New Haven, Conn., June 9, 1907


Pastor C T Russell, of Allegheny, Pa., preached twice here today. The "Hyterion" was crowded to hear his defense of the Bible entitled "To Hell and Back." They gave him the closest of attention for two hours. We report the morning discourse on "The Precious Blood of Christ" from the text, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified, a common thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace?" (Heb. 10:29). The speaker said:

The time was, and not very long ago, either not fifty years ago when practically every orthodox minister believed and taught the necessity of the blood of Christ, and also the necessity for faith in his blood, as a condition for justification from sin and acceptance before God. But all this has changed, so that today, alas, very rarely indeed is the precious blood of Christ referred to in the pulpits of Christendom. Three conditions have influenced this change:

First Infidelity, masked under the title of the higher criticism, has really abrogated all the teachings of the Bible, and they merely use it as a text-book because a considerable measure of reverence for the Bible still exists amongst the "common people." Higher criticism and evolution theories have no use or place for the precious blood or any kind of sin atonement. The very suggestion of it angers them, for are they not all taught in the modern colleges and seminaries that the Bible records are old wives' fables, that man was created but one remove from the image and likeness of a monkey, and that now since he is higher than the monkey he could not have fallen downward but must have been falling upward to attain his present degree of intelligence.

Second Another class, who still hold somewhat to the Bible, have nevertheless been tinctured by the higher critical theories until they are ashamed of the typical sacrifices of the Jews, and correspondingly ashamed of the antitypical sacrifice of Christ. Under what they consider to be the higher and nobler views of the subject, they claim that God, like ourselves, would have no right to insist upon justice, but would be obligated to exercise love and mercy, and hence that the intimations of the Scriptures that Jesus fulfilled the requirements of justice on our behalf as our sin offering are contrary to their esthetic ideas on the subject, and hence imply that they have attained a higher degree of religious perception and development than had the prophets, the apostles and Jesus himself.

Third The third class still hold to the Scriptures more fully than either of the foregoing, but have ceased to make special reference to the blood of Christ, the death of Christ, as man's redemption price, because they cannot explain it in harmony with an error in their creed, which, though unscriptural and contrary to wisdom and justice and love, they consider to be the very foundation of their faith namely, the doctrine of eternal torment. They say that if Christ died in our room and stead, if he paid our penalty and suffered for us, the "just for the unjust," either the penalty upon us was not eternal torment and Jesus did not pay it for us, or else his blood, his sacrifice, his death, was not our ransom price. Perceiving the conflict between the two theories these dear friends are perplexed, and unfortunately make the mistake of holding to the error of eternal torment as the penalty of sin, and thus continue their confusion of thought and fail to see that death was the penalty pronounced against Adam and his race, and that this was the very penalty which Jesus met on our behalf when he "died for our sins."


We appeal, dear friends, not to passion, prejudice or even reason on this subject, for how can you and I attempt to reason with the Almighty except as we receive our ideas of right and truth from His revelation. Those who attempt to reason with God and base their arguments on their own ignorance display their folly, and hence the scriptures declare that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God, and likewise that the wisdom of God is foolishness with the world.

Accepting the divine revelation as our standard we find that everywhere the Lord declares, both in precept and in type, that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, and looked at from the Bible standpoint the [HGL379] philosophy of this is easily perceived. God proposes to maintain the justice of His laws and regulations and government, and in order to prevent interference with these He has planned penalties. The penalty upon our race was clearly stated at the beginning that disobedience would bring death. God is not prepared to violate His word, to abrogate His law, to clear the guilty. He declares that He could not be just and do so, and that justice is the very foundation of His throne. He shows us that the way, the only way, in which He can release our race from its sentence of death and grant it any opportunity for a future life is through the provision of a ransom a substitute.

Fortunately our entire race was judged in father Adam, and it is his sentence that has passed upon us all, reckoned as his members. Hence only one sacrifice of one individual was necessary as a ransom, only a perfect man could have redeemed father Adam; but no perfect man could be found, since the entire race were of but one blood and all had shared in Adam's death sentence and its degradation, mental, moral and physical. Hence the prophet declares, "None could give to God a ransom for his brother." (Psa. 49:7.) It was here that divine wisdom and love found an opportunity for special manifestation. The Only Begotten of the Father and chief of all the heavenly hosts was tendered first the opportunity of becoming man's Redeemer and receiving from the Father an exceeding great reward and exaltation. Prompted by love for the Father, the spirit of obedience, and a sympathy for mankind, the offer was at once accepted, and he who was the beginning of the creation of God left his high estate, took the nature of man and was made flesh and dwelt among us, consecrating, sacrificing His life, and finishing the sacrifice at Calvary, the Just One for the unjust, that He might have the right to bring Adam and his race back from death-and-sin conditions into full harmony with God.


The scriptures explain to us that the blood stands for or represents life, and consequently the shedding of blood represents death. Thus blood or any symbol of it represents death as for instance, when our Lord passed the wine at the last memorial supper and said: "This is my blood." He signified, This is my life, yielded up, sacrificed. Blood did not represent the life which our Lord set aside when He left the glory of the Father. No! in that condition he was a spirit being; blood represents the human life surrendered, "This is my blood shed for many for the remission of sins, therefore, signifies, This represents the earthly life which I have given up as a redemption price of Adam for his transgressions, effective toward him and all his posterity. Let is not be overlooked that our Redeemer states most positively that His life was given up, His blood shed, in order to make the remission of our sins; and that this implies what the apostle clearly states that without the shedding of blood there could be no remission." Heb. 9:22

The death of Christ is spoken of as the blood of everlasting covenant and the blood of the new covenant. The everlasting covenant was the one made with father Abraham and confirmed by the oath of the Almighty, to the attainment of which Abraham was obliged to shed the blood of the typical sacrifices. (Gen. 15:9, 10.) The sealing of that covenant with the blood of Christ making it effective toward himself as the seed of Abraham and toward His church as members of His body, was symbolized, prefigured, in Abraham's offering his son Isaac in sacrifice and by the ram which became his substitute. All who will be of the seed of Abraham, spiritual, must recognize the death of Christ as the blood, the sacrifice, which makes effective that Abrahamic covenant and grants him a part therein with his Redeemer, as it is written, "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." And to be heirs according to the promise it is required that all who would be of this seed class must partake of his covenant, must share with him in his sufferings. Under divine provision the same blood of Christ, the merit of His death, is to shortly seal the new covenant, which will be sealed at the second advent of Christ and become effective to fleshly Israel and through them to all the families of the earth. (Jer. 31:32-34; Heb. 8:8-13.) Thus we see that neither the church could be blessed under the Abrahamic covenant nor Israel and the world be blessed under the new covenant except by the merit of the blood of Christ.


Our text refers to the sanctified or set-apart ones and not to the world. The world is not expected to know about, understand and appreciate the value of the precious blood. As the apostle again says, "To us who believe he is precious;" and again he says, we are "justified through faith in his blood." (1 Pet. 2:7; Rom. 3:25.) Only those favored by God with the opening of the eyes of their understanding to an appreciation of the value of the blood of Christ as an offset for our sins on the ground of justification through faith only these can come unto the Father; only these can be begotten of the Holy Spirit; only these can be sanctified or set apart through the merit of his blood. what honor does God thus attach to faith in the blood! How necessary it is as a foundation for a faith that will stand and gain us admission into the favors and blessings of this gospel age! In the light of this testimony of the Scriptures how absurd it is for some to claim that the heathen are saved, sanctified, without a knowledge of Christ and his sacrifice, and without faith in the precious blood. How harmonious is the Bible testimony to the effect that "There is none other name given under heaven and amongst men whereby we must be saved" than the name of Jesus. Acts 4:12.

The heathen are not blamed or condemned for not exercising faith in the precious blood. The condemnation of our text does not apply to them in any sense of the word. God's provision for the heathen is that under the New Covenant in the next age, the Millennial age, the reign of Christ and the church, every eye shall be opened, every ear shall be unstopped, all shall come to a clear knowledge of God and a full appreciation of the precious blood, and then will be their responsibility respecting it if then they ignore it the responsibility will be upon them and the result will be the second death. But in our text the apostle is speaking of those who now have the eye of faith and the ear of faith, whose eyes are already opened to appreciate the precious blood and the grace of God thus manifested toward us. The apostle declares that if any of us after having enjoyed this [HGL380] knowledge, this blessing, this grace, shall repudiate it and count it a common thing (marginal reading) consider the death of Christ in the ordinary sense as the death of others, and fail to any longer recognize it as the blood of redemption, such as one figuratively tramples the Son of God beneath his feet, declares him an impostor in that he professed to have come down from heaven and that he professed to give his life as a ransom (anti-lutron corresponding price) for the world's life. In thus rejecting the only arrangement which God has made for our salvation they do despite to God's favor, even though they claim that his favor will come to them and to all in another way without a ransom, and even though they claim that God's grace and forgiveness and blessing will come through Christ as a teacher but not as a redeemer.


The apostle in the context pointed to Moses and the dignity of the law on Sinai, and how any transgression against it were punishable with death. Then in our text, referring to Christ as the antitype of Moses, the apostle asks how much sorer would be the punishment of any person who would willingly show disrespect to the Mediator of the New Covenant and to God's plan of mercy committed to his care. We do not use this word "sorer" today in the sense in which it was in vogue at the time our Bible was translated. To many minds it carries the thought of "more painful," but this is not the meaning of the word, nor of the original, which signifies "more severe." The question arises, What could be more severe than that which befell the Israelites who died because of disobedience to the law covenant? We answer that the law covenant was merely a typical and temporary one, which made nothing perfect and which fixed no eternal penalties.

The curse or sentence of the law against those who died under its edict was fully met in the death of Christ, as the apostle points out; hence all who were under the law were redeemed as well as and as full as all who were not under the law. Hence during the Millennial age those who died under Moses' law without mercy will, nevertheless, come forth under the blessed arrangements of the Millennial kingdom, that they may come to an accurate knowledge of the truth and a full opportunity of knowing and appreciating and obeying the great antitype of Moses, "Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant." (Heb. 12:24.) If the persons spoken of in our text should (because of their enlightenment as indicated by their knowledge of the truth) reject the very foundation of all the divine arrangement for their benefit, they would be much more culpable than they that rejected Moses and the typical arrangement of which he was the head. While in both cases the punishment would be death, the difference in the case of those who count the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified a common thing is that theirs would be the second death from which there is no recovery suggested in the Scriptures.


Some are inclined to speak of the grace of God in Christ as a second chance; and indeed there is a measure of truth in the statement, for did our race not have one chance in father Adam? And did not Adam and all of his posterity lose life in that first chance? From this standpoint it is perfectly proper to say that our Lord Jesus came into the world and redeemed Adam and his race for the very purpose of giving them individually and collectively a second chance for eternal life. We thank God for this, and rejoice that the promise is that this second chance not only is extended to a little flock, the household of faith, during the Gospel age, but that ultimately it shall extend to Adam and all of his posterity. O, yes, the doctrine of a second chance in this sense of the word is the very essence of the good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people. Without a second chance we would all be hopeless, for the first sentence was unto death, and without redemption from that sentence Adam and all his race would have remained dead to all eternity in similar conditions to the brute beasts. It was God's mercy and love in Christ which provided another chance, a second chance for each and all. But we know of no third chance proposed anywhere in God's word for any individual. On the contrary, "Christ dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him." Rom. 6:9

When we consider the favor of God in Christ offering release from the Adamic sentence, and an opportunity for return to the Father, we perceive that this is individually a second chance for father Adam, but individually it is the first chance for his posterity. Nor is this inconsistent; for the Lord proposes that this individual chance which he will accord to every member of the race through their Redeemer shall be so full, so complete, so satisfactory, that nothing more could be properly expected or even asked for.

(The remainder of this article was not available.)

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