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The Sacrifice of Life slain by the twenty-nine instruments of death

The Sacrifice of Life
slain by the twenty-nine instruments of death
Author: Church John
Title: The Sacrifice of Life slain by the twenty-nine instruments of death
Release Date: 2019-01-02
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Sacrifice of Life, by John ChurchThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org.  If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: The Sacrifice of Life       slain by the twenty-nine instruments of deathAuthor: John ChurchRelease Date: January 2, 2019  [eBook #58600]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SACRIFICE OF LIFE***

Transcribed from the 1814 R. Thomas edition by David Price,email [email protected]  Many thanks to the British Libraryfor allowing their copy to be consulted.

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Preached on SUNDAY MORNING, Nov.28, 1813,

At the Obelisk Chapel.












“—Andnine and twenty knives.”—Ezra i, ix.

The grand design of God the Fatherand the eternal Spirit, from all eternity, was to glorify theLord Jesus Christ in our nature; for this purpose he was set upfrom everlasting, to be future Man and Mediator; to obey the lawhis people had violated, and endure the curse which they hadmerited—to make intercession for the transgressors, torepresent his chosen, and to communicate all spiritual blessingsto them, as they severally need.  This is the scripturerepresentation of the adorable Mediator and his Work.  Thissubject is sometimes set forth in express terms; at others bystriking imagery, which infinite wisdom appears to delight to useto make his dear people acquainted with his will.  Veryoften this grand theme is depicted by illustrious persons andsacred things; this may be particularly seen in the instance ofthat sacred edifice, the Temple, with all its appurtenances,which p. 4wasmodelled according to the plan shewed to David, and executed bySolomon.  Every rite and ceremony, every utensil, howeverapparently insignificant, was calculated to lead the mind of anelect converted, intelligent Jew, to the contemplation of theglorious Person and Work of the adorable Saviour; so that fromthe person and qualifications of the High Priest, down to thebells upon his robes, the believer could view his lovelyRedeemer, appearing in our nature, with the priestly robes of hisrighteousness, intercession and salvation, while the joyful soundof gospel truth, and the glorious fruits produced was asevident.  The very Temple itself we are assured was a figureof that glorious temple of the human nature of Jesus, the jointconcern of the ever-blessed Trinity in Unity; while everyconsecrated vessel in it, from the cups to the flagons, thegolden altar to the snuffers, and the sacrifices to the kniveswhich slew them, were all symbolical of those truths which weremore clearly revealed in the New Testament.

It is a pleasing work for a mind under the influence of thelove of the Saviour, to trace those precious truths, though inswaddling bands—and this is a precious gift, the mindsanctified by the Spirit, in search of Jesus, in every passage,either directly or indirectly referring to him.  And whyshould such a mind be thought little of, or contemned?  Howmany have admired the fancies of a p. 5poet, an author, who has attempted totrace God in every thing? how have they been exalted to the veryskies—Pope, Shakespear, and others.  Yet, when thechristian would trace his Lord and Saviour in the types, he isconsidered as a mere fanatic.  The writings of thetruly-excellent Hervey, in his Meditations, have been muchadmired; and what human composition can be more lovely than hisMeditation on a Flower Garden, and his Descant onCreation?—while, with a grace-taught eye, he saw hisloving Lord, and justly applied the language of Pope,

He shines in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees.

For my own part, I consider it an indulgence afforded to aspiritual man, that he is able to view his dear Saviour in everypart of the sacred writings.  What an entertainment toprecious faith! and how sweetly can that soul hold communion withher God, while thousands of singular passages present the LordJesus to view—I call them singular, not dark, as there isno darkness in the Word, it is in us, not in God, or hisWord.

I am sure I need make no apology for the singularity of mytext; it is calculated to awaken attention—to lead into theglorious and affecting truths of the Gospel.  Every part ofthe word of God is pure, of no private interpretation, and it p. 6must be allowedto be truly important.  If this be granted, surely my textand its connexion, demand our most serious investigation. Before I immediately consider it, I shall make a quotation or twofrom some able writers, on the excellency of the figurative partsof God’s word.

“Nothing asserted in God’s word is contrary to thetrue light of nature, though it infinitely transcends it. It is no way absurd to represent spiritual things, and even Godhimself, by proper emblems, as the sense is easily understood tobe figurative; and those figures, drawn from common things, tendto make us ever conversant with spiritual objects.” Morrison’s Dictionary.

M‘Ewen remarks, “As the sun paints the clouds witha variety of glowing colours, which in their own natures are butdark and lowering vapours, exhaled from the earth—so whenthe sun of righteousness arises, even the carnal ordinances andcommandments of the law, dark and earthly as they seem, aregilded by his beams, and wear a shining appearance.”

Mr. Brown says, “Christ Jesus being the subject and endof scripture revelation, we ought every where to search if we canfind him.”

Bishop Porteus says, “When divine and spiritual p. 7things arepresented by objects well-known and familiar to us, such aspresent themselves perpetually to our observation in the commonoccurrences of life, they are much more easily comprehended,especially by rude and uncultivated minds, (that is to say, bythe great bulk of mankind) than if they were proposed in theiroriginal form.”

But we have infallible authority for our guide, the Law havinga shadow of good things to come.  And is there anyimpropriety in viewing the knives spoken of in the text, ascontaining matters of real importance to the Church ofGod—and that by the daily use of these instruments upon ourtables, our minds may at times be deeply affected with thoseinstruments of death we carry about with us?—We shall justnotice the text in its connexion, which will gradually open thedesign of the Holy Ghost, in condescending to notice theseknives; and surely if it was worth the Spirit’s notice,they must deserve our highest attention, let who will ridiculeit.

The faithfulness of God was about to appear to his ancientpeople the Jews, in their return from the BabylonishCaptivity—the 70 years determined were accomplished, andthe Lord stirred up the spirit of the lovely Prince Cyrus, ofwhom Isaiah prophesied long before.  This Prince made aproclamation throughout all his dominions, that the p. 8Israelitesmight depart to their own country, build an house to the God ofIsrael, and again inhabit their land.  The King likewiseencouraged them with wishing God to be with them; and then hekindly restored to them all the vessels of gold and silver whichNebuchadnezzar had impiously placed in the house of his god, thetemple of Belus, at Babylon; these were commanded to be broughtforth, and returned to the Jews, by the hand of the Treasurer,and committed to one of the trusty princes of Judah, Zerubbabel,called Sheshbazzar; it appears he had two names, one signifies herejoiced in tribulation, the other, that he was a stranger inBabylon.  The historian then relates what were put into hishands—Thirty chargers of gold and a thousand chargers ofsilver.  These were vessels in which they gathered the bloodof the sacrifices—and nine and twenty knives; probablytheir handles were gold and silver, as they were reckoned amongthe valuables, and were large knives which the priests used inslaying and cutting up the sacrifices.  The chargers, whichheld the blood of the slain, most probably were typical of theword of truth, the writings of the Prophets andApostles—likewise of Gospel Sermons, which are full ofChrist our Passover, who was sacrificed—and which must beserved by every faithful gospel minister to the Lord’sfamily.  Those chargers which held the blood also, as wellas the meat, were typical of the Ordinances of the Gospel,especially of the Lord’s Supper, wherein p. 9Christ Jesus iseminently set forth crucified.  They may represent ourfaith, which receives the atonement and death of theRedeemer.  In the Tabernacle there were but twelve, but inthe Temple there were thirty golden and one thousand silverones.—The knives are then mentioned among them; and asevery utensil and instrument was figurative, those knives musthave a figurative sense likewise.  What will open thissubject more clearly is a passage in Ezekiel xlth Chap.  TheProphet had seen an amazing City and Temple, which doubtlessreferred to the Gospel Dispensation.  The Prophet likewisesaw the utensils and the knives which are spoken of in the text;and as the vision was intirely spiritual, we must look for theGospel sense of the whole vision, and the knives among them.

Ezek. xl, 42, 43.  And the four tables were of hewnstone, for the burnt offering, whereon also they laid theinstruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering.  Thisexplains the twenty-nine knives.—These tables were,doubtless, an emblem of the stony hearts of the Jews; for if, (asBunyan remarks on this Subject) their hearts were not as hard asadamant, they could not have crucified the Lord of Life. Hewn stones—they did this under smooth pretences,like many in our day, under the mask, and through the out-cry ofholiness and the Law—for which of these good worksp. 10doye stone me?—On these were laid the body of thesacrifice, while the Priests cut them up.  Did not theserepresent the characters who would embrue their hands in theblood of Jesus?—and was it not charged home to theirconsciences on the day of Pentecost?—Ye have killed thePrince of Life!  This naturally leads to reflect on theinstruments made use of—Twenty-nine knives.

We shall First notice the grand Sacrifice—Secondly theInstruments of his Death.—First: Every idea of Sacrificemust at once include in it, that there is an infinite evil insin, which no finite mind can fully comprehend—none but themind of the dear Saviour could possibly take in all the evilthere is in sin.  This evil required a sacrifice to expiateit, or atone for it; and the reason why mankind are careless ofthe atonement, think light of it, or attempt to atone for theirown crimes, by duties, tears, prayers, or works, is because theynever saw sin in the light God sees it, and has consequentlytestified his hatred of it in many awful judgments, in a brokenLaw, in the flames of hell—but, above all, in thetremendous sufferings and death of Christ.  Hence theApostle says, God spared not his own Son.

We see, Secondly, The infinite love of the adorableTrinity—the amazing wisdom, and the astonishing pity andcompassion of the covenant p. 11Three, in providing for our miseries,in a way surpassing all human thought, even by the Assumption ofour Nature, appearing in flesh, as a sinner, and putting away sinby the sacrifice of himself—and it is the work of preciousfaith, upon every discovery of our vileness, misery, and guilt,to eye the adorable Mediator, as the gift of the Father’slove, to heal our every woe.

And was the ransom paid?—it was, and paidfor you!
This, only this, subdues the fear of death, andtakes away
Her sting.—This is the grand Sacrifice.

“Sacrificing is a religious action, in which a creaturedevoted to God was in a solemn manner destroyed in his presence,for sacred ends; and it was a mode of worship that obtained inthe most early ages of the world.  It may not only be tracedup to the famous æra of giving the law from Mount

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