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that was dead and is alive again, stands now before God in the value of all he did on the cross for us, a Lamb as it had been slain.

See again how the value of this truth tells on what follows in chap. ii. That one should have been humbled, as Jesus was, is no so great wonder; but that one, who was what Jesus was- "Jesus the Son of God” — should have been “made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every one”: this is a thing calling upon us, like Moses, to turn aside and see the great sight.

What value of grace again does it put upon his priesthood, who, like Aaron, became “a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” What strength, too! “ Having a great high priest (chap. iv.) that is passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." He is able to help us all through.

See the further testimony to his glory (chap. iii), the contrast between Moses, “the house," and He that built the house, that builded all things, which is God, even Jesus.

Then, again, what a lively type does Melchisedek present of Him, standing solitary, and alone, “ without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.” The tenderness of the Aaronic, the strength of the Melchisedek priesthood, both unite in Him.

“ Join all the glorious names,

Of wisdom love, and power," etc. "Set down (in chap. viii.) on the right hand of th throne of the majesty in the heavens, a minister of the true sanctuary” shaking both earth and heaven (in chap. xii). Great in his humiliation, great in his priesthood, great in his kingdom, great in Himself.

may remark, that whilst John sets before us the Son of God in his love, Hebrews, I think, sets before us the Son of God in his power.

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How sweet to know, that though thus great, yet is it true, what the Psalmist said of him: “ Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips; therefore God hath blessed thee for ever (Psalm xlv).

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." It is the same Jesus, who was meek and lowly in heart-giving rest to the weary and heavy-laden. It is the same Jesus, who " by himself purged our sins” — with whom we are united, “bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh.” May we know him increasingly! May we come increasingly “into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God (Eph. iv.), that so we may be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” May we know Him more in His grace and love, taking our proper place, like the poor woman, washing His feet with our tears; being increasingly, too, conformed to Him in His meekness and grace, and telling forth His salvation and love to perishing sinners.

A PRAYER.
Accept, O Lord, the simple prayer,

Which in Thine ear we pour;
Behold! it is our souls' desire

To know Thee more and more!
We know that we are Thine, O Lord,

Redeem'd with Thine own blood;
We know that we shall shortly be

For ever with our God.
But we would prove our fellowship,

E'en here, from hour to hour;
Would catch the Spirit's “Abba” cry,

And taste His heav'nly power.
So should our souls with holy love,

And deepest peace abound,
And we shine forth, O Lord, and yield

A light to all around!

G.

NO. VIII.

THE CONDITION OF ISRAEL DURING THE

PROPHECIES OF MALACHI.

One of the first lessons that Israel was taught by Jehovah was, “ I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me; and before all the people I will be glorified.”

In the ninth of Leviticus, Aaron and his sons enter upon their service, according to the commandment of the Lord by Moses. The offerings were accepted; 23rd verse,

6 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people: and there came a fire out from before the Lord and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering, and the fat, which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.'

Immediately upon this, we have an account of the sin of Nadab and Abihu. Chap. x.—“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them

And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held

not.

his peace.

This vindication of the holiness of God should have served for Israel all along, up to the remotest part of their history. It was God's standard. He changed not. We see a corresponding lesson taught to the Church in its early days, in the case of Ananias and Sapphira; God then vindicated his holiness against their sin. The same judgments may not have fallen on like sins during the apostasy of the Church; but God has not changed. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed

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speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”

The spirit of God by Malachi, reproves the people for the way in which they were carrying on the worship of God. Those who had come up from Babylon in answer to the call of God, had in the midst of much weakness reared the temple; and their sin was not that the doors of the temple were closed, but this:“Who is there among you, that would shut the doors for nought? neither do you

kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand." They were not rebuked for not offering sacrifices. “ But ye have profaned my name, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even His meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it!

and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord.” They had their priests, but the word to them was, “ The priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of Hosts. Therefore, have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.”

The judgments of God had interrupted the idolatrous course which Israel for so many generations had followed. Those judgments had cleared the land of its idols. The people, on their return, had started afresh; and, alas! this is what they had come to—the form of godliness without

Their conscience had fallen, too. When the prophet charges all these things home upon them, they do not own their sin, nor bow before the word of God. It was a tender way in which the Spirit of God spoke. “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour ? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of Hosts unto

the power.

we

you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?” and when the word of mercy was spoken to them—“ Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord,” they said "Wherein shall we return?” It was the conscience of Israel in the midst of such corruption, that left their case hopeless. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Self-justification and self-righteousness widen the breach between God and man. The pride of the human heart dislikes to be told of sin; it dislikes, still more, to own it: acknowledgment of sin must precede blessing. “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord : though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished” (Prov. xvi. 5). This state of things in the sanctuary had its fruit in the character of the people. “Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts. And now we call the proud happy ; yea, they that work wickedness are set up ; yea, they

tempt God are even delivered.” Bad religion, bad conscience, and bad walk are linked together. Israel had got away from God; they were not walking with God. The light of God's glory-manifested when Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord they were not walking in; therefore all this evil. It is by the fear of the Lord that men depart from evil” (Prov. xvi. 6). “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it; and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the Lord and that thought upon His name.” 6. The condition of Israel at this time necessarily threw those that regarded the honour of the name of God outside.Those, who with the Psalmist could say—“How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King, VOL.III. PT.I.

5

that

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