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with strange fire in our censers,—an unhallowed, unbidden, and unblest influence, operating on our spirits in prayer? Forgetful of the righteousness of God, are we going about to establish our own? And, instead of enkindling the ardour of prayer for mercy, by adoring gratitude, for the blessings of a crucified Saviour, are we“ denying the Lord who bought us?" and neglecting to “enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus?" Do we in short, present ourselves before the Lord, in an unhumbled frame of mind, without feeling our demerit as transgressors . Do we make our suit to the insulted Majesty of heaven, without that sacrifice of Christ's intercession, which only is acceptable unto the Father? Then in vain do we worship him. Nay, the worship is not merely ineffectual, it pours a premeditated contempt and dishonour on the plan of his salvation; and on the astonishing exercise of his love. It despises the manifestations of that compassion, which, when no other scheme of mercy that human or angelic imagination might suggest, availed to deliver, interposed with the gift of his Son ;-constituted him a victim to atone, and a priest to offer incense; invested him with every glory of mediatorial power; and made him able to save to the uttermost all them that come to God by him ; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

How it is possible, that they who neglect or refuse the mediation of Jesus Christ, in earth, and heaven, on Calvary, and before the throne, should be clear from the tremendous guilt of dishonouring Him who gave his Son as the only salvation for man, I cannot tell, and pretend not to imagine. Sometimes, when the subject presses upon my mind, I seem to hear that voice, which addressed the Prophet in the valley of his vision, and cried, Son of man, can these bones live? I can only answer, O Lord God, thou knowest. But, as an appointed watchman of your souls, I should sin against them, against my own, and against the adorable Trinity, who devised the gracious plan for their common salvation, did I not warn you of the sin and dishonour committed against the inconceivably gracious appointments of the Most High, by those who consider themselves independent of the cross and intercession of the Saviour Jesus Christ. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

(3.) It may also be added, that the sin of Nadab and Abihu, threatened the utmost danger to the tribes of Israel. They had been solemnly consecrated priests ; they were to minister to, and instruct, the people in holy things.

If they ap

The general worship would receive its tone and character from their conduct. proached the divine presence irregularly, or irreverently, it might become a sin to the men of Israel ; like the idol calf which Aaron made. The error might spread. The first defection might lead to other acts of disobedience: and the chosen tribes, seduced from their allegiance, might perish beneath the wrath of heaven. Concerning every part of the tabernacle furniture, it was said, “Look that thou make it after the pattern which was showed thee in the mount." And if the Lord required conformity so exact, in matters merely external, what, suppose ye, will be their guilt, who lead others from the appointed method of salvation ; who burn incense with forbidden fire; and cast before their brethren a stumbling stone and a rock of offence, over which some may fall to their lasting injury, and some may fall to rise again no more for ever. Suppose ye, that such differences in religion are of trifling import; and that it little concerns the worshipper to be exact in the way of his access, or scrupulous in the articles of his creed ? St. Paul taught as he was moved by the Holy Ghost.—The Spirit of God spake by his voice, and dictated to his pen.

Hear ye therefore, his deep, solemn, wellweighed denunciation against those who undervalued Christ Jesus as the only justification for sinners: and then judge if it be indifferent to the Most High, whether we worship him according to his appointment, or our own; by humble faith in Jesus Christ, or depending upon ourselves. There be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ : but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Every Christian, and more especially every Christian of influence, is charged with a double duty. He must draw nigh to God, by repentance towards him, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ; and he must hold forth the same way-marks of life to others. If he be faithful, he may convert sinners from the error of their ways, and save souls alive. If he be self-willed or ignorant, the blind are leading the blind, and both shall fall into the ditch. Would to God, that every one, who is positively or virtually denying the sacrifice and mediation of the only Saviour, and teaching others so to do would remember, and tremble at, and flee from, the condemnation of that most awful saying, Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea.

Sin and the visitations of divine wrath are

as inseparably connected with each other, as light with the appearance of the sun, or darkness, with his retirement from the heavens.

II. THE PUNISHMENT OF NADAB AND ABIHU demands therefore, our next consideration. “There went out fire from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” Many solemn warnings are left on record by the Holy Spirit, to deter men from pretending to do God service, in any other method than that which he hath himself ordained. Saul sacrificed a burnt offering, without the authority or permission of the Most High; and it was numbered among the offences for which the kingdom was taken away from him. Uzziah went into the temple to burn unbidden incense. The priests withstood him, according to their duty, and would have made him desist from the profanation ; but he refused, and was smitten for his disobedience with a leprosy, incurable to the day of his death. Uzzah put forth his hand to stay the ark, when the oxen shook it. “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God smote him there for his error ; and he died by the ark of God.”

The penalty inflicted upon the crime of Nadab and Abihu was death, agreeably to that awful declaration, The soul that doeth presumptously, whether he be born in the land or a stranger, the

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