Leviticus 5

* Concerning various trespasses. (1-13) Concerning trespasses

against the Lord. (14-19)

1-13 The offences here noticed are, 1. A man's concealing the

truth, when he was sworn as a witness to speak the truth, the

whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If, in such a case, for

fear of offending one that has been his friend, or may be his

enemy, a man refuses to give evidence, or gives it but in part,

he shall bear his iniquity. And that is a heavy burden, which,

if some course be not taken to get it removed, will sink a man

to hell. Let all that are called at any time to be witnesses,

think of this law, and be free and open in their evidence, and

take heed of prevaricating. An oath of the Lord is a sacred

thing, not to be trifled with. 2. A man's touching any thing

that was ceremonially unclean. Though his touching the unclean

thing only made him ceremonially defiled, yet neglecting to wash

himself according to the law, was either carelessness or

contempt, and contracted moral guilt. As soon as God, by his

Spirit, convinces our consciences of any sin or duty, we must

follow the conviction, as not ashamed to own our former mistake.

3. Rash swearing, that a man will do or not do such a thing. As

if the performance of his oath afterward prove unlawful, or what

cannot be done. Wisdom and watchfulness beforehand would prevent

these difficulties. In these cases the offender must confess his

sin, and bring his offering; but the offering was not accepted,

unless accompanied with confession and humble prayer for pardon.

The confession must be particular; that he hath sinned in that

thing. Deceit lies in generals; many will own they have sinned,

for that all must own; but their sins in any one particular they

are unwilling to allow. The way to be assured of pardon, and

armed against sin for the future, is to confess the exact truth.

If any were very poor, they might bring some flour, and that

should be accepted. Thus the expense of the sin-offering was

brought lower than any other, to teach that no man's poverty

shall ever bar the way of his pardon. If the sinner brought two

doves, one was to be offered for a sin-offering, and the other

for a burnt-offering. We must first see that our peace be made

with God, and then we may expect that our services for his glory

will be accepted by him. To show the loathsomeness of sin, the

flour, when offered, must not be made grateful to the taste by

oil, or to the smell by frankincense. God, by these sacrifices,

spoke comfort to those who had offended, that they might not

despair, nor pine away in their sins. Likewise caution not to

offend any more, remembering how expensive and troublesome it

was to make atonement.
14-19 Here are offerings to atone for trespasses against a

neighbour. If a man put to his own use unwittingly, any thing

dedicated to God, he was to bring this sacrifice. We are to be

jealous over ourselves, to ask pardon for the sin, and make

satisfaction for the wrong, which we do but suspect ourselves

guilty of. The law of God is so very broad, the occasions of sin

in this guilty of. The law of God is so very broad, the

occasions of sin in this world are so numerous, and we are so

prone to evil, that we need to fear always, and to pray always,

that we may be kept from sin. Also we should look before us at

every step. The true Christian daily pleads guilty before God,

and seeks forgiveness through the blood of Christ. And the

gospel salvation is so free, that the poorest is not shut out;

and so full, that the most burdened conscience may find relief

from it. Yet the evil of sin is so displayed as to cause every

pardoned sinner to abhor and dread it.
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