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LEVITICUS i. 4, 5.
First, THE hand of the representative of the people was placed upon the head of the sacrifice, before it could be accepted as an atonement, thus evincing an acknowledgment of guilt, and of the justice of that sentence which pronounceth, the soul that sinneth shall die.
Secondly, After this transaction, the sacrifice was accepted; and it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement for him. What do the sacred oracles teach respecting the atonement? Daniel ix. 24, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness." 2 Corinthians v. 19, "To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." Ephesians ii. 7, "That in the ages to come, he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus." Colossians i. 14, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." 1 John ii. 1, 2, "My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Thirdly, And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and shall sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar. Blessed be God, that our expositors are the prophets, the Redeemer of men, and the apostles. Isaiah lii. 13, 14, 15, "Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider." Hebrews
xii. 24, "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." Peter i. 2, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied."
It is observable, that the inwards and legs of the sacrifice were to be washed with water. The following scriptures elucidate this regulation. Ephesians ii. 16, "And that he might reconcile both unto God, in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." 1 Peter ii. 24, “Who, his own self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto rightcousness by whose stripes ye were healed." Corinthians vi.
11, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the LORD Jesus, and by the spirit of our God. Titus iii. 5, 6, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour." John xiii. 5-10, "After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter; and Peter said unto him, LORD, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, LORD, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." This assertion will not admit a literal acceptation; for it is undeniably true, that as an individual, my feet may be perfectly clean, and my hands and my face much soiled. The consistency of this passage is to be found in him, in whom all things consist. Without a figure or parable, Jesus spake not to the people. The human nature, in the aggregate, formed one complete man; the man Christ Jesus, the Godman. Of this illustrious, this comprehensive man, the feet only were defiled, when the iniquity of my heels compass me about, &c. c. In this view, and in this view only, the consistency and propriety of the passage is transcendently beautiful. He that is
washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. Thus shall Jesus Christ, separated from the iniquity of his heels, of the human nature, agreeably to the testimony of the Apostle Paul, Hebrews ix. 28, be manifested without sin unto salvation.
The washing or purifying the inwards of the sacrifice, points not only to that purification which we obtain in the Redeemer, who is the heart as well as the head of every man, and who is made of God unto us, sanctification, but also to that individual cleansing with which the family of man shall be cleansed, when he, who is their life, shall appear, when we shall see our Redeemer as he is, and be made like unto him in all things conformable unto our glorious head. The cleansing the feet, as applicable to individuals, may refer to externals; to our adorning the doctrines of God our Saviour. As ye have received the LORD Jesus, so walk ye in him.
LEVITICUS . 12, 13.
First, WHENCE the command, that the first fruits should not be burned upon the altar for a sweet savour? Was not Christ Jesus considered as the first fruits? Undoubtedly he was thus considered in his resurrection. 1 Corinthians xv. 20, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept."
Secondly, Israel is considered as the first fruits. Jeremiah ii. 3, "Israel was holiness to the LORD, and the first fruits of his increase."
Thirdly, Believers are spoken of as the first fruits. Romans viii. 23, “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Again xi. 16, "For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy and if the root be holy, so are the branches." And James i. 18, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." Revelations xiv. 4, "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he
goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God, and to the Lamb.”
Fourthly, What are we to understand by the regulation so solemnly established? And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt, neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. Salt literally preserves a substance from putrefaction; salt then is the figure of salvation. But we have salvation, eternal salvation, only in Christ Jesus the LORD. This salt is a figure of the divinity of his nature, without which divinity, his humanity would have seen corruption. Our Saviour addressing his disciples, Matthew v. 13, thus speaketh. "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savour wherewith shall it be salted? What is this savour? 2 Corinthians ii. 14, 15, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ in them that are saved, and in them that perish." Colossians iv. 6, "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
Fifthly, This salt is called the salt of the covenant, the salt of the covenant of God which must never be lacking from the meat offerings, and with every offering this salt must be offered. What is this salt of the covenant? We have already considered it as the salvation of God, and it is spoken of as an everlasting salvation. Numbers xviii. 19, “All the heave-offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute forever it is a covenant of salt forever before the LORD unto thee, and to thy seed with thee." Isaiah xlii. 6, "I the LORD, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant to the people, for a light of the Gentiles." The thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah, is full to our purpose.
"And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
"Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the LORD of hosts is his name :
"If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.
"Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD."
But the shades of evening would descend upon us, ere I could detail to my beloved hearers a moicty of those sacred testimonics which describe this covenant, this new and everlasting covenant, in other words, eternal salvation. A covenant of salt. Every one, saith the Redeemer, shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Matthew, iii. 11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” But as for the oblation of the first fruits ye shall offer them unto the LORD, but they shall not be burnt upon the altar for a sweet savour. What is this that shall not be burnt upon the altar for a sweet savour? The sacred oracles have designated these first fruits. Jesus the elect precious, the people of Israel, and believers. Perhaps the non consumption of these first fruits by fire may intend the exemption from trial, by which, select characters will be indulged at the final winding up of the great drama. The works of genuine believers are not then to be tried; they have judged themselves and are not therefore again to be judged; upon them the caustic flame has done its office, and they have entered into the joy of their LORD.