CCLVII. The Holy War.

HEB. xii. 4. “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”
THIS is the culminating point of the Epistle to the
Hebrews. The richness and depth of its interpretation of
the Scripture is all subordinated to the purpose of sus-
taining those to whom it is addressed in the warfare of
their Christian life.
He expounds the nature and work of Christ, but dwells
as much on His complete sympathy with us and our
consequent capacity to follow Him in the character and
purpose of His work. In all things it behoves His brethren
to be made like unto Him.
I. This is the exposition of the ultimate law of a godly
life. It consists in striving against sin, and it involves re-
sistance unto death.
1. This is illustrated in the life and death of Christ.
The intense antagonism which He aroused was due to the
terrible weapon with which He pierced sin. It was a life-
long warfare, and it was pursued at the cost of all warfare,
that of blood. That exquisite nature tasted the agony and
shame of death with a bitterness far beyond His brethren.
2. This has been the history of His followers in so far
as they have been true to His leadership.
This has been the history of the Church, and the world
has not owned itself vanquished till by innumerable
martyrdoms it has been proved that there is no limit to the
Christian resistance against sin.
II. Application. This text is true of us. There are
some whose resistance has not fallen short of this test.
Bishops and missionaries, soldiers and statesmen, have
sacrificed their lives in the cause of righteousness. But on
the whole this is a time of comparative security. Let us
not forget the stern nature of the contest. Let us remem-
ber that in this holy war there is not and cannot be any
time of peace. Let us not fail in fulfilling our comparatively
modest and humble duty.
Henry Wace, M.A.

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