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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 10

Seiss' Lectures on Leviticus and RevelationSeiss' Lectures

Verses 1-20

Tenth Lecture.
The Fall of Nadab and Abihu

Leviticus 10:1-20

An Episode—The nature of their Sin—Intemperance—Will-worship—Holy fire—Early corruptions of the Gospel—The fate of usurpers and corrupters—Natural affection with respect to the Lost—Christ’s intercessions not hindered by Apostasies—He is still the only High-priest and Savior.

This chapter comes in as an episode in the general current of this book. It gives an account of a sort of accident during the institution of this ancient ritual. But it is not therefore without significance or important typical relations.

At our last view of the tabernacle, we beheld it gay and glorious with the manifestations of a reconciled God, and a delighted, adoring people. This chapter shows it overspread with gloom and sadness. The shout of Israel yesterday, becomes a wail to-day. Such is human life—a ceaseless alternation of lights and shades, joys and sorrows, bridals and burials. The same heart pulsates with delight and throbs with grief. The same walls echo the voice of festivity and the lamentations of woe. The morning calm is often but the herald of the evening tempest. War soon succeeds the profoundest peace; judgments follow upon the heels of mercies; the coffin presently comes after the cradle. There is a bitter for every sweet, a night for every day, a death for every birth. From scenes of glory we pass to scenes of gloom and mourning. The sunshine of to-day is lost again in the clouds of to-morrow. "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof faileth away."

Nadab and Abihu were no inconsiderable personages. They were the sons of Israel’s priest, the nephews of Israel’s leader, the head of Israel’s princely elders. They had been with Moses and Aaron in the hallowed mount; they had looked upon the glorious vision of God as he appeared on Sinai; they had been chosen and consecrated to the priesthood; they had stood by and assisted Aaron in the first operations of the Hebrew ritual; and in all that camp of God’s ransomed ones, Moses and Aaron alone had higher dignity than theirs. But, from the mount of vision, they fell into the pit of destruction. They were accepted priests yesterday; they are disgraced victims of God’s holy indignation to-day. The world had not made one of its quick revolutions, from the time the people drew near them as the sanctified of the Lord, until they shrank from them in horror as the accursed of God. In the evening they were accepted priests, with prospects of a bright destiny before them; in the morning they were in the hands of death, and all their hopes were quenched.

An event so startling and melancholy, occurring at the very inception of the Mosaic ceremonies, challenges our special attention, and calls for serious thinking. We cannot consider it too solemnly, nor view it intelligently, without important spiritual profit. It is a sort of finger-post, set up at the starting point of a great history, from which generation after generation, in all succeeding ages, might take warning and learn wisdom.

The death of these men was exceedingly awful, It came upon them with the suddenness of lightning. I do not know that sudden death is always to be deplored. To a good man, sudden death is only sudden deliverance from the infirmities of life, and sudden glory. It saves from many an anxiety and many a pain. But for a thoughtless and impenitent sinner to be cut off and hurried to the judgment without a moment’s warning, is exceedingly terrible. Nadab and Abihu were plunged into eternity with a flash, and that right in the midst of their sin. With their censers in their hands, enveloped in a cloud of incense which was but the expression and signal of their guilt, in the very act of their transgression, a bolt of flame darted out over the mercy-seat, and laid them instantaneously with the dead.

A judgment so marked and terrific argues peculiar provocation. It is not always right to infer special guilt from special affliction. Job’s calamities did not come upon him because he was a man of sin. Those Galileans whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices, were not sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things. Those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, were not sinners above all them that dwelt in Jerusalem because they met a fate so sad. The best men are sometimes the greatest sufferers. There are mysteries in the divine administrations, which often make the way to heaven a way of tribulation and tears. But in this case, there was no suffering for righteousness’ sake. It was a plain instance of the breaking forth of God’s anger. It was a terrific visitation, miraculous, and direct from indignant Deity. And we are compelled to infer peculiar crime and special iniquity as the cause, Let us inquire, then, in the first place, into the nature of the offence which called out this startling visitation upon these unfortunate men. The record is not very specific, and leaves much to be reached by inference; but enough is said to give us an adequate idea of the sin committed. The context shows that it was not one isolated and specific act of disobedience. It was of a complex nature, and involved sundry particulars, each of which contributed its portion to make up the general crime for which judgment came upon the guilty ones.

The special statute recorded in the ninth verse, of which this occurrence seems to have been the occasion, furnishes ground for the inference, that Nadab and Abihu had indulged too freely in stimulating drinks, and thus incapacitated themselves for that circumspection and sacred reverence which belonged to the priestly functions. We cannot say positively that such was the fact, but the whole nature and circumstances of the case point strongly that way. And if this inference be correct, we have here another among the many sad exhibitions of the mischiefs wrought by indulging in a too free use of intoxicating liquors. The history of strong drink, is the history of ruin, of tears, of blood. It is, perhaps, the greatest curse that has ever scourged the earth. It is one of depravity’s worst fruits—a giant demon of destruction. Men may talk of earthquakes, storms, floods, conflagrations, famine, pestilence, despotism and war; but intemperance in the use of intoxicating drinks, has sent a volume of misery and woe into the stream of this world’s history, more fearful and terrific than either of them. It is the Amazon and Mississippi among the rivers of wretchedness. It is the Alexander and Napoleon among the warriors upon the peace and good of man. It is like the pale horse of the Apocalypse, whose rider is Death, and at whose heels follow hell and destruction. It is an evil which is limited to no age, no continent, no uation, no party, no sex, no period of life. It has taken the poor man at his toil and the rich man at his desk, the senator in the halls of state and the drayman on the street, the young man in his festivities and the old man in his repose, the priest at the altar and the layman in the pew, and plunged them together into a common ruin. It has raged equally in times of war and in times of peace, in periods of depression, and in periods of prosperity, in republics and in monarchies, among the civilized and among the savage. Since the time that Noah came out of the ark, and planted vineyards, and drank of their wines, we read in all histories of its terrible doings, and never once lose sight of its black and bloody tracks. States have recorded enactments against it, ecclesiastical penalties have been imposed upon it, societies have succeeded societies for its extermination; but, like him whose name was Legion, no man has been able to bind it. For these four thousand years, it has been raging over the world, destroying some of virtue’s fairest flowers and some of wisdom’s richest fruitage. It was this that brought the original curse of servitude upon the descendants of Ham, that has eaten away the strength of empires, wasted the energies of states, blotted out the names of families, and crowded hell with tenants. Egypt, the source of science—Babylon, the wonder and glory of the world—Greece, the home of learning and of liberty—Rome with her Cæsars, the mistress of the earth—each in its turn had its heart lacerated by this dreadful canker-worm, and thus became an easy prey to the destroyer. It has drained tears enough to make a sea, expended treasure enough to exhaust Golconda, shed blood enough to redden the waves of every ocean, and wrung out wailing enough to make a chorus to the lamentations of the under world. Some of the mightiest intellects, some of the most generous natures, some of the happiest homes, some of the noblest specimens of man, it has blighted and crushed, and buried in squalid wretchedness. It has supplied every jail, and penitentiary, and almshouse, and charity hospital in the world with tenants. It has sent forth beggars on every street, and flooded every city with beastiality and crime. And it has, perhaps, done more towards bringing earth and hell together, than any one other form of vice. Could we but dry up this one moral ulcer, and sweep away forever all the results of this one form of sin, we would hardly need such things as prisons, asylums, charity houses, or police. The children of haggard want would sit in the halls of plenty. The tears of orphanage and widowhood, and disappointed hope, would dwindle in a goodly measure. Disease would be robbed of much of its power. The clouds would vanish from ten thousand afflicted homes. And peace breathe its fragrance on the world, almost as if the day of its redemption had come.

Now for any man, in any way, to give his sanction and endorsement to such a dreadful vice, is a sin, and one which is enhanced in proportion to the official or social importance and dignity of him who does it. It is a sin for any man to drink to intoxication, no matter when or where; it is a guilty unmanning of himself; but it is a special and greater sin for one in high station, or much concerned in giving tone to public opinion. And for an intoxicated man to go to God’s altar with the fames and clouds of this crime upon him, is an abomination which cries unto heaven. Nadab and Abihu, it appears, did this, and hence their awful end. Wherever there is sin, God’s anger burns; but fiercest of all does it burn about his holy altar, and upon those who venture to pollute his service with unholy breath or unsteady hands.

But, although drunkenness was most likely the root of Nadab and Abihu’s offending, it was not the body of their crime. If the effects of alcoholic stimulation went no further than to cloud the mind and stupefy the natural senses of those who indulge in it, it would not be so bad. The great mischief is, that, as it clouds the moral nature, it kindles all the bad passions into redoubled activity. It not only enfeebles and expels all impulses of good, but it quickens and enthrones every latent evil, and fits a man for the ready performance of any vile and sacrilegious deed. If these men had not been first "set on fire of hell" by excessive indulgence in drink, they would never perhaps have been driven to the daring impiety which cost them their lives. But intoxication let the demon in, and when he was once admitted, the way was open for them to trample upon the holiest institutes of God, and they went headlong to their ruin.

The head and front of the sin of these men, as I understand it, was the presumptuous substitution of a will-worship of their own, in defiance of what God had appointed. There is a constant tendency in our nature, to attempt to improve on what God has arranged for the good of man, and to engraft human inventions upon Divine institutions. Sin is ever sewing together fig-leaves to hide the shame of its nakedness. It was not enough for the Hebrew camp to have the visible symbol of the Divine presence in a pillar of alternate cloud and fire, they must needs have a golden calf in addition. Naaman is offended at the simple direction to go wash in the Jordan, and wants the prophet to come forth and strike his hand over the leprosy. Peter is not satisfied that Christ proposes to wash his feet, he wishes his hands and head included. It is not sufficient for the Pharisee to fast at the appointed times only, he will make the matter much better, and set apart three days every week for abstinence. Puseyism is not satisfied with the simple word of God, it must instal tradition by its side. Popery is not content with the invisible rule of Jesus in the heart, it must set up a lordly hierarchy to give reality to Christ’s dominion, and to act as his visible vicar in the government of men. The two sacraments of God are quite too few for human wants, and great councils must be called to fabricate five more. And so these heated sons of Aaron were not content to abide by the ordinances which the Lord appointed, but must needs arrange matters to suit themselves. In three points did they offend—first, in the time; second, in the manner; and third, in the matter of the service which they undertook. It was the prerogative of Moses or Aaron to say when their services were needed; but they went precipitately to work, without waiting for instructions, or asking for directions. It was for the high-priest alone to go in before the Lord and offer incense at the mercy-seat; but they wickedly encroached upon his functions, and went in themselves. Never more than one priest was to officiate in burning incense at the same time; but they both together entered upon a service which did not belong to either. These things in themselves evince a very high-handed disregard of Divine order. But the great burden of their sin rested in the matter of the service. They "offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not."

All the fire used in the services of the Hebrew ritual was holy fire. It came from heaven. It was kindled by the Lord himself. Its origin is given in the last verse of the preceding chapter. "And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering." Special statutes had also been given for its careful preservation. In the sixth chapter, it was said, "The fire upon the altar shall be burning in it, it shall not be put out; and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." When subsequently lost in the wars of Saul and David, it was restored at the dedication of the temple, in the same manner that it had been originally given. It was doubtless from these manifestations of God in fire, that many things found scattered through the heathen world took their rise. It was this Divine and ever-burning fire in the Jewish worship, that led Zoroaster and the Magi to inculcate such holy reverence for fire, which was said to come from heaven and to be the emblem of God. To the same source may we trace the sacred fires of the Greeks, and the vestal lamps of the Romans. Indeed, all the religious rites of heathenism are but relics of a primitive revelation, or the distorted echoes of the voice of Jehovah to the Jews at Mount Sinai, They are just so many collateral proofs of the truth of these records. Vesta is a Latin word, derived from, and corresponding to, the Greek Hestia, which is evidently from the Hebrew word Esh, which means fire. And thus, through the vestal temples of Rome, and the sacred hearths of Greece, and the burning altars of Persia, we get back to the true Divine fire, which came out from God at the consecration of Aaron, and burned unceasingly on the altars of Israel. No incense was acceptable to God, but that which arose from coals of this holy fire. Jehovah will honor no devotion but that which he inspires. The censer was first to be filled with "burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord." Such was God’s requirement. But Nadab and Abihu paid no regard to it. With their minds clouded, stupefied, and rendered reckless by "strong drink," they did not distinguish "between holy and unholy—unclean and clean." It was a wicked presumption in them to go, of their own accord, to offer incense at all; but it was an unpardonable profanation, when they did undertake it, not to be regardful of the appropriate materials. They "offered strange fire"—common fire—fire wholly foreign to the fire which God had kindled for such purposes. They thus obtruded what was profane into what was holy, desecrated God’s ritual, cast contempt upon his institutions, put their own will-worship above his sacred regulations, and thus called down upon themselves a judgment which made all Israel tremble. They despised the sacred fire, and in return "there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord."

Let us now, in the second place, consider some of the implications, surroundings, and foreshadowings of this sad occurrence.

When I read the account of the sin of Aaron’s sons at the organization of the old economy, my mind at once passes down to the organization of the Christian system, and to the conduct of some of Christ’s sons under the Gospel dispensation. From the history of the old, I descend to the history of the new; and find so complete a correspondence, that I am constrained to take the one as a type of the other. The shadows of the future were linked in with the facts of the past.

Scarcely had Christianity been constituted, until we find a foreign and fitful spirit insinuating itself into the operations of those into whose charge its earthly services had been given. Paul noticed it already in his day. "There shall come a falling away," said he, "and that man of sin he revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work." John also directed attention to it, saying, "this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already it is in the world." The grass had hardly grown upon the graves of the apostles, until the reckless doings of spiritual intoxication gradually altered the primitive simplicities of the Gospel, usurped the prerogatives of Jesus the High-priest, mingled the inventions of men with the appointments of God, and introduced strange fire into the holy tabernacle of the Lord God Almighty.

Looking back upon the history of the Church, as it first went forty under its sublime inauguration to evangelize the nations, the first thing that strikes us is the gradual uprising, from the level of a common priesthood, of a lordly power in the hands of bishops, stealthily concentrating upon Metropolitans, then upon Patriarchs, and finally upon one supreme Pontiff, who, surrounded with his conclave of advisers, claims to have the keys of heaven, to open and shut, and go in and out, as to him may seem good. I look upon his magisterial assumptions, trampling God’s Bible under his feet, arrogating to himself all earthly power, arraying himself in the attributes and titles of Jesus, instituting sacraments, and ordaining dog mas of belief which God has not commanded, and undertaking with his heathen pomp to mediate between earth and heaven,—I consider the nature of his proceedings, the elements of his assumptions, the spirit that underlies all his doings,—I analyze his whole official conduct, and reduce it to its principles,—and when the whole thing is sifted, I find it to be nothing but a reenactment of drunken Nadab, supplanting Aaron, taking the high-priesthood upon himself, and offering strange fire in the tabernacle of the Lord.

Along with pontifical power, came in great doctrinal and moral corruption. The one was a part of the other. They were developed together. They were brothers. As the Church grew, some became Judaizers, and made the first move toward the corruption of the simplicities of the Gospel. Heathen men were brought in without a complete abjuration of all their heathen tastes and ideas. Gnosticism was the result, a kind of eclectic philosophico-religious system, weaving together all sorts of speculations, and wrap-ping itself around the very heart of the Church. Mediæval religion, with its denunciations of natural relations, its abnegations, monkery, priestly orders, saint-worship, superstition, auricular confession, indulgences, false works, and obscurations of the great Gospel doctrine of justification by faith, was the natural fruit of gnosticism. Penances, masses, priestly absolutions, purgatorial expiations, the mediation of clergy and saints, celibacy, and outward ceremony, were obtruded into the place of repentance, faith, charity, and obedience to Christ’s own word. Bishops retired from the pulpits to sit as spiritual lords, superior to all the kings of earth; the virgin Mary was installed as the world’s mediator; earthly priests assumed the work of intercession, and undertook to forgive and license crime for a price; the Church was driven to the wilderness; the vomit of hell was upon the robes of Christ’s affianced Bride; another Abihu in his drunkenness had entered the holy place, and was offering strange fire before the Lord.

And the thing that hath been, is the thing that is. Philosophy still has its additions to make to the word of God. Heathenish pomp still moves to lift itself up in our temples. Human reason is still at work to devise ways to worship and please God which he has not commanded. Men are still found who claim authority to perform offices for the souls of others, which belong only to our great High-priest in heaven. Thousands there are who flatter themselves that they are doing great things in their worship, though the spirit that is in them is not at all the Spirit of Christ. Inflated Nadabs and Abihus are everywhere seizing hold of sacred utensils, and rushing unbidden into the holy place, and offering strange fire in the tabernacle of God.

But, it shall not always be so. There is a price annexed to all these usurpations and irregularities with regard to holy things. God has magnified his word above all his name; and he that adds to, or takes from it, has his reward specified, and his portion reserved for him. Nadab and Abihu were suddenly and miraculously cut off in the midst of their sin; and so shall it be at last with all the confederates in usurpation and wrong, whether secular or ecclesiastical. Fire from the Lord shall day them. "Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel." So it is written, and so it shall be. In whatever the Man of sin may consist, the Lord shall destroy him with the appearance of his own presence. The arrogant beast shall be smitten, and his body given to the burning flame. Great Babylon, that mother of harlotry and den of uncleanness, shall be "remembered before God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." "In one day shall her plagues come, death, and sorrow, and famine; and she shall be burned with fire." As to the adherents of antichrist, "their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet; and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets; and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth; and great tumult from the Lord shall be among them." And some of these days, when no one is at all expecting it, the red lightnings shall flash out from the opening heavens, and lay every Nadab and Abihu dead from one end of the earth to the other. And the congregation of God’s Israel "shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh."

An important feature connected with the occurrence narrated in the text, is Aaron’s relation to it. Nadab and Abihu were his children—his elder sons. We can hardly conceive of anything more trying and painful to a father’s heart, than to see his sons come to such an end. Ye that are parents, imagine yourselves in his place, and think of the awfulness of the blow which it would have been to you. Before his eyes, and with unmistakeable certainty, his two boys at once sink for ever under the curse of God, How do you suppose he felt, as he gazed upon their dead bodies, lying at the foot of the incense altar, smote down by an angry Lord, with not one lingering ray of hope left to comfort a father’s heart in his bereavement? Yet, it is written, "Aaron held his peace." He knew that it was the Lord’s doing; that it was done in the just vindication of the Divine holiness and glory; that it was all richly deserved and though it carried off his two first-born sons to everlasting death, he "held his peace." He felt it, as any father would have felt it; but the honor and glory of God was to him more precious and valuable than child or friend, and he did not dare to complain or lament when Jehovah’s holy law took off his boys. One look at God exalted and glorified, was a sufficient cure for all his natural anguish.

Serious people sometimes wonder how it shall be at the last day,—how godly parents shall be able to bear the sight of their Christless children given over to everlasting death; whether the knowledge or sight of near and "beloved relatives in perdition will not interrupt and destroy the peace of heaven. But, if such persons would reason upon the subject from a stand-point higher than the mere sympathies of nature, they would have less trouble concerning it. Aaron looking upon his slain sons, is a picture of how it shall be. When God’s ultimate judgments shall go into effect, their justice shall be so conspicuous, and the goodness and glory of God in them shall be so luminous and manifest, that it will not be in the power of any ransomed soul to think of demurring, or indulging one tearful regret. When we come to see things in the light of heaven, every enemy of God will appear so essentially an enemy to ourselves and our peace, that, however otherwise related to us, we will be glad to see them shut up in the dreadful prison-house for ever and for ever. God’s dealings with the finally impenitent will be so necessary, so just, so essential to his holy government, yea so good, that not. one ransomed soul shall dare, for an instant, to wish it otherwise. When he who died to save them shall once mark them out for perdition, and his great loving heart is brought to say, Let them go down to everlasting death, "Amen," shall be the response dictated by every conscience and every heart. We may sometimes feel now that such a state of things would be impossible. The mother looks upon the boy she bore and nourished on her breast, and says, to see that boy go down to hopeless ruin would change all heaven’s glories into bitterness for me. The wife thinks of the partner of her life, and supposes she could not exist if she were to see him taken from her and buried in that grave which knows no resurrection. The fond father yearns over the objects of his tender care, and thinks it would render Paradise a place of everlasting tears to know that those loved ones had been shut up with the devil and his angels. But all such imaginings are erroneous exaltations of earthly and fleshly relationships above the principles of eternal justice. What are domestic ties and sympathies in comparison with the glorious will of our blessed Lord? Jesus says, "He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me." Every saint is fully wrapped up in the righteousness, wisdom, and goodness of his Lord. Everything that God does carries the heart of the ransomed one so completely with it, and so overwhelms and swallows up all other affections, that they are as utter nothing. Nadab and Abihu may die for ever under Aaron’s very eyes, and yet God’s honor and glory in it leave him not a tear to shed, and not a word of lamentation to utter.

But Aaron was high-priest of Israel, as well as father to the slain. In this view his silent and tearless submission gathers additional interest. As his priestly duties went on unhindered by any regrets and pains over the fall of his sons; so is it with our great High-priest in heaven. With all the defections of some of his children here, and with all the deep infliction which it is calculated to produce in his heart, the mitre is never once lifted from his brow, and not a single break does it ever occasion in the holy services of his priestly office. Many a pious heart has been saddened, and sickened almost unto death, over the calamities that have befallen the camp of the Lord in the shape of apostasies, false doctrine, unholy living, and reckless usurpation. Who among us, that could not tell the story of many a heart-rending fall in the Church of God! More than once have I seen the young man, very zealous for Jehovah, and singled out by his friends as a model of virtue and piety, gradually relax his fervor, and lessen his activity, and discontinue his attentions to duty, until the den of the gambler took the place of the prayer-meeting, the cup of the drunkard the cup of the Lord, and the lewd song of the libertine that of the Psalms of Zion. More than once have I seen the man in affluent prosperity a great patron of the Church, prompt in his place in all the services of the sanctuary, and esteemed as one of Israel’s elders; but when reverses and bankruptcy came, I have seen him turn aside to walk in the ways of the ungodly, the forger, the counterfeiter, the robber, and even the ribald blasphemer. Many a time have I seen the poor man in his daily toil, seemingly walking humbly with his God, and attentive to the things that relate to heavenly treasures; but when the tide of fortune came and gave him riches, or advanced him to places of influence and distinction, he forgot his Church and pious associations, and drifted away into pride like Lucifer’s, or into covetousness as niggardly as Shylock’s. I have seen men of the loudest professions; yea, men ordained to stand as watchmen on Zion’s walls, secretly dallying with the demon of vicious appetite, until they became the reeling sport of boys upon the street, the shame of their denomination, and the tenants of ignoble graves. And history tells again and again of men whose heads reached unto the clouds, who in an unguarded hour came down, like some tall pine of the forest which makes the wilderness howl in its fall; of impious hands touched to the holy vessels of God’s sanctuary; of false incense burned in the holy place, until the very lamps and stars were hid, and the very house of salvation made a den of robbery and death. But with all these deep wounds inflicted on the Savior’s heart, his intercessions never stop. The duties of his priesthood go calmly on. He still remains the active friend and helper of the penitent, the ceaseless Advocate of his true people, the meek and attentive Savior of all who come unto him.

One thought more, and I will close this discourse. Though Nadab and Abihu assumed Aaron’s place and prerogatives, Aaron was still the only high-priest. Though they usurped his rights, they could not perform his work. No one could receive reconciliation to God through their services. Though the Pope presumes to occupy Christ’s place, and assumes to himself Christ’s titles and powers, he does not therefore become Christ, or succeed in doing Christ’s work. The priest may pronounce the words of absolution, but they are not therefore forgiveness of sins. He may agree to take a soul safe to heaven, but his agreement avails nothing as to the security of that soul. Heretics may put falsehood in the place of God’s truth, but it is no less falsehood because it is so sacredly invested. Let who will undertake to fill Christ’s offices, he is still the only Savior. Men may confess, and say prayers, and hear masses, and make pilgrimages, and endure fastings, and hire priests, and commit catechisms, and take veils, and make vows; but, unless they come with an humble spirit directly to the Lord Jesus himself, and rest themselves in simple penitence and faith upon him, they take for priests those who are not priests. Popes may carry keys, and say they are the keys of heaven; but when they come to try them, they will not fit Jehovah’s locks, or throw open the everlasting doors. Let popes, and priests, and usurping innovators, make what pretence they please; Jesus says: "I have the keys of hell and of death." I am "he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth." And if Jesus has the keys, we know that no one else has them. They who think differently, do but dream, as drunken Nadab and Abihu; and all their will-worship shall only call forth the speedier and more awful death. Jesus is the Priest; and no priesthood will avail but his. He is the priest, in spite of all invasions of his prerogatives and rights. There is no Virgin Mary, no earthly vicar, no decrees of the Church, and no one, however called or constituted, that can ever fill the place of Him whom God hath made "The Apostle and High-priest of our profession."

None but Jesus

Can do helpless sinners good.

Would you come to the joys of forgiveness and eternal life, let no devices of men or spirits ever draw your soul away from God’s own Anointed.

Look to Jesus—

Mercy flows through Him alone.

Bibliographical Information
Seiss, Joseph A. "Commentary on Leviticus 10". Seiss' Lectures on Leviticus and Revelation. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sei/leviticus-10.html.
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