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the sinner's fears; Jesus gives liberty to the captive and life to the dead.
And I want you to notice that, beginning at the same scripture, Philip preached Jesus. We may preach Jesus as He lived that beautiful, pure and stainless life; we may preach Jesus as He went about from Galilee to Jerusalem and from Jerusalem to Galilee, doing His works of love, and people may admire it, but there will be no liberty for captive souls. But if you want to preach Jesus so that the message will go home to the heart and make the eye sparkle, you must begin at the same scripture that Philip began at. He gets right at the point. What is the point ? It is the central point in the world's history; it is the point towards which all eyes are turning. The devils are looking at it. If they could blot out Calvary they would gain a world: but they can't. The saints are looking at it down from the realms of glory, the home of the happy and holy, and they sing, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain that He might redeem us to God.” The holy angels are looking at it, they who could not understand the mysteries of the crucifixion when it took place, but who are beginning to understand it now. And they will understand it better as each happy, emancipated, ransomed one is ushered into Jehovah's presence. But most and best of all, God's eye is never off it—God, who is ruling the courses of worlds; God, who is dealing with human hearts. God can never avert His gaze from Calvary, and whenever God begins the work of the salvation of a human soul, He "begins at the same scripture;” He begins with the Lamb slain, the bleeding Lamb. I begin at the same scripture to-day.
I talked to you about Jesus just now. Your eyes were not filled with tears, your heart did not kindle. No. Why? Because I did not
' begin at the same scripture.” Sinner, look on! Backslider, look on! Weary man of the world, look on! The place of the scripture which he read was this: “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.” He hangs in great sorrow, the blood drops are trickling down, the desolation, the infamy, the shame enshroud Him—the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. We begin at the same scripture, and when we begin there we preach unto you-Jesus. What is He ? Jesus, my Saviour ; Jesus, the Saviour I want; Jesus, who bends over me as I lie in my sin and blood, and whispers pardon in my ears; Jesus, who breaks the cords of death that have been binding me down: Jesus, who opens his own sepulchre to receive the fatal, crushing load of my guilt; Jesus, my Jesus. Is He your Jesus, my friend? Can you look up into His face and say, He is my Jesus, He cleanseth me from all sin.
If you get that sermon into your heads, it is the best sermon you ever heard. I can't preach a better. If I could only stand and weep “preaching Jesus” I feel nothing could be more eloquent, nothing could be more powerful, nothing would more than that go home to men's hearts.
“ Jesus, the name that charms my fears
And bids my sorrows cease;
'Tis life, 'tis health, 'tis peace.” And you who heard that precious Name, and trusted in it like that happy man, would go on your way rejoicing.
The Sprinkled Blood.
“ And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”—EXODUS xii. 22, 23.
which must be regarded as altogether unique in sacred history.
a night much to be remembered,” that strange "night” in which the Lord “passed over the land of Egypt.” It was a "night” which has been much remembered. Wherever the Bible has gone, the story of that “night” has passed with it. Wherever a Jew exists, on the face of God's earth, it is to this “night” he points, as the proudest epoch in his national history. Yes, although at that moment they were but a nation of slaves, there is something in this incident which distinguished it from all historical incidents. It stands alone as an instance of Divine intervention, direct and unmistakeable, by virtue of which a nation of slaves was suddenly exalted, lifted up from a state of serfdom; the staff of the oppressor—the rod of Pharaoh broken, as by the arm of Omnipotence, and they themselves exalted to be a nation of priests unto their Father in heaven.
Now it seems as though God in arranging, in His own mysterious providence, the details of this wonderful “night,” had so contrived—if I might use such an expression of God's dealings—that it should be as full of typical import as possible ; so that while devout and prophetically-minded saints, who lived under a dark dispensation, might look forward, through the mysterious imagery of this memorable "night” to discover the glories of the gospel dispensation, you and I who live in brighter days, in the sunlight of God's revealed love in Christ, might be able to look back upon the mystic record of that night, and discover in it a most striking and marvellously complete illustration of the glorious work which was performed upon the Cross of Calvary.
To pass at once to the consideration of the subject that lies before us, let us remember, first of all, that this was a little judgment day. It was a time when God went forth in judgment. There have been several such occasions in the history of mankind.
It was a judgment day when the voice of God was heard in the garden of Eden, calling to his fallen creature Adam, “Where art thou?" It was a judgment day when the avenging waters of the flood burst upon the trembling world. It was a little judgment day when Lot went out towards Zoar, and when from the opening heavens there came down a fearful shower of fire and brimstone upon the doomed cities of the plain. This, too, was a judgment day, and none theless real and awful.
This judgment arose from the fact that God Himself was going to pass through” Egypt. Wherever God goes, He carries with Him His own eternal equity and holiness. And, wherever God is brought into direct and personal contact with that which is opposed to His own will, God must-by a necessity of His Being-pronounce sentence of judgment upon that which is opposed to Him.
The children of Israel were to be delivered ; but they were to be delivered by a visitation of God Himself. It is in this particular respect that this deliverance contrasts with all other deliverances. There were other deliverances in which God acted unmistakeably on behalf of His people; but this singular deliverance was to be wrought by the direct and personal visitation of God. He
says, “I will pass over the land of Egypt;” and because God was going to pass over the land, therefore
was necessary that He should make a revelation of that judgment which belongs to His own nature, and which must always accompany its Presence.
Now, my brethren, the passing over of the Lord was not to be confined to the land of Egypt only, it was to extend itself to the land of Goshen. He was going to pass over the whole land of Egypt, and of necessity the judgment, accompanying His presence, was to be manifested wherever He went. Observe the consequence of this is, that all who are going to be brought into direct contact with their Maker are, first of all, to be put in their true position. And what is that position ? That position is one of guilt.
guilt. Man is found guilty before his God.
Now, when we come to look at this mysterious narrative, there are three great truths to which our minds are directed.
The first point is the doctrine of the universality of condemnation. God is going to save the Israelites; yes, but before He saves them He will condemn them. God is going to smite the Egyptians : but before He does so, God shall make it plain to all intelligences, that He is “no respecter of persons,” that in His sight “all have sinned,” and therefore all have deserved punishment.
How does He do it? He sends Moses with a message couched in the language of symbol which said clearly to those who had spiritual discernment, “You Israelites, like your oppressors, are all guilty. Do not plume yourselves upon your descent, for God is able, of these stones, to raise up children unto Abraham ; your actual state before God (notwithstanding your covenant privileges) is one of guilt, the result of that guilt is that you have brought yourself under punishment; the bondage of Egypt is the legitimate consequence of your own national guilt; but I am coming to deliver you from that bondage, and, ere I do that, I must bring you in guilty, and show you to yourselves in the true light of God's justice. Take you a lamb. I cannot pass your house until I have first of all shown you what your sins merit. I am going to visit the Egyptians yonder, but I am also going to visit you. They are guilty ; and you are guilty too. I am going to let death do its work in yonder habitations. Death shall do its work in yours, too. Before I can deliver you from the state to which your sins have reduced you, I must first of all put you in your true position, and that is one of actual condemnation in My sight. I cannot pass from you until first of all you have been convicted.” The sentence of death goes forth. The message is sent direct from God. Every Israelite is to “take a lamb," and that lamb is to be regarded as the representative of the firstborn of the house, and the firstborn of the house is to be regarded as the representative of the family. Those who are familiar with Old Testament symbolism, will understand that at once. The whole system is one of representation. The "tithe,” that you heard about this morning, was the representative of the entire substance of the Jew. The tenth part was the representative of the whole. Symbolically, a part is equal to the whole.
So it was on this occasion. God singles out from every house the household's prime,—the firstborn son,—the heir of the family,—the man on whom their hopes are concentrated, -God singles him out as the representative of the family's guilt, and the message which God sends by Moses to the family of Israel, amounts to this : “Ye are guilty ; your firstborn son represents your family's guilt, and therefore he personally is under the same inevitable sentence of death as the firstborn among the families of Egypt.”
Before we go any further, let us endeavour to impress this truth upon ourselves, the truth continually forced upon our understanding in New Testament scriptures, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” And what is the result of “all having sinned ? " Unquestionably that we are all under condemnation. Now, I am quite aware there are degrees of condemnation, just as there will be degrees of glory. I do not say that the hell of the respectable, and the well-conducted, and the generous, and the amiable, will in degree be the same identical hell as the hell of the selfish