Hebrews 9:22
According to the Law, in fact, nearly everything must be purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Sermons
An Unalterable LawCharles Haddon Spurgeon Hebrews 9:22
Atonement by BloodC. W. Bibb.Hebrews 9:22
Christ the IntercessorD. Moore, M. A.Hebrews 9:22
Christ the Only MediatorW. Cadman, M. A.Hebrews 9:22
Christ's SacrificeL. Adamson, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
Do and DoneJ. H. Brooks, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
Drama of HeavenW. Birch.Hebrews 9:22
Encouragement from Christ GlorifiedR. L. Cotton, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
Forgiveness Through SacrificeW. Jones Hebrews 9:22
Jesus Putting Away SinC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 9:22
No Remission Without BloodTheological Sketch-BookHebrews 9:22
On the Ascension of ChristBp. Dehon.Hebrews 9:22
On the AtonementJ. Venn, M. A.Hebrews 9:22
On the AtonementJ. E. . Everitt.Hebrews 9:22
Presence of Christ Incarnate in HeavenC. W. Furse, M. A.Hebrews 9:22
Putting Away SinReuen Thomas.Hebrews 9:22
Remission of Sins by SubstitutionH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 9:22
Self-SacrificeArchdeacon Farrar.Hebrews 9:22
Spiritual Blood-SheddingHomilistHebrews 9:22
The All-Sufficient SacrificeThos. Main, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
The Ancient Holy of Holies, a Type of HeavenPeter Grant.Hebrews 9:22
The AtonementJ. Burns, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
The BloodD. L. Moody.Hebrews 9:22
The Christian EraHomilistHebrews 9:22
The Death of Jesus the Seal of the New CovenantD. Young Hebrews 9:22
The Doctrine of BloodD. L. Moody.Hebrews 9:22
The Manner, Time, and End of Christ's AppearanceG. Lawson.Hebrews 9:22
The Necessity of AtonementJohn De Witt, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
The One Perfect OfferingJohn Owen, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
The One Sacrifice of Christ SufficientJohn Owen, D. D.Hebrews 9:22
The Putting Away of SinC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 9:22
The Sacrifice and Satisfaction of ChristAbp. Tillotson.Hebrews 9:22
The Sacrifice, Intercession, and Sympathy of Christ in HeavenC. W. Furse, M. A.Hebrews 9:22
The Sacrificial Work of ChristW. M. Statham, M. A.Hebrews 9:22
Will Evil be Everlasting?HomilistHebrews 9:22
Without Shedding of Blood There is no RemissionHebrews 9:22
The Mediator of the New TestamentJ.S. Bright Hebrews 9:15-22
CalledC. Girdlestone, M. A.Hebrews 9:15-28
Christ's Last Will and TestamentT. M. Morris., A. Roberts, M. A.Hebrews 9:15-28
Christ's TestamentJohn Davies.Hebrews 9:15-28
Christ's Testamentary CovenantH. Melvill, B. D.Hebrews 9:15-28
Effectual CallingC. Simeon.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Blood of SprinklingW. Jones, D. D.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Blood of the TestamentC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Dying Will of Jesus ChristH. S. Keating.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Old and the NewH. W. Beecher.Hebrews 9:15-28
The Testament of ChristAm. Nat. PreacherHebrews 9:15-28
The Two MediatorsD. Young, B. A.Hebrews 9:15-28
Without shedding of blood is no remission. This is as true in Christianity as it was in Judaism. The text suggests -

I. A SAD FACT. Implied in the text and in the whole of the present section of the Epistle is the sad fact that men are sinners, needing forgiveness of sin and cleansing of soul. Men endeavor by various methods to get rid of this fact of sin. Some attribute what the Bible calls sin to defective social arrangements. Men, say they, are parts of a very imperfect and faulty organization, and their errors are to be charged against the organization, not against the individuals composing it. Others denominate sin "misdirection" or mistake, thus eliminating the element of will and moral responsibility. Others speak of it as "imperfect development." Others charge all personal wrongdoing upon the force of temptation, or the pressure of circumstances, ignoring the fact that solicitation is not compulsion. With these theories, how are we to account for the self-reproaches which men heap upon themselves after wrong-doing - for the fact that men do blame themselves for wrong-doing? We feel that we have sinned, that we are morally free and responsible individually, that we have broken a holy law, that we deserve punishment. The penitent heart cries, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned," etc.; "God be merciful to me the sinner." It is a terrible fact that sin is in the world, that we individually are sinners.

II. A GREAT WANT. Remission of sins - forgiveness. Man everywhere is consciously guilty before God; everywhere his heart cries out for reconciliation with him, and forgiveness from him. Altars, sacrifices, pilgrimages, penances, all witness to this. Evidences of this deep need are in our personal experience. The guilt, the consciousness that we have offended God, the dread of the stroke of his just wrath, the aching want of his forgiveness, - these things we have felt. Who shall roll away the burden of our guilt? Who will give us peace? etc. Oh, very deep is this need, and wide as the world!

III. A DIVINE CONDITION. "Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission." Under the Mosaic economy atonement for sin was made and ceremonial cleansing obtained by the shedding and the sprinkling of blood. And the text teaches that forgiveness of sin is attainable, but only through the shedding of blood. What is the reason for this condition? The sacred Scriptures assert that "the blood is the life" (Deuteronomy 12:23). "The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11). Now, life is our most precious possession. "All that a man hath will he give for his life." Thus the "shedding of blood' is equivalent to the giving of the life. And to say that we are "redeemed by the precious blood of Christ" is to express the truth that we are redeemed by the sacrifice of his pure and precious and perfect life. But why should forgiveness of sin rest upon this condition of sacrifice? How the atonement of the death of Christ is related to the Divine Being and government we know not. But in relation to man and the forgiveness of sin we may without presumption offer one or two observations. Forgiveness cannot be granted at the sacrifice of law and moral order. "The Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Man must be brought to recognize this, or to pardon him would be to license wrong-doing. A forgiveness which did not respect and honor the law and order of God would sap the foundations of his government, blight his universe, and prove an injury to man himself. How shall the Law be maintained and honored and man be forgiven? God has supplied the answer. He gave his only begotten Son to shed his blood and give up his life for us sinners, as a grand declaration that Law is holy and righteous and good, and must be maintained, and that the Lawgiver is the righteous and loving Father, who is willing to forgive all men who turn from sin and trust the Savior. Through the death of Christ God proclaims the wickedness of sin, the goodness, beauty, and majesty of Law, and his own infinite righteousness and love. "Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission." This is not an arbitrarily imposed condition of forgiveness of sin. The necessities of the case demand it. It is gracious on the part of God so clearly to declare it. And he who declares it has himself provided for its fulfillment. "Herein is love," etc. (1 John 4:9, 10); "God commendeth his own love toward us," etc. (Romans 5:8). "Forgiveness of sin through the shedding of blood, the salvation of the sinner through the sacrifice of the Savior, is the Divine and the only true method. The atonement of the cross is a comprehensive force in the actual redemption of the world from evil."

IV. A GLORIOUS FACT. Forgiveness is attainable unto all men. The blood has been shed, Jesus the Christ has offered up his most precious life as a sacrifice for sin, the Divine condition of forgiveness is fulfilled, and forgiveness is now within the reach of every man. It is freely offered to all men, and upon conditions which render it available unto every man. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts," etc. (Isaiah 55:6, 7). "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." "If we confess our sins," etc. (1 John 1:9).

CONCLUSION.

1. There is no forgiveness for us apart from Jesus Christ. Our works cannot merit it. Presumptuous trust in the mercy of God, as though he were regardless of law and order, will not meet with it. Future obedience as an atonement for past sins cannot secure it. Apart from Christ we cannot obtain it.

2. Accept heartily the forgiveness which is offered to us through him. - W.J.







Without shedding of blood is no remission.
Theological Sketch-Book.
I. ESTABLISH THE FACT.

1. The observances of the ceremonial law show that men were saved by blood under the Mosaic dispensation.

2. The same way of salvation still obtains under the gospel. The typical sacrifices are indeed superseded by the one sacrifice of Christ. But it is through His sacrifice, and through it alone, that any man is saved.(1) This is capable of direct proof from Scripture (1 Samuel 2:17, 25; Hebrews 10:26, 27).(2) It may be yet further proved by arguments, which, though of an indirect nature, are not the less satisfactory than the foregoing, a. If salvation be not by blood the whole Mosaic ritual was absurd, b. If salvation be not by blood, the prophets grossly misrepresented their Messiah (Isaiah 53.; Daniel 9:24, 26; Zechariah 13:1; John 1:29).

3. If salvation be not by blood, the declarations of the apostles, yea, and of Christ Himself, are fax more likely to mislead than to instruct the world. Christ expressly told His disciples that His "blood was shed for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28). And the apostles uniformly declare that God purchased the Church with His own blood (Acts 20:28); that our reconciliation to God (Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20), and our justification before Him (Romans 5:9), together with our complete redemption (Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 5:9), are by blood, even by the blood of Christ, that spotless Lamb (1 Peter 1:19).

II. IMPROVEMENT.

1. The evil of sin.

2. The folly of self-righteousness.

3. The encouragement which the gospel affords to sinners.

4. The wonderful love of Christ.

(Theological Sketch-Book.)

I. The mercy of God, however dispensed to sinners, ARISES SOLELY FROM THE BENIGNITY OF HIS OWN NATURE. It is not to be considered as moved and excited by the means which they must use to obtain it. These are only the channel of its communication.

II. GOD HAVING PROVIDED A PARTICULAR WAY IN WHICH HE WILL MANIFEST HIS GRACE, THAT WAY DERIVES ITS EFFICACY FROM HIS APPOINTMENT.

III. We may remark, THAT THE METHOD IN WHICH GOD DISPENSES HIS MERCY DOES NOT SUPERSEDE THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE.

IV. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE MUST ALSO OBSERVE, THAT OUR REPENTANCE DOES NOT SUPERSEDE THE NECESSITY OF FAITH.

V. I PRESUME NOT EVEN TO ATTEMPT ANY EXPLANATION OF THE REASONS WHICH INDUCED THE ALMIGHTY TO CHOOSE THIS PARTICULAR MODE FOR THE DISPENSATION OF HIS MERCY TO SINNERS. It becomes us rather humbly to acknowledge our ignorance, and adore the depth both of the wisdom and goodness of God. He has ordained it, and let us be satisfied and thankful. We are permitted, however, to discover some reasons which prove the propriety of such a mode of dispensing mercy. It manifests exceedingly the grace of God, by showing that our salvation is wholly owing to it. Boasting is thus entirely excluded. And who can say whether it may not be suited to the Divine purity and justice, to confer salvation on man, only by subjecting him to the deepest humiliation, by constraining him to feel his own entire inability to save himself, and thus compelling him to ascribe his salvation solely to the Divine mercy?

(J. Venn, M. A.)

I. ITS NECESSITY arises —

1. From man's sin, and its necessary consequences.

2. Man's utter incapability to atone for himself.

3. The demands of the law cannot be relaxed with honour to the lawgiver.

II. THE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT. The person atoning must —

1. Be of superior dignity to the persons for whom the atonement is made.

2. He must possess the same nature as the offender.

3. He must have a right to dispose of his own life, and freely offer himself to this end.

4. He must approve of the law, and recognise the justice of its claim.

5. He must be free from all charges of personal guilt.

6. He must answer all the demands of the law, and endure its curse.

III. THE EFFECTS OF THE ATONEMENT.

1. All the perfections of Jehovah have been illustriously displayed.

2. The atonement leaves the impenitent without excuse.

3. The atonement has rendered man's salvation possible.Application:

1. Let the subject of the atonement be Scripturally investigated, that it may be rightly understood.

2. Let it be cordially received, by a hearty faith (Romans 10:9).

3. Let a Scriptural knowledge, and a cordial reception of it, fill the soul with hope and joy.

4. Let not the dying sinner reject the only way of salvation.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

I. THE FACT OF HUMAN GUILT, AND MAN'S NEED OF MERCY. Remission signifies the forgiveness of a debt, or the withdrawal of the sentence of punishment, which has been pronounced upon a convicted offender.

II. SIN IS REMISSABLE. It may be pardoned. Forgiveness is attainable. The guilt of sin can be cancelled, and the sentence of condemnation may be repealed.

1. Upon this ground the sacrifices of the law were instituted. Every victim that bled, every sacrifice of blood upon the altar of the tabernacle and temple, was a conclusive testimony to the pardoning grace of God.

2. The language of Scripture is quite decisive on this great question. It tells us that with the Lord there is mercy — that He is ready to forgive — slow to anger — plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Him,

3. Scripture facts prove the doctrine which our text includes. If there were no collateral proof, the mission of Christ into the world as the Prophet and Priest of the Church would be quite enough. He came to save sinners.

4. We may also look at examples. Sin had been remitted, or forgiven. Paul says, "I obtained mercy." The penitent thief was pardoned and taken to paradise the same day,

III. WHILE SIN MAY BE PARDONED IT IS ONLY THROUGH THE SHEDDING OF BLOOD. Some impurities might, under the law, be removed by water and fire, but the stain of sin could be removed only by blood. It is on this principle that the plan of salvation by the death of Christ is placed, and on this that God, in fact, bestows remission of sins.

(J. E. . Everitt.)

I. REMISSION OF SINS IS NECESSARY FOR THE RECONCILIATION OF MAN WITH GOD. It is the first necessity. Till sin is totally removed there can be no agreement between God, the Holy One, and man, His creature. Sin first separated them, and the alienation has grown with every generation where sin has reigned. And so long as sin is present, they must remain separate, both in purpose and action. You will see then, further, it is not a question of only forgiveness. God, in His sovereign mercy, might forgive the sin of our life — He does forgive it — but that does not take the sin away. The heart is still a sinful heart; it has forfeited its rights, and though God forgives, these rights are not restored. If, then, we are at any time to be reconciled with God, and be the recipients of His favour, it must be on the one condition that our consciences are purged from evil. Sin in its action will be removed only as sin in its source is taken away; and only as that is done can the soul have peace with God, or can God return to the soul. When sin is taken right away, there remains no barrier between the creature and his God. The soul, desiring to do right, loving the truth, desires to do what God would have it. The will of the creature, however feeble its action may be, is one with the will of God. Nothing remains, therefore, to prevent Him rendering the help of His favour and strength. And this, we are told, He will do.

II. REMISSION OF SINS IS ONLY POSSIBLE BY SUBSTITUTION; THAT IS, ONE LIFE PAYING PENALTY FOR ANOTHER LIFE. This is the declaration of the sacrifices and services of the temple. It is not our province to explain, it is simply our duty to describe and tell, as well as we are able, God's plan for removing sin away from us, so that we might receive His Divine gifts. The animal thus sacrificed was the substitution for the life of the offerer. He died, as it were, for sin, in the beast who had been put into his place. The penalty being thus paid, he was free from sin, and now could stand before God as one who had become reconciled to Him. But of course you will observe, in thus acting, the sinner acknowledges the authority and power of God. He has put aside his own thoughts and purposes, and has done God's, thus indicating in the very act of sacrifice that there is a change of his heart. This finds its entire fulfilment in Jesus Christ. The fact was shadowed as a principle of the Divine purpose in redemption — without the shedding of blood, the substitution of life for sin, there could be no remission. We may and must look at His death on the Cross as the substitution of His life for the life of each one for whom He died. That death can have no other meaning, and when we put it side by side, as the apostle does here, with the Old Testament teaching, I don't see how we can doubt God's intention and method in the death of His Son. God's purpose is thus revealed. Sin is not simply forgiven, but it is taken away. The soul is cleansed from its guilt; the conscience is cleared. When the time comes for it to stand stripped of the material and mortal nature of the present, in presence of the seen and known Eternal One, it will be purified, and fit in its sympathies, thoughts, and feelings for companionship with the absolutely holy God. Thus freed from sin, it will for ever be pure, no sin ever again finding place in it, because it will be with God and like God.

III. Having stated the principle, WE SAY A WORD AS TO ITS APPLICATION. This substitution appropriated by faith secures our acceptance with God. Jesus died for and in the place of sinners; then are sinners freed from sin? Is there nothing more for us than to eat and drink and go on our way? It is not so. He died for sinners, it is true, but only for sinners who have, so to speak, presented Him to God as their sacrifice.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Homilist.
I. SPIRITUAL BLOOD-SHEDDING OR SELF-SACRIFICE IS ESSENTIAL TO DELIVER OUR OWN SOULS FROM SIN.

II. SPIRITUAL BLOOD-SHEDDING IS ESSENTIAL TO DELIVER THE SOULS OF OTHERS FROM SIN.

1. The necessary qualification of a spiritual reformer.

2. The spirit which has governed all genuine reformers.

3. The power of Christ in prosecuting His mission.

(Homilist.)

Atonement always supposes a party offending and a party offended. It supposes that the offended holds the offender justly bound to suffer penal consequences as merited by the offence. The question proposed for present discussion regards the necessity of the atonement of Jesus Christ, in order to God's remitting the sins of men. As a preliminary, we are constrained to protest against the adducing of any facts as bearing upon this question, which belong to the present gracious methods of God's dealing with the human race. The question is, whether, in order to the adoption of those gracious methods, an atonement was not necessary? The evangelical doctrine of atonement is founded in the independent, essential mercy of God. It originated in His infinite mercy. It was an expedient, devised by boundless wisdom, and furnished by boundless love, to supersede the rigorous execution of justice. The forgiveness of sin essentially depends on the whole character of God, on His moral views and feelings respecting sin, and on the reasons which render its punishment necessary. It is here that we should look for all the obstacles, if there be any, which obstruct the exercise of grace, and oppose the remission of sin, and for all the reasons which render an atonement in behalf of sinful men, with a view to their receiving that blessed benefit, indispensable. Here, then, let us commence the discussion. The doctrine which I propose to illustrate and establish is contained in the following proposition: The great moral reasons which require the punishment of sin render the atonement necessary in order to its forgiveness.

I. I am to show that there are GREAT MORAL REASONS WHICH REQUIRE THAT SIN SHOULD RE PUNISHED.

1. God's holiness and justice form the first moral reason. This is the "ground pillar and chief buttress" of my argument. If He is a holy and a righteous God, it is impossible that sin should pass unpunished. You ask me what is God's holiness; what is His rectitude? His holiness is an essential part of His eternal character. It is His immutable disposition toward all points that involve morality. I would say it is His most perfect perception of right and wrong: it is His most perfect approbation of right; it is His most perfect abhorrence of wrong. And His justice is also inherent and essential. It is the disposition of His nature to act, in all worlds, on all occasions, in the most exact conformity to His moral sense. In heaven, earth, or hell, no being shall ever have ground of complaint, that in His treatment of him, God has forgotten His own holiness and justice.

2. I proceed to state a second moral reason, intimately connected with the preceding, why sin should not be permitted to pass unpunished. It is necessary, as the means of leading intelligent beings to reverence and honour God as a Being essentially holy and righteous. We contend that even the benevolence of God demands that sin should not be permitted to pass unpunished. To Him the created universe looks up as the Parent of eternal holiness, order, and well being. These are to be found and enjoyed only in subjection to God, and in perfect, undeviating obedience to His laws. That He should enforce such subjection and obedience by holding the transgressor responsible for his misdeeds, and so administering His government as that sin shall not pass unpunished, is required by the best interests of the created system.

II. THESE MORAL REASONS WINCH REQUIRE THE PUNISHMENT OF SIN, RENDER THE ATONEMENT NECESSARY IN ORDER TO ITS FORGIVENESS. NO substantial reason can be given why a Being infinitely benevolent as well as just, who has been pleased to ordain the redemption of guilty men, should not, when the ends of justice are satisfied, remit their doom. And these ends are most fully secured in the atonement. With an efficacy which to that heart which contemplates it in its just light must prove irresistible, the atonement exhibits God as a Being infinitely holy and righteous, regarding Himself as supremely worthy of the entire homage, love, and obedience of all moral existences, whose rectitude is such that He can give no other laws than those which are founded in eternal and immutable right, can administer no other government but that which is conducted on principles of justice and judgment, can hold no communion with rational beings who are unholy, cannot mark sin but to abhor it, and as the Sovereign Ruler, to manifest towards it His abhorrence, cannot pardon it without bearing testimony, heard with astonishment by heaven, earth, and hell, that it is an endless evil. And what inducements does the atonement hold out to moral agents to esteem, admire, adore, and obey, the Most High and Holy God, and to persevere in this exalted and exalting course? As the attainment of a supreme regard for holiness and an entire detestation of sin must produce the most pure and enduring happiness, what measure could so directly and so powerfully tend to promote and extend the highest happiness of the created system as the atonement?

(John De Witt, D. D.)

It is asserted by historians that there is not a nation mentioned in history, the blood of whose citizens has not been poured out on its altars as an atonement for their sins, or to propitiate their deities. Even in this nineteenth century, it is said that there is a custom, carefully kept secret by Mussulmen, which shows they believe that "without shedding of blood is no remission of sin." In time of great trouble and sorrow, when dreading the death of a favourite child, it is their custom to secretly kill a lamb and sacrifice it, crying, "Allah, take the life of this lamb for the life of my child." The flesh of the lamb is then carefully removed, and given to religious beggars, while the skeleton is buried without breaking a bone.

(C. W. Bibb.)

The collector of railway tickets did not look to the character or education of the holder of the ticket, but to the ticket itself. In like manner the blood was a token which typically indicated the way they were to be saved.

(D. L. Moody.)

Some people said they did not understand the doctrine of blood. It was very offensive to the natural man. He knew a man to say that whenever he heard a minister speak of the blood in his sermon, he took up his hat and quietly walked out. But just as the bitterest medicine cured, so the doctrine of blood found that man and he was saved.

(D. L. Moody.)

An aged Jew said: "I have fasted for seven and twenty hours, praying with all possible earnestness, and trembling too, and after all I feel that my sins have not been atoned for." No; without shedding of blood there is no remission. "The only plank between the believer and destruction is the blood of the incarnate God." To make light of the blood, therefore, is to make light of salvation, and miss it for ever. The patterns of things in the heavens. —

The life of Jesus Christ was a celestial drama which has revealed to mankind the nature of heaven.

1. The heavenly life is spoken of as a transparency. The densest thing we know is the pavement on which we walk. In heaven it is "transparent"; it is a pavement, but you can see through it like glass. You may recollect reading that a celebrated Roman once came before his fellow-citizens for their votes, saying that he Wished there was a window in his breast, so that they might see the purity of his motive and the goodness of his heart. An old Puritan minister, on recording this incident, adds, "Poor creature, were he to have had such a window, he would at once have prayed God to give him a shutter to hide his nature from his fellow-men." Now, if you would take a part in heaven's drama, you are to learn to be transparent, that is sincere. Your daily life is to be so much "above the board," as we understand those words, that everybody can see, if they will but look with unprejudiced eye, that your words and actions are inspired by pure and honest motives.

2. We are told that the pavement of heaven is of the most valuable material, of "pure gold." if, therefore, we take part in the drama of heaven, let us see that our life rests on the purest foundation; let our character be as genuine as the purest gold. Though your outward dress be of the poorest material, see that your inward character is of pure gold. Cultivate within yourself a love for the good and the true, and become a man whose thoughts and feelings are inspirations of God. How beautiful is this peach, with its silken and crimson colour! yet is there not a hard bitter stone at the core? The world spends too much time now-a-days in seeking to be beautiful outside. Let us, who show the drama of heaven on the stage of the earth, seek to be beautiful within.

3. From the description given by John we learn that the light of heaven is superb and effulgent. It is not the blaze of the sun, nor the brilliant flash of electricity; it is the light of the Lamb. By what rule do you walk? Is it by the maxims of society? The light which guides the inhabitants of heaven is -the spirit of the life of Jesus Christ; that sacred nature illumines heaven. The more men know the holy, loving God, whose human body was given for their redemption, the more will they abhor and forsake sin. The drama, therefore, which you and I have to play is to show men the character of God.

4. Notice, next, the clothing of the inhabitants of the land of light and love. It is said that they wear white robes. White is the emblem of purity and innocence. In order to exhibit heaven's drama on earth, we have to put on the white robes of Christian charity and self-denial. We are to wear the crown of a king, not the shackles of a slave. We should regulate our passions as a king is supposed to govern his kingdom — for the good of the whole. We have to dare to do pure deeds and to venture on humane exploits.

5. Then remember that in the drama of heaven, you are to show the palms of victory which are waved in the hands of the white-robed in paradise. Let it be seen that you can fight on until you conquer. You may have fallen in past conflicts, but in this drama of heaven you are to show that while we live on earth, God can save us from our sins. I have not time to tell you all the other glorious characteristics of heaven, how we shall hunger no more and thirst no more. Heaven is a state of satisfaction; nothing will be wanting. This life is full of wants, real or imaginary.

(W. Birch.)

Into heaven itself.
I. It is remarkable that the Jews, as we learn from Josephus and the writings of the Hebrew doctors, considered THE OUTER COURTS OF THE TABERNACLE AS SYMBOLICAL OF THE EARTH, AND THE HOLY OF HOLIES AS AN EMBLEM OF HEAVEN. When, therefore, our Lord had by the sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross made expiation "for the sins of the whole world," it became Him, as the great High Priest of mankind, to enter into the holy of holies, not made with hands, even "into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."

II. It appears from many accounts, that while the high priest was making intercession in the most holy place, THE PEOPLE WERE WITHOUT, CONFESSING THEIR SINS, AND PROFESSING THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO THE ALMIGHTY. Among the uses which have been assigned to the golden bells, which were ordered to be suspended around the bottom of the pontifical robe, it has been supposed, with much probability, that they were to give notice when the high priest entered within the veil on this solemn business, that the people might behave with correspondent sobriety. In like manner, while our Master is in heaven, we in this earth, this outer court of God's universal tabernacle, have our work to do. There are conditions of the covenant on our part to be fulfilled. Christ hath instructed His Church to live here, in the exercise of faith and repentance, of patience, devotion, and charity, while He is interceding for them with the Everlasting Father.

III. It belonged exclusively to the priests, under the Mosaic dispensation, TO BLESS THE PEOPLE IN BEHALF OF GOD. In like manner, our High Priest hath received of the Father all gifts and blessings for His Church. With the voice of His ministers, He dispenses to the penitent assurances of the pardon of their sins.

(Bp. Dehon.)

1. The holy of holies was the dwelling-place of Jehovah, where He manifested Himself in visible glory. Even so in the upper sanctuary does Jehovah manifest the brightness of His glory to the innumerable hosts of holy angels and blessed spirits, by whom He is unceasingly worshipped.

2. The ancient holy of holies was the most splendid and magnificent part of the tabernacle and temple. In this respect also it was but the type and shadow of heaven. "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God! " It is represented as the paradise of God, where grows the tree of life. It is spoken of as Mount Zion, the antitype of the earthly hill on which were erected the temple of Jehovah and the palace of Judah's kings, and which David celebrated as "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth." It is described as a city, the New Jerusalem, the city of the great King, whose foundations are garnished with all manner of precious stones. A still more impressive idea of the unrivalled magnificence of heaven is given us when it is described as the peculiar workmanship of the Almighty — as a place which His infinite power has been exerted to beautify, and which His boundless beneficence has been called forth to gladden and bless. Unlike the holy places in the ancient tabernacle and temple, this sanctuary has not been "made with hands"; it was not erected by any creature, neither was it formed out of any pre-existent matter, but created immediately by God Himself. It is the " true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man"; the sanctuary, "not of this building"; the "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

3. The ancient holy of holies was, by Divine appointment, entirely concealed from the view of those who worshipped in the outer courts. With the most vigilant care it was kept sacred from all intrusion. Even from the holy place where the priests were wont to minister, it was separated by a thick curtain or veil of curiously embroidered tapestry, while the holy place itself was hidden from the people at large, who worshipped in the courts without, by means of a second veil of a similar description. There can be no question that all these arrangements were primarily designed to be emblematic of the particular character of that dispensation with which they were directly connected, as "signifying that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing." At the same time, however, they present us with a beautiful type of the physical concealment which invests the heaven of heavens. For "no man hath ascended up to heaven but He that came clown from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Between these, the outer courts of the temple, and that loftiest shrine of this vast universe, God has been pleased to stretch an impervious and impenetrable veil. It is a great and glorious reality; but it is only by the eye of faith that it can be described on " this dim spot which men call earth." Even with all the light which the gospel has shed upon it, it is a glory that yet remains to be revealed.

4. In pursuing the analogy subsisting between the holy of holies and the heaven of heavens, it may be added that the office performed by the Jewish high priest in the former was a most significant emblem of the function to be discharged in the latter by Jesus, the anointed High Priest of our profession.

(Peter Grant.)

The ascension of our Lord into heaven is a subject not only of admiration, but also of infinite importance to us. Its consequences are countless in number, immeasurable in extent, and endless in duration. Man is actually in the highest glory of the divine majesty at the right hand of God, the same glory in which the blessed Son of God dwelt before He came into the world. It cannot but excite our admiring wonder to contemplate human nature so highly exalted. For "where He is, there shall we be also," if we are His true disciples, and shall "behold His glory," and be ourselves clothed with a body of resplendent light like that of the Lord. But when we compare what we ought to be, and what we really must become in order to our being permitted to follow Christ into His glorious kingdom, with what we actually are, we may be disposed to say, "Who then can be saved?" The great subject now before us comes to our relief in this awful question, cheering our anxious hearts with hope. "Christ," saith the apostle, "entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." "For us" means in our behalf, in order to take our part, to stand on our side. But who is this our Advocate? Is He likely to act in our favour with any effect? Is He likely to have influence with the Father? Has He any power of His own? Hath He yet done anything for us? That the influence of Christ with the Father is all-prevailing we cannot doubt, when we consider that He is the only, the beloved Son of God. We shall be strengthened in this confidence if we call to mind that the blessed God gave Him for the very purpose of saving us (John 3:16). And not only this, but also He hath made a covenant engagement, wherein He has graciously promised to receive all those for whom His Son pleads. The desire then of accomplishing His own benevolent purpose, the gracious love which He has for us, and His unfailing truth and faithfulness, all combine to strengthen our assurance that He will favourably hear the intercession of His beloved Son in our behalf (John 16:26, 27). Will not the consideration of this blessed truth encourage us to return to God, to "humble ourselves under His mighty hand," to implore that mercy promised to us through Christ, and render His Father favourable to us? Yes, if we seem as far from God as earth is from heaven, sunk as low in sin as the utmost depths of the ocean, yet when we look up and see One at the right hand of God ready to take our part, we may feel a cheering hope (Hebrews 6:19, 20; Hebrews 7:25). But has this our blessed Saviour any power of His own? (Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:18; Philippians 2:9-11. Colossians 2:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Philippians 2:12). Most important is this view of the Saviour's almighty power to the anxious Christian, who is " working out his own salvation with fear and trembling." Thoughtless people, who are not engaged in the struggle against sin, may not perceive its importance. They do not feel deeply concerned about their salvation. They allow their enemies undisputed possession of their heart. Wherefore passively acquiescing in their dominion, they do not feel their claims. But let a man endeavor to "rule himself after God's Word," and he will immediately find that he has powerful enemies to resist (Romans 7:15, 21-23). He finds strong tendencies to sin, dispositions, tempers, passions, disposing and urging him to unchristian language and ungodly practices, and withholding him from the due and faithful discharge of his duty. But looking to Christ, he finds that he has reason to thank God that "sin shall not have dominion over him." And thus having felt that of himself he could do nothing, he finds himself enabled to say, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." But we shall feel greater confidence that the glorified Jesus will act in our behalf, if we' can find that He hath already done anything for us. Now surely "the Lord hath done great things for us already." He has come clown from heaven to earth for us men and for our salvation. He has endured the miseries of this sinful world for our sake. He has laid down His life for us. When we know that the blessed Son of God has clone and suffered so much for us, what can there be which He will not do for our sake? St. Paul puts this argument very strongly (Romans 5:6-9). Great therefore may be our hope when we think that we have One in heaven on cur side, whose peculiar care we are, who has taken upon Himself our nature, and dwells in our form; who has made our cause His own; One of all-prevailing influence with our heavenly Father, who graciously desires to listen to His intercession in our favour; One of infinite might and dominion; One who has already done and suffered great things for us, exercised mighty power, wisdom, and love for our protection, guidance, and salvation. As each person is able to see what this blessed Saviour has done for his soul, he will experience proportionate encouragement.

(R. L. Cotton, D. D.)

: — The presence in heaven of Christ incarnate is perhaps the sublimest doctrine to which a rational faith can reach. It is an extension of His atoning life and death on earth, and the renewal of the eternal glory (once briefly suspended) with the Father in heaven. Considering also how it affects us in the present time by its immediate influence, as distinct, I mean, from His acts in the past and future, it is strange that it does not more often fill our thoughts. There is in the human breast an inextinguishable longing for present sympathy. Love cannot bear separation: it is not content with memory, or expectation! As the heart feels the burden of the passing hour, so does it for every hour want its portion of sympathy and love. Thus the presence in heaven of Christ in the glorified Body is a truth most fruitful in thoughts of the dignity of human life, and in ministries of comfort to those who walk upon the earth. I shall recall some passages in Scripture which throw light on the question of a body possibly existing in heaven, then of Christ's Body in particular; and secondly, remark on the influence of His incarnate presence upon us: —

I. To BEGIN WITH THE FIRST CREATED BODY. If Adam had kept his estate of innocence, he would not have died, nor would he, we imagine, have continued for ever in Paradise, among the trees and beasts of the earth. We believe that he would have been translated in his body, glorified, to heaven. Enoch was thus removed, and afterwards Elijah. Next, coming to the Person of our blessed Lord. His Body after the resurrection was the same which had died, though the life to which He rose was not a return to that which had expired on the Cross. His Body was the same, but endued with new powers and living under other conditions. Again, angels declared that as He was taken up into heaven, so in like manner should He come. If so, in what state does He pass the interval between the ascension and the judgment, that is, the present time? Surely in the same spiritual, glorified Body. Moreover, He has been seen once, and heard once, since His ascension. Is it not too often the case, that Christ is regarded as existing in heaven only as God, in a certain omnipresent nature, as He was from all eternity? Do not men argue, that as a day will come when He shall put aside His mediation that is "when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father," so also He will then escape from the confines of His humanity, and return to simple God? Is it sufficiently taken into account that His condition there is altered by His Incarnation, and if His condition, then His influence over us?

II. To the evidence of Scripture and our Church formularies, I WILL ADD A FEW REMARKS ON SELF-EVIDENT SEASONS, WHY IT SHOULD BE SO. "The Word was made flesh"; the manhood of Christ was made perfect. He took not on Him the form of angels, but the seed of Abraham. It is a characteristic of human nature, that once man is man for ever. If then Christ is perfect Man, He is Man for ever. Not only that, but re, elation informs us that man will rise in the body, and live in his body for ever. If Christ has risen according to the laws which govern our resurrection (and this Scripture declares), He now lives, and will live for ever, in the Body with which He rose. What else is meant by Christ being the "first-fruits of them that slept," "the first-Begotten of the dead," and, in contradistinction from Adam, "The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam was made a quickening spirit," unless it be that Christ in His resurrection is the cause of our resurrection, and gives the law by which ours is determined? Once more, He is our Mediator. A mediator is one who represents both parties. In this case one party is God, the other is man. None can represent God but God, and Jesus is God; none can represent man but man, and Jesus is Man. If therefore we have need of a mediator in heaven now, He must be now, as heretofore, God and Man.

III. I have now to speak of THE INFLUENCE WHICH THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST INCARNATE IN HEAVEN HAS UPON MAN BELOW; AND OF THE PRACTICAL DIFFERENCE WHICH THIS DOCTRINE CAUSES IN OUR ESTIMATE OF HIS WORK FOR US. IS Christ omnipresent? Some persons will answer broadly, "Yes," and go on to say that it is a man's faith which makes Him present everywhere — that no possible thing is needed but faith; therefore, that all attempts to give the Saviour's grace a local habitation is wrong; that particular ordinances and outward means of grace are superfluous, therefore superstitious. On the other hand, it is the creed of the Church that Christ has ordained that virtue shall go forth from Him in special and particular channels; and these we call outward means of grace. The sacred enclosure, within which these streams of grace are dispersed, is the Church. Now there is of course great diversity between these two views; but does not the difference arise chiefly from the advocates of the former view losing sight of the continuous agency of the Man Jesus Christ, and thinking that His manhood is now absorbed in His divinity. Would it not clear away doubts and misgivings from many, who sincerely love Christ, if they considered this point; viz., our blessed Lord is still in His Body, and many of His blessings He dispenses through the Body, being the fruits of the great things which He did and suffered in the Body. So far as He dispenses these through the Body, His dispensation of grace is not omnipresent, but regulated by orders of time, place, and conditions, as His will ordains. The participation of Christ through faith and obedience is not diminished by the act, which has attached to a particular ordinance a special grace of intimate communion with Him in the Lord's Supper. These particular ordinances are the mysterious pathways, down which the several rays, which issue from His glorified Body, travel to earth. Nor is it any objection to this view that the influence of His Body is spiritual. In ordinary language "body" means matter, and an immaterial body seems to be a contradiction of terms. We cannot explain it; but to some extent it is intelligible that a body should be present only spiritually. For instance, when our Saviour said to the nobleman, "Thy son liveth," was He not present by that sick-bed, though His natural Body was elsewhere? And remember, while Christ acts by virtue of His Incarnation, and is to some extent guided in His operations by the laws of His human nature, yet the Body which acts, acts more mightily because of the Godhead which possesses it. Lastly, if Christ be not really and spiritually present in the ordinances which He has instituted, in a sense of more close and intimate communion than can be applied to the generally diffused mercy and power of God, then the idea of any Church is a fiction; then the very acts in which we have been engaged to-day are vain; the gifts of bread and wine, which Christ has bidden us prepare for His consecration of them, convey no grace, but are merely stimulants, by outward signs of the feelings of our hearts; then all means of grace whatever are solely our acts to God, not His acts towards us. How different is the truth! Angels in heaven see in His dispensations of grace within the Church signs of the power of Christ unto salvation, of which without the Church they would not be aware, "that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God." Thus our acts of worship are not fictions, our sacraments are not representations. There is an electric current ever circulating from Christ Incarnate through the members of His Body, which is the Church.

(C. W. Furse, M. A.)

I. THE THINGS SUPPOSED BY THE ENTRANCE OF CHRIST INTO HEAVEN ARE THE SAME AS THOSE SUPPOSED BY THE ENTRANCE OF THE HIGH PRIEST INTO THE MOST HOLY PLACE; namely, that heaven and earth are at variance, that sin has occasioned the feud, that blood is the alone price of expiation, and that this price must be laid upon the altar of the Holy One before He will ever look kindly upon man again. The difference in the case of the two dispensations lies in the application of any permanent and satisfactory relief to the sinner's conscience. And this higher form of mediation, argues the apostle, we have in Christ, whose blood is no more to be compared to the blood of bulls and goats than is the heaven into which He has carried that blood to be compared with the holy place of the tabernacle. Christ is gone, therefore, to appear in the presence of God for us; gone to display a memorial of that sacrifice by which He has obtained eternal redemption for us; gone to exhibit the living virtue of His own blood, and to claim the crowns of immortality for those for whom it was shed.

II. Christ has gone to appear in the presence of God for us, says the text; that is, AS THE INTERCESSOR, THE ADVOCATE, THE GREAT UNDERTAKER OF HUMAN CAUSES IN THE COURT OF HEAVEN. Let us consider some of His special qualifications for so great a work.

1. As, first, it is an intercession founded on right. Christ appearing as the slain man is a direct appeal to the righteousness of God. It is the pledge of a price paid, a ransom accepted, a claim substantiated, a covenant signed and sealed. Christ pleads His sufferings no doubt, but this He does not to move pity nor to ask favour, but just to assert His right over all the dispensations of mercy, His boundless and eternal prerogative to forgive.

2. But, secondly, we should have comfort in this mediation of the ascended Saviour, from knowing that He orders all our spiritual affairs with consummate prudence. We often ask and have not, but we little think why. Our Intercessor has been asking for us the direct contrary of that which we have asked for ourselves. He saw that which we did not see, namely, that in the then temper of our minds and spirit the good sought would be no longer good.

3. Further, there is that in the appearance of Christ in heaven which should suggest to His believing people the thought of an individual and personal remembrance. If any man sin — any one man — he has an advocate with the Father. That which I desire to realise, is that the eye, the thoughts, the solicitudes of Jesus are concentrated and fixed on me; my needs to supply, my infirmities to help, my cause to order, my decaying members to revive, my rising corruptions to subdue.

4. But, once more, this appearance of Christ in heaven is an affectionate, earnest, deeply interested appearance. His heart is in the cause. He is a merciful High Priest as well as faithful. In undertaking the cause of believers He is not content to have an eye to see their afflictions, or an ear to listen to their complaints, or a tongue to promote their suit; but casts His lot in with them. He is afflicted in all their afflictions.

5. He has gone to appear in the presence of God for us as the Conqueror. "Thou hast ascended on high; Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for men." He who died as a Lamb rose as a Lion. With the head of the spiritual Goliath in His hand, the Son of David entered the streets of the New Jerusalem, there to appear in the presence of God for us.

6. Again, as a pledge and assurance that He both can and will order all things for the good of His Church, He appears in the presence of God for us. In describing His own session to the high priest, He tells him, "Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power"; power to execute wrath, power to cast down every high thing and every strong thing and every opposing thing that could exalt itself against the knowledge of Himself; power to direct and save; power to reward and bless. Let me note one or two practical thoughts, in conclusion, with which to associate the entrance of our Forerunner into the most holy place, there to appear in the presence of God for us. Thus we cannot but be impressed with a sense of the exceeding great honour which is put upon our human nature, in that one, in our likeness, should be the object of highest adoration to all the heavenly world. We are made more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, because Christ Himself was more than conqueror over all the misery He came to remedy, and all the enemies He came to subdue. And this suggests a kindred thought — the honour reserved for ourselves in that future world. We have a portion in that flesh and blood which is so highly exalted, and which now appears in the presence of God for us. Our interest with our Divine Head is one. If Christ reign, we shall reign; if He be taken up into glory, we shall not be beyond the circle of its diffused and effulgent rays. Lastly, how should our Lord's leaving us, to enter into the most holy place, remind us that we have no continuing city here. Christ did not sit down in heaven until He had finished His work on earth: and we must finish our work as Christ did His. He who now appears in the presence of God for us knew no rest, does not know it even now. He ever liveth to make intercession, to sprinkle consciences, to send down grace, to restrain the power of the evil one, to keep the feet of His saints, to suffer no weapon formed against them to prosper. This is Christ's work in heaven now, and will be for a time, and times, and a half a time, till the end of redemption is come. Then will come the great Sabbath; the Sabbath that shall sanctify the risen natures, the Sabbath that shall release our Great High Priest from all further appearance for us in the holy place, even the everlasting rest that remaineth for the people of God.

(D. Moore, M. A.)

I. THE TEMPLE IN WHICH HE MINISTERS.

II. THE MINISTRY WHICH IN THAT TEMPLE HE CONTINUES TO EXERCISE.

1. The ministry of a sympathising friend.

2. Rendering acceptable to God all our worship and service.

III. THE INFLUENCE WHICH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THESE TRUTHS OUGHT TO EXERCISE ON OUR FAITH AND CONDUCT, "Let us hold fast our profession."

1. As respects the writing on which it is based.

2. As regards the consolations which it affords.

3. As regards the hopes which it naturally encourages.

(W. Cadman, M. A.)

: — The sacrifice and intercession of Christ are of course distinct in idea, but in fact are so united, that it is more convenient to consider them together. Sacrifice is intercession, not in word, but in act. It makes atonement for man to God; that is, sets God and man at-one. It comes between; that is, in the literal sense of the word, intercedes, mediates between the two, reconciles them; all of which terms apply with equal propriety to the one office as to the other, sacrifice and intercession. Minds unused to meditation on the continuance of these offices in heaven are inclined to the opinion that the whole work of the Atonement was concluded in the sacrifice of the Cross, and to so complete an extent that nothing remains for Christ to do till He returns to gather in His elect. Their thoughts linger around such texts as these, which at first sight seem to imply that at the moment in which the Saviour said, "It is finished," His work was ended till the Judgment Day (Hebrews 10:12; 1 Peter 3:18). And all the passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews which draw out the contrast between the repeated sacrifices offered by the Jewish priests and the one oblation once made by Christ, favour the same opinion. The question is, do such words oppose the view that our great Mediator is ever working on behalf of men's souls in heaven . — My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Do they contradict the doctrine that Christ Jesus in His glorified body continues to exercise the virtue of His holy incarnation? Not in the least. The sacrifice once for all offered on the Cross is being perpetually represented and exhibited in heaven. This indeed is the meaning of the word in the text, inadequately translated "appear." It is not merely that Christ stands and is seen before the Father's throne; but He is arrayed in the vesture belonging to the Mediator, invested with all the symbols of His office as the Saviour of man, continually presenting to the eternal Father the sacrifice once for all made, interceding, pleading, advocating our cause. Hence it is, that in the Book of Revelation He is described as a "Lamb as it had been slain;" with the marks of death, the scars of the sacrifice upon Him, though His wounds are healed, and His body raised in glory. And it may be observed, once for all, that every description of His high-priesthood establishes the truth that it is exercised now continually in heaven. The great difference in this respect between the continual sacrifice offered day by day and year by year by the Jewish priests, and that offered by Christ, is that theirs was repeated, His is represented; theirs was begun afresh, as if nothing had yet been done; His is the oblation of the Body sacrificed once for all. There are some who say, and profess to believe, that it is enough to know that Christ once died for sinners; but they do not speak the language of the human heart. Does not the sense of sin pierce them even now? Does not the shame and dread of sin overwhelm at times even those for whom Christ died? Do they not spread their hands abroad in vain, and look out for help against themselves, and seek for some place where they may hide themselves from the confusion and reproach which their own hearts cast upon them? — that is, they need a present Mediator and Advocate. Again, the effect which the continued intercession of Christ must exercise over our destiny cannot be measured by any estimate of ours. His prayers are uttered night and day, hour by hour, whether men pray or whether they sleep. And then, as to their secondary effect, that is, their influence upon us — conceive how great a motive it is for men to pray, that their prayers may vibrate along the chords of His! Lastly, consider what comfort exists in the possession of the sympathy of Christ; and in the knowledge that He exists in the body of man, alive to all the human wants and natural infirmities of the heart. Has not the disciple to bear his cross; to rejoice in suffering; "to fill up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ in His flesh for His body's sake which is the Church"; "'to bear the marks of the Lord Jesus"; "to be crucified" with Him; to be "buried with Him"; "to be raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places" in Him; to have "our vile body changed that it may be like unto His glorious body"? And all this while there is His painless sympathy with pain in the least as in the greatest things. Many a thought of trouble, too slight or too. Lender to be worth exposure to the nearest friends, is, we may believe, marked by Him and remembered in His prayer, especially if it be one (as all the most inexplicable troubles are) entangled with our own folly or sin. "For we have not an High Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities." But sympathy alone and in excess induces softness. Self-control and hardihood, a lofty carriage as of one born to great dignity, a resolute temper that will neither bend or break — these are as much the Christian's attributes as a childlike reliance and a looking out for love. How greatly does it add to the dignity of our life to see its perfection in the glorious body of Him who is the Head of the human race!

(C. W. Furse, M. A.)

To put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
I. THE SACRIFICE OF THE SAVIOUR, WHICH WE COMMEMORATE, WAS THE OFFERING OF HIMSELF. "No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself." Not the Sanhedrim, not Annas, not Caiaphas, not Pilate, not Judas, not the Roman Guard, not the excited mob took away the Redeemer's life; had they done so, Christ's would have been only a martyr's death. "For this cause came I into the world."

II. THE SACRIFICE OF THE SAVIOUR WAS NOT ONLY THE OFFERING OF HIMSELF, BUT THE ONE OFFERING OF HIMSELF. The earth can see no second Gethsemane or Calvary! Never in the history of the human race can such another event be recorded, it stands alone as a monument of the august majesty of Divine law and the pitiful depth of Divine love.

III. THE SACRIFICE OF THE SAVIOUR, WHICH WE COMMEMORATE, CONTRASTS WITH THE JEWISH LAW. They had the ceremonial and symbolical: we have the spiritual and the substantial.

IV. THE SACRIFICE WE COMMEMORATE TEACHES US THAT NOT ONLY COULD THE SAVIOUR BE OFFERED BUT ONCE, BUT THAT HE COULD "SUFFER" BUT ONCE.

V. THE SACRIFICE WE COMMEMORATE TEACHES US THAT CHRIST "APPEARED" TO PUT AWAY SIN. Ponder well the words — "He appeared." Salvation was accomplished in connection with Christ's incarnation. There could be no doubt of the actuality of the atonement: it was in the body that He assumed that He died for our sins, and we can test the validity of the sacrifice by the reality of the incarnation.

(W. M. Statham, M. A.)

I. Such is THE ABSOLUTE PERFECTION OF THE ONE OFFERING OF CHRIST, THAT IT STANDS IN NEED OF, THAT IT WILL ADMIT OF, NO REPETITION IN ANY KIND. Hence the apostle affirms that if it be despised or neglected there remains no more sacrifice for sin. And this absolute perfection of the one offering of Christ ariseth —

1. From the dignity of His person (Acts 20:28).

2. From the nature of the sacrifice itself.(1) In the gracious actings of His soul; He offered Himself unto God through the Eternal Spirit. Grace and obedience could never be more glorified.(2) In the punishment He underwent, answering and taking away the whole curse of the law; and further offering for atonement is highly blasphemous.(3) From the love of the Father unto Him and delight in Him. As in His person, so in His one offering, the soul of God resteth and is well pleased.(4) From His efficacy unto all ends of a sacrifice. Nothing was ever designed therein, but was at once accomplished by this one offering of Christ.

II. This one offering of Christ is ALWAYS EFFECTUAL UNTO ALL THE ENDS OF IT, EVEN NO LESS THAN IT WAS IN THE DAY AND HOUR WHEN IT WAS ACTUALLY OFFERED. Therefore it needs no repetition, like those of old, which could affect the conscience of a sinner only for a season. This is always fresh in the virtue of it, and needs nothing but renewed application by faith for the communication of its effects and fruits unto us.

III. THE GREAT CALL AND DIRECTION OF THE GOSPEL IS TO GUIDE FAITH AND KEEP IT UP UNTO THIS ONE OFFERING OF CHRIST, AS THE SPRING OF ALL GRACE AND MERCY. In the preaching of the Word, the Lord Christ is set forth as evidently crucified before our eyes; and in the ordinance of the Supper especially is it represented unto the peculiar exercise of faith.

IV. WHATEVER HAD THE GREATEST GLORY IN THE OLD LEGAL INSTITUTIONS CARRIED ALONG WITH IT THE EVIDENCE OF ITS OWN IMPERFECTION, COMPARED WITH THE THING SIGNIFIED IN CHRIST AND HIS OFFICE. The entrance of the high priest into the holy place was the most glorious solemnity of the law. Howbeit, the annual repetitioin of it was a sufficient evidence of its imperfection, as the apostle disputes in the beginning of the next chapter.

(John Owen, D. D.)

I. THE PERIOD WHEN "In the end of the world," or, rather, "the ages." It refers to the several dispensations which have gone before, and which were brought to a close by Christ's appearing in the flesh.

II. THE PURPOSE. "To put away sin," to render sin a legal nullity, so that in respect of condemnatory power it should be as though nonexistent, and the law should cease to recognise its claims or inflict its penalties.

III. THE MEANS BY WHICH THIS END HAS BEEN ATTAINED. "By the sacrifice of Himself."

1. It was not accomplished without means; it was not at once and offhand that this result was attained.

2. The means employed had reference to the thing necessary to be done.(1) It had to be done by sacrifice — the substitution of one life for another.(2) The sacrifice was Christ Himself. The penalty once borne can never again be inflicted. The curse was not causeless when it came, for guilt had entailed it; but neither is the taking it away causeless, for" Christ hath redeemed us," &c. The reason is as valid in the one case as in the other; the removal of the wrath is as righteous as the manifestation of the wrath, and the whole universe is the witness to the reality and vitality of the stupendous deed.

(Thos. Main, D. D.)

Homilist.
I. THE CHRISTIAN ERA IS GOD'S LAST DISPENSATION WITH MEN ON EARTH.

II. THE SACRIFICE OF CHRIST IS THE GREAT FACT OF THIS ERA.

1. Self-immolation.

2. Self-immolation for all ages.

3. Never to be repeated.

III. THE GREAT END OF CHRIST'S SACRIFICE WAS THE PUTTING AWAY OF SIN. This fact serves —

1. To correct theological errors.

2. To determine the value of our religion.

3. To show the true aim of philanthropy.

4. To foreshadow the happy state of the world when Christianity shall have accomplished its work.

(Homilist.)

I. IT WAS INCONSISTENT WITH THE WISDOM, GOODNESS, GRACE, AND LOVE OF GOD THAT CHRIST SHOULD OFTEN SUFFER IN THAT WAY WHICH WAS NECESSARY UNTO THE OFFERING OF HIMSELF, NAMELY, BY HIS DEATH AND BLOODSHEDDING. It was not consistent with the wisdom of God to provide that as the ultimate means of the expiation of sin which was insufficient for it; for so it would have been if the repetition of it had been necessary. Nor was it consistent with His unspeakable love unto His Son that He should frequently suffer an ignominious death. And, moreover, it would have been highly dishonourable unto the Son of God, giving an appearance that His blood was of no more value than the blood of beasts, the sacrifice whereof was often repeated.

II. IT WAS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE GLORY OF HIS PERSON, ESPECIALLY AS IT WAS NECESSARY TO BE DEMONSTRATED UNTO THE SALVATION OF THE CHURCH. That He once emptied Himself that He might be obedient unto the death of the Cross, proved a stumbling-block unto the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles. The faith of the Church was secured by the evident demonstration of His Divine glory which immediately ensued thereon. But as the frequent repetition hereof would have been utterly inconsistent with the dignity of His Divine person, so the most raised faith could never have attained a prospect of His glory.

III. IT IS ALTOGETHER NEEDLESS, AND WOULD HAVE BEEN USELESS. For, as the apostle demonstrates, by one offering of Himself, and that once offered, He took away sin, and for ever perfected them that are sanctified.

V. THE ASSURED SALVATION OF THE CHURCH OF OLD, FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, BY VIRTUE OF THE ONE OFFERING OF CHRIST, IS A STRONG CONFIRMATION OF THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH AT PRESENT TO LOOK FOR AND EXPECT EVERLASTING SALVATION THEREBY.

VI. IT IS THE PREROGATIVE OF GOD AND THE EFFECT OF HIS WISDOM TO DETERMINE THE TIMES AND SEASONS OF THE DISPENSATION OF HIMSELF AND HIS GRACE TO THE CHURCH. Hereon it depends alone that Christ appeared in the end of the world, not sooner nor later, as to the parts of that season. Many things do evidence a condecency to Divine wisdom in the determination of that season.

1. He testified His displeasure against sin in suffering the generality of mankind to lie so long under the fatal effects of their apostasy without relief or remedy (Acts 14:16; Acts 17:30; Romans 1:21, 24, 26).

2. He did it to exercise the faith of the Church, called by virtue of the promise, in the expectation of its accomplishment. And by the various ways whereby God cherisheth their faith and hope was He glorified in all ages (Luke 1:70; Matthew 13:16; Luke 10:24; 1 Peter 1:10, 11; Haggai 2:7).

3. To prepare the Church for the reception of Him, partly by the glorious representation made of Him in the tabernacle and temple with their worship; partly by the burden of legal institutions laid on them till His coming (Galatians 3:24).

4. To give the world a full and sufficient trial of what might be attained towards happiness and blessedness by the excellency of all things here below.

5. To give time to Satan to fix and establish his kingdom in the world that the destruction of him and it might be the more conspicuous and glorious.

VII. GOD HAD A DESIGN OF INFINITE WISDOM AND GRACE IN HIS SENDING OF CHRIST AND HIS APPEARANCE IN THE WORLD THEREON, WHICH COULD NOT BE FRUSTRATED. "He appeared to put away sin."

VIII. SIN HAD ERECTED A DOMINION, A TYRANNY OVER ALL MEN AS BY A LAW. Unless this law be abrogated and abolished we can have neither deliverance nor liberty.

IX. NO POWER OF MAN, OF ANY MERE CREATURE, WAS ABLE TO EVACUATE, DISANNUL, OR ABOLISH THIS LAW OF SIN.

X. THE DESTRUCTION AND DISSOLUTION OF THIS LAW AND POWER OF SIN WAS THE GREAT END OF THE COMING OF CHRIST FOR THE DISCHARGE OF HIS PRIESTLY OFFICE IN THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF. No other way could it be effected.

XI. IT IS THE GLORY OF CHRIST, IT IS THE SAFETY OF THE CHURCH, THAT BY HIS ONE OFFERING, BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF ONCE FOR ALL, HE HATH .ABOLISHED SIN AS TO THE LAW AND CONDEMNING POWER OF IT.

(John Owen, D. D.)

I. CHRIST'S APPEARANCE IS —

1. His incarnation.

2. The manifestation of Him incarnate.

3. The presenting of Himself as a Priest, having sacrificed Himself and His Heavenly Father, without which His incarnation and manifestation had been to no purpose.He appeared from the foundation of the world, in the word of the promise, and in types and figures; yet this was but obscure. At length He appeared really, when the Word was made flesh, died, and, as a Priest, offered Himself unto God the Supreme Judge for the sin of man.

II. THE TIME of His appearance was the end of the world, which is opposed to the foundation of the world. This end of the worm is called the fulness of the time (Galatians 4:4), because, as some tell us, the time appointed by God was fully come; all things, which were decreed to be before His coming, were fully accomplished. And though we understand not the reasons, yet the end of the world was the fittest of all others for this appearance; and though the last times seem to have the greatest benefit of His exhibition, yet the first times were not without it, for the virtue of this sacrifice extended to all times.

III. THE END OF this appearance was to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Where we have two ends, the one subordinate to the other: the first was the sacrificing of Himself, the second by this sacrifice to put away sin. This putting away was not the abrogation of the law transgressed, but a taking away the moral effects and consequents of sin committed against that law, and principally of guilt. The effect of sin is to Tender the party sinning obnoxious and liable to punishment and God's vindicative justice, and by this virtue of the commination of the law. God, to make way for pardon, by a transcendent extraordinary power, makes Christ man's surety, and Christ. voluntarily submits Himself, out of love to His brethren, to God's will, so far as to suffer death for man's sin, and offers Himself as being slain to the Supreme Judge. Upon His submission He becomes one person with sinful man, as a surety with the principal, and so is liable to that punishment which sinful man should have suffered, as a surety becomes liable to pay the debt of the principal.

(G. Lawson.)

I. THE TIME OF THIS GREAT PUTTING AWAY OF SIN, in the end of the world, or the age — "in these last days," as one of the apostles words it. Why was that time selected?

1. Was it not in order to exercise the faith of ancient saints, who, like Abraham, saw Christ's day in vision — saw Him and were glad? They rested in confidence in the Messiah' that was to come, and their faith received its reward.

2. Did not God place the putting away of sin at the close of the age, in order to glorify His Son, by letting us see that the very anticipation of His death was sufficient for the salvation of men?

3. Was not this sacrifice placed at the end of the world to be, as it were, the crown of all Jehovah's works? The great Master of the feast hath kept the best wine until now.

II. THE PERSON ACCOMPLISHING THE WORK. Once, in the end of the world, hath He appeared. Recollect who it was that came to take away sin, that you may find solid ground for comfort. He who came to take away sin did not come unsent. He was appointed and delegated by God. He came in His Father's name, clothed with His Father's authority: "I do not Mine own will," said He, "but the will of Him that sent Me." This ought to give us richest consolation. Attentively observe the constitution of His person. He who came to save men is no other than God; therefore capable of viewing sin from God's point of view, capable of understanding what was due to God: by bracing His Godhead to His manhood He was capable, in His twofold nature, of sustaining pangs which humanity could not have endured apart from Godhead. Can you not trust Him? I have felt like John Hyatt who, when dying, said he could not only trust Christ with one soul, but he could trust Him with a million souls if he had them.

III. THE APPEARANCE MENTIONED. "Now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin." The way by which God has put away sin is one which is not obscure, concealed, recondite, inexplicable, but one which is eminently plain and manifest.

IV. THE SACRIFICE ITSELF. "Once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin" — how? "By the sacrifice of Himself" Christ did not come into the world merely to put away sin by His example. Jesus did not come into the world merely to put away sin by His teaching; but we are told in the text that He came to put away sin by sacrifice. God comes into the world as Man — the Mediator dies. Now, what merit there must be in the blood of Him who, while He is Man, is nevertheless God!

V. THE THOROUGHNESS OF THE WORK WHICH WAS CONTEMPLATED. In the end of the world Christ was revealed to put away sin. He did not come into the world to palliate it, but to put it away. Observe, He not only came to put away some of the attributes of sin, such as the filth of it, the guilt of it, the penalty of it, the degradation of it; He came to put away sin itself, for sin is the fountain of all the mischief. He did net come to empty out the streams, but to clear away the fatal source of the pollution. He appeared to put away sin itself, sin in its essence and being.

VI. THE EVIDENT COMPLETION of this work demands a word because of its being rendered conspicuous by the word "once." "Once in the end of the world He hath appeared to put away sin." If He had not put away sin, He would have Come again to do it, for Jesus Christ never leaves His work unfinished.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. IT IS A VERY HARD THING TO PUT AWAY SIN.

1. All the Jewish sacrifices could not do it.

2. Repentance itself cannot do it.

3. No form of suffering in this world can do it.

4. Nor any form of self-denial.

5. Nor holy living.

6. Nor death.

7. Nor hell.

II. CHRIST HAS PUT AWAY THE SIN OF ALL HIS PEOPLE. By what image shall I set forth the abolishing of sin! I do not know what metaphor to use about it, but one suggests itself which is far from complete. When Pompey was killed, Julius Caesar obtained possession of a large casket, which contained a vast amount of correspondence which had been carried on with Pompey. There is no doubt, whatever, that in that casket there were many letters from certain of Caesar's followers making overtures to Pompey, and had Caesar read those letters it is probable that he would have been so angry with many of his friends that he would have put them to death for playing him false. Fearing this, he magnanimously took the casket and destroyed it without reading a single line. What a splendid way of putting away and annihilating all their offences against him! Why, he did not even know them, he could not be angry, for he did not know that they had offended. He consumed all their offences and destroyed their iniquities, so that he could treat them all as if they were innocent and faithful. The Lord Jesus Christ has made just such an end of your sins and mine.

III. How SIN WAS PUT AWAY.

1. The text tells us that our Lord put it away by a sacrifice. Substitution is the very pith and marrow of the revelation of God.

2. Notice that the text tells us what His sacrifice was, it was Himself. Sin was not put away by the offering of His living works, nor by the incense of His prayer, nor by the oblation of His tears, nor even by the presentation of His pains before God, but by the sacrifice of Himself. The Lord Christ gave up for you His human body and soul and spirit, all that constituted " Himself" was given up freely to the death that the punishment due to our sin might be borne. This leads you to remember who He was. He was God over all, blessed for ever; the Maker of all worlds, but He gave Himself. See the majesty of His sacrifice, He gave Himself; and then behold the infinite merit that there must be in that sacrifice.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Homilist.
I. EVIL NEED NOT BE EVERLASTING IN THE INDIVIDUAL.

II. EVIL WILL NOT BE EVERLASTING IN THE WORLD.

III. EVIL MAY NOT BE THERE IS THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY THAT IT WILL NOT BE — EVERLASTING IN THE UNIVERSE.

1. Because of the infinite forces of which our text speaks.

(1)The infinite force in the Being who is putting away sin. There is no limit to His resources.

(2)The infinite force in His case for the work He has undertaken.

2. Because of the very nature of evil.

3. Because of the character of God.

(Homilist.)

I. I SHALL PRODUCE SOME PLAIN TESTIMONIES OF HOLY SCRIPTURE, WHICH DECLARE THAT THE SON OF GOD, IN ORDER TO THE EFFECTUAL EXPIATION OF SIN, SUFFERED IN OUR STEAD, AND BORE THE WRATH OF GOD FOR US, AND MADE A PERFECT ATONEMENT FOR SIN, AND OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US. This the Scripture declares to us in great variety of expressions; as, that "Christ died for us, and for our sins"; that He was "a sacrifice for us, and a propitiation for the sins of the whole world"; that "He bare our sins in His own body on the tree," and "appeared to take away sin by the sacrifice of Himself"; that "we are justified in His blood," and "redeemed by the price of it." It is evident then from Scripture, that Christ died not only for our advantage but in our stead; as truly as any man ever did or can die for another, who lays down his own life to save another from death. For if Christ had not died, we had perished everlastingly; and because tie died, we are saved from eternal death and misery. And though this be nowhere ill Scripture spoken of by the name or term of satisfaction, yet it is said to be the price of our redemption; which surely is the same in effect with satisfaction.

II. SHOW THAT THE EXPIATION OF OUR SINS WAS MADE BY THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, FROM THE NATURE AND INTENTION OF EXPIATORY SACRIFICES, BOTH AMONG THE JEWS AND HEATHENS, to which the death of Christ is in the New Testament so frequently compared, and in point of virtue and efficacy to take away sin infinitely preferred to it.

III. VINDICATE THIS METHOD AND DISPENSATION OF THE DIVINE WISDOM FROM THE OBJECTIONS WHICH ARE BROUGHT AGAINST IT, and to show that there is nothing in it that is unreasonable or anywise unworthy of God. I shall mention four objections which are commonly urged in this matter, and I think they are all that are considerable.

1. That this method of the expiation of sin by the sufferings of Christ seems to argue some defect and want of goodness in God, as if He needed some external motive, and were not of Himself disposed to forgive sinners. To which I think the answer is not difficult; namely, that God did not want goodness to have forgiven sin freely and without any satisfaction, but His wisdom did not think it meet to give encouragement to sin by too easy a forgiveness, and without some remarkable testimony of His severe displeasure against it; and therefore His greater goodness and compassion to mankind devised this way to save the sinner, without giving the least countenance and encouragement to sin.

2. How can our sins be said to have been forgiven freely, if the pardon of them was purchased at so dear a rate, and so mighty a price was paid for it? In answer to this I desire these two things may be considered —(1) That it is a wonderful grace and favour of God to admit of this translation of the punishment which was due to us, and to accept of the sufferings of another in our stead, and for our benefit, when He might justly have exacted it from us in our own persons.(2) It was in effect freely, too, notwithstanding the mighty price which was paid for our redemption. Because this price was not of our own procuring, but of God's providing.

3. It is yet further objected that this seems to be more unreasonable than the sacrificing of beasts among the Jews, nay, than the sacrificing of men among the heathen, and even of their own sons and daughters, because this is the offering up of the Son of God, the most innocent and the most excellent person that ever was. To which I answer, that if we consider the manner and the design of it the thing will appear to be quite otherwise.(1) As to the manner of it, God did not command His Son to be sacrificed, but His providence permitted the wickedness and violence of men to put Him to death. And then His goodness and wisdom did overrule this worst of actions to the best of ends.(2) And then if we consider the end of this permission of Christ's death, and the application of it to the purpose of a general expiation, we cannot but acknowledge. and even adore, the gracious and merciful design of it. For by this means God did at once put an end to that unreasonable and bloody way of worship which had been so long practised in the world; and after this one sacrifice, which was so infinitely dear to God, the benefit of expiation was not to be expected in any other way, all other sacrifices being worthless and vain in comparison of this; and it hath ever since obtained this effect of making all other sacrifices to cease in all parts of the world where Christianity hath prevailed.

4. The last objection is the injustice and cruelty of an innocent person suffering instead of the offender. To this I answer, that they who make so great a noise with this objection do seem to me to give a full and clear answer to it themselves, by acknowledging, as they constantly and expressly do, that our Saviour suffered all this for our benefit and advantage, though not in our place and stead. For this, to my apprehension, is plainly to give up the cause, unless they can show a good reason why there is not as much injustice and cruelty in an innocent person's suffering for the benefit and advantage of a malefactor, as in his suffering in his stead.

(Abp. Tillotson.)

I. I wish to fix your thoughts on THE EXAMPLE INVOLVED IN THE SACRIFICE WHEREBY CHRIST REDEEMED THE WORLD. I would press on you the duty, the blessedness, the happiness of self-sacrifice, and the present and urgent need for it. I would ask you to consider whether God does not summon all of you to the sacrifice of self to help the world, and some of you to such self-sacrifice in its fullest forms, as the very law of your highest life.

II. You know well HOW THOROUGHLY HIS GREAT SAINTS AND SERVANTS HAVE LEARNED THIS LESSON. They have not been satisfied with the easy compromise and full-fed prosperity of a worldly, popular, and successful religionism. Instead of being content to swim with the easy streams of fashionable orthodoxy, they struck out vehemently against them. Instead of trimming their sails to the veering wind, they were ready to drive their frail shallops into the very teeth of the storm. Instead of answering the world or the Church according to their idols, they smote those idols in the face. Like the apostles, they held not their lives dear unto themselves; they left father and mother and lands and ease; they counted all things but dross, in comparison with the love of Christ their Lord.

III. DOES CHRIST, THEN, CALL US TO AGONY AND RUIN, AND TO ALL THAT WE LEAST LOVE? Yea, and nay. "Yea," in so far as brief agony and apparent ruin may lie in the path of duty and holiness; and "yea," in so far as that which we least love ought rather to be what is dearest to us; but " nay," inasmuch as the cross borne gladly is itself the secret of blessedness. You pity the hated prophet, the burning martyr, the persecuted saint? And do you think that he needs your pity, rather than the man who, rich and successful, is torn, day and night, by the many-headed monster of unruly passions, which, the more they are gratified, ravin the more clamorously for gratification? Do you pity God's martyrs, and do you not rather pity those who, living to indulge their own vilest impulses, have, as the devil's martyrs, made their own bodies and minds a very curse to themselves and to all the world? Nay, you are wrong. It is Nero on his gilded chair who is to be pitied, not St. Paul in his rags and wretchedness. That man is blessed, blessed even in the dungeon or at the stake, who is pure, and just, and loving, and innocent.

IV. BLESSEDNESS IS A LOFTIER AND A DEEPER THING THAN HAPPINESS; but I go further, and say that in self-sacrifice you will not only find blessedness, but even a joy, a happiness, a gladness such as the world can neither give nor take away. Disenchantment in success, weariness in riches, satiety in self-indulgence, inward wretchedness amid outward prosperity, are the heritage of the world. Tiberius is "tristissimus, ut constant hominum"; and Severus cries, "Omnia fui, et nihil expedit"; but joy in the Lord, joy in the Holy Ghost, joy in believing, joy unspeakable and full of glory, joy even amid much affliction, has ever been the unique and miraculous paradox of Christianity. Read the Epistle to the Philippians, written by a hunted fugitive in prison with weak eyes, in wretched health, a spectacle of shame; his name a hissing, the chain which coupled him to the rude soldier clanking with every motion of his hand: then read the "Tristia" of Ovid, or the letters of , or the "Consolation ad Polybium" of Seneca, written in an exile incomparably less trying, and you will see that while the poet, and the orator, and the stoic are full of base adulation and womanish complaints, the letter of this poor, sick, deserted Jewish prisoner bursts again and again into irrepressible music, flashes from line to line with gleams of indomitable joy.

V. So THEN, WHEN CHRIST CALLS YOU TO SELF-SACRIFICE, HE CALLS YOU TO JOY AS WELL AS TO BLESSEDNESS. He takes from you no single element of natural and innocent joy: neither the joy of nature, nor of art, nor of youth, nor of healthy life; nay, He would illuminate, He would intensify ever)" one of these by expanding them to infinitude: or, if indeed He love you so much as to ask you for His sake to sacrifice them all, even then He gives you in the place of them a beatitude which no one can conceive save he who possesseth it. And yet, alas! how few accept this call; how many prefer the sin, which can only be got rid of by the sacrifice of self.

(Archdeacon Farrar.)

How is it possible for any ordinary man to grasp this whole question of sin — what it is in its essence as well as in its consequence -and to show how the death of Christ puts away sin? I cannot tell you everything contained in the word "sin"; but I can tell you enough to make it criminal for you to be a persistently wilful sinner. I cannot explore the deepest depths of redemption, but I can make it appear that redemption is an act in accord with our highest intuitions of what the Divine character should be; that assuming the Bible revelation that "God is love," redemption will be to that fact as consequence to cause. Now, it has been said, and with very good reason, that our views in regard to the fact of sin will affect everything else in our theology. In men generally we find two opposite conditions of feeling on this matter of sin. With one class the world is so full of sin that they can see nothing else greater than it. It fills their whole sphere of vision. Man is a sinner — more a sinner than a man. The world is black with sin, and this is the one overwhelming impression which the world makes upon them. At the opposite extreme we find a large class of men who make next to nothing of sin. The article of their creed most frequently proclaimed is, that there is a soul of goodness in all things evil. They try philosophically to evaporate the fact of sin in some such way as this. The body, being body, cannot sin, and the spirit, being an incorruptible essence, cannot sin, and, therefore, we have made a grand mistake. We are already in a sinless world. One cannot well believe that this kind of theological jugglery is very satisfactory even to those who practise it. Now they who see nothing greater than sin in the world must live lives of perpetual gloom bordering on despair. And they who make sin to be to the race as measles to the child can have no very adequate view of anything to which the word redemption can be properly applied. Sin is not by any means the greatest fact in this world's history, but it is a fact momentous and terrible, whether we regard it in relation to the individual, or to the race. If it were what the first class of whom I have spoken make it, would it not be a sufficient reason for arresting the further propagation and development of this race of man? But what I believe the providence of God teaches us, and what Scripture suggests, is this — that in every one born into this world there is more of man than of sin. No man is all sinner. It is not a convertible term, and, therefore, it seems to my own mind that the gloomiest views of man in his relation to sin are just as unrighteous, just as far astray from the truth, as those lax and shallow views which make sin to be as involuntary in its character as is physical disease. The men whose individuality God's Spirit specially prepared, that through it the voice of God might be heard in human tones, often speak of " sin" and "the sinner" — but how? Even in this wise — "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"; "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us"; "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men"; "I find a law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into subjection to the law of sin which is in my members." These, and many other passages that we might quote, all tend to show this — that sin is as much a spiritual fact as disease is a physical fact — a fact dark and dismal — not to be set aside as of little account, not to be explained away as though it were a mere figure of speech; but in Scripture there are other facts put alongside of sin, facts greater than sin, facts of man's relation to God, and God's relation to man, which make it impossible for the careful Bible student to despond, much less despair. Man is never identified with his sin as though it were a part of his very life. Man is a composite being, and sin is referred to as being an element that has entered into his nature altogether foreign to it — with which man's nature is, in some form or other, always at war — a poisonous element which his nature seeks to cast out, which it cannot assimilate. St. Paul was the spokesman for them all when he cried out, "Oh, wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me?" To him sin was a state of captivity from which man could not deliver himself. Therefore the cry for a deliverer. Therefore the assurance in his own soul that Jesus Christ was such a deliverer as he and all men needed. Theologians have been accustomed to speak of sin under two divisions, ,' original" and "actual." I will not trouble you with any such exposition of those terms as might be agreeable to speculators. I don't know that we can improve upon them. By "original sin" we mean that which belongs to us as being joined to a past sinful parentage — for who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean thing? Actual sin is that which belongs to us personally — which is our own. The tendency to sin was born in us; there can be no denial of that fact. That we have indulged the tendency is undeniable, too. Whence did we get this propulsion? From past generations. Some ancestor stood behind us with his vices, and pushed us forward. It seems unfair that we should be linked to the vices of the past, and we complain of it — perhaps try to shift our responsibility on to the fathers who are dead, perhaps excuse ourselves to ourselves by the consideration that the evil we recognise is not of our own origination. Let us remember that the channel down which the vice which plagues us has come was originally constructed for the transmission of virtue. The pipes laid from a great reservoir to a large city for the purposes of health may, by neglect, become the channel of disease; but who shall say that the original conduits were not constructed on principles of beneficence, and for purposes which justified themselves? No faculty of man was so made that it could sin and not suffer. The suffering that sooner or later follows sin, that suffering proclaims that some law of God has been broken. The more earnestly we penetrate into them, the more thoroughly are we convinced that God's ways justify themselves. The Creator has made this race of ours so much a unit, that if one member suffer all the members suffer with it, and if one member rejoice all the members rejoice with it. That separateness of man from man, that absolute individualism which is at the base of much practical religious error, is more an imagination than a fact. As one has well put the matter, "No creature is, so to speak, merely itself in the world. It is where it is, or what it is, as the result of an indefinite advance and appropriation of preceding forms of existence." We cannot throw the blame of our actual transgressions on any ancestor. It is our own. We feel it to be our own. This linking of man with man, of father with child, of one generation with another, is God's grand provision and protest against that selfish individualism which is ever trying to assert and justify itself at the expense of all our social affections. The philanthropies of society are set going by the presence of pain and woe. And thus a new and higher life is manifested as operative in society — a spirit not legal, not of the nature of naked justice, not an exacting, but a self-sacrificing, spirit. And mark, this philanthropic spirit is evoked outside, as well as inside, the areas of religious profession. Let us be thankful that in this, as in other ways, pain is a sort of unlicensed evangelist in the world inducing men to act Christianly who are averse to thinking Christianly. I always cherish the most sanguine hopes in respect to philanthropic men. Those who go with us a mile have always a slumbering disposition to go with us twain. Such persons cannot do the good they do without getting good. Neither can they go into the battle with pain and suffering without having the inquiry started in their own minds as to what all this suffering means. And surely at times the truth about its origin must flash across their spirits." A man or woman who goes about doing good must, all the time, be approaching nearer and nearer to those central truths which lie at the heart of things. We are thrown back upon the fact of sin in us, of a disorder not curable by the patient, not curable by any man or any body of men — curable, if at all, only by God. When it is put away as sin, it still remains in its consequences as disease. God has forgiven it as sin, for "Jesus hath put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Accepting Christ Jesus as our Lord and Redeemer, we begin to realise that sin, as sin, is forgiven. But we still feel its power; it is a disorder within. But a disorder in the Great Physician's hands, who has forgiven it, will deliver us from it. So that the very hopelessness of our case is the source of our confidence. We cannot forgive our own sin; therefore God our Father, out of His own nature, for His own sake, is sure to forgive when we apply for forgiveness. We cannot cure sin, and, therefore, He who always delights to help the helpless is sure to take the cure into His own hands.

(Reuen Thomas.)

I. THE PERSON WHO APPEARED, AND THE MANNER OF HIS MANIFESTATION TO THE WORLD. The original dignity of His nature we cannot fitly express but in the language o! the sacred Scriptures, which testify concerning Him. There He is declared as the only begotten Son of God, the brightness of the Father's glory, the express image of His person, the Word, that was God, by and for whom all things were created. This is that glorious Person whose manifestation in the world is celebrated in all the churches. When this Person condescends to visit the earth, He comes not apparelled in the majesty of Jehovah; no voice of thunder proclaims His descent from heaven, no clouds form themselves into chariots, no lightnings flash around Him; the hills melt not at His presence — all His glory is laid aside. Fulfilling the most gracious and friendly design for man, He appears in the likeness of man, that He may converse familiarly with his brethren, and with a most winning grace accomplish the generous ends of His mission.

II. THE DESIGN OF THE SACRIFICE — "to put away sin." For the redemption of a sinful world did the Son of God appear and suffer. There is no other way that we can fully account for our Lord's humiliation and death but the Scriptural fact that He appeared to put away sin by His sacrifice. What mean the presentiments of approaching evil which were expressed in the mournful complaint, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death"? What the exclamation on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" These violent agitations and horrors, in a mind so pure, so firm, so devout, and so magnanimous, must be ascribed to some awful cause; and to what other cause can we trace them, consistently with His character, than this, that He bore the sins of many, and that it pleased the Father to bruise Him with that anguish of soul which the guilt of a rebellious world deserved?" Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." The just, being made sin for us, suffered the penalty which the unjust might have been called to pay. It remains to be observed that Christ appeared to put away sin not only in its punishment, but in its guilt and dominion, that He might be a complete Saviour, and recover mankind from all their degeneracy, their corruption, their vice, that they might become worthy of the Divine favour, might enjoy all the felicity of which their nature is made capable, and be fit for the fellowship of the glorious spirits, who, as they excel in strength, excel in faithful obedience to the will of their Father, who loveth righteousness, and whose command is holy, just, and good.

III. THE TIME OF THIS DISPENSATION. "Now once in the end of the world." It pleased the wisdom and mercy of the Almighty, by various and progressive discipline, and dispensations of religion, to prepare the world for the appearance of the Messiah. This is called "the last days, the fulness of the time, the end of the world," literally, the end or perfection of the ages. The condition of the Church under the personal administration of the Son of man is the last of all, the most glorious and perfect, and is therefore called the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. No propitiation shall supersede that of Jesus. No advocate rises after Him to plead our cause. There is no refuge for the unbelieving, who obey not the truth; the wrath of God abideth in them. Their obstinacy cannot set aside the statute of heaven, whereby Jesus is ordained to be both Lord and Christ. Their rejection of Him as a Redeemer cannot save them from appearing before Him as a Judge. Were the gospel but the beginning of a system, the opening of a plan; were it in anything imperfect; did its language indicate alteration and improvement at a subsequent period, then there might be reason to fear that if ever this alteration did take place, when the improvement was engrafted on the original design, some change might be necessary in your conduct; much, perhaps, to unlearn; something new to acquire, after your habits were fixed and your powers decayed; that your faith might be vain; that the principles of your conduct, and the life formed on them, might be unavailing to your spiritual comfort and eternal welfare. No such cause of uneasiness can ever agitate the Christian's mind. The gospel comes to wind up the gracious plan of heaven. Through many intermediate parts it has advanced to indestructible perfection. From the faint light dawning without the gates of paradise it has brightened to the splendour of noonday, whose sun shall never set; even the Sun of Righteousness, whose beams are the healing of the nations.

(L. Adamson, D. D.)

Said a lady to an unhappy man, "There is a great difference between your religion and mine; yours consists of two letters, D-O, and mine consists of four, D-O-N-E."

(J. H. Brooks, D. D.)

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