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Levit. XVI. 34. And this sháll be an everlasting statute unto yoUy to make an atonement for the children of Israel^ for all their sins, once a year. This chapter, wlrich closes with the verse I have read to you, coutains an account of the annual Day of Atonement, and of the ceremonies with which it was to be observed. This was one of the most important and interesting days in the whole Jewish calendar. It is deserving of the closest attention, for it sets forth most of the great pecuKarities of the gospel in a very strikiug light. • I wiU describe to you, on the first head of this sermon, the circumstauces peculiar to the day, and, on the second, the ceremonies with which it was to be observed. And then
186 THE DAY OF ATO EME T. I wiU conclade with an application of them to the truths of the gospel. I. 1. On the first head I observe, in the fírst place, that this was the onl j day in the whole year on which the high priest was permitted to enter into the most holy place of the tabemacle. We read in the second verse, " And the Lord said unto Moses, speak unto Aaron thy brother> that he come not at all times into the holy place within the veil, before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark, that he die not." The apostle, writing to the Hebrews, notices this circumstance, and shews what it intimated, he says, ^^ The príests went always into the fírst tabemacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high príest alone once
every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and the errors of the people : the Holy Ghost thus signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not jeí made manifest, while as the fírst taberaacle was yet standing." The ninth and tenth chapters of that epistle enter into a consideration of all the most remarkable ceremonies of this
THE DAY OF ATO EME T, 187 great annual solemnity^ and shew us how we are to view them as coimected with the richer mercies and superior grace of the gospeL Several of these I shall uotice to you as I proceed. 2. I observe, in the second place, that the object of the appointment of this day was, that a general atoiiement might be made upon it for all tfie sins of the people. It was, as the text says, " to make an atonemeut for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year/' as is also expressed in the thirtieth verse, " On that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." This was therefore to be an annual atonement for ail their iniquities» transgressions, and sins, committed duriug the year. íf it was duly observed, the Jews had an actual remission of all the temporal punishments to which they had become exposed, the guilt contracted by their omissions of auy ceremonial observancies was pardoned and removed, and the condemnation deserved by their moral offences was taken away
188 THE DAY OF ATO EME T. from all such of them as had grace gíven them to look forward bj faith to that great and powerful atonement which was thus
prefigured. 3. I observe, in the third place^ that this was a day for repentance^ a great national fast and daj of humiliation. It was to be kept for this purpose^ as a sabbath bj a rest from all manner of work. We read, " It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls by a statute for ever." In the Acts of the Apostles it is emphaticallj called, " The Fast," for when St. Luke says that sailing was dangerous ^^ because the fast was already past," he alludes to Ihis particular day. They were all to occupy themselves entirely with deep humilialion and sincere contrition and humble confession, separating and consecrating the day altogether to penitential acts and acknowledgments of their offences. 4. In the fourth place the dress in which the high priest was to officiate and his ablutions are to be noticed. He was not to wear his rich habiliments, his golden robes as the
THE DAY OF ATO EME T. 189 Jews called them, but only his plain white linen yestments. This was ordered in conformity with the object of tlie day^ and the feelings which ought to be awakened upon it. Tha whole service being intended as a recognition and confession of sin, with sacrifices of atonement for it, the high priest was thus to humble and abase himself before God. He was also to wash himself repeatedly with water, and was thereby taught how defiling was the nature of sin, and how it came upon him even in the performance of his most penitent and holiest duties. It shews us that our very repentances need to be washed in the blood of Jesus ; and plainlj pointed out to the Jews, as it does to us, the purity and holiness of that God to whom we approach in our religious services.
5. I observe, in the fifth and last place of this first head of my sermon, that in all this part of the day's service the high priest was to officiate aUmef as we see in the seventeenth verse. So we well know that the whole work of atonement for our sins was performed by Christ alone. o one aided or
190" THE DAY OF ATO EME T. assisted him ; no one partieipated witfa faim ; fae bore all our sufferings; to faim all tfae glory is due. He trod that wine-press of tfae wratfa of God alone ; and of tfae people tfaere was none witfa fakn; fais own arm «brougfat salvation : " by faimself fae purged our sins ;*' " fae fais own self bear our sins in fais own body on tfae tree." Blessed Jesus, we owe tfae wfaole of our salvation to tfaee. To tfaee be all our praise and allour service given. II. Let us now go to our seeond faead, and consider tfae ceremonies witfa wfaicfa tfae day was to be observed. 1 . In tfae first plaoe tfae faigfa priest was to take a young buUock as a sin-offering, and a ram as a bumt-offering for faimself. ow, as I formerly observed, tfais strongly intimated tfaat tfaeir faigfa priest, diatinguisfaed and faonoured as he was, was but a poor transgressor aod sinner as were tfae rest of tfae people. Tfae apostle notes tfais cireumstance in fais epistle to tfae Hebrews, observing tfaat tfae law made men faigfa priests, wfaicfa faad infirmity, and that he went in with blood, wfaicfa fae offered for hkmdf and tfee eirors oí
THE DAY OF ATO EME T. 191 the pec^le. He was also to have from the people two kids of the goats^ one of which
selected by lot^ was to be killed as a sinofferíng, and a ram for a bumt-offering. There was no approach to the Lord, either for príest or people, without a sacrifice. They might afflict their souls, and confess their sins, but there must alwajs be a saciífice. It was uniformlj the sacrifice which made the atonement. So the sacrífice of Christ is every thing to us. Whatever else we do will be of no avail without this. We may mourn íbr our sms, we may offer eostly oblations, we may abound in deeds of bene. volence and charíty, but the one thing needfiil is a living faith in the sacrífice of Chríst. Without tliis all else is unacceptable and in vain. 2. In the second place I observe that when Aaron had kiUed the bullock which was a sin^offeríng for himself, and made an atonement for himself and for his house, he was to take incense and bimiing coals> and to enter with these into the holy of holies, and there put the incense on the coals, that
192 THE DAT OF ATO EME T. the cloud arising from the buniÍBg of it might cover the mercy-seat Then he was to fetch 3ome of the blood of his sin-offering, and sprinkle some of it upan the mercy-seat, and some of it seven times before the mercjseat. How well does all this set forth the reverence due to God, the necessitj of propitiating him, and the infinite importance of that blood, which is emphatically called the blood of sprinkling. 3. In the third place, Aaron was then to kiU the goat appointed to be the sin-offering for the people, and to take its blood within the veil, and sprínkle it in like manner ; for whatever is necessaiy for one of the sinftd race of men is necessary for others. And with these ceremonies he made atonement for
the holy place ; and so he was to do for the whole tabernacle, and so also for the altar of incense, and to put the blood of the bullock and the goat on the homs of the altar, and to sprinkle the blood upon it with lús finger seven times. There cannot possiblj be a stronger representation of the sinful nature of man. Though the high priest alone
THE DAY OF ATO EME T. 193 entered into the holy of holies, yet it therebj became defiled, and must be purilGled from the uncleanness contracted bj its contact with man ; • and in like manner the tabemacle and the altar must be pmífied and hallowed from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. How plainly does God thus teach us the holiness of his nature, and how jealous he is of it ! How plainlj does he shew that we are all defiled and defiling ! How manifestly does he set forth our need of a purificatíon by blood, even the blood of the Lamb slain to take away sin. It will be well indeed if these things give us any more clear and convincing YÍews of sin, and of the manner in which we must have it removed. We may here see that it cleaves to us even in the services of the house of God, and that it pollutes every thing which the sinner touches. Oh! that all this may lead us to a more complete applicatíon of the blood of Christ to our own consciences. 4. I now observe, in the fourth place, that after Aaron had kiUed the sin-offering for himself and his house, and the sin-offering VOL. III. K
194 THE DAY OF ATO EME T. for the people, and had '^ made an end of
reconciling the holj place, and the tabemacle of the congregation, and the altar, another and very particular part of the daj's service commenced. The other goat, which was reserved alive by the lot, was brought forth. This was called the scape-goat. We read respecting it in the twenty-first and twenty-second Yerses^ ^' And Aaron shall laj both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins^ putting them upon the head of the goat, and sháll send him away by the hand of a íit man into the wildemess. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities, unto a land not inhabited^ and he shall let go the goat in the wildemess." The case of the living bird let fly into the open heaven, in the purification of the leper, while the other bird was killed, and its blood mixed with water was sprinkled upon the leper, is in some respects similar to the case of these two goats, but here the ceremony is much fuUer. And scarcely is it possible that any thing
THE DAY OF ATO EME T. 195 could more distinctly represent the whole method of the removing of our sins from us, as that is done hj the hlessed Jesus. 5. In the fifth and last place I ohserve that this being done the high priest no longer wore his plain and humhle garments. The penitential part of the day's service being ended, and the goat sent away with their sins upon it into the wildemess, he was to put off his linen raiment, and leave it in the holy place, and assume his rich and splendid dress ; and yet, in order that we may still see the defiling nature of sin, he was again to wash his flesh as being rendered unclean by putting the sins of the people upon the scape-goat; so also had the man who took it into the MÍlderness, and there let it go, aud his clothes
also, aud the other also, who carried away the bumt-offerings without the camp, and bumed them there, was in like manner to wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water. And now, my brethren, having thus described to you the peculiar circumstances and ceremonies belonging to this great day k2
196 THE DAY OF ATO EME T. of the Jews' religion, let me endeavour to applj them to ourselyes. 1. First, sin must be confessed bj us. See the high priest confessing all the sins of himself and the people over the head of the scape-goat. o form of words is here prescribed, but the Jews adopted one in aíter ages which was not unsuitable for the purpose. It was this. ^ O Lord, thy people, the house of Israel, haye sinned and done iniquity, and trespassed before thee : O Lord, make atonement now for the síns, and for the iniquitíes, and for the trespasses that thj people the house of Israel haye sinned^ and unrighteously done, and trespassed before thee.' Thus in coming to Christ and his sadrifice we must confess all our sins. We must endeayour to recoUect, aud we must acknowledge all our numerous sins^ iniquities, and transgressions, and humble ourselyes before him for them. This is an indispensible part of true repentance^ which God requires of all men eyery where. The penitent Psalmist says, " I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity haye I not hid." The proyerb tells
THE DAT OF ATO EME T. 107
ns fhat " he that ooYeieth his sins shall not prosper ; bat whoso confesseth and forsaketh them sháll have mercy.'* One Apostle declaies that '' with the heart man belieyeth nnto righteoosness, and with the month confession is made unto salvation ;" and another wams ns that " if we say we have no sin, we deceive oorselves and the tmth is not in us, bnt if we confess our sins, he is faithfol and jnst to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Thus then, in seeking recondliation with God through Christ we must confess our sins. In our chambers and on our knees we must penitentlj acknowledge all our iniquities and transgressions. Also whenever the church assembles in public worship confession of sin must be one of her first and principal duties. This appears in eveiy part of our book of common prayer^ where confession of sin is expi^ssed in language most humble and affecting. 2. 3^ondly, sin must be transferred. See the high priest laying both his hands npon the head of the scape-goat, confessing
198 THE DAY OF ATO EME T. over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel^ and all their transgressions in all their sins^ and putting them upon the head of the goat. What a striking representation is this of the manner in which our sins are put upon Christ ! What a bright iUustration of that which the prophet Isaiab says of him, ^' The Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all/' and again^ ^^ He shall bear our iniquities." How 8tit)Bgly is this truth expressed in various passages of the ew Testapaent ! Thus in Hebrews, " Christ was once o£fered to bear the sins of many ;" and in the second of Corínthians, ^^ He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the ríghteous-
ness of God in him," where, as I have observed in a former sermon, there is a double transfer declared, the one, of our sins to Chríst, and the other, of his righteousness to us. ow to put our sins on Chríst is the ^>ffice of faitli. So that here are set forth to us the two great doctrines of the gosjtel, " repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ." Oh ! how large is his
THE DAY OF ATO EME T. 190 grace and how extensÍYe the work which he has sastained for us ! One goat slain could onlj shew us a sacrificed Sayiour» it could not shew us a living Saviour. One could not exhibit him who lÍYeth, and was dead^ and is alive for evermore. There must be two to convey this truth that Christ was '^ put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit," that he was " delivercd for our offences and raised agaín for our justification/' that '' he was crucified through weakness, and yet liveth by the power of God." Oh ! let us fix our faith on these glorious truths of his gospel, and cast all our sins, with all our fears and cares, upon him. 3. Thus, thirdly, sin will be removed. Here see the scape-goat sent away into the wildemess, bearing upon him all the iniquities of the people, into a land not inhabited, or> as it is in the margin of our bibles, into a land of separation : see him thus taken far away, and there set at libert^^. ow although all this could not make them perfect as pertaining to the conscience, though it was but
200 THE DAY OF ATO EME T. a type and shadow to them, jet how clear is it to us ! How plainly do we here see ^' the
Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the worldl*' And with what full assurance of faith may we believe in the remission of our sins through him. Do but consider the weight of testimonj which is presented to us bj the scríptures on this head. They descríbe the removal of the sins of believers as the dispersion of a cloud ; ^' I have blotted out> as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins." They descríbe them as removed to the greatest possible di^tance ; ^' As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." They descríbe the Lord God as never mentioning them against them^ nay, as blotting them out of his own remembrance. They say that if sought for they shall not be found, and that God will '^ cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." Surely I need not add additional testimonies from the ew Testament. umbérs must be familiar to you. May God apply them to every mouming believing penitent for the comfort of his soid.
THE DAY OF ATO EME T. 201 Thus, bretbren, we have seen how the deliyerance of otir souls from sin bj Christ cracified is typified by the goat that was killed; how the acceptance of his sacrifice, his making atonement, and his entering into heaven for us^ are typified bj the high priesfs entrance into the most holj place; and how the remoTal of all our sins is typified by the scape-goat bearing awaj the iniquities of the whole congregation of Israel. This pardon, so rich, so full, so free, is to be penitently and earnestíy desired by us, and obtained, by our application of the atonement of Christ to ourselves through faith. Oh ! that we may truly repent of our sins, and sprinkle the blood of Christ on our hearts by faith ! Then, like the Jewish high priest changing his raiment, we may take '^ the oil of joy for mouming, and the
garments of praise for the spirít of heaYÍness." Oh ! yes, then, like the Ethiopian eunuch after his baptism, we may go on our way rejoicing. This subject may administer strong reproof to those who are self-righteous, and think K5
202 THE DAY OF ATO EME T. that they have no eáii, and need no atonement. Here^ as in a glass^ thej may see the number and greatness of their síns^ the dutj of repentance^ the indispeneáble necessity of an atoning sacrifíce, and the act of faith putting our sins on Christ for théur removal. How impossible must it be that sin can be removed in anj other waj ! AU scripture testifíes to the ntter hopelessness of any other means of pardon or method of peace. How vain must it be for anj one ta go about to establish his own righteousness instead of submitting himself to the righteonsness of 6od ! FuU of consolation is this subject to all those who are weary and heavy-laden with the burden of sin. Here they see him, who is mighty to save, making expiation for them, and taking their sins upon himself. Who then is he that condemneth ? Here is Chiist that died, yea rather^ that is risen again, and ever liveth to make intercession. Oh ! my fearful, sorrowing, desponding brother, ^' cast thj burden upon the Lord and he shall sustain thee." Yea, lay even the curse which
THE DAY OF ATO EME T. 203 the law pronoances s^ainst your transgressions upon him, for ^' Christ hath redeemed
ns from the curse of the law, having heên made a curse for us." Oh ! ^' come unto him, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and he will give you rest." My sorrowstricken people, stricken with sorrow because stricken by the sword of the spirit convincing of sin, Oh! ^^ look nnto bim and be ye saved, for he is God and there is none else." Look unto him who hung upon the cross, and think of that paiTose of mercy for which his sacred limbs were stretched upon it. Believe in that sacrifice, and so shall you partake of his atonement. Hear the aposúe Paul, ^' This is a faithiul saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners^ of whom I am chief." Oh ! then, though you too may esteem yourselves chief of sinners, yet believe in him who ** came to save sinners," and doubt not of obtaining mercy.
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