C. H. Mackintosh.
Chapter 4 & 5
Chapter 6 - 9
Chapter 27 - 35
Chapter 33 - 34
Chapter 39 - 50
To all who love and relish the simple gospel of the grace of God, I would earnestly recommend the following "Notes on the Book of Genesis." They are characterized by a deep-toned evangelical spirit. Having had the privilege of reading them in MS., can speak as one who has found profit therefrom. Man's complete ruin in sin, and God's perfect remedy in Christ, are fully, clearly, and often strikingly, presented, especially in the earlier chapters.
To Christ's servants in the gospel, sound, forcible statements, as to what sin is, and what grace is, are deeply valuable in the present time, when so much that is merely superficial is abroad.
The gospel of Christ, as perfectly meeting man's nature, condition, and character, is comparatively little known, and less proclaimed. Hence, the numerous doubts, fears, and unsettled questions, which fill the hearts, and perplex the consciences, of many of God's dear children. Until the soul is led to see, that the entire question of sin, and the claims of divine holiness, were all and for ever settled on the cross, sweet, quiet rest of conscience will be but little known.
Nothing can meet the urgent cry of a troubled conscience, but the one perfect sacrifice of Christ; offered to God, for us, on the cross. "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us." There, and there alone, it will find a perfect answer to its every claim; because there it will find, through believing, all ground of doubt and fear removed, the whole question of sin eternally settled, every divine requirement fully met, and a solid foundation laid for present, settled peace, in the presence of divine holiness. Christ, "delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification," settles everything. The moment we believe the gospel, we are saved, and ought to be divinely happy. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." (Rom. iv. v.; John iii.)
We see the greatness of God's love to the sinner, in His judgment of sin, in the Person of His own dear Son, on the cross. There God, in perfect grace to us, dealt with sin according to His infinite holiness and justice. He went down to the depths of our ruin, and all our sin, measured it, judged it, and put it for ever away, root and branch, by shedding the precious blood of the spotless victim. "He condemned sin in the flesh;" that is, He there condemned the evil root of sin which is in our flesh — our carnal nature. But He also "made an end of sins" — of the actual sins of every believer. Thus, between God and Christ alone, the entire question of sin was gone into, and finally settled on the cross. "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now." Just as Abraham and Isaac were alone on the top of the mountain in the land of Moriah, so were God and Christ alone, amidst the solemnities and solitudes of Calvary. The only part we had in the cross was, that our sins were there. Jesus alone bore the full weight of their judgment. (Comp. Dan. ix. 24; Rom. viii. 3; 2 Cor. v. 21; Heb. ix. 26, 28.)
Whenever this blessed truth is learnt from God's own word, and maintained in the soul by faith, through the power of the Holy Ghost, all is peace, joy, and victory. It takes the believer completely away from himself, from his doubts, fears, and questions. And his eye now gazes on ONE, who, by His finished work, has laid the foundation of divine and everlasting righteousness, and who is now at the right hand of the Majesty in the highest, as the perfect definition of every true believer. With Him, with Him alone, the believer's heart is now to be occupied.
Faith is fully assured, that when God puts away sin, it must be put away entirely — that, when Jesus exclaimed, "IT IS FINISHED," the work was done, God was glorified, the sinner saved, the whole power of Satan completely destroyed, and peace established on the most solid basis. Hence, we find, "The God of peace brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant." He was the God of judgment at the cross. He is the God of peace at the opening grave. Every enemy has been vanquished, and eternal peace proclaimed, through the blood of His cross. "He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father." He rose "in the power of an endless life," and associates every believer with Himself, in the power of that life in resurrection. Having been cleansed by His blood, they are accepted in His Person. (See Eph. i. 6; Col. ii. 10; 1 John v. 20.)
Jesus, having thus fully accomplished the work that was given Him to do, and gone up on high, the Holy Ghost came down as a witness to us that redemption was finished, the believer "perfected for ever," and Christ glorified in heaven.
The apostles then began to publish the glad tidings of salvation to the chief of sinners. The subject of their preaching was, "Jesus and the resurrection." And all, who believed on Him as risen and glorified, were immediately and eternally saved. "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son: he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John v. 11, 12.) There is no blessing outside of, or apart from, the PERSON OF CHRIST—THE HEAVENLY MAN; "for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Ever since that time, God has been placing before the sinner, in connexion with His gospel, a risen living Christ, as the ALONE object of faith, and "the end of the law for righteousness to EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH." (Rom. x.)
When the eye is kept on this heavenly Christ, all is light, joy, and peace; but if it be turned in on self, and occupied with what it finds there, and what it feels, or with anything whatever that may come between the heart and Christ, all will be darkness, uncertainty, and unhappiness in the soul. Oh! how blessedly simple is the gospel of the grace of God.
The burden of its message to the lost sinner is, "Come, for all things are now ready;" the question of sin is not raised — "Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Christ, having perfectly satisfied God about sin, the only question now, between God and your heart, is this, Are you perfectly satisfied with His Christ as the alone portion of your soul? This is the one grand question of the gospel. Christ has settled every other to the glory of God; and, now, the Father is going to "make a marriage for his Son," to honour, exalt, and glorify Him. Is your heart in full harmony with God's on this point? Work is not required at your hands — strength is not needed — fruit is not demanded — God has provided everything, and prepared everything. It is all grace — the pure grace of God "only believe," "Come, for all things are now ready," the marriage supper — the wedding garment — royal honours — the Father's presence — fulness of joy — and pleasures for evermore — all are ready, — ready now — "ready to be revealed." Dear Reader, are you ready? Oh! solemn question. Are you ready? Have you believed the message? Have you embraced the Son? Are you ready to "Crown him Lord of all?" The table is spread — the house is filling fast — "yet there is room." Already you have heard the midnight cry, "Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him," "and they that were READY went in with him to the marriage, AND THE DOOR WAS SHUT." "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." (Matt. xxii., xxv.; Luke xii, xiv.)
But I must now refer my reader to the "Notes" themselves, where he will find this most blessed subject fully, frequently, and pointedly stated, and many other subjects of deep practical importance; such as the distinctive position and perfect unity of the Church of God; real saintship; practical discipleship; sonship, &c., &c.
With the exception of the four gospels, I suppose there is no book in the Bible more deeply interesting than the Book of Genesis. It comes to us with all the freshness of God's first book to His people. The contents are varied — highly instructive — and most precious to the student of God's entire book.
These "Notes" are again laid at the Master's feet, in earnest prayer, that He would take them up, and send them forth under the stamp of His own divine approval. Amen.
A. Miller. London.
I cannot suffer this Fourth Edition to go forth, without an expression of heartfelt thankfulness to the Lord for His goodness in making use of such a feeble instrumentality, for the profit of souls, and the spread of His own simple truth.
It is an unspeakable privilege to be permitted, in any small degree, to minister to the souls of those who are so precious to Christ. "Lovest thou me? Feed my sheep." Such were the touching words of the departing Shepherd; and, assuredly, when they fall powerfully upon the heart, they must rouse all the energies of one's moral being to carry out, in every possible way the gracious desire breathed therein. To gather and to feed the lambs and sheep of the flock of Christ, are the most exalted services in which any one can be engaged. Not a single honest effort put forth for the achievement of such noble ends, will be forgotten in that day "when the Chief Shepherd shall appear."
May God the Holy Ghost fill the heart, anoint the lips, and consecrate the pen of every servant of Christ, so that streams of pure and living truth may flow, in every direction, for the refreshment of all those who are on their way to glory.
C. H. M., Dublin, May, 1861.