Morning, January 8, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The iniquity of the holy things.” — Exodus 28:38

What a veil is lifted by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquity of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God… what a full measure we have there! Our work for the Lord, its impersonation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Edward Payson, writing to his brother, says, “My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the improvement of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which spread over my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, In what fine order is my garden kept!’ This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbors may look over the wall and say, How finely your garden flourishes!’ This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds, because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolance.” So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sod worms hide themselves; we do not need to look long to discover them. How encouraging is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his forehead the words, “Holiness to the Lord:” and even so while Jesus bears our sin, he presents before his Father’s face not our unholiness, but his own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!