Zechariah 14:21
Indeed, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD of Hosts, and all who sacrifice will come and take some pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of Hosts.
The Great Harvest HomeW. Forsyth Zechariah 14:16-21
HolinessG. Brooks.Zechariah 14:20-21
Holiness Applies to Common ThingsZechariah 14:20-21
Holiness has to Do with Every Part of Our LifeW. Mallock.Zechariah 14:20-21
Holiness in the Common Things of LifeZechariah 14:20-21
Holiness on the Bells of the HorsesH. C. Mitchinson, M. A.Zechariah 14:20-21
Holiness to the LordE. Dorr Griffin, D. D.Zechariah 14:20-21
Holiness to the LordE. Payson, D. D.Zechariah 14:20-21
Holiness to the LordR. A. Redford, LL. B. , M. A.Zechariah 14:20-21
Holiness unto the LordE. Whieldon, M. A.Zechariah 14:20-21
Holiness unto the LordF. B. Meyer, B. A.Zechariah 14:20-21
Religion and BusinessC. H. Buck.Zechariah 14:20-21
The Bright Future of the World - the Reign of HolinessD. Thomas Zechariah 14:20, 21
The Bright Future of the World, the Reign of HolinessHomilistZechariah 14:20-21
The Holiness of the Gospel ChurchZechariah 14:20-21
The True Christian HolinessW. M. Taylor, D. D.Zechariah 14:20-21
Universal HolinessG. Burder.Zechariah 14:20-21
Universal Holiness the Object of Christian HopeJ. G. Breeny, B. A.Zechariah 14:20-21

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, etc. Looking at the passage as a portraiture of the future of the world, we are reminded that holiness will be its grand characteristic. There may be, and no doubt there will be, other things - great material and mental prosperity - but holiness will be its salient feature. The holiness will be universal.

I. IT WILL EMBRACE THE AFFAIRS OF COMMON LIFE. "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses." It was common amongst ancient nations to have bells on horses for use or ornament, or perhaps for both. It is said that in Alexander's funeral procession the horses had gold bells attached to their cheek straps. "Holiness unto the Lord," under the Law of Moses had been inscribed on the frontlet of the high priest, and nowhere else; now it was to be even on the bells of the horses, the commonest things of secular life. In this age no horses will be employed in wars and races, they will only be employed for right purposes and in a right way. The men who ride and drive them in state will be holy men, the men who use them in agriculture will be holy men. Horses, which for ages have been unrighteously treated and unrighteously used, in that day will be properly treated and properly employed.

II. IT WILL EMBRACE ALL DOMESTIC CONCERNS. "Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts." The idea is that holiness will extend even to the minutest concerns of domestic life, the members of families will be religious. The very pots in which the priests cooked their food should be as sacred as the bowls that caught the victim's blood. Observe

(1) that the distinction between the sacred and secular is to be abolished; but

(2) not by separation from the world, nor by making all things secular, but by making all things holy, by carrying into all occupations the spirit and delight of God's presence. "'Holiness to the Lord' is not to he obliterated from the high priest's mitre, so that he might feel as little solemnized when putting on his mitre and entering the holiest of all, as if he were going into his stable to put the collar on his horse; but when he puts the collar on his horse and goes to his day's work or recreation, he is to be as truly and lovingly as one with God as when with incense and priestly garments he enters the holy of holies" (Dr. Dods).

III. IT WILL EMBRACE ALL RELIGIOUS CHARACTERS. "In that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." "By 'Canaanite,'" says Dr. Henderson, "is meant 'merchant.' The Phoenicians who inhabited the northern part of Canaan were the most celebrated merchants of antiquity. The word may fairly be regarded as standing for mercenary men - men animated by the mercenary spirit." Such men are ever to be found in connection with religion. The old prophets bewailed this spirit. It was found in the earlier ages of the Christian Church. Men who considered "gain as godliness," the Canaanite or the merchant, do not necessarily belong to mercantile life, but to other avocations as well, and even to the priestly life. Perhaps the mercenary spirit is as rife in priests and ministers now as ever. But in the coming age there will be no more the Canaanite - the mercenary man - in the house of the Lord; all will be holy.

CONCLUSION. Hail, blessed age! May the chariot of time quicken its speed, and bring this blessed age to this world of depravity and sin! Note: This closes our sketches on the prophecy of Zechariah. We confess that going through it seriatim we have found in various passages, expressions and allusions to which we were utterly unable to put any clear and intelligible interpretation. There is a haze more or less over the whole book, and our endeavour has been, wherever we have caught a glimpse of a great, practical truth, to bring it out and work it into the service of soul culture. Though we may have failed to give the true meaning to many passages, we know that we have not intentionally misinterpreted any utterance, or turned a phrase or a word to any theological or ecclesiastical predilection, if indeed any such we have. - D.T.

In that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord
This text may be a prediction of the latter-day glory, when the knowledge of Christ shall cover the whole earth. But at all times, and in all places, "holiness becometh the house of the Lord." It is His royal will and pleasure that all who name His name should depart from all iniquity. This holiness, which we call universal holiness, because it extends to the whole man, and to his whole conduct, is described in the text in a remarkable manner. The prophet foretells that holiness to the Lord shall be written on the bells and bridles of the horses. It was originally engraved on a plate of gold, and fixed on the mitre or turban of the high priest. In wearing this, he was a type of Christ, our great High Priest. The meaning of writing this on the trappings of the horses is, that religion shall not be confined to sacred persons, times, and places, as this inscription originally was to the high priest; but that all real Christians, being a holy priesthood, shall be religious at all times and in all things; that true holiness shall extend itself to the ordinary concerns of life. The proposition we enforce is, that universal holiness becomes the profession of the Gospel. To be holy signifies, in Scripture, to be set apart from a common or profane use, to God and His service. Holiness is the renovation of our nature by the Spirit of God. The holiness required by the Gospel is something far superior to what is called morality. Holiness supposes the renewal of the heart. There is a universal change made in a real Christian, which is far superior to mere morality. God Himself is the author of holiness; there is nothing in our fallen nature to produce it. The principal instrument employed by the Spirit of grace in effecting this holy change, is the Word of the Gospel. "Sanctify them through Thy truth." The holiness of the Gospel has for its grand objects, God and our neighbour. Religion is to influence the common concerns of life. Holiness is not to be confined to sacred things, but mingled with our ordinary affairs. We see little practical religion among many nominal Christians and unstable professors. Even the most exemplary have cause to lament their deficiencies.

I. WHAT SHOULD BE THE CHRISTIAN'S TEMPER AND VIEWS WITH REGARD TO HIMSELF? Let the Christian remember that he is "the temple of the Holy Ghost," and that the temple of the Lord must be holy.

II. HOLINESS TO THE LORD IS TO BE EXMPLIFIED IN THE RELATIVE DUTIES OF SOCIAL LIFE. In general, the Christian has two things to regard, — to do no harm, and to do much good. Active benevolence is a necessary fruit of holiness. There are certain situations in life wherein persons, being mutually related to each other, are expected more particularly to manifest the holiness of the Gospel The conjugal state. The relation of parents and children. Of masters and servants. Then are we holy? A soul unsanctified can never gain admittance into heaven, the residence of a holy God, holy angels, and holy men.

(G. Burder.)

1. The holiness here predicted is evangelical.

2. The holiness here predicted is conspicuous and attractive.

3. The holiness here predicted is exemplified in the lives of the ministers of the Gospel.

4. The holiness here predicted embraces the transactions of ordinary business.

5. The holiness here predicted reaches to the social enjoyments of Christian professors.

6. The holiness here predicted pervades religious worship.

7. The holiness here predicted purifies the communion of the Christian Church.

(G. Brooks.)

The prevalence of sin in the world is a subject which the Christian daily reflects upon with unfeigned sorrow and humiliation. In every place iniquity abounds. Divine things are continually treated with presumptuous irreverence and disregard. The mind, however, is relieved from its depression, occasioned by the present gloomy state of things, while it contemplates the prospects of a brighter day, which in God's good time will arise. The sure word of prophecy unfolds to our view the most glorious representation of the Church prospering in the latter times. Zechariah foretells the general sanctification of men, and the consequent establishment of true religion in the world.

I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THESE ENCOURAGING WORDS — "In that day there shall be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord"? This appears to be a prediction of the general prevalence of pure and undefiled religion. It teaches us that holiness shall become universal in its extent, entire in its influence, and unveiled by shame or fear.

1. Holiness shall hereafter become universal in its extent. It shall be written upon the bells or bridles of the horses. It shall not be limited to persons of any particular order or profession; it shall extend to all who are engaged in secular occupations and pursuits. Men shall then become, as it were, priests unto God. In God's good time, the things of God will be exalted to their just preeminence; and as they deserve, will occupy the attention and influence the hearts of men. Religion will be everywhere regarded as the one thing needful.

2. Holiness shall then become entire in its influence. It shall not be partial and defective; but perfect and complete. It shall govern the whole man, and regulate all that pertains to Him. As all men will make a profession of religion, so all who profess it will become truly and completely religious. Their piety will not be limited to particular occasions. They will walk in the fear of the Lord all the day long. They shall be influenced by a continual sense of His presence, and actuated by an habitual reverence for His laws. But not only shall the personal holiness of men be entire, their possessions, and everything pertaining to them shall, as it were, be holy too. "The pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar." At present we have to lament that sacred things are most shamefully abused and profaned, but hereafter the case will be reversed; things of a worldly nature shall be sanctified to the purposes of religion.

3. Holiness shall be open and unreserved in man, free from any false feeling of shame, or fear of reproach.

II. WHAT INSTRUCTION MAY BE DEDUCED FROM THESE WORDS. The prophet says, "In that day." The period has certainly not yet arrived; nor can it be expected till the mystery of iniquity has ceased to work. It is, however, even now in its progress towards fulfilment; for it has a reference to the whole period of the Gospel dispensation. Then what manner of persons ought they to be who make a profession of that Gospel? Surely holiness becomes the house of God. Everyone that nameth the name of Christ should depart from iniquity. All who are privileged to bear the Christian name are required to cultivate extraordinary purity and holiness.

1. You are required to be holy by the very relation which you bear to God.

2. This is according to the express command of heaven: "for this is the will of God, even your sanctification."

3. This is the very end for which the Redeemer died.

4. The Scriptures represent this aa an indispensable qualification for heaven. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." Are you then living as persons truly devoted to God, and letting your conversation be in all things as becometh the Gospel of Christ? These questions are of supreme importance to us all; they are, as it were, the turning point on which life and death, heaven and hell, depend.

(E. Whieldon, M. A.)

The words "Holiness to the Lord," were written on the mitre placed on the head of the Jewish high priest. They were intended to point out the sacredness of the office, and the peculiar sanctity of the priestly character; but they referred to a greater than he, even the High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.


1. This is not the ease at present. Even the people of God find themselves in much danger of being careful and troubled about many things. There is not now on the bells of the horses, "Holiness to the Lord."

2. There is a time when it shall be so. It will be evident, by the way in which common duties shall be discharged, that holiness to the Lord is the governing principle. All the intercourse of society shall be under the influence of Christian principle. In conducting the concerns of business, there will be no fraud or deceit — no taking advantage of the ignorance, the necessities, or the liberality of another — no tempting others to sin, in order to make gain by their iniquity. Many are the temptations necessarily arising from being associated with those who fear not God.

II. SPIRITUAL SERVICES BEAUTIFIED. This embraces religion in the Church and in the family.

1. The services of the sanctuary. Things which have been deemed of small importance shall be attended to with a spirit of elevated piety. There is a prevalent error in undervaluing the devotional part of the service. The day is coming, may God hasten it on, "when the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar."

2. The religion of the family. In private dwellings a spirit of devotion shall run through all the engagements of the family. Look how much this is neglected. How many who wait on God in His house, do not serve Him in their own.


1. Charity in circumstantial matters shall be exercised. There are now often more disputes about the way of worship than endeavours to attain the right spirit of worship. Love of party destroys the love of Christ.

2. Agreement in fundamental truth. There shall be none to broach heresy, or to lessen the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ; but dependence on His righteousness shall be universal. Applying this subject to ourselves we see —(1) Ground for serious inquiry. Can we say, as respects business, public ordinances, Sabbath and home duties, etc., that everywhere is written, "Holiness to the Lord"?

2. A source of important instruction. See here a standard for your daily conduct. Pray, and try to attain to it. No Christian man is so happy as he who sees and enjoys Christ in everything.

3. A subject for fervent prayer. Pray that you may exhibit in your lives the power of grace in the soul. We see the principles on which we ought to act, in order so to pass through things temporal, as not to lose the things which are eternal. We may have the world, and we may use the world, but let us not forget that "if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Let it be our constant prayer that God may be our guard and our guide in our religious intercourse with our families, with His Church and people, and with our own hearts in our prayer chambers. And may the Lord Jesus Christ fulfil in us all the good pleasure of His will, and the work of faith with power.

(J. G. Breeny, B. A.)

How to retain the spirit of serious piety in the busy activities of life, is a question vital to Christian character. The practical divorce of religion and piety in our daily affairs is fraught with peril. Too many regard religion as out of place in the thoroughfares of trade, as a fabric of too fine a texture, or as an exotic transplanted from a tropical to a polar clime. The easy quietude of the sanctuary or closet befits it: "Holiness to the Lord" may be lint on the Bible, but not on the ledger; on the mitre of priest, but not on the bells of horses. How can religion and business be properly blended?

1. By having all actions constrained by holy motives. We do not, indeed, have God as a distinct object before us every moment, but we do the work which He has appointed us, in our special sphere, as a service to Him: "Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." The blood circulates silently in our veins, and so religion is a silent, but vital, force in our hearts.

2. We are to remember that religion is being good and doing good. It is not quietism or asceticism, but a dominant principle that guides our thought and speech and action. It is a reflection of Christ's life in the flesh. It shows itself in minutest details — the soft step, the gentle voice, the courteous demeanour; in honest speech, in nobility of dealing and truthfulness of disposition. True religion, someone says, puts no sand in sugar, alum in bread, water into milk, or otter into butter; it keeps the wife from ill-temper when her husband's dirty boots soil the floor, and keeps him from having dirty boots; it prevents him from fretting at a late dinner, and keeps her from having late dinners.

3. Religion is doing secular acts from sacred motives oftener than it is doing merely sacred acts, so called. When piety stamps our life, all our acts are religious. It is wrong to separate toil and worship, and to forget that motive gives character to deeds. An automaton may do many of our acts, but it, has no moral character. The heart makes the work of the workman holy. "An anvil may be consecrated and a pulpit desecrated." A religion that is not fitted to week day work never had a Sabbath day origin.

(C. H. Buck.)

These words indicate that the great design, and ultimate result, of the diffusion of the Gospel is to promote holiness. In the view of many, salvation is simply deliverance from punishment. But salvation is a character as well as a condition, and the two can never he really divorced. Christianity is a life as well as a creed. The bestowment of forgiveness is not the great end of the Gospel, but only a means to the higher end of lifting men from their degradation and making them in heart and in conduct, as well as in name, the sons of God. To rest in pardon is a mean and contemptible thing, displaying a disposition of the grossest selfishness. When salvation is really possessed, it is a living character, produced by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and rooted in the simple faith which the soul is exercising in Jesus Christ.

I. WHAT HOLINESS IS. What precisely do we mean when we say of a man that he is holy? We imply not simply that he is virtuous, but rather that his virtue has a special and peculiar quality. In our common speech there is a recognition of the distinction between virtue and holiness. The virtuous man regulates his conduct by moral principles alone, while the holy man maintains a close and constant fellowship with the living God. The one gives you a lofty idea of his own excellence, the other makes you feel the greatness and purity of God. The scriptural significance of the term is "consecrated to Jehovah." Holiness, so far as it is an inward principle, is the maintenance of close communion with God: and so far as it is an outward manifestation, it is the consecration of the life to God. Holiness is a disposition lying back behind all virtues, and giving to each of them its own distinctive peculiarity. Holiness is an inward, all-regulating principle.

II. HOW THIS HOLINESS IS TO BE ATTAINED. Clearly, it is not possessed by every man. No man has it naturally, and as a thing of course. Indeed, the very reverse is true. Men do not like to retain God in their knowledge. How is all this to be changed? Not by the individual himself. From an unholy soul nothing but that which is unholy can proceed. By no mere process of development, or natural selection, can the unholy man train himself into holiness. Neither can this change be accomplished by means of external rites. The Scriptures state with the utmost explicitness that we are regenerated by the power of the Holy Ghost. If we inquire into the mode of His operations, we get no reply. If we ask how He can work in and upon a man, while not infringing on his free agency, we are not told. Though silent as to the mode, Scripture repeatedly asserts the fact. The other element of holiness is consecration to God. But the essence of sin is self-will, and so it is impossible that a man can dedicate himself to God until sin within him has been crushed. In order to holiness, the sinner needs to be reconciled to God, and to he made like to God. But these are the very things which are to he accomplished through his belief on the Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Ghost. As to consecration to Him, the sight of the means by which his guilt and depravity have been removed, produces in the believer's soul a deep feeling of personal indebtedness to God. He cannot lay claim to himself after God has redeemed him to Himself by the precious blood of Christ. His gratitude takes the form of self-dedication. It follows, also, that we must seek to have faith, strong and abiding, in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Redeemer, and in His death as the propitiation for our sins. This is a view of the Cross which is too seldom before our eyes.

III. WHERE THIS HOLINESS IS TO BE MANIFESTED. It is to characterise the believer's life in all occupations and under all circumstances. Under the New Testament we have no holy places, or holy persons. To the Christian there should be nothing purely secular. Wherever piety is genuine, and our consecration unreserved, we shall seek in all things to glorify God.

(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)

The period to which these verses refer is still future. Piety is to be almost universal, extending generally to all persons and acts. Gather from the text what real piety is. Use the text as a standard.

1. On the bells of the horses, "Holiness to the Lord," not on the priest's mitre only. Common occupations are to be performed with an eye to God. We are to serve God indirectly in our callings, as well as directly in our ordinances; secular things are to be conducted on the same holy principles of faith and obedience as our sacred services. Horses are used for state occasions, for recreation, for journeying, for merchandise. And bells on the horses give notice of their approach And wherever a Christian comes, holiness to the Lord should attend him.

2. "And the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar." Lesser things in the service of God should be attended to, as well as the more important; earthen pots, as well as golden bowls, should be held sacred. Where there is real holiness people are not nice and particular about ceremonial holiness. The true worshipper seeks to worship in spirit. This is the main thing. At the same time, he does not disparage sacred persons, places, days, and things, because he can make ordinary persons, places, days, and things, conducive and helpful to his spiritual growth. You should carry your religion into your ordinary affairs, but you should not carry your ordinary affairs into your religious worship, except for the sake of guidance and blessing, and that you may go forth to conduct them in a right manner and with a proper spirit.

(H. C. Mitchinson, M. A.)

Jerusalem and Judah are referred to in a literal sense, but, as is common, they are. ultimately referred to as a type of the universal Church of the latter day. In its real scope the prediction extends to the whole world. Everything in prophecy and providence unites, to prove that the entire fulfilment is at the door. The term "holy" signifies "set apart," "devoted." To be holy to the Lord is to be consecrated to Him. But "holiness to the Lord" is a still more forcible expression, and denotes consecration in the abstract. Men will write "holiness to the Lord" on all that they are and have. This implies that they will go through and reexamine all their habits, and bring all to the touchstone of Scripture. They will consecrate to Him all their powers of body and mind, all their time, influence, and possessions. You have come upon the stage at a time when Christendom is teeming with projects and institutions to meliorate the condition of man, and to advance the kingdom of Christ. See that you give these institutions firm and unwearied support. Fall in with the spirit of your age. You ought to be wholly for God, because He made you what you are, and built the world you inhabit, and furnished it for your use, and placed you in it, and commanded you to serve Him with all your heart and soul. You are not your own. You ought to be wholly for Christ, because He died to redeem you from eternal fire and raise you to immortal happiness. You must devote your lives to the interests of His kingdom if you would most promote the happiness of men. You must be wholly devoted if you would wish for a life of comfort. A divided mind is an uneasy mind. Many people have just enough religion to make them wretched. A heart and life consecrated without reserve to Christ, would bring peace of conscience, the strong exercise of benevolent affection, the satisfaction of a delightful employment, and crown all with ecstatic communion with God, and an assured hope of immortality.

(E. Dorr Griffin, D. D.)

The prophets and apostles often speak of a glorious day, which is to dawn upon the Church in the latter ages of the world. Respecting this glorious day two things are predicted in the chapter before us. The true religion shall then universally prevail. Christians shall make much greater attainments in religion, and its sanctifying influence shall pervade all the common concerns and employments of life.

1. These expressions of the text imply that, when the day here predicted arrives, all the common business, employments, and actions of men shall be performed with as much seriousness and devoutness, as the most pious Christians now feel when engaged in the most solemn duties of religion. The meaning of the prediction evidently is that, while persons are engaged in all the common business and concerns of life, whether at home or abroad, whether in the house or by the way, they shall feel as serious, as devout, as much engaged in the service of God, as did the Jewish high priest, when he wore that sacred inscription upon his forehead.

2. In that day, every house, every shop, and the whole world itself, will be a house of God, a temple consecrated to His praise. A temple is a place consecrated and devoted to God for religious purposes. But in that day every house will be such a place.

3. Every day will then be like a Sabbath.

4. Every common meal will be what the Lord's Supper is now.

5. When this day arrives, there will be no insincere worshippers found in God's house, no hypocritical professors in His Church.Application. Learn —

1. Our great and innumerable deficiencies.

2. Whether we have any religion or not.

3. What pleasures, pursuits, and employments are really lawful and pleasing to God.

(E. Payson, D. D.)

Zechariah describes, in the last chapters of his book, great troubles coming on the world. All the world gathered round about Jerusalem to destroy it. The Lord Himself coming down from heaven to deliver the sacred city. There was no thought more pressed upon the mind of the Jew than that of holiness. It was the motto of the national life. The same conception of universal sanctity was carried forward from Judaism to Christianity.

I. THE HIGHEST STATE OF MAN, THE MOST BLESSED CONDITION OF THE WORLD, IS HERE SET BEFORE US. The first meaning of holiness is separation. Separation looks two ways, to the past and to the future. There is something from which we are separated, and something to which we are separated. When we think of holiness practically, in respect to our present life, we are apt to regard it as representing an unattainable height. Holiness is absolute purity. Sanctification is ever represented in Scripture as though it were equivalent with a positive perfection already attained in this life. Holiness describes, not a realised height of nature or life, but a law or condition of life, — a process, a growth, springing out of faith, going on with us to our eternal future. Holiness is consecration.

II. THIS DIVINE IDEA OF HOLINESS IS UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE. There is nothing which cannot be consecrated. The first thing in true consecration is the act of the inner self. We have none of us altogether conquered our old selfishness: we battle with it still. But holiness is the renunciation of all for Christ. And we have all an outside life to bring under this law of entire surrender. Holiness is not the condition of human nature, left to itself, it is the gift of God. There is a spurious holiness into which we are invited. Outside sanctities will never quicken the soul into new life.

(R. A. Redford, LL. B. , M. A.)

These words describe the purity and holiness of the gospel church in such terms and notions as are proper to the Old Testament dispensation. Notice the inscription, or impress, — "Holiness to the Lord." The things inscribed are particularly enumerated, the horse bells; the bowls, the pots. What was used in the kitchens of the temple; and the utensils of every ordinary house and family. Notice the time. "In that day." The whole state of things under the Gospel, which is as it were but one day. But where is this universal holiness to be found? Prophecies of things belonging to our obedience are to be often understood of our duty, rather than of the event. As to the event, it is to be understood comparatively, not absolutely. And the Gospel state hath its ebbs and flows in several ages. Doctrine — God in and by the Gospel will effect an eminent and notable sanctification both of things and persons.


1. All such things as were before employed against God should be then employed and converted to His service, for the horse bells shall be inscribed.

2. Upon all the utensils of the temple there shall be "Holiness to the Lord," whether pots or bowls.

3. The expressions imply a proficiency and growth in holiness; for the pots of the kitchen of the temple shall become as the bowls of the altar for purity and holiness.

4. As it is a progressive holiness, so it is also a diffusive holiness, which spreadeth itself through all actions, civil and sacred; in things which belong to peace and war.


1. Relatively. Four things are in it. An inclination towards God. From this tendency towards God ariseth a dedication of ourselves, and all that we have to the Lord's use and service. From this dedication there results a relation of the persons so dedicated to God, so that from that time forth they are not their own, but the Lord's. There is another thing, and that is the actual using of ourselves for God. We are vessels set apart for the master's use.

2. Positive holiness may be considered either with respect to our persons or actions. Our persons, when we are renewed by the Spirit, or there is an inward principle of sanctification wrought in our hearts. As a person is holy by his principle, so an action is holy by the rule, when it agreeth with it as to manner and matter and end.


1. Because of our principle, the new nature wrought in us by the Spirit of God, which is suited to the whole will of God.

2. Because of the exactness of our rule, which teacheth us how to walk in our several businesses and employments.

3. Because of our pattern and example, Jesus Christ, who was exact in all His actions.

4. Because of our obligations to Christ; partly because of His dominion as the Lord and Redeemer by right of purchase. In all conditions and states of life He hath a right in us, therefore in every state of life we should glorify Him. Partly from our gratitude to Christ as Saviour as well as Lord. Use — To persuade us to this universal obedience. None enter upon God's service but with a consecration. Sundry directions.(1) Undertake nothing but what will bear this inscription upon it.(2) Be sure to exercise your general calling, as a Christian, in your particular. Your particular calling is that way of life to which God hath designed you by your abilities and education.(3) Turn all second-table duties into first-table duties,(4) Go about your earthly business with a heavenly mind.(5) Content not yourselves with the natural use of the creature, as brute beasts do, but see God in all.(6) In all your ways acknowledge God, depending upon Him for direction and success, and consulting with Him, and approving thy heart and life unto Him.(7) God should be worshipped by every faithful person in His own house in as God-like a manner as He was worshipped by the Jews in the temple. A Christian must be alike everywhere, at home and abroad.

( T. Manton.)

Holiness will be the salient feature in the future of the world. The holiness will be universal.

I. IT WILL EMBRACE THE AFFAIRS OF COMMON LIFE. "Upon the bells of the horses." It was common amongst ancient nations to have bells on horses for use or ornament, or perhaps for both. It is said that in Alexander's funeral procession the horses had gold bells attached to their cheek straps.

II. IT WILL EMBRACE ALL DOMESTIC CONCERNS. "Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts." The idea is that holiness will extend even to the minutest concerns of domestic life, the members of families will be religious. The very pots in which the priests cooked their food should be as sacred as the bowls that caught the victim's blood. Observe —(1) That the distinction between the sacred and secular is to be abolished, but, —(2) not by separation from the world, nor by making all things secular, but by making all things holy, by carrying into all occupations the spirit and delight of God's presence. Holiness to the Lord is not to be obliterated from the High Priest's mitre so that he might feel as little solemnised when putting on his mitre and entering the Holiest of all, as if he were going into his stable to put the collar on his horse; when he puts the collar on his horse and goes to his day work or recreation, he is to be as truly and lovingly at one with God as when with incense and priestly garments he enters the "Holy of Holies." — Dr. Dods.

III. It will embrace all RELIGIOUS CHARACTERS. "In that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." "By Canaanite," says Dr. Henderson, "is meant merchant. The Phoenicians who inhabited the northern part of Canaan were the most celebrated merchants of antiquity. The word may fairly be regarded as standing for mercenary men, men animated by the mercenary spirit." Such men are ever to be found in connection with religion. The old prophets bewailed this spirit. It was found in the earlier ages of the Christian Church. Men who considered "gain as godliness," the Canaanite or the merchant do not necessarily belong to mercantile life but to other avocations as well and even to the priestly life. Perhaps the mercenary spirit is as rife in priests and ministers now as ever. But in the coming age there will be no more the Canaanite — the mercenary man — in the house of the Lord, all will be holy.


Religion is one of the colours of life which mingles most intimately with all the other colours of the palette. It is that which lends them their appearance of depth, and the best of their brilliance. If by a subtle process it is taken away, all become tarnished and discoloured.

(W. Mallock.)

I pray my friends not to be so spiritual that they cannot do a good day's work, or give full measure, or sell honest wares. To my disgust, I have known persons professing to have reached perfect purity who have done very dirty things. I have been suspicious of superfine spirituality since I knew one who took no interest in the affairs of this world, and yet speculated till he lost thousands of other people's money. Do not get to be so heavenly minded that you cannot put up with the little vexations of the family; for we have heard of people of whom it was said that the sooner they went to heaven the better, for they were too disagreeable to live with below.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

There is a legend of an artist who sought a piece of sandalwood out of which to carve a Madonna. At last he was about to give up in despair, leaving the vision of his life unrealised, when in a dream he was bidden to shape the figure from a block of oak, which was destined for the fire. Obeying the command, he produced from the log of common firewood a masterpiece. In like manner many people wait for great and brilliant opportunities for doing the good things, the beautiful things, of which they dream, while, through all the plain, common days, the very opportunities they require for such deeds lie close to them, in the simplest and most familiar passing events, and in the homeliest circumstances. They wait to find sandalwood out of which to carve Madonnas, while far more lovely Madonnas than they dream of are hidden in the common logs of oak they burn in their open fireplace, or spurn with their feet in the wood yard.

Holiness stands for three things — first, and in its deepest conception, separation from sin or common use, as the one day in the week, the one mountain of Zion amid the hills, and the child Samuel in his mother's home, dedicated to the service of God. Secondly, holiness stands for consecration or devotion to God; that which is not used for sin is set apart for His holy service; that which is not used for ordinary purposes is dedicated, like the communion plate, to one most holy and sacred purpose. Just as you would not use the chalice or paten of the communion for any common meal, however urgently you were pressed to it, so the holy thing is set apart for God. Thirdly, holiness implies growing capacity for the likeness of God. The nature which is yielded to God receives more of God, and, by receiving God, becomes changed into the likeness of God. So Holiness unto the Lord was engraven as a sacred motto upon the golden plate, on Aaron's forehead, and everyone that saw the high priest so arrayed felt that there was a rightness, a holy fitness, that a man who was set apart for the service of God's house should wear such a tablet. Probably, if you were told that you should dally wear a similar badge, you would exclaim, "No, not so. I am quite willing to be a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I am looking one day to stand before Him, rid of all imperfections and impurity, in the Temple of God, but I dare not assume that title now. I am not holy. I know it myself, and those that know me best would confess it too. That inscription and that golden plate are not for me." Then you are missing the point of Zechariah's conception of this dispensation. Anticipating the time in which we live, he said, "The Holy Spirit will be so brought within the reach of ordinary people that the sacred inscription which had been reserved for the high priest will be inscribed upon the very bells of their horses' gear, while the utensils and vessels which are devoted to common use will become, as it were, dignified and sanctified, as much so as altar vessels; while those which the priests employ for common purposes will be as bowls in which the blood of the victim is received, and into which the priest dips his hand to sprinkle the blood on the Day of Atonement." Three words will indicate our line of thought, namely, — Abolition, Inclusion, Elevation.

I. ABOLITION. There is an abolition in our present dispensation of the old distinction between sacred and secular. Many people live in two houses — of their sacred and of their secular duty; and though they pass from one to the other yet there is a distinct demarcation between what they are at sacred hours and at other times. People seem to suppose that religion can be put on and off as a dress; that it is separate from their real life; that it resembles undigested food, which is taken into the body but does not become part of their nature, and is therefore a burden and inconvenience. Now, this cannot be right. If you consider the genius of our religion the idea of such a partition cannot be admitted for a moment. What is the Christian religion? A creed? A performance? A donning of a certain outward behaviour or habit? It is a life; and surely life must express itself by speech and act, and in all the various outgoings of doing and suffering. The life of a flower must always exhale sweet fragrance; the life of a bird must always pour itself forth in carol and song; the life of a fish must always show itself, whether it flashes up from the surface of the water or buries itself in the depth. So the life of God always expresses itself; it is not located in certain acts, but it pervades a man as the spirit of selfishness might do. A student's knowledge will affect his life at every turn. An artist cannot find enjoyment at one time in that which jars on his well balanced tastes at another. So when we receive the new life of God it must pour out through the channels of our whole being; or, ii ever we are inconsistent with it, it will rebuke and call us back, through confession and prayer, to the old standard. You cannot be religious there and irreligious here; if you have life it will show itself as much on Monday as Sunday. Religion is also a recognition of Christ's kingship, the presenting Him with the keys of one's whole being. But if you are only going to serve Christ on certain occasions, and on Sundays, there are six-sevenths of your time taken out from His holy government. How can you call yourself a slave of Jesus Christ if you are only serving Him in certain specified duties and acts, whilst the residue of your life is spent according to your whim? Is not that the way in which the wandering tribes of Siberia acknowledge the Tsar of Russia, whilst they assert a good deal of autonomy of their own? Is not that detrimental to all consistency, all true devotion and consecration? Does the planet ever leave the sphere of the sun's influence? Religion is a testimony to the world. The world does not come to our places of worship or see us at our best; the world does not intrude upon our domestic privacy, and overhear our prayers. The world can only judge us when we cross its track, when we are engaged in the same duties as it is familiar with, or undergoing privations and discipline it can appreciate.

II. INCLUSION. The Jews were forbidden to buy or own horses. Horses were identified with war, with proud display and show. But here we note that instead of the horses being kept outside the national life, they are permitted, and, instead of their being under a ban, Holiness unto the Lord is written upon their bells — Calvin says upon their blinkers. In the old times men said that religion consisted in their attitude towards God, and that therefore everything which could not be directly used for His service must be viewed with suspicion, Hence the relationships of family life were carefully abjured by monk and nun; and through the Middle Ages especially, when the ascetic idea dominated men, we have hardly any reference to natural beauty. The Christian idea is infinitely preferable. You may have your horses, but they must be consecrated. You may have the horse bells to make sweet music, but see to it that they are inscribed with Holiness unto the Lord. You may have the vessels and implements of daily service, but mind that every one of them is handled as the bowls of the altar. Of course, if you feel that certain things, which are innocent in themselves, are getting too great a hold upon you, or are influencing other people wrongly, then you are bound to put them away. Whatever you may do rightly you may do for Him, and whatever you may do for Him you are right in doing.

III. ELEVATION. Zechariah says that there is to be no distinction between sacred and secular, but he does not say we are to level down the sacred to the secular. He does not say that the holy bowls in which the victim's blood was caught are to be levelled down to that of the other vessels of the Temple; but that the ordinary vessels are to be levelled up to these. He does not say that the priest is to take off his plate, and have no more reverence for the worship of God than he felt when he went to saddle his horse for an afternoon's excursion, but that he is to saddle his horses for his pleasure ride with the same reverence and devotion to God as when he entered the temple at the call of sacred duty. The whole tendency of the present day is to make everything equally secular, but we must take care to make everything equally sacred. You must have your church, that your workshop may become imbued with the spirit of your church; you must have your Bible reading, that all books may be read under the light that shines from your Bible; you must have the Lord's Supper, that you may eat and drink always to the glory of God.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

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