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To me, I confess, the thought which I here venture to combat, seems to lead to the conclusion that the soul sleeps while apart from the body. Is it not so? Because those whom God brings are those who have been previously sleeping. Now, according to what has been said, it is the souls of the saints which are thus brought, in order that they may re-possess themselves of their bodies; and therefore the conclusion is, that these same souls will have been slumbering in the interval between death and resurrection.
Far be it from me to accuse any one holding this view of believing anything so false, so unscriptural, as the sleep of the separate spirit. I have no such thought or suspicion, I can truly say. Still, I repeat that the view, if duly considered, will be found to involve this conclusion, just as the denial of the resurrection of the dead (1 Cor. xv.), involves nothing less than the denial of the resurrection of Christ. The Apostle never meant, because the Corinthians failed in understanding this doctrine in reference to themselves, to accuse them of saying that Christ, their living Head, was not raised, because in so doing, he could scarcely have owned them as Christians. He deals plainly and candidly with them, however; he exposes the error of the views they were actually holding, by showing the conclusion to which, if followed out, they must of necessity lead.
Where the heart is right, and the eye is single, the Lord, in His mercy, keeps us from the consequences of many a mistake in the understanding of Scripture into which the wisest amongst us may fall. This is comforting, considering that now at best we see through a glass darkly. Still, as in the present case, we should be careful as to what views we are holding, not knowing what advantage the enemy may thereby gain over us, as he sometimes has done, by leading the saints to push their conclusions so far as in the end to get into positive
May the Lord keep us simple, humble, and dependent, in the study of Scripture, on the teaching of His own blessed Spirit!
SOME points as to the offerings in Leviticus having been lately cleared up to me, and brought home to my heart, I trust I may say, in a way I had not known them before, I would simply name them, with references to the passages by which they are illustrated or proved. To many
readers these remarks may suggest nothing that is new; but to some they may not have occurred; and even where they have, the mention of them may stir up to renewed consideration of the subject, and thus promote growth in the truth. How happy to be fellow learners in the school of our Divine instructor!
First.—The Lord's part in the peace (or prosperity) offerings being the fat of the inwards, and this being consumed on the burnt offering (see Lev. chapter iii. 5), and with the meat offering (see chapter vii. 12), the participation in the other parts of the peace offering of the priest that offered, the priests at large, and the worshipper, really brought them into communion with God's own joy and delight, not only in the peace offering, but also in the burnt and meat offerings, of which the fat of the peace offering was the food."
Secondly.—The fat of all the sin offerings (except the red heifer in Num. xix) was consumed on the altar of burnt offerings, (see Lev. iv. 10, 19, 26, 31, 35; vii.5; xvi. 25, etc., etc.) Thus we see, that even in that view of Christ's work, in which he was most actually and absolutely made sin for us, His own inward devotion to God, in which He was willing to be thus made sin, was infinitely pleasant and acceptable to God, forming thus a link between the sin offering and all the rest. How precious, that at the very time when Jesus was really bearing wrath for our sins; when it was impossible that God could manifest his favour to Him; when, in consequence, he had to cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” At this very time the link with God on His part (Christ's) was still, as always, unbroken! Indeed, in what one scene do we so see His complete devotion to the Father's glory, as that in which He bows to His Father's will that He should be made sin and suffer without the gate? And even when forsaken, and asking “ why,” He calls Him “My God!”
Thirdly.—The case of the priest (see chapter iv.) whose sin interrupted the communion of the whole congregation, or the similar case of the sin of the whole congregation, is what cannot now occur. The instruction, therefore, as often in Hebrews, is by contrast not comparison. Our Priest cannot fail; and all the sins, yea, the sin of the whole congregation has once, for all, and for ever, been so expiated, that nothing now can disqualify the whole church as such for communion and worship.
Fourthly. -As to the diverse force and meaning of the laying on of hands on the victim. In the one case, that of the sin and trespass offerings, a person came as a sinner, and placing his hands on the victim's head, confessed his sins, and transferred, as it were, the load of sin to the victim that suffered in his stead. In the other case, a person came as a worshipper, and placed his hands on the head of the animal, in token of being himself identified with the acceptableness of the offering.
How gracious of our God to condescend to teach us thus! May our poor hearts profit by these typical instructions, knowing, as we surely do, something of their import from the full revelation in the New Testament of the great and blessed Anti-type !
Cain, Balaam, Corah-the genealogy of the spirit of apostasy.
In Revelation, when all the testimony is gone through, the heart of the Church is turned from the testimony to Him that testifieth, with the promise, “ Surely I come quickly”—and she answers, “ Even so, come, Lord Jesus.". Blessed things are promised, but He Himself is the object of her desires.
(A TRANSLATION). In the third chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians we have a striking illustration of the effect produced, by the Holy Ghost, in a soul which was indwelt by Him. As to the outward walk, what a brilliancy does He give! What stability before God! What true liberty! For the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to the soul; and the soul perceives Him so clearly, that all that is not Christ is rejected as being opposed to Him.
It is important to remark the contrast which exists between such a one and the man who is not full of the Holy Ghost, though he may be, or may seem to be, powerfully drawn toward Christ Jesus, or may even be as truly a convert as were the disciples. We shall see this contrast connected, in succession, with righteousness, the cross and the glory, if we compare Phil. ii. 4—11 and Mark x. 17-40.
In the history given as in Mark x. 17—27, we see a man whose position is in contrast with that of the Apostle (in Phil. iii.), which shows, in a striking manner, the effect produced by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle had left all for Christ. Advantages, in which a Jew could boast, he had had beyond what the young man referred to in Mark x. possessed. He had been brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, the most celebrated Rabbi; he was a citizen of Tarsus, a city renowned (if we adopt modern phraseology) "as a
as a university,” he had been well trained in all the acquirements of the day. Moreover, he was privileged in having led a blameless life, as he tells us in verse 6. All this was very precious to him as a man, so long as he had not seen Christ. All that a man can pride himself in, Paul possessed. If any thought that the flesh might be gloried in, Paul could show that he had more therein than they. But Christ, in glory, revealed Himself to Paul, and then he could say, “ what was gain I counted loss that I might win Christ.”
What was the state of Paul's soul? “I must gain Christ; this is all I have to do, my whole sole business; every thing else found in my pathway is but loss.” Such is the effect produced by the Spirit of God in the soul which possesses Him. The Apostle is troubled by nothing that he meets on his way; he sees, as clear as noon-day, that all that is not Christ is loss. He sees Christ in the midst of every set of circumstances. Are they circumstances of suffering? So much the better, there will be the more of Christ. Christ is there; he sees Him by the help of God. In comparing this with Mark x. the contrast is seen, namely, of a man who has not the Spirit: for this chapter presents us with one in circumstances similar to Paul, but not full of the Holy
He is portrayed, however, as a man of a character altogether lovely; but Christ was not his object, and natural loveliness availed nought.
Yet his character was such that it attracted the attention of the Lord. Jesus loved him (verse 21). He also was, as to the law, blameless;-a Jew, he supposed that he was to have eternal life by the law. His thought as to Jesus
6. That is the man who can tell me what I must do in order to inherit eternal life.” The pure, excellent and perfect character of the Lord had convinced him that the knowledge of the most excellent commandment might be learned from Him; and he hastens to Him. He was ardent in his desire to know what he had to do, and he drew near to Jesus with all possible respect. “Good Master" (Jesus received not this praise from one who regarded Him only as a man), he even kneels before the Lord. There was something very lovely in the character of him who could say (and the Lord admits it as truth) “ All these things have I kept from my youth up." But the Lord puts his heart to the proof, in order to make manifest what are the motives which sway it, and He does so by means of the cross- Go and seil all that thou hast, and come take up the cross and follow me.”
However lovely and