In that day shall there be on the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD…
This text may be a prediction of the latter-day glory, when the knowledge of Christ shall cover the whole earth. But at all times, and in all places, "holiness becometh the house of the Lord." It is His royal will and pleasure that all who name His name should depart from all iniquity. This holiness, which we call universal holiness, because it extends to the whole man, and to his whole conduct, is described in the text in a remarkable manner. The prophet foretells that holiness to the Lord shall be written on the bells and bridles of the horses. It was originally engraved on a plate of gold, and fixed on the mitre or turban of the high priest. In wearing this, he was a type of Christ, our great High Priest. The meaning of writing this on the trappings of the horses is, that religion shall not be confined to sacred persons, times, and places, as this inscription originally was to the high priest; but that all real Christians, being a holy priesthood, shall be religious at all times and in all things; that true holiness shall extend itself to the ordinary concerns of life. The proposition we enforce is, that universal holiness becomes the profession of the Gospel. To be holy signifies, in Scripture, to be set apart from a common or profane use, to God and His service. Holiness is the renovation of our nature by the Spirit of God. The holiness required by the Gospel is something far superior to what is called morality. Holiness supposes the renewal of the heart. There is a universal change made in a real Christian, which is far superior to mere morality. God Himself is the author of holiness; there is nothing in our fallen nature to produce it. The principal instrument employed by the Spirit of grace in effecting this holy change, is the Word of the Gospel. "Sanctify them through Thy truth." The holiness of the Gospel has for its grand objects, God and our neighbour. Religion is to influence the common concerns of life. Holiness is not to be confined to sacred things, but mingled with our ordinary affairs. We see little practical religion among many nominal Christians and unstable professors. Even the most exemplary have cause to lament their deficiencies.
I. WHAT SHOULD BE THE CHRISTIAN'S TEMPER AND VIEWS WITH REGARD TO HIMSELF? Let the Christian remember that he is "the temple of the Holy Ghost," and that the temple of the Lord must be holy.
II. HOLINESS TO THE LORD IS TO BE EXMPLIFIED IN THE RELATIVE DUTIES OF SOCIAL LIFE. In general, the Christian has two things to regard, — to do no harm, and to do much good. Active benevolence is a necessary fruit of holiness. There are certain situations in life wherein persons, being mutually related to each other, are expected more particularly to manifest the holiness of the Gospel The conjugal state. The relation of parents and children. Of masters and servants. Then are we holy? A soul unsanctified can never gain admittance into heaven, the residence of a holy God, holy angels, and holy men.
Parallel VersesKJV: In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.