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he nothing doubted that it would most assuredly be fulfilled It lav at his heart as a cordial and solace under the ills of his fallen state. It was the subject of his frequent meditation, the motive and rule of his common conduct; and when he more especially approached the presence of his Maker, in formal religious service, the contemplation of "Him who was to come,' seen by the piercing eye of a "lively faith," excited all those holy feelings,-love, and gratitude, praise, adoration, and thanksgiving, which, as they alone sanctify the act of worship, are more acceptable with God than "the smoke of the morning," or "the incense" of "the evening, sacrifice.'
The observations we have offered on the interesting subject of our text will be sufficient, I should hope, to settle every doubt, and explain every difficulty, which may be excited in inquisitive or ignorant minds by the transaction which it records: they will, also, properly introduce a few remarks on the third point remaining for our consideration,―the nature of sacrifice under the christian dispensation.
When our blessed Saviour exclaimed
from the cross, "It is finished," and "gave up the ghost," the Mosaical economy ceased for ever. "The veil of the
"Temple was rent in twain," and the sanctuary thrown open to the Gentiles; the Jewish priesthood was dissolved; and the complicated and burthensome ritual of their church, with all its gorgeous train of forms and ceremonies, was finally swept away. As types and representatives of the " pro"mised seed," they had kept alive, among the chosen people, the full expectation of the advent of this august personage; and had so exactly prefigured him and his offices, that when he actually appeared in the flesh, it was hardly possible for the pious and thoughtful Jew, if he compared the types with the character fulfilling them, to avoid acknowledging, with the Roman centurion, truly this was the Son of God,
But after the ceremonial law had served this purpose, its uses were at an end. As soon as the substance appeared, the shadows might be dispensed with; as the scaffold is removed, when the building has been completed. The law of sacrifices, so marked a feature in the service of the ancient church, was involved in the general abolition of Jewish rites; and blood was no longer to flow, nor incense to ascend, from the altar, to appease the wrath, or obtain the favour, of heaven. To "worship God in spirit "and in truth," was to be the character
of genuine piety under the dispensation of Christ; and the sacrifice of every corrupt passion, of every impure thought, unholy desire, harsh feeling, wicked device, and immoral practice, upon the altar of christian duty, was solemnly declared to be from. thenceforth the only sacrifice with which God would be well pleased.
If such, then, be the spiritual nature of that dispensation under which those now live who have "named the name of Christ, and are enlisted under the banner of the Saviour of mankind; if we are relieved from the galling yoke of the ceremonial law, or, as the Apostle calls it, "the law of "works," with all its irksome accompaniments of sacrifices and offerings, and are entered into a "service" which "is per"fect freedom;" let us duly estimate the value of our privileges, and humbly endeavour to render ourselves not altogether unworthy of them, by a strict observance of the conditions on which they are conferred.
Let us not abuse that "liberty wherewith "Christ hath made us free," by nourishing and indulging the bad propensities and evil desires of a fallen and sinful nature; but strive to " purify ourselves even as he "is pure;" and to bring "the inner man" into the same obedience to the law of Christ
as the zealous follower of Moses evinced in his observance of the ancient ceremonial law. And, finally, let it be our unceasing effort, by thought and consideration, by supplication and prayer, by public worship and private devotion, to correct, purify, and sanctify our hearts, (the spring and fountain of all outward action,) that we may prepare them for a sacrifice, meet and acceptable to the God of purity and perfection; so that when we shall present them on the altar of his mercy, he may not refuse them, as he rejected the worship of Cain, but have "respect unto our offering," and approve and accept our imperfect services, for the sake, and through the merits and mediation, of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Subject. THE UNIVERSAL DELUGE.
THE CORRUPTION OF MANKIND PREVIOUSLY TO THE FLOOD. THE JUSTICE OF THIS DISPENSATION. ITS OCCURRENCE AND ACCOMPANIMENTS. ITS SOLEMN WARNING TO AFTER AGES. MORAL INFERENCES.
GENESIS vi. 12, 13.
And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth.
ORD! what is man,'
the Psalmist, in pious wonder, when he meditated on the mercy of the divine dispensations, and the unworthiness of a fallen world: Lord! what is man, "that thou art mindful of him; or the