时间：<2020-06-01 20:03:18 作者：dL南京到成都gEs 浏览量：9777
II. Such, then, is the contrast; and now let us turn, in the second place, to the reason of it. Why were those ancient sacrifices so often repeated? and why was ours once and for ever? The same passage that brings out the contrast explains the reason of it; and the reason is that, p. 24in themselves, they have no saving power, and that ours has. They were ineffectual for the blotting out of sin, but the one offering of our Blessed Lord was perfectly effectual in the very point where they failed. There was as great a contrast in respect of efficiency as there was in respect of frequency; and, in fact, the repetition was the result of weakness, as the oneness was the result of complete sufficiency. This insufficiency is placed in two points of view in the chapter, for we are there taught, first, that these sacrifices could not take away sin, and, secondly, that they could not satisfy the conscience.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.”
This, then, being the case, we see at once why there is not more self-sacrifice for God. The reason clearly is, that there is a want of the deep sense of mercy. The sacrifice of Christ is not sufficiently realised, and the result is that the self-sacrifice is withheld. I fear there is a great want of self-sacrifice even among those who hold the truth. Surely there are many whose religion never costs them any real personal self-denial. They pass through life easily and respectably, but refer matters more to their p. 44own inclination than to the call of God. They are more ready to pay others to work than to work themselves, and are prone to stand aloof from distasteful service, if, as they say, it does not suit them; or, as they might say, they do not like it. So, again, but few deny themselves in giving, and though many are liberal, there are few whose personal comforts are really diminished by their liberality. Now, why is this? and how is it that the great salvation has not more power over us? Is it not that the salvation itself is not enough felt and appreciated? It is true of us, as it was of the Corinthians, that “we know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though He was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich.” But though we know it, we do not deeply feel it. It is like paint lying on the surface, but it is not burnt into us, so as to become part and parcel of ourselves. Everything may be correct; our doctrine scriptural, and our principles sound: but neither one nor the other has gone home to the inmost soul with such power that we have learned to “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord.” What is it, then, that we want? What p. 45must lie at the root of all? A more powerful sense of mercy, a deeper conviction of need, a clearer perception of what Christ has done for us, a more thorough appreciation of His perfect sacrifice; and when that is given, we shall be better able to understand the appeal,—“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
p. 11The wafer, therefore, or the piece of bread, is here said to be after consecration nothing less than a real, living Saviour, with body, soul, and divinity, to be worshipped with that holy, reverential worship which belongs exclusively to the God of heaven and earth, for that is the meaning of the word Latreia. There is something very awful in such a statement. It shows that there can be no peace with Rome—no compromise, no middle path. If they are right, we are awfully wrong. If we are right, they are guilty of idolatry. If all these pieces of bread are living Saviours, we have been terribly guilty in never worshipping any one of them; but if, on the other hand, they have remained bread still—plain, simple, unchanged bread—then we have idolatry of the most unquestionable character when that bread is exalted by the priest for adoration, and men fall down and worship it as the living God.One thing is perfectly clear, that these sacrifices are not a supplement to the one great sacrifice for sin. They are not intended to supply any deficiency in the great work of our Blessed Lord. There is no deficiency there; and if there were, nothing that we could do would supply it. There is no deficiency, for by the “one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” And if there were deficiency, how could man supply it? Is there not something dreadful in the thought of a patchwork atonement, partly by the Son of God and partly by man; partly perfect, and partly imperfect; partly pure in all the infinite purity of God, and partly defiled with all the defilements of a fallen and sinful manhood? No! the propitiation is perfect, unmixed, and undefiled for ever. It is the sacrifice of the Son of God, and it stands alone for all eternity.
One thing is perfectly clear. It is not done by the offering of any fresh sacrifice. This was the chief duty of the Jewish priests, but it forms no part of that of the Christian minister. From one end of the New Testament to the p. 56other you can find no allusion to any such thing as a Christian sacrifice for sin. The one sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was once and for ever, final, complete, and sufficient for all the sins of the whole world. The work of sacrifice is finished, as we are taught in the words, “To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself;” and if there can be no sacrifice, it is perfectly plain that there can be no sacrificing priest. Nor can the idea be gathered from the Prayer-book any more than it can from the New Testament. There is not an allusion there, either to a sacrifice or a sacrificing priest, except where it says, in Art. xxxi., “The sacrifices of masses, in the which it was commonly said that the priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.” There is no Christian sacrifice recognised by the Church of England but the thankful dedication of heart and life on the part of those who have been saved by the sacrifice of the Lord. But this sacrifice requires no priest to offer it. It may rise at any moment, and from any place, from the depths of any thankful heart. Thus, according to our Communion Service, all offer p. 57it together, and the whole congregation having together met around their Father’s table, and together tasted the joys of their Father’s love, together bring their sacrifice, and say, “Here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee.”Heb. x. 12.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:—
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.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.Heb. x. 12.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”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.The text stands very near the conclusion of a most important argument, in which the Apostle has been drawing the contrast between the Jewish sacrifices under the ceremonial law and the one perfect sacrifice wrought out for us by p. 19the Son of God on the cross. The contrast commences with the 25th verse of the 9th chapter, and extends to the 14th verse of the 10th; after which we are led to the practical application of the whole epistle. Let us, then, first, carefully study the point of contrast, and then the reason of it.
In every work carried on by man we are perfectly certain to meet with human infirmity, and human error; and the work of the ministry forms no exception to the rule. It is carried on by common men, with common flesh and blood, exposed to the common temptations of common life, so that we are sure to find in it the common failures of our common humanity. Yet, with all this, it fills a most important place in the life of all of us. It not only imparts a distinctive character to our public worship, but it reaches our home life; so that there is not a family in a parish that is not, in some way or other, more or less affected by the ministry in p. 47the Church. The influence may not always be for good, but it always exists. In some cases it may be simply negative, and actually do harm by not doing good. In some cases it may be positively mischievous, as when it is made the means for the dissemination of deadly error. While in many it is made God’s means for conferring incalculable blessings; so that through it the young are instructed, the careless awakened, inquirers directed to the Lord Jesus Christ, and the children of God confirmed in faith and aroused to holy energy for their Lord. The position of a clergyman is such that the influence of his ministry is sure to be felt throughout his parish. He has the sacred privilege of leading the worship of the religious portion of his people. They are all brought into contact with his office, and all are, some way or other, affected by the manner in which that office is fulfilled.
The second is from the rubric in the service for the Visitation of the Sick, where we read—“Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter.”
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.”His place, then, is heaven itself; and His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Father. In His real human body He has ever been like ourselves, in one place at one time. When He was here he passed from place to place; from Galilee to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem to Galilee. So when Lazarus died He was absent from Bethany, and after his death He went there. Just so in His ascension He passed into the heavens, and, being there, He is as much absent from us in the body as He was absent from Martha and Mary in their deep anxiety about their brother. When present here, in His human person, He was absent there. Being present there, He is now absent here. 
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?THE MASS.