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ing in covenant only, and before it is brought into outward
manifestation, reserved for a death in the flesh. 2. The second, or death world, corresponds with the church brought
into outward manifestation by circumcision or baptism ; and thus
cut off in the flesh, but alive in the spirit, and reserved unto glory.
3. The new heavens and new earth, to the resurrection church. 31, Time and place, considered in connection, give the Adam age
and Noah age, in the first world; the Patriarchial, Jew, Gentile, and Millennial ages, in the second world; and the Resurrection
age, in the third. 32. Man having been created as a son, and all the world for him, when
throughout the Adam age and Noah age he had manifested his unfitness of the Sonship
and Spirit of adoption, God would justly destroy the creation world. 33. The second world is the creation world sustained under death, and
is a manifestation of God's power over death: and when God had proved the unfitness of man for the Father's office, He did by Abraham shew his power, by making him according to the flesh a father of the faithful during the Patriarchal age; and through out the Jew and Gentile ages manifesting the Eternal Son and Holy Ghost, did ordain in the Millennial age to manifest the
Almighty Father. 34. The new heavens and new earth are the world purged from sin by
the spirit of judgment and of burning, the seat of the Resur
rection Church, and the Throne of God. 35. THE PURPOSE of Self-manifestation, considered apart from the
place and time of its accomplishment, is a revelation of the
Father. 36. THE PLACE OR SUBJECT of manifestation is the revelation of the
Son. 37. THE TIME OR PROGRESS of manifestation is the revelation of the
Holy Ghost. 38. This shews the paramount importance of the doctrine of the
Trinity 39. The COMPLETED WORK of manifestation is a revelation of the
God-head. The visible form of this revelation shewn in St. John's vision by the Father in the Son on his throne, the new earth; encompassed by the Noah covenant and Abrahamic covenant, and filled by the fulness of the church; the Holy Ghost, the new heavens, the sea of glass, the lake of fire. The whole a single act of God, according to the relation of the Persons in the Trinity: 1. In a preceding dissertation, On the ultimate revealed purpose of God in Creation and New Creation, this purpose is, from the warrant of Holy Scripture, shewn to be the manifestation of Himself as God; and the method in which this end is accomplished is also shewn to be the manifestation of the Lord Jesus as Head over all things to his church, or, in other words, as the Head of his body the church.
the work visible, material, and spiritual. 40. The predestinate completeness of this work from the foundation of
the world is the root of its progress; the God-Persons severally acting from the beginning in the several relations which the
completed work shews them to have assumed. 41. JESUS THE HEAD OVER ALL THINGS TO HIS CHURCH thus
gloriously revealed. In him, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one: the glory of the Godhead in him in fulness, and in his mystical body, shewn forth in infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.
2. In the preliminary remarks to that dissertation it was hinted that an examination of the figurative language of Scripture was necessary in order to bring the truth, thus educed, into practical application. It is in that examination that we now desire to engage; not anticipating a full opportunity of completing it, but rather expecting to open the course in which it is to be followed, and to leave the student himself to carry on the pursuit.
There is no difficulty so great as that of turning men's minds from the ordinary current of their thoughts. It is easy to delight by novelty, and please by new associations and forms of ideas; but novelty is a thing of a day: so soon as it ceases to be new it ceases to influence, and the mind returns to the wonted tenor of its course. This difficulty, which is sufficiently formidable in ordinary and common things, is almost insuperable when applied to religion. Those who have not attended at all to the truths of the Gospel, can, we know, only be brought to receive it through the power of the Holy Ghost working that in them which, although impossible with man, is yet possible with God. The same power and teaching is necessary, and, if we might make a distinction, is more necessary, to draw the believer who has been habituated to a certain course of thought concerning the purpose and work of God into a different course, and make him judge concerning his former thoughts that they were utterly unworthy of the name of truth.
But the child of God has this teaching : he has much of learning and unlearning; thinking himself to be wise, and finding himself a fool. Waiting upon God for instruction, he is taught; and in the end is led to see that “now we know in part and see but in part; and if there be knowledge, it shall vanish away;" that so it is evidently God's purpose to lead on his children to a further and fuller knowledge ; and that when the fulness of knowledge shall come, then shall the partial knowledge be forgotten. But oh, how hard is it for men in the flesh to have their fair buildings pulled down, and their thoughts, which they have wrought into a system, at once scattered to the winds! As the Lord is pleased to open the truths written in his word, he does thus lay low the haughty imaginations of men's minds. Every new step in the knowledge of God gives a new character and aspect to his word and his work, and brings to the broad
light of day the weakness and vanity of our former confidence. So that “whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and chastiseth every son of his whom he receiveth.”
The sincere milk of the word is the desire of the “new-born babes” in Christ; and when the Lord hath given understanding in his word and truth, he so opens the glories of his presence, and the manifold wisdom of his works, that his child, amazed at the depths of ignorance in which he before meditated, and brought to a sense of his weakness and incapacity, grasps with thankfulness the light vouchsafed to him, and, surrendering all his own vain thoughts, in the spirit of dependence and teachableness, cries “ Abba, Father.”
It is under no pretension of superior light, knowledge, or understanding, that we pen the following lines, but under a sense of our own ignorance; from a remembrance of our former vain confidence; and in the persuasion that the little measure of knowledge, which the Lord has thus given, is calculated to lead to humility and dependence, and to foster the desire that we may be led on from grace to grace and from strength to strength. It is given, also, that it may meet in the teeth that spirit of ignorant contentment which shuts up the sum of knowledge and the perfection of beauty in a system falsely called “The knowledge of Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” That there is such a system, we need only appeal for proof to the many bitter things which have been so widely and lately written and spoken against the study of the prophetic word. It may be properly called a system, because it quarrels with every interpretation which does not square with its own rules, and decries every inquiry which is not bounded by its own limits. We know not how sufficiently to characterize it, nor how with sufficient plainness to expose it, without seeming to fight against those whom we would fain call brethren. But, truly, such a warfare is a striving in love, and a struggle in the spirit of peace. It is God who causeth men to be of one mind in a house: and as he is known there will be unity; as he is unknown, division. To seek to know him, is therefore to seek peace; to fight against error, is to war against the source of war; and to point out a brother's short-coming, is to warn him of a sunken rock against which his vessel is driving.
We say not that we would now write controversially-for this would be too tedious—but that we may justify those who do so. In endeavouring to set out the glory and the fulness of the headship of Christ to his church, we may be opening a course which squares with no avowed system, but may lead forth the mind of the believer, from the narrowness of systems, to look for God in Christ, and Christ in all creation; to endeavour to discern something of the glory which God displays in all that has been, is,
and shall be, to all eternity: thus looking up to God in Christ as the revealed reality and fulness of knowledge, and down again to created things as made to shadow him forth, and now proceeding in shadowing him forth, in order that in the end he may be manifested God of God and very God of very God.
But, as we said, the difficulty of opening any new course is almost insuperable. If we take the broad word of Scripture, and by patient and continued openings of the word endeavour to lead on, step by step, to the full proof of what we would maintain, the course is too tedious: the student flags in the outset: he sees nothing of the value, or worth, or practicability of the subject until he has waded through the proof; and having thus nothing to encourage him by the way, he comes to a stand, and turns back again. "If, on the other hand, we set out in full the subject to be proved, and then go unto the proof, the student finds, according to his preconceived notions, that there is something very absurd in the propositions : he is sure they can never be proved, and he therefore spares himself the labour of encountering the proof at all. There is, however, no royal road to understanding: he who will not encounter fatigue will make no progress. Perhaps the course least liable to give offence—for in this day of small things such a matter must not be forgotten-is that of broadly setting
out the subject with some measure of proof, and reserving the more full support to a future examination of Scripture; which may not be a choosing of texts, but an exposition, in the natural order, of some book or books in the written word. Thus there may be a sufficient warrant given to demand an examination, and the examination itselfmay be pursued without danger of the charge of wresting Scripture from its proper meaning.
According to this plan, we would endeavour in this preliminary part to set out the subject with some obvious warrants from Scripture; and afterwards take the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, as giving in its composition and contents an enlarged proof of the accuracy of the view.
3. That the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of his body the church, and that the church is the fulness of all things, is revealed to us in the Epistle to the Ephesians, which saith (i. 22, 23), God “ gave him (Christ] to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all;" as well as from the passage (i. 10), “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.?
4. This headship and bodily fulness is, as we have shewn in our former paper, the perfected form of created things, and will not be completed until all things are gathered unto
in new creation at the general resurrection. But, as we have before endeavoured to shew, it is important, and indeed necessary, in order to understand the figurative language of Scripture, that we should examine how the Lord Jesus will become the Head; and how his mystical body, the church, will embody and comprise all things in its fulness. This is necessary, because the end of new creation is to manifest what we are inquiring after; and all created things, as well as the progress of time and the arrangements of providence, will be seen to have depended upon, and been fashioned to lead on to, this consummation.
5. God's great purpose being seen to be that of manifesting himself, we know that the Unity of the Godhead in the Trinity of Persons is to be manifested. The distinct personality requires distinctness, as the unity of the Godhead requires unity: and it will necessarily suggest itself to us, that this distinctness is the ground and basis upon which are founded all the distinctions in created things; or, in other words, that the great lines of division which separate all created things are specially designed to manifest the Trinity. But let us turn to Scripture.
6. The Lord Jesus Christ is revealed in a fourfold office. 1. To the Jews he is revealed as the Prophet. “Moses said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you brethren like unto me; him shall ye
hear” (Acts vii. 37).-2. To us Gentiles he is the Priest. (Heb. iv. 14) “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” --3. Christ shall come again as the King: (Acts ii. 30) “ Therefore, David, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." (Matt. xix. 27) “ And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” And lest it should be said that these texts refer to the office of Judge rather than of King, we must take another text, which fully explains the former one: (Rev. xx. 4) “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand
; years: but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection : on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of VOL. IU,NO, II.