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he saw the smoke of the fat ascend to heaven, he would rejoice in this acceptance of his offering. When he looked upon the waved breast, and the uplifted shoulder, he would be thankful for the ministry of the appointed servants of the Lord. And when he retired from the ceremony, he would go on his way rejoicing that the Lord had accepted him in his work, and would eat his food with all the warmest emotions of gratitude, affiance, and love. Such I think would be the influence of a ceremony of this nature upon the heart of every pious Jew. It would be one of his most highly privileged feasts, though but a private one, and would throw a peaceful and happy frame over the whole soul. Thus the evangelical doctrines were presented to him, and all those right feelings towards God, which are so powerfully called forth by the gospel, were, at least in a measure according with his light, experienced by the Jew.
III. But now, in the third place, I proceed to enquire into the instruction which we may derive from this ceremony of the peace-offering.
Surely it may lead us to see a necessity that we too should seek peace with God. For the nature of man is ever the same, and the circumstances also in which he is placed by nature are universally the same. By nature we are transgressors of the law of God, and by nature we are alienated in our minds and enemies to him by wicked works; and consequently are in circumstances of condemnation and wrath. In these circumstances it is indispensible for our safety that we obtain peace. Never had a nation, which had no resources whatever sufficient to contend against the power of another, but was existing wholly by the forbearance of that other, such motives to seek peace with its more powerful adversary, as we have to seek peace with God. Never had the traitorous and openly rebellious subjects of any earthly prince such necessity to seek peace with their justly offended sovereign, when all their attempts against his throne had failed, and their case was desperately hopeless, as we have to deprecate the vengeance of our offended God, and to desire reconciliation with him.
And how plainly is the method of peace revealed to us! It is procured for us through the instrumentality of another, whom we well know to be the blessed and eternal Jesus
himself. "He is our peace." "God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." This then is the peace-offering which we must bring. Upon his head we lay our hands. We present him, the only begotten and beloved Son of God, as one in whom the father is well-pleased, and who will appease his wrath.
And oh! the blessing which we derive when that offering is accepted for us. Then passes away all that condemnation to which we were previously exposed, all that justly aroused wrath of God which our rebellion had provoked. Then also pass away all that hatred and enmity which naturally subsist in the unreconciled heart of man; so far from continuing a hater of God, he is no longer even a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God, but "the love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost given to him," and that casteth out fear, and hatred, and every other unworthy feeling towards God.
Oh! how great are the privileges which then the soul enjoys! Many of them are enumerated by the Apostle in the beginning of the fifth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh experience, and experience hope and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. And not only so, through our Lord
but we also joy in God
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." What blessed concomitants are these of that peace which he enjoys through our Lord Jesus Christ who is justified by faith: present joy in God, the power of ever glorying in tribulations and afflictions, love shed abroad on the heart by the Holy Ghost himself, access into the grace and liberty of the gospel, with the hope of
the future enjoyment of the glory of God. These are the blessings enjoyed in this state Well is it called, "the peace of God which passeth all understanding." Well it be said to be such as the world cannot give. Well might Jesus say, peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." What a rich spiritual feast is here! Here are provisions sent us from the Lord which do indeed nourish and strengthen our souls, and invigorate them for every holy service and duty. Here is what will not only cause us to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, but will also preserve us in the allegiance to which we have now returned, and prevent us from going back again to our rebellion and sin. Prophets and Apostles assign such effects to these delightful emotions of the heart. "The joy of the Lord is your strength." "The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." The immense value of the blessing of spiritual peace very strongly appears from its being made the