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burned up.

so shall it be when the Son of Man is revealed. The heavens being on fire shall melt; the earth alsó, and the works that are therein, shall be

What Sodom was (writes Bishop Horne), the world shall be. And when, in the last day, we shall arise and look towards the place, we shall behold a sight like that which presented itself to Abraham- the smoke of the country going up as the smoke of a furnace !

May that same all - gracious, merciful God, Who, when He destroyed the cities of the plain, remembered Abraham, and how he had interceded and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow -may that same God, when He visits this our world to destroy it, remember His Son Jesus Christ, and His death and sufferings, and for His dear sake deliver us, and all who have believed in Him, and waited for Him, and save us out of the midst of the overthrow, and preserve us unhurt, not a hair of our head singed, unto His everlasting kingdom!




HEB. ix. 11, 12. Christ being come an high-priest of good things to come, by

a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

In this eloquent but somewhat difficult passage we have drawn out, and set side-by-side in the broadest contrast, the greatness and sufficiency of Christ's priesthood and Christ's sacrifice, and the weakness and insufficiency of that which was the type and shadow of it- the Jewish priesthood and the Jewish sacrifice.

To understand it aright, we must bear in mind what St. Paul's object is throughout the Epistle to the Hebrews; even this, to assert and exhibit the superior excellence of the Christian dispensation, as compared with the Jewish : which latter, he says, was wared old and ready to vanish away.

Accordingly, he contrasts the two at every turn; and in that particular part of the epistle which comes before us to-day he institutes a comparison between the Christian and the Jewish covenants, in respect of their several means of approaching God : so bringing out, with the greatest possible force, the superiority of the new dispensation.

Under both covenants there were appointed channels of communication with God, means by which sinful man was emboldened to draw near and offer service to his Maker.

Let us, first, see what these were under the old or Mosaic dispensation. There was a tabernacle, afterwards a temple, or place for divine servicethe worldly sanctuary, as it is called, by way of contrast to the heavenly one. This tabernacle was divided across by a vail or curtain. Into the first and larger part the priests went always, accomplishing the service of God. But into the other and lesser part, the Holy of Holies, no one was allowed to go but the high-priest alone, and he only once a-year-on the great day of atonement. In going, he took with him blood — .

, the blood of an animal slain for a sin-offering; rather, of two animals—the blood of a bullock, as

a sin-offering for himself and his house ; and the blood of a goat, as a sin-offering for the whole people. (Levit. xvi.) After this offering thus made by the high-priest alone, the uncleanness of Israel was done away, as far as it could be done away. They were, by virtue of that act, restored to the condition of an acceptable people — they were ceremonially pure before God.

But that was all. The conscience burdened with secret sin still remained unrelieved. The inward sense of defilement was not done away. At the best it was but lulled, soothed ; just as we soothe men in great suffering by an opiate. The remedy is short-lasting. The opiate works off, and the pain begins to gnaw again. So surely must it have been with the Israelites. The sense of sin, deadened for a while by the high-priest's offering of blood, would be sure to awake and trouble them again. And though, as if on purpose to meet this re-awakening of conscience, the atonement was often renewed, and year by year the high-priest entered into the holy place with the blood of others; though year by year the sacrifice was repeated, and another bullock and another goat slain and offered ; yet, as far as purging the conscience went, all would be in vain. It was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins !

And how could it? Even under the old dispensation this truth had made itself felt. Sacrifice, and meat-offering, thou wouldest not: burnt-offerings, and sacrifice for sin, hast thou not required; are the words of David in the 40th Psalm. And this is the language which Isaiah puts in the mouth of God, — To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.

To what purpose, then, was this done? why these bloody rites and yearly-repeated sacrifices, if they could not take away sins—if they could not purge the worshipper? They served for an example. They were types and shadows of that one great Sacrifice which in due time should be made, and which should effect what they could not effect, in that they were weak: which should, indeed, take away sins !

! And this brings me to the other side of this contrast.

We have seen what the method of approachiñng God was under the old dispensation; we have seen how insufficient and unsatisfactory it must have been : let us now look at the means of 'approaching God under the new, or Christian covenant, as set forth in the passage before us.

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