“It shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein” Leviticus 22:21.
Thus, then our text shuts out all self-righteousness. IT ALSO SHUTS OUT ALL PRIESTLY PERFORMANCES.
There is a notion among some people that the priest is to save them alias the minister, for men easily in these charitable days make even Dissenting ministers into priests.
I have heard people say “Just as I employ a lawyer to attend to my temporal business, and I do not bother my head any more about it; so I employ my priest or my clergyman to attend to my spiritual business, and there is an end of it”.
This is evil talk, and ruinous to the man who indulges in it. I will speak of this priestcraft very plainly. Recollect “it shall be perfect to be accepted;” therefore all that this gentleman does for you must be perfect.
I do not know what it is that he does, I am sure. I never could make out what a priest of the Roman or Anglican order can be supposed to do in his highest function of the mass. I have seen him walk this way, and I have seen him walk that way: and I have seen him turn his back, and it has been decorated with crosses and other embelishments; and I have seen him turn his face; and I have seen him bow; and I have seen him drink wine and water; and I have seen him munch wafers; and I have seen him perform many genuflections and prostrations; but what the performance meant I have not been able to gather. To me it seemed a meaningless display.
I should not like to risk my soul on it; for suppose that during that service he should think of something that he ought not to think upon, and suppose he should have no intention whatever of performing the mass, what then becomes of those who trust in him and it?
Everything, you know, depends upon the intention of the priest. If a good intention be not there, according to the dictates of his own church, it is all good for nothing, so that your souls all hang upon the intention of a poor mortal in a certain dress.
Perhaps he has not after all been rightly anointed, and is not in the apostolical succession! Perhaps there is no apostolical succession! Perhaps the man himself is living in mortal sin! Ah, me! There are many dangers about your confidence. Are you going to hang your soul on that man’s orders or disorders? Mine is too heavy to hang upon so slender a nail, driven into such rotten wood.
If you have a soul big enough to think, you will feel ‘No, no; there cannot be sufficient ground for dependence in the best pontiff that ever officiated at an altar. God requires of me, myself, that I bring to him a perfect sacrifice; and it is all a device of my folly that I should try and get a sponsor, and lay this burden on him. It cannot be done.
I have to stand before the judgment-bar of God in my own person, to be tried for the sins that I have done in the body; and I must not deceive myself with the idea that another man’s performance of ceremonies can clear me at the judgment-seat of Christ. This man cannot bring a perfect sacrifice for me, and it must “be perfect to be accepted”.
O sirs, do not be deluded by priestcraft and sacramentarianism, whether the priest be of the school of Rome, or of Oxford: you must believe in the Lord Jesus for your selves, or you will be lost for ever! &
“It shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein” & as this rule shuts out all other confidences, SO THIS RULE SHUTS US UP TO THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST &
My heart rejoices as I think of Gethsemane, and Calvary, and of him who by one offering hath perfectly sanctified all who put their trust in him. “It is finished” said he, and finished it is for ever.
Our Lord has presented a perfect sacrifice. “It shall be perfect to be accepted;” and it is perfect. “There shall be no blemish therein;” and there is no blemish in it.
Glory be to God Most High.