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The ministry of John Nelson Darby is, by the Lord's mercy, so well known as to render comment unnecessary; it only remains to explain the circumstances under which the present writings are published.

His executors have found, amongst his papers, a number of note books, in his own handwriting, containing many comments, notes and meditations on various subjects of divine teaching, explanatory and otherwise edifying, and have decided to set them forth for the benefit of the Church of God at large, and in the interests of the truth.

It was Mr. Darby's habit to jot down, in such books, thoughts on Scripture and scriptural subjects as they occurred to him, not in any regular order, nor in view of publication; thus, the germ of thoughts, amplified elsewhere by him, will sometimes be found in the following pages, together with fresh and deeply interesting matter, such as might be expected to issue from the private study of one so richly taught in the Word.

These writings were not revised by the author with a view to publication, they were made solely for his own use; and are now put forth with the earnest hope that the Lord's people may derive much blessing and instruction from their diligent perusal.

"I know thy works: behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name", Revelation 3:8.

Such is the Lord's approval of those who, in the midst of perilous times, seek to keep themselves pure, and to continue in the things which they have learned and been assured of.

Bath, December, 1883.


It has been the gracious wisdom of God to bring great principles -- such as love, righteousness, and others -- into evidence, by facts. This makes it simple to the poor, and keeps intellectual power in its place, and this is all right, and divinely right. -- Milwaukee, April, 1865.

I have been very profoundly moved in seeing, on reading over old tracts (some quite forgotten), for the desired publication, all the principles, on which the fate of the world and the church now turns, brought out thirty to thirty-nine years ago. God was in it in a way I did not know, though I felt it personally to be God's truth. But, what a solemn thing! but then it has made me feel the responsibility of bringing it all out, systematically, before the professing church; before it only came out occasionally as particular truths pressed. But the main point is the truth itself then coming out; what progress in disruption has been made since! -- October 18th, 1865.

What a sorrowful thing it would be (must we say "would be"?) to our hearts, to say "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course", -- and that end in "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine", etc. -- and "they shall turn away their ears from the truth!" Was that the end, here below, of fighting the good fight of faith? What a world we live in! With this Paul identifies finishing his course; in another world it is different, but this is sorrow. So Christ however, Isaiah 49:4, "I have laboured in vain". -- 1867.

It is surely a wonderfully blessed thing to be like the blessed Lord, but I think latterly I have felt the blessing of it to be more in the full capacity to dwell on Himself, unhindered, which it will give, than in the fact of being like Himself. -- 1868.

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There is nothing so petty as the human heart, but nothing on which God, by His grace, can compose such lovely, and transcendent music, because man is the subject of redemption through Christ.

The more I go on the more I see how we are in a wholly new position; but, oh! how poorly we are in it.

I follow with sympathy, with an associated heart, all the path of Jesus by the Holy Ghost, in meek, holy, devotedness to God. I ought to follow actually, even to laying down my life for the brethren. Having Him as my life I can feel with Him, however infinitely more perfect He may be. I may present my body a living sacrifice; my heart goes with Him, however poorly I follow; even in Gethsemane I ought to watch with Him. But when dealt with by God, and I speak only of the burnt offering, when the fire of the altar tested all fully (which is not merely offering Himself, but what met Him, to test the perfectness of the offering), then I only look on and adore. I bow my head and adore.

Christianity depends in its work on what it brings, not on what it finds; our side, and relationship to God by it, wholly on what we find, not on what we bring. In a word, it is grace, not man, though he be formed and led by it. Thank God it is.

Ah! it is not all the truth that we are far from God, but when God is come into the world we hated Him. Thank God it is a new creation, and we love Him, and He loved us.

Self likes to be served, and thinks itself great. Love serves, and is great.

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No public prayer will do without private, but God always answers private.

There is no familiarity like familiarity with perfect goodness, and that is our position, by grace, with God.

See how, in the Cross, the whole question of good and evil was brought to an issue in every way.

First, it was the complete display of man's enmity against God, -- the contemptuous rejection, alas! of God come in love, for His love He had "hatred"; and in every detail, disciples, priests, Pilate, all bring out the evil that is in man. Then Satan's power is fully manifested, and that over men in their passions, and, in one sense, in death, at least in the sorrow of Christ's soul.

Next, I get the perfect man as nowhere else; perfect love to the Father, perfect, absolute, obedience, and that in the very place of sin, and the cup it had filled. And this in human weakness, Satan's power (though above both, by looking to God), and the forsaking of God.

And then God Himself, in perfect righteousness against sin, and sovereign, perfect, infinite love to the sinner -- His majesty and truth, both made good.

Such is the Cross! In the history of Eternity it stands alone. Man in God's glory is its blessed result.

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I see nothing in the elaborate statement at the opening of the Belfast meeting (see footnote) which affects the evolution system, or divinely-formed species at all. Creation it does not touch, as none of them do. But more, that embryos were gradually formed in the womb was always known. That microscopic investigation has discovered segmental division, and the separation into an upper and lower set, with the lines between, may be very interesting to anatomists, adds nothing but details. So, that there are general principles of formation from lower to higher genera in the foetus growth is curious, and shows God's acting analogously, and with system, but no more, unless the contrary to the development theory, because after all men and women have human children, and cocks and hens chickens, and it shows that these analogies of formation do not make intermingled species now. Phillips in his Geology, though afraid to say so, shows there was no cross-intermingling of species. And it is one of the remarkable things that from the same materials and analogous processes, both in plants and animals, specific results are produced. The oak and the bramble grow from the same soil, but the oak does not become a bramble, nor the bramble an oak. Forms of inception, and food, and digestion are the same, and we have eggs, and upper and lower segmentary division, but a man grows into a man, and a pig into a pig.

I do not see that evolution or development, once creation is fully recognised, is anything that concerns us. We all admit it. A corn of wheat, if it has lain 4,000 years without germination, if it meets "the scent of water" will sprout. Supposing the microscope discover there protoplasm itself, or appropriating power leading to organic growth, that is what in English we call "life" in its broadest sense, tree, animal, or man; in every case protoplasm in a cell. What was there 4,000 years is evolved, appropriates extrinsic stuff, and is a plant of wheat, and will, by "seed in itself after its kind", produce more evolved wheat. Now if God pleased (and who can say He did not) -- chose -- when chaos reigned, to-hu (wasteness), bo-hu (emptiness), to form such plants all at once from protoplasm to wheat, or an oak, and cause them to produce "after their

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kind", by an instantaneous act of will, what should or could prevent it? This the evolutionists do not pretend to explain, nor can they -- that is, how protoplasm came there.

They -- for science is always, and necessarily atheistical, when it does not honestly confess ignorance (and honest in this sense its pride seldom is), because it can only follow experimentally the series of what does exist, and can only trace it as existing, but how or why it exists can know nothing, for that is no matter of science -- they, to get rid of God, will say matter is eternal, but not only cannot prove it, but a finite mind cannot have the thought "eternity" in it, so that all that is wilful falsehood. Notwithstanding, in spite of us, we know there is a cause, but that is not science. It is clearly seen change of species is another thing; God no doubt could have made it so physically, but it is not proved, and Darwin admits the proofs fail in geology, and if we are to believe the best searchers into the question it is disproved (as Phillips on "Geology of the Thames"). God may allow commixture, and mules, if He pleases in nearly related species, but this rather proves there is no such change, for no such race producing "after its kind" has been found; but it is another question.

If evolution, as daily seen, takes place in four weeks where necessary conditions exist, or waits four years till they do, it is evident divine power could at once produce, I mean produce, so as to set the principle at work, in a moment. The foetus they tell us on its train goes through all classes of life from beginning to end in nine months; be it so. Why not in nine seconds -- be formed so as to do so? But men producing fishes, or fishes producing men, have not been found. It is a mere hypothetical conclusion of what may have been, but this is not science. Science may arrive at a general principle of what is, and so find what will be on the principle which is known in existing facts. But permanent change of species has not been found; varieties from circumstances are common, union of kindred species forming none may be found, but "after its kind" in nature remains "after its kind".

Now Genesis 1 takes up the facts as apparent and no more -- does not touch the "how". There are species -- horses are not oxen, nor cats dogs, nor men apes -- they may tell us they were or may have been, but, as I said, that is not science; but Genesis 1 takes up the positive and unquestionable facts, and does only one thing -- reveals the creative authorship of God,

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and that is all -- the "after its kind" is the statement of what is which we all know; more real science than the modern pretended science, and adds what confessedly is not and cannot be the subject of science -- creation -- and which Scripture says is of faith. A more precise account is given of man, because there was a moral relation between him and God; his body was distinct from his soul, and when made, God breathed into his so-formed body and he was in relationship with God, as nothing else was. This was, though creation, more than mere animal creation. "Let the earth bring forth" was for mammalia. God formed man out of the dust. Os homini sublime dedit (He gave to man a face that looks on high), and then connected him livingly with Himself. But what I had on my mind here was, that Moses took up the ostensible facts, and does not touch the "how" (save with man who is in relationship with God), but merely that God, the Creator and Orderer of all that was apparent, ba-ra created, a-sah formed, ya-tzar made (as a potter); He creates all, and then the earth being to-hu bo-hu, He brings it into order with everything, from plants to man. Hence when what orders times and seasons is set in order, he adds, "He made the stars also", but that is all. The creation of angels is not mentioned, they do not belong to this creation.

The creating is brought out I think as distinct parts of the general statements. First God created the heaven and the earth, then He goes on and orders it as earth with its bringing forth. This is to the end of the fourth day. It was the habitable earth, the waters being separated, and the earth, as ordered of God, standing out of it. Then comes the creation of what peopled the waters, it was what belonged to and was of them, but still was a distinct and new part of creation, the lower, and in a certain sense, unordered part. Then comes the higher class of living creatures, from the earth to which they belong. This was a bringing forth, but of the highest kind; still it was a to-tze (let bring forth).

Then comes a quite distinct act; God takes counsel in Himself to make man in His image, and creates him. So that the earth is looked at as the proper object of what had been created originally, and the account is continued in it; but then the separated waters have their own special notice, of which, though not the dwelling-place of man, the great things were God's creation; and then apart from all, though on the

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sixth day, but no to-tze, man "created" is repeated three times. Nor do I think "created to make" is without special intention; all was His creation, but with a view of ordering it before Him.

The men of science forget that they can deal with phenomena only, and the evolution, if they so please to call it, of what exists; with existence they have nothing to do; evolution and fixed laws have nothing to do with it either. Fixed laws are learned from the constant course of things, but the constant course of things supposes the things whose course goes on, and even to have gone on long enough to call it a fixed law; man may see the perfection, and universality of it, and conclude perhaps it is a fixed law, but he cannot by science go beyond the constant order of what is.

Evolution is true to a certain point, the foetus or sperm becomes a man or a beast in due time. I have seen no evidence of change of species by it, not certainly, in historical time, in geological mummies and fossils there is no change of species; it is not science but fancy.

Further, though man ventures pretty far, and no man denies variety in species, big cows and little cows, and horned or unhorned, yet it seems to me that fixed laws and evolution are difficult to reconcile. It is all well to fancy that circumstances so act on an ape that he takes the human form, and say that this operation of fixed laws must have produced that consequence, habit begetting a second nature; but it is not science -- phenomena and deduction from it.

Species are, and the fixed law is that they remain species, and always have; change into other species, arbitrarily, from circumstantial influences, is not a fixed law of nature. At first it is an accident, if it has a natural effect, i.e., the consequence of an antecedent, but this is individual, and goes no farther than will, and need; there is no change of race in it. All apes did not shorten their arms, and turn hands into feet together, and, if one did, we should have as many races as circumstances, i.e., there would be no fixed laws at all; but the truth is, the thing, as far as known phenomena go, is disproved really.

But the main point I would insist on is, that science only begins when the system of uniform succession of consequents from antecedents exists, so that the whole system exists, and exists under an order of fixed laws, and science can go no farther than the discovery of them -- is absolutely and necessarily

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confined to them -- means only that -- and if it presumes to go farther, wholly ceases to be science; accounts for nothing, and has no ground to go on in accounting for anything, beyond a course of things already in existence, having such fixed laws; as to existence, and fixed laws, or any knowledge about them, it is out of court -- ceases to be science if it attempts to touch them.

Science could not even say that in another Universe bodies, instead of having what we call weight, gravitation, or ether, or what it may be, which are only names after all, are not in a self-repelling gas which drives them away from one another; science knows what is, and no more. Existence cannot be said to be a consequent from an antecedent, nor even fixed laws -- what goes on according to them may be.

But mere fixed laws, and consequents from antecedents reveal causation -- mean that a certain effect follows because another fact is there. Therefore I must pursue causes, evolutionary ones, if you please; and existence must have had a cause, and the fixed laws or causes must have had a cause, for all facts we have ever ascertained flow from antecedents.

What is the antecedent to existence and fixed laws? You tell me -- you leave me in the dark, for I cannot conceive a cause which is not caused; I agree you are there in the dark, and must be. Own it, that is all, and that your science can only know present phenomena, and not God, and we are agreed. But men of science are afraid of being honest in these things.

The argument, as to infidels, is mere stupid presumption, and is merely this: Science, i.e., man's mind, cannot go further than antecedents and consequents; it comes to a point where it has to stop, for, after all, they cannot deny this, therefore there is nothing beyond.

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The creation of angels is not recorded historically, but that of this visible universe; then they, already created as a separate body of beings, show their interest in the works of God -- "the morning stars sing together, and all the sons of God shout for joy".

When Christ is born, first the Jewish aspect is announced to the shepherds, and then a multitude celebrating it -- their public delight in God's ways, and, with unjealous delight in them, declare that God's good pleasure is in man. It is the heavenly aspect of it -- they see God's mind in it -- not the conscience part or man's evil. They chant glory to God, for His love is here, peace on this ruined earth -- the place of their service -- and en anthropois eudokia.

When Christ enters on His ministry, they are His servants in the wilderness, and in Gethsemane. The gospel revelation, which does not have them for its object, they desire to look into. The sufferings of Christ, and the glories that follow, bring a more solemn apprehension to their minds; it is not simple joy like creation, or incarnation and its natural fruits; over every sinner that repents they rejoice, it is joy to them. In the church they learn, as in heavenly places, the manifold wisdom of God; they had seen the glory of God's revelation on earth; they are to us, in love, ministering spirits; they praise in a circle outside the redeemed, in the Apocalypse; yet in our state we are but isaggeloi (Luke 20:36), united to Christ, and all the saints His redeemed.

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In Genesis we have what addresses itself to man in his responsibility, the first Adam placed in it, and what it is needed he should know. We may have counsels in types, but no more; it is the sphere of responsible man, and man in it. The existence of God is assumed, the creation of angels not spoken of; but first the creation of the heavens and earth needed to be known by us, then the forming of this scene in which we are as established in it, where I may notice that the expanse is not called good as no actual part of the things formed in connection with man. Then creatures being finished, and the last pronounced good (chapter 1: 25), the solemn creation of a head to represent Him in it, is taken up, and a lord or head over the creation that had been made, but quite a different thing; "saw that it was good" (verse 25) closed the creation.

The "image" is the great point (verse 27), though "likeness" is stated, and image is the word used in the New Testament. We have then, chapter 2: 15 - 17 -- definite responsibility, and verse 18 and following -- Lordship, and counsels as to the church, in this only a helpmeet for Christ found; the Lordship was independent of it, but in all of which He was Lord -- no helpmeet, no companion; though a living soul, so far is man from the animal which petty infidelity would, in its low thoughts, persuade us he is.

-- 1. There is an apparent difficulty in viewing this as a primary creation, and then passing on to present formation, when we compare the fourth commandment in Exodus 20; but I think it rather confirms it, for it takes the creation, as we have it now, as the whole subject of the commandment, as a distinct whole; for the firmament is called "heaven", and then we have "heaven, and earth, and the sea and all that in them is" (Genesis 1:6, et seq): light not being mentioned. Also in Exodus 20:11 it is "made", not "created", and it is evident that angels do not come into this category of creation. Light, I apprehend, is a peculiar thing -- a power, whatever its seat, more than an existence created -- and the causing this to be, and seating it anywhere, is surely from the fiat of God, but not the making some material being to exist.

All was created of the universe as a structure. The heavens

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and the earth universal, as a fact the universe. Elohim created this vast system; in respect of man, earth having its recognised place, we have no stars, they merely come in by the bye, that all might be attributed to God; but God was the Creator of the whole scene.

-- 2. He then leaves the heavens, and begins with the earth; God's dealings with it, and what belongs to it, hence its heavens so to speak. But first the earth -- it was utterly a chaos, but a watery chaos -- a desolate waste of unorganised existence, not necessarily without form, all matter must have one, but its condition and state an unformed one -- without order and waste -- in darkness which rested on the watery waste, for such it was. Darkness was its state when God began to deal with it; being in this state, for we begin with it in such a one, knowing nothing of it between its creation, and finding it in this state, we have here "darkness on the face of the deep".

The state of the heavens we have left behind us; we are conversant with the earth in a state of chaos. The spirit of God brooding on the face of the waters is formative power.

-- 3. God commanded the light to shine out of darkness, "Let there be light"; it is not said that He made it now, but that where darkness was, there was now light.

"Let there be light" is not formative or adorning by His will, out of the texture of what exists. But He does not say that more than the deep was in darkness. God created the heaven and the earth. "And the earth"; He did not destroy darkness, but brought in light on the face of the deep, and distinguished them for us; for Him they are both alike as to seeing. Light was there, where it was not before God commanded it to shine out of darkness. So in our hearts, there it is created, but not in se, because save in God who is light and dwells in it, light is not a thing but a state, though God may have created what gives it and so it. I do not speak scientifically and materially. Till we come to light again all is a mere ordering of the earth, and light is ordered for the earth, then indeed we have living souls, not said of man; but, God's image, how he became a living soul is in chapter 2: 7.

-- 4. "And God saw the light, that it was good" -- and divided it from darkness -- separated the two -- first darkness on the earth, then light

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-- 5. The first light was day; the evening brought on darkness, then morning, and so one day from first day light to morning. There was evening and there was morning, i.e., light comes in where there had been darkness, and so one day; the continuance of the light is supposed till the next evening darkness, for God called the light "day". Hence though morning came after the darkness day was spoken of, and if we translate it simply it is plain; and there was evening and then morning -- one day. That is alternation, and day till next evening; how, is not said. But we have night; first, darkness everywhere on the deep -- light -- night and day -- evening and morning. The light may have been created there, or merely placed. There was light, and darkness separate, but also interchange and passage from one to the other, the gradual disappearing of light, and its dawning -- day, night -- evening, morning.

As regards the day, evening and morning, the light created out of darkness was called "day"; but there was no morning then, hence evening comes first -- the disappearance of light. But to complete the recommencement of day, evening and morning must come in -- the created light apart from darkness -- day; then there was evening, and there was morning, of course with night between, and that counted a day. Although the Jews count from the evening I cannot think this the meaning here; the light had been brought forth and called day; the evening was the close of that -- the disappearance of light. Then I read "and there was evening" -- evening was -- "and there was morning", one day. The night is not taken account of, but by implication, it was the primeval state -- absence of light -- not a creation. God's works are in the light, only if darkness come on light appeared again -- the dawn -- there was morning. The evening is noted first, because it closed the day just created, or ordered by light brought in.

Everything a man speaks of as created exists as much in dark as in light. The continued exercise of creative power, I apprehend, we are very ignorant about; that it exists we know and upholds, which is the same thing -- save the exercise of divine will.

-- 6. An expanse.

-- 7, 8. Then the atmospheric heavens, the actual blue sky was formed; waters above -- the treasure house for the rain, and below -- the heaven or firmament. That was the second

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day; there was again evening and morning -- the disappearance of the light, and its reappearance.

-- 9. Next the sea is made by withdrawing the waters from the surface of a part of the earth, and causing the dry land to appear. Nothing was made the second day, i.e., any new thing; the separation of waters above and below, leaving the heavens free as a firmament between, was not a new substance created, hence it is not said to be very good.

-- 10. But now we have land and sea; this was good. The air (sky or firmament), water, earth and sea are formed, and day and night.

-- 11 and 20: "bring forth" are different -- in verse 11 it is da-sha (sprouts forth) "let the earth grow with green grass"; and in verse 20 it is sha-ratz (swarms with) "let the waters swarm with swarms of ne-phesh" (soul); in verse 21 it is sha-ratz'.

I think a-sah' (formed) is used for forming, putting them in their order and place according to His will.

He made lights -- the firmament -- man, in counsel as to what he should be.

"Create" is used for heaven, and earth, and man; ya-tzar (formed as a potter) when it proceeds out of a certain sphere or place it belongs to; so even in chapter 2: 7 of man, see also chapter 2: 3.

-- 11 - 13. Plants are now formed; the earth "brings forth" -- this first here, and it was so, and good; a third day. The dry land and the seas were the actual forming the habitable earth, and then plants.

-- 14 - 19. Then luminaries were formed, serving to divide day and night, and form epochs, and regulated, or periodic times.

NOTE. -- "To divide"; day and night were already divided; this was a special ordering of the function of light as to the earth, in and by the lights.

It is a mark of revelation this to me, for no one inventing a plan would have separately formed light, and sun, and moon, at such an interval. This is order, not existence of light, nor forming, creating the bodies that bore the light.

-- 20. We have now the living creatures of the waters, and fowl in the firmament; fowl, though flying in heaven, belonging to earth.

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-- 21. I do not see more in its being said "God created great whales" than the importance of the thing; vast as the creatures might be, they were mere creatures.

I think "created" comes in with intentional fitness; it is the beginning of living creatures, it begins with great whales.

NOTE. -- Up to that it had been the creation of materials, the earth, or mere plants; now of living beings.

Tan-ni-nim (sea-monsters) are very large water animals. And then we have it again when we come to man; there is matter and its forms -- life and its forms -- and man. He is made as part of the sixth day, but it is a new creation.

NOTE. -- In chapter 2 the living creatures consequently are wholly dropped; the heavens, earth, and plants are created by Jehovah Elohim, and then the detail of man, and his responsible connection with the paradisaical earth. We have what man really is first, ya-tzar, he is "formed" as a body, and then God breathes into him, etc.

NOTE. -- Also in chapter 1 we have after the making the beasts (verse 25), "And God saw that it was good" -- the closing judgment on each day's proper creation. Man comes afterwards, wholly apart.

-- 24. Next, on the sixth day, the earth brings forth animals. The earth brought forth, on God's fiat, all living creatures on it; they had as in the sea ne-phesh khay-yah (soul of life) -- man is quite distinct.

-- 25. "He saw that it was good", is said after the beasts habitually, at the end, before "there was evening, there was morning" -- day.

-- 26 begins a subject by itself, though on the same day. Man closes the formed creation, but he is not properly of it, and save as he comes in under "every thing God had made", there is no pronouncing that he was good; he is not otherwise part of what God looked on and pronounced good -- that closed with the animals. You have first light -- good; then separation of light and darkness; then the earth formed; firmament; sea; dry land (note, no fire is formed), it is covered with plants, and revolutions of time ordered by celestial luminaries. Then living creatures in water, and fowls, then animals on the earth; these are "good". Thus the form of creation, as such, was complete, and its lord was to be made as a distinct thing; I repeat, the closing "and God saw that it was good", comes before any question of man. On the sixth day the

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earthly form of creation was complete; yet man was formed as a living creature, with a ne-phesh khay-yah, but it is not said when.

-- 30 seems to say that the beasts of the earth (as a general expression) ate the green herb. We have not "cattle" and "beast of the field", but whatever was a living thing on the earth (as in the ark I suppose). But the statements are not alike; in chapter 6: 21, it is only cattle; chapter 7: 8, cattle clean and unclean; chapter 7: 21, cattle and beast, without "of the field"; see chapter 2: 19, 20, where they are all first called "beasts of the field" and then "cattle" distinguished.

-- 31. It is not said of man "and God saw that it was good". It is said "He saw all that he had made, and behold it was very good", but man held an exceptional place, and his likeness to God, etc., made it more than a mere good creature; as part of the whole, of course he was so, but he was a distinct being.

Of course all things were perfect and the fruit of perfect wisdom, but there is counsel and plan only as to man.

So we find "it was good"; that is, the ordinary creation of that day closes before He begins with man, who is wholly apart. Counsel is taken when all the rest is already formed -- counsel to have man in God's image, not first "like" Him, but in His "image", one that represents Him and is formed to represent Him; he is characteristically one who presents Him to others. In order to this man is made after God's likeness, no doubt without evil in him, but as representing God, a centre of the whole system, looked up to as such, the centre of all affections; one conscious of being all this, a much more compound and relative being it seems to me, as having body, soul, and spirit, than angels are; and the single centre of a vast scene subject to him, which no angels are.

The outgoings of affection, and claim thus of reference to him, as was found in no angel (see chapter 2: 20); at any rate, man is here carefully contrasted with the living creature which the earth brought forth, is not called such (though he were so too); then the sixth day creation was finished and pronounced good, and then man is formed, according to counsel, according to God's image. Thus according to Genesis 1 man was a distinct being made, when the subject creation of plants and living creatures was complete, in the image of God.

"In our image, after our likeness" (verse 26); this has always

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had something vague for me. I am clear it is not righteousness and true holiness; that is the new creation -- renewal in knowledge -- quite another thing. Adam had not the knowledge of good and evil, and therefore could not be righteous wholly. But, indeed, this thought is a total inapprehension of what the new creation is -- its difference; nay, man, though fallen, is said to be created after the likeness of God.

I am not yet clear as to all it may mean, but I do see an amazing position in "likeness to God". The consciousness of unity, of a supremacy above all around him, of being the necessary centre of all in relationship with himself; this bringing out all the affections of authority, and reception of dependence connected with this position.

Now this self-centred place as regards others (under God of course, for it was only a likeness and an image) was a most amazing one -- no angel held it, for -- more glorious as a creature -- he was a glorious servant, and the centre of nothing.

The actual dominion was a consequence; but it was one, "and let him have dominion". Innocent Adam would ascribe all to God; fallen -- ransack and overwhelm the world, to subdue it and be a centre, with the desire of empire, the Babylon of his creation.

Absence of evil made part of this place; as God created him he would have been a happy, beneficent head. Christ, the Image of God, will have this place.

The autarkeia (sufficiency in oneself) could not be in a creature -- it denied his nature; Man did not do to be alone, and he had Eve. Here he is the image of Him to come. As to "image" and "likeness"; "image" is that in which he was created; it was a kind of imitation, or reproduction of something; I believe this is just. "Likeness" is the form in which one is manifested; he was according to the likeness of God (see chapter 5: 1) he is in His likeness, because this was them manifested in man. Christ was made in the likeness of men -- this manifested form; it is not a creation of reality, but the manifested form He took.

"Likeness" seems to me to be what Adam was in that place till he fell. An image represents -- reproduces; likeness is conformed to. Man cannot quite lose the place, he is not another, nor a new creation; the likeness he has. He is still said to be made in the likeness kata theon, as in Genesis 1, gegonotas, the perfect (note James 3:9), it could not be otherwise

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as to ginomai; we are renewed after His "image"; this at once shows it is not. We are called upon to be like Him, new creation, moral likeness practically, only we have received the life in which we can; this is a wholly new thing, divine, with the knowledge of good and evil. There was likeness to God in Adam, in that evil was unknown within. Conscience, as necessary from God's nature in him, so by man's constitution, had yet no place internally; but this is different from holiness in this, the absence of moral power, evil being known and kept without by the energy of the divine nature; necessarily by nature in God; and through grace and the participation of the divine nature in us.

An image represents, but a likeness corresponds, but it must be seen how far tze-lem (image) and d'muth (similitude) correspond to the English words in sense.

In Genesis 1 man is created in God's likeness, and man begets a son in his fallen one, this is the main point, but the latter was also after his image. The likeness is the appearance anything affords even if it be itself -- I speak of the word -- likeness is the fact of appearance by which I can represent to myself what a thing is. The image exists to represent him exactly, and as replacing him. When a likeness is very accurate it becomes an image; hence the shadows of the law were not the very image, they did not strictly represent, though there were analogies -- shadows of the highest importance. At Sinai, Israel saw no likeness, such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. But when man is created, he is created "in the image" of God; next, "after his likeness"; he was the representation de facto of Him on the earth, and not so "like him". Hence man is the eikon (image), the image and glory of God in 1 Corinthians 11:7, it is the place he holds as representing God; so Christ is pre-eminently "the image of the invisible God".

But James shows the folly of blessing God, and cursing him who was made in His likeness; it is not his place and glory as representing Him, this would be quite unsuitable, but what was created -- like what he blessed; he does not enter, I apprehend, into the question of the likeness being lost (those who cursed did not either), but the original constitution maintained as the archetype of God's mind -- not the result of fallen man; hence it is gegonotas, not genomenous -- the condition of creation continued to the mind, not the established

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fact and its actual consequences. But then, I apprehend, when it is growth according and up to a perfect representation of the original of what He is as He expresses Himself -- not qualities, but full growth into the whole personal presentation of what He is -- it is image. Likeness is in distinct qualities; "image", complete presentation of the person. Hence in Colossians 3:10, they were renewed in knowledge according to the image, the complete presentation of what, and of all of what He was -- a wondrous position and calling -- here "likeness" would not do, indeed would have no proper sense -- "according to the likeness" -- it is according to Himself, but as presented, so as to be known in the revelation of Himself. Hence also in 2 Corinthians 3:18, it is according to or into the same "image" -- ("as in a glass" should be left out). "We with unveiled face beholding the glory", "are changed into" the very "image" itself of it; Katoptrizomai (I look into a mirror) is "looking home" or "thoroughly into it", and it is ten auten eikona (the same image).

These, and the passage Ephesians 4:24 are very remarkable in connection, and in a certain sense in contrast with the "image and likeness" of God in Genesis. Ephesians goes first in thought here, then Colossians; then 2 Corinthians 3. I think verse 3 shows it could not be mere likeness; Christ is written on the heart by the Holy Ghost. Analogous qualities would have been likeness, this is more. Still we behold, and are changed into, not Christ of course, but His "image", by life-giving and communicating power of Himself by the Spirit; so Romans 8:29, we are summorphos tes eikonos. It is a glorious calling, not merely like qualities -- through grace we have them as a consequence -- but complete, though not Him (see the transfiguration), but as Him. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:38, 39.

As explanation that "image" has the double sense, formed on the same idea, of anything that represents an unseen being -- as the image of Jupiter -- which need not be like, but of which the final cause is to represent -- and hence perfect conformity, because then it does represent, "he is his very image" we say; and this in moral things, i.e., in moral qualities, goes very far, for we cannot be like, really, without having them. The limit to this sameness in moral things, when there is likeness, is there, subsisting as a source in the Person of God, or of Christ who is God, and derivatively in us, for the Godhead necessarily

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carries with it a character which is wholly its own; It is divine -- infinite -- has Its source in Itself -- sovereign goodness -- and the will of a divine nature -- not a duty.

There is another division of Genesis 1 besides creation, and the days, made by the words "and God saw" and "it was good". First He creates -- He then separating the elements, so-called, to make the kosmos or order out of disorder -- makes light to shine out of darkness -- the first needed act dispelling the darkness that brooded on the deep; and that was a day. Then the open expanse of heaven or sky; the second day. Then water and dry land, giving each its name; and the world thus prepared He pronounces "good". That is the first division -- an ordered kosmos.

NOTE. -- The saying "it was good" was not at the end of day.

Then He begins to adorn it, and first produces vegetation on the earth; this is another division, and "it is good"; third day. Then He orders the ephemeris of heaven -- lights to order seasons, etc.; only declaring therewith that He made the stars. This is the third division -- and "it is good" -- the fourth day. Next the waters are peopled, and fowl to fly in heaven, and this "is good" -- the fourth division -- fifth day.

Then beasts and other creatures having life, and this "was good" -- the fifth division -- part of sixth day.

The first mention of "life" and "moving creature" is in the seas, in the fourth division; here, too, blessing is first pronounced.

The fifth division of mere creation, and an ordered kosmos adorned, and peopled with moving life, ends with the earth bringing forth living creatures; God closes it by "God saw that it was good".

Man stands wholly apart, as the ruler, by God's purpose and counsel, of the earth He had created. Separated wholly in his nature and place; of, and from God; but yet connected with the living creature too.

There is no blessing pronounced on the living creatures of the earth, but on the Head of them, subjecting them to him; and all is on the same sixth day; their respective food being provided, but not life given to him for food; he had the fruit of trees -- the beasts, the green herb; and all was "very good".

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Man being set distinctly, and separately at the head of all after "behold, it was good" pronounced on that division of the work; yet he comes in the same day with the cattle of the earth, and the general order. "Create" is used as to the universe, great whales, and man.

The difference of Genesis 1 and 2 is evident. I do not understand how the infidels make any difficulty or inventions about it. Evidently in chapter I he takes his place in the creation, the work of God as God amongst the creatures, male and female, like the other animals (only paired especially, and that noticed), whereas in chapter 2 it is in his whole moral constitution and being, and place, and relationship in the counsels and ways of God, as He has had to say to men, that he is noticed. Yet in one sense, as a creature, he is distinguished from all others; God thinks about the way of creating him, and has pleasure in that which is like Himself and His image. To this no creature could aspire. But it is not relationship, but God's delight in Himself and creation after it. Not the new creation (as often remarked) of Ephesians 4, that would never do; it could not fall -- ought not. It is not mere creation of a being, but a nature communicated -- partakers of the divine nature. Nor is it anthropomorphism (i.e., being the form of His body); that were poor and no purpose worthy of God, and pretentious too in man to think of. What is insisted on, however, is the image, not the likeness. So Genesis 9:6 But in James 3:9, "likeness", not "image". But "likeness" must, I think, come first for him to be so, as "image" must in the birth of Seth. As I have said elsewhere, an image "represents", a likeness is "conformed to". Seth did represent Adam on the earth, had his place, though not the first in it, or he could not be an image, but alas! he was in his likeness, too, a fallen sinner.

So when man's blood was to be shed it was not his moral goodness but the place he held and dignity, his representing God as he had been set, but which made it unfit he should be killed. James will not have man cursed, and here "likeness" is the fit word; we bless what God is and curse His likeness -- man, who was made in it, for so he speaks. Hence (as I have said elsewhere) He formed man spotless, sinless, free, with a will to be for ever used in the sphere he was placed in, and the centre of all the affections and reverence of the sphere he was placed in, and he stood alone as the centre of it all, the

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image of God. Christ will be, though far more, yet this, perfectly; being One that in the highest sense fully partakes of the divine nature.

We have only then to inquire in what sense it is said in Colossians 3, "renewed into knowledge (epignosin) after the image of Him that created him" -- and this I think when reflected on is profoundly instructive -- Ephesians is, it seems to me, more the likeness. "After God in righteousness and true holiness". It is like Him -- what He delights in Himself. So in the commencement of the Epistle, "chosen in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love -- to himself". Hence too, I add, it is kainon anthropon, a new kind of man, and we are ananeousthai, it is the spirit of our mind, it begins all afresh with a man of a new kind, and there is no question of knowledge. Hence it is God Himself, as such, before whom we stand. In Colossians it is more Christ all, and in all, representative and image, Himself of God; and so in chapter 1, "who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of the whole creation".

Now there is the true full image of God only in the whole creation -- where in Adam was the image of Him that was to come; and even in forgiveness it is in Colossians, "Christ forgave" us; in Ephesians, "God in Christ". In Ephesians Christ offers Himself to God. So again it is here having put on the neon anthropon, the man that had not been there before, not the kainon, new in its kind of nature (though that it surely was too), but it is renewed (anakainousthai) into knowledge it gets during the apprehension of that which is quite new in nature. It estimates the new man -- Christ; for Christ is the perfect manifestation of what this new man is in us -- we see God represented in Him. The moral apprehension of what God is in Him, also represents Him before men. Hence too we are in Christ, and God is far more fully revealed? or rather spoken of directly, in Ephesians than in Colossians. We grow up to the stature of Christ, He is the head of the body and the like. Our life is the life of God, a kaine zoe. We are mimetai Theou.

In Colossians, "worthy of the Lord", we are to walk in Him, and Christ and His fulness are much more spoken of. Christ is our life, Christ is our all in all; the peace of Christ is to rule in our hearts, the word of Christ is to rule in our hearts, the word of Christ is to dwell in us richly. Now this is very

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precious, but it is different; we have more of the fulness and life of Christ, our association with Him, in Colossians. His glory is more brought out, the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily. In Ephesians He is more the Man once dead, now raised and exalted. How precious to have both. But I think it makes the force of "likeness" and "image" plain for us, and makes the character of the two epistles very precious to us, and how divinely exact in things where man's wits, I am persuaded, would have never worked. And, remark "likeness" would not apply to Christ, for He is God. "Image" does, because He does, as Incarnate, represent God. He never imitates God, for He is God. We are called to these things, yet He is the pattern of them, because God is revealed in Him, but then it is original in Him. Walk in love as Christ loved us, and gave Himself, and to God; all this is very perfect. Hence in one sense we find Him more exalted in the Colossians, because He does take a kind of official, or representative place, and that has to be guarded against any misrepresentation. "All the fulness was pleased to dwell in him" (the English translation is horribly false) and all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him bodily. All this is as it should be. Compare Genesis 5:1, where it is "in likeness", because it is Adam's state. He was made in God's likeness, not what he was before others, but what he was.


It is not the fact of man's being a living soul that is the distinctive point, but the manner of it. The statement, "Thou shalt surely die" (verse 17), certainly implies that, had he not, he should not have died -- death entered by sin -- the power of the breath of God would have sustained life, but it would have been life here, in relationship with this world. All that follows is government, and consequence as to this -- outside the place into which God had brought man, in probation, in blessing. Afterwards, in this state, the question is raised of obtaining life there by obeying, as he had lost it by disobeying, but this, also, in the sphere in which it all took place -- the earth.

Then, indeed, God gives life (as in fact from the beginning

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He had done, in view of redemption) in connection with another world.

Real, moral separation from God, sin, and what it was, is known only spiritually; though conscience, knowledge of good and evil, is in all, though away from Him.

NOTE. -- Hence whenever a man seeks eternal life (even if he has it) he is under law.

God has given it to us in His Son, though we do seek it in a certain sense, as we have it not yet externally in its own sphere; we have it, but not formally, in another world. Hence in Romans 2 (where the great eternal, unchangeable principles of good and evil are maintained, paramount to all dispensational dealings) those who go right, though eternal life be given as the result (apodosei will render), yet they seek glory, honour, and incorruptibility; we are called, as Peter says, by glory and virtue -- nor does he speak of being sinners merely -- that they were, but contentious, and not obeying the truth, and having pleasure in unrighteousness; yet the judgment is universal on every soul of man working evil.

If eternal life be given as John unfolds it, that does not weaken the judgment of right and wrong, which even made it necessary; only there is the atonement of full efficacy when life is given. Eternal life, though really given, and our life, is yet surely looked at in resurrection blessedness; yet while its nature could be fully happy alone there, it is equally true that its nature, which will be happy there, is already in us, and that nature is the principal thing, because it enjoys God, and this even true as to the millennium.

Eternal life will not be satisfied, though blessed then, because the Prince of Life and Peace is there, and the power and contradiction, and temptation of Satan gone; nor do I suppose they will die; still, if life be there, there is the seeking for glory, honour and incorruption; and the sight of Christ -- the perfect display of it -- sustains this.

There is not the kind of desire we have, because the eternal life, nature, is enclosed in this tabernacle, in which we groan in conflict and temptation, and they enjoy, under a present Christ, the full effect of holy and righteous power; but if groaning after it be not there, holy desires I doubt not will, but this will be in communion with Christ. The thing displayed is government, which will be celebrated, but there will be within, what will characterise saints, that they still wait a

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better or fuller accomplishment of their relationship with God; only they wait in peace, fully glorifying Christ there.

In this chapter God forms man dust from the "ground", i.e., he had his form first of all without life, and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God Himself was the source of life to him, "for we also are his offspring". He was Ha-adam (Man) from ha-adamah (the ground), and then got life from God; it was thus Adam became a living soul. That man, and man only, had life from God, not simply by will as an angel might, but communicated from God and in a body, is evident, but only as life -- existence. As to animals, they are formed from the ground, but they are brought to Adam to name as the paramount lord; it is their relation to Adam here, not their nature; all refers to Adam's place before God. Alive, through the breath of God in his nostrils; responsible; in the garden he had been placed in to enjoy; lord of the animals by God's authority; and God, interested in his estate, gives him a helpmeet taken out of himself, made for him, not a human being with him.

In the first chapter it was the animal's place with God as Creator, and Adam before Him; the second chapter is not repetition, nor is it another contradictory report as alleged -- one is creation, and every creature's place in it or over it; the other the whole moral place of man when God, the Lord God, set him up as such.

-- 4. The right division is here; the term "God", and then "Lord God" alone shows it.

The first chapter of Genesis should be clearly to the end of chapter 2: 3; this is complete, with Elohim. God created, and God rested, and sanctified the seventh day. The serpent speaks of Elohim, as such, in contrast with His creature; but Jehovah Elohim is in communication with Adam and Eve.

So Eve and Cain refer to "Jehovah", nor is it here "Jehovah Elohim", but simple "Jehovah"; only Eve in giving birth to Seth says "Elohim", so the following history of Seth's family is "Elohim". All this is simply historical, not the mind of one knowing Jehovah and His ways, showing what they were.

"Jehovah" I apprehend is simple relationship; "Jehovah Elohim" relationship, and moral dealing connected with God in His moral character as such. So in chapter 6 "Jehovah" said (verse 3) "My spirit"; that was directly His ways with men. But "Elohim" saw (verse 5) God, such as He is as God --

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this was the great historical fact; (verses 6 - 8) his relationship to man -- "Jehovah"; (verse 9) historical again to the end, the Creator deals with creation; chapter 7 "Jehovah" deals with Noah, but I should begin chapter 8 at chapter 7: 17, thence to chapter 8: 19; verses 20, 22 are specific relationship according to the estimate of the writer; chapter 9 history, again "Elohim"; then clearly all is with the Creator, and the earth, so on till we have "Jehovah Elohim" of Shem. Nimrod was a hunter "before Jehovah", it is morally viewed, not merely before God -- "before God" would not have the same thought; exceeding great, but "before the Lord" is another thing; he was morally viewed and judged. Then in Babel we get clearly moral responsibility and relationship, and so on with Abraham, though there in electing grace. I think judgment is associated with "Jehovah", it is, however, mainly relationship.

NOTE. -- Chapter 4 is in connection with chapters 2 and 3, i.e., on the ground of "Jehovah's" dealings -- chapter 5 on the natural ground of "Elohim" again -- man's history on the earth -- "Jehovah's" previous dealings, as such, are referred to at the end -- chapter 6 commences "Jehovah's" dealings again.

It is to be remarked that Sodom, as Nimrod, is before the "Lord". The typical victory of Abraham gives Jehovah a new name, One above all gods, whose heaven and earth are, and that in possession.

NOTE. -- Though "Jehovah Elohim" is used in the history of Eden, both the Serpent and Eve say only "Elohim". Passing over Enos, whatever the force of that may be, we get Noah building an altar to "Jehovah"; I suppose a name religiously known from Enos -- there the blessing is, note, from "Jehovah", God of Shem, while Japhet's being enlarged is only "Elohim". The next is chapter 12, Abraham built an altar to "Jehovah", and called on the name of "Jehovah", chapter 14: 22, we have more; chapter 15: 2 is "Adonai Jehovah", if I recollect. Sarai calls Him "Jehovah" in chapter 16. The revelation of the name of relationship is in chapter 17, but it is not "Jehovah" in chapter 18, but that was appearing as a man -- it was altogether fitting. The angels and Lot say "Jehovah". In chapter 22 "Elohim" all through till Abraham calls "Jehovah" Jireh.

-- 5. V'a-dam a-yin "And man was not"; it was the state of things.

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-- 7. N'sha-mah (breath) seems to me the act of respiration souffle; ruakh (spirit) (chapter 7: 22, etc.), the existence of respiration as life, spirit or life in us. God breathed into man's nostrils a nish-math khay-yim (breath of life), it is not there ruakh. Thus we have, in the Flood, all in whom was the nish-math ruakh khay-yim (breath of the spirit of life) -- this spirit of life itself -- ne-phesh khay-yah, a living soul, is all that constitutes individuality -- personality -- what taken together constitutes I -- a person without reference to the body, though in it and living in it, and hence, if used for a dead body as being the apparent person. The ru-akh is the power of life which is exercised in us in breathing, the thing that acts, and in us lives, by breath. Man became a ne-phesh khay-yah (soul of life) by God's breathing the nish-math khay-yim into the formed and organised dust, and so there was a ru-akh which was life, and in the body maintained by breathing. God did not breathe a ru-akh, nor did man become n'sha-mah, or even ru-akh, but a ne-phesh. Ru-akh being the power of life, this word ru-akh is used of Him; it is the active power of God. As to the rest, I have remarked.

As far as I see without a concordance we have only ne-phesh khay-yah (soul of life), then ru-akh khay-yim (breath of life), or nish-math ru-akh khay-yim (breath of the spirit of life) The ru-akh khay-yim (breath of life) made man a ne-phesh khay-yah (a soul of life). The ru-akh khay-yim (breath of life) was in flesh, but no being was ru-akh khay-yim (breath of life), man was (became) ne-phesh khay-yah (a soul of life). Then, moreover, arises the question, is ne-phesh khay-yah (soul of life) said of any but man? It is said, Genesis 1:20, 21, of what the waters brought forth, and verse 24 of what the earth. Whatever I suppose had ru-akh khay-yim (breath of life) was ne-phesh khay-yah (a soul of life). Indeed ne-phesh is itself breath or breathing. And this form of life, animal life (I suppose animal the same derivating) man clearly has. But the difference is immense of his becoming so by Elohim's breathing into his nostrils, so that we tou gar kai genos esmen.

The object of Genesis 1 is not the Beschaffenheit (constitution). God formed the beasts of or from the ground; so Adam, dust from the ground, not a man from the ground, but dust, and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and thus from this breathing in of God he became a living personality -- the offspring of God in His existence. Hence

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God says (chapter 3: 19) "and to dust shalt thou return", but that in no way affected that which was breathed into the dust, or spring in man from that divine breathing. And, as I have remarked, whatever divine intimation there may be in chapter 2: 17 or chapter 3: 3, in the execution of judgment, there was only reference to this world, not to the soul; all that was behind. Thus, "He drove out the man", was removal from God's presence, and his place before God; but, externally, it was only exclusion from Paradise.

The whole question of the soul's relationship to God and a judgment after death is untouched here, though, as a spiritual person, I may see separation from God to be eternal ruin. Gradually the instinct of man's soul was lit up by the declarations of the Spirit in the Old Testament, particularly the Psalms, but there was no revelation of life and incorruptibility till the Gospel; they were not brought to light. The Pharisees were right -- they had concluded it from the Old Testament, and the Sadducees did not know the Scriptures and the power of God. But the Lord Himself draws it from "I am the God of Abraham", etc., and it is added, "for all live unto him"; death is only death as to this world and man's place there. This revelation has so much the more clearness that the original sentence was limited to that; all still lived to God. So of eternal judgment, it was part of Jewish faith, as in Hebrews 6, but formed no part of the original revelation. Wrath of God from heaven on men was revealed when the Gospel came in, for it met it.

The deep moral effect is justly pressed -- He drove out the man -- that the God of love, the Creator, should do; that cannot be too deeply estimated. It is rightly felt as judgment, when I know what God and a soul and divine favour means, but the doctrine of soul and life, etc., is not entered on in the passage.

So in Ezekiel, though "the soul that sinneth it shall die", it is still dealing with a living man, responsible on the earth; it may be used as a warning and threat, but its application is life on the earth in the land of Israel.

In 1 Corinthians 15 we have exactly the same statement as to the first man. He is ek ges, chotkos, and we see here that it applies to man as here in the body. It is mortal -- sown in corruption -- flesh -- corruptible, i.e., it is the body -- man alive

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on earth in a corruptible mortal body. It is the body which is always designated thus.

In speaking of blood it is always the life of the flesh, not of man, but of all flesh, though of man as flesh, i.e., in his animal nature. Indeed, in Genesis 9 it is carefully distinguished.

The life is in the blood, but He requires the life of man from his brother, because in the image of God He made man. See Leviticus 17:10 - 14, and Deuteronomy 12, but I do not exactly know what da-mo v'naph'sho (the blood thereof for the life thereof) means. Query, if the accents be not wrong -- the munakh under da-mo -- and if it should not read, "for the life of all flesh (is) his blood", it is for his soul.

For v'naph'sho -- with, or for the life of it, compare Leviticus 17:14, twice, and Genesis 9:4; from the last it is evident, I think, that the expression means in its state of living existence, flesh; v'naph'sho, is not to be eaten; and that state -- of flesh ruined -- lies in its blood. Thus, Leviticus 17:14, becomes plain, "the life of all flesh", i.e., the subject life in flesh. The fact is simply stated at the end of the verse: ne'phesh kol-ba-sar' da-mo hu -- "the life of all flesh is its blood"; i.e., the abstract principle -- flesh's life -- is the blood. The beginning of the verse merely adds that it is in its state of living existence. Genesis 9:4 comes in to show that the term means with the life in it -- flesh, with the life in it -- or its state of living existence -- which is the blood.

This makes it, I think, quite plain, and it is important too.

-- 7. To go back to this verse; it is evident that it is the nature, the Beschaffenheit (constitution) of man, what he is really, and, at the end of the chapter, the woman's relationship with him in creation; it would have been quite out of place to have introduced her having the breath of life from God; it is not even said she had a living soul. In chapter 1: 24 we have what the beast is, how he was created, the way he existed as a living thing; as this verse does of Adam, how he did. In chapter 1: 26 it is not said even that man was a living soul; his distinct place in creation is pointed out.

As regards Eve not having the breath of God breathed into her nostrils, it is not the subject of this chapter, but her relationship to ha-ish (the man); otherwise she is included in the ha-a-dam, who is made in the likeness of God. They were called ha-a-dam in the day they were created, and she is fully aware of the prohibition to eat the forbidden fruit as alike

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applicable to both (verses 16, 17). No doubt this speaks primarily of Adam by reason of verse 18; but it is not the less certain that it is ha-a-dam, the race, that is contemplated -- chapter 3: 3 gives the command to Eve as to Adam, ha-a-dam had it; verse 18 begins a history by itself, so verses 7 and 8 are both distinct elements in the account. Adam is looked at as ha-a-adam -- as the head of the race, but chapter 5 shows Eve was included, "Let us make Adam", but so God created ha-a-dam, male and female. This (chapter 1) is Adam's creature place, from Elohim -- chapter 2: 8, his relative place with Jehovah, including Eve, verse 18 et seq; his relative place to Eve; chapter 3: 20, hers to all that followed. Chapter 5: 1, 2, both in respect of the whole race.

-- 7, 25. All this is the sixth day.

-- 8. This is a constituted place of present blessing and trial. He was not created in Eden, but of dust, and the breath of life breathed into him, that is all; the garden is formed, and he is placed there under such and such conditions. The whole scene is one of relationships, and the footing on which the man stood in every respect.

-- 15 et seq: blessing, responsibility, purpose of union, conferred intelligent dominion; then his partner, but his own position was with God first. And though the woman was first transgression, yet the Lord says "Thou", and speaks to dam of the disobedience; for temptation never justifies departure from God.

-- 19, 20. This implies a kind of knowledge given of God, which man has not now. Nature, as such, was much more, and otherwise the domain of man.

-- 20. The first Adam is ha-a-dam, the second time simple l'a-dam (to man); that is, the first is man as such in his place, before God, put by Him in the place of authority, of which naming in Scripture is the constant sign. All was thus placed under his authority from God; this put him in his place with God as to this. God brought to him every beast, etc. But he, though in this place, with all authority from God (Psalm 8) found, in all that had been brought before him, no associate, no help k'neg-do (as before him), none to answer to what he was, and be before him as such. Adam, let him be ever so much ha-a-dam -- the man -- in this place of authority, found no companion for Adam.

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Ma-tza (found), if not referred to ha-a-dam, must be referred to God, as bringing all this before him; the immediate antecedent is ha-a-dam, otherwise it must be referred back to vay-ya-ve (and he brought), verse 19.

-- 21. This is after he is in Eden and dominion over creation, but the purpose (verse 18) expressed, before Adam in lordship is conscious of suited relationship in contrast with creation, and of the quality and source of Eve, when he receives her. In Christ there is necessarily more in His divine purpose of love -- as man it is so also with Him; but He consequently takes her before the exercise of his lordship, but not before His title to it as exalted, see Ephesians 1:22.

-- 22 is Ephesians 5:27.

-- 23. NOTE. -- Adam had the knowledge and consciousness of the manner of the formation of his wife, though it were done in a deep sleep -- zoth (this) seems all through in contrast as well as hap-pa-am (the time), with the beasts. He gives her a name as well as them, but a name which in the most intimate way connects her with himself. If she was k'neg-do (as before him), it was that she was me-ish (from man). Yet it was in some sense the side on which he was connected with the animals. The hap-pa-am shows this clearly, as indeed zoth, though there is contrast, and this is important as being in creation itself, yet now called to walk together in the grace of life and in spirit; in k'neg-do there is neither male nor female, so truly is it a new creation. But here he gives her a name, as to the others, and Elohim brought her to the man; but then, spiritual things apart, he needed the help, it was not good he should be alone. She was not brought merely to know what he would call her; the identity too with himself, or derivation from himself, was his first thought. The cause of her name was in this. Still it was only one flesh. How thoroughly true and expressive is Paul's statement, "The man was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression", and "the woman was made for the man, not the man for the woman". In the creation she is put e'-zer k'neg-do (a help as before him). In the fall all passes with her, and Adam is I-shah, her man. But in Christ all is new, there is neither male nor female.

-- 24, 25. These are, I apprehend, the remarks of the inspired writer.

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I have noticed it in a measure, but the passage from chapter 1: 25, 26 is very remarkable and distinct; the day's work ends, so to speak, as to mere creatures of God's hand, with "God saw that it was good". Then comes His mind, God said "let us".

Query, What is man? He is first God's image -- represents Him, and presents Him; that it might be rightly so, He created him in His likeness, but the point, as we see in verse 27, was His image. The beasts were l'min-ah (to its kind), but man kid mu the nu (according to our likeness); Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, conversely.

Man is the image and glory of God -- stands out before God, as one that characteristically represents Him, showing His power and mind, and yet only representing and presenting Him. Hence Christ, in the highest sense, is the Image of the invisible God; he refers to God entirely, yet represents Him as a Viceroy. Besides this, Christ is God manifest, and so only fully presents Him; but we ought to present Christ, but that is another thing.

K' (as) or kath (according to) is not exactly "in", verse 26. We read of the likeness of the appearance of a man; the likeness of four living creatures -- of their faces; the likeness was k' (as) coals of fire (Ezekiel 1:13). Seth was in Adam's likeness, the same thing man is according to the way God is seen and known, he is not the same, but answers to what God is, and is set forth as him in whom God represents Himself. The conscious centre of reflective power, though dependent on God, or not really representing Him, but so void of evil that it might be so, and his consciousness towards God abide, that he might consciously be in the place which was His image. The Viceroy has the King's power, not his own, or he is not one, but has the King's power, i.e., not in efficiency necessarily, but in title, and place towards those below him -- "have dominion and power" is another thing.

But the peculiar place of man is most remarkable, he must be very miserable or very happy. No doubt, now, it is necessarily so, more than in Adam, because the knowledge of good and evil, and of God through the death of Christ is come in. But there was real likeness -- no evil in man -- though no holiness and righteousness and intercourse with God, free. A mind -- I do not mean reasoning -- having capacity for it, in communicated thoughts and feelings, as we know from his

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history in the garden -- that which God could appeal to (not mere conscience), as competent to receive, and enter into, and return, as impressed, His thoughts; and so Adam even when guilty can, though wickedly, still about that which God is cognizant of. This is an immense point.

In "Adam, where art thou?" we have natural relationship recognized; "the woman thou gavest me", though thoroughly wretched, and wicked, yet deals with God, as the object of, and cognizant of His doings. And so does man now, though presumptuously, and wickedly. So God with Cain; he is able to understand God's moral reasoning. Now this was rightly so, less conscience before the Fall; he would own God, know goodness, know power, feel His goodness, know his place, know the beast's, know Eve's; have God's mind in respect of Himself, and His ways in creation; was competent, as looking to Him, to act naturally from him in his created place. All this was a great matter; in all this he stood alone. But the "image" was the place, the "likeness", glorious as it was, was needed for it; the "how" is not stated here, it is the fact that is stated.

Yet of course the word means, generally, something, but if I say "That man is very like his father", it is the fact, without saying what all the points of resemblance are, though, of course, there are such, but the fact strikes, when I may not yet see what it is in distinctly. And the fact here, as it is like God, is the important thing. I have no doubt it was in simply answering to the mind of God; a very different thing from reasoning to draw a conclusion, which is the proof of ignorance, and the opposite to what God does.

We can easily understand that, if God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, there must have been in kind, and capacity of being, what answered to God's nature, but in responsibility personally. It was as a creature -- "let us make", so God created, but in making He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Hence in his living soul there was necessary association with God, or, as a sinner, exclusion with a natural capacity of enjoying the sense of it hidden for a time. It is not here a question of what the affections towards God were, but of the natural capacity; so Elohim speaks to them, which He did to none else, even when He blessed them, besides much else.

The angels are never said to be created in the image and

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likeness of God, as man is; I suppose they have the knowledge of good and evil, and so in creature righteousness and holiness, are so far more what God is. This, man had by the Fall, "the man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil"; this, therefore, was not the image or likeness.


The order of this chapter is interesting. After the temporal judgment of death we have Eve, or life, first brought in; faith recognizes life above and beyond death, and judgment of death. Then Jehovah clothes man through death, and takes away nakedness, and then prevents access back to the tree of life -- to nature's place in blessing -- which, indeed, now would be perpetuated curse. Abel's is another element; he comes -- approaches God by the slain lamb. In Noah we have another -- the deliverance by executed judgment out of the old thing into the new. This is death and resurrection as baptism figures it.

NOTE. -- Before Satan began to introduce, or could introduce, lusts into the heart of man, he produced distrust of God, and when that was brought in man was easily a prey -- all was really gone. As to the way of grace, see then with what infinite goodness, and surpassing grace God attracts, and warrants confidence in the chief of sinners, in Christ.

-- 6. It was dreadful -- so deliberate and bad -- yet how graciously met by Christ's being the woman's seed.

NOTE. -- "Where art thou?" is the first great question. It was the first visit, and, as I believe, the first day. God was walking about in the garden -- visited man -- it was natural for man to be with Him.

Adam is addressed, and speaks alone; he is the responsible man. So the woman here takes her place again, sad as the excuse was, "to be with me".

-- 9. God however called to the man -- Ha-Adam; it is a terrible scene, and a terrible confession, an unnatural thing so to speak -- "I heard thy voice, and I was afraid"; but the fig-leaves and the skins, long noticed by others -- man's and God's covering -- is most instructive and beautiful.

NOTE. -- The Lord does not say in coming into the world, as in the garden, "Where art thou?"

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In Isaiah 50 we have indeed, "Wherefore when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer?" but He came with the full knowledge of the state of man, as he was, in full, ripened sin, and utterly evil and wretched, in the state in which the full development of the fall, in all its effects here, had set him; and then in the very midst of this, and as taking his nature, without sin, but exposed to all the suffering, He says, in perfect grace, "Here I am among you". What a truth this is! No doubt atonement was needed to bring us to God -- impossible without it -- but at least God was with us here, and with us such as we are.

-- 13. Query: the force of hish-shi-a-ni "cause me to be false or wicked"?

Elohim asks nothing of the serpent; with man and the woman he draws out the fact, and the conscience as with interest -- with the serpent, it is only "because thou hast done".

It is to be noted too Elohim gives no reason to the conscience of the woman. He assigns her her lot. With Adam He enters into the cause, he had listened to his wife's voice, and slighted God's -- the first was his excuse. So in verse 12.

-- 14. It is remarkable how every part of this, to the end of the chapter, is external -- government as respects this world; internal or eternal relationship with God is not touched upon, whatever may be implied or involved in it. The exclusion from the tree of life was de facto from living for ever in this world only.

-- 15 is an exception, yet even that is accomplished in the earth.

The question of eternal life or heaven is not raised, separation from God, death in trespasses and sins, left to a divine appreciation of evil; only that man fled from God's presence, and God drove him out from the place of blessing, and there is no way back. Only we have the blessed parenthesis of verses 20, 21, faith in life, and divine clothing.

Why enmity between the woman and the serpent? Was Adam qua Adam held for overcome? and that it was in the hope of the seed that any resistance or hope began?

-- 16, 17; and that Eve understood; how perfect all this is! The coming of Christ from heaven has brought out other light, but all this is earthly and governmental; the prophets and psalms had no doubt lifted up the corner of the veil into another scene of life.

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I have noticed that all the judgments are temporal, or rather government on the earth, for the bruising of the head will be final; at any rate the conflict, and bruising of the serpent's head was not in Adam.

It is remarkable how God owns the superiority even in fallen Adam, he had to say to God, though the woman brought the mischief. So indeed Adam, "I heard", though indeed the history says "they heard". He was the image and glory of God -- wonderful place -- yet in the woman, the fall and the enmity; in the woman's seed, the conflict and victory. Eve then gets a name, not from Adam but from her children -- Khav-vah (life), not Ish-shah (woman). It was not her proper title, I think, but still a title of life and blessing, for death was come in.

When the clothing by redemption comes in it is individual, for Adam and for his wife. It is remarkable that here this thought, with others as to man's condition, of Elohim, recurs as in the making -- not in the present temporal judgment -- only here it is Jehovah Elohim, not simply Elohim, "as one of us". It is not properly counsel, not even when He says "let us make", but it is association with others; others are addressed when "the man is become as one of us". It is the statement of a fact -- but a statement in community of thought with others called "us" -- but there is community of act in the other, and consultation, not of doubt, but together, "let us make", or "we will make", and "now lest he put forth", therefore Jehovah Elohim sent him forth, and "He drove out the man". Man becomes a Gershom as to the earthly paradise, his natural seat. This was definitive exclusion, more than the earthly judgments. These are the whole of man's relationship to God as such. Then he is the head of a race.

-- 20, 21. This is wonderful grace of faith in life, and divine clothing; and it was present judgment before the driving out comes, which is a distinct announcement.

-- 22, 23. It seems to me also that herein Adam was kept from the sin of presumption; it was mercy in the midst of judgment. Not that this is the only consideration; it was the arrest of presumption, as defeating God's plans.

I have often remarked that this chapter presents only the earthly, or governmental consequences of sin; but the truth is, whatever were the developments of this relationship, or the

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experiences of godly saints, which necessarily savoured of this truth, the full separation from God which sin causes, and is, was only brought out when He Himself was revealed, and indeed, could only then be. Indeed it is what is in Romans 1:18.

NOTE. -- Though I do not say historically, as they are separate statements, yet in the Spirit's mind, as presented by God; Eve's being the mother of all living where death had come in, and Jehovah Elohim clothing them with coats of skins, before they are driven out of Paradise, grace met their need by God's act, before they were driven from forfeited natural blessings (which they could indeed no longer so enjoy) by judgment.

It is carefully to be noted (I have already partially done so) that the sentences pronounced on the serpent, the woman, and Adam do not go beyond present earthly results, for even the bruising the serpent's head is his whole power over man which is on the earth; the whole question of the soul is behind More may be intimated in the distinct statements that come at the end of the chapter.

The first thing I notice in the end of this chapter is, there is no confession. Adam and Eve tell the truth as to fact, and God pronounces judgment accordingly, as He sees fit, but there is no moral action in their hearts apparent. The serpent is not asked, his judgment goes first by itself -- enmity and final destruction by power through Him who had the heel bruised. We then get the present effects in this world on to death (where, note, death is pronounced on the man only as representative of the race, as before the life -- breath of life -- was communicated); but then we find faith on man's part as to life, Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living -- this, after death was pronounced. Then God clothes them both. Life is not from Adam, so to speak, it is the woman's seed; but clothing, and putting away nakedness (the witness of sin, verses 7 - 10) is Jehovah Elohim's act; this is full of instruction -- grace first brought and fully. Man is then driven out from the place of blessing, and all recovery of life naturally. This is the judgment, and blessing of man, as man before God; the history of the race comes in chapter 4.

NOTE. -- Death also is a part of the personal temporary judgment of man here, which in certain aspects is an important point. The relations of a soul with God do not come in here,

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unless by mere analogy. Adam's calling his wife's name "Eve" is clearly a new thing, for he had, as united to himself, originally called her Ish-shah (woman) a supplement to Ish merely -- now he (the sinful man) is wholly laid aside. The woman's seed is what God has recognised as that in which the original mischief was to be set aside. Sovereign grace for the remedy comes in the place, and origin of the sin and evil -- man, as man, and Adam has no part in it -- only he gets the good of it as having faith, as Adam, had here -- he is clothed -- here it is individual -- there is neither man nor woman.

God then drives out the man, still the representative man, Ha-Adam -- of course Eve with him -- but in all this Ha-Adam is the representative man before God -- the head of the race.

Even in chapter 4 it is "Ha-Adam knew".

NOTE. -- Adam after that disappears; Eve expresses her thoughts and faith; the mistakes, but thoughts with Jehovah or God, are hers. The race is in its fallen -- Adam -- state; we have no Ish-shah any more, the whole scene is changed.

I have already noticed -- lust was not the first thing with Adam, but distrust of God which opened the door to lust -- and Christ's restoring confidence in God in the vilest of sinners. But there is more than this as regards Christ Himself. In Adam's case Satan got between Adam and God; the creature's place is dependence in confidence, from this Adam turned and got into sin. Satan insinuated that God had kept back, through jealousy, the forbidden fruit, because if man ate of it he would be like Himself; (Note: this is just what grace does with us, in wondrous mercy, in Christ before God.) Thus dependence was lost, and man acted for himself, for his own happiness -- this was will -- so that when dependence on and trust in God goes, necessarily will and lust follow. Now Christ, when tempted of Satan, was just the contrary; Satan tried to get Him to distrust God, and act on His own will for His happiness, to lead Him from dependence. The Lord met it by dependence, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that cometh out of the mouth of God shall man live". This was dependence on God (as for the manna every day). So as to trust, "Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God" -- not try whether He will be as good as His word, which is distrust. Thus the wicked one could not get between God and Christ so as to interrupt dependence -- could not touch Him, nor introduce it into His soul. When he tried it was in

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an open way and profitless, and he was rejected as an openly detected Satan, and that was all.

In the first instance, the most legitimate want, connected with will, would have been departure from God -- taking the world by will without God.

Dependence is a special claim in a world departed from God, more than even Adam in Paradise, though every creature is dependent. Christ trusted God perfectly, so as to wait for His will; then, on the pinnacle of the temple, He trusted God enough to wait till the occasion came for the accomplishment of promise, and would not try it in His own time to see whether he was.

NOTE. -- That God became a God of judgment is the consequence of sin; sin has turned Him into this; and man's knowledge of good and evil -- He is holy, He is righteous -- hence if evil comes in He must judge.

But with innocent man there was no judgment; He was blessed, with unfallen angels. Blessed be His name, He is love revealed in Christ -- that is what He is. A child may know his father to be a judge, but he does not know him as such. In fine sin has made God a Judge.

As to Conscience and the Fall, it is, in one point of view, the result of the Fall. Man is set in an anomalous state, they are "as gods", "as one of us", in one sense; they have the knowledge of good and evil, but with this immense difference -- God knows good and evil, but is as Supreme over it all; man, as a sinner, knows good and evil, but as a creature, in owning it, is subject to evil, he knows good and evil by being subject to it, by having sinned. God, moreover, the source of all good, knows all evil as something without, not of, Himself; man, the receiver of all good, knows it as in himself, subject to it in himself.

The first man was the failure of the creation under evil; the second man was, under God, the supremacy over evil. So the resurrection was the great point of evincement, for as death was the head and full power of evil, resurrection was the full triumph over it in man, even Jesus; hence Jesus became the second Adam after His resurrection; the power of manifested life in man, that is properly and fully, when He was manifested to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead. He, previously to that, proved His competency in His human state, and became

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it, as having overcome evil -- overcome evil with good -- instead of being overcome of evil, when all natural good was made His, He overcame with good when all natural evil was made His. He had all quickening power in Him indeed while living in the flesh, but He was not the head as having been made perfect through all. But Adam sinned in Paradise, or Eve individually, and, as ejected, became the head of the fallen race. Christ acted faithfully in the world of sin, and as risen out of it, became the Head of the saved race -- the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him. He was not subject to, but overcame evil; Adam in good and Paradise became subject to evil -- such was the contrast.

The analogy of the first and last Adam seems carried very far, if we take our portion in Adam as excluded, and in the Lord, the last Adam, as risen, and gone in within the veil; for our position in one and the other is largely in fact and morally fully correspondent. Just as we have seen in the circumstances which made way, laid the ground, for their respective characters elsewhere, in the sin of Adam, and the obedience of Christ unto death, and taking the two together as in the opposition of final results, it is most instructive.


This chapter, as already remarked, as a continuation of chapters 2 and 3, carries on, evidently, the question of sin into men's relationship with one another. It is not absolutely said that Eve gave Cain his name (Seth she did), but the thought is hers. Ha-Adam is merely the course of the race. Eve was Adam's Ish-shah here, but "Eve" is in sense; it was her thought on the Lord's mind of giving a seed; she has gotten a man -- "Ish" -- the name Adam gives himself in chapter 2; she came out of "Ish". She -- Eve -- on this great new event, had from herself, with Jehovah's will, and as from Him, a man, a born man, seed of the woman in the world. I say it was her thought; it is not "the Lord hath appointed", that was deference to His will. This, her feeling, though looking to the Lord; she looked at the gift, though she ascribed it to Jehovah; but it was man -- natural man -- a child of Adam really; evil, yet outwardly in the place God had set Adam in -- a tiller of the ground. Abel's place was a place out

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of the natural place in which man was put, whatever brought him there; he kept sheep, a new and invented thing. In this relationship with God, he was clearly in faith, offering a sacrifice of slain beasts; Cain in nature.

Then comes out exasperated hatred; but first the immensely important ground it is all on -- law and gospel. First, we have God still in intercourse with fallen man; He had clothed Adam -- grace had wrought; next, acceptance if he did well -- that is law -- if not a khat-tath (sin offering) was there, ready for him; that was the ground he was on with God; as to his brother, as the elder, Abel would be subject to him. But what man is comes out; hatred is above all fear, and remedy or intervention of God. Sin against one's brother fills up the measure of sin against God, through which they were already cast out. There is, again, a present judgment as to the ground; and, besides hiding from God's face (which his own conscience tells him), he goes out -- here his own act -- from the presence of the Lord, not in sorrow -- no humiliation in His presence -- the despairing complaint of selfishness -- and makes the world as comfortable as he can without Him.

I do not dwell on the evident figure of Israel, I have spoken of it elsewhere; the moral ground is what I look for here.

In Seth's case "God hath given"; it comes from Elohim's, -- God's -- own act, not "I have gotten" from "Jehovah"; here again Eve is in the sense, and all right. Subsequently the worship, or owning of God -- connection of men with Him -- was with Jehovah; a name of relationship. This closes this part.

This was the breaking out of an evil nature, when it was there. There cannot be a more important chapter, whether we consider the fact of Jehovah's intercourse with fallen man, or the ground He puts him on, or Cain's conduct afterwards, showing where his nature was. Yet it was founded on the intention of God with Adam. Cain's worship, after Adam and Eve having been clothed with skins, shows great indifference and hardness I think; he had the signs of sin and judgment always before him. Not so Abel; yet he approached by faith -- it was Jehovah. Intercourse had given occasion to worship; it was duty, only duty in Cain; spiritually intelligent approach, which had taken notice of his state, and God's grace, in Abel.

NOTE. -- Clothing is from God -- sacrifice from man, only the

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true Lamb was God's Lamb. It is remarkable that Gin's worship should be connected with nature and the curse, of which he was daily cognisant; Abel's with God's act in grace, however noticed or apprehended, for slain beasts had been the means of clothing Adam's nakedness.

This chapter is a wonderful display of grace, after the fall and exclusion. Cain is nature, and the world after Christ's rejection.

The woman looks for the promise in nature, and connects Jehovah with it -- "I have gotten", etc.

Cain's is the worship of nature, when doing what God had set man to do. But nature under grace is "vanity" (Abel); and if connected with Christ, i.e., coming, owning sin, and by death, is rejected of men, and under death must have, in itself, its sentence. In nature Jehovah owns right and wrong. If Cain did well he would be elevated, and his brother subject to him; if ill, there was sin; then sin is completed by murder, and then "instructed" (Enoch) world comes in; but grace, acting in the midst of nature, fails under the power of evil, i.e., of result here. So Christ has in death fully shown.

Then the world is built up -- then we have God's appointed seed.

-- 1. It is "Ish" -- not "a son", not "Adam", not "Enosh"; there is triumph in what is right, and promised, but according to nature -- he is born after the flesh -- not Seth "appointed".

"I have gotten from Jehovah"; verse 25, "Elohim hath appointed me" -- but that was after Abel.

There is nothing new in it, but it is wonderful to see how complete is Eve's mistake as to the man from Jehovah. The first man -- his blindness and natural insensibility to sin, and where it had placed him, and thinking to worship with what was the sign of the curse -- then man of the wicked one -- murder and falsehood, and driven out from God -- the world and its enjoyments -- the whole history of the first man.

Abel coming with the sacrifice, as the only way of access to God, receives testimony that he was righteous; God testifying to his gifts. Seth is the appointed man instead of both.

-- 2. Cain was in his legitimate place according to nature; chapter 3: 23. Compare Zechariah 13:5, rightly translating the close -- "from" is not amiss -- "with" (His aid and blessing).

-- 4. Abel's is wholly out of, and above nature and duty; it is faith.

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NOTE. -- Though there is no way back to life here, there is access to God while here through faith.

-- 7. "Accepted?" ("and ... door"); but the khat-tath (sin-offering) is at our door in Christ.

-- 7. I have long thought that "sin-offering" is the true translation here, but I am confirmed in this thought, by the whole course of the history, in an interesting way.

In chapter 4, the question is of the state of man, and how, being such, he could approach God; the answer is, by expiatory sacrifice, which owned the state of sin, grace, and the remedy it afforded; or, rather, the self-offering up of another to God -- it is "fat", not "blood" as for committed sin. It was not a question of guilt from sins, but of man's state, so here it is a sin-offering "if thou doest not well". The two things are quite distinct, one is the abstract consideration of man's estate before God; the other, getting an individually purged conscience before God.

I cannot but think that lap-pé-thakh khat-that' ro-vet'z' (sin will be the lier at the door) is a sin offering, meaning it is quite ready -- "lying at the door" I suspect to have come from this. We have the doctrine of the eldest, as before of the woman -- dependent -- looking up to -- and desire -- and being ruled over. If it be a "sin offering", it shows how early it was spoken of by God -- a thing known and recognised.

NOTE. -- Not only was there faith, but God had intercourse with Cain, as having to say to man after the announcement of the woman's seed, and the skins -- the person and the work.

It is objected that till the law there was no khet' (sin). In general, I apprehend this is just, and the difference important; as in Abel's sacrifice it was the state of man -- "Where art thou?" -- not what he had done. The burnt offering took this ground; it was not for particular faults which a man had committed, but that man, driven out of Paradise, alienated in sin from God, could not come to God as if nothing had happened; sin, and death for sin, and the glorifying of God as to it, must come in, in order to approach acceptably; and this was the general character of sacrifice till the law made imputable transgressions. It was the ground on which sinful and excluded man stood with God.

The blessed Lord, having come down to reconcile us, took this place -- was made sin -- and His perfected obedience was, when He was made sin, He drank the cup.

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When I see sin really, as God sees it, I see it is putting away; I see what it is, only when it is put away. "If one died for all, then were all dead", they were away from God in sin, and He, in its judicial infliction, drinking that cup, was forsaken of God -- just feeling it as it really was, as forsaken of God -- separated from the presence of God -- as to what His soul felt, and judicially. Hence when sin is presented to me fully (not merely my particular sins), Christ and His cross is presented to me -- He, on the cross, a sacrifice.

And I think there is allusion to this in the Lord's word to Cain; I do not say it is to be translated "a sin offering", but sin has been laid at my door by God -- how? -- in Christ. No doubt I have sins to be dealt with; but, when the world is convinced of sin, the whole status of man is exposed -- it is in the cross of Christ. So, even here, it is in that "lying couched at the door", that sin is laid there.

Still, it is to be remarked here that the case of Cain's not doing well is put, i.e., not the status of Adam; it is a positive and imputable fault which is supposed, then sin "lies couched at the door", and the word of course is so applied -- sin-offering.

If the s'eth (accepted or "exaltation") refers to his exaltation above Abel, not to his place before God, though it be supposed withal, then khat-that' (sin) refers more to sin itself. I am still rather disposed to take it as a sin-offering, at least Christ presented as such. It is not "at thy door", and it is a reply to anger and a fallen countenance.

There was no need for it, he well-doing -- exaltation and acceptance of person; and in ill-doing -- the remedy there.

It brings in the state of man before God, and in Abel's offering, that state met, and acceptance -- the burnt offering; and thus, supposing sin, the remedy there. There was no need for irritation or hopeless despondency.

It may not be treated of formally till Leviticus 4; but, when these great elements are discussed, it comes in as a part of the needed punishment, and remedy of God for the sinner's sin.

Man was ruined, there were no offerings for sin; Noah offers, and the Patriarchs their burnt offerings (these last only in Palestine, and the young men at Sinai, Exodus 24), and in these cases sin-offerings were not in place; when the law had raised the question of imputable sins, then they were; but here, as a great principle, they are in their place. After the

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general principle in Abel, Abraham's offering (chapter 15) was the founding a covenant, but it was hardly a burnt offering.

As regards khet' (sin) there is another difference. In the o-lah' (burnt-offering) as Abel's, and all others, man approached God by it; he came by it freely to approach and worship God. So here Abel comes; the manner of coming, as recognising all truth, is in question. It was as referred to -- it is willing, though due, heart coming to God -- but how to come, now sin had come in, and man was out of Paradise. But Cain's was positive, active sin, and a sacrifice required for that evil; not only man was a sinner and excluded, but he had committed a sin, and against his brother -- hence, khet' (sin) was there; still I think presented by God in Christ.

I cannot come and tell the Jew who has slain the Christ, nor the world which has not believed on Him, of their actual sin, without presenting the sacrifice lying at their door; that is, in the grand principle of it, God's way of presenting their sin to them.

In this way the sacrifice of Abel, and Jehovah's words to Cain, have great importance amongst the great foundation principles here set forth; we have the burnt-offering, and sin-offering as the great foundation principles of relationship, and clearance with God, replying to "Where art thou?" and "What hast thou done?"

-- 8. The completing of sin in its second part.

-- 10. See Hebrews 12:24.

-- 13. Rather as in the margin, but in the sense of despair.

-- 14. "Of the ground".

-- 17. A city here first -- the world.

But in Lamech we also return to the Jews.

Civilisation is not merely post-diluvian.

Is there nothing peculiar in va-y'hi bo'-neh (and he was building) instead of ba-nah (he built)? Is it not characteristic rather than historical?

It is nothing new, but very striking, how much more activity and interest there is in the history of Cain than of Seth. It comes first too -- it is after the flesh -- in fact Abel disappears before it -- but less of the individual than of the world.

In Seth we have individuals only -- they lived so long and died, that is all; but the progress of the world is largely recounted in Cain's family, cursed from the ground -- hidden from God -- but establishing cities, and arts, and luxury, and

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a sister whose name was "Pleasantness". But what a character it gives to the world -- "despair" with God, and marked "not to be killed" with man -- city, and luxury without God -- gone from His presence -- is that the world?

We have another element, "not of the Father". Still it is in rejecting Christ what it is.

He went out from the presence of the Lord in despair, not in repentance -- with his life safe. I cannot but think Lamech's a threat -- "Have I done as Cain? I will be seventy-seven times avenged" (only I admit it true of the Jewish remnant at the end, as slayers of Christ).

We have the difference of the name of Seth, after we have learned that all is "vanity" (Abel -- He'-vel). "God has appointed", not "I have got".

NOTE. -- Here it is Elohim not Jehovah, the whole thing began again, so to speak, from Elohim, and so does chapter 5 completely; Cain is not owned at all; Seth is instead of Abel, though he takes the place of rejected Cain.

Then began a distinctive people of God in connection with the name "Jehovah"; not a people called out by it as Israel. Cain had gone out from the presence of Jehovah, and taken care of himself, settling down where Jehovah had made him a vagabond; but in Seth's time the matter began again, and Jehovah was owned on earth.

We have He'-vel's (Abel's) portion, a better one not here revealed.

Is there anything in the names Khanoch' (Enoch) and Enosh?

The condition of the world and man is singularly pictured out in all this.

26 is a distinct part. Enos is in contrast with Ish; nor is it simply Adam -- the race. They took the lowly place failure and death put them in. And then (men) began to be separated to the name of Jehovah, and to be distinctively associated with Him, and worship Him. This was the knowledge of faith; it is not "on Elohim".

Nothing provokes the world like divine favour. But Jehovah reasons with Cain on the ground of responsibility, and present government or order, in a world of sin -- doing well, a sacrifice of sin-offering if needed, and superiority here in the world. But this, though he did not care for God, would not do; his jealousy was of man enjoying this favour in grace --

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allowing it to run. Cain was utterly evil -- no relenting -- no profiting by God's patient goodness.

The order is, Abel accepted according to Hebrews 11 -- faith; himself accepted and his gift -- sin -- death -- judgment -- propitiation recognised.

Cain, like the world, untouched by conviction, is not accepted; as the natural man, furious; Jehovah reasons with him, the case put before him, in grace, to do well, or, in grace, a sin offering is there -- no relenting, nor profiting by it -- fills up sin against his neighbour; judgment from the world (as Jews with Christ) -- no hope or relenting -- despair.

God had not said to him to leave His presence. Cain does and goes out from His presence himself, to dwell where judgment had made him a vagabond, and then comes the world -- the world as God sees it in its true place before Him.

NOTE. -- Cain and Abel -- wicked nature and suffering in grace -- both disappear; Seth only is man appointed of God -- Christ, when He comes again.

Otherwise we have man wicked, the rejecter of God -- Adam fully developed -- Christ and suffering saints in grace, both pass away. Seth is the appointed man -- Christ, as the Son of Man, to come.

It is a wonderful chapter -- the whole history of nature and of grace.


This begins quite anew; it is a new division of subject.

We have the moral history of the antediluvian; history, much more of Adam (man) in what proceeds; the rest was nothing, save Enoch. They lived and died; of Cain's family a good deal -- they civilized the world. Here there was one Enoch, and the prophecy of a world to come.

-- 1. As to Adam (man), it is only said the "likeness" of God, not "image", the point here being what he was, not his place.

So it is Adam, not Ha-Adam, the representative man. But we return to the first chapter here, it is "likeness", not "image". Man is still, according to place, the image and glory of God; this will be actually fulfilled in Christ. The answer in God's mind to "what is man?" for all failed in glory, is to

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be made good in Him; failed that is in responsible man. In James we have him made in the likeness. Christ is never said to be like God -- nullum simile est idem (there is no "like" that is "the same"); He was the revelation of God, in a word He is and was God. But God created them also as an animal race, and both get the name, of the one created, as being this race; but here individually; there, but as one being characteristically. "Adam begat a son in his own likeness, according to his image"; in chapter 1 it is in His "image, according to his likeness"; but Seth was in likeness, morally, the same thing. Seth, though taking the place of Adam, and so according to his image, could not have Adam as that of which he was to be an image. Adam was created to be God's image, Seth was in a certain sense in this place, compare 1 Corinthians 11:7, but he was not Adam's image, but according to it, but he was in his likeness. These are Adam's generations, not the woman's hopes, or faith, but what man, a child of Adam, was; in chapter 4 Seth is God's gift to Eve, here the "child of Adam" (male and female); Adam begat a son in his own likeness.

Nothing can be more striking than the way in which "God", and "Jehovah", are distinctively used here; "Jehovah" always connected with moral government; the dealings of "God" with those he had to say to.

Enoch walked with "God"; verse 22 -- it is the ground which "Jehovah" had cursed, verse 29 -- it was dealing of the righteous Governor.

God is the Being, the Originator, of all things, and is named in His nature.

Thus, in verse 1, we have "God"; so Enoch walked with "God", "God" took him. Verse 29, which "the Lord" hath cursed; so chapter 6: 3. But in chapter 6: 5, we have "God", because it is what He is, Himself, in His nature; but it repented "Jehovah", here He is in heart occupied with His dealings with man; so chapter 6: 7, but in chapter 6: 12, it returns to "God's" own estimate, as "God", and so to the end. The Sovereign Originator of all is now going to set it aside, and begin a new world. In chapter 7 he begins to deal with man in a relative, so to speak, official way, and it is "Jehovah"; He is carrying out His thoughts and we have "clean" and "unclean". In chapter 6 He was a Creator, here a Governor, and see how they are brought together in

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chapter 7: 16. In chapter 8: 1 - 19, it is "God" setting up a new thing; verses 20, 21, special dealings with Noah and men. In chapter 9 "God" establishes the new earth; in the matter of Ham, verse 26, we have "Jehovah" again. The contrast of chapter 4: 1 and 25, noticed precedingly, is very striking; there was, though on divine ground, in a certain sense, assumption in verse 1; all is ascribed to sovereign originating grace in verse 25 -- but this brings out a people, who know the revealed "God" in His name.

NOTE. -- In chapter 1 God gives names Himself to "day" and "night", to "earth", "heaven", "seas" (not to "light", light was light on the face of the deep), to the things formed on the earth, or in the seas He does not -- His word brings them forth, and they are good when He sees them -- nor in this chapter, when they only come in as part of Elohim's creation, though in a special way does He to man. But in verse 2, we learn, when man's history is begun, God, not Jehovah, called their name Adam in the day He created them; that was the name, as a race. Adam gave Eve her name first Ish-shah, then in faith, as I suppose, Eve -- Khav-vah -- and he gave names to all animals.

NOTE. -- Adam, though asleep when it was done, knew whence Eve was -- Ish-shah is her natural relation to Adam -- Eve (Khav-vah) her place after the fall, and revelation of the gift of the seed. The repetition of chapter 2: 19, that "out of the ground Jehovah Elohim formed every beast ... and brought them to Adam" is to be noted. So he gave them names as his, and so to the fowls (fishes are outside this); but there was no helpmeet (k'neg-do). Then the woman is of himself, yet given a name -- subject to him -- his.

She is afterwards Eve, but now Ish-shah; names of large import; first, when death was written on him, he gives her the name of Eve -- God had separated her -- the seed of the woman was to come, and Adam retires as it were, accepts it by faith as promise and gives her the name, not of connection with himself, but of her posterity; death, with God's judgment on the Serpent, did not hinder her being Eve -- she had that place by promise, not by connection with Ish; but in chapter 5 the race is taken up in both, on the ground of creation, and now fallen.

-- 3. Seth is in Adam's likeness and after his image; he was like Adam (fallen), and represented him too on the earth.

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With Cain and Hevel (Abel) we have nothing of all this; they had their own history, but are not brought forward as any way representing Adam, or taking place, it was intrinsic moral walk, yith'hal-lekh' eth ha-Elohim (walked with God -- not Jehovah), not merely relationship in government, as in chapter 4: 20.

-- 27. Methuselah died, at the very latest, the year of the Flood -- according to Septuagint 14, Vat. 6 years -- all make him 969.

-- 29. The Patriarchs here were in the Adam condition, calling on the name also of the Lord distinctively; not Cain's condition -- their actual personal state, save Enoch, we do not know. This verse shows the Adam state and the Lord owned.

-- 32. Shem was 98 when the Flood came; and it is likely these three sons were born after Noah was 500 years old, certainly all but Japheth. Probably none are named but those who escaped -- born when apart from the world; he may have had, probably had, many others, unless he lived alone all his life till then. Twenty years before this he received the revelation of the end of all flesh; the direction for the ark was later, chapter 6: 14 - 16.


Up to this chapter I see three characters of sacrifice. God covers our nakedness, that is our first need as sinners; next, coming to God in worship, we are accepted, personally, according to the value, and worth of our gift. Then God smells a sweet savour and says "I will no more curse". But this makes a new heaven, and a new earth; here earth, and note here, in spite of, and as meeting the wickedness of men, compare 6: 5; and it is Ha-Adam here. But then we have something more here; they were clean beasts. It was founded on God's mercy, according to His mind, an odour of rest. Abel's owned death, and needed sacrifice, in himself -- came in faith, and all its value was on him; but Noah's was the sweet savour of Christ according to God's mind, acceptable in itself so as to bring favour and blessing on the world. Abraham's is more worship of God, who revealed Himself; doubtless he offered sacrifices, but it is not what is noticed; so at the second altar he called on the name of Jehovah.

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-- 2. Jude and Peter seem to make the B'ney ha-Elohim (sons of God) the angels; but God effaced all this in the deluge, and so may we; but the Titans and mighty men, heroes, find the origin of their tradition here.

I have little doubt this is purposely obscure, but the language here, in itself, tends to the thought that B'ney Elohim (sons of God) were not of the race of Ha-Adam (man).

"Wives" is not right; nashim (women) is not necessarily "wives". They chose those they liked, and compare verse 4; and query there if it be not "and also after the sons of Elohim went in to the daughters of men, and they bore to them; these were the heroes, mighty men which were of old, men of name"; these were Nachsatz.

-- 3. "Jehovah said" -- all is of Jehovah till the historic recital, verse 10. "My Spirit shall not always strive with man", in his wanderings -- he is flesh; "yet his days shall be", etc.

Yadon, from dun (judges, contends with), rightly "strive" or "plead" I cannot doubt; it is the regular sense of din or dun, and even where it is judge, very often the judging is a judicial striving of God with man; see too the noun.

-- 3, 4. Here we return wholly to the race of "Ha-Adam".

It is a question whether akharey-ken asher does not mean "after that", "thereupon that", and no stop, or only a comma between "them" and "these"; Asher (that) is not "when", or "als"; akharey-asher (after that) is clearly so used, and I see not why akharey-ken asher; asher is not "when", that I know.

I can understand two distinct classes here, but they seem to have subsisted together, though the first may have, in the first instance, preceded the second. They may have been Cain's progeny; another offspring of the unholy mixture of the sons of God and daughters of men. Certainly the two are brought out as bringing about the Flood, they both characterised the epoch which brought about the Flood -- "those days".

The principle is the mixture of those who are of God with evil; but I am not aware that B'ney ha-Elohim (sons of God), is ever used for men. Job 38:7, they are surely not men, but angelic; so Job 1:6. B'ney El khay (sons of the Living God) in Hosea 1:10 (in the Hebrew 2:1), is surely different. Judges are called "Elohim", but not B'ney ha-Elohim (sons of God). But there is no question of that here; so that the

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usage is certainly for beings angelic, not human, in nature; see Jude. I cannot for a moment doubt the force of this B'ney ha-Elohim (sons of God), and b'noth ha-Adam (daughters of man); and Jude quite confirms it. It seems to me also that akharey ken is not "afterwards" but "after that"; i.e., the consequence of this alliance; they were Titans and such like. All these traditions had a source. It may be questioned if the nephilim (giants) and gib-bo-rim (mighty ones) are identical.

But then, afterwards, only the general state of the race of Ha-Adam (Man) is spoken of. The sons of Anak are called nephilim; elsewhere giants are "Rephaim"; the connection with the traditions of giants, Titans, etc., seems evident.

I cannot help thinking that the war of Titans (mythology), and the details referred to in them, are directly connected, not merely with the fact of the deluge, but -- though mixed up with the original desire and temptation, "ye shall be as gods" -- with the apostasy of angels, and the frightful oppression, war, and corruption, and open rebellion against God. No doubt Scripture -- the Spirit of God -- has clothed all this dreadful evil with a veil of brief words, and the pious mind will see the divine wisdom, and perfectness of this, yet enough, as in so many cases, to explain all the various traditions of the heathen world as to it, and that is all we want. The tartarosas of 2 Peter, and the sinning angels of Jude; the genealogy of Titans, and their end are too closely connected not to give a character to the history of the world before the Flood, which accounts for its being passed over. It is curious that these poor slaves of the enemy while worshipping the gods who, they alleged, destroyed the Titans, yet honoured these as illustrious, and the origin of creation; and how Satan had succeeded in making the righteous Noah and his family, who were spared, into fallen gods, though they owned the judgment on apostasy which had spared them. But such is man, if not kept of God.

They are called giants or nephilim, giants I suppose earthborn; all this history is their being men of renown. Ovid says, besides the violence against men they would have aimed at heavenly rule, but were judged. Yet the giants and Titans are said to have been in contention; the oppression of the heaven-assailing rebels, who would have introduced all this, may be here alluded to.

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Hesiod's making only three ages before the Trojan war is remarkable; he very likely meant to compliment his ancestors -- the common bent of poetry.

He says: Titenes upo zopho eeroenti kekruphatai (the Titans have been buried in murky darkness).

And again tois ouk exiton esti (for whom there is no coming out).

And again before this he says: kai tous men Titenas upo chithonos euruodeies pempsian kai desmoisin en argaleoisin edesan (and sent the Titans beneath earth, whose ways are open to all, and bound them in grievous chains).

I have sometimes thought that in this verse (verse 4) two classes of persons are referred to -- the giants, and men of renown. They were men of renown (I apprehend the article in the Hebrew is emphatic), the builders of Babel aimed at it; it is possible that the mythologists mixed up this story with it. I apprehend certainly it is "the" giants were in the earth in those days, and also after that the sons of Elohim came into the daughters of Adam, and they bore to them, the same were mighty men which were of old, men of name -- of the well-known name, an'shey hashshem, the men of name.

I do not in the least pretend to say how the impiety against heaven was shown, nor disentangle all the mythological accounts, but the great facts seem plain; Jude must of course be looked at, his subject is apostasy; Peter's, just judgment -- apostasy (Jude) as leading to judgment.

With Jude, the angels are cast down, and not seen, they are upo zophon (under darkness), Sodom and Gomorrha prokeintai deigma (lie there as an example) in the earth; this is all fitting.

In Peter, we have it therefore with the Flood -- the world's judgment, and a remnant saved -- judgment being his subject, and an elect remnant. The reserved judgment no heathen could know, Satan would not teach them that, for it was responsibility was there; the eternal judgment, or of the secrets of men's hearts, was not his subject of course -- now that full salvation is come in, he may reduce men to this level, quod nota, and so he does. Hence the importance of full grace for deliverance from him.

NOTE. -- Milton -- I do not know what men of taste will say -- was a miserable engrafting of all the heathen mythology

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on what was, after all, error so as really to make a fresh heathenism; that is the effect for the imagination, and so merge the power of what approached to truth in it. With most beautiful poetry, no doubt, it is a very mischievous book; indeed I have ever thought it so since I read it. But he was full of various learning of this kind, and turned Scripture scenes, and his views of truth (which was not the truth) into it. Purity mixed with corruption is corrupted purity, and that is not purity at all, but as an effect, and an evil worse than new corruption, save indeed, as the word implies, that it is always that, for corruption always implies something good corrupted, there is no evil created. What God has had to bear with in man! but He is perfect in all, and oh! how great the grace which has brought, and brought us, into the perfect light in grace and truth by Jesus Christ.

The Satanic idolatrous version of divine facts, as to God or man, with which truth is connected, having its origin in what, in itself, truth had to tell -- this truth, as given by God, both gives us the positive blessing of itself, and explains, and guards against all that Satan derives from it.

Apply this to the corruption of Christianity. I do not doubt that this system will come in again in the gods, mauzzim (Daniel 11:38, 39), and that Satan will thus, where he exercises his direct power, so rule the world. How great the deliverance of being in the light.

NOTE. -- That the evil being in the form of a serpent was called aphophis -- the sacred asp -- or the giant in Egypt, he was also called the brother of the sin.

-- 5. But besides this, man's -- Ha-Adam's -- wickedness was great upon the earth; I say, besides this, for it was general, though this may have had a great deal to say to its coming in in this shape. Kol-hay-yom is surely "continually" not "every-day" -- "all the day".

-- 5. "And God saw" -- He sees all things; He cannot forget His faithful ones, and He does nothing, but He makes it known to His servants the prophets.

-- 7. Ma-khah (to blot out), is a very strong word, "wipe" or "blot out", "destroy".

-- 9. His walking with God was not merely the acknowledgment of Jehovah, which he did, but "walking with God" -- his moral character and walk -- fear of God like Enoch.

-- 11. So the earth was corrupt before God. We have

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the origin here of diaphtheirai tous diaphtheirontas ten gen (to destroy those that destroy the earth), Revelation 11:18; but it is only in the Apocalypse, and thus Hebraic in language, but in 1 Corinthians 3:17, is the same, save dia.

-- 13. All is simple judgment here, there is no intercession. We are not on the anticipative ground of grace in communion, but simple deliverance in judgment.

NOTE. -- When the end of all flesh came, the spirits are in prison, yet it died.

-- 18. Noah stood alone for the covenant "with thee".

There are two things here: the declaration of not repeating the curse on Adam as to the ground, and the non-repetition of the Flood. This was founded on sacrifice. The new world, as this earth, was founded on sacrifice, the first on judgment; then the curse, here the curse no more repeated; with man's nature fully seen, God acted on the sacrifice, not on it.

As to labour, partial relief, see verse 29.

-- 7 - 12. I cannot but think the raven and dove emblematic, though not a type; yet the ravens brought food to Elijah.

-- 11. Ta-raph, "pluckt off" or "fresh" -- not an old dried one to be found anywhere.

-- 12. Where the dove could rest, Noah could; so blessed be God, with us; yet then, no sure rest, now sure.

-- 21. We have here the propitiatory character of the sweet savour of Christ's sacrifice. It was not a sin-offering, bearing, and putting sin away, but one which met the mind of God, as to His sense of sin, by the perfectness of the sacrifice -- a reyakh hannikhoakh (odour of the rest) to Him; so Jehovah said el-lib-bo (in his heart).

-- 21. The word as to the curse is this -- Noah was to comfort man concerning the work of his hands, because of the ground which the Lord had cursed; it does not say the curse was gone, but there was comfort in labour as to it. But further, there was to be no repetition of the curse, or the Lord might have been always at it, for all the imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil and that continually. But there was this on the ground of sacrifice, "the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and the Lord said in his heart, I will no more again curse", neither would He smite the earth with a flood. He would not again act as He had done. And the effect of this sweet savour is very striking, not in changing God's mind, but in revealing what He is -- the source of peace.

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Love was free in righteousness, righteousness glorified in the sacrifice, the sacrifice love had provided. The Lord had seen that the imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually, and the Lord said, "I will destroy". But now, the sweet savour of the sacrifice was the ground of action -- what drew out the heart of God -- moved it in grace, and could because righteously; hence, though seeing all the evil, acts on the sweet savour. If I deal according to what man is, I must always curse, for the ground of cursing is always there as spoken of (chapter 6: 5, 6). Hence "I will not again", do it, or act as moved by what is in man (for there is only evil), but on the ground of the sacrifice offered. Here as to the world, for the old world was, as to dealings of God, left to itself, only with a testimony, and was founded (besides Cain) on "He drove out the man". This world was passed away, and sacrifice was the basis of God's dealings in testimony as to this. In the old we had full individual testimony, as Abel -- Enoch -- but they by cross or heaven left the world they belonged to outwardly. This had in view the world itself, and the rainbow was given in pledge, and appears in the throne, in Revelation; when in chapter 11: 19 God is taking up the earth we have the ark of His covenant, and the Lord begins again with the Jews. Revelation 4 has a far wider range; He is Creator and all created for Him, and redeems out of nations, peoples, tongues, languages. And this opens a good deal the book of Revelation. In chapter 4 the throne is set in heaven; it is the heavenly throne making good in power the universal title. In chapter 11: 19, the temple of God is opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant is seen, and then the Jewish people immediately come on the scene, and the wars and judgments. In chapter 5 angels and all even ept tes ges praise and glorify Him that sits on the throne; the elders and living creatures fall down before the Lamb who has redeemed.

-- 22. It was yet a remaining earth.


This chapter gives Noah's family and personal fall, and the judgment on Canaan, son of Ham. It is Noah's personal history and prophecy; but it was the fall of the head of the

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new world, with all its consequent history. Babylon was another thing -- association to make a centre to themselves without God. Then God constitutes nations out of a family, or three families, at most. It is the actual basis of the state of the existing world -- the world such as it is.

-- 2. What a different dominion from Adam's! (chapter 2: 19, 20). God there, as Creator, puts all living animals under Adam's power; he names them. Here, God is a preserver, soter, but the animals are merely placed in Noah's power, and fear, the character of relationship; Noah is their destroyer, whom they fear. Blood is put into his hand in the way of government, for blood shedding, life taking, was in the earth. It is clearly a setting of the whole thing upon a new system, and footing (compare chapter 1: 28, 29).

-- 6. This puts evidently the image of God on a different footing from moral qualities.

-- 20. The history of Noah, and his patriarchal prophecy.

-- 26, 27. Is it intended, the difference of Shem and Japheth? Jehovah, the name of relationship with Shem -- Jehovah, the God of Shem; and Elohim, simply the fact of divine power and providence -- "God shall enlarge him"; he gets the world, as such, when direct relationship is not established in the world; this is the basis of the world's history.

The whole chapter gives the relationship of God with the new world and its order; this is the world's history in general, in prophetic plan according to God.


This chapter begins that historically. It is a general history of the local planting of the nations of the earth; not a date of an event -- the geographical arrangement of the world. It looks back, and sees the earth partitioned out, and traces the families from their sources.

The world is here ethnologically arranged, as to races and families; morally, in chapter 11: 1 - 9, and at the same time nationally, as distinct countries. We have here the central family before God; but there is another fact, the earth was divided (verse 25).

-- 5. Parad (separated) -- not palag (divided). They separated from one another, and so settled; this verse is evidently

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after the confusion of tongues, so verse 32. Verse 19 shows it to be of Moses's time, only Nimrod and Peleg are as special facts noticed on the way.

It is remarkable how Noah entirely disappears after his fall and prophecy. Headship over the world there was none; but first association, and then individual energy.

-- 6 - 8. We have Ham, Cush, Nimrod.

-- 8. I do not think Nimrod was the immediate son of Cush, it may be, he was of his family. The chapter takes up the different families, as Mizraim, Philistine, etc.; then Nimrod is singled out from his beginning an empire. But Babel was there before he began, as beknown there to this day.

-- 10. I suppose Nimrod was after the dispersion; Babel was the beginning of his kingdom. It does not appear if the division of the earth was before or after. The dispersion was judgment -- the division, arrangement, and man's life shortened by half. Conquest may have been after this, or the arrangement consequent on Nimrod's violence; in Scripture they are independent facts. The first fact is Nimrod -- imperial energy; the second, general ethnological location as a fact. The judgment on the family of men, is what brought the ethnological division about, verse 5.

-- 22 - 25. Shem, Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg. If Ham's family had the same length of life, Nimrod was long contemporary with Peleg. Peleg was born some sixty years or more after him; but up to Peleg the ages were, say 430 years. Peleg lived only 239 years, he died, according to Hebrew chronology, 340 years after the Flood, he was born 149 years before the death of Noah. Nimrod with similar ages died 87 years after Peleg and was contemporary with him all his days. The whole period of the lives of the members of Shem's family is not noted, so that the Spirit would draw our attention to it there, chapter 11; here the change is the important thing.

-- 25. I suppose, with many others, the division of Peleg to be a distinct thing. According to Hebrew chronology, Noah died 10 years after Peleg. The Septuagint Chronology of course alters their relative dates; according to this, Peleg was born 401 after the Flood; I think Nimrod lived say from 267 to 576, Peleg to 510. If we accept the Hebrew chronology, this division was in Noah's lifetime, indeed long before his death; if that of the Septuagint, not so; at any rate, I apprehend, after the

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dispersion. It seems a kind of orderly settlement -- a distribution. Remark how Noah has disappeared; his authority was lost. Where was he when the tower was set about? The dividing, besides their record, is the great subject of this chapter.

NOTE. -- All the present mighty ones are Japheth. Of the four empires, Persia (Elam) alone was Shem, and favoured the Jews; and, as the Rationalists say, Shem was monotheistic, which is true -- "Jehovah, God of Shem". They did not know the true God without revelation surely, but providentially were not Jovists -- mere mythological heathen, i.e., of the four, for the Assyrians were idolators, and were of Shem.

After Nimrod and Mizraim, for Ham began, the great powers of later days have been Japheth; Asshur was Shem, but he never pulled down Jerusalem, nor built it up as others did; perhaps Nebuchadnezzar was Ham, the first Chaldean empire was. I suppose "went forth Asshur" (verse 11) is right, for certainly they had Asshur for their first great god in Assyria. They had really the longest, and, on the whole, greatest empire; but though a rod for Israel, they never came into collision with God's throne in Jerusalem, nor supplanted it; Sennacherib would have done so. As far as Assyria is concerned, the alleged monotheism of Shem is a fable; they were idolators as the rest.


This was their first descent into the plain, where they would have centralized themselves, and were dispersed. They would have humanity one -- a kind of republic; God made nations and tongues of them. Then Nimrod began an empire, and afterwards there was some kind of partition among them of the known earth in Peleg's time.

-- 2. Mikkedem, eastward; the word seems to me thus formed -- it is used as in the mouth of a person speaking in relation to himself -- a person to the east of me is, of course, coming, speaking, or looking from the east, thence mikkedem, eastward.

2 Chronicles 4:10, "the right side of the east end", i.e., the right side in relation to one looking towards it, for it faced the south, and was not to the east of the person, therefore not

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mikkedem, but ked'mah (eastward); so mikketheph, on the right side; so I take mimmul (on) to be opposite the south; so 2 Chronicles 5:12.

Chapter 10 is practically a parenthesis; this chapter continues from chapter 9, or begins afresh as the next noticed fact, and settles providentially the state of the world after Noah; here, the "Lord" is dealing -- "God" began the world afresh with Noah in chapter 9.

The history of the old world after the flood is ended, and the new form of men's relationship -- the world, not Noah's family, but nations, tongues, etc. -- is established.

To the end of this chapter we have the genealogy of Abram, but not the Lord's dealings, though in fact the call had come, but the action is Terah's.

-- 1 - 9, comes before chapter 10, and goes by itself, showing how, by the judgment of God, historically the dispersion of mankind, came about. This closes the tol'doth (generation) Noah; and now the origin of the whole state of the earth.

-- 10 - 32. These verses go with what follows -- Shem's family, they are the distinctive tol'doth (generation) Shem.

-- 2. Bik'ah (a plain), a low river plain.

-- 5. B'ney Ha-Adam (sons of man) again.

-- 10 begins the generations of the family God owned -- the history of Abraham's race -- the people of Jehovah -- He was the Lord God of Shem.

-- 19. Diminution of half the duration of life, connected with the regular settling of the earth; not the spreading of the various stocks and branching off of families.

-- 24 et seq. According to Jewish chronology, i.e., as given in the text, the last born of Terah's three sons was born only four years after Noah's death.

Chapters 12, 13. These two chapters give the whole position consequent on the calling, and its realization in the heavenly place of faith, with the contrasts of weakness and worldliness.

We have the general promise on which the faith was built, and Abraham distinguished and separated.


This chapter evidently begins a wholly new matter, and relationship with God.

God had formed the world, and called Abraham out of it to

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be in it to Himself, and deposits all blessings and promises in him as a head of race; it is the beginning of promise to men -- save outwardly, no more flood -- and it is not to men, but to a chosen person, and then to his posterity, as taken up for God by Himself in grace.

The interesting points of detail I have noticed elsewhere, but this is the place they hold in the history; it begins a new one, and promises, and blessings to descendants.

God elects, reveals Himself, calls out to Himself, and deposits promises. Here the path of faith is entered on, as a stranger in the world which God had formed by judgment -- the world around us.

Now, separation from Terah -- natural ties -- comes first; going down into the world, from natural motives, at the end of the chapter. In the first case, he does not reach Canaan at all; in the second, he leaves it, and denies his wife -- Jehovah was forgotten -- but he is well off through it. The true relationship of Christ and the Church must be lost when we get into the world.

Abram is a stranger with an altar, but none while with Terah, none in Egypt; they belong to the place of faith, not exactly to the revelation by which God calls, but by the revelation of Himself, by which He associates with Himself in the place of promise, and this brings in necessarily the seed.

We have seen sacrifice for Adam, in Abel, and in Noah, here an altar -- worship on the revelation of God Himself (in promise), or that carried on as a known relationship with God. But then in verses 7 and 8 it is immediately connected with Israel and the land; he was in the place of promise. The general testimony brought him out as the Lord commanded him, but worship is only in Canaan. Here note too, as regards the promise and its going, Abram's seed; the descendible quality, though actually enjoyed in the path and place of obedience has nothing to do with a nature, or relative place with God in virtue of the sin, or goodness of that nature.

Abram is shown, called by God's revelation of Himself, and receives the promises; not as Adam, a father of a race in his image, and exclusion from God's presence; there is the path of faith, but God calls and gives, and that to the seed too.

It is not descendible nature and place, but grace and promise -- he is a stranger too by faith, out of the world -- not out of Paradise, and God's presence, by sin. "I am a stranger with

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thee", so we as to this world, but besides we sit in heavenly places -- we are let in by righteousness (through one Man's obedience), and belong to Christ (as his children to Adam); we are not strangers in our Canaan, but in the world we are; but in our walk we are, for spiritual wickedness is still in heavenly places. We see how union with Christ has given us an entirely new additional element to Abraham; Abraham had not so much as to set his foot on, nor have we, actually, as men in the body, but we are sitting there in Christ.

NOTE. -- We pass here definitely from great general principles, in which God is revealed, to special dealings with one specifically called out into relationship with Him.

It is all Jehovah, not that that is the particular name of revelation -- that is El Shaddai; but it is not Elohim, but Jehovah's dealings, only he is shown to be Elohim as One who condescends to man -- is the Source of blessing, and who executes judgment, looked at as an historical fact; chapters 17: 3 - 14, and 19: 29. See also chapters 21 and 22, in the last God Himself looking for absolute obedience and confidence -- a contrast with Eve and Adam. But the dealings are Jehovah's; hence, note, we have the question of man's ways in the relationship into which grace has called, and by which conduct is judged -- not mere right and wrong in detail.

-- 1. God appears to Abraham, causing him to seek the country; he does so in the land (verse 7), and he builds an altar, it is the ground of worship. This he renews as his habitual portion (verse 8); having none in Egypt, he only returns to the one he had, at the first, on coming back.

This personal designation, instead of dealing with Ha-Adam, is most remarkable; and setting the blessing distinctively in one called out from the system which God had settled as the world. Abraham is called out of his country; his heavenly place is brought out only, when he has not so much as to set his foot on, in the country God had shown him.

"Had" is right here, see Acts 7:2. What has misled many is supposing Abram to be Terah's eldest son; verse 31 clearly depends on this.

-- 2. How is heyeh thou shalt be? It? If it be the name, it is, I suppose, "in thee shall they bless".

-- 3. "I will curse" -- pronounce a judicial curse, pronounce a curse arar (he cursed), him that curseth, speaketh

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injuriously, wishing evil -- kalal (to curse). Here clearly it must be Jehovah not Elohim and the creature Ha-Adam.

This verse then goes back to chapter 10: 32, in grace.

-- 4. Terah was 130 when Abram was born, or a trifle more, i.e., the time between his death and Abram's departure, 205 - 75 = 130. Terah begat Nahor at 70; there were thus some 60 years between Nahor and Abraham, but most, or a great part, of this was passed in Ur of the Chaldees. Lot was born there, and I suppose Milcah married to Nahor.

-- 5. They had been some time in Haran.

-- 6. This is the root of perseverance of faith; and being a stranger, he could not have what he was called to.

-- 7. But the Lord's revelation of Himself, in the place Abraham was called to, reveals to him the way he would have it, and is the ground of worship; this continues as his condition -- a tent and an altar. Still promises are on earth here.

-- 10. Nothing wrong apparently, but, when tested by the difficulties of the place of faith, he does not walk by faith, nor consult divine wisdom and will for guidance. He acts on the wisdom of sense, but that is Egypt; and this goes further, he must conceal the full truth there.

The world takes up what belongs exclusively to the man of God, but is judged for it; the man of God had denied its being exclusively his, because he had lost his own place of calling with God. This is the forgetting the Church and distinctiveness of blessing where we are called.

The call and blessing of Abram is most deeply important. The world's history had been gone through -- the Adam fallen -- the world formed by man's sin -- Babel -- his multiplying and forming settlements -- and the earth divided -- countries were formed -- and then a kingdom or empire by man as a mighty hunter still connected with Babylon. Now we get, not merely individuals called by grace, or walking in godliness, of and in the midst of the race -- one of the families and countries of the world -- but one called out of the scene which God Himself had settled. Countries were that order; Abram is to get out of his, and blessing established and settled in him as a stock apart. It is not dealing with Ha-Adam in his responsibility, but positive purpose and grace calling out and conferring a blessing. It is on another principle from man's responsibility.

Then countries are left behind as the things called out of; in the millennium they will be taken up -- all the families of

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the earth (ground) will be blessed; but here blessing is deposited in a called out one -- further, "I will make thee a blessing", nothing more full or complete than this. Did man, or angel, or any, wish to know what a blessing was, look at Abram. "In thee", it is said, "shall Israel bless, saying Jehovah make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh"; he was blessed of God so as to be a model and pattern of blessing; so we, through infinite grace, in a much higher way, that in the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness towards us by Christ Jesus. Hence Paul, in the personal consciousness which we have of it through the Holy Ghost, says, "Would God that not only thou, but all who hear me this day were both almost and altogether such as I am, save these bonds". He was a conscious model of blessing, and that is the true Christian state, nor does any aright, else, truly honour God, when we think of the grace given to us in Christ -- in His own Son; things that angels desire to look into are for us -- a place in Him above creature name -- and not merely glory, but blessed in Him, one with Him and loved as He is loved, and in the same blessed relationship as He is in with the Father.

NOTE. -- In chapters 12, 13 and 14, we have the relationship of the called in the earth with the world; failure is seen, but in general it is "called out" and "leaving it" -- perseverance in heavenly separatedness from it -- leaving, because of the promise, the world to the world, and, in the end, full victory over it, and blessing in it from the Possessor of heaven and earth under Melchizedek. In chapter 15 we have the principles on which, by faith, the called is sustained in going through it, while not enjoying the effect of the promise; while chapter 16 is the failure, and here the earthly people are under oppression of the free but must submit. In chapter 17, the inheritance of the world is brought out by the covenant of circumcision, and Sarah -- the free woman, under the new covenant, is mother of the heir, for He was rejected under the old. Here, mark, however, it was historically a covenant to keep a covenant in the flesh; Israel had to keep it, and execute it, and one who did not would be cut off; it was imposed, the bought servant was to undergo it -- it was his duty. This was connected with faith, i.e., the position of the believer -- he was father of many nations before Him whom he believed, for this hangs on chapter 15 (compare Romans 4); still the word is, "Thou shalt

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keep", chapter 17: 9. Now in Christianity, the seal of faith is a gift -- it is the Holy Spirit, and it is power, "after ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise -- earnest of the inheritance, till the redemption of the purchased possession", and baptism, which has the form of outward recognition, is conferred -- granted, "who can forbid water?" "what doth hinder me to be baptized?" it was more in association with Jewish ground and ways of relationship with God.

The commission in Matthew supposes the residue of Israel all right, and sends out to gather in the Gentiles, all baptizing them according to the new light. Paul, though he owned and submitted to it, for all was to be linked together, was not sent to baptize, but to preach the gospel in power.

Even this, however, did not impose a law on flesh, nor seal a promise by man's act, but implied remission of sins, and deliverance, complete by death and resurrection in Christ -- that immense saving, and divine life-giving boon, which is given through Him.

Hence, though they came under it by the call of God, it was, in form even, a conferred benefit; they were baptized -- the Church baptized them to confer the benefit, and admit them by death and resurrection into its blessings, and standing before God; thus, in ordinance, the character is opposed -- the seal of God is the Holy Spirit. Circumcision is before the birth of the son of the free woman; hence we find it also as to time in connection with the effort to have the promise by law -- the unbelievingness of the vessel of promise -- Sarai.


Now there is giving up because he had his portion; thereon the Lord leads him to the full knowledge of his own portion, this leads to his building a new altar. Now he is finally victorious over the world; this produces no altar, but blessing and praise through the royal priest. Hitherto we had altars -- relationships of faith turning to worship.

-- 3. Bat-t'khil-lah (at the beginning).

-- 4. Barisho-nah (at the first).

There is the true point of return, but no progress; but he returned to the altar there, and there he called on the name

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of Jehovah -- cared for meanwhile, but no calling on the name. The Lord's prayers are as little possible in a strange land as the Lord's songs are unfit.

-- 8, 9. It is a difficult place, where grace must separate; but it always yields as regards self and the world. It gets what its desire would rest in, though only by gracious conduct, the heavenly place and promise. This is not the cross, but the spirit of grace. Self goes necessarily towards judgment, because it does not know itself; all this is very instructive.

When the world and self are given up, the place of promise is more measured and known. Abram was fearful -- it was want of faith. Lot's heart was in the world -- selfish -- it was a sad course with Lot.

-- 10 - 17. The whole picture is striking of Lot and Abraham, but I have considered it elsewhere. Only remark this, that Abraham failed in faith, got into sorrow, and returned; Lot chose the well-watered plain, and got into Sodom, and out of it into sorrow, as through fire.

-- 13. I think "sinners", laY'hovah (before Jehovah) is special; it is not merely "How shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (chapter 39: 9) i.e., a true conscience and the fear of God. It was Jehovah, the Governor, offended and, speaking reverently, disgusted, with the evil, infamous as it was.

-- 14. How beautiful it is from this verse!

-- 18. There are three altars here; God's appearing to him in the land, the regular, natural so to say, habit of communion, sign of the bond of the soul with God. To this he must return on leaving Egypt; he builds no new one -- and consequent upon his survey, and realization of the place and gift of promise. In Egypt, of course, none.

NOTE. -- I do not find any intercourse like that of Abraham with God; Noah's is the most like it after the flood -- there too we find an altar; then there is a present salvation ordered of God -- the altar is to Jehovah. But when the blessing comes, it was Elohim renewing the earth -- the ordering of the condition of the world only -- Jehovah comes in with Shem. Here it is special calling and promise, and revelation of Himself, and intercourse on the ground of it.

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The whole history closes in the end of this chapter, with Melchizedek, and the revelation of God in His final character in time, or dispensation -- Possessor of heaven and earth -- victory after failure -- and full final blessing, and praise, and that in the King of righteousness and King of peace.

-- 2. "That these", better left out.

-- 12. "And he, a dweller in Sodom", is rather emphatic in Hebrew.

-- 14. Grace does not cease to care for the worldly believer, who has got into weakness, though strength be with faith.

-- 19. This is power and its full results, as it will be indeed accomplished. It receives all from the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth; so Abram knows God. There is not an altar here, we are on other ground; Abraham was only prophetically and typically on this ground, but worship is not prophetic. It is the people of God's (Israel's) full victorious blessing in the millennial earth.

From the world's possessor of the earth the believer will take nothing.

-- 22. NOTE. -- Abram, in speaking to the King of Sodom, takes the place of Melchizedek's revelation -- acts on the full results of all, in his ways as to this world. "I have lifted up my hand to the most high God, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take" -- will not give the world an opportunity of saying -- "I have made Abram rich". He who possesses heaven and earth will do, what seems good to Him, with us in this respect. Abram here, with his brother, with the enemy, with the world as such, is above the world -- its master and superior -- morally and really -- Lot under its power; if we enjoy it we are. On Church ground, with Sarah and Pharaoh, he had failed; but he had gone down through trial, not inquiring God's will; it was not taking the world, but his own counsel when tried.

NOTE. -- Abraham gives up the world in liberty -- conquers it in power -- refuses it that he may have everything from God. He is blessed of the most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth.

NOTE. -- While Abram is called by the revelation of the God of glory, and then by God's again appearing to him in the land,

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he gets the ground of worship; with us it is more inward and intimate, though on the same principle; Christ, that bread of God, is revealed in our souls, as the object revealed by the inward working of the Father's drawing, and then our worship is not merely by an outward revelation which calls forth praise and adoration, but we feed on Him slain for our sakes. All the divine love and grace, the perfect obedience which has been shown in Him, dying in love for us, draws out our praise and adoration to the Father who gave Him, and to Him who gave Himself; and the soul is fed by this grace, the heart delighting in it inwardly, and entering into it by the power and working of the Spirit of God. This is evidently a nearer and more intimate thing, hence we see how the Lord's supper allies itself to worship, witnessing too redemption. The glorified Christ is another thing, there we are drawn out after, and see the absolute completeness of the work, and the new place into which we are called.

There was no promise, before Abraham, to any person as an object and depositary of it; there was an object of faith in the judgment of the serpent, as to the promised seed, but there was no person an object of promise. What Christ was to God is to us of infinite interest in this way; for the drawing out of one of deep and admirable affections, and large mental powers, an adequate object is necessary, that all He is may be displayed and in exercise. Now Christ, looked at as an object, was divinely and infinitely so to God and His Father; such was He, that all that was in the Godhead of infinite perfection was necessarily and perfectly drawn out -- what a blessed thought!

NOTE. -- It is into this we are brought, as put in Christ; as love, "that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them", this is only a given case of it -- "that thou hast loved them as thou hast laved me". He is gone to His Father and our Father, His God and our God. When we think how all that God is, must shine out on Christ in glory in the Father's house, and remember that we are there with Him ever, and like Him, we see what the infinite enjoyment of our heavenly place wilt be. What a sweet, blessed, and peaceful portion!

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This is a new order of chapters; the place of faith and triumph has been given as a whole in chapters 12 to 14; here we have God's ways -- promise -- law -- covenant, etc. Historically, the title of God seems founded on the facts of the preceding chapter, and Abraham's conduct; this makes the difference between this chapter and chapter 17 still plainer; here it is Jehovah.

Abraham having conquered the power of the enemy, and refused anything from the world, God is his shield and exceeding great reward; being his he asks for himself and is answered, receiving the promise of the heir, and the limits of the earthly inheritance -- what man down here wanted. God did not appear to Abraham here; the word of the Lord came to him, and he believed it, and he is justified, it is for righteousness to him. It is not worship. Faith is sealed by a covenant for the earth.

The beginning of the chapter seems a reply to the renouncement of chapter 14; this gives a character also to what follows. The intervention of God was from Himself, not a reply, so that the other questions were awakened.

God reveals what He is in Himself to Abraham -- his defence and portion for ever -- but His grace leading out the desires, and meeting the condition of man also, assured all that in grace.

There is His word for the positive, conferred blessing; destitute man finds His righteousness in faith in it; being God's word he believes it, notwithstanding all in himself which would make it impossible through weakness -- impossibility of submitting to the sentence of condemnation, and the greatness of sin causing doubt as to grace. Further, the Lord volunteers to recall his attention to Himself being concerned in it in grace (verse 7), "I am Jehovah that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it" -- I came to you, when a poor idolater, with the purpose and intention, and your lot depends on grace and purpose, not on your strength or condition -- it did not then -- it does not now -- I had the purpose when I visited you in your misery, when you had not even the desire for it.

Next, Jehovah encourages him by binding Himself now by the solemnity of His own act, in which it was impossible for Him to deny Himself, or lie as a man would by a similar

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solemn covenant; He passes between the pieces of the victim.

But more, the value of the Sacrifice, its moral claim, its title, to set aside which God must deny Himself -- not be Himself, which is established by Himself, and which is between Him and Christ, so that Christ would not have what has infinite claim for what it is -- divine righteousness, which He should have (see John 17 and John 12); the whole power of that which is founded on what God is, is now engaged in securing the blessing. This is wonderful truth!

God has graciously entered into this -- given us this assurance -- but the same necessity of His nature which rejects sin -- the same truth which cannot fail -- the same righteousness which cannot fail -- the moral obligation which flows from His nature in the highest possible way -- is engaged in the blessing. It, relatively and repulsively, in its negative effect, rejected firstly, necessarily, sin -- a sinner; but in its positive, and powerful reality of nature, will, and righteousness, and debt to Christ, now secures the blessing. It has so voluntarily acted to secure me, and make me happy, but it has acted in manifesting itself in the work of Christ, and cannot afterwards deny itself; it is between Christ and God, though to my security, profit and joy.

He has passed between the pieces, the sacrifice of Christ, the offering of Himself up to death; it is the sacrifice He despises, that is, morally, Himself, whose character has been perfectly glorified in it, if there is not perfect security of blessing. What a wonderful grace, and condescension is this! Yet God is glorified in it, and in Himself in it.

Then there is another thing, man's nature, such as we are, can have no part in it; hence it involves death as to this, He brings us out into another scene and state where we enjoy the profit. Abraham passes under the horror of great darkness, and sleep, to come under the promise of blessing, and receive it, in this way of severity. Christ therefore has, in accomplishing this, died, and risen again to enjoy and enter into it.

Death must pass upon nature, when God gives blessings, secured according to His, in righteousness; this also becomes real deliverance from sin. God becomes (is in this and becomes) the light (of life), and the furnace of His people, to consume all that connects with the life of sin.

It is a wonderful display of God's ways and dealings, basing blessing on Himself, in connection with sinners, through the

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work and sacrifice of Christ Himself; the Holy Ghost realizes all this in our souls. Romans and Galatians, in a more elementary way, are just the development of this, and the doctrine in them as found elsewhere in Paul; other consequences are attached to it in connection with the Person and title of Him who wrought it.

The driving away the birds (verse 11) seems the guarding the perfectness of the Victim of sacrifice from all contamination or imperfection; the living, working Christ as man does this, for Abraham is the living dying man.

We have here an entirely new thought or principle; hayah d'var Y'hovah el Av'ram, "the word of Jehovah was to Abram". The God of glory had appeared to him, and spoken (chapter 12), but now there was an express word or revelation, a communication of God's intention and mind.

It is all prophetic announcement; d'var (word of) Jehovah, not personal relationship.

-- 2. Adonai Jehovah.

-- 4. Here again d'var [Y'hovah] elav lemor, "the word was to him, saying", in this faith is manifested, Abram he-emin ba-hovah (believed Jehovah).

NOTE. -- It is not when Jehovah appeared, but when the word of the Lord came to Abram, that he believed, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

-- 6. Better, I think, as Paul interprets, to translate here "believed the Lord"; there is b' (in) in Hebrew, but the verb with it has scarcely this force.

-- 7. "And He said, I am Jehovah"; the davar (word) was Jehovah who had too made him go out from Ur of the Chaldees.

Now too Jehovah makes a covenant with him.

We have not the davar (word of) Jehovah again till 1 Samuel 3:1, 7, 21, which makes it more remarkable; in verse 21, it is formally distinguished, Jehovah spoke to him (Samuel) bid'var (by the word of) Jehovah. After Genesis 15, and Samuel, and to Nathan, 2 Samuel 7:4, we find it with Solomon when at Gibeon, 1 Kings 6:11 -- 1 Kings 12:22, Shemaiah; and with the prophets regularly, particularly Jeremiah and Ezekiel; in Daniel not, save in reference to Jeremiah. Psalm 33:6, is remarkable, even if it cannot necessarily be made personal, because we have davar (word) and ruakh (spirit), Isaiah 30:33, is nish'math (breath).

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-- 13. It is clear that either in the 400 years, all are from that time to the exodus, or that 100 years is the equivalent of a generation. In the fourth generation they shall return, Ya-shu-vu (they shall come again), verse 16 seems from Egypt where they had gone down. Abram's portion is parenthetically in verse 18; but verse 13 applies to his seed, and the "serving" to the Egyptians, for the nation that subjected them to it God would judge, verse 14.

Then the 400 years comes in question, that is, whether it is directly found in-nu (they shall afflict) or not; it is not by the accents; Athnakh comes before it, then it would be "up to 400 years hence"; however, this I still leave in doubt. There is no reason to confine ger (a stranger) in a nation not theirs to Egypt, and if so, the 400 years becomes simple, only it is what we call round numbers. The two events occupy 400 years; the fourth generation would then be the stay in Egypt; "returning hither" clearly does not refer to a sojourn in the land. The only question would be on b'eretz lo la-hem (in a land not theirs).

The Mal'a'k (Angel of) Jehovah, (is not this the first time we have had it?) is distinctly called "Jehovah".

We are here, not in the large principles of moral good and evil, and God's ordering of the world, but of man's ways as within the calling of God; man's, or woman's, workings and plannings, and the result in God's hand. The only person who was any way right, save despising her mistress, for which she suffered, was Hagar, and to her an Angel -- messenger from Jehovah, speaks; not to any one else in the chapter. Abram accepts it, and gives the name pointed out.

But Mal'a'k Jehovah seems an inferior manifestation to Jehovah's own visitation; the ye-ra Jehovah (Jehovah appeared) as chapter 12: 7, and as we learn from Acts 7, already in Ur of the Chaldees, and again in chapter 17: 1; in chapter 15 we have another form of revelation -- the word of the Lord d'var (word of) Jehovah was to Abram in a vision, ma-khazeh. The Lord's appearing seems more present relationship; it produces worship, or familiar intercourse, communion in confidence and intercession according to its nature. At first such a revelation as led Abram to God, chapter 12; it is not said "appeared", indeed it is passed over as already done, for Terah had taken Abram before; it is only in chapter 12: 4, that he moves "as the Lord had said". The word of the Lord being in a vision, produces faith in what is said.

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This chapter is evidently law, but the delay of promise to want of faith gives to flesh the occasion of putting itself on this ground. God uses it to raise the question of righteousness -- to judge flesh; it must return back to promise in submission of will. Israel under law, Abraham's seed according to flesh, God does not give up; not only promise was before law, but, for flesh, law must come after promise, because flesh takes up law, in self confidence, to obtain the hope of promise.

Here chapter 15 is the promise; the manner of its accomplishment, in divine grace and power, is not yet revealed, nor is it until God reveals Himself in chapter 17, after law. Christ may be known after the flesh; but as Sarai was the state, no fruit of promise by divine power; yet Abram acts on flesh's impatience to have it, according to flesh's desire, in its own way.

In a certain sense Ishmael answered to chapter 15: 4, but it was all flesh's doing. Under promise, Israel according to flesh will have inheritance, but it is not in the place of Sarah and Abraham, the heavenly glory over the Gentiles; in itself, in chapter 21, it is cast out, and cannot be heir, it will come in no doubt under grace. Even in chapter 15, it was promise according to desire; in chapter 17 according to Elohim's own full purpose, and direct revelation of Himself; chapter 15, we have seen, however, met faith, only Abram did not, in reply, rise above want.

NOTE. -- Up to the end of chapter 15, we have promises fully, and a covenant for earthly promises as to Israel, and government, the smoking lamp, and the furnace. But the development of the seed is after the entering into relationship by express revelation, and the consecration of Abraham to Himself by God by circumcision -- the judgment, though here only partial, of the flesh; before this we have the earthly seed, which is according to law -- Hagar, which God takes care of providentially, but which is not the true personal son of promise in grace.

Note further, this is not the leading to faith by grace; it was the seal of faith, as we have the Holy Ghost as a seal -- the special relationship in which Abraham had to walk with God.

It is not until chapter 17: 19 that we have the personal seed; the promises to the seed, and to the land are confirmed, and will surely be accomplished, but the personal seed is nominally

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revealed to the exclusion of the legal seed, though the former must be born for it to be carried out.

Historically we are on earth, and it goes on so, but in principle we are getting out of flesh -- promise and circumcision, or rather circumcision and promise, with known relationship, and communion, by the revelation of God Himself, are brought in. What God is, is made the ground of relationship -- hence, note, communion.

Remark further, Lot was never circumcised; circumcision is not simply believing, though it be the true place of every believer now. Israel was circumcised when they had crossed the Jordan, as remarked elsewhere, not in the wilderness. Lot, though he left Ur, was, as to his own faith, not separate from the world, on the contrary, connected himself with it -- was a believer in the world. Circumcision, in its full import, takes out of the flesh; we have died with Christ, and cannot be consequently alive in the world.

The reproach of Egypt was rolled away at Gilgal; hence, circumcision comes after chapter 15, which connected Abram with this world, in promise; then we have the heir, as an immediate promise, and the judgment of the world, but God in communion with Abraham about it. This gives the character of chapters 17 and 18; millennial promise may come in, but founded on death and resurrection.


In this chapter we have again God, and here it is not only historical, but there is special ground for so taking it; for instead of a Mosaic, i.e., a divinely given apprehension of it according to the then knowledge of Jehovah, it is what then passed as it passed, and was the communication by God Himself of another kind of knowledge -- that of God Almighty -- Elohim revealing Himself as El Shaddai, as in Exodus 6:3. But though Jehovah did this, and Jehovah did that, as Moses and Israel, here the one true God, and it was important that Israel should understand that their Jehovah was not a particular god, but the one true Elohim. Yet it was not with them of old Jehovah, known as such to Israel, "Jehovah" did and said so and so; God had that name, what its import is is another question, but it was their knowledge of Him as to themselves;

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it is a revelation of what Elohim was -- the Absolute, ever-existing One; not merely "I am" (abstract existence), but perpetual existence. Hence One who went on, as to men and lives, with His purpose, could be counted on for promise. In actual governmental dealings with men He could not be simply Elohim, that is God in His nature, whereas as Jehovah, He governs -- is something in connection with men -- has descended into relationship and dealing; and hence it was important to see that He, Elohim, who said "I am El Shaddai", which was being something, and putting Himself into relationship, was Jehovah; and here the New Testament speaks as clearly, in that it was in the Person of the Son. Thus this chapter is "Elohim", and chapters 18 and 19, "Jehovah".

-- 1. God appears to Abraham and reveals Himself, and that by the name by which He declares to Moses He was made known to him, and to the patriarchs, Isaac and Jacob. This has a new character, it is not worship, nor an altar, but communion, a still higher, as it seems to me, and more blessed thing; Abraham falls on his face, and Elohim talks with him, having declared His special name of relationship. He then unfolds all His purposes, and the death of the flesh is brought in. But hereon Abraham (chapter 18) receives the visit of the Lord with two angels; the Lord abides with him as a guest, Abraham knowing Him, but saying nothing to Him, as the Lord, when all the rest were there, the Angels and Sarah. The son is promised as soon to come, and then God reveals His purpose as to the world, treating Abraham as His friend; hereupon Abraham acts on this ground, he is alone with Him, and he pleads with Him -- intercedes for others. There is the confidence produced by this revelation of Himself by God, and the communications which followed, and, while owning Him as Judge of all the earth, yet a counting on mercy and goodness -- no asking for self -- not merely worship, but intimacy, communion, and intercession; and Elohim went up, when He had done communing with Abraham. This is surely of another character from the building of an altar, and more blessed, though worship will have its place in heaven. But surely this will not cease, though a display of friendship, in condescension like this, may have no place.

NOTE. -- That after stating that it was Jehovah which appeared, it is always "Elohim" -- God in Himself, as such; it is wholly on the ground of His sovereign purpose and action.

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It is ett'nah (I will make, lit. give), not ka-rath (he made, lit. cut); grace more simply and obligingly. It is not merely here the Lord appeared, and said something, and then Abram builds an altar, but He appears to reveal Himself, saying, "I am", so and so, "walk before me", so that Abram fell on his face as a present thing; and then God not simply yo-mer (said), but talked with him y'dab-ber itto (talked with him). The covenant is given, is, and is established liv'rith olam (for an everlasting covenant).

-- 3. Abraham does not ask in answer to "thy", which characterized chapter 15, but is on his face, and Elohim talks with him. God cannot reveal Himself, and be only to a nation; this we see in Christ even down here, though He may be to a nation in His own wise, sovereign will.

-- 7, 8. I think we get here a covenant with the seed -- and Abraham -- to be a God to them, i.e., to Abraham, and his seed.

-- 8. To be their God in the land; this last consequently is, "I will be to them for God", i.e., as coming into possession of the land, though it was given to Abraham; so, before, it was "to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after thee", here only lahem (their).

-- 9. Remark how it here begins afresh with Elohim, as a fresh starting point with man in Abraham, which is to be noted, not as in relationship.

-- 10. This seal of righteousness and the covenant is founded on chapter 15 -- the righteousness of God.

-- 12. Surely the eighth day signifies that circumcision is in resurrection, not in nature, hence after Jordan was passed.

-- 16. "Also" -- but in verse 19, "indeed".

-- 17 - 19. God seems to accept the faith of Abraham, and Abraham's laughter in his heart gives a name to his son -- Isaac, laughter; it was the simplicity of heart in the unexpected glad tidings; Sarah's -- for God can discern -- was incredulous, mocking satisfaction.

-- 20, 21. Ishmael does not belong to this chapter, but he is blessed in it as a son of Abraham, and so loved, but he is no co-heir; that cannot be, all that flows from a higher source. Circumcision was not instituted when he was born -- it was life in flesh; but he is circumcised now, for the sure mercies of David can only be through resurrection. Abraham and all take this place now that it is God's revelation of Himself; but

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it is connected with the revelation of Himself before the heir comes.

-- 22. God went up from him; He was talking with Abraham, and went only when He had finished, and Abraham could present the desires of his heart to Elohim, and had a full answer, but God had His own purpose.

-- 23. Abraham's obedience was blessedly prompt. It is, though in the flesh, yet a bright scene; all that belonged to him, all his house, are subjected to God's covenant.

The position of Abraham (and so of every believer) seems to me a very blessed one. He is the one in whom God centres and deposits blessing, and that from which blessings flow out to others without. Now this is the very character of God, only that in Him it is essential and original -- it is Himself; while in us, of course, it is Him. God is the centre of all blessing, and in Him, and in His nature, blessing is, but it is by grace deposited in the believer, and flows out from him; he dwelling in love, dwells in God, and God in him; he loves therefore because divine love is shed abroad in his heart -- what a place to be in! Christ the fulness of it in man, but we entering into it in Him.

In the circumstances in which this has place in Abraham, God had, on the manifestation of pride in man, settled them in divers countries by languages; they were not merely dispersed, but, in Peleg's days, the earth was divided -- the earth was arranged and ordered under God. Now Abraham is called out of what God had settled, to be to Himself, and so the depositary of blessing. It was not the Adam race (ha-Adam) in its responsibility, but the active, self-originated, and originating grace of God, which called out one to be the head of a new race in grace, to Himself; and as the place and family of blessing -- Abraham's seed (now a spiritual seed, another connection with Christ no doubt) on the failure of the natural because it was flesh, and according to purpose, but still as Abraham's seed, the family of blessing. This is an immense and most important principle.

There are three principles or characters of revelation; first, the personal dealings and relationship, as in chapter 12, Jehovah calling -- revealing Himself in the land -- appearing to Abraham, so as to draw him out in various ways, in relationship to Himself. Next the word of the Lord; and this was the foundation of faith, on which righteousness was counted. Then

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God, as such, for now Abraham could be righteously before Him, puts Abraham in a known position of covenant standing, as a system of blessing in grace to him and to his seed, and he has the seal of the righteousness which is by faith. God here talks with Abraham and he gets his dispensational place.

Remark well the character of the different revelations to Abraham in chapters 15 and 17. The first is what God is for Abraham, and Abraham asks what he is to have; the Lord in grace tells him this. But in chapter 17 God says what He is, the name by which He makes Himself known, and thereon it will be found that, though God gives the present hope of the heir, Abraham's place is not to ask for himself, but that of communion with God -- God talks with him -- eats with him, and, though reverently, Abraham is familiarly in intercourse with Him, and then, according to this position, intercedes for others. This is a sweet and important difference.

This chapter gives a new and very wide ground. No doubt it is still Jehovah, but it is not appearing in covenant and personal relationships in gracious dealings. It is Elohim Himself all through; the relationship name -- as with us, Father -- is a sweet thing, and we come in our personal relationship, under it we have access to the Father. But God is God, and does what He pleases in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; here He reveals Himself as El Shaddai -- Elohim talked with Abram. He does not take the name Jehovah with him, though it was Jehovah, but of God Almighty, so Abram falls on his face, yet He talks with him -- so Sarah is not my princess -- that was with man -- but princess.

Here only Abraham is fully put in his place, not his personal place of blessing -- that is in chapter 12 -- but full relation place towards others -- nations -- seed -- land -- and God Himself, as of God. He is the Adam of blessing towards those below him, as he was of responsibility -- the father of us all before God; that, Adam never was -- he was the father of us all driven out from God -- only now of course it is spiritually and in Christ. That is Galatian doctrine and Romans 4, yet Paul there treats the covenant of this chapter as founded, as regards Abraham, on the faith of chapter 15 -- quod nota. But this refers to the righteousness -- God takes this place with a personally accepted one, and that was by the word of Jehovah -- it was faith.

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This chapter is a different relative place in the communications of God, consequent on the place of faith.

Note, in all this chapter, Abraham never calls the Lord "Jehovah", here it was not the name of relationship. In chapters 12 and 13 his altars are to Jehovah, and again at Beersheba he calls on the name of Jehovah; so in chapter 15: 2. But here in this closer communion and intercourse with God, founded on his walking in covenant relationship, in his own place as set of God in the earth, it is Adonai.

The mystery is evidently intentional here, and the perception of faith, and the already exercised spiritual mind in Abraham, instructive and divine. He knew he had to do with One who visited him thus, but, till the Lord reveals Himself, he acts towards Him in the way He comes; this was true deference, and heavenly propriety, and he receives the fruit in the Lord's gracious familiarity with him on this ground -- a significant anticipation of Christ's presence. From verse 9 onwards the Lord blesses him, in revealing Himself, according to and as a reward of -- as meeting -- this instinctive perception of who it was. Under the Spirit's power, we always do what is fitting.

From verse 22, Abraham deals openly with the Lord, then alone with him, on the full known ground of what He is. All this is exceedingly beautiful. What a thought -- to receive the Lord thus! -- it was Martha's privilege, without the cumbering, and hence the communion besides.

It is evident also that true intimacy is exercised when alone, and so it is here, and what a place this gives!

When judgment is announced as to the world, the immediate giving of the Son is made known to faith.

In this chapter we have no doubt Abraham's place, and contrasted with Lot's, but the patient goodness of God, in government, is brought out, more than Abraham, at the end.

-- 2. It would seem that the three men stood suddenly by him, nitztzavim alav (stood by him).

-- 3. Abraham only speaks to One -- "in thy sight"; there was discernment, but no intrusion into their secret.

-- 4,5. This is all in the plural. The Angels would have known the discernment of the saint. Then all enters into the apparent form, and this continues to verse 9.

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-- 9. It is not that all spoke, but it was not Jehovah testimony.

-- 10. Here it is again the revelation of Jehovah given by the inspired writer. The name of Isaac (laughter) is from Abraham's laughter; however Sarah may have disbelieved, Abraham fell adoringly on his face, owning the communications of the Lord, not so Sarah. How very different is what seems like in the things of God! But in spite of Israel's unbelief, God's purpose will be accomplished. (See Psalm 126.)

There is wonderful depth in this passage. It seems clear the Word takes up the declaration here, being a word of promise; also it is Jehovah in verse 1, and I suppose in verse 3 it is Jehovah, or else it is a common titular name of Christ as the Supreme God, and particularly connected with the Jewish people. In verse 5 it is "they" said -- Abraham compelled doubtless in his mind by the Spirit, addresses (them) as Jehovah or Adonai, and says "favour in thine eyes"; all personal acts are placed plural -- "your feet" -- "ye have come" -- "your servant"; that which recognised Jehovah, singular -- "Thy sight" -- so in their acts -- "they did eat" -- "they said" -- and "He said returning, I will return" -- we shall see more concerning it afterwards.

-- 13. Here we have Jehovah Himself, directly.

-- 14. For Abraham, Sarah's unbelief is only an occasion of confirming his faith; this also is blessed. Sarah did not fail to see that the Lord spake, but there was the unbelief of heart which thinks of flesh.

Our poor unbelief is very often a reason for the Lord confirming His word in mercy, yet were we happier in Him in simple faith -- "speak the word". The passage is singularly beautiful.

-- 17. The portion of the believing Church of God.

When the Lord has promised the Son -- the seed of blessing and laughter -- in the old age of the Church, He looks or turns towards Sodom, nor does the unbelief of the Church alter His purpose concerning it. Shall the Church also not be afraid to laugh? But the Lord shall make it laugh. Indeed Abraham is constantly used I think for the men (people) who compose the Church, and Sarah for the Church subjectively, or in the abstract -- Abraham, the men as acted in by the Spirit (failing or not).

-- 20. The Lord declares the cry of Sodom, and He going down to see -- Abraham enquires -- recognising the righteousness

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of judgment, pleads righteousness in sparing for any's sake -- then the Lord instructs us in the measure of His (accurate) judgment in reply.

-- 25. Abraham clearly treats Him here distinctly as God -- the Judge of all the earth would do right.

The place of Abraham is communion with the Lord about the judgment -- Lot is only saved, by his interference, out of it -- but Abraham was where he stood before the Lord -- it was the top of the mountain whence he saw the smoke of the plain going up; and mystically this place is Heaven, for God says to Abraham there, "I will go down and see" -- and that is the place of intercession -- of the Church in spirit.

What a wondrous passage this is! It appears, certainly to me, that Jehovah appeared and talked, but that it was He only who alone reveals Jehovah, who was the man of those three thus associated with Him as the messengers of His service -- for He is Lord of angels. Yet we know that He has had Angels strengthening Him, and He sends them here -- the executors of His judicial power, compare Matthew 13:41, for it is the Son revealed who is the executor, the Father judging no man, but committing all judgment to the Son -- and He, as Man, will here exercise this judgment; I certainly do think also more particularly that Abraham represents here the saints, and Lot the Jews, though what else, I say not here. There was some good in Lot, though he was in Sodom; there was the sense of evil, and hence he did not lose the good -- he liked to have it with him -- I do not say it was the only motive, the apostle commends it in Hebrews.

But what that in Benjamin should be formed the sin of Sodom!

We are admitted to the Lord's thoughts by revelation; only leaving that, He treats Abraham as His friend, and I think that, though verses 20, 21 are an abstract revelation, yet the place they are introduced shows that, as to the nature of the communications, the Lord, though with Abraham who was on earth, was on His own heavenly ground, not gone down to earth in judgment, and to judge; this is important as the place of intercession. Only the Lord knew of course what He would do, and the two men -- angels -- had gone on their way, but faith's heavenly intercourse with the Lord, however imperfect, is within all that.

Note well, this is all connected with chapter 17; it is not as

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in chapter 15, God for us in our wants, which ends, in all cases, in what we are on earth. It is God with us -- hence revealing Himself -- hence grace in us does not ask for self, but intercedes for others; it has already all from God, according to His delight, only chapter 17 is sovereign purpose, as Elohim is minded to have it; this chapter (18) is gracious communication -- the Lord dealing with Abraham as with a friend. In one, Jehovah is Elohim Shaddai -- blessed that He is so! -- in the other, He is, though Jehovah, still as a Man as near in intercourse, and revealing all, as He is solemn in judgment. And note, in treating Abraham as a friend, He does not tell him what concerns himself, but what is in His own mind concerning others. This is the Church's place -- the Christian's -- this is what we do with a friend -- how singularly blessed! surely more than "What wilt thou give me?" though that has its place.

The Lord's own most patient grace in judgment is also shown both in verse 21, and in the intercession. Abraham never says "Jehovah", but "Adonai"; Abraham was not in his place, as at home on earth, when he pleaded with the Lord; he was with Jehovah in the way of faith -- we may say a heavenly way. He returned to his place -- the home of nature; there he had received the Lord, but in his communing and intercession, he was before the Lord, where the Lord had taken him.

One can scarce believe the extent of intercession, or patience of God's grace and gracious ear; but there is however "once more" -- yet the Lord more righteous than that -- note however the language of verses 30 and 32 -- most wondrous!

Then -- what a scene! -- but how great the patience.

It is something like 2 Corinthians 12, where we begin with the third heaven, verse 2, and end with vile conversation, verses 20, 21, yet in Christians; here mainly, the world.


We have here the wretched picture, not only of the grossest wickedness, but of the moral consequence to the saint of getting into such a place; think of Lot saying "my brethren", and offering his daughters. Where sin is not a horror, there is companionship and friendliness.

There is nothing here at all of the ease and familiarity of

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Jehovah's intercourse with Abraham; this is all the ways of Jehovah.

On the whole this is a sad scene. The believer, if in the world, would have importance in it -- do good; he sits in the gate -- the gate of Sodom! But Lot is not easy at being found there, he acts as at ease, but he would hinder the strangers from knowing what a place they had found him in; it is no use, he takes it on himself, uses atrocious means, for what could he do against them? Power delivers him, that is all. These are Jehovah's ways in relationship with men; it is not Elohim here; note from verse 17, it is practically referred directly to the Lord, "He said", so verse 21 -- and verse 29, we find Elohim; they are God's ways, and judgment. We have noticed the general case elsewhere.

-- 1. See the place Lot found himself in -- the place of society and the worldly place, but it was not Jehovah he met. I suppose there was right feeling, and discernment however; his soul was righteous, but fleshly interest had brought him where he heard it (2 Peter 2:7), and to no purpose.

-- 6, 7. What a picture of the falseness of his place. How strange he could have rested there; and akhay (my brethren)!

-- 8. I think there was the desire to avoid, with respectable strangers, the perception of the company he was in. It is dreadful, and such an offer.

-- 11. I suppose this shows very persevering wickedness; no sense of God's hand upon them.

-- 14. Content -- every point must be dwelt upon in this chapter -- sorrowful, yet merciful (verse 19), so most instructive.

-- 20. Lot's seeking to save Zoar seems a terrible proof of moral low estate. Grace indeed is wonderfully shown, but that this wonderful intervention of grace should not have led him to joyful obedience to the Angel's word!

-- 21. Though accepted and borne with, how he clings to the city, and the plain. He believed the testimony as a fact, but in no way enters into the spirit of it, or he would not have sought one of the cities; he escapes, that is all. The true place of Abraham -- faith -- he is afraid of.

-- 27. Note; one sees the judgment in the place where one has been in communion -- for us heaven.

-- 29. Note that it is Elohim here; the historical fact as to God's dealings; otherwise intercourse and dealings with Jehovah.

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-- 30. Judgment is so near what mercy has spared that Lot flees from it. The judgment of the world he recognizes, but he never himself judges the spirit of it.

-- 31. There were plenty of men in the earth, but so unbelief calculates.

What lessons his daughters had learnt in Sodom!

Even before this, it was for Abraham's sake Lot was delivered.

God in judgment and government could not think of Lot with satisfaction; he was righteous, He did deliver him, He knows how -- yea, the evil enhances His grace in doing it, but "God remembered Abraham" (verse 29).

It is a sad and terrible picture; his pleading for Zoar is an expression of utter prostration as to faith.

There cannot be a more terrible picture of the fruit of connection with a godless world than this history, and see how the world is infected by it -- a stain upon the moral feeling. What details of the case there are!

-- 37, 38. "Unto this day" -- this gives a dismal sense of what the world is. Sin perpetuates itself till judgment comes in, and gives the sense of a world infected by it, and which has its history from it; and we know this -- not that the mind dwells on it as occupying it, for our own place is with Abraham on the mountain -- with our Father in heaven.

But if I think of this world, I must in truth know it thus. And note, this was after deliverance; faith and confidence in God had been destroyed -- sunk in dissoluteness of moral feeling.


I think this refers to Jewish position before the manifestation of Messiah. It is not the place of faith, but the contrary, but then, while Israel is in the power of the world, God preserves the nation for Himself and for the time when "to us a Son is born". It is elsewhere remarked that the woman is the state, and the man the conduct in general in types of this kind. The Gentile power is not looked at as hostile here, but as in a false position in respect of the people of God.

Though the typical and spiritual import of this chapter may have its place here -- and I believe historically it has been

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doubted of old time -- not only was Sarah very old, but chapters 17: 24 and 21: 5, show that it was within the year she bore Isaac (if the chapter be according to date), but it may be early in it; if not, chapter 12, between verses 8 and 9, may be the place.

It is all so very sad; besides the judgment of the world, and saving God's people out of it, which is simple enough, I do not quite understand. Historically, as to those Israel was in connection with, it is very clear, i.e., as to its object. I see the care of God over His people, even when they are in evil, and failure, as of Lot, and Abraham in Philistia; this is most gracious, "He suffered no man to do them wrong", but, I apprehend there must be more figurative, and dispensational truth in it.

-- 3. With Abimelech it is "Elohim".

-- 4. Lord is "Adonai".

-- 18. It is Jehovah again. The divine government in relationship with Abraham.

I think I see the position of Abimelech clearer, which was something obscure and undefined. Chapter 14 closes the history of Abram proper with victory and Melchizedek; chapter 15 supplements it by the promise of an heir of his own bowels, but in connection with Israel, the numerous seed, and the covenant of the land -- still a seed is spoken of; chapter 16 is the effort to have it according to the flesh before the time -- the Hagar, and legal principle; chapter 17 begins a fresh revelation -- God is revealed to Abraham as Shaddai, and he the father of many nations -- still we are on the ground of the seed here; chapter 18, the Lord visits Abraham and the personal seed, Isaac, is promised as an immediate expectation -- the Church's place in communion with God on the mountain, and the judgment of the world revealed -- God treating him as His friend -- the spirit of intercession. Then comes the deliverance of Israel, but through the fire, just escaped -- in principle, the believer mixed up with the world. In Abimelech we have the power of the world; Abraham and Sarah deny the true place of Sarai -- the Church loses its place and the expectation of the promised seed; it is taken under the protection, into the home, of the king of this world. All goes on as if no promised seed was in present expectation; only God takes care of it all. Though unjustifiable in a sense, yet the world did it in integrity; but God takes care where man's faith does not, and all is kept

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for the promised seed, but Abraham and Sarah are both reproved. There is more faithfulness in the world's power than in them. The Church (Christians) has lost here then its present true place and relationship, and expectation of the promised seed. In what follows, the seed is born; the seed according to the flesh -- Israel under the law -- the system, and all born after the flesh, done with. That part of what had to say apparently and fleshlily to the root of promise, goes to Egypt. But now Abraham has the upper hand of Abimelech, and reproves him, and Abimelech, and the world's power, seek him because God is with him, and he plants a grove, takes possession of the land with his altar, and this is the everlasting God -- "His mercy has endured for ever". But it is a grove instead of a tent, for, besides the deeply instructive principles, Israel is always in view; hence also Beersheba. But now other truths as to the seed must come in, and to the one seed, which is Christ, always in view, but here distinctively.


-- 1. We have in the ways and faithfulness of Jehovah in promise, His name brought out.

Then all the dealings historically are Elohim; Elohim had spoken, not man; Elohim, in mercy, heard the voice of the lad; Elohim could not allow the bondwoman's seed to inherit.

Note here how we have the origines gentium, no doubt in the family of Shem. The Ishmaelites, as is known, characterise whole countries to this day, but they were allied with Ham, and Egypt; here his mother and wife were Egyptians. Now that Isaac has his true place as sure and only heir, Abraham recognises Jehovah, the God of the full future of purpose, the El o-lam (God everlasting). This helps to the khay-yey o-lam (life everlasting); Daniel 12:2. Only the now incarnate and glorified Christ gives other elements of it.

This chapter brings in the heir and that is clear enough; the fleshly heir is cast out, the seed of Hagar, only as Abraham's seed there is earthly blessing. The world recognises Abraham as the one blessed of God, and here we come to earthly and so Jewish title, yet by the manifested seed.

-- 33. This was a kind of pledge of the possession of the land, as also the tide he gives Jehovah. He was Jehovah olam

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for a future day yet hidden, save in promise; Beersheba was literally the bounds of the land.

-- 33, 34, is a sort of taking into possession of the land or earth, and the name of God refers to that; He is Jehovah, the El olam, the God of Might for ever, for the yet hidden future.

Note this; the conduct of the believer -- as under the blessing in the land wherein he is a stranger, not having so much as to set his foot on -- and Isaac, not in the same strength of blessing, yields -- in principle right and alike, but not exercising the same spiritual energy -- not in the same power of blessing. Is it connected with what goes before?


First we have, up to this, the path of faith and promise in various forms, and degrees, and failure; and I think the person of the seed as of promise, all that connected itself with Christ's Person, and in the divine power of life. Now the ground, sacrifice and resurrection; promises given up, looked at as connected with flesh, and promise to one in it.

NOTE. -- It begins with Elohim dealing with man, and then brings in Jehovah dealing with the faithful one, founded on the perfect work done to glorify Him, and the blessing attached to the risen seed.

-- 8, 9. The calmness of Abraham is lovely.

Note here, that Isaac is not slain and laid on the altar but laid on the altar to be slain -- in this, more exactly like Christ No doubt there was the fear of God, but what wonderful intimacy what passed at the offering up of Isaac must have given to Abraham. First, God's calling him to such entire self-devotedness to Himself, to give up everything nearest heart to Him, and thus be to Himself, not for another; then withal to trust Him, for the promises were given up and Jehovah trusted for them.

NOTE. -- God tempts (tries), as such, but the consequent promises are from the Lord. But all promises, as flesh could trust in them, were given up to and for God; this puts him in a very peculiar place -- a place of intimacy -- and into which he was brought by God, by His own will to Himself -- a wonderful place!

The confirmation to the seed is noticed elsewhere.

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The whole scene is beautiful, yet solemn; a wonderful act of resigned obedience, and unreserved giving up of self to God, and trust in Him. It was meant as a test, and to bring this out, a fit testimony to Him who did it in far other depths, but a blessed testimony. We have both blessings here united through the seed, and not only promise, but through obedience. It is evident too we are here with wholly a new starting point; Elohim is taking new ground, and as Elohim, in absolute surrender to Himself, accomplished in Christ, and thus takes Himself, "By myself have I sworn", as the sure and immutable ground of blessing, and blessing to Gentiles in the seed. It is in this respect a very important chapter; it is founded on God's nature and righteousness, passed (here in figure) the whole sphere of evil, and in righteousness entered into a new one, which must answer too to the worth of that righteousness, and drawing from God what His own nature could give according to that, yet from Himself as its origin and source, though in righteousness and holiness, fruit of His own nature, counsel, and will, yet saying "because" as Christ too Himself has said both in terms, and laying the ground for it. The scene in itself is of wonderful simplicity.

This chapter seems also the trial of the Church; as possessed by the Spirit, the Church is the man, as in service and affection, and corporately the woman.

Can any doubt the blessed beauty of the covenant-sacrifice of the Son, though there be more in principle in it, i.e., being a principle, it contains more. Thus God's relinquishment, i.e., Christ's of Jewish laughter, to have resurrection joy -- and the Church's also -- bitter as it may seem, all hang on this example of God, shown in the sacrifice and surrender of Christ. So Sarah's laughter of unbelief is God's laughter of joy, for He chooses the weak things.


-- 1. Abraham therefore about 147 years old.

In the noble manners and sentiments of patriarchal simplicity, we have the great truth that Abraham, having the heir and all promises, had nothing here below, but must buy a sepulchre to bury his dead out of his sight, that is all he had a present possession in the earth.

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I certainly think that this is the passing away of the spouse of the unrisen Lord (Israel under the old covenant in flesh), to make way for the spouse of the risen One, that has to leave her country like Abraham (we are not here in the type of Sarah and Hagar) but after the offering up of Isaac.

-- 4. How, where there is faithfulness, the consciousness of our true position, given of God, is carried with us in the most ordinary circumstances, and shows itself as a witness of truth for God -- a burying place in righteousness, but that was all.

NOTE. -- We are here after the sacrifice and resurrection of Isaac in figure, and Abraham is a stranger in the land; Sarah (mother of Isaac) is gone, and Abraham knows the God of heaven and earth, as seen below, and a bride sought for Isaac, who is not to go back to the world Abraham was called out of.


The positive prohibition to bring Isaac down to the country Abraham had left, and seeking a spouse for him in the place of promise (heaven), by the mission of Eleazar, spoken of elsewhere already, and Rebekah taking the place of Sarah -- the Church instead of Israel.

-- 3. Here Abraham attributes to God His full title of glory in heaven and earth. There was to be no connection with the rejected race -- with the world in which he dwelt a stranger. It enhances the Melchizedek title (not state) of God, and according to Colossians and Ephesians 1, but there fulfilled in Christ. The whole title as a sphere of glory is here -- Abraham calls God "Jehovah the God of heaven, and the God of the earth", further on, to his servant Eleazar, "the God of heaven" as He who had called him; his faith owned Him the former; in realisation He was only and distinctively the latter, and hence the source and power (through grace) of Abraham's hope. Daniel speaks of the "God of heaven", he could not of the "God of the earth". Some say Christ has all power in heaven and on earth, and we believe it, but He has in no way taken the earth yet, and even in heaven He is on His Father's throne. The Canaanite was a judged race in the place of promise. But Abraham will not have Isaac in the place of nature -- the place out of which he was called; and note here, therefore God (Jehovah) is God of heaven -- he knows the God which took

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him out of his country in this character. Isaac was now risen (in figure), Sarah's burial declared him a stranger -- he sought a country -- he was on heavenly ground. Hence we have a type of the Church, and of the Holy Ghost's work, sent to draw her to the Son -- heir of all -- out of the world too. Canaanites are a peculiar character of the world -- the apostate world -- of which Satan is prince -- his instruments and power.

-- 8. Note this point; for though the spouse may be taken out the world, yet we can never return into the elements of it again. The man represents the Church in the energy of the Spirit -- the spouse, its substance and position as acquired subjectively by the Lord.

12 et seq, the laying the ground of faith right, shows the existence of faith, and finds its effect even though in inferior circumstances -- so, "Truth Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs", etc.; so, the centurion, etc.

NOTE. -- Abraham gives no blessing to his son; God gives it directly to him, and confirms it to his seed. He charges Eleazar only not to bring back Isaac to the place he had left, and to fetch his wife thence. No doubt Abraham had the earthly promises, but this separation to the heavenly thing is remarkable in his case. He merges, as on earth, in the risen Isaac. As I have noticed, he calls God, "the God of heaven and earth", and Jehovah, "the God of heaven", when he sends Eleazar, which gives these names a greater force. Daniel had only that as a resource when, as God of the earth, He had left His throne in Israel; but here it is the positive source of blessing. Abraham had had his blessing from the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, but that is specific.


This may be after Sarah's death, but is not necessarily so; it is an account of other details of his history to complete it, and show the nations that were of his race.

-- 1. "Then" is hardly a note of time; or rather, there is no "then"; it is "And Abraham added to take a wife". But Abraham lived 35 years after Isaac's marriage, how long Sarah had then been dead is not said -- chapter 24: 67 would say not very long. The "added" is used for "again" or "another".

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-- 6. Most probably applies to a previous period -- what, save as to their races, makes no part of his divine history. It looks as if Keturah was after Sarah's death, but "then again" is only English vay'yo-seph (and added); it is merely the additional fact, and Abraham took another wife, not positively saying when -- though very possibly it may have been after the death of Sarah. He lived 75 years after Isaac's birth, being then 100 -- Sarah died at 127, so that he lived towards 40 years after Sarah's death. Only Isaac's bringing Rebekah into his mother's tent, though much more meant to show the substitution of one to another, seems to hint that the time was not so long since her death. Abraham was 140 at Isaac's marriage, so that he lived 35 years after that; it was therefore, as I said, towards 40 years. Abraham was some 12 years older than Sarah, assuming her death and Isaac's marriage to be not far apart -- a year or two.

-- 7. Some thirty-four years after Isaac's marriage.

-- 11. Elohim blesses Isaac. Here again it is God, as such -- God's blessing on man.

-- 21. The blessings for which Isaac entreats, and which are given are of Jehovah.

-- 34. "He ate and drank, and rose up and went his way", refers, I think, to his profane indifference.


This chapter answers as to Isaac, chapter 12 as to Abraham, but there is nothing answering to chapter 17, nor indeed to chapter 15, there is something of both in verses 3, 4, but the revelation of God, as all that depends on it -- as the intercession for Sodom -- is wanting. Jacob, returned to Bethel, has this revelation as in chapter 17.

All this must be enquired into -- it is connected with the full blessing of Israel. Then what was Isaac's place, leaving aside chapter 24, or is there any connection with this?

The whole of this chapter is in connection with Jehovah, even Abimelech so speaks -- it is a matter of covenant acknowledgment.

-- 2. Here Isaac comes under Abraham, but the blessing of the nations in the seed is promised. There is no personal revelation as a source of it.

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I do not see the free liberty of grace in Isaac as in Abraham (personally), nor the faith of him that left all. He is blessed, but is more tied to earth -- he gives way to Abimelech -- suffers from the Philistines -- makes an oath with the world -- has his title to the land limited. There is no Lot left to choose, nor intercession for Sodom. He is blessed, but less with God, and more with man. No sacrifice of Isaac. It has another tone altogether.

Rich in possessions as he was, he cedes Abraham's wells to the Philistine, instead of chasing the four kings and freeing Lot. How things, the effects of faith and unbelief that is, last in the world; Beersheba and the Philistines are found again in the later history of Israel.

-- 5. Refers to chapter 22.

-- 23. Here evidently the Lord furnishes a kind of limit to the land of promise.

-- 24. Here he is on Jewish ground again.

-- 25. Then he has his altar and tent. Jacob has only Jewish promises and the nation's blessing in them. The particular revelation of God's name to Abraham was in connection with the Jewish promises; chapter 17. The first was a personal calling, and establishment in promise. He reveals Himself to Jacob by His name, but there it is Jewish again. The seed stands alone with Isaac, as with Abraham, and on the same ground.

-- 29. That is, had now taken the place of Abraham, as the one evidently blessed of Jehovah, and that is the place He had taken in verse 24.

NOTE. -- In the history of Abraham and Isaac, both had the revelation of God, consequent upon a series of experiences, I mean the full revelation for communion, not that by which grace called them, and, no doubt, Abraham failed, but the experience of Jacob was away from God in failure, and confiding in the flesh, and being, in many respects, in it, i.e., walking after it, and he returns through great grace, but with struggle and conflict.

Abraham's path, in general, was in intercourse with God Himself, leaning on Him, looking to Him, in a word in the main before Him, and the result is accordingly.

The same promise is made, pretty much, to Jacob as to Abraham, as to his own blessing, and that of his family; but all the communications that follow there is nothing of in the

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case of Jacob -- no intercession for others -- no blessing of the nations in his seed -- all this is wanting. He is blessed by God, and in communication with Him as to it, but not in fellowship with God in the purposes of God's own heart, beyond Jacob himself. All this is instructive.


How we have sunk down here from Abraham's history -- Isaac's mouth is full of venison; who would have thought of such a thing?

And what a different place too Rebekah has from Sarah. It is a sad picture; nobler human nature indifferent to God and the promise; and he who cared for it, a base and false nature, and led by the cunning of woman; yet all accomplishes the purpose of God, and we know Esau heartlessly despised God's privileges, selling them for a mess of pottage -- he was profane.

-- 33. I do not doubt that the thought of God's coming in to thwart his flesh had greatly to do with Isaac's trembling, e-pho ("then") -- mi-e-pho ("WHO then?")

Sad as Jacob's course was, the overruling hand of God is most plain. We have a mixture of Jehovah and Elohim; Rebekah speaks of the blessing before Jehovah; Jacob says "Jehovah thy God" to Isaac; and Isaac speaks of a field which "Jehovah hath blessed", but in the next verse asks blessing from Elohim. It was God as such giving blessing to man -- it came from God. So in the next chapter it is "El Shaddai (God the Almighty) bless thee", he going on a pilgrimage to a strange land. So Elohim gave to Abraham, it was God as a Sovereign.


We have got out of the venison here, and Jacob is subject to God's mind, not only in his words, but soberly in his will, but then we have come down to earth, and to Israel. Jehovah is there the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and will take care of Jacob even when a wanderer; the land is given to him, and in him and his seed all the families are to be blessed. It is not the promise confirmed to the seed, but the numerous seed the seat of blessing for the earth.

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-- 3. Jehovah never appeared to Isaac by His name of God Almighty; he knew Him, we see, as such, but it is not the revealed relationship of the risen seed.

Jehovah appeared to him twice (see chapter 26: 2, 24). Isaac was not to return into Egypt -- the risen man into the world -- he was Abraham's seed. To Jacob God reveals Himself as God Almighty; this is all, I apprehend, characteristic, and is remarkable.

-- 8, 9. Well meant, perhaps, but this imitation was no use; it is, besides, ethnological.

-- 11. M'ra-ashoth (pillows) at his head. Angels of God, servants thus, or messengers, apart from Himself, but of Elohim as such. Clearly John 1 refers to this, but not with the foolish thought that Christ was the ladder -- He held Jacob's place.

-- 13. But we get Jehovah at once in His intercourse with Jacob -- it is specially relationship.

-- 14. Here the seed is Israel, for we are on earthly ground, and so it will be; before, it was in Abraham and in his seed risen (compare chapter 35: 9 - 13), only the earthly seed and blessing -- we have no Galatian promise. To Isaac we have no promise of the land (but see chapter 26: 3, 4); only the personal promise of a numerous seed. He was the seed of promise, and is the figure of Christ thus risen and exalted. The heir of promise ought to be Abraham's, so to speak, not Jacob's; Abraham had all the promises.

-- 19. How striking these earthly memorials, and associations with God. But we are on wholly earthly ground here; this attaches to earth though (and this is to be noted) connected with heaven. The vow and all partook of this character.

-- 20 - 22. The vow of Jacob was a poor thing, suited indeed to one driven out, through his want of principle; faith in a certain sense, but faith used for selfishness. Never did Abraham, or even Isaac make such a vow.


We have men here, not Jehovah, or Elohim, though surely God was behind it all; but it is a different scene even from Eleazar.

-- 14. How different from Eleazar's bringing up Rebekah

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to where Isaac was. Jacob was to avoid the Canaanites too, but he does return to Padan Aram himself, and the whole scene, though touching, is, in spiritual elevation, so totally below the divinely imprinted dignity of Eleazar's mission.

-- 32. Sorrowful and wronged Leah alone speaks of Jehovah.


How dreadfully all is sunk morally from Abraham's, and even Isaac's time. It is not barrenness of flesh, and God coming in, in promise, and power; but, oh! what a scene of selfishness, jealousies, and craft. One only spot of green is in it -- Rachel, the barren one, is heard. All the rest is miserable and flesh, only just chastisement, and discipline from God; and how it has characterised the race since! Yet God has blessed and will bless. How thoroughly we have got into man, and man's ways. So Rachel here, even in special circumstances, has no thought of Jehovah's ways; it is "Elohim hath judged me", and so all through, till her heart is softened by grace; then she says, in faith, "Jehovah will add". Joseph is the promise of Benjamin. Laban too owns Jehovah, and Jacob calls Him so. The rest of the chapter is Jacob, but, oh! how far we are from Abraham; yet Jacob is found in Hebrews 11, not this; but it was righteous recompense as regards Laban.


-- 2. No great wonder; but the natural fruit of all this evil and planning. What a path of peace is godly simplicity!

-- 3. Still Jehovah is with Israel in grace; there is government with God's people, but government in favour. We have Jehovah Himself taking up the matter again; He always pursues His plans. But it is a personal God, "the God of my Father"; the true God, but brought down to their relationship.

-- 9. It is God acting as such, save the angelic message alleged by Jacob, verse 11.

It rests on this ground -- a family God, or God, Creator and providential Ruler.

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-- 52. This was, after all, a formal separation of Jacob from the world; God had taken care of him till now, He always does of Israel, but even by angels -- He only meets him after this -- He told him to leave, that was all.


This rises up to Jehovah.

-- 1. It is not Mal'ak' (angel) Jehovah, but Mal'akey (angel of) Elohim; God's providential display of sovereign care.

-- 2. "Mahanaim" is not a sovereign covenant act.

NOTE. -- Jehovah can send him away in this character, but, till he is back in his right place, He does not reveal Himself on the way in any way by His name; but he can refer back to that kind of revelation.

-- 9, 10. But it is only as a present thing, Peniel (the face of God); and this was all in its place, a faithful, gracious, but not a revealed God; we ought to have both. It is in His place we have this.

-- 20. This is all wretched and the fruit of evil.

-- 29. We have often remarked, there is no name here, no revelation of God; there was a name at Bethel, not of present relationship, but of promise and care. This is conflict -- he is not returned there.

-- 30. NOTE. -- In confirmation of the view of Jacob's wrestling heretofore given, that all that he can say (and though perfect grace in God, how poor as to communion with Him), is "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" -- was that all? Oh, how sorrowful! Note too, the struggle was in the dark which is very expressive.


Preserved, victorious in the struggle of faiths he calls God, here only, El, Elohe Israel; there was faith and even worship, but founded on circumstances, and present interventions of God in favour of self. It was well, but low down in the scale of faith; he was not yet returned to God Himself, as He reveals Himself, though he had found Him faithful to him in mercy.

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-- 31. Where evil is, and men are away from God, nothing is right on any side; but grace can come in and overrule the evil and set right, as in the next chapter.


God calls him back to his first point of departure; there Jehovah's name had been revealed to him; then the purified house of Jacob goes to the meeting place where he had become an outcast. Then God reveals Himself by His patriarchal name, directly, and the land comes in sight. But it is not said Jehovah appeared as to Abraham and Isaac, and there is nothing of the blessing of the nations in the seed. Isaac is much more lost in Abraham; God never reveals Himself directly to him by a name, He is the God of his father Abraham.

A vast deal afterwards is history often interesting, and important, but only as a preparation for God's dealings as Jehovah. The only places in which we have "Jehovah" in the rest of the book, are in Judah's case, chapter 38: 7 - 10, where one sees they are His special ways, and government; with Joseph sold and in trial, chapter 39; and, after Dan, Jacob's waiting for His salvation, which is an Israelitish millennial desire, chapter 49: 18; his present wish of blessing for Joseph is from God Almighty, his own name -- of relationship with God. We get "God" often -- His dealings, as ruling all things, in contrast with men.

-- 9 - 11. All is gone through, as if he was then just returned, and he really was then only returned to God at Bethel, where he had last been with Him in leaving Canaan.

-- 11. Here God is revealed, but the promises are only Jewish; we are come down to that now -- Jacob and Israel are their name.

-- 13. God goes up then from Jacob -- as from Abraham, after talking with him.

Experiences are useful to bring us to God, but they all disappear when God reveals Himself.

-- 14. Here we get Jacob upon Abraham ground, because it is renewed in grace, see chapter 17: 1 - 22, but both are on

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earthly ground; Isaac was never placed on this, he was still alive too, see verse 27.

-- 18. The true Heir, in figure, of renewed Israel; the former thing -- Israel -- dead and gone, and the new, the Son of its affliction, but of His Father's right hand.

Note the beauty of the order as to the Patriarchs.

Abraham, depositary of the promises, is a stranger in the place of promise. All we read of his journey, as owned of God -- for he failed with Sarah, he had not departed as the Lord had said -- was "he went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and into the land of Canaan he came". We have no sign of the Lord being with him in the way that he went down into Egypt, though He visited Pharaoh with plagues.

His history, of which we have detail, is -- a stranger in the land of promise -- communion with God as such -- and depositary of the communications, and promises of God.

Of Isaac we have nothing, save the fact of his being offered up (which was the act of Abraham, though Isaac is submissive, God provided Himself with a lamb for a burnt offering) and his going out to meet Rebecca.

The history we have is of Eleazar fetching Rebecca to him -- he is hidden; his dealings with Esau and Jacob only introduce these two, it is not his history. He represents Christ unseen, and the Church gathered.

As in Esau we have high-handed rebellion, and self-will -- in Jacob, we have God with him in the path, secretly by His providence, but a path occasioned by his evil and unbelief. In this sense -- God with us -- "in the way", is a humbling, and to us an evil place -- blessed and patient grace, and turned to good and blessing -- still a humbling place; God's name is not revealed to us in it, even when we prevail to have blessing by faith through His grace.

God is with us "in the way", but we should not be "in the way", if unbelief had not, for a time, put us out of the proper place of promise. Jacob was a stranger from, not in, the place of promise; the Lord would keep him, and bring him again, when he was a stranger, and his way and wanderings from Canaan -- but he was going from this place which might be an anchor to him.

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It would seem that the wrestling had not set his heart right, for he buys land, and is not a stranger, and, but for God's providential interference, would have settled and made alliance. Also the strange gods were in his household, and he seems to have known it. He had not fairly come to God; chapter 37: 1 alone brings us back to the proper patriarchal, Abrahamic place, and Allon Bachuth and Benoni accompany, or are connected with the altar that was raised; chapter 37: 1 is grounded on chapter 35: 27, and 36: 6.

How entirely in Jacob's history we descend into a lower sphere; also he had reason to say "few and evil". But then we have more of the ways of God, and His supremacy above evil, and yet His dealing with evil, and therein His gracious process with the evil doer, and all this is very precious to us.

Of Abraham, the called man, the friend of God, we have an ample history of what man is in that place, imperfect surely, but most blessed.

Of Isaac, the heavenly man, little or nothing but the fact -- he gets a wife, and does not go back to the place he was called out of.

Of Jacob, we have a long and detailed history, and the blessing of Isaac belongs to it. It is man, though man with promise, and the patient condescension of God with him, making good His counsels, and after all through faith, but giving us a sad history, though life shines through it.

We are still in dealings and providence -- government; Simeon and Levi do what scatters them in Israel, in their cruel wrath. It is a human history, and human ways.

But further, when Israel gets back to Bethel, in which place alone he is fully back to God after his compulsory wanderings -- and even the idols only then put away -- yet kept and preserved, but then when God reveals Himself, we have nothing now of the blessing of the nations in the seed. It is purely Jewish, Rachel -- representing the mother of the seed of power in the earth -- departs, and he, who was the son of her affliction, is the son of his father's right hand. God takes care of him, blesses Jacob meanwhile, but he does not meet Him in the place of promise till Bethel, and then clear from all other gods.

When he had settled his own place on earth, he had to move away, though there he recognised El as the Elohe Israel.

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Jacob's dwelling in the land where his father was a stranger, is not, I think, a contrast in evil; the same word ya shav (to dwell) is used as to Abraham and Lot together in Canaan, and as to Lot in Sodom; it is that he was now not a wanderer out of it, but a dweller in it. Still he was more settled than Abraham was, only when he did settle, God stirred him up out of his rest.

-- 1. He was desired in chapter 35 to go and dwell at Bethel; here it is put he "dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings", but the history now is the history of his sons; his history till he went to Egypt is in this one verse. In chapter 35 Jacob has the blessing here below, the seed of power, son of his right hand, and there the mother dies, and the history is the history of his sons, and of Esau besides.

Jacob sinks into the shade, though then Joseph is on the scene, and so verse 2 begins: "These are the tol'doth Jacob, Joseph being", etc. The wanderer was kept, the time for the possession of the land was not come, and that was Jacob's figurative place; only he is Israel, and Bethel the place he has returned to.

Bethel is the second place for Elijah; he begins at Gilgal, which is to be noted -- separation, promise, death, heaven, and return in power (resurrection).

-- 9. This is the general idea, as his mother was now dead, or he must have had the dream before his reaching Canaan in his seventh year, ten years before this. The Jews have noted this, as showing a dream, not properly a prophetic vision; but this is clearly a prophecy.

In the account of Joseph, so deeply interesting, we descend more to history, only, already elsewhere noticed, it is a perfect picture of Christ and Israel. We have only Judah's conduct as soon as Joseph is brought in, and all is connected with Christ in one way or another.

-- 21. This seems to exculpate Israel as ignorant.

-- 26 - 29. Judah sold him to the Gentiles, Reuben was ignorant of it. Judah was directly guilty of selling him to the Gentiles; when the Benjamin character comes in, Judah is identified with him -- is surety for him.

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This is Judah's history and genealogy.

-- 10. The God of government had to say to it.


-- 2. Matz' liakh (prosperous), that is the fruit of the Lord's being with one; Adonai -- what matter, if the Lord was with him, and made all prosper with him. Ish-matz' liakh (a man prosperous). He prospered, for Jehovah matz' liakh, Jehovah made to prosper, that is what it is.

-- 4. Vay' shareth (and he served), i.e., waited on him personally.

-- 9. It was a plain moral wrong against God -- not a question of Jehovah's dealings.

-- 21. This was as true as when Jehovah was matz'liakh (prospering) him -- how blessed this! and the consciousness of it makes prison and prosperity alike. And it ends here, as there (though the prison was a little lower than a slave) in favour, Jehovah matz' liakh (prospered) him; this is what we want. It is connected -- though the prison was with the fear of God; but it is all Jehovah in government -- not God Almighty.

If Abraham give us the bright and blessed picture of communion with God, in Joseph we find goodness and unsullied integrity of heart towards God, in the midst of, and where the power of evil was. It is a lovely picture, and, in this, a beautiful foreshadowing of the Lord in His life -- the Beloved of His Father.

Faithfulness is the way of divine spiritual understanding.

How we have got on here from the great outlines and principles of truth, and God's ways, and the freshness of individual faith to the working out of righteousness; the time came that his cause was known, "the word of the Lord tried him", Psalm 105:19. But it is Jehovah who is with him, the governing God, not by His name God Almighty.

Note how far the trial of Joseph, limited by divine ordering from anything that should hinder it -- intended to frustrate God's purpose -- and apparently clean against it -- and his righteous suffering in Egypt only just bring about the whole thing they seemed to frustrate; it was in the Egypt his brothers

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sold him to, and in the prison Potiphar put him in that led him to the butler and baker, which set him governor over all the land of Egypt. We cannot put God out of His way. It is better to trust him. How little they thought they were bringing about God's purpose they thought to set aside, still less that they were arranging a touching figure of the blessed Lord, the restoration of Israel after their repentance, and that He that they rejected should be the head of the heathen.


Joseph's history is excessively interesting, but I do not think he is. He was upright and God-fearing, and God's hand was with him, but there is very little of God in his history. We are in Egypt, and it is Egyptian, and worldly, save that God is everywhere. With his brethren at the end he was gracious; he closes with the Sovereign God, not Jehovah, chapter 50: 24, 26.


-- 41. Note, the humiliation of Joseph was God's path to his exaltation.

-- 51, 52. It is all Church ground, not Jewish.


NOTE. -- Joseph presents to us Christ as Wisdom -- as rejected -- first, His revealed claim of dominion and His Father's favour occasion His rejection by His brethren -- then He suffers, and His wisdom is known, "till the time came that His cause was known", etc. -- then in power -- then receiving again His brethren.


-- 15. Dinah is not reckoned in the thirty-three, Er and Onan are.

-- 26. Dinah is reckoned, Er and Onan are not -- they were dead.

-- 27. Jacob is reckoned in.

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-- 3. We have reference to God Almighty appearing in Canaan, but all through here it is God, the One Sovereign, not man. In the great body of Joseph's history, we see His hand, not His name, only in millennial hope, after Dan, Jehovah comes in.

-- 4. All Israel is to be K'hal-ammim, an assembly of nations.

-- 19. Ephraim is to be m'lo-haggoyim, fulness of nations; the last a large word, but not, I apprehend, a number of different nations, and it hardly seems to be a "multitude of nations". Is not that the meaning of it? Is not this "fulfilling" or "fulness of the nations" something else? See Septuagint verse 4 sunagogas ethnon and verse 19 plethos ethnon and compare with Romans 11:12 ploutos ethnon.

At any rate not "a multitude of nations"; see Isaiah 31:4, "all the shepherds together", I suppose. The multitude of nations shall be to Ephraim, not to Manasseh. I am disposed to believe it is the mass of Israel's tribes, but the whole body of the peoples of Israel was counted to Ephraim.

Note it is haggoyim (the nations).

NOTE. -- It is not the Jews but Israel all through.


Here we have, after all, the whole history of Israel clearly set out, besides the history of particular tribes when important.

-- 3 - 7. First Reuben, Simeon, Levi -- Israel according to the flesh -- heir according to nature; it has failed, it is scattered for its violence and cruelty.

-- 8 - 12. Then Judah is the place of royalty; here the coming of Shiloh, and this part of the special history is noticed.

-- 13. Zebulun -- they mix with the Gentiles.

-- 14, 15. Issachar -- they bow down to them and serve.

-- 16 - 18. Dan -- seemingly lost, shall still judge His people; but in Dan the apostasy is brought out, then the remnant wait for Jehovah for salvation.

-- 19. Thereupon we have one -- Gad -- heretofore overcome, at the last overcomer himself.

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-- 20. Asher -- abundance and blessing are there.

-- 21. Naphtali -- liberty and good words.

-- 22 - 26. Joseph -- full millennial blessing.

-- 27. Benjamin -- full millennial power.


-- 10. As regards Jacob's burying place, when they carried him into Canaan, they did not go the straight way to the south of Canaan, but they went to Atad, which is beyond Jordan. Yet he was buried in Mamre, so that their carrying him to Shechem or Sychem has nothing extraordinary in it.

-- 23. NOTE. -- The third generation means three, not counting the point of departure, and as Jacob's sons' sons went down, there is nothing to fix the fourth generation necessarily within seven from Jacob inclusively.

The blessing of Jacob is clearly the scheme of God -- that of Moses His dealings in the land as with a people there -- a scheme connected with present conduct in the earlier part, and then His counsels.

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As regards Conscience I have more than one point to note.

First, speaking, as infidels and annihilationists do, of its being the effect of education, etc., is all confusion -- confusion between a rule by which it judges, and the intrinsic power to judge. No one denies -- it may be misled by education -- making such or such feelings a rule, an obligation; but a rule, or obligation imposed -- and all such are so -- is the opposite of conscience.

Conscience is the sense that there is right and wrong, and when called into activity by an act, that such is right or wrong, it pronounces, by its own judgment, that it is right or wrong, it pronounces for itself. I may have dimmed, blinded, influenced, misled it, but Consciences are; und fürsich (and in itself) is the judgment I pronounce from instinctive, and uninfluenced persuasion that such an act is right, such wrong. So far from its owning a law, it ceases whenever there is one which has authority, because it has not to judge for itself.

Quite true that the instinctive judgment of conscience is according to some inscrutable law, but that is another thing; it is not the perception of that law, but man's judgment of right and wrong in itself. It is our knowledge of good and evil, not a rule outside us. Hence, when Adam had it not, was not "become as one of us, knowing good and evil", he had a law, to which obedience was to be paid, and as to an act in which there was no right and wrong in itself -- he might have eaten had it not been forbidden.

Man acquired this judgment of right and wrong, because "as one of us knowing good and evil"; of this there was no trace before. It was a question of obedience, law, and authority -- subjection to God; but he enjoyed goodness -- blessings -- had to be grateful -- but had no question of there being a right or a wrong perceived by himself -- no power of it, no occasion for it, no possibility of it; it would have falsified his whole position, -- he would have ceased to be innocent. Indeed the thing was impossible, for he was not as God, holy, i.e., essentially abhorring perfectly known evil -- known because, and by being, holy; and sin was not in him, he could not innocently know evil to judge it. When a law was given, no doubt it might condemn what conscience did, but conscience had no more to do; if godly, under law man had only to obey.

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Again, education may corrupt the judgment as to what is right and wrong, but supposes the judgment faulty. I suspect that the true test is, that whenever the conscience is falsified by education, the will and passions will be found to be at work, and though the person may not think of it, it could not be denied by a person not having his passions engaged. It is conventional right and wrong found by circumstances; hence, as in mere civil circumstances, conscience is the ultimate rule. We have Pascal's dictum, "juste c'est ce qui établi, donc tout ce qui est établi est juste"; only when this violates too seriously the conscience, or natural sense of right, or wrong, it tends to revolution, i.e., will breaks out against the pressure.

I suspect the immutable law of right and wrong is founded on relationships, whether with God, or as God has formed them; from them duties flow. Only that man having been set lord over the earth, possession has come in also; it is regulated by convention, only if it too much violates the right to possess in others -- in many -- it tends to violence in order to possess -- wants ministering to this.

Grace has brought us out of law into absolute obedience to a Person, but then it has its own rules which we need, and has set up the absolute authority of a Person, and a relationship which governs conduct, i.e., right and wrong, as all relationships do; Christ being the perfect model of that in which we are with God and man.

But we must not confound the rule of right and wrong with conscience -- the discernment of right and wrong. "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin"; that rule varies divinely, even because the relationship is changed. My duty was a man's, a child of Adam's to God, and to other children of Adam, for that was my place, and relationship; it is of a child, a son of God, of which Christ is the pattern. Hence one rule or test of right or wrong is universality, practically what I hold to be right for all everywhere, but modified by this principle, where the same relation exists, i.e., one formed of God, creature, son, daughter, wife, etc., man with God, and with men, general or specific, whatever He has ordered. Only we must distinguish between obedience to God, or what represents Him, and conscience viewed as judging right and wrong. It is right to obey Him, wrong to disobey, and so far conscience comes in, for man had a given, has an instinctive, recognition of God, but it is not any judgment

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of right and wrong, as such, in the act itself. It is not what man acquired by the Fall, i.e., the divine prerogative of judging right and wrong for himself, "one of us".

The question may arise, how far grounds of judgment, and so far reason enter into conscience, and I answer, "not at all"; they go to lead to the estimate of the fact of the relationship, and whether it be violated, and I conclude that the thing is wrong. I then pronounce judgment, not on the thing, but on myself, or another conscience is at work, I call it wrong; but conscience always judges the thing. But there are, thus, three ideas connected in our mind with conscience, which we must look at if we would not have confusion in our minds; firstly, the sense of responsibility to a Being above us, principally to God, not the duty of loving Him, that is law -- but authority; this, Adam had before the Fall; secondly, the sense of good and evil; thirdly, the self-judgment or repulsion of heart, as to others, produced by it when an act is contemplated it condemns; the second is properly, I apprehend, Conscience.

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The loss of innocence closed evidently the simple enjoyment of blessing in thanksgiving. The knowledge of good and evil being come in, God, in saying "the man is become as one of us", has declared that man, to be with God, must be with Him as suited to Himself -- as knowing good and evil -- in a word, in righteousness. One must, having knowledge of good and evil, be suited to what God is according to it; but there is a certain modification of this to be introduced, not the diminishing or lowering of required righteousness (dikaioma), so as to allow of any evil, for that is impossible -- God cannot allow evil, He would not be holy if He did -- but the taking the measure of the knowledge of good and evil, according to the real light and moral condition of the position in which he is -- I do not mean as fallen in this position -- but according to the moral elements of that position in which he is with God. If he is perfect to the level of that position he may righteously live there, and enjoy God there; man never was, but it was put before him -- it is the law. If, as man, he loved God with all his heart and his neighbour as himself, he would righteously, as man, be happy with God, because he would meet the mind of God perfectly, as knowing good and evil in the position in which He was, according to the knowledge he had of God; He was perfect according to that -- man was never so, because he had lusts -- but the case was put. He never de facto could have been so, because he got the knowledge of good and evil in and by sin; unfallen Adam had not a bad conscience, but he had not a good one. The truth is, there was no such position of man, because he set up to be like God, knowing good and evil -- he made the measure for himself in desire, and would have risen up to God -- by robbery been equal with God; he broke through to be with God, and now he must be with Him or shut out. He cannot, of course, be independently equal, which would be absurd, but he must be morally fit, according to God's presence, or be excluded from it; there is no return to innocence, or to the tree of life on that ground.

The law, however, never took the ground of introducing into the presence of God, as He is, according to the absolute revelation of His nature -- Christianity alone does that -- it

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keeps man without, hiding God, "Thou hast said thou wouldst dwell in the thick darkness", and gives to man thus without, but from God Himself, a perfect rule of right for the creature as such, condemning withal all that entered into man's state contrary to this, and, further, putting man into relationship with God on the ground, however, of natural creation, but assumedly in the rest of it -- a thing really impossible now that evil was entered, and meant to show this, but still, for this very purpose, established on this ground.

The perfect rule was, loving God with all the heart, and one's neighbour as oneself -- sin and lust condemned, and the Sabbath added to all. But for a sinner, evidently this had no reality but to condemn, and it did not profess to bring to God; it gave a rule to a people outwardly already brought into relationship with God, but with a barrier, and a double veil, and a priesthood, but it gave the perfect rule of right and wrong to the creature, who had the sense of it according to his nature, in the creation; but he was a sinner, there could be no rule in respect of sin but condemning it, but the law contained, as Christ showed in extracting it, the perfect positive rule; in this respect the perfection of the law's bearing is most wonderful, only it was the opposite of bringing an unjust man to God.

God is unveiled -- He was manifested in grace in Christ, but, through His death, the veil is rent, "He suffered, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God" -- this accordingly is according to good and evil as known of God Himself; and as walking "in the light as he is in the light", we are to be fit for God as He is -- "rejoice in hope of his glory" -- joy in Him. Our estimate of good and evil is the divine one -- what is fit for God's presence; in view of this Christ has made the expiation, He is sitting, in the full condition belonging to it, as Man at the right hand of God. It is an unspeakable blessing, but the necessary result, we may say, of the work being God's according to His counsel, and wrought by Christ; for where should Christ be, as to His Person, or in desert of His work? Then the Holy Ghost is come down thence, while He is there, according to infinite love, to bring us in spirit into it -- to bring us through the rent veil into the Holiest of all.

Such is our knowledge of good and evil, and the fruit of Christ's work -- the darkness passes, the true light now shines; our coming to God is "renewed according to his image in

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righteousness and true holiness". It is an immense blessing. There never was really any being with God on another ground than in the light as He is, as brought by grace, and power, out of the darkness into the light, knowing good and evil. He cannot -- and have this knowledge -- do anything short of Himself, i.e., what was fit for, worthy of Himself; so that, as when man was ruined, and got into darkness with the knowledge of good and evil, God only could deliver him, He delivered him necessarily for His own glory, according to His own nature.

He put man provisionally on another ground -- of perfect creature blessing, but as a sinner apart from Himself, to bring out where he was in sin, and which therefore spoke of sin, and a positive curse -- but this was by the bye for a special end.

The only thing is innocence or glory -- innocence in human condition -- earthly; glory in a heavenly, Angelic condition sustained. Hence I apprehend, morally speaking, angels could not be brought back because of the knowledge of good and evil in the light with God; so man, Hebrews 6; but -- innocence lost, with the knowledge of good and evil -- the work of God according to His own glory, and hence necessarily bringing into it -- or, a law, provisionally showing the abstract moral perfection of a knowledge of good and evil in a creature, but actually, relatively founded on a prohibition of evil, which brought in, where really apprehended, the conviction of sin.

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Civilisation is the artificial and polished life which arises from the elaborate development of skill, in which the faculties of men have been exercised, and in which men are associated, by common recognised rules, and where the mental faculties are in play, and can act reflectively on themselves, in contrast with men individually, or collectively acting from natural impulses and passions, and, at least in a greater degree, by means which nature affords. For the faculties exist in the savage, and the impulses and passions remain in the civilised, and, if let loose, unrestrained by common recognised rules, can use the means acquired by civilisation to satisfy them, as in revolution, war, etc.

Consequently in civilised society men are more dependent on each other, and more closely united; in savage life more personally free, and individualised, though man is naturally social, if not gregarious, for social is different from gregarious -- supposing mind and speech.

As known in the world, civilisation supposes the fall, but so indeed does barbarism, though in a different way; in fact civilisation began, on man's being driven out from God, in Cain's family; Genesis 4:16 - 24. Adam in Paradise had no basis of civilisation, the simplicity of his life in innocence gave no occasion for it; what the effect of Genesis 1:28 might have been, supposing Adam had remained unfallen, can be only supposition. Barbarism was the natural effect of Adam's state when he had lost God, and civilisation is the effort to make, by the development of human faculties and the resources the earth furnished, the world pleasant without Him. What could a naked creature, thrown upon his own resources outside Paradise, be but a barbarian? -- though the hunting state was a lower state when alone, and the means of life, but connected with natural energy as in Nimrod -- though God had sent him out to till the ground, and clothed him with skins, not utter barbarism, but little more, only peaceful.

If we begin again with Noah, we get something more -- barbarism was that into which men sank.

The earliest record language gives is a keeper of cattle; "daughter" means "one who milks the cows".

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The establishment of man as the image of God, and in dominion.

The first verse stands alone as an immense, simple, and unique revelation (verse 16 alone at the end connected).

The second verse, the state of the earth at a given time -- tohu bohu (wasteness, emptiness) and in darkness.

Next there is the divine vivifying agency according to the divine will.

First, God, as regards this scene of power, willed there should be light; it is not said bara (created) -- it did not spring however from the earth -- it was no produce of it -- it shone when God commanded it to shine, God saw it -- no man or eye else was there to see it.

NOTE. -- It was night, and day for the earth. The dividing was now, whether the fiat of God for its existence was, I cannot now say -- it may have been so. If light was made to shine perfectly on the earth -- not twilight -- evening necessarily came first.

I hardly think that hay'thah (was) here is simple existence, but more "was become" (geworden war), yet so that it actually was in that state -- was -- but as a state into which it had passed -- come to be -- still was, but by beginning to be. I have no objection to "there was", but as a consequence.

In Exodus 3:14, we have "I am that I am", in the future or abstract tense, but that seems another thing -- the English auxiliary answers to it; only the tohu bohu was not the effect of creation, so as to "evening and morning" it was an effect.

In verses 8 - 10 we have evidently a descent in the use of shamayim (heaven) and eretz (earth) from verse 1, for the dried place is now eretz contrasted with the waters, not the globe contrasted with the hashshamayim (the heaven) and so shamayim is the expanse between the lower and upper waters, not what is contrasted with the eretz; so in verse 14 rakia (firmament) has a conventional visible sense, not as in verse 8 -- compare verse 15.

Verse 14 is remarkable in this, that God does not make the sun and moon, "and it was so", but, as with the light, "God

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said, let there be lights"; in whatever way, He made them appear as centres of light to the earth, He set them for the seasons, and signs of the earth, and it was so. And God made all these lights, and the stars, and set or gave them to light the earth and rule, etc.; and God saw that it was good.

He made them -- when the solid bodies were made is not said -- they became lights to the ordered earth now; all the ways of expressing the creating, or ordering, almost are different, and surely not without intention. In verses 11, 12, there is no making nor creation, nor for the light; in verses 3, 4 He made the firmament "and it was so" -- the atmospheric heavens, I apprehend; in the third day, verses 9 - 13, there is no making; I doubt that verse 17 applies to the stars, but it may be so.

In verse 21, life is in question, even animal life -- God creates again. Man might have fancied the waters teemed with life from the sun or something; it was of moment to distinguish the animal body as coming to-tze (let bring forth) from the earth, yet, verse 25, God made.

In verse 26, bara (created) is again used as to man; before as to the races of animals, verse 21, in sea or air, and originally heaven and earth. Image represents, and presents likeness -- does so fitly -- the thing is like, because it corresponds to what the image presents. An image represented Jupiter -- likeness was only ideal. A picture is "like" -- it is the very image, when it presents himself to my mind; here it is "image", according to His likeness -- as to the first he had God's place, a centre of subject dependent creation, looking up to him -- no angel had that; likeness was another thing.


The delight of God -- intelligence as to the man's creation.

The inheritance of delight, and the wife taken out of him while sleeping.

This is all in responsibility of obedience.

NOTE. -- The heir or governor is also spoken of as being born of the woman, i.e., when fallen, for so great is the grace in purpose -- made out of the man in accomplishment in evil -- He born out of the woman; marvellous grace -- "for neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the

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man, in the Lord", but the man was created first, not the woman, and "the woman being deceived, was in the transgression", but as the woman is for the man, so is the man by the woman, quod nota, for, as we have said, it is marvellous grace.

Howbeit this chapter is the creation or forming the delights of God, and of him whom He had created.

I doubt the order (verse 4) eretz v'shamayim (earth and heavens) is changed without design; we are here descended to the present ordering of the earth, and earthly heavens -- yet hanging on the original creation.

In verse 7, man, dust from the ground. There is no forming spoken of for animals -- life was a different thing, though real, for here man becomes a living soul by God's breathing into his nostrils.

In verses 8, 9, the planting the garden is a special act of power and will, as verse 9 shows -- verses 8, 9 have no time here, save putting the man into the garden. I cannot but think, verse 10, that the force of the passage is this, "and a river went out from Eden" (not the garden) -- that practically stands by itself -- then its object, "to water the garden"; then, a river system going forth, it separated itself and became four sources, i.e., of large streams, which flowed through the countries elsewhere. Ethiopia (margin Cush) is then a difficulty as to what country.

In verse 22 we have another character of a creative act -- He builded it into a woman -- it was no doubt creation, but formed, as to its materials, out of the rib.

In verse 23, these words, zoth (this) and hap-pa-am (the time) are to be noted, because they connect this with all that went before, as to the beasts, etc., and the same word is used in verse 19, vay-ya-ve (and He brought). It is a remarkable and interesting proof of who the Lord Jesus is in Ephesians 5:27 - 30, particularly in verse 27; note both the points are united.

Note the intelligence of Adam and his knowledge of the mystery of the woman's creation; so, I suppose, the names of the beasts were right, only here the point is dominion -- this is so, as to woman, for he gives her a name, but owns she is part of himself. This time it is so, as indeed the name shows -- part of himself, but subject -- he can give her a name, himself

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too -- she was taken out of Adam, but Ish; so, no doubt, she is divinely called, but Adam gave her the name from himself, and to himself in giving it. All this is very striking.


Judgment -- but on Satan, and, connected with fruit here, the curse of present sorrow.

NOTE. -- The present sorrow is not the pronounced judgment, which is not touched upon, it remained in its full force in se.

Note, also, that fallen Eve is the mother of all living; and the Lord clothes with skins, but bars the way of nature, under responsibility in sin, to life.

There is more in it, but Adam gives here a name also to his wife -- one of faith and authority, not of relationship with himself, Ishshah -- still the mother of all living is a wonderful word, when death had just come in. But they are not yet clothed in divine righteousness, but though in sorrow, their curse to be children, and this he would take up on the judgment of Eve. Children and posterity -- yea the bruising of the serpent's head was promised, though in judgment on it, by the woman's seed; but clothing the nakedness gave no return to undying life on earth -- eternal life was not yet revealed, nor incorruptibility -- these were brought to light by the Gospel.


We have then the principle on which thus fallen men can stand, or do stand with God -- this on the ground of coming, and how they could come.

I should question "accepted" in verse 7, the rather as s'eth (exaltation) is used for it here. The whole question of relationship -- faith, by a sacrifice -- doing well, if it existed, recognised, and therein eldership -- lifting up -- Abel's desire would be to him, as Eve's to Adam, and he would rule over him -- otherwise, it must be khat-tath (sin offering), sin was at the door.

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All this is the ground of nature -- faith knows how it is met in Christ, He has been made sin for us; the whole history of nature and grace is here.

Then it is secondly, not merely "where art thou?" as to sin against God -- but "where is thy brother?"

Then, "cursed are thou" -- but neither is this in se final judgment -- it is "from the earth", as the Jews of whom it is a type.

Then, the whole effect of going from the presence of the Lord, and settling in the world, i.e., we have the extent and character of sin -- the suffering of the righteous, and the substitution of the appointed Seth.

NOTE. -- Ish (a man) the name of strength and honour -- Seth calls his son Enos (a fallen man) the contrary. Ish was the head of hope in nature -- Ishshah was taken out of Ish. Nature also takes Jehovah with it in accomplishing its hope, according to promise, and says "I have gotten", but it must come to Abel (vanity and emptiness) -- if accepted, and come by death and to death, be rejected of men even to death.


Then the whole family of God, who only die here.

Enoch specially presents the redeemed, translated Church.

There is a difference here from chapter 1: 26; "in his image according to his likeness", here "in his likeness according to his image" (verse 3), this is natural, I think. God meant man to be His image, and created him according to His likeness therefore; man could not create anything -- he begat him in his likeness, he could do nothing else -- and hence according to his image, to take the place he was in, this was a consequence of begetting necessarily in his likeness. Hence indeed we have not "a son" -- he begat after this manner.

But calling him "Seth", I apprehend, was an act of faith; Eve gave it him in gracious thankfulness -- God appointed to her -- Adam adopts it indeed, but with him it is simply the appointed one, not appointed to him. Eve was not wrong, but this was quite right -- by the divine Spirit, I apprehend, which moved Eve's heart, but it was prophetic in Adam.

In verse 32, I apprehend the date is vague, indicating about the time in which God began to deal in view of the Flood, but

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if the genealogical age of chapter 11: 10 be taken, Shem was born three years after Noah was 500. I suppose Japheth was the eldest.


We have in Noah, the coming in of a new world after testimony to the old, and judgment in his circumstances, representing the Jewish remnant, as Enoch the Church. "The Lord cometh with" (not to) "to execute judgment against those who spake against him".

NOTE. -- The occasion of the judgment was, the mixture of the heavenly family with the earthly -- the daughters of men.

He cannot be alone with God -- must through weakness, or through love (as in Christ) take the sorrow and trouble in the flesh.

Here the restraint of this curse, on the earth, came in on the sweet savour of the sacrifice of Christ, viewing and in full view of the sin of man, which was the occasion of it -- such was the new world, founded on that death and sacrifice.

Externally hitherto merely creation, of which God could repent, and destroy on corruption and sin -- not so of His calling -- but typically, a complete history of all God's dealings, to the end, in their principles; the roots, thus early shown, of that in which we degrade, but through which God has glorified Himself, and shown His righteousness; this is to the end of chapter 8.

In verse 3, I suppose it is (the flesh) "leads him astray"; but God's Spirit should not always deal with man in remonstrance. He would judge him, but give him 120 years delay. I see no difficulty in "in that he also".

De Wette reads "my Spirit shall not always strive with man on account of his going astray, he is flesh and his years", etc.

Young -- "in his folly (or error) he is flesh, and so let his days be", etc. All take it as wandering. The sense, after all, is the same, for "he is flesh" is the reason at any rate.

The important question is the force of basar (flesh); now I do not think that, in the Old Testament, an instance can be found in which basar is used in contrast with "spirituality" -- with "Spirit" or "the Spirit" and with "God", it is -- but that turns the other way here; hence, because of flesh leading them astray cannot I think be the meaning, to say nothing of

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hu (also); "flesh" in this sense, is the discovery of Christianity, consequent on the Spirit being in the Christian down here.

Thus hu basar goes together, and I apprehend it is, that God will not always go on striving uselessly with a mere mortal, fallen and resisting, and an occasion of disorder -- evil, and flesh have not to be respected with patience for ever.

He is flesh -- mortal man -- and not God; "the Egyptians are men, and not God -- their horses flesh, and not Spirit". "He is flesh, and so let his days" -- this with a slight change of stop, to give emphasis to hu basar, is De Wette's translation. But I apprehend De Wette applies 120 years to the length of life -- this I believe to be a total mistake. It is the space allowed for preaching repentance, and the ark; "in their wanderings" would be quite as good as "because of", or better. It would then stand thus: "My Spirit shall not always strive with man (or amongst men) in their wanderings -- he is flesh -- but his days shall be 120 years".

This was the end of Adam as created -- Noah's was a new world, though still of fallen man -- but dispensational, founded on sparing through mercy and grace.


Note the continued difference between God and Lord; God is a more secret, and at the same time universal name -- Lord, of positive relationship. There is no question of sevens, or clean beasts with God, but with the Lord. God in speaking to Noah speaks of His own thoughts, and what is before Him; the Lord commands him in certain duties and relationships.

In verse 21 and the like, we have the witness of the way in which the corporate nature of man -- the ha-Adam is spoken of, so in chapter 6: 1. o protor anthropos.


God is to Noah a faithful Creator; at the close He accepts the sacrifice, and smelling the savour of Rest, alters the terms of His relationship with the judicially judged earth. The passing away of judgment was gradual, and the dove -- the

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peaceful reign of the Spirit -- though it bring token of peace to them in the ark, of whom we have spoken, found no rest till they were all passed.

Note also, the ground was cursed for man's sake; this is arrested on the typical sacrifice, because God finds a savour of rest in that, and, on the recognition of the evil in man, which had led Him to destroy, declares He will no more smite, but the regular order of creation should subsist while the earth remained.


The world is here begun again -- we cannot say "a new creation", but "the world that now is" -- the other is entirely an old "world that then was". Compare the donatives in chapter 1: 28 and also verse 22 -- so far it is, in part, man animally, yet withal in the image of God too, and dominion here; the terms of the new donative are quite other, and suppose, though no more curse on the ground, or destruction, sin to be there, and the sword in man's hand for righteous judgment -- life, which was reserved before to God, now is put in government, and restraining vengeance into man's hand -- so are they called Elohim.

We have then here, on restored blessing, not all peace, but subjection, government, security against evil, and the earth -- the entire subject here -- its failure in Noah, who began to look for the earth's blessing -- and on the sin of his younger son, the distribution by God of the three great families by Noah's prophecy.

Note too, verse 6 -- God never loses His rights by the failure or evil of man, nor His privilege so to consider it -- so with the Church as against His enemies, or Israel either, for they ought to have recognised God's title in it, though He may punish and chastise at the same time.

But death and life are prominently brought out and the value of life manifested by death.

It is evident this chapter is a complete new ground and beginning of the world, though sin be still there, and death seen to be reigning, but life claimed as belonging to God. Man was made in His image, thus man in se connected with what was before, though the dispensation and footing of man

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with all things and God also, be quite new; also we have the failure, and then the generations as in chapter 5.

Blessing here is conferred of grace -- on sacrifice, for that is ever needed -- and Noah and his sons are blessed without reference to what they are. It is a primary analogous blessing to Adam's, though not anything of federal headship in sin for the sons are blessed with him.

Also the covenant is made with the earth -- the Lord would not again curse it -- Adam's present judgment was dispensational, so we shall find here. But this present rest and comfort concerning the work of their hands, because of the ground which the Lord had cursed, was abused, as before disobedience had been shown, Noah drinking himself drunk, and losing his intelligence, and the true place of government as head in wisdom, was thus against Him who had set him in blessing, and then relative sin comes out, as before in Cain, in not loving his brother -- Canaan, Ham, does not respect his father. Hence the first prophetic testimony of patriarchal family announcement (for descendance now comes in -- the blessing having been on their seed after them) opens with a curse, and hence it lights on Canaan; but this does not touch the covenant blessing given in grace, for the rain still descends on evil and good, and the sun rises on just and on unjust. Special government under law there may be, but on the earth in general this continues, and will, so long as it endures.

The taking off of the curse -- dispensational curse -- is not the redemption of the creature absolutely, as to death necessarily -- this is an everlasting covenant with man, independent of law and righteousness. The new curse -- prophetic -- falls not on Earth -- that Noah could not do -- but on the unrighteous despiser of the Father and the reverence due to Him; hence it lights on Ham in his child, and is strict prophetic righteousness, but while so, as in pain and sorrow to Noah's heart too, for he has to see this prophetic judgment in judging his own ways, by a curse on those whom God had instituted in the blessing of creation with him (verse 9).

What sure ways of righteousness here, and quite a new feature of providential righteousness and judgment, and that in descendants too, while grace rules supreme before -- independent of -- and over all. The same consequently, the spirit of prophecy taking up this, plants Shem in the place of blessing, and relationship in this state of things; the governmental mind

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of God, in dispensation, prophetically revealed as to this relationship with Him, "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem".

Hence, the curse reversed on earth as Creator in new successional dispensation, it lights on the head of the rebellious son amongst the families, only election is placed in the place of relationship with God -- He is the Lord God of Shem. And yet other general providential purposes and ways preserved for the history of the world, but not in this relationship; God, in His own will and thought, shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in Shem's tents. God does it, but He is not the Lord God of Japheth; Japheth may come in these tents for the blessing, or at least in relation with the blesser, while he possesses in providence the power, but we must rise up to God in supremacy, beyond the relation of this covenant dealing, to find Japheth in this blessing. It was the dealing of God prophetically with the earth -- here Japheth might have power, but He was not the Lord God of Japheth in it; for him revealed foresight begins, but it begins (as the testimony in Paradise) after sin entered in, and therefore with a curse, adding thereto elective relationship, and supreme providence.

Thus was, while the earth was concerned in it, all the basis laid for what was carried on in Israel. This was the first prophecy; it is not that the Lord has not been pleased to reserve us the prophecy of Enoch -- even He who knows the end from the beginning -- but it was the first revealed order in prophetic dealing and government in the progress of God's dealings with the world.

Noah -- as John Baptist -- closed one scene and ushered in another in which he died, as those of the old before him, for really in man nothing was changed, though in circumstances, and even guilt, much; for blessing and grace was sinned against -- Gentiles or nations soon begin now to have a place in our thoughts in the Word.

We have the sacrifice, blessing or promise, and covenant, and for the earth. This is distinct from the position -- he is set in the failure and the curse, and the ministration of divine government in it.

The important division into all the different nations, and tongues; Japheth, isles of the Gentiles, and see verses 5 - 20, 31. In Ham's family, the first human kingdom by means of man's violence; "he was a mighty hunter", "and the beginning of his kingdom". This chapter throws light, by these nations,

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etc., on all the after prophecies. The dates, and ordering of providence go in Shem's family, and in fact on Eber being brought to light, Joktan was east; by them were the nations divided after the Flood.

This gives one great branch of prophecy -- providence and pride, and more peculiar relationship to God, the God of providential ordering.


The generations of Adam were after the full ruin, so here, after the curse. Also they are the generations of the sons of Noah, for they go by descendance; now it is not ha-Adam.

We have the nations and the beginning of a kingdom -- quite a new thing -- there were violent men before, now nations and a kingdom individually set up. They broke off from the stem and settled there, "in their lands" -- thus countries had their origin too; this was settled in Peleg's time, only these were they who could not stay at home.

The isles of the Gentiles are all from Japheth; except Javan and Tiras -- these we may say are all in Gog's expedition besides Peres, Cush and Phut -- not Japheth's sons -- Madai is not properly so perhaps, but in the kingdom it is mixed up with Peres -- these we shall see afterwards.

Tubal and Javan are mentioned in Isaiah 66:119 -- the stopping of the accents there, in the Hebrew, does not join Tubal, Javan and the isles, but separates them as distinct, semiclosing the sentence at Javan -- verse 4 here shows the connection. Tarshish, and we see Cush -- Asiatic, it was part of or adjoining the land of Assyria -- Babel was the portion of Nimrod his son; for Havilah, see chapter 2: 11, there was, however, a Havilah, son of Shem, also we have those who with Tarshish attended Gog for spoil -- Sheba and Dedan.

In verses 7 and 8 we have instances how this genealogy supplies us with two things -- the great families which appear again in the latter days, and the detail of families by which God's purposes, and Satan's plans and wickedness were brought about in the course of events. This Nimrod has much to be noted in character; note also -- as in Cain -- the city

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building. The whole character -- the city building is nowhere else.

Chittim or Kittim, we are familiar with; Elishah, Riphath and Ashkenaz alone are not expressly mentioned in the latter day array. Mizraim is not mentioned with Gog -- the land of Mizraim does not escape the wilful king; Cush and Phut we have seen with Gog. Lebim and Cushim are also connected with the wilful king -- the former from Mizraim, see verse 13. Canaan also is well known, only so far as it remained, in Sidon, etc.

Note the language as to Shem in verse 21, Elam, Asshur, Lud and Syria alone are spoken of Shem nationally, but he was the father of all the children of Eber. The three distinctive characters of the three are to be noted; is ga-dol (greater) certainly "elder"?

The purport of all this is obvious -- only we remark Japheth haggadol -- Elam, Asshur, etc.

In verse 32, they settled by breaking off from the parent stock, or settled branch. Note this principle of nations, consequent on Babel, was entirely a new one.

Note, "the Lord" comes in here; also note, even Shem's families come in after the curse of dispersion on the sons of Noah, for this chapter is the history of the sons, the government is there, Noah stands alone.

It is national, derived from families, the government of the Lord now, but then that as a consequence of the judgment on Babel. Here, in Shem now, one family is taken up, and progeny, not death, is noted in the catalogue for, though under ruin, the Lord comes in as the Lord God of Shem, and this was now His way of blessing, i.e., as to the earth. But the order of God is here, the dates, families, and division of the earth -- unity in evil -- then Babel, Nimrod and Peleg give the three great types of this state of things.

We may also note that the characteristic title of the nations is consequent on the judgment on the public sin of the dispensation -- the tower of Babel -- for they are divided "after his tongue"; Japheth has the isles of the Gentiles, Ham is first great, Shem is noticed as younger, but the father of all those counted among the name of descent of God's people -- their name among the peoples -- "the Hebrews" say the Philistines.

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Note that in verse 5, we have B'ney ha-Adam (the sons of Adam) -- still their common generic name, no nations yet. As in chapter 10, the first human kingdom, so here the first great human confederacy to maintain themselves together, and exalt themselves in a joint centralizing name, which God has called "Babel" (confusion). This, though another point, was the head or beginning of Nimrod's kingdom. This was the occasion of a new character of judgment -- scattering, to confound the pride -- not simply destruction, to put an end to wickedness. We have then the chronology of Shem, in whose special family -- for the Lord God was the God of Shem, though Japheth might be enlarged, and dwell in his tents -- was the calling of God, an entirely new principle, now manifested actually, though doubtless true before; this was the principle.

We learn from Joshua 24, the occasion was idolatrous worship, i.e., ascription of power to demons, and not to God, which made judgment unavailing, for it was ascribed to the misleader of man; such was the occasion of the principle of God's calling. Till entirely disconnected from his family, he could not go to the land; Acts 7.

We have the public sin, and the Lord's judgment of the world, in providence, for it, and the descent of the chosen family from the chosen head of it. This was prepared in providence, for calling must stand by itself. Though the family afterwards were called, the immediate family are called, and the notice de facto that the separation of Abraham was incomplete, for he was obliged to be left a good while in Charran, because his father was with him; afterwards, God's mind and way in the matter is seen -- he "went forth to go into the land of Canaan, and into the land of Canaan he came".

Thus we have man (ha-Adam) and the end of all flesh -- Noah, and the new world, and his failure -- the government of the world based on this failure by calling and judgment (on Ham's family), and the preference of younger to elder -- providential arrangements thus ordered, and then further -- Babel and violent power, beginning the subsequent history -- and then the family of the owned seed. The call of Abraham begins all on a new basis.

The national order had its root and occasion in the sin, as all

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in the sin of Adam -- the family order of the world was completely ruined in the tower of Babel; this was the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom. And there man's renewed empire began, not only with violent Nimrod, but with the divinely established throne of Nebuchadnezzar. In general, we have association in unity of men, and power in an individual as king of Babylon. We learn from Joshua 24 that Satan had set himself up as the head of providential agency, as god, even in Abram's family, so that some new intervention of God was absolutely necessary, unless He should have destroyed all, He Himself had created, again. As the sin of Adam became, in the knowledge of good and evil, the occasion of blessing far higher, so the sin of Babel and confusion became the platform of blessing in Abram -- he is to be a great nation; yet the widest blessing reaches back beyond -- the families of the earth are to be blessed -- so did grace as to Adam.

NOTE. -- It is upon his return out of Egypt to the altar at Beth-el, the house of God, that the separation takes place, and the world and the inheritance become clearly distinguished.


This great principle is brought out -- called to act -- on faith, in God's Word for a promise only in hope, and when there only in earnest, a land to be shown -- a nation -- blessing -- and all families blessed in him -- this was the most general promise -- he was the man, the depositary of promise, and promised blessing.

The Canaanite -- the power of already announced evil -- was already, and now, in the inheritance where he was brought; so we, see Ephesians 6:12; but the principle, "they went forth to go" and "they came" -- that was their condition -- through this, and in this, however, he moved in liberty; but there was a famine in it -- he, without call, or direction, goes down to Egypt -- the world -- then denies his wife, gets presents for it, and the prince of this world, and his house judgment, till they are let go.

This is entirely a new principle in the world; God had, under Peleg, settled them in countries of their dispersion. They had not only settled in their countries, but it was divided -- allotted out. Abram is told of God to leave his country -- he

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becomes a stranger and a pilgrim upon earth, as regards original natural ties in flesh, but he has not here done with earth as the scene of blessing -- he was to go into the country which Jehovah would show him.

But the calling of an individual, and settling blessing in him, is a most important principle. It is not the responsibility of ha-Adam, nor individuals owned and godly through grace, but the purpose of God calling one out, and setting and centring blessing in him; and it is remarkable how blessing is dwelt on and repeated, cursing only coming in as a fence -- a judgment on any who should wish it on him. But Abram was called to a land (country), and the races or families of the earth (ground) were to be blessed in him -- he is taken from them to be a blessing to them. Making it a blessing means, I apprehend, the type of it -- "the Lord make thee like Abram" being the best wish of blessing possible; but all that was an earthly habitation he was separated from.

This being the very type and model of divine blessing is most remarkable, and more so far in us, for indeed we are -- being in Christ -- beyond all comparison; this is grace and a sovereign, original purpose.

Note, too, not only was he the model and type in which divine blessing was expressed, but he was the depositary and so source of it to others; this, far more fully and actually the case, in its complete fulfilment in us, is a very divine place. We have so the divine blessing in God Himself in Christ, in conscious communicated possession, that we become the communicators of it to others. This is first of all Christ's place, but he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him, and so it is shown and flows forth. Compare John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12, as showing how this is.

This principle is not only supreme on the part of God, and the accomplishment of His counsel, but it is clean contrary to, and out of the order His natural providence had established; the world was ordered by families, everything arranged by families settled in such and such terrestrial divisions, and kindred was the tie that bound the earth together.

Abram is called to loose all these, and leave them; corruption was come in, and they that were of God must be to God, but then the great principle of calling out by special grace -- God interfering because of His grace, and in grace having one for Himself in the world -- was manifested.

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Yet Terah acts for himself, and takes Abram a certain road towards the place; Abram did not act on the call at once. The expression "the Lord had said" is correct, from Acts 7.

Although the call was from out of the world as settled by providence in families, yet, being called out, the blessing ran in that order, whatever might be contained under it, or however God might bring about its accomplishment.

NOTE. -- This is "the Lord", as acting within the sphere of covenant, and dispensed relationship, not simply in supreme Godhead; the land he was to go to was of God the Lord's showing; "he went out not knowing whither he went" -- it was dependence and confidence in the Lord -- the ear opened to hear His will. Then the promise -- a great nation -- blessing, his name great -- to be a blessing -- kept, owned, so that blessing and curse should depend on treatment -- and lastly besides, all the families of the earth blessed in him, I say besides, for making him a nation was one thing as called, and the families of the earth, left where they were, being blessed, is another; there we have, on Terah's death, his acting on the call -- kept, perhaps, hitherto to himself, Terah had no part in it, and he dies in Haran, for Abram was to be out of his house and kindred; on this, Lot accompanies him, but he had neither after all -- Sodom was his place of loss of all -- on the contrary, in verse 5 we have the purpose of obedience, and its certain accomplishment in grace according to the calling. "They went forth to go, and they came" -- the whole effect of the promise in a certain sense.

Abram passes through the land -- the powers of evil, which are to be destroyed, are still in it.

By calling, the depositary of promise is brought into a place which is to be the rest, but he is there as a stranger -- the powers of evil, afterwards to be exterminated, being still there.

Here the Lord appears to Abram -- reveals Himself -- now for the first time spoken of; this is in the land, where he is brought by faith -- there is the revelation of the Lord Himself to him; hence it is a promise of the land -- this land -- to his seed, for he was, though in hope, a stranger in the effect of the promise, as regards the part of it here taken up, therefore this land.

Here also is worship ordered before the Lord -- "he builded an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him".

It was also a promise of the land to his seed, that is, in fact,

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it was the assurance of futurity -- of perpetuity according to the nature of the thing.

This is the place of communion and worship -- "in the heavenly places" -- the Lord revealing Himself there, the seal of faith in communion, and so ground of worship, carrying with it the assurance of eternity in it, and the consciousness that we are in the place, with the Lord, to which he had called us; for He has called us to His own kingdom and glory. But in these heavenly places, the power of wickedness -- the race on whom the curse ruled -- still are; we are strangers, yet the Lord appears to faith, in secret as it were, and, though moving to and fro, the Lord's altar is ours, in spite of the Canaanite, in every place. These are the two subjects in verse 9. In the end of the chapter we have Abram, not in the title of the Lord, but acting on distress, on his own wisdom, enriched outwardly, but his wife in the hands of the prince of this world; the end is judgment on the prince of this world, for, if man be unfaithful, God vindicates His own titles.

We have in verse 16 a remarkable picture of the departure of the church from God -- Abram, whose acts are in question, representing the persons in it who dealt with the Church in this way, and got rewards -- rewards or gifts of a harlot specially, as they say such in character. All these things they got from Pharaoh (king of Egypt) -- everything they could wish, and in favour, but in dishonour of God and of her too, through whom the seed of covenant was called -- beautiful in the eyes of the world, Egypt had nothing to produce like it -- but besides being beautiful, she was the espoused of Abraham, the spouse of promise in the purpose of God. It was distrust of God in Abraham, which led to it, and to deny his inseparable bondship with her, as separate (for ever) from all others -- this in spirit, but it has striking reference to the Jews when the bride of the Lord; he was not Abraham (father of nations) yet.


Abram returns to his former altar -- "at the first"; this is a great principle, be it for Christian or Jew; it is the history of the stock of faith -- great principles. Lot, favoured hereto fore with him, chooses what is good, and well watered, but the scene of God's judgment, into which he gets.

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Abram gives up, and has only the scene of judgment, and gets all things, and it is promised now to him, and his seed, as in chapter 12: 7. This was when in the land, always an actual thing, not a promise for a principle to all, though we may apply it in a sense.

We have the entire separation of faith from a portion in this world, so that it should come into the inheritance of God's counsels -- worldliness in him that had not the promises, or however did not act in faith as renouncing the world, having to dwell in the place of judgment, acting on the senses and selfishness to which this was then the best place, the apparent place of the Lord's blessing; this also is a type of the Jews.

Note in verse 12, Lot pitched toward -- up to, even to -- Sodom, but in verse 12 of the next chapter he was settled here.


I think that "in the days of ... made", is not "that these" made -- Chedorlaomer was chief; I suppose the king of Shinar was the foreign nation most connected with the Jordan kings.

Note -- whatever brings one into the blessing, brings one into the power of the world; it is not the delivered land -- the Canaanite may be in it -- but there is no choice of Sodom -- the power of the Lord is with those in it.

We have then the captivity of Lot in the wars of this world (as Israel, who chose the world, shall be), and the liberty of a deliverance by Abram who acted in renouncement on promise; he can use the world with him, as his servants, for he is acting for himself on his own principles. Melchizedek -- the Lord Jesus -- Priest and King, comes forth to bless -- not intercede here -- the most High God, now possessor of heaven and earth, and Abram from Him; but all that comes of and from the men of the world is ever, and utterly rejected. His superiority is owned.

Thus the great principles of the life of faith in the Church, and Israel too, are stated.

It is the victory of Abram over all the powers of the world, which had subjected those with whom Lot was associated, and thereon the full blessing of the depositary of promise of the King-Priest, on the part of the most High God, possessor of heaven and earth -- on the other hand the royal priesthood

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of blessing in the whole sphere of heaven and earth possessed of God supreme, and centring in Abram.

Thus the great principles of the life of faith in the Church, and Israel too are stated; this closes completely this book -- it is from chapter 12 to end of chapter 14.

The calling, position and failure of faith -- the dependence and renouncement of faith -- and the effect of worldliness -- triumph of the heir of the world, and the royal millennial blessing in Christ in heaven and earth.


We now come to other points -- the seed and heirs -- and the covenants -- the flesh and spirit -- and the principle of justifying faith.

God the Lord declares -- after this deliverance and refusal of anything from Sodom -- "I am thy shield and exceeding great reward". This was the great, the blessed -- how blessed -- infinitely blessed -- and for ever beyond all our thoughts in communion with Him -- and glorious truth, our own too in some measure, as He is the Father of all them that believe. Such then was -- if such was -- God to him -- the deep resting place of all brethren -- an anxiety on his soul, the occasion of an instruction -- the manner of it; he had no end but "the word of the Lord", for this was by "the word of the Lord" quod nota.

The Lord appeared, chapter 12: 7; but here we have the word brought in -- to him saying he should have an heir out of his own bowels -- his body now dead, it was a resurrection, and Sarah in the same way. Here he exercised faith, i.e., in God raising the dead, giving him a numerous seed -- compare Romans 4. Thus the promise of an heir -- faith in the word of the Lord -- and God raising the dead -- all are now introduced as concurrent principles, faith now being first mentioned -- the word -- the heir -- and resurrection, though all had been true actually, or in hope before. There is also the principle of a covenant dealing -- God's entering into the minutest detail of the interests of His people, and all their history, knowing their path, blessed be God, even in sorrow -- their enemies all before Him -- their deliverance all arranged for good -- and binds Himself in the same covenant, whether of a lamp to guide or

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a furnace to prove. And if the horror of a great darkness -- the power of the destruction of the flesh -- the shadow of death in the midst of Abram's care for the sacrifice against corrupters, or the power of evil -- the weight of God's judgment on the flesh fall on Abram's soul, He who covenanted with him passed through the power of death for him, to secure a covenant which He only could make -- He only sustain -- He only secure thus to such, as to any sinner.

Here we have faith counted for righteousness; before, it was "thee only have I seen". Enoch walked with God -- Abel's works were righteous, though we all know all these were by faith -- but the principle is here first introduced.

Note -- the Lord does not appear to him here -- it is a new kind of revelation, and as to the manner, an inferior one -- prophetic -- not the revelation of Himself. But it was first about Himself, only relatively to Abram; hence here we have the plans and purposes of God, and faith. Heretofore God's appearing, and personal relationship -- great principles, and promises -- now, the world having been judged, overcome, refused, the earthly purpose of God in the heirs (people) and inheritance is prophetically brought out, and secured by a covenant, full of mystery. The proper founding of an earthly covenant, on the revelation of a name of God, is only in chapter 17 -- He was revealed there on this patriarchal ground of God Almighty. All this chapter is Jehovah.

In verse 2, does mah-titten-li (what wilt Thou give me?) refer at all to s'kar'ka (thy reward)? At any rate take notice of the connection of the previous chapter; unless a son is born, and an inheritance, the destruction of enemies is of no avail -- the refusal of Sodom's goods is not all, without the possession of the Lord's inheritance, and here also comes in the recognition of character in chapter 22 -- without an heir, gift is naught. In Adam, first inheritance, then head -- now, in redemption, first the heir -- (the inheritance subsisting, but being ruined), then the inheritance. So then here in promise "what give -- seeing I go childless, and my heir", etc.; for herein God must have an Heir -- as well as he an heir of misery -- in redemption; and Heir of Worlds as a servant, ven-bethi (the son of my house, verse 3), but not so, there is an Heir of promise, One who indeed is Heir of God, and resurrection Heir, and herein declared Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, and

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not herein a servant, but a Son, though herein a Servant in love. But He was the Heir of the Church -- also in another sense, of Abraham's promises, as object of promise.

Note also, this comes out of "I am thy shield, and exceeding great reward". So the millennial glory, which is the heir and the inheritance, is the gift of God, as all in all, to the Church -- Christ is all in all, quod nota, for it opens much the two things, for they are in one sense two, yet one, for He is the first and the last, yet the Man of intermediate inheritance in which the Church, etc., learns this great thing -- it is the lesson of it, and by indwelling. The inheritance was a former -- unrevealed -- one to Adam, but in act it follows on the heir, and that as a voluntary promise; the covenant was a necessity, without it we may say bammah eda (whereby shall I know)?

Note -- on the enquiry as to the heir, which was necessary for any promise, the word of promise is given, and believed -- the inheritance, voluntarily promised, is matter of covenant "whereby shall I know?" quod nota; the answer primarily to mah-titten-li is the heir. The covenant and the inheritance includes however sorrow with it; in this sense Joshua is a most important character. But surely it was a sad word mah-titten-li when God had said anokhi (I); but God directed Abram's attention to Himself in saying "a shield to thee". Yet God meets this with the promise of the heir (seed, in an earthly sense) and inheritance -- we must look out, I do not doubt, upon this (Abraham) as the image of our Lord's faith (in weakness), as well as Father of the faithful, but I speak in a general sense -- it was a sad picture of the weakness of the human heart, sustained (to learn God) by intermediate witness of blessing, till all was accomplished, for this is God's way -- for what could be so great, so blessed as anokhi -- the end, centre and substance of blessing -- all blessing. "I am thy shield", yet he says "what wilt Thou give me?" now this was tide in Christ, and here it is justified -- but wretched weakness in us, for what blessing but is in God? Yet He has met this weakness in the righteousness of that tide, for so Abraham represents both -- it is a most important sentence, whether in principle or in type as to us.

It seems to me that, in verse 6, he-emin ba-hovah is more justly "he believed Jehovah", than "in" Him -- he put his Amen to what Jehovah said -- it is not trusting, because it is confiding, or trust in His word, which is believing Him.

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In verse 12 there was the covenant security of death, but the power of death -- it rested on redemption ground. God came down on man in darkness, but bound Himself by death, and sacrifice, to the gift. Trial and guiding light were the character in which He secured it, but death was on the creature, and God bound Himself. It is not exactly our place, because we come in after it is accomplished -- Christ having gone through it for us, and we are entitled to reckon ourselves dead; still there must be the death of the nature, and we often pass through it to arrive at liberty.

In verse 17, alatah (thick darkness), I apprehend is "thick darkness" -- quite dark; so in the other places in Ezekiel 12 where it is translated "twilight". It must mean obscurity -- thick darkness, of which He was to profit -- to be hid.

NOTE. -- Paul counts from the confirmation of the promise to law, 430 years (Galatians 3), that was some 14 years after this, perhaps more -- 14 or 15 years from chapter 16 (see beginning and end); but he takes evidently Exodus 12:40, as a general statement. I apprehend the statement here need not be a captivity and servitude of 400 (or 430) years, for at first the Israelites were not enslaved -- it was when Joseph was forgotten -- and this makes it easy to believe that the 400 years is the terminus of the period, given in round numbers. The Samaritan and Septuagint, in Exodus 12:40; would be an interpretation, and it looks like a gloss; the computation from Kohath, and Amram is of no weight. That the 400 years is a terminus, from the then present time, seems borne out by this, that it is given as a reason, that the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full -- it would be in 400 years -- they would be in Egypt as to the 400th year; 400 years is an absolute sentence -- afflict them -- 400 years. There is the difficulty of the sojourning of the children of Israel -- Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were not there -- but the text may be occupied with them, as if they were. On the other hand, it may be said, that Paul in Galatians 3 takes the whole patriarchal time in Canaan, as the time of promise, and the 430 years from Jacob's descent into Egypt.

We have hitherto had the calling and history of Abram, father of the faithful, depositary of the promises, and the great principles connected with it. Now we have the heir and the inheritance -- first then sought in a carnal way -- the promise of faith and the carnal way of getting it.

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As to details, we have God his shield and exceeding great reward -- the promise, on his plaint, of the heir -- faith, by which he was counted righteous. The same God that called him to this land to inherit it -- the definition of the inheritance by Covenant to an oppressed and delivered seed -- God, binding Himself to them, for this, as a burning lamp and smoking furnace. The heir was promised generally, and then seed as the stars of heaven; being promised generally to him, he seeks it then in the way of the flesh, instead of waiting on the Lord, and the bondwoman, being cast out, becomes yet the object of providential care and promise, but not in the house of Abram in the promise, but of supreme promise -- God living and seeing.

After the heir, the detail of promise here was the land and the numerous seed. In this way chapters 15 and 16 make another division of the Book.

Note, in Eden it was judgment on the serpent, and the setting up of the woman's seed not properly a promise; it was a grand dealing of God, according to His own mind -- and nature too -- announcing the destruction of evil by that which here had its source in the feeble and failing woman, the first Adam quite set aside -- unless he came under it.

In Abram promise begins, and he is called by that which is temporal -- but of faith, "which I will show" -- but brought into the place of promise, here he has nothing, and thereon he begins to look for the city which has foundations; the land is promised to his seed, while he enjoyed communion. The nations were to be blessed in him, chapter 12 -- in his seed, chapter 22; the special promise -- to wit, of the seed to come -- was then narrowed to David's seed, while established and confirmed.

It is clear then that Abram must enjoy the inheritance after a heavenly manner, i.e., he being in a heavenly position, for this was the position of his own faith. Then he is an heir according to promise, that is, he will so have the inheritance in a heavenly manner.

Christ Himself, come according to all these promises according to the flesh, takes nothing, but becomes heir, after a heavenly manner, by the power of resurrection; and Abraham will no doubt inherit the world thus in Christ.

This seems plain -- that that which Abraham came to and had not -- and Christ came to and took nothing -- he who saw

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the day of Christ will surely enjoy after a true and heavenly manner, according to the glory of the Seed of promise, who shall possess it, and as taking it under Him -- this I think presents no difficulty. But then another point comes in -- Christ, who came thus according to promise, was, in that nature in which He came, above all promise -- He was one with His Father, this could form no part of promise. The question then arises, what is the Church's place in this?

By the Holy Ghost's dwelling in us, we are brought into a marvellous unity with Him who possesses this nature -- who is in it, one with the Father -- we are one in Them; this unity being by the Holy Ghost, is applicable only to those in whom -- to wit the Church -- the Holy Ghost dwells; if Christ is in the Father we are in Him, and He in us, hence though the blessing comes upon the Gentiles, the present means of an election of Gentiles was not revealed to the ages -- it was a mystery hidden -- the day which Abraham desired to see, when the promises will be fully accomplished, is not yet come; and this will be the spouse of Christ, in a word, though the elect among the Gentiles come into blessing (as had been promised to Abraham) they come in now, by a means which rises far above promise, in Him who was loved before the foundation of the world, and according to a purpose formed, as to them, before it too, and which was not revealed by promise, but is based on the Person and work of Christ actually come, and union with Him before the world, is what is peculiar to the Church, see John 1 and John 17, our union is with Him who was so -- it is at Christ, as revealed by John specially, we are to look -- its administrative accomplishment in Ephesians.

However, I do not think we can say that Abraham was properly of the aionon (of his heavenly inheritance I have already spoken) but I doubt that Election, Calling and Promise is properly an aion. Noah's then existed and contracted itself, so to speak, into Israel for the time; nor do I exactly see, on the other hand, that looking for a city makes him the city. It seems clear that there is blessing without the city, for the nations of the saved shall walk in the light of it (Revelation 21:24) -- that he will enjoy it, I doubt not at all -- that he will be in it, remains yet not shown to me. A grave question connects itself with this -- that special privilege here bears no distinctive result above; for God had reserved some better thing for us -- does this cease with this earth? By one Spirit we are all

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baptized into one Body, compare Ephesians 5 and 1 at the end; also the Church displays to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies a new thing.


We have then the hurry of the flesh seeking for that which would be had only by promise, bringing in the old covenant -- the means are always the great point of faithfulness to God, for here it is He is trusted in patience, for the flesh is always readier, the flesh engenders by its confidence, the old covenant and sorrow is with Israel; what we seek for our good in it, turns to our sorrow in that point, and the new covenant loses its position in us. The bondwoman must return, and submit to the free, but if Israel fail, for so it was verified in history -- (principles are continually brought into their history now, for we have got into details, as in chapter 15 at the close) -- still, as cast out, they are under the eye of Him who liveth and seeth them even in this condition.


We have Abram's family covenant. God reveals Himself -- appeared to him -- as the Almighty God; He was known to him by this name, see Exodus 6. A covenant between God and him, to multiply him. And God talked with him -- he on his face; covenant with him -- father of many nations -- and kings -- a God to him and his seed after him -- the land and their God. All this for ever, without condition, and his name changed for the covenant. Here, being a pilgrim, and continuing so, God is not ashamed to be called, and to lay the basis of being called, his God. The covenant of circumcision given to be kept -- true circumcision to us by Sarah, the new covenant -- he shall become father of nations, at least she shall be mother of them, even of kings. Howbeit, as Abraham's seed, but before this covenant, and after the flesh, Ishmael should become a great nation, but that was all of him -- the son of the new covenant was joy; God left Abraham and went up, and Abraham kept the covenant, and with his house was circumcised.

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This chapter, though with an important break, goes on to the end of chapter 21. We have again quite a new presentation of the way of God in the promises -- it begins all afresh. Jehovah lays a new basis -- Jehovah comes and reveals Himself by His name of relationship to Abram -- chapters 15 and 16 were all within the circumscribed sphere of covenant lordship -- He is simply the Lord Jehovah. We have now the father of nations consequently brought out -- the heir promised by Sarah -- the new covenant -- and the separation of His people's family by circumcision -- His fellowship with Abraham as His friend -- His revealing His counsels and mind to him -- Abraham's intercession -- God's judgment of Sodom, where Lot, or the earthly-minded remnant was, yet who were of Abraham -- for God remembered him and saved Lot -- and here there is the break I spoke of.

The end of chapter 19 gives the posterity historically of Moab and Ammon; Abraham was up above, out of the judgments -- not escaped from them. In chapter 17 we have God in His own supremacy -- in chapters 18 and 19 the Lord in His covenant actings in promise and judgment -- chapter 17 is the proper revelation of God to Abraham as such, and bringing him, and his family, into covenant with Him because they were his family.


We have now a most blessed portion. Having settled Abraham as the father of many nations, and the new covenant in Sarah as the mother of them and even of kings; after this we get the communications of God with Abraham for his own soul, and joy, and as to His dealings with a corrupt world -- a world where (here moreover representing the Jews and Israel) Lot was.

This is a blessed truth, i.e., Abraham being on this ground of "father of nations", and the new covenant brought in; he is the subject of the communications of God of the immediate gift of the heir, and His judgment of the evil world "I will certainly return" and "shall I hide". (see footnote) The Church at large laughs at the idea of the gift of the Son though long ago promised, and originally desired.

But God comes down to see the state of the world, though

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even the cry is risen up till He comes down and sees; His long-suffering is perfect even to the very end -- how different we. Yet as to the consequence it is our privilege and place to say "Lord, how long" in the desolation of His people, for love and for His glory.

Intercession is Abraham's place, he has nothing to do with the judgment -- but knowledge of it -- but the Lord is far more accurate in His ways, and does not take this step till the case is hopeless, for He is very patient, though in the end a consuming fire. Blessed be His name in all things; for judgment itself is mercy, clearing the evil that good may be blessed.


The judgment of the world in its sin manifested.

Here there are but two, and they as ministering angels, and just Lot is delivered, but this is because of the promise and favour to Abraham -- it is grace; it is a question of the world and a remnant, and that remnant near the ruin (though delivered, so as by fire) because it had taken the world when it seemed well-watered everywhere, as the garden of the Lord, and very little like the place of fire and judgment to the eye of the flesh. God had given, men might say, all these things, so He had in a sense; what then? Man was a sinner, and relinquishment, service and promise was his place; why promise, if he had his portion, and had not to declare plainly that he sought a country? First he chooses the well-watered plain -- then pitches his tent towards Sodom -- then lives in it -- and then is driven out, with loss of all, by judgment of destruction.


It seems to me that the Spirit of God takes up much more the Jews in the latter day here; it is not that we have not, in principle the same thing as in chapters 17, 18 and 19, but its proper force is there. And it arises on this question with the king of the land over Abraham's wife, over the Jewish people as having a Husband, and as belonging to Him -- they may treat them well in ignorance, but the Lord claims them for Himself, and others cannot thus have them.

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Here also it is all God -- not the Lord -- not the order of covenant, or ordered relationship, but God in His supremacy. In the case of Pharaoh, it was the world, and Abraham is treated well, and Pharaoh plagued with great plagues -- here the judging after the flesh -- Abimelech is in the land, and does it in the integrity of his heart, but is bound to own Sarah to be another's -- then he can reprove Abraham, and give him the land to live in. Thereupon the heir is born, "to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given"; thereon the heir, as under the old covenant is clean turned out, and Abraham can reprove Abimelech -- give to him -- set the borders of his lands -- and then take possession of the land in a figurative sense -- plant and grow there -- call on Jehovah, the everlasting God, who now (figuratively) had given him the promises -- the world (who owned however the Lord, see verse 4) acknowledging that God is with Abraham in all that he did -- this after the entire casting away of the old covenant, and so it shall be. We may enter into this in spirit now, but it shall be accomplished in the latter day.

Chapter 12 is much more the Church and the world -- Abram being the general depositary of promise; query -- would not this suppose the bringing in of the new covenant (even as to the Jews) before the birth of the heir to them? The power of deliverance is a distinct thing from the preparedness of heart before God, and this last is a thing owned in Jewish dealings; Psalm 119 seems to teach the same thing -- there the law is written on the heart, but salvation or deliverance is not come. This is an important principle in prophetic Jewish history. The Church stands on other grounds in its address to the world, although the same effect is produced. Is not this too seen in the Lord's life, in grace going to the chief of sinners, and yet saying "except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye can in no wise enter"?

In these two chapters then we have Abraham and Abimelech -- the heir born -- and Abimelech and Abraham again; in chapter 15 the covenant of the land -- the heir and land -- the Gentile world being refused; in chapters 16 and 17, the two covenants in their contracted character, and the heirs respectively of each; in chapter 18, the new being made known, Abraham thereon the depositary of the immediate promise of the spiritual Heir, and of the divine mind, closing with the execution of judgment; chapter 19, the close is special.

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Here we have the relation of the believers, or those that hold the promise, before the heir is given and after, subject to (by their own folly, it is true -- for God was Almighty, and they were to walk before Him) the world, or its king, and fearing before him, and then the Heir born to them and ruling the world -- true in principle ever. It will have a special earthly accomplishment in the Jews, received under the new covenant with the Heir -- the old covenant turned quite out, and the world reproved; but the Church anticipates these questions.

We have already seen that the man represents the conduct, the woman the state of the relationship with God; thus then it was not only generally with Abram and Sarai; but Abraham denies the total separation of his wife -- the Church -- to himself, even as Sarah, but it was not Abimelech's fault but Abraham's; so with the Church -- it is not the world's fault, but the Church's -- believers' -- that the Church is put into the hands of the world in this sense. Sarah is finally reproved, though both are in fault, and Abraham intercedes for the world then, when Sarah is restored -- this has special reference to the Jews and Christ -- so in Numbers 12, Aaron, though also guilty, interceded for Miriam; Abraham takes Christ's place in spirit then -- and so indeed the remnant, though guilty, noted hereafter.

Save the natural, original sin of man, God preserves His own seed in this -- and the glory of Christ -- by secret providence; but its condition before the world is lost -- Abraham has no wife -- believers recognise none of this separation of the Church to Christ as His own.

We have then the Son born according to the new covenant -- to us indeed now in spirit -- but actually, when He comes as such into the world, and then instead of Abimelech's reproving, Abraham reproves Abimelech.

As to the Jews, I should say it was the interval immediately before the coming of Christ as the Son born to them, in which the Gentiles are entirely unfruitful while they are in their hands -- the Son is born, and they give up and cast out the old covenant, and then Abimelech recognises that God is with them in all that they do, not seeking to use them for his own purposes.

NOTE. -- It is Sarah who is reproved, for she ought not to have acquiesced, and Abraham is dealt with, in the way of grace, as a prophet -- for so God looks at the Church in Christ for intercession according to His mind, as full of the Spirit;

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compare Numbers 12, where the judgment is on Miriam -- Aaron interceding, though in the fault secondly, if not first.

The age of Sarah moves me nothing -- for the Church or Jews, the people of God, lose nothing in the sight of the world for their purposes, though in the sight of God in themselves grown old and barren. I see no necessity to assert that the fact happened where it is placed, but in its typical order I have no doubt it is in the right place, and in this sense it bears a most important character in the sight of God; it is when Sarah bears the burden -- or may be supposed to do so, for it is not directly stated "for the day and hour knoweth no man", but from the place it occurs, looking back from the fact in chapter 21 to the promise in chapter 18 -- of the Heir of all, the laughter of those that hoped, and the glory manifested of His Father in the world.

If it be the case, as above, about the Jews, then there is a recognition of them in Abraham in blessing, before the full blessing comes in -- indeed it is so for Christ's sake, for in all their affliction, blessed Lord, He is afflicted -- and thus Abraham would represent both Christ and the Jewish remnant, before the open manifestation of Christ, but it is more a display of principle than full details. It was when Hagar wandered and lay down, in despair, that Abraham made a covenant and reproved Abimelech after.

Many of the types present the perfections of God, or Christ in one sense, and the actings and therefore failure of faith in the other.

I have no doubt that, in the type strictly, Abimelech, Sarah and Abraham present what is Jewish at the close -- God secretly preserving the remnant, but they in the world's hands and the people treated well -- Satan seeking to keep them there. Then the Son born, and the distinction of Hagar fully made, and she cast out, and then the supremacy over the world; but, though all this may pass actually among the Jews then, it is true spiritually, not only with the Church, but even an individual soul, for example, getting under the old covenant, and seeking its blessing and heirship there.

Then with some necessary adjuncts from chapter 22 to the end of chapter 24, we have a new distinct revelation. In the previous part we had the Lord's revelation of Himself to Abram as El Shaddai -- the covenant of circumcision -- and also father of many nations -- and the relative position, under this,

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of Church and Israel in Abraham and Lot. Then the new covenant and the Heir -- here we have the Heir distinctly brought out -- in connection with the Church -- sacrificed and raised again in a figure; afterwards His Father giving Him all He had, sends His messenger (who had all in His hand and takes an earnest and proof), to seek a wife, and brings her back to the Risen One come out to meditate, having left the place where the providence of God had met and secured the subject and type of the old covenant; chapter 16: 14.

The force of all this can hardly be mistaken -- the Holy Ghost taking the graces and gifts, and revealing that all was given to the Son; and seeking by the Father's will a bride for the Son, whom He brings back to Him, He having left the place of providence and the old covenant.

Sarah, the Jewish mother, is here removed ever viewed in the new covenant, and Rebecca is brought into her tent, and so Isaac comforted -- and so the true Isaac. Meanwhile the land became the burying place of all their hopes, and that is all -- all that Abraham, the depositary of promise, took in the land, and that not as his, but bought in it. It was only for the dead -- a possession -- pledge of other title to it, however. The world which has received Him in death, He must have for an inheritance; on the sacrifice and resurrection, the promise was confirmed to the seed. Verses 20 - 24 of chapter 22 come in, that the chain of history may be complete.


We have then, the heirship and its principles and effects having been stated generally, the manner of accomplishment of the blessing in figure, and the extraordinary course, which was taken with the Heir, by reason of sin, and here we find the promise confirmed to the seed (Christ), which had not been mentioned since Abram's call -- for all between was strictly, properly, Jewish, though the change of name might, as to the election, be extended to the Gentiles -- "In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed".

In this most beautiful chapter of his personal intercourse with Him, who, if He spared Abraham, did not spare Himself in giving His Son, we have the principle clearly brought in -- the inheritance is taken in resurrection, and therefore on a

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sacrifice which can purify the joint-heirs to be with Him, according to the power of that resurrection, while many blessings may come therewith to the natural seed.


Here we have Sarah disappearing as the mother of the heir consequently, for grace in resurrection has children and not parents, and thus the Jewish Church as the mother of Christ, though honoured as such, gives place to the King's daughter, the same expressed in a new character ("instead of thy fathers thou mayest have children") as Sarah in chapters 20 and 21 was looked at, as we have seen, as the mother of the heir and so Jewishly. Abraham still declines to have even this from the world -- a burying place for Sarah -- to owe any man anything; if Israel as of old be buried, it shall be buried not by the goodwill and favour of man, nor take its grave from anyone but he who honours it.


Here we have the father sending Eleazar -- a type of the work of the Spirit, with a testimony that all was given to the Son to bring back the Church (to whom He displays many gifts, and on whom He confers them) -- to Isaac; the details are very beautiful.

This will be true in the recall of Israel in the latter day, but has full truth in the Church now, Jesus being glorified.

We have here the most perfect and lovely account of the work of the Holy Ghost in the call of the Church; no doubt Christ will have the earthly Jerusalem in a similar manner.


We have here the extension of general blessing to other nations, though Isaac be heir of all. We have then the principle, not of death, resurrection, and inheritance, but of election and separation in those who might seem, externally, the heirs, and the apostasy of him who had the natural derivative right -- an important principle, looking only to present

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things, the things that are seen, instead of saying "our light affliction, which is but for a moment", etc., "while we look not at the things which are seen", etc. -- "thus Esau despised his birthright"; so the Church -- so Israel -- in not recognising the Holy Ghost, but taking the world and its mess of pottage -- the other saying "we have no king but Caesar"; though if grace went to the Gentiles, it was "away with such a fellow from the earth". In Esau was all the energy of the flesh too, as well as the birthright; but it was announced beforehand, "the elder shall serve the younger". It is with the barren and the weak that the blessing is always found, for He chooses the weak things.

We have now Isaac as the resurrection Church and power. Fear was the principle of Abraham's conduct with Abimelech; note the difference of the flesh for God's commands, and the Spirit acting in faith; chapter 21: 11 to 22: 3.

The seeking the Church by Eleazar, for Isaac, is after the setting aside of the Jews in Sarah, while Abraham had not so much as to set his foot on, and had to buy only a burying place -- the earnest of possession; so with Jacob, and Joseph when in Egypt.

Rebecca is taken into Sarah's place, and Isaac is comforted concerning his loss of Sarah -- the Jewish mother.

From verse 12 we have the blessing of the nations, as sharing the goodness of Abraham, the depositary of promise -- but Isaac is heir; they might enjoy the blessing, but were not heirs with him -- so of the nations brought in.

Then the great depositary of all promise, however accomplished, and developed, passes from the scene, and it closes alike as to flesh and spirit -- Isaac and Ishmael bury him; and we begin again quite fresh with Isaac, the resurrection heir, and the path of faith or unbelief (as it was with Abraham) under that principle. Isaac now takes up the place of blessing and subject of testimony. He is found now in the place of God's providence to Israel, cast out under the old covenant -- the place he had left to receive Rebekah.

Ishmael has the pre-eminence after the flesh -- twelve princes according to their nations -- and Rebekah barren; here another principle comes out -- distinctive election. Abram, though chosen, gave especially calling; this, predestination -- there were two people, but the elder should serve the younger. Esau grows -- is mighty -- the elder and beloved of his father,

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for carnal reasons after the flesh -- but is profane, and for a morsel of meat -- having no thought of the privilege of God, or of what was beyond selfish life, beyond his death -- sells his birthright for a mess of pottage; he despised note, not the blessing -- none do that when present -- but the birthright which gave him nothing.

Though true of anyone, I apprehend in Esau we have specially the type of Israel -- Ishmael is Israel under the law -- but Esau is the profane rejecting the birthright for the mess of pottage -- their Messiah, for a few momentary carnal privileges, and security under the Romans.

In Jacob we have Israel also, and their history; cast out -- wandering, but God with them to bring them back -- the promises secure to them and temporal earthly blessings -- and this, after all, under God's favour their object; the stone of Bethel is still in the land for them, and praise to be rendered in God's house out of covenant earthly blessings.

Note also here, that Christ for the Jew (i.e., in its earthly order) is born of the new covenant.

We have then the call of Abram, as the depositary of promise -- then failure generally, and thereon enriched by the world -- the renouncing of worldly object, and the seeking it, and so distinction made; Abram being identified thus with the inheritance of promise -- Lot, saved through mercy, with the place of judgment -- finally Lot carried into the world (hostile) as a captive -- Abram victorious over his enemies, and thereon coming into the blessing of Melchizedek, God being Possessor of heaven and earth; these were great principles, wherein Jewish or Church things take their place, but they are the great scheme or order of principles. In chapters 15 and 16 then we have the promise of the seed, and a numerous posterity -- God being his shield and reward -- and the earthly inheritance defined -- the effort to have it through man's will by the old covenant. In chapter 17, we have the proper appearance of the Lord to Abram himself, giving him his place, and taking His name of relationship to him -- Almighty God -- circumcision, the seal of this covenant with the Father. Then the promise of the seed by Sarah, the new covenant -- the judgment of the world asserted -- and the deliverance of Lot; note, here Abraham takes the place of faith and intercession -- the heir of faith is to be born to the new covenant. Therefore Abraham is more specially here, the Church in the heavenlies -- the heir

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is not born to Israel yet. Then in chapters 20 and 21 we have unfaithfulness, or the connection of worldly power in a fleshly way; God's asserting His right to Sarah, as in the new covenant (and the heir) -- rejection of the old -- superiority of Abraham, thereon, to Abimelech -- the land defined as Abraham's. Then resurrection placed as the basis of blessing, and the call of the Church -- he with Christ in that.


We have here a different phase of the relation of the Church and the world. No longer returning into Egypt in the famine, but to sojourn in the land promised, and God be with him -- the obedience of Abram securing blessing in the seed. But the associate power of evil within its borders -- the power of the world, and its resource in the trials and difficulties -- the famine in which he found himself -- and here again the unity and identification of the wife is denied, though their intercourse (His kindness to her) makes it evident that she was so. But here the power of the world is made to show favour to Isaac and his wife; for the Lord was with him to bless him sojourning in the land in obedience to the Lord's directions. Therefore though weak and failing in faith -- for he drew towards the world in dwelling in Gerar, which never became actually Israel, but the evil was presented on the world's part -- though he sinned, he denied not, did not give up his wife. Blessing was upon him manifestly from the Lord, and worldly power ruined him -- that which was in the land, but was not of the seed of God, and they stopped the wells -- would not allow the drinking places of the seed of God, though they had digged them; Isaac recedes, having first met contention and then hatred, and giving way -- at last, room -- that they might be fruitful; and then he returns to the place, where Abraham had fixed the mark of his portion -- the well that he digged for himself -- the utter border of Israel.

In this sense, though when come again in power, Israel should have it all, yet then Isaac had no business in Gerar -- he was to sojourn in this land, but then he had no occasion to go into the place of what was of the world (and the world in controversy with Israel about the borders of their land) where he is brought into fear, contention and hatred, through their

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envy; but he has, in such case, only to recede where the mark of God, given of old to faith, will be the place of renewed blessing, as given to the father of the faithful. And there, upon the blessing of God, the hostile world, which just before drove him out, now seeks his favour and alliance; in a word, we have the direction to the resurrection Church -- its conduct, still clinging to the world -- within its borders -- the world jealous of its blessing -- contending -- hating -- and the Church giving way -- yields all to it -- comes into the border of the promise, where God blesses it. Then the world is glad to come and own that the Lord is with it -- humbly submitting itself to him, whom it now owns is now "the blessed of the Lord" -- the world never owned this while the Church was within its borders, but ruined it -- the same day, the Lord gave them that water, fresh digged, which had been to Abraham the seal and occasion of the testimony of what belonged to himself, and where he had called on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God, who had now shown a fulfilling of His faithfulness and mercy in this name -- it is an instructive picture.


In this chapter we have the dealings of God with the seed after the flesh, and after the Spirit, bringing in their actings too as such.

The more man is brought in, the more misery and wretchedness manifests itself, and here especially by a mixture of right and wrong, which however God fully discovers. In Esau, we have the profane elder brother, whom yet Isaac, who stands representing the general body here in this dispensation, loves best (according to the flesh) and would bless; but he was profane and had sold his birthright, and could not inherit the blessing of God in promise (so that the purpose of God according to election should stand, as it is written) and so Esau finally proved himself -- this, divine judgment and power ordered, i.e., that he should not. Jacob had proved his value for it (strength and self was Esau's portion) and he would have it, but he set about to get it -- not in patience on God's will in God's way -- by the womanly cunning of his mother; here -- not profaneness, but ecclesiasticism which, not being intrinsically and profanely strong to seek a blessing, is always wickedly

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cunning, and full of lies -- she, in her place, was as bad as Isaac who would have blessed the profane (but this is sad declension) but God ordered all aright -- Esau did not get the blessing, though he got a blessing by his hand, according to his character, one analogous to him; Jacob got the blessing according to the faith which valued the birthright; but for the manner in which he sought it, present trouble, sorrow, rejection, and the wrong and deceit himself had exercised -- God is faithful to give, but He is faithful to judge and chasten those He gives to.

It was all a sorrowful scene -- God yet provides for keeping him from Esau's evil, in sending him away -- he was not to marry the daughters of Heth.

We have now two great parties -- the profane apostate seeking present blessing, and the failing and deceitful heir using, and led by deceit, valuing however the birthright, and inheriting the blessing, yet through trouble.


We have here, when the character which God put upon this transaction with Jacob was manifested, Esau's imitation of a conduct thus directed; this we must expect, but in fact it only revives the previous lawlessness from God, and does not remedy but rather increases the evil -- the sentence was already passed, and when there had been any opportunity for it, or good of it, it was not God's will, but his own he did, now this imitation was too late.

Jacob departs under the direction of his father; he leaves this well of the oath where the covenant of blessing was established; and here, before he gets into his misery, the Lord in the dream shows the whole economy of the providence, and government of God occupied with this outcast Jacob as its object, and the Lord declares He would be with him, and not leave him till He had done the thing He spoke to him of, and here in the blessing we have him and his seed mixed up for the blessing of the families of the earth, for now we have left the resurrection Church and come to Jacob and Israel -- and upon the ground of these blessings, while outcast, he vows to take Jehovah for his God. As Isaac was the type of the resurrection Church having been so received in a figure, so here we

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have the type of the Jewish outcast state to return humbled but as a Prince with God -- we have then the subject opening into wider details, because we must have the history of the Church during the period of Jacob's outcast state.

This chapter is the security of Jacob under the promises, made to the fathers, that he alone, forlorn, was the object of God's special care -- the centre of the service of the messengers of heaven -- down upon earth; and then, in the land given to him, would be God's house to him. The relationship of Jacob's ways, founded on this, was earthly, see verses 20 - 22.


Here we have Jacob taking rather the Lord's place in type -- though all through we may trace Jacob's actual character as Israel's in the flesh -- but then it is the Lord's earthly character. He meets Rachel, serves for her, but has Leah instead -- yet afterwards receives Rachel. As the Jewish mother, God remembers her too afterwards -- she was barren, grace takes her up; so that afterwards, we have the history of Christ, rejected and elevated to glory, in Joseph her son, and Benjamin the son of his father's right hand, and his mother's dying sorrow -- the earthly power of Christ for Israel when He comes to Joseph, i.e., when Christ takes this character, Israel comes into the enjoyment of the best of this world's possession; but this, after -- here God secures Jacob's temporal blessing, in spite of this world's wrong. He secures him against the power of the world, also taking him up in his trouble. Though he feels the effect of his evil ways, his individual history is a deep lesson of a believer's not entirely trusting, but using his own carnal wisdom, or listening to another's, to secure a blessing which is ever according to God's purpose. Alas! they may have it too often from the Church, properly so called.

God, note, turns all this to blessing, and secures Jacob from any profane union with the worldly Canaanites; hence, Jacob is properly Israel looked at as a remnant, but the remnant as partaking of Israel's sorrow, and hence, in its place, of Christ.

Thus, whatever the real evil which God has chastised in him, as between him and the profane, Jacob has been blessed and has obeyed his father's voice, and so of this remnant.

There is difference between Ishmael and Esau; Ishmael was not the wilful profane one, it was merely that Ishmael

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took up the birthright promise -- blessing after the flesh -- whereas Esau despised his birthright, and so was profane. It is true of all apostates, but Israel was in the former position, as under the law; in Hebrews they are set on the ground of Esau rather. They hate the heir of God's election. I cannot help thinking that the beginning of chapter 29 is typical, and that now Jacob assumes the character of Christ, though we have much of Israel's sorrow, and besides that, of his personal failings too.

He was a stranger, unknown, and seeks Rachel only -- he would have her alone. The flocks, in general, cannot be watered until the well is opened, but He opens it and waters Rachel's flock, and Rachel here is His Jewish chosen and beloved flock and bride. It was His -- was His flesh and bone -- He was a Jew.

But after all He has not Rachel, but Leah first; still He has Rachel, for He serves for her too, and withal for His inheritance.

All this was the time however of Israel's sorrow, and outcast state, and of Christ's sorrow and suffering with them, yet it is the time of the begetting of the children, as well as watering the flock and tending them. It was "high day" -- the time of rest was not yet come.

But Jacob oppressed, and ill seen among the Gentiles, returns, urged by circumstances, but really directed by God, to the land of his pilgrimage, as of the fathers.

NOTE. -- Benjamin, the son of his father's right hand, and of his mother's dying affection, was the only one born in the land.

Rachel here carries her images with her.

The secret providence of God has blessed Jacob and preserved him all this time, though it was a time of failure -- a spirit of cunning instead of confidence in God -- the time of his being outcast, and rejected, in this type of Israel, though this was really the time of the begetting of children, "for more are the children of the desolate, than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord". Also had he Rachel last of the two, though he sought her first.


Jacob, thus preserved by the secret providence of God, where nothing can be owned in him, yet blessing secretly secured, and preservation, returns to the land of promise.

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Edom is to become the portion of the profane; still here, this profaneness of the flesh is the stronger as to flesh, and the flesh must be put down in Jacob, before he can be fully blessed -- for, though on the borders, he is not yet come into the land, nor up to Bethel. It is quite a different account -- there Jacob had had the instruction of God's interfering with Laban -- here the Angels of God met him, and he recognises God's host, still the thought of Esau possesses his mind -- he had wronged him in manner -- getting by fraud what he might have waited on God to secure to him; he did not wait on God -- that was the great evil. Present after present goes to appease Esau, rather his own fears, for Esau's mind was quite turned, he had no evil intention against him. He cries, however, to God in his distress, alleging God's command for him to return; also he sends over his children and wives -- he was alone -- for God's mind was to take all this flesh into His own hand for correction. So our blessed God does -- in another's hand it would be enmity -- here it is love, and He who deals with it, strengthens withal the new man within. He does not leave Jacob with Esau in the fear of the flesh, but takes him alone to Himself, for the correction of the flesh. All this was in secret. The day-breaking was coming, and He was not revealing Himself, yet He shows the weakness of flesh in His hand -- blesses, but refuses His name; but on the morrow Jacob passes on first, and without fear.

Here Jacob has prevailed with God, for faith and life were there, and has hence his name, but still with struggle and mark of what power had been there struggling with him, not in revelation; further it was struggling that he might be blessed, not in intercession, or peaceful, though reverent nearness as Abraham -- that is rather the Church's place -- still he was blessed there. But, I repeat, it was a struggle to be blessed himself -- the Man wrestled with him -- did not talk with him as one to whom He should reveal His mind, as to His friend, and go up when communing was done, then judgment of the world was the subject.


Esau now leaves the promise however to him, and goes to the place God hates -- to his own portion.

Israel now, not at Bethel, and yet unpurged, see chapter 35: 2,

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buys in the land where he was a stranger; hence righteousness itself becomes confusion and violence.

Yet God is still with him, and he is driven out from this ungodly settlement, for it was not his rest as yet.


He receives the direction of God -- purges out the idols -- goes to Bethel to the God, who met him in his distress, now remembered -- thus the God of promise, providence and mercy. None now pursue him -- he builds his altar, El Beth-El, for El Elohe-Israel was too soon before. Here Deborah, Rebekah's nurse -- Israel, as of old -- the cradle of the Church, dies. Jacob is looked at as now only come out of Padan-aram; God reveals Himself by the name of his father's God, i.e., as He had to Abraham and Isaac, and blesses him then, and gives him the name of Israel, and this is the true blessing and honour. It is a new Beth-El now. Rebekah was the heavenly Church, as we have seen, brought by the Holy Ghost to Christ; Deborah was its earthly Jewish care-taker in infancy -- its nurse -- what went with, but was not the spouse.

Jacob was never properly blessed till now, i.e., as standing brought back before God -- I speak not of promise by Isaac -- here he comes into Abraham's place; this would not be at Jabbok, nor at El Elohe-Israel, nor, really, till now. Here also we find Benjamin brought forth -- Christ as the right hand of power -- His mother's affliction, who dies and passes away in producing Him, but the Son of His Father's right hand. Also here, the beginning of Jacob's strength, after the flesh, is proved "unstable as water" that cannot excel. Jacob has his lot in his father's sojournings, at Hebron, large as his family, and great as his possessions were.

Such is the history of the secret, but restoring, Providence -- the judicial process which took all into its own hand, that it might bless in spite of Esau, still the effort at fleshly establishment, and at last purged Israel moving (from Padan-aram) to Beth-El, and the full renewal of blessing to him, thus restored. Esau entirely away, and the hand of strength now born to him in the land -- Rachel passes out of sight, but Jacob takes the place of Isaac in the earth.

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Esau's royal and ducal strength -- his family greatness before there was any king in Israel -- for God reserves His own time, man's time is always -- Jacob being but a poor shepherd, a plain man; this closes this part.

The counsels of God are now to be developed more, in the Person of the Lord Jesus; so it is indeed in Isaiah. When Joseph was born, Jacob thought already to pass out of Padan-aram, but all was not then accomplished -- the inheritance not yet served for. The power of life and faith with God is however most wonderfully shown in Jacob's wrestling -- and even in the wrestling, though not peaceful communion; yet more, this wrestling may be in intercession, as in Epaphroditus, it may be -- but perhaps the Lord alone had it purely so -- in the conflict of bearing; for in us, though this may be, it is corrective also, but there is prayer that we may not enter, and so passing through the trial with God.


Jacob is now in his natural place, but a stranger there -- for all trial and correction and discipline does but bring one to one's proper natural place, though it may be with more experience of one's self and God; but simple faith in what God is, has its dignity, above experience itself, though it be experience of God -- always blessed. The history recommences to bring out the Person of the Lord in Joseph. Joseph was loved of his father, and envied of his brethren, and further had communication of the mind of God. He is presented here as taken from among his brethren -- he has the consciousness (though little and simple) of his own exaltation in the mind of God, and this is important -- it is in no way pride, but owning God's mind and purpose, and gives wonderful strength from God, and glorifies Him -- we see it constantly in the Lord Himself -- no service can be done, as of God, but through this, and therefore service must be given up, or else thus alone true humility preserved; "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business" is consistent with the most perfect humility, and spirit of obedience. It supposes, till experience is made of man, that all will acquiesce in it, as of God, as simply as he

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who walks in it does, because it is of God, in obedience, as owning Him; hence, when opposed man's state is known, and God becomes all to the soul, we may marvel at their unbelief. God in this feeling is everything -- we see it in the Lord.

There is difference in the dreams of Joseph -- one is, his brethren first -- as the Lord would be amongst the Jews -- but then He was under His father and mother -- He would have been a Jew and taken His place in nature, but when the Sun and Moon, as well as the eleven Stars are subject, all authority and all power, Judaism and every constituted authority is put under Him. Jacob himself is startled -- he generally stands as the remnant and heir of privilege.

Yet so it is with the Lord -- no Jacob, nor descendible privileges reach the scope of the thoughts of God concerning Him -- He is above all; "let thy mother's sons bow down to thee" could be a blessing from patriarchal and prophetic lips, but Joseph's were to be above the blessings of his progenitors to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, and that as on the head of Him, as to circumstance, who was separated from His brethren; but in truth it was his in the mind of God, for even they were prophetic and so circumstantial, i.e., moving within the ordained sphere; the bowing of his father and mother evidently came direct from God, and Jacob understood it not, though he might learn it -- not bless as the greater -- not observe the saying that fell from the little one's mouth, the communication of God directly to him. His brethren envied him -- God's supremacy was an ill thing in their eyes -- their own as given very agreeable; righteousness in Joseph has already detected their evil -- he visits his brethren according to the order of subjection, in which he stood, the messenger from their father to them; here he is rejected, with some remorse in Reuben, and on the suggestion of Judah, sold to the Gentiles.


Thereupon, in Judah's history we find the utter wandering and misery of Judah, but therein again, and out of this, the genealogy of grace; he marries Canaanites -- sin is in his family -- commits fornication with his own daughter-in-law -- all was gone wrong. Yet in this sprang Him in whom men should bless, saying: "the Lord make thy house as the house

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of Pharez, whom Tamar bore unto Judah" -- "do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be thou famous in Bethlehem"; though it might be said of him, how hast thou broken forth?


The righteous Joseph, charged with the sin of which his accuser was guilty, is treated as a malefactor by the Gentile authority -- his feet put in the stocks, and the iron entering into his soul; he is delivered to the Gentiles, and by them mystically put to death. There he is the interpreter of restoring blessing and fatal judgment; before there was the counsel of the Lord to Messiah's natural Jewish and supreme advancement, and exaltation in principle -- here rejection and death comes in, but with it, the Lord's mind in saving and condemning the guilty according to His true counsels.


Interpretations belong to God. All through this, the Lord was with him, though thus rejected and clean forgotten as a dead man out of mind. It is as thus rejected that he becomes the interpreter, there is no true interpretation without the cross, it is there that God's interpretation has its place, its ways their accomplishment, there is in the principle of it -- moral principle -- the wisdom of God. His general counsels in result might be before Messiah's glory: yea, that it was to be set above the heavens, this glory of man in Jesus; but this but paved the way for Him who was lifted up to be cast down, and there all the moral ways of God have their discovery. God did as Joseph had interpreted. But also here he is to interpret the whole history and fortune of the world, its blessing and its misery, its time of comfort and of trial, and provision for it. Counsel as well as knowledge is here -- the wisdom as well as the knowledge of what God's mind was. All the interpretation is identified with the low estate of Joseph, quod nota; then after righteous humiliation, and wisdom comes exaltation to power to the right hand of the throne, he becomes head of power, and conducts everything according to wisdom, and everything is reduced under Pharaoh. Here he is not

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only Lord but he has his Gentile wife. We have then generally in Joseph the depositary, as well as object, of the Messianic counsels, head among the Jews, supreme as to his personal dignity, the sun and moon are also to bow to him, then the interpreter of the counsels of life and death in his prison and the word of the Lord trying him also, and then the knowledge and counsel both of the world's condition, so that thereon by power all should be reduced under the authority of the throne.


The need of Jacob now forces (for this is a new scene -- Joseph is seen here in his exaltation over all) to seek in Egypt what he found not in his state of pilgrimage; the world knew not what to do, but then thus Joseph's brethren are brought into close contact with him, though they know him not. He, however, knows them. He makes himself strange, and then by their distress their conscience is awakened as to their old fault, while there is severity used towards them, yet is it according to the principle of the fear of God. Also grace is in exercise, though this makes them afraid, feeling that God is with them -- Conscience being awakened, that vast and vital step.

But they are brought into the same position of feeling very graciously and in grace, still by power they could not struggle with, as the sufferer in the sin they had committed -- they are all first thrust into prison themselves, and then in the person of Simeon, kept under bondage, and made to feel, through their father's interest in Benjamin, what the selling of Joseph was.


Jacob clings to Benjamin -- the Jewish character, in power, of the Lord Jesus, and so of the remnant hope -- but there must be complete submission. If Joseph has been rejected by their hatred, Benjamin and all must be surrendered even by Jacob, and Benjamin must take his place with Joseph before the store house of the world, and the best part of Egypt be opened and given to Israel. Joseph must be bowed to of force, and owned according to His revelation of Himself --

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there can be no keeping of Benjamin, according to Jacob's mind, as if Joseph were not because His brethren had rejected Him.

Joseph had taken cognisance of all their condition -- there was no escaping. They return humbled by the grace -- alarmed by it -- having no idea of grace; then, Judah surety for his brother, they own the glory of Joseph without knowing him as their Joseph, as the rejected one -- bow to him -- find further grace in the restoration of Simeon -- and find that they are perfectly known, though they know not. Joseph is by himself, but his brethren according to their age.


They are now brought to the deepest anguish as to the loss of their brother, and thus in spirit really to suffer -- Judah himself, rather than Benjamin be lost.


Thus morally restored, Joseph at once reveals himself to them; there stood no man with him. Here there is identification for the first time between his person and their fault -- and instruction in God's counsel in it. They had felt the abstract sin before in themselves, but they had not known him who was thus now dealing with them in it; not till then was a complete moral renovation of their heart, by a process of apparent severities, and real grace bringing them to this point of obliged submission and actual reward. The restoring love is most touching and perfect; the mind of the Lord communicated to them, and God's love made the solution of it all.


They are then brought -- and that nationally in Jacob -- into the best of the land near Joseph, but He reveals Himself to them individually as His brethren. Now his father was to hear of his glory in Egypt, for indeed Messiah was dear to him (Jacob), though he had not understood His glory far above and away from him.

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Pharaoh, as on the throne, has the same mind, and makes the power and resources of Egypt bring him down there, that all the good of Egypt might be theirs. Joseph is the source, and centre in nearness of relationship, but the authority and power and resource of Pharaoh is in the same mind. Jacob then is the remnant looked at nationally, and abstractedly -- his sons, the actual brethren, the Jews -- especially Judah, under the influence of the discipline of Christ, as before rejecting Him; Reuben, the body at large, i.e., the tribes in general, or three of them. Rachel here is the Jewish mother -- "my wife" Jacob calls her; Joseph is born of her, but has not His glory there. Joseph is now known as alive -- Governor of the world -- its Source of blessing -- and Jacob is brought to Him in this character of glory and power. Israel has still, however, his own portion, and separate place in the world in Goshen, and in the best of it.

Now also Joseph reduces into full order, and subjection to Pharaoh, all the land, all its inhabitants -- the priests are excepted through privilege, they have their own portion -- now, in the fullest sense, the heritage and possession of Pharaoh, Lord alike of Goshen, and of all; this closes at verse 26. Blessed be the Lord who orders all this! We have a touching evidence, in passing, of the superiority of the saint's portion, however poor a saint he may be. Jacob, confessing his poverty, as such, blesses Pharaoh, the great power and glorious one of the world -- its head -- and "beyond all controversy, the less is blessed of the greater".

Though reduced into order and subjection, it is really in blessing -- "Thou hast saved our lives; let us find grace in the sight of my lord", is the people's word -- "we will be Pharaoh's servants".

From verse 27, we recommence with Israel -- he is the representative, as indeed in name now of the people; hence, in the Spirit of God, he unfolds their lot. Still Joseph is the one on whom he leans, that the desire of faith may be accomplished concerning his bones, for if now in Egypt by providence and judgment, hope -- faith -- turns to the place of promise, and seals its confidence in the promise by having his resting place there; if he be not, his bones are to be found there, for if Israel has left the land, God has not relinquished His title;

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His title is not touched, founded on this, the answer of the oath of Joseph -- securer of this promise. Israel worships God, feeble, and in a certain sense outcast as he is, for, as such, he is now to pass away from the scene.


I think in this chapter we have the evidence of the root bearing -- this -- children of Joseph when relegated into glory from the apparent title of blessing, but the Jewish character of motherhood formally lost at the same time in Rachel; yet these same strange children equally loved because of Joseph, who, after all, was Rachel's child -- yet here in grace, as even the younger is set before the elder. They are then directly on the root of promise, but only as adopted -- being children of Joseph in a strange land and Gentile glory, their own mother being not Rachel. Here also the double portion -- the inheritance of the elder -- is given to Joseph, in spite of his brethren's fraud, in spite too of Satan's craft, by the power and will of Jacob, as of God; the birthright was to Joseph, despised and rejected as he was -- this, however, has a certain Jewish aspect, as all questions of inheritance have.

Communion is the proper place of the Church, as united to Jesus -- Jesus' own glory in the Father's love -- not God giving an inheritance to the man, though this rests true even -- we have obtained an inheritance, it is God's inheritance in the saints.

It is evident that this chapter is the prophetic history of Israel, as an earthly people, issuing of Jacob according to their settlement in the land in relationship with him; not the thoughts in grace of God towards them as to be accomplished in the latter day, as in Deuteronomy 33 -- one was paternal after the flesh, though of revelation, the other prophetic of the man of God.

NOTE. -- In Deuteronomy the benediction of the heir, as even for the whole people in particular; we have here evidently the object of favour or grace.


We have then the interpretation of Joseph himself, on all the designs of God in this matter, in his touching answer to his brethren.

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Joseph might be supposed to have some respect for his father, for that which had stood in such a relationship to himself -- as Messiah issuing of Israel, and was their beloved -- but when Israel was set aside, as viewed in this light, and Joseph was to deal with his brethren simply as such, then he might take vengeance.

But grace is perfectly brought out -- he was not sparing, simply because they were his father's children, but of his own love and grace, and judging of his own position by the counsels of God. Grace, supreme grace ordered the relationship, and will, between the blessed Lord, and His Jewish brethren in that day -- all title of Israel as of old is passed -- it is gone and passed away. But He is full of grace and favour towards His brethren, they have been forced indeed to recognise Him, and that is utter humiliation, and the truth of his dreams, though they would have set them aside, and, because they understood not, fulfilled them, but now, all is grace.

After they are brought back, humbled by grace, Joseph sympathises with them, and shows that his rejection, though meant ill by them, was God's counsels in good towards them; also, now he would sustain them -- grace took its free, and unhindered plan.

The counsel of God having brought about the means which made grace free and unhindered to bless on this new ground -- evil done away -- the relationship of brethren there -- and the very evil, in God's wisdom, having put him in the place of power above all, whence in blessing, evil being far, grace could act in all its bounty -- such was Joseph's -- such is the blessed Lord's plan, especially in that day towards His brethren. He speaks to their hearts, verse 21 margin; this closes.

Joseph now takes, as such, the place of prophet attached to the promise, and far from Canaan, and the restoration yet distant, faith has equal assurance of it, and he gives commandment concerning his bones; the splendour of Egypt made the promise nothing less precious, long might be the time (for now he takes Israel's earthly place as prophet -- the counterpart of Gentile exaltation) sorrowful the delay to Israel, but it was not the less sure, and his bones in Canaan was more to the hope of the heir of promise, the spirit of hope in the prophet, than the most lordly grave in Egypt, far from the promise of God; and when God had identified Himself with His people in hope, Egypt was empty of this -- Canaan full of it to his heart

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-- whatever its condition to man, or the present excellency of Egypt to the thoughts of the flesh, his hopes rest there, and identify themselves with Israel's future return. Here he was, as I said, the type of Israel's hope, now far from the land, as before, of the heavenly glory of Christ; blessings were indeed on the head of him that was separate from his brethren, above the blessings of his progenitors -- the whole way of God's counsels are opened out in this blessed and favoured servant and type of the Lord -- type of glory above, and prophet of hope to Israel below -- the place of the Lord Jesus now, though Israel must be humbled to receive it, and own Him of whom it shall be said, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord".

Here remark it is a thing entirely future; it is not as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob buried there as a sort of pledge of the land belonging to them -- to Israel in time to come -- to the Lord for ever; it is out of Canaan -- faith in a future restoration, when God should accomplish His purpose concerning His people.

-- 24, 25. In the first two classes of the details of faith (Hebrews 11:8 - 22) we have the absence of sight, and of possession, and of the power of nature, and God counted on. The promises make them heavenly, the names are El-Shaddai (God Almighty) and Elión (Most High), Possessor of heaven and earth -- one, security on earth when it is not his -- the other, opening heaven, if he does not get earth. Then after that, renouncing earthly promise in flesh as a present thing, but counting upon it in future as set up in Christ -- Isaac, heir of promise, given up in flesh, known in resurrection; the purposes of God in Jacob and Esau; the heir and inheritance -- double portion in the sons of Joseph (compare Genesis 49:22 - 26) and 1 Chronicles 5:1, 2 -- this producing worship, God's proper blessing, and inheritance in the true Joseph, and then the literal promise of the land on earth, in Joseph's bones.

Here the book closes, and the actual principles of deliverance, and relationship are opened out -- actual then for Israel, and typic of God's accomplishment, known to faith; the bones of the fathers were pledges of the hope of promise in Canaan, Joseph's of restoration from Egypt.

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What is will? I have often thought and yet do not know, I mean have not sufficiently analysed. There is, strange to say, unconscious will -- a dead, or better a sleepy man tumbles down, or even an animal in many respects does not act on his muscles. At any rate man -- he holds himself up -- asleep, he does not. Take a dead bird, its wings hang about, etc. -- alive, they would not in the same way. It is not a judgment of preference; animal will is the mind to act on certain present motives -- a pig runs to the food trough, he is shut in and cannot, but has a will -- judgment of preference is not, discernment of right and wrong is not. There may be a general moral will to do right, but temptation determines the will which puts us in activity at the moment, i.e., lust may be stronger than the reflective will. Judgment of right is not even reflective will or intention, but reflective intention is not will, or is moral will, and not the will that decides conduct when man does actually will. I may will according to it, but will is the present determination actively to do, though I may be hindered doing. The man is determined when there is a will, he may have determined before, so as to purpose; will is subject to present motives, good or bad, in the creature when it acts as will -- to the judgment of motives when it purposes. A man may purpose to seek pleasure, or, purposing otherwise, have his will actually determined by temptation. Purpose is my moral condition in itself then; will, my actual state as to power over myself and temptation, only the want of power connects itself with conditions on certain sides. But I doubt it can be called will, till there is an actual determination, when the matter to be determined is before us, perhaps before our minds, but before us as something to be done. But a vast deal of the moral state or condition precedes that, perhaps all -- will being a result.

I may say it would be a good thing for me to go and visit such an one today, and I purpose doing it -- "I will go and see", is another thing; the motives have determined the judgment and intention in the first case -- the will overcoming the influence of obstacles in the second. There is no will till, having the object willed about before me, I am decided in purpose as to it. Video meliora, proboque, deteriora sequor (I see the better, and I approve, I follow the worse); here, video meliora, proboque, is no will -- deteriora sequor is the fruit of

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will -- to know, consent, take pleasure (Romans 7), is not will, but besides that which in such case determines the will, to will parakeitai moi (is present with me). It was really the law of the new nature, but was brought into captivity, the law of sin carried the will away.

Christianity makes free too; man is perfectly free to will, i.e., there is no determination ab extrà in his natural state; but he is not free in will, because the law in his members brings it into captivity, which is merely saying he has a sinful nature. It is a matter of fact, because the rule, or nature, or law of good and evil cannot change, and, however overlaid by false education or customs, can be reached by the truth, and so the word does by the power of the Spirit of God; it penetrates, and natural conscience resumes and asserts its empire -- that does not set free, nor deliver, so that we carry out the will determined by the conscience -- the hindrance of lust is there, but there is deliverance in Christ. But it is here that Romans 7, and natural conscience come together, the applied rule awakes the conscience, and gives it its title in the moral judgment. Besides that, quickening power determines the will, but still deliverance is to be sought, for right desires are not power, even when will is included in the desire. It will be given surely if sought, but that is another thing, and an important difference, because it casts us in dependence on God, gives the sense of guilt and inability in the flesh to please God, so that we have first to be in Christ. Redemption goes before power, and that is an immense fact, and alone puts us in our place, quod nota.

At any rate free-will has no sense, because there is no will till it be determined; free to will as to external compulsion is another thing, in that sense the will is free; but if I have a sinful nature, it is de facto inclined to evil, till I am born again. Conscience is another matter.

No being can have a will free, unless it can create, for otherwise it is always acted on by, i.e., is the result of, motives; hence, to say the will is in bondage is strictly true; morally, man unfallen had no will, for creature perfection is obedience; man, fallen, is governed in disobedience by corrupt motives, and thus is merely a sinner, and his will is under sin.

I have already spoken of free-will, but there are one or two points perhaps not clearly and shortly stated, if I remember right; nor the difference of sense in the word free, i.e., free

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from external constraint, and free morally and internally; in the latter sense it is pure nonsense. If it be meant merely that God does not hinder man from choosing the good, surely he is free enough, or that He did not force him to remain obedient when he was innocent, that is true -- it would not have been a test thus, nor any real obedience at least proved -- he might have been obedient without its being shown, or disobedient in will without its being shown. Man is free, if by that is meant that God does not hinder his choosing good, or force him to choose evil. But an interiorly free will is all nonsense for a creature determined by motives, and that is what is meant by free to choose. And were he what is called, free, he would be in the most absolute state of degradation. It never was, nor could be so; man was never a blank sheet, good and evil being before him, neither when innocent, nor now -- but besides, to be so, he must be perfectly indifferent to good and evil, i.e., in the most degraded state possible (and if he be so, what is to determine his will?), or have no moral existence at all.

If it be said: But there is a latent disposition called out by the presenting good and evil -- a latent disposition to what? If there is to one, then the will morally is determined -- if to both equally (i.e., to neither when presented), then he is in the last state of moral degradation, and there is no ground in his nature for a preference. This is not true of God, for He loves the good, and hates evil. He is free to do what He pleases, and can will, and so create objects of delight; but a creature's place is to obey, not have a will in this sense of will. A free will is really nonsense, for a man where will is wills something, i.e., it is determined on an object, but of this I have spoken; but in the moral sense of choosing good and evil, it is a horror, a dark vacuity of evil to be absolutely indifferent to them. Historically it never was, man should have rejoiced in the good and enjoyed it before his fall, and did. He fell freely, but did not know good and evil -- the moment he had a will, he was gone. When inclined to evil, to leave him to choose is mockery, or the proof of evil; in God's dealings it is the latter. It will be asked where then is responsibility? First, it is too late to ask as regards God. But I answer, it is as to its principle this -- to live according to the relationship in which I am. That is true responsibility, I have to fulfil its obligations -- this is true in every respect. The acquirement of a

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position by conduct is a fallen state, it is the principle of law. If a being is created in a given state, he ought to live up to that state -- keep it. Now man has lost it, and is out of relationship with God, he is ruined on the ground of responsibility already -- the law, which proposes life to him by his doing, is the means of convincing of sin. When Christ is presented, man is free to receive Him, and life in Christ for him; but his actual state is proved by his seeing no beauty in Him to desire Him.

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To estimate holiness aright, we must first of all think of God Himself in His holy nature -- and of a nature, a divine life in which we have fellowship with and enjoy Him. But for us, sinners, we must then take into account Christ, in and through, and by whom we have a part with God -- further we must take cognisance of the operation of the Holy Ghost, through whom all is revealed and imparted -- lastly of the state and condition of the sanctified.

There is another point needed to be gone into to judge rightly of it, that is the object before us, which, as a means, sanctifies us; for the creature morally lives by objects placed before it, and acting on it. Besides all this, the Word of God, which is that in which all is revealed, and works effectually in us through faith.

With a holy God we have to do, with a holy God to be in communion -- holiness becomes His house for ever. But it is important as a preliminary point, to distinguish between righteousness and holiness, both elements of God's nature and character in which we have to do with Him, and even practically that in which we are assimilated to Him in the new nature, "after God created in righteousness and true holiness" -- I do so, because these are often confounded, to the prejudice of the soul's peace.

Righteousness, as contrasted with holiness in God, is the judicial estimate of, and dealing with what is right or wrong -- involves responsibility to some one, and obligation in the one judged -- and, in its exercise, the authoritative acceptance or rejection of what is presented to its judgment. It is used also for that which is the fulfilment of obligation, and acting according to what is due (and in this sense is true even of God), and satisfies that judicial estimate, but also for the just estimate itself too -- the righteous Lord loveth righteousness -- in all cases, its measure is consistency with the relationship in which we stand -- in God, consistency with Himself and His own perfection, maintaining withal the obligation of those relationships in which He has placed us. It is thus doing right according to them, or judging justly how far right is done.

Holiness, on the other hand, is the abhorrence, in the nature, of what is evil, and delight in what is good and pure, and, when we speak of men, God having His own full place in

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our hearts (see footnote), as in God it is His separation from all evil, and abhorrence of it. One is connected with judicial title, the other with the delights of the nature.

Now we are clearly told that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord". This, assuredly true, acts on the conscience, and it is all well; but then we seek to be holy that we may be accepted. But in this case, it is really righteousness which is sought -- God's judicial estimate of us according to what we are -- it is a question of acceptance, hence of judicial estimate, not of holiness, or our own delight in good, or hatred of what is evil -- and feeling evil in us, we feel God cannot accept us. Thus, though there may be a holy nature, and an abhorrence of what is evil, and delight in what is good, there is never holiness practically till the question of righteousness is settled; because the holy nature acting on the conscience, this -- our righteousness not being settled, nor our acceptance in righteousness known -- necessarily raises the question as to that acceptance, and ought to do so. Suffice it to say that it must -- hence the true desire for holiness destroys peace. When the question of righteousness is settled, and the soul thoroughly convinced of sin, "none righteous, no not one" -- and that it cannot make it out, even if the will is present with it -- cannot make it good as an obligation, which it is before God, the flesh not being subject to the law of God, as it cannot be -- and has given up hope of righteousness in itself, and through grace finds Christ its righteousness before God -- peace made by His precious blood, and He in the presence of God for us -- divine favour resting on it in Christ, knowing that it is in Him, and that it is accepted in the Beloved, by one offering perfected for ever -- in a word, washed from its sins through His precious blood, and not only so, but accepted in Christ in the sweet savour of His acceptance, then the delight in God Himself, from whose love all comes, is free, holiness has its free scope. We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have been reconciled to Him. It is of God's holiness we are made partakers, even when chastened.

This, then, is practically what holiness is -- the soul in the new man in the light as God is, enjoying His purity (enabled to do it through the blood of Christ), and that in grace, having fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ;

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and the more we take it in this simple manner, the more really and practically shall we know what it is. If we are holy, we shall know what holiness is, only it will be enjoyed in its fulness and perfectness in God Himself, and so directly connected with love, for God is love; His other essential name is light, and in that we walk, being light in the Lord, and there enjoy, as we are formed by love. We have boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Christ -- and what brought us there? Infinite love -- and what do we find there? Infinite love -- and in Christ, nothing in us inconsistent with it; and, walking with God, nothing in our minds or consciences. "We joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received the reconciliation" -- for this we must have life, divine life, to know and enjoy it, and by the power of the Holy Ghost be separate, through the eye being fixed on Christ, from evil to good. The simpler we apprehend this, the better, if we would know what holiness is. It is separation, in living communion, to God who is holy.

It is only as to the means of meeting the practical difficulties of many souls, that I pursue the subject into any details, showing how Scripture teaches us on the subject. I know not anything which will more fully express our calling in this respect, than the first verses of Ephesians 1, "According as He hath chosen us in him (Christ), before the foundation of the world, that we might be holy and without blame before him in love" -- this is the counsel of God as to us in Christ. The other part of it -- being sons -- is His prerogative and sovereign purpose, the good pleasure of His will. The first is according to His nature, both not only in Christ, but Christ's own place in which we are set by grace; it is the first which is according to God's nature, so that He cannot have other than such -- this is our subject here. As it is here spoken of as the counsel of God, the degree of realisation is not. It is what His purpose about us is -- it is identified with what God is, in His nature and ways, and what Christ was before Him; of course He is essentially the same now that He is glorified. The second part of the calling -- sons -- is relationship, but Christ's also -- He is gone to His Father and our Father, His God and our God. On this wonderful and perfect place (we could have none other such), I have entered elsewhere; my part now is to weigh that part of it which is contained in verse 4. We may look at it in two ways, as God's nature thus imparted and reflected in

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us, and enjoyed in its perfectness in Him -- or as Christ, as man before God, according to it. God is blameless in His ways -- He is love and He is perfectly holy -- we are called to answer perfectly to what He thus is. We are made partakers of the divine nature; the spirit of love and holiness is that of the new man in us, and, as such, its fruit blameless -- hence it is said, we cannot sin, because we are born of God. Thus the Christian state is, with a nature derived from God, "born of him", and hence necessarily holy -- to be "before God" in His presence; an infinite and infinitely perfect object -- God Himself -- before Him, with a nature capable, as being of Him, of enjoying Him. We must add, the Holy Ghost as the power of doing so. The divine nature, with God who is love, a divine and infinite object -- "before him" -- to enjoy, with no thought of self needed (for we answer to His own nature), save to know that His favour rests upon us.

Now, the actual accomplishment is imperfect because the flesh is in us -- in heaven, perfect; but in this passage it is looked at in itself, without estimating the degree of accomplishment, and in Christ we are perfectly so now.

We may also look at it in Christ Himself, as Man here below -- He was holy and without blame, always before God so, and in love; the same applies to verse 5, but on this I do not enter here. It is what we have to seek to realise -- communion with Him who is light, being light in the Lord, and in the light as He is, called to have communion with Him, not grieving His Spirit who dwells in us. The measure of it in practice is walking as Christ walked, and walking in the Spirit as we live in the Spirit. Walking in obedience, we have our fruit unto holiness, a greater knowledge of God, walking in His presence and enjoying Him, and are more deeply imbued with His estimate of all things, with His mind, more separated to Him in spirit, before whom we thus walk. In obedient righteousness in Christ (for it is to Christ's obedience we are called) we walk, and increasingly in the atmosphere in which God dwells. Practically separated from evil, we live in that we are separated to, we delight in Him, have communion with Him, and are separate from all that obscures this, and distracts us. True we see through a glass darkly, then face to face; but the objects are the same -- God revealed in Christ -- and the nature in which we enjoy them, the same. We joy in God -- we have the treasure, but in a poor earthen vessel, and needing to have

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our senses exercised to discern good and evil; still, we walk in the light as God is in the light.

I may now inquire into the means of so walking, and what and how it is, as to our place in this world. It is in every sense -- place, state, relationship with God, nature and glory -- likeness to Christ, and that in glory, for this is the only good. It is true, this includes glory as well as holiness, but so it is presented in Scripture -- we are "changed into the same image, from glory to glory" -- "he that has this hope in him, purifieth himself even as he is pure".

But there is another element, which though collateral, cannot be separated from it, and that is, love. If God is holy, His nature is love as well as light, and He cannot, so to speak, be divided; and thus divine love is inseparable from holiness. For divine affections in us is the very being of holiness, and these cannot be without divine love -- we partake in them of the divine nature. Failure in love would not be holiness, but flesh and sin -- self as a centre, if not positive hatred -- and this is not holiness, for holiness is separation of heart to God in known love, and so walking in that spirit with others. This gives us too, superiority over the evil with which we have to say; this, in an infinite way, is in God too, in whose communion we walk in holiness, and then we are followers of God as dear children. Compare Ephesians 4, 5, and Matthew 5:43 - 48, and Luke 6:35, 36.

So we find in 1 Thessalonians 3, "the Lord make you to increase, and abound in love one towards another, and towards all men, even as we do towards you, to the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints". A remarkable passage, showing the path of holiness, before whom it is measured and estimated -- before God, even our Father; and, when and in what circumstances -- the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with the saints in glory. Sin is always selfish -- holiness inseparable from love. It is holiness before God and our Father. It will have its estimation in the time of glory.

Such is the nature of holiness in general as stated in Scripture.

We may now look at the blessed Lord, as the One who in every respect is the way and pattern of holiness to us. And first of life -- we are born of God; but this by the Holy Ghost.

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It is a wholly new nature communicated and given, which Adam innocent had not more than Adam guilty. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit, partakes of the nature of Him of whom it is born, as every nature does. It is entire contrast with the Adam life in us; "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit", and "the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other" -- "they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh, and they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit" -- "the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace". We shall have to see that the power and mind of the Holy Ghost is included here, the objects being there, as well as the nature; but the nature born, as we have seen, is of the nature of which it is born. So the Christian by faith has put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. Here "renewed" is that which is wholly new, was not before, not that merely which is not grown old God's seed remains in him and he cannot sin because born of God, not the flesh that is born of the flesh. It is a holy nature -- Christ as life -- our life the last Adam, not the first. "Not I", says the apostle, "but Christ that lives in me"; and again, "when Christ who is our life shall appear". And in formal doctrine, in 1 John 5, "God hath given to us eternal life, and that life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life". "He has sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him". He is "that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us"; and as it is expressed of this life in 1 John 2, "which thing is true in him and in you". In Him this life was the light of men -- He was the light of the world.

Thus as He was the holy One of God here, only absolutely and perfectly as born, even as to the flesh, of the Holy Ghost -- walking in love -- so we, as partakers of life in Him, He being our life, are holy brethren, are saints, brought in as we have seen by His precious blood, but saints as partakers of the life also that was and is in Him.

If we look at that life in Him, we find perfect separation to God, love to Him and to us, and necessarily, separation too,

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consequently, from all evil, passing through the midst of it, but not touched by it, goodness and holiness in the midst of evil in the power of divine love -- and that is our path.

This takes a double character in the Christian, according as we look at him as emerging out of a world of sin, in the power of this new life and the Holy Ghost, "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus" -- or as sitting in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and coming thence, so to speak, into the world. The one we have in Romans 12, the other in Ephesians 4 and 5. In the former, we yield ourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead -- yield our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, our intelligent service, proving what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is. Here it is the original principle of giving ourselves wholly up to God, separated, sanctified to Him. It is simply that -- and that is much -- and true of the believer; we have not love connected with it.

In Ephesians we have another aspect of the believer's consecration. He comes as a dear child, out of his Father's home, to show out his Father's character -- "be ye imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love as Christ hath loved us and hath given himself for us, a sacrifice and an offering to God for a sweet smelling savour". He gave Himself -- not just loving His neighbour as Himself -- but gave Himself up, not merely as separated from evil to God, but in love to us, divine love, looking downward in love to need -- hence a sacrifice for us, and also to God, looking upward in perfectness to what made the sacrifice perfect. This too is our pattern -- "hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren". Here, while offering up to God is perfection in the sacrifice, love comes fully in -- one is the measure of what we ought to be, as walking in this world as alive to God in Christ; the other is the measure of devotedness of walk, as manifesting God's nature and loving others, but still having the eye on God as the One towards whom we act, that all may be perfect. The lower the object in the love of grace, the greater and more divine the love; the higher the one to whom it looks, the purer and holier the affection, and here it is God Himself. Self is wholly got rid of in both -- it is thus a holy love. We are not said to be love, for that is sovereign in goodness and free, though we are to love. We are light in the Lord, for we have a life in which is

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the purity of the divine nature -- God's seed remains in us, we cannot sin. Such then is our life in its nature.

And as to this unselfish grace, we are called on, not to be, as Abraham, perfect with the Almighty, nor, as Israel, perfect with Jehovah our God, but perfect as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. Such is our life in its nature, for indeed it is Christ Himself -- "he that hath the Son, hath life". God has given us eternal life, and that life is in His Son.

But we cannot omit the Holy Ghost, who is at once its source and its power. We may consider the Spirit as inseparable from this life, as the stream is connected with its spring, or apart, as a divine Person who leads it, and reveals the objects by which this life is governed -- "they that are after the Spirit, mind the things of the Spirit". The Holy Ghost is, as we have seen, the source of this nature -- we are born of the Spirit, and this is spirit. But the Christian is also dwelt in by the Spirit -- the seal of faith in Christ's blood -- our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost. We have liberty with God, and that as sons, and are delivered from the law of sin. The bearing of this on holiness is evident, indeed it cannot be without it; not only does it introduce us into the holy atmosphere of God's presence in confidence, but occupies our affections with what is there, making us abound in hope by His power. But His presence is a measure of holiness down here -- "would I", reasons the Apostle, "use the temple of God to sin with?" So we are called on not to grieve that holy Spirit of God by which we are sealed. It keeps the conscience withal awake. The Spirit then is life because of righteousness, enables me to reckon myself dead, and to hold the flesh practically in subjection, and, by His power, I mortify the deeds of the flesh, so that my communion is not interrupted. He is the Spirit of adoption, and bears witness with my Spirit that I am a son, and so keeps me in the free enjoyment of divine and heavenly things -- takes the things of Christ and shows them to me -- has revealed the things that are freely given to us of God, enabling me to discern them. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (and this is based on redemption -- a new place -- in Christ), sets me free from the law of sin and death, and enables me, as a son, to enjoy the things which are above -- yea to joy in God Himself -- have fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

We get this double basis for our walk in Ephesians 4, the

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having put on the new man, and not grieving the Holy Spirit of God. It is nothing less than God dwelling in us, and we in God -- His love shed abroad in our hearts by His presence. How this is the very place, and breath of holiness, is evident; in such a state, according to the measure of our growth, what God is and suits His presence, and nothing else, is in the mind -- see 1 John 4:12 - 16. We have thus the highest and fullest character of holiness in the believer -- a nature capable of enjoying God, derived from the Spirit -- a holy seed of God in him, and the Holy Ghost dwelling in him -- God dwelling in him and he in God -- the same Spirit dwelling in him, shedding His love abroad in his heart. This is the fruit of redemption. God never dwelt with Adam, never with Abraham, but as soon as He had redeemed Israel out of Egypt, He dwelt among them -- "they shall know that I the Lord their God have brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them" -- here in an outward way, between the Cherubim. And now, so soon as Christ, as Man, sat down at the right hand of God, eternal redemption being obtained, the Holy Ghost descends, sent by the Father -- the Spirit of adoption -- in Christ's name; by Christ from the Father, to reveal His glory as Son of man above -- to dwell in those who were washed in His blood, and He dwells in us individually, and collectively too. On the latter I do not enter, as we are occupied with personal holiness.

The Apostle Paul gives us the blessed effect, he desired for the saints individually, at the end of Ephesians 3, "Strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the length and breadth and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled up to all the fulness of God". John speaks more of the divine Personality of Christ revealing God, and so our dwelling in Him, and He in us -- for habitually he does not distinguish God and Christ, speaking of Manhood and Godhead in the same sentence, though in chapter 4 he goes up to simple Godhead, and His presence known by the Spirit; Paul more of His mediatorial place -- of the counsels of God accomplished through His work and in His: Person, and that to the glory of God by us. So that the form is different; still as one gives the fact, true through the Holy Ghost, that God dwells

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in us -- all in whom Christ is -- so Paul, in the desire of the saints realising their privileges, leads us up to the fulness of God.

But while this is the full blessedness of our present state, living here as creatures acted on by grace, there is another aspect of the operation of the Holy Ghost in us; that is, the fixing the affections and intelligence on the Word which the Holy Ghost reveals, and that with sanctifying power. Thus the Apostle in Ephesians I prays that they may know the hope of God's calling, and the riches of the glory of God's inheritance in the saints; for the creature, whatever the excellency of his nature, lives by objects -- is characterised by those that govern him -- money -- power -- pleasure -- in a word, our object, what our mind, our phronema is upon, is what we morally are. Thus where it is on Christ and on heavenly things, we are Christian and heavenly minded.

These then, the Holy Ghost reveals, fixing the affections on the object thus revealed, and so sanctifying the heart. Thus, so to speak, in its natural effect on the new man -- "With open (unveiled) face beholding in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord". So in holy spiritual activity -- we know that "When he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is, and every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as he is pure". So the Apostle in Philippians 3, "This one thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth to those things that are before, I press towards the mark for the calling of God above (see footnote), which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".

So the exhortation (though the Holy Ghost is not the subject of the Colossians, but life), "set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth"; but these things are called "the things of the Spirit". "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit". "We have received not the spirit which is of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God". Hence our conversation is in heaven, and we declare plainly that we seek a country.

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But this consideration of the sanctifying power of the object the Holy Ghost sets before us, gives us the true character and only measure of our sanctification practically -- Christ in glory -- "we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" -- "conformed to the image of his Son, that he may be the firstborn among many brethren" -- "as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly". The only object and goal of the saint is the prize of the calling above. This one thing he does. Hence he purifies himself even as He is pure -- knowing he shall be like Him in glory, seeks to be as like Him as possible now. When Christ comes, even his body of humiliation shall be fashioned like Christ's glorious body.

The goal and object of the heart of the believer is Christ glorified, only the present effect is sanctifying him according to that measure, leading him to walk withal as He walked down here, and to grow up to Him, who is the Head, in all things. As Christ ever looked up to His Father, and ever did such things as pleased Him -- in His case perfectly -- so we, He being our life, looking up to Him glorified, walk in our measure as He walked. Hence we read that Christ sanctified Himself -- set Himself apart -- as the Man in glory according to the counsels of God, that we might be sanctified through the truth -- our souls formed by the revelation of that into which He is entered.

It remains to be noticed that it is the Truth -- the Word -- by which we are thus sanctified. The Word is the truth as to everything, but it is, as Christ was in Person, the revelation of what is heavenly amongst men, and perfectly adapted to man on the earth. Though it be made effectual, by the Spirit, in the heart, the Word is that by which all is wrought, from the giving of life, onward till glory comes. So, just before the passage quoted above from John 17, we read, "Sanctify them through Thy truth -- Thy word is truth". Hence, as to life -- "of his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of his creatures" -- man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. It is by words the Holy Ghost taught, that the things the Holy Ghost revealed were communicated. It is the incorruptible seed of the Word which endures for ever. Hence it is by faith -- sinners are sanctified by faith that is in Jesus. The Word is the revelation of God's mind, and of all that is unseen, and, accompanied by the power of the Holy Ghost, is faith in the heart; and thus

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we are sanctified and live by it, in communion with God according to what is revealed -- are so far sanctified to Him.

It may be well here to note the way in which sanctification is used in the Scripture. It always means separation to God, consecration to Him; but it may be, in us, sanctification of our persons, or of the state of our souls. As soon as we are believers, we are set apart to God, sanctified -- all Christians are saints; and hence, strange as it may seem, when sanctification and justification come together, sanctification comes before justification.

But then there is, or ought to be, as to our actual state, a perfecting holiness in the fear of God, as growing up to Him who is the Head in all things, -- the enlargement of spiritual apprehension of the objects on which the Holy Ghost fixes our affections -- an enlarged acquaintance with them, and living in that new creation, and, as to our path here, senses exercised to discern good and evil, more confidence in ...

Found in this unfinished state.

NOTE. -- In general the heavenly millennial blessedness is far more largely brought out in the New Testament, as well as the Old, than the time when God shall be all in all. But the blessedness of the latter has struck me as being amazingly great in this way. There is not so much conferred, not so much official glory, relative excellency of position, conferred glory, if we think of being with Christ, though indeed that will never cease, but see where we shall be. The Lord is as second Adam, the proper human Head of the whole blessed race. They stand as His brethren, are like Him, He the Firstborn no doubt, and channel of blessing, but still the Firstborn among many brethren, in the same place, state, and image, though He at the head of it. They are all of one, and now completely like. Yet He with whom they are thus connected -- one common race, though He be the head of it -- is One with the Father in the unity of the divine nature. What a place to be in, how close the association! surely leading to adoration, for the nearer we are, the more we adore; yet still how wondrously near! How intimately associated with divine

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things, not merely conferred blessings, though all be conferred, and so doubly appreciated, yet still how near for enjoyment! How deep the peace, and full the blessing, when we are fit and competent to enjoy it! I apprehend our millennial nearness will be education for this, as our present state for that. But it is a wonderful place, and near enough to be peaceful enjoyment.

NOTE. -- We ought to think of the joys of Christ as well as His sorrows. Nothing shows where a man's heart is and what it is, more than when oppressed, distressed and full of sorrow, where his heart finds its joy and if it finds a joy unreached by it. We see these joys in Christ a secret comfort in the midst of His sorrow. He had meat to eat which man knew not of. Besides His communion with His Father there was this working of love to us. Paradise shone in upon His heart in comforting the poor thief. "Go in peace" refreshed His spirit in the house of the Pharisee. "She hath done it for my burial" justified Mary against the reproach of selfish man. "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes" was His joy in the sense of the heartless rejection to which the wickedness of man subjected Him. How blessed to the heart besides learning where His joy was to think that He found it in the working of love to us!

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I certainly think that spiritual relationship to God is much more founded on what is spoken of in chapter 2 of Genesis, than the recital of chapter 1. In chapter 1 it is much more the place man holds in the whole creation -- no doubt a special and distinct one, still as taking his place as of God there; chapter 2 is his distinct relationship with God in connection with his nature.

He is the image of God and likeness in chapter 1; he is the genos (offspring) in chapter 2. But it is a wonderful place.

In James 3:9, it is homoiosin (likeness) not genos, and Acts 17:28 condemns the idea of this likeness being anthropomorphism.

As to man's creation in the image and likeness of Elohim, I think we must add the exercise of voluntary thought. This is of immense moral importance as connected with responsibility. It is not mere happy obedience to God, flowing from an undivided, untempted nature, kept in its unity by Him without another thought, but obedience connected with consequences; this we have revealed as the basis of all, not with knowledge of good and evil -- it was no evil in se, but disobedience. But this was connected with another immensely important thing -- the consciousness of a special connection with God, and God's special interest in him, wrought by breathing from Himself into his nostrils the breath of life.

Now as God must have had, and must have His delight in Himself? so Adam had his blessedness in God in this conscious connection. This was the point of trial; he gave it up, alas! (yet, through grace, for blessing), for self, and satisfaction to mere self. The fall was total; externally disobedience, but more than that, departure. He gave up God, and his connection with Him for an apple -- and worse, for self. It was not the knowledge we have now of what God is, who has so blessed him -- that is the new creation, wherein we are renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that has created us in righteousness and holiness of truth -- but it was the blessed possession and consciousness of the connection of having to do

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with God according to His love and thought and delight, as God delights in Himself because He is perfection; all the communications of God in chapter 2 mark this. This position is not lost but ruined, and the necessary source (unless a new bond be found as in the blessed Lord, by the incarnation, death and power of resurrection, or life in redemption) of eternal misery. There is disobedience, and Christ has died for that. This is bad enough, but there is separation from that, from the consciousness of which by our nature we cannot be separated, and this is what is so dreadful. The renewal, I need not say, is in Christ beyond, and God being glorified as to all the evil. He is the image of the invisible God in a higher sense, for here the knowledge of good and evil is come in, and He is the manifestation of God in love in the midst of it.

This puts man in a wonderful place, only making his failure the more dreadful -- no creature can stand -- his recovery the more glorious, and gives us to see the absolutely complete character of redemption -- a second Adam, though bringing us livingly unto Him. Dependence in obedience was his place -- not using his liberty or power for his will; that place the blessed Lord took, and, in the same responsibility, kept in perfect grace and perfect submission, preferring His connection with His Father to all, learning obedience, though always having no will but to obey ("Lo, I come", etc.) -- but renouncing all self to do so. And He bound the strong man in the midst of ruin and evil, as Adam failed in the midst of blessing. But besides He bore the abandonment, in the full consciousness of the divine joy of connection as none but He could know it, into which we, by guilt, had voluntarily, and to our eternal ruin, run; we, thus brought back, restored, reconciled to God, according to this perfect work of grace, our sins and all our once condition, in which they were committed, wholly gone through His work, and serving now only to make grace known. What a wondrous thing is redemption!

In Adam there was proper personal intercourse (i.e., with God), responsibility and relationship -- intelligent relationship with Eve given to him of God -- and everything else subjected to him by God. The consciousness of this connection is far more intimate and powerful now, because it is by the Holy Ghost, much more properly divine in Christ; with Adam it was as a living soul -- his own nature. This gave it its own character and importance, but it was evidently a different thing. It is a

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divine bond now -- "we joy in God"; it was responsibility as a creature then, excellent and admirable as was the place he held, and had been put in, the more so as an image of Him that was to come. We must not confound being the image of -- and being made in the image of (i.e., of Elohim).

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The questions which are put to man by God are very remarkable, as shewing the position in which man was, whether in the first Adam, or when put by Jesus in the second -- for it is this difference which is the wonder. First, God says, "Adam, where art thou?" -- he was away from God -- He had to ask where he was, i.e., to put his real state to Adam's conscience. Adam had hid himself; he was naked, and could not, dared not appear. Away from God, naked -- but the question said he was separated from God, and that by his own conscience. Terrible, horrible condition! Such was what the first question brought out.

The second is, "Where is Abel thy brother?" here his malice, as murderer, against his brother. Here it was the not loving his brother or neighbour, as before not loving God; I speak of the principle. It was the positive active wickedness of man's heart when departed from God, and here also it was hatred against what was connected with God, and in His favour, and had the signs of His favour upon him. This was fully shewn in the rejection of Christ, of which this was the first manifestation in principle and type. (It is a clear figure of the blessed Lord's rejection by the Jews, as Cain is of them.)

Last, it is not God simply addressing responsible man as such, but a glorified Man who is indeed the Son of God -- the Lord, gone into the glory which He had with the Father before the world was. But though the Lord "God over all blessed for ever" (for who but He had the title to put such a question?), yet He was Himself a man who had died for sin, for the sins of others, had accomplished Abel's sacrifice; Himself had put all His people's sins away, glorified God as man -- accomplished righteousness, so that in virtue of God's righteousness, He, as man, was on high -- in whom man had taken his place in the presence of God in the divine glory -- the new Man -- the heavenly One -- according to the full glory of the desires and counsels, and the perfect display of God's character, power and glory -- and that in respect of sin and man's ruin.

A Man in divine righteousness in divine glory, and the perfect display of divine love in being there. It is not now simply God supreme, and Judge who asks "Where art thou?" "Where thy brother?" It is Jesus in glory in righteousness, who owns His poor members on earth as Himself -- "Why

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persecutest thou me?" He had men on earth who were one with Himself -- what an infinite change! Man, too, had been manifested in Paul in the Cain state; not even content with that, he was in the condition of a Christ-rejecting, Abel-slaying Israel. He is active enmity, not content with Christ's death, nor passively resisting them at Jerusalem, persecutes them even to strange cities. He is the strongest expression of resisting the Holy Ghost's testimony, and gives his testimony to putting Christ-beloved ones to death, and seeks himself to kill them. To him sovereign grace is shewed as a pattern of God's ways, -- forgiving even the Cains -- now rising up over the extreme and highest wickedness of man, and on the other side owns the poor remnant as being Himself. Grace to the chief of sinners, to hostile -- resisting -- Christ persecuting -- Holy Ghost resisting Israel; and the poorest feeble saints one with Christ, members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones -- the Church. Such is the testimony of the question of grace (though addressed to the very then form, and that, the highest possible form of sin) when Christ has taken His place as Man glorified, when redemption for the chief of sinners is accomplished, and the Head has taken His place, so as to own the Body as in His blessing below.

It would state it clearer to say, how remarkable the difference between the questions God puts to man in respect of his responsibility, and that which can be put, and is put when Man is in the glory of God, in virtue of the accomplished work. That was then man's place in the presence of Him who is "God over all blessed for ever", owning others as one with Him. It is the contrast between God on earth putting the question, according to His majesty, to man in his responsibility -- he was in sin, and Man, "God over all blessed for ever", who puts it, being in Heaven in virtue of accomplished redemption.

He cannot accuse of that height of wickedness at which Paul was, without owning all believers as one with Himself in glory. Paul (Saul) was slaying them because of Christ whom he could not reach in heaven; his resistance to the witness of the Holy Ghost was against the members -- to convict him of the sin, Christ owns them such.

This was one part of this wondrous truth, the other is shown in the reasoning of Ananias. The reasoning and confidence of heart with the Lord, shows the intimacy and familiarity

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of the disciple, produced by Christ's speaking as One having a common interest with His people. Blessed community of interest in grace! Hence Ananias speaks in the same, and reasons with the Lord in his foolishness. Yet as He had spoken of Saul's praying as the happy sign as we might be, now He does not reproach Ananias, but tells him to go as Saul was a chosen vessel to Him, to bear His name, and so on. What a place we are thus set in relatively to all without us and within, through union with the Lord Jesus!

NOTE. -- God justifies. How ineffable must our state be in His eyes, i.e., in truth. He cannot approve or justify, but according to His own nature and being. His approbation must be according to what He approves. What a state for us to be in! In Christ, that God not only pardons our sins, but justifies us. No doubt those whom He justifies are ungodly in themselves, but His justification is the seal of His absolute approval of what they are, according to what He is. What an infinitely perfect place to be in! It is God who justifies -- who justifies according to the unalterable judgment of His nature. This is true even as regards our sins, for He is just by reason of Christ's work in doing it. But how much more as in Christ, when it is the positive approbation of us in our place. And in fact, not only has He perfectly set aside our old sins, but glorified God so as to have this place as man, and we in Him.

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The promise, without condition, is given of God, and must surely be accomplished, but it does not raise the question of righteousness, but it does not satisfy it either, and while we lean merely on that, we cannot have peace. Conscience is before promise, not only responsibility, but knowledge of good and evil, or right and wrong.

(Note: the bruising of the serpent's head is only a revelation of the second Adam, and His glory and title, not a promise to the first; Abraham's is a promise, the blessing of the nations being connected with the seed.)

Hence, man cannot really meet God till his conscience be purged, or by meeting, feel the absolute present need of it, not of help, but of present purging, his state being made sensible to him by God's presence.

The law raises the question of righteousness, in claim on the conscience, and condemnation on God's part, necessarily, if not fulfilled.

The promise here depends on man's fulfilment of the condition, but the question of righteousness is raised; the promise may encourage, but it has nothing to do with satisfying the claim of righteousness.

Christ comes (man rejected also the fulfilment of promise in Him), He purges the conscience, accomplishes righteousness, makes us the righteousness of God in Himself. The fulness of the effect of all promises is in Him, and is the testimony, and accomplished proof of divine love, which indeed lifts the Church above all promise. Conscience, promise, law, all find their close in Christ, only promise rests on the same basis as He that is absolute, perfect, sovereign grace.

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The more simply we act on divine precepts and exhortations, the better, for they are the fruit of absolute divine wisdom, which knows divine perfectness and human wants, met in Christ too; but I would say a few words on the real character of prayer.

The answer to prayer seems to me the going forth in divine actions in power -- what has flowed forth from divine wisdom, forming desire and wants in the soul. This connects itself with love, dwelling in love, and hence connects itself with confidence which faith expresses. Hence, if it be a mere lust, or to consume it on lust, it is not answered (James 4:3), or is answered in chastisement -- is a Kibroth hattaavah (graves of lust); if it be in the Spirit, and the prayer of faith, it is answered according to the request. Thus also it is connected with the moral state of the soul -- the entering, first in the nature of the thing desired, and then spiritual acquaintance with God's will, into the thoughts of God, and what His love would have and cause us, as moved by that love, to desire. Christ, perfect in this, could say, "I know that thou hearest me always", save in atonement, where yet, in result, He was yet more gloriously heard.

We are often mixed in our thoughts -- there are things that press on us as human beings down here, and we cast ourselves on love, and are sure to be met in love, though the answer may be other than we might seek; but God meets the moral intent of the prayer -- what His Spirit has produced -- though the positive request, in which wisdom failed, may not be accomplished in itself. But what moves down to us is always what has moved up to God, as wrought in us by the wisdom of God, and the confidence wrought in us by dwelling in love; hence, our prayers should flow, and do where real, from what is immediately drawn from Christ being in the heart by faith -- identity of interest with Him (through grace) in the secret of the Lord with us. But there may be the sense, thorough spiritual apprehension of the holy goodness of God, of need according to it, and desire of heart towards it, and yet not intelligence of the divine way of meeting the need; this is the case in Romans 8, but He who searches the heart knows the phronema of the Spirit, for He intercedes for the saints according to God.

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Grace comes down, and works through the circumstances, though there may be even no remedy for the circumstances, but there is a want, a desire according to God -- the Holy Ghost is there.

Then, too, all things work together for good to them who love Him; faith realises God's intention -- hence, in the knowledge of His will, knows that it has the petitions -- and this reliance on the ear and arm of God is ever met. Grace comes down, and takes up its place in Christ, and in faith through Him, in the wants of men and saints down here, and in Christ, according to the wisdom and mind of God, producing perfect confidence in His love, and in the activity of that love; and so in Christ too, as Lord in its place, He was perfection in this down here -- we, according to the measure in which we enter into His mind.

But the great general principle is, that what came down into our wants in wisdom, goes up and is answered in power; but this coming down is in grace in Christ, so that it is immediately connected with divine love, and the confidence of faith expresses this. The great secret is to be with God. If God trusts His mind with one, and thus he is a prophet, then the action follows -- God does not let His words fall to the ground; and to this there is analogy or approach, when we walk wholly with God, though there be no official function, and, in the case of the prophets, what was announced authoritatively was at any rate sometimes, always in spirit habitually, prayed for, as James teaches us in Elias for the famine, so authoritatively announced in history. And so the Lord Himself, in the case of Lazarus. But what a place this gives to prayer -- dependent intercourse with God in grace, as admitted into His interests, though encouraged to bring every want in childlike, perfect confidence in Him, because He has taken up all our interests into His own love.

Divine wisdom, acting in the midst of this world, in love, looks for the exercise of divine power. It is not simply divine wisdom, but as Christ Himself, divine wisdom exercising itself in the midst of evil; then, as we have seen, dependence is wrought out in it, and confidence where the divine will is known with certainty of answer. Divine power at our disposal, and when not, when it is the expression of a want with submission to that will and confidence in divine love which gives peace; "If we ask anything according to his will", etc., and

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"make your requests known ... and the peace of God shall keep your hearts".

As regards prophets, spoken of above, you have Abraham and Abimelech -- "he is a prophet, and he shall pray for you"; it is nearness to God which gives power, i.e., enables to dispose of it -- "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting".

I see no difficulty in God's answering prayer connected with general laws, if we allow God to be free to act in His own world, as free as I am. Do I change general physical laws, when I go on request to visit some sick person? My will -- how, I know not -- acts on and by those physical laws; gravity is in my feet, or in the earth, force in my muscle, electricity in the nerves which set it in motion, yet I, in my poor way, have answered a prayer. Now I fully recognise more power in God, because He can, I need not say, not only change His laws, but, without doing so, give force to agents in them -- produce gastric juice more powerfully, or more electricity into the system at His will, without introducing a single new element, or law which governs it. Laws remain the same; His will interferes to produce agency by them. He may work a miracle -- raise the dead -- which is by no law -- has done so. But I do not speak of miracles, which take place when He changes a law, as when He makes the hatchet swim, but of when He works by law -- of particular effects of His will. This may be miraculous as when a strong east wind acted on the sea, and another took away locusts, or brought quails, but He may give special activity, or quantity to agents which act by laws regularly. I am sure, at any rate, He hears and answers prayer. The very action of mind on man's frame is so wonderful, that such results may be produced, and God's own mind, as to external circumstances, that I see no difficulty at all. Laws which bind nature I admit; laws which bind God I do not. Besides many or most prayers refer to spiritual things.

The difficulties, as to prayer changing God's mind, etc., which sometimes puzzles a sincere soul, and is common with infidels, are I think a mistake.

As to the bright effect of it on our souls, it is just the same principle as speaking to them, the moment I believe that God works the real work Himself. God not only gives us blessing with Himself, but He gives us a part in the other part of His blessedness, viz., blessing others. I preach -- man gets eternal life -- yet it is wholly God's work, not mine; yet God graciously

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gives me a part instrumentally, yet as owning entire dependence on Him in it. This dependence is more fully owned in prayer; God does the work, but not more than in preaching, but I am more directly intimate with Him -- expose my desires -- love to souls -- their wants -- or of His Church, and He acts as He did in preaching. And I have more in common with God than in the latter, I reach more difficult cases, where speech cannot be, and distant cases, the power of Satan, the world, and every hindrance to souls I cannot reach even. There is more intimacy, common interests with God, though in dependence on Him, and a wider sphere than in preaching.

It applies, too, to all action which we can seek from God, even our own wants; only that when love would not give what we ask, we may not receive that we ask for.

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The connection of life, the sanctifying word, and glory is very interesting in Scripture. Connect the following passages: "the truth shall make you free", and "the Son shall make you free" -- and that in contrast with being the servant of sin; then, "Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy Word is truth" -- "For their sakes I sanctify myself that they also may be sanctified by the truth" -- for the Spirit takes of the things of Christ, and shows them to us; but this is the heavenly glory, especially of His Person, into which He is entered in following the path of life -- hence, "we, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord". This is particularly brought out also in the Lord's work, and our aspirations, in Ephesians 5 and Philippians 3. In Ephesians 5 we find the Lord having loved the Church, and given Himself for it, sanctifies and cleanses it by the washing of water by the Word, that He may present it to Himself, a glorious Church, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Now, one would say, the cleansing has nothing to do with glory -- yes, it is the realising in a life, already given -- which, spiritually speaking, is Christ -- all that is in Christ thus glorified; we are changed into His image; in living principle, and nature it is there. It is objectively realised, and the life formed into it, and all inconsistent removed by the communications from a glorified Christ to the soul -- we grow up to Him who is the Head in all things.

Then comes the physical change, by change or resurrection, so that the body also partakes of it, according to its nature, see 2 Corinthians 5, and Romans 8:11. So in 1 John 3, "we know that we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And everyone that hath this hope in him, purifies himself, even as he is pure". So the course of the Christian -- Paul would know the power of His resurrection -- go through anything for it -- having the excellency of the knowledge of the glory of Christ, and his hope being to be raised up from among the dead -- he has not yet attained, nor is already perfect, but, forgetting the things which are behind, and reaching forth to the things which are before, he presses towards the mark of the high prize of his calling in Christ Jesus -- the calling ano (above). When Christ comes, the vile body will be fashioned like His glorious body -- but all tended, in one laid hold of for

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it, towards the result of the calling above. This gives a true character to the whole Christian life; it flows from this, "which thing is true in him and in you, because the darkness is now past, and the true light now shineth", and is expressed with power in Hebrews 11:5, "Enoch was translated that he should not see death; for God took him, for before he was translated he had the testimony, that he pleased God". So indeed of Christ, only it was always perfection, "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead". This, then, is our life.

Note the extremely full and elaborate development of the Christian's character, walk and spirit, as partaker of the new life, in Colossians 3.

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It seems to me that the disputes, between Realists and Nominalists, arose from confounding the acquirement of knowledge by the mere human mind, and the original divine intention and purpose in creation. God created Adam an individual man no doubt, but also eth ha-Adam (the man) -- that kind of being, and in His image after His likeness. A child may know man in its father, and gradually generalise, because it has only human sources of knowledge, and humanly; man is only an idea. But the faith that believes in a Creator, knows that God created a kind of being which is that according to His thought. So even with the Church -- Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it, to present it to Himself a glorious Church. Now it was not an idea with no reality, He was going to present it to Himself -- it did not exist actually till it is built up of Him. Whether we call an idea in God's mind a reality -- which it must be -- is a question which man may decide -- He calls the things that are not, as though they were. Still, they have reality for faith, according to God's mind who chose to have such a thing, though the mind may learn by abstracting, and so the universal be, as to his learning it, a name -- but he would not have it to learn, were it not really an existing thing in the thought and purpose of God. God had a certain purpose about the creation -- man -- connecting it, redeemed, with His Son. Other creatures have not that place -- I say, What is man? and there is an answer, and an answer which will be accomplished. Only there may be thought to be a difference between classes or races, and compound ideas -- as a state, a church; but it is not well-founded -- only, one is natural order, the other a constituted state of things. But if God had in His mind to have a church, it is a real thing, not merely a name, nor indeed is abstraction needed here -- I have only to embrace God's idea of it. So of the state; if it were God's will to group people under authority or government, the thing is a real thing, and the name the name of a reality, though here abstraction may be called for, as He may allow different forms of government, each of which may group men in a state. Men's classes when they are genera (not species), may be fictitious, and merely for convenience, but that is nothing to the purpose if there are definite species.

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Forgiveness is, I think, evidently the changed aspect of the mind of him who forgives, as regards the faults of the forgiven. Where judicial authority, or an injured right existed of the forgiver, and judgment as to the person concerning the act, ceased in the mind, judgment was no longer its aspect for the wrong done. It may be authoritative judgment of the wrong, or the kind of authority there is in the possession of a right -- there is authority as to that, so that we may say, in general, that it is authority ceasing to view the fault in the aspect of judgment, and, thereon, releasing the offender who had come under that judgment; hence, it is evident, it cannot go beyond the claim or title to judge of him who takes cognizance of the offence. All beyond this is impossible in the nature of things; I may forgive a thief, or a murderer, his wrong, but this does not screen him from the laws, nor from God's judgment if unrepentant. A man may be forgiven of God, and yet as testimony in the world, providential effects may follow, because the spheres are different, and everlasting exclusion from His presence, or favour, is the effect of sin; or, I may impose a condition -- as if my child had stolen an apple, I may require him to return the apple, or I do not forgive him, because there is a double relationship -- my parental authority, and the wrong done to another. But, in general, forgiveness is the release of one in fault from the judgment of one in authority -- who has title to release him, and this includes all wrong -- and takes place in the mind of him who has authority, who ceases to hold him in the aspect of judgment.

Many consequences and effects may follow, but this, I think, is what forgiveness is; the consequence is, it is according to the measure and sphere in which that authority moves, and applies to the judgment from which the offender is released. God may chasten governmentally for our good, or even in testimony as in David's case, and Numbers 14:20, yet, as between Him and the guilty, forgive, and not impute the sin -- no longer hold him guilty. I may forgive a wrong doer, but it is measured by the value and import of my forgiveness. The church may bind sin on a guilty Christian, in the exercise of discipline, or forgive, in restoring or releasing from the discipline, and God will sanction it, but it does not go beyond

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its own sphere, and competency, and it acts in that which God sanctions. God -- if it be rightly done -- will bind what the Church has done, but the Church does not forgive sins in the sense of eternal forgiveness for salvation -- it is not its sphere. It is its sphere to deal with them here, and God will set His seal upon its actings; so could the Apostle forgive, as we read in 2 Corinthians; so, through the prayer of faith where sickness was a chastisement from God, so that His dealing with sin stood in the way of recovery, compare Job 36. God puts His sanction on the forgiveness which the Church grants in its sphere, but the Church cannot pretend to grant the forgiveness which belongs to God, in His sphere of authority. God sanctions my forgiveness of my enemy, that is another thing from my having a title to forgive, divinely, the guilt of sin against God. The administration of the Church is different, and God has committed an administration to it, but God's sanction of its action in that, is a different thing from its assumption of His sphere of eternal mercy as to guilt. That, what Peter bound on earth might be bound in heaven, is a different thing from his having all that heaven itself could -- had -- put into his hand; the king may sanction all a viceroy may do in his own proper sphere, that is not saying the viceroy can do all that the king can do, as such.

When all the Apostles were commissioned to preach remission, this was from God. It was no action of the Church at all -- on the reception of the Word, they were admitted into the Church, their sins being remitted; there, there is no imputation of sins. Hence Ananias can say to Saul, "Arise, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" -- it was the earthly administration of forgiveness, a present reception of the peace which Christ had made -- then the government of God, I add, of the Church begins, and in that sphere of government, forgives or binds by judgment; God does so, as in Job 36, and the Church, cognizant of His mind, ought to be able to do, and the individual by the prayer of faith obtain it. It has nothing to do with the putting away, or imputing sin as to condemnation, but only, as far as the Church goes, to those who are forgiven by one offering -- perfected for ever, or supposed to be so, and dealt with as such. "Do ye not judge them that are within; them that are without God judgeth" -- their reception in again is present administrative forgiveness -- they enjoy, as amongst the forgiven therein, the

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privileges of those who are. In this sense of reception, the Church forgives, see 2 Corinthians 2:7 - 10; hence, I have the administration of forgiveness by admission to Christianity -- coming into the place in which I have left my sins behind me, and indeed, for faith, my nature too -- this, as an administrative right, as in baptism; Colossians 2:12, 13. Romans 6 as to nature.

Then a man is within, and the Church or Assembly judges him, and its administration of the government of God -- not of salvation, but in respect of the saved -- begins; so, in Job, "He withdraws not his eyes from the righteous". And as to the righteous, saints, saved ones, sins may be forgiven, or bound on the person, and here two or three, gathered in Christ's name, are competent, and their action, done under and with Christ's authority, will have divine sanction -- but, as I said, divine sanction on their act is not God's act in respect of His wrath and dealing with sin, relatively to the sinner's place with Him of forgiveness or condemnation; that has been settled in the conscience of the sinner by faith, and reception into the Assembly as to his actual status. Discipline, even by God, is for the righteous -- when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we may not be condemned with the world; the moment I have made it a re-forgiveness of the person, in the sense of grace and acceptance, I have upset Christianity, and denied the place and standing of the Church -- to say nothing here of the work of Christ. Government does not begin till that is settled -- the righteous are governed, chastened, forgiven, judged, now -- and, as I have said, sanction from God on our acts, is not our pretending to His.

Forgiveness implies too the release (aphesis) from the penal liability to which the judgment of the mind of the forgiver rightly holds it; but forgiveness is properly what I have before referred to -- this is an effect. It may be applied to the person or the faults; it has rather the previous and essential sense as to the person -- the latter (aphesis) as to the sins. The words are different, at any rate often when applied to people and sins, as Luke 7:42; 2 Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32 it is charizomai -- of sins aphesis. But we have aphes auto (forgive him) (Luke 18:3), and charizesthe o ti; 2 Corinthians 2:10, and chapter 12: 13. Etymologically, charizomai (to forgive, or show kindness to) is evidently more the favour of the person forgiving but actually exercised;

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aphiemi, its application to dismissal of the sin -- a release. The force of aphiemi (to forgive or leave) is seen in Matthew 6:12, 14, 15, and Luke 11:4.

No doubt God must be satisfied, in the holiness of His own nature, as regards Himself -- that there may be forgiveness, that must have been. Still, as to judgment, it is according to the relative responsibility quâ judgment and punishment, though exclusion be the state of all unless reconciled; nor -- though founded on the intrinsic work, so that eternal joy may be there as to what is essential to it -- is conferred blessing by this consideration. The earthly saints in the millennium will not have their place within the veil; they are (say the Jews) thoroughly forgiven, but the Lord is with them, not they with the Lord in heavenly places. Sin will always be sin in God's sight, according to His nature -- hence there must be the blood of Christ according to His own perfect obedience and sacrifice of Himself; but they will return -- their repentance will be according to, and by their rejected Saviour, when they see Him. It is real, but refers to earth, to acts on earth, and has its fruit on earth then.

We have four words for "forgive" in the Old Testament: Ka-phar, Na-sa, Ka-sah, Sa-lakh. The first commonly used for atonement; the sin was covered by a sacrificial act in God's sight -- God was satisfied, and so forgave. Na-sa is airo (take away), the sin was removed from God's sight, and so forgiven. Ka-sah is "cover" -- it is covered, hidden out of God's sight; the last is forgiveness commonly so used, and as the effect of ka-phar. But the main point is that when the question of righteousness was raised, the evil was there, and on the great day of atonement (kip-pur), it was a memorial, a remembrance of sin, a witness that it was not put away (though of provision made for it) nor God accessible in His holy presence. Hence for every particular sin, the atonement had to be offered (ka-phar), a renewal of the act typically which put away sin. Forgiveness is when the mind ceases to look in judgment at the offender as under the sin, and the mind is returned to favour towards him, or holds him now in favour, if not before in it. But the state of man as an object of wrath was not revealed in the Old Testament; it dealt with man, as to the question of righteousness, on the ground of probation, though pointing to atonement, and giving a means of reconciliation, so that transgression, when occasion required, might be

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done away -- put out of God's sight. Hence ka-phar towards God, kis-sah as to the man.

Christianity reveals righteousness on God's part -- the veil is rent, one full, final, unrepentable sacrifice for sin made -- so much so, that repetition is the denial of its value. This has been accepted of God, as the putting away sin athetesis (putting away, disannulling) (perhaps ha-them "make an end of", Daniel 9:24). Into this we come, and stand in God's presence in light without veil, where sin is not -- Christ having perfectly glorified God, and borne, and put away our sins. There was no actual athetesis of sin ho airon ("he that taketh away") though pointed to in shadows. But Christ has appeared in the end, sunteleia ton aionon (the summing-up of the ages), to put away sin for God and for us, and man (the believer) is accepted as and where He is -- that is his status before God according to what He has wrought, and the passing away of judgment, and forgiveness is necessarily absolute and eternal, for sin is put away, as such, according to that judgment and the nature of God, and our sins borne. God must deny that doing to bring the sins up, whereas His righteousness (and He cannot but be righteous) is active and exercised in owning it there only, perfectly; that is what in the highest sense righteousness is -- "Of righteousness, because I go unto my Father", that is, righteousness as in act. Forgiveness is according to this passing away of judgment, and this was announced in the gospel. Forgiveness, when declared, puts the forgiven person in a new position with the forgiver as regards what is forgiven -- if all, wholly so -- but at any rate as regards what is forgiven.

The full efficacy I have spoken of is a question of positive revelation. During the Lord's life, when it was just about to be accomplished, but was not yet, we have to learn whether in any given case the Lord speaks as to the particular case, or as to absolute forgiveness. Thus in Luke 7, the word, "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace", intimates a full forgiveness, not knowledge of all Hebrews 10 or Romans 8, but of Romans 3 at any rate. The case of the man sick of the palsy has a more Jewish character, yet doubtless as to his then standing, was a full forgiveness; It alludes to Psalm 103, sa-lakh (who forgiveth) -- actual forgiveness as present favour. But this raises another question; if forgiveness is the action of the mind, of one having a right or claim which has been

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injured or slighted, giving up displeasure and not holding the person any longer guilty towards him -- the wrong must have been there to be forgiven -- God could not have forgiven innocent Adam. Besides when announced, and so we speak of it, a person is forgiven, enters into the enjoyment of the favour expressed in it. I admit that unbelief may hinder a person's thinking himself forgiven, when the wronged one's mind is wholly towards the wrongdoer in love, and that even between man and man. Still, in itself, it is a relative position which supposes previous displeasure with the fault; "that they may receive remission of their sins" we read. It puts the individual in a new relative position; hence forgiveness must be after the commission of the fault, in respect of which the person is forgiven.

The ground of forgiveness may have been, and has been for us, long ago surely, laid in the work of Christ; no discipline could be exercised but in view of this -- sin would be, and have remained exclusion from God's presence -- but this laid the ground of appeal as to Cain, typically, as in Israel, and was in fact what made forbearance with Old Testament saints righteous. Now it is declared; but forgiveness (which in form never went beyond government then) which is now the abiding state of the believer -- no imputation of sin, and righteousness imputed -- is exercised as to, is granted in occasions of profitable discipline to the righteous when humbled, supposes the existence of the fault, and its forgiveness, though we may speak of the person's being forgiven, but he is forgiven something. Just as in repentance, man passes from will and lust to the judgment of his sins and sin, so when one forgives, he passes from displeasure and judgment of the sin -- i.e., viewing it in judgment of the person -- to favour, and ceasing so to judge. Hence, though there is no time with God, and no imputation of sin to him that believes, and he, if he knows the truth has no more conscience of sins, yet forgiveness, as a fact, cannot be till the fault is committed, and the mind of the forgiver turned from judgment to favour. It may not be, as to the Christian, as to any imputation, but then there is no forgiveness any more in that sense either, but governmentally He may bring a person's sins upon him, or forgive, and then it is actual in time after the fault, and, when grace, causes displeasure, see Jonah -- so even for the forgiveness by the Church -- so even of Israel in the latter day -- all founded on

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Christ's work, its value known to us now, so that we know nothing can be imputed. In this sense we are perfectly forgiven and justified -- before Pentecost unknown, so that it was continual occasional forgiveness, as in governmental forgiveness -- not known of Israel, in the latter day, till they look on Him whom they have pierced.

Justification is, in the first instance "from", Acts 13:38, 39; hence here, and in Romans 4 does not reach beyond forgiveness, so chapter 3: 25, 26, and so chapter 4: 5 -- and resurrection is the status in which it is made good, though ascension and glory may be the effect of that by which it is made good. Still in itself it has nothing to do with glory, but with a judicial approbation of the state of the person judged, though the work, in virtue of which he is justified, may obtain glory, "whom he justified, them he also glorified".

In the gospel we have the revelation of God's righteousness; Romans 1:17. This is strictly the righteousness of God; in chapter 3: 25, 26, we have endeixis "pointing out", "showing", and in the sense of proving, "showing" is the word in English. This is done as to forbearance with past sins, and to show it at the present time, so as that He is righteous, and the Justifier of the believer in Jesus.

In chapter 4 it is imputed, but this is righteousness, i.e., the man accounted righteous, not God's righteousness imputed; in that sense "imputed" is ellogeitai, not logizetai. The former connection suggested to me, only one must allow the last is accounting righteous, not God's righteousness, though it be according to that. God does not impute sin, or imputes righteousness; imputation of righteousness is not in question. Sinners are justified, chapters 3, 4, and 5. In chapter 8 we have a condition before God, where, founded on Christ, the Holy Ghost has set us. But in chapter 5: 18 - 21 we have dikaiosis (justification) and katastethesontai dikaioi (will be constituted righteous) -- and that is the doctrinal statement in this part of the epistle; chapters 6, 7, 8 are only explaining the status of those so justified, as dead to sin and alive to God, and under the effect of the presence of the Holy Ghost. In Acts 13 they are justified from all things. Resurrection is the state in which justification is established, although that by which it is so established may be a ground for higher glory, and it applies to our being manifestly clear, in God's sight, of all the offences of which we were guilty, and judicially cleared

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before Him. But righteousness is an abstract word -- I am constituted righteous -- that is my standing before God, and there is a cause for being righteous -- judicially so accounted. Here the obedience of Christ -- I am constituted righteous before God in virtue of Christ's obedience; no doubt I am justified from sins as having the profit of His death and resurrection, but I have the actual status according to the worth of what was done -- I am estimated a righteous person, according to the value of what was done. So Hebrews 11, "testimony that he was righteous", "God bearing witness to his gifts".

But justifying is of a person judicially in question; hence we have it not in Ephesians -- when it is a new creation, God has not to justify that -- His work. Justification, on the contrary, is of a responsible person, and with whom justice is occupied; hence, first from what we are guilty of as children of Adam; then resurrection of life, judicially, in the place, as to judgment, which belongs to the person judged by the judgment -- not by the counsel, that is glory -- but a positive status before God in righteousness, and that in resurrection. The judicial mind of God owns us by salvation as before Himself, not in the old condition in flesh, but in the new, alive to God righteously, without blame before Him, and that is in virtue of Christ's death, for we are not actually blameless as we know, though the new man cannot sin, and we are through Christ judicially placed in that. It was dikaioma eis dikaiosin zoes (righteousness for justification of life); in actual result not yet, though the new man be faultless and free -- because of Christ's death, sin and the tempter have no title. In the counsels of God, glory comes in; in Christ's case, He is in glory now by righteousness, but that is only of Him, and an assurance and guarantee for us -- He appears in God's presence for us, and is withal our Forerunner.

In Romans 5, verse 19 gives the abstract idea -- what characterized the two persons referred to. It is definitely contrasted with the law in verse 20.

There is another thing we have to consider as to remission. It has been proclaimed, hence it is not in the Gospel when Messiah was come, only in the mind of the Forgiver; it was declared, proffered, present forgiveness, i.e., when so addressed to any one -- applied, he was released; this might be governmental as heretofore in Israel, or from wrath. But Christ comes, saying, "Thy sins be forgiven thee" -- "But that ye

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may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins" -- and the man is healed; and now full forgiveness is preached, as between the soul and God, as Luke 7, Acts 13, so that the person is in a forgiven state, no sin judicially imputed to him -- it is not merely "I have (God has) forgiven" the person, but the person is forgiven. That is his declared, manifested status. In John 20, the administration of this was committed to the twelve, it was nothing peculiar to Peter; it was their mission from a risen Christ in the world, who breathed on them in life-giving power. He had stood amongst them speaking peace, then repeats it, sends them as the Father had sent Him, breathes on them, and declares that those to whom they forgave sins, should be forgiven. It is not the Kingdom, but the message of the Gospel administered in application by the twelve. Nor has it to do here with merely governmental forgiveness; the power might reach that, as in Corinthians -- but it was the present administration of forgiveness to men. Baptism may have been associated with it in its due place; but the passage is a general abstract, conferring the competency to administer forgiveness on their mission from Christ, as He had in the Father's name.

NOTE. -- Although the communications on which the work of a servant of God is founded, and by which he is strengthened in it, are not the state of his own soul, yet, inasmuch as it is an immense favour, and that which has passed between God and his soul, if he act inconsistently with it -- neglect it, as to his moral state, and act unworthily of it -- God may deal with his soul in respect of this neglect and unworthy treatment of such grace, and all the pain of a grieved spirit be in his soul. For these communications are an immense grace -- how great the evil of slighting such, I mean slighting, in conduct, this intimacy with God, with which the soul has been favoured! Note this well.

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All our best feelings are wrong, if we look at them absolutely in themselves, and hence, give ever the feeling of poverty, and imperfection, and not reaching up to the relationship in full, even looked at relatively -- and this is necessarily so, for being fallen creatures, what is a good feeling in a fallen creature cannot be according to the relationship in which, abstractedly, he should stand. Our right or good feelings, being the consciousness of what we are, cannot be according to the relationship in which we stand, but contrary to it, and a confession of being out of it, when we are in it -- we cannot take the place we ought to take -- what other have we?

This makes all, looked at before God, so very poor, though grace may accept and delight in it; but Christ was perfect in every relationship in which He stood, but did receive what was due to it -- stooped down from that, in grace, to the circumstances in which we, or Israel, were, and at last received what was due to our condition.

In His interview with John Baptist, what was John's place? His thoughts are necessarily in disorder, however gracious, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?" If he was to take the place of baptizer, what was his personal relationship to the Lord, or rather actual condition before Him? His relationship, as of God, was baptizer, but how could he take it when what he was, was brought into question by the presence of the Lord? But Christ's is perfect, "suffer it to be so now"; He can take this place in grace, according to God's ways with the people, but His part was perfect in it, and He gives it in service to John, for "thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness", for He was following the path of God in perfectness, and John was to fulfil his service in it.

It was a good, and gracious, and suitable feeling in John, but evidently, taken absolutely, a wrong one -- his personal state as a man, and his relationship which he had to fulfil in it, did not correspond. It is always so, save only what is of the power of the Holy Ghost, based upon the redemption which is in Christ; for that supposes the whole natural relationship gone by sin, and makes death its starting point. Hence, as in

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Christ, and practically, so far as we are really dead, we can have right feelings, and movement of soul, because it is the Holy Ghost's testimony of God Himself, as known in and by redemption, and has place in an entire abnegation of all that we are. This is an important difference.

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Genesis sets out all the ways of God, but does not touch the question of cleansing a conscience, nor a people called to be in connection with God in His house.

Exodus treats the relationship of a people with God, and of the cleansing of the conscience, in order to their being in it, and being able to be with Him.

It is evident that the affections, and whole condition of the people of God, must depend on their relationship with God, and the manner of their association with Him. Now in the case of the Patriarchs and, though differently, under the law, God was manifested down here on earth, and though they of course could say, "God is in heaven", and, as persecuted, had only there to look, yet their proper legitimate condition and sphere of affections was associated with these blessed visits of Jehovah to the Patriarchs, or His presence in the cloud, and the Shechinah of Glory. So will it again be in other circumstances in the millennial day -- the sphere and place of their affections will (though there be higher) have an earthly centre and object.

But after the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God, there was no longer any -- the object of it had moved up there -- the Son of God -- and was hid, "our lives are hid with Christ in God"; so that the affections and whole condition of the Church is wholly connected with what is heavenly -- as to the Centre and Object, it is hid in its life there. The Holy Ghost is come down, but it is as the power of bringing up, and centring its affections there; this evidently gives a peculiar and most special place to the saints now, in their relationship to God -- their whole condition as regards Him.

NOTE. -- Some people's affections take their value from the object on which they are set -- some make their own, in the strength that is in them, the self-devotedness they exhibit. But I suspect that there is defect in both, and that the meeting of both -- save, of course, divine affections in God -- would have proved the inefficacy of either.

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Note here as regards Moses; although it is evident that he was put under a long humbling process to prepare him for the work, as nothing in himself, yet the thing that God notices of him in Hebrews 11 is, that energy of faith in which yet much of flesh was mixed up, at least energy which had not the known direction of God -- he thought, but they understood not; Acts 7:25. Besides this, it is his independent action, not fearing the wrath of the king; this is full of practical instruction.

-- 22. In Gershom (a stranger here), we are at once put in connection with the sentiment of Moses (the position of Christ as to Israel) as to the people, though in Egypt, in contrast with Ephraim (fruitful) and Manasseh (forgetting), where we have the exalted Christ connected, in a heavenly way, with Gentiles.

-- 23. Za-ak, crying out; sha-va crying out more to some one.

-- 24. This word vay-yiz'kor (remembered) is a touching word.

NOTE. -- There is a difference between Moses and Joseph. Both are separated from their brethren, both represent Christ as so separated; but Joseph takes the Gentile glory and Church place, Moses the identification with his brethren. Moses descends to identify himself with them, Joseph is rejected and sold by them; it is their sin which separates from him, and they return to him exalted, through famine humbled before him. Joseph goes through their rejection of him, through death (so to speak) but into exaltation; and there, having received a Gentile wife, calls his son Manasseh (forgotten) because the Lord had made him to forget all his toil, and all his father's house. He receives in grace, but in his place of glory, the people that had rejected him.

Moses has a Jewish character; he sees, where God saw it, the affliction of His people -- he leaves, for the time was not come to deliver, and though the heart of the wicked ones rejected him, he is in no way separated in heart from the misery of Israel. His son is not Manasseh, but Gershom (a stranger) -- he was a stranger away from his people -- he returns, as identified with them -- to them he makes himself known, to deliver them, in spite of the resistance of the king, from another king who knew not Joseph. He is their head and deliverer. God is not, "God sent me before you to preserve life", but

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Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, demands the deliverance of His people, "Let my people go!" Sovereign, saving grace was before -- delivering title and power now. We do not find Eliezer (my God is a help) till chapter 18: 4, when Israel is delivered, and the Gentiles come to eat bread with the elders of Israel. We have then the double character of the Lord's relation with Israel -- a Stranger with them when they are oppressed, and their Deliverer as the God of their fathers.


-- 2. Mittoch (out of the midst of); I suppose it blazed up above it, hence the bush was bo-er ba-esh (burned with fire) yet not consumed. Here we are in the full tide of Jehovah or Mal'ak' Jehovah.

-- 4. Here He takes His title as nature -- an additional proof of the way they (the expressions) are used. It was not merely a Person, but a Being who was such -- God -- hence Elohim in verse 6, "to look upon God"; but in verse 7 it is naturally Jehovah.

-- 13. This shows that Israel had as much as forgotten any true God of their fathers, or did not know any God as their God.

-- 14. The question then comes, what is eh'yeh (I am, or I shall be)? It is not ha-yah (he is), which has much more the sense of ginomai (has become), used for existence, but primarily of what did not exist (warden) before; eh'yeh is much more existence proceeding not from a beginning, a cause, but in, or from, self. It is not ho on (He who is) exactly, which is simple existence at present; whereas eh'yeh seems to me to imply self-derived existence -- a term, I admit, inconsistent as all mere human terms must be (unless eh'yeh itself, given of God) but which will be understood. I, and being, are both in eh'yeh, not in ho on. It may be enquired if asher (that which) be "that which", and not an adverb "inasmuch as", so that "I am so that I am", or "I am because I am"; but of this, query.

He exists in the powers of His own existence -- not caused -- and in the will of His existence, not by it so as to make it a cause of His own existence, which is simply absurd, but in it,

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as we say self-existent, which happily hides the infirmity of human thought.

206 The Hebrew future [i.e., eh'yeh, I will be] is not simply future, but future to the thought in the mind, only "being" cannot here be separated from "I" as a consequence. "I" and "being" are coincident, yet morally "I" goes first; "am" is affirmed about "I", but also an immutable existence, but, as I said, this must be enquired into.

Jehovah is the name He takes with Israel, but this is the application of eh'yeh to continuance -- existence relative to those in time.

-- 11, 13, 14, 15. It is God, the Being who was such then absolutely "Eh'yeh"; and then Jehovah, the God of your fathers.

-- 15. Eh'yeh (I am) had sent him, but it was Jehovah in personal relationship with them for ever, and l'dor dor (unto all generations). Jehovah was the God of their fathers, but not the name in which He was revealed to them.

-- 22. "Borrow" is certainly an unhappy word -- it is "ask". They were going out with a high hand, after terrible judgments.

Note the difference of Moses in his intercourse with God at the bush, and what he was in Egypt, i.e., how entirely, when God is working by him, all question is gone -- he is possessed, and moves on in unhesitating energy every step, not so much thinking about the power, as animated by it, having a just sense of what God was. The power was acting in him -- God willed that his own state should be exercised, brought in question, brought out into his own consciousness -- in him (Moses) the power of the circumstances predominates over a present God as to Moses' heart; but God working by Moses, every trace of this disappears -- not that Moses was changed in this way morally not necessarily so, but God had taken him up into His hand, and was now using him; before, He was showing him to himself, that he might know it was not himself -- this is important to notice. I note it here, the long sojourn in the desert which occurred, was not the presence of God which revealed, and brought out humblingly in one's own sight, but here, between God and Moses -- the latter may be often needed too -- nor was this the Moses -- work in Egypt, it had wholly disappeared.

At any given time, God may leave us to pass on in peace, or

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in regular duty, which requires absolutely His power and presence, without placing us in either of these cases. It is important, in all, to be fully before God, and to remember that the absence of the power of circumstances over us, and our power over them is not necessarily our state, if God is using us, though He may employ the vessel so as to use it, as is indeed His way. Elijah would hardly have fled, if his soul had been in the power which was ministerially exercised by him; and that, in general, is what ought to be -- but Paul wrote an inspired letter, and for a time was sorry he wrote it.


-- 24. Pagash (he met) is more than karah (he met with) or kara (he met), something of paga (he touched, he met) but not so strong: even in verse 27 it is more, it is the active side, "he lit upon him".

-- 26. Khathan (bridegroom, son-in-law) is remarkable I think here; it is not properly "husband".


Evidently this is the beginning of God's proper relationship with and taking up of Israel; He gives Himself a covenant name of relationship. What goes before is preparatory, and God gives Himself then (chapter 3) a personal name, Eh'yeh, which is not repeated here. Then He reveals Himself, though for Israel, here His name by which He was to be known by them. We see also here the remains of unbelief in Moses; he is of uncircumcised lips, and cannot speak to Pharaoh. God uses this to bring about His own plans, and put Aaron in his place, and show where true power was. But was there nothing of the result (or of the effect of the same cause) of his going before waiting for the Lord's sending, and wisdom and power, in smiting the Egyptian, though his heart was right? Yet God uses our weakness, and puts all in its place through this; He that glories must glory in the Lord. There were forty years needed to cure him of Egyptian confidence in the flesh, when his heart was right. But he went in his own strength

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and will; the fear of Pharaoh was already in the act of human violence -- such are we!

If God give us sunshine, let us not forget, still remember that Christ is the Sun.

The connection of this chapter with Deuteronomy 32, already noticed elsewhere, is exceedingly striking, as showing the place that these prophetic revelations hold; at the end they (the people) are returned and stand in the house, celebrating Jehovah who has blessed -- that is the place of the Psalms.

-- 3. It is no way said that Elohim had not this name -- His name is His nature and character; but He did not appear to Abraham, etc., by it, but as Shaddai -- did not make Himself known to them by His name Jehovah.

-- 5. Note here the power of evil making God's people groan, recalls to God His covenant and promise, and He takes the name by which it is accomplished -- which involves its accomplishment; it is not to be feared.


The deliberate wilfulness and hardness of Pharaoh's heart is most evident, in spite of the Lord, but then Jehovah's hardening it in His government is equally plain. There are three words used for hardening, and it must be seen if there is any special use of them, for they are different; khazak, kaved and kashah -- the second of these, kaved (is heavy) is chiefly used for Pharaoh's hardening his own heart; the first, khazak (he tied fast, made firm) is used intransitively, but also actively of Jehovah, and I suppose of Pharaoh also; the third, kashah (is heavy) is used actively for what God did. Thus in chapter 4: 21 akhazzek (I will harden), in chapter 7: 3, ak'sheh (I will harden), in both cases with ani (I), I suppose emphatic, like ego.

-- 13. In this verse it is doubtful, as khazak has a neuter sense also, but in the next verse (14) kaved is used to describe the state, but my impression is that it is intransitive, as in chapter 8: 15, 19; whereas, when actively Jehovah, it is always vaäni ... eth libbo (and I ... his heart); hence verse 13 would be "and Pharaoh's heart was hard", i.e., firm, unmoved -- kashah is more "obdurate". The form with kaved is the same I have supposed -- neuter, with khazak, that is kaved lev Phar'oh

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(Pharaoh's heart was hardened, verse 14) and yekh'zak lev-Phar'oh (Pharaoh's heart was hardened, verse 22) -- in the former, it is clearly the state, or it would be k'ved'ti (I hardened) or ani k'ved'ti (I hardened).

-- 14. The English gives in the previous verse, "He hardened Pharaoh's heart", and here, in this verse, "Pharaoh's heart is hardened", for the same words; the sense is "remained firm and unmoved". Kaved is, I suppose, stupid, heavy obduracy; kashah is hard, bitter, severe, as in Genesis 42:7, Exodus 1:14 and chapter 6: 9. It is a hard, embittered feeling against what one has no strength against, or is ill seen. Kaved is used actively (in hiphil) as to Pharaoh himself, but the form of phrase is, as the others supposed, active -- eth-libbo (his heart), chapter 8: 15, 19, was hardened (hard) is right, as elsewhere, save in chapter 7: 13.


-- 22 (18 in the Hebrew) b'kerev haäretz (in the midst of the earth) is a remarkable expression, present government being there, and commanding all that is there, and note, this is not Israel. When evil comes from this, it is p'duth (redemption) for God's people, verse 23, margin.

-- 32. Here again the active sense, with kaved, as before, Pharaoh did so, eth-libbo (his heart); in chapter 9: 7, kaved, the state was, remained hard, or obdurate; in verse 12, it is actively with khazak and eth (see footnote) and Jehovah; in verse 34, it is kaved, more active and positive I suppose than in verse 7; chapter 35 it is more general -- the fact historically; in chapter 10: 1 it is kaved with eth, Jehovah actively; and in verse 20 it is khasak, active, Jehovah hardened, with eth; so in verse 27, and so finally in chapter 11: 10.


The character of the Passover sacrifice -- for it is called ze-vakh (sacrifice) -- is pretty plain. There was nothing burnt to the Lord; the holy character of the lamb was preserved by anything remaining over to be burnt, no bone to be broken,

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nor any part carried out of the house; but there was no sweet savour to the Lord, it had not that character of sacrifice -- no altar or place of approach, neither hik-riv (brought near) nor hik-tir (burnt in sweet savour). It was not in character nor effect, coming to God; it was keeping God, as a righteous Judge, out, so that they escaped -- keeping Him righteously out (we can say by glorifying gloriously His righteousness), but still as a needed means meeting the case, and excluding the Judge as having now no ground for entering. Deliverance by God (that is, the Red Sea), drawing near to God, a sweet savour to Him, or coming to Him in any way of worship or communion, are not found here.

-- 8, 10. The fact that the Passover was to be eaten at night, and nothing left till the morning or burned, seems, I think, to intimate that it was entirely apart from the whole course and scene in which nature and sense are conversant -- a matter between God and the soul abstractedly, in the full undistracted claim and holiness of the divine nature. No circumstances entered into it -- no question of compassionate apprehension of seen misery. It was sin and the holy judgment of God met, where nothing else was; so, as a sign of this deep and infinite truth, all was darkness for three hours with Christ on the cross -- nature hidden -- all between God and Him. Then all was to be burnt -- there was no mixing it with any thing common; Israel was sanctified by it, like the priests, so that they ate it, but it could not be mixed with other food.


We have the unleavened bread, and the first-born consecrated, as the consequence and result of deliverance from Egypt, i.e., separation (consecration) to God in the double sense of purity, unfeignedness of heart, and complete devotedness. These are the fruit of having to say to God in the way of divine power in deliverance -- the result of the sense of it -- note this.

This is brought in, in testimony, before the Red Sea.

Note too, the connection of unleavened bread and consecration of first-born on common ground here; both as a memorial in the land -- the double character of the moral result looked for (produced by grace) in those delivered.

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-- 18. I think the force of khamushim (harnessed) is evident enough -- they did not fly away individually, though they went in haste -- it was Jehovah b'yad khazakah (with a strong hand) did it.


-- 4, 8,17. Khazak, Jehovah directly hardens.


There is an analogy in many of the results of the passage of the Red Sea and Jordan, which deserve attention; though one was deliverance out of Egypt into the wilderness, the other entrance into Canaan. After deliverance by the Sea (the death and resurrection of Christ) death is found -- to drink the waters of Marah -- but they are made sweet. Only here it was imposed, i.e., had to be drunk, though it was turned to sweetness, as it ever is. So after passing Jordan they are circumcised; but here, as it is death and resurrection with Christ, it is mortifying -- they apply the power of death to flesh, for they are dead.

In the wilderness you have Christ as manna, the bread come down from heaven, suited to the wilderness -- Christ humbling Himself; after Jordan, Christ as the old corn of the land, the heavenly Christ, He who is of heaven (the Lord from heaven), in nature and character -- not that He is not a man, but His origin and being is of heaven itself.

After the Red Sea, they were coming out under the personal power of the Passover, so to speak, saved from judgment then by it; in Canaan it is the sweet remembrance of long known deliverance. They eat it with unleavened bread of the corn of the land within the place where resurrection has brought them; out of the Red Sea, in the wilderness, they find shade and refreshment, which God has provided. In the land, Christ appears as Captain in conflict spiritually, and looking for holiness for it, as in His presence in the bush for redemption. All this, and especially the difference of the last-mentioned, is extremely interesting, and instructive as to the way we receive and know Christ, as brought into the wilderness by redemption, or into heavenly places as risen with Christ.

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The manna comes down -- there is no smiting anything; but, besides the general instruction elsewhere noted, in order to have the water the Rock must be smitten -- so, the Spirit could not be given till Christ was smitten.


NOTE. -- We never (save the sanctifying the seventh day) get holiness brought out as an attribute of God, nor of anything in connection with Him in the book of Genesis. But it is a mistake to suppose that it is the law which makes the difference, as if it expressed God's personal character; in us holiness must be holiness to the Lord. God is holy because He abhors evil, and delights in good according to His nature, but we can be nothing but evil without being consecrated to God -- all else is evil.

Adam was innocent (not consecrated to God, so as to follow good, and be far from evil when knowing good and evil) for he did not know good and evil. One day was consecrated to God -- was sanctified; but redemption consecrates a people to God. Hence you find a holy nation before the law was given -- a people purchased to Himself and set apart to Him -- brought to Himself. And God was glorious in holiness in the Red Sea in judgment.

In this chapter holiness was put upon the ground of obedience, but that alters nothing. He had brought forth the people which He had redeemed -- He had guided them by His strength to His holy habitation. The terms on which they foolishly put themselves (verse 8) did not alter the fact of the thought of consecration to God, see Leviticus 11:44, and chapter 19: 7, 8, 26, et seq. But this leaves the extremely interesting question: "what is the principle of relationship with God in Genesis?" which I here reserve, only remarking that the same principle applies to God's dwelling with man. It never took place till redemption gave occasion to it, this is also brought out in Exodus, chapter 15, where we first find the other, already noted.

I apprehend that the notion of redemption makes the difference, not simply in itself, but because, as by the work of

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God, it brings, according to its power, to Himself -- "I have borne you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself" -- so His dwelling among them.

Now Abraham, the brightest of saints (I do not of course speak of the ground of his everlasting hopes, as known to us, but of the principles of his history) of that time, did not stand on that ground. He was chosen -- called -- and the promises given to him -- called to go out to a land which God would show him, but he is not presented to us as brought to God by redemption, and hence consecrated to Him. He was blessed -- cared for by the Almighty -- visited -- made a friend of God, but God did not dwell with him. He quitted his country on a promise, and call, he was not redeemed, by a mighty hand, from the midst of enemies, blood being on the door to shelter him. Calling, promise, blessing, care was there (not redemption) walking before God as a stranger.

Abel's sacrifice might seem to present this (redemption), but Abel's sacrifice is an offering to God, not redemption by God; he could come with and by this, and be received by faith, and so it is used in Hebrews 11. It was Abel's offering, not God's redemption. All this as to the value of redemption, and its character and effect is full of interest.

Note, that the people really undertook (only that the communications were necessarily such as suited an earthly state) what Christ undertook in Psalm 40 but what a difference! He there is the real Servant, and that, as in everything, by previous title; though Israel came in to put man to the test by it. But in the volume of the Book, He was the real and willing Servant of God, glorious in this place, who had the true title to all glory. For the willingness was in divine and perfect love, as the competency to accomplish all equally perfect; the competency to obey as great as the willingness, the principle of obedience. As perfect, the coming and all He came for, was the divine will -- yet as perfect in love in doing it; it had the stamp of what was divine upon it, although the manner of manifestation was human and subject. How different the undertaking of those who must be kept by a barrier from God, when undertaking to earn a title to be near; Christ went forth from God -- they, outside, could not even be allowed to come near.

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In the giving of the Law we have clearly Elohim, God as such, and man in His presence. Moses went up to God, the people drew near to God, and God said, etc. But then in all that is given it is Jehovah thy God, and the whole character of the Law is this, "who brought thee out" -- "thy God" -- "visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children" -- "the days long in the land". It is on the ground of a people in relationship, "I have borne you on eagles' wings, and brought you to myself. Now therefore" -- A law to Gentiles would own them not outcast, as a people whom God could guide, and give rules to, in connection with Himself; that law may contain a true rule for man in flesh, but must be given to man in relationship to God, as a rule for him in that place. The Gentiles were not yet revealed (see Simeon's song), and God winked, as to government in this world, at the times of ignorance -- nor even finally will they be judged by it. Reasoning on the spirit of nomos (law) is something else, and goes further; the Pharisees had hopes of eternal life by it. Christ never says this: "This do and thou shalt live". As Scripture speaks: "He that doeth these things shall live in them". Man's natural longings and heart may go further -- he thinks he can keep it, and seeks that fuller life he knows of by it. Not so faith, "if there had been a law given, which could have given life", for now life means more -- then only by times, in longings.

Note the law was never in itself put into the hands of man. God spoke the ten commandments out of the midst of the fire on Mount Sinai to the people. Moses coming down from God, without direction from God, finding the golden calf made, breaks the Tables at the bottom of the mount -- how introduce indeed the law of God into a camp where it was already broken and another god set up? When Moses goes up again, he is told to make a chest to put it in -- God and His law are alike hidden, though given as a rule of life. That which has led me to this, is that when the throne of God was set up in the midst of Israel, the faces of the cherubim who constituted the throne -- "He sitteth between the cherubim" -- looked not to the ark, but to the mercy-seat which was over it, and covered it. The law was not slighted or enfeebled surely, it was placed in that holy receptacle, which indeed

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represented Christ, but it was hidden there. All that constituted the throne, the attributes of God, though perhaps governing men as a present judgment of conduct as to it, yet, as regards the covenant, looked at the mercy-seat. Now that was divine righteousness, the cover of pure gold -- and the blood of atonement was sprinkled on and before it -- with that, the faces of the cherubim were in connection, at that they looked. The law was deposited and honoured there, but the power of the throne dwelt with the mercy-seat. No doubt clearer blessings in unveiled light are for us, but this was not simply law; it was, as to government, a throne of grace according to the name proclaimed to Moses.

-- 24. The altar here is for burnt-offerings and peace-offerings -- sin-offerings are not contemplated. It was worship properly speaking; the commandments were given and breaches not yet supposed; so in these ordinances, they were all order for the land, nothing of sacrifices. In the enumeration of the three great feasts even, it is not the Passover which is the first, but the feast of unleavened bread -- so when the sacrifices were offered to seal this command, burnt-offerings alone were offered. The sin-offerings, even in the sacrifices, constituted a distinct and separate head. Again, the altar on Mount Ebal was an altar to offer burnt and peace-offerings on, and rejoice, but the curse on failure only followed, Deuteronomy 27:7; Joshua 8:30 et seq: and they stood there in the valley to bless; afterwards the responsibilities were read -- yet when the altar was set up (Ebal), they stood to curse.


-- 27. "My fear". How true that is -- this secret action of God which takes away courage, and produces dread, compare also chapter 15; see what Rahab says, Joshua 2, and compare the end of Philippians 1, verse 28, and what Peter says of women; 1 Peter 3:2.


-- 2. This, and the root rum (lift up) [in the word t'rumah, an offering] helps one to understand the heave-offering.

-- 18 - 21. With regard to the cherubim; in Genesis 3,

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they are set to maintain, as instruments of holy, sovereign, guardian power, the way of the tree of life against sinful man. They are instruments of judicial holiness maintaining it against inroad; it is a known supposed power, eth hakk'ruvim (the cherubim). Next, the mercy-seat was the throne of God in the holiest -- the blood made propitiation there, but it was the place of the throne -- of divine righteousness. Gold, silver, brass were divine righteousness in its intrinsic qualities -- its stability of purpose -- so securing His place and people -- and in spiritual acting, energy in accomplishments, in man, or in connection with what it had actually to deal with humanly, not as judging man, for then it must be gold, but as displayed in work in man.

The Cherubim were out of the gold of the mercy-seat, i.e., they were instruments to sustain the Majesty of divine righteousness -- the throne. They were not that righteousness -- that was marked by the mercy-seat itself -- but they were the instruments to maintain the majesty and expression of it, when God dealt in it with the creature as such. We find further that in Ezekiel they had the faces of a man, an eagle, a lion, and a cherub, again a man, an eagle, a lion, and an ox; the living creatures had those of a man, an eagle, a lion and an ox; Revelation 4:7. But in 1 Kings 7:29, we have lions, oxen, and Cherubim; in Ezekiel 41:18, 19, they have two faces -- a young man, and a lion, but this was half on the door. In Ezekiel 1, they have four wings and straight feet like oxen's feet, and hands under their wings; here in this chapter (Exodus 25) we have the faces of the two cherubim looking to the mercy-seat, and wings joining at top; in 2 Chronicles 3 the faces towards the house, and wings stretched out touching the sides of the house and each other -- here God sat, and will sit as on earth -- from hence Moses heard a voice when he went in; Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; 1 Chronicles 13:6; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 99:1.

It is His place and throne of Majesty, where He allows nothing contrary to it (see Isaiah 37:16), but where He dwells among His people, in the place of glory, because He has set His throne there, and governs them, and speaks to them there -- has His palace and throne there -- though He may dwell in a tent, yet unchanged there, in the same Majesty. But on the cry of His people, He rides -- comes, in the same Majesty, intolerant of evil, and in the Sovereign power of judgment;

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but that is deliverance, and hence, note, He puts blood on the door posts, He draws out of many waters -- hence the very foundations of the earth are discovered -- hence He hears, though it be Israel's deliverance, out of His holy temple, the place of His terrible, royal Majesty, "In his temple does every one speak of his honour" -- what a wonderful thing that He should ride forth in majesty! No wonder redemption is such a thing! and that Christ must have gone so low, being under the blow and dealing, through grace, of this Majesty -- for where should blood be found to put upon the door posts? But study this Psalm (2 Samuel 22) and see how far it is the deliverance of the Lord, under the power of death, the enemy, by the visitation of this Majesty. In 1 Chronicles 28:18, it is "the chariot of the Cherubim".

In Ezekiel 1, we learn that they "had the likeness of a man", "brightness", "coals of fire", "lightning" -- we recognize the display of 2 Samuel 22.

-- 22. This is the apostolic office of Christ, or rather prophetic -- Christ is speaking from the Father, and ordering all things in the embodying of His Church; yet as risen and so speaking from heaven, which is the proper order of ministration in the mystically formed body. Our Lord was, in fact, speaking from heaven, when in the body, the words of God, from the Father within the veil; as the Jehovah of the Church, He did give forth His commandments, apostolically, by the hands of those whom He sent in this office. See chapter 29: 42.


I have some things to remark in the materials used in the tabernacle, etc. In the tabernacle itself, or tent of the tabernacle, there was linen, blue, purple, scarlet, cherubim, but no gold. The veil (verse 31), purple, scarlet, linen (only linen last here), and cherubim -- no gold. The ephod was gold, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, and the curious girdle the same -- no cherubim. The pomegranates were blue, purple, scarlet only; there were bells of gold.

Gold I apprehend, was divine righteousness.

Fine linen, perfectly pure nature -- here man's.

Cherubim, as everywhere, judicial authority -- but divine.

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Blue -- heavenly.

Purple -- regal.

Scarlet -- earthly honour and glory.

Now in the tent and veil there was no gold -- it was Christ as Man; but all was gold inside either, and cherubim were on them -- as Christ, as such, had the judicial authority, but wielding God's judgment committed to Him.

In the ephod and girdle, which is of course priesthood, there is not Aaronic or judicial throne, but there must be divine righteousness, though girded for service. In the heavenly character, which was under, and appeared below the ephod, there were the three colours, which give the triple character of the fruit, which belongs to the heavenly character -- what was heavenly, royal, and glorious. These were manifested as belonging to the heavenly man; but the priesthood was really a higher character, it belonged to what went within -- the righteousness of God -- not merely what was the consequence for him who went in.

The hanging of the holy place had no cherubim, nor gold; it was simply what Christ was, manifested as a Man; Exodus 26:36; chapter 36: 37.

The curtains were 40 cubits by 28, the tabernacle 30 long by 10 high and 9 wide. Thus the curtains not only hung down the sides, but the back; and only on the sides the ends were half a cubit from the ground. The goats' hair curtains reached a cubit beyond the lower end of them, and were half a cubit on the ground on either side, and as there were 11 curtains instead of 10, there was (verse 12) a superfluity, se-rakh ha-odeph (portion that remaineth), was divided between the back and front. Then I apprehend, not as once I thought, that the corners were doubled to strengthen them, not cut off so as to destroy the square inside, and make it 10 cubits wide, or more; but thus the six boards giving the breadth unchanged.

NOTE. -- There was gold in the high priest's ephod and girdle, but none in the veil, verse 31; chapter 28: 6; chapter 39: 1 - 3, and elsewhere; while there were cherubim on the

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veil, not on the ephod. The veil was Christ's flesh, behind which Godhead was hidden. The perfect effect was there in Man, divine grace in a pure human nature, but in going in the divine righteousness had its place, for He was before God. It was not merely efficacy of work, and so judicial. He is the propitiation for our sins; but Jesus Christ the righteous was there. It is in Him what perfectly meets God's mind, because it is divine -- nothing else could be in itself. In John it is intrinsic in the way of nature, it is so spoken of, as 1 John 2:29; then it is the judicial question, as 1 John 4:17; but it is intrinsic in Him, in order to appear for us -- the divine perfection in righteousness in itself. It is not that He is changed of course, but it had to appear before God in heaven; purity, and every grace to us outside. But then it is not merely He is our righteousness, but One is there who, having accomplished that work is Himself there -- appears in the presence of God for us -- and such that all God's positive delight from His very nature must go out towards Him. This is a blessed place to stand in -- Jesus Christ the righteous is there.


I know not where I have written on the typical meaning of the metals in the tabernacle; there are a few words, in some part, on the gold and brass, in the books of the Bible.

I have heretofore considered brass as judgment according to works, when in connection with responsibility, as gold properly righteousness in se -- the eyes as a flame of fire, as the penetrating power of God's judgment (Revelation 2:18, 23), in the latter God "searches the reins and the heart", and gives to every one of them according to their works; Philippians 2:12, 13, 15.

Gold is intrinsic righteousness in God's nature -- that which we approach in; here I do not mean His essence, but what we approach in. Brass is the judgment of righteousness as applied to man; hence the altar of burnt-offering was of brass, the laver was of brass -- one judged sin in a sacrifice, the other by the word. It marked the immutable nature of that judgment -- God, who could not bear sin, must deal with it. What led me to it was, the sockets of the pillars of the court were of brass, and the fillets and hooks of them silver -- what gave stability was judgment -- was Gilgal work. The

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curtains separated the profane from the holy -- God's people, as with Him, from the world at large -- their hooks on the pillars were silver and their fillets.

I am apt to think this is grace as displayed in man -- God's grace; as the brass was God's judgment -- firm and immutable -- so did grace secure, but it was the ornament; judgment in God's ways secures, but it is their stability, and as the foundation, God's immutableness; grace in fact is what all hangs on in its actual maintenance.

The moment the light was brought in, and the use of the olive oil, then the priesthood of Christ is introduced, and the priesthood of Christ and the Church looked at corporately -- looked at as a service. Aaron and his sons were to trim the lamps, they were to ascend up always -- the priesthood having been ordered in Aaron and his sons. Then came the daily burnt-offerings, and then the Lord met with the people to speak with Moses -- that was the ordinary worship and communications (as with Moses for what he had to give to the people at the ark).

Then the altar of incense; this was to be before the veil, that is, by the ark of the testimony, "where I will meet, saith he, with thee". Aaron was to burn incense on this every morning, and so in the evening. It was without for use, but it belonged within, and was kodesh hakkadashim (holy of holies). When he dressed the lamps, and when he lit the lamps, he was to offer on it. This had nothing to do with burnt-offering, but was of priestly approach.

Note, though Aaron and his sons were only to order the lamps, it is now Aaron's office, and though the light was to burn always, yet it was de facto to be kept alight by night it appears. Then we have presented to us that connected with the manifestation of the Lord's presence in Israel. For the people as such, the remembrance of their existence involved the acknowledgment that they owed their life to the Lord, and His remembrance of them would make it forfeit, but for this acknowledgment which implied atonement.

For a priest as such, he washed his hands and feet merely for service, being already near to God -- the two characters of the effect of God's presence in Israel. The whole chapter has its importance from this, that it is the account of the whole order of relationship, and its administrative power when the arrangements of God's presence were complete -- what that

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presence involved in recognition or worship -- there was not common use to the two altars of burnt-offering and incense. These things for the exercise of ministry were not mentioned before.


-- 6. There is gold in the ephod and girdle, not in the veil, see chapter 26: 1 and 31; no cherubim. In chapter 26: 1 and 31 there are linen, blue, purple, scarlet, no gold but cherubim. In verse 33 of this chapter we have only blue, purple, scarlet.

-- 26. On the edge thereof, over against the ephod within.

-- 27. Does it not look as though the kith'photh (sides) did not go down below the waist, not further than the girdle, or what is makh'bar't'to (its coupling)?

-- 29. This historically he never did; he went in his linen garments only on the great day of atonement. All was sustained in mercy; but the system, as ordered, had wholly failed.

What were the garments used by the High Priest on the great day of atonement? When did he use the garments "for glory and beauty"? Was it at other time than on his consecration? see this verse and 30, also chapter 29: 29, 30, and chapter 39: 41 - 43. Was the breastplate on Aaron, when he went in to the holy of holies on the day of atonement? Leviticus 8:7, 8, seems to explain it, i.e., in consecration; all were upon him in that chapter, but they were separated in service, compare chapter 16: 23, 24. The whole subject should be considered in reference to Exodus 28:2 and 40, and Hebrews 9:7 et seq, also Romans 2:10.

-- 30 - 38. As to the priesthood, there are three subjects besides the persons of the saints whose names He (Christ) bears on His shoulders and on His heart -- their judgment in grace, and obtaining guidance for them in walk. Next, that His going in was to produce fruit, and testimony in us -- the bells and pomegranates; thirdly He bears the iniquity of our holy things. All is thus thought of.


-- 2. For b'luloth (tempered) see note on Leviticus 2, and the second sense (to pour together) in Gesenius, and the force (to mix oneself, Hosea 7:8) of hithpolel.

-- 4. Here first we find the expression "the door", etc.

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From verse 11 we learn that it was properly before they came to the altar, between the door of the court and the brazen altar. The laver is said to be between the tabernacle and the altar, see chapter 30: 18.

-- 6. The word here ne-zer (crown) is remarkable. It is his separation or consecration, the same as Nazarite as to the root.

-- 9. The high priest's girdle was called (av'net) from its beautiful design in weaving; this only from girding. And note, this is quite a new scene, the dress of Aaron when he comes with his sons is, like theirs, quite different. His personal consecration was complete before.

Nothing can be more marked than the way Aaron and his sons are thrown together after verse 8; and then, as heretofore remarked, comes the sacrifice and offering. The previous part equally shows a living Christ anointed without blood; and see verse 21, also heretofore noticed all with him. But then this does show what is called mystical union -- not real by the Holy Ghost, but all His people looked at in Christ, at any rate the children which God has given Him, He being a revealed Christ. But they are all washed together (for we are born of the life of which He lives, and purified with the purification with which He is pure), but He is anointed alone (verse 5 - 7). His sons are not clothed as priests till after.

But further he was anointed alone without sacrifice, as Christ received the Holy Ghost -- witness of holiness and sonship; but He could not then be priest, nor is Aaron said to be consecrated by this -- his hands were not yet filled. The first verse shows that for hallowing them to priesthood, the second ram was the ram of consecration (filling the hand); the sprinkling of blood hallowed them. Here seen all together (for without the sons He represented, there was no need of blood, but then there was no need of priesthood either, that involves others and blood) we must have the sons and of course necessarily Aaron with them, or there was nothing. Hence the ram is called the ram of Aaron's consecration (verse 26). His hands were filled, but in verse 24 his sons too with him, for if Christ goes with Himself as an offered gift, so do we thereupon (verse 24). Verses 19 - 25 give this consecrating part when they are all thus together (verse 26 is apart), hence in verse 27 we have the two mentioned -- me-asher l'Aharon ume-asher l'vanav (of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons).

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What is called consecration is through death, as it is evident Christ's death must come in for His going to offer as priest in the sanctuary, appearing for us, but it is not the same as the hallowing, which is rather our idea of consecration. It was through death giving them somewhat to offer, as is said in Hebrews, filling their hands. Christ (Aaron) could be anointed on earth and sealed, because He was holy and the Son -- but He could not be a Priest without something to offer, nor, as sin was come in, without blood, and so an offering to carry in. In one sense He was raised through the power of His blood-shedding, because having charged Himself with our sins, He must put them away to rise Himself -- His resurrection is the witness of our being so, but then we are raised and consecrated with Him -- "He hath quickened you together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses". The anointing alone was the witness of Christ's personal absolute perfection as a Man taking us up in His work, of course then all that we bring into the partnership He has graciously taken up (our debts and sins) must be taken into account, and He, in blessed grace, took all the burden, but then we necessarily rise into the place with Him into which He enters as consecrated to God, i.e., as priests -- as men walking in infirmity on the earth, He is priest for us -- but as consecrated, our hands are filled to offer all the preciousness of that offering to God subordinately, and to our acceptance in coming as He does. Our gift is testified of, while we are accepted in approaching and worshipping. It is not offering in the sense of sacrifice -- we do come, but as sinners, by that -- but as offering the gift, our hands filled with that which has been sacrificed, death, and that is always the wages of sin, but not as a sin-offering, that was the first great thing, here the bullock, but as a perfect offering and sweet savour to God.

Verses 5 - 7 and 26 are the ones in which Aaron is alone (besides Christ being the Victim). In the second case we see Moses having his part -- the distinct priestly part -- what belonged to the offering priest. Christ of course was both Offerer and what was offered; but in the former, He was in living purity looked at apart, as consecrated to God as Priest, the heave breast, His own part, heaved up to God, not merely hatt'unphah (the wave-offering) but hatt'rumah (the heave-offering), but which as priest (Moses and so always afterwards) He ate, enjoying personally the intrinsic blessedness of the

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consecration and offering to God -- worthy offering! This is true in general as far as we can go, verse 31 and following. But then He had His own apart (has) when Moses has the heave breast.

We must remember that the Lord Jesus (Acts 2) received the Spirit after His ascension, from the Father, which He shed forth on His disciples. In this case, in the figure, besides the blood on the ear, etc., the blood and oil were sprinkled on Aaron and his sons, and garments, etc., The introduction of Aaron here, I do not think a difficulty, because it is evidently on account of his sons, to give them their place which they could not have apart from him -- and so it is said, "with him" -- and we have our place with Christ, besides His personal dignity and excellence.

Notice here that in Leviticus 8 the tabernacle and altar were anointed, with Aaron, before the sin offering which is not in this chapter -- this must be further inquired into.

-- 36. As regards sprinkling the tabernacle, etc., with blood, we find that Moses offered a bullock for a sin-offering (see verse 12) and then here we have the altar sanctified khit-te-tha (thou shalt cleanse) not a-lav (it) but b'kap-per'kha a-lav (in making atonement for it), that is make an atonement for it -- reconcile it. Hebrews 9 applies this to all. What I have to note here is that this was done after Aaron's sons were brought forward, and the anointing of the altar comes after this (verse 36), see verses 10, 12; compare Leviticus 16:14, 16. But we must again note that in Leviticus 8 the anointing of the tabernacle, and all in it was in connection with Aaron's anointing, before the sons and bullock and blood were brought in. This comes in in verses 13 - 15. The Lord taking possession of all things on the title of redemption, descending and ascending (Ephesians 4) is plain, and their being reconciled and cleansed with blood, as in Leviticus 16; but this is in contrast with Messiah, for I doubt not it is when there, He descends and then ascends far above all heavens. All this is in a measure mature in my mind.

All things were created by Him and for Him, and so in result He takes them in point of fact, and so takes them with the redeemed as joint-heirs, though the title be evidently all His, and He, in this sense, is entered by His own blood. But He glorified not Himself to be a High Priest, but Him who said to Him: "Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee".

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Now He was not set in the place of heavenly priesthood here, but His Person proclaimed as on earth, as personally qualified for it; and as such the Holy Ghost came upon Him -- "I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God". But Christ thus as Son and Man was the Heir of all things; nor is His personal title as Man, divine love withal, the least difficult to comprehend, nor the consequent fact, already referred to, of His actually taking it (we being joint-heirs) in redemption -- Aaron never went officially into the holy place in his garments of glory and beauty; and in this character of Son, it seems to me, Hebrews 1 introduces Him.

No doubt it shows Him sitting down, when He had by Himself purged our sins, but it shows a title of Son behind all this, and all things subsisting by Him; i.e., the Creation is looked at independent of its defilement by us (though it has been so), so He is anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows -- this was not receiving the Holy Ghost, as in Acts 2, after His ascension. His kingdom has a sceptre of righteousness -- He has loved it and hated iniquity. It is what He is, not what He has acquired by redemption, for He acquired a title by redemption besides redeeming us; but here He is above Creation by inheritance, and I suppose the sanctifying the whole created scene to be the scene of the display of His Manhood glory in His own perfection (not as merely cleansing them because of us) is different from Creation -- the anointed tabernacle was of course made -- and from cleansing with blood, because of sinful creatures defiling them. All was, as the Son had created all, to be the scene of the Anointed Man's glory, who is the Son -- and not as cleansed, though this was required and took place, but as the scene sanctified to God for that. The cleansing was a subsequent affair, and connected with need brought in by others; but this comes in in Hebrews 2 -- and query if this does not show that in verse 9 we should read "everything" (pantos). Verses 6 - 8 give the title and purpose, and verse 9 brings in the way He had to take it up as things were; verse 10, in respect of the glory of God as Supreme, and as bringing in many sons to glory; verse 14, as destroying the adverse power; verses 17, 18 putting Him in the place of the efficient High Priest and the tempted Man. Hence man never entered into the Creation rest, though the works were finished; into God's rest through Christ's work, he (the believer) will.

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And this fully explains Hebrews 5; it is calling (kaloumenos), in verse 5, "Thou art my son" -- then verse 6, actual priesthood after Melchisedec, as to personal title too -- and office, I righteousness and peace. The sufferings come in as to this "though" (verse 8), and then He is de facto prosagoreutheis (saluted) as such, so that now it goes within the veil. This leads on, of course, to the Aaronic pattern of priesthood in practice now (though in contrast) which supposes death, and blood to carry in; which, interesting as it is, is not our subject. But note we are in Him, and worship too, as above the Creation (Hebrews 7:26). What follows is application to conscience, and cleansing, and the blood needed for both us, and the heavenly things represented in the tabernacle; Hebrews 9:14, 23. So of eternal redemption, and eternal inheritance; and here consequently we have the passage referred to (verse 21), to which only Exodus 29:12, 36 refer as far as I know -- these verses do. This opens out some fresh apprehensions of the place of the blessed Lord in His title, and also the epistle to the Hebrews. In this aspect also we may say every creature of God is good, being sanctified by the word of God and prayer. In this respect, to Christ, every creature -- the whole creation to Him -- must have been sanctified. That which we do in detail, was completely so with Him.

-- 42. We learn thus what the door of the tabernacle is. The altar of burnt-offering was at it, and when the people came into the court before the brazen altar, they were at it, see note to verse 4 -- just as Christ's cross was lifting up from the earth, but not in heaven, compare chapter 25: 22. From this it would appear that we are warranted in looking continually for fresh supplies of direction as a constituted people, not merely as constituted to be a people, from the Apostolic office of Christ the Lord. It was iv-va-ed la-kem (I will meet you), l'dab-ber e-ley-ka (to speak to thee) -- hence it was at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation (as the other from the mercy-seat), and He met them. This is a most important point, and though set without where the people came, it was sanctified -- a sanctified place of meeting -- and hence the occasion of the notice. There was the continual burnt-offering; this was offered in the place of resort, without the holy place, whereby, though not the holy place into which the priests (believers) alone enter, access to the holy place is the way to the holy place of the world. Christ's offering-place was the

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world -- sacrifice-place was the world -- not the church; none but believers go in with incense, or eat the shewbread with frankincense, or trim the lamps within; but the meeting-place was sanctified, it was a place where God acted and met -- it was cleansed on the day of atonement, and upon the footing of this, the Lord meets us Apostolically in every necessity of direction which our wants may give occasion to; I do not say this leads us out of Scripture, but, though not inconsistent with it, it is not a mere abstract original constitution, but a spiritually-afforded direction to them, not by the priestly, but by the Apostolic office of Christ.

The Spirit of God guides us, but we must remember, has guided the Apostles into all truth. In Matthew 28:20, we have the whole of this truth, and the comparison of the passages throws wonderful light on it. It is subjection -- for this is the force of the Apostle's office, "for the obedience of faith" -- but instruction withal and light for conduct by which we act vigorously. It is only so far as we are made partakers of the Apostolic spirit, that we can act really on Apostolic directions, yet it is obedience, "I will meet with you, to speak there unto thee". But then these were communications not within, not by Urim and Thummim, according to bloodshedding and cleansing in respect of responsibility and according to God, but not in the sanctuary. Manifested glory however sanctified it; it was God displayed without, not our going within -- God also dwelt amongst them. Thus far it went, and it is a very important principle -- never took place, not even with Adam, but by redemption -- but it is not yet dwelling with Him, as Christ is entered as Man, and the disciples feared when men entered into the cloud.

I think, from an examination of the passages in which heave and wave-offerings are found, it will be seen that heave-offerings are a more absolute and entire giving up to God. Wave-offerings are presented to Him, sanctified by being thus presented, and He owned in them, but their need for the service of man, i.e., for the Church. When Aaron and his sons are consecrated, the heave-shoulder, the offering priests' part in peace-offerings, is burned; Moses eats the wave-breast, the part of Aaron and his sons, the priests in general. The general fact confirms it, the heave-shoulder was eaten by the priest who offered the blood, the breast by the others. The heave-offerings of the children of Israel were what were offered up

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to God -- consecrated to Him. Note also Aaron is consecrated by the blood of an offering of sweet savour; the leper is cleansed by the blood of a sacrifice for sin.

-- 45, 46. Note there is a reason why, as often observed God's dwelling with man is the effect of redemption only. All that God is, in the most glorious way morally, is revealed and made good in redemption. In sovereign grace and counsels, love, active love, righteousness, holiness, and man the redeemed, is brought to Him in redemption, to know what He is as so revealed, but to know it as in Himself. For as it is revealed in what is done for them, so they know it in Him who has made Himself known in doing it -- they are brought to God, capable withal of knowing Him thus. They must therefore have Him with them, or the real full effect is not there -- neither the glorifying of God in it, nor the necessary result in us -- neither objectively, for the object is not present, nor the consequent effect subjectively in us. Compare Ephesians 1:4.

-- 46. The first thought of one moved by the Spirit, being delivered, is: "I will prepare him an habitation"; and so is God's purpose in deliverance, though man may set wrong about it -- at least He makes of His people an habitation, "They shall know that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God". But this thought is not the first accomplished. The Lord, walking all the while in a tent as to His formal house among men, and, even before this be well pitched, can say as to His work in grace: "Thou hast guided them by thy strength to thy holy habitation". The promise comes afterwards: "Thou wilt bring them in, Thou wilt plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established". Thus the people, wanderers as they were, dwelt in the habitation of His holiness; God walked in a tent, for we also are moving to and fro, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them". David also proposes to build a house for the Lord; then another truth comes out -- the Lord builds his house. But in effect Solomon -- Christ, King in peace and Priest in glory -- builds a house, whereof the pattern was revealed to David in spirit; "I have built thee an house". We also desire to build an house for God -- God is minded to dwell among us, and that we should dwell in the habitation of His holiness; we dwell in Him, and He in us, and we are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

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But in result Christ is Son over His own house, the true Solomon of whom it is written: "I will be to him a Father and he shall be to me a Son". He will have to say, "but I have built thee a house" -- this, as every other glory, is reserved for Him; we are that house, holding till that day our position through grace, for the house is built in Spirit now, as then in glory. For us what is important is to be builded together for a house, not to build a house for God, though the desire be good -- and meanwhile to dwell in the house of His holiness in Him, for that is our house in the desert.

-- 41, 42. I go back to these verses to note this only, to lead to the train of passages, for the thought which gave rise to it was not at the time of writing; note particularly, the sweet savour of burnt-offering continually, where God meets with Israel outside -- though He speaks with Moses.


The competency to minister actually, being settled in chapters 28 and 29, after the place and its arrangements and furniture were ordered, we have the place of God's meeting and presence with Moses and with the people, to speak to Him, as it was said: "I will dwell among the children of Israel, etc ... that I may dwell among them". All these were for the actual ministration; the priest was so entirely looked at as a priest, that anointing him was not looked at as contained in the expression "man's flesh". This chapter just takes in all, consequent and hanging upon the end of chapter 29; i.e., the presence of God in the midst of the people, and the opening of the chapter is very sweet in that respect, incense, ransom, feet-washing, and the priest's service as to incense and light, and the savour of the incense to God, and the anointing for man.

-- 10. The altar of incense belonged, though without, to the Most Holy Place -- it had not any connection with what was done as approaching for acceptance. It was ko-desh kodashim (holy of holies) to the Lord.

-- 12. How jealous God is of anything like glorying in the flesh!

-- 18. Note the laver was made after all the rest, nor is this

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all; in the directions given, it comes after the incense (consequent on Aaron's consecration), and the ransom-money of the children of Israel; and it was used only for the priests to wash their hands and feet, when they were to be occupied with any service, and then comes the anointing oil. It was wholly a priestly instrument of service; they were washed at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, but it is not said in the laver, nor is any way intimated. The door of the tabernacle of the congregation was properly the entrance before they came to the altar -- so, note, the disciples -- "Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you" -- that was during Christ's life; but it was as having all things delivered unto Him of His Father, and come from God and going to God -- as going on High after the sacrifice of Himself -- that He washes His disciples' feet. And He was clean according to the word Himself -- Ten archen o, ti kai lalo umin -- so by the word He had cleansed and quickened them, as Aaron and his sons were washed together. This however in its nature, hence it will be true of Israel in the millennium, for we know the value of water as death -- it came with the blood out of Christ's side. Still in essential nature it is the new divine life, though not so in death to sin which we count ourselves to have passed through; but the washing of hands and feet was within the Altar -- the washing of feet by Christ as having gone out of the world to the Father, having passed through death.

-- 32. Note the phrase "holy is it, holy shall it be to you".

The sweet incense is offered when he dresses the lamps in the morning and when he lights them at even. It is in connection, that is, with the lamps, i.e., we have the advantage of it when our light is in question -- it is not in connection with sacrifice this. Query: how is common individual atonement brought in here? It is in connection with the service, no doubt. Perhaps they had their share as much in the priestly service, i.e., the fruit of it -- the actual partaking was by washing; now it is not cleansed, but redeemed by a price. It is a memorial; the exercise of priesthood must be by practical cleansing and in the power of the searching word by the Holy Ghost. The Israelites are always before the Lord as objects in the service, the cleansed ones as in the service as priests -- for light we have the comfort of intercession.

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-- 2. Aaron was sadly ready -- he feared the people.

-- 5. "Mine eye affecteth my heart". His conscience would save itself but accredit the calf; it went on to long ages in Dan and Bethel. Whenever we give in to the flesh in divine things, it is always naturally so, for power only can deliver from nature.

-- 10. How beautiful han-ni-khah (leave alone). He expected Moses to love the people, and interfere, but it was a terrible word "leave me to my righteous anger".

-- 11 - 14. Jehovah says "thy" according to the people's unbelief -- Moses says "thy", according to faith; and so here, in the relation by the Spirit he says "His". See also chapter 34: 27, "with thee and with Israel"; they had a place by a mediator in (governmental) mercy.

-- 31. Moses goes up specially to God here.

The character of Moses is certainly one of the most blessed in the word of God; still all man's conduct in the Scriptures is given us to judge by -- to judge ourselves by -- and I think I see in the breaking of the tables, man's righteousness it is true, but not a divine act -- not that I think he could have done anything else then -- it was surely righteous. How could he bring the precious open law of God into a camp which had already violated it, and was naked to their shame before their enemies? But I do not see that he had consulted God, in lowliness of spirit with Him, about the law, and "what am I now to do with thy law?" broken-hearted as to its honour and this result. Christ was in a different position -- in the same as to Israel -- but what a position He took, Himself the victim of all this! It is true He alone could, that is clear, but one feels the difference, and what a place as to the law and the condition of the people under it, He takes as victim. How, accomplishing righteousness, it sets aside the whole condition of the people by taking it in grace -- this set aside all necessity of vindicating God's honour in acting as to the people -- He did it gloriously, perfectly, in suffering, and accomplished all, and magnified the law and made it honourable.

I was led partly to these thoughts by the manner in which the Lord speaks always of it "which thou brakest"; He takes pains to make it the act of Moses, and it is a serious thing to break what God Himself has hewn out -- the tables

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were the work of God. He had not consulted the Lord, though he had interceded for the people. God did not make the tables over again -- Moses was now to hew them out, there was something lost; I think I see something of the same spirit in his intercession at the end of this chapter, most blessed devotedness, that which in a certain point of view the spirit of Christ must produce in us in its root and principle, that is the entire preference of God's people to self -- but not the same nearness to the Lord as when he was up alone with Him, before the sin had been seen, and had excited his indignation. The effect of his hot anger seems still to cling about him in his intercession, and the Lord answers His blessed servant abruptly and shortly, according to His majesty; even in this (and not otherwise, because this blessed man was very near God) with the "froward he will use frowardness", for it was a hardy speech of Moses. Christ did it as sent -- being come to do the will of God -- the prince of this world had nothing in Him, but as the Father had given Him commandment, so He did; this was perfectness, divine in character, and man's place where, nothing but divine perfectness acted in Him -- He alone could hold that place, but then we should hold none but obedience; thus the Lord returns, in His answer to Moses, to every man's own responsibility: "He that sins I will blot out; do thou go and lead the people according to the forgiveness I have already accorded" -- for this intercession came after the forgiveness accorded on an intercession, entirely founded on God's glory and promise, not on a proposal to put himself into a place of vicarious responsibility.

In truth we have here a most important point. It was impossible to bring the law into camp -- it would have been to put the law of God under the patronage of and beside a golden calf -- to degrade it violated in the dust, and Him who gave it, with it. But being on earth, he cannot get out of the position of law and sin. The tables are broken, and all relation impossible -- he judges the people in anger, and leaves the camp afterwards. This was not God acting, after the violation of the law, according to His counsels in Christ -- Christ, so to speak, when this counsel of everlasting covenant was to be accomplished, was broken -- and not the tables -- to make an inseparable union because founded on accomplished righteousness, and not the impossibility of association because of accomplished sin, with which the law of God could have no

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community. And then see the other side of this truth -- the time for the accomplishment of this counsel of grace was not yet come, and therefore God does not put it into the heart of Moses on the mountain to ask: "And what am I to do now with the violated law?" but, after having broken the tables of the violated law (having received in virtue of the promise to Abraham, etc., a pardon as to God's acts of government, and afterwards in hot anger broken the tables) he says: "Ye have sinned a great sin, and now I will go up to the Lord; peradventure I shall make propitiation for your sin". But the answer of God sets aside entirely the work of expiation, and casts each sinner on his own responsibility in this breaking of the tables, and proposed but rejected expiation -- leaves entirely out the work of Christ, which places the Church on the ground of accomplished justice -- God's justice -- after a violated law.

Here God shews all grace in government -- sovereignty which enables Him to spare whom He will, so that He is not forced to destroy the whole nation, but He governs, imputing to children, etc., and not holding the guilty for innocent, but He places them again under the law, which He writes anew -- the commandments on tables which Moses had to make; and note here that it is this ministration which is the ministry of death and condemnation, for now it was that the veil was put on the face of Moses, to which the Apostle alludes in 2 Corinthians 3.

The whole of Christ's path was the inverse of Moses'; He comes down to make the expiation according to God's positive will, and presents on high the expiation accomplished, and goes up to intercede, fasts to have his extraordinary view with Satan, as Moses with the Lord.

After God has been with Moses face to face, in personal faithfulness in abandoning the camp, a nearness he never had before, he has all boldness in respect of governmental association with the Lord -- but this nearness is exactly what the people cannot look at at all, his nearness in intercourse with God Himself, touching all that regarded them, for they were substantially under a violated law. Moses goes up, in a word, with a "Peradventure", which cannot be realized; each one that sins is to bear the consequence. Christ comes down to do God's will, and His offering is the accomplishment of it, Hebrews 10 (as well as keeping the law), and He goes up to present an expiation accomplished. The Church sets out on

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this ground; often men seek now to make grace carry on law as a rule -- this was the ministration of death -- grace but added to guilt, if the individual responsibility remained according to the law; and what is a rule violated? The comparison then of 2 Corinthians 3 and this chapter, etc., sets this point in a most clear and striking light.

Then grace as the ground of government and actual relationship, based on mediation (for Moses had found grace as mediator, and Israel was "His" people) is most lovely. First God will come up into the midst of the people to destroy them in their humiliation and taking off their ornaments, for they were gay on leaving God. God has time, so to speak, to consider, instead of having an insult before His face, and then He will not go up with them, for their stiff-neckedness would break out again, and He would be forced to consume them -- but, on grace being fully revealed -- Moses demands that He should go up because they had a stiff neck, for how should he carry them up else? The only means was that God should take them entirely to Himself and possess them.

As to the act of Moses, he was in it necessarily incapable of any possibility of taking the place of Christ; as man, his devotedness to God's glory and the people was magnificent, but it was man, and absolutely impotent in the circumstances, and that is the lesson -- they rest therefore, each one under his own responsibility, unhelped. God can love His people, shew His grace, and those that were really saints bear, in view of the sacrifice to be offered, but there was no putting men on this ground now. Grace in government, precious as it was in the way, and understood by the saint to his heart's comfort, left the people in responsibility where they were. There is government for the saint, and responsibility for the saint, but founded on justification also -- the government of God perfects life, and clears it from extraneous evil; then government, i.e., of the people, was to prove there was no justification even when that government was in grace, as all must be on God's part, seeing man is a sinner.


-- 7. Here Moses is down below, outside the camp to the end of chapter 34: 1, when he goes up again. His own intercourse with Jehovah, of the highest character, was here.

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It is to be noted here that the word for tabernacle of the congregation is not the same as the tabernacle -- it is O-hel (tent) not misch'kan (habitation). Mish'kan is the dwelling-place, chapter 29: 46, l'shak'ni (that I may dwell). O-hel is a tent, but the regular tabernacle was an O-hel Mo-ed (tent of the congregation) as Moses' tent, was before it (the tabernacle) was made -- a tent of appointed meeting. We have in chapters 39: 32 and 40: 2, the Mish'kan o-hel Mo-ed (tabernacle of the tent of the congregation). See Exodus 35:11, Mish'kan, eth o-ha-lo, etc. (tabernacle, his tent, etc.), see also chapter 36: 13, 14. The tabernacle of the tent of meeting, chapter 40: 34, 35; the cloud covers the O-hel (tent), and the glory of the Lord filled the Mish'kan (habitation), and Moses could not enter into the O-hel Mo-ed (tent of the congregation), for the cloud abode on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Mish'kan (habitation). Moses could not enter, because the cloud sha-kan (abode) upon the O-hel Mo-ed (tent of the congregation).

We have ka-hal (congregation), Mo-ed (assembly), and E-dah (appointed gathering). The first called together ekklesia; the next, meeting with God in an appointed place, see the first mention of it in this verse -- hence a feast. The last more an appointed assembly of the people. The two last are from ya-ad (to appoint).

-- 12, 13. Compare Colossians 1:9, 10, "Thy way", etc.


-- 7. Note the same account of the ways of God, is given originally in the second commandment in chapter 20: 5, 6.

-- 9. Note in the history of the golden calf, the stiff-neckedness is noted already in chapter 32: 9. Moses does not speak of governmental mercy, but goes above to God's own glory, and to the unconditional promises of His own purpose; but he associates, as often remarked, the people with it, which is faith as to this. But there is progress -- his intercession at the door of the tabernacle is upon the general ground that they are God's people. Faith and the Lord's thoughts meet -- God retreats into His own sovereignty, does not go on the ground yet of governmental mercy, for indeed they had cast Him off. But when God has revealed His goodness -- Himself, as far as

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was possible -- then Moses goes further, and begs God to go amongst them -- puts himself as one of the whole company in God's revealed presence, and prays Jehovah as Adonai to go amongst them, because it is a stiff-necked people; he is amongst the people, but this is very holy boldness -- and we know we need God's doing so, or how should we get through -- and very beautiful, but founded on revealed grace. But in all this Moses shines greatly through grace; he is there -- God revealing Himself -- yet not confounded, or as dumb before Him; there is a just demand suited to God's glory -- suited to the people's state and want. In God's threatenings, it was Moses separating from the rest, and making the tabernacle outside the camp, which brought God down to speak face to face with him, but it is a dreadful sorrow and burden of heart, when the people cannot be with God, but it is only one who has His mind for them; I say "one", for in such a case the heart is always isolated, God only knoweth its sorrows. In the energy of the master-builder, Paul "could travail a second time in birth" for them -- this Moses' faith did not know; we have not "Peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin". The Lord give us his zeal for God's glory, and the holy boldness of His interests as intimate with Him, and to know how to travail in birth too, in the power of grace!

-- 33. I apprehend that the sense given in English to this is right. See also the Dutch translation and Meyer. The force of this verse would be, "and Moses finished speaking with them having (or, when he had) put a covering over his face".

-- 35. This would, I think, imply that at any rate, as long as he was getting these divine communications he kept the mas'veh (veil) over his face, except when he went into the Sanctuary. Even 2 Corinthians 3 which has been alleged for the opposite view, proves this -- for it alludes so beautifully to the fact, in speaking of the veil on Israel's heart, that when it turned to the Lord, it should be taken off.


-- 35. Note again here, there is no gold in the veil.

-- 37. Note the purple and scarlet here.

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-- 18. Nor was any gold here.

-- 25. There was silver offered, see chapter 35: 24; but here only the redemption-money is noticed.

I think the position of the brazen altar and the laver, show the order of presentation to men of sacrifice and sanctification, of which repentance is the first form; the coming by sacrifice is another thing, yet that shows the adequate sense of sin. But then the character of sacrifice attached to it gives that of the repentance. It is not Christ's Person which characterises repentance (though that be necessary if in His name), but the sacrifice -- if Gospel repentance -- that is, the judgment of sin according to the responsibility of man, but of man having to say to God, for it is not the gold on the mercy-seat; only Christ, being presented in grace, His rejection becomes the measure of sin. But this is, I think, more the judgment of sin, not sins, not failure as man, and I doubt it is so properly called repentance.

The altar referred to the responsibility of man -- to putting away guilt according to that measure; the laver, consecration in the way of regeneration, and sanctifying to God.

Then the ark, the coming to God, in the holiest.

In Ephesians, we have only the latter, the portion of a new creature.


-- 2. Here there is gold.

-- 22. "The robe of the ephod" -- this confirms the thought that the ephod came only as far as the Girdle, joined under it to the blue skirt, though the robe itself may (verse 23) have reached up to the neck, but it is doubtful. See chapter 28: 31.

-- 37. Of this only it is said to be set in order.


-- 9. As regards the facts of the Old Testament, of the holy places and vessels, they are these. When the tabernacle was set up, all was anointed. The altar of burnt-offering was

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daily sprinkled with blood, when Aaron and his sons were consecrated; see chapter 29: 36. Blood was put upon the mercy-seat the day of atonement, but this was not to cleanse it, but it was also put on the altar of incense. But an atonement was made -- a ka-phar -- for the Holy Place by the former, and for the altar of incense, i.e., the places of approach, by the latter -- there is nothing said of candlestick or shewbread -- it is the place of priests (saints) approaching. The place without, and altar, was for sinners to come to God by -- there God must act in His ways to bring them to Himself; that was another thing.

-- 15. Note in this sanctifying no blood is used as to any, or anything -- it is the sanctifying in itself.

-- 35. Yet he was in the cloud on the top of Sinai. How the relationship with God is of His own grace and way!

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That the wilderness is a place of learning self practically is evident, but it is a testing -- you are with God -- His ways, as said elsewhere. He humbles and proves to know what is in our hearts, but He has brought us to Himself. Up to the Red Sea, it was a question of Satan's power (Pharaoh), and God's deliverance, by which, as to our standing we are brought out of the flesh to Himself -- death and judgment executed, but while on the Lord's enemies it was ruin, that death and judgment became deliverance, in that Christ has passed there, and this judicially goes the whole way. We are redeemed, delivered; sin, Satan, flesh, judgment are in this respect all done with, and we are, in a new place -- brought to God. We are not only forgiven by the blood on the lintel and doorposts, but in a new place, judicially and livingly -- Romans 8 gives us this -- not merely peace with God as justified, but brought to God by deliverance as to our judicial standing, Christ being our life. The experience up to this, we have, I may say, up to Sinai -- the Red Sea crossed; our place in the flesh left, and we in Christ as to acceptance, from which indeed nothing shall separate us.

Now begins the wilderness journey, only with the Holy Ghost instead of the law. We are indeed dead to sin, to the flesh, and to law, because not in the flesh to which the law applies; instead of that we have the Spirit. But all this applies to what God's judgment passes upon; our relative condition to God, the whole creation indeed groaning, and we as to the body, the Holy Ghost given to us, and, as to acceptance -- in Christ and knowing sonship -- without fear in the midst of a groaning creation, and the vessels of its groans, through the Holy Ghost given to us. But all this is our condition relatively to God, and a most blessed one -- reconciled in a poor ruined creation, and rejoicing in hope of the glory. For in His purpose "whom he justified them also he glorified", and we count on faithful love to bring us there. And in our place judicially we are with God in Christ, and God with us -- in us -- so as to know our relationship and place.

The question now arises as to experience in this place, and how far it applies to Canaan as well as the wilderness -- Romans 7 or Egyptian experience -- from Rameses to deliverance

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or even to Sinai, does not come in here -- it is in a good measure sifted. The character of wilderness experience is not that. It is Deuteronomy 8, God is with us, amongst us, and we pilgrims even if we forget it. It is the way, God who has delivered testing us; and a deal there is to learn, not now as to judicial standing, but state, and state in it having to say to God -- in His presence, He in us by His Spirit -- that He may know what is in our hearts (not we what is in His heart, though we know it far better by it, far better) humbling us, proving us; though at the end He has not seen iniquity in Jacob, nor beheld perverseness in Israel, and it will still be said as to Israel at that time: "What has God wrought!" But Israel had been fully tried; it was not uncertainty and distrust, when they had, seemingly as called, to find their way to deliverance, but when delivered their state of soul tested -- and written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come. Of this, Numbers being the account of it, and Deuteronomy partly the commentary, we have spoken as being the ways, not the purpose of God, an important principle, which Romans 8, Colossians 1, and the thief on the cross teach us clearly.

How far then does the entrance into Canaan connect itself with experience? This is clear that, though both the desert and Canaan are parts of our Christian state and exercises: one, God testing us as here, what is in us, our state -- the other, our conflict with wicked spirits in heavenly places -- yet success in this is dependent on our faithfulness, though from God's power; yet Canaan in its nature comes when past the desert, and Canaan per se is part of the purpose of God, which the desert is not, and this makes a great difference. We have long seen that the Red Sea and Jordan coalesce in the cross, but not in experience. The desert is by the bye.

But, for faith, we are not in that flesh which is tested experimentally in the desert. In the desert, the Christian as in the Epistle to the Romans, is looked at as down here though justified and alive, and having, being justified, the Holy Ghost (see chapters 5 and 8) who dwells in us, but the cross, even as death and then resurrection, has a double character. It is deliverance and redemption, so that we are brought to God out of slavery to sin; and it is also passing out of the whole scene (even the desert) in which we live as living men and passing into heavenly places by resurrection. This raises the question, for Romans 6 bears on it and its connection with

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Colossians 2. In Romans 6 we have no change of place but I am dead to sin, that is my state as reckoned by faith.

What the world is to me, as alive to God in Christ, is changed. I am redeemed, not in the flesh but in the Spirit, in Christ and Christ in me, and the world a wilderness, as it was to Christ, not the Egypt of my lusts. We have a new life (verse 4), the life of Christ in us. But Romans 6 is purely subjective, as is indeed chapter 8, our old man is crucified with Him that we should not serve sin. We reckon ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord; we, alive in the flesh, are baptised to Christ's death -- openly take part in death as in Him. In getting righteousness by His obedience we take our place with Him in death, and we walk de facto in newness of life. It is the likeness of His death, i.e., in baptism -- His death -- such is the profession -- not in Egypt, that is the flesh; we are professedly identified with Him then in baptism, we shall be as a consequence in His resurrection; and we go in the knowledge that our old man is crucified with Him, that we should not serve sin -- all subjective, so we cannot be charged with a lustful nature of fleshly will, if dead, and life is in Christ -- so faith reckons, so I reckon myself, verse 11. Nor does chapter 8 go further, save that we have the Spirit.

In result after the Red Sea, after the days of grace -- but only grace for earth up to Sinai -- they took the promises on the ground of law and their own obedience, whereas we are on the ground of the Spirit -- this gives hope. The law could not do, we have learned, because of the flesh; but we are not in the flesh, supposing the Holy Ghost dwells in us, thus far we get hope, saved in hope and helped through the wilderness, and God orders there all things for our good. We are not in the flesh, but we are in the world, but having the Holy Ghost the power of hope and comfort in it, and sons and heirs, groaning and waiting for the redemption of the body -- in Christ and Christ in us -- so Romans looks at us. This Colossians accepts, i.e., death with Christ, but adds we are risen with Him too.

Now this, though it does not take us circumstantially out of the world, makes us belong to another; a risen man is not of this world, even if in it. "Touch me not; but say unto my brethren, I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God" -- He belongs now even as Man to another place. The glory of the Father is involved in His resurrection. Besides

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Christ and we are looked at thus in a wholly new state. I look at Him -- when I speak of His being risen -- not with divine life in the wilderness: that He had when alive down here. When I look at one risen, death closes all behind him, I see nothing beyond death, for it is death in which he was, the nullity of all in which he had been, and here alone quickening comes in. So we were dead (spiritually towards God) in sins, and are now quickened with Christ -- the passage is in Colossians 2:11, 12 -- but verse 13 takes up the ground of being dead, and Christ having died in our sins and so put them away -- come down, in the putting of them away, to where we were, though it were not possible He should be holden of it, yet we are then quickened with Him out of the death, where we were lying, and into which He came in grace, so that the sins were put away.

Hence it is not only our state, but we are dead with Christ to the rudiments of the world (not here to sin) we are not alive in the world, but have died as to that -- died with Christ (this is a putting off) -- and being risen with Christ, seek the things which are above where Christ sits. We belong to a new place, though not got there yet, and our affections are there where Christ has got. So that though de facto in the desert, we are as to heart and associations in a new place -- we belong, and consciously, to another world; we walked in evil when we lived in them -- we are dead and not only have a new life, but it is hid with Christ in God, and we shall appear with Him in glory. There is no rapture, nor are we sitting in heavenly places in Christ -- it is a risen heavenly man upon earth. Life is hid, but up there with Christ, also hid -- when He appears, we shall, so that it is now, and then, on earth, or then not of it, the heavenly part of it being a hidden time, only we are in life identified with a risen and hidden Christ, quickened together with Him. It is not subjective merely, but actually here, and in life there connected with Christ in life, not purpose -- Ephesians is purpose. The fact there is, Christ is glorified to be Head over all things to the Church, and we are sitting in heavenly places in Him. In Colossians, it is Christ in us, the hope of glory. Clearly in Colossians we stop at resurrection, and resurrection as consequent on dying, not on quickening when dead; we have no dying in Ephesians -- we are dead and quickened, raised and sitting in heavenly places in Christ. In Colossians, we have been buried with

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Him in baptism unto death (are dead from the rudiments of the world -- not to sin here), and we are risen with Him, not of course actually, through faith of the operation of God who raised Him. We have passed by death out of relationship with the world, for, as to status and relationship, a risen man belongs to the new creation not the old, he has died out of that. God in power has raised him out of death, as Christ the forty days He was here -- His resurrection was the basis of all. As to the status of the man, it was the new thing, but he had not yet got possession of what was given to the second and new Man -- but he was it. Hence we have, in circumcision, a putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision which is of Christ. But this is a passage out of, and into a state of the person, not possession of the things. "Touch me not, I am no longer of this corporeal world, and back in it as your affections think. I am not yet ascended, but tell my brethren I ascend, and their personal relationship is with my Father and God as so risen". Hence verse 12 gives the reality or ground-work of verse 11 in Colossians 2. I am put out of the world into death (of the old man) and risen up again, and as to acceptance, place, title, relationship, essential state, belong to the new thing; in it, as to my essential status, passed through death to the old world out of it, but not yet ascended, my conversation is in heaven -- I look to His coming from heaven to change my body of humiliation and fashion it like unto His glorious body. (see footnote) That He had not when risen and not ascended; but the glory and heaven is a given possession according to promise, grace, and purpose, not a needed state as resurrection is, and that connected with a life, in and to which we die. Hence in Gilgal the stones of death were set up as a memorial; it refers to putting off -- to Jordan, and entering into death -- dying. No doubt it was past death, but it was, after all, putting off the body of flesh to which in us sin attached, and in which Christ was made sin. Hence we bear about in the body the dying -- that which is the putting a living thing to death (nekrosis), as of Sarah's womb. True you cannot separate the quickening what is dead and in it a new creation, and the dying and rising; because all that God was, was glorified in what Christ there did to become the Head and beginning and centre of that new creation, filling it with redemption glory. Hence

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we find them together as in Colossians 2; still they are separate. In Romans, we have one; in Ephesians the other; in Colossians, both -- only stopping short, in the quickening, at our being out of the dead state, and connecting it with forgiveness. In resurrection out of death (dying), we carry the memorial of dying with us and the memorial of Christ's dying too where the power of death was (see footnote) for us gain and blessing.

We are in this, thus in a transition place -- we eat the passover which remembers judgment and atonement, we eat the old corn of the land, Christ in glory, but we have not the land and have done with this world -- the manna ceases. No foot of Canaan ground is possessed, yet in our status we are past death, having put off our old man -- we do not belong to the world at all, we have died and are risen -- I have died with Christ and have risen with Him. It is not a new creation, but something that has happened to me as in Christ when I was alive as to the old man, though as to my status, it is the life in which I live in the new creation; but that leaves all that was before death, dying, and deliverance behind. I did not exist for the new thing. There is an analogy between Red Sea to Sinai, and crossing Jordan. The bitter waters realise Christ's death (the Red Sea) but experimentally -- it is made sweet by the cross. Gilgal is more a thing done. I have the manna, Christ and the passover answers to it, but the manna tests my being satisfied with it. I have the water, but conflict is there and which succeeds, and then the millennium, but am I victorious, yes or no, according to Moses' hands? After Jordan, the corn of the land -- Christ glorified -- and then Him by the Spirit, not the millennial picture and the wife brought back. Red Sea to Sinai is down here, though all be grace -- the Sabbath with manna -- the grace side of down here, but still down here. After Jordan the body of the flesh is put off -- the corn of the land, Christ in glory, fed on; but the memorial of death kept in us and in Him. Not rest or conquest yet, nothing possessed; status as we have seen, not possession -- not in the world but death to it. "Touch me not" -- fit for heaven not earth, but "I am not yet ascended" -- but the status of the disciples, His brethren, His status.

Going back to Gilgal is not testing, but faithful going back to renew one's strength with God, in practical recognition

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that we are nothing, not in the flesh, and as the flesh tends to spring up, going to our true place with God where it is nothing -- the body put off, as 2 Corinthians 12, only there it was wrought practically. Paul realised the corn of the land and his Gilgal. Ephesian truth, as said, is purpose, and that is a new creation not by passage out of the old; we were dead in sins, wholly dead, and Christ is looked at as, when dead for our sins, raised out of it -- it is not dying to sin. There is no life in us as towards God, and as Christ was raised and set at God's right-hand, a Man in the divine glory, a wholly new thing (though life was intrinsically in Him) we are raised from this death in sins, quickened with Him, and made to sit in heavenly places in Him. There is nothing but the new thing which begins (not in Christ, of course, He came into it in grace, but in us, in Him as Man, it was new and began) -- a new creation -- God's workmanship created in Christ; nothing existed of it before in us. It is not setting right our status by death to sin, but Man according to the purpose of God, a second new created Man, belonging to the world of His purpose, only as I said, Christ had brought life into this world, only went down into death as to His existence here and then took dead man, first as to status fitted for it, but then actually into the glory of God's purpose about him. But as yet, for us, it is in Him -- we sit in heavenly places in Him -- "if any man be in Christ Jesus", kaine ktisis (a new creation) evidently old things have no place there, "all things are of God". We begin with non-existence as to those things -- not dying to them. Only in Ephesians, the new man is after God created in righteousness and true holiness; in Colossians, renewed into knowledge after the image of Him that created him. In Colossians, the new man is neon -- a fresh start, but anakainoumenon eis epignosin (renewed in knowledge). In Ephesians it is kainou -- what is actually, totally new; this as the putting off, is past (aorist) but the renewing, not letting it grow old, is present and ananeousthai; this is practical.

Thus too in Colossians, the hope is laid up for us in heaven; in Ephesians, blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, we are before God holy and without blame; in Colossians, made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Our life is hid, with Christ, in God; save in life and hope the heavenly part is left hid, we are not in it, when He appears we shall appear -- the intermediate time is

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passed over -- we seek the things above, are not sitting in heavenly places in Him. So Christ is in us, the hope of glory, and we eat the old corn of the land in chapter 1: 10 et seq, but it is still, "if ye continue" for it is under heaven, only we are out of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His love, only it is deliverance from its power, not fighting its rule in heavenly places with God's armour on.

Another thing is important to remark in Colossians; it is character not relationship. They are elect, holy, and beloved, followers of God as dear children, to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing -- not as being with God in heavenly places, to come out, like Christ, and manifest God. So we have not the bride as in Ephesians 5 -- "walking worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing" is, as filled with the knowledge of His will and strengthened with all might down here; this connects itself with there not being any thing of the Holy Ghost in Colossians.

In Ephesians it is the counsels of God, and accomplishment so far as Christ raised from death to God's right hand (that He might fill all things), and we, dead in sins, quickened with Him and put into Him on high. It is the heavenly places and we in spirit in them, and contrasted with the old and corrupt world, and we coming out from the heavenly places into it -- only it is by the Spirit which gives consciousness of these relationships. Hence there is no coming in Ephesians or appearing; we have the thoughts of God, not His way of bringing them about, only Christ glorified as He actually is, and we, in Him, coming out to act like Him; then the Church's relationship, and being there, and Satan not actually cast down, conflict in heavenly places with him. But it is Christ's dealings in love as to the Church, and so not finished yet -- it is what is in Christ's mind.

In Colossians there is the new creature or new man in its own nature and character, and the heavenly things matter of knowledge, but there are the heavenly things themselves, and in Ephesians we are in them in Christ, compare 2 Corinthians 5:17, et seq, where both, the whole subject is taken up in a brief but comprehensive way. This extends even to Christ's connection with the old things the whole system parelthen, gegone kaina -- new things have come in, in their stead. It is a blessed thing to think that these are all of God. We must

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remember that neither Colossians nor Ephesians suppose us to be actually seated in or in possession of heavenly places. We are at best, as in Ephesians 2, there in Christ, and this consequently puts us in warfare with spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. The purpose is all there in Ephesians -- Christ actually there, He is set down and we in Him. The Colossians gives us the status which, in us, fits us for it. In no case are we actually in it. In Joshua it must be physically realised as a picture.

The desert then is properly experience -- the testing of the heart down here. In Jordan, and even in Gilgal, there is a given state wrought belonging to faith -- which is experimentally realised, or rather the desert up to it (not merely Egypt) and we are placed in our status -- our own place -- meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. God says: "Ye are dead and ye are risen, ye are circumcised", the standing is realised by faith (we reckon). But then it is when the purpose of God as to us is realised (Ephesians 1), we are active warriors to take possession -- the Lord's host. And hence it is here we have armour and not till now; only it is even so, "having done all to stand" in Ephesians, not possess. Our experience is only on actual failure, self-confidence as at Ai, not taking counsel with God as at Gibeon, so we have to return to Gilgal after victories to renew our sense of nothingness and separation -- have His presence produce its effect downward on ourselves, not merely be strength with us, and so have power and faithfulness in combat, so that experience comes in as an effect but it is not the place of experience. Colossians 2:12, 13 clearly bring out going to death, but so, for faith, become dead -- putting off the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, and, as dead in sin and uncircumcised flesh, quickened together with Christ when He was dead and gone to everything here. Now in that He lives, He lives unto God, always perfect He has now nothing to do with anything else. It is a life, and ours in the new man. But in Romans it is only dying to sin. But when dead in sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh, we have been quickened out of death, a dead man has nothing to do with the world or anything around him, he is dead -- we had nothing to do with God or the new creation at all, not now looked at as dying to it, that is verse 12, but dead -- non-existent as to God or any feeling there, nor any to be awakened, dead (though there be

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always a conscience) and with Christ we are risen with Him from this state, and have a nature belonging to another creation. The first belonged to this world, the second to the new one, so does our life, for He is it as so risen, the guilt being put away; with this Colossians is occupied, not with the world we belong to -- 2 Corinthians 5:14 - 18, we have the general view of it.

There is another point in connection with this: how far in the Red Sea there is a dying with Christ, and how far the Romans takes this up? Now we must remember that the Romans always looks upon man as on the earth, not risen, but having Christ as his life and of course justified -- alive to God in Christ but not risen with Him; that is, I may say, carefully avoided as in chapter 6. Now in Romans 6 we have "baptised to Christ" and "baptised to his death". Thus we are dead to sin, so cannot live any longer therein, but we are seen as living here. Then our old man is crucified with (Him) that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we might not serve sin. Then he that has died is justified from sin -- we reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. If Christ be in us, the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit life; sin in the flesh is condemned, Christ having been a sacrifice for sin -- I am, by a life, made free from the law of it. Now here we are not crucified; we are not dead, but dead to something -- only abstractedly one that has died cannot be charged with sin, is justified from it as a present working, evil working in him -- and I reckon myself dead, so that sin should not reign in our mortal body, the old man crucified, so that we should not serve sin.

As to the Red Sea, it is, I suppose, clearly the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and this, as to believers, as deliverance and redemption. It was judgment on the enemies as death and judgment, and in this sense closed all as death and judgment do, but being in another is complete salvation -- so the thief goes straight to Paradise, and we are brought to God. But then it is not into the sphere of purpose, that though from the Red Sea to Jordan has a double character -- from Red Sea to Sinai, grace, and Sinai to Jordan, or at least to the end of Numbers 20, law and sifting -- yet in either case it is as in this world, even in going on to the millennium in chapter 18. It involves having done with the flesh or evil nature, but not our going out of the world as in resurrection

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(as in Colossians), nor into a new sphere, as in it in spirit; Amalek comes to attack them, not they Amalek.

But I leave this picture complete in itself as a whole up to Sinai; after that, they get their testing, as we do, with God in the wilderness. Hence, though alive in this world, and as so alive, we get the moral effect which is developed in its own sphere elsewhere, but here as still alive. Thus we are baptised to Christ's death, and so reckon ourselves dead, as we have seen. Our old man is crucified with Christ, that we know; but so that, being here, sin should not reign in our mortal bodies, for we are in them, not risen. A man that has died is justified from sin; and if we have died with Him -- and that I am so to reckon myself as regards sin -- I believe I shall live with Him, for He died to sin but once, and lives ever to God, and though on the earth, I reckon myself alive in Him. But the communication of Christ's life, He being alive after redemption accomplished, makes me account myself dead to sin, the old man crucified with Him; the power of the Spirit being with me through redemption, I am free, sin in the flesh being condemned in Christ.

Chapter 7, also, comes in parenthetically, showing that we are dead to the law by the body of Christ. He has died, and He is risen; by His death, by the body of Christ the bond is broken, we being in conscience killed by the law, and so not risen with Christ, but married to Christ risen, morally beyond sin and law, but alive, de facto, in this world. The end is experience under the law as often seen; hence we have not "dead to the world" -- "the rudiments of the world" -- "why then as alive in the world", etc.; we have been redeemed, have a new life in the power of the Spirit, see sin in the flesh condemned for us in the cross, and see the old man crucified with Him, for in the body of Christ I am delivered from the law too. If Christ be in us, the body is dead, because of sin. When the law is done with, we have died in it, as in Galatians; if it had not been through Christ it would have been condemnation too, but that was in Christ's dying. I have then life in Christ, know my old man was crucified with Him, and am married to another, not to law in the flesh.

In a word, we have all the effect morally of Christ's dying, in the life of the new man -- may have died in the law if under it -- but we have not died with Christ and risen, though through His dying we reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God.

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Still by our baptismal profession we have died with Christ; for here it is profession, taking the place, as redeemed by Christ's act, of the judgment of the old man -- the judgment of the Red Sea, Christ's death, not as myself dying and through personal faith in the operation of God, raised with Him, and so passing at least in a new knowledge into another sphere of existence, at least so far as that my status belongs to it as risen. I judge what sin in the flesh was by Christ's death, and living here look for resurrection as a fact, but appropriate that death in that judgment of the old man, sin in the flesh condemned in the cross, and hold ourselves for dead with Him as to sin, not letting it reign in our mortal bodies, not serving sin. But it is practical, not status -- the realisation and appropriation of Christ's death when alive to God in the Spirit.

The Romans thus is man, as a fact, alive on this earth, but spiritually realising the bearing of Christ's death when redeemed and brought to God, and His resurrection as far as justifying goes, but it is only faith and spiritual apprehension of it, redemption having put him into the desert as in this world, also Marah is sweetened to him by the cross. But he looks at all as done in Christ -- only as alive in Him he judges the old man crucified with Him, that in this world he should not live after the flesh. It does not go on into a new state, but, redeemed and alive in Christ, judges that from which he is delivered; and we must remark that, though we apprehend more Christ's being raised and we with Him, and sitting in Him in heavenly places, there it is only faith too, and the possession of the Holy Ghost and life according to resurrection, not merely life. This is not in Romans; in Him, known by the Holy Ghost, and He in us, is.

We look out from life (as here) by the Holy Ghost, at what the effect for us of Christ's work, death and rising is as to what is not of Him, as in the condition in which He is. Place is not openly spoken of, nor consequently the world as in contrast; only he lives to God in the totally new state, and knowing his redemption out of flesh. On the whole, the more it is studied, the more it seems to me that Romans looks at a man as alive in this world, but by faith called to realize what the bearing of Christ's death, to which he has been baptised, is. Hence he looks at the old man as crucified with Christ, he being alive here, with Christ's life too. Hence no charge of sin (in the flesh, condemned in the cross), you cannot charge a

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dead person with it. Hence we are dead with Christ; but we are not with Christ in the Red Sea, but baptised unto Him when it is over, and He is risen, so that we reckon ourselves dead, though alive in this world. And the wood has made the bitter waters sweet, for baptised to His death makes a rejected human nature; but He being our life we can do so, and hold ourselves, though alive, as dead to sin, not letting it reign, though in these bodies. But the "dead with" is by baptism, not by the Red Sea, and if we be dead with Him, we shall also live. It is a conclusion drawn, not a new state; but the status of the Christian is recognised as that from which all is judged.

It is clear to me that Romans 6 is, as alive, a realisation by faith of the meaning of baptism -- we can take it in, but our status is alive in the world, and I reckon myself and my life (living) Christ; for, otherwise, I am dead and gone. It will be a new one, but I am in a mortal body -- not dead though I reckon it so, Christ being dead. But dead in sins, and dying, supposes us living -- quickening does not; in this we are nekron, a corpse. Hence it is a new creation. Resurrection, in unity in a new state, comes after quickening comes in Ephesians; resurrection is after having died in Colossians, and when dead we have only quickening.

We are not seen in Christ in Colossians, but Christ in us -- hope. But in Christ as above is above, not hope but a fixed place. Man is not presented in Colossians; it is "that we may present", etc. -- so that testing is not over. The doctrine is "being made meet", but that is tested, i.e., whether we possess it really. Romans takes it all up as the work of God, and therefore it is "being reconciled, we shall be saved", etc. In chapter 8 we are in Christ, hence secure, no condemnation. It has not the testing character, because it is God's work. In Colossians, God's work is doctrinally assumed, but man not being in Christ, is in a tested state. It is not journey towards, but my state, which leaves the question of whether it is real, till I am in possession. There is exhortation in Romans, but no question. God justifies; who condemns? If He does, He glorifies, and nothing separates. It is God's side of the matter.

Colossians is our state, Christ being in us; but till we are passed out of this scene remains the question "Is it really so, do I hold fast to the end?" The status is a man dead and risen, that gives the character to the Christian, but is he really

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such? Hence in Romans if reconciled -- justified, glorified, saved. In Colossians reconciled, hoping for glory, to be presented, if we continue; not exactly an end to be reached (as the wilderness), but a state to hold fast, continue in the faith, etc. So that in Romans we are saved men but here, dead to sin. In Colossians, risen men, but here, presented if we continue. It is an experimental tested state, though not a journey, and so after all was Canaan. Paul was striving that it might be so.

NOTE. -- The wilderness ends in Numbers 20, the end of Aaron's ministry, by whose rod they could be led through. In chapter 21 begins combat and war, and then the question with Balak of being able to curse them, Satan's power, so as to hinder their entering into the Land. And then justification there refers back to all the course of the wilderness -- not merely original redemption, when it was a question of the accuser with God. It throws considerable light on the structure and force of the Book, seeing this division. What makes it so striking morally is first comparison with Deuteronomy 9, at the same time, and it shall be said -- not of God, but "of Jacob and of Israel: What hath God wrought!"

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Ordinary prophecy gives the application of power to a certain path, and against certain conduct, approved and disapproved respectively of God; it is never the statement of mere facts -- those facts are the introduction of God's power sanctioning, and judging certain things, and introducing Christ's glory. But a symbol gives the morally characterised existence of the thing itself.

The character of symbolical prophecy is different, and has special instruction in this respect, that, from the nature of it, it gives the full moral characteristics which designate, in God's eyes, the thing spoken of.

In all prophecy, principles then are involved, but, besides this, facts which effectuate God's judgment on them, and His estimate of them, for neither does He ever so act, till they are ripe; hence also, if we seize the moral bearing or language of symbols, we get a large introduction into the mind and purpose of God.

A symbol is more than a figure, though in its nature it is figurative.

A figure is simply the use of some known fact or object in nature, or some material act, to represent, and present sensibly, what is moral or mental. It runs into every part of language, and is used unconsciously, e.g., he drew a lovely picture of virtue -- 'drawing a lovely picture' is a mere figure, at once intelligible, and hardly felt to be a figure and so of almost every sentence we use, which is not simply speaking of material things -- 'he dragged me into an argument' -- 'hammered away at his subject'.

A symbol goes further; it does borrow images, but it uses them, not merely to render a mental thought more sensible by material objects, but to create a positive object of thought, often combining various circumstances, and characteristics, to give the moral idea of the object whose existence it thus reveals characteristically and as a whole, so that it may be recognised by these characteristics. The mere figurative speech thus takes some sensible fact, as the vivid expression of what is mentally known, or communicated; the symbol takes any known elements or objects to create a new idea -- to express a new fact.

The symbol, however, is not always a combination of

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characteristic elements; it may take an object which is in relationship with others to represent what is in an analogous one -- as the Sun, for supreme authority. In such cases, indeed in all cases, the main point is, to seize the abstract idea meant to be conveyed; hence also the object used as symbol by itself, may be also spoken of in positive relationship with another, and the relationship is the point of the symbol, and then we must not confound it with the object taken by itself.

Let me adduce some instances to illustrate what I have just said: In the ten horned beast we have a combination of elements -- body -- heads -- horns. Besides as a beast, what is ravenous is depicted, what is not intelligent as a man, is not in submission to, and in relationship with God, but acting by its own will and power. In a great tree -- exaltation and power in the earth, and therewith also competency to protect, and to be a resource for others; or again in the Sun -- as indicating supremacy, or supreme authority -- we have examples of the second class spoken of. Fowls of the air picking up seed and devouring it, are not the same as fowls seeking shelter under the branches of a great tree, because the idea is not being fowls, but devouring and taking away, of which fowls were a natural instrument in such case; in the other the thought was not fowls either, but the power of the tree to shelter and protect, and the abstract intention of the image is that which we must look to.

Some further details will render these preliminary remarks still clearer, and afford a safeguard against the precipitate use of symbols. When their use is well understood, they will be found to be a regular language, requiring indeed patience, and the power of analysis and abstraction to learn the leading idea of each term, but still, when that is learned, affording considerable assistance in the interpretation of those parts of Scripture in which they are employed.

First then, the same symbol may be used for several objects, and such as are opposed to each other in their historical existence, provided the abstract idea represented by the symbol be maintained.

The Sun may be, and is used of Christ as Supreme in righteousness, or of the supreme power in the dominion of the beast; in either, it is supreme power -- in the one case, of righteousness, in the other, of oppression and bitter persecution.

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The clothing with the Sun in Revelation 12, is still with supreme authority; "the moon under her feet" (of the woman) is merely the reflected system of law and ordinances, entirely put down and of no worth -- in fact, the state of Israel under the old covenant. The new moon, or the blowing of the trumpet in the new moon, is the return of Israel to light and honour after disappearing from view; it is no longer the reflective character in contrast with the sun, but re-appearance which is the leading idea. Taken simply as the moon, it is a secondary, and not the supreme glory in the place of authority, with the sense perhaps of dependence on another. When sun, moon and stars are found together, all in the ruling and conspicuous place of importance are embraced -- what stands in a conspicuous place, a place of display and rule.

I will examine now various symbols which occur to me.

Sun -- Supreme rule as ordained of God, in blessing or judgment. "The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings" (Malachi 4:1, 2), but it is the time of judgment. In the Apocalypse we have Jerusalem, clothed with the Sun -- Jerusalem, or the Jewish people clothed with supreme authority -- the old reflection and image of it in the old covenant, under her feet; so, chapter 16: 8, it is the supreme power in the earth of the beast. The source of the image is evident -- the sun set supreme in the heavens. The full antitype will be when Christ, the Sun of righteousness, takes to Him His great power and reigns, Joel 2:10, quoted in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Acts 2, Revelation 6:12, and chapter 8: 12 -- in all these the idea is supreme rule in the sphere spoken of.

The Sun, then, is supreme authority, set up over the earth.

The Moon, a reflected and subordinate vessel, to represent governmental authority on the earth.

The Stars, smaller independent authorities -- vessels of light and power.

The Sea and great waters, masses of people, viewed as such, that is, taken in the mass as unformed and undirected.

Rivers are portions of population, to which a given form and direction has been given. It implies often some principle which gives it its character, or produces national consistency, or a nation; only that when used in its highest sense, it is more connected with the influences which flow from God's presence -- the refreshment with which He blesses the earth,

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or even the heavenly city -- because a perennial stream, in the East, is a chiefest blessing. As the rivers, in general, are mere general influences which animate and combine men, and give, as a motive, their impulse to them, so this is God's influence to refresh, and make glad His people.

Water, when used by itself, is the Word in the power of the Spirit of God, but it is still the divine source of truth and grace. That which would have been an influence, flowing down from what was near God, to carry diffused blessing and refreshment from Him in all quarters, became, in fallen man, after Babel's judgment, local influences which combined men in human passions and energies. Water, in itself, is looked at also as cleansing, but, in this character flows to us only through the death of Christ -- death to sin is the only true cleansing -- but this requires more accurate analysis.

In the use of water, as a symbol, we must distinguish the element itself, and divers objects physically composed of it where its physical condition is not the symbolic use. In itself, it is used in a double way, as cleansing and refreshing, this is quite natural from its use -- we drink of water, and wash with water -- with both the Word is connected, as it vivifies and cleanses, we are "born of water" and "washed with water" -- but "born of water" is intimately connected with cleansing, but it is used for refreshing and drinking.

Where we find "great waters", "many waters", the idea is wholly different -- it is not applied to us internally or externally; it is a mighty unformed mass, seen often in tumultuous motion, and is used for masses of people, as such, i.e., not characterised by particular forms or institutions.

Living water is fresh and clear -- it is refreshment in the power of the Spirit, whether springing up in us into eternal life, or flowing from us. The next use of it is in the form of rivers. Still I think here we must distinguish the cases where the main idea is refreshment, and the river is merely its perennial and abundant character, and where "river" is the main idea. Thus, in "a pure river of water of life", the main idea is "water of life"; it flowed from the throne of God and the Lamb. "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" -- this, whether finally in the heavenly city as a symbol, or on earth out of Jerusalem, gives the idea of a blessed influence proceeding from God. It leads up to one of an inferior character, but analogous -- that Eden was a water-shed,

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or plateau of water sources, and thence went off in four streams for the refreshing and blessing of the country below it; this, though they may remain physically, has been ruined, and now rivers are from the source and power of man, however Providence may order it. "My river is my own", says Pharaoh -- the king of Assyria was to "overflow all his banks and reach to the neck" -- thus rivers came to mean symbolically, nations, armies of people under certain direction or influence, flowing onward actively in a given direction, as, "Whose land the rivers have spoiled". It is still the outflow of active principles, but not of God; the ultimate abstract idea is the same. I have been fuller here, however, because it is the case the most difficult to separate from its adjuncts in its various applications.

A great tree is exalted power and greatness in the earth.

Green grass is general prosperity.

A mountain is the established seat of authority.

Hills are naturally used in a smaller sense, only of inferior power.

A fig tree is man under divine culture, and hence specially Israel, in whom this was displayed.

Vine, and vineyard is the plant of God's planting, and what He has formed religiously, and ecclesiastically; hence, first Israel, then Christ Himself, always of course on earth; lastly, corrupt and apostate, still on earth, and then finally of it, though under a religious or ecclesiastical form.

The Cherubim, I believe to be judicial power; after the garden of Eden, they became the throne -- in the tabernacle, regarding the law or covenant -- in Ezekiel providential government and judgment -- in Revelation 4 they are still the attributes on which the throne is founded, stability, strength, rapidity of judgment, intelligence. But they also refer to the creation; they are the heads of creation on earth -- government also is on earth, and refers to this creation. But to the Cherubim in Revelation 4 is added the characteristics of the Seraphim, because judgment was not only governmental, but in view of the revelation of God, and final according to what He is. The vessels and instruments of His power are no part of the symbol.

As regards the tabernacle -- Brass, is judgment of evil according to the responsibility of man -- Gold, according to what is fit for the presence of God -- Silver, I apprehend to be the faithfulness, and stability of God's purpose. The court and

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tabernacle figured the heavens -- the most holy, Christ Himself, as we know by the rending of the veil. God dwelt in Him, but we also are His house. The common thought is, the dwelling place of God.

When we come to glass, it is purity -- not as applied to cleanse like water, but that in and on which we walk, where no defilement can be contracted. We have it mingled with fire, when purity as an unchangeable standing is attained, through judicial chastenings also; it is gold transparent as glass (Revelation 21:21) when divine righteousness and perfect holiness are united in our state and all we are conversant with. It may be remarked that there was no gold in the veil -- there was in the Ephod and breastplate. The veil was the flesh that hid, though divinely, what was within. The Ephod and breastplate figured His whole Person in exercise, though a man in grace.

When fire is added to brass, it gives the searching power of judgment, as the full trial of everything.

White, referred to robes, is blamelessness -- pure humanity to which nothing could lie reproached.

A horse is the spirit of power from God, gone forth to execute His purpose in judgment -- whatever the instrument.

A white horse is imperial triumph and victory; the other colours give the character of the intervention of God.

Horn is the expression of power, and habitually in a kingdom, and so in a king, but in a king as having the power of the kingdom concentred in him, not the king personally save so far as that is the case.

Heads, on the other hand, are forms of government.

Wings, are rapidity of execution, when referred to flight. They are also used for protecting power, when shadowing any under them, from the familiar image of the hen.

The earth is the revealed scene of God's dealings -- hence, often more immediately connected with the land (the same word) of Palestine.

An earthquake, a violent disturbance of the order and quiet of the ordered earth.

The darkening of the Sun, the supreme authority over the earth losing its ordering power -- black as sackcloth of hair, the same, only stronger, and with the idea of trouble, and extinction as a guiding, governing light.

The moon into blood, subordinate and derivative power violently losing its native character.

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Stars of heaven falling on the earth, smaller local powers losing all their lustre and authority.

Heaven rolled as a scroll, is the whole seat and place of authority subverted; and so of Mountains and Islands, the stable seats of authority subverted, and what was ordered, and rose above the vague mass of peoples, removed.

Colours are symbolical; blue, purple, scarlet -- heavenly, royal, and glorious; fine twined linen, purity of nature.

Times -- seven, completeness in spiritual things, and what is directly established of God; twelve, perfection, according to God, in human institution and order; forty seems to have a meaning, but it is not so clear to me.

Dragon -- is open, idolatrous rejection of the Gospel of Christ by Satan's actual power.

Beast -- is the civil associate glory, and assumed power of the Roman Empire under whatever form.

False prophet -- is the concentration, in moral iniquity, of the influence of what was the second beast, or hierarchical energy of spiritual deception. No doubt in Revelation 16 the beast is in its last form, but it is just in equivalent of this name and character of beast that the Spirit acts; hence also the second beast, when it speaks, though having the lamb's form of power, has the voice and utterance of the dragon, as above noticed, for such is the force, though not the form, of the second beast.

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There is this character in inspiration -- I do not speak of the Old Testament now, which is not in general, properly speaking, doctrinal or a revelation of God, but of His acts and ways on the earth -- there is a revelation of such truth relating to the glory of Christ, or of God in Christ, as could be had by no human knowledge, and this, though new truth, yet when known we see to be necessary truth, He being what all the rest of Scripture declares, so that it falls in with, and connects itself with an infinite number of other truths, and consequences, and relationships which apply to and are connected with His Person.

Thus, take Colossians 1 -- we have a revelation of the glory of Christ as Son -- all things were created by Him and for Him; now no man but can see here that it is a declaration of truths or doctrines relative to Christ, which can be known only by relation, are given as such, and have this character. Yet it is clear that, if He created all things and all things were created for Him, if He takes a place amongst creatures (e.g., as man), He must when He has, be, as to final purpose, the Head of them; yet this connects itself, though an independent revelation, with Psalm 8, unfolded by the Apostle in Hebrews 2 -- the doctrine of the Headship and exaltation of Christ, in resurrection, at the close of Ephesians 1 -- His heirship of all things as Son, Hebrews 1, and a multitude of passages which link together the whole body of doctrine as to Christ, as a whole.

Take again the Epistle to the Hebrews; here we have a definite revelation of the priesthood of Christ, and His ascension into heaven, in the presence of God the Father, to exercise it. Now this presents itself as a definite positive revelation, yet it connects itself, though quite on a different subject, with the whole doctrine of our heavenly standing, which is so characteristic of real Christianity and so contrary to Judaism, see chapter 7: 26, 27, yet links it with our present known and felt infirmity, and gives us the bearing, aim, and key to the whole Levitical system, while it sets it aside entirely. It is connected, too, with the numerous passages which unfold, on the one hand, the divine nature and glory of Christ, and at the same time His elevation to heaven -- noticed historically in the Gospels and the Acts, doctrinally in the Epistles -- and at the same time employs in the fullest way all His humiliation and

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suffering, whether for righteousness and love as living, or for sin as dying, yet it copies and repeats none of the history we have of these, nor even cites them. It is a divine communication which identifies itself with them -- it is a divine whole. I give these merely as examples of what I can express very imperfectly, but the spiritual mind will apprehend me.

There is another mark which I do not enlarge on, as often noticed -- the absence of mere human persuasion, and the divine authority with which the Word speaks to man, not which it assumes for its own credit, as fearing it might not be accepted, but as never needing anything for this authority acting in love for man, and woe to him who does not! It is what the centurion said was sufficient -- eipe logo (say in a word) -- I speak of this character. Mohammed claimed this, but he proved, supposed it would be denied, justified it. Scripture, while asserting it if needed for edification, leaves itself to its own expression of what it is.

Another point I observe is its reality, i.e., it really deals with men's souls. You may find good writings pressing things on men, founding themselves on Scripture, using the authority of God to deal with men, and speaking as men; you may find spurious works pretending to give communications of Peter or Paul, etc., but they are written to prove the excellence of Peter or Paul, piously or evilly, for there are both, but none have the smallest appearance of God really dealing with men, as God, if He be God, must deal with living, real men's consciences, and with love as well as truth, as God a Saviour. It is a real, present, living, actual declaration and dealing of God with men, according to what both are, and bearing all the consequences of such a dealing.

I may unfold truth -- I may urge even conduct as a matter of exhortation -- but when good men have done this, divine communications are owned; but divine writings, as a direct communication addressed to souls, imply in their non-reception the rejection of God in the truth which He reveals as an eternal necessity to the soul, and in the authority of His word which conveys it. It is the present basis of relationship between God and the soul, and cannot but be so as revealing God to it.

If such Epistles as Philemon and 2 and 3 John be excepted from the first character in a measure, not only they have this last fully, but they are the touching application, and securing of what is largely revealed elsewhere, and guide souls in the

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application of it, and the faithful maintenance of it according to its importance as grace and truth from God, and that in the ordinary, actual, practical circumstances of life, when it was difficult for man, and kind men, or yet more, perhaps a woman, to do it. They are the tempered mortar which bind the great stones of which the wall is built, and all the little ones, too, together -- the wall is not the less complete for that.

There is a character in the Scriptures very remarkable, besides the blessed fact of its being the truth -- there is not a wandering of the human mind -- a device of the enemy -- an elaborate system of error -- those immense systems which flow from a mixture of depraved original truth or knowledge of God, and the workings of the human mind, and craving after what it had not of God. There is not one of the things which the enemy has raised, by tradition and human imagination, into high-flown deception, which are not judged, and their true character told in unmistakable terms -- this is very remarkable. They are immense and elaborate -- high flown -- wrought out -- puffed up, so as to engross and amaze and mystify man. A few words of God break the whole spell; vast as they are they are all described in an unmistakable way -- their immense and imposing vastness puffed out into swollen power, forms of piety and professed wisdom shrink into the evident certain truth which gives the key to them all.

This, in more than one way -- they are morally accurately described in every element of their character, the facts are told with matchless simplicity, while they are but the idle exaggeration of as fabulous ghost stories, when some simple fact is known; and this in so few words, so true, so perfectly telling everything about them, that the divine character of the Word is marked in the most wonderful way. Hence, I apprehend the Mosaic history was written after the schemes of idolatry were afloat, and the institutions of the Levitical law took up all that had been abused, and gave it in its true place, even in symbols, and associated it with the true knowledge of God.

There was a difference as to Christianity in this -- the early knowledge of God, though true was of course not full as now; hence there was opportunity of man's seeking out, when fallen and under the enemy's influence, many inventions. Moses -- God's word and revelation -- comes after, and takes up all the symbolical expressions and puts them in their place -- judged

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if evil, or rightly used if divinely expressive, or gives the facts which accounted for all that deluded man had made gods of. Christianity is a perfect revelation of God -- the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth -- the Lord has not only appeared, but been glorified, and the heavenly things themselves revealed, the veil rent, and the Holy Ghost given. This does not of course hinder those who are not converted, who are without God, from framing like systems, nor the enemy from deceiving by traditions connected with these truths, and the sources they historically flow from; yet could there not be another revelation for the full one is given. The Lord Jesus has been glorified, and in every way but seen glory -- fully revealed God, and has in every sense completed all truth. Hence these things are prophetically told of, as a part of needed truth, through the goodness of God, only indeed when they had a proper moral character, so as to vex the Church and try its faith. God allowed their germ to appear in the Apostles' days that the divine Word might shew them out -- other than shewing them thus, they are dealt with in judgment when the glory of the Son, which they deny, is revealed.

The Apocalypse, which treats of the corporate and open form of such evil in the world, is hence all through a book of judgment, and though indeed all so -- I speak now from chapter 4 out -- and the evil is so dealt with, even when a witness is given by men, fire goes out of their mouths and judges. It is not like Christ at the Samaritan village, but connects itself with judgment, and the divine announcement of the everlasting Gospel is that the hour of His judgment is come. Hence the Spirit does not speak expressly, as in the Epistles, but symbolically -- we are on the ground of earthly dealings where alone Jesus is not owned, but Gentiles in power -- such is the key to the use of symbolical prophecy, I believe -- but this by-the-bye. The great principle, I speak of, gives, besides the blessed positive truth, a singularly remarkable character to the Word of God.

As to inspiration, it is a mistake to suppose that the reception of texts, which declare inspiration, do not affect the credibility of the history, because they show the writers, if not true, to be fanatics or impostors, and thus their facts cannot be trusted, at any rate as an adequate revelation of God. No doubt historical veracity and exactness are quite different from inspiration, and it may be very useful, for

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persons at a loss, to prove the veracity of the inspired historians, but you cannot really separate the history from the design and intention of God, if it be inspired at all. God does not set man to write a history, which is to reveal Himself, without a purpose.

Again, much of the history of Genesis could be known only by inspiration, or even revelation; so even of the Gospel history, and while I quite admit the historical veracity may be rightly shown, or rather the folly and unreasonableness of those who dispute it, and that the human character is manifested in the inspired authors, yet I must, if I sit down to read it as Scripture, I must estimate it as a divine work.

Manifested power in the agents, by word and deed, founded Christianity, not Scripture in the first activities, save in the Old Testament, but, in the last days, Scripture is the safeguard and then I must have it "inspired of God".

Evidently belief in Christianity may be brought about, not without the Word, but without any estimate or personal examination of the Scripture; but if I take Scripture up inspiration is directly involved in its own account of itself, and gives it its value -- you cannot read it as Scripture, as a record of what a religion is, but as an inspired statement. Is it to be alleged that the histories of Scripture do not reveal heavenly or heaven-given truth? If the Gospels do not rightly present Christ, but only a human estimate of Him, where am I? If the creation be not inspired, where am I? Or the whole history of Genesis, or if the accounts of Israel's history be not according to God, how have God's righteousness in judgment?

The discourses of our Lord -- their historical occasion and bearing -- (and they are generally abstracts) if not given as God would give them, cannot possibly teach me aright -- they will mislead me with the authority of Christ. They are His teaching, as the wisdom of the Holy Ghost recorded it, for the Church in all ages.

My faith in Christianity may not depend on the Gospels at all -- no one's did at first -- but if I have them, and their contents do not give me a divine revelation of Christ, I have no divine ground of faith left, save as God's sovereign grace may keep me without any known ground. I admit the human element for men, but I cannot do so to the enfeebling the divine. God uses each Gospel to present the truth of Christ's history by a human instrument, quite independent of the

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other human instrument, but not of God -- each gave what he knew to be the truth, the Holy Ghost called it, in fit place, to his remembrance.

You have four witnesses, but you have God making each of them perfect, and sure in his own place. Christ distinguishes the testimony of the Apostles and the Holy Spirit, but He also says that the Holy Ghost would make their testimony perfect, bringing to their remembrance what He had said.

I admit the human element fully -- it is most interesting, and Christ tells us the talent was given according to every man's ability, and still more, the working of the Spirit in the inspired authors in the order of the dispensation they were in, even to the difference of the apostolic writers; but it is utterly (see footnote) unfaithful and false to tell us to read them as authentic human writings -- an element or form of expression, because the Holy Ghost was acting in the circumstances to which the form applied, is not a human writing.

In meeting unbelief I may show the rationalists to be unreasonable on their own ground, and if they are genuine they are for him so many confirming testimonies, but if they are authentic human writings, and I read them as such, I exclude the divine element while so taking them, and half of it becomes tradition or hearsay. I take the first chapter of Genesis -- as an authentic human writing, what is it? I take the first chapter of John -- as an authentic human writing, what is it? Who can authenticate the Word being with God, and being God? What is the Revelation as a human writing? Why even the different order of events, if a mere human writing? All the revelations preclude this -- authentic writings, if you please, and by men, but authentic human writings I cannot receive.

The Holy Ghost may bring things to the remembrance of the witnesses, and only certain things, and in a certain order, and, when brought, they distinctly remember them, yet the whole be the fruit of the Spirit's work, and that in detail as it stands. Besides, many things are in the Gospels of which the writer was not eye-witness -- all the birth part -- even Gethsemane -- Matthew gives what he did not witness, and not what he did, it is not therefore consulting his own memory,

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though the Holy Ghost may act in that memory, when He sees fit.

But as regards the human element in inspiration, especially in the New Testament, we have one or two passages which express it clearly.

The Old Testament gave a testimony to Christ, besides the historical basis of the whole matter, in the history of man and God's people; He was the subject and object of their testimony, but Christ's and, through grace, our testimony, is different -- His testimony was the expression of the thing in Himself, so ours, though imperfect -- the life of Jesus manifested in our mortal bodies, the epistle of Christ written by the Spirit of the living God on the fleshy tables of the heart.

Now the New Testament inspiration partook of this, though there was also, in tongues and prophecy, dictated utterances; that is, the full blessing of the thing revealed was conveyed to the heart and understanding. How was Paul made an Apostle and minister of the Church? By the revelation of Christ in glory to him, for his own conversion, through grace; so he speaks, "When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood" -- so in 2 Corinthians 4, "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts to give (out) the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" -- so indeed in 1 Corinthians 2:12 - 14, they had received the Spirit to know; only, when it was to be for divine communication also, they spoke it in words taught of the Holy Ghost. And this is the instruction of the Lord Himself on the subject, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink, and, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him should receive". The streams which flowed forth for others, were the fruit of what had been drunk for self; this is true of all so ministering, only, as we have seen, for what is properly called inspiration, the words were given by the Holy Ghost also.

The very nature of Christianity is God manifest in the flesh, entering personally into all our sorrows, temptations, and trials, manifesting God's perfect goodness in them, and then, through redemption, raising man to the elevation of

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which Christ's Person and work were worthy in glorifying God, the divine glory, likeness to Christ as He is, gone in, in virtue of it, to heaven. And such is the character of Inspiration, or work of the Holy Ghost as to the revelation of it, and indeed necessarily must be, i.e., it enters into the whole place and circumstances of man, reveals the glory into which he is to be brought, God glorified perfectly in Christ, being the holy and eternal ground. Hence nothing is too great for man -- still man, for he is brought into the glory of God like Christ the Son -- and in righteousness, and partaker of the divine nature, nothing too little for God, because He is entered into the sympathy of love, with all that man is, and introduces divine life itself into every detail -- words -- what? The tone of a man's voice -- counts the hairs of his head! It will enter into the case of a runaway slave and his master -- of the health of the children of an elect lady, it will take up everything in which divine life can exercise itself, and give a tone to our ways, children and parents, masters and slaves -- and there is nothing in which divine life does not show itself.

It is the blessed truth that first in Person, then in inspired doctrine, and the life of Christ in us, God is entered into everything in which the heart of man is engaged. I find God and in grace, where the unhappy rationalist finds only a cloak.

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All men speak about freewill is nonsense -- free and will do not go together -- there is no will till a person is decided and determined. Man is perfectly free to will, as far as constraint by another goes; in truth, as far as man's faculties go, he cannot be otherwise, i.e., it is his own will where he has one -- his body, his acts may be constrained, and fear may make him will as other inclinations would not have led him, but his will as will is always his own. The moral part of the matter does not lie there, save as having one's own will is sin, i.e., determining without reference to God, instead of obeying -- the claim of independency to have a right to act supremely, without reference to another having authority over us -- it is what determines the will, and makes it what is called "free", i.e., our own, in which sin lies -- the power of such and such things over the heart. I admit this alleged freedom, i.e., the pretension to be independent of God, to be the very principle of sin -- it is rejection of God and His authority, but the ally of this is "pleasant to the eyes, good for food, a tree to be desired", etc. -- confidence in God making us happy lost, and so objects desired, and then will in activity. Only, lust having thus come in when will is set right, the lusts remain as a hindrance, and power is needed to deliver. Does not this amount to the will not being a proper faculty of the soul at all? Something existing, even when inert? Will is "I" in the determination of activity -- there is none when it is not determined; when choice is made, then there is will (i.e., may be), the lust or desire, which has gained the mastery over "I", leads "I" to intentional activity towards the object desired. And it is the same in God, only the objects of intentional activity are not, of course, any desire which moves Him in the object -- save Christ -- but the creatures of His own wisdom. He is Author from Himself.

A creature could not be a creature and not imperfect, and hence liable to fall -- I add could not be in the truth; hence, in a glorious state he "abode not in the truth". As to man he fell tempted, when something above and out of his state was presented, having lost sinfully his confidence in God.

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Perfectness, in good, belongs to God -- all else must be imperfect because it is not God.

As regards indifference, i.e., absence of preference, foreknowledge does not imply the direct appointment of the fact, but it does suppose a necessary consequence, though it may be necessary if -- thus, if a creature, being imperfect, be exposed to temptation, he will certainly fall; I may act on it, as a certainty, i.e., God may, who perfectly knows the bearing of all things, without the smallest compulsion on the person -- He may have seen it right to leave the creature exposed to it, and have this moral trial. There was way to escape, no necessity, no predisposition to evil -- it was the necessary imperfection of the creature, a question whether there should be any free creature at all, and moral condition exist in the world; if there were, it could not be otherwise, issuing in the bringing about the previous purpose of redemption, purposed before, not based upon the fall of man.

But "free" needs to be examined; willkühr (absolute will) and wahl (choice) are given as the elements of freedom or freewill, but it is said it is not an indifference which supposes no inclination more to one than another. Freedom, it is said, is in not being compelled, and in taking counsel and choosing. Now the absence of compulsion is clear, but choice is another thing.

First, what is will? I believe nothing more than the exclusion of other inclinations by one predominate one. This exclusion may come from strength of passion, or a superior motive -- there may be an abnegation of will to obey another, recognising his authority, but will is only a predominant inclination; but it has no moral character where there is not the knowledge of good and evil. Thus, an animal gratifying its lusts -- there is no relation violated, though violence may now be come in. How far then has arbitrary self originated choice? It is said it is not indifference -- there must be inclination -- this is not then simple self-originated choice. I choose within a sphere subjected to me -- out of it, I cannot; I may desire, which may prove my moral state, but I cannot actually choose. But in that order of things, mentally subjected to me, at least, either it is rightly subjected or not; if rightly, I am a creature -- it is by the will of another. So it was in Adam's case in innocence -- he was set to dress the garden, and keep it, he did so freely, but according to the order of his

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mind, and the garden's order -- so that self-will, i.e., a determination or desire was not in exercise -- he did what had to be done according to the perfect order of his own mind, and it was delight because it was the order of his mind, in which it worked freely without a craving of desire. Now that tests have come in, it is another thing; will is now desire appropriating something to self, at least mentally.

Now to have will free, clearly there must be no compulsion -- I say, I need not do it, I am not obliged; but when we speak of will or choice (willkühr) I have clearly cast off God -- am not subject to Him, i.e., the sole, true, determining motive for creature will is wanting, and all is really evil. But if I am already inclined, I am on the way to a determination, and in fact determined, unless some other inclination, more powerful, comes in -- ease, or passion, or pleasing some one. If I have only the first inclination, my will goes that way -- my will is formed, not self-originated. I may by conscience see I ought to do so, and intend to do it, when the predominant motive is not there (for I admit conscience -- knowledge of right and wrong in all), but when the motives come to act, then the will is formed -- if I am absolutely indifferent, no will takes place; if I am not, the will is determined, saving a more powerful motive; thus choice and self-originated will is a mistake. When I say "he has a very strong will", it is another thing -- it is carrying out my will by firmness of purpose against other men's opposition. Take three objects, A., B. and C. I do not understand why it should be said that if we are equally inclined to A., B. and C., we cannot be to A. and not A. It is not so, if inclined only to A. and B., for in that case I am equally inclined to take A., and B. that is not A. But this supposes that I am forced to take one or another as incompatible, else the inclination would be to both. If I must choose, the A., and not A. have equal power -- not in A. by itself, for if I am inclined to A., I cannot be inclined at all to not A.; but when another thing I am inclined to involves not A., I am not directly or positively, but as a mere consequence equally disposed to not A. Now if it is A. or B. or C. it is the same thing, because each is compared with each, and one loses the other two in any case, and my positive will can only be governed by one. But if it is A. or B. and C., and I am inclined to each individual equally, my will is formed by the two at once, because the predominant inclination is two to one -- yet

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it fixes on no particular two, so that it comes to the same thing, unless accidentally determined.

I admit therefore liberty of will as far as freedom from compulsion -- I am free to will; my will is never free -- will is a determined purpose. But to say that an inclined will is not formed by what inclines it, is false upon the face of it. If nothing acts upon it to incline it there is no will at all -- there is indifference, i.e., no will. A nature inclined to good is perfectly free in obeying -- it is what is called the law of liberty; but a nature indifferent to good and evil, or inclined to the latter, cannot choose the good -- it is indifferent to it, or inclined the other way. If personal persuasion, or terror lead it to the good, it has not chosen the good, but been formed by the influencing motive -- you cannot say indifferent, for then there can be no choice -- if you say preference, or inclination one way, the choice is already made.

I may be told that I may be inclined to a given thing, and conscience arrests me. Very right; but then I am not free (see footnote) to choose, but bound and rightly bound. Man being governed by motives, all may be and is foreknown, he being perfectly free, constrained to nothing -- if absolutely originated, it would be hard to say so -- but I do not believe man capable of originating anything.

Inclination without necessity, is not tenable ground. Absolute indifference, to make man free, is absurd, for then will cannot be determined, but is a partially determined will -- determined to good or evil; if to evil, it is a hard case to set it so, and make it responsible as a free person; nor is it more so if to good. It is not simple probation. Besides, if there be already an inclination, it shows that such inclination is a nature, not a will, and hence the whole ground taken is false.

But further, choice has nothing to do with freedom. A nature in perfect accordance with the order in which I am set, is free -- such is called, morally, the law of liberty, when I will in nature what God wills in authority -- so Adam, setting aside the forbidden fruit, was free in the garden, but had no choice to

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make; God chose to put a matter of choice before him, as a probation or test, but His doing it specially, and by this ordinance, proved it was not so otherwise. Nor is there any difficulty in God's full foreknowledge, only it supposes what is -- our nature -- and He supplies the occasion in which man shows himself without any influencing at all, and then God shows Himself in grace.

Then the imperfection and fall of the creature, if tested in this state, exists -- the forbidden tree is there to test it -- perfectly free as far as any influence of God is concerned, but, because so, showing what it was. God knew perfectly well the result, but it was the effect of creature-nature, it is only when we really see this, we get free from it. So God knew human nature, and all its details under certain influences, and in certain positions, and presents Christ. It is free, but shows in freedom what it is. The independence of the unfallen creature, and the enmity of the creature, with a will and lusts, who had separated from God, would not have been shown without these things. But it was display of what the creature was, not choice, or, if you please, display of what choice in the creature, when tried, was, i.e., will without God, and will against God -- separation from God; distrust of His goodness began it, but will and disobedience followed -- I speak of man.

But choice, to make out righteousness, is all a blunder, because if man had not gone wrong, there was no righteousness to make out -- if he had gone wrong, in heart and will, choice was no good to make out righteousness, to say nothing of setting aside Christ. Return to God -- faith -- is alone the path of it that became perfect in its object -- the Father revealed in the Son, in Christ, and in the revealed purpose of God, when, as Man, He has taken the place of Glory, Head over all. The responsibility came in by-the-bye, however real, as it is, and its reality the basis of the bringing out of the other, in the first Adam, the perfect purpose in the Second.

But I think there is some confusion between choice between good and evil, and a judgment as to what is good and evil. Take the instance of the ass between two bundles of hay; this does not meet the case of choice at all -- the supposition is that the two bundles are equally attractive, and there is only one desire -- to eat -- on the part of the ass. It was not choice between bundles, but equal attraction hindering action. I

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admit it could not happen, for if he turned his head for something else, the object would attract on one side, and it would eat -- but the question is not met, for it is no indifference in the nature of the animal as to good and evil, or even as to objects having contradictory power in their nature, so as to act on different inclinations in the mind, and this is where the insoluble difficulty for all the philosophical class is. If there be good and evil, or mixed so as to require moral determination -- if there be motive producing will -- if all things are not alike -- it must be on some disposition in man that the object acts, i.e., the inclination; the good and evil is there already.

It is complicated because there is conscience, and in general some sense of the authority of God, which is not an inclination affecting the decision of the question; hence, though the state be important, it is not all, for it is clear that the will of God ought to determine me, i.e., I ought not to be free to choose. "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work".

But further, with regard to freewill, man's likeness to God is an important point, for man was set to have a will and to exercise it; Angels were not. This leads us to a double sense of will.

First, the mere energy of nature which sets our practical powers in motion; this all active beings have, even animals -- so Angels, only their activities, and what they will flows from the will of another, even God. But there is another sense of will, where I determine for myself from some motive; this Adam had in innocence, independent of the test of obedience which exercised him on the point whether his will was at any rate subject to God's, or what man is pleased to call "free". He was put into the garden to dress and to keep it; he dressed it as he pleased; he pleased himself in it -- was meant to please himself -- and, though in a little finite sphere, was in the image of God in this, which Angels are not. But he was in God's image in doing as he pleased simply; being governed by motives (which man calls being free, because it is not obedience to another), is a far lower state than the spirit of obedience, and so indeed in itself was Adam's, for Christ took the place of simple obedience and doing God's will.

No doubt we can have elevated motives, and so far our character will be elevated, but an undetermined will is clearly weakness; for it has not simply delight in good nor, by love

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of good, freedom from evil. To be undecided between good and evil, and to be determined by motives extrinsic to oneself is clearly a feeble and infirm, yea, an evil state. That God can act on us, in this state, by motives which elevate us, is true, but that is another thing, and is grace, and indeed connected with the gift of a new life; but, as to the condition, it is an evidently infirm and evil condition, to have to choose between good and evil, for it shows my will to be not morally determined for good -- that I have not a will in good, not obedient in love -- but a will to be governed, to be created, formed by some motive, perhaps a bad one.

Now I refer to an absolute will, as an image of God, though exercised in a subordinate sphere, and a contrast with a perfectly blessed state, such as Angels. It may be a title to have one without restraint from another, but till I have chosen, I have no will -- what gives me one? If God and good, it is grace; if not, it is something else that is evil and self. Freewill belongs to God only, in its true sense -- the right to please Himself identified, as it is, with the essential goodness of His nature; it belonged to man, in a finite way, within the limits of obedience. To say he was free to do evil, save as not outwardly hindered, is an abomination; now he is certainly inclined to sin, to say he is free to continue in it, equally so. He is bound to turn to good, but finds hindrance in an evil nature.

As regards God's choosing, out of all possible worlds, the best, it is a weak and foolish thought it seems to me, as the world must in thought be created to compare, and He who could think a good world and consequently approve of it by His thought, had no need to think a bad one to compare with it. His own thought, which in thought created it, could do so for His own glory, according to the perfectness natural to His own thought -- I do not create by my thoughts, nor am I perfect to do so, and I compare; save as mercy and in gracious condescension to us, God does not think -- we think, because we do not know. I do not admit that this created world is of God's counsels at all -- it is a fallen one; besides it results in something, and the result must be the object of counsel, not the probationary productive process, though He may order all in it towards that result, but what is perfectly to the purpose, as means, may be utterly inadequate as an ultimate object of purpose, and if we attempt to justify it, as such, we must be

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wrong. The Christian has no doubt of this, because God has revealed the mystery of His will -- the gathering together in one of all things in Christ.

NOTE. -- The completeness of God's love, its perfectness, was shown in a double way -- He could not give more, He would not give less. It is infiniteness in the fact and perfectness of the will -- I mean of the will in love.

NOTE. -- It is a blessed thing to see that what saves us -- the death and resurrection of Christ -- takes our affections also clean out of this world, and places them wholly, as to the very nature of them, in life and object elsewhere.

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It is evident that no creature can subsist in truth, save in absolute dependence on God. It must be kept to be in the truth -- cannot subsist without it -- for, if it is not dependent, and if dependence is real, it must be kept. It has lost its place of creature, if it is not in the truth of it. The first principle of its being, as such, is that dependence; it is in virtue of creation, i.e., it subsists in relationship with the Creator, and with the Creator as such, and does not exist if the Creator has not created it -- exists in virtue of His power as Creator, and of His will too; hence, the moment it has made itself, in will, independent (in fact it cannot) it has falsified its existence -- its existence, morally, is a lie in opposition to the truth of its necessary condition, that by which alone it exists. Thus dependence is alone the truth of any creature.

But, if this be so, there must be an active process of sustainment by Him who creates, otherwise the dependence is in vain; hence, whenever the creature is left to its responsibility, free to the action of its own will, its first act in will is its fall -- it has gone out of dependence -- it has left God -- and the truth of its position with God, its subsistence, if it subsists, is a lie, and will becomes, not a mere part of nature, setting the rest in activity, but a will of its own, i.e., rebellion against God.

A creature, not positively sustained, necessarily falls; and if there is to be responsibility, and moral trial, in whatever shape, this must be gone through. Christ is just the contrary of all this -- He was dependent and obedient -- came, when in the form of God, having no independent place to seek, in the form of a servant to do God's will. When good and evil are known in a state of things grown up away from God, besides the conscious disposition itself, the Word and prayer are the expression of the two sides of this relationship.

But what an immense thing it is, after all, to have perfect good come into the midst of evil -- perfect good in our nature; and, tempted, preserving itself in the midst of evil, and perfect good victorious over the effects of evil. This we have in the blessed Jesus. But we have more, not evil put away by power -- that will come, but evil put away by righteousness -- God

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dealing in righteousness with sin, so that sin being, as to the moral nature of God, put away, i.e., God perfectly glorified as to it in judgment, righteousness is made good in Him, and in glorifying Christ. The result will be, sin gone out of the world before God; but now by the Holy Ghost, union with Him who is glorified, who put it away -- He is God's Lamb and baptises us.

The result of sin in death is set aside too; so, as good has been manifested, kept itself, triumphed -- so, righteousness is exalted -- hence justification a judgment for -- and death annihilated and Man glorified. We have more than the reign of good -- union with Him who is the centre of it, and who has glorified God. In the work, both parts of it, He was alone, only now we are to manifest the good in the midst of the evil. But perfect good in the midst of evil, where only it could be in grace and in this perfection, is the divine riddle; hence, a way, as we have seen elsewhere, heretofore -- in the two Paradises there is no way.

But I have another remark to make. It is important that we hold fast the sense of the victory of good over evil by faith now, while evil has the upper hand, or our thoughts of God will be wrong -- falsely characterised, I do not say false. We cannot, ought not, to hide the evil or palliate it. A world that has rejected the good that came into it, is in itself an evil and judged world; its works too are evil -- there is no good in palliating evil. But then I ought to be so with God, according to the perfection and work of Christ, as to be able to come in according to His mind into the scene of evil, i.e., with a sense and consciousness of perfect good. This gives a different tone to my having to say to the world; I shall find evil to say to, evil to know -- morally speaking it is all evil, man's mind being in a lie and false -- enmity against God. Nor am I to deceive myself as to it; I know it in knowing myself, but I come into and approach it with the sense of good in my soul -- I think no evil -- I see in the very creation around me proofs of goodness, see God's creation in it, and by faith look at it, and enjoy it as such, though I know evil is in it -- as Christ who knew all the evil, yet could notice the beauty of a flower, and tell us that God fed the ravens. And so it should be with us -- we ought not to let the sense of evil around us shut out God. Christ has entitled us to see good in the midst of evil, though that good has made us conscious of the evil.

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NOTE. -- The presence of God keeps everything in its place -- nothing else -- else the human mind works. John does not worship up in heaven, when others did, his place was to see and record. The living creatures celebrate, and the elders worship -- when John saw the Angel, he was going to worship him. What a difference the presence of God makes!

Religion is a dependent bond, connecting us with God, or a bond by which we are consciously dependent on God, i.e., a Being we look up to as having power over us.

The old consciousness is not capable of being applied to this new object, because the new object has qualities and rights which that consciousness cannot admit. Faculty is not a mode of action, but a capacity to conceive or act. But I deny all capacity, or potential energy to apprehend the infinite; man would cease to be mentally finite. It is in our mind, only the negation of finite, the moment "measure" comes in.

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What is said, by some, of the suspension or reversal of known laws, in miracles, is a blunder; if it be suspension or reversal really, it must be of a law known or not known, and increase of knowledge cannot change it. That, I judge, is not the point, but exercise of divine will, so that, that takes place which, by the ordinary course of known laws, would not have happened, although the operation of known laws may be, by that will, set in activity. Thus, if a strong east wind dry a passage in the Red Sea for the Israelites, just at that moment natural causes are in operation -- produce their natural effect, i.e., their effect according to known laws, only divine will sends the east wind.

There are miracles in which divine will produces immediate effects, independent of known laws -- eminently resurrection. The effect of the miracle may vary according to the knowledge or ignorance of men, and men may pretend to miracles falsely, when ignorance is great; and Satan can work them by second causes and appearances, so that a sign or a wonder may come to pass. All this refers to the ways of God, and what He permits; but the fact of a miracle is the divine will being the immediate cause (causans) of what happens, even if natural causae causatae be employed. The devil may be allowed to use causas causatas in a way to deceive, by producing effects by them which, by the course of natural causes in themselves, would not happen.

The only other supposition is, that God ordered all the course of natural causes, wind, quails, etc., so as to produce, at a given moment, the miracles, say of the Red Sea, or flesh for Israel. But this is only a cumbrous miracle, making all nature work for one miracle, because then will that God should not have a will. It is, so to speak, a greater miracle than an immediate interposition, and is just as much the effect of God's particular will. The account in Exodus is much more simple and natural -- states the use of natural means, "And the Lord God caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind", etc.

As with God there is no time, the difference is really nothing after all; it is an unusual effect which is the direct effect of the intervention of God. If it be said that an effect of natural causes, which never happened before nor since, was known

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by God to be coming, and that He brought the Israelites there, just at right place and time, it is only a more cumbrous way of accomplishing the work, and (for now intelligent purpose on God's part is recognised) God's making Moses "go through the pantomime" of lifting up his rod, etc., an explanation I should leave to the taste of those who give it.

A miracle is the direct intervention of God, whatever means He uses, with a purpose to be attained. An interference with nature's own course, by combining the direct interference of God in the order of nature, is what we mean by a miracle, when it is a particular intervention as a testimony.

If it be an arrangement of the moral laws themselves, to produce a particular event at a particular moment, in favour of a given people, say dividing the sea, it is, as we have seen, a cumbrous miracle; having nature as a servant is not the point at all.

A miracle that has to be proved is folly; its use is, as a proof, its own evidence, being itself to the apprehension -- though other corrections may come in, as a safeguard, but not things to prove it a miracle. I do not at all accept the idea, that that which is the effect of natural laws is a miracle in the time when these laws are not known; because it then comes about by the operation of those laws, without any intervention or purpose of God. If God sets these agents in motion on the demand of an individual, or for any specific cause, there is a miracle for all times -- the acting of God's will, in producing a result in power, is the essence of a miracle. It may not be suited to such or such an age -- that is a matter of God's wisdom; His purpose is to reveal His judgments, and He will do that most proper for that end.

We may ask how far the devil can work miracles; I know of no limit, if God allow it (as in Egypt, etc.) in the use of natural laws or producing appearances, and they have the primary effect of miracles on those who cannot account for them. The criterion is amply given in Scripture, but beyond nature or deception they cannot go -- create a louse, and Satan's instruments are at hand (Exodus 8:16 - 18); natural agencies he can use, if allowed -- changes to any extent as far as I know; God alone can create, or by His own will, of itself, produce or cause what is to accomplish His purpose. He disposes of nature as its Master, and does what He pleases; Satan uses power by inferior power, within the created scene, but cannot

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go beyond its modification, nor do it when he wills. Up to a certain point there may be the same apparent effects; but they accomplish God's purpose, even if Satan's present object be obtained by it. Jannes and Jambres helped to harden Pharaoh's heart, but it only occasioned the display of God's own power and government or judgment; Satan's are all lying wonders, even if power beyond ours be exercised.

The purpose of the miracle enters largely into our means of judging, if a question arises. It is essentially a power above, over, and independent of the laws of nature; Satan may have power over them, if permitted to use it, which we have not, but not above or independent of them -- man's will can set aside many of them, but by the use of them; of course Satan may have much greater power -- I raise my hand which would, without will, fall, but I use muscles, nerves, magnetism. I do not a bit know, none know how more than I do, how the Magicians' rods were turned into serpents to the eyes of men, only the power is comparatively to me greater, i.e., I could not do it; hence, power beyond my capacity -- evident power -- does not necessarily control me morally, even if I admit it to be power beyond me -- I must know its author, i.e., who is its author.

True miracles must be to demonstrate God, and reveal Him in some way; if a miracle does not do that, it either produces no effect, or sets me against its author -- a being who has power but is not God, in whom I confide, whose goodness I know -- for a miracle is always a testimony of or to something.

Useless miracles (not useless merely to man's selfish profit -- no true ones are simply such) cannot be true, i.e., miracles done which are not a testimony of God.

If power be entrusted, and be so used, as in tongues, it is to be expressed; it may be a witness of government, as in Egypt, and generally in Israel; it may be bounty, and deliverance from evil power, as the Lord's and the Apostles', but, while they are their own evidence as to power, they have always a meaning when they are divine. They bear testimony to something which God is operating; they are dunameis (powers), and terata (wonders), but they are semeia (signs). Hence, "if a sign comes to pass saying, Serve other gods", the sign is not denied as power, but it is judged as permitted, and testing evil -- it is evidently not of God, save as a permitted test.

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But while they may be confirming signs to the Word, and missions of God's servants, they are of the utmost importance as signs of a living, acting God who intervenes, and abidingly so; we profit by them, i.e., as revealing God's ways more by them now than when they were wrought. They might be convinced of them then -- they may be now; but the intervention of God is more clearly seen in its character and purpose, when we have them collectively. They verify themselves a posteriori (from the latter) not merely historically, and richly inform the soul. Have the Lord's miracles no character? And note, He conferred power on others to work them -- "healing all that were possessed of the devil, for God was with him".

I quite understand that one who knows mere material laws, and gives freewill to man (not morally, but will, I mean) but none to God -- who is in a horrible state enough to be content with this world, or to pretend he is, for he is not -- will reject any living God, any thing above these laws, because he has no idea above them; material sequence of facts is all he can apprehend -- conceives no moral action on man, nor perhaps by him.

But to one who is not thus debased, a miracle is not merely a wonder, which de facto has its evidence of power to him who sees or experiences it, but has its meaning and character in the ways of God, of God intervening amongst men -- Moses did not do Christ's miracles, nor Christ those of Moses; the prophets in Judea did none -- Elijah and Elisha did.

When God's covenant truth was among His people, miracles were not wrought as by the prophets in Judah -- they were in setting up Judaism, in a measure in re-setting up in Samuel, and when away from covenant relationship by Elijah and Elisha, i.e., when they were the needed expression of mercy and power towards His people.

No man can deny the power of God to work a miracle at any time, if we admit He works them at all, but we may learn from Him, His way and what is fitting in it; one who can compare the miracles of Popery, or even of the earlier ages, with those of the New Testament, must have lost moral instinct, and have no scripturally formed discernment. The latter were goodness going about doing good, healing all that were possessed of the devil -- the sign that a Saviour God had come

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into the world -- and never for self; Mediaeval were the gratification of self and hierarchical power -- miracles of passions, and a destroyer God, if any; they were wrought where the system in which they were enacted universally prevailed, and had power and persecuted, and to sustain it, not to make good a testimony in grace where evil power prevailed -- they were the opposite of all divine miracles. Christendom had, as prophesied, gone clean away from its own standing in grace.

Any particular miracle of goodness I would examine in the second or third century -- nay, even now, what would be called miracles, but which are mere answers to prayer. For miracles were a special, personal gift -- effectual prayer was open to all.

I do not deny either the credulity or the incredulity of theologians, both are man -- one, imagination, the other reasoning -- but neither have anything to do with faith. Witchcraft subsists, in a gentle form, to this day, and is prevalent in England; spiritualism has come in, a necessary reaction against the folly of rationalism, and its degradation of man, in pretending to exalt him. Rationalism takes reason -- half, a very poor half of man, because reason can know nothing beyond itself, and yet pretends to limit all to itself; imagination takes another half, with equal folly is more liable to be deceived by Satan, because it has no measure but terror or fancy, but is more false than reason. Neither have God, or God's revelation -- the truth which puts all in its place. Imagination without God opens man to every kind of delusion, and to the power of Satanic spirituality -- there it works.

Man is formed to have to say to a world beyond him, he must have it without God or with Him -- imagination, Satan, or the truth, that is Christ. Now rationalists do not refer to truth, and hence it is a mere question between reason and imagination -- the power of the powers of darkness, if there be such, and the power of darkness if it be only reason, for that is, necessarily, the denial of all beyond man's present apprehension; and beyond that, hopes, fears, desires, cravings, imagination will go, in spite of all the rationalists in the world.

But further, the system of reasoning and argument that all is appointed beforehand excludes miracles, because if all is appointed beforehand there could be none, but they are appointed too; the only effect this argument produces in me is, the total absence of all ground and proof. It makes the

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present state and order of things, the best possible on choice -- this as a fixed, subsisting state is monstrous. It may be the best to bring about something, and I believe it is, but to say it is the best, and is so in itself is monstrous -- it would suggest, I speak with reverence, incompetency in God. It is all very well for a philosopher writing a book in his study, but for one who has visited the wretchedness of man, and felt for it, thought on the heathen, it comes like ice to the heart -- it leaves out Christ and any brighter hope to which this state refers. It excludes God, but a fixed and appointed set of events, all certain beforehand, not fatalism, but brought about by free, uncompelled agents, who have an inclination calculated upon.

The reducing miracles to a foreseen part of all the fore-appointed events is very poor in character; they are not more miracles so than another thing, besides it is no answer, but denying miracles, because these fixed events are by causes producing them, and so all foreseen and certain beforehand. But if miracles are the effects of causes, so that with adequate knowledge we may foresee them, they are not miracles at all, for a miracle is the intervention of divine power by divine will, but a man-caused event is not that.

If it be said, a certain state of things will necessarily cause God to interfere in that way, then cause is used for motive, and the whole nature of God brought in as moved by certain states of things. Now I believe that "known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world"; but if I am to take in all events, I must take in Christ's coming in grace, or deny it -- His coming again in judgment. I must believe in the setting aside of whole systems as Judaism -- a world, as by the flood. This seems to me to take the course of the world not out of the foreseen and fixed events, but of a mere succession of causes which give a certainty, as being withal the best world it could, looked at as now a result of counsel (comparing, as they say, every possibility of worlds), that all results in God's glory.

That if I had God's mind I should have done the same, that there is no doubt of, but that says nothing; but, concluding from the state of things as a course of events, I could not have concluded to the sending the Son of God to die on the cross for sinners. Now it is done, I see divine and infinite glory in it; and most surely it was determined, and a certain

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truth. But no divine foreknowledge could have looked at that as one of a course of events -- divine wisdom could not have known it but as from itself as a source. The free act of God's love, according to wisdom, I grant -- the moment I get the acting of God, I get not merely foreseen events and disposing things, but a will. I am sure what God does is the very best, but I cannot take it as a deduction but as the fruit of will.

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Law is an imposed rule. But there is a difference, a law imposed on material objects which have no will -- they go on without will, i.e., in themselves, in the manner imposed upon them; where there is a will the law is outside it, even if the will coincides with it, and it is obligatory, even if the will resists, if there is authority to impose it. It does not follow that it is arbitrary, because it may be the perfect rule of the relations in which the person bound by its exists. But further, the constant action of motive will is not inconsistent with an imposed rule; nay, more, that law or imposed rule may exist where the motive will only is in operation, when external power acts. I have a tube, so and so perforated, or a stringed instrument, so and so tuned; if I play, it gives necessarily, being so tuned, a given sound, but gives no sound at all if power from without does not move it. But matter does not move of itself, without something we call "force". It is moved; this force, therefore, must always act, otherwise the constancy of action, i.e., the law, is not there.

I am aware it is held by physicists, that motion once imparted, goes on (save resistance), but this is only mystification; what makes it do so? It is force -- let it turn to heat or anything you please; it is a force producing an effect, which is not in the matter, as it may act differently on it -- move, produce heat, light, etc.

Nature is the property or quality of any being or thing; His nature and His name is Love -- man has a depraved nature -- it is the nature of iron to rust linen. "Natural" is somewhat different, it is used for the sequence of the property or quality, in relationship with other things, which, when constant, we call a law; how it has it has nothing to do with what the word means -- but in fact, we only know that sequence experimentally, this, experience gives us the knowledge of -- what is natural.

Testimony is another source of knowledge, and, in moral things, conscience, but in what is subject to man (testimony may reveal what is not, conscience has nothing to do with it). We learn what is natural by experience, because the constancy of sequence is only so known by human knowledge -- that is Science; God even has been pleased so to subject Himself, not to mind, but to human knowledge -- not a law, or sequence,

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any such inference may fail -- "hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us"; so that law, or an imposed uniform rule, is only so known.

In this sense, what is supernatural is not knowable, is unthinkable. We cannot know à priori the nature of a thing -- they say Adam did in giving names -- at any rate we do not. But that there are other sources of knowledge is evident; there is testimony, not to what is law, or must be according to nature while it subsists -- for I cannot say it always will -- but to facts, which may be more important than sequence by a law; that my father died yesterday, though according to a law of nature, I know by testimony, not by the law that produced it.

Knowledge of what must be, if nature continues as it is, or as long as it does, cannot be separated from law; calling it a law is that knowledge -- the knowledge of constancy of sequence. Hence, saying a thing beyond the natural is unthinkable, is tautology, merely repeating that, what is natural is natural, i.e., a constant sequence, whose constancy is known by observing it, and is only true, assuming that it continues; sufficient for ordinary purposes of life, but not real knowledge. In fact, Science, it appears, shows the contrary -- that the state of things carries its dissolution with it, as it proves a beginning. But this kind of knowledge cannot apply where will is exercised. I may judge how a person will act, from long acquaintance with him probably pretty certainly, if my apprehension is at the height of his nature morally, not otherwise, i.e., consciousness of what it is in myself, makes me know how it will work in him; but that is not in knowledge, save in abstract as to perfect nature, when I am competent to estimate the perfection. But per se, knowledge cannot judge of will, and to say will does not exist is folly; it can judge of motives, or nature which operate in producing a positive action of will, but it cannot, by experience, judge of what is not yet in operation.

Now I admit that God acts from nature, but then I must have the power to apprehend that nature, and therefore possess it -- "he that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love" -- man acts from motives; One has a Sovereign will, in which, however, He acts from His own nature; man, under influences; matter, by its given nature or imposed influences. Knowledge and the facts or state of things are confounded. As far as I know it, I know how God will act, from His nature

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-- this known by testimony and facts -- though by His dwelling in us by the Christian -- I know how man will act, who has a will subordinated, by knowing his motives as far as I do so -- I know how matter will act, which has no will, by fixed laws which govern it, which therefore, as far as exact knowledge goes, is, assuming its continuance, certain, because there is no will.

Science knows, alone knows, this lowest kind of knowledge -- the sequence of facts where there is no will; all else is unknowable to it, because it is necessarily for man thinkable, flowing from the natural conclusion innate in man, and necessary to govern his conduct naturally, i.e., in material things (but no further) -- that, if one thing has followed another ten times, it will the eleventh, I conclude to a law of nature from natural effects, but it is only a conclusion thinkable -- practical, not absolute certainty; quite sufficient for action, but no absolute certainty -- that is only by testimony, assuming the testimony to be absolutely true. It is not the question whether it cannot be false, but of the nature of the certainty. If true, it is absolutely true, there is no thinkableness nor conclusion about it.

Reason tells me what must be, testimony what is, hence reason can never go beyond the scope of its own powers, never really tells me what is, never gives me certainty. It is not its business to tell me what is, but from what is to draw a conclusion, necessarily, consequently, within the limit of its own powers. It cannot say yes or no beyond them. Miracles have nothing to do with the use of means or not, the character of the miracle may. Where will puts the powers of nature in motion when they would not be, or in a way they would not otherwise be, by divine will, there is a miracle, as dividing the Red Sea. Jehovah sent a strong east wind. That was a miracle (assuming the fact on testimony, we speak of its nature). The resurrection of the Lord, again a fact resting on testimony -- here was no use of natural means, but experimental knowledge upset by a fact, not denying the general law of death, but reversing it in the fact, but a fact which confirmed the law; but was no law at all.

Miracle is God's intervention as above and independent of law. Man acts by will, but is not independent, or above it -- hence his action is not supernatural, is not a miracle, though his will acts independently in it as will; he can use natural

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means by will, as subject to the laws that govern them, above their own experimental action when there is no will, not by the known divine machinery of nature going on, but set in motion by his will, on which therefore I cannot count as a necessary consequence; I melt iron, set wood on fire -- the sequence of that is a natural law, but I set in motion the quality or activity in the given instance; I raise my hand -- but there is no natural sequence of hand-raising, only that when will so acts, the consequence will follow -- how, we cannot say, further than material means. Bushnell's definition: "a process from itself according to a uniform law", though nearest the mark is, I think, fatally wrong in the word "from" -- say "within" only, and it is right then; also "by mere nature could not" is defective, read "by mere nature would not".

The unbeliever rejects the intervention of God, His will being at work above all means, even if He work by them -- he would no more believe God's immediate will divided the Red Sea, than that the blessed Lord rose from the dead. It is God's intervention of His own will, that unbelief does not like; because it does not like God, and would exalt man, whom he reduces to the very lowest kind of knowledge, and that abstractedly uncertain, for reason knows no facts, but draws conclusions.

As to mathematics, there is no conclusion really from reasoning, but the ascertainment of facts. The demonstration that certain forms or expression of quantity are equal or not -- equivalent in value; there is no law in the matter, no sequence, nothing to experiment.

Revelation deals with nothing subject to law, nor of its reign. Revelation is of facts, or it may be nature; certain things follow necessarily but not as by a law. It deals with conscience and heart, putting God in His place -- not with reason at all, in its nature it does not. Of the power of reason as absolutely incapable of knowing God I have spoken elsewhere; here I speak of the nature of revelation, that it deals with facts, reveals them, not with reasoning -- it is testimony.

The mere fact that the revealed thing does not come in any sequence or law, proves nothing, because the assumption that nothing can be but what I know by experience is perfectly groundless. Admitting all in the system, subject to reason, to be governed by law, that cannot prove there is nothing outside it -- that is not a subject of reasoning, but of testimony.

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This is the glory of the resurrection, that it stands out a matter of pure power, and no sequence of any thing, nor by any law. This may be added. How far is there a reign of law in moral things? There can be none; in consequence of moral things -- government -- there may be. I may see that to a certain course of conduct consequences are attached, but, in itself, each moral act is by itself, acting up to or inconsistently with the relationships in which we stand, or allowing will or lusts to govern us; it may have sequences in government, but the act is what it is, without anything to do with what follows.

As to revealed things, if we had absolutely the mind and nature of God, the things revealed to us might be known as necessarily flowing from that nature. But this is not the reign of law, but the moral fruit of a nature which acts spontaneously, according to itself, and cannot be known experimentally until learned, and then not as a law but as acts which display it. But to know this à priori would be to be God, to have the nature and being, and there is but God who is God; when He has acted we learn what He is by it, if our eye is morally open; and if I have learned His ways in part as we may, it is not a sequence of cause and effect in the creature, but the expression of a nature which expresses itself, morally by will (the reign of law is without will) or by motives which govern it.

The actings of a living nature, which expresses itself, are spontaneous, or do not express the nature. There are in creatures passions which may be roused by what acts on them, as fierce anger or passion as it is therefore called, a kind of emotion of spontaneity and subjection to external excitement.

Christianity rests specifically, while recognising the reign of law in its own sphere, on that which is outside and above it -- the resurrection, i.e., the natural reign of law. It was morally impossible that Christ could be left under the power of death; he who believes He was the Son of God knows He could not be holden of it. But when I say "morally", it takes it out of the category of natural sequences, and means impossible, God being what He is, and Christ what He was.

As to Creation, it is a matter of testimony -- we cannot really conceive a form existing without a maker; but we cannot conceive now, for if we could it would not be creation -- productive means would exist which correspond to the capacity

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of my nature, which is not that of a creator, ex nihilo nihil fit (out of nothing nothing comes) only expresses the extent of human capacity, both intrinsic and experimental -- of this I have spoken elsewhere. Not the idea, which is nowhere right naturally, but the consciousness of God is everywhere in man; as to ideas, what proves there must be a Creator, proves we can have no idea of Him -- we cannot tell what creation is, or it would not be creation, and as the reign of law applies to the order of what is, what is objectively thinkable cannot apply to creation, which as an idea is not thinkable as to what, though necessary to formal being, which is thinkable, i.e., subject to reason. Creation, i.e., what is created is thinkable; creating is not. The causa causata of schoolmen is law; causa causans is God.

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That which proves there is a God, proves that we cannot know, nor conceive an idea of Him -- i.e., that there must be a cause for what subsists. There is a God, because a thing cannot exist without a cause, but that is not God -- it is, after all, only saying that we are finite. I must believe that He is. I am sure that there is a God, because I am sure that what exists, cannot exist without a cause, but what cannot exist without a cause is not God. The impossibility of conceiving existence without a cause (which proves there is a God) is the impossibility of conceiving Him who is that cause, and who exists without one.

Now, unless God be pleased to destroy, as He has created, there is no such thing as annihilation; man is as incapable of one as of the other. So those who are commonly called by the name of annihilationists, or at any rate, many whom I have met, exclaim against the title; they say the soul is resolved into its elements. This is simple materialism. I am not going to reason on the essential individuality of spirit, though the thought of man tends that way, necessarily, from the original instincts of his soul; nor do I say it is false; nor do I say that souls also have a very subtle and refined body, with Platonists.

Our idea of spirit is not material, when we think without reasoning, but when I reason to prove, the character of my present nature necessarily comes in, and as I can only think actively according to my present structure of being, I can have no idea of positive existence, but corporeal existence. But the first thoughts which are not reasoning, and often the justest, do recognise the existence of being, without corporeal existence. If I think of a man's dying, I heed not whence the thought comes, I have the thought of an immaterial principle separated from the body; if I begin to ask "what is it"? I can only form an idea according to my present existence and structure, which is the union of body and thinking and a moral principle. If I say "I will", I am exercised, not thinking of any material body at all; if I begin to ask, "what is this I?" I am brought down to the order of apprehension in which I exist. Now reasoning or formed thought is, and must be, subject to this, or we should not be what we are, but thought is not. If I say, God -- "I am" -- I have no thought

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of anybody; if I seek to form an idea in my mind, I am necessarily an anthropomorphist or something like it, for anthropomorphism is my nature, and the necessary form consequently of my thought. But I readily distinguish between "I" and all matter -- "I will leave the room" -- "I am come", or "the doors are locked and I cannot".

I agree with rationalists, that all not God is relative -- all else must be at least relative to Himself. But when they reason from this, they are altogether astray, because they can only reason in their present relationship, as far as objective ideas, formed in the mind, go. But that proves nothing as to any other than that I am in, and it is simple folly to pretend to assert there can be no other. I know that I cannot get through a wall, because as to my material nature I am, in that respect, what a wall is; but what has this to say as to a spirit going through a wall? If such began to reason, he might think me a very gross material being, who was stopped by being no better than the wall itself, nor, in this relation, am I.

All is relative but God -- exists in relationship which He has formed, and can change, and into which disorder can enter.

The connection between matter and mind is notorious -- now, to say "it must be" is merely the irrational folly of saying that my present state is the necessary and universal form of being. You may have examined with Mr. Owen and Professor Huxley, every cerebrum and cerebellum from a Lemur to a Pithecus, and you have not touched the question; you have seen it on the side of matter, and of matter only, and you are incapable, in ideas or reasoning, of going further, because that is the form of your existence now, and even so, only one and the lowest side of it.

The consciousness of existence has nothing to do with material existence. When I say "how do I exist", then I get objective thought, and cannot go out of my own form of existence now, but "I" has said its say before any objective enquiry comes in. One is objective knowledge -- ideas; the other, an inseparable part of myself -- not an idea at all, yet of more importance than all the ideas I may have; for I do not call God an idea, or it will be a false one, subjecta quasi materia.

Beginning without a cause being impossible, save only in the case of the absolute origin of existence, gives the thought

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there must be a first cause; all the rest is creature, i.e., has a cause, and shows us we cannot know that first cause. I was arrested by the difference of a thing's existing and beginning to exist; but I thought there was some fallacy here. I do not know what "absolute commencement" means -- it has no sense to my mind; and though "beginning to exist" makes it more sensible, yet it is not beginning which is the impossible idea, but existing without a cause. I can understand continuance, because what I see or hear, I may yet see or hear, etc.; but when I think of existence continued or beginning, I must have a will -- that is what it is impossible to avoid supposing. Now this is more sensible at the beginning, because existence requires a will for it to be -- before a thing existed it could not have a will to exist, therefore there must have been another. It is just as true of subsistence every moment, but not so sensibly true. Hence existence without a will, i.e., a cause of existence, is inconceivable by me; hence I know God must be, because a will must be, and I cannot know Him because He subsists without a cause, as we speak of causes, for such a term has no real application to self-subsistence.

I look at a thing without reference to time or beginning; I say "that could not be without a will that it should be" -- a man, a tree in one sense never began since the creation, a house did, but I do not think of beginning. A thing exists -- there must be a will somewhere that it should, clearly not its own, and thus beginning makes it clear, for it did not exist to have a will, before it existed, and this is the only possible sense of absolute commencement, i.e., beginning when there is nothing to will its being. But this I can only say in a sphere which proves the fallacy of saying it is necessary (when once I have got rid of the thought of "beginning" being what is impossible, whereas it is existence) for it is contingent on the fact of having a beginning, to which an extrinsic will is needed; but it only applies to that dependent on a will extrinsic to itself. A Being may exist without a beginning, and a being may exist with a beginning; but it is really only saying a creature is a creature, i.e., created. Everything has an origin, but does not begin to exist, save at its first creation by a will; a tree does not begin to exist, though it does as a tree, but it existed in the seed in the tree and so on, but, at first, there must have been a will, i.e., absolute commencement, but not without an extrinsic will, and that is what I cannot conceive, but all the

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rest of its continuous existence depends, just as much, on a will, nor can we here speak of time.

I suppose existence when I say "begin", and go back to it, and "beginning" merely means, I have come to a point before which it did not exist -- hence, could not have caused itself to begin. Hence, in an absolute way, I can say "in the beginning", because I speak of caused existence, and say "In the beginning was the Word -- who was God". "In the beginning" -- "was" -- are two absolutes; I conceive one because I say "beginning" with the thought of a cause, when I say "was". I believe, only "was" remains always true, without a beginning, for in the beginning necessarily was.

Nor can I conceive non-existence absolutely, for I must conceive something. It is an intuitive knowledge of God, when we come to the point of beginning; hence beginning, or causation, is carried to all beings out of God, i.e., I am led up to a Being with no beginning, and a will -- the former inconceivable to me -- and hence to the absolute dependence for existence of all else, which involves beginning -- an absolute beginning. Nor do I see any necessary thought or judgment, save that the creation is a creature -- is not God -- which may produce itself in different forms perhaps; and this can only be necessary supposing there is a creature. The only necessary thing, I repeat, is God -- all else is contingent, i.e., dependent on His will, not denying a finite will in man, who was made in His image, but this is no more necessary than his existence -- cannot be.

It is urged that God only has athanasia (immortality) -- doubtless. If any being had of itself athanasia, it would be God, or at least independent of God. God alone has it. Whether God has made beings to die or not is another question; thus, nobody pretends that Angels are immortal of themselves, independent of God, nor that they are mortal -- the Lord says the contrary. As to man, death came into the world by sin, so that before he was not mortal.

The only other place in which athanasia is used is 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54, where clearly it is the corruptible and mortal body -- what is of the earth, earthy, of dust, it is flesh -- so when living it shall be changed; the soul is not changed, mortality is swallowed up of life -- the tabernacle, in which we groan, is changed -- we are unclothed, clothed upon. And note in 1 Corinthians 15 it speaks of Christians who have

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eternal life; that does not die, nor cease to exist I suppose. Hence the to thneton (the mortal) does not apply to the soul, nor does the soul of the saint, who has eternal life, cease to exist; he is as mortal, in himself, as the sinner, hence eternal life, or perpetual existence in life, does not touch the question of mortality, nor mortality perpetual existence, or does the saint cease to exist -- and his eternal life return, like Buddhism, return to the infinite source of divine existence in Him, and then come back to what does not exist at all (if we must use such contradictions) which God has created again, now glorious -- there was no soul meanwhile then, though it had been quickened with divine power, or is it not quickened divinely at all even in the believer -- has no part in divine life? If it is quickened, what becomes of it after death? If one who has this dies, and it does not cease to exist, death, true death, is not in itself ceasing to exist, or a saint does not die, nor is mortal, for it is of saints Paul is speaking in 1 Corinthians 15:53, 54, athanasia does not belong to a saint who has eternal life, more than to a sinner, i.e., it is evident that "mortal", "corruptible", "death", applies to the state in which we are down here, where death is entered by sin, and to the separation of soul and body; it is "killing the body", and has nothing to do with the soul. A soul which has eternal life has not athanasia more than a sinner, i.e., it has nothing to do with the dying nature of the soul -- but in capacity, as a fact, of ceasing to exist in the state in which they do at present exist.

This is always true of God, though incapacity is an unsatisfactory word, impossibility de facto -- thanatos (death), a cessation of existence in the state He is in, is not possible, that becomes our state de facto; we die no more, but are isaggeloi (equal to the Angels), but what puts on this state of athanasia is what was liable to death -- the body -- which could be killed; for we live because Christ lives, we have life, go to Christ when we are absent from the body, yet we die as truly as others, and so did even Christ. But no creature could be said himself to have athanasia, though we may put it on by God's will and power as to our state; and this shows the sense of 1 Timothy 6:16, and that it means essential immortality, or that it would cease to be true when one was raised, for athanasia is predicated of our raised state, and Christ as raised man has athanasia -- dies no more -- death has no more dominion over Him.

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The fact of the giving of the law is the strongest possible testimony against the annihilationists -- its being a ministration of death and condemnation brings out the responsibility of the soul in the strongest way. The Cross indeed is stronger yet, yet it puts its seal on this, for Christ bore its curse. But the law, as the Cross too, deals with man as a responsible child of Adam; the giving of eternal life is an entirely distinct and new thing, but needed, while it leads to higher joys, because of the judgment coming on responsible man. And so Christ's death was needed that we might have life, because the new thing could not morally be given otherwise, without undoing God's claim -- could not in righteousness. My incapacity to meet the claim does not destroy the claim, any more than my wasting all, so that I cannot really pay my debts, destroys my creditor's claim.

But the law is addressed directly to this responsibility, and to man in the flesh, for whom it is the exact rule. There cannot be a more direct or plainer proof of the responsibility of man, and of a soul capable of and under guilt, than the law.

No doubt life in Christ is a new thing; grace acts sovereignly, and though it abounds over responsibility, in the giving of life, has nothing to do with it -- God could raise up stones children to Abraham, but that does not hinder the previous responsibility on its own ground as a distinct thing.

The Cross, as the way of having life as we have seen, meets one that the other may be according to the righteousness of God, and the curse of sin, fully maintained, leading to heavenly and higher glory.

NOTE. -- It is an essential difference, between man's thoughts and God's, that man, who makes himself the centre, would have light as he says -- even divine light -- to have life. God's way is all the opposite; the life was the light of men -- Life, the Person of the Lord Jesus, comes first -- and that is right, because it, and it alone, puts God in His place; nor could the law do this -- it was given to man as man.

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Adam would have surely worshipped, praised, thanked and adored God, who we know could familiarly come to him in the cool of the day; but neither here nor in Angels was there any surrender of self -- their part was to be and abide simply what they were. They were in their place with God, and God had His in their hearts, and could have no other; and there was no self to give up.

Christ could, being in the form of God, make Himself of no reputation, and come in voluntary self-abasement to do God s will, and give Himself up to glorify His Father; we who were aliens from God, being quickened by Him, and alive unto God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, can through grace yield ourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and our members instruments of righteousness to God. But thus is not worship, though in us a worshipping spirit may delight to do it. Further, all pretension to worship God now, unless through redemption, and the death of Christ, is sin -- it is insensibility to our alienation from God, and in our state of sin, pretending we can come to God as if nothing had happened; Christ's offering of Himself, and being made sin, lays the sole ground of all worship. And in the converse order, when we come by it, in virtue of this we can offer ourselves, but that is not worship, though it may accompany it we yield ourselves to God, because we were strangers, but now can, and indeed are not our own, but bought with a price, as Adam and Angels were not -- that sacrifice is not, properly speaking, worship.

Taking it in its first character, it is Christ giving Himself -- through the eternal Spirit, offering Himself without spot to God, or then made sin for us, or a perfect spiritual life tested by the fire of God's judgment, and a sweet savour to God; an o-lah (burnt offering), a khat-tath (sin-offering), or a min'khah (meat offering). The zevakh sh'lamim (sacrifice of peace offering) was, as an offering, an o-lah, i.e., the fat, but the communion and feast of the worshipper.

Then, in its application to us, the khat-tath, or sin-offering begins -- this is not worship, it is clear; the o-lah is the perfect offering unto death, in the sweet savour of which we come when we worship; the min'khah we feed on as priests, i.e., Christ's living perfection even to death, but none of this is

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our worship, though we come by it when we worship -- it is the central thing on which all our worship rests and is accepted. Only one aspect has to be enquired into, seen in Abel's sacrifice, coming with Christ, so to speak, in our hands as a gift to God; this is what is presented to us in Abel, but the reference to it in Hebrews does not treat it as worship, but he obtained testimony that he was righteous, God testifying of His gifts.

There is, in offering up gifts to God, homage rendered to Him, and, so far as a sacrifice, of self, but this is only when coming from a distance, and hence looks to acceptance, and this cannot be but first by a bloody sacrifice, i.e., by Christ. Hence, when He offered up Himself without spot to God, it was to death even as a holocaust, but when we go thus, we go from outside to be accepted -- it may be not doubting it will be so, but to be accepted -- thus, though it be the door to worship, and springs from the spirit that leads to it, i.e., a soul returning by Christ to God, yet the sacrifice is not in itself properly worship, nor even coming by or with it, though thus last is, in a measure, homage to God and so worship; but true worship is in a known relationship, praising, adoring, thanking, blessing God in the consciousness of His favour, in His presence as those brought in by the work of Christ, both cleansed and according to the value and savour of His sacrifice, but as in a known relationship of present favour and grace wherein we stand, so that we joy in God, and, I may add, are before the Father who Himself loves us.

It is the outgoing of heart in delighting in God, and adoring Him for all He has done when we think of that, but flowing from what He is to us; and we are actually in His presence, never forgetting surely how we got there, for He has been manifested in that we have learned love and righteousness and holiness there, but as within, praising Him whom we have found, in our present relationship to Him.

There is another thought connected with the Lord's supper, besides its being that symbolically, in virtue of which, and in the perfect savour of which we, risen and in God s presence, do worship; these are the sin-offering, which comes first for the returning sinner, and the burnt-offering. In the peace-offerings the fat was the bread of the offering of the Lord -- Jehovah fed upon it, and the priest and the offerer and his friends fed upon the rest. Christ, who was God's delight, is

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our delight -- He feeds upon the perfect offering of Himself, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again" -- we feed upon His broken body; we do feed, with delight, upon that which came down from heaven, but we cannot feed upon it, as such, without or separate from its being broken and its blood shed, and, even in dwelling on Christ, in His humbled life, it is always with the consciousness that the Cross completed it, and threw its character of perfectness over His whole path, besides the work that was wrought there. It is not a glorified Christ we feed on then, but on a sacrificed Christ, His broken body and shed blood, wherefore it is "in remembrance of me". There is no such Christ in existence now, and the blood must be drunk, a separate thing, out of the body -- that is redemption -- without there is none.

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A revelation supposes its own possibility, for what exists is possible -- that is clear, but it is not an à priori point, for it would have to be proved -- it cannot be proved without a revelation. But it is not doubted either, save as a result of reasoning; man never questions the possibility of a revelation. In his natural state, he makes God too like himself, or like a fish, to suppose he cannot communicate with man; it is only when revelation has made known the true God -- perhaps a mixture of reasoning and conscience can go thus far, as in Plato -- that the distance is felt; at any rate, a revelation is not made to Platonists.

Mankind have no idea of such a difficulty; and a revelation, besides being founded on an actual revelation of God, as to Abraham at Sinai, in the Person of the Lord Jesus to Paul, is, when it becomes individual, only to conscience in the power of the Holy Ghost.

We are accustomed to think of revelation as it stands now before us, but no revelation began so; it was to a people called by the revelation of God Himself, to a people or to individuals to whom He displayed His power -- or if false, who so pretended, or had diabolical revelations. But it is true there is no natural supposition that God cannot reveal Himself; it revolts feeling, and one may feel it ought to be, and must be, or it destroys all link with God, all positive authority (not sense of right and wrong, that is independent of it, we are as God "one of us" in that) and direct responsibility; but I do not think reason ascribes to Him a capacity to communicate with the creature He has made. The heathen doctrine of logos, bathos, silence the unknown God, all flow from a certain apprehension of God, which consciously reasoned Him -- man far away from God.

Power of apprehending by thought is not the same however as power of communicating to man; I do not say to thought used in the sense of reason, which use of it however is a great fallacy, when used to say mind or man's power of concluding is all that is thought. It is a small and very narrow part -- in reasoning, my mind is the measure, and it cannot go beyond itself. But that does not prove that another cannot produce a

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sensible effect on the soul, and that is a thought -- the two things are quite distinct; the two even run up into one, in what I may call instructive thought. A holy, living Being produces trust; it is a conclusion, but it is not a calculated reasoning, or it would not de facto take place -- we have often to correct such conclusions in fact, but they are often far truer than calculation.

It is false that reasoning is the highest faculty of the soul; conscience and affection in which thoughts are produced, as acted on, are both clearly higher. Reasoning is the province of a weak nature that does not know intuitively beyond physical science; it is the result of weakness, and ruin in its nature, of imperfect and feeble knowledge -- de facto Science is so too.

Eternal power and Godhead may be discovered by reasoning, still more and clearer by impressions; but what He is, reasoning can in no wise tell, feeling and impression can, in a measure. I feel He must be good and pure -- but that is no reasoning. But though I admit it is folly to deny a revelation -- folly as to reason -- I do not admit that, as a mere objective thing without, God s character, ways, etc., can be made known -- if this implies the fact and not the mere display, the act it may be, but not the how of it. Hence capacity I admit, powers I deny; and this is the doctrine of Scripture -- adequate evidence, but no perception -- yet on the other hand, rejection and darkness through the will, "Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life", "the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not", "they have both seen and hated" is not any true knowledge of God. Love and Light were displayed, but the light was rejected, and the love never known at all; God's character and ways were not known, they were displayed. What man could see, he hated, hence sin; what God is to those who knew Him, man did not see -- they say "we see", and their sin remained, yet He does not say "ye see". He can, to explain this, say "seeing, they see not, nor yet understand"; that would bring conversion and healing, for receiving Him man must be born again, i.e., the quickening word (therefore faith) reaches him by the Holy Ghost, but not by reasoning, but by that in which he is subject, not active.

This difference between responsibility and grace is constantly overlooked, i.e., previous responsibility ends where grace begins; responsibility is in a relation where we are; hence,

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when grace has put us in one and for ever, there is responsibility there.

Acted on, man finds himself lost, and is saved.

Reasoning is never conscience, though a rational creature may have both, and one may act on the other, or rather be a basis for its acting. God's reasoning is an appeal to heart and conscience, not to reasoning.

Christianity is a revelation, not merely of what all may learn as Newton's Principia, but which does put them, not as instruments, but in relationship just as near God as Paul himself -- that is what it reveals.

The notion of rare condescension in a revelation is an utterly absurd objection, if the thing revealed be complete truth, because, once revealed, there it is for all times -- it is itself eternal. There may be, because of man's weakness, a preparation for it, and there was a testing of man which was the true preparation for grace. This men may object to, though the right-minded will only see the goodness and wisdom of God; in both wisdom will be justified of her children; but to object to revelation (for we must not confound inspiration with it, though this, in a special manner, be needed for revelation), that it is "rare", is unmitigated nonsense -- except through patient mercy, a revelation must be, for what it contains, unique, save as patient mercy towards men may confirm it by renewed testimony, yet these are in fact never identical. The objection of a yoke upon conscience is simply saying that light is a yoke and burden on the eye in seeing -- either everybody has all the light and knowledge of God, and of right and love, and spiritual purity, that it is possible to have, or a revelation is a blessing. Besides, divine authority is necessary if God and man are to have to say to each other. Under the plea of reason, refusal of revelation is merely a claim of absolute independence of God, and thus it betrays itself.

I find gods of passions in Heathenism (and, though modified necessarily, in Popery too, i.e., the saints are used to get the desires of men's hearts), and I find conscience in individuals, and amiable qualities; I find the latter in infidels, and men will make much of their natural conscientiousness and amiable qualities, in contrast with others, to exalt self. But I never find God and conscience connected but in revelation -- even in Judaism, "who shall ascend into thy holy hill, who shall dwell in thy tabernacles; he that hath clean hands, and a pure

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heart", etc.; the character of God is brought to bear on conscience in every respect, and this is connected with our happiness -- being with God, and consequently necessary according to His nature and character.

Christianity does more; besides bringing us to God, and without a veil, and because it has, it sends us out in love to others, who have not this, to bring them to it, because we know God who is Love, are partakers of the divine nature, and He dwells in us according to it -- hence there is an activity of love, and that to bring to God.

Gods of passions -- man pretending to be much by himself -- that, I find in heathenism; in infidelity, poor wretched man is all. But in revelation man associated with, brought unto God's presence, and what he is connected with that, first in the claims of His nature, and then in the activities of His grace, but now I insist on the connection of character. Grace, in every sense, gives a closer connection, making us partakers of His nature, filling us with Him; but I speak now of moral connection -- that is only in revealed truth.

False religions never take notice of the conduct of their votaries, but of their interests, i.e., their relationship with their God is based on their interests -- the question of conduct is a question of Corban (a gift) only.

In the case of corrupted truth or true religion, this has been necessarily more difficult, because the judgment of God morally is the basis of it all, see Romans, and it seemed to overturn its base, not to have men immediately responsible to God; but here the human priesthood comes in, and Corban has its place, and the priesthood is charged with the responsibility of the mass, so that their responsibility to God is not destroyed but merged, and, so far as the priesthood do not settle that, it is attached to signs or sacraments with which Corban is associated, and the immediate relationship of the soul with God is merged there. So far as it is maintained, it is maintained not in the grace which draws near -- the true Corban -- but in the terror of judgment and eternity, which throws their souls, not into the blessings of the divine ways in Christ, the true and only Corban of God, but into the devotions of which we speak, and God's moral being is effectually excluded -- for indeed man cannot approach such a God.

What we have to do is not to see this, but to lift up the veil on what God is in holiness -- not in terror, as if He frightened

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away, and others could draw near -- and manifest Him in love; and by the power of the testimony, which brings Him near, connect men with the holiness of God by the grace of Christ, by which, and by which alone, they can be near and know His holiness really, for judgment dreaded, though true, is not holiness known, nor apprehended.

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The love of God is the source of all our blessings and joys, and God is Love; but in a certain sense His holiness elevates us more. His love is perfect; we dwell in love, dwell in God, and God in us; it is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us -- it is proved by the death of Christ, and so we are to walk in it. But it cannot be said we are love; God is sovereign in love, "rich in mercy, of his great love wherewith he loved us" -- all this is, objectively blessedness, and in us, and enjoyed by us in communion.

It is said we are "light in the Lord"; He makes us partakers of His holiness -- partakers morally of the divine nature. No doubt we love, but we are light. How blessed this partaking of the divine nature! And to this we must have respect too in our relationships with God. We know, thank God, that He is love towards us, and indeed in us; but He is Light, and as this tested man, so, in grace, man is made it, i.e., the new man has this character, "after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness".

Now I cannot but feel that, in fact, there are souls perfectly sincere, and in Christ agreeable to God, who as to the Word and prayer are in an outside place practically. The Word is the revelation of God, and, in and by a Man, suited to man, reaching him there where he is; and prayer takes up our wants where we are, and presents them to God -- goes in where He is, according to what He is.

Now there are practically two states -- true states -- as Christians in connection with this; the Word reaches a renewed soul as for man down here, and so it is, but he takes it, and as down here -- it is a light to his feet and a lantern to his path, but he takes it as suited to him down here. It came he recognises, from God, but it occupies itself with his condition here; it came out from God to him who is outside -- came in grace, and he so received it, and all right. But, save in owning the grace that gave it, he does not go in where it came from, but is thankful for that which is a light where he is, and so far it is all right, but his spirit remains there, in that which the Word is adapted to; this was properly the character of the law. In the case I refer to, there is this difference between it and law, that grace is owned in God, and in that given, which is very important; but the man remains outside, and has a

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word adapted to him as walking as a man outside. He is not living, thinking, feeling inside by it. The ray has come down and lit up his path, but he is in, and occupied with his path, though acknowledging the Sun as the source of light.

So in prayers; men are in wants and difficulties down here, and they carry them, as down here, to God, and this is all quite right, and they will be surely heard, and graciously heard.

But there are Christians, whom the Word carries in to what it reveals, not what it throws light upon. Divine wisdom does give here a path, according to divine wisdom, which the vulture's eye has not seen, but it comes from above, takes the heart up to the source from which it comes, and reveals what is there, and causes the soul to live there, and this is another thing. It does not cease to enlighten the path, and we need it -- God's wisdom in this world, a divine path in it; but Oh! how much more blessed to have fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ -- to say "the only-begotten Son who is (ho on) in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" -- to know where He is gone and the way!

Christ is God's way and truth in this world, but He is the way to and revealer of the Father, and the things which God has prepared for them that love Him, the way of knowing the things freely given to us of God; and we may live in them, and understand, for example, the promises to the seven Churches, and a thousand other passages which tell us about what is within. We have it revealed in John, we are brought into it by Paul, and even by John too. And so with prayer; I may pray from my wants, and for my wants, and others, too, as we have seen, and it is all right. But if I am living in the heavenly things, and see the saints in the beauty that belongs to them in Christ, and my prayers for myself and for them are formed in what I am dwelling in, how much higher and more earnest they will be; I am thinking of them, or of myself, with the thoughts of God, and want them to reach them -- my desires are formed by these, and I labour with God in prayer for them. The Word, through the power of the Spirit, reveals heavenly things -- I see the saints according to God's mind in them, and as with God, and for carrying out His desires, and His thoughts for and in them, I plead with God according to these thoughts. Oh! what a different thing it is! But how near we must be to God so to labour in prayer -- to labour for

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the carrying out His thoughts in them, as they are inside with Him.

NOTE. -- It is good sometimes to see the saints, the Church and people of God in their own beauty as viewed of God; it elevates our thoughts, gives God's mind of what is lovely and what we ought to be, but are in God's mind, so that His affections and delight are revealed to us. Surely it will humble us as to our practical state. Thus in the parables of the treasure hid in the field, and pearl of great price, we have what they are to Christ -- He sells all He has to have them, gives up His life, everything, to have them, for joy thereof -- what a place to have with Him! Indeed in a higher scene, when in the form of God, He gave up the outward glory, and made Himself of no reputation, and took on Him the form of a servant -- when He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. But doubtless the parable specially designates what He possessed as Messiah, but not excluding higher glory. So He shall see the fruit of the travail of His Soul -- in us -- and be satisfied. So in the parable of the pearl of great price, He was looking for what was specially lovely and beautiful -- understood it -- was seeking it, according to His estimate of what was beautiful, and that was according to Himself -- His own mind -- and found one specially lovely, and sold all to have it -- the saints in whom He could delight and be satisfied -- so precious to Him, He gives up all for them; how lovely they must be in His mind, for they are indeed according to it -- He loved the Church and gave Himself for it, to sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the Word, to present it to Himself a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish -- a pearl of great price. Hence He will be, in the end, glorified in His Church and admired in all them that believe. How blessed, and what rest it gives the heart! But even now He says: "And I am glorified in them".