"AN ALTAR OF EARTH"

Exodus 20:24

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)



"An altar of earth."–Exod. xx. 24.

Every thing, and every service, in the old testament dispensation, as well as in the gospel church, points to Christ. Behold, my soul, in the Lord's appointment of "an altar of earth," how jealous the Lord is of his honour. If the altar dedicated to the Lord's service, be of earth, or if it be of stone, there was not to be the least mixture. Nothing hewn, nothing polished by man's art, or man's device; "for if," saith Jehovah, "thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it." Behold, how fully Jesus was preached here! There can be nothing offered to the Lord for his acceptance, but what is the Lord's. Jesus is the Father's gift to poor sinners; and when a poor sinner presents before the Father, the Lord Jesus as his whole altar, sacrifice, and offering, he presents to the Father what the Father first presented to him. If the sinner were to join any thing of his own with this offering, this were to pollute it. Sweet thought! my soul, cherish it in the warmest of thine affections; carry it about with thee for thy daily exercise of faith upon the person of Jesus, that nothing of thine may mingle with the pure and perfect salvation, which is alone in him. And, depend upon it, thy God and Father is more honoured, more glorified, and will be more beloved, by such a perfect reliance upon Him in whom his soul delighteth, than he would be by the greatest and most costly sacrifices of thine own providing. The infinite and eternal worth and efficacy of Jesus's blood and righteousness, is upon everlasting record. God is well pleased with him, and his people in him; and a voice from heaven hath proclaimed it to the earth. To offer any thing of our own, by way of making it pleadable, is to pollute it; yea, it is to make it questionable, as if we thought it not complete. And by thus doing, we declare that our hearts are not thoroughly pleased with what Jehovah hath declared himself well pleased, but are seeking to rest our souls, not upon the altar, which is wholly the Lord's, but adding to it of our own. Oh! for grace to make Jesus what the Father hath made him, the all in all of man's salvation; and be ever ready to let him have all the glory, who alone hath aecomplished it, "in believing the record that God hath given of his dear Son."

From THE POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.