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Abel s Sacrifice.

Abel s Sacrifice.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY THE REV. JOHN RATTENBURY.



" By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his
gifts : and by it he being dead yet speaketh." HEBREWS xi. 4.

BY THE REV. JOHN RATTENBURY.



" By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his
gifts : and by it he being dead yet speaketh." HEBREWS xi. 4.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 20, 2013
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ABEL S SACRIFICE.BY THE REV. JOH RATTEBURY." By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of hisgifts : and by it he being dead yet speaketh." HEBREWS xi. 4.THESE words may well make us think of time, itschanges, its rapid flights, its generations, time future,and time past. We deal with the past this evening. Weleap in rapid thought from this generation of living,active, thoughtful men, far back, probably to the timewhen there were not so many families upon earth as thereare now gathered in this house. We go back to the firstfamily, and consider its startling history, and its mournfuldevelopments of the apostasy of our first parents. Thishousehold is a kind of type of most families upon earth, showing in one person grace received, and in another grace resisted.One of a house is found good, another bad ; one yielding tothe influences of the Spirit, another yielding to unhallowedtemper and to sin ; one dying as a saint in the faith, andanother dying under the curse of God. Such is the mournfulhistory of human families.We are not about to take the dark side of the historybefore us ; but the passage upon which we shall attempt todwell gives us rather the side of hope, as it furnishes tous one of the clearest and most graphic views of the wayto Divine acceptance, the way to Divine favour and reward.The chapter before us, as a whole, is remarkable for its onegreat leading thought, namely, that the good, from the first
 
152 ABELS SACRIFICE.believer, Abel, through every succeeding time and age, haveattained to their goodness by one means, by the recognitionof one great revealed principle, by a living faith in God. Weconceive that that was the prominent reason for the writingof this chapter, which gives to us an enumeration of some of the most prominent men that had lived in all times, in orderto show that their worthiness, their holiness, their honour,their power, all proceeded from this living, penitent apprehension of the Divine Redeemer, even the trust of theirhearts in Him. This thought will be brought out further inthe more circumstantial allusion in the passage before us.The apostle introduces the two brothers, Cain and Abel,and he says that Abel " by faith offered unto God a moreexcellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witnessthat he was righteoas, God testifying of his gifts." owhere is a positive statement of the superiority of Abel s offering to that of his elder brother. In what did this supeiiorityconsist ? We shall show it partly from the passage beforeus, and observeI. THAT HIS SACRIFICE WAS OFFERED I COFORMITY TOTHE DIVIE WILL. He " offered unto God a more excellentsacrifice than Cain." The principle of sacrifice, is to betraced from the beginning after the apostasy. We have scarcelyan intimation of the first revelation of God to man. Theoft-quoted promise, that the seed of the woman should bruisethe serpent s head, declared the grace of the method of humanacceptance after Adam and his wife had forfeited the Divinefavour and been excluded from Paradise. The infinite wisdomof God in arranging for this method of restoration for expelledman we may not now enter upon. But the principle that runsthrough the entire Scripture the line of glory everywhere isthat guilty, fallen man should be recovered and restored bythe shedding of blood. Men may question the types, andspeak of the Omniscient shedding the blood of a lamb, ora goat, or a calf; but it is enough that such things weresignificant allusions to the one sacrifice to be made at theend of the world, and declared the one way of personal
 
salvation. ow here it was that the superiority of Abel soffering to Cain s appeared.Let us deal fairly with Cain. There are many men worsethan he was up to a certain time. It is evident that he wasABELS SACRIFICE. 153a man who gave himself to public worship ; for he did makean offering to God. The passage we have just read to yousays that he brought of the fruit of the ground. He wasby no means an infidel. There are thousands of men in ourown day who have more of the mark of the beast upon themthan he had. There was a fear of God, with a willingness topresent an offering to the Lord. One would think he was asomewhat respectable religionist, and had delight in hisrespectability, desiring everything to be done in order. Hewas the firstborn man, and might glory in his strong arms, inhis vigorous intellect, in his skilful culture of the ground, inthe rich and luxurious fruits that he could bring as a presentto the Lord. He was generous enough. If you take meremoney value, perhaps his offering of the fruit of the groundwas equal to the lambs that Abel brought ; but he was aformal religionist, who gloried in human nature, though hedid not fail to acknowledge his God and present an offeringto Him.And why was not he accepted ? Because there was theone great weakness or failure, which you find not in the caseof his younger brother, that he had no sense of sin. Therewas no feeling of the pride and malice which must have beenthere, for they were soon hurried into murder, or of the jealousyand envy of the carnal or fallen nature. He was respectableenough ; but there was in him a heart dead in trespasses andsins ; and he felt no need of a Saviour. There was no call forhim with his sense of form and dignity and order and worship,to weep for fear of destruction, and prostrate himself beforethe Lord. But in the case of the younger brother you have

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