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government of God, it was in the flesh that His people were subjected to that government (comp. Rom. vii. 5, where the subject is fully discussed).

Now, man in the flesh, under the government of God, : cannot come into the enjoyment of the promise; this is true, E: even of a Christian Dead and risen in Christ, he is

seated in the heavenly places, he enjoys the promise in the presence of God; but, as a man upon earth, he is under the government of God, who acts towards him according to the manifestation of the spiritual life here below; and Christ is between him and God, exercising a priesthood which does not establish righteousness (that is done once for all), but which maintains the relations of weak men—whom, at the same time, it renews upon earth-with God in the light, to the fellowship of which they are called in Christ, who is in it.

Crossing Jordan, was death and resurrection, in a figure. Joshua always represents Christ, Head of His people according to the power of the Spirit. But the wilderness is this world. Moses directs and governs the people there according to God; consequently he does not enter into Canaan. The difference (we shall dwell on that more at length when we study the book of Joshua) between the Red Sea and Jordan is, that the Red Sea was the efficacy of redemption through death and resurrection in Christ Himself. Jordan was the application of it to the soul, in order to the enjoyment of the promises. The passage of the Red Sea was followed by songs of joy; that of Jordan, by conflict and the realization of the promises. Now, as to Moses himself, the fault which precluded his individual entrance into the land, is well known: provoked by the rebellion of Israel, and wearied with caring for the people, instead of exalting God in the eyes of Israel, he exalted himself. He made use of the gift of God for that purpose; he did not sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people; he did not give Him His place. God is not wearied; and thus acting in discipline, for the good of His people, according to His majesty, He can always fall back upon those ways of direct blessing which flow from His unfailing grace. Man, wearied with the evil that vexes him, tries to exalt grace alone.

himself, to put himself above the evil, and to shelter himself from it, because he is not above it.

He no longer glorifies God, by exalting himself he is abased. If Moses, instead of acting according to the flesh, had remembered that the question was not about himself and how often had He told them so !), but about God, he would have felt that the people could not touch the glory of God; and this unfailing glory would have sustained him, looking only at that glory which ever maintains itself; so that if we only seek to maintain it, we may rest upon it.

But he lacked faith, and was forbidden to enter into that which only the perfection of glory could open to men; and indeed, what could lead Israel safely through the desert and into the land of Canaan? Pure Moses was not able to apprehend the height of that grace, that conquers everything. It was according to that grace, as we have seen, that God acted at Meribah. Now, the law could not lead into life; and therefore the flesh, the world and the law, ever correlative in the ways of God, were found in the journey through the wilderness; and Moses remains there. He might, as a man of God, and a prophet, tell of grace, as making sure the blessing of Israel (chap. xxxiii

. 26-29). Faithful in all his house, as a servant, he remains on this side Jordan, a proof, in these touching circumstances, that an absolutely new creation is needed, to enjoy the promises of God, according to that grace, which can alone, after all, bring one in safety even through the wilderness—the unfailing grace of our God.

Moses dies, and, buried by the Lord, no longer serves, as an object of carnal veneration, to a people at all times ready to fall into this sin, when his name gave them honor according to the flesh; just as they continually opposed him, when his presence according to God thwarted the flesh. He was a man honored of God, who scarcely had his equal (Him of course excepted who had none); but nevertheless he was man, and man is but Vanity.


*** DEUTERONOMY, i.e. Second Law, as in LXX., Aeutepovouloy is called 01927 (words) in the hebrew bible, see chap. i. 1, “These are the Words,” etc.





1 Cor. x. 26, 28.

It seems an important point of spiritual wisdom, rightly to understand the principle of quotation made by the Spirit from the Old Testament in the New. The Spirit of God can never be less than perfect and infinite (and this, perhaps, is one reason why no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation), but it is no dishonour to the Holy Ghost to say, as scripture says of Him, that He can be grieved, resisted, and, in one sense, quenched.

Now, just as the sin of man may have power to limit the Holy One, so the abounding grace of God may bring out into fuller significance, and more extensive application, the inspired words of the prophets, when they are repeated by the apostles under the new dispensation. I would take, as an instance, the quotation from Psalm xxiv. 1, " The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." These words, in an Old Testament context, may have an Old Testament meaning; there is a glorious truth_legible upon the very surface of the passage; but in Paul's day Jesus was glorified, the Holy Ghost was sent down, and He was now ready to take out of the Old Testament treasury things new as well as old, but all of them things of Christ, and to minister largely and freely to the necessities of the children of God. We seem to have some confirmation of this view in 1 Pet. i. 11, 12. It is not that an unholy person sees nothing and a holy person everything in the word, but holy men of old (the very channels and instruments of inspiration) had one measure of intelligence, and another and a fuller measure was now revealed to another class under another dispensation, even to the holy apostles and prophets, by the Spirit (Eph. ii.). Accordingly,


we may distinguish between three different aspects of Psalm xxiv.

1. To the unconverted, the passage, like the rest of Scripture, is without form and void. The letter may convey a meaning, but nothing of interest or of spiritual intelligence.

2. To the godly Jew it spoke of Jehovah's present rights, and future manifested dominion.

3. But though this was the very teaching of the Spirit, there was deeper instruction which the Spirit would bring out by the hand of Paul in the First Epistle to the Corinthians. A question had arisen, requiring exquisite dexterity in the answer, concerning meats offered to idols. And the answer is so contrived, in the wisdom of the Spirit, as not merely to solve the particular difficulty the Corinthians were in, a solution that would have been of little use when the emergency was over, but to lay, in the broadest and clearest manner, the deep foundations of gospel truth.

The question was, “ May I eat meats offered to idols ?" “Yes," says Paul, "only with due regard to the conscience of another."

For [and this little word has probably occasioned much difficulty to many in the interpretation] the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." The Spirit in Paul looks abroad over the whole surface of the globe, and sees not one spot that is not the Lord's. But this is not all; the words themselves require a fuller explanation. The Son might say, as Jehovah, “ All the beasts of the forest are mine, and so are the cattle upon a thousand hills." But this would only be the right of the Creator. And so, when sin had found entrance into the world, while Jehovah would retain His rights as Creator, this very fact would be against man's liberty. The earth is the Lord's, and, therefore, man is not free, for on every spot of ground where he can plant his foot he is a trespasser. His very existence upon earth is, in a manner, a trespass; and if he dares to touch any of God's creatures, instead of a partaker by grace, God only knows him as an intruder upon his ground, as a thief and a robber. The key, then, to the connexion of this passage with conscience must be found


in the interpretation of the word “ Lord.” Creation and conscience do not correspond; but conscience and the Lordship of Jesus do, and this is one blessed portion of teaching in the New Testament.

Let us first look at Romans xiv.9, “ For to this end Christ both died and rose and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." Christ, as Jehovah, was Lord from eternity. Christ, as the risen man (and, of course, not merely man), has acquired a lordship, whereby (having by Himself purged our sins) He has power to give us a dispensation to eat freely, asking no question for conscience' sake. Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. Had not man been a sinner, the first clause might have been sufficient; every creature of God is good, therefore, I may use it. And thus many an impenitent sinner is apt to justify not only the use but the abuse of God's creatures. “God," say they, “has given us all things richly to enjoy, therefore, we may enjoy ourselves and forget God." But Paul has not so learned Christ or creation either.

He does not say, Why am I evil spoken of for that which God has made ?" but, “Why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks.Here is his warrant.

He looks abroad upon the surface of creation, and sees nothing unsanctified by the blood of Christ. Therefore he may use all things. The lordship of Jesus is the liberty of the saint. The blood has cleansed all things to the believer; but the lordship of Him who died, manifested by resurrection and ascension, has pronounced all things clean. A saint will often, in grace, refuse to exercise his liberty, eating no flesh, if need be, while the world stands, lest he cause his brother to offend. But he cannot deny his liberty, for this would be to deny Christ, if it were but concerning the lawfulness of eating one morsel of meat. We seem to have similar teaching in our Lord's words (Luke xi.41), “ But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you." Not that alms-giving could purchase liberty; but it would seem as if our Lord had said, “ Act in


prove you are on the ground of grace; if on that ground, all


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