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But there is something more which we all may give whether we be rich or poor, which all are required to give, and which is the best offering that we can possibly present. This is, ourselves, our hearts and lives, our affections and services. We should all give ourselves to him, who gave himself for us. The Apostle says in the twelfth chapter of Romans, and first verse, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." He describes the character of true Christians in the fourteenth chapter of the same Epistle, and the seventh verse, where he says, "None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth unto himself; for whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether therefore we live or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." Again he writes in the fifth chapter of his second Epistle to the Corinthians, and the fourteenth verse, "The
love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again." How forcible are these scriptures! Oh! that they may come with such a power to all our hearts, as may make us to devote ourselves willingly to Christ and his service! Oh! that the love of Christ may constrain us also to judge as the Apostle judged, to live as the Apostle lived, and to present ourselves a living sacrifice unto God, as he beseeches us to do!
LEVIT. II. 1.
And when any will offer a meat-offering unto the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour ; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon.
ALL of you, who read your bibles, are aware how many and various were the offerings which the Jews were commanded to present unto the Lord. It was thus that he was served by his ancient church, and it was thus that he instructed them in the rudiments of the gospel. I trust that you will be improved in scriptural knowledge by my endeavours to expound and illustrate these various ceremonies; and when I say scriptural knowledge, I mean the knowledge of the whole scriptures, for so intimate is the connection between the
Old Testament and the New, that whatever throws light upon any part of the one tends to clear up and confirm the other. With this view I have already considered the burntoffering, and I now proceed to the meatoffering with its attendant ceremonies.
This offering was to consist of fine flour with oil poured upon it, and frankincense added to it. The use of leaven and of honey were expressly prohibited. We find that the leaven was uniformly excluded from every offering, of which any part was to be burnt on the altar of God, though it might be used in such as were merely oblations to the priests: the reason of this will appear when we come to consider its spiritual import. Honey was prohibited, either on account of its tendency, like leaven, to ferment, or because it was much used by the heathen in their sacrifices, or as being representative of the sweets of sensual indulgencies. Salt on the contrary was expressly enjoined, 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." The reason appears from the terms by which it is spoken of, it is called the salt of the covenant. Anciently compacts of friendship or alliance were formed by the eating of salt together, which thus became, as it were, the seal of the covenant. Moreover salt was considered as an emblem of perpetuity, from its known quality of preserving meat, and thus served to denote the unchangeableness of that mercy and favour which formed the covenant on the part of God, and of that love and obedience which is due from man.
With these ingredients the offering might be presented without any preparation, or it might be baked in such manner as the offerer pleased. A part of it, with all the frankincense, was to be taken by the priest to the altar, and burnt upon it, as "an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord." This part of the meat-offering was denominated the memorial of it. It was thus named, I suppose, that the Israelites might be put in mind that the whole was a