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the people. He was also to have from the people two kids of the goats, one of which selected by lot, was to be killed as a sinoffering, and a ram for a burnt-offering. There was no approach to the Lord, either for priest or people, without a sacrifice. They might afflict their souls, and confess their sins, but there must always be a sacrifice. It was uniformly the sacrifice which made the So the sacrifice of Christ is Whatever else we do We may
every thing to us.
will be of no avail without this.
mourn for our sins, we may offer costly oblations, we may abound in deeds of benevolence and charity, but the one thing needful is a living faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Without this all else is unacceptable and in vain.
2. In the second place I observe that when Aaron had killed the bullock which was a sin-offering for himself, and made an atonement for himself and for his house, he was to take incense and burning coals, and to enter with these into the holy of holies, and there put the incense on the coals, that
the cloud arising from the burning of it might cover the mercy-seat. Then he was to fetch some of the blood of his sin-offering, and sprinkle some of it upon the mercy-seat, and some of it seven times before the mercyseat. How well does all this set forth the reverence due to God, the necessity of propitiating him, and the infinite importance of that blood, which is emphatically called the blood of sprinkling.
3. In the third place, Aaron was then to kill the goat appointed to be the sin-offering for the people, and to take its blood within the veil, and sprinkle it in like manner; for whatever is necessary for one of the sinful race of men is necessary for others. with these ceremonies he made atonement for the holy place; and so he was to do for the whole tabernacle, and so also for the altar of incense, and to put the blood of the bullock and the goat on the horns of the altar, and to sprinkle the blood upon it with his finger seven times. There cannot possibly be a stronger representation of the sinful nature of man. Though the high priest alone
entered into the holy of holies, yet it thereby became defiled, and must be purified from the uncleanness contracted by its contact with man; and in like manner the tabernacle and the altar must be purified and hallowed from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. How plainly does God thus teach us the holiness of his nature, and how jealous he is of it! How plainly does he shew that we are all defiled and defiling! How manifestly does he set forth our need of a purification by blood, even the blood of the Lamb slain to take away sin. It will be well indeed if these things give us any more clear and convincing views of sin, and of the manner in which we must have it removed. We may here see that it cleaves to us even in the services of the house of God, and that it pollutes every thing which the sinner touches. Oh! that all this may lead us to a more complete application of the blood of Christ to our own consciences.
4. I now observe, in the fourth place, that after Aaron had killed the sin-offering for himself and his house, and the sin-offering
for the people, and had “made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, another and very particular part of the day's service commenced. The other goat, which was reserved alive by the lot, was brought forth. This was called the scape-goat. We read respecting it in the twenty-first and twenty-second verses, "And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities, unto a land not inhabited, and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." The case of the living bird let fly into the open heaven, in the purification of the leper, while the other bird was killed, and its blood mixed with water was sprinkled upon the leper, is in some respects similar to the case of these two goats, but here the ceremony is much fuller. And scarcely is it possible that any thing
could more distinctly represent the whole method of the removing of our sins from us, as that is done by the blessed Jesus.
5. In the fifth and last place I observe that this being done the high priest no longer wore his plain and humble garments. The penitential part of the day's service being ended, and the goat sent away with their sins upon it into the wilderness, he was to put off his linen raiment, and leave it in the holy place, and assume his rich and splendid dress; and yet, in order that we may still see the defiling nature of sin, he was again to wash his flesh as being rendered unclean by putting the sins of the people upon the scape-goat; so also had the man who took it into the wilderness, and there let it go, and his clothes also, and the other also, who carried away the burnt-offerings without the camp, and burned them there, was in like manner to wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water.
And now, my brethren, having thus described to you the peculiar circumstances and ceremonies belonging to this great day