October 26, 2006

Stephen Charnock (1628–1680) on Laying Hold of Christ's Sacrifice

6. We must then lay hold on this sacrifice. The people were to be sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifice, Exod. xxiv. 8, so must we with the blood of our Lamb. Thus only can it save us, 1 Peter i. 2. Thus is our Saviour described by this part of his office: Isa. lii. 15, 'He shall sprinkle many nations.' Our guilt cannot look upon a consuming fire without a propitiatory sacrifice; our services are blemished, so that they will rather provoke his justice than merit his mercy; we must have something to put a stop to a just fury, expiate an infinite guilt, and perfume our unsavoury services. Here it is in Christ, but there must be faith in us. Faith is as necessary by the ordination of God in a way of instrumentality, as the grace of God in a way of efficiency, and the blood of Christ in a way of meritoriousness of our justification. All must concur, the will of God the offended governor, the will of the sacrificing mediator, and the will of the offender. This will must be a real will, an active operative will, not a faint velleity. We must have a faith to justify our persons, and we must have an active sincerity to justify the reality of our faith. Christ was real in his sacrifice, God was real in the acceptation of it, we must be real in believing it. Rocks and mountains cannot secure them that neglect so great a sacrifice, that regard this atoning blood as an unholy thing. It is as dreadful for men to have this sacrifice smoking against them, and this blood calling for vengeance on them, as it is comfortable to have it pleaded for them and sprinkled on them. Why will any then despise and neglect a necessary sovereign remedy ready at hand? Is it excusable, that when we should have brought the sacrifice ourselves, or ourselves have been the sacrifice, we should slight him who hath voluntarily been a sacrifice for us, and cherish a hell merited by our sin, rather than accept of a righteousness purchased at no less rate than the blood of God? This sacrifice is full of all necessary virtue to save us, but the blood of it must be sprinkled upon our souls by faith. Without this we shall remain in our sins, under the wrath of God and sword of vengeance.
Stephen Charnock, "Christ Our Passover," in The Works of Stephen Charnock (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1985), 4:538.


1 comment:

Steve Burlew said...

Tony, thanks for sharing a bit of Charnock with the rest of us. Be it Charnock, Sibbes, Flavel, Owen ... they have left such rich writings behind for us to feast upon. I'm glad you've discovered them, and are willing to share. And we have plenty more where they came from, in our Banner warehouse just on the other side of my office wall!
Grace & peace,
Steve B.