"This shall be the law of the Leper, in the day of his
cleansing." Lev. 14:2.
No earthly skill removed the Leper's shame. He pined in
woe, until compassion smiled from heaven. When God's time came, the dreary
trial ceased, and the gay spring of health put forth its bud.
The case of sin is similar. The plague runs on, until
free grace relieves. God is the first, throughout Salvation's work. He
wills. He speaks. The sinner hears the inward voice, and seeks the cross,
and in the cross finds renovated life.
The Leper's misery had been a long, dark night. What must
have been his joy, when the bright morn of cleansing came!
Reader, learn here, that there is happiness brighter far,
than bodily relief. Soul-cure is cure of cures. The sense of pardon—the
Father's smile—the hope of glory—the Spirit's fellowship, are the supremest
bliss. The heart, which Christ has healed, is the fair garden, in which
unfading pleasure blooms. Earth's happiest sons are they, who are God's sons
in Christ. They, who are one with Him, have fixed their tents on loftiest
summits of delight.
Full of these thoughts, approach the Leper's various
cleansing rites. They are as streams, from many a mountain brow, all meeting
in one ocean lap. They are, as rays from distant points, combining in one
central blaze. They are, as different notes, uniting in one choral swell.
All point to Christ, and testify, that "Christ is all."
The priest alone pronounced unclean, and he alone can now
pronounce the cure. But how can meeting be? The tainted sufferer is an
outcast from the camp. He may not seek the tabernacle-court. Therefore the
priest will leave the gates, and hasten to the spot, where lonely misery
sits. Lev. 14:3.
Here faith discerns the willing flight of Jesus to our
earth. His throne is heaven. His abode is light. His dwelling is bright
glory. But the poor sinner mourns below. Can Jesus turn away? Oh! no. He
scorns not to put on our flesh. He counts it joy to seek the lost. The way
is long—the ignominy deep. But toil and shame cannot obstruct. Need calls.
Jesus draws near. Reader, shall He leave all for you, and will you not leave
all for Him? His self-devoting zeal chides man's self-murdering sloth.
The cleansing rites must now be closely viewed. Spirit of
light, reveal them in true light! Our eyes are blinded, until aid comes from
Clean birds are brought. In number they are two. One is
death-doomed. Its trickling blood descends into an earthen vessel filled
from the running stream. The other is plunged beneath the blood-dyed water,
and then sent forth with dripping wing towards heaven. A bunch of hyssop is
next bound with scarlet-wool unto a cedar staff. With this the blood is
seven times cast upon the meekly bending man. Lev. 14:4, 7. These birds are
Christ. One sign is narrow to show all His work. Collect all types—He is the
truth of each, and far more than the truth of all. One bird is slain. Oh
blessed news! Our Jesus dies. Think, O my soul, your joy—your peace—your
hope—your heaven, spring from a Savior's grave. Your life is forfeited
through sin. Stern justice draws the sword. The outraged law frowns ruin.
You see the vengeance, and you hear the threat. But still you tremble not.
You calmly point to Jesus and the accursed tree.
You know the refuge of the wounded side. You rightfully
maintain that you are free. Christ's death is paid, that you may never die.
His life is given, that you may live forever. Blood is outpoured, which
outweighs every claim. Rejoice—give thanks—sing praise. Through death, you
tread down death. The cross uplifts you to eternal day.
The other speeds all red towards heaven. The dying Jesus
is sin's death. The ascending Jesus is Salvation's life. The grave
restores—Heaven's courts receive Him. The gates lift up their heads. The
everlasting doors unfold. The King of Glory enters in.
My soul be wise—stretch, also, your upward wings; pierce
intervening clouds; dwell at heaven's gate; gaze on the work within the
veil. Christ ever stands before the throne. You live because a living Savior
prays. Hence rising sins are pardoned, because a risen Advocate pleads.
Hence heaven awaits you, because a Forerunner holds possession for you.
Seven-fold sprinklings from the cedar wand then follow. A
distant Savior is a Savior none. A remedy far off removes no evil. The
mighty benefit must be applied. The heart must know—the conscience feel—the
life proclaim, that Christ is formed within.
By varied means God brings the sinner into contact with
the cure. Mainly the preacher's voice is used. You ministers of Christ,
behold your work. Souls sit before you, waiting to be cleansed. What is it,
that you scatter round? What is the cedar—what the hyssop, which you wave?
Are your words dipped in blood from the Redeemer's heart? You often mourn
that the flock's leprosy abides. You seek their health, but still disease
pollutes. May it not be, because your lips drop scantily the healing dew? No
Leper could be clean, until the blood fell seven times on him. No soul
stands pure, until the stream from Calvary imbue it. Sermons should be as
drippings from the cross.
Next all his hair is shaved away, and all his garments
washed. Lev. 14:8. Nothing is kept, which harbors seed of re-appearing
plague. Believer, heed the lesson. It is wisdom's voice. Faith grasps a
pardon, and wins endless bliss. But still the Adam-nature lives. Your
present dwelling is in infection's climate. The flesh still lusts to evil.
Sin daily strives to roll you in the mire. Open your eyes. Flee from each
tempting circumstance. Avoid each slippery path. If there be place, or book,
or man, or trade, which draws from God, or slopes the way to fall, shun
them, oh! shun them, as contagious nest. The offending eye, though needful,
must be closed forever. The offending hand, or foot, though useful, must be
cut off. Reprieve is ruin. The loss is gain. The pain is joy. That most
befriends, which keeps out sin. That injures most, which re-admits our
Six days elapsed and then this cleansing is renewed. Lev.
14:9. While the believer lives, a watch-tower is his place. Occasions will
return. The ebbing tide will flow again. The mortifying knife must still be
used. While the foe plots, the shield and helmet may not be laid down. David
seeks ease, while warriors fight, and David finds, that his leprosy still
lives. Peter is warned to watch and pray, but Peter slumbers, and the bait
This teaching volume holds more pages yet. Lev. 14:10,
13. Fresh rites ensue. More victims yet must bleed. Reader, mark here the
Spirit's loving heart. He never wearies to exhibit Christ. He multiplies, to
win us to the pardoning cross. Did the Burnt offering bring forth Christ
wholly wrapped in flames of unremitting wrath? A Burnt offering must now
blaze. Did the Sin offering show sin's hateful filth? A Sin offering must
now die. Did the Trespass offering cast more light on the redeeming work?
Did the Grain offering change the scene, and give another aspect of the
cross? Trespass offering must now be added. Grain offering must now be
brought. All signs are sought to magnify, uplift, commend, the glorious work
of our atoning Lord. Do any seek for cleansing, without blood? Let such
survey this blood-stained chain of rites. Their voice is loud, and clear,
and often-repeated. All sound this note. Apart from Christ—apart from His
vicarious pains—there is no cure.
Blood from the Trespass offering is now significantly
used. The priest applies it to the ear, the hand, the foot. Lev. 14:14. The
mark is written on every extreme point. And why? All parts need
cleansing—and cleansing is provided for all parts. Complete remission of all
guilt is the grand comfort of the Gospel scheme. Christ is no partial
Savior. He takes away not some, but all our sins. If but one speck remained,
there could be no admission to the courts of light. The father's eye can
only rest on purity as pure as God. But Calvary's stream makes whiter than
the whitest snow. Doubtless each member has transgressed. The ear has
readily admitted evil sounds. The door has quickly opened to the poisoning
foe. Thus the whole mind has caught infecting taint. But sprinkle the blood,
and all is clean. The hand has often been the tool of Satan. It has
done guilty work in his foul service. But there is ready remedy. Wash here,
and lift up holy hands, without one fear. The feet, also, often tread
the miry paths, and rush unchecked to every scene of guilt. But all this
filth must disappear. The vilest sinner, touched by this blood, can silence
every accusing charge. Christ brings a pardon, entire throughout, for every
sin of all, who flee to Him. Can any hesitate? Will any heart refuse to
shout, Blessed be God, for Jesus Christ?
Another rite remains. The priest takes oil—fit
emblem of the Spirit's grace. With this again, the ear, the hand, the
foot are touched. The rest is poured upon the Leper's head. Lev. 14:15, 18.
The oil surmounts the blood. The blood obliterates offence. The Spirit
purifies the inner man. Where one is seen, all condemnation flees. Where the
other lives, the reign of sin is burst. One gives the plea for life. The
other fits for the heavenly home. One is the key. The other forms a
fitness to enjoy. Unjustified, man stands outside. Unsanctified,
he cares not to go in. But pardon and renewal are linked in
holy chains. One comes; the other speeds to follow.
As cleansing is complete, so renovation must pervade each
part. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed
away; behold all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17. Each member lives anew
to God. The ears hear for Him. They gather holy sounds, that holy truth may
sink into the heart. The hand, the foot, seek only holy work. The one employ
is to show forth God's praise—commend God's ways—advance God's kingdom, and
adorn His truth. The wilderness is lovely as the rose. Where thorns and
briers once were sharp, the myrtle blossoms, and the fir-tree waves.
Reader, here is a ready test for you. You often hear of
Jesus's cleansing work. Perhaps you boast of interest in His cross. But is
your hope sincerely rooted in the Gospel truth? Let now this tract enquire.
Where are your signs? Fruit proves the nature of the tree. Warmth is the
evidence, that fire burns. Light manifests the risen sun. He, that is
cleansed, abhors all filth. He, that has put on Christ, shines in the robes
of light. The grace, which brings to Christ, imparts new life.
True, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ
Jesus; but they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. He, who is
truth, proclaims, "If I wash you not, you have no part with Me." John 13:8.
But truth adjoins, "If any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of
His." Rom. 8:9.
Lord, cleanse me throughout with cleansing blood! Lord,
fill me throughout with purifying grace!