What are its uses and applications by the Spirit in Scripture?
If we read the contexts of the following references, we shall see, as to the blood of Jesus Christ, that --
1. It connects the disciple with a covenant (Matt. 26: 28, etc.);
2. The knowledge of it is eternal life (John 6: 32-69);
3. It is the proof of the death of Jesus (John 19: 33);
4. The purchase money of the flock (Acts 20: 28);
5. The propitiation provided by God (Rom. 3: 25);
6. The finished justification (Rom. 5: 9);
7. The centre of union among the saints on earth (1 Cor. 10: 16);
8. Freedom from guilt (Eph. 1: 7);
9. Our nighness -- to God as sons -- to Christ as bride -- to the Holy Ghost as temple (Eph. 2: 13);
10. Redemption, even the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1: 14);
11. The power of deliverance from Satan's kingdom into Christ's (Col. 1: 20);
12. The secured approach of the sinner to the holiest, where God dwells, and Christ, who gives good things to come (Heb. 9: 7-12);
13. It is to be known as such (Heb. 9: 12-14);
14. Both the place to which it thus leads, and the blessings of the place (as well as the people for whom they are) are connected with it (Heb. 9: 18-28).
15. It is the taking away of sin, the setting apart of the saints to God, and that by which they are already perfected (Heb. 10: 11-14);
16. The power of heavenly filial service (Heb. 10: 19);
17. The sanctification of those that know it (27-31 and 13: 12);
18. The measure of our obedience to God (Heb. 12: 1-4);
19. The testimony of good things to us, but judgment on the world (Heb. 12: 24);
20. The sanctification as of an eternal covenant (Heb. 13: 12, 20);
21. The knowledge of it is the proof of election (1 Peter 1: 2).
22. It is the saint's ransom (1 Peter 1: 18);
23. The saint's daily resource for cleansing (1 John 1: 7);
24. God's witness upon earth (1 John 5: 8);
25. The cleansing of our persons -- so sung of on earth (Rev. 1: 5);
26. Our redemption so sung of in heaven (Rev. 5: 8);
27. The cleansing of our robes (Rev. 7: 14);
28. The victory over Satan. (Rev. 12: 11.)
The blood, the death, and the cross of Jesus (though all found together in THE one great act of man's rebellion against God), are often presented by the Spirit as having different things more immediately connected with each of them. At present I shall only speak of the blood. The blood, when spoken of as known so as to be valued, always seems to involve, more or less remotely, the idea of atonement. In itself it is atonement; even that by which alone God can be just, and yet the justifier of the sinner; and, so it is that which not only enables God to bless, but the sinner to draw near for blessing. And yet it has more uses and applications in connection with atonement, than most are aware. For it may be looked at as presented with the view of giving eternal life to them that believe as in itself propitiation; as the removal of sin; as justification, forgiveness, nearness, peace; as that which alone cleanses the conscience of a sinner, or can keep a saint's conscience clean; which has cleansed the person in one place, and the robes in another; which is redemption -- an approach to the holiest -- the securer and retainer of that place -- our purchase money -- our sanctification -- the proof of our election -- our power over Satan, the power and measure of our obedience to God. that in which we have communion one with another, the seal of the everlasting covenant, etc., etc. In such various lights does the Spirit make mention of the blood! May the saints, however weak, know God's estimate of the blood in all the varied applications of it, and, through the Spirit, learn to adopt God's estimate, and to set aside their own.
Ignorance of the blood, or carelessness to it, is the world's condemnation. Passages bearing upon this I shall not now notice, except as connected with the saint's victory over the world -- writing merely with the view of endeavouring to help Christians to see the blood as connected with themselves. May the Holy Spirit, who bears witness with the blood, reveal to us that which flesh and blood cannot, while we muse on these things!
1. The blood of Jesus Christ connects the disciple of Christ with a covenant. For it is written: -- "This is my blood of the new testament [or, covenant; there is but one word in Greek for testament and covenant], which is shed for many." (Matt. 26: 28.) "This is my blood, of the new covenant, which is shed for many." (Mark 14: 24.) "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22: 20.)
The character of this covenant, the Holy Ghost tells us: -- "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Heb. 10: 16.)
OBSERVE, the blood is presented here (neither as calling for vengeance, nor, as in the obedience which led to it, our ensample, but) as shed FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS. And the covenant to which it belongs is called (Heb. 13) an everlasting covenant; and it is one which cannot fail, for God, in it, has set Himself to forget our sins and iniquities, to put His laws into our hearts, and to write them in our minds. And who are we that we should withstand God, when recognising all our guilt, and misery, and ruin, He undertakes to save us thus?
2. The knowledge of the blood of Jesus Christ shed upon the cross, is Gods way of giving eternal life to the poor perishing sinner. As it is written: -- "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day . . . . Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die . . . . Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."* (John 6: 32-69.)
*Observe, if you come to Jesus, it is a proof -- 1st, that you have been given to Him by the Father (ver. 37); for "no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (ver. 44); and except it were given him of the Father (ver. 65); and, 2ndly, that you are taught of God. (Ver. 45.) If you have not come, is it not because you do not believe God? (Ver. 45.)
Here we learn, that if any one receives the death of Jesus, and the atonement by the blood in death, he hath (from that time onward) everlasting life, and can therefore never come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life. To eat and to drink are very simple acts, such as we do every day, and know that we do them, so that we could not believe a man who said, I do not know if I have ever eat or drunk. Well, the figure, as applied to our souls, is very simple likewise; and though no man can tell if another has done it, it seems to me impossible for a man himself to have turned in heart to the broken body and shed blood of Jesus, and to have said, "Here are the proofs of God's grace toward sinners, and His way of being merciful -- I am a sinner, and I will trust to God's grace as thus expressed," and not to know that he has done so. But if he has done so, he has (though he may not know it) everlasting life -- I say if he has in heart, as before God, said, "The broken body and shed blood of Jesus are God's way of receiving the sinner, and they shall be my way of being received; and if I perish, I perish in this way." Jesus's answer to such an one in the Bible is, "Thou hearest the voice of my blood, then thou art mine. For it is my sheep which hear my voice, and I know them . . . . and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." Ponder the cross of Jesus, and receive His blood as atonement, then, poor sinner.
3. The blood was the expression of the death of Jesus. As it is written: -- "When they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And, he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe." (John 19: 33-35.)
Here is presented to us what and whence the blood is. This was in our Lord's mind when speaking to the Jews, as is recorded in chapter 6, and which, though he saw and understood it all, neither could the Jews receive, nor could the disciples understand. But oh, what a tale of love! such love as many waters could not quench; such love as was stronger than death, does this foreknowledge on Jesus's part tell us of. The separation of the liquid blood into blood and water, showed death to have taken place: it is never so save after death. Some think the water here was that which fills the vessel in which "the heart" is placed, the breaking of which, they say, is what produces a broken heart; if so, then also, whether broken by the convulsions, of sorrow, or pierced by the spear, death must have taken place. I would only add, that I doubt not but that this fact had a further typical meaning. For not only is Jesus on the cross pouring forth His blood unto death, in atonement, our only resource, but there also I get not only that which cleanses me from all charge of guilt -- the blood; but also that Spirit which is righteousness, and which seems typified by the water -- even the Holy Ghost, which coming consequent upon Christ's death, is the pledge to those that have it of their being accepted in the beloved; partakers of the divine nature; and who makes the rivers of living water to flow out of their bellies even while in this life.
4. The blood of Jesus Christ is the purchase money of the flock; already paid. As it is written: -- "Take heed . . . . to . . . . the flock . . . . to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20: 28.)
I notice here that the flock is God's; even the church in its poor, militant, wilderness state: and it has been purchased already, and a goodly price paid for it. Judas and the priests fixed the price of Jehovah of Hosts, when He was in the temple, at thirty pieces of silver. (Zech. 11: 12, 13.) God's price for the church is the blood of Him who was the Son of God. As we wonder that Judas should have kept to his covenant, and done such an act for so mean a price; so, surely, the greatness of the price God has paid assures us He will not depart from His covenant. If a man buys anything he longs for, and pays for it, we know how tenacious he is of his right to have it; so that nothing but want of power can cause him to leave both purchase money and goods bought in the hands of the seller. The greatness of the price God fixed, shows the measure of His desire; the price is paid, and has He not power, in His own time, to appropriate that He has purchased?
5. The blood of Jesus Christ is, to them that have faith in it, propitiation. As it is written "Christ Jesus . . . . whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood." (Rom. 3: 25.)
The question at issue in this chapter is, "How can a sinful transgressor be received by God?" And the answer is, "If he come as a sinful transgressor, he will be received freely, by God's grace, through Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth as a propitiatory, or mercy seat, for them that have faith in His blood. For this blood tells how a just God can be the justifier of the sinful transgressor, who receives the account He gives of the blood, and trusts to it. This word translated "propitiation" occurs only once more in the New Testament, in Hebrews 9: 5, and means, propitiatory or mercy-seat -- which was the place where God dwelt, between the cherubim, and it shut up, and was over, the law in the ark; before and upon it the blood of atonement was sprinkled.
The blood as thus, first, upon, and, secondly, before, the mercy-seat, expresses (as in all the Old Testament sacrifices wherein atonement was made), the two great uses of the blood. The first, as connected with God, the way opened and the means provided by Himself, wherein He could be just and yet the justifier of the sinner: this is shown by God to man. The second is connected by God, through His grace connected, I say, with him that believeth; and so the thing which gives such an one boldness to draw near to God. The former also washing the books in heaven, as a poor dumb boy once described in writing his view of pardon: "The bleeding hand of Jesus passed over each page in my account, so that none can read it through the stain of His blood." The second cleansing also the conscience. Read the chapter from verse 19-26, and see whether this is not the outline of it. Verse 19 having said that God had pronounced the whole world to be guilty in His sight, that every mouth might be stopped, Paul first shows (ver. 20) that this is a proof the law could not justify a man -- for then the Jew would not be guilty, but justified, for he had the law. And if the law, which was a round of duties, given to man by God, could not justify him, how much less can a round of duties, of a man's own devising, which God never gave, do so! Well, but if God (in so summary a way) pronounces all to be guilty, and, as far as they are concerned, irrecoverably so (so that every mouth must be stopped, and all the world become guilty before him), what can any one do? Why (ver. 21), he may have recourse to that method of justification which is, not by law, though witness of both by law and prophets, even (ver. 22) trust to God Himself, graciously to justify him by Jesus Christ. And then Paul goes over the ground, in measure, a second time. (Ver. 23.) All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; yet (ver. 24) any man may be justified by God's grace, freely, through the redemption that is in Christ. -- "What is that?" says the soul. Why (Ver. 25) it is the person of Jesus in heaven (compare Rom. 8: 32-34) set forth as a propitiation -- and it is the property (made so by God) of every one that trusts to His blood: it is set forth to show God's way of justifying those He has pronounced guilty -- and tells how God completely remits all past sins -- forbearing to see them even. And verse 26, it is a way which tells the justice as much as the mercy of God to the sinner -- that He is just, though He does Himself justify the very one He has pronounced guilty, if so be he trusts to Jesus; for it shows Jesus actually to have borne the sinner's punishment, and to have paid his debt. Has God already said, we are all guilty? that there is no hope for us in ourselves? Has He raised Jesus from the dead? And does He say, that if I have taken Christ's blood as my trust, then Christ bore my sins in His own body on the tree? is risen for me? and intercedes for me? Yes, He has said so, and through His grace I have said, "The blood of Jesus Christ is my trust." Reader, have You also said so?
6. The blood of Jesus Christ is the finished justification of every one that believeth. As it is written: "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being or rather, having been now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Rom. 5: 8-10.)
OBSERVE, "being now justified," cannot mean "being about to be, or in the hope of being justified;" but it necessarily, implies that the justification is both finished, and its sufficiency known and satisfactory to us; just as if I said, "I am satisfied." The thing which satisfied would necessarily be known to be in existence, and to be mine, and to be known to be as mine, and as sufficient, in itself and by itself, to meet my desires. Just so is it with the blood of Jesus, by which, Paul says, "being now justified by his blood." The blood is shed; the sinner that knows it is the one for whom it is shed; he that believes knows it is for him, because God says so; it is sufficient in itself and by itself, fully to justify him from all things and to give him rest before God.
7. The blood of Jesus Christ is the centre of union among Christians while on earth. As it is written: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion [or fellowship] of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. 10: 16.)
And thereby, secondly, it is the power of separation from false worship of every kind; "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and of the table of devils." (Ver. 21.) And further, observe, thirdly, this is the saint's principle of separation from evil generally -- for, 1 Cor. 11: 25-27, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."
From this context in the Corinthian epistle, I learn three things: first, where the saint is to be in communion. Even there, where all who know and trust to the death and blood of Jesus are received. For they that have done so have the Spirit, or they could not have done it (1 Cor. 2: 11) and having this Spirit, they are thus "one Spirit with the Lord," and so "members one of another," one bread and one cup. The knowledge of the death and blood (which can be only by the Spirit, for who knoweth the things of God save the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2: 11, 16) is the condition of salvation, of church-fellowship, and of a place at the marriage-supper of the Lamb.
Secondly, I learn where the saint is not to have communion. Even there where, instead of the Holy Ghost gathering simply by the blood, Satan is found displaying principles of his own -- which, whether it be teaching Christians to worship demons, false mediators, etc., or the bringing of the condemned worldling into the place of worshipper of the true God as well as the pardoned Christian; or the establishment of schism, by saying that in addition to knowing the blood, which is by the Spirit, a man must always have light upon other truths, as baptism, or church order, etc., in order to be on an equal footing with all there; or again, whether it be by setting an order of man's making, and gifts of man's cultivation, in place of the order and power of the Holy Ghost, as edifier: these things the saints should shun.
Thirdly, I learn that those who are in such communion together are watched over by the Lord, and that if any of them live in sin, or carelessly, and do not search after, and confess, and put away whatever is evil, the Lord will judge and chasten them, that they may not be condemned with the world.
How plain are the directions for the communion of saints! How separate is it from the allowance of evil, as from Satan, the world, or the flesh! How safe is the position! God to watch over them! And how needful, if this is not to bring present discipline, is self-examination and confession for the saint!
8. The blood of Jesus Christ is freedom from guilt, so as for God to adopt us as sons, by the remission of transgressions, or removing of the guilt of offences. As it is written: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." (Eph. 1: 7.)
And thus -
9. The blood of Jesus Christ is nighness to God, even for the Gentiles; and what a nighness! It is written: "Now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace." (Eph. 2: 13.)
The nighness here has a wondrous character, for (as the first and second chapters set forth) it includes these three things: being "children of God the Father;" "the bride and joint-heir of Christ;" and "the tabernacle of the Holy Ghost"! And this to all that believe, whether Jew or Gentile, for there is no difference.
10. The blood of Jesus Christ is redemption, even the forgiveness of sins. As it is written: "Delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." (Col. 1: 13, 14.)
This expression, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins," is just what is found in Ephesians 1: 7. There is, however, a difference in the contexts of the two; for in Ephesians it is put in a more general way; in Colossians it seems especially connected with cleansing us from evil -- the evil of the kingdom of Satan. In Ephesians, if you look at the two passages in which the blood is referred to, you will see that it is mentioned in the first, in order that we might know ourselves to be free, to be sons of the Father, the bride of Christ, and the residence of the Holy Ghost. If you compare the quotation from Colossians 1: 14 with what follows, you will see that in this epistle the blood is likewise referred to twice, but that the remission mentioned in the first place, is in this epistle connected more particularly with the bringing us from out of the dark kingdom of Satan, under the power of the kingdom of God's dear Son.
11. The Blood of Jesus Christ is the means of taking us out of Satan's kingdom and putting us into Christ's. As it written: -- "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself." (Col. 1: 20.)
Observe, this verse takes in more than the reconciliation of the church now, for it looks forward to the time when every knee shall bow to Jesus (compare Phil. 2: 10, Eph. 1: 10), and also to the time when God shall be all in all. But it is still true of the church now, and is so quoted.
12. The blood of Jesus Christ is the secured approach of man as a sinner to the holiest where God dwells, and where Christ, who is the giver of good things to come, is. As it is written: -- "The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing. (Therefore, also, when Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, as showing that then the way was manifest. See. Matt. 27: 51.) "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place." (Heb. 9: 7-12.)
13. The blood of Jesus Christ is to be known and acted upon as the secured approach; for it is written (see vers. 12-14), He did this -- "having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of coats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
I notice here the difference in these two; in the first, the blood secures the way for the sinner right up to God Himself; in the second, it gives the conscience of the sinner cleanness. We shall see this referred to more at length presently.
14. Yea, and for our greater assurance, the blessings He gives and the place to which He leads, are, as well as the persons of the blessed, connected with the blood; for it is written -- (read from vers. 18-28), verse 22 -- "Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is . . . . entered . . . . into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."
Two more things are taught us here; first, that the place to which we go is secured for us by the blood; and, secondly, that all the blessings, the good things to come," are also blood-bought and in some sense blood-adorned, or scented with the sweet savour of the blood, while its being for "us" connects the persons of the blessed likewise with the blood. Thus we see (as in Rev. 4 and 5) the throne of God Himself is not without the Lamb that was slain, nor is there one spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Eph. 1) but what is ours, and all of them in Christ Jesus, who was the Lamb that was slain and is alive again for evermore. This is important; for as we now stand in grace, and are "rejoicing in hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5), so, when in the glory, we shall see around us every memorial of grace. Now we see glory from the position of grace in which we stand, as it is written, "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." Hereafter we shall be in glory, but the brightest part of its effulgent brilliancy will be that which still tells of grace as the way by which we got there. Thus, in Rev. 7, the post of peculiar honour, of the innumerable multitude whom no man could number, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, is thus characterised; it is -- "before the throne and before the Lamb." Their lovely chorus too brings Him in -- "Salvation to our God and unto the Lamb." And if their robes be so white -- whiter than any fuller could whiten them -- they "have washed them and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." And if their portion be a full one (that they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat), it is a portion they find at the hand of Jesus; as it is written: "For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water." And no sooner can it be said (Rev. 19: 6) "Alleluia! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!" than we see the first-fruits of His power in what is added, "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me [telling out the fulness of his joy in the thought of giving it as an abiding known portion to us on earth], Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And . . . . these are the true sayings of God." Yea, and the very "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God," tells the same tale of grace even in its glory. It is (Rev. 21: 9) there where the bride, the Lamb's wife, is to be seen. And its twelve gates bear the names of Israel; of whom redemption in its earthly progress treats; of whom, concerning the flesh, Jesus was born: the chief trial of God's patience, and grace, and faithfulness in time; and in eternity, THE proof of the Lamb's worthiness and fulness. Its foundations, too, have in them (ver. 14) the name of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Its temple is the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (ver. 22); and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Ver. 23.) The Lamb's book of life is the registry of its inhabitants (ver. 27); and its refreshment, a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Rev. 22: 1); for the throne there is the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Ver. 3.) And they who are His servants now shall then serve Him perfectly, seeing His face, and bearing "His name aloft upon their foreheads" -- a diadem of beauty and glory indeed! Into what a sphere of grace and truth does hope launch the soul -- a world where all the moral worth, and all the moral glory of the Lamb who shed His blood shall be known -- where not one hindrance shall exist to the full manifestation and full apprehension of grace and truth, as revealed by Jesus Christ. How tender toward us is all this, and how cheering the prospect! The good things to come, of which Christ (Heb. 9: 11) is become a high priest, will each and all have some fresh tale to tell us of that redeeming love in which as sinners we have taken refuge, being all fresh links of communion with the Lamb that was slain.
As to the other point, referred to first, THE PLACE itself being secured for us by the blood, I need only mention the heart and mind of Him who, now being gone there to prepare a place for us, will come again, and receive us unto Himself; and who as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast . . . . entereth into that within the veil; whither as the forerunner He is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
This is all the result of His one finished and now long ago accepted sacrifice of Himself. And the thoughts of His mind, now, are not about making a way to God, for that He has done; but of coming back to receive to glory those that honour that way. "Now (ver. 26) once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself . . . yea . . . . . Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation. The guilt, ALL the guilt of the believer, has then been put away by the sacrifice of Christ, who was once offered to bear their sins: His sacrifice and offering were not in vain, and unto them that, knowing this sacrifice, look for, Him, He will appear again unto salvation.
15. The blood of Jesus Christ is the taking away of sin; the setting apart of the saints to God; and that by which they are already perfected. For it is written -- (read from Heb. 10: 1-14) -- Heb. 10: 4: "As it was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins," Christ came to do God's will. "By the which will we are sanctified [or set apart to God] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all . . . . for this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, for ever -- sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (or set apart to God) . . . . (15) and of this "the Holy Ghost is a witness," having said (17) "their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
The blood, then, was by God's will, the taking away of sin; and the setting apart of the saints to God; that by which the church is already perfected. It is said of Noah . . . . the creatures went in to him in the ark "as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in." How completely has He shut us thus in a place of better blessing, by a covenant in His own blood! There can then be no more offering for sin -- because there has been remission of all the believer's sins and iniquities; but the blessing does not stop here; the knowledge of the remission sets a man apart to and for God -- saying to him, as it were, "You need look for nothing more either to cleanse you or to make you meet. I, the Blood, am all you want as to the question of acceptance: by me you are perfected for ever; go, go away from thinking about self; go, go and serve God; for you are set apart to Him -- yea, perfected for Him. Let Him be your study, your delight, your end in everything you do, or think, or say."
16. The blood of Jesus Christ thus leads into service of quite a new character: even into heavenly and filial service. As it is written, "Having, therefore brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." (Heb. 10: 19-25.)
OBSERVE it is the service of filial confidence and of heavenly character: boldness is a great word by which to describe the proper service of a sinner in heavenly service. Are you in this service -- in Spirit, and by faith living within the veil, right in the holiest of all; in the very place where God and Christ are, with boldness and in full assurance, and therefore helping on, in every way, the practical holiness and fellowship of the Brotherhood of Christ on earth?
And thus it must be, for --
17. The blood of Jesus Christ has sanctified those that know it, for it is written, that it is made known by the Spirit of grace and is the blood of the covenant. If then I should use the peace which comes from the knowledge of grace, for any other purpose than for service unto God, my conscience would immediately have a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation (ver. 27), for the Lord will judge His people (ver. 30), and when (1 Cor. 11: 32) we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. As it is (ver. 31) a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, let us see that we use our ease of conscience for service to God, not for self-advancement in this world; for of what "punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" (Ver. 29.)*
*I fear there are many who cared nothing for the world while under conviction of sin, and fear of damnation; who, since they got peace by the blood, have turned to seek after the world very diligently, thus using their peace not for Christ but themselves.
18. The blood of Jesus Christ is the measure by which we are to limit our obedience to God; even as did Christ.* As it is written (Heb. 12: 1-4), "Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your winds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." This Jesus did -- O holy honour! may we desire to be like Him in all things; conformed to the fellowship of His sufferings, that we may be also to the likeness of His glory.
*Might it not be said also, the measure of our love to the brethren? (1 John 3: 16.) "Hereby perceive we the love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
Suffering (I would notice) and affliction, and tribulation, are here inevitable. Man is born to misery as the sparks fly upward. God does not change this with His people; but I may suffer with and for Christ, having the joy of the Father's love, and all the sweetness of His presence and promises to comfort me, while I leave the world, and mortify the flesh with its affections and lusts, always more than conqueror through Him that loved me; or I may suffer for being an inconsistent disciple, while endeavouring to avoid the cross; and then I shall have the feeling, God is chastening me, and doubt as to futurity perhaps. Abraham found God could make the world, which he for God's sake had renounced, a place for discovering God's grace and his own high calling in; Lot found the world, not renounced, could hide even God's favour toward him and his calling; so that he had to pick up life and liberty at faithful Abraham's feet. Which would you be like
19. The blood of Jesus Christ is thetestimony of good things to us, but of judgment on the world in which we are. That "bIood of sprinkling, speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Heb. 12: 24.) The voice is from heaven, "God speaking peace to us by the blood" (ver. 25), and telling us also of judgment coming upon all things that can be shaken, yea, upon everything save that kingdom which is ours, which cannot be shaken. Thus does He not only lure us on by descriptions and pictures of Canaan's lovely land to which we go, but also push us out of Egypt, the house of bondage and the land of captivity, by the threatening aspect of the judgment coming from Himself upon Pharaoh's people. "Up, get ye out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city," was the solemn word of Lot. "And the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city . . . . [Remember Lot's wife]."
20. The blood of Jesus Christ is our sanctification as of the eternal covenant. As it is written, "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood" (Heb. 13: 12), . . . . the blood of the everlasting covenant. I shall not say much about sanctification now, save that it does not mean exactly the same thing as purification. This is plain, because first, Christ said, "I sanctify myself" (John 17: 19), He could NOT have said, "I purify myself," for He was always pure, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; in whom Satan had nothing. And secondly, in 1 Corinthians 1: 30, Christ is said to be our sanctification; but we are told we are to purify ourselves. (1 John 3: 3.) To sanctify means to set apart to God. In John 17: 19, Jesus meant, "I set myself apart as a victim." God sanctified or set apart the Nazarite, as Samson, and was his sanctification; so that when Samson did not keep himself pure he came into judgment. Every Christian is spiritually a Nazarite, and Christ is his sanctification; if the Christian therefore does not purify himself, he is judged of the Lord that he be not condemned with the world.
21. The blood of Jesus Christ is, in the knowledge of it, the proof of election. As it is written, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, unto . . . . sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1: 2.) The knowledge of the blood, is the proof of election. Observe this, for many do not see that if I have come to the sprinkling of the blood, I am proved to be an elect one, and would set you to prove your election by other things; but this is THE first and the simplest proof of all . . . . "Elect . . . unto sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" . . . if I know the blood I am an elect one. Many say, you must prove you are one of the elect before you can say, "The blood is mine," but this is contrary to scripture altogether: for no one, in scripture, is even supposed to know anything about covenant, election, or counsel, until he has known the blood. And the whole benefits of the blood are yours, if you believe in God that raised Jesus from the dead. It proves our election, for this simple reason, that --
22. The blood of Jesus Christ was the ransom of the saints. As it is written, "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." (1 Peter 1: 18-21.)
Will any honest man keep what belongs to another, what another has bought and paid for? Let alone all other thoughts, we are dishonest if we do not give ourselves wholly to God, for He has bought us. Let not a hoof then be left behind in Egypt, for body, soul, and spirit are God's; bought with a price. But ah! what a price! and for what a purpose bought! If God gave up His Son to make you His own son and heir, will you murmur if the road to the glory, your own glory, be a little rough? Shame, shame and folly indeed!
23. The blood of Jesus Christ is the saint's daily resource for cleansing. As it is written: -- "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all, sin. If we [i.e. saints] say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1: 7-9.)
Notice this, because many get a doubting whether they are Christians at all, on account of their discovering evil in themselves. Now this is to make one of the proofs God gives of my being a Christian -- the proof that I am not one: which is a strange argument. They that walk in the light, as He is in the light -- What? have no sin? No: but have an incessant application of the blood -- the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth such from all sin. For as light discovers darkness, so it is impossible for one that walks in the light, as He is in the light, to say, -- "I have* (at this present time) no sin." If he said so, he would prove the truth was not in him. Well, but if he confesses the sins thus discovered, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Observe, "faithful and just," to forgive "us" -- for he is here speaking of those who have been set apart to God Himself and Christ by the blood; and not of God's mercy and grace by the blood toward the poor world. If I walk out and can see pits and wells in the ground, it is the proof there must be some light; for if there were no light we could not see them: and the stronger the light the more manifest is the darkness of any pit you look down into. Just so the nearer the saint lives in communion to God and Christ, the more does he know and see of his own vileness and badness in himself; and discovering the evil in his heart, he finds power from God to judge it and not to walk according to it.
*That he means "have" now at the present time is plain: -- because in verse 10 he looks back, and says, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." God never says His saints "must commit sin" -- though He has said all the world has sinned and come short of His glory. If a man says, I never sinned," he says God is a liar; and if a man has the truth of grace in his heart, he will discover evil enough in it, though it need not come out in action.
24. The blood of Jesus Christ is part of God's witness on earth. As it is written: -- "There are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." (1 John 5: 8.) This water and blood seem to me to be the same spoken of in verse 6. "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood." It refers, I think, to John 19: 34. The water and blood in death by which Christ Jesus came (not into the world), but INTO THE PLACE WHENCE He speaks to us, and is God's witness to us.
In verse 5 you will see the thing is connected WITH VICTORY over the world: "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood,"* etc. If I understand this aright, it makes the knowledge of Jesus risen to heaven, after shedding His blood upon earth, the power of victory over the world. The blood on the mercy-seat speaks better things than that of Abel: but the same blood as shed upon earth shows why God has, for the present, ceased to recognise, as to religion, all such earthly places and things as once He did among the Jews; it cries also for vengeance on them that despise the mercy proffered through it, and LAYS NAKED AND BARE THE TRUE CHARACTER OF THE WORLD.
*Whereinto did Jesus come by water and blood? Into the place wherein the epistle to the Hebrews presents Him; where alone we know Him. (2 Cor. 5: 16.)
Let us consider the blood of Jesus as looked at in connection with the earth, in Jerusalem, and with the world as among the Gentiles. According to God's estimate, earth's fairest portion, since the fall, has been Judea; its bravest city, Jerusalem; and of all its goodly edifices, the noblest and the best, the temple. What portion of earth, since the deluge, could compare for real importance with Judea; what nation so honoured as the Jews; what city so distinguished as Jerusalem; what part of it so renowned as the temple? Well, who undertook to count the value of the blood of God's Lamb? The priests and high priests of this temple. They could count it and buy it too. Aye, the Jew and Gentile -- the people Israel (with its double headship in kingly and ecclesiastical power, Herod and the chief priests), and the Gentiles (as well the Roman soldiery as Pontius Pilate), pronounced their own character in their connection with the blood. The money-changing temple (a fit house of merchandise for the sale of the Lamb of God) would give as much as thirty pieces of silver for His blood!! though the coffers of the holy temple might not be defiled with the money when returned:* nor the holy city itself be stained with His blood; "He . . . . suffered without the gate." (Heb. 13: 12.) Neither could they go into the judgment-hall, lest they should be defiled (John 18: 28); nor allow their sabbath to be defiled by the bodies remaining on the cross. (John 19: 31) How nice -- how delicate! how fine -- drawn the earth's and the world's estimate of right and wrong! And where did the sin of the blood rest? upon the priests in any sense? They thought NOT; for they remonstrated (Acts 5: 28) with Peter and John: "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us." And surely their remonstrance availed them as much as Pilate's protest against the deed he did. Observe, he and Herod shake hands, and make up their quarrel, when the scent of this blood is first found: just as the ravening wolves forget their feuds and contests, and cheer one another on, when any worthy, any noble prey is afoot. But Pilate would not admit the deed was his, or that he had part in it; so be gravely calls for water and washes his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." Alas! though vain was his act, as to himself, there was a band of volunteers ready to undertake the burden. "Then answered all the people, and said, his blood be on us and on our children." (Matt. 27: 21, 25.) "That upon Jerusalem* might come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias." (Matt. 23: 35.) And to crown the whole, and bring in the Gentile mob as much as the Gentile nobility, it was the Roman soldiers who mocked, and their spear which pierced the side.
*Judas (Matt. 27: 3-8) "brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day." (Cp. Acts 1: 19.)
*Happy would it be if Jerusalem were the only ecclesiastic apostate stained with blood-guiltiness. The book of Revelation shows it is not so, but that there is something nearer us in place and time, whose crime is similar. When we hear of religious profession connected with the earthly or heavenly temple, we expect not such things as these.
O earth, earth, earth! how has she disclosed her blood -- been unable to cover her slain! Observe, in the above scene the earth and the world are both unmasked. The religious Israel, and the Gentiles without God in the world, were united to shed the blood-and so Satan, was recognised as god of the whole world. And thus we get the cause of such words as, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world; if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him -- for the friendship of the world is enmity with God." and get too the character not only of the world, but of all that she is mother of: "The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." The mother and her daughters, however specious and fair their disguise, are thus unmasked. It is an awful thing to think how little the world knows that it "is condemned already." Men wish the question of their guilt to hang upon a comparison of their lives with what is right and wrong; instead of seeing that the question is, Are you a citizen of the world; have you any connection with the earth; are you a man? Even as when David sent to avenge his messengers on the cities of Ammon (2 Sam. 10): the question was not to each, "Did you insult my messengers?" but, "Are you one of Hanun's subjects?" The count on which condemnation stands now is wider -- Do you belong to the earth, which murdered the Lord's Christ? But the blood tells not only thus the badness of earth's subjects and the world's citizens, when in the place of power appointed by God, as Herod; or in the place of power allowed of God, as Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers; or in the place of leaders, of the earthly worship; but it tells still more, I think, if rightly considered for the blood here, as connected with the shedding of it, tells only of their cruelty, and coming condemnation as being of the world: and thus it unmasks the world's character to the disciple, and so gives him power over it. Yet it tells me more than this: for --
I see in it, as to flesh itself, two things. First: the blood of the Son was shed in atonement and propitiation for our bad flesh. Surely thus it speaks volumes about the badness of our flesh: all that can be told about it is said, to my mind, in Romans 8: 3: "God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (visiting the guilt of our sinful flesh even upon Him in holy flesh). And what was the judgment, but the forfeiture of the blood? Yea, the very life was given, in atonement, for "the blood is the life of the flesh." This is the measure of our flesh's badness. What an awful one! surely an end of all hope as to it is here pronounced, and pronounced in a way to silence our hearts and still our minds. But not only does the shed blood of the Son tell the end of bad flesh; but more: it tells, secondly, as to the pure and holy Jesus, of that deeper glory that was in Him as God manifest in the flesh. The blood is the life of all flesh. The life, which is in the blood, was originally given in good flesh in Adam, and was found in perfect flesh in Jesus. And He is the only one that could say to God (Ps. 63: 1), My flesh longeth for Thee;" or (Ps. 84: 2), My flesh crieth out for the living God," etc. And He was God manifest in the flesh. Now let us see in this connection what the blood teaches us. First, it was not the simple fact that He was pure and holy as a man which gave the real character, virtue, and excellency to the blood of Jesus. Adam's blood, as he was set in purity in Eden, could not have made atonement. But Jesus was God manifest in the flesh -- and it was through the eternal Spirit that He offered Himself without spot to God. But for His being God, His blood would not have availed. Second, the blood was given out in atonement -- the way by which God could be just and yet the justifier of the sinner -- yet the blood was not in its shedding, taken alone, enough even for this -- for (1 Cor. 15: 14), "if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." "Ye are yet in your sins." Third, the insufficiency of the life of flesh altogether for the glory is asserted in 1 Corinthians 15: 50; Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." And accordingly, though (Heb. 2: 14), "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same;" yet He shed His blood upon the cross and rose without blood. And surely it was as new a thing for a man to live without blood, as for a virgin to conceive a child: yet so it was, and He could say (Luke 24: 38, 39), "Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Observe, He could let them here (as with Thomas in John's gospel) handle the body, with the wounds still open -- for He was still flesh and bones; though not flesh and blood. And how did the life that was in the blood seem to labour even to sustain the agony of the exceeding weight of sorrow in the blessed Lord! (Luke 22: 44) "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood;" so an angel came and strengthened Him. (Ver. 43.) Yes, and it is written, "He was crucified, through weakness;" much less was the life which was in the blood found to be the root or sustainer of that exceeding and eternal weight of glory which He brought in, and for which the shed blood opened the way; for the first Adam was made simply a living soul; the last Adam was a quickening spirit. Now though both living soul and quickening life might be found in Him, it was not till He had laid aside the life which was in the blood for atonement -- that the streams of the spiritual life began to flow freely. (John 7: 39.) But when declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1: 3), then did He begin to manifest the new life, and its glory, and sphere and bearings, among His disciples: and almost the first word of Jesus risen was, "Go tell my brethren, Behold, I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." Though heaven and heavenly glory were once and again opened to Jesus, and He was even while on earth in heaven (John 3: 13), yet He did not appear actually in heaven in the character of the quickening spirit, save by and after death; for this name bound Him up in one bundle of life with sinners, and He could not quicken save those who were atoned for. I see this also (namely, the insufficiency of human nature) in such passages as Matt. 16: 17: John 1: 13; Gal. 1: 1.1: and as in 2 Cor. 5: 16; 'Though we have known Christ [observe, Christ Himself] after the flesh, Yet now henceforth know we him no more." The seeing this -- that the whole life and privilege and glory of the church are resurrection things not proceeding from the life of the blood which Jesus shed, but from the life of the Spirit of the Son, is of great, immense importance. Yet though not found in the life of the blood, they were found by the blood of that life, for but for atonement, Christ could not have given spiritual life or glory; neither could we have received them: and atonement is only in the blood.
I would also notice here that the blood of Jesus, as connected with Satan, the prince and god and living energy of this world, is his death warrant. Abel's blood cried to God for vengeance against Cain. And Uriah's blood cried for vengeance against even David. Assuredly, Jesus' blood cries for vengeance to God against Satan. Yea, it is more than a cry for vengeance, it is the expression of judgment coming upon Satan. "Now is the prince of this world judged:" and as it is the thing which, to the soul standing in nakedness before God, tells of the love of God, and of the rich and varied provision made by His grace for the poor sinner in all his necessities, as before God; as in the world, though not of it -- as in the flesh, though not debtor to it; so also toward Satan, it is the thing by which we may resist the devil, and he shall flee from us. (James 4: 7.) He knows the blood is his death-warrant, and when presented to him, it is not only an answer to all he can say, but victory over him. (See Rev. 12) If Satan could have killed Adam, when first put in Eden, before the fall, any one would feel that it would have called to God for vengeance; well, he did kill Jesus, holy, spotless Jesus, and shall suffer for it.
Observe, I learn then here, by the blood of Jesus, the true character,
First, of the world which is thus unmasked, and shown to be already condemned.
Second, of the flesh: the thorough badness of which, as it exists in us, is hereby exhibited; it needed His blood for atonement: and the thorough goodness of which in Jesus is thus commented on. First, Though most pure and perfect as a man, the value of His blood for atonement derived its character not from His being a holy man, but from His being GOD manifest in the flesh. Secondly, He gave the life that was in His holy flesh, even the blood (which had, from His being very Son of God, an eternal excellency in it) in atonement to meet God's justice, and give sinners peace. Thirdly, He gives, as risen without blood, honour and glory and immortality, as by and in the Spirit of the Son of God.
Third, Of Satan, as the god of the world; for it is his death warrant.
25. The blood of Jesus Christ is known on earth as having cleansed our persons. As it is written, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." (Rev. 1: 5.) Observe, it is us, that is, our persons here; and a portion so known to the soul as for it to be its song, not on the housetop only, but (as with John here) its theme to tell over all the world, and to every age, till the redemption of the purchased possession come. But if it be sung through time by the church on earth --
26. The blood of Jesus Christ is known in heaven as our redemption, and is sung there too. As it is written, "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." (Rev. 5: 9.) Thus it is sung in heaven as our redemption, in the ears of God and the Lamb and heaven's host, by a company set there by appointment, and in excellent dignity and glory too, to represent the church still militant. Their song was heard in John's day, and has been onward from that time to this. Heaven, therefore, cannot forget we are redeemed, though some of us may.
27. The blood of Jesus Christ is that which alone cleanses our robes, and will give entrance to the glory of the temple. As it is written, "They have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat," etc. (Rev. 7: 14-16.) Observe, the entire and sole cleansing of the robes is by the blood of Jesus. In some places they find the finer kinds of lace very difficult to cleanse; their secret of cleansing is to wash them in bullock's blood, and then put them into running water. So the saints' robes are washed in blood -- but it is the blood of God's Lamb applied by the living power of the Holy Ghost through faith.
28. The blood of Jesus Christ is victory over the enemy. As it is written, "They [the martyrs who knew his power more than all else] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Rev. 12: 11.)
Having now just traced out in part (and we know but in part, so can we but prophesy in part), some of the testimony about the blood of Jesus, as God estimates it in its uses and purposes, I close. Whilst writing, so many fresh views of the blood have opened upon me, that I feel almost discouraged to present that which I have here written. But if I forbear, and retrace the thing again and again, I am aware it would still but be in part; blessed be God's name for the unsearchable fulness of His truth! If there be any sweetness in the truth in these pages (and to me there is very, very much), O that the saints would learn from it the sweetness of the word of the Lord, as contrasted with the thoughts of man's teaching: for all that has been attempted here has been whilst tracing out the testimony, just ever and anon to repeat, in other words, what the scriptures say: and occasionally to bring other scriptures to bear upon points supposed to be less understood by the saints generally.
I add some references from the Old Testament of places in which the blood, seems to me, in the Spirit's mind, to have looked forward to the blood of Jesus in some way or other.
Gen. 4: 10, 11. Abel's.
Gen. 9: 4, 5, 6. The prohibitions to Noah as to blood.