Have we a revelation from God?

J. N. Darby.
{A Review of Professor Smith's Article 'Bible,' in the 'Encyclopedia Britannica,' ninth edition.}

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97 When Moses and the law had come in, then it was only on the judgment of Israel that this blessing came out, and that through Christ. (See Romans 11.) So Deuteronomy 32:28, the judgment being solemnly insisted on in what precedes, both of Jews and Gentiles, though sparing a remnant in Israel, owned in verse 43 as His people, but the nations to rejoice with them. We have seen these two recognised in Isaiah 25, with the resurrection added, and all united with Christ's reign in 1 Corinthians 15, quoting Isaiah.

The contrast of law and gospel is fully discussed by Paul, and the promises without condition, and the law with both promises and gospel, in Romans and Galatians. In Galatians 3 he insists on the promise without condition, and that the law 430 years afterwards could not be added to an unconditional promise confirmed to the Seed, nor that promise disannulled. The law was broken, and that, as it depended under the old covenant on Israel's obedience whether the blessing was to be fulfilled, was easily disposed of. But the promises? They were to be made good through the promised Seed, the Messiah, a fact made clearer and clearer as Israel's disobedience grew more and more manifest, and indeed fully established in the promise to David; but then it must be through bruising the serpent's head and wider than Israel. When failure in the land under priesthood in Eli, and under prophecy in Samuel, and the direct government of God by these means had been fully manifested, God's king, the beloved, was raised up; and this double blessing of Israel and the Gentiles and man's glory as in Christ was brought to light, grace in power, though it was but a remnant in Israel who would finally profit by it.

98 But here the difficulty of the unconditional promises came in, and the promises of the Seed in which they were to be fulfilled. The law, as I have said, was clearly broken from the days of the golden calf. But the promises were to be fulfilled in the Seed, in the Son of David. Israel rejected Him, and lost all title whatever to any promises. God had taken away His throne when they went captive to Babylon. The cherubim and the glory that sat there judged the city and went up. But the promises? A residue was preserved and brought back, shorn of its glory as God's people, but still having these promises; and Messiah came, the promised One, a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and they rejected Him, and God wrought a salvation effectual for man. His salvation to the ends of the earth yet will accomplish His promises to Israel, only on the ground of pure grace, while He takes those that own the rejected One to be His companions in glory in heaven and to reign with Him. It is this that makes the apostle exclaim, O the depth of the riches!

Now as Galatians 3 and Romans 2, 3 and 4 (and 7 yet more experimentally) discuss the law and grace and promise in its moral bearing for any, so Romans 9-11 discusses it in reference to Jew and Gentile in a dispensational way. In chapter 9 God must be sovereign, or Ishmaelites and Edomites must be let in, and all Israel, save Moses, shut out, and God would use His sovereignty to let in the Gentiles. Then Israel's rejection and stumbling at the Stumbling-stone was all foretold, and God's being found of the Gentiles; Rom. 10. But it was not final rejection. Paul was a Jew, so there was a remnant; Deut. 32. The letting in of the Gentiles was to provoke them to jealousy. But lastly, according to infallible promise, the Deliverer would come to Zion; Rom. 11.

99 Thus in the law we have, not only a dispensation of God with Israel, but the great question of human righteousness raised for every soul. It was not an arbitrary rule, but God's perfect rule for man, taking up all the relationships in which He had placed man as now fallen, with Himself and each other, and requiring man's acting up to them, and he should live; but the flesh, man in his Adam-nature, was not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be so: then they that are in the flesh cannot please God (no one in Adam's standing). Man's righteousness not only does not exist in fact, but is set aside in principle, but, as we have seen, without law, man was lawless, under it a transgressor, and, when God was manifested, then the Lord could say, Now they have both seen and hated both Me and my Father. Hence we read, Now is the judgment of this world, but, thank God, Now is the prince of this world cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me. But now once in the end of the world (the consummation of ages) He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The heel of the Seed of the woman was bruised, but the work done gave Him a title in righteousness, according to God, to bruise his head. The power of the enemy was, by death, disannulled morally (ina katargese), and will be wholly set aside in heaven and earth when the Son of man shall come in His glory; not all enemies, it is true, subjected at once, but He having taken to Him His great power to reign and do so.

But not only were the Gentiles left in darkness during the narrow period of testing man under law, and the promises confined in their actual application to a peculiar people, but life and incorruptibility were brought to light only under the gospel, and access to God allowed, The state under the law was marked by the veil, and the barriers which forbade it; now the holiest entered, God's righteousness being by faith for Gentile as well as Jew, and all the higher glories revealed in connection with resurrection, and a new state of man and a new creation, of which Christ risen and glorified is the firstfruits and head, "the second Man from heaven" (o deuteros anthropos ex ouranou), and now gone back there as Man.

100 The reader who is acquainted with Scripture will have seen that I have only made an abstract of its statements in all I have said, and put them together so that we may see that it is one complete plan of God, of which the moral principles and the historical development, though distinct subjects, cannot be separated. But let us see if we cannot, in some leading details, trace it through the scripture, showing them more in detail, enchained by the plan of one mind. Indeed it begins before the world, of course then in the thoughts of God, but revealed to us, through mercy, not till the gospel came, not till the first man had been fully tried and tested in his responsibility. Thus we read (Prov. 8), speaking of wisdom (and Christ is the wisdom of God and the power of God): "I was [before the creation, which is poetically described] daily his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable parts of his [Jehovah's] earth; and my delights were with the sons of men" — here, in the nature and principle of His place, the Son of man.

Hence, when Christ was born, we find the angels celebrating his birth with, Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace [not goodwill towards, but] good pleasure in men. He did not, as it is written, take up angels, but He took up — here narrowing it to grace and promise — the seed of Abraham, consequently associating it at once with Old Testament history. So we read in 2 Timothy 1:9: "Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ." So Titus 1: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began, but has in due times manifested," etc. So [in] 1 Corinthians 2: "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which God ordained before the world for our glory." Now, till the rejection of Christ, these counsels of God in grace were not brought out to light as we see stated here; because the first man, and the possibility of his recovery were being tried, though God, who knew what man was, was quickening souls from the beginning. Still we shall find full traces of all that concerns both the history of Christ, His rejection and future glories, or, as Peter expresses it, the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow.

101 Let us take Messiah and Son of man, and the connection of their titles with Israel and the future glory of Christ. In Psalm 1 we have the remnant carefully distinguished from the ungodly, as Isaiah says: "Except Jehovah of hosts had left us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and like to Gomorrah." But it is well to note, before we proceed to the chain of texts, that the Lord expressly tells us that this peace on earth was not to be accomplished by His first coming. "Suppose ye," He says, "that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather division: for, from henceforth, there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three" (Luke 12:51-52), practically a quotation from Micah 7, where it is presented as the extreme of evil, evil drawn out in its worst forms in fact, by the perfect manifestation of good, of God Himself, shown in the death of Christ, and in hatred of those faithful to Him; for all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

But as to Christ, He was to suffer and make atonement, sit not yet on His own throne, but on the Father's at the right hand of God — expecting till His enemies were made His footstool; where He is now, the work perfectly accomplished which perfectly glorifies God, gives us a perfect conscience, destroys in title the whole power of Satan, is the sure foundation of eternal blessedness, the new heavens and the new earth: but, through which we are called to take up our cross and suffer, who are to have the heavenly inheritance, and be like Him in glory, but must wait here with Him now, and while He waits, having the sympathy of our great High Priest, or with Him as to our spirits, if called away before He comes. If He is crucified, we must suffer, not reign, till He takes to Him His great power and reigns: till then Satan is still the god and prince of this world, not cast down from the heavens.

From the beginning man, under his influence, has spoiled what God set up good — spoiled it the first thing: so the first man himself, so Noah got drunk, so the golden calf was made, so Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire, and the holiest was closed to Aaron save one special day; so through Solomon's sin the kingdom was divided; and, under Nebuchadnezzar, the Gentile power became a beast; so always, the apostasy set in before the apostle's eyes were closed.

102 But Satan will be cast down from heaven (Rev. 12), where he is now the accuser of the brethren. Then we shall have, as Luke tells us, peace in heaven, and glory in the highest; and "Blessed be the king that comes in the name of the Lord" here below (Luke 19:38): though, then, it was babes and sucklings that were found to utter His praise, to still the enemy and the avenger, or the stones would have cried out. It is when He comes again that evil will be put down.

But to come to the citations of passages of scripture: in Psalm 2 after giving the character of the remnant in Psalm 1, we have the determination of Jehovah to set His King on the holy hill of Zion, the anointed Man, the Son of God as born in this world, who is further to ask for dominion over the heathen, whom He will rule with a rod of iron, and break in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Compare Rev. 2:26-27.) But for the present He is rejected. The kings of the earth and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed (Christ or Messiah). Adonai, sitting in the heavens, shall laugh at them. In Acts 4:26-27, the Holy Spirit expressly applies this to Christ's rejection and death.

In Psalms 3-7 we have the consequent sorrows of the remnant, on which I do not enter. But in Psalm 8 Christ is celebrated in another character, when the Jews can celebrate Jehovah's name excellent in all the earth, and as having set His glory above the heavens, and as their Lord or Adon: a state of things not yet accomplished in fact, while the second verse is used by the Lord in the passage first quoted from Luke, as the testimony enforced, so to speak, by God, when the Saviour was here and rejected, quoting also Psalm 118, of which we may speak as specially referring to this future time of Christ's return in power. Now I quote this to show that it is identified with man's being set over the works of God's hands. The Son of man, which the Lord constantly applies to Himself,* coming specifically into view, a passage as applied to Him in its full import as inheriting all God's purposes as to man; used as defining the whole position in the results of divine administration more than once by the apostle Paul, as (Eph. 1:22) "And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body" (compare Col. 1:15-18); and again, in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, when all things are to be put under the feet of the risen (the second) Man, except Him who put all things under Him. Here the whole scheme is unfolded; and again in Hebrews 2 we are told that we see not as yet all things put under Him; but we see Jesus made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour. Nothing can be more precise to both the divine purpose and the measure of its accomplishment, than these passages.
{*He never calls Himself the Christ save to the woman of Samaria (John 4) when He had left Judaea.}

103 The general fact is again brought before us, in quite another part of scripture, in contrast with the earthly power of evil in Daniel 7. The chapter is divided by the expression, "I saw in the night visions," verses 1-6, 7-12, to give the last beast (the principal one) more particularly, then 13, 14; from 15 to the end, inquiry and explanation, bringing in both the saints killed by the beast (and who, as is confirmed in Revelation 20 go into heaven) and Israel. I quote verse 13: "I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him," etc. This was when the thrones had been set for judgment. But afterwards we find it was the Ancient of days who came when judgment was given (v. 22) to the saints of the most high (the high places). So in Psalm 80, where Israel is crying out (not merely Jews) for their final deliverance, it is (v. 17): "Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the Son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself." Thus the rejected Messiah, cut off, and who took nothing of the kingdom and glory, but cut off Himself, is the one who is the head over all things as Son of man according to the purpose of God.

This truth runs through the Gospels where no passage perhaps is quoted. Nathanael owns Jesus to be the Christ according to Psalm 2: "Thou art the Son of God, the king of Israel." "Thou shalt see greater things than these," says the Lord. "Henceforth thou shalt see the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man." He takes His place as Son of man in contrast with and beyond that of Psalm 2. In John's Gospel the Jews are treated as rejected and reprobate from the first chapter (John 1:10-11), a remnant born again and believing, alone owned, because Jesus is God, and Him man never received, but was enmity against.

The three other Gospels present Him as Messiah, Emmanuel, Jehovah, the Saviour (Matthew); the prophet-servant (Mark); and Son of man in grace after the first two chapters, a lovely picture of the remnant in Israel (Luke). Hence we have genealogy from Abraham and David in Matthew, up to Adam in Luke.* When the Jews are utterly rejected at the end of Matthew 12, so that He no longer seeks fruit in His vineyard and fig-tree (vv. 46-50), He goes out to sow, but He that sows the good seed is the Son of man; the kingdom in mystery, that is, without a present king (Matt. 13), the church (Matt. 16), the kingdom in glory (Matt. 17), are substituted for Israel under the old covenant, but in Matt. 16:20 they are charged to tell no man that He was the Christ: The Son of man (Matt. 17:12) must suffer of them; more immediately contrasted, in Luke 9, which ends the chronological history (see verse 21) when Peter, taught of God, owns Him to be the Christ, "He straitly charged them and commanded them to tell no man that thing, saying, The Son of man must suffer … but be raised the third day"; and then He shows them the glory of the coming kingdom; the Son of man would come in His own glory, in the Father's, and of the holy angels, as Son of man, Son of the Father, and as Jehovah. But (Matt. 17:9) this belonged to another scene, and man as a new creation. They were not to tell it till He was risen again from among the dead, and (Luke 9:36) they kept it close, withal wondering what rising from among the dead should mean,** (Mark 9:10), and from that day began to press upon them that the Son of man must suffer; Matt. 16:21; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:44. In John we have this under another form, namely that of a full testimony from God, when Israel had rejected Him, as Son of God, Son of David, and Son of man. The first is raising Lazarus; John 11:4. "This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, and that the Son of God should be glorified thereby."*** He is the Resurrection and the Life. Then (John 12:13), they meet Him, according to Psalm 118, crying, "Hosanna! [save now, I beseech thee] blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord." Then the Greeks (Ellenes) coming up, the wider scene of Gentiles, the Lord says: "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; but, if it die, it brings forth much fruit"; and (v. 32), "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me." So in His rejection, abjured by the High Priest, He owns He is the One spoken of in Psalm 2, the Christ, the Son of God, but adds: "Nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven." Thus that which dispensationally set aside the Jews under the old covenant, and ended their title under the promises, brought out the far deeper truths of the enmity of man's heart against God in goodness — "They have both seen and hated both me and my Father" — but the accomplishment of that glorious work in which salvation was provided for Gentile as well as Jew, and God perfectly glorified in all that He is; the Christ rejected, Messiah cut off, as Daniel declared; and that as Son of man, not now taking the glory, but as suffering, yet vindicated of God as such; the whole truth of Psalms 2 and 8, Adam the image of Him that was to come (Dan. 9, 7) brought into light and accomplishment, and this not in quoted passages, but in realising facts, and then, when the Holy Ghost was given, the passages applied and explained, as in Acts 4 and Ephesians 1, 1 Corinthians 15, Hebrews 2, with no appearance of putting together or arrangement by those who uttered these things, but showing one mind and thought and plan behind it all, the word and counsel of God. I might multiply passages as to the use of Son of man, but I have only quoted what brought the bearing of Psalms 2 and 8 together. But the death of Christ closed the earthly history of Scripture, till the Son of man shall come in His glory. Hence Stephen, summing up that history from Abraham, when the promises began, shows the law broken, the prophets killed, the Just One betrayed and murdered, and the Holy Ghost resisted; and then sees the Son of man standing at the right hand of God. He had taken His heavenly place, though not yet set down. Now He sits at God's**** right hand till His enemies are made His footstool, having by one offering perfected for ever (eis to dienekes) them that are sanctified. It was the time of the church, His body, and the habitation of God through the Spirit. Hence the Son of man is no longer spoken of, save as giving Him His place on high; Heb. 2:6. But as soon as I come to the Revelation, what Christ had declared before the high priest, partly as seen by Stephen and taught in Hebrews 2, the accomplishment of Psalm 110 is, as to the latter part, brought out prophetically in Rev. 14, coming as Judge for the ripe harvest of earth and the vintage of God's wrath (vv. 14-20). We find Him judging the church as responsible on earth in chapter 1. But from Acts 7 to Revelation He is never spoken of as Son of man, save that Psalm 8 itself is quoted (Heb. 2), to show where we are in this history. Even then He is not called so.
  {*I should read Luke 3:23: ("Being, as was supposed, son of Joseph), of Heli," etc. tou Eli is connected with Jesus, not with Joseph.
  **All as Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead.
  ***The stupid rationalists cannot, of course, see why this miracle was brought in here.
  ****Christ had interceded for them on the cross, to which Acts 3 is the answer; but this also, Christ glorified, is rejected; and so all man's history closes in Stephen, and He sits down till Christ's enemies are made His footstool.}

106 I may briefly refer to some other points where this unity of mind is developed — the three great feasts of Israel, ordinances which pointed to the great principles and power of the gatherings of God's people. There were other feasts: the Sabbath, a sign of the covenant made with them, but also that His people are in due time to enter into God's rest (here that of the first creation, for us of the new creation, as risen); the new moon — a sign, I doubt not, of the restoration of Israel; as the tenth day of the seventh month was of their future mourning, and entering into the delivering power of the atonement; but on these I do not enter here. At the three other feasts, Passover (with unleavened bread), Pentecost, and Tabernacles, all Israel was to go up to the place where God had put His name. Full of interest as they are in themselves, I must now confine myself to them, as forming a chain of unity in the history.

PASSOVER has an unquestionably historical character. It was "a night much to be remembered," when, protected by the blood from judgment, they ate their unleavened bread in haste, preparing to depart out of Egypt. There is no evidence that I am aware of that they kept it after Sinai (Num. 9) till they were in Canaan. Those born in the wilderness were not fitted to do so, being uncircumcised until across Jordan; when, under Joshua they were, they did so (a very instructive figure, but a little beyond my purpose now). I only add, it is only when dead and risen with Christ we are circumcised, knowing what it is, and "the reproach of Egypt rolled away." Patience and proving in the wilderness do not belong to this. Hezekiah kept it, and Josiah kept it, as it had not been kept for long years. This criminal neglect of Israel is constantly used as an evidence by the Germans that the law was not given.

107 It was clearly established, in commemoration of God's sparing the people when judging Egypt and Pharaoh at the time of their deliverance from the bondage they were in. So it was ordained to be kept, and, as far as kept, was so. In Deuteronomy 16 it will be found to have a peculiar character; for there the three great feasts are spoken of in connection with the state of soul under the effect of that which they figure. In the Passover, the unleavened bread, type of holiness and the absence of sin, is the bread of affliction; and they were to turn to Him in the morning and go to their tents, though the feast lasted seven days. There is no thought of common joy, as in Pentecost and Tabernacles, though in these in different measure. When in presence of judgment, though spared, holiness is bread of affliction, the spirit of repentance is the form of purity, and it is necessarily solemn and individual. But the great idea of security from God's judgment was there in the blood of the paschal lamb: afterwards, of course, only a memorial of it. Every Christian knows that Christ was the true Passover. The chief priests sought to hinder His being taken on the feast-day; but God's purpose did not await their decision, and on the day of the Passover He was sacrificed as the true paschal Lamb, "the Lamb of God," to take away sin. Eating at table with His disciples,* the Lord Himself so instructs us: "With desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will not eat any more thereof till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22:15-16): so that we have a clear instance of the intention of God in an institution formally established by Himself, by the hand of Moses, celebrating their escape from judgment in Egypt, yet definitely purposed to be indicative of a better and more lasting deliverance from the bondage of sin and Satan, and more directly from the judgment of God, by which we were bound down under its consequences. "Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us." When God sees that blood, He passes over, where faith has believed the word.
  {*For the Jews the same day, though not for us, and at the time when leaven was put away for the feast.}

PENTECOST we know to have been connected with the coming of the Holy Spirit. It was the feast of firstfruits (not the first of the firstfruits, the wave-sheaf the morrow after the sabbath, that is, Christ risen on the first day of the week, but) when the harvest was reaped. Here leaven was to be in the two cakes offered (for sin is always found in man), even if offered to God in the power of the Holy Ghost. At the same time a sin-offering was to be offered to meet this defect, not offered in the previous case of the wave-sheaf; but they could not be burned themselves as a sweet savour to Jehovah. Then, as it was connected with the Holy Ghost, they were directed, in Deuteronomy 16, to rejoice together in grace, and bring a free-will offering, according as Jehovah had helped them. All this abides in its true force — its purport accomplished at Pentecost, and its effect abiding to this day. Was it arranged of man for the future in its institution? or was its accomplished antitype, the Holy Ghost come down from heaven, arranged by man on that day? We have it in Leviticus, we have it with other details in Deuteronomy: one, Leviticus 23, a history of the whole time from Egypt till the Lord comes again at the feast of tabernacles; the other, Deuteronomy 16, the characteristic detail of which gives the moral import of the observance. If not arranged by man, it is a testimony to that purpose of God which makes the whole book one in the revelation of His mind.

108 We have yet the feast of TABERNACLES, but without any antitype at all, which makes it the more remarkable. This was for the land solely. They were to dwell in booths, a testimony that Israel had been wanderers; but that now the promises were fulfilled, and that they were at peace in their land, never, as Amos says, to be plucked up any more; and, as Ezekiel has it, gathered back all of them. It was to be kept after the harvest and the vintage; in result, when ingathering and judgment were accomplished. We have seen in Revelation 14 the Son of man reaping the harvest of the earth, and treading the wine-press of the wrath of God. In this character He comes, chapter 19. In this character He is prophesied of (Isaiah 63), when He comes in dyed garments from Bozrah, when the day of vengeance is in His heart and He treads the peoples in His anger. Compare Isaiah 34; Isa. 26:9, and Zephaniah 3:8; and in each case the promises to Israel following.

How could the Lord keep this feast? He could not. He will appear and show Himself plainly enough to the world when He executes judgment on the quick, and so we find it in John 7, "If thou do these things," said His unbelieving brethren, "show thyself to the world." Then Jesus said to them, "My time is not yet come, but your time is always ready. Go ye up to this feast. I go not up* to this feast, for my time is not yet full come."
  {*The "yet" is not genuine.}

109 But, then, there was another thing in this feast, an eighth day, a specially solemn day; it reached beyond the seven full days of this world's week to the first day of another which began afresh. On that day, "that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. He that believes on me (as the scripture said), Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive, for the Spirit was not yet [given] because Jesus was not yet glorified," John 7. He could not associate Himself with Israel at this feast, but He could tell them on that special day, which went beyond the order of this world, that the Holy Ghost would be given consequent on His taking a heavenly and glorious place as Man, with which that Holy Spirit associates us. With the rest of Israel on earth comes in, what is yet a hope for us too, association with Christ in heavenly glory, as shown in its manifestation in the kingdom on the mount of Transfiguration, of which the Holy Ghost is given to us as earnest while Christ is entered as a forerunner, expecting till His enemies shall be made His footstool. Then He shall have all things gathered together in one in heaven and on earth; and then shall be fulfilled in Israel, and far better for us, the declaration of Deuteronomy 16:14, "And thou shalt rejoice … because Jehovah thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the work of thine hands; therefore thou shalt surely rejoice." It was a feast hardly kept, and no wonder, in all their history; in Solomon's dedication, lost in the general joy, so to speak, and observed in Nehemiah's time (Neh. 8:14), when they had learnt, though sore smitten, to sing again David's song, "His mercy endures for ever." Is all this without a purpose or an order, in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and in the Lord's remarkable conduct and words in John? while all the testimonies of the Lord's judgments, and of the rest of heart, far too numerous to quote here, confirm the truth of it, and lead, as it will, to the full singing of that lovely word so repeated in the end of the Psalms, l'olam chesedo, "His mercy endures for ever": while we have better things in glory with Him where He is gone; yet all things to be gathered into one under Him "for the administration of the fulness of time," Eph. 1:10.

110 The SACRIFICES and other TYPES of the Old Testament connect the whole Bible from Abel to Christ evidently. Moses made the tabernacle after the pattern shown him in the Mount. There was therefore a purpose and intention in it. Christ has passed through* the heavens, as Aaron entered into the most holy place. The history is taken up, not only in the Hebrews where the whole is gone into, but in 2 Corinthians 3. And as to Hebrews, it is not a partisan confirming Jewish ceremonial; but, while treating it as of God, putting it wholly aside, and contrasting it with Christianity, the heavenly thing. The whole system is judged; "a shadow, indeed, of good things to come," and yet fully recognised. And, observe, not the temple which they had before their eyes, and which men would have thought of (this is never alluded to in Hebrews), but the tabernacle in the wilderness: for there the Christian is, though with a heavenly calling. It had a full moral and spiritual signification for us; yet was all contrast, a veil that closed the way to the sanctuary, not a rent one which opened the way in; a priest sitting down because all His sacrificial work was finished, not standing because it never was accomplished.
  {*Not "into," as in the English version (Heb. 4).}

The whole history, I may say, of the wilderness is recorded in 1 Corinthians 10, and applied to Christianity. We have the ark in Joshua, under Eli, and David; and the history of Aaron's rod and the manna confirmed in Solomon's temple, and that by an allusion, as to a well-known thing, the strongest confirmation possible; though having a moral force that the means of journeying were gone when the rest was come; 2 Chron. 5:10. The temple order, substituted by David and Solomon for the tabernacle, is found, though slighted, and the temple defiled, all through the Kings. Now, though fifteen centuries separated the establishment of the two systems, the first has far more sense and import now to them that understand, than they had then. They were "shadows of good things to come," but "the body is of Christ," Col. 2:17. This applies to every part of the ordering of the tabernacle, where though priests could go and others could not, yet in contrast, as I have said; for the veil is rent, and the holy and holy of holies, have, so to speak, become one. What the altar meant, what the laver, details alluded to, I doubt not, in John 13, has its full force now. The mind which gave Moses the pattern in the Mount thought of Christianity in giving it; and Christianity, while setting the shadows aside, more than fulfilled their import.

111 With the HISTORY, if less obvious, it was equally the case. "All these things happened to them for ensamples (tupoi), and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come," 1 Cor. 10:11. Hence we find them knit, as they are found in the Pentateuch, with the constant instructions of the New, and the aptness seen by every intelligent Christian; indeed the whole history acquires its value, from its present application to everyday life, with the utmost and most instructive exactness. Historically the accounts of the Pentateuch are referred to and used for the judgment and instruction of Israel, as all the dates at which the Psalms may have been written, as Psalms 18, 78, 81, 99, 105, 106, 114. So the history of Judges in Psalm 83. The minuteness of the allusion in Psalm 80 shows more than any quotation how their minds were imbued with the history, God using it by His Spirit. God is appealed to as Shepherd of Israel, and leading Joseph like a flock, to shine forth from between the cherubim; and, it is added, "Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh." Why these tribes? They were the three next the ark at the rear of the tabernacle. The allusions are numberless. The spirit of the people from David to Babylon was filled — saturated — with the history in the Pentateuch, the Judges, and Samuel. The public neglect of Jehovah was great, and the judgments many; but their recollections and their desires lived in the history (see Judges 6:13) we learn in the Old Testament, and what their prophets told them of the future. It was what made them know God.

If we turn to the SACRIFICES we find the same neglect of God, as in everything; but the full intention and unity of intention is evident, indeed plainly stated. We find it, from Abel onward, the only legitimate ground of access to God. "Without shedding of blood is no remission." "It is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." Sacrifices were offered to God, but for men; worship was connected with an altar, a deep and important principle notified to us in Cain and Abel, and in the patriarchs; nor in the tabernacle service could any strange fire be used to burn the incense, the neglect of which cost Nadab and Abihu their lives, and closed the entry of the holiest to Aaron save on the great day of atonement. Sin and death had come in; and death and the acknowledgment of sin must come in for man to approach God; and when all was ordered of God, a clean and spotless victim must be offered. Such offerings occur, and mark the career of the godly (the Abrahams, whose earthly life was a tent, his divine life an altar),* and repeated too often to call for any individual notice. When all was ordained in connection with the tabernacle, and detail entered into, there was the burnt-offering which was on the ground of sin being there and atonement made (though not for particular transgressions), but was all burnt to God, an absolute sweet savour; the meat-offering, in which was no leaven (figure of sin), but all kneaded with oil and anointed with oil, and that in each minutest part; much frankincense, but all burnt to God, fully tested by holy judgment and only sweet savour. Then others feasted on what was slain as did the offerer, priest, the priests, and God too, while the same abiding law held good as to the blood and fat; and lastly, when there had been actual sins, there were offerings for them confessed on the victim's head; and if the blood was carried into the sanctuary, the body burnt without the camp. If the efficacy of the atoning blood went into heaven, the victim was rejected outside the camp, an earthly religion (connection of a people with God upon earth) ceased and was impossible. And especially on the great day of atonement the blood was carried into the holiest of all — God's own presence, according to what He was, not merely man's responsibility met by what was done on the altar of burnt-offering without. Besides this there was a sacrifice connected with their journey through the wilderness, for any uncleanness contracted there, unfitting any, otherwise entitled, to go up to the worship of God. This last was carried out, not by the shedding or sprinkling blood again, but by sprinkling with living water, into which the ashes of the burnt heifer had been put. The blood had been sprinkled seven times where God met the people.
  {*He had none in Egypt, nor till he returned to Bethel.}

112 All this had a purpose and a meaning. The prophets and Psalms refer to it as, with more or less order, it was historically continued. The resting on the mere outward offering with an unbroken heart is judged; but, as in Isaiah 53, there was One stricken for the transgression of God's people who made His soul and offering for sin, offered to God because sin was there; but a whole burnt-offering of a perfect sweet savour, God glorified in Him; as the meat-offering, pure as man conceived of the Holy Ghost, anointed with the Holy Ghost, and all He did by the Spirit, all sweet odour of grace going up to and referring to God above, though priests may scent its sweetness, fully tested by the fire of God's judgment; no leaven was there, all was a sweet savour to God. We feed on this sacrifice as the peace-offering, though the life and its energies were all offered to God — feed on it indeed, as bread come down from heaven, and as a sacrifice in death, only that death is become sure life to us, and what was absolute ruin before is now redemption and life, and we drink the blood too; not only atonement made for our sins and guilt taken away in our believing, but God perfectly glorified in His nature and intrinsic righteousness, measured by what He is and not merely by what we owe, and all our sins gone where they never can be found again. Such was the special offering of the great day of atonement.

113 There is for the believer no more conscience of sins; he is perfected for ever as to his conscience, while provision is made for restoring communion if we have defiled ourselves, the Holy Ghost by the word restoring the self-judging soul in virtue of that which shows sins for ever put away. He appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (complete in result in the new heavens and the new earth); and as it is appointed to men once to die, and after that the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. God is perfectly glorified in His nature through redemption, and the believer's sins gone for ever, so that he has boldness to enter into the holiest.

I cannot, of course, here enlarge on so wide a subject as the sacrifices, profoundly interesting as it may be. What I have here to note is, that the word of God affords us, from Abel's time, a distinct line of thought, brought out in detail in the law of Moses, and prophetically applied to God's coming Servant in Isaiah, spoken of in the Psalms in words used by the Lord Himself on the cross, and then in the Gospels plainly declared "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world," "the Son of man come to give His life a ransom for many"; and reasoned on, as everyone knows, in the Epistles, showing Christ who died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, the Just for the unjust, a Lamb without blemish and without spot. The lamb of Abel's faith is the Lamb in the midst of the throne, whose bride the heavenly Jerusalem is Himself the light and glory of it — "a lamb as it had been slain."

114 The same divine thought runs through Scripture from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation; the divine thought, prefigured in Abel, in the Exodus, and the sacrifices of the tabernacle, sung in holy strains in the Psalms, prophesied of by the prophets of God, even to the price He was to be sold for, accomplished in the Word made flesh, and unfolded in the instructions of the Holy Ghost — God's precious Lamb, whose blood cleanses us from all sin. Was it a compiler of fragmentary documents in Ezra's time, or God, who has taught us all this, one immense moral truth from Abel to the consummation of all things, the foundation of the stability of the new heavens and the new earth which makes grace righteousness — the righteousness of God, and sets man at His right hand in glory, opening heaven to us now, and in time taking us there? It was God's thought, God's work of love, and God's revelation, never lost sight of, as it never will be when even the kingdom shall be given up that God may be all and all.

These may suffice as illustrations of how divine thought runs as a continued stream of purpose through the Bible as a whole. I insist upon its being many books, by many authors, collected no man knows by whom (not the "learned Germans" more than I or Mr. Smith), but proved to be divinely inspired, individually and collectively, by the divine oneness which pervades their contents, and the more from their being many authors in remote ages. But I will now take two special parts of the great collection; for collection, whoever made it, everyone admits it is, the Lord Himself setting His seal of acceptance on it as such — I mean the Gospels and Psalms — to show the divine mind in each.

The traditions of Mark's Gospel, composed at Rome from Peter's testimony as its source, and Luke more or less from Paul's, I attach no importance to. It is quite alike to me whether a secondhand tradition (not very early either) be true or false, if an apostolic source be true or not. The question is whether God is the source. If so, the human instrument is of no moment. Mark was intimate probably with Peter, and certainly Luke with Paul; but the latter could not have himself given testimony from personal knowledge to him, and Luke attributes it to another source. This is true, that the tone and import of Luke's Gospel fall in more with Paul's ministry of grace to all; but all the preaching in the Acts (and we have only sermons to Jews from Peter and Paul) is based on the commission in Luke, for they are distinct in each Gospel.

115 It is very doubtful if the Epistles of Jude and James are from apostles. This is not the real question. That the apostles had a special mission, whether the twelve or Paul, for these also are distinct, is sure to every Christian; but if God inspired others, their word was just as sure; and if an apostle spoke or wrote or acted not by the inspiration of the Spirit, this was not the word of God. Those who believe in inspiration have, just as these historical critics, rested on traditional circumstances or proofs, or human evidence, strong indeed, I admit, for authenticity and the letter, but which leaves untouched the real question, Are they inspired of God?

The proof of Scripture in this respect is in Scripture, in the power of the word wielded by the Holy Ghost. When in that power it reaches the heart and conscience, its character, its divine character, is known, not only in the particular point in which it reaches them, but as to the true power and character of that which has done so. The woman of Samaria does not say when thus reached, "What you say is true," but, "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet." What He said came from God. His character and word were known to her. So it is with the Bible when a man is taught of God. It is recognised as His word, as Christ was recognised by those whose eyes were opened to see what was divine. Human testimony may prove the folly of human doubt, but no more, and so be useful; but divine operation alone gives divine faith. "He has opened mine eyes." When men believed only through proofs to man, by miracles, Jesus did not commit Himself to them; He knew what was in man. It was man's judgment about Him, very justly formed, but only man's judgment, no revelation of the Son of God to the soul: this is by the word through the operation of God; and then a man is born of God and sees. But I must pursue my inquiry.

As to the Gospels then, they carry their own testimony with them. Men may make Harmonies or seek to prove discrepancies, or give us Eusebius's account of traditions, or, if we are to believe Eusebius, the foolish old man Papias' account of his pleasure in hearing legends of what Christ said — a good pious old man, I doubt not. One has only to read the Apocryphal Gospels to see what they are worth, the utter nonsense that is in them.* But each Gospel bears its distinct character, proving itself and completing the others. For while each can give us enough to show what the blessed Lord's life was, yet the account would not be complete according to divine thought without all. First, there is a characteristic difference between John's and the Synoptical Gospels. They present Christ to be received as Son of David, Son of man, though of course the Christ and the Prophet-Servant; and in all He is rejected. In John, being God and the Son manifested in the world, the real ground of His rejection, we read in the first chapter that the world knew Him not, and His own received Him not; and they, the Jews, are treated as reprobate all through, and He is always come into the world, sovereign and quickening grace alone leading to His reception. And what He is in Person, and the Holy Ghost's coming, are fully treated of.
  {*One tells us that Jesus was as a child the death of so many who meddled with Him, that His mother kept Him in the house at last. He was making mud birds one Sabbath and ponds, and a big boy came and broke His ponds. The birds took life and flew away, and the Child said, "As you have dried my ponds, you will be dried up"; and so he dried up and died.}

116 But let us see briefly these characteristics, so as to show, in some measure, the divine completeness of the whole; and it is not pretended there was a clever compiler of the four here. I can only touch on a few leading heads.

In Matthew He comes as Messiah, Emmanuel, Jehovah, to His people, yet if Messiah, of course as Son of David. Hence His genealogy is traced to Abraham and David, the great vessels of the Jewish promise of the Seed. He was Emmanuel, Jesus, that is, Jah Hoshea, Jehovah the Saviour, for He shall save His people from their sins. Born at Bethlehem according to prophecy, the anti-king seeks His destruction, and He flees to Egypt, called back out from thence to be the true Son of God here below. Then John the Baptist executes his mission. Both here and with the Magi, while the Jews are the immediate object, yet a remnant only is owned in Israel morally, judgment is at hand, and grace can make of stones children to Abraham, and in the Magi the Gentiles are owned but in connection with one born king of the Jews.

Then Christ takes His place among this remnant, and immediately heaven is opened, He is anointed with the Holy Ghost, and the Father owns Him as His Son. The whole Trinity is for the first time fully revealed, and man's place (for us in redemption), according to God's counsels, made good in Him when He takes His place amongst them, Son of God there. Owned such He goes up, led of the Spirit, to meet Satan; for us refuses, if Son, to leave obedience in His taken place of servant, and overcomes Satan for us in perfectly waiting on God's will to act — overcomes his wiles, and sends away the adversary, and then goes to Galilee to the poor of the flock, calls disciples, and all the history of His service in Matthew is given in Matthew 4:23.

117 Then He describes the character of those who would have part in the kingdom without speaking of redemption. Israel were on the way with God to judgment (compare Luke 12:49-59), and, if they did not agree, would be cast into prison, and not come out till they had paid the last farthing. And there they are to this day.

In Matthew 8 He is Jehovah, and the Gentiles are again noticed. In Matthew 9 we have the character of His ministry, which is forgiveness and power in grace (according to Psalm 103), and characterised by grace. In Matthew 10 mission is exclusively to Israel in His own time then, to the end of verse 15; after He was gone, from verse 16, and that to the end till the Son of man should be come. In Matthew 11 John the Baptist's ministry and His own are both rejected by Israel, and He takes the character of Son of God, unknown because of His Person, and alone able to reveal the Father to the comfort of the heavy-laden, and as the obedient man showing the yoke they must bear to get rest. In Matthew 12 the Jews are formally judged, and He disclaims any relationship on earth except that produced by the word. In Matthew 13 He seeks fruit no more in His vineyard, but as Son of man carries out the seed which was to produce fruit; but the field is the world and the kingdom of heaven is described, that is, God's kingdom when the King is in heaven, taking the place of His presence on earth. He will come in judgment as Son of man, and the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Father's kingdom.

In Matthew 14 He still continues His ministry in grace, but Israel and man are judged in Matthew 15, and grace to the farthest from God according to Jewish dispensation vouchsafed to those who had no promise in His Person. In Matthew 16 we have the church Christ builds (founded on the title "Son of the living God," proved in resurrection) to replace Israel, as in Matthew 13 the kingdom in mystery, in Matthew 17 the kingdom in glory. The disciples are forbidden to say any more He is the Christ, for the Son of man must suffer. In Matthew 18, to the end of Matthew 20:28, we find the principles which were to guide the disciples and characterise their walk when He was gone — lowliness, His presence among them, forgiveness, judging the inward man of the heart instead of observing the outward law, and other great principles of conduct and service.

118 In all the Synoptics, the history of the last events, another chapter of the Lord's history, His death and not His life, begins with the blind man of Jericho. And He begins by again taking the character of Son of David, and presenting himself to Jerusalem as such. Then the Jews and their various sects come up one after another and are judged. The testimony of God in Judah till the Lord comes (Matt. 24:1-31), with exhortations to verse 44; the judgment of Christendom in Matthew 24:45 to Matthew 25:30, and verse 31 to the end the judgment of the Gentiles, to whom the message of the kingdom had been sent in those last days; in chapters 26 and 27, the last scenes, in which He is specially the victim here, led to the slaughter and dumb before His shearers, and every human comfort looked for in vain, the Christ the Son of God, but henceforth Son of man in glory, the veil rent. Then His resurrection and joining the poor of the flock again in Galilee, but no ascension: the twelve being sent out to disciple and baptise the Gentiles, a commission from Jesus risen, of the accomplishment of which we find no history in Scripture. The mission to them is surrendered to Paul, as recorded in Galatians 2.

The perpetual quotation of and reference to the Old Testament scriptures is evident to the most careless reader, with ina when it is the object of the passage cited, opos when it is an accomplishment of it, tote when it is only an instance of the thing. I have only noticed of course here what shows a perfect and systematic course of teaching, all based on the essential character of the Gospel. The events are not given in historical order in the life of the Lord, though generally following it, but are subjects treated of. The whole history of His life and ministry is in one verse, and then what characterised it — the mind of God in it. The rationalist may search very imperfect legends how it originated and was put together,* conjecture or reason on a Hebrew original or the contrary, and the Nazarene Gospel. The Christian taught of God sees with perfect certainty the character of the Lord as Messiah, Emmanuel, Jehovah, a Man amongst men, but Son of God, presented to Israel with all the principles He brought as such, and rejected by Israel to make way for deeper counsels and a better salvation: stating indeed a heavenly place for those rejected for His sake, but carrying on testimony, not from heaven, but from resurrection.
  {*If any one be curious, he may read Marsh's conjectures.}

119 The gospel of Mark I need not dwell on. It is the ministry of Christ, and is more exactly in chronological order, the same as Luke when he is chronological, but not calling for special notice for the purpose for which I comment on the Gospels. The reader may notice that the Lord's life closes here too with Galilee, as far as the Lord's words go, Mark 16:9-20 giving a short summary of what is recorded in Luke and John.

I turn to Luke, but only for some brief remarks, with a view to my special object. It begins with a lovely picture of the godly remnant in Judah, and the prophetic Spirit amongst them, hidden in the midst of the abounding iniquity of Israel; but where, as in the cave of Adullam, a godly priest, the true king, and the Spirit of prophecy are found. But the Jews are under the power of the Roman "beast," and events are dated by his reign. Then comes a genealogy,* which traces Christ up to Adam. He is Son of man come in grace, not the heir of promises to Abraham and David. At once, in Luke 4, He shows God's goodness extended to the Gentiles, so that they were going to kill Him. Then we have His power over demons and diseases, cleansing the leper and forgiving sins on earth; He is come to the sick. His disciples could not fast then — the bridegroom was there; — nor could new wine be put into old bottles, the truths of grace and the gift of the Spirit into Jewish ordinances. He is found (as constantly in Luke) praying as Son of man, and slighting their thoughts of the Sabbath; He was Lord of it as Son of man; it was the sign of the covenant with Israel; Ezek. 20. He gives then the summary of blessings and woes (the disciples are "ye poor"), but not the principles on which they would enter into the kingdom. There is more faith in a Gentile than in Israel, and then He raises the dead. The poor multitude and publicans justified God; the Pharisees rejected His counsel and are rejected. But wisdom is justified of all her children; and the child of wisdom is shown in the poor woman, a sinner in the city; not in the Pharisee who, with God in the house, decided, as rationalists do, that He, most clearly, could not be a prophet. But forgiveness, salvation, and peace are the portion of the poor woman, to whose heart and conscience God had revealed Himself in Christ as light and love.
  {*Luke 3:23 should, I have no doubt, be read "(Being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph) [the son] of Heli"; that is, son of Heli refers to Jesus, not Joseph; there is no "which was" in Greek. The Talmudists make Mary the daughter of Heli to be tormented in the other world. The vision of Isaiah (A.D. 68), it is said, makes Mary to be of the lineage of David. So does Tertullian according to Kaye. But this only by the bye.}

120 Then, in Luke 8, the sowing the word is spoken of; but we have not the mysteries of the kingdom. This Gospel is not dispensational; but the Lord rejects association, according to the flesh, with Israel. We have then an account of the expulsion of the legion of demons in Gadara, and, as often in Luke, more details as to the man. He would go away out of his home in this world with Christ, but was sent back for a testimony. The world gets rid of Jesus; and, I have no doubt, the rushing of the herd of swine is a picture of Israel's conduct when He was gone; but this is a mere figure I leave to every one to judge of. He goes to heal Jairus' daughter, but has to raise the dead. Only whoever touches Him with faith, in the way as He then was, is healed.

After feeding the multitude He is transfigured; and in the Gospel of Luke only we have the talking of His decease, and the going into the cloud, the heavenly part of the kingdom — a very important element. Their selfishness is detected in every form from the grossest to the most refined; and Christ is to be everything. This closes the orderly historical part of Luke. Christ's time was come for Him to be received up, and He stedfastly sets his face to go to Jerusalem. In the beginning of Luke 9 He had given His last testimony to Israel, only there was no inquiry who was worthy; and then comes the kingdom in glory, and entering into where the Father was, the excellent glory, and the strict prohibition any more to say that He was the Christ. We have no going through the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come — no prohibitory notice of Samaritans and Gentiles; we have the history morally, not dispensationally, given: here, too, He was praying when He was transfigured; no replacing the Messiah in Israel by the church founded on the title Son of God, but the heavenly and earthly glory when the Christ was rejected, and the cross, in bearing which they were to follow Him. On this He insists, while the multitude wondered at His present power. He sends His messengers before His face on His way to Jerusalem, the parting testimony to Israel; but the disciples were to rejoice, not because devils were subject to them, but because their names were written in heaven. Grace is taught, independent of Judaism, in the man that fell among thieves. Then we have hearing His word, and prayer. He was the test of every soul. The evil generation, as pictured in the return of the unclean spirit, is left out. Still the nation is judged morally.

121 The folly of the world in its desires is taught, and the fear of man to be conquered, and for disciples full trust in God exercised; while the heavenly portion of those who watch, and the rule in the return of Christ of those that serve, are beautifully brought out. The effect of His present coming in dividing nearest friends is told, and the application of being in the way with the adversary made clear. Judgment was on all the nation, the Sabbath is set aside in the work of grace, the kingdom very briefly announced in its external form, but in connection with entering in at the strait gate. He would often as Jehovah have gathered Jerusalem, but now her day was past. The sabbath again yields to doing good, and the call to the great supper and its results is spoken of: only the sick and the poor are added to what is in Matthew. We have then, what is in Luke only, grace in seeking and grace in receiving by the Father, God's joy in the salvation of a sinner thenceforth; what man, a steward out of place, is to do with his master's goods in view of everlasting habitations; and the veil withdrawn from another world, putting the outward blessings in this, promised to Israel, in their own true place. This morally substitutes Christianity for Judaism.

After some moral principles, He is substituted for the temple and Judaism in the case of the healed Samaritan: the kingdom of God was there. Prayer is urged, but when the Son of man came where would be faith? and self-judgment preferred to self-righteousness, and the heart searched instead of the commandments outwardly kept. There is none good but God. Salvation is only of Him.

He approaches Jericho; the story of Zacchaeus is added, full grace to a publican, but responsibility in service when He should be gone, and reward according to labour. Then in approaching Jerusalem on the ass, the remarkable expression, Peace in heaven. Till Satan should be cast out thence, no rest on earth could come. Jerusalem is wept over in grace.

122 In the prophecy to His disciples (Luke 21) we have no abomination of desolation, but the siege of Jerusalem by Titus not mentioned in Matthew. The true secret of Peter's fall is brought out, and the entire change in Christ's position now, as being there, not as Emmanuel, King in Israel as He had been, but as a malefactor on the cross. In Gethsemane is more deep human sorrow than in any Gospel; on the cross none. He is the perfect man: not here the victim before God, true as this ever remains. He went through the sorrow with His Father; and there was calmness itself when the sorrow was actually there. We have the account of the converted thief, and the assurance of a blessed intermediate state before He came in His (Christ's) kingdom: a most instructive and important history. I should have added that in instituting the Lord's Supper He does not speak of eating it new in the kingdom, but of the present thing, its being fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

We have the lovely history of the disciples' journey to Emmaus; and, passing rapidly over the circumstances of the resurrection, no going to Galilee, but going out to Bethany; the ascension related, and their blessing in connection with His going to heaven. It is He himself, the same Jesus who is risen; He eats to show it; He opens their understandings to understand the Scriptures: repentance and remission of sins are to be preached in His name; but they were to wait for the power at Jerusalem for the promise of the Father — that is, the coming of the Holy Ghost. It is on this commission, as I have said, that the preaching of the gospel took place, as related in Scripture.

The whole Gospel gives us the moral change, and introduces the present and heavenly state of things, not dealing with dispensation, though of course with the setting aside of Judaism. It is the Son of man, and in divine grace. While Luke is especially characteristic, it is less easy to reproduce its character in a summary, because it is many minute traits which form that character: grace in the Son of man. Still the introductory chapters, the place and scope of the genealogy, the introduction of the parables in chapters 14, 15, 16, the introduction of going into the cloud in the transfiguration, the ascension, the thief on the cross, the woman that was a sinner, the frequent praying of Christ, the introduction of Gentiles, all marked grace that reached out beyond promises to Israel, and the Son of man in whom that grace came.

123 The Gospel of John, on the contrary, gives very broad lines of truth as to the Person of Christ and the coming of the Holy Ghost. Its character is totally distinct from the other three Gospels. It is not a history to display what Christ was here, His rejection and death, but a statement of all that He was in Himself. The Jews are all set aside, and indeed man, in starting; but all that Christ is, save His relative characters, is found already in the first chapter; in the third, what was revealed and needed for Israel and man to have part in the earthly and heavenly blessings. We have only to follow the contents of the Gospel to see its bearing. The sovereign operation of needed grace is found also from the beginning. What was found by results and experience in the first three Gospels is taught as truth here.

The first chapter begins before Genesis, because it treats of what was, not of what was done. As to Christ, He is God, in nature a distinguishable person with God, not become so by incarnation, but with God in the beginning. He was, when all began. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men: but the light shone in darkness, that is, amongst men, but the darkness comprehended not. God, in patient love, sent a witness to draw men's attention to that light. Next, verse 14, He became flesh, egeneto, became, not now en, was. He became flesh, was this amongst men as man, was a Son with His own Father, dwelt among men full of grace and truth. Christians have all received of His fulness, and grace for grace. Grace and truth came by Him, they were there, egeneto. The law was given by Moses. Then His work: He is the Lamb of God, the taker-away of the sin (not sins) of the world, and the baptizer with the Holy Ghost; He was anointed and sealed with it Himself. Then, as John had witnessed to Him as Lamb of God, His disciples gathered round Him. He is the Son of God and King of Israel. But much more: henceforth the heavens would be seen opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man. He is not the Christ for Israel in this chapter; nor Priest above; nor Head of the church. John does not own the Jews, nor has he indeed to do with the church: all is individual, not counsels, but God revealed in the Son declaring His Father; and eternal life come down to be imparted to man, the Word become flesh.

124 In John 2 we have the result when the history of the gathered remnant closes, the joy of the marriage, the purifying water turned into wine, and the temple purged of all that profaned it. This closes the introductory part as to all that concerns Christ.

We have now what concerns men. But the incarnation is the introduction of what was before the beginning of all things, in the power of life in a Man, into the scene of the all things, to be eternal life indeed as from everlasting in His Person; but a wholly new thing, though a true Man amongst men — a new beginning. But the mere human conviction by evidence was nothing, and not to be trusted. Man must be born again (anothen), wholly anew. Nicodemus ought to have known this as a teacher of Israel. The prophets (see Ezek. 36) showed it plainly that, even for Israel to enjoy the earthly promises, there must be a new birth; how much more to have part in the heavenly! This He would teach as coming thence, as no one else had to tell it, the Son of man, who was even then divinely in heaven. But the Son of man must be lifted up, that a people separated by faith should have a part in these heavenly things. The need was there on man's side, and the Son of man met it. The love of God was there on God's side, and the Son of God was given; but it is the world, not Israel. The condemnation now was that light was come into the world; and man hated it, and did not come to it. In the rest of the chapter John the Baptist unfolds who he is, the testimony being closed by the evangelist himself with the Father's love to the Son, and His having put all things into His hand: he that believed on Him had everlasting life. Man, God in grace, Israel, the world, and the Son of God come in grace revealing the Father, bringing eternal life, grace and truth — all find their place here; what Christ is, and the truth as to man, the being born again, and the atonement on the cross.

This closes the introduction, the epoch being marked by John being not yet cast into prison; after which Christ began His public ministry. In John 4 the Lord leaves Judaea, His country as come amongst the Jews; and we find grace with a Samaritan, prerogative mercy above Jewish relationship, and connected with His Person and humiliation, but no understanding of it in man; and this produced by dealing with the conscience. Worship must be in spirit and in truth, for God is a Spirit; but the Father, His name in grace, revealed in the Son, seeks such. In John 5 we have the benefits under the law, dependent on the power of the person who is to use them, and there is none: the disease to be cured has taken away the force to use the remedy; Christ as Son of God brings it with Him. The Father raises the dead, and quickens them, so the Son quickens whom He will: and he who believes has eternal life: then man's responsibility as to it, life being come in His Person, with the evidences of John Baptist, His own works, the Father, their own scriptures: but they would not come to Him to have it. In John 6 He is Son of man, owned prophet, refusing to be king; He ascends up for priestly service, and the disciples go away alone; He rejoins them, and they are immediately where they went. Our food, meanwhile, is Christ humbled, the bread from heaven, and His flesh and blood; but if this last, His death, be not fed on, there is not life; in such case their portion is resurrection in the last day, in a state man never was in, even innocent. In John 7 the Holy Ghost takes the place of tabernacles, as we have seen, of which there is yet no antitype; in John 8 His word is rejected; in John 9 His work; in John 10 He will have His sheep at any rate out of Israel and the Gentiles too; in John 11, 12 we have the testimony rendered of God, as we have seen, to Christ when rejected as Son of God, Son of David, Son of man: but then He must die.

125 This closes His history, and He is now looked at as going to His Father — this from John 13. He must leave His disciples; but if He cannot stay with them, He must have them with Him gone now to God. For this He abides a servant, and washes their feet: for being washed (converted), that is done once for all. Their walk remains to be seen to. Further, God is perfectly glorified by Him in His death: so man goes into God's glory. In John 14 He went to prepare a place for them above, and will come back and receive them. They knew where He was going, for He was going to the Father; and they had seen the Father in Him, and so knew the way too. Further, when the Comforter was come, they would know not only that He was in the Father, but that they were in Him and He in them. In John 15 Israel was not the true vine, though a vine brought out of Egypt. He was so: and they the branches, and this on earth. Then the work of the Comforter is fully developed in John 16: sent by the Father in chapter 14 in His name: by Him, from the Father, as the glorified Man in John 15, 16. In John 17 speaking to His Father — wondrous grace that we should be admitted to hear Him — He puts the disciples (founding it on His work and glorifying, and revelations of the Father in Himself) on the same ground as Himself with the Father and with the world.

126 Then we have Gethsemane and the cross in John 20, His revelation of Himself to Mary Magdalene and to the disciples, and this whole period of Christian blessing characterised. The Jewish remnant, who loved Him, could not now have Him back in bodily presence, but they were now His brethren; He went to His Father and their Father, to His God and their God. He is in their midst, communicates life in resurrection in the power of the Holy Ghost, as God breathed into Adam, committing the administration of forgiveness of sins on earth to them. Thomas represents the remnant in the latter day. In John 21 we are in Galilee again with this remnant; and the service of Peter, who is blessedly restored through grace, and of John: one as the apostle of the circumcision to find his labour in Israel come to nothing as regards the nation, and he a martyr, as Christ; and John to linger over the condition of the church till He came. It is purposely given mysteriously, and in part refers to the last days. The net is the millennial haul, and does not break, as the gospel net did. (Of Paul's ministry we have nothing; it stands by itself, a dispensation committed to him.) We have no ascension in John's Gospel. It will be remarked, that, all through, it is the divine side and the purpose of God as to Christ, which is treated here; with the Holy Ghost who takes His place on earth.

I would still notice the distinction of the closing scene in the Gospels. In Matthew Christ is the victim, perfect in calmness and patience, with no ray to comfort Him, no heart to feel for Him; He is led as a lamb to the slaughter (man's wickedness frightfully brought out), but a perfect victim of propitiation, told out on the cross by the solemn words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" In the midst of plans of the priests and the vacillation of Pilate, God's purpose is carried out in the true passover; and Christ is, before both, condemned for His own testimony to the truth.

In Luke you have deeper human conflict in Gethsemane, though perfection in it: being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly. On the cross there is none. He had gone through it as man with His Father, and the perfect result is peacefulness on the cross. Also, here, as man, He commends His spirit to His Father.

127 In John we have the divine side — no sorrow in Gethsemane, none on the cross. In Gethsemane they go backward and fall to the ground, and He delivers up Himself, saying, "If ye seek me, let these go their way." On the cross He puts His mother under John's care, and delivered up His own spirit when all was finished in the work He had to do. We have to learn in part, and the various parts separately, that we may know all. John was nearer Christ in His agony, but Matthew gives it, not John. Matthew saw the people go-back and fall, but says nothing of it. The Holy Ghost gives by each what suits the whole tenor and subject of that Gospel. Yet our Baurs and other Germans can see nothing but a composition to make peace among Christian squabblers in the end of the second century. Can there be greater poverty, more total moral darkness? Mr. Smith, professing for some other reason to believe, debits out this threadbare infidelity, without a ray of light to lighten the darkness, or say it is not true; or he would persuade us that Christ sanctioned, as written by Moses, and as the word of God relative to Himself, what was not written by Moses at all — an imposture in which he, forsooth, can see no harm! and he would have us believe that the Lord and the apostles were all wrong, and Dr. Baur and himself right.

I have referred to the Psalms as another illustration of unity of purpose and mind as collected. It is well known there are five distinct books, each ending with ascription of praise to Jehovah — Psalms 1-41; 42-72; 73-89; 90-106; and thence to the end. Each book has its own object and character. The first two Psalms, however, are an introduction, and give the key to the whole book. In Psalm 1 there is a remnant distinguished from the ungodly of the nation. Psalm 2 gives the counsels of Jehovah to establish, in spite of rejection by Jews and Gentiles, Christ (the Anointed) as King on His holy hill of Zion; also God's Son, as born into the world; and, finally, to subdue the Gentiles with a rod of iron.

I would now mention a principle of order which helps us to understand the connection of many Psalms. One or more psalms give the platform on which the thoughts and feelings of the following Psalms are based.* But, first, as to the character of the five books. In the first the remnant is still in Jerusalem, and the name Jehovah is used throughout, though in two Elohim be introduced. And here we have more prophetic reference to Christ, though rejected.
  {*It will be found in individual Psalms, the first verse or two giving the thesis, the rest what leads to it.}

128 In the second book the remnant is out of Jerusalem; but their state is pursued through rejection till the authority of the Son of David be established. This begins with Elohim; but after Psalm 45, when the King is brought in in power, we find Jehovah, and triumph. Blood-guiltiness is owned, the sufferings and sorrows of the people under oppression and hostile power are recounted: and Elohim is largely, sometimes exclusively, used in contrast with man powerful in wickedness. Still judgment is looked for in faith, and true repentance in Israel. But the remnant all through are cast out, though their praise is ready (Ps. 65) when restored. In Psalm 69 Christ associates Himself with Israel, bearing their sins, and carrying their sorrows in His heart, though rejected of them; and here Jehovah comes in again. It closes, as already said, in the Son of David being established in glory and power.

The third book goes beyond the Jews, and takes in all Israel. They are to be received after the glory, and though faith does bring in Jehovah at Psalms 73:28; 78:21; 80:4; 81:10, still Elohim is the constant cry: they are not yet restored by the glory. Still we have this prophetically, and all the exercises of heart and faith and hope about it furnished to them by inspiration. Here too the old associations of Israel as a whole are far more fully before us. In Psalm 83 Jehovah comes fully in again, on the judgment against the last confederacy being executed, and is used even in the depth of their humiliation (Ps. 88), their guilt under the old covenant. In the next Psalm mercies are recounted and Christ brought in (verse 19 called "holy one" wrongly. It is still Chesed, so the same as in the first verse generally; in verse 18 Kodesh), that is Jehovah. This closes the book.

The fourth book is the bringing in the First-begotten into the world. Jehovah has been ever Israel's dwelling-place. Of Psalm 91 I have spoken, where Jehovah is identified with the Most High in the accomplishment of the promises to Abraham. This is celebrated by faith in the next psalm. Then, with Psalm 93 as a preface, the introduction of Jehovah Messiah into the world, from the appeal of the suffering remnant who inquire if Jehovah is going to reign conjointly with the power of evil (v. 20), on to the calling up the Gentiles to worship at Jerusalem, where the presence and glory of Jehovah are fully established, in Psalm 100. In Psalm 101 we have the principles of the earthly kingdom; and Psalm 102, how Christ, who was cut off, could be there. He was Jehovah, eternal in nature (Atta Hu), and His years, too, as man should never fail. (See Heb. 1) Psalm 103 celebrates Christ as Jehovah (compare Matt. 9) in Israel; in Psalm 104 it is the God of creation who is celebrated; in Psalm 105 the God of Israel of old, but whose judgments are now in all the earth. In Psalm 106 Jehovah's faithfulness is looked to in spite of all their misdeeds.

129 The fifth book, from Psalm 107 to the end, is more general, but we have them gathered out of all lands; the great revelation that Messiah Melchisedec was to sit on Jehovah's right hand till His enemies were made His footstool: then His power would come out of Zion. It is fully celebrated that "Jehovah's mercy endures for ever." The circumstances of deliverance are rehearsed in the Mahaloth, the law written (Ps. 119) in the heart of Israel who had gone astray like a sheep that was lost: and finally the great Hallelujah of now accomplished deliverance. Psalms 72 and 145 alone, as far as I remember, describe the millennial state itself: the first as to Christ; the second as to His association with the people. Psalm 118 is the full description of the return of Israel's heart to Jehovah, recognising His ways and their own fault, and is constantly quoted by the Lord in the Gospels, and brought out by the power of God in the last entry in Jerusalem; and it is quoted also in the Acts.

I return to note a few details based on the principle referred to at the outset. Psalms 1, 2, are the preface and key as I have said; then Psalms 3-7 the thoughts and feelings Christ's rejection has given rise to in the remnant, ending in His character as Son of man; Ps. 8. Of this I have spoken before. Psalms 9, 10* are the sorrows of the Jews and the delivering judgments of God; in Psalms 11-17 their thoughts and feelings, Christ's resurrection, trust and righteousness being introduced, ending in Psalm 18, when Christ's sufferings are made the key to Israel's history, from Egypt to the establishment of the kingdom in power. Psalms 19-22 are deeply interesting, creation testimony, the testimony of the law, of a Christ suffering, from Man exalted to glory and punishing all His enemies, of a Christ suffering indeed from man but then crying to God and forsaken, yet perfect and making atonement; nothing but wider and wider blessing flowing from it to the remnant which becomes the church, literally accomplished in John 20, to all Israel, to the world, and those born in the millennium: "He has done this."
  {*I do not understand how Mr. S. makes there an imperfect acrostic. It is looking inexactly and superficially at the outside, and missing all the force of the Psalms. We have a, a, b, b to begin with in Psalm 9; l, b, k, r in Psalm 10.}

130 Psalm 23 forms another starting-point: Jehovah the Shepherd who cares for His tried one; Psalm 24 Christ the Jehovah who enters in triumph into the gates of righteousness on earth. The exercises on this go to Psalm 39. Then we have the accomplishment of the counsels of God, undertaken by a suffering obedient Christ, the key to all; and then the blessing on him (Ps. 41) who understands the poor, as He said, Blessed are the poor in spirit, "ye poor"; and we can say, This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard him.

I need not go any farther to illustrate general principles, which is all I can attempt to do now. The divine sequence and connection of the Psalms is, I think, evident; yet they are confessedly isolated songs, composed at different times, even if mostly David's: a collection, but the mind of God shines through them as a collection; His purposes in Christ and in Israel, when Jehovah shall be owned as Most High in all the earth, a suffering remnant and a Messiah who has entered into their sorrows. Of course the Father's name is not and cannot be found in them, nor the Spirit of adoption. It is deeply interesting to see that, while His human sorrows can be viewed in Psalm 20, His atoning sufferings can be expressed only by His own mouth; Ps. 22.

I would say a few words on Petrine and Pauline teaching, as it is greatly dwelt on by these "learned Germans." It is folly, as they take it with their speculations, but most interesting, when rightly looked at. That the Jews had the strongest prejudices against the Gentiles is notorious, and that the Jewish Christians were not exempt from them is evident upon the face of the New Testament history. We possess in the Acts of the Apostles the case of Cornelius, and it is plainly in point both as regards Peter himself and those at Jerusalem. The affair between him and Paul (Gal. 2) tells the same tale, and reveals, as do other passages, the effort to force circumcision on the Gentiles. The council in Acts 15 under God decided otherwise at Jerusalem itself, which was the important point. But, clear as may have been the Christian decision, prejudices remain behind decisions acquiesced in. "Certain came from James" marks this clearly. Only in Hebrews 13:10-13 are they summoned to give up Judaism.

131 But there was much more than this. The writings of Paul contain a doctrine unknown to all other parts of scripture — the church as the body of Christ. It is not mentioned by any other New Testament writer. The word is not used. It was a dispensation committed to him, besides the gospel, to complete the word of God. He was the wise master-builder who laid the foundation. It had been hidden from ages and generations: in proof of this, see Romans 16:25 (read "prophetic scriptures," not "scriptures of the prophets"); Ephesians 3:1-10; Colossians 1:24-26.

John had nothing to do with this question: his ministry did not reach out to it. It was the revelation of eternal life, and the Father in the Son, and His becoming our life; but his ministry is always individual. If the children were to be gathered together in one by Christ's death, as well as the nation died for, it is individually as a family, not as the body of Christ. And in the mysterious end of his Gospel it passes from Peter, closes his life and ministry as Christ did, and passes on to Christ's coming: in ministry fulfilled in the Apocalypse. In this last chapter of John, Paul does not come in at all. John speaks of Christ's and our going to heaven but four times, as far as I remember. (Chaps. 6, 14, 16, and 17.) His ministry was the display of what was divine here below: hence its attractiveness.

Paul presents us in Christ before God: and this leads to union with Christ as His body. Peter's ministry, after presenting grace, redemption, and birth by the incorruptible seed of the word, and speaking of Christ's bearing our sins, very clearly dwells as his speciality on the government of God: in the first Epistle as to the saints; in the second as to the ungodly. I speak in all these cases of what characterises them. But none ever touches on what constitutes Paul's special ministry. I may add, John still speaks of preachers who had gone out taking nothing of the Gentiles, of Christ dying, not for our sins only, but for the whole world. He puts our standing clearly in Christ (1 John 4:17); but it is still individual.

132 The Platonism of John is a fable; it is anti-Platonic in its revelations, and expressly so. The notion even of disputes after the destruction of Jerusalem seems to me unhistorical — save some Nazarenes and Ebionites in Palestine, soon sunk into insignificance. Judaism proper sank into oblivion. The Alexandrian corruption of Christianity issuing in Arianism was later and connected with Neoplatonism. Justin Martyr (A.D. 140) was infected with it, and others of that school in his time. But it was another thing. This is true that the full doctrine of redemption as taught by Paul never took root in the church: the church itself Judaised, and has remained in this state to this day. The return to Paul's teaching, and partially John's, is what is disturbing its slumbers at this day.

What was special in Paul's doctrine was that by the descent of the Holy Ghost believers, perfectly saved, were united in one body to Christ, Jews or Gentiles: and the fulness of redemption in a new creation was manifested, by the glorifying of Christ, as man, on high. Paul's conversion connected itself with this. He never knew Christ on earth — was a strict legal Jew. Christ was revealed to him in glory, and Christians spoken of by Christ as being Himself. He was delivered from the people and from the Gentiles, and sent to these last in connection with a glorified Christ, all disciples being one with Him: and the apostles at Jerusalem give up to him their mission to the Gentiles; Gal. 2. Of course this gave a special character to his mission, though the gospel, the basis of personal salvation, remained the same. It was a dispensation committed to him, a mystery kept secret since the world began.

This is the reality of the difference between the Petrine and Pauline teaching, which is sufficiently important. But this was too early lost (and the Pauline doctrine of redemption and the church merged in outward forms and organisation) to have been a ground for any great controversy. None held Paul's doctrine. The Pope is the successor of Peter, not of Paul, though the last may be smuggled in to appropriate and hide him. John's teaching had nothing to do with the question. Indeed the Baur theory is pretty much given up. I speak of it to free the intrinsic importance of the additional truth taught by Paul: for it is no difference of gospel, but a very much larger revelation of the counsels of God, from the idle, and (they must forgive me) low, husky, speculations of those who know nothing of the real contents — husks half gone already; for rationalist speculations cannot be expected to last above twenty years.

133 The accusations of plagiarism I do not make much account of. But I do not see original research in the article "Bible." It is the current speculation of the day. But that must be borrowed somewhere. De Wette, Ewald, F. W. Newman (who borrowed it from the Germans), Hupfeld, all give it to us: and I now see it in Professor Kuenen, whom I have just read. It is a mere reproduction of what these teach, and unless there was real personal research, it could hardly be anything else. "Opinionum commenta delet dies, naturae iudicia confirmat"; only for "naturae" we must substitute "aeternae veritatis."

You may consult Eichhorn's (a rationalist's) judgment: — (1) None but ignorant and thoughtless doubters can suppose the Old Testament to have been forged by one deceiver: (2) They are not the forgery of many deceivers … But how could they forge in a way so entirely conformed to the progress of the human understanding? and was it possible in later times to create the language of Moses? He goes through other suppositions, and says, How could a whole nation be often deceived and a different periods, and by what degraded themselves? The whole passage, too long to quote here, may be read: Moses Stuart has translated it. The writers all quote, he says, or refer to what has been written before. Profane history refers to Moses as the lawgiver of Israel. It would be a serious difficulty, if anything be a difficulty to a theorist, to see how or why an elaborate system of tabernacle arrangement, professing to come by direct inspiration from God, should be recorded, when a totally different one was before their eyes. No one reading the Old Testament for himself but must see a clear and orderly succession of historical events, though much more — collected afterwards, no doubt, into a volume — and that the effort to invalidate it supposes more absurdity than any other theory. It is too closely bound together historically. All is false if the whole be not substantially true as it stands, for it all hangs together and supposes itself all throughout. But faith depends on other workings in the soul than these external proofs. Doubts may be easily awakened, but did these reasoners ever present us with one certain solid truth?

134 As the matter has come publicly before all the world, I must say that Mr. S.'s defence is worse than his previous acts. To disseminate pure infidelity (for this it is), destroying the inspiration of the Bible as we have it, without a hint of anything else, and then to say he believes it for other reasons, is too bad to be qualified by any term I could use. It results in making it no matter to falsify the real origin of the books; and in making Christ and the apostles put their sanction on such a course, or declare one to be the true author when he was not. And if it were true, where was the inspiration of the writer?

The question is not as to Professor Smith (of whom I know nothing but what is published); but, Are plain souls to have the word of God, what "proceeds out of the mouth of God," quoted by the Lord and His apostles as such, and Christianity communicated in words which the Holy Ghost taught? or the fancies of Astruc and Baur and Smith, with no real communication from God Himself? What is my soul to lean on?

Happily, when the great conflict between man in the Last Adam and Satan took place, words which proceeded out of the mouth of God were sufficient for the Lord and for Satan, as they ever will be; and in the hour of His deep and atoning agony sufficed to express what was in His heart, that which no other heart could ever fathom or express. If there be a blessing in the world besides the Lord Himself in grace, it is to have God's word as He Himself has given it to us, like that Lord Himself, what is divine and heavenly but perfectly suited and adapted to man, in the heart of man: the Old Testament as a pipe which brings it, partially drunk at by those who conveyed it; in the New the heart itself, first the vessel drinking for its own thirst, and then the water flowing forth from the inmost man. "When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me by his grace to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen." All of it is that word of God which works effectually in them that believe. "If that which was from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son and in the Father."

135 NOTE. See footnote on page 79.

In order to show the advantage of reading the foregoing along with the article on which it animadverts, we give a quotation from it on alleged "Parallel Narratives" and divergent laws, in the Pentateuch: —

"This view is supported by the fact that, even as it now stands the history sometimes gives more than one account of the same event, and that the Pentateuch often gives several laws on the same subject. Of the latter we have already had one example, but for our present argument the main point is not diversity of enactment, which may often be only apparent, but the existence within the Pentateuch of distinct groups of laws partly taking up the same topics. Thus the legislation of Exodus 20-23 is partly repeated in Exodus 34, and on the passover and feast of unleavened bread we have at least six laws, which, if not really discordant, are at least so divergent in form and conception that they cannot be all from the same pen (Ex. 12:1-28; Ex. 13:3-10; Ex. 23:15; Ex. 34:18; Lev. 23:5-14; Deut. 16.) Of historical duplicates the most celebrated are the twofold history of the creation and the flood, to which we must recur presently. The same kind of thing is found in the later books; for example, in the account of the way in which Saul became king, where it is scarcely possible to avoid the conclusion that 1 Samuel 11:11 should attach directly to 1 Samuel 10:16 (cf. 1 Sam. 10:7).

"The extent to which the historical books are made up of parallel narratives, which, though they cover the same period, do not necessarily record the same events, was first clearly seen after Astruc (1753 A.D.) observed that the respective uses of Jehovah (LORD) and Elohim (God) as the name of a deity afford a criterion by which two documents can be dissected out of the book of Genesis. That the way in which the two names are used can only be due to difference of authorship is now generally admitted, for the alternation corresponds with such important duplicates as the two accounts of creation, and is regularly accompanied through a great part of the book by unmistakable peculiarities of language and thought, so that it is still possible to reconstruct at least the Elohim document with a completeness which makes its original independence and homogeneity matter of direct observation. The character of this narrative is annalistic, and where other materials fail, blanks are supplied by genealogical lists. Great weight is laid on orderly development, and the name Jehovah is avoided in the history of the patriarchs in order to give proper contrast to the Mosaic period (cf. Gen. 17:1; Ex. 6:3) and, accordingly, we find that the unmistakable secondary marks of this author run through the whole Pentateuch and Joshua, though the exclusive use of Elohim ceases at Exodus 6. Of course the disappearance of this criterion makes it less easy to carry on an exact reconstruction of the later parts of the document; but on many points there can be no uncertainty, and it is clearly made out that the author has strong priestly tendencies, and devotes a very large proportion of his space to liturgical matters. The separation of this document may justly be called the point of departure of positive criticism of the sources of the Old Testament; and present controversy turns mainly on its relation to other parts of the Pentateuch. Of these the most important are: 1. The Jehovistic narrative, which also begins with the creation, and treats the early history more in the spirit of prophetic theology and idealism, containing, for example, the narrative of the fall, and the parts of the history of Abraham which are most important for Old Testament theology. That this narrative is not a mere supplement to the other, but an independent whole, appears most plainly in the story of the flood, where two distinct accounts have certainly been interwoven by a third hand. 2. Many of the finest stories in Genesis, especially great part of the history of Joseph, agree with the Elohim-document in the name of God, but are widely divergent in other respects. Since the researches of Hupfeld, a third author, belonging to northern Israel, and specially interested in the ancestors of the northern tribes, is generally postulated for these sections. His literary individuality is in truth sharply marked, though the limits of his contributions to the Pentateuch are obscure." — Ed. B. W. and R.