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before me, to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God; they shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge." We thus have the fulfilment of the denunciation, though all the particulars of the extent of the sufferings are not mentioned. We cannot, however, doubt that it was even as it was said that it should be. What Eli saw in the case of his sons was a dreadful earnest, that not one tittle should pass away without a literal and exact fulfilment. And in this we again notice the retributive dealings of God. The sin of Eli's sons, the sin which Eli made his own by connivance, and for which Eli's posterity suffered, was luxury and covetousness, and the punishment inflicted was poverty and starvation; the very points in which the sin was committed. Let us observe then, in all these respects, how fully and how certainly, notwithstanding the length of time which may intervene, will God's word be fulfilled, and his sentence inflicted. In this case he says, "When I begin I will also finish," and the first commencement of the fulfilment of his word, was but the prelude to its full and minute accomplishment. Let us notice further how far the consequences of neglect of God may extend. This is set forth in the second commandment, that the third and fourth generation may partake temporally in the benefit or in the misery of our conduct. A powerful motive to us is this, whether as individuals or as a nation, 2 Ezek. xliv. 15, 16.
31 Sam. iii. 12.
to "give unto the LORD "the glory due unto his name."4
But to apply this subject more closely to ourselves. Why were these things written, but to set before us the principles upon which God acts, and to put us upon our guard? The FIRST and primary application of the subject may be to PARENTS, to show them the awful consequences of neglecting the early years of their children, and of suffering them to dishonour God. The SECOND great application of the subject may be to ALL those who are IN AUTHORITY, of whatever kind, to take care that God be glorified, and to warn them that the neglect of this will not go unpunished. But the principle extends far beyond the case of the parent, the priest, or the prince; it is one of UNIVERSAL application, and demonstrates that in whatever way we can honour God, if we neglect to do so, we shall feel the consequences. Blessed be God, it cannot be said of us, that our iniquity "shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever." It has been purged. A ransom has been offered, and a ransom has been accepted. I say not that all temporal consequences of our neglect can be averted, this does not form a part of the promise of forgiveness and restoration; but I say that, whatever temporal consequences are allowed to continue, they will work together for good to the penitent believer, and instead of punishment will be no more than the parent's chastisement to correct and amend the erring child; and that all
4 Ps. xxix. 2.
5 1 Sam. ii. 14.
the eternal consequences of our sin are removed from us "as far as is the east from the west," by the one full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice which Jesus has made by the offering of himself. There is indeed one that "abideth a Priest continually." And you shall not crouch to him, nor ask for bread at his hand in vain. He will give you "the true bread which came down from heaven." He may indeed say, as Peter did, "Silver and gold have I none," but he will bestow upon you something better, "gold tried in the fire," "the unsearchable riches of Christ."2 He is not a rival, an enemy in God's habitation, but a friend, whose entrance there is not the ground of your exclusion, but of your admission; for he "is entered there as your fore," and his being there is the pledge that you shall be there also." He ministers before the anointed, and he is the anointed himself, the priest and the king of his people. O come to him then, all ye that have neglected him, he will "remember no more your iniquities,' " but "blot out as a cloud you that have honoured, honour him still more, for if it be here said, that "he that despiseth him shall be lightly esteemed," it is also said, that "him that honoureth him he will honour,” and that with the honour which alone is worth our seeking, "the honour that cometh from God only."
HEBREWS ix. 11, 12.
BUT CHRIST BEING COME AN HIGH PRIEST OF GOOD THINGS TO COME, BY A GREATER AND MORE PERFECT TABERNACLE, NOT MADE WITH HANDS, THAT IS TO SAY, NOT OF THIS BUILDING; NEITHER BY THE BLOOD of GoatS AND CALVES, BUT BY HIS OWN BLOOD HE ENTERED IN ONCE INTO THE HOLY PLACE, HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US.
THERE is something peculiar in the character of the Epistle to the Hebrews, from a portion of which I am now about to address you. It is not directed to any particular church or person, as were the other epistles of St. Paul; neither is it addressed generally to "the strangers scattered abroad," as were the epistles of St. Peter; yet, it is evidently addressed to professing believers, and those, as we may pronounce from the train of reasoning contained in it, gathered out of the Jewish church. That it appeals to those, who had laid hold of the hope of life in Christ, is plain from the expressions interspersed throughout the epistle, which recognise those to whom the apostle writes, as "holy brethren, and partakers of the heavenly calling." It is, indeed,
1 Heb iii. 1.
throughout, an exhortation to Christians, urging them to further advancement in christian duties and privileges, and leading them to a fuller acquaintance with their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by opening to them the hidden and spiritual meaning of many of the institutions of the law and pointing out to them the analogies which existed between the type and the antitype; between that which God delivered and established by the hand of Moses, and the greater and more glorious things which were to be fulfilled and realized in the person of Christ. The epistle is, in fact, an illustration of the great principles of the gospel, and an exposition of its doctrines, founded either on the contrast or the comparison which the institutions of the law afforded. In the passage before us, we find the apostle arguing as from an admitted fact, that Christ was come; and that he was come in the peculiar character of the High Priest of his people. This he sets out with, as a point not to be questioned, that he who was prophesied of, as "he that should come," was come, and that "the fulness of the time" had arrived, as might have been most clearly perceived by those who were acquainted with the signs and evidences given to fix this period; the sceptres departing from Judah; the existence of the second temple; the completion of the weeks of Daniel. All these signs, it was abundantly clear, were fulfilled, and shewed not only that he "was come," ," but that he was come as the High Priest of his people, and the eternal High Priest, according to the prophecy,
2 Matt. xi. 3.
3 Gal. iv. 4.