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.”What, then, is the relationship between our sacrifice and His? and how are they connected? There can be no doubt on this subject if we turn to the text, where we read, “I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice.” It is, therefore, the deep sense of unmerited mercy that is to p. 43call out the willing sacrifice from a saved and thankful people. This is just how it stands in our Communion Service. We first come with the confession of sin; we then partake of the sacred feast; and seek, by God’s grace, to realise in living faith the body broken and the blood shed for our sins; after which, but not before, we “offer and present to Him ourselves, our souls and our bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto Him.” Our sacrifice, therefore, is the result of our deep sense of unmerited mercy shown in His perfect sacrifice on the cross. It is a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. It is the willing offering of those who have found mercy, and are most deeply and humbly thankful for it.
Sometimes it will be necessary to apply it to individuals, when the conscience is troubled by the conviction of sin. Our Church alludes to this in two passages often referred to. The first is from the close of the invitation to the Lord’s Supper,—“And because it is requisite that no man should come to the Holy Communion but with a full trust in God’s mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore, if there be any of you, who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further counsel or comfort, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned minister of God’s word, and open his grief: that by the ministry of God’s holy word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.”
For the decision of this point, let us compare the 18th and 19th verses. In v. 18 we read,—“God hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.” But in v. 19 there is a slight variation; but one of great importance in the exposition of the passage; for we there find—“Hath committed to us the word of reconciliation.” The word of reconciliation, therefore, is the substance of the ministry: the grand work is to make known the perfect reconciliation wrought out for us in Christ Jesus, to act on the example set us by St. Paul himself, when he burst out in the grand appeal which follows, and said,—“Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ. As though God did beseech you by us, we pray p. 63you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled unto God.”
We see, then, that the ministry of reconciliation is neither by sacrifice, nor by priestly forgiveness; but we have still to consider by what means the great work is carried on.It is scarcely needful to point out the unceasing repetition of the Jewish sacrifices. Not only were they offered on the occasion of every special fault, but every period of time was marked by them. The day, the week, the month, the year—each had its appointed sacrifice. Not a day, nor even a night, passed without sin, and therefore there was a sacrifice each morning for the sins of the night, and another each evening for those of the day. (Exod. xxix. 38-40.) Not a week passed without adding its quota to the accumulating guilt of the sinner, and, therefore, notwithstanding the daily sacrifices, there was another burnt-offering in the morning of every p. 20sabbath. (Num. xxviii. 9, 10.) But, notwithstanding all this, sin, and the guilt of it, still gathered around the people, so that at the beginning of each month there was, in addition, a monthly burnt-offering unto the Lord: “the burnt-offering of every month through the months of the year.” (Ibid. 11, 14.) But sin gathered still. Lamb after lamb was brought to the altar, but it seemed as though nothing could satisfy: for every year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, there was the great day of atonement for sin; and of the solemn sacrifices of that great day it was said, “This shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a-year.” (Lev. xvi. 34.) Thus, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, there was an unceasing system of perpetual sacrifice. There was no end to the unceasing shedding of blood. Sometimes the victim was a bullock, sometimes a ram, sometimes a goat, sometimes a lamb, and sometimes a pair of turtle-doves. But there was always a sacrifice. There were two every day, and sometimes many more, besides those which were offered for special sins.
This, then, is the mighty work of God in Christ: and this passage proves its nature; and shows that it consists, not in the change of disposition p. 53in man, but in the non-imputation of sin on the part of God,—“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” You observe that the words teach that there were trespasses and real guilt: such trespasses that, if they were imputed, or allowed to stand for the condemnation of the sinner, there could be no reconciliation, and the sinner must die. But God in Christ does not impute our trespasses unto us: and, therefore, the barrier is removed; and in Him there is complete reconciliation. But we have not yet done with the subject; for the question arises, How is it consistent with the righteousness of God, that He should thus not impute trespasses to those who are really guilty? What has become of His government, if real guilt is not reckoned to the real sinner? The question is answered in v. 21: for we are there taught that guilt is not imputed to us, because, in the marvellous counsel of God, it has been imputed to the Lord Jesus Christ in our stead: for look at his words,—“For He hath made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” There is no explanation of this passage, except that He who knew no sin was p. 54reckoned sinful, in order that we, who are deeply sunk in sin, might be reckoned righteous. Sin is not imputed to man; because the Lord Jesus Christ became our substitute; and it has been imputed to Him in our stead.胡彦斌不想有任何瓜葛了 美国多地警方 美元兑人民币外汇牌价多少 海南自由贸易港对三亚好吗 糖尿病每天喝什么 海尔奖励救人一套房 别人可以恢复微信聊天记录 什么股票属于a股 蒸包子时包子为什么会塌 山西省2019年人均工资 中国二孩政策的全面放开可以