时间：<2020-07-11 15:13:54 作者：9h韩艺人遭总统封杀ewm 浏览量：9777
In this present world we are in a mixed condition, and however truly we may be walking with God, there is the old man and the old nature left. It is just the same with us as it was of old with Canaan. Israel had taken possession, but the Canaanites were still in the land. So, even when the Lord Jesus has taken possession of the heart, there are sins still abiding there—tempers, lusts, covetousness, selfishness, pride, and a thousand others—some prevailing in one character and some in another. Now of all these the Christian man must be prepared to make a sacrifice—his temper, his pride, his ambition, his covetousness, his self-love; he must be prepared to bring all to the altar, without mercy and without reserve. Thus, in Col. iii. 5, St. Paul addresses those who are risen with Christ, and says, “Mortify therefore,” or put to death, or sacrifice, “your members which are of the flesh: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” There is no occasion to be shut up within the walls of a nunnery for this; nor will the walls of a nunnery p. 37in the least help us to it, for they are just as effectual in shutting sin in as in shutting it out. Here is work for home life, and for all classes in home life—for husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants: we all have our great temptations, so we all have to throw ourselves heart and soul into the great struggle, and with an unsparing hand deal resolutely with besetting sin.
Such, then, is the contrast, and such the reason for it. What, then, are we to think of the teaching of the Church of Rome when it says,—“In this divine sacrifice which is performed in the Mass, that same Christ is contained, and sacrificed without blood, who once, with blood, offered Himself upon the altar of the Cross?”  And again:—“If any man shall say that the sacrifice is not propitiatory, and profits the receiver only, and ought not to be offered for the living and the dead, for sins, punishments, satisfaction, and other necessities, let him be anathema?” Now, what do these passages teach?But now, believing that there is no change whatever in the bread and wine—that the bread remains bread, and the wine wine, what shall we say of the practice of adoring the bread as God Himself? What can we say of it? What is our duty to say of it? I doubt not that some may think me very uncharitable and bigoted, but these are days in which the truth must be spoken, and that truth I firmly believe to be that such worship is idolatry. I do not doubt that many are sincere and conscientious in adopting it. But that does not touch the question. Sincerity does not prove truth. Are there none sincere when they sacrifice their lives under the car of Juggernaut? Was not Saul of Tarsus sincere when he persecuted the Lord Jesus in the persons of His people? I fully admit likewise that the worship may in some be based on a deep sense of love and reverence for our blessed Lord. But, again, that does not touch the question. If it is bread, it is idolatry to worship it as God. If it be still a lifeless wafer, it is idolatry to adore it as a living Saviour. God forbid that I should speak harshly of many who have set us an example of self-denial; and p. 16it is in no harsh spirit that I speak as I do. We should rather feel the most tender compassion for conscientious persons, who have been thus misled. But whatever we may think of motives, it is impossible to alter the facts, and I see not how we can avoid the conclusion that such worship is an awful sin in the sight of God. It is almost impossible to turn aside the stern reproof of God by the ministry of His prophets, Isa. xliv. 16, 17: “He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.”They could never, therefore, satisfy the conscience; as you read, Heb; x. 1, 2:—“For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged shall have had no more conscience of sins.”
Heb. x. 12.When I drew your attention to this text on Sunday last, I pointed out the two great subjects contained in it, viz. the work of atonement completed by our blessed Lord on earth, and His present session at the right hand of God. The latter of these we studied on Sunday last, but the former is of such vast importance to every one of us that it would be wrong to leave the passage without devoting this morning to the careful examination of it.
It is, of course, impossible to attempt a discussion of the whole subject, so that we must confine our thoughts to the lessons from this one passage,—“He hath committed to us the ministry of reconciliation;” and there will be in it quite sufficient important matter, as the words will suggest three most important points,—the authority of the ministry, the object of the ministry, and the means by which that object is accomplished.Now all this is complete—it is finished; it was a Divine act, and man can add nothing to it. But, notwithstanding all this boundless mercy, man remains unchanged—a sinner still, and an alien from God. Though by atonement God is legally reconciled to him, he remains, through ignorance and hardness of heart, unreconciled to God; as far from life, therefore, as if nothing had ever been done for his salvation. And now you see at once the office of the ministry. The minister of reconciliation is to be the bearer to his fellow-sinners of the great reconciliation wrought out for us in Christ Jesus. He is employed by the Holy Ghost as a human instrument for bringing those who are still unreconciled into the sacred privilege of reconciliation with God. Sinners reconciled to God, therefore, are the great result of the ministry. It is very delightful to see a full church and attentive congregation; very encouraging to see large schools well taught and well filled—a very great cause of thankfulness to see kindness p. 55and good feeling prevailing in a parish. But all these things fall short of the great result. The real result is the reconciliation of precious souls to the Lord Jesus Christ by the blood of atonement shed for their sins on the cross. The real result is conversion to God, a new birth by the power of the Holy Ghost; and if that be wanting, though all beside seem prosperous, the minister of reconciliation should be brought on his knees with great searching of heart, and never rest till he can look on precious souls reconciled to God, to whom he may say, as St. Paul did to the Corinthians, “Such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”There are many points of deep instruction in this passage, but we have not time to dwell on them. Here is the foundation of the whole message, viz. a double imputation—the imputation of sin to the Lord Jesus, and the imputation of righteousness to all that are in Him. p. 67There is the tender earnestness of entreaty, which does not merely lay the message before the sinner and leave it there, but with a compassionate urgency in the Lord’s name beseeches and entreats. And there is the most remarkable fact, that these words are not addressed to the heathen, or to those who had never heard of Christ; but to a Church of professing believers, all baptized into the name of Jesus: so that we are brought to the conclusion, that amongst the baptized Christians in the Church of Corinth there were those to whom it was still needful to make the appeal—“We beseech you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Does not that fact teach us, that amongst ourselves the same message may be equally necessary, and that, although we are all baptized, and all professing Christians, there are yet those amongst us who must be brought back to the great elementary question of their reconciliation to God; for they are not yet reconciled, and not yet accepted through His grace? To all such persons, then, must we speak as St. Paul did; and if any present are not yet reconciled, not yet forgiven, not yet justified before God, look, we beseech you, at the cross of Christ; look at His substitution of p. 68Himself for sinners; look at the hope of full forgiveness set before you through His blood; and listen, I implore you, to the words spoken by His own authority,—“As though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
It follows, therefore, that the subject of the ministry is one respecting which it is of great importance that our views should be scriptural. And yet, for obvious reasons, it is one seldom preached upon. The great object of the servant of the Lord is to throw Self out of sight; and it is so hard to disconnect the office from the office p. 48bearer, that too little is often said about the office from the fear that too much attention should be drawn to the man. It will be well, therefore, for us to take the subject of the ministry for our careful study this morning. And may God enable me so to speak, and you so to hear, that we may all receive God’s word in faith, and may, together, be compacted as a holy people in the Lord!Nor, again, is this sacrifice the means whereby the great sacrifice is applied to the soul. This p. 41is a more common idea than the other, and one prevailing among many who are thoroughly opposed to Popery. It is in harmony with human nature to suppose that we must make our sacrifice in order to gain a share of the blessings of His. Thus people will sometimes give up, first one thing, and then another, hoping by these sacrifices to find peace through the blood of atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have no idea of being saved through anything but the great sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ; but they consider that they must make their sacrifice in order to secure the application of his work to themselves. This is the principle of almost all self-imposed mortifications. People hope through them to be partakers of reconciliation through the great atonement. Yet none of these things satisfy the soul. I have myself known persons who have resolutely made the effort, but utterly failed. They have become anxious about their soul, and set to work to reach the cross of Christ by personal self-denial. They have given up their different pursuits one by one; but at length they have found that nothing has done them any good. They have been just as far from the peace of reconciliation as they p. 42were the day they began. None of these sacrifices had helped them in the least. No, and none could help them. Nothing could help them but a free justification through faith, and faith alone; and that, thank God! at last they have found sufficient. And so will every other guilty sinner who throws himself in utter helplessness, to be freely forgiven, and freely saved, by the great grace of God in Christ Jesus. Let none suppose, then, that any sacrifice which we can render can ever make us partakers of the great salvation once purchased by the one sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This salvation is given on altogether different terms. It is given as a free gift to those who can produce nothing; a gift bestowed in unfettered mercy on those who can only say, in the language of the hymn:—
Now, on what does all this tremendous fabric rest? What is there in the word of God to warrant it? What is there in the Scriptures of truth to give a sanction to such a system? So far as the word of God is concerned all hangs on the one text, “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.” p. 12To these words Romanists appeal again and again, as if they taught the doctrine, whereas the most cursory study of the different passages in which they are contained is sufficient to show that they mean nothing of the kind.I. On the authority of the ministry this text is perfectly clear; for the Apostle traces it to no human source when he says, “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” The ministry, therefore, is a gift from God, and not a plan of human contrivance. It is not an arrangement adopted p. 49by the great Christian society as a means for its own improvement, but it is an institution by the authority of the Founder of that society, God Himself. Both the office and the men are gifts from God. In this passage he speaks of the office, and says, “God hath given us the ministry of reconciliation;” and in v. 19, “hath committed to us the word of reconciliation.” The men, therefore, received their office from their God. Just so he said to Archippus (Col. iv. 17), “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.” But perhaps the most striking passage on this subject is St. Paul’s address to the elders of the Church of Ephesus, in Acts, xx. 28; for he there teaches not merely that the ministry in general was given to these elders, but that they had been made by the Holy Ghost overseers of that particular people amongst whom they were called to labour. “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood.” Now, bear in mind that these persons were not apostles, nor persons holding any extraordinary office, as some did in those early days, but ordinary p. 50clergymen; some, probably, ordained by St. Paul himself, and some by Timothy, appointed to labour together amongst the rapidly increasing church in the large heathen town; and mark well the fact, that the Apostle does not say, “To which I appointed you,” or “to which Timothy appointed you,” but he regards the appointment as from God Himself, and says, “Whereof the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.”
A glance at the text will show us that it refers to two subjects; the completeness of the sacrifice offered on the cross, as in the words, “after He had offered one sacrifice for sin for ever,” and the present session at the right hand of God; as in the words, “sat down at the right hand of God.” It is the second of these that we shall study this morning.For the decision of this point, let us compare the 18th and 19th verses. In v. 18 we read,—“God hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” But in v. 19 there is a slight variation; but one of great importance in the exposition of the passage; for we there find—“Hath committed to us the word of reconciliation.” The word of reconciliation, therefore, is the substance of the ministry: the grand work is to make known the perfect reconciliation wrought out for us in Christ Jesus, to act on the example set us by St. Paul himself, when he burst out in the grand appeal which follows, and said,—“Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ. As though God did beseech you by us, we pray p. 63you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled unto God.”
Heb. x. 12.2. But the sacrifice goes farther, and involves the dedication of our powers to the Lord’s most sacred service. The text implies this when it says, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” There is clearly, therefore, to be service,—a service involving the active use of human powers. In some cases the body has been actually surrendered to bleed, or burn, in martyrdom. Many a noble man of God has given his body to be burnt rather than acknowledge the doctrine of the Mass. To this, however, we are not called. But still there may be sacrifice without martyrdom, dedication without death, and such a surrender of the living powers as may correspond to the description, “That they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him that died p. 38for them, and rose again.” This is the secret of the missionary spirit; this it is which has led some of the noblest young men in our Universities to abandon all home prospects, and to devote their whole lives to the great work of proclaiming Christ in distant lands. This, again, is the spirit that at this present time is stirring thousands of our own people at home, devoted men and devoted women, to spend their lives labouring for God, helping the poor, comforting the afflicted, nursing the sick, and striving in every possible way to make known the sweetness of the sacred Name which has brought life and peace to their own souls.
I. On the authority of the ministry this text is perfectly clear; for the Apostle traces it to no human source when he says, “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” The ministry, therefore, is a gift from God, and not a plan of human contrivance. It is not an arrangement adopted p. 49by the great Christian society as a means for its own improvement, but it is an institution by the authority of the Founder of that society, God Himself. Both the office and the men are gifts from God. In this passage he speaks of the office, and says, “God hath given us the ministry of reconciliation;” and in v. 19, “hath committed to us the word of reconciliation.” The men, therefore, received their office from their God. Just so he said to Archippus (Col. iv. 17), “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.” But perhaps the most striking passage on this subject is St. Paul’s address to the elders of the Church of Ephesus, in Acts, xx. 28; for he there teaches not merely that the ministry in general was given to these elders, but that they had been made by the Holy Ghost overseers of that particular people amongst whom they were called to labour. “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood.” Now, bear in mind that these persons were not apostles, nor persons holding any extraordinary office, as some did in those early days, but ordinary p. 50clergymen; some, probably, ordained by St. Paul himself, and some by Timothy, appointed to labour together amongst the rapidly increasing church in the large heathen town; and mark well the fact, that the Apostle does not say, “To which I appointed you,” or “to which Timothy appointed you,” but he regards the appointment as from God Himself, and says, “Whereof the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.”And let me add, that I believe there are many troubled consciences who would find great assistance in their difficulties if they acted more on the advice of the Communion Service. It is a hard thing to bear a burden alone, and I am thoroughly persuaded there are many who might find great help under serious and painful difficulties from the confidential opening of the heart’s wound to a clergyman or Christian p. 66friend. I have known many such cases, and I believe that our just dread of the Romish confessional—and no one can dread it more than I do—combined with our national shyness of character, cuts off many from that which might be an important help to them in their anxious struggle for the peace of God.
I verily believe that the fact of this Divine appointment of the ministry is too often forgotten; and that thereby God’s people—and more particularly God’s faithful ministers—often miss the great encouragement to be derived from it. There is a tendency in some minds to suppose that God gives a special blessing on irregular efforts, and that the stated ministry of God’s word in church is not accompanied by the same blessing as the preaching of laymen in town-halls, iron-rooms, and theatres. God forbid that I should speak with the smallest disrespect of these irregular efforts, for I rejoice in the zeal of those who make them, and I firmly believe that in many cases God has greatly blessed them; so that, if only these gentlemen would but be content to act with God’s appointed p. 51ministry, instead of taking their own course entirely independent of it, I believe we might, with great advantage to ourselves and our people, avail ourselves of their devotedness and power. But it would be a sin to believe that God’s blessing is limited in any way to that which is irregular; that the only fleece on which the dew fails to distil is that which He Himself has placed to catch it. If He Himself has given us our ministry, if He has made us overseers of the flock, it would be doubting the fundamental principles of Divine fidelity to believe that having called us, having placed us, and having Himself given us our great commission, He would leave us to struggle on alone, untaught, unaided, and unblessed by the presence and power of the Holy Ghost. We may apply to the ministry what St. Paul says to the Christian,—“Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it;” and all of us, whether ministers or people, while we look for great gifts, great blessings, and great results, may rest assured that God is faithful, and will never leave those whom He Himself has appointed for His work.THE MASS.The reconciliation of God to the sinner has been wrought out for us by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the great work of God incarnate, and He wrought it alone, in His great sacrifice of propitiation. Of this part of the work, therefore, the Apostle says,—“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.”