I. What, then, is the nature of the sacrifice? or, What is it we are to offer? It is not a lamb, or a goat, or a bullock, but, according to the language of our Communion Service, the offering which we are to render is ourselves. “Here we offer and present unto thee ourselves, our souls and bodies.” Just so we read of the p. 35churches of Macedonia, “that they first gave their own selves unto the Lord.” A moment’s thought will suffice to show that such a sacrifice as this is much more costly than any other. It would be a light matter to sacrifice a bullock, but it is a very costly one to sacrifice Self—an easy thing for the wealthy prince to bring a thousand lambs to the altar, but a hard thing for either rich or poor to bring his own will to be crucified with Christ. 冷冷 3. That this sacrifice is a sacrifice of propitiation for sin. There is a sacrifice of self-dedication, which every loving heart is required to offer: as in the words after the Lord’s Supper,—“Here we offer and present unto Thee ourselves, out souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto Thee.” But in that case the offering is ourselves, and the motive is not propitiation, but dedication. According to the teaching of Rome the offering is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the object is to make a propitiation for sin. They could never, therefore, satisfy the conscience; as you read, Heb; x. 1, 2:—“For the law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged shall have had no more conscience of sins.” 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.
When I drew your attention to this text on Sunday last, I pointed out the two great subjects contained in it, viz. the work of atonement completed by our blessed Lord on earth, and His present session at the right hand of God. The latter of these we studied on Sunday last, but the former is of such vast importance to every one of us that it would be wrong to leave the passage without devoting this morning to the careful examination of it. 感觉 A man might bring any number of lambs, goats, and bullocks, and lay them all on the altar; but, unless by the eye of faith he looked to Christ, he would, after all, carry guilt with him in his conscience; and the still small voice within would bring him in guilty before God. The sense of guilt demanded repetition; but p. 26unless the heart looked forward, through that sacrifice, to the coming Christ, no offering, however often repeated, was sufficient: the conscience remained uneasy still, and the sense of guilt clung to the soul. In support of this view of the passage it should be observed, that He does not say that the sins are remitted in heaven, or by God, or by Himself; but simply says they are remitted, as though He had said, “I give you full authority to decide; and when you do so, the decision is final.” If this be the true view of the passage, we can perfectly understand the use of it in the Ordination Service. The whole Church cannot exercise this power, and must depute it to executive officers. These officers are the elders, or presbyters, or priests; and, therefore, when they are ordained, the Bishop first asks them, “Will p. 62you give your faithful diligence always so to administer the doctrine, and sacraments, and discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as this Church and nation hath received the same?” And after the commission has been given he adds, “And be thou a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God, and of His holy Sacraments.” The sense of reverence may take a wrong as well as a right direction. It led John himself to worship an angel, and to bring on himself the severe reproof which he has so faithfully recorded, and it may lead misguided men to give that which is not God the worship due to God alone. But while we think this, let none fall short in the deepest reverence. None can adore Him enough; none can be holy enough in His presence and at His feet. But it p. 17is the living Saviour at the right hand of God whom we will adore. It is the Prince on the throne, the Priest at the right hand of the Father. It is the living, reigning, triumphant Saviour, “far above all principalities and powers, and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come;” and not a small piece of lifeless bread, which is said to have been turned into God by the miraculous powers of a priest.
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. 本就 2. That whenever the Mass is administered, He, the living Saviour, is again sacrificed and put to death. Now, this is the doctrine that persons are striving to reintroduce into our land and church. The real object of this modern movement is to re-establish the belief in transubstantiation and propitiatory sacrifice. Those vestments of which we have heard so much are not introduced simply from a love of ornament and decoration, but they are folds in which to wrap the doctrine of the Mass; and that doctrine, as I p. 29have just stated it, is, that the bread is first changed into a living Saviour, and then the living Saviour offered afresh as a propitiation for sin. 
能出 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. ”
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. 次觉 3. Even if these words were taken literally, they would not teach the doctrine of Rome. In x. 3, 4, we are distinctly taught that the one reason why these sacrifices were repeated was, that it was impossible for them to be effectual in removing guilt. “In those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” The dark stain of sin is far too dreadful a thing to be blotted out by the blood of any animal. Those sacrifices did very well as remembrancers. They were daily reminders, and daily acknowledgments of guilt; but as for putting it away, they had no virtue in them, and they p. 25were powerless. They were most important likewise as types; as helping believers, with the eye of faith, to look on and trust to the one sufficient sacrifice of the Lord; and so believers, looking to Christ as represented in the slain lamb, could, through faith in Him, find pardon and peace to their souls. But in themselves they were utterly powerless, for nothing short of the perfect sacrifice of the Son of God could ever really take away sin.”