« הקודםהמשך »
commandments of God. And as we have seen that the promise of the Seed was the brightest exhibition of the holy grace of the Lord, the only foundation of man's warrantable hope; and the faith of it, the only wellspring of acceptable service-we may easily infer what the striving or judging is, by which the Spirit of God had been hitherto repelling the flood of wickedness, which fleshly men had been pouring forth, to pollute the earth with their way. He had been acting mediately, or immediately, or both, on the mind of man, as one intelligent being doth on another. He had been acting in a moral and authoritative way, as a judge, or as one who, in plea of right, maintains the cause of truth and equity.
He had maintained a testimony for the being and glorious nature of the one God ADONAI, for the holiness, justice, and goodness of his law; a testimony against the madness and exceeding sinfulness of sin; and above all, a testimony to the word of promise, in order that repentance, which issues from faith and flows out into new obedience, might be produced; that thus sinners might not continue in sin through despair of salvation-or continuing in it through very love to it, might not have to plead, even to their own consciences, that the iron fetters of despair in which God had left them bound, had tied them up to the hard necessity of remaining in their state of alienation. In a word, the truths of Divine revelation in the measure then made known-all of which cluster around, and centre in the promise of the Seed-must have been the subject matter of the Spirit's striving with or judging in man;-a striving which, though it was resisted, gradually impaired, and at last extinguished, by wicked resistance on man's part, and righteous withdrawal on the part of God, was still so powerful that, till it was entirely quenched, the flesh could not obtain its full unimpeded sway, nor an impious race fill up the measure of their iniquity, that the wrath might come upon them even to the uttermost.
This notice is, indeed, brief, as is the whole sacred
narrative of that period. But when we descend to the more ample record of God's dealings with his chosen people, and listen to the voice of prophecy, opening up the bright prospects of the grace stored up for the coming times, we find the references to the work of the Holy Spirit becoming proportionally more numerous and express.
Indeed, upon examination, we find that it was by his Spirit that ADONAI constituted and maintained all the ordinances of his grace, and administered all the affairs of his government, among the people whom he chose to be to him a peculiar people above all people. Of Moses, we read, that when wearied with the burden of the people which was too heavy for him, he cried out unto the Lord. (Numbers xi. 16, 17. 25.) “ And Adonai said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the labernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk, with thee there: and I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. And the Adonai came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto seventy elders: and it came to pass that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.” That we should here understand a portion of Moses' soul or intellect is too absurd a supposition to be for a moment entertained. The communication of qualities, the same in kind, though in an inferior measure, to their minds, is indeed implied; but as the effect, let it be remarked, of the Spirit which ADONAI put upon them, a Spirit
from his own, and which rested upon him. Besides, it plainly appears, that it was nnnn, the Spirit of prophecy, for « when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied.”
From all this, then, we learn that what enabled
a Spirit distinct-הרוח אשר עליך which was upon Moses
Moses, the servant of the Lord, to bear the load of the people entrusted to his care' was the Spirit of ADONAI resting upon him; and that when others for his relief, were taken into a share of the burden, they had to be taken into a participation of the benefit, and that thus ADOŅAI himself, by his Spirit alone, really presided over all the affairs of the children of Israel.
And if we pass from the executing of judgment, to the sacred service of the tabernacle, we shall find that in no respect was it felt to be the product of art and man's device. For not only was Moses warned of God, “See that thou make it according to the pattern which was shown to thee on the mount;" but we also read, Exod. xxxi. 1-11," And Adonai spake unto Moses, saying, See I have called by name Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; the tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy-seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, and the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt-offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot, and the clothes of service, and the holy garments for Aaron, the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office, and the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place : according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do." It was not then by natural genius, or art naturally acquired, whether Bezaleel possessed these or not, but by a wisdom and understanding, a knowledge supernaturally imparted by the Spirit of God, with which God filled him, that he was actuated in all his work about the tabernacle, and the things thereto pertaining. The Spirit of God was the real builder and maker, Bezaleel only an instrumentan intelligent instrument, indeed, working with the good skill of his hands, but that a skill which the Spirit of the Lord, filling him, diffused through all his constructive faculties.
And here we may also remark, that what we have learned about Bezaleel's ingenuity, holds equally true of certain endowments of other persons, which we should be inclined to call natural, did not the Holy Scriptures teach us the contrary. Take for an example the stirring courage of Sampson—we read Judges, xxiv. 25, “The child grew, and ADONAI blessed him, and the Spirit of ADONAI began to move him at times in the camp of Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol. The only Saviour of Israel in the time of trouble, stirred up by the special motion of his own Spirit, the might which slumbered in the strong man's hand. Yea, shall a wicked alien hired to curse, be turned to bless Israel. For Israel, his inheritance -sake, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Balaam. Numbers xxiv. 2. .
In a word; there is nothing merely natural about Judaism, either in its constitution, or administration. Universal nature, indeed, hangs in its whole extent, and in its minutest parts, on the sustaining and directing-arm of its God: but within the sacred precincts of the covenant, which binds together ADONAI the portion of Jacob, (Jer. x. 16,) and the people of ADONAI who are His portion, (Deut. xxxii. 9,) the relation, the presence, and the operation, are of a more exalted order, belonging to the covenant of grace, redemption, salvation; and so truly supernatural. Psal. cxlvii. “He dealt not so with any (other) nation” (193 539); and as for judgments-they knew them not.*
Worthy of deepest pondering is the enumeration of these privi. leges in Romans ix. 4. It is into a participation of these in their greatest fulness, as connected with the Messiah already come, and
The sacred pillar of the cloud appears, it is moving before us. Reverently let us follow. 66 ADONAI remembers the days of old, Moses and his people; where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his Holy Spirit within him ? that led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them to make himself an everlasting name. As a beast goeth down to the valley, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest ; so didst thou lead thy people to make thyself a glorious name.”
Behold the people of the ADONAI-behold the Servant of the ADONAI, the Shepherd of his flock-behold the Spirit of ADONAI, which ADONAI had put within him. “Cry out and shout, thou wanderer in the desert, for great is the holy one of Israel in the midst of thee. Happy art thou 0 Israel: who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by ADONAI, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thine excellency?”
What odours are these which embalm all the air, ravishing the sense ? It is the holy anointing oil, like unto which none must be made for common use under penalty of death.
And before us stands, in the beauty of holiness, a goodly array of white-robed priests and mitred kings; no want there of prophets with burning lips, touched with a live coal from the altar.
And hark that voice of highest majesty," Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”
But what doth this anointing mean? Surely something more precious than all the spices of Arabia is
already glorified, that we are, by the calling of the gentiles, introduced. Ephesians ii. 11-13, chap. iii
. 3—6. The Christian church, in substance the same with the ancient Jewish, but advanced from infancy to manhood by the mission of God's Son, and the redemption which he, being made of a woman, accomplished, (Gal. iv. 1-6,) is a society supernatural and divine in its formation, its institutions, and its administration by the Spirit of the Messiah, who, by his gracious presence, pervades, unites, quickens, enlightens, sanctifies, preserves, edifies, strengthens, and carries on to perfection the whole body of the Messiah. (Ephes. iv, especially verses 15, 16.) “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God!" Psalm lxxxvii. 3.