« PreviousContinue »
jubilee of eternal judgment. The dead will then be released from the bondage of the grave. And what will then be their glorious lot who shall have been made free from sin, and partakers of a spiritual adoption into the family above; and who shall come from the East, and from the West, and from the North, and from the South, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God :“They will join the heavenly Jubilee, celebrated by thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand of angels, and of the Spirits of just men made perfect, who have loved the Lord in this world, and maintained his cause, and proclaimed his glory, evermore praising him, and saying, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” ! Captivity will be no more; sorrow will be unknown; death will be slain ; life and peace, joy and bliss, will be uninterrupted; the vision of God entire; the day of blessedness undimmed by a single cloud; the society of the Saviour unbroken and eternal. O, my brethren, with what grateful love should your souls respond to the proclamation of the gospel Jubilee, with all its unspeakably momentous consequences.
Buchanan's Sermon on the Jubilee.
And, if the heralds of that ancient jubilee, who loved their suffering, mourning, captive, bereaved countrymen, would sound the trumpet of their deliverance, with a glad and grateful breath ; surely the ministers of the Christian altar who watch for your souls, and to whom they ought to be unspeakably dear, should delight to shew you words whereby ye may be saved and blessed for ever. Unto us who are less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that we should preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. O, that it may be a common sound of mercy, a common theme of love to us all! And that, in the final day, in the last and long jubilee of a ransomed world, and a glorified Saviour, we may claim a common interest in his love, and be admitted to a common eternity of bliss in his bosom!
The subject, imperfectly as it has been treated, would be indeed incomplete, were I not to remark,
(1.) That the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the foundation of every other mercy. The trumpet of the jubilee was to sound in the great day of the atonement. When the priest had slain the victim, entered the Holy of Holies with its blood, and sprinkled the mercy-seat of the ark of the covenant,—thus making an offering for the sins of the people, the peal of liberty
was heard throughout the land. They who were afflicting their souls in contrition for past iniquity, and applying the blood of sprinkling by faith to themselves, were then admitted to a full participation of its joyful privileges. Would you know whence all your spiritual mercies have their rise and origin: Go to the cross. Behold the fountain of divine goodness opened in the blood of him who died upon it. Thence issues the pardon of sin ; thence the love of God freely and gladly flows; thence spring forth the graces of a sanctifying Spirit; thence are poured out the rich possession, and the rich reversion of Christian life, and Christian hope; thence descend all the supplies of goodness which a child of light can need, now and in his father's kingdom. Without shedding of blood is no remission of sins, no hope of heaven. Seek them therefore, through the death of Christ; and seek them in the humility of Christian faith. While the great High Priest hath entered into the holy place, by his own blood, to make intercession for you, cast yourselves upon the merit of his death, and the power of his advocacy. Stand, each without, in fervency of prayer, and lowliness of heart, crying, “God be inerciful to me a sinner.” There listen,-nor shall ye listen long, until the trumpet of the Gospel Jubilee shall reach your hearts with the power of an individual application, “ Thy sins are forgiven thee : thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”
(2.) The spiritual application of this festival to the circumstances of the Christian church, exhibits the necessity of serving God with unreserved fidelity and devotion, The Jubilee invested the tribes of Israel with many and valuable privileges : but it exonerated them from no duty which the law of God had imposed. The gospel makes you the freedmen of Christ: but with reservations becoming the sanctity of its character and of its author. How then, does it command you to receive the spiritual deliverance which it declares and conveys? As free, yet not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. The same revelation of mercy which proclaims liberty to the captives, binds you to the service of your heavenly Father by obligations the most cogent. Being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you must have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. To this very purpose was the glorious gospel delivered. The grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men; teaching us that denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. To him then, who loves sin in the prac
tice, or cherishes sin in the desire, the liberty of Christ, the gracious Jubilee of the gospel has hitherto been preached in vain. He only is the Lord's freeman, who in the imparted strength of his Saviour's Spirit, instead of allowing “sin to reign in his mortal body, that he should obey it in the lusts thereof,” yields himself unto God as one that is alive from the dead, and his members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
(3.) The gracious festival of the Jubilee, a festival pre-eminently displaying the divine goodness to Israel, teaches us in terms too plain to be mistaken, the necessity of shewing mercy to others. The Jews were commanded, when the trumpet sounded, generously and freely to remit every man the debt which his brother owed; and to liberate his captive, at the very moment when he was imploring the pardon of his own sins by the blood of sprinkling; and when he witnessed the atonement for his own transgression. Behold, the model for your
imitation ! You look to the crucified Son of God, as to him who pays the ransom for your souls, and liberates you from a captivity otherwise hopeless. Remember, therefore, that the obligations of redeeming love to you, demand you to have compassion upon others. Have
exhibited your sense of this compassion by the fervour of your regard to others ?