Leviticus 6:24
This law comprehends a variety of particulars, which may be ranged under two heads -

I. As IT RESPECTS THE BLEEDING. The particulars under this head are:

1. The place: "Where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed."

(1) In the account of the sin offering (chapter 4), the place is implied rather than specified; but the position of the altar is described in the account of the burnt offering. It stood "at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation," and the burnt offering was killed "on the side of the altar northward" (Leviticus 1:3, 5, 11). Accordingly, Jesus "suffered without the gate," and Calvary was northward of Jerusalem. The evangelical teaching is that a sinner has access to God only through Christ, who declares himself to be the "Door" and the "Way" (John 10:9; John 14:6).

(2) The association here of the sin offering with the burnt offering is significant. The burnt offering expressed adoration, and was offered for sin generally. The sin offering was more specific. Confession of sin should be particular, and faith individual, fully to realize the benefits of the common salvation (1 Timothy 4:10). Let no man trust vaguely to the provisions of mercy. Let the sinner see in the death of Christ the very image of himself, with all his iniquities and abominations, suffering and satisfying the claims of Divine justice.

2. The presence: "Before the Lord" (verse 25).

(1) This means more than being in the presence of One who is omnipresent. There was a manifestation of a special presence of Jehovah in the glory behind the vail. In a special sense Jesus promises to be present where two or three are met in his name.

(2) This presence of God was at once judicial and merciful. The throne of his glory was a propitiatory, but he was there armed with fire to smite with destruction any who dared to set him at defiance (Psalm 97:2, 3; Psalm 89:1-4).

3. The reason: "It is most holy" (verse 25). What?

(1) Not the sin laid on the sacrifice. Sin seen in the sacrifice is exceeding sinful. That which could cause the Son of God his agonies is horrible and abominable in the extreme.

(2) Not the sin, but its condemnation in the sacrifice. The sacrifice of Christ, by which sin is removed out of the sight of God, is indeed "most holy." Had Jesus not been "most holy," he could never have accomplished this miracle of grace and mercy.

(3) The blood of the sin offering, if sprinkled upon any garment, must be washed out within the sanctuary. And if the blood of the type must not be treated as a common thing, much more must we reverence that blood which cleanseth from all sin.

II. As IT RESPECTS THE EATING.

1. It was to be eaten by the priest. "The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it."

(1) By this ceremony the "sin" (חטאת, chattath) became, in a sense, assimilated in the body of the priest (see Leviticus 10:17; Hosea 4:8). This represented the manner in which Christ, becoming incarnate among us, appeared "in the likeness of men," and "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:6-8).

(2) The converse of this is in the Eucharist, in which we symbolically partake of the pure body of Christ. As he became assimilated to our likeness that he might expiate sin by the sacrifice of himself, so we now become assimilated to his pure nature that we may inherit the rewards of his righteousness. There is a mystical incarnation of Christ in his believing people (Ephesians 3:16-19).

2. It was to be eaten in the holy place (verse 26).

(1) Observe, not in the most holy place; that place within the vail in which the Shechinah abode between the cherubim. That was the type of the heaven of heavens, where the" angels do always behold the face of God" (Matthew 18:10). No sin could enter there (Isaiah 35:8-10; Isaiah 60:20-22; Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:14, 15).

(2) But "in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation," the type of the Church in its earthly aspect, which is entered by way of the laver of washing and the altar of sacrifice. It is while we remain in this world that we can avail ourselves of the provisions of mercy.

3. But certain sin offerings must not be eaten.

(1) The priests were forbidden to eat of those whose blood was brought into the tabernacle to reconcile withal (verse 30; see also chapter Leviticus 4:5, 6, 16, 17).

(2) In this the gospel is superior to the Law. Jesus has carried his blood into the holy place of the true temple, to reconcile withal (Hebrews 9:11, 12). Yet we may eat of his altar (Hebrews 13:10-12).

(3) Those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat of our altar, because the tabernacle law forbids them; therefore to avail themselves of the gospel they must renounce the Law (see Galatians 5:3, 4). And their case is fearful who now attempt to make atonement for themselves, for they "shall be burnt in the fire" (verse 30). Such is the peril of those who trust to works of supererogation or to anything but Christ. - J.A.M.







Bring his trespass-offering.
In Christ Jesus, the true Trespass-offering, God has provided an offering after His own estimation. "Restitution," "compensation," and "expiation" — all are found in Him. When He gave His life a ransom for many, the fullest satisfaction was made to God and man. Both had been trespassed against, and both could now say, "I am satisfied. I have all back and more." As God and man had shared in the wrong inflicted by the trespass of the latter, so there is this blessed community, so to speak, in the offering by which the wrong is put away. God is glorified in "Christ crucified." A crucified Christ is our glory. "Christ is God's," and God's Christ is ours. Such is the wondrous mystery of grace displayed in the aspect of redemption furnished by the trespass-offering. Well may we exclaim with the apostle, "Oh, the depth of the riches, &c., both of the wisdom and knowledge of God — how unsearchable are His judgments, and His works past finding out," — how comforting is the assurance that one day we shall know these things as we cannot know them now.

(F. H. White.)

I can conceive no law more beautiful, more impartial, more fitted to do the highest good, than the very first requirement with which this chapter begins: "If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord." But mark what constitutes a trespass against the Lord. It consists in "lying to his neighbour," or in that which was delivered to him to keep, or in fellowship, or in taking .anything away from his neighbour by violence. Now, in doing so, he commits a trespass against the Lord: the injury is done against his neighbour, but in its rebound it is sin against God. Every deed of injustice, whether it break the last six commandments or the first four, is sin against God — if it be one of the last six commandments of the law, it has in it two aspects: one aspect towards man, or injury done to man — a neighbour; and its aspect towards God, or sin committed against Him. We never sin against each other — we do injury to each other — but, when we do so, we sin always against God. And hence the distinction is so important — especially in these days when errors are abroad — that the person against whom the thing is done can forgive in the thing which relates to him: if I steal, or if I injure or wound the neighbour, he from whom I plunder can forgive me the injury, because he is injured and the owner; but the sin that underlies the injury, reaching to God, God alone can forgive. See, too, how very comprehensive the law is — "shall sin in that which was delivered him to keep." Are you made a trustee? — is property deposited with you? — are you a banker? — has some client left his money in your hands? Then it is your duty to be faithful; it is your duty to remember that the least breach of that trust is injury against your neighbour and sin against your God. "Or in fellowship" — that is, as we call it in modern days, "in partnership." Are you a partner in a house of business? You are bound to look to your co-partner's interests as if they were your own; and your co-partner is bound to look to your interests just as if they were his. "Or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour," such a one commits sin. "Or hath found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely." Among the Romans, it was always regarded as theft to appropriate anything you found upon the streets, whether you could find the owner of it or not: and this law here says — from which that was evidently a reflection that if you find anything of which you cannot find the owner, or if you find anything and know the owner, and either conceal it, or deny it, or swear falsely concerning it, all that is sin against God. "Then it shall be, because he hath sinned and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal" — that is, the sum itself — "and shall add" not as an atonement, but as what may be fairly due — "the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth." And then, not only was he to do so, but he was also to do it at the time of his confession and his trespass-offering made by the priest. The sin was forgiven through the trespass-offering as a type of Christ's atonement; the injury against the brother was rectified by returning the principal, and a fifth of the principal added to it, and receiving from that brother he had injured his forgiveness.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

When a man defrauds you in weight he sins against you, not against the scales, which are only the instruments of determining true and false weight. When men sin it is against God, and not against His law, which is but the indicator of right and wrong. You care little for sins against God's law. Now, every sin that you commit is personal to God, and not merely an infraction of His law. It is casting javelins and arrows of base desire into His loving bosom. I think no truth can be discovered which would be so powerful upon the moral sense of men as that which should disclose to them that sinning is always a personal offence against a personal God.

(H. W. Beecher.)

— A young man came to a gentleman one day with a case of conscience. He was corresponding clerk in a flourishing house of business. His employers had begun to direct him to write letters to customers containing statements which he and they knew to be false. He had objected, and they said: "We are responsible for these statements; it is nothing to you whether they are true or false." I said to him, "Did they sign the letters, or ask you to write them in your own name?" As soon as the question left my lips I saw that if there were a difference both would be wrong, and I hastened to tell him so. lie said, "I have to sign them with my name, per Messrs. Blank." I said, "Your case is clear; you must decline to do it." He said, "Then I shall be dismissed"; and, after a pause, "I have a wife and family." I replied, "My dear friend, this is a trial of faith and principle; you must do right, and trust to God to take care of you and your family." I met him some days after. "Well Mr. — ," I said, "how are you getting on?" He replied, "I am still in my situation; I had an interview with the partners, and told them I could not write letters I knew to be untrue. They were very angry, and I expected to receive notice, but I have not received it yet." Months passed, and he remained in his situation. After a while he called upon me, and I saw in his face that something had happened. "Well, Mr. — ," I said, "have you had your dismissal?" "No," he said, "I have not," and smiled. "What then?" "A very confidential post in their service, with a higher salary, has fallen vacant, and they have put me into it." On second thoughts these unprincipled men had come to the conclusion that a clerk who would not deceive a customer would not deceive them, and was too valuable to be lost.

S. S. Chronicle.
There is an old story of a Frenchman who persuaded some Missouri Indians to exchange fur for gunpowder, representing that they could obtain a fine crop by sowing it. The Indians prepared a field, and sowed the powder, and set a guard to watch it. As it did not come up they saw that they had been deceived. Some time after the partner of the deceiver visited these Indians with a large stock of goods for the purpose of trade. The Indians each took such things as pleased him, till all were gone. The Frenchman went to the head chief and demanded redress. The chief assured him that full justice should be done as soon as the harvest of gunpowder should be gathered. This was poor consolation for his loss, but such a rebuke as his partner's perfidy deserved.

(S. S. Chronicle.)

Christian Age.
For two years had sailor Ben been off on the sea. Now his ship touched the shore, and his heart was full of joy. When he said good-bye to his mother he was a wild, careless boy; but in the rough days and stormy nights. on the water he had learned not only to love his mother better, but to love and serve the God she loved. So he longed to go to her and tell her of this joy. Once on shore he hurried to buy a gift for her; a silver purse with long silver fringe, and into it he counted twenty gold dollars. "I'll make your heart glad in more ways than one, mother," he said, as he snapped the clasp and bounded over the rocks to the ship, for this was to be his last night on board for many months. In his haste his foot slipped, and he fell heavily, bruising his head, spraining his wrist, and the precious purse was flung out of his hands down out of sight to the rocks below. Poor Ben! Never thinking of his bruises he climbed down, searching for his treasure till the night closed about him, then slowly with an aching heart he went back to his ship. But there was a boy whose name was Aleck, and who early every morning swung himself down among the rocks to hunt for the eggs the sea-birds leave in their nests. The next morning he caught sight of something he never saw before in any nest, and eagerly grasped it. It is Ben's silver purse! No more eggs for Aleck to-day; but with his treasure safe in his pocket he climbs up the rope to show his riches to his mother. Up on the rocks he meets sailor Ben, with limping gait and anxious face, searching for his purse. "My boy, I'll give you the brightest. gold dollar you ever put your eyes on if you'll find the purse I lost here last night. It was for my old mother. It will break my heart to go home without it!" For a minute there was a battle fierce and terrible in Aleck's heart. Was not the purse his? He had found it. His mother needed the gold as much as Ben's mother; but would she ever touch it if she knew he had kept it from its rightful owner? No, he knew what she would bid him do, and laying the purse in Ben's hands he gained the victory, the battle was over. And so while Ben was rattling along in the coach, happy to pour into his mother's lap the gold he had saved for her, in the little cottage among the trees, Aleck was telling his mother the story of his temptation. "Better an honest heart, my boy, than all the gold and silver in the land."

(Christian Age.)

I. THE INJURY WROUGHT BY TRESPASS.

1. Trespass defined. Actual wrong and robbery.

2. Trespass conditioned. Might be wrought "in ignorance."

3. Trespass weighed. By the Word of God.

4. Trespass recognised (ver. 4).

II. THE REPARATION MADE FOR TRESPASS.

1. Trespass atoned.

2. Trespass compensated.

(1)Judgment inflicted.

(2)Injury compensated.

(3)Dues exceeded.There was in Christ's obedience an excess of merit presented to God, passing beyond man's demerit. And in Christian devotedness and ministry there are blessings brought to men by man far more sacred, tender, consolatory, and helpful, which more than outweigh all the injury done to men by man.

(W. H. Jellie.)

1. Of careful attention to be given unto the Word of God (ver. 1).

2. To restore things that are lost (ver. 4).

3. Not to make a schism in the Church (ver. 16).

4. That in the morning we should first think of God, and give Him praise.

5. The merciful man shall obtain mercy by his prayers.

(A. Willet, D. D.)

That which was delivered him to keep.
I. A NEIGHBOURLY CONVENIENCE.

1. How helpful a neighbour may become.

2. How grand is this confidence in another.

3. How mutually dependent we are one upon another.

4. How honourable we should be in all transactions.

5. How jealously we should strive to merit implicit trust.

II. A HAZARDOUS TRANSACTION.

1. Man's reliableness is sorely discredited by continuous breaches of faith.

2. Treasure becomes often a serious anxiety to its possessor.

3. No security can be guaranteed in any earthly confidence.

III. A DOUBTFUL ALTERNATIVE. There was another method adopted, when a man was about to journey, if he could not trust his neighbour: he would conceal his .treasures underground.

IV. A SPIRITUAL ANALOGY. This committing treasure to a neighbour suggests Paul's imagery of the soul committed to Christ (2 Timothy 1:12, see also vers. 14, and 1 Timothy 6:20).

1. Christ is faithful to our trust.

2. We cannot safely risk our souls in other keeping.

(W. H. Jellie.)

To deposit valuable property with a neighbour was, and still is, a common practice in the East where no responsible establishments exist for the reception of private treasure. Hence, when a man went on a journey, he concealed his precious things underground. This was connected with the danger of forgetting the spot where they were hidden, when search and digging had to be resorted to. This not only accounts for the fact that treasure is called in Hebrew by a name which denotes "hidden," or things which men are in the habit of hiding underground, but explains such allusions as "hidden riches of secret places" (Isaiah 45:3), "and searchest for her as for hid treasure" (Proverbs 2:4), "dig for it more than for hid treasure" (Job 3:21). To avoid this danger, men entrusted their treasure to the custody of a neighbour. It is to this practice that the text refers, and it is from this practice that the apostle took the expression in 2 Timothy 1:12; see also ver. 14, and 1 Timothy 6:20).

(C. D. Ginsburg, LL.D.)

Found that which was lost. —
Nauhaught was an Indian deacon of a native Christian Church in America. He was a poor, hard-working trapper, with a sick wife and child. One night he dreamed that an angel came to him and dropped in his hand "a fair, broad gold piece, in the name of God." When he rose that morning he went out into the wilderness to examine his traps; but neither beast nor bird had been caught in the toils, and poor Nauhaught grieved sorely over his misfortunes as he thought of the bare home and the needs of his sick wife, While praying that God would send the angel of his dream to help him in his dire distress, his feet touched something hard amid the grass, and there lay a purse filled with gold.

So, then, the dream was true,

The angel brought one broad piece only;

Should he take all these?

He was sorely tempted to conceal and appropriate his prize. The thing was so easy. No one need know he had found the purse, and all the wants of his needy family could be at once supplied. But his conscience stirred within him like the voice of God: —

Nauhaught, be a man.

Starve, if need be, but while you live, look out

From honest eyes on all men unashamed.

So the Indian deacon, mindful of the Divine voice, walked bravely back to the hamlet, asking, as he went, if any one had lost anything that day. "I," said a voice, "ten gold pieces in a silken purse." On which Nauhaught at once gave up the purse, and walked away, as poor as ever in pocket, but far richer and stronger in soul through the conflict, in which right had won the victory. The sea captain to whom the lost property had been restored, however, called him back, and begged him to accept a tithe of the prize he had found. This was one gold piece. He took it, and recognising here the very fulfilment of his dream, he gave God thanks. The people told him afterwards who this seaman was, and holy well known all around the coast. He answered, with a wise smile — to himself: "I saw the angel, where they saw a man."

He shall restore it
To wrong man is to dishonour God. To lie to a neighbour, or to deceive him, is to "commit a trespass against the Lord." Yet how little is this thought of! Few regard in any such light as this the ten thousand little injustices and over-exactions of which men, in many of the conditions of life, are guilty towards others. But no such acts are overlooked by God. He is as observant of your conduct towards your fellow-men as towards Himself. God requires restitution to be made to Himself when defrauded or wronged by men in the sins which they commit. We therefore read (Leviticus 5:15, 16). God is wronged by every sin of man. On every such occasion there is withheld from Him what is His due. And yet He will have tits claims met. But by whom is the fulfilment to be made? Not by the sinner himself. He is insolvent, and cannot satisfy the first and easiest demand of his Great Creditor. But what he himself is powerless to do can be done to the full by his Divine Substitute. Yes, Man — the Man Christ Jesus, makes awards for harm which those for whom He acts have done. He restores the principal, and with it gives the addition which God requires. He fulfils all righteousness, and yields to God a greater glory and pleasure by the obedience He renders and the character He exemplifies than would have been rendered by mankind at large, even had they never known sin. The restitution on which I wish specially to fix attention is that which has to be made to defrauded and injured man. It is impossible to keep one's eyes and ears open to what is going on in the worlds of politics, commerce, and social life, and not feel that there is nothing that more needs to be urged and performed than restitution. The extent to which overreaching, undue exaction, and unjust dealing are practised is almost beyond what words can express. This was very wonderfully disclosed by the results of some sermons on Restitution, which the late Dr. Finney, of America, delivered in this country some years ago. Moneys were sent to him, varying in sums from one shilling to a hundred pounds, with the names and addresses of the persons to whom they were to be delivered, and to whom they were due. So convicted and miserable were the persons who thus acted in the remembrance of the dishonesties of which they had been guilty, that they could find no relief until restitution according to the Divine command had been made. But that was not all, nor the worst. They could not gain the ear of the Most High (Matthew 5:23, 24). God is a God of truth, and cannot give countenance to falsehood: of justice, and cannot even seemingly make any compromise with dishonesty and oppression. He cannot give heed to the prayer of the injurer of his brethren, nor fill with good the heart and hand of the dishonest. They are "the upright," says David, whom He allows to "dwell in His presence" (Psalm 140:13), to whom He does good, and who are His delight. Men of an opposite character yield Him no pleasure, and are debarred from the privileges of His people. But let the necessary reparation be made, and the required restitution be rendered, and yours will be the privilege of those whom the Lord accepts and honours. Standing right with men, in the matter under consideration, you will have rightness of relationship to the God of justice and truth. It is thus first restitution, then reconciliation. The condition on which God admits the wrongdoer to the place of privilege in His presence, is the restoration of what he has by false means taken from another. In the ease of defrauding God, it is first sacrifice, then restitution; in the case of wronging man, it is first restitution, then sacrifice. And yet it is only when the sin which the wrong-doing implies is forgiven that the wrong-doing itself is repaired. It is accordingly only when the man who has injured his neighbour is convicted of the evil done, and sees it in the all-revealing light of the Divine presence, that he repairs to the injured with "the principal" and "the fifth part" in his hand. You may more than satisfy the man that has been wronged; but that will not satisfy God. Sin can be answered for only by the Cross; and the defilement it leaves behind on the soul can only be removed by the blood of cleansing. But bring to God the sacrifice of expiation, and offer to Him His Christ as your plea for the acceptance you require and wish, and you render to Him, in full, the restitution which He demands.

(James Fleming, D. D.)

Family Treasury.
An extensive hardware merchant in one of the Fulton Street prayer-meetings in New York appealed to his brother merchants to have the same religion for "down-town" as they had for "up-town "; for the week-day as for the Sabbath; for the counting-house as for the communion-table. After the meeting a manufacturer with whom he had dealt largely accosted him. "You did not know," said he, "that I was at the meeting and heard your remarks. I have for the last five years been in the habit of charging you more for goods than other purchasers. I want you to take your books and charge back to me so much per cent. on every bill of goods you have had of me for the five past years." A few days later the same hardware merchant had occasion to acknowledge the payment of a debt of several hundred dollars which had been due for twenty-eight years from a man who could as easily have paid it twenty-four years before.

(Family Treasury.)

Another way of being rid of guilt is by making handsome reparation to the injured party — a handsome, genuine recognition and reparation, such as Jacob made to Esau, or David to Bathsheba, or Zacchaeus to the widows and orphans of Judea. It is a step out of sin towards the God of truth and honesty, and towards Jesus Christ. Your agonies over cases of conscience and want of peace may lie there — that you have never made reparation. Oh, we know about it. God is not mocked. You cannot have the peace of conscience of a saint while living in dishonesty. You'll sleep better, and enjoy your food bettor, and the air of June will be round you in mid-January the day you make reparation. That will slacken the bonds of conscience, though it will not take them off. it is a sweet thing to do, though desperately hard to begin. I know it because I've done it — there are people here to whom I've made reparation, and I'm going to make more. The faith of some is scandalised by seeing you come to the prayer-meeting, he or she knowing what reparation you have made. Go and say, "I have not only to pay thee for the past, but here are arrears of interest." Try it; it will make you twenty years younger. There is no more mischievous doctrine than the Antinomianism which makes men blink at common honesty and cover up falsehood with Evangelicalism. God will not do it. The minister may come and pronounce a benediction on your sophistries, but it will not do. I am dwelling long on this, though not a moment too much for some men here. Make reparation.

(A. Whyte.)

We may here relate an incident from the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ who had been richly blessed. When he was a student he was absorbed in the things of this world, but soon afterwards yielded to the Spirit of God, and was led to his Redeemer. He became, in reality, another man. But, as often happens, the friends and acquaintances of his "jolly student days" could not understand the change, and the only conclusion they could come to was that "N — had turned hypocrite." Now it happened that N — had, while he was a student, taken away from one of his friends a paper-knife, which the owner set great store by. When, after his conversion to a new life, his eye happened one day to fall on the knife, his conscience smote him for his sin in taking it. The Spirit of God gave him no rest, urging him to take back the knife to its true owner, and acknowledge his sin. "Oh," said the man to us, "that was a hard step to take! I was willing enough to part with the knife, and would have given up a thousand knives, but I trembled when I thought — ' he regards you already as a hypocrite, and what will he think now?' Bat I went to him and confessed with trembling lips, and — what happened? He took my hand, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Now I see that there is something genuine in your conversion. I respect you now, and would gladly be as you are.'"

(Otto Funcke.)

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