Any list of the famous ministers of the 1800s must include
the Scottish churchman and poet Horatius Bonar. A highly popular author
in his day, Bonar edited two magazines, wrote many tracts and many
books and penned over 600 hymns, including I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say. In 1874 he wrote a brief book on Hebrews called The Rent Veil.
In the Preface he notes that men may wonder why God requires that those
who approach him must come by way of the blood of Christ. To modern
minds the idea of being “washed in the blood” seems offensive and a
relic of a brutish past. But Bonar says that if God puts such a high
value on the blood of his Son, we dare not think less of it than he
Then he goes on to imagine that we may think less of some things than God does and perhaps he will simply smile at our presumption. But if we make that mistake about the blood of Christ, we face a dark eternity. Bonar imagines a man saying to God, “I do not think the stars are as beautiful as you say they are,” and in response God may “treat thee as a foolish child that speaks of what he knows not.” But what if you belittle the death of Christ and say, “I do not need the blood of Jesus"? What then? Here is Bonar’s solemn answer:
touch His great work, His work of works,—the person and propitiation of
His only-begotten Son, and He will bear with thee no more. Differ from
Him in His estimate of the great bloodshedding, and he will withstand
thee to the face. Tell Him that the blood of Golgotha could no more
expiate sin than the blood of bulls and of goats, and He will resent it
to the uttermost. Depreciate anything, everything that He has made; He
may smile at thy presumption. But depreciate not the cross. Underrate
not the sacrifice of the great altar. It will cost thee thy soul. It
will shut thee out of the kingdom. It will darken thy eternity.
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