we must be total strangers to either communion or worship. If the blood of the peace offering has not been shed, it is impossible that we can feed upon "the wave breast" or "the heave shoulder." But if, on the other hand, the blood has been shed, then peace is made already. God Himself has made it, and this is enough for faith; and, therefore, by faith, we have fellowship with God, in the intelligence and joy of accomplished redemption. We taste the freshness of God's own joy in that which He has wrought. We feed upon Christ, in all the fullness and blessedness of God's presence.

This latter point is connected with, and based upon, another leading truth laid down in "the law of the peace offering." "And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered: he shall not leave any of it until the morning." That is to say, the communion of the worshipper must never be separated from the sacrifice on which that communion is founded. So long as one has spiritual energy to maintain the connection, the worship and communion are also maintained, in freshness and acceptableness; but no longer. We must keep close to the sacrifice, in the spirit of our minds, the affections of our hearts, and the experience of our souls. This will impart power and permanency to our worship. We may commence some act or expression of worship, with our hearts in immediate occupation with Christ; and, ere we reach the close, we may become occupied with what we are doing or saying, or with the persons who are listening to us; and, in this way, fall into what may be termed "iniquity in our holy things." This is deeply solemn, and should make us very watchful. We may begin our worship in the Spirit and end in the flesh. Our care should ever be, not to suffer ourselves to proceed for a single moment beyond the energy of the Spirit, at the time, for the Spirit will always keep us occupied directly with Christ. If the Holy Ghost produces "five words" of worship or thanksgiving, let us utter the five and have done. If we proceed further, we are eating the flesh of our sacrifice beyond the time; and, so far from its being "accepted," it is, really, "an abomination." Let us remember this, and be watchful. It need not alarm us. God would have us led by the Spirit, and so filled with Christ in all our worship. He can only accept of that which is divine; and, therefore, He would have us presenting that only which is divine.

"But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offereth his sacrifice: and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten."(Lev. 7:16) When the soul goes forth to God in a voluntary act of worship, such worship will be the result of a larger measure of spiritual energy than where it merely springs from some special mercy experienced at the time. If one has been visited with some marked favor from the Lord's own hand, the soul, at once, ascends in thanksgiving. In this case, the worship is awakened by, and connected with, that favor or mercy, whatever it may happen to be, and there it ends. But, where the heart is led forth by the Holy Ghost in some voluntary or deliberate expression of praise, it will be of a more enduring character. But spiritual worship will always connect itself with the precious sacrifice of Christ.

"The remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice, on the third day, shall be burnt with fire. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity." Nothing is of any value, in the judgement of God, which is not immediately connected with Christ. There may be a great deal of what looks like worship, which is, after all, the mere excitement and outgoing of natural feeling. There may be much apparent devotion, which is, merely, fleshly pietism. Nature may be acted upon, in a religious way, by a variety of things, such as pomp, ceremony, and parade, tones and attitudes, robes and vestments, an eloquent liturgy, all the varied attractions of a splendid ritualism, while there may be a total absence of spiritual worship. Yea, it not infrequently happens that the very same tastes and tendencies which are called forth and gratified by the splendid appliances of so-called religious worship, would find most suited aliment at the opera or in the concert room.

All this has to be watched against by those who desire to remember that "God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4) Religion, so called, is, at this moment, decking herself with her most powerful charms. Casting off the grossness of the middle ages, she is calling to her aid all the resources of refined taste, and of a cultivated and enlightened age. Sculpture, music, and painting, are pouring their rich treasures into her lap, in order that she may, therewith, prepare a powerful opiate to lull the thoughtless multitude into a slumber, which shall only be broken in upon by the unutterable horrors of death, judgement, and the lake of fire. She, too, can say, "I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows . . . . . . I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon." (Prov. 7) Thus does corrupt religion allure, by her powerful influence, those who will not hearken to wisdom's heavenly voice.

Reader, beware of all this. See that your worship stands inseparably connected with the work of the cross. See that Christ is the ground, Christ the material, and the Holy Ghost the power of your worship. Take care that your outward act of worship does not stretch itself beyond the inward power. It demands much watchfulness to keep clear of this evil. Its incipient workings are most difficult to be detected and counteracted. We may commence a hymn in the true spirit of worship, and, through lack of spiritual power, we may, ere we reach the close, fall into the evil which answers to the ceremonial act of eating the flesh of the peace offering on the third day. Our only security is in keeping close to Jesus. If we lift up our hearts in "thanksgiving," for some special mercy, let us do so in the power of the name and sacrifice of Christ. If our souls go forth in "voluntary" worship, let it be in the energy of the Holy Ghost. In this way shall our worship exhibit that freshness, that fragrance, that depth of tone, that moral elevation, which must result from having the Father as the object, the Son as the ground, and the Holy Ghost as the power of our worship.

Thus may it be, O Lord, with all thy worshipping people, until we find ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, in the security of thine own eternal presence, beyond the reach of all the unhallowed influences of false worship and corrupt religion, and also beyond the reach of the various hindrances which arise from these bodies of sin and death which we carry about with us!

NOTE. — It is interesting to observe that, although the peace offering itself stands third in order, yet "the law" thereof is given us last of all. This circumstance is not without its import. There is none of the offerings in which the communion of the worshipper is so fully unfolded as in the peace offering. In the burnt offering, it is Christ offering Himself to God. In the meat offering, we have Christ's perfect humanity. Then, passing on to the sin offering, we learn that sin, in its root, is fully met. In the trespass offering, there is a full answer to the actual sin in the life. But, in none is the doctrine of the communion of the worshipper unfolded. This latter belongs to "the peace offering;" and, hence, I believe, the position which the law of that offering occupies. It comes in, at the close of all, thereby teaching us that, when it becomes a question of the soul's feeding upon Christ, it must be a full Christ, looked at in every possible phase of His life, His character, His Person, His work, His offices. And, furthermore, that, when we shall have done, for ever, with sin and sins, we shall delight in Christ, and feed upon Him, throughout the everlasting ages. It would, I believe, be a serious defect in our study of the offerings, were we to pass over a circumstance so worthy of notice as the above. If "the law of the peace offering" were given in the order in which the offering itself occurs, it would come in immediately after the law of the meat offering; but, instead of that, "the law of the sin offering," and "the law of the trespass offering" are given, and, then, "the law of the peace offering" closes the entire.

Leviticus 4 - 5:13.

Having considered the "sweet savour" offerings, we now approach the "sacrifices for sin." These were divided into two classes, namely, sin offerings and trespass offerings. Of the former, there were three grades; first, the offering for "the priest that is anointed," and for "the whole congregation." These two were the same in their rites and ceremonies. (Compare. ver. 3-12, with ver. 13-21.) It was the same in result, whether it were the representative of the assembly, or the assembly itself, that sinned. In either case there were three things involved: God's dwelling-place in the assembly, the worship of the assembly, and individual conscience. Now, inasmuch as all three depended upon the blood, we find, in the first grade of sin offering, there were three things done with the blood. It was sprinkled "seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary." This secured Jehovah's relationship with the people, and His dwelling in their midst. Again, we read, "The priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation." This secured the worship of the assembly. By putting the blood upon "the golden altar," the true basis of worship was preserved; so that the flame of the incense and the fragrance thereof might continually ascend. Finally, "He shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation." Here we have the claims of individual conscience fully answered; for the brazen altar was the place of individual approach. It was the place where God met the sinner.

In the two remaining grades, for "a ruler" or "one of the common people," it was merely a question of individual conscience; and, therefore, there was only one thing done with the blood. It was all poured "at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering." (Comp. ver. 7 with ver. 25, 30) There is divine precision in all this, which demands the close attention of my reader, if only he desires to enter into the marvelous detail of this type.*

{*There is this difference between the offering for "a ruler," and for "one of the common people:" in the former, it was "a male without blemish;" in the latter, "a female without blemish." The sin of a ruler would, necessarily, exert a wider influence than that of a common person; and, therefore, a more powerful application of the value of the blood was needed. In Lev. 5:13, we find cases demanding a still lower application of the sin offering — cases of swearing and of touching any uncleanness, in which "the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour" was admitted as a sin offering. (See Lev. 5:11-13) What a contrast between the view of atonement presented by a ruler's bullock, and a poor man's handful of flour! And yet, in the latter, just as truly as in the former, we read, "it shall be forgiven him."

The reader will observe that Lev. 5:1-13, forms a part of Lev. 6. Both are comprehended under one head, and present the doctrine of sin offering, in all its applications, from the bullock to the handful of flour. Each class of offering is introduced by the words, "And the Lord spake unto Moses." Thus, for example, the sweet savor offerings (Lev. 1 - 3) are introduced by the words, "The Lord called unto Moses." These words are not repeated until Lev. 4:1, where they introduce the sin offering. They occur again at Lev. 5:14, where they introduce the trespass offering for wrongs done "in the holy things of the Lord;" and again at Lev. 6:1, where they introduce the trespass offering for wrong done to one's neighbor.

This classification is beautifully simple, and will help the reader to understand the different classes of offering. As to the different grades in each class, whether "a bullock," "a ram," "a female," "a bird," or "a handful of flour," they would seem to be so many varied applications of the same grand truth.}

The effect of individual sin could not extend beyond individual conscience. The sin of "a ruler," or of "one of the common people," could not, in its influence, reach "the altar of incense" — the place of priestly worship. Neither could it reach to "the veil of the sanctuary" — the sacred boundary of God's dwelling place in the midst of His people. It is well to ponder this. We must never raise a question of personal sin or failure, in the place of priestly worship, or in the assembly. It must be settled in the place of personal approach. Many err as to this. They come into the assembly, or into the ostensible place of priestly worship, with their conscience defiled, and thus drag down the whole assembly and mar its worship. This should be closely looked into, and carefully guarded against. We need to walk more watchfully, in order that our conscience may ever be in the light. And when we fail, as, alas! we do in many things, let us have to do with God, in secret, about our failure, in order that true worship, and the true position of the assembly may always be kept, with fullness and clearness, before the soul.

Having said thus much as to the three grades of sin offering, we shall proceed to examine, in detail, the principles unfolded in the first of these. In so doing, we shall be able to form, in some measure, a just conception of the principles of all. Before, however entering upon the direct comparison already proposed, I would call my reader's attention to a very prominent point set forth in the second verse of this fourth chapter. It is contained in the expression, "If a soul shall sin through ignorance." This presents a truth of the deepest blessedness, in connection with the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. In contemplating that atonement, we see infinitely more than the mere satisfaction of the claims of conscience, even though that conscience had reached the highest point of refined sensibility. It is our privilege to see, therein, that which has fully satisfied all the claims of divine holiness, divine justice, and divine majesty. The holiness of God's dwelling-place, and the ground of His association with His people, could never be regulated by the standard of man's conscience, no matter how high the standard might be. There are many things which man's conscience would pass over — many things which might escape man's cognisance — many things which his heart might deem all right, which God could not tolerate; and which, as a consequence, would interfere with man's approach to, his worship of, and his relationship with, God. Wherefore, if the atonement of Christ merely made provision for such sins as come within the compass of man's apprehension, we should find ourselves very far short of the true ground of peace. We need to understand that sin has been atoned for, according to God's measurement thereof — that the claims of His throne have been perfectly answered — that sin, as seen in the light of His inflexible holiness, has been divinely judged. This is what gives settled peace to the soul. A full atonement has been made for the believer's sins of ignorance, as well as for his known sins. The sacrifice of Christ lays the foundation of his relationship and fellowship with God, according to the divine estimate of the claims thereof.

A clear sense of this is of unspeakable value. Unless this feature of the atonement be laid hold of, there cannot be settled peace; nor can there be any just moral sense of the extent and fullness of the work of Christ, or of the true nature of the relationship founded thereon. God knew what was needed in order that man might be in His presence without a single misgiving; and He has made ample provision for it in the cross. Fellowship between God and man were utterly impossible if sin had not been disposed of, according to God's thoughts about it: for, albeit man's conscience were satisfied, the question would ever be suggesting itself, Has God been satisfied? If this question could not be answered in the affirmative, fellowship could never subsist.* The thought would be continually intruding itself upon the heart, that things were manifesting themselves in the details of life, which divine holiness could not tolerate. True, we might be doing such things "through ignorance but this could not alter the matter before God, inasmuch as all is known to Him. Hence, there would be continual apprehension, doubt, and misgiving. All these things are divinely met by the fact that sin has been atoned for, not according to our "ignorance," but according to God's knowledge. The assurance of this gives great rest to the heart and conscience. All God's claims have been answered by His own work. He Himself has made the provision; and, therefore, the more refined the believer's conscience becomes, under the combined action of the word and Spirit of God, the more he grows in a divinely-adjusted sense of all that morally befits the sanctuary — the more keenly alive he becomes to every thing which is unsuited to the divine presence, the fuller, clearer, deeper, and more vigorous will be his apprehension of the infinite value of that sin offering which has not only travelled beyond the utmost bounds of human conscience, but also met, in absolute perfection, all the requirements of divine holiness.

{*I would desire it to be particularly remembered, that the point before us in the text is simply atonement. The Christian reader is fully aware, I doubt not, that the possession of "the divine nature" is essential to fellowship with God. I not only need a title to approach God: but a nature to enjoy Him. The soul that "believes in the name of the only-begotten Son of God" has both the one and the other. (See John 1:12, 13; John 3:36; John 5:24; John 20:31; 1 John 5:11-13)}

Nothing can more forcibly express man's incompetence to deal with sin, than the fact of there being such a thing as a "sin of ignorance." How could he deal with that which he knows not? How could he dispose of that which has never even come within the range of his conscience? Impossible. Man's ignorance of sin proves his total inability to put it away. If he does not know of it, what can he do about it? Nothing. He is as powerless as he is ignorant. Nor is this all. The fact of a "sin of ignorance" demonstrates, most clearly, the uncertainty which must attend upon every settlement of the question of sin, in which no higher claims have been responded to than those put forth by the most refined human conscience. There can never be settled peace upon this ground. There will always be the painful apprehension that there is something wrong underneath. If the heart be not led into settled repose by the scripture testimony that the inflexible claims of divine Justice have been answered, there must, of necessity, be a sensation of uneasiness, and every such sensation presents a barrier to our worship, our communion, and our testimony. If I am uneasy in reference to the settlement of the question of sin, I cannot worship; I cannot enjoy communion, either with God or His people; nor can I be an intelligent or effective witness for Christ. The heart must be at rest, before God, as to the perfect remission of sin, ere we can "worship him in spirit and in truth." If there be guilt on the conscience, there must be terror in the heart; and, assuredly, a heart filled with terror cannot be a happy or a worshipping heart. It is only from a heart filled with that sweet and sacred repose which the blood of Christ imparts, that true and acceptable worship can ascend to the Father. The same principle holds good with respect to our fellowship with the people of God, and our service and testimony amongst men. All must rest upon the foundation of settled peace; and this peace rests upon the foundation of a perfectly purged conscience; and this purged conscience rests upon the foundation of the perfect remission of all our sins, whether they be sins of knowledge or sins of ignorance.

We shall now proceed to compare the sin offering with the burnt offering, in doing which, we shall find two very different aspects of Christ. But, although the aspects are different, it is one and the same Christ; and, hence, the sacrifice, in each case, was "without blemish." This is easily understood. It matters not in what aspect we contemplate the Lord Jesus Christ, He must ever be seen as the same pure, spotless, holy, perfect One. True, He did, in His abounding grace, stoop to be the sin-bearer of His people; but it was a perfect, spotless Christ who did so; and it would be nothing short of diabolical wickedness to take occasion, from the depth of His humiliation, to tarnish the personal glory of the humbled One. The intrinsic excellence, the unsullied purity, and the divine glory of our blessed Lord appear in the sin offering, as fully as in the burnt offering. It matters not in what relationship He stands, what office He fills, what work He performs, what position He occupies, His personal glories shine out, in all their divine effulgence.
This truth of one and the same Christ, whether in the burnt offering, or in the sin offering, is seen, not only in the fact that, in each case, the offering was "without blemish," but, also, in "the law of the sin offering," where we read, "this is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the Lord: it is most holy." (Lev. 6:25) Both types point to one and the same great Antitype, though they present Him in such contrasted aspects of His work. In the burnt offering, Christ is seen meeting the divine affections; in the sin offering, He is seen meeting the depths of human need. That presents Him to us as the Accomplisher of the will of God; this, as the Bearer of the sin of man. In the former, we are taught the preciousness of the sacrifice; in the latter, the hatefulness of sin. Thus much, as to the two offerings, in the main. The most minute examination of the details will only tend to establish the mind in the truth of this general statement.

In the first place, when considering the burnt offering, we observed that it was a voluntary offering. "He shall offer it of his own voluntary will."* Now, the word "voluntary" does not occur in the sin offering. This is precisely what we might expect. It is in full keeping with the specific object of the Holy Ghost, in the burnt offering, to set it forth as a free-will offering. It was Christ's meat and drink to do the will of God, whatever that will might be. He never thought of inquiring what ingredients were in the cup which the Father was putting into His hand. It was quite sufficient for Him that the Father had mingled it. Thus it was with the Lord Jesus as foreshadowed by the burnt offering. But, in the sin offering, we have quite a different line of truth unfolded. This type introduces Christ to our thoughts, not as the "voluntary" Accomplisher of the will of God, but as the Bearer of that terrible thing called "sin," and the Endurer of all its appalling consequences, of which the most appalling, to Him, was the hiding of God's countenance. Hence, the word "voluntary" would not harmonize with the object of the Spirit, in the sin offering. It would be as completely out of place, in that type, as it is divinely in place, in the burnt offering. Its presence and its absence are alike divine; and both alike exhibit the perfect, the divine precision of the types of Leviticus.

{*Some may find difficulty in the fact that the word "voluntary" has reference to the worshipper and not to the sacrifice; but this can, in no wise, affect the doctrine put forward in the text, which is founded upon the fact that a special word used in the burnt offering is omitted in the sin offering. The contrast holds good, whether we think of the offerer or the offering.}

Now, the point of contrast which we have been considering, explains, or rather harmonizes, two expressions used by our Lord. He says, on one occasion, "the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" And, again, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." The former of these expressions was the full carrying out of the words with which He entered upon His course, namely, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God;" and, moreover, it is the utterance of Christ, as the burnt offering. The latter, on the other hand, is the utterance of Christ, when contemplating the place which He was about to occupy, as the sin offering. What that place was, and what was involved to Him, in taking it, we shall see, as we proceed; but it is interesting and instructive to find the entire doctrine of the two offerings involved, as it were, in the fact that a single word introduced in the one is omitted in the other. If, in the burnt offering, we find the perfect readiness of heart with which Christ offered Himself for the accomplishment of the will of God; then, in the sin offering, we find how perfectly He entered into all the consequences of man's sin, and how He traveled into the most remote distance of man's position as regards God. He delighted to do the will of God; He shrank from losing, for a moment, the light of His blessed countenance. No one offering could have foreshadowed Him in both these phases. We needed a type to present Him to us as One delighting to do the will of God; and we needed a type to present Him to us as One whose holy nature shrank from the consequences of imputed sin. Blessed be God, we have both. The burnt offering furnishes the one, the sin offering the other. Wherefore, the more fully we enter into the devotion of Christ's heart to God, the more fully we shall apprehend His abhorrence of sin; and vice versa. Each throws the other into relief; and the use of the word "voluntary" in the one, and not in the other, fixes the leading import of each.

But, it may be said, "Was it not the will of God that Christ should offer Himself as an atonement for sin? And, if so, how could there be ought of shrinking from the accomplishment of that will?" Assuredly, it was "the determinate counsel" of God that Christ should suffer; and, moreover, it was Christ's joy to do the will of God. But how are we to understand the expression, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me?" Is it not the utterance of Christ? And is there no express type of the Utterer thereof? Unquestionably. There would be a serious blank among the types of the Mosaic economy, were there not one to reflect the Lord Jesus in the exact attitude in which the above expression presents Him. But the burnt offering does not thus reflect Him. There is not a single circumstance connected with that offering which would correspond with such language. The sin offering alone furnishes the fitting type of the Lord Jesus as the One who poured forth those accents of intense agony, for in it alone do we find the circumstances which evoked such accents from the depths of His spotless soul. The awful shadow of the cross, with its shame, its curse, and its exclusion from the light of God's countenance, was passing across His spirit, and He could not even contemplate it without an "If it be possible let this cup pass from me." But, no sooner had He uttered these words, than His profound subjection manifests itself in, "thy Will be done." What a bitter "cup" it must have been to elicit, from a perfectly subject heart, the words, "let it pass from me!" What perfect subjection there must have been when, in the presence of so bitter a cup, the heart could breathe forth, "thy will be done!"

We shall now consider the typical act of "laying on of hands." This act was common both to the burnt offering and the sin offering; but, in the case of the former, it identified the offerer with an unblemished offering; in the case of the latter, it involved the transfer of the sin of the offerer to the head of the offering. Thus it was in the type; and, when we look at the Antitype, we learn a truth of the most comforting and edifying nature — a truth which, were it more clearly understood, and fully experienced, would impart a far more settled peace than is ordinarily possessed.

What, then, is the doctrine set forth in the laying on of hands? It is this: Christ was "made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5) He took our position with all its consequences, in order that we might get His position with all its consequences. He was treated as sin, upon the cross, that we might be treated as righteousness, in the presence of infinite Holiness. He was cast out of God's presence because He had sin upon Him, by imputation, that we might be received into God's house and into His bosom, because we have a perfect righteousness by imputation. He had to endure the hiding of God's countenance, that we might bask in the light of that countenance. He had to pass through three hours' darkness, that we might walk in everlasting light. He was forsaken of God, for a time, that we might enjoy His presence for ever. All that was due to us, as ruined sinners, was laid upon Him, in order that all that was due to Him, as the Accomplisher of redemption, might be ours. There was everything against Him when He hung upon the cursed tree, in order that there might be nothing against us He was identified with us, in the reality of death and judgement, in order that we might be identified with Him, in the reality of life and righteousness. He drank the cup of wrath, — the cup of trembling, that we might drink the cup of salvation — the cup of infinite favor. He was treated according to our deserts, that we might be treated according to His.

Such is the wondrous truth illustrated by the ceremonial act of imposition of hands. When the worshipper had laid his hand upon the head of the burnt offering, it ceased to be a question as to what he was, or what he deserved, and became entirely a question of what the offering was in the judgement of Jehovah. If the offering was without blemish, so was the offerer; if the offering was accepted, so was the offerer. They are perfectly identified. The act of laying on of hands constituted them one, in God's view. He looked at the offerer through the medium of the offering. Thus it was, in the case of the burnt offering. But, in the sin offering, when the offerer had laid his hand upon the head of the offering, it became a question of what the offerer was, and what he deserved. The offering was treated according to the deserts of the offerer. They were perfectly identified. The act of laying on of hands constituted them one, in the judgement of God. The sin of the offerer was dealt with in the sin offering; the person of the offerer was accepted in the burnt offering. This made a vast difference. Hence, though the act of laying on of hands was common to both types, and, moreover, though it was expressive, in the case of each, of identification, yet were the consequences as different as possible. The just treated as the unjust; the unjust accepted in the just. "Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." This is the doctrine. Our sins brought Christ to the cross; but He brings us to God. And, if He brings us to God, it is in His own acceptableness, as risen from the dead, having put away our sins, according to the perfectness of His own work. He bore away our sins far from the sanctuary of God, in order that He might bring us nigh, even into the holiest of all, in full confidence of heart, having the conscience purged by His precious blood from every stain of sin.

Now, the more minutely we compare all the details of the burnt offering and the sin offering, the more clearly shall we apprehend the truth of what has been above stated, in reference to the laying on of hands, and the results thereof, in each case.

In the first chapter of this volume, we noticed the fact that "the sons of Aaron" are introduced in the burnt offering, but not in the sin offering. As priests they were privileged to stand around the altar, and behold the flame of an acceptable sacrifice ascending to the Lord. But in the sin offering, in its primary aspect, it was a question of the solemn judgement of sin, and not of priestly worship or admiration; and, therefore, the sons of Aaron do not appear. It is as convicted sinners that we have to do with Christ, as the Antitype of the sin offering. It is as worshipping priests, clothed in garments of salvation, that we contemplate Christ, as the Antitype of the burnt offering.

But, further, my reader may observe that the burnt offering was "flayed," the sin offering was not. The burnt offerings was "cut into his pieces," the sin offering was not. "The inwards and the legs" of the burnt offering were "washed in water," which act was entirely omitted in the sin offering. Lastly, the burnt offering was burnt upon the altar, the sin offering was burnt without the camp. These are weighty points of difference arising simply out of the distinctive character of the offerings. We know there is nothing in the word of God without its own special meaning; and every intelligent and careful student of Scripture will notice the above points of difference; and, when he notices them, he will, naturally, seek to ascertain their real import. Ignorance of this import there may be; but indifference to it there should not. In any section of inspiration, but especially one so rich as that which lies before us, to pass over a single point, would be to offer dishonor to the Divine Author, and to deprive our own souls of much profit. We should hang over the most minute details, either to adore God's wisdom in them, or to confess our own ignorance of them. To pass them by, in a spirit of indifference, is to imply that the Holy Ghost has taken the trouble to write what we do not deem worthy of the desire to understand. This is what no right-minded Christian would presume to think. If the Spirit, in writing upon the ordinance of the sin offering, has omitted the various rites above alluded to — rites which get a prominent place in the ordinance of the burnt offering, there must, assuredly, be some good reason for, and some important meaning in, His doing so. These we would seek to apprehend; and, no doubt, they arise out of the special design of the divine mind in each offering. The sin offering sets forth that aspect of Christ's work in which He is seen taking, judicially, the place which belonged to us morally. For this reason we could not look for that intense expression of what He was, in all His secret springs of action, as unfolded in the typical act of "flaying." Neither could there be that enlarged exhibition of what He was, not merely as a whole, but in the most minute features of His character, as seen in the act of "cutting it into his pieces." Nor, yet, could there be that manifestation of what He was, personally, practically, and intrinsically, as set forth in the significant act of "washing the inwards and legs in water."

All these things belonged to the burnt-offering phase of our blessed Lord, and to that alone, because, in it, we see Him offering Himself to the eye, to the heart, and to the altar of Jehovah, without any question of imputed sin, of wrath, or of judgement. In the sin offering, on the contrary, instead of having, as the great prominent idea, what Christ is, we have what sin is. Instead of the preciousness of Jesus, we have the odiousness of sin. In the burnt offering, inasmuch as it is Christ Himself offered to, and accepted by, God, we have every thing done that could possibly make manifest what He was, in every respect. In the sin offering, because it is sin, as judged by God, the very reverse is the case. All this is so plain as to need no effort of the mind to understand it. It naturally flows out of the distinctive character of the type.

However, although the leading object in the sin offering, is to shadow forth what Christ became for us, and not what He was in Himself; there is, nevertheless, one rite connected with this type, which most fully expresses His personal acceptableness to Jehovah. This rite is laid down in the following words, "And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away, as it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offering; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering." (Lev. 4:8-10) Thus, the intrinsic excellency of Christ is not omitted, even in the sin-offering. The fat burnt upon the altar is the apt expression of the divine appreciation of the preciousness of Christ's Person, no matter what place He might, in perfect grace, take, on our behalf or in our stead; He was made sin for us, and the sin offering is the divinely-appointed shadow of Him, in this respect. But, inasmuch as it was the Lord Jesus Christ, God's elect, His Holy One, His pure, His spotless, His eternal Son that was made sin, therefore the fat of the sin offering was burnt upon the altar, as a proper material for that fire which was the impressive exhibition of divine holiness.

But, even in this very point, we see what a contrast there is between the sin offering and the burnt offering. In the case of the latter, it was not merely the fat, but the whole sacrifice that was burnt upon the altar, because it was Christ, without any question of sin-bearing whatever. In the case of the former, there was nothing but the fat to be burnt upon the altar, because it was a question of sin-bearing, though Christ was the sin bearer. The divine glories of Christ's Person shine out, even from amid the darkest shades of that cursed tree to which He consented to be nailed as a curse for us. The hatefulness of that with which, in the exercise of divine love, He connected His blessed Person, on the cross, could not prevent the sweet odor of His preciousness from ascending to the throne of God. Thus, have we unfolded to us the profound mystery of God's face hidden from that which Christ became, and God's heart refreshed by what Christ was. This imparts a peculiar charm to the sin offering. The bright beams of Christ's Personal glory shining out from amid the awful gloom of Calvary — His Personal worth set forth, in the very deepest depths of His humiliation — God's delight in the One from whom He had, in vindication of His inflexible justice and holiness, to hide His face — all this is set forth in the fact that the fat of the sin offering was burnt upon the altar.


Having, thus, endeavoured to point out, in the first place, what was done with "the blood;" and, in the second place, what was done with "the fat;" we have, now, to consider what was done with "the flesh." "And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh.. even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt." (Ver. 11, 12) In this act, we have the main feature of the sin offering — that which distinguished it both from the burnt offering and the peace offering. Its flesh was not burnt upon the altar, as in the burnt offering; neither was it eaten by the priest or the worshipper, as in the peace offering. It was wholly burnt without the camp.* "No sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation, to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire." (Lev. 6:30) "For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought unto the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate." (Heb. 13:11, 12)

{*The statement in the text refers only to the sin offerings of which the blood was brought into the holy place. There were sin offerings of which Aaron and his sons partook. (See Lev 6:26-29;Num. 18:9, 10)}

Now, in comparing what was done with the "blood" with what was done with the "flesh" or "body" of the sacrifice, two great branches of truth present themselves to our view, namely, worship and discipleship. The blood brought into the sanctuary is the foundation of the former. The body burnt outside the camp is the foundation of the latter. Before ever we can worship, in peace of conscience, and liberty of heart, we must know, on the authority of the word, and by the power of the Spirit, that the entire question of sin has been for ever settled by the blood of the divine sin offering — that His blood has been sprinkled, perfectly, before the Lord — that all God's claims, and all our necessities, as ruined and guilty sinners, have been, for ever, answered. This gives perfect peace; and, in the enjoyment of this peace, we worship God. When an Israelite, of old, had offered his sin offering, his conscience was set at rest, in so far as the offering was capable of imparting rest. True, it was but a temporary rest, being the fruit of a temporary sacrifice. But, clearly, whatever kind of rest the offering was fitted to impart, that the offerer might enjoy. Hence, therefore, our Sacrifice being divine and eternal, our rest is divine and eternal also. As is the sacrifice such is the rest which is founded thereon. A Jew never had an eternally purged conscience, simply because he had not an eternally efficacious sacrifice. He might in a certain way, have his conscience purged for a day, a month, or a year; but he could not have it purged for ever. "But Christ being come, an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:11-14)

Here, we have the full, explicit statement of the doctrine. The blood of goats and calves procured a temporary redemption; the blood of Christ procures eternal redemption. The former purified outwardly; the latter, inwardly. That purged the flesh, for a time; this, the conscience, for ever. The whole question hinges, not upon the character or condition of the offerer, but upon the value of the offering. The question is not, by any means, whether a Christian is a better man than a Jew, but whether the blood of Christ is better than the blood of a bullock. Assuredly, it is better. How much better? Infinitely better. The Son of God imparts all the dignity of His own divine Person to the sacrifice which He offered; and, if the blood of a bullock purified the flesh for a year, "how much more" shall the blood of the Son of God purge the conscience for ever? If that took away some sin, how much more shall this take away "all?"

Now, why was the mind of a Jew set at rest, for the time being, when he had offered his sin offering? How did he know that the special sin for which he had brought his sacrifice was forgiven? Because God had said, "it shall be forgiven him." His peace of heart, in reference to that particular sin, rested upon the testimony of the God of Israel, and the blood of the victim. So, now, the peace of the believer, in reference to "all SIN," rests upon the authority of God's word, and "the precious blood of Christ." If a Jew had sinned, and neglected to bring his sin offering, he should have been "Cut off from among his people;" but when he took his place as a sinner — when he laid his hand upon the head of a sin offering, then, the offering was "Cut off" instead of him, and he was free, so far. The offering was treated as the offerer deserved; and, hence, for him not to know that his sin was forgiven him, would have been to make God a liar, and to treat the blood of the divinely-appointed sin offering as nothing.

And, if this were true, in reference to one who had only the blood of a goat to rest upon, "how much more" powerfully does it apply to one, who has the precious blood of Christ to rest upon? The believer sees in Christ One who has been judged for all his sin — One who, when He hung upon the cross, sustained the entire burden of his sin — One who, having made Himself responsible for that sin, could not be where He now is, if the whole question of sin had not been settled, according to all the claims of infinite justice. So absolutely did Christ take the believer's place on the cross — so entirely was he identified with Him — so completely was all the believer's sin imputed to Him, there and then, that all question of the believer's liability — all thought of his guilt — all idea of his exposure to judgement and wrath, is eternally set aside.* It was all settled on the cursed tree, between Divine Justice and the Spotless Victim. And now the believer is as absolutely identified with Christ, on the throne, as Christ was identified with him on the tree. Justice has no charge to bring against the believer, because it has no charge to bring against Christ. Thus it stands for ever. If a charge could be preferred against the believer, it would be calling in question the reality of Christ's identification with him, on the cross, and the perfectness of Christ's work, on his behalf. If, when the worshipper, of old, was on his way back, after having offered his sin offering, any one had charged him with that special sin for which his sacrifice had bled, what would have been His reply? Just this: "the sin has been rolled away, by the blood of the victim, and Jehovah has pronounced the words, 'It shall be forgiven him.'" The victim had died instead of him; and he lived instead of the victim.

{*We have a singularly beautiful example of the divine accuracy of Scripture, in 2 Cor. 5:21, "He hath made him to be sin (hamartian epoiesen) for us, that we might become (ginometha) the righteousness of God in him." The English reader might suppose that the word which is rendered "made" is the same in each clause of the passage. This is not the case.}

Such was the type. And, as to the Antitype, when the eye of faith rests on Christ as the sin offering, it beholds Him as One who, having assumed a perfect human life, gave up that life on the cross, because sin was, there and then, attached to it by imputation. But, it beholds Him, also, as One who, having, in Himself, the power of divine and eternal life, rose from the tomb therein, and who now imparts this, His risen, His divine, His eternal life to all who believe in His name. The sin is gone, because the life to which it was attached is gone, and now, instead of the life to which sin was attached, all true believers possess the life to which righteousness attaches. The question of sin can never once be raised, in reference to the risen and victorious life of Christ; but this is the life which believers possess. There is no other life. All beside is death, because all beside is under the power of sin. "He that hath the Son hath life;" and he that hath life, hath righteousness also. The two things are inseparable, because Christ is both the one and the other. If the judgement and death of Christ, upon the cross, were realities, then, the life and righteousness of the believer are realities. If imputed sin was a reality to Christ, imputed righteousness is a reality to the believer. The one is as real as the other; for, if not, Christ would have died in vain. The true and irrefragable ground of peace is this — that the claims of God's nature have been perfectly met, as to sin. The death of Jesus has satisfied them all — satisfied them for ever. What is it that proves this to the satisfaction of the awakened conscience? The great fact of resurrection. A risen Christ declares the full deliverance of the believer — his perfect discharge from every possible demand. "He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification" (Rom. 4:25) For a Christian not to know that his sin is gone, and gone for ever, is to cast slight upon the blood of his divine sin offering. It is to deny that there has been the perfect presentation — the sevenfold sprinkling of the blood before the Lord.

And now, ere turning from this fundamental point which has been occupying us, I would desire to make an earnest and a most solemn appeal to my reader's heart and conscience. Let me ask you, dear friend, have you been led to repose on this holy and happy foundation? Do you know that the question of your sin has been for ever disposed of? Have you laid your hand, by faith, on the head of the sin offering? Have you seen the atoning blood of Jesus rolling away all your guilt, and carrying it into the mighty waters of God's forgetfulness? Has Divine Justice anything against you? Are you free from the unutterable horrors of a guilty conscience? Do not, I pray you, rest satisfied until you can give a joyous answer to these inquiries. Be assured of it, it is the happy privilege of the feeblest babe in Christ to rejoice in full and everlasting remission of sins, on the ground of finished atonement; and, hence, for any to teach otherwise, is to lower the sacrifice of Christ to the level of "goats and calves." If we cannot know that our sins are forgiven, then, where are the good tidings of the gospel? Is a Christian in no wise better off in the matter of a sin offering, than a Jew? The latter was privileged to know that his matters were set straight for a year, by the blood of an annual sacrifice. Can the former not have any certainty at all? Unquestionably. Well, then, if there is any certainty, it must be eternal, inasmuch as it rests on an eternal sacrifice.

This, and this alone, is the basis of worship. The full assurance of sin put away, ministers, not to a spirit of self-confidence, but to a spirit of promise, thankfulness, and worship. It produces, not a spirit of self-complacency, but of Christ-complacency, which, blessed be God, is the spirit which shall characterize the redeemed throughout eternity. It does not lead one to think little of sin, but to think much of the grace which has perfectly pardoned it, and of the blood which has perfectly cancelled it. It is impossible that any one can gaze on the cross — can see the place which Christ took — can meditate upon the sufferings which He endured — can ponder on those three terrible hours of darkness, and, at the same time, think lightly of sin. When all these things are entered into, in the power of the Holy Ghost, there are two results which must follow, namely, an abhorrence of sin, in all its forms, and a genuine love to Christ, His people, and His cause.

Let us now consider what was done with the "flesh" or "body" of the sacrifice, in which, as has been stated, we have the true ground of discipleship. "The whole bullock shall he carry forth, without the camp, unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire." (Lev. 4:12) This act is to be viewed in a double way; first, as expressing the place which the Lord Jesus took for us, as bearing sin; secondly, as expressing the place into which He was cast, by a world which had rejected Him. It is to this latter point that I would here call my reader's attention.

The use which the apostle, in Heb. 13, makes of Christ's having "suffered without the gate," is deeply practical. "Let us go forth, therefore, unto him, without the camp, bearing his reproach." If the sufferings of Christ have secured us an entrance into heaven, the place where He suffered expresses our rejection from earth. His death has procured us a city on high; the place where He died divests us of a city below.* "He suffered without the gate," and, in so doing, He set aside Jerusalem as the present center of divine operation. There is no such thing, now, as a consecrated spot on the earth. Christ has taken His place, as a suffering One, outside the range of this world's religion — its politics, and all that pertains to it. The world hated Him, and cast Him out. Wherefore, the word is, "go forth." This is the motto, as regards every thing that men would set up here, in the form of a "camp," no matter what that camp may be. If men set up "a holy city," you must look for a rejected Christ "without the gate." If men set up a religious camp, call it by what name you please, you must "go forth" out of it, in order to find a rejected Christ. It is not that blind superstition will not grope amid the ruins of Jerusalem, in search of relics of Christ. It assuredly will do so, and has done so. It will affect to find out, and do honour to, the site of His cross, and to His sepulchre. Nature's covetousness, too, taking advantage of nature's superstition, has carried on, for ages, a lucrative traffic, under the crafty plea of doing honour to the so-called sacred localities of antiquity. But a single ray of light from Revelation's heavenly lamp, is sufficient to enable us to say that you must "go forth" of all these things, in order to find and enjoy communion with a rejected Christ.

{*The Epistle to the Ephesians furnishes the most elevated view of the Church's place above, and gives it to us, not merely as to the title, but also as to the mode. The title is, assuredly, the blood; but the mode is thus stated: "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved); and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:4-6)}

However, my reader will need to remember that there is far more involved in the soul-stirring call to "go forth," than a mere escape from the gross absurdities of an ignorant superstition, or the designs of a crafty covetousness. There are many who can, powerfully and eloquently, expose all such things, who are very far indeed from any thought of responding to the apostolic summons. When men set up a "camp," and rally round a standard on which is emblazoned some important dogma of truth, or some valuable institution — when they can appeal to an orthodox creed — an advanced and enlightened scheme of doctrine — a splendid ritual, capable of satisfying the most ardent aspirations of man's devotional nature — when any or all of these things exist, it demands much spiritual intelligence to discern the real force and proper application of the words, "Let us go forth," and much spiritual energy and decision to act upon them. They should, however, be discerned and acted upon, for it is perfectly certain that the atmosphere of a camp, let its ground or standard be what it may, is destructive of personal communion with a rejected Christ; and no so-called religious advantage can ever make up for the loss of that communion. It is the tendency of our hearts to drop into cold stereotyped forms. This has ever been the case in the professing church. These forms may have originated in real power. They may have resulted from positive visitations of the Spirit of God. The temptation is to stereotype the form when the spirit and power have all departed. This is, in principle, to set up a camp. The Jewish system could boast a divine origin. A Jew could triumphantly point to the temple, with its splendid system of worship, its priesthood, its sacrifices, its entire furniture, and show that it had all been handed down from the God of Israel. He could give chapter and verse, as we say, for everything connected with the system to which he was attached. Where is the system, ancient, medieval, or modern, that could put forth such lofty and powerful pretensions, or come down upon the heart with such an overwhelming weight of authority? And yet, the command was to "GO FORTH."

This is a deeply solemn matter. It concerns us all, because we are all prone to slip away from communion with a living Christ and sink into dead routine. Hence the practical power of the words, to go forth therefore unto him." It is not, Go forth from one system to another — from one set of opinions to another — from one company of people to another. No: but go forth from everything that merits the appellation of a camp, "to him" who "suffered without the gate." The Lord Jesus is as thoroughly outside the gate now, as He was when He suffered there eighteen centuries ago. What was it that put Him outside? "The religious world" of that day: and the religious world of that day is, in spirit and principle, the religious world of the present moment. The world is the world still. "There is nothing new under the sun." Christ and the world are not one. The world has covered itself with the cloak of Christianity; but it is only in order that its hatred to Christ may work itself up into more deadly forms underneath. Let us not deceive ourselves. If we will walk with a rejected Christ, we must be a rejected people. If our Master "suffered without the gate," we cannot expect to reign within the gate. If we walk in His footsteps, whither will they lead us? Surely, not to the high places of this Godless, Christless world.
"His path, uncheered by earthly smiles,

Led only to the cross."

He is a despised Christ — a rejected Christ — a Christ outside the camp. Oh! then, dear Christian reader, let us go forth to Him, bearing His reproach. Let us not bask in the sunshine of this world's favour, seeing it crucified, and still hates, with an unmitigated hatred, the beloved One to whom we owe our present and eternal all, and who loves us with a love which many waters cannot quench. Let us not, directly or indirectly, accredit that thing which calls itself by His sacred name; but, in reality, hates His Person, hates His ways, hates His truth, hates the bare mention of His advent. Let us be faithful to an absent Lord. Let us live for Him who died for us. While our consciences repose in His blood, let our heart's affections entwine themselves around His Person; so that our separation from "this present evil world" may not be merely a matter of cold principle, but an affectionate separation, because the object of our affections is not here. May the Lord deliver us from the influence of that consecrated, prudential selfishness, so common at the present time, which would not be without religiousness, but is the enemy of the cross of Christ. What we want, in order to make a successful stand against this terrible form of evil, is not peculiar views, or special principles, or curious theories, or cold intellectual accuracy. We want a deep-toned devotedness to the Person of the Son of God; a whole-hearted consecration of ourselves, body, soul, and spirit, to His service; an earnest longing for His glorious advent. These, my reader, are the special wants of the times in which you and I live. Will you not, then, join in uttering, from the very depths of your heart, the cry, "O Lord, revive thy work" — "accomplish the number of thine elect!" — "hasten thy kingdom!" — "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"




Note to reader, the editor of wbc web site recommends the following audio on the 5 Offerings in view here.