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could afford God no delight The only thing that could please Him was the will and intention of the offerer. This is abundantly plain from the declarations of the prophets. Compare Isa. 1. 11. Jer. vi. 20. Mic. vi. 6-7. The only acceptable sacrifice that men can offer to God is obedience. "To obey is better than sacrifice." 1 Sam. xv. 22. See also Jere. vii. 21-23. Mic. vi. 8. Ps. xl. 6. These passages are aimed again ft the heathenish notion that God could really be pleased with the smell of blood, and that His favor could really be obtained by the slaying of animals, without regard to the character and disposition of those rendering the service. The value of the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament, then, consisted in this that they kept alive the feeling of sin and guilt over against the holy God, and that they served as a standing proof of the felt necessity of an expiation or real covering of sin, and thus as types or shadows of the great sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, who takelh away the sin of the world. The fact that they were a spontaneous product of human nature, and involved very inadequate views of the moral nature of God, does not diminish their value in this view. Types everywhere are very different from that which they foreshadow. But from this it follows certainly that the Old Testament legal theory of the efficacy of sacrifices must not be applied without modification to the sacrifice of Christ. The sacrifice of Christ does not Bimply cover or hide our sins from God, but it makes us holy. Compare Heb. ix. 14. x. 10. 1 Johu 1. 7. It avails only for those who are iugrafted into Him, and receive His benefits by true faith. Its efficacy is ever inseparable from His person.
Keep Straight Ahead.
Pay no attention to slanderers and gossip-mongers. Keep straight on in your course, and let their back-biting die the death of neglect. What is the use of lying awake at nights, brooding over the remark of some false friend that runs through your brain like lightning! What is the use of getting into
a worry and fret over gossip that has been set afloat to your disadvantage, by some meddlesome busybody who has more time than character? The things cannot possibly injure you unless, indeed, you take notice of them, and in combating them give them standing and character. If what is said about you is true, set yourself right: if it is false, let it go for what it will fetch. If a bee sting you, would you go to the hive to destroy it? Would not a thousand come upon you? It is wisdom to gay little respecting the injuries you have received. We are generally losers in the end, if we stop to refute all the backbiting and gossiping we may hear by the way. They are annoying, it is true, but not dangerous, so long as we do not stop to expostulate and scold. Our characters are formed and sustained by ourselves, by our own actions and purposes, and not by others. L«t us always bear in mind that "calumniators may usually be trusted to time and the slow but steady justice of public opinion."
Children Doing Good,
I am sure you will find out ways of showing kindness if you look for them. One strong lad 1 saw the other day carrying a heavy basket up a hill for a little tired girl. Anotber dear lad I met leading a blind man who had lost his faithful dog.
An old lady, sitting in her arm-chair by the fire, once said: "My dear little grand-daughter, there, is hands, feet and eyes to me."
"Why, she runs about so nimbly to do the work, she brings me so willingly whatever I want, and when she has done she sits down and reads to me so nicely a chapter in the Bible."
One dav a little girl came home from school quite happy to think that she had been useful. For there was a school-fellow there in great trouble about the death of a baby brother.
"And I put my cheek against hers," said her companion, " and I cried, too, because I was sorry for her; and after a little while she left off crying, and said I had done her good."
KEY-NOTE: "Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
true holiness." . ~
Tlie Peace Offering.—Lev. vii. 11-18.
11. And this is the law of the sacrifice of jeace-oflferings, which he shall offer unto the
12. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried.
13. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace-offerings.
14. And of it he shall offer one out of the whole oblation for a heave offering unto the Lord, and it shall be the priest's that sprinkleth the blood of the ))eace-offering.
15. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace
offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the Bame day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.
16. But if the sacrifice of his offering be a vow, or a voluntary offering, it shall be eaten the same day that he offcreth his sacrifice; and on the morrow also the remainder of it shall be eaten:
17. But the remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burnt with fire.
18. And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed un'o him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity.
What is the key-note of the day? How is this theme related to the Gospel for the day? When will this process of renewal be completed?
What is the subject of this lesson? What i« an offering? Into how many classes are sacrifices divided in respect of their object? Which of these were the most ancient? Did the institution of sacrifices rest upon a positive divine command? How then did they originate? But were they therefore without divine authority? Is this true of all religious institutions?
Verse 11. Where are the general directions given in regard to peace offerings? Lev. iii. How are the directions given here related to those? What was the design of the peaceoffering? How did it diff r in this respect from the burnt-offering? How from the sin and trespass-onering? How many classes of peaceoffering were required? What kinds of animals could be used for these offerings? Lev. iii. 1. 6, 13.
Verses 12-13. What was the first kind of peace offerings? On what occasions were they pre-ented? In what mannner was the sacrifice ■lain? What was done with the blood? What part of it was burnt o. the altar? Lev. iii. 3-4. What was to be offered with the sacrifice? What was the difference between the cakes and wafers? Why must they be unleavened? Why mixed with oil? Why was leavened bread also offered?
Verse 14. What portion of the oblation belonged to the officiating priest? What is meant by oblation t What is meant by htave offering T
What other parts of the peace offering belonged to the priest? verses 31-34. In what did the waving consist? Vbr. 15. What was to be done with the re
| maining flesh of the sacrifice of the peace offering? By whom was it to be eaten? Who
\ could not eat of it? verses 20-21. Were these
! offerings, then, occasions of religious enjoyment? What did the sacrificial eating signify? Within what time was it to be eaten? Why? Should
I we learn from this to share our blessings with
Verses 16-17. What are the other two classes of peace offerings mentioned here? What was the difference between vow offerings and volunI tarii offerings T What only difference of ceremony was there observed between these and the first class? What was the reason of this difference? What was to be done with the flesh that remained over the second day?
Verse IS. What was the consequence if these directions were not observed? What is meant by the expression it shall not be accepted f On what conditions only can our offerings and services be acceptable to God 1 What historical examples of p^ace offerings can you mention? Gen. xxxi. 54; 1 Sam. xi. 15; 1 Chron. xvi. 3 ; 1 Kings viii. 63. What was the extent of Solomon's offering at the dedication of the temple?
Can you state now the meaning of peace offerings? In what sacrament do we now celebrate our communion with God and with one another? What sacrifices of praise can we offer now? Heb. xiii. 15-16.
Notes.—The key-note of the day again is renewal, both spiritual aud physical. The Gospel presents us a historical case of such renewal in the man whose sins are forgiven and whose physical disease is healed. The Epistle points especially to the moral side of the process, aud refers to a number of particulars in which the process must manifest itself. The life of the process is Christ. Hence the key-note, from the Epistle. This process of renewal will come to its completion with the second coming of Chris'. See the Collect.
Sacrificial offerings are, in the Levitical law, divided according to their objects into four clafses, namely, burnt offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings and trespass offerings. What are calltd meat offerings and drink offerings are merely offerings consisting of flour, cakes, bread, fruit, oil and wine, which are occasionally added to the other offering". The burnt offering was the most general in its purpose, being, as we remember, a symbolical expression of gratitude to God for His blessings in the past, and of a desire for his continued favor in the future. The peace offering was a celebration of peace and communion with God and with God's p ople. The sin and trespass offerings had a more particular reference to sin, and their purpose wa« to make expiation or atonement. The burnt offering and peace off-ring were the most ancient, being met with in all periods of sacred history. The oilier two classes are found only in the Levitical law. Sacrifices, it will be remembered, did not rest originally upon any positive divine institution, but were gradually developed out < f an instinctive tendency of human nature. At a certain stage of history they were a necessity of human nature, strange aud perplexing as the idea may seem to us now. But they were not for this reason without divine authority. What is truly human is ever divine too. God accepted and regulated these straDge rites, and invested them with His own authority as means through which men might approach Him and render Him acceptable worship. This is true of all religious institutions. Cireumcision was practised before it was made the token of
the covenant in the time of Abraham, aud baptism, before it was adopted as the sacrament of regeneration by Christ. The necessity of such institutions exists on the side of man, not on the Bide of Gnd. But God accommodates Himself to this necessity in a real way; and so those institutions acquire the character of divine ordinances.
Verse 11.—The first general directions iu regard to peace offerings are given in Lev. iii. The directions given here refer more particularly to the duties and rights of the priests in presenting them. The design of the peace offering was to celebrate the existence of peace between God and His people; and it was, therefore, essentially a religious feast, the greater part of the victim being consumed by the offerer and his friends. For the difference between this and the other classes of offerings see the general remarks above. There were three classes of peace-offerings recognized by the law, namely, thanksofferings, vow-offerings and voluntary offerings. The animals that could be used for peace-offerings are mentioned iu Chap. iii. They might be either of the herd or of the flock (oxen, sheep, goats). They might be either male or female, but they must be without blemish. Smaller animals, like turtle-doves or pigeons were excluded, because they did not yield flesh euough to furnish a feast such as the peace-offering was designed to be.
Verses 12-13.—Thanksgiving. The first species of peace-offerings were sacrifices of thanksgiving. They were presented on occasions of rejoicing for mercies and favors received in the past, such as recovery from sickness, the safe return from a journey, the successful gathering of the harvest, etc The ceremony of presenting the peace-offering is described in Chap. iii. The offerer brought his animal to the door of the tabernacle, and there consecrated it to its intended purpose by layiug his hand upon its head. Then he slew it, and the priests sprinkled its blood upon the altar. The fat covering the vital organs was burnt on the altar as a fireoffering to the Lord. The flesh was then prepared for the festal table. Unleavened cakes.—Cakes made of fiue flour, fried in a pan—pan-cakes. They must be unleavened, because a part of them was burnt upon the altar as a fireoffering; and leaven, which was regarded as a symbol of evil and corruption, could not be presented on the altar. Mingled with oil.—Oil was an article of daily food, as butter is with us. It was, moreover, regarded as a symbol of peace and prosperity, and was therefore appropriately connected with the peace-offeriDg. Wafers.—A kind of cakes, differing from those mentioned before, perhaps, only by being smaller and thinner. Leavened bread. —Of this none was put upon the altar. It was only intended to make the sacrificial feast more pleasant and palatable.
Verse 14.— One out of the whole oblation. One of each of the different sorts of cakes. Oblation (Heb. qorbtin) is a general name for offerings of all sorts; but here it signifies the unbloody meat-offering connected with the peaceoffering. Heave-offering.—This word (Heb. Terumah) is used to designate various sorts of sacred gifts. It is commonly supposed that the object so called was swung up and down before the altar in token of its being surrendered to God. But the word is often used in reference to thiugs where no such ceremony was pos-ible. Coming from a verb which means to lift up and set something (as meat) before one, it is probably used simply to denote that which is reserved for and presented to the priests as their portion of the sacrifice. To the priests also belonged the breast and the right shoulder of the sacrificial animal. See verses 31-34. The shoulder is designated as a heave-offering. The breast is called a wave-offering (Heb. Tenupha). The ceremony of waving consisted probably in swinging the object backward and forward before the altar; the motion towards the altar signifying its being given up to the Lord, and the motion away from the abar, its being returned to the priests as their portion of the offering.
Verse 15.—The flesh of the sacrifice
thall be eaten. The persons who
were to eat the sacrifice were the one who offered it, together with his family and friends. Only they must be Israelites and ceremonially clean. See verses 20-22. If the unclean ate of it he was to be cut off from his people.
These sacrificial feasts were occasions of religious enjoyment. Indeed the Israelites had no other than religious feasts. Their daily food was not flesh, but milk and cheese, as is the case among the Arabs now. To kill an ox or a sheep was an extraordinary event; and when it occurred it was the occasion of special religious rejoicing, at which a man's friends and neighbors must partake. The sacrificial eating, then, was an expression of religious fellowship and of communion with Jehovah. The same day. The flesh of the peace-offering must be eaten on the day on which it was offered. The purpose of this regulation was probably to promote the spirit of liberality. It was of no use to a man to save his offering, for it was unlawful for him to eat of it after the first day. He might as well, therefore, invite his neighbors and friends to help him eat it at once. From this we should learn that to share our blessings with others is something that pleases God. If the rich would sometimes invite their poor neighbors to their sumptuous dinners and suppers, that would be offering to God an acceptable sacrifice. See Heb. xiii. 16. Also the Offertory in the Communion Service of our order of worship.
Verses 16-17.—A vow-offering. An offering promised in connection with a prayer for some special divine favor, presented generally after the prayer had been fulfilled, but sometimes also at the time of the prayer itself. A voluntary offering. This had reference to no particular outward blessing, either as still expected or already received, but was determined solely by the grateful feeling of the person presenting it. The only difference of ceremony observed between tbese two and the first species of peace-offerings had respect to the time within which the flesh could be eaten. In the case of the thankoffering the flesh must all be eaten on the first day. In the case of the vow1 and voluntary offerings, it might be eaten also on the second day, but not later. From this it would seem that the first species was regarded as more sacred than the other two, though it is difficult to perceive any reason for this. That which remained beyond the time within which it could be lawfully eaten must be burned with fire. The Israelites thus had no motive for saving any of it in a spirit of selfish exclusiveness.
Verse 18.—.It shall not be accepted, etc. These offerings, though they were not in any special sense expiatory, yet were presented in general with the view of pleasing God and thus obtaining His favor. But this could be the case only when they were presented in the manner required by God; otherwise they would not be accepted, and could procure no favor to the one who presented them. So in general our offerings and services can be acceptable to God only when they are in harmony with God's appointments. God desires no will-worship (Col. ii. 23). The first condition of acceptable worship is, that we bring our will into subjection to God's will. For historical examples of peace-offerings in the Old Testament, see Gen. xxxi. 54. 1 Sam. xi. 15. 1 Chrou. xvi. 3. 1 Kings viii. 63. The incredibly large number of sacrifices offered by Solomon at the dedication of the temple, finds some explanation in the fact that they were peace-offerings, the greater portion of which were eaten by the people, that the whole nation was now assembled in Jerusalem, and that the feast lasted fourteen days.
The peace offering was not an atoning or expiatory sacrifice, but a feast of communion with God and with God's people. As such it was a special type of the Lord's Supper, which also is not a sacrifice presented to God (although in the Early Church the bread and wine and the oblation of charity were called sacrifices), but a fea9t of communion of believers with the Lord aud with each other. Our sacrifices of praise must consist of thanksgiving and charity (Heb. xiii. 15-16)—prayer and alms: these come up for a memorial before God. Acts x. 4.
If you would relish food, labor for it before you take it; if you would enjoy clothing, pay for it before you wear it; if you would sleep soundly, take a clear conscience to bed with you.—Franklin.
Ho, every one that thirsteth! God gives the blessings of salvation to the undeserving, but never to the undesiring.
The Queen at Home.
Honor the dear old mother. Time has scattered snowy flakes on her brow, plowed deep furrows on her cheeks; but s she not sweet and beautiful now? The lips are thin and shrunken; but those are the lips which have kissed many a hot tear from the childish cheeks, and they are the sweetest lips in the world. The eye is dim, yet it glows with the soft radiance that can never fade. Ah, yes, she ii a dear old mother. The sands of life are nearly run out; but, feeble as she is, she will go further and reach down lower for you than any other upon earth. You cannot enter a prison whose bars will keep her out; you can never mount a scaffold too high for her to reach that she may kiss and bless you in evidence of her deathless love. When the world shall despise and forsake you, when it leaves you to die by the wayside unnoticed, the dear old mother will gather you in her feeble arms and carry you home, and tell you all your virtues until you almost forget your soul is disfigured by vices. Love her tenderly, and cheer her declining years with holy devotion.—Ex.
It is said when Oliver Cromwell visited Yorkminster Cathedral, in England, he saw in one of the apartments btatues of the twelve apostles in silver. "Who are those fellows there?" he asked, as he approached them. On being informed he instantly replied, " Take them down, and let them go about doing good."
They were taken down and melted and put into his treasury. There are many persons who, like these silver apostles, are too stiff for service in much that the Lord's work requires. Some are too nice, some too formal, some disinclined. They stand or sit stiff and stately in their dignity, and sinners may go unsaved and believers uncomforted, unhelped, for all the effort they will make to lift a hand to save them. They need melting down and to be sent about doing good. Statuary Christians, however burnished and elegant they may be, are of little real service in the kingdom of Jesus.